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Daily Archives: March 19, 2012


2012 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards Finalists

Winners will be announced May 4

Cooking, Recipes, or Instruction
Mary Allen Perry
Southern Living
Collection of Best Southern Recipes, 2011: “Nuts about Pecans,” “The Ultimate Southern Thanksgiving Cookbook,” “12 Ways to Show your Holiday Hospitality”

Stephen Scoble
Food & Wine
“Art of Summer Cooking: Best Recipes & Style”

Anna Thomas
EatingWell
“The Soup for Life”

Environment, Food Politics, and Policy
Brett Anderson
The Times-Picayune
“New Orleans Family Oyster Company Sees Only Dark Days Ahead,” “One Year After Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Collins Family Tries to Hang Onto 90-Year-Old Oyster Business”

Barry Estabrook
Gastronomica
“The Other Side of the Valley”

Ben Paynter
Fast Company
“The Sweet Science”

Food Coverage In a Food-Focused Publication
Bon Appétit
Adam Rapoport

Gilt Taste
Jennifer Pelka

Saveur
James Oseland

Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication
Lesley Bargar Suter
Los Angeles
“Chinese Food in L.A.,” “Breakfast In L.A.,” “Food Lovers Guide”

Kendra Nordin
The Christian Science Monitor
“The Big Stir”

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
New York
“Taxonomy: A Falafel in Every Pita,” “Butternut’s Just the Beginning,” “The Greatest Thing Since …”
Read More

Miss Virginia thinks it’s good:

Richard Prince has some criticism:

* Twitter accounts that j-students should follow (don’t miss the comments)

“It’s time for a confession,” writes Baltimore Sun columnist Jacques Kelly. “In many of my columns, I repeated sentences and entire passages from past columns that I considered my old standbys. My motivation was to give my readers what I thought they wanted. But it was disingenuous to include parts of previous columns word for word without telling the reader they had been published before, which is against Baltimore Sun policy.”
* Longtime Sun columnist embarks on new writing path

Matt Weaver

The North County Times reported last Tuesday that the editor of Cal State San Marcos’s “provocative, unsanctioned campus publication,” The Koala, was running for student body president. Matt Weaver, however, failed to mention his affiliation with the tabloid in his candidate profile, the paper noted. This might be the reason for that:

The tabloid, which billed itself as a parody, featured explicit violent and sexual content, including lists such as “top five excuses for rape,” and “top 10 breakup lines to use on a girl you kidnapped.”

One issue depicted a student’s face digitally altered onto a pornographic image of two women.

Three days later, the North County Times reported that the election was canceled — because editor/candidate Weaver allegedly tampered with election files on a university computer and was arrested. He posted $50,000 bail and was released from jail Friday morning.

* Student candidate arrested for election fraud
* Campus tabloid editor seeks student body presidency
* Student editor of hate tabloid runs for CSUSM president
* The Koala

Steve Pokin

In 2007, St. Charles Journal columnist Steve Pokin broke the “MySpace Suicide” story, about a 13-year-old girl who took her life over emails from a fake boyfriend created by a 49-year-old woman.

Pokin doesn’t mention the story that made him famous in today’s “Pokin Around” column — his last one for the St. Charles paper. He tells readers he’s leaving the Journal to cover higher education for the Springfield, Mo.-based News-Leader. He writes:

I came to the conclusion a few years ago that 1,000 columns would be a worthy goal. Alas, this is only No. 597. I leave behind 16 pages of story ideas I’ve accumulated since I started Pokin Around on Nov. 13, 2005. …When I look at that list I feel regret and guilt. I’d told myself I’d get to all of them. Eventually.

News-Leader executive editor David Stoeffler, who worked with Pokin in St. Louis five years ago, tells Romenesko readers that “Steve and I have kept in touch over the last couple of years” and they started talking about working together again after the News-Leader lost its higher education reporter to the Associated Press Beijing bureau.

“Steve has a unique knack for finding the kinds of stories that get people talking about what’s in their paper or on its website,” says the editor. With the MySpace suicide story, “the real trick was getting people to talk about it. That’s where his talent is — making people feel comfortable and getting them to tell their story.”

Here’s what Pokin writes in an email:

I’m proud of the reporting I did on the Megan Meier [MySpace suicide] story. I’m proud that my small paper paid to fly me out to California to cover the Lori Drew trial. I’m also proud that Tina Meier has kept her word and to this day is still traveling the country and warning school children about some of the dangers of cyberspace.

