Indianapolis Star reporter Ryan Sabalow tweets: “So @IndyStarEric just offered this as an incentive in the newsroom. A riot nearly ensued.”

How does one get the card? I ask.

“The Star just moved to a new building,” explains Sabalow. “The powers that be gave us a foosball table in the break room. [Breaking news and features editor Eric Dick] just offered it as a reward for the winning team in a newsroom tourney.”

* “Careful not to land on Special Section Ave. on your next roll” (

“This will be the last time you will see photos of the NYSE floor – or any of the world’s trading floors – on MarketWatch (unless something actually newsworthy happens there),” writes Jeremy Olshan. “The Big Board is now little more than a Big Tent for a phony media circus of photo-ops and cable-news talking heads.”

* MarketWatch bans photos of NYSE and other trading floors ( | Related blog (

Ready to transform your journalism — and your life? Apply for a 2015­-16 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship.jsk The deadline is Dec. 1, 2014, for both U.S. and international applicants.

Each year we select 20 journalists and journalism entrepreneurs from the United States and around the world and bring them together for 10 months at Stanford, in the heart of Silicon Valley. We select fellows who articulate a journalism challenge they want to explore in hopes of identifying potential solutions that they will continue to work on after the fellowship.

* Become one of the John S. Knight Fellows who are transforming journalism

Investigative reporter Bill Dedman at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism

Bill Dedman, who recently left to join Newsday, told Arizona State University journalism students this week:

“First, I’d like to urge you to stop worrying about how things were so much better in the old days. They weren’t better.”

“In a way, I want some of you to be discouraged from going into journalism, if you’re the sort that can be discouraged. If you’re going into it to make money, then it’s not your best plan. But if you’re someone who wants to understand stories, who wants to tell rich stories, who couldn’t possibly be discouraged, then you’re the ones we need. …So my first piece of advice is to not be discouraged.”

“Who would go into journalism to go do stories that others have already done? The fun [of reporting] is not in localizing a story; the fun is in nationalizing a local story – finding something that’s happening in your town, that’s so interesting that you write about so completely that [Poynter's Al Tompkins] tells everybody about it [in his daily story-ideas report], and then every other poor SOB in every other newsroom in the land has their editor come over and they have to do [the story]. …Do original work; that’s where all the fun is.”

* Bill Dedman discusses journalism in the digital age (


Former Boston Herald staffer Greg Reibman first called this “unfortunate,” then changed that to “outrageous.” Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen tells me neither she nor artist Jerry Holbert saw anything wrong with the cartoon. “Jerry doesn’t have a racist bone in his body,” she says. He chose watermelon because he had just seen that flavor of toothpaste in his house, says Cohen.

She says she never anticipated controversy or cries of racism over the cartoon. That seems naive, I say. Her response: “Guilty as charged.”

Holbert says he was “completely naive or innocent to any racial connotations. I wasn’t thinking along those lines at all.”

Update: * Cartoonist apologizes for “naive” watermelon reference ( | (
* “Very unfortunate editorial cartoon in @BostonHerald today” (@Greg_Reibman)
* Outrage over Jerry Holbert’s cartoon in the Herald (
* Comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers (

* Jeff Bezos “seems to treat the [Washington] Post more like an ornament, in need of minimal polishing,” writes Dylan Byers. (
* Derek Jeter is launching The Players’ Tribune – “a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.” ( | (
* New York Times is cutting about 100 newsroom jobs. Buyouts are being offered and layoffs are possible. ( | The memo: (
spoil* lets you decide whether to read movie reviews with spoilers or without. (
* A college student tries out Google Glass and discovers it’s not quite ready to be used as a reporting tool. (
* Tim Dickinson: “Koch Industries is the most hostile and paranoid organization I’ve ever engaged with – and I’ve reported on Fox News.” (
* News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson receives $12.5 million for the 2014 fiscal year. (
* New York Times was writing about Lena Dunham years before she became famous. (
* JOBS: Help run a TV newsroom in Alaska, or teach New Media in Dayton. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Tampa Bay Times sports columnist Gary Shelton is taking a buyout – one of about 14 journalists leaving Poynter’s paper. ( | Des Moines Register departures. (
* Grow Missouri fires the Boston PR firm that tried to get political journalists to blog for the conservative PAC. (
* “I’m a reporter who botched a story today and hurt a grieving family.” (
* Send anonymous news tips, link suggestions, memos, reports of comment spam, and typo alerts to | Romenesko on Facebook | Romenesko on Twitter
* Advertise your job opening for just $25 a week. Contact Tom Kwas at for information. (He’ll take care of your Sponsored Post or display ad, too.)

mapA Romenesko reader writes: “The Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal erupted in the backyard of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. Since November 2011, the pages of this newspaper have been filled with references to it: a grown man showering with boys, oral sex, sodomy, grooming, anal rape, etc. Well, apparently the coverage tricked Google Maps into thinking the newspaper has something to do with sex abuse. If you search Google Maps for ‘Centre Daily Times,’ you’ll see for yourself. (There is a screenshot attached [above] in case it goes away.)”

