Daily Archives: April 5, 2012

The Orange County Register plans to have up to 100 staffers covering tomorrow’s Angels Opening Day in Anaheim. It “has been an incredible undertaking,” but “if I told you how easily this has gone, you wouldn’t believe me,” Angels editor Keith Sharon tells colleagues. || UPDATE: Here’s Friday’s OC Register front page.

Sharon’s memo:

It is 1:30 p.m. Thursday, and I can see the end.

This OCR News Mob has been an incredible undertaking that has stretched across the newsroom, into the bureaus and through our growing community of readers. If I told you how easily this has gone, you wouldn’t believe me. We are now wrapping up the all the preview stories, and they are so well-written, insightful and funny. Just wait until you see it tomorrow.

Keith Sharon

We came together, and it is working.

In the last month, we have:

— received more than 100 photos and bios from Angels fans, and another couple dozen from fans who aren’t so happy with the Angels.

— produced 47 stories, videos and graphics BEFORE Opening Day with another boatload of material happening live tomorrow.

— received collaboration from sports, cities, music, television, movies, The Fast Food Maven, In Your Face, graphics, Freedom Interactive, social media, the iPad, mobile, Lansner on Real Estate, Handling Hard Times, Small Business, OC Moms, travel, art, The Morning Read, technology, theater, trending (and if I left you out … you probably helped too). I have readers asking if they can join the News Mob. I had an email from a cartoonist from the Philadelphia Inquirer asking if he could contribute to the News Mob.

— had fun.

Several people have asked me how we should measure success of this project. The answer is, obviously, we’ve already won. The readers of the Orange County Register newspaper, website, iPad and mobile apps, will see tomorrow what a HUGE impact we can have when we focus our resources. Why not do this for elections? The first day of school? The Oscars? The World Series (Angels News Mob II)?

We didn’t do what we normally do, and that’s a great thing.

Thank you so much for all the help.


* OC Register assigns 70 reporters to cover one game

* NYT, NPR, Fox News and other news orgs object to closing Gitmo hearing that may describe CIA interrogations. (Miami Herald)
* New York Times and WNYC radio win 2012 Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma. (Dart Center)
* A new SEC filing shows McClatchy has rewarded top bosses with extra payouts and shares of stock. (Miami New Times)
* Associated Press and Google award six $20,000 scholarships to “new” journalists. (AP, Google release)
* New York Daily News TV editor Richard Huff has been named CBS News executive director of communications. (CBS Press Express)

Keith Sharon, the Register’s Angels editor, tells Adrienne LaFrance that fans have “never been so excited” about a baseball season and “given that atmosphere, I wanted to match the intensity and the enthusiasm of the fans somehow.”

I like flash mobs, I like cash mobs, and what I’ve been telling people is this is an overwhelming choreographed allocation of news resources. I want everybody who sees our website, our print product, our iPad product, our mobile device product to think: “They thought of everything. I mean everything.”

* OC Register assigns 70 reporters to cover one baseball game
* “News mob” will feature more than 100 OC Register employees

-- email flyer sent to U-T San Diego employees

Hotel mogul and U-T San Diego owner “Papa” Doug Manchester is offering his newspaper employees “a deal” on his Grand Del Mar room rates. Dave Maass of San Diego City Beat reports rooms generally go for about $395, but U-T employees can stay there for $245 per night.

* Papa Doug offers U-T employees a hotel deal they’ll never be able to afford
* Earlier: San Diego journalists are told to dress up, work longer hours

UPDATE: I just checked — the site that lists rates that Priceline users are getting — and found that you can stay at the downtown San Diego W hotel for “$95 + $17 bonus.”

“I think I was the only reporter who got video” of students being pepper-sprayed at a Santa Monica College protest, Santa Monica Patch editor Jenna Chandler tells Romenesko readers.

Jenna Chandler

She was covering the Board of Trustees meeting from an “overflow room” when she heard a ruckus in the hallway. Chandler went out and got 17-seconds of dramatic footage that’s been aired on several TV newscasts. “I thought I was recording 30 seconds before [the recording actually started], but I wasn’t, and then the camera died. Lesson learned.” (Her Sony Cybershot battery ran out of juice.) Chandler has been with Patch for 18 months and, as her bio notes, has “built a portfolio of stories that had resounding effects in the community,” but she says “this is the one that’s gotten the most attention.”

