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Daily Archives: May 14, 2012

A blogger confronted a newspaper publisher and told him: “You can see in the newspaper, the very first line — and throughout the majority of it — is taken word for word off of my website. You even copied the headline, the subtitles, and you even copied the typos that I’ve corrected on my website.”

* How to assert copyright over your work when it’s been plagiarized

ALSO:

Central Michigan Life editor-in-chief Aaron McMann complained about WXYZ.com using one of his stories without permission, then gave the station props “for holding itself accountable.” || WXYZ.com: A note to our users

UPDATE: McMann tells Romenesko readers:

Here is my story that was lifted by WXYZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Detroit.

I did not notice it until Thursday AM, at least 12 hours after the station published it on its website, wxyz.com. It was at that point I tweeted the link and got a response almost immediately from Seth Myers, new media director at the station.

McMann

He pulled it from the website immediately and apologized. A few hours later I got another DM from him, this time asking for my phone number. We chatted for about 5 minutes, he explained that was not how the station usually operates, they had contacted the person who composed the post, got HR involved, etc.

A few hours later, I received a call from Tim Dye, the station’s news director. He gave me the same spiel as Seth.

Unfortunately I did not grab a screenshot of the wxyz.com post, but it was almost verbatim. I did notice a few words were moved around in the second paragraph, it was quite clear the story was lifted. No one argued with me about that.

Late Friday afternoon (after 5 p.m.), I received another DM from Seth Myers at WXYZ alerting me to a post the station had put up on its website. In it, the station admitted its mistake, acknowledged the post had been taken by “CM Life” (no first reference to Central Michigan Life, our proper name, or actual link to the story) and it had “taken steps to correct the mistake.” I have now noticed the post has been taken down. [I've posted a cached version -- Romenesko]

MarketWatch.com founder and “true pioneer of digital media” Larry Kramer has been named USA Today president and publisher. A memo to the newspaper’s employees says:

Larry spent two decades as a journalist,

Larry Kramer

holding reporter and editor roles at the Washington Post and the San Francisco Examiner, where he served as executive editor for five years. He has received several awards for reporting, including the National Press Club Award, The Associated Press Award for news writing and The Gerald Loeb award for business reporting, and his staffs have been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes.

In addition to his passion for the news business, he has an extensive track record as a successful media entrepreneur. He was founding president of CBS Digital Media, a new division that synthesized all online, interactive and mobile initiatives for the network; founder of MarketWatch.com, a leading financial information web site; and founder of DataSport, Inc.

The memo is after the jump.
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Up until recently, Associated Press contract freelancers would send their job invoices on the 20th of each month and then see the money in their bank accounts within seven to 10 days — even though the AP contract states it has 30 days to pay.

That’s now changed.

All AP freelancers received a notice in April stating that the news organization will now hold all freelancer invoices for the full 30 days before paying.

AP spokesman Paul Colford tells Romenesko readers: “The changes are part of our efforts to regularize payments to freelancers and set up a uniform payment schedule, to save on time and processing of so many separate billings.”

* “It’s going great” at Murdoch’s The Daily iPad publication, says editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo. (Capital New York)
* Jann Wenner calls the iPad “a great device, but not necessarily a great device to read magazines.” (AdAge.com)
* Paul Steiger to step down as ProPublica editor-in-chief at end of year. Steve Engelberg will replace him. (New York Times)
* ThinkProgress troubled by David Gregory headlining event held by “major Republican advocacy group.” ThinkProgress.org)
* Gerald Loeb Award finalists announced. (WSJ’s Jerry Seib is lifetime achievement award recipient.) (Businesswire.com)
* NYT journalists ask publisher Sulzberger to reconsider firing of media lawyer George Freeman. (Capital New York)
* Read the graduation address delivered by “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie: (msnbc.com)

This memo was just sent to Gawker Media employees:

From: [Director of Editorial Operations] Scott Kidder
To: [Gawker Media editorial]
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 11:56 AM
Subject: April Numbers — site uniques and top 100 stories

Site-Wide Uniques and May Targets

Jezebel’s insane target beating streak continues — and they also took the top spot in the Top 100 Stories two months in a row!

