Daily Archives: August 29, 2012

Former Gannett News Service technology editor Leonard Fischer and an associate were arrested Monday after police found a suspected meth lab in their apartment. Cops made the discovery after being called to the unit to check out a report of a dispute — a Walter White and Jesse Pinkman type of fight, perhaps? Officers then “noticed items that were consistent with” the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Gannett spokesperson Katie Connell tells me: “While we don’t comment on personnel matters, I can confirm that Leonard Fischer is no longer a Gannett employee.” (His LinkedIn account still has him working for Gannett News Service.)

* Two men charged with attempting to produce meth (
* Discovery of meth lab leads to partial high-rise evacuation (
* Ex-Gannett reporter busted for running meth lab (
* Earlier: Walter White is wanted for making meth — in real life (

The Boston Globe isn’t naming the staffer whose editorial contained “similarities in phrasing and structure” to a op-ed that ran a few days earlier, but Globe-hater Howie Carr claims that Joan Vennochi has been suspended for two weeks for the infraction.

Joan Vennochi

I’ve emailed Vennochi and Globe editorial page editor Peter Canellos for comment. Sydney Smith of iMediaEthics also tried to confirm the report:

We wrote to the New York Times Co. asking who wrote the editorial, if the reports that Joan Venocchi [sic] wrote the editorial and was suspended were accurate, what, if any, disciplinary action would be taken against the writer, how the Globe found out about the “similarities,” if the editor’s note ran in print and for further comment.

The Times’ Bob Christie responded that “We are not going to comment past the editors note.”

* Boston Globe apologizes for similiaries to local NPR report (
* Another Boston Globe columnist suspended (
* Earlier: Globe admits to lifting material from WBUR commentary (

Yahoo News fired Washington bureau chief David Chalian after he was caught on a hot-mic saying of Mitt and Ann Romney: “They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning” because of Hurricane Isaac.

Yahoo says in a release:

David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!. He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended.

* Yahoo fires David Chalian (
* Conservative website Newsbusters was the first to report the comments (

Just three of the many categories:

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large
CNN Digital
The Seattle Times

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium
California Watch
Slate Magazine

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small
Homicide Watch D.C.
St. Louis Beacon
The Texas Tribune

* 2012 Online Journalism Awards finalists announced (

A promo on her website from last Saturday: “Melissa’s feature about rebuilding a New Orleans home ravaged by the disaster.”

UPDATE: Huffington Post communications director Rhoades Alderson sends this email:

Here’s some background on the arrangement with our yoga instructors and masseuses at the Oasis, which I hope helps put things in context….

Off The Mat Into The World, which provides yoga instructors and masseuses for Huffington Post Oasis, is a non-profit with a mission to teach the benefits of yoga and relaxation practices to people not previously exposed to them. Many of us at the conventions fit that description, so it’s an ideal audience for them. Practitioners volunteer because they believe in that mission. Huffington Post donated $40,000 to Off The Mat Into The World, an amount that would have covered yoga instructors and masseuses in another arrangement.


The National Writers Union says the Huffington Post has reached “new heights of shamelessness” by not paying masseuses for their work at HuffPo’s Convention 2012 Oasis relaxation stations.

“The National Writers Union believes if you do original reporting, work with an editor, and publish at a for-profit web site like the Huffington Post you should be compensated for your work,” says Larry Goldbetter, president of the National Writers Union. “If you’re a health professional providing a service for a wealthy corporation, you should likewise be fairly paid.”

From my Facebook wall:

The full release:

The National Writers Union strongly condemns the Huffington Post’s ongoing exploitation of unpaid labor. Since the 2008 election, the Huffington Post’s Off the Bus program generates high quality original reporting on all aspects of the election process. None of these citizen journalists are paid for their work, even when it draws significant national attention. The Off the Bus reporters at the Republican National Convention will continue the Huffington Post’s shameful tradition of exploiting unpaid work.

The company will also be reaching new heights of shamelessness. As part of its presence in Tampa, the Huffington Post offers convention attendees Oasis, a candle lit retreat that’s “a reminder to find balance in the hustle and bustle of the conventions.” Among the offerings are yoga classes, massages, mini-facials, and meditation. Like its thousands of citizen journalists and bloggers, the massage professionals are unpaid and working for “exposure.”

“The National Writers Union believes if you do original reporting, work with an editor, and publish at a for-profit web site like the Huffington Post you should be compensated for your work. If you’re a health professional providing a service for a wealthy corporation, you should likewise be fairly paid,” says Larry Goldbetter, President of the National Writers Union.

“Refusing to pay workers, whether journalists or health professionals, is a sadly fitting tribute to the candidate of the one-percent. We know this is how Arianna operates. With the National Writers Union, writers and their allies are delivering a powerful message that this kind of exploitation must end,” says Andrew Van Alstyne, Organizer of the National Writers Union’s Pay the Writer campaign.

The National Writers Union has fought for writers for more than 30 years. Its Pay the Writer campaign is dedicated to defending writers in the digital age.

UPDATE: Joe Coscarell at writes: “A representative for the Huffington Post tells Daily Intel that the health team on hand at the Oasis are actually volunteers from the yoga nonprofit Off the Mat and Into the World, and that HuffPo has made a contribution to the cause. And yes, they do accept tips.”

He doesn’t think it’s so funny:

From BRUCE VAIL: I opened the site this morning to see a big ad for reporters at Times Pic. Jeez, Jim, I can’t think of anything more insensitive and inappropriate. What’s next, scab ads for the next Guild strike?

That ad has been up for several weeks now. Also, I don’t sell advertising for my site; it’s all handled by Blogads.


From BILL READER: I fail to see how the ad on your website is in any way problematic. Would a newspaper that publishes a negative review of a new Ford truck reject ads from the local Ford dealer? Would a cable news channel that is consistently unfair to a particular presidential candidate reject ads from that campaign?

The evisceration of the Times-Pic’s newsroom is industry news, and your site covers the industry. Likewise, the company’s decision to (re)hire people at lower salaries and reduced benefits (or whatever euphemism they are using for “hurting good people” these days) is also news.

Run the ads. Take the money. Keep publishing.

UPDATE II: The ad was renewed this morning to run in September, too.

The Wall Street Journal says Peggy Noonan will write daily on political, cultural and personal subjects on her blog — simply called “Peggy Noonan’s Blog” — and continue to do her weekly “Declarations” column.

What Romenesko readers say about the blog’s name:
* “At least it’s better than a lame journalism pun. Just think, they could have called it “The News Peg.” (@jstanchak)
* “Alas, ‘P-Noonz Drops Science’ was already taken.” (@Koomdogg)
* “Original choice for blog name: Danny Noonan’s Blog.” (@sobeditor)
* “Could have been ‘Morning, Noonan, Night.'” (@senders)
* “May I humbly suggest ‘Around Peg’?” (@marktxwatchdog)
* “It’s the blog equivalent of the theme song for ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ theme song.” (@JohnCarvalhoAU)
* “High Noonan. Noonblog. Pegged and Quartered.” (@gregbrownwriter)
* “One Point of Light?” (@grammarguide)

The Journal’s release:

Wall Street Journal Launches New Blog From Columnist Peggy Noonan
NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Wall Street Journal announced today the launