Daily Archives: June 13, 2012

Pulitzer-winning journalist Sarah Cohen, who left the Washington Post to join Duke’s faculty in 2009, is now headed to the New York Times. Here’s the memo that was sent to Times staffers today:

She Brings Gigabytes of Talent
>We’re thrilled to announce that Sarah Cohen, one of the nation’s most talented computer-assisted reporters, will be joining our staff on Aug. 1. Read more in this note from Glenn Kramon:

Sarah Cohen

Sarah, who most recently has been teaching her craft at Duke, spent a decade at The Washington Post, where she was part of a team that won a Pulitzer for exposing the failures of the District of Columbia’s child protective systems. She was also a Pulitzer finalist for a Post series on waste in farm subsidy programs. Before that, as training director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, she taught reporters computer-assisted techniques. Earlier she reported on economics and health care for the St. Pete Times and Tampa Tribune. She has even been an economist, at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sarah comes highly recommended by … about half the newsroom, with rave reviews from everyone in our CAR cluster, and from Aron Pilhofer, Jo Becker and former colleagues at other organizations. Several people threatened to kill us unless we hired her.

We hope Sarah’s great instincts and experience will help further integrate our CAR unit in the newsroom, on stories on the news and on our biggest enterprise projects.


* 2009: New professor will focus on “computational journalism” (

After posting Murray Waas’s complaint about New York magazine’s handling of his Boston Globe story and Marlo Thomas’s failure to credit the Globe, I was cc’d on this letter:

Dear Murray and Christopher,

Thank you for noting the incorrect link in my recent Huffington Post piece, “Message to Mitt Romney: No More Passes…Talk to Us About Bullying” and please accept my apology for not linking directly to you, the original reporters. The error has been fixed on the site.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your very important piece of reporting. Thank you for holding politicians and candidates accountable. As I said in the piece, “This is not about religion or sexuality or politics. Bullying is a weapon that kills children, and a President needs to be a leader who will help stop the dying.”

Best regards,


ALSO: Murray Waas sends a follow-up letter:

I should note that after I had complained, Ben Williams, one of the editors of [New York] magazine, called to express regret and edited the post to put in the proper links. Ben, who is a gentleman and exceptional journalist, wasn’t just going through the paces. This type of thing really matters to him, and it has been my experience and that of other writers that New York ordinarily does properly credit original journalism, and links to a writer’s original story.

That being said, however, it has been an increasing practice at some leading news websites to simply rewrite other journalists’ original work, and only include in their own post a single obscure link, if any at all, to the original story.

I have personally been a beneficiary of ethical aggregation. Many of my most important stories would have never been read widely or had he impact that they did if other publications and websites did not link to them, and draw attention to them. But it is long overdue that as a profession we develop a standard for best ethical practices, appreciate publications that already engage in them, and press those who do not to finally engage in fair play.

* Earlier: Proper credit, please, Marlo Thomas (

Murray Waas and Christopher Rowland spent a couple of weeks working on Tuesday’s Boston Globe story about Mitt Romney’s administration blocking publication of a Massachusetts antibullying guide over objections to “bisexual” and “transgender” terms.

Marlo Thomas

“Our first link [on Tuesday morning] was from New York Magazine,” Waas writes in an email. “[It] contained a single link to our story — the link being all of a single word — the word being email. I doubt we got five readers through that one word link in the middle of a long rewrite.

“I sent the blogger a nice note thanking her for the link, actually complimenting her because it was an unsolicited link, but asking that she do something better than an obscure one word link in the middle of the story. She didn’t even bother to respond.” [I see, though, that there’s another link at the end of the post. — Romenesko]

Waas’ email continues:

“So here is the punch line; The lead blog of the Huffington Post is a long column by the actress Marlo Thomas about our story!”

However ….Thomas “highly praised” — Waas’s words — and linked to the New York Magazine post as if was an original piece in New York Magazine.

“Of course there is no way to email Marlo Thomas because… she is Marlo Thomas,” writes Waas.

* Romney administration stifled antibullying guide over language on bisexual, transgender youth (Boston Globe)
* Romney blocked anti-bullying guide over controversial terms (New York)
* Marlo Thomas’s message to Mitt Romney (Huffington Post)

Today’s Gambit story about the Times-Picayune cuts mentions that many staffers gathered at Wit’s Inn after work Tuesday and that “colleagues from the Chicago Tribune phoned the bar and opened a tab for their compatriots.”

Angela Rozas

I asked around this morning: Who at the Tribune bought the drinks?

I found out that it was Angela Rozas, an editor from Louisiana who interned at the Times-Picayune in 1999, then was hired fulltime and worked at the paper until going to grad school in 2002. (She joined the Tribune a year later.)

“There’s a tight community of former Picayuners, and we’ve never forgotten our time there and our friends there,” says Rozas. “Whenever one has lost a job the others have pitched it, whether by creating a website or sending some beer money. This time there were so many of our friends [who lost jobs] we didn’t know where to start.”

She knew that staffers often gathered at Wit’s Inn bar, and figured that “if I can’t be there to toast them, at least I can send some beers their way.”

Rozas called the tavern at 5:15 p.m. and told the woman who answered that phone that she wanted to buy drinks for the Picayune journalists there.

