Daily Archives: June 7, 2012

* Leonard Downie Jr.: 40 years after Watergate, investigative journalism is at risk (Washington Post)

Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman starts the job this weekend. (His first column.) The new Ethicist tells The Atlantic Wire’s Adam Martin:

This is a job I’ve wanted for 10 years. I don’t claim to be more ethical than anyone else, or even more ethical than the average person. But I love thinking about these types of problems, and I’ll try to be interesting. We’ll see what happens.

Here’s what Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren says about Klosterman:

As for his ethical qualifications, anyone who has read Chuck’s work knows him as a writer who likes to confront, with great humor and wisdom, all manner of thorny questions and complicated characters — and who isn’t afraid of expressing his opinions about how things are and How They Should Be.

* Chuck Klosterman is New York Times Magazine’s new Ethicist (The Atlantic Wire)
* Read the New York Times Magazine’s announcement (
* Klosterman’s debut: “Halfhearted Half Brother” (New York Times Magazine)

“Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul told Conan O’Brien this week about pulling a meteorite prank on his former roommate, and then being surprised to see it reported on Fox 11 in Los Angeles as a legitimate news story (“Mysterious object causes small crater”).

Paul told O’Brien:

My old roommate has the worst luck on the entire planet, and he’s convinced that 2012 is the end of the world, so I wanted him to believe that meteorites were slamming into our back yard. And I did just that, and he’s convinced. …

I went and bought some actual meteorites. I dug a giant crater in our back yard, filled it up with dry ice, covered it with dirt, and then put the meteorites in the middle of it, and then dumped a bunch of water on it. And then I set off a dry ice bomb.

The roommate heard and felt the explosion, ran outside in his boxers and saw the boiling crater.

Paul continues:

Then it actually made it on Fox 11 News. His girlfriend didn’t even tell him that she was taking the footage that she shot to the news. I was watching the Giants-49ers playoff game. It went a little late so they could only show two clips from the news and one of them was this. I start seeing my back yard with this gaint crater boiling — [I was] like, What the hell is that?

(Fox 11’s report news report starts at 2:51 in the above video.)

* Aaron Paul’s meteorite prank made the local news (

* News anchors everywhere ask: Could this be the end of email overload?
* News anchors everywhere ask: Is it time for dogs to have a social network of their own?

Ron Reason: “Of interest on the Reader’s cover this week: the first appearance of new parent Chicago Sun-Times’ logo, along with a new tagline, ‘Kicking Ass Since 1971,’ under the Reader nameplate.”

Reader editor Mara Shalhoup tells Romenesko readers how this came about:

I was sitting in art director Paul Higgins’s office trying to figure out how we could best add “A Chicago Sun-Times Publication” to the cover (as required by ABC, as a result of the recent sale). In the process, Paul suggested we change the tagline from “Chicago Reader | News, Culture & Food” to “Chicago’s Free Weekly | Established 1971.” I pushed him a little further, saying, “Why not ‘Kicking Ass Since 1971’?” He was sold.

* The newspaper cover as art gallery, and a new Reader tagline (
* May 23, 2012: Sun-Times owner buys Chicago Reader (Chicago Tribune)

Why would conservative Gannett offer web entrepreneur Larry Kramer the job of USA Today publisher? asks Ken Doctor.

Why would Kramer take the job? Does he know something somebody else doesn’t and have a way of turning around USA Today’s fortunes?

Can the operation once ridiculed for its colorful re-envisioning of a daily newspaper, then respected for its innovation, make the transition to the fast-onrushing digital future?

* The newsonomics of Larry Kramer’s USA Today (

Houston Press food critic Katharine Leigh Shilcutt tells Romenesko readers that the pooper has left his “goods” in the alt-weekly’s parking lot two or three times in the last week. “We don’t know why he’s doing it,” although she notes that homeless people hang out in the area. The man in the ExxonMobil surveillance photo is doing his business next to a Press marketing person’s vehicle.

“Don’t ask us why someone was pointing a camera at our parking lot,” writes the Press’s Richard Connelly. “We’ve never understood the inner workings of Big Oil.” (I’m told that an ExxonMobil employee who is friendly with a Press staffer shared the photo with the paper.)

* Photos of guy crapping in Houston Press parking lot and its aftermath (Houston Press)

The Livingston Awards go to journalists under the age of 35. The prize is $10,000. This year’s winners:

* Local reporting. Andrew McLemore, 25, of The Williamson County (Texas) Sun for “Until Proven Innocent.”

* National reporting. Olga Pierce, 32,Jeff Larson, 30, and Lois Beckett, 25, of ProPublica for “Redistricting: How Powerful Interests Are Drawing You Out of a Vote.”

* International reporting. Mattathias Schwartz, 32, of The New Yorker for “A Massacre in Jamaica.”

Read the release after the jump. Read More

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism committee that’s been interviewing dean candidates has recommended someone to university officials, according to the memo below. I’ve asked Carolyn Capps when we can expect an announcement.

* August 8, 2011: Neil Henry stepping down as Berkeley j-school dean (
* December 1, 2011: J-school dean applications now being accepted (

From: Carolyn Capps
Subject: Graduate School of Journalism search concluded
Date: June 6, 2012 5:00:40 PM CDT

Thank you for your interest in the position of the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism here at UC Berkeley. The search committee has had the opportunity to review all applications and made a recommendation to the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. I am sorry to say your application is not among those that received further consideration.

On behalf of the committee, let me express my thanks for allowing us to consider your application.


Carolyn Capps
Chief of Staff
Office of the Vice Provost for the Faculty

Any tipsters care to share the name? (You’ll be protected, of course.)

Who uses mobile media devices?

According to Roger Fidler’s study, two-thirds of U.S. adults used at least one mobile media device in their daily lives in the first quarter of 2012.

Smartphones and large media tablets are now the preferred mobile media devices. In the two years since Apple defined the large media tablet market with its iPad, nearly a third of all adult mobile device owners in the U.S. said they are using one. For news organizations and advertisers, users of these devices, especially those who own large media tablets, have appealing demographic profiles. They tend to be relatively affluent, well-educated and avid news consumers.

* 2012 Mobile Media News Consumption Survey (Reynolds Journalism Institute)

Roger Fidler in 1994, describing the incredible tablet newspaper – “a vision of the future”:

Instead of attacking Gabriel Sherman for writing an unauthorized biography of Roger Ailes, Fox News should consider his suggestions for turning the network and its website into a respected news source.

Sherman writes in a string of tweets this morning:

—> One thought abt FNC: given their profits, why not hire hundreds of reporters and turn into major source of journalism?

—> Given that Fox is earning $1 billion annually, network could hire more reporters than WSJ, or NYT, and could staff bureaus all over world

—> could become a global news destination. Could hire best reporters in the country, pay big salaries. Beat NYT, WSJ, WaPo

—> Rupert Murdoch loves journalism, scoops, reporting. You would think he would back a big push into reporting by Fox. But Ailes has control.

—> In Jan ’07, Murdoch said this about WSJ: “What if…we spent $100 million a year hiring all the best business journalists in the world?”

—> “…And spent some money on establishing the brand but went global…w/ big, iconic names, outstanding writers, reporters, experts.”

—> No reason Murdoch’s original vision for WSJ couldn’t be translated to Fox. They have audience, profits. Such an opportunity for journalism

* Fox News “talent” attacks unauthorized Ailes biographer (Washington Post)
* Bio isn’t finished yet and Fox News already attacking author (