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Daily Archives: July 13, 2012

UPDATE: Mike Fourcher has resigned as Journatic’s editorial chief “because the founders and I fundamentally disagree about ethical and management issues as they relate to a successful news business.” He says the hyperlocal content provider’s “core premise is sound,” but the model falters “when it attempts to treat community news reporting the same way as data reporting.”

Inevitably, as you distribute reporting work to an increasingly remote team, you break traditional bonds of trust between writers and editors until they are implicitly discouraged from doing high quality work for the sake of increasing production efficiency and making more money.

In meetings yesterday, “I pushed for the company to consider writing and copy editing quality when determining pay and promotion. Both founders responded with new plans to focus on production efficiency metrics while ignoring methods to promote work quality and pride.”

When he joined Journatic in May, Fourcher told the Chicago Reader he was doing so because “I believe they are improving the way people get the news they want.”

* Why I’m resigning from Journatic (fourcher.net)
* May 4, 2012: Fourcher has a good word for Journatic (Chicago Reader)

EARLIER:

The Chicago Tribune says it’s “suspending indefinitely” its use of Journatic, the hyperlocal content provider it invested in earlier this year, after discovering that a sports story in a TribLocal edition “contained elements that were plagiarized and fabricated.”

A Tribune memo says:

An investigation by Tribune editors determined that the writer of the story titled, “Epstein shows effectiveness on the mound,” did not contact the main subject.

One quote attributed to the subject originally was published in a June 7 Deerfield Review story by Bill McLean. A second quote in the TribLocal story was fabricated; it was based on information in a story by Steve Sadin that ran March 29 on Deerfield.Patch.com.

Journatic says it will discontinue use of the freelance writer, Luke Campbell. A review of his previous stories for TribLocal did not find any other plagiarized or fabricated work.

Phil Rosenthal writes in his Chicago Tribune story that it’s “not yet clear what the long-term impact the suspension would have on Tribune Co.’s relationship with Journatic and what the short-term impact would be on TribLocal,” which laid off reporters when the Journatic deal was signed earlier this year.

Read the memo to the Chicago Tribune staff after the jump. Read More

* LA Daily Journal dismisses its two photographers and gives cameras to reporters. (LAObserved.com)
* Some of the pranks in a Fox News Magazine listicle were lifted from a children’s website. (nymag.com)
* Why did Nikki Finke go “American Psycho” on Bret Easton Ellis? (New York Observer)
* Yes, indeedy, America hates Advance’s news sites. (wadekwon.com)
* Architectural Digest ousts Sarah Medford, the Conde Nast title’s No. 2 editor. (WWD.com)
* Financially stable Daily Planet newspaper now the most unrealistic part of the Superman universe. (The Onion)
* Warren Buffett says he may add more newspapers to his portfolio this year. “That just depends on who calls us.” (Bloomberg News)
* Public Relations Society of America CEO scolds reporter who consulted for school district while covering it. (PR Daily)
* SCOTUSblog staff is trying to expand the site’s audience beyond lawyers. (AJR.org)
* “If you work at Murdoch’s The Daily, now would be a good time to run.” (Gawker.com)
* Not dead yet: The Daily launches a weekend magazine. (New York Observer)
* Milwaukee cop breaks reporter’s camera, then tickets him for obstruction. (Putnampit.com)

When I was working for the St. Paul Pioneer Press TECH section in the 1990s, we’d have regular discussions about what URLs we should and shouldn’t hotlink. I seem to recall that we declined to send readers to Playboy.com. Apparently those discussions don’t take place at WDBJ-TV, which is more than happy to help viewers find porn videos. (UPDATE: The station removed the link to the porn videos after this was posted.)
* Ex-porn star joins rescue squad, creating controversy (WDBJ7.com)


* Earlier: All bylines on WSJ’s April 16 front page are women (JimRomenesko.com)

Clint Robus

A police officer pulled Casper Star-Tribune prep sports reporter Clint Robus over on the 4th of July because of a “malfunctioning license plate light” and noticed the journalists’ eyes were bloodshot and his vehicle smelled of alcohol. Robus told the cop that he had had two beers before heading out to Walmart.

The Lee-owned Star-Tribune ran a story on its reporter’s arrest and posted his mug shot, which angered a former Star-Tribune staffer.

“I was so pissed to see my old newspaper go overboard with the DUI arrest of a sports/preps reporter,” writes Deirdre Stoelzle Graves. “His mugshot and a brief ran big instead of the usual barebones info on the DUI list in the blotter.”

She continues:

As a crime reporter and later city editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, I liked putting accused people’s jobs in articles because I thought it made them more human, but the top editors questioned this and ultimately decided we’d only do so if their jobs put them in the public’s trust (like a day-care worker or a senator).

This case goes beyond the public figurehood rationale — being a sports reporter writing preps at the local hoo-ha doesn’t make you that. Seems like pretty ruthless h/r policies at Lee Enterprises. I think he could sue if he weren’t so worried about keeping his job.

Your thoughts?

* Casper Star-Tribune reporter arrested for DUI (trib.com)
* Read what the Graves’ Facebook friends say about the story and mug shot (Facebook)

Sports columnist Tim Sullivan, who was fired by U-T San Diego in early June, has been hired by the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Tim Sullivan

“I think there’s a useful message in my experience — that the unknown is not quite as fearful as we might imagine,” he tells Ed Sherman.

Being unemployed for the first time was initially unsettling — I barely slept the first week and lost seven pounds — but it turned out to be the most gratifying experience of my career. The response from friends, colleagues and ordinary readers was overwhelming and the job opportunities proved much more plentiful than I thought possible at age 57.

Sullivan adds that “both my appetite and lost weight returned (and then some)” after he realized the job situation wasn’t as bleak as he first thought.

“Tim is one of the top sports columnists in the entire country,” says Courier-Journal executive editor Bennie Ivory, who lost two sports columnists about the time that Sullivan was fired in San Diego. “I think he will bring a strong new voice to The Courier-Journal. He also brings a strong familiarity of Louisville and the region and knows what’s important here.” (Sullivan lived in Northern Kentucky when he worked at the Cincinnati Enquirer and has covered the Kentucky Derby 18 times, the C-J notes.)

Sullivan joins the Gannett paper in August.

* Tim Sullivan lands in Louisville, describes his “George Bailey experience” (Sherman Report)
* Columnist Tim Sullivan to join Courier-Journal staff (Courier-Journal)
* Earlier: I wasn’t told my job was in danger, says fired columnist (JimRomenesko.com)

* NYT confirms that Murdoch’s The Daily iPad publication is on probation after running up $30M/year losses. (New York Times)
* Publishers of Conde Nast’s magazines are told to cut their budgets by 10% for remainder of the year. (WWD.com)
* Ken Doctor’s 11 reasons to be optimistic about the news business. (Nieman Journalism Lab)
* People newsstand sales up 27% with Cruise-Holmes breakup cover. (New York Post)
* Why did Boston Globe’s Romney story blow up after it barely caused a ripple elsewhere? (Washington Post)
* Georgia woman who says she trademarked “Mindful Living” sues Huffington Post. (The Wrap)
* RIP Bob Greenberg: Chicago sports broadcaster was known to play “the blind card” to get interviews. (Chicago Tribune)
* Tumblr founder shares tips on how to make your Tumblr stand out. (New York Times)
* Dow Jones to acquire full ownership of WSJ.com Japanese-language edition. (Dow Jones)
* Get media news all day long by following Romenesko on Twitter.