Update: My search for the Centre Daily Times brings this up:

PBS ombudsman Michael Getler looked into the matter above and found out that the second guest scheduled to be on last night’s “NewsHour” was a no-show.

“It remains inexplicable to me why the viewers were not told that a scheduled out-of-town guest who previously worked in the Obama administration could not appear because of last-minute technical problems,” writes Getler. “The decision not to do so unnecessarily hurt the credibility of the program and viewers will have no understanding of how this happened.”

When Kagan – an analyst with the conservative American Enterprise Institute – finished his remarks, anchor Judy Woodruff closed by saying, “We hear you, Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. Thank you.”

A “NewsHour” viewer writes to PBS: “Judy’s closing remarks ‘We hear you Frederick’ seemed to imply her agreement with the guest’s questionable take on this issue of national importance.”

Woodruff tells Getler: “This is an expression I sometimes use at the end of an interview or a letter – especially when someone has expressed strong views on something. It’s a polite way of saying something other than ‘thank you.’ There is absolutely no suggestion of endorsement or the opposite.”

Getler writes: “My strong and unsolicited advice would be to stop using that ‘we hear you’ phrase as a sign off. It is quite understandable that viewers were especially outraged to hear that at the close of a segment that they rightly viewed as one-sided.”

* “We hear you” is not what viewers wanted to hear (
* Greta Van Susteren: What the ombud should be writing about (

The Record (Bergen County, NJ) travel writer Jill Schensul was – again! – named Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year earlier this month. “Since 1995, Schensul has won 29 Lowell Thomas awards for herself, and The Record travel section has taken 39 awards in total,” notes the Society of American Travel Writers press release.

The Record keeps winning, even as its travel section shrinks.
“We used to have up to 16 pages for our Sunday Travel section,” Schensul writes in an email. “Now it’s four. One page is dedicated to Record on the Road – our readers bring the travel section along on vacation and take a photo of themselves holding it up at their destination. Wildly popular.”

Schensul, who has been on The Record’s travel beat for 20 years, explains how the paper covers travel with a limited budget:

* We buy almost no freelance from outside writers. I believe we still take (and pay for) the occasional travel story from staffers if they offer to write something after they come back from vacation.

* We do more close-to-home trips. Not only are these less expensive, but if I go out on the road for a week or two, I am able to pick up fodder for multiple future stories. We use the same tactic for international trips.

* We’re doing more consumer advice stories, and more round-ups of hotels, spas, etc. No budget required. Readers appreciate the how-tos and the buyer-beware stories. We also manage to come up with some engaging lists – ideas for, say, one-of-a-kind accommodations (drain pipes, silver mines), the most extreme weather destinations and (also cited in the Lowell Thomas awards this year) where to see amazing animal spectacles (not eyeglasses, but huge migrations, synchronized firefly courtship flashings, etc.).

What about junkets? I asked.

Jill Schensul

Jill Schensul

“Ever since I’ve been doing travel at the Record, the policy here is we don’t take free trips,” says Schensul. “If we get ‘invited’ on a trip and it sounds interesting and would be a good fit for our readership, we’ll negotiate a press rate. It’s standard operating procedure. A few papers – The NY Times and the Washington Post, I think – pay for everything, and require their freelancers do the same. We negotiate a rate with the trip’s organizers that makes it possible for us to get out and test drive new places. It’s the way we have come up with to keep providing Record-generated stories, photos and insights rather than wire copy for our readers.”

The travel journalist adds in her email:

“This isn’t to say we only travel when someone offers us a ready-made press trip. We decide on at least a few big projects at the beginning of the year, and then I go about researching the best way to go. We may get a press rate at a hotel, or a guide through the tourist office, but almost everything else is full price. (I don’t eat gourmet meals very often … well, ever.). Still, we are always weighing the bang for the buck.”

* The Record’s Jill Schensul is named travel journalist of the year (