Daily Archives: May 3, 2012

San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher says he met with the U-T San Diego editorial board and was told that he was the kind of candidate they’d like to endorse, but they couldn’t because he’s not a Republican.

This is from the candidate’s transcript of the meeting:

Nathan Fletcher

U-T San Diego: How can we get behind you given that we’ve got a lot of Republican backing and Republican tradition? I think that puts us in a tough position. ….if there is a repudiation of the Republican party you know I think this place isn’t going to be super fond of that. And so that we have endorsements coming up and so I’m looking for a reason we can argue that we can say we should endorse me.

Nathan Fletcher: I understand that … but as a paper you’re going to have a make a decision, right? Are you here to endorse and advocate what is in the best interest of San Diego or endorse and advocate what is in the best interest of the Republican Party, and I can’t tell you that.

The paper said in an April 28 editorial that “Fletcher appeared to the U-T San Diego ownership and Editorial Board as the kind of person and the kind of candidate we would normally support and endorse with enthusiasm,” but he’s recently gone negative “and he has done little to answer lingering questions about whether his move to political independence was merely calculated strategy – expedience after he failed to win the local Republican Party endorsement.”

U-T San Diego — formerly the Union Tribune — was purchased last November by conservative hotel magnate Doug Manchester.

* A newspaper frets over Nathan Fletcher and the GOP brand (VoSD)
* Fletcher answered U-T San Diego’s questions (
* The question for Nathan Fletcher… (UT-San Diego)
* San Diego mayoral candidate Fletcher dumps GOP (LAT)

There were a lot of comments posted here Tuesday about the Virginian-Pilot letting two weeks go by before mentioning in an editorial column that two of its staff members were attacked by a large gang.

Denis Finley

I got an out-of-office reply when I asked editor Denis Finley about the newspaper’s decision two days ago (managing editor Maria Carrillo then commented); today the top editor addresses the matter in a front page column. He writes:

Some have accused us of burying the incident for political reasons.

Race has entered the equation. The attackers are black; Forster and Rostami are white. A Twitter post mentioned Trayvon Martin, fueling the opinion that we are practicing reverse racism, that if a group of white people had attacked a black couple, the incident would have been front-page news.

None of this is true.

The paper didn’t cover up anything, says Finley. “What would we gain by protecting some thugs who beat up two of our reporters? The accusation is ludicrous.”

We bend over backward to treat ourselves the same way we would treat any other member of the community. In fact, we go overboard at times to make sure there is no perception that we have treated ourselves favorably. Based on the facts, this story did not cross the bar to be published because as a general rule, The Pilot doesn’t publish stories about simple assaults.

Did we go too far in holding to this standard? I don’t know; I will always ask myself that question. But we made our decision based on what we knew at the time.

By the way, officials have charged a 16-year-old boy in the April 14 attack.

* Pilot stands by handling of attack on staff members
* 16-year-old charged in assault on two Pilot reporters
* Your thoughts on the Pilot’s decision to keep quiet about attack

North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage Amendment One goes to voters on May 8. Everyone from Billy Graham to Chelsea Clinton has weighed in on it.

So where does the News & Record in Greensboro stand on this controversial measure?

It hasn’t said.

Multiple sources tell me that’s because socially conservative publisher Robin Saul has banned editorials on “moral issues,” including this upcoming referendum.

This is the email I sent to Saul and editorial page editor Allen Johnson III:

Good afternoon Robin and Allen,

One of my readers sent this email:

“I would be grateful if you could get publisher Robin Saul on the record regarding whether he has banned editorials on ‘moral issues,’ including but not limited to the upcoming referendum on Amendment One, which would add a ban on all civil unions besides heterosexual marriage to North Carolina’s constitution.”

I’d appreciate a response to this.

Johnson sent this reply:

Jim, thanks for your note.

Here’s an official statement:

The News & Record editorial board could not come to a consensus on the marriage amendment issue. Therefore, we’ve elected not to officially support or oppose it. We’ll leave this highly personal decision to individual voters.

Robin Saul

Note that the statement does not address the alleged “moral issues” ban.

Ed Cone points out today that the News & Record and its predecessors “have a proud history of speaking up for civil rights. The late Bill Snider, an editorial legend in this state and the finest of Southern gentlemen, endured a cross burning and other vandalism to his home as he stood up for then-controversial ideals just decades ago.

“And now, silence” on Amendment One.

* A deafening silence on Market Street

From the Bloomberg Television release:

On tonight’s episode of “Bloomberg Game Changers: Warren Buffett,” airing at 9pm ET on Bloomberg Television, Warren Buffett talks about his early passion for newspapers and how an editorial tip to his first media purchase — a local Omaha weekly called The Sun – led to a 1973 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

The story Warren suggested to the newspaper’s editor was about Boys Town, a home for orphan boys located outside Omaha and made famous in a 1938 movie with Spencer Tracey and Mickey Rooney.