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THE TOP GAWKER MEDIA STORIES IN APRIL
1. Your Vagina Isn’t Just Too Big, Too Floppy, and Too Hairy — It’s Also Too Brown (Jezebel)
2. SNL Explains the Nudity in Game of Thrones (Gawker)
3. A Complete Guide to ‘Hipster Racism’ (Jezebel)
4. What Happens When You Push the Button? (Gizmodo)
5. Announcing Our Newest Hire: A Current Fox News Channel Employee (Gawker)
6. Your Morning Ennui: Henri the French Cat Articulates the Pain of Existence (Jezebel)
7. Here’s a Picture of Bill O’Reilly With a Topless Woman Along With the Fox News Legal Threat Meant to Quash It (Gawker)
8. Behold the water slide so dangerous it was shut down immediately (io9)
9. Finding Goatse: The Mystery Man Behind the Most Disturbing Internet Meme in History (Gawker)
10. Worst People Ever Catch Foul Ball, Refuse To Give It To A Crying Child, Are Vilified By Michael Kay (Deadspin)

“If President Clinton was the ‘first black president’ then Obama earns every stripe in that ‘gaylo’ with last week’s gay marriage proclamation,” says Newsweek editor Tina Brown. “Newsweek’s cover pays tribute to his newly ordained place in history.”

* Tina Brown explains Obama “gaylo” cover (Politico)
* White House dodges question on Newsweek cover (Politicker.com)

-- From my Facebook wall

UPDATE: Romenesko reader Bill Lucey writes:

Thiefs!, Bandits!

I’m glad my tweet FOUR DAYS ago, gave Newsweek an idea for their cover.

I’ve been unemployed for almost 4 years now — what do I need to do to get some credit?

@wplucey: “If Bill Clinton was our first ‘black’ president is Barack Obama (based on his recent Robin Roberts interview) our first ‘gay’ president?”

* What my Facebook friends say about Lucey claiming credit for the cover line

A Romenesko reader writes:

There’s a new spoof Twitter account for recently edged out San Antonio Express-News executive editor Robert Rivard, who was known during his lengthy tenure running the paper for advocating bicycle issues, downtown development and (according to some) also for his over-sized ego. When he was ousted unexpectedly and with no explanation, he changed his Twitter handle from @EditorRivard [now dead] to @RivardInSA and started a hyper-local, hipster-courting downtown website/blog (@RivardReport).

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the spoof account, @UrbanRobert, is that a large percentage of the followers so far are current or former staffers. Lots of buzz but no answers in the newsroom about who’s behind it. Seems like it has to be someone internal, with a chip on his or her shoulder (although the best ones, in my opinion, are the ones that capture his voice in a more absurdist than mean way).

I’ve invited Rivard to comment on the spoof account. (Check your RivardReport.com email, Bob.)

Letter to Romenesko

From DAN REIMOLD: As someone who lives, breathes, teaches, advises, and blogs about college media, here is my answer to your question at the end of [this post about The Daily Texan's losses]: The Daily Texan is not alone in its financial free-fall. A growing number of student papers are struggling with their bottom lines. USA Today recently called it a “financial pinch.” I think it’s more like a hard slap or a second-degree burn.

For years, student newspapers have been immune from the financial downturn plaguing the professional press, thanks to their lack of overhead, the support of their schools, advertisers’ love of the student market, and their need to only break even. But those days are over.

The hardest-hit segment at the moment is comprised of the daily papers that operate independently as their own businesses. Some have cut the number of days they publish each week. Others have reduced the number of pages they print or their page sizes. Many are pulling back on staff pay and perks like conference travel. A few have appealed directly to students and alums for funding help through letters and front-page editorials. Still others have aligned with Press+ to request donations from everyone who visits the papers’ websites. A few papers have even gone dark entirely, mostly at smaller schools or community colleges in which related journalism programs have also been shuttered due to state funding cuts.

Students are still reading their campus newspapers in print, by all accounts at a reliable, surprisingly high rate. But advertising is tougher to come by. Related school budgets in some cases are tightening or disappearing entirely. Student governments are getting occasionally restless as they look at papers’ financials. And the seemingly inevitable shift toward digital-first or online-only publishing looms large in many editors’ and advisers’ minds.

If not quite a time of financial reckoning within the campus press, we have definitely entered a prolonged period of profound change — cutbacks, weary sighs, and hopefully some spirited reinventions.