Daily Archives: January 21, 2012

* Onward State managing editor resigns: “I would like to issue a retraction of our earlier tweets.” Devon Edwards continues:

I never, in a million years, would have thought that Onward State would be cited by the national media, and today, I sincerely wish it never had been. To all those who read and passed along our reports, I sincerely apologize for misleading you. To the Penn State community and to the Paterno family most of all, I could not be more sorry for the emotional anguish I am sure we caused. There are no excuses for what we did. We all make mistakes, but it’s impossible to brush off one of this magnitude. Right now, we deserve all of the criticism headed our way. || The statement continues.

FROM EDWARDS’ ONWARD STATE BIO: “Devon is a senior majoring in sociology and political science, and is Onward State’s managing editor for the spring of 2012. Devon joined Onward State in January of 2011, after a lengthy stay in the comment section.”

* Read reactions to the error: Comments from Onward State’s Facebook page

* ShortFormBlog: “CBS Sports’ original report on Joe Paterno’s death failed to source Penn State student-run blog Onward State.”

Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski), editor of Yahoo Sports! Puck Daddy blog: “I think this is 1 of those times when revealing details will be essential. Apology’s nice; now why did it happen?”

Jim Brady (@jimbradysp): “Certainly a terrible screwup on the part of @onwardstate. But impressed with the honesty and decisiveness of that Facebook note. Good model.”

Joe Flint (@JBFlint) of Los Angeles Times: “Definition of sad: Website that supposedly covers Hollywood going after hits with Paterno news. Can’t wrap my head around that one.” (Referring to The Wrap, Joe?)

Carl Lavin (@FromCarl): “Another national media site, @MarketWatch, has failed to tweet anything about Paterno since sending out wrong info (attributed to ‘report’).”

Chris Jones (@MySecondEmpire): “A good night for me to repeat one of my probably wrong-headed beliefs: Readers remember the best story, not the first story.”

Kathryn Quigley (@WriterChickNJ), journalism professor: “Dear #journalism students: “Be Accountable” is part of the SPJ Ethics Code. @OnwardState did that tonight and that is commendable.”

From a self-described “disgruntled former employee” of the Washington Post: I can’t let this idea of [departing Washington Post managing editor Raju] Narisetti as a digital visionary go unchallenged. He may have had great ideas, but you have to judge him by the end results: a desktop web site that loads too damn slow, has video that doesn’t work on an iPad and can’t present a mobile version of a story to a mobile device; a mobile site that lacks an article-search function and won’t display story comments; a series of mobile apps that function like packaged versions of the mobile site; the Godawful mess that is Methode that caused some of these issues. (There’s no mobile redirect because web and mobile-web stories are separate slugs in the system.)

On a personal level, what bugged me about him was his inability to speak directly to me when he had bad news. If he was pissed off about my work, I would only know about when my editor would summon me into his office to onpass the complaint. It wasn’t that he didn’t know my e-mail address; he had no problem sending over story suggestions.
* Earlier: Narisetti’s the only top WP editor who lived up to his mission and goals

The Washington Post quietly increased its single-copy price to $1, from 75 cents, and that — of course! — angered some readers. One told ombudsman Patrick Pexton that “I can’t imagine how the Post could justify [the increase], but the fact that they do it and don’t even announce it has rubbed salt into the wound.” THE SECOND GRIPE: The Post’s list of closings for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was online-only.
* Readers ticked off at price increase and missing information

Cleveland’s alt-weekly calls WOIO-TV‘s use of puppets to cover a corruption trial “a publicity grab,” while the CBS affiliate’s news director tells the AP that it’s simply “a satirical look at the trial [and] I think we have it appropriately placed at the end of the newscast. …It’s not intended in any way to replace any of the serious coverage” that the station has aired.

* Channel 19’s ‘Puppet’s Court’ is a national news story now
* Watch the “Puppet’s Court” segments on YouTube

From Paul Hiebert’s interview with New York Daily News crime reporter Kerry Burke:

Have you ever had to break the news of a crime to the victim’s friends or family?
I have lost count of the times I’ve done that. I know a lot of reporters who won’t do it, and I understand and respect that call. But one, someone’s got to tell them, and two, I do it with as much grace and empathy as I can summon.
* Q-and-A with a Daily News crime reporter
* Earlier: Romenesko recalls his morgue reporting days

From a former Washington Post digital staffer who asks not to be named:

Raju [Narisetti] has been the newsroom’s highest-ranking champion for digital journalism since he got there several years ago.

Raju Narisetti

To those of us whose work focuses mostly on the digital side of our journalism, he sometimes feels like the only senior manager who understands the reality of a digital future for our work and who sees how fundamentally the Post must change in order to make it through to the other side. He’s a decisive leader in a place full of senior editors who sometimes have trouble making decisions or saying what they want.

He is a journalist first and a strategic thinker about journalism second. I’ve watched him draw far more often on his decade-plus as a reporter than on his business training when thinking about digital strategy at the Post. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked for, and although he doesn’t suffer fools easily, I’ve also found him to be kind, straightforward, and a no-B.S. kind of guy.

Many old-timers seem to blame him for all the newsroom’s woes, but I have always thought that that was because they don’t understand what it is that he actually does – in the same way that many of them blame younger digital staff for problems that really have roots across the newsroom, because they also don’t understand what it is that we actually do.

WP’s digital journalists have relied heavily on Raju to pave the way for difficult changes that other leaders simply aren’t willing to take a stand to make happen. They’ve now lost one of their only high-level supporters. That’s a huge morale hit to a group that’s already weary of fighting a fight that they’re not sure the organization really believes in.

* WP publisher on Narisetti: “He was not afraid of hurting people’s feelings and that’s a good thing. He’s a change agent”