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Daily Archives: July 25, 2012

Tina Brown’s reaction to today’s coverage of Barry Diller’s earnings call remarks about Newsweek shifting to online only:

From: Brown, Tina
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:11 PM
To: All Newsweek Daily Beast Employees
Cc: Newsweek Business Staff
Subject: Scaremongering

Barry Diller would like to make it clear that he did not say on the earnings call as reported that Newsweek is going digital in September.

Diller and Brown

He made the uncontroversial, industry-wide observation that print is moving in the direction of digital.

Below, in summary, are the points he actually made on the IAC earnings call when he was reporting the tremendous results of the company this quarter.

1/The Newsweek brand is strong, and far stronger than it has been in years.
2/We wouldn’t finance The Daily Beast at anywhere near the level of ‘12
3/That eventually, over time, digital would replace much of print (hardly a controversial revelation)
4/In September we would be evolving our plan for the year ’13, with many options to choose from.

I am enroute to Jane Harman’s event in Aspen and I am sorry that I am not able to reassure you in person but I will be back in the office on Monday. Please refer any queries to Stephen.

Best,
Tina

“Chairman of the Fed” Jon Hilsenrath

Stephen Roach, Yale University professor and former non-executive chairman for Morgan Stanley in Asia, tells Bloomberg Television:

“Jon Hilsenrath is actually the Chairman of the Fed. When he writes something in the Wall Street Journal, [Federal Reserve chairman Ben] Bernanke has no choice but to deliver on the basis of what he wrote. …When they plant a story in the Wall Street Journal, and this story has been planted. Jon Hilsenrath is the weed that grows under the planting…”

I’ve asked Hilsenrath for comment.

* Stephen Roach on Fed stimulus measures, economy (Bloomberg.com)
* Hilsenrath: Fed moves closer to action (WSJ.com) | Video: Hilsenrath discusses the Fed (WSJ.com)

Milwaukee-based Kalmbach Publishing is looking for someone to buy The Writer magazine, which goes on hiatus after the October 2012 issue rolls off Kalmbach’s presses.

“Our hope is that The Writer will re-emerge under the careful stewardship of a new owner,” says a letter to contributors.

The Writer was founded 125 years ago and, notes Media Industry Newsletter, has “hosted some of the most illustrious talents and bestselling authors in American letters: Somerset Maugham, Ray Bradbury, Sinclair Lewis, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King, among them.”

Read the full letter after the jump. Read More

Credit: Fred R. Conrad/New York Times

“From her current in-house glamour shot, you would not necessarily guess that Maureen Dowd was a reporter who, starting out at the Times, happily dove neck-deep in the muck,” writes Elon Green. “Dowd, then 29, wrote a story that decades later has lost none of its oomph. “FOR VICTIMS OF AIDS, SUPPORT IN A LONELY SIEGE” is unrelentingly brutal. It didn’t win any awards, hasn’t been anthologized. And it almost, just maybe, cost Dowd her job.” He explains.

* Maureen Dowd, cub reporter (The Awl)

ANOTHER COLUMNIST: San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Carroll is interviewed by Jory John:

Q: Do you immediately know when you’ve hit a homerun with a column?

Carroll: Pretty much, yeah. I don’t know how I know. And there’s some that, when I start them, I think they’re going to be out of the park and then I realize that it’s a solid double, but it ain’t out of the park.

* The Rumpus interview with Jon Carroll (The Rumpus)

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto concedes that this was “an ill-considered tweet.”

We intended this to be thought-provoking, but to judge by the response, very few people received it that way. The vast majority found it offensive and insulting. This column has often argued that a failure of public communication is the fault of the public communicator, and that’s certainly true in this case

* Heroes of Aurora (WSJ.com)
* Taranto did retweet many who took him to task for his musing (observer.com)

Letter to Romenesko

An editor at a major metro paper writes:

For the past several days I have been reading the Denver Post coverage of the theater shooting. I never signed in, signed up or otherwise agreed to anything or gave my email address. But I started getting “exclusive offers” from the Denver Post via email. I can’t find anywhere to opt out and I am somewhat troubled about how my email address was collected in the first place. I have spoken with colleagues in other newsrooms who have had the same experience this week – never signed up or gave an email address, but suddenly receiving offers from the Denver Post.

Just to make it even more odd, the email offer is for a car sale benefiting Children’s Hospital — the same hospital where some of the victims of the shooting were taken.

Bringing it to your attention in case you think it is worth looking into further. Would prefer you not use my name.

I called the Denver Post and web producer Korene Gallegos promised to look into it.

As of Monday, the New York Times stopped supporting its app for the BlackBerry, the DealBook BlackBerry Reader and the NYTimes app for Palm Pre.

The paper says:

Our mobile Web site offers a more complete New York Times experience than the NYTimes app native to your device. We’ve made the decision to consolidate our efforts and concentrate on delivering you the best possible experience through our mobile site.

* New York Times scraps its app for BlackBerry phones (Bloomberg)
* New York Times ends support for BlackBerry app (CNBC) | NYT’s announcement

* “This is Digital First, Fool (YouTube)

Reynolds (minus bonnet)

A Romenesko reader tipped me off to this rap by Digital First community engagement senior editor Martin G. Reynolds, which was shown at the Bay Area News Group quarterly awards. “I guess they were so proud of it they posted it on YouTube, though I don’t know whether the word ‘proud’ should be associated with this video,” writes the tipster. “Good grief.”

* “These lanes are only open to official accredited vehicles and not the general public”
* “Ministers have been told not to use the lanes”

But what about New York Times reporters?

The Texas Observer’s Forrest Wilder reports Washington Post education reporter Daniel de Vise showed the University of Texas at Austin PR office at least two complete drafts of his article about a controversial standardized test and let them suggest edits. (The Observer got email exchanges through a public information request.)

Daniel de Vise

“Help me out by not circulating this material very far and by stressing that it is an unpublished draft,” the Post reporter wrote in an email to UT-Austin director of media outreach Tara Doolittle, a former Austin American-Statesman editor. “If you or anyone at the university has any concerns about it, I implore you to direct them to me. I’m one of a very few reporters here who send drafts to sources!”

In another email obtained by Wilder, de Vise said that he’s “never had a dissatisfied customer in this process. And that includes an article a few months ago about a school with one of the nation’s worst graduation rates.”

What the media ethicists say about this:
– Incoming UC-Berkeley journalism school dean Edward Wasserman: de Vise’s tactics are “hard to square with even the most source-friendly reporting practices.”

– UT-Austin journalism professor Renita Coleman: “It’s been a time-honored code that you don’t show sources stories before they run.”

– Poynter’s Kelly McBride: “I actually think that what those emails show is a very genuine effort on the part of the reporter to get not only the facts right but get the truth while remaining independent.”

De Vise declined comment to Texas Observer — I’ve also invited him to comment — but education editor Nick Anderson says “the story was completely up to our standards” and de Vise’s “interaction with sources are made in an effort to be fair, complete and accurate as possible.”

PR man Darren Allen writes on my Facebook wall: “Although I’ve been on the PR side for nearly seven years after 25 as a reporter, I would never ask or expect a reporter to send me a draft. I think my editors back in the day would have rightly fired me me if I ever showed a draft to a source.”

The Washington Post’s Jay Mathews wrote last October: “I show all of my stories before publication to all people mentioned to catch errors. Many of my colleagues think this is being too open, but I find people are friendlier when kept in the loop.”

* Washington Post reporter allows college officials to alter story on controversial test (Texas Observer)
* Trying to assess learning gives colleges their own test anxiety (Washington Post)