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Daily Archives: March 12, 2012


* Here’s what the Voice says is “the truth about Backpage.com.”

* Men, woman indicted for raping/drugging/pimping 15-year-old girl

* NYT executive editor Jill Abramson stays humble at SXSW. (Forbes.com)
* Yearbook adviser to staff: “You either cut out the gay couple or I cut the page.” (KRDO.com)
* Mourners say farewell to war reporter Marie Colvin. (Guardian)
* Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times loses another reporter to PR. (Saintpetersblog.com)
* Former Bay Citizen managing editor Steve Fainaru joins ESPN’s enterprise/investigative team. (ESPN)
* “Patch’s trials and errors will show that online local news can be sustainable, even profitable, if…..” (Columbia Journalism Review)
* “The Gawker commenters had their own community, their own inside jokes. They knew each other by their handles.” (BuzzFeed.com)

“My grandfather has a list of every book he has read. He’s currently on his 6070th.” || Don’t miss the comments.

He was a doctor on the Manhattan Project; he was in charge of chasing around the physicists and monitoring their radiation levels. He got to personally witness some 7 or 8 atomic explosions.

After the war he became the doctor on a Reservation in Montana. He and my Grandma lived there for 20 years and had 17 children. That is not a typo. My mom is number 14. He eventually retired and bought a farm in eastern Washington; up until his 80s he was still chopping firewood to burn in his wood heated house. He converted the barn into a library of nearly 90,000 books – complete with a letterpress. As a kid I used to make newsletters and stuff on that old press.

Him and Grandma moved to Spokane a few years ago cause, well, it’s hard to live by yourself on a farm at age 90. Grandma just died a few months ago, but Grandpa is still doing just fine. When I asked how he feels about her being gone he said, “I miss her, but at least I’ve still got my books.” || Read the post and responses here.

-- Pippin Ross's email to students

Brandeis University Broadcast Media professor and former public radio reporter Pippin Ross — an “emergency hire” this semester — was fired Feb. 28 after she was found allegedly drunk in a parked car in a campus lot. From one of the student newspaper’s reports on Ross:

According to one student, who asked to remain anonymous, “She once said ‘I’m what they would call sober now,’ and would talk about alcohol a lot and, like, make hints.” She was often very excited, and sent “very rude e-mails” and “cursed all the time.”

Sivan Levine ’13, who was also in her class, said that often, “she didn’t know what she was doing,” but that the students “brushed it off as her being a character.”

* University overlooked criminal record in hiring
* Professor terminated, intoxication on campus alleged

Here’s what bloggers say about Simon Dumenco & Co.’s Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation (CEBA):

Choire Sicha at The Awl: “It seems like the sort of thing that’ll end, at best, with in-fighting, or at worst, with some sort of Night of the Long Blog Knives.”

Chris O’Shea at FishbowlNY: “While it’s a great idea, it’ll be preaching to the choir. Those that will listen to its ideas about ethical crediting already conduct themselves in the right way. Blogs that seedily go about linking won’t change, no matter what the CEBA comes up with.”

Hamilton Nolan at Gawker: “The day that I ask the editor of Esquire for a seal of approval on my blogging is the day that I sign a fabulously lucrative contract to write for Esquire.com. And you, Adam Moss—no. No. Look, what Dumenco is trying to do is simply to codify “how to blog without being a huge prick” guidelines that all decent online writers already know.”

Rob Beschizza at Boing Boing: “The motives are honorable, the objectives reasonable, and the timing … timely. But no-one is going to care about these folks or whatever theses they nail to pastebin’s door, except for their entertainment value.”

Chris Crum at Web Pro News: “I just don’t see it working on any mass scale. …Aren’t the honest ones already doing it right anyway?”

Have you seen other posts about this? Please let me know.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported this morning that the Chicago Reader is on the block and that the Chicago Sun-Times was solicited as a buyer. Longtime Reader media critic Michael Miner’s reaction: “The article is so flimsy that everyone here naturally assumed that the lethal nine-tenths of the truth is hidden below the surface.” He adds:

We’re a little surprised that the Sun-Times, not long out of bankruptcy itself, can afford to buy anybody. Maybe we should buy them first. There’s talk here of passing the hat, and if we reach three figures making an offer they can’t refuse. More likely though, the money’s going to wind up in the March Madness pot. Better chance of a decent return.

There’ll be a staff meeting this afternoon to discuss the Crain’s story. If major on-the-record revelations are made, I’ll pass them along.

* For The Reader — new overlords?

I asked Wall Street Journal reporter James (Bob) Hagerty about his reaction to his mother’s fame — Marilyn Hagerty wrote the Olive Garden review that went viral last week — and how his parents influenced his decision to go into journalism. He sends this email:

James R. Hagerty


I’m proud of my mom’s reaction. She always told us, “Don’t take any guff.”

As a boy, I learned how to interview people by tagging along with my mom as she interviewed farmers and people in small towns. She noted that people tend to say their most interesting remarks after you close your notebook. My parents both helped me learn to write. Growing up in a house strewn with books and magazines helped. I founded my first newspaper, known as Worm Killers, at age five. But it was my older sister, Gail, who really inspired me when she became editor of her high school paper and brought home what looked to me like a very professional product. That decided me on a career in journalism when I was 13. My sister became a judge.

The University of South Dakota’s Volante points out that Hagerty was editor-in-chief of that paper in 1947 and 1948, and that USA Today founder Al Neuharth was her assistant managing editor. “I was Al Neuharth’s boss, and I’ve never let him forget that,” says the 85-year-old newswoman.

* Viral Olive Garden review has USD roots
* Our week with Marilyn
* Watch Marilyn Hagerty on “CBS Sunday Morning”

From JACK LIMPERT, Washingtonian editor-at-large: Subject — Journalists and math. On Friday the Washington Post had a front-page story, “Affordability award goes to a $50 light bulb,” that mostly made fun of the U.S. government for giving a $10 million prize (dubbed the L Prize) to a light bulb that it claims is “green but affordable.”

The visual with Friday’s story showed that the prize-winning bulb will cost you $50, and it will give the same light as 30 60-watt bulbs that cost $1 each. When you add in the electricity used for each over 10 years, the old incandescent bulbs will cost you a total of $48 and the prize-winning new bulb will cost you $53.

The verdict seems to be that the new $50 bulb is a pretty dumb idea.

A small correction on page A2 of today’s Post:

At 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, the L Prize bulb’s 300 kilowatt-hours of energy would cost $33, not $3. Thirty incandescent bulbs, which would last roughly the same amount of time as one L Prize bulb, would use 1,800 kilowatt-hours, at a cost of $198, not $18. The incandescent bulbs’ 10-year cost, including the bulbs’ purchase price, would come to $228, more than the L Prize bulb’s $83.

Even money that they’ll have to correct the correction.

A cartoon in the University of Louisiana Lafayette Vermillion has angered some students, but it’s defended by the artist’s girlfriend.

GIRLFRIEND SYDNEI PROSPER: “To use an outdated stereotype such as fried chicken or grape soda, is clearly satirical. It’s clearly not intended to be racist in any way.”

VERMILLION EDITOR NICK FONTENOT: “I didn’t want to get into something where I started censoring the staffers. ….Being that [the cartoonist] was black, I thought — ‘Hey, he’s not going to do something that’s offensive to his own race. This is going to be OK.'”

STUDENT ALLEGRA LUMPKIN: “There is racism within your own race, and we need to acknowledge that.”

* Grievance culture jumps the shark at UL-Layfayette
* Offensive or just a joke? Students speak out on cartoon