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Daily Archives: March 28, 2012

The editorial board of the student-run Daily Texan says running Stephanie Eisner’s Trayvon Martin cartoon “showed a failure in judgment” on the part of the board, and “we have engaged in meaningful dialogue with many people who shared their concerns and outrage with us.” The apology notes that cartoonist Eisner “no longer works for The Daily Texan.”

* Apology from the Daily Texan editorial board
* Many Daily Texan alums said they were unhappy about the cartoon
* Letters from ex-Daily Texan’s political cartoonist and others
* “I am not a racist,” says cartoonist Eisner

“What are the odds?”

That was the subject line in an email that New York Post chief copy editor Barry Gross received today from The Daily copy chief Jon Blackwell.

Gross tells Romenesko readers that he had no idea that The Daily also used “This Is Your Captain Freaking” until fairly late in the day. (He doesn’t subscribe to iPad publication and doesn’t even own a tablet.)

How did the Post come up with its headline?

“We were just throwing ideas around,” says Gross. One staffer came up with “This Is Your Captain Screeching,” and then “Freakin’ Flyer” was tossed out — again. (That headline was used in 2010 for the Steven Slater story.)

Deborah Pines then suggested the “Freaking” headline that ended up being used.

“It really was a total team effort,” says the chief copy editor. “It’s hard to give credit to one person.”

(Thanks to Capital New York for the image assist.)

The City of Sanford has put out a press release that “kindly requests that members of the media refrain from approaching, phoning or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens.” The police department “will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking.”

From: “One, PIO” Date: March 28, 2012 4:12:54 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Public Information Release

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release, March 28, 2012
For Further Information Contact: PIO@sanfordfl.gov

Sanford, Fla – March 28, 2012 — The City of Sanford kindly requests that members of the media refrain from approaching, phoning or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens. It has come to light that there have been a few incidents where city staff were followed and approached at their home or in settings outside of working hours.

Law enforcement officials will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking.

If members of the media require information, they should contact the City of Sanford Joint Information Center at PIO@sanfordfl.gov or 407-562-2778. If they are seeking information about the Trayvon Martin case, they are to contact the State Attorneys Office at 904-630-2400.

###

Cartoonist Stephanie Eisner says:

I apologize for what was in hindsight an ambiguous cartoon related to the Trayvon Martin shooting. I intended to contribute thoughtful commentary on the media coverage of the incident, however this goal fell flat.

I would like to make it explicitly clear that I am not a racist, and that I am personally appalled by the killing of Trayvon Martin. I regret any pain the wording or message of my cartoon may have caused.

UPDATE (4:48 ET): I just talked to Daily Texan adviser Doug Warren and he said the editorial board is meeting now and will be issuing an apology this evening. I asked why his post about the controversy is no longer online, and he said he felt it wasn’t helping the situation so it was taken down.

* Daily Texan and cartoonist cave in over Trayvon Martin drawing
* National Association of Black Journalists reacts to the cartoon
* Here’s the Daily Texan’s coverage of the controversy it created
* Follow The Daily Texan on Twitter

Photo: Robert Quigley/@robquig

Letter to Romenesko

From RANDY HECHT: I’ve got to bring this post in LinkedIn’s Answers section to your attention. A publicist posted a question on behalf of a journalist “for a major news outlet” who is looking for certain sources. The sources are instructed to respond to the publicist, and those she likes, she’ll pass along to the journalist.

I’m spinning in my grave, and I’m not even dead.

* Journalist looking for female LinkedIn members who have drastically changed their career field with the help of LinkedIn

It was announced on Tuesday that Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck was given a $500,000 bonus for refinancing the bankrupt newspaper chain’s debt. On the same day, at least two Lee newspapers laid off staffers, including the sports editor at the Montana Standard. I called Gerry O’Brien — he edits the Standard and Helena Independent Record — and he refused to discuss the cuts. He also declined to tell me the size of his news staff.

Here’s just one comment posted below the Junck bonus story on my Facebook wall:

Tim Mullaney also wrote on my Facebook wall: “All [Junck] ever was was a decent ad-sales head. I worked for her in Baltimore, and she was no strategist even at the division level. That anyone made her a CEO in the first place is baffling — you could have thrown water balloons in the newsroom and hit 10 better candidates.”

Bill Reader wrote in comments on this site: “Newspaper companies used to condemn robber barons. Now they create them from within.”

It’s only fair to let Junck respond to her critics and explain why she deserves a $500,000 bonus, so I called her office and left a message. I’m waiting for her to return my call.

* Lee Enterprises refinancing results in $500,000 bonus for CEO
* Lee-owned newspapers in Montana lay off staffers
* January 2012: Junck named AP board chairman

UPDATE: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Wisconsin’s largest news organization — says none of its journalists signed recall petitions.

UPDATE 2: The weekend columns by Gannett editors and publishers were nearly identical and — I guessed — were written by one person. I asked Green Bay Press-Gazette publisher Kevin Corrado about that. He responded:

Editorial leaders and top management at all of Gannett Wisconsin Media locations worked together to discuss what happened, and to respond in light of Gannett’s Principles of Ethical Conduct for newsrooms.

Some common talking points emerged and we wanted to make sure we were upholding those principles at all of our newspapers. So, the columns in all of the newspapers shared common themes. Each publisher was free to add his or her thoughts, but the key points were common.

We all stand by what we wrote and signed our names to it.

Compare these columns by:
* Fond du Lac Reporter’s executive editor
* Green Bay Press Gazette’s publisher
* Oshkosh Daily Northwestern’s executive editor
* Appleton Post-Crescent’s publisher
* Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter staff

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The Wisconsin State Journal says six of its employees signed petitions calling for the recall of Gov. Scott Walker. One signer is staff photographer, three are imaging technicians, and two are part-time sports clerks/writers. Editor John Smalley says the paper is “surprised and disappointed” by the staffers’ actions, and “we apologize to our readers for the lapse in judgment by several staff members.”

Jay Rosen made fun of the editor’s scolding in a tweet this morning: “If imaging technicians who do graphics processing sign a petition how can we trust anything in your freakin’ newspaper?”

Last weekend, editors and publishers from several Gannett papers in Wisconsin told readers that their employees were caught signing the recall petitions, and that “we are now in the process of addressing discipline and presenting supplemental ethics training for all news employees.”

* Six Wisconsin State Journal staffers signed recall petitions
* Employees at Gannett papers in Wisconsin signed recall petitions