It is difficult for me to claim that story as a highlight of my 8 1/2 years at the Journal because, at its core, it is about the suicide of a 13-year-old girl, and that’s a sad story.

To be honest, I’d rather not be known for a particular story. I’d rather be known as a reporter and columnist who was versatile, who could one day write a humor column and the next do a watchdog investigation.

It was difficult for me to leave the Journal. I loved being a columnist and I love the city where I live — St.Charles, MO.

First, I think I’ll like the higher ed beat because it will require a range of reporting from features to watchdog, which I like.

Second, I’ve worked for David Stoeffler before. He was the publisher at the Journal for a while and he is the executive editor of the News-Leader in Springfield. Working for David is a wonderful opportunity.

Third, I became very comfortable at the Journal, which is a good thing and a bad thing. I think I can become a better journalist by making the change.

Fourth, and this is the reason why I was willing to look for a new job in the first place, my wife has been unemployed for over a year. She had earned two-third’s of our family income. My new job provides a higher salary.

* From a grateful columnist: Thanks for reading
* 2007: MySpace hoax ends with suicide of teen girl
* 2007: Pokin talks to NPR about the decision not to name Lori Drew

Boston Phoenix’s Carly Carioli shares this “dirty little secret”: You don’t have to go to South by Southwest in Austin to get as much out of it as the journalists who who actually attend if you listen to the SXSW podcasts. Carioli posts 15 podcasts of “awesome” panels with topics of interest to journalists, including Evan Smith’s chat with New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson.

* 15 awesome SXSW panels every journalist should listen to

These signs — or “desk tents” — can be seen all over the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newsroom these days. Milwaukee Newspaper Guild president and Packers reporter Tom Silverstein explains their purpose:

We started the desk tent mobilization after the company gave us a regressive contract offer that would allow them to dictate by themselves whether someone got a raise, would eliminate completely any guaranteed severance (we currently have two weeks for every year of service when an employee is laid off) and leave it at the discretion of the company and would eliminate a cap on employee contributions for health care of 35%.

We decided we need to fight back and the idea of these desk tents came up. The response was incredible. They’re all over the newsroom. I would say every union member (that’s 70% of the newsroom) has at least one up on their desk.

The reason the regressive offers are so bad is that since the newsroom has been shedded of so many positions, we’ve been busting our butts to try to cover everything that we did before. People are taking on way bigger workloads than they did. We recognize that the newspaper industry is in trouble, but we don’t think they should be going backward when we’re doing all we can plus more to make the paper great, including putting a lot of extra focus on our new pay wall.

The Guild is preparing to roll out its next desk tent campaign, which focuses on the fact that top executives at Journal Communications have guaranteed severance while they’re asking that union members give up theirs. The tent is expected to say: “Their severance: golden parachute. Their offer to us: lead balloon.”

Joe Pompeo reports the Times’ overall web traffic has been mostly unaffected by its paywall and that digital advertisers haven’t gone running for the exits since the subscription debut a year ago.

As of the end of the most recent fiscal quarter, a total of 390,000 subscriptions had been logged, 30 percent better than the 300,000 subscriptions the paper reportedly set as an internal benchmark for success in the first year.

Even the print edition has benefited: The Times announced in November that home-delivery circulation had increased for the first time in five years.

* NYT digital subscription plan called a surprising success

Thanks for adding me, Marie and Pat.

Here’s a USA Today writer’s list of nine Twitter accounts every journalism student should follow. Any additions you’d suggest?

“The other day, I counted up the magazines we don’t get any more,” writes John Reinan. “I got up to 40 without even trying very hard. We’re down to about eight or 10 that actually arrive regularly in our mailbox. Despite that, I’m reasonably bullish on the future of magazines.”
Some of his reasons why:
* They don’t demand to be consumed immediately and in total.
* They add character to a coffee table.
* You can pick them up and put them down several times.
When I was in my 20s, I subscribed to about 20 magazines. Being a total journalism nerd, I displayed them on shelves that I put up in my tiny studio apartment. “This looks like a dentist’s office,” one friend said upon entering the apartment for the first time. Now I don’t subscribe to a single print magazine (or newspaper); all my reading is done on the iPad. (Thanks, Wired, for the weekend delivery of your latest issue.) It’s the same with TV viewing: I once had three flat-screens on my condo walls. I recently sold them all, and now watch all my shows on the Hulu Plus, Amazon and network iPad apps. They do the job.

* Reasons to be bullish on the future of magazines
* Read what my Facebook friends/subscribers say about magazines