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Daily Archives: January 25, 2012

What I tweeted today to @romenesko followers:

Will Shortz

* NYT’s Will Shortz tells UPenn crowd he’s been a puzzle-head his whole life
* Editor says 13,000 copies of U. of Maryland’s Diamondback are distributed daily; only 6,000-8,000 are picked up
* Website of UK’s Daily Mail — often accused of lifting others’ work — now tops NYT in traffic
* Arkansas Democrat-Gazette refuses to run gay couple’s commitment ceremony announcement
* Gannett buys The Big Lead and other Fantasy Sports Ventures websites. Terms of deal not disclosed
* Bob Garfield: Photoshopped diabetes poster “lazy or cheap or silly, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it”

The Plain Dealer’s longtime Cleveland Browns beat writer thought he was tweeting a private message when he called the team’s owner “a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world.” It ended up going to all of Tony Grossi’s 15,000-plus Twitter followers before being deleted. Cleveland Scene reports Grossi has been pulled off the Browns beat because of his mistake.
* Tweet gets Plain Dealer writer pulled off Browns beat

Earlier today I tweeted a link to what the NPR Tumblr-masters said were the lyrics to the “Morning Edition” theme song. Romenesko reader @JoeDeaux was skeptical, and tweeted the above. I asked NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher to tell us more about the lyrics:

They are real (or realish). I’m told it’s something BJ [Leiderman] did on a lark — the theme doesn’t “have” lyrics that to my knowledge have been recorded or that anyone actually knows. It’s a little quirky thing. …BJ wrote lyrics for a laugh — it was nothing official, nothing that NPR had asked for.

* NPR Tumblr

Facebook is reporting that “the average journalist has seen a 320% increase in [Facebook] subscribers since November 2011.” My question is: does that include the spam subscribers? Let’s take a look the ten most recent subscribers to my Facebook updates:
- Santos Vicente Valde Zgallo
– Kadir Daghan
– Ebn Jabal
– Kinq ÖzMert
– Giova Vltj Landa Contreras
– Anne Marie Moonshine (from “New zeland”)
– Maria Becker Fowler
– Mert Cumur
– ‏الزعيم اسلام محمد‏ [Arabic]
– Jasmin Halilovic


Really? These people are interested in reading my posts about American journalism? (OK, Maria Becker Fowler might be; she works at USA Today.)

What’s the quality of your Facebook subscription list? Please post in comments.

* How journalists are using Facebook Subscribe
* Are Facebook “Subscribe” numbers for real?

“I am extremely disappointed in The Lantern for allowing this ad to run,” says Ohio State University student Jana Al-Akhras. (The ad lists 10 terror suspects under the headline: “Former Leaders of the Muslim Student Association (MSA): Where Are They Now?”) “It was paid for. It is not an op-ed, and they had every right to deny it as hate speech.”

Lantern faculty adviser Dan Caterinicchia says the paper can reject ads that denigrate individuals, groups or organizations based on such things as race, nationality, ethnicity and religion, but “in this, the adviser and co-chair of the publications committee agreed that the ad did not violate the policy.”

Ayan Sheikh writes in the Lantern: “I consider myself to be a devout Muslim woman, and it hurts me dearly when I see people speak ill of a religion which I hold so dearly. Therefore, I understand when some, if not most Muslim students at Ohio State were offended by the ad that ran in Monday’s paper. However, I strongly believe the majority of students overreacted over the ad.”

* Ad in Ohio State’s Lantern upsets Muslims
* Lantern staff says it prides itself on diversity, dialogue
* Lantern not anti-Islam despite ad, says student

Andrew Beaujon

Andrew Beaujon, who is joining Poynter’s online team, offers this theory for why so many media critics are white males: “Media criticism, which is a fly-in-the-soup job, is fundamentally an alt-weekly pursuit, and alt-weeklies’ DNA is heavily white and male. In turn, I have a couple theories about that, but my working one is that it’s because working at such places gives white males such as myself a chance to feel like an underdog for once in our lives.” When Beaujon joins the diversity-sensitive Poynter next month, the institute’s online team will have two white women and four white males. (Before I left Poynter in November, online director Julie Moos was so concerned about the pool of candidates she had — there were many middle-aged white men applying for my job — that she was thinking about placing the job-opening ad a second time. I don’t know if that happened.)
* Where are the women and non-white media critics?
* Meet Andrew Beaujon, the New Romenesko


"Target Lady"

My favorite recurring “Saturday Night Live” sketch features Kristen Wiig as Target Lady, best described by Julia Rubin as “the overenthusiastic cashier you hope you never have to interact with.” (Other Target employees in the sketches are just as dumb and dippy.)

On Monday, I asked the PR team at Minneapolis-based Target what the retailer thinks of the less-than-flattering SNL sketches. Spokeswoman Jessica Carlson responded in a Minnesota Nice fashion via email this morning:

Here’s what I can share with you:

We pride ourselves on our light-hearted and fun voice and we’ve laughed along with audiences at these pop culture references to the Target brand. As they say, “imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

Target has not been in direct contact with SNL regarding these skits.

* “Oh my God, the Target sketches on SNL are so accurate, except…”

From Alex Garcia’s interview with Shit Photojournalists Like founder Taylor Glascock:

Q: I appreciate your blog even though there’s liberal use of profanity. What’s your theory on how popular it has become?
I don’t curse very much when I’m speaking unless I’m getting really worked up about something, but I’ve always valued the power of a well-placed profanity. I try to stay away from humor that smacks of “Oh, that’s funny because there’s a bad word in it,” but sometimes it’s just necessary. Also, I feel like most of my friends and associates really talk this way. Maybe not in the newsroom, but definitely after hours.
* Q&A with Taylor Glascock of Shit Photojournalists Like | Visit her site

Kent State public-affairs reporting instructor Susan Valerian makes her students attend at least one day of the Jimmy Dimora corruption trial. Britni Marie Williams sat in for the class and also hoped to get a trial story for the Daily Kent Stater. (She’s the paper’s city editor.)

“Originally, I had no idea if I was going to come away with a story because students generally don’t want to hear about the nitty gritty details of a corruption trial,” she tells WKYC.com. “After I heard the language being used, I knew that would be a way to spark students’ interest while still briefing them about the trial.”

I asked Williams about her initial reaction to the language. She emailed:

“I was shocked at first. I hear that kind of language around campus now and then, but to hear it in the courtroom was ridiculous. Being the city editor for the Daily Kent Stater, I knew right away that we couldn’t put it in the print edition. I had got in contact with our website editor during the trial to see what he thought and how much we could actually say. We talked about how to do it as tastefully as possible and also about putting the editor’s note on the top of the page. He was also the one who did the final edits on the story and posted it online.”

Here’s a passage from her story:

The language included in the wiretaps is quite explicative to the point of shocking.

In one of the wiretaps, Schuman complains to Kelley that someone “wants to make everything fucking difficult,” and he calls another person “a cunt.”

In two other wiretaps, Schuman tells Kelley “we got the fuckin’ juice,” and “oh, you cock.”

Kelley, on two separate tapes, told Schuman “it’s going to be a fucking nightmare,” and “we’re going to fuck them good and hard.”

* Dimora trial coverage hits Kent State student newspaper
* Colorful language marks Dimora corruption trial
* Earlier: Cleveland station uses puppets for corruption trial coverage