“I gave her my credit card number and a spending limit.” She emailed other friends and they pitched in, too. (David Meeks, Steve Ritea, Dante Ramos, Jordan Barnett, and Natalie Pompilio were among those contributing to the beer fund. Rozas declines to give a dollar amount, but says she hopes it paid for a few hours of beers. One of the first things she said when I called her was: “It wasn’t our intention to call attention to ourselves. I would have been fine if my friends down there could have just enjoyed it.”)

She adds: “It wasn’t about the money. We just hoped they would know there were people elsewhere rooting for them. We’re all just heartbroken for them.”

THE LATEST: “I haven’t been updated on my future,” Barrett Tryon writes on my Facebook wall. “That will apparently happen in a meeting tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.”


After it was announced that Aaron Kushner’s group was buying the Orange County Register and other Freedom Communications papers, a journalist at Freedom’s Colorado Springs Gazette posted this on his Facebook wall:

Barrett Tryon, a Gazette multimedia journalist, was told at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon that his Facebook wall post — a link to this Los Angeles Times story — was in violation of Freedom Communications’ social media policy.

Carmen Boles, the Gazette’s Director of Content, sent Tryon this passage:


Freedom Communications, Inc.’s Associate Handbook/Confidentiality and Proprietary Rights policy prohibits you from posting disparaging or defamatory statements about the company or its business interests, but you should also avoid social media communications that might be misconstrued in a way that could damage the company’s goodwill and business reputation, even indirectly.

Barrett Tryon

Tryon, who has been at the Gazette for two months, told Boles: “It’s on my personal account, and from an LA Times article, I’m not removing it.”

He told her in another email: “Not trying to cause a ruckus, but I posted a news story and included a quote from the article. I did not interject any opinion. I’m not sure where I’m violating policy.”

Tryon was told that the matter would be handled by corporate HR.

The email exchange continued:

Boles wrote at 4:59 p.m.: “Why would you want to pull out a quote like that about the company you work for?”

Tryon responded at 5:03 p.m.: “If it’s going to HR, I’d rather just wait to comment.”

Boles at 5:04 p.m.: “You can call me and we can talk about it before I send.”

Carmen Boles

Tryon at 5:23 p.m.: “You can just send it since you already threatened to. I don’t want to argue about it. I’m too tired and mentally exhausted today to have to justify something on my personal account.”

Boles at 6:19 p.m.: “I’ve had a pretty rough day myself. I just want to understand why you think it’s ok.”

Tryon at 6:43 p.m.: “I think it’s only natural for someone to be interested in something that directly affects you. And who cares about my Facebook in the grand scheme of things? If you noticed, Carrie from the Indy defended us. I understand you do what you gotta do. I think there’s a huge difference between saying “eff off” versus pulling a quote. But since I violated policy, I’ll deal with the consequences.”

Tryon says he expects to be fired today. (I’ve invited Boles to comment.)

It was reported late last month that the student government at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas wants to pick the next editor of the student newspaper. Mark Ciavola, the 37-year-old president of the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said that student government puts money into the paper, so it should be able to decide who runs it. “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 LATEST:The Student Press Law Center reports the two sides are close to an agreement in the form of resolutions that will make the student newspaper financially independent of student government. Both sides hope to have the resolutions passed within 30 days.

The Rebel Yell Advisory Board wants to suspend publication of the newspaper until the matter is resolved, but the Rebel Yell staff wants to continue publishing. Acting editor-in-chief Ian Whitaker says suspending publication “will have a really bad effect on journalism at UNLV” and that “you don’t save journalism by cutting it out completely until you get exactly what you want.”

Whitaker adds: “I think it’s negative for journalism at UNLV, and it’s the exact opposite of trying to preserve it.”

* UNLV paper reaches agreement to avoid student government selecting an editor (
* Advisory board seeks to halt Rebel Yell production (Rebel Yell)
* Squabble could stifle Rebel Yell in the fall (Review-Journal)
* Earlier: Student government wants to pick newspaper editor (

* High school blogger gets most of his Apple scoops through “old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting.” (Fortune)
* “Massive bummer” that Apple didn’t say a word about TV, writes Dan Lyons. “TV needs to be reinvented.” (Daily Beast)

* CNBC turns to Yahoo for help in reaching online readers of business news. (New York Times)
* Huffington Post’s weekly iPad mag debuts Thursday. It’s free for a month, then 99 cents/issue after that. (Capital New York)
* Lucky magazine says winning reader is enjoying her $750 dress when in fact she never received it. (Jezebel)
* Memo to New York Daily News staff says summer beach attire isn’t appropriate at work. (Second item.) (New York Post)

* Times-Picayune lays off more than 200 employees (
* No one from the parent company was on hand to deliver the news (Gambit)
* New Orleans news outlets respond to Times-Picayune layoffs (
* Political cartoonist Steve Kelley not surprised the paper let him go (Washington Post)
* Why a weak website can’t replace a daily paper in New Orleans (The Atlantic)
* Gambit co-owner: “Mr. Newhouse: DON’T tear down this newspaper” (
* Rem Rieder: The way Newhouse played Tuesday’s bloodletting on wasn’t encouraging (AJR)
* Times-Picayune reporters win June Sidney Award for prisons series (Hillman Foundation)
* Birmingham News fires over 100 employees (Media of Birmingham) | Today’s front page
* New Facebook page seeks jobs for Alabama journalists facing layoffs (ALNewsJobs)