(Credit: Jenna Chandler/Patch)

* Santa Monica college students pepper-sprayed
* Earlier: How I got that photo of students being pepper-sprayed

A poll on media coverage of religion finds:

* Two-thirds of the American public believe religion coverage is too sensationalized — a view held by less than 30% of reporters.

* Less than one-fifth of journalists, or 18.9%, say they are “very knowledgeable” about religion. Most reporters in that minority say they are mainly familiar with their own religious traditions, not the wider array of faiths and practices.

* A majority of both the public and reporters agree the news media “does a poor job of explaining religion in society,” with 57.1% and 51.8% agreeing, respectively.

* Both the public and reporters ranked TV news lowest in the quality and quantity of religion coverage compared to other media with 28.1% of the public and 8% of reporters responding that broadcast news provided “good” religion coverage.

The full report is here (PDF), and the press release is after the jump.

Read More

David Simon's Baltimore Sun press card

I wish there had been one more question in today’s New York Times Q-and-A with David Simon — something like, “Your thoughts on Bill Marimow returning to the newsroom?”
(Check out these Simon-Marimow tweets that were posted yesterday after Marimow was named Inquirer editor for the second time.)

UPDATE: Jeremy Egner tweets that his interview was held before Marimow announcement.

There’ve been a lot of words written about the journalists’ feud over the years, but here are some links in case you haven’t followed their spat:

Bill Marimow

* David Simon in 2006: That the Lt. Charlie Marimow character in “The Wire” and Bill Marimow “are, in my opinion, perhaps not the best leaders of their respective organizations or units, is, I’m afraid, entirely random and coincidental. They are not the same person; in fact, only one of them actually exists.”

* Bill Marimow in 2008: “I deeply resent Simon’s dishonest efforts to revise history.”

* Marimow in 2010: “In my opinion, his assertion that John [Carroll] and I destroyed the [Baltimore Sun] is documentably untrue. This is a grudge which now extends more than a decade and is demeaning not to us but to him. To hold a grudge that long poisons the grudge-holder.”

* David Simon on wearying “Wire” love and the surprising usefulness of Twitter

The Durham Herald-Sun weighs in today on the spelling and grammar test changes at the University of North Carolina’s journalism school, pointing out that the exam “has taken on the air of a grand old Tar Heel tradition, like the requirement that each student pass a swim test before graduating.”

The swim test, abolished in 2006, lasted 62 years before it was deemed outdated. The spelling and grammar test, by contrast, is being changed to a usage and grammar test because language and how it is employed remain at the core of the journalism curriculum.

UNC journalism professor Andy Bechtel tells the Daily Tar Heel that “I was disconcerted with the chatter on Facebook and Twitter that says we’re no longer valuing spelling at all. We still care about spelling, but we can teach it a different kind of way.”

* An editorial: “Altaring tradition”
UNC j-school defends spelling and grammar test changes
* Danny Glover: Killing the test’s spelling portion sends the wrong message
* Earlier: All UNC students have to be able to swim 50 yards, stay afloat for five minutes

Mike DeBonis’s tweet refers to DC Watch’s Dorothy Brizill, who reports that the Washington Post political reporter is dating Mayor Fenty’s former spokeswoman, Dena Iverson.

* Professional ethics, Washington Post and Mike DeBonis || DeBonis responds || More from DeBonis

George Norcross

The new owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News can pledge all they want not to interfere with news coverage but who is going to stop them? asks former Inquirer staffer Paul Davies.

There are many good reporters at the two papers still doing fine work under some difficult conditions. But who is going to have the courage to dig into [new owner George] Norcross’s business dealings or the many issues involving the other owners? Even without Norcross or the other owners saying anything, it is pretty easy to see how self-censorship could seep into deciding what to cover and what not to cover.

Bill Marimow, who is returning to the editor’s chair at the Philadelphia Inquirer, told me late Wednesday that he believes the new owners “are going to care about excellent journalism” and that “because they are Philadelphians, they want to have a news organization they are proud of.”

Marimow says Philadelphia Media Network CEO Greg Osberg offered him the job this week, and “he clearly was enthusiastic about my coming back.” But it was Osberg who removed Marimow from the editor’s chair a few years ago. “My feeling, honestly, is that has the prerogative to replace me, and I said that at time,” Marimow tells Dave Davies. “And he has the prerogative to rehire me.”

* Can the Inquirer and Daily News still be public watchdogs?
* Norcross’s role as Philly newspaper owner has some worried
* Marimow: “We will try to produce indispensable content without covering every planning board meeting in the region”