Archive

Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Fargo Forum, which was criticized last week for rejecting a lesbian couple’s wedding announcement, says it’s changed its policy and will now accept same-sex marriage notices.

Editor Matt Von Pinnon says that until last week the paper had never received a marriage notice from a gay couple planning to legally marry.

In the uproar over our refusal to publish that announcement, we heard from more than 600 people in our area and beyond who shared their opinions about our policy. It’s safe to say that people in our region are equally divided over the issue of gay marriage, a debate that goes well beyond the question of whether this newspaper should publish such announcements. …

In the end, however, this policy review came down to one thing: We inform the public, plain and simple. Except for what’s found on the Opinion page, we don’t choose sides. We report on many, many things that we neither endorse nor condemn. That’s the nature of news. Some people would like us to deny that gay marriage is legally recognized in several states and countries. To not recognize that fact is to deny or distort the truth, something we’re not willing to do.

* The Forum will publish all legal marriage notices (Inforum.com)
* Newspaper will publish same-sex newspaper ads (CNN)
* Allison Johnson and Kelsey Smith will get their wedding notice published after all (ontopmag.com)
* Earlier: You betcha the Fargo Forum won’t take your same-sex wedding notice (JimRomenesko.com)

The Independent’s Los Angeles bureau chief Guy Adams “has carved out a nice spot on the how-much-NBC’s-coverage-sucks beat,” writes John Koblin, and the newsman is now paying a price for that: Twitter suspended Adams’ account after NBC complained that a network exec’s email address was posted.

Dan Gillmor points out: “What makes this a serious issue is that Twitter has partnered with NBC during the Olympics. And it was NBC’s complaint about Adams that led to the suspension.”

Some of Adams’ tweets:

– Matt Lauer would do well to shut up, wouldn’t he?

– Techcrunch call @NBColympics total buffoons http://t.co/1DYypK0T Sums up why Gary Zenkel, moronic exec behind the time delay, shd be fired

– “Sneak peak” my arse MT @NBCOlympics: Check out this sneak peek of tonight’s #OpeningCeremony http://t.co/vf7KKMf9

– America’s left coast forced to watch Olympic ceremony on SIX HOUR time delay. Disgusting money-grabbing by @NBColympics http://t.co/bQxKCCdj

– I have 1000 channels on my TV. Not one will be showing the Olympics opening ceremony live. Because NBC are utter, utter bastards.

– The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email: Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com

* NBC’s No. 1 tweeting critic has been suspended from Twitter (Deadspin.com)
* Guy Adams: “I’m still trying to get to bottom of the hows and whys of my suspension” (independent.co.uk)

ALSO:
* Denver Post reporter says his “horny covering the Olympics” tweet was a mistake (Westword)

The Washington Post has received a $500,000 Ford Foundation grant to fund four new newsroom positions and expand the paper’s government-accountability reporting.

Here’s the memo:

From: Marcus Brauchli
Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 2:22 PM
Subject: A grant from the Ford Foundation
To: NEWS – All Newsroom

To the Staff:

We are pleased to announce that the Ford Foundation has awarded a $500,000
grant to The Washington Post to expand its government-accountability
reporting at the national and local levels. The grant will be used to fund
four new newsroom positions to work on special projects related to money,
politics and government. The Foundation’s support enables us to build on
one of our central missions, and the terms of the grant give us complete
editorial independence.

The one-year grant–with an agreement in principle for two additional years
–is part of the Foundation’s Freedom of Expression program, an initiative
aimed at promoting journalism in the public interest. This program supports
nonprofits, such as ProPublica and National Public Radio, and recently made
a grant to the Los Angeles Times. (The Ford Foundation is not connected to
the Ford Motor Company.)

Assistant Managing Editor Jeff Leen will supervise the work of this new
team, working with editors on other staffs. Its work will augment the work
of Jeff’s investigative unit, which remains a centerpiece of The Post’s
newsroom.

Marcus Liz John Shirley

Jonah Lehrer says in a statement:

Three weeks ago, I received an email from journalist Michael Moynihan asking about Bob Dylan quotes in my book ‘Imagine.’ The quotes in question either did not exist, were unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes. But I told Mr. Moynihan that they were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan’s representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. When Mr. Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie, and say things I should not have said.

The lies are over now. I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers. I also owe a sincere apology to Mr. Moynihan. I will do my best to correct the record and ensure that my misquotations and mistakes are fixed. I have resigned my position as staff writer at The New Yorker.

