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Daily Archives: May 16, 2012

Newsweek and Daily Beast social media editor Brian Ries says the just-launched Picture Dept Tumblr will feature photos from the magazine and website, as well as shots that didn’t get published in print or online. His release notes:

The blog’s name is part of the Newsweek legacy. One of the photo editors discovered a box of yellowed 4 x 6 index cards listing all the images that ran in the magazine from the 1920′s to the 1970′s. Each card was titled “PICTURE DEPT.” the original title of the magazine’s photo team.

* Picture Dept introduction

* We’re at the beginning of a journalism renaissance,” says Google’s Richard Gingras. (Nieman Lab)
* Romney campaign admits error after reporters prevented from asking questions at an event. (Huffington Post)
* Time and People managing editors’ contracts are renewed (third column item) (New York Post)
* Boston Phoenix seeks FCC approval to sell WFNX to Clear Channel. (Boston Phoenix)
* Laurie Fine blasts ESPN for portraying her as a monster, plans to file libel suit. (Syracuse.com)

“Newt Gingrich’s campaign is so dead Mitt Romney wants to baptize it and Rick Santorum wants to put it in a jar and show it to his kids.”

Jimmy Kimmel discussed this joke he decided not to tell at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner during an appearance this week on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM show. The transcript:

STERN: Does anyone go over your material first — anyone from the president’s organization or anything?

KIMMEL: No. Nobody even hinted at asking to see my material.

STERN: Were there jokes you left out because you felt they were too harsh about the president?

KIMMEL: Yeah, there were. Yeah. I mean, you know…

STERN: You wouldn’t have felt comfortable delivering it because it would have been over the top?

KIMMEL: Like, I decided right off the bat that the N word was out.

STERN: You did, that’s not like you. You use the N word every night in your monologue at least twice. [Both laugh]

KIMMEL: I had some jokes about — like Rick Santorum. I said something like — well, I didn’t say it, but: Newt Gingrich’s campaign is so dead Mitt Romney wants to baptize it and Rick Santorum wants to put it in a jar and show it to his kids.

STERN: You didn’t want any abortion jokes?

KIMMEL: People went like, uh-oh. I ran it by people who go to this thing.

STERN: Who do you run it by?

KIMMEL: There’s a guy named Jake Tapper at ABC News, I ran jokes by him. He’s been there a lot of times. There are a few other people — reporters.

UPDATE: Tapper confirms to Dylan Stableford that he helped Kimmel:

“I tried to help Jimmy with the temperature of the room. And yes, I thought that joke would cause the room to turn against him, perhaps even causing a stampede, with the Hilton getting in on the tar and feather concession. Seeking to spare him a Rich Little-like reception, I offered my suggestions–such as they are–as to which jokes might bomb.”

* Blow-by-blow of Kimmel’s Monday appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM show

Books-A-Million display

Nancy French walked into the Books-A-Million store in Spring Hills, Tenn., with her three kids last week and saw the above books display that she found disturbing.

One book promised to make this the most erotic year of your life with 365 sexual positions – one of which was shown in plain, naked view on its cover. Another was about the art of erotic massage, and had a naked woman’s torso with a man’s hand – barely – covering her.

French — who helped Bristol Palin with her memoir — complained to a clerk and was told to “call corporate if you like.”

A little flummoxed, I did just that. Instead of shopping for mother’s day, I dialed the number right there in the store. While I was on hold, another worker explained that these were paid positions on the shelf and that they weren’t allowed to deviate from what corporate dictates.

“I want to have a happy relationship with that bookstore,” she told a Tennessean reporter. “They’ll be like, ‘Here comes the Puritan — let’s make sure only Bibles are being sold.’ But that’s not me at all.”

* Books-A-Million sexuality display upsets Christian blogger (Tennessean)
* Store displays books with pornographic covers in plain view of kids (Patheos.com)

The Chicago Sun-Times ran a Monday piece on Jenny McCarthy and her upcoming conference “for parents to learn about new support and treatment methods for their children with autism” — methods that were questioned by the Chicago Tribune last year.

McCarthy, who is behind the Generation Rescue and Autism One organizations, not only gets a puff piece from the Sun-Times, but receives the paper’s endorsement, too: “The Sun-Times proudly supports Generation Rescue & Autism One,” says the last line of the Q-and-A.

