Daily Archives: May 30, 2012

* Fox News criticized for producing and airing Obama video that looked like a campaign attack ad. (New York Times)
* Etan Patz’s father pulls distribution rights for his photos from the Associated Press. (
* “We are no longer a newspaper company,” Chicago Sun-Times editor-in-chief tells his staff. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
* Jonathan Stray: What journalists do can’t be reduced to one thing. (Nieman Lab)
* “Save the Times-Picayune!” petition goes up on (
* Ex-reporter (now comic book writer) with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sues Seattle Times over dismissal. (Seattle Weekly)
* St. Paul Pioneer Press offers buyouts. (A contract signed last week allows layoffs and expands freelancing.) (
* Ex-New York Daily News Michael O’Neill dies at 89. Paper ran “Ford to City: Drop Dead” hed during his tenure. (Associated Press)

The Atlantic’s Megan Garber explains Politwoops, which launched today:

When a pol has deleted a tweet, Politwoops records the deletion and archives the message. It also records, helpfully, the time of deletion and the amount of time elapsed between posting and deletion. Think Tweleted, only politics-focused and operational.

* Now you can track the tweets politicians tried to delete (The Atlantic)

From Geoff Nunberg’s “Fresh Air” essay on hopefully:

“You hear people saying that a misused ‘hopefully’ or ‘literally’ makes them want to put their shoe through the television screen, but nobody ever actually does that — what it really makes them want to do is tell you how they wanted to put a shoe through the television screen. It’s all for display, like rhesus monkeys baring their teeth and pounding the ground with their palms.”

* The word “hopefully” is here to stay, hopefully (NPR)
* AP: We now support the modern usage of “hopefully” (
* AP Stylebook adds fashion terms, expands social media section (

* Insiders detail Birmingham News’s digital strategy (Media of Birmingham)

All reporters and photographers will have company-issued laptops and cell phones, filing content to rather than for the next day’s print edition. Plus, they’re expected to shoot photos and videos and participate in social media. One staffer said the editors will “dip” into the “rivers” of posts for the Sunday, Wednesday and Friday newspapers.

-- slide from Birmingham News branding strategy presentation

Keith J. Kelly reports in the New York Post: Announcements in New Orleans and Alabama “sent shock waves through the Newhouse-owned papers back East, which include the Star-Ledger in Newark, the Times of Trenton, the Jersey Journal in Jersey City and the Staten Island Advance.”

The president of University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s student government claims his organization has the constitutional right to name the school’s newspaper’s top editor, and says it will do that at a June 4 meeting. (For many years, a panel of professors, journalists and students has chosen the editor-in-chief of the Rebel Yell.)

UNLV journalism professor and Rebel Yell Advisory Board member Mary Hausch points out:

It’s a peril for any news entity to derive its authority from a government entity. It’s an intolerable situation for student journalists to be placed in. …I cannot encourage my students to work on a newspaper where the editor is chosen by the student government.

This is from the Rebel Yell’s story on the controversy:

Jami Vallesteros, chair of the RYAB [Rebel Yell Advisory Board], said he’s spoken with journalists, both outside and within UNLV, who find the appointment of an editor-in-chief by the student government problematic.

“I think the consensus is that it’s unethical for a government entity to be controlling a supposedly independent paper,” Vallesteros said. “The key here is to not have CSUN appoint editors.”

Mark Ciavola

Mark Ciavola, the 37-year-old student government president who also serves as Nevada College Republicans chairman, says he wants to see that student fees are spent responsibly and doesn’t intend to influence editorial decisions.

“The idea that we’re supposed to fund half the budget and they don’t want us appointing the editor-in-chief because of independence is laughable.” (The paper gets about $111,000 a year from student fees.)

* UNLV student government wants to name Rebel Yell editor (Las Vegas Sun)
* Rebel Yell editor-in-chief process draws controversy (Rebel Yell)

The Associated Press is trying to get its Washington, DC bureau designated a “prostitution free zone.”


From: Tobias, Ed
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 08:58 AM
To: !All WDC Staff
Subject: Prostitutes on 13th Street


I’ve been in touch with the commander of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District about the resurgence of the prostitution problem in front of our bureau. My email included a request that the 1100 block of 13th Street be designated as a “prostitution free zone.” If designated as such, police officers would have an easier time making arrests for loitering. Here’s the response that I just received from Commander Kishter:

Thanks Ed we will address.

Also, the prostitution free zones are under legal review so currently so they are not being used, but we can definitely do some undercover work in the area.

Jacob Kishter
Metropolitan Police Dept.
Third District



Ed Tobias
Manager, Business Continuity and Disaster Planning
Global Security Department
Associated Press
Washington, DC

* WaPo in 1989: D.C. police order prostitutes to march to the state line

Saints owner Tom Benson says in his letter to Advance Publication’s Steve Newhouse that “New Orleans and this region deserve a daily newspaper that covers news, culture, business, religion and everything else that makes New Orleans great.”

I understand the need to embrace the evolving technology that comes with the digital media.

Tom Benson

However, I see on a daily basis the need to have a vibrant newspaper in the hands of those that have made it a daily habit to pick up the paper and read it from cover-to-cover. I proudly count myself in that number and have for much of my life. Our city needs and deserves the Times-Picayune to remain a daily newspaper, which will work hand-in-hand with your digital storytelling ventures.

His closing line: “I urge you to please reconsider your decision to take away our city’s only daily newspaper.”

* New Orleans Saints owner pleads to keep Times-Picayune daily (
* NY1 News political director writes an open letter to Steve Newhouse (Capital New York)

(Credit: David Horsey)

“The future of the news business is online and I suspect it will come out just fine — as long as all involved can resist the ultimate temptation: becoming a ‘click whore,'” writes David Horsey. “Sure, any fool can get a lot of page views by running photos of cute kittens, funny dogs, hot cheerleaders and bosomy models in bikinis. It might bring in a lot of money. It might be read all over. But it would not be a newspaper.”

* Newspapers have a future, if they avoid being “click whores” (LAT)

Craig Stanke

Longtime deputy managing editor Craig Stanke died in his sleep after spending Memorial Day running a 5K event in the morning, then working in the office until late afternoon. (“Last-second holiday decision to run,” he tweeted on Monday.)

“He chatted up friends and co-workers about finishing second in his age group in the race earlier in the day,” writes managing editor Mark Swanson. “By all accounts he felt great. But, to the shock, sadness and devastation of those who knew him and worked with him, he never woke up.”

He was 56.

T.J. Simers writes in the Los Angeles Times: “I hired him 35 years ago this week out of the University of Wisconsin. How cool is it to be able to hire someone who will become your best friend?”

Craig could have been a terrific writer, but he touched so many more by becoming an outstanding teacher as a newspaper editor.

He cared so much for the written word and what a creative writer could do with them, it was inspirational. …

There was a fine whine to Craig’s voice as he coaxed the best out of editors and writers alike. You would have loved the guy because he wanted only entertaining stories in the newspaper. That would have almost certainly eliminated any kind of Olympics story in the paper until the Games were actually played.

* deputy managing editor Craig Stanke dies at 56 (
* Scott Miller: A giant in journalism, a friend in every way, gone too soon (
* Simers: A great friend, Craig Stanke, is gone too soon (
* Read the many tributes on and on his Facebook wall