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Daily Archives: January 11, 2012

* Will Atlantic editor Bennet step in at The New Yorker when Remnick retires?
* The iconic campaign bus is no longer full of newspaper reporters
* Tribune will face “significant time lag” before exiting bankruptcy even if wins fight with creditors in May
* NPR story on Santorum’s Google problem “raised uncomfortable issues of what to say on air”
* At NH candidate rallies, traveling mobs of journalists routinely outnumbered the “real people”

Fast Company: Is there a more problematic side with the journalism in the digital age? Do you worry that citizen journalism diminishes overall credibility, for instance?

Nick Kristof: I think that there will always be a hierarchy of credibility. We in the media have historically been gatekeepers. Now I think that’s largely lost, and that’s a disadvantage. But having people shooting videos everywhere provides a useful level of accountability.

* Kristof on journalism in a digital world

A reader who asked be anonymous writes:

When Halifax took over the [Daytona Beach] News-Journal, employees were not given any extension or reprieve. The noncompete agreement was handed out with the many other “re-hire” docs and employees were given a few days to sign and return it, no exceptions. Those who objected were told if they didn’t sign, they would not be hired. Also, the news staff lost several top drawer people because of the nepotism policy. Salaries of new hires were slashed under the receivership during the Cox-Davidson court battle, but Halifax has continued that, and one can expect to get $30K or less, probably much less, for a reporting or copy editing job. All great ways to attract great talent!

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Also, Daily Kent Stater enterprise reporter Doug Brown thanked me in an email for posting the story about his investigation of an alum that resulted in Kent State University losing a $1 million gift. “I have been getting a bunch of emails from people who read it because of your link, including a couple who expressed interest in hiring me. That’s huge. Your blog’s readers have been great and encouraging.”

Earlier today I asked Connecticut Post editor Tom Baden about the cropped photo of a teen murder victim. (The unedited version shows 14-year-old giving the finger to the photographer.) His response just came in:

We obtained the photo from a Facebook public memorial page. It had already been cropped. The other photos we have of Justin are pictures that we took from the memorial site displays set up at the site of the shooting.

Yes, finding photos of homicide victims is a challenge. In those instances where family members are willing to talk with us about their loved one, they’re often willing to share photos with us. Of course, many times people are so traumatized they just want to be left alone to grieve.

A reader who forwarded this Gannett document emails: “Below are some details about Gannett’s paywall. Our publisher told us we’ll be rolling one out in the coming months.”

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From: Kane, Michael S (Wilmington)
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 10:10 AM
To: [Multiple email addresses]
Subject: Consumer FAQ

Attached is the Consumer FAQ. This should be used to address questions you receive from the marketplace regarding the new subscription model. Please let me know if there are questions that come up that are not addressed in this document.

Thanks for your patience.

Mike

New Subscription Model
FAQ for Consumers

Beginning February 1, we will implement a new subscription model. Subscribers will have access to all of our content. That means you will be able to access our content where and how you want it — through all platforms, including web, mobile, smart phone, tablet and delivery of the print on the days you select.

If you choose not to subscribe, digital access will be limited to a small number of articles a month.

Why are you making this change?
Today, readers access our unique, high quality local content in a number of ways. This full access subscription model creates a structure to allow readers to choose how to read our news and information.

In conjunction with this effort, we are also investing in the unique local content we deliver across all platforms including tablet, mobile, and new technologies as they come to market.

What are the benefits of this new full access model?
Subscribers can access content anywhere and anytime using digital platforms. The content accessed through the Web, mobile, and tablet will be frequently updated and will provide coverage of breaking news and events through articles and photos as well as provide content that cannot be included in print, such as databases, streaming video, blogs and chats. The subscription pricing is aligned with content value. Unlike in the past, subscriptions remain active during vacation periods. You will be able to continue accessing the content while traveling, including viewing a digital replica of the print edition. If the subscription also includes home delivery of the newspaper, you will be credited a portion of the subscription which relates to the delivery expense for the print edition./CONTINUES Read More

From JODIE O’BRIEN: So I see the famous non-compete (thanks to Michael Redding) has raised its ugly head following the sale of the NYT Regional group.

A few years ago, before Halifax Media had the name it now does – I worked at a small daily in Central Florida. It was then owned by Better Built Media and was bought by a company headed by Michael Redding.

Michael Redding

Out came the non-competes. Some people left (oh they weren’t just for journalists, they were also for advertising staff, etc). and some were stuck there. All were angered and demoralized. I do not know one journalist who remained with that paper following this sale – mostly by choice and disgust. Fortunately for me, I was already in the process of moving elsewhere.

Anyway, a number of my esteemed colleagues then went to work for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. A short while later, maybe a year – guess who came along and bought the N-J from the established owners of many decades? Yep, a company headed by Michael Redding. In both papers, not only did the non-competes come out, he also wanted reporters to sell subscriptions!! Such is the demise of journalism, with people like this man heading such companies.

East Carolina University said in a statement released Tuesday about the firing of student newspaper adviser Paul Isom that “it is important to distinguish between any personnel matter and the First Amendment.”

Paul Isom

His dismissal came two months after the paper was criticized by ECU administrators for running uncensored front page photos of a streaker.

Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy says in her statement:

East Carolina University is concerned that a decision to change leadership in its director of student media role has been connected to a First Amendment issue without full knowledge of the facts at hand. It is important to distinguish between any personnel matter and the First Amendment.

We ask all advocacy groups and the public to trust our internal process, which has been deliberate, correct and legal, as we move forward to address these two separate issues. …

Regarding editorial decisions in student media, we have respectfully allowed the student journalists to take their own course. We have and will continue to support their right to make decisions in publishing a newspaper for their fellow students.

The university issued its statement one day after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) asked ECU “to meet its legal and moral obligation to respect freedom of expression and to reinstate Isom immediately.”

Isom sent me this reaction to his former employer’s statement:

It’s a carefully worded statement that doesn’t actually deny a cause-and-effect connection between my firing and the students’ decision to run the photos.

Frank LoMonte of the SPLC called it a non-denial denial.

But least one news outlet has interpreted it as ECU saying I wasn’t fired for First Amendment reasons. But it doesn’t actually say that. I’m sure ECU administrators were hoping it would be interpreted that way.

As far as trusting their internal process, that’s sure not very convincing. As one of my ECU colleagues said, it basically says “Trust us. We know more than you.”

My favorite reaction to it has been a former newspaper colleague who posted on FB and said, “It seems to be incomplete, trailing off at the end. Tell them to try again.”

* ECU says adviser firing not a First Amendment issue

* East Carolinian covers its adviser’s firing

A 14-year-old boy was gunned down in Bridgeport last weekend while walking home from a party. The Hearst-owned Connecticut Post used a cropped image of the boy standing in front of a backdrop of $100 bills and giving the photographer the finger. (A reader sent me the unedited image.) I asked Post editor Tom Baden and photo editor Cathy Zuraw about the cropped image, and I invite readers to share their stories of trying to track down publishable photos of crime victims. || Here is the Post’s story and photo.

The New Haven Register, along with Journal Register Co. sister publications including The Register Citizen and The Middletown Press, will be printed by the Hartford Courant beginning in February. The Register plans to move to new offices in downtown New Haven and launch an “open newsroom,” modeled after the Register Citizen’s Newsroom Cafe in Torrington, Connecticut. || Meanwhile, the Connecticut Post apologized after “we gave the impression to some of our Twitter followers Tuesday evening that the New Haven Register was ceasing publication, which is absolutely not the case.”
* Register plans to close pressroom, move key operations to downtown | Related