Daily Archives: December 23, 2011

What I tweeted to @romenesko followers today:

* White House’s relationship with reporters took a frosty turn this year

* NYT union to Sulzberger: We’re writing to express profound dismay at several recent developments.

* Indy Star gives $1,000 bonuses to some employees; Guild says 25% of its members got them

* New Haven schools PR man apologizes after grabbing reporter’s camera, demanding that filming be stopped

* Iowa j-school director on the Stephen Bloom brouhaha | “Iowa Teens Respond to Bloom”; video NSFW!

* When millionaire Warren Hellman visited the Bay Citizen, “he was usually dressed worse than the reporters”

Brian Clark tells me that his video of two female sailors kissing has over 1 million views so far. “I can soundly say that I’ve never produced a video, much less made a photo that has received this much attention,” the Virginian-Pilot videographer writes in an email.

I’d echo what [reporter] Corrine [Reilly] said [in this post], comments have been across the board, however, I haven’t directly received any calls or emails from disgruntled or angry readers/viewers. I have fielded several calls from Seattle from folks asking about purchasing the photo. One gentleman called and said he was a social studies teacher and that he wanted to use this historic photo for classroom instruction.

Is there an interesting back-story to share?

Going into this story we had no idea that this kiss would take place. The public information officer said simply that we should expect a surprise. I was half expecting sailors dressed up as Santa as the ship pulled in. We did get tipped off a bit before that the “first kiss” would be the surprise and it would have national implications.

I think it is important to note that I’m mainly a video producer here at The Pilot. Sometimes we’re short staffed and assignments get tight so I’ll get assigned to do both video and photos. When I learned of the possible national implications, I can tell you I was a bit nervous to be wearing two hats. To be honest, I’m just glad I did my colleagues justice here at The Pilot. I work with an extremely talented photo staff here.

Do you ever predict how an image will be received by readers/viewers?

I suppose with hot button issues I’m always expecting reaction to be across the spectrum. However, I did not predict that it would receive this amount of attention. The video alone stands at over 1-million views in just a few days. Pretty incredible.

From BILL READER, Subject: A “fun little app” with serious ethical implications

Microsoft’s “Face Swap” app takes photo manipulation to a whole new level, and poses serious implications for citizen-journalism efforts that already have suffered from amateur manipulations (remember this gem from November?).

I expect it will be a matter of days — not weeks, nor months — until a U.S. newspaper publishes a submitted wedding or anniversary photo that has been “Face Swapped.”

Citizen journalism (reader-submitted content) has always been an important but troublesome part of the business. It has moral value, however, only when it is treated like any other content stream — meaning the information is vetted and managed by trained editors, ideally editors who are given the time and resources to stay at least one step ahead of modern-day pranksters, liars, rumor-mongers, and flim-flam artists.

Reader is an associate professor at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism

Virginian-Pilot reporter Corinne Reilly tells me that reaction to her story about two female sailors’ homecoming kiss and Brian Clark’s photo that ran with it (on the right, below the fold) “has run the gamut, but the vast majority of messages I’ve received have definitely come from readers who found the story and photo offensive.”

She wrote on Thursday:

Here are a couple of examples, which were in my email this morning:

“That photo is illustrious of why people instinctive know this country is rotting from the inside out. Whats next a close up shot of bestiality! Jim, Southern CA”

“Please spare me the deviant behavior. How much did the Human Rights Campaign pay you to do this ‘story’???”

The voicemails that were waiting for me this morning were decidedly nastier. I’ve also gotten a few notes from appreciative readers, though, such as this one:

“Thank you and your editors so much for the story of the 2 Navy women sharing the kiss. What a refreshing change to open to this story. At last, some progress on an agenda that should not be an agenda at all.”

The reporter adds:

We’re in a Navy town and we cover ship homecomings all the time. We usually try to find new angles or zero in on individual sailors. In my mind, this story was no different, and I tried to write it as such, although I certainly expected that it would elicit far more reaction than most homecoming stories.

Virginian-Pilot managing editor Maria Carrillo tells Charles Apple that “we’ve had some folks accuse us of losing our moral compass and there’s been stronger language than that …Honestly, I expected more vitriol.”

The Seattle Times ran the photo more prominently on page one than the Virginian-Pilot. Times managing editor Kathy Best tells me:

We got 12 calls and emails from print subscribers, a couple of whom threatened to cancel their subscriptions. The majority said they were not upset that we used the picture, but felt it was wrong to put it on the front page because it was offensive.

Online, the photo and story generated more than 200 comments, ranging from a congratulatory “Go, Navy!” to extreme disappointment. This comment was typical of the latter group: “I guess I’m getting too old. My respect for those in the military just went down a notch. My God we fell so far so fast. No honor left, just social engineering. How utterly depressing.”

Read More

A reader asks:

So what’s with all these AP “temporary reporter” job postings that seem to be suddenly showing up? Does AP not want to commit to being solvent for another year?

His email includes AP’s advertised positions copied and pasted from from this Google News search link.

Associated Press spokesman Paul Colford gives me the answer:

We’re hiring staffers to help cover the state legislative systems, something we’ve done for years and years. They come on board in certain states, working with the full-time statehouse reporters on staff to help us cover the surge of activity in state capitals when the legislatures convene.

AP’s 50-state footprint includes more than 700 editorial staffers dedicated to state coverage – 125 of them covering state government alone.

An Arizona Republic intern and student at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication died late Thursday at a hospital after jumping off the roof of the newspaper’s parking garage in an apparent suicide. The Republic doesn’t mention in its story that the student worked at the newspaper, but Phoenix New Times sources say he was a breaking-news intern. The name of the victim, who fell nine stories, hasn’t been released.
* Student who jumped off Arizona Republic building was an intern
* Arizona State University student dies after jump off parking garage