“This is closer to a press release than it is to journalism,” writes Seth Mnookin, author of “The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy.” Autism One’s annual conference “is not, as the Sun-Times claims, a place for ‘parents to learn about new support and treatment methods for their children with autism’; it’s more akin to Woodstock for vaccine deniers.”

I invited Sun-Times editors to respond to Mnookin and explain why they added the “proudly supports” line to the Q and A.

UPDATE: Readers point out that the author of this piece is the Sun-Times parent’s public relations vice president, Alisa M. Alexander. She tweeted about the interview on Monday.

Meanwhile, I just sent this email to Sun-Times Media editor-in-chief Jim Kirk:

Not one of the top three editors at the Sun-Times want to respond to my email about your odd Jenny McCarthy piece — written by your public relations vice president?

Back when you were the Chicago Tribune media columnist, you would have needled the Sun-Times for doing this; now you’re the guy who’s ultimately responsible for it.

Come on, Jim, you can do better than this.

UPDATE: Jim Kirk’s response:

Jim, the wording used to describe the Sun-Times’ involvement was incorrect. It should have read that the Sun-Times is a media sponsor of the event, nothing more. The article should not have stated or suggested that the newspaper supports — or doesn’t support — a particular cause.

In addition, a plan has been in the works to transition the Cause & Event column from a community affairs freelancer to an editor.

* Jenny McCarthy promotes options for autism treatment (Sun-Times)
* Sun-Times runs propaganda piece for Jenny McCarthy’s conference (Panic Virus)

A headhunter asked Larry Kramer a few months ago if he was interested in editing USA Today; he said no.

“That was not what I wanted to do at this stage of my life,” the 62-year-old journalist and entrepreneur tells Jon Friedman. “I didn’t think that the transformation could happen at an editor’s spot.”

Larry Kramer

Then he got another phone call.

“I was asked, ‘How would you feel about (running) the whole show?’ I thought, ‘Gee, that’s kind of an interesting idea!’”

Kramer, who was named USA Today president and publisher on Monday, says “I want to make huge changes in a very short time. I want to have some things in place by the time we have our 30th anniversary” on Sept. 15.

“What we need here is what we haven’t had before – a lot of strong voices. Here, it was just the USA Today brand by definition.”

KRAMER ALSO TELLS THE WASHINGTON POST:

* “You have got to have original content in tone or voice, otherwise you’re spinning your wheels. Don’t give me two paragraphs on the Giants game. Tell me what’s wrong with that pitcher’s arm.”

* He plans to have USA Today stress consumer coverage and “maybe entrepreneurialism,” and aims to be “uber strong in entertainment.”

* He wants to help people “sort through what TV shows to watch, what plays to see, what 401(k) plans to invest in. He wants to “help you live your life” but also “tell you things that are important to you that you may not know.”

* “I will lay down on the tracks to protect the investigative reporting here, for all the reasons I got into the business.”

* USA Today’s Larry Kramer: “I love the brand” (Marketwatch.com)
* Kramer jumps back into the fray of digital journalism (Washington Post)
* From 2010: Kramer on how media outlets must change their thinking (AJR)/a>

-- Newseum notice about "Today's Front Pages"

I’ve asked the Newseum to tell Romenesko readers more about its new watermarking system designed “to prevent illegal downloads of the newspaper front pages.” Are the Newseum folks upset about people posting the pages on Facebook and sharing them on other social media sites?

Dan Kennedy makes a good point: “Why wouldn’t a newspaper want to get [its] front page out there as many ways as possible?” (One of his Twitter followers responds: “A newspaper with backwards thinking about the Internet? Shocking!”

UPDATE: Charles Apple has posted the Newseum’s explanation to newspapers that contribute to “Today’s Front Pages”:

UPDATE 2: I didn’t notice until it was pointed out that the Apple post is from a year ago. Meanwhile, the Newseum has tweeted: “Just to clarify the watermarking issue, we only do it occasionally when there is evidence of unauthorized reposting.”

This is being done in response to the large number of websites and other users who download these files and post them without permission from the copyright holders and without crediting the Newseum.

The size of these mass downloads can be as much as 50 to100 GB and is one of the reasons Newseum.org crashed on May 2, 2011.

Our policy on the reuse of these front pages is clearly stated: Any reuse must be cleared with the copyright holder and credit given to the Newseum.

We will conduct this test for a limited period of time and review visitor feedback. You are receiving this email because this is the email of record we have for your newspaper.

“This isn’t about your Uncle Fred sharing covers on Facebook,” and more comments from my Facebook wall.