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Daily Archives: June 26, 2012

Anne Gearan

Anne Gearan leaves the Associated Press — she’s currently a White House correspondent — to become Washington Post diplomatic correspondent. “Anne brings an impressive resume and unbridled enthusiasm to one of our most important jobs – chronicling a changing world from the vantage point of the State Department and the secretary of state,” says a Post memo, which you can read after the jump. Read More

A Romenesko reader writes: “There’s a Twitter account, @cobbcountynews, that automatically tweets anything posted under Cobb County news from a variety of news outlets, including the AJC [Atlanta Journal-Constitution], so this faux story was instantly tweeted four times this afternoon to nearly 1,000 followers, including me. I’m looking forward to the remaining 98 parts in the series.”

The Journal-Constitution test story is after the jump. Read More

* Worst second-quarter ever for CNN: Ratings for prime-time shows plunge by 40% from a year ago. (New York Times | Hollywood Reporter)
* wowOwow website prematurely publishes Liz Smith’s Nora Ephron obituary. (Atlantic Wire)
* Chicago Tribune’s redesigned website requires registration to read columnists and other “premium content.” (Chicago Tribune)
* Wall Street Journal intern is fired for fabricating names. (Talking Biz News)
* Atlantic cover story “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” is a hit. (Fishbowl DC)
* New York Times ends hyperlocal partnerships with CUNY and NYU. (Capital New York)
* Award-winning Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Elizabeth Duff Schogol dies at 62. (Philly.com)

Five days ago I posted an email from a SheKnows.com editor who told writers to click on ads next to their stories “100 times if you want to.” Another editor’s email encouraged staff to click on Panera ads because “we want to keep them around.”

Sorry, SheKnows, but Panera isn’t sticking around.

“As soon as Panera was made aware of this issue, we immediately pulled our advertising from SheKnows.com,” says a spokeswoman. “Panera is strongly opposed to practices of this kind.”

Editors Joanie Segall and Alicia French have been suspended for their emails.

* Panera pulls SheKnows.com ads after damning memo revealed (Adweek.com)
* Read SheKnows president’s letter about the click fraud emails (SheKnows.com)
* Earlier: SheKnows.com editors tell writers to click on site’s ads (JimRomenesko.com)

The Hearst-owned Albany Times Union and the Albany Newspaper Guild have settled their dispute over the layoffs of 11 employees in 2009.

The Guild says in a release:

The newspaper agreed to pay financial settlements to all 11 workers and to bring back three of the employees who wished to return to their jobs. The settlement came after the Times Union was found guilty of breaking the law by a hearing officer, and that decision was upheld unanimously by the entire National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

The three employees return to the newspaper in two weeks.

The release is after the jump. Read More

My reliable source on Patch matters reports that demands on local editors are growing.

“Among other mandates, Local Editors now must have seven posts each day — that’s including weekends — and blog posts no longer count toward that total,” he writes. “Local Editors also ‘immediately’ have to come up with an additional 500 people to “Like” their Facebook pages (many sites have yet to attain the first 500).”

Also, local editors have been told to get at least 1,000 comments per month. Most Patch sites struggle to get even 500 now.

I’ve asked Patch spokeswoman Janine Iamunno for comment.

UPDATE – Iamunno emails:”No idea where these numbers are coming from, I’m afraid. I can’t speak to what your source may have been (inaccurately) told by a manager in his or her region, but I can tell you there are absolutely no mandates to this effect, period.”

Patch staffers: Let me know if your site has increased productivity demands. I’ll keep you anonymous.

UPDATE 2: A Romenesko reader writes —

Your story on the demands on LEs [local editors] is spot on. The huge post quota was one of my main reasons for leaving the company. It’s especially notable given that, the last time they tried to push 7 posts a day, in a program called “Lucky 7,” each LE’s freelance budget was over $2,000 a month. Now it’s probably more like $100 (and held by RE’s collectively, which is why it’s hard to gauge per site), and they’re trying to hit the same numbers.

However, the writer added, “it seems really unlikely that Patch is pushing people to do 7 a weekend. 3, 4, or 5 up from 2 or 3, maybe, but Patch has consistently not held weekend and weekday quotas to be the same. Could’ve changed in the past week or two, but seems really unlikely.”

Letter to Romenesko

From ANONYMOUS: I work at Bloomberg News, and I was grinning at a recent story that just betrays how editor-in-chief Matt Winkler thinks, and how easy it has become for people in the company to identify his fingerprints on a story. So here it is (below):

* First telltale: The theme. The biggest bugaboo right now at Bloomberg is how wrong the credit companies are and have been. Probably valid, but the method employed is just to show off repeatedly how markets think that S&P and Moody’s are irrelevant. Previous ones: Fed secrecy over bailouts, municipal finance bid-rigging, etc.

