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Daily Archives: February 23, 2012

A “Hey, Martha!” story, explains Carl Lavin, is one that makes a person reading the newspaper at the breakfast table yell out, “Hey, Martha, look at this.”

“One of the greatest connoisseurs of the Hey, Martha genre is Matt Drudge,” he writes. Drudge today linked to a story based on a Salem Patch article — one that AOL and Huffington Post didn’t bother to use. That has Lavin asking:

“Why doesn’t the company that owns Patch, AOL, recognize the value that Drudge sees? Why doesn’t HuffingtonPost, an AOL division that links to almost anything hot, recognize and link to its own company’s original work?”
* Evidence Melts in Ice Sculpture Theft: How media groups can share great stories


* New filing says Gannett cut workforce by 5% last year, 1,500 newspaper jobs lost

* Stephen Robert Morse: Why I won’t donate to a Kickstarter campaign that purports to save journalism

* When war reporters become targets, the coverage is reduced to a stream of videos

* Reuters changes editorial priorities in quest for Pulitzers

* Stars and Stripes staffer object to new deployment | My earlier report

* Haven’t read enough about the Philly newspaper saga? The city’s alt-weekly just came out with a piece

* LAT: Public outrage over National Enquirer’s Whitney Houston casket photo is growing

* Wow, two stories about my new site today! Here’s Ad Age’s | AJR: “Romenesko roars back”

* NPR listeners complain about old sound bite from “David Susskind Show”

* Milwaukee Journal Sentinel parent reports 44% drop in fourth-quarter earnings

-- Excerpt of an email from Fox News PR boss Brian Lewis to me

Fox News executive vice president/corporate communications Brian Lewis complained to me on January 19, about the “Fox News PR Machine” story I had posted that day. (One gripe: I didn’t quote all the people that Fox had sent my way to say nice things about PR woman Irena Briganti.) In his email — that’s an excerpt above — he predicted good things for her because of my piece. I guess he was right: It was announced today that Briganti has been promoted.

* Dealing with the Fox News PR Machine

I’m looking forward to seeing this cover [update: now posted, as you see], although what CBSSports.com writer Mike Freeman describes below sounds to me like something we would have done at Milwaukee Magazine back when I worked there.

Freeman tells me in two Twitter direct messages:


I’m looking at cover now. Pic of Luck and RGIII with headline “It’s Not As Simple as Black and White.”…

The words black and white are literally in black and white. Disgracefully racial. Unneeded.

I’ve asked Pro Football Weekly’s executive editor if he cares to comment. I’ll post any response, of course.

UPDATE: Ed (@thegrizzed) Johnson sent me the cover image and says that “I don’t read it as racial at all.” Yes, it looks like what many magazine art directors would do with the concept.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here is Pro Football Weekly’s response.

Jim,

I assume Mr. Freeman hasn’t had an opportunity to read the cover-story package yet. I believe that if he does he will agree the use of the headline was fitting and appropriate. One of the stories in that package compares quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, who are expected to be the top two picks in the draft, and notes that the question of which one is the better prospect is not as clear-cut as it seemed earlier this season, when Luck was the consensus No. 1. A companion piece reports that African-Americans are still under-represented at the quarterback position relative to other positions in the NFL, and explores whether race is a still a factor in the development and evaluation of quarterbacks. We gave careful consideration to the choice of words on the cover and I believe that the headline – almost as common an expression as you’ll find in the English vernacular – is a fitting description of the content it supports.

As an aside, last year we refused to drink the Kool – Aid in our scouting report on Cam Newton and were accused of racial bias by Hall Of Fame Quarterback, Warren Moon. While Moon’s response was as absurd as Freeman’s, we felt the fact that Moon believed racial bias still existed at the QB position warranted a well – researched piece on the subject, and that any dialogue it generated could only help to shine a spotlight on the issue and help to ensure that bias will eventually be eradicated if it hasn’t been already. My hope is that with a chance to revisit his initial reaction Mr. Freeman will understand that what this all is quite simply is journalism.

I appreciate you reaching out for our position and hope you’ll feel free to contact me at any time.

Best – Hub
Hub Arkush
Publisher/Editor
Pro Football Weekly

Some excerpts from the San Francisco TV station’s report:
NEW ANCHOR: “Imagine if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer to read the day’s newspaper. Well, it’s not as far-fetched as it may seem.

“This is an experiment,” said San Francisco Examiner’s David Cole. “We’re trying to figure out what it means to us as editors and reporters and what it means to the home user. We’re not in it to make money. We’re probably not going to lose a lot, but we aren’t going to make much either.”

NEWS ANCHOR: “It takes over two hours to receive the entire text of the newspaper over the phone, and with an hourly use charge of $5 the new tele-paper won’t be much competition for the 20-cent street edition.”

* CJR on San Jose Mercury News: The paper that almost seized the future


Recent tweets to @romenesko followers:
* Pope to tweet one message a day for 40 days of Lent

* Santa Barbara News-Press owner Wendy McCaw owes ex-editor Jerry Roberts $900K for what she’s put him through

* Four papers win “Grand Slam” honors in Associated Press Sports Editors’ contest

* Chicago Tribune Facebook page flooded by comment flash mob

* People’s Whitney Houston issue sells 1.5 million copies; OK mag goes with Pitt/Jolie cover and sells 250,000 copies

* Seattle Times puts two full blocks up for sale

* Silicon Valley bloggers hit up VCs for angel funds

* University of Florida editors claim student government official dumped newspapers on eve of election

* FBI confiscates Portland blogger’s computers, accuses him of posting death threats against Sheriff Arpaio

* Google to start selling eyeglasses that project information, entertainment and ads onto the lenses

* The 2012 National City and Regional Magazine Awards finalists have been named

Marie Colvin (second row, third from left)/Yale Daily News photo

As a Yale student in the 1970s, Marie Colvin was a “noise-maker” with a strong personality, one of her friends tells the Yale Daily News. “She was very noisy — not in a rude way, but like ‘I’m here, pay attention,'” says Bobby Shriver. “She wore a lot of all-black outfits, high heels, scarves, smoking thousands of cigarettes a day. She was a character.”

* Foreign correspondent, Yale alum Marie Colvin killed on assignment
* Colvin’s mother recalls reporter’s determination to get the story

“For me, it was not so much liberating that, now I can have opinions,” Times columnist Bill Keller said at a CUNY event Wednesday night. “It’s liberating that when I have opinions, I can say them.” He also told the audience:

Watching The New York Times try to be even-handed on some issues is like trying to watch somebody dance their kids’ dance styles. We look like we’re trying too hard. Yes, we should be even-handed, we should certainly follow the basic rule of reporting, challenging your assumptions, and we should be ruthless about having a public editor or an editors’ note to call ourselves out. … But it is possible to be fair and still radiate a cultural persona.

* Bill Keller says NYT readers “have not forgotten we blew it on Iraq”