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Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

* Newsrooms find that most of their traffic bypasses their homepages. (niemanlab.org)
* Baltimore Sun reporter in search of public records is barred from City Hall. (baltimoresun.com)
* All big media companies have made larger contributions to Obama than to Romney. (nytimes.com)

David Pogue

* David Pogue says the popularity of his marriage proposal video “has been a stunner.” (nymag.com)
* Elizabeth Spiers’ last issue of New York Observer goes to press. (capitalnewyork.com)
* “In Denver, the new Citizen Kane is Dean Singleton.” (harpers.org)
* Two press critics’ takes on a Sun-Times photo of the paper’s owner at Wrigley Field. (chicagoreader.com)
* Megan Garvey is named LAT assistant managing editor/digital. (latimes.com)
* Notre Dame Observer unveils its new look. (copydesk.org)
* Staffers at The Pilot in Southern Pines, NC, do a “Call Me Maybe” spoof. (youtube.com)
* Longreads offers some exclusive content to paying members. (paidcontent.org)

The Oklahoman reports most people in Prague, Okla. are sick of hearing about — and being asked about — the girl who was denied her diploma for saying “hell” in a commencement address. A Prague restaurant posted this sign:

(Credit: KFOR-TV)

h/t Matthew Keys

* Valedictorian won’t get diploma until she apologizes for saying “hell” (people.com)

Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Mike Sallah is leaving the Miami Herald to join the Washington Post’s investigative unit. “He is the first of several hires we expect to make under a grant from the Ford Foundation to support government accountability reporting,” says a Post memo. “Over the past decade, Mike has distinguished himself with a rare double achievement: winning Pulitzers for investigative reporting as both a reporter and an editor.”

Read the full memo after the jump. Read More

Some items from this year’s Beloit College Mindset List:

Incoming college freshman…

– have always lived in cyberspace.
– have always been able to see Starz on Direct TV.
– have never seen an airplane “ticket.”
– have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.
– grew up, somehow, without the benefits of Romper Room.
– have no recollection of when Arianna Huffington was a conservative.
– watch television everywhere but on a television.

I called Beloit College professor and Mindset List co-author Tom McBride to see what kind of coverage the list is getting this year.

“I’ve had probably 35 to 40 calls from reporters. They started coming in on Friday when the embargoed list went out.” Callers included reporters from the AP and Christian Science Monitor, he says.

“After the list came out, it’s mostly been radio stations in big cities” that called, says McBride. “Over the years, there’s been a shift more and more away from major TV appearances — the big ‘Today Show’ interviews and others in New York, those have tended to fall off. What’s taken their place is radio, Internet and newspapers.” (The Mindset List on beloit.edu is averaging 123,000 hits per hour, he says.)

I asked the prof if TV talk show producers stopped interviewing him because they figured, “been there, done that.”

“I think part of it is that networks don’t have the money to fly you out [from Beloit to New York] at the last minute the way they used to.”

The list debut debuted in 1998; how much longer does the 67-year-old McBride plan to compile it?

“We hope to do it until the year 2016 because if we can get that far, for the class of 2020 we can say that as long as this class has been alive, there’s always been a Beloit Mindset List.”

* Beloit College Mindset List, 2016 (beloit.edu)

UPDATE: I called the editor of the Beloit Daily News — a paper I delivered for two years in the late 1960s — to see how they played the local college’s list. “It was page one, above-the-fold yesterday,” says Bill Barth, although “it probably has more followers around the country than it does here actually.”

The editor adds: “We had no idea this was going to gather this kind of national attention when they started it. …It was more of a regional thing at first.”

Journalists at Philadelphia’s dailies received this we’re-shrinking memo today from Inquirer editor Bill Marimow and executive editor Stan Wischnowski:

Date: August 22, 2012 11:21:46 AM EDT
To:
Subject: Note from Bill and Stan

To the staff:

In mid-November, the company will be converting the page width of the Inquirer (and Daily News) in an effort to reduce our newsprint costs and also provide more commercial printing opportunities at SPP. Like hundreds of newspapers across the country, including major metros such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Miami Herald, we will adopt a narrower web width of 44 inches, down from the current 48-inch width.

With narrower column widths we will have fewer lines of type per column on each page. Thus, we will need to be much more judicious with our story lengths given the compressed space. This change will also require us to make some slight design adjustments to ensure maximum readability, particularly as it pertains to things such as page flags, sports and business agate, comics, puzzles and the way we use half-column mug shots and breakouts.

Heading up this initiative in the newsroom are Steve Glynn (making all the necessary template changes) and Kevin Burkett (making some design upgrades) with support from several others.