* Headline: “Defied” is a favorite word, for some reason. Also “capitulate”

* Lead: You see a lead this long, you know it would have been cut down to 3-4 lines (as seen on the 64-line limit on the Bloomberg terminal) by any editor, UNLESS it was dictated specifically by Winkler.

Matt Winkler

* Language: Again, you see language that would never get through Bloomberg straight-up style unless Winkler made it so. His Weekly Notes forever whittles away words and expressions that we can use, and here we have a *gasp* adverb in “dutifully” and gamely artistic turns of phrase like “declarations of calamity” and “little different from a coin flip.” It’s a good story, actually, I’m just jealous that I’m not able to use words and phrases like this without being called out for making Bloomberg News “forever contaminated” (yes, he used that expression in his Weekly Notes internal style memo).

Actually what’s missing to make this a truly Winkler-esque story is the truly obtuse headline — this one is OK. The strangest headlines are usually dictated by him to underlings, and are a jumble of gerunds and obscure company names. The Strange Bloomberg Headlines site is well loved by the drones in the company. A classic one from years back:

Citigroup Cashiers Mr. `Large’ Before ’08 Equities in Dallas

What the fuck does that mean?

* Earlier: Winkler explodes again, blasts reporters for Twitter practices (Business Insider)

That’s a June 25 Cumming Patch headline, with the first comment posted after the story. (Flag the whole thing as inappropriate?)

* These salads should be tossed, says FDA (Cumming Patch)

Letter to Romenesko

From JACK EL-HAI:

News tip: Blogger accused of plagiarizing himself gets no credit

No, I’m not referring to Jonah Lehrer. I’m a freelance writer and book author who recently began blogging. In my blog I’ve been mining years of published articles that have been sitting around doing nobody, especially me, any good and to which I retain copyright ownership.

Last Friday, I blogged my story about a study during the 1930s in which a medical student ate nothing but White Castle hamburgers for 13 weeks. I had previously published this story in Minnesota Monthly magazine (2006) and in the magazine and blog of the Minnesota Medical Foundation of the University of Minnesota (2008). The medical foundation’s blog was not bylined.

When my blog post went up, I received via Twitter and blog comments several accusations that I had plagiarized the story from the U of M blog. Of course, I had written that story and retained publication rights to it. I managed to straighten out most of those people and even got apologies from a few.

Meanwhile, Gothamist and the Daily Mail of the UK got ahold of my Tweets or blog link and published their own stories on the White Castle study. (They’re here and here.) Neither story credited me with the original reporting, and only the Gothamist article linked back to my post. Both stories linked to the unbylined U of M blog post.

This odd sequence of events shows that readers care about the originality of what they read, and some news organizations put no thought into confirming the sources of their stories. They treat blogged material as press releases. What if everything in my original story was wrong? (It isn’t.) If the Daily Mail and Gothamist had done a minimum of fact-checking, they would have come to me, since I’m the only person who has ever reported the White Castle story. I like to see my stories recirculate, but I want the new articles to credit me for credibility’s sake and for my greater glory.

THE ORIGINAL
* 13 weeks eating nothing but White Castle (el-hai.com)

THE RIP-OFFS
*
The bizarre White Castle experiment of 1930 that proved hamburger diet “healthy” (Gothamist)
* Bizarre experiment involved man eating only burgers for THREE MONTHS (Daily Mail)

* New York Times: We don’t pressure reporters to go into combat zones. (Los Angeles Times)
* Bloomberg Television falsely advertises that morning anchor Betty Liu is “Pulitzer Prize-nominated.” (MSNBC.com)
* Hearst Corp. chairman George R. Hearst Jr. — grandson of William Randolph Hearst — is dead at 84. (SFGate.com)
* HBO’s “The Newsroom” pulls in 2.1 million viewers for its debut. (New York Times)
* Gannett says it has over 12,000 digital-only subscribers. (Gannett Blog)
* Producers of “Fit to Print” newspaper documentary reach their fundraising goal. (“Fit to Print”)

The redesigned Oregonian website has a familiar look. Willamette Week points out:

The new OregonLive design looks exactly like the revamped Advance sites in New Orleans and Alabama, where Advance this month ceased daily publication of its papers and laid off hundreds of employees.

But it’s not so easy reading the tea leaves here. At least one other Advance site, MassLive, has adopted the company’s bloggy new redesign without major changes being reported for its affiliated newspaper, the Springfield, Mass. Republican. Other Advance sites tied to newspapers—in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Syracuse, New York—have so far stuck with the old corporate design.

* OregonLive.com gets a new design, new concept (OregonLive.com)
* OregonLive.com redesigned, but no word on Oregonian changes (wweek.com)