Daily Archives: July 10, 2012


* Twilight fan struck, killed while waiting for Comic-Con (NBC San Diego)
* “Gisela Gagliardi was not wearing a costume at the time” (UT-San Diego)

The Gallup Poll reports that only 21% of adults have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in television news — a drop from 27% last year and from 46% when Gallup started tracking confidence in TV news in 1993.

Today’s report says:

It is not clear precisely why Americans soured so much on television news this year compared with last. Americans’ negativity likely reflects the continuation of a broader trend that appeared to enjoy only a brief respite last year. Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general.

Still, confidence in television news could plummet further after the high-profile errors CNN and Fox News made in their coverage of the intensely anticipated Supreme Court healthcare law ruling that some have called a “Dewey defeats Truman” moment.

Newspapers do slightly better than TV in the confidence survey, although papers slipped too — from 25% expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in them this year versus 28% last year. In 1979, 51% expressed confidence in newspapers.

* American’s confidence in TV news drops to new low in 2012 survey (
* 2011: Americans regain confidence in TV news, newspapers (
* 2010: Confidence in TV news, newspapers remains a rarity (

Former Star-Ledger journalist Philip Read has sued the Advance-owned newspaper for fraud, claiming he was misled into accepting a buyout in 2010.

Read says in his suit that he felt forced to accept the buyout package after being told the paper would resort to layoffs if it couldn’t achieve $10 million in required savings.

“The defendant knew or believed that these statements were false when they were made insofar as it would not be making layoffs if it did not reach the said amount of savings,” his suit says. “The statements were made with the intention of inducing the plaintiff to rely upon them.”

* Star-Ledger fraud suit claims newspaper lied about buyouts ( req.)

Read the lawsuit after the jump. Read More

A recent lead story on AOL’s Patch site in Laguna Niguel Patch wondered if a UFO was responsible for a “strange” message in the sky. (The piece also ran on Huffington Post’s Los Angeles page.) One commenter brought up Bible verses and wrote that “fortunately…or unfortunately (depending on where you put your faith) you are going to see an increase in these sightings as these times approach…as you already are.”

While most Patch sites are known for their Best Burger contests and “OMG PD” quirky crime reports, the Laguna Niguel Patch is regarded by some to be the leader in UFO news.

Editor Debbie Sklar, whose background includes writing for the National Enquirer and Star, apparently takes these mysterious flying objects seriously. (Note: She took references to those publications out after I posted this. Here’s a cached version of her bio.) I’ve asked her about the many UFO stories on Laguna Niguel Patch and will post her response if it comes in. In the meantime, enjoy these UFO stories from the site:

* July 9, 2012: What was that strange sky message over Dana Point?
* April 15, 2012: Could UFOs and city’s early beginnings be linked?
* April 3, 2012: UFOs over Laguna Niguel: Part 1 with top UFO researcher
* March 29, 2012: Poll results: Readers endorse UFOs
* March 19, 2012: UFO spotted hovering over Laguna Niguel?
* March 8, 2012: UFO sighting in Laguna Niguel, Part 2: Bogus?

* UPDATE: Kitchener Rangers seek $1 million in damages over Michigan Daily story (Rangers Report)

The Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers are upset The Michigan Daily student newspaper’s report that “in place of an education package …[University of Michigan hockey player Jacob] Trouba could be compensated to about $200,000.”

Hockey beat writer Matt Slovin‘s story included the Trouba family’s denial: “There is absolutely no truth or merit to the recent media reports that the Kitchener Rangers have offered Jacob any remuneration. We have the utmost respect for the Kitchener Rangers and those that choose the CHL as an option, but Jacob will be attending the University of Michigan next fall as a student athlete.”

That apparently wasn’t enough of a knock-down for Rangers chief operating officer Steve Bienkowski, who says “our intent is that we will file a statement of claim for damages. …It’s not a threat anymore. We served the newspaper and the writer there to either back it up or retract it. …By people out there saying whatever the hell they want, with not having to back it up and hiding behind sources, that damaged us.”

* Kitchener Rangers sue Michigan student newspaper and reporter (Guelph Mercury)
* Trouba sticks with word, will play for Michigan in the fall (Michigan Daily)
* Team’s lawsuit against The Daily probably isn’t worth pursuing (United States of Hockey)

Longtime Chicago journalist Pamela Cytrynbaum will be in charge of Chicago Innocence Project’s daily operations, while founder David Protess continues as president and spokesman. He says of Cytrynbaum in his email announcing the appointment:

She covered criminal justice issues for the New Orleans Times-Picayune before becoming a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, where she was also Mike Royko’s “legman.” After serving as my program assistant at the Medill Innocence Project, Pam became director of the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project at Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.

Read the full email after the jump. Read More

Stephen Colbert is a hit on campus, reports Paul Farhi. “The academic cult of Colbert (or is it “the cul of Colbert”?) is everywhere,” he writes.

There are dozens of scholarly articles, monographs, treatises and essays about Colbert, as well as books of scholarly articles, monographs and essays. A University of Oklahoma student even earned her doctorate last year by examining him and his “Daily Show” running mate Jon Stewart. It was called “Political Humor and Third-Person Perception.”

Amy Bree Becker, who is teaching a Colbert course this fall at Towson University, says using Colbert in the classroom is “a very good way to get young people who would normally not pay much attention to politics to learn a little more. You have to know something to get the joke. [The show] encourages people to find information from other sources.”

* Stephen Colbert effect becomes an obsession in academia (Washington Post)
* Boston University offers seminar titled “The Colbert Report: American Satire” (
* “Political humor and third-person perception” — a dissertation (
* “A Theological Explanation of Stephen Colbert” (PDF) (via Google search)

Advance Publications president Donald E. Newhouse has responded to the letter signed by Wynton Marsalis, Archie Manning, James Carville and other New Orleans notables, asking the 22 members of the Newhouse family to sell the Times-Picayune. (“It is painful to report that right now it is nearly impossible to find a kind word in these parts about your family or your plan to take away our daily newspaper,” the letter says.)

“We have read the letter with great respect and concern,” says Newhouse. “Advance Publications has no intention of selling The Times-Picayune.”

Editor Jim Amoss adds:

We understand our community’s powerful attachment to our newspaper and the high standards to which our readers will hold us. Reducing our print frequency is a difficult change, but it will not compromise the quality of our journalism. In print and online, we will provide the best and most comprehensive news report to a community that both prizes its traditions and is moving into an era of innovation and entrepreneurship.

* Donald Newhouse: We’re not selling the Times-Picayune (
* Letter to Newhouses: “We ask that you sell the Times-Picayune” (

David Callaway

MarketWatch editor David Callaway has been named USA Today editor-in-chief. He worked at the Boston Herald and Bloomberg News before joining MarketWatch, first as managing editor and then top editor. The announcement was made by USA Today publisher Larry Kramer, who founded Marketwatch.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the USA TODAY team, and to rejoin Larry, as we begin a new era in digital journalism at one of the most well known news brands in the country,” says Callaway.

USA Today’s press release says: “Callaway will further the digital transformation of the USA TODAY newsroom. He will oversee the overall content strategy of the news organization with an emphasis on providing high-quality and engaging content across all platforms.”

* David Callaway named USA Today editor-in-chief (USA Today)
* Earlier: Kramer promises “huge changes” at USA Today (