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Daily Archives: March 23, 2012

The woman in charge of Washington Post Live is leaving the paper to join a D.C.-based digital start-up called Personal. Jenny Abramson started at the Post as an MBA intern in 2004. “Jenny has helped us reinvigorate many businesses with her great focus and energy,” says a memo to the Post staff. It’s posted after the jump.

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* The New Yorker digs up its own ads from the “Mad Men” era. (Adweek.com)
* Variety is for sale. (Variety.com)
* Monday’s Shorty Awards will honor the best of Twitter and other social media sites. (Washington Post)
* Political lawn signs, meet your digital replacement: Twitter. (Talking Points Memo)
* Ex-Sacramento Bee editor Melanie Sill is named KPCC radio executive editor. (SCPR.org)
* NYT’s Justin Gillis wins the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism. (Columbia University/PDF)
* The Daily editor Jesse Angelo is expected to become “more involved” in New York Post’s site. (Capital New York)
* High school girl and father protest “Sagging Pants” censorship. (Peoria Journal-Star)

Come on, kids! You don’t have a few bucks for the campus newspaper?

Facing financial difficulties due to a poor economy and shrinking advertising dollars, the Daily Campus recently asked students if they would pay $3 more per semester in fees to keep getting the newspaper. By a 266-vote margin — 1,549 to 1,815 — students voted no.

The Daily campus reports: “While the provost makes the official decision on the fee increase, [the student government president] said it is very rare for them to go against student-voted fee increases.”

* UConn student paper struggles to survive

Last weekend’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” had a few too many pope jokes for some listeners — there were references to “Frosted Mini Popes,” pope jeans (“Nothing gets between me and my Benedicts”), and pope perfume (“I’m wearing Pope”). NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos says listeners were most offended by host Peter Sagal jokingly calling the pope a “gay icon.” The ombud writes:

I am Catholic and personally would not be offended if the pope were called gay, much less a gay icon. …

I certainly believe that there was no ill intention, and hope that even listeners who were offended accept that. Other religions have been spoofed on NPR as well.

I asked Sagal for a comment. He writes:

I certainly have no objection to or argument with our ombudsman’s reasoning or conclusions. Seems very fair minded to me.

One point he didn’t raise — one of the reasons that we got, as he says, about a 100 emails in complain — and that’s out of more than 3 million weekly listeners — is because of this:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2012/03/19/npr-game-show-host-goes-string-pope-jokes-starting-hes-gay-icon

I’m sure many of those who wrote in were our actual listeners and were genuinely offended, but we’ve noticed that we get an sharp uptick of angry emails whenever one of the media-watch blogs complains about us, as you’d expect.

* Roasting the pope as a gay icon: Civilized or crossing the line?

On Tuesday, the Daily Iowan published a story about an increase in meth-related burn patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The first comment posted said:

So you put pictures of random meth offenders that have nothing to do with the story. Yeah what a news team. Childish idiots.

And from another commenter questioning the use of mug shots to illustrate the story:

I agree with the first comment NONE of these people are burn victims. They have nothing to do with this story. I think that is horrible they used their pictures, and on the front page? come on really? i hope they sue the crap out of you.

Editor-in-chief Adam Sullivan resigned the day the photos appeared with the meth story — “personnel issues” were cited — and a correction ran in Wednesday’s paper. It said: “The combination of the photographs and the story may have given the impression that those seven people had been treated at the UIHC burn unit. …[but] the photographs were obtained from the Johnson County Jail and were of individuals arrested for some methamphetamine charges.”

Daily Iowan publisher Bill Casey and Sullivan wouldn’t say anything to Iowa City Patch about the photos and the resignation. I’ve asked both men to comment.

UPDATE — Sullivan says in an email: “While it’s unfortunate that my time at The Daily Iowan ended early, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished there over the last four years. I have every confidence that the staff I put in place will continue to see success the rest of this year and beyond. I look forward to continuing my journalistic career elsewhere.”

Publisher Casey says the university hospital had nothing to do with Sullivan’s departure. “I have been publisher of The Daily Iowan for 36 years and during that time the University of Iowa has not once ever tried to influence a decision by the paper,” he writes in an email. “Beyond that I cannot comment.”

* Unanswered questions surround Daily Iowan editor’s resignation
* The story (photos aren’t in the online version) || The correction
* Earlier: Daily Iowan editor hires blogger who’s been pointing out errors

C-SPAN says in a letter to the Gridiron Executive Committee that if the group “is still reluctant to allow the electronic media to cover your dinner live, why not allow us to operate under the same rules as print reporters and record your dinner for playback after it concludes?”

Having one set of rules for print organizations and another for television and radio journalists seems contradictory to what we all stand for – a free press. …We request that the Gridiron Executive Committee, under your leadership, takes the historic step of allowing C-SPAN to cover your 2012 dinner under the same conditions as the print press.

Read the full letter after the jump. Read More

The debut issue of the “new” Chicagoan magazine is being sold in 1920s-style pop-up newsstands around the Windy City, as well as through independent bookstores and boutiques.

Though uncertain, business is promising — [publisher J.C.] Gabel reports moving $500 worth of magazines in one hour. The Chicagoan, which can also be ordered online, is an interesting publishing experiment, which is so far bypassing the middlemen of magazine distribution.

Gabel, who founded Stop Smiling magazine, says the Chicagoan will publish long-form journalism about “the arts, culture, innovators and history of Chicago and the greater Midwest.”

* The return of The Chicagoan

After working under former Tribune CEO Randy Michaels and right-hand man Kevin (“Pig Virus”) Metheny, “I’ve come to hate the phrase ‘change is good,'” says WGN radio newsman Steve Bertrand.

Steve Bertrand


Change for the better is great but change just for change sake, without forward direction, is demoralizing.

At one point I was told to stop pronouncing the “t” in President Obama. It sounded too newsy. So for more than a year I referred to the President of the United States as “Presdeh-Obama.” I’ve pretty much kept my feelings to myself until now but am comfortable saying this knowing we are headed toward brighter days [now that Michaels & Co. are gone].

In addition to doing to news at Chicago’s WGN, Bertrand runs Steve Bertrand on Books on Facebook, which has author interviews and conversations about books.

* “Who cares about Notre Dame?” says Marquette alum Bertrand
* WGN newsman’s double life: Bertrand on Books
* Bertrand conducted one of Jeff Zaslow’s last interviews