USA Today publisher Larry Kramer tells Staci Kramer: “They’ve had a lot of success at Gannett. But there is a hunger to move now, to regain some of the mojo they had when they started USA Today.”
University of Tampa journalism professor and college media blogger Dan Reimold has five reasons, including “Professionals don’t know any better than professors.” He writes:
We are all lost in a swirl of journalism topsy-turvydom. No one – not I, [Henry] Blodget, [Tom] Foremski, [Tony] Rogers, Jay Rosen, Jill Abramson or anyone else– knows how it is all going to turn out. The best we can do– all of us who love, work, and live for journalism– is innovate, experiment, question, and assess where we stand, where we think we might be heading, and how we can do things better along the way.
Austin Man Magazine calls Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith “the very incarnation of the mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan media outlet” — a guy with no secret life, no dark underbelly, and no tortured soul within.
Smith tells the magazine:
I’m not a lonely person, but I am anti-social. Those are two different things. Over the years, I’ve become very anti-social. I do not like being out among a lot of people . I feel uncomfortable in a crowd. I don’t like being with people particularly, and yet the job and life I’ve chosen are completely counter to that.
As someone who spent a lot of time with the orange tabloid spelling bee word lists in elementary school (fifth-grade champ!), I enjoyed this Quora thread asking, “Is being a spelling bee champ really anything to crow about?”
No it isn’t, says 2002 second-place national champ Deepti Arora. “Spelling bees are kind of a circus,” she writes. “There are many awkward kids, many with autism or Asperger’s, who are so galvanized by their parents’ enthusiasm that they can’t remember why they’re even there.”
If I could go back ten years and talk to my parents, I would tell them to encourage me to instead:
Pick a cause that I was passionate about and figure out how, as one person, I could raise money and increase awareness
Join a sports team of some kind and learn how to better interact socially with kids my age
Learn how to create something. I wish someone had told me to try to compose, write, program, or draw something new, rather than just memorize what’s there.
Any spelling bee stories to share? Please post them in comments.
New Orleans Times-Picayune editor’s memo to staff, sent this morning:
From: Jim Amoss
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:18 AM
To: Newsroom Staff
Subject: some facts
In our meetings at Howard Avenue and the East Jefferson bureau you said that you wanted to be told the facts as clearly as they can be told at present. I’d like to do that here:
* After the changes we announced take effect in the fall, we will have a smaller staff. However, our reporting arm will be at least comparable to what it is now. We will continue to be probing and ambitious in our coverage.
* Concerning pay in the new companies, I want to dispel some rumors: There could be some salary adjustments, depending on changes in job descriptions. But most people will make what they make today, if not more.
* I love printed newspapers and want to be proud of the ones we produce when we go to three editions a week. At the same time, we need to focus on the growth of New Orleans’ digital audience. It’s a vital part of our future. We can’t hesitate to embrace it.
* Both our digital and our print content will be distinguished by the high quality of journalism our readers have come to expect.
I know that the days since our announcement last week have been enormously stressful to all and wish I could ease the pain. Jim.
One staffer’s reaction: “Regarding Jim Amoss’ quote about the ‘reporting arm,’ …. what does he say about the editing? He said in the staff meeting that I attended that stories would be blogged unedited and that only three people on the digital side will be reading and making corrections throughout the day. That copy will then be published in the three print editions. But he gave no clue what size newsroom staff will be required for that. Can the rest of us just expect to be thrown under the bus? And speaking of expectations, these days of limbo have been unbearable, emotionally and physically. The words cruel and unusual punishment come to mind.”