Warren Buffett tells Bloomberg TV, “It was sort of common knowledge around Omaha that the money was pouring in [Boys Town]…and the number of boys had gone down. They’d had a thousand boys at the peak and I knew the population had gone down. I thought there was a story there.”/CONTINUES Read More

How did Courthouse News reporter Dave Tartre stumble across the case of the man who sued BMW for his priapism (a persistent and painful erection) allegedly caused by a four-hour motorcycle ride?

“It came from a routine check at the courthouse,” the 43-year-old newsman tells Romenesko readers. “I thought it was titillating, but sort of a throwaway story. A lot of the things I find at the court just seem to be more substantive, more consequential.”

The San Francisco-based reporter adds:

“What surprised me was how it just kept getting picked up” by more and more news outlets, he adds. (The six-day-old story remains on some Most Popular lists.) “What was also interesting to me was that the first five or six places that picked up the piece attributed it to Courthouse News, but then it dropped.”

The most recent stories, he says, didn’t bother to give him credit. (Tartre points out that he attached court documents to his story and some news outlets used those to produce their own accounts.)

Tartre joined Courthouse News Service in 2005, after years of selling medical supplies and working as a stockbroker. In his early years with the news outlet, Tartre would regularly see other reporters going through daily filings too. No more, though.

“There are a lot of good stories in new filings, but the newspapers seem to have abandoned coverage in this area. They just don’t check new filings anymore. They rely on plaintiffs to tip them, or they wait for a service like ours to bird-dog court news.”

* Uneasy Rider sues BMW for long-lasting erection

AT MEDILL THIS MORNING: That’s departing dean John Lavine in the tan coat, and new dean Brad Hamm in the black coat to the right of him.

From the release:

EVANSTON, ILL. — Bradley J. Hamm, dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism, has been named dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern Provost Daniel I. Linzer announced today. Hamm will join the faculty as dean-designate on July 1 and assume the deanship on September 1. …

He began his career as a reporter and sportswriter for the Salisbury Post in Salisbury, N.C. Since that time he has been closely connected with the media organizations, establishing institutional relationships with the Poynter Institute, USA Today, the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE), and the Scripps-Howard Foundation. …

Hamm and his spouse, Hiromi Sumiyoshi, have a two-year-old son, Yoshiki. His twin brother is the editorial director of Landmark Community Newspapers, handling news and legal issues for more than 60 newspapers and seven college sports publications.

* Brad Hamm named Medill dean
* Hamm in 2005: “I think we can always work with technology, not chase it”

Brad Hamm

UPDATE: Brad Hamm is Medill’s new dean, according to my source. He’s currently dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism.

* 2005: Hamm leaves Elon University to take Indiana position

This release just came in:


EVANSTON, Ill. — The new dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications will be introduced to the Medill community at 11:30 a.m. today (Thursday, May 3). Media are invited to attend the event, which will be held in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

I’m about a half-mile away and walking over there now.

* Earlier: What Medill should look for in its new dean

Khristopher Brooks

Remember Khristopher Brooks, the young reporter who was fired from the Wilmington News Journal before even starting the job because of an I’ve-been-acquired press release he posted?

Brooks says he was “bombarded with great job offers” after that brouhaha, and he’s accepted one of them.

In this post, however, I won’t be making another press release about my employment. I’m writing to simply say everything worked out fine. This new reporting position (for a daily newspaper) puts me in a beat that I love and in a state far away from Delaware.

I’m sure you would like to know where I’m employed now, but I’m sorry, you won’t be finding out from this post. I need to focus on my reporting and writing, not more infamy.

Your new employer is no mystery, Khris. I did a quick search and noticed that your LinkedIn page lists your occupation as K-12 Education Reporter for the Times Union in Jacksonville, Florida.

* Khristopher Brooks: Everything worked out fine
* Earlier: I’ve been acquired — read all about it!

This October 3, 2011, New York magazine cover was chosen by magazine editors as “Cover of the Year” in the 2012 Best Cover Contest, hosted by the American Society of Magazine Editors. The judging editors said: “The over-the-top poster-like cover was meant to stop consumers in their tracks — and it did.”

The “Readers’ Choice Award” went to National Geographic, for the May 2011 “Above Yosemite” cover.

* Magazine editors choose Cover of the Year (ASME release)
* “Parents of a Certain Age” (New York)

* “CNN seems committed to a business model that doesn’t work.” (New York Times)
* Toronto mayor calls police on Toronto Star reporter for taking pictures. (Globe and Mail)
* News orgs push back after Romney camp decides to exclude BuzzFeed from rotating press pool. (Huffington Post)
* Romney holds off-the-record meeting with conservative media. (Huffington Post)
* Gannett shareholder: Forget the big dividends and put money back into the company. (Gannett Blog)
* “Ebertfest, now 14 years old, is a love-in.” (Capital New York)
* An important stop for Republicans in the Big Apple: the offices of Fox News chief Roger Ailes. (Politico)
* “Fox Mole” Joe Muto shops his book, tentatively titled “An Atheist in the Foxhole.” (New York Observer)