* Jonah Lehrer resigns from New Yorker after making up Dylan quotes for his book (NYTimes.com)
* Celebrated journalist fabricated Dylan quotes in his new book (Tabletmag.com)
* Tablet blogger: “I’m not somebody who desires to nail a scalp to the wall” (observer.com)

JONAH LEHRER TIMELINE:
* June 19: Romenesko tipster notices Lehrer’s New Yorker post borrows from earlier WSJ piece
* June 20: Lehrer apologizes for recycling his material, says “it was a stupid thing to do”
* June 20: Questions about Lehrer’s reporting were raised in 2009
* June 21: David Remnick says the New Yorker isn’t dropping Lehrer
* June 21: Wired is reviewing 300 of Lehrer’s blog posts
* June 23: “I didn’t have a fiendish plan to bust Jonah Lehrer,” says Romenesko tipster
* July 17: Why hasn’t Lehrer returned to the New Yorker? (He’s working on a story, mag says)

Finally, some news about a publication adding staffers, not laying them off! “I’m excited to announce the hiring of three new reporters, who will play key roles in ramping up our coverage of the film and television industries and giving our readers the best entertainment report in the business,” writes Los Angeles Times arts and entertainment editor John Corrigan.

His memo is after the jump. Read More

Compare the pieces:
* NY Post, July 26: Store launches “man aisle” for shopping-challenged dudes
* Time.com, July 28: Aisle of Man – Grocery store introduces special section

UPDATE: Time has added this to its Aisle of Man post:

An earlier version of this article failed to attribute a quotation and passage to the New York Post, the original source of the story. TIME regrets the error.

Actually, they’re “gaffes” you see everywhere, including in major publications.

A few from Debra Donston-Miller’s list:

* It’s and Its

* There, Their, and They’re “(Homonyms certainly seem to give people a lot of trouble, don’t they?”)

* Your and You’re

* To, Two, and Too

* Lose and Loose. (“This one really drives me nuts.”)

* Then and Than

* I and Me

* Good and Well

* 11 most common grammar gaffes on social media (Information Week)

The New Canaan News fired reporter Paresh Jha last month after he admitted to fabricating names and quotes. The Hearst-owned newspaper discovered that 25 stories written by Jha over an 18-month period contained quotes from nonexistent sources.

Two of Jha’s stories won awards in the 2011 Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists writing contest. He received a first place in-depth reporting award for in-depth reporting for “Enabling underage partying,” and a third place feature writing award for “Teachers, students weigh in on Twain Controversy.”

After Jha’s fabrications were discovered, the Connecticut SPJ assigned Roy Gutterman of Syracuse’s Newhouse School to investigate Jha’s winning entries.

The journalism professor, whose findings were released this morning, reports:

Three teachers who were quoted in the Twain controversy story expressed concerns over how they were quoted in the piece and two of the sources “were incredulous that this article won an award.” One of them — a student newspaper adviser and journalism teacher — told Gutterman that he uses Jha’s third-place story as an example of “poor journalism” in his class.

Gutterman advises that the award for the first-place underage drinking series be retracted because it has quotes from two people who don’t exist.

“The award for the Twain story is a closer call,” the SPJ investigator writes. “All the sources in the story indeed exist and they confirmed that they were interviewed. However, the names for two were misspelled, 20 three sources expressed concerns with how they were quoted, two sentences bear a similarity to a previously published news story and one referenced article cannot be located.”

Gutterman had a brief phone conversation with Jha last week and the disgraced journalist “openly admitted his fabrications to as many as 25 stories, including one of the award-winning pieces,” writes the j-prof. “He called his actions ‘wrong,’ ‘regrettable’ and ‘misguided.'”

Jha told Gutterman:

What I did was terrible. It was misguided and wrong and I had to own up to it and I lost my job because of it. I totally understand the severity of the situation and I’m willing to forfeit the awards and do whatever is necessary to keep the integrity of the Connecticut SPJ intact.

* Connecticut SPJ concludes independent review
* Read the 28-page report [PDF]
* Earlier: Stories contained fabricated material, reporter dismissed (New Canaan News)


Veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan points out that “at the same time the workers are stressed, the big bosses are making more and more.”

In fact, it seems there is a certain correlation between layoffs and bonuses. The more people you lay off, the better your bottom line. At least, in the short term. You don’t grow a business by getting rid of your workers, but in the short term, it works nicely.

McClellan notes that “there is a kind of honesty in pairing the announcements” of executive bonuses and newsroom layoffs, but if he had a chance to talk to Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck, “I’d suggest a little more distance between the announcements.”

Junck received a $655,000 stock bonus last Wednesday — the reason: she wasn’t being paid enough, according to the executive compensation committee — then started laying off employees at the Lee-owned Post-Dispatch. By Saturday, nearly two dozen staffers were let go.

* Bill McClellan: Fat bonuses tip scales, dump skeleton staffs (Post-Dispatch)
* Sunday’s P-D editorial cartoon was missing without explanation (the cartoonist was laid off) (Gateway Journalism Review)
* Tribute to a P-D editor who was laid off after 37 years at the paper (Facebook)
* Follow Fake Mary Junck on Twitter (@maryjunckfake)

Earlier:
* Post-Dispatch lays off 23 just two days after CEO gets stock bonus (JimRomenesko.com)