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Daily Archives: July 2, 2012

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett‘s subpoena demands “the sign-in sheets for every visitor visiting the Knoxville News Sentinel between May 15, 2012, and June 24, 2012,” and “all video-tapes or other video recorded medium containing surveillance of the front entrance, visitor parking area, and other parking areas adjacent to the visitor parking, and/or lobby between May 15, 2012, and June 24, 2012.”

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett

News Sentinel editor Jack McElroy explains what that’s about:

Obviously the mayor wants to know who provided the newspaper with records from the Elect Burchett checking account, which revealed more than $15,000 in checks written to the mayor’s wife that were not listed on the mayor’s campaign disclosure report, plus a check for more than $4,000 written to the mayor’s wife that was listed as a reimbursement for paying a company that says it did not do any work for the Burchett campaign.

The editor calls the subpoena — prepared by the mayor’s divorce lawyer — “a novel attempt” to get around Tennessee’s reporter shield law.

* Knox County mayor subpoenas newspaper’s records (knoxnews.com)
* June 24: Mayor’s campaign fund reports misstated (knoxnews.com)

“While I share the Trib’s outrage at Journatic’s use of false bylines, I take their umbrage with a grain of salt,” writes a former newspaper editor who asks to remain anonymous.

“Did ‘Ann Landers’ really write all of those columns toward the end of her career?” (The late advice columnist was based at the Chicago Tribune.) “No, there was a team. And Landers was never her name, just as “Dear Abby” was never her sister’s real name.”

The newsman continues:

Some papers run columns from Billy Graham. While I suspect that Billy’s teachings have inspired the writers, he surely isn’t writing all of those columns now, is he? You can probably find a dozen examples like that, from recipe and bridge columns to advice and gardening pieces.

He says he raised the bylines issue with the features managing editor at his paper but “I was politely shooed away. At the very least, I wanted to acknowledge that Ann’s daughter was helping her at the end, as some papers did. I never understood why we could make things up in Features. Which is perhaps why I was never ME/Features.”

* “I suspect that others actually write the column bearing [Graham's] name” (TimesReporter.com)

David Lindsey, who has been Reuters Washington editor-at-large since leaving USA Today last year, “will expand his portfolio and work with EICs to shape coverage and improve content in all subject areas” as deputy Washington bureau chief, says the memo announcing his appointment. Read it after the jump.

Read More

* An award-winning reporter’s letter to the WSJ intern who was fired for fabrications. (Clarionledger.com)
* How ProPublica changed investigative reporting. (Guardian.co.uk)
* Wal-Mart has an ally in the Wall Street Journal, says Hamilton Nolan. (Gawker)
* New Orleanians support the Times-Picayune by eating and drinking. (NOLA.com)
* “CBS This Morning” is praised for its emphasis on news. (Marketwatch.com)
* Rupert Murdoch is launching a data-driven expansion of Dow Jones. (Daily Beast)
* Sports Illustrated teams with NBC Sports Group for monthly TV show. (New York Times)



Anderson Cooper tells Andrew Sullivan that by staying silent about his sexuality, “I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid.”

“This is distressing because it is simply not true,” says the CNN newsman. “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

*“The fact is, I’m gay,” says Anderson Cooper (Daily Beast)
* Cooper makes Out’s 2011 “Power 50″ list of extraordinary gays and lesbians (Advocate)
* Earlier: Is Anderson Cooper going to come out on his talk show? (Queerty)
* Gawker in 2011: Anderson Cooper’s gayest moments (Gawker)

Monroe (Mich.) Evening News editor Deborah Saul says she returned from vacation last week and was “horrified” to read Jeff Meade’s column about the most unethical things he’s done as a journalist, including reconstructing a quote from memory after losing his notes and getting quotes from a coach about a game that had yet to be played.

Saul writes:

To say the least, my blood ran cold.

It is slim comfort that the headline read: Journalism students: Don’t do this.

What the column lacked first of all was context. Most of the incidents happened before he came here — 32 years ago. The column also desperately needed something about life lessons learned from those failures of basic journalistic standards.

The editor says that Meade’s column, “whether he was trying to be funny or philosophical or outrageous, related incidents that didn’t follow the standards I live by” and that the newspaper “expects more of itself and its staff members.”

* Mea culpa column disturbing, says editor (Monroenews.com)
* Earlier: Columnist reveals the most unethical things he’s done as a reporter (JimRomenesko.com)
* Journalism students: Don’t do this (revised with context) (Monroenews.com)

* Free ebook download from Nieman Journalism Lab: “The Future of News As We Know It (*as of June 2012).” (Nieman Journalism Lab)
* “Print has a future,” says Halifax Media CEO. “Newspapers are valid.” (Jacksonville, NC Daily News)
* Freedom Communications tells 66 employees they’ll be laid off in 60 days. (OC Register)
* Group seeks to unionize Chattanooga Times Free Press. (Nooga.com)
* Robin Givhan to contribute to Daily Beast’s new FashionBeast blog. (WWD.com)
* Email miscue on “The Newsroom” apparently inspired by true story involving NYT’s Dowd and two Sorkins. (Esquire.com)
* Claim: Seventeen magazine’s popularity has been growing with college students. (New York Times)
* Former Los Angeles Times reporter wins $2,000 on Jeopardy. (Zocalo Public Square)

Journatic CEO Brian Timpone says fake bylines were often used for the company’s Blockshopper.com real estate stories, and clients — including the Chicago Tribune — asked to run those pieces on their hyperlocal sites. Journatic said that was okay, but never removed — or apparently told clients about — the made-up bylines.

“It was an oversight on our part — we should have addressed that,” Timpone tells the Chicago Tribune’s Robert Channick.

Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern says in his paper:

We have launched an investigation into the matter to learn what happened. Publishing stories under false bylines is a violation of the Chicago Tribune’s ethics policy. It has never been acceptable and will not be tolerated. We expect Journatic to adhere to this policy.

In April, the Tribune editor said of Journatic: “We’ve made an investment in this company because we believe that it is a more effective way of providing hyperlocal news, and we think we can do more of it in this way.”

* Tribune to investigate fake bylines used by hyperlocal content provider (Chicago Tribune)
* Journatic writer-editor tells “This American Life” about fake bylines (JimRomenesko.com)
* Earlier: Chicago Tribune outsources hyperlocal news (JimRomenesko.com)