Daily Archives: March 26, 2012

The Newspaper Guild of New York says New York Times management “took a slightly less offensive approach to contract talks” on Monday, but “most major proposals were unchanged: Management still wants to freeze Guild members’ pension accruals and eliminate Guild trustees from the plan; still wants to cut severance pay and buyout terms; and still wants overtime pay to be on a weekly rather than a daily basis.” The bulletin is after the jump. Read More

* NYT public editor weighs in on the cookbook ghostwriting kerfuffle. (New York Times)
* Will Bunch: How is it “civic duty” to eviscerate your future newsroom with more job cuts? (
* New York Daily News managing editor Bob Sapio leaves the paper after 40 years. (New York Observer)
* “Are you or are you not sleeping with me?” Drake asks GQ writer. (Los Angeles Times)
* Brian Lamb admits that C-SPAN is “not the greatest name around.” (TV Newser)
* Cincinnati Enquirer loses its top two sports editors. (Cincy CityBeat)
* From waitressing to writing for NYT: Interview with Jennifer Mascia. (Community College Success)
* Laurel (Miss.) Leader-Call to close after a century of publishing. (Leader-Call)
* Recall of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School paper sparks confusion and controversy. (Bethesda Magazine)
* Florida Times-Union reporter arrested for misusing 911 system. (Florida Times-Union) || UPDATE: She shouldn’t have been arrested, says chief.
* “I miss the newspaper industry and I love McClatchy,” says Anchorage paper’s new hire. (Duluth News-Tribune)
* Chicago Reader to post 40 years of long-form film reviews. (Chicago Reader)

Sarah Tressler (LinkedIn photo)

Houston Chronicle society writer Sarah Tressler moonlights as a stripper, reports Houston Press’s Richard Connelly, who hears that her newsroom colleagues aren’t pleased. His source says it’s “because she barely bothers to conceal her identity and they’re worried about the reaction from the ‘ladies who lunch’ when they inevitably find out that they’ve been hosting an active stripper at their benefits. And furious because she “flaunts” her “stripper money” around the office in the form of expensive designer clothes and handbags. And furious because the Chron staff feels like she’s just using them as fodder for a future roman a clef.”

I called Tressler (@chrongossipgirl), got her voice-mail, and left a message inviting comment.

* Houston Chronicle society writer by day, stripper by night
* “Diary of an Angry Stripper” on Facebook

Excerpt from original press release:

***EXCLUSIVE: CHRIS HANSEN from “Dateline NBC” called THE MOJO IN THE MORNING SHOW (WKQI/ Detroit and KOHT/ Tucson) to “make good” for an interview during which he hung up on show hosts Mojo, Spike & Shannon after they asked him about his alleged affair with Florida television reporter Kristyn Caddell.

During the “make good” interview, Hansen explained what was REALLY going on in the photos and videos that The National Enquirer printed, of Hansen and Caddell together at a hotel.

Interview audio:

Letter to

From JEFF HARLEY: I’m a creative that runs Chicago-based in my free time. It’s a local art-house blog that features all my original video, photo and writing work that I discover throughout the city.

- avatar on Facebook

Some of the stories that I have covered are starting to gain traction. Some of the videos I have created — by myself and without pay — are now being featured on sites like The Guardian, GQ Mag, The Reader and a slew of other blog type sites. The one thing I’ve found is that bloggers have always been kind with hyperlinks and credit, while the major sites have not even mentioned me as the creator of the video that is displayed prominently on their website. The most recent example may be found this week [on].

Do you think I have any standing to demand any type of video credit or at least attribution via a link back to my site for this type of embedding? Or am I on my own? I didn’t want to demand something for which I’m not even sure I have a right to demand. I was just curious if there is a book or guidance anywhere that can help shed light on the Ps & Qs of these things. Obviously, I’m very proud that my work is being featured on bigger sites, but I also feel a little left out because I’m not given any credit in a major publication. [I told him he should let the sites know he wants credit. Your thoughts on his inquiry and the big sites’ handling of his work?]

What?! A reporter has to hang out with a chef in his or her kitchen and then “put together an article on the experience” for an advertorial?

I called Cape Gazette editor and co-owner Trish Vernon to find out more.

“The woman who does this is a freelancer — she’s not one of our staff reporters,” says Vernon. The ad is “written as a news story but as far as it’s presented in the paper, it’s not in the same typeface as our news stories.”

The 13,000-circulation, twice-weekly paper has seven reporters, says the editor, and they’re not expected to do the advertorials. Vernon says she doesn’t know how many advertisers have taken advantage of the offer. “I’m not on that side of the business.”

