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Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

“Crucial parts that the Marine Corps publicized and Obama described [about the Medal of Honor winner] are untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, according to dozens of military documents,”
reports McClatchy.

* Read what the White House says about this

Some of the stories I tweeted to @romenesko followers today:

* The Record hires Martin Gottlieb away from NYT, replaces Frank Scandale as top editor

* Murdoch’s Times of London cancels comedy podcast that mocks Murdoch

* Flipboard reports a million downloads for its iPhone app in one week

* “Dance Music and Nightlife Culture” teacher blasts “grossly misinformed” coverage of his class

* Source says SAY Media paid more than $10 million for ReadWriteWeb site

* School board wants to use SPJ ethics code as basis for shunning some reporters

* Influence measurement category quickly filling with also-rans eager to become the next Klout of clout

* Emerson College students vote to remove 20-year-old clause that guaranteed funding for school’s newspaper

I asked David Westphal to elaborate on his tweet about the Times’ story. He writes in an email:

The Times’ anonymous source policy should have caught this one. The explanation for granting anonymity — that Russ Stanton is everybody’s supervisor — doesn’t work when he’s out the door in 10 days. For a sweeping pejorative like this one, a named source should be the price of admission.

Passages from the NYT story:

The cuts led to low newsroom morale and a sentiment that Mr. Stanton, while good-natured with a sunny disposition, did not have reporters’ best interests in mind, according to several newsroom employees who did not want to speak publicly about their supervisor. …

But Mr. Stanton also grew weary of cutting staff, associates said. With more budget tightening expected early next year, Mr. Stanton confided in friends that “he just didn’t have anymore layoffs in him,” said a former senior editor who would discuss Mr. Stanton only on the condition of anonymity.

Your thoughts? Share them in the comments section.


Iowa papers reported this morning that University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen G. Bloom has received “frightening” emails from critics of his Atlantic magazine piece, “Observations from 20 Years of Iowa Life.” One person said he would “kick your ass if front of your family if you keep it up.” Another message:

Mr. Bloom,

I couldn’t help but notice the glaring hypocrisy in your article.
You’re from New Jersey correct? I’ve been there. It’s a human
cesspool. Please return there. You are not welcome in this state. Go
back to New Jersey where you can surround yourself with the other
pretentious pseudo intellectuals and leave us “Pale skinned meth
addicts” in peace. Fuck you sir.

Atlantic photo that accompanied Bloom's essay

Some were worse, but so far he hasn’t felt the need to call police.

Bloom says he knew his essay would anger many Iowans, “but I didn’t anticipate this firestorm.”

“It’s the tenor and the ferocity and the hatefulness of these that indicate the piece struck a chord,” he tells me over the phone from the University of Michigan, where he’s a visiting professor. “This piece has gone viral. These people don’t read The Atlantic, and they may not have read the story,” but they probably saw what others said about it on Facebook.

“The thing that angers me is the characterization that I don’t know what I’m talking about, that I’m an elitist,” he tells me. “This is what I think good journalists ought to do. You start talking about uncomfortable truths and oftentimes people reject those.”

Stephen G. Bloom

Bloom adds: “As a journalist, I don’t sign up for boosterism, I don’t sign up for valentines.” That’s what the Des Moines Register and other Iowa papers go for, he says. The type of essay he wrote for the Atlantic “never would have appeared in an Iowa publication because no Iowa publications would have the guts to have run it.”

Will Bloom return to Iowa when his University of Michigan visiting professorship ends in May?

“Absolutely. That’s my home, that’s where I live. …I’ve been to all 99 counties.”

“I have to tell you that the university has been — as I would have expected it to be –very supportive despite a couple of my calls for my firing.”

While the Iowa newspapers have focused on Bloom’s hate mail, he tells me that “I also have some great emails saying, ‘You nailed it.’”

He shares some of the “fan emails,” which are posted after the jump. Read More

Stephen Bloom

University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen Bloom says he’s getting “frightening” emails and phone calls from critics of his Atlantic magazine piece, “Observations from 20 Years of Iowa Life,” and he fears for his family’s safety. Bloom, who is a visiting professor at the the University of Michigan this semester, wrote:

Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that ‘The sun’ll come out tomorrow.’

Des Moines Register columnist Kyle Munson says one of his biggest complaints about the piece is that “if you’re going to skewer the population of an entire state for a publication other than the Onion, please be precise.”

What I think has upset so many Iowans isn’t the notion that Bloom offers a starkly different opinion, but that much of it is a stereotypical one riddled with inaccuracies.

He adds, though:

Any Iowan who would entertain the thought of harming Bloom for his (arguably mean-spirited) prose is stupider than the worst characterizations in his Atlantic article.

I asked Munson for more about the threats. He tells me: “I asked Bloom about the scope of the threats against him but haven’t heard back. But I thought it was fair to cite his concerns even without more details.”

I’ve left a phone message for Bloom at the University of Michigan — a receptionist there tells me that Tuesday was the last day of classes and he may not be around — and for Atlantic editor James Bennet.

* UI journalism professor’s article causes uproar (Daily Iowan)
* For squawking at Iowa, journalism prof now has to duck (DM Register)

NPR says its $1.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will boost the production of digital content at NPR member stations, and in the NPR newsroom. The press release is after the jump. Read More

-- A post on the "I Saw You Harvard" website

Abe Liu

The big story on Harvard’s campus today is about a 27-year-old man (at right) who has been living in a freshman dormitory and telling students that he’s a freshman at the college. A commenter at the “I Saw You Harvard” website thought it was a big deal that the Harvard Independent beat the Crimson on the story.

The Harvard Independent tonight perhaps even provided some competition for the Crimson , which was getting a little too heady and comfortable with its space on campus. It’s time to bring a new voice to the Harvard news scene and after tonight, I would welcome The Harvard Independent to that space, embrace it even with open arms.

The Independent posted its “Who Is Abe Liu”? story Tuesday night, then added this update at 1:57 AM Wednesday:

Mr. Liu contacted the reporter via phone earlier this evening. He criticized the sources and suggested that the information was false. He repeatedly denied the reporter’s requests for an interview.

The Crimson’s two-byline story about “lonely” Liu went online this morning, and reported that Liu “specifically insisted that assertions in The Harvard Independent’s story are unfounded.” The reaction on I Saw You Harvard:

I saw you people accusing the Independent of libel. LMAO. Ya’ll are too funny. This Liu guy is a liar and a thief.


* Who is Abe Liu? (Harvard Independent)
* Abe Liu: I Was Lonely (Harvard Crimson)