Thanks in advance for your help with this important initiative.

Bill and Stan

* Examiner.com writer covers mayoral election, but fails to disclose she’s married to one of the candidates.

Reporter Margaret Kessler Schorr, who uses her maiden name in her byline, disclosed the relationship in a story published Monday in Examiner.com after inquiries by Broward Bulldog.

She’s married to Hallandale Beach mayoral hopeful Jay Schorr. (browardbulldog.com) | (Her deleted column)
* Miami New Times restaurant critic Lee Klein is laid off. (eater.com)
* “Benjamins,” “gay,” and other words that universities won’t let their athletes use on Twitter. (chronicle.com)
* Another Red and Black board member resigns. (onlineathens.com)
* Sports Illustrated’s Terry McDonell knocks down reassignment rumors (second item). (nypost.com)
* Does conservative U-T San Diego owner Papa Doug Manchester know that he’s posing with an ex-Playboy Playmate? (utsandiego.com) | (strangely tinted photo) | (Tamara Witmer bio)
* AP’s “10 Things to Know” feature now comes out twice daily. (ap.org)

A journalist from Ohio writes: “Interesting that University of Cincinnati president unexpectedly resigns, with no real explanation, while The [Cincinnati] Enquirer’s publisher sits on the school’s board of trustees and could provide light on the situation.

“She either was not approached for comment by her own paper or declined to comment. We don’t know which. The story only simply states she is on the board.”

I’ve asked Enquirer publisher Margaret Buchanan and editor Carolyn Washburn about the newspaper exec’s two roles.

UPDATE: Washburn writes in an email:

Margaret is a university trustee (as publishers have been for decades). We note her connection in almost every story we do about the university.

None of the trustees — including Margaret — the governor’s office, chancellor or others we spoke with knew why he resigned. As we said in the story, he arrived at the trustee meeting and announced he was resigning effective immediately. The chairman of the board of trustees said he did not know the reason and wanted to respect President Williams’ privacy. We are continuing to report, of course.

* President’s resignation stuns University of Cincinnati (cincinnati.com)
* Publisher poses significant conflict of interest in paper’s reporting (Gannett Blog)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl was scolded by readers for the OMG headline below. One wrote:

I don’t know if you write the headlines for your articles, Mr. Stingl, but I do know that OMG stands for Oh My God, and I do know that God tells us that the use of His name in a disrespectful or empty manner is sin, and that there are eternal consequences for those that willingly engage in that type of sin.

Stingl’s response: “We’re supposed to keep God in Christmas but out of the headlines?”

He sought counsel from an old priest friend, who said “there’s great respect for the name of God, but that doesn’t mean we can’t ever use it in a lighthearted manner. Thank God the Packers won. Or the Brewers, who now need the last rites.”

The priest compares OMG with TGIF: “I think in both cases, thank God it’s Friday or oh my God, they’re not used in any sense disrespectfully.”

UPDATE: Stingl emails: “I’ve received some lively reaction from people on both sides of this question. You can find some in the reader comment section online. A few have suggested the real battleground is not OMG, but OMFG. I had no idea anyone would be offended by OMG, or at least enough to sit down and write an email.”

* Oh. My. Goodness. Using OMG isn’t that bad (jsonline.com)
* OMG! Texting pays big 4 Rhinelander teen (jsonline.com)

Patrick Goldstein

Longtime Los Angeles Times staffer Patrick Goldstein has taken the Tribune-owned paper’s buyout and turned in his final “Big Picture” column. (It debuted in 2000).

I’ve written hundreds of columns. This is my last. I’ve blown plenty of calls. I’ve gotten too caught up in the emotion or hurly-burly of the moment, like when I wrote after 9/11 that Hollywood would forever embrace a new seriousness of purpose. (Hah!) But I hope I’ve gotten a few things right and even occasionally made a difference.

He added that he saw his job “as connecting the dots, digging past the superficial headlines of the day to get at deeper issues.”

His last line: “Never be afraid to raise a ruckus.”

Goldstein didn’t say why he’s leaving — his editor gave The Wrap a no comment — but Nikki Finke hears that he “felt there was no more future for him there” and “it was obvious since all the new people think about is driving web traffic.” (Finke is also told that “part of his going-away deal is that he can’t disparage the new leadership.”)

I’ve asked Goldstein to tell Romenesko readers about his decision and his plans.

* Patrick Goldstein’s farewell: Wanted — A few good mavericks (latimes.com)
* Shocker: LAT’s Goldstein writes last column, takes buyout (deadline.com)
* Goldstein files his last “Big Picture” column (thewrap.com)