* Professional restaurant profiles!

UPDATE: Cape Gazette news editor Laura Ritter sends this email:

I know you called Trish Vernon to ask her directly about a Cape Gazette promotion, but as she told you, she is not involved in it and was not aware of the post on our website promoting it, written by one of our advertising reps. The problem is really with the wording of the promotion, which is erroneous.

The Fresh Sheet is an idea pitched by the woman who is going to write the advertising copy; she asked our ad staff to consider it, and the ad staff agreed to try it. She is a freelance writer. This is not an assignment at all, let alone the worst assignment ever. Our promo should have called the page a paid advertisement, not a feature. When it runs in the paper, it will be clearly marked “Paid advertisement” at the bottom, and there is a second disclaimer at the top. Our error was in the wording of the promo, not in the ads, which have not yet been published.

The Cape Gazette is vigilant when it comes to maintaining a clear distinction between ads and stories; any ad that could look like a news story is required to use fonts that are distinct from our copy and must prominently carry the words “Paid Advertisement.” When this new ad appears in our paper, I am confident readers will have no confusion that it is anything other than a paid ad.

I suggest those who can’t wait to slam the Cape Gazette on your blog wait until they see the ad in the paper and judge for themselves whether there is any confusion.

Thanks for raising these issues; we are in full agreement that there should be a bright line of distinction between advertisement and news.

Calkins Media vice president Thomas Spurgeon tells readers that he hired lawyers to investigate the Burlington County Times’s “Best of Burlington 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards” and they found that “voting results for several of the categories were not accurately reflected in the special advertising section in which the results were announced” and “the results did not reflect the high ethical standards that we set for ourselves.” Did advertisers pay someone at the paper to “win”? A Romenesko tipster says: “Employees used to openly joke that these things could be bought. For this to be disclosed on A1, the shit must have really hit the fan somehow.”

I’m hoping Spurgeon will tell Romenesko readers more. I’ve left a phone message for him.

The paper says it’s set these new rules for the 2012 contest:

* Readers’ votes will be directed to a third-party accounting firm, Kreischer Miller, to tabulate and confirm the top vote getters.

* The paper will no longer sell advertising in the section where the voting results will be published.

* A corporate ombudsman has been named to oversee the voting process.

* Letter to our readers and advertisers

The way that “Daily Show” writers put together their fake news isn’t so different than the way college journalists write real news, Michael Koretzky discovered after hearing two of Jon Stewart’s writers at last week’s NYC12 college media event.

I booked [Hallie] Haglund and [Zhubin] Parang as the opening keynoters. And I caught some flak for it.

A few professors (and even some students) thought this was a trivial topic for such an august gathering. What can The Daily Show teach daily reporters?

As it turns out, a lot.

* What “The Daily Show” can teach journalism students

Former Philadelphia Inquirer metro columnist Tom Ferrick calls “an anomaly among the newspaper-related web sites in America in that it doesn’t much like news.” The people behind the site know they can’t get millions of unique visitors with news stories, he says, because “news is dull.” They think, “Sports is better. Gossip is better still. Showing a woman with big breasts is good.” That harms the print newspapers, says Ferrick.

The Inquirer and Daily News are brands built on good journalism — and good journalistic practices. Their value is in their truthfulness and reliability. doesn’t share those values. It doesn’t work under the same rules. Therefore, it runs the risk of pulling the papers down to its level. That cheapens the brand. editor Wendy Warren tells me that Ferrick is wrong about staffers’ view of news.

“I want to make emphatically clear that news is the lifeblood of — we absolutely care very much about news.” She points out this morning’s lead stories on the site are about a priest’s trial, an FBI sting, and the Trayvon Martin case.

There have been cheerleader galleries on the site, but “finding a balance between light and heavy is something journalists have done in my 20 years in the business and certainly before that,” says Warren.

“News is what brings people back to the site and we are extremely conscious of that. We have increased our staffing for breaking news” and will continue to. “News could not be more important to us.”

* Freak Show: Tom Ferrick on

The Santorum-Zeleny exchange starts at 00:42.

After cursing at New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, Rick Santorum told Fox News that he “had enough of you know what” and said that “if you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republican. || Maggie Haberman writes in a Politico post that “the notion that politicians don’t swear is almost as entertaining as the faux shock whenever they do publicly. But, it never goes unnoticed, and it’s not exactly common for recent presidential hopefuls.”

* Rick Santorum curses New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny (USA Today)
* “What speech did you listen to?” Santorum told the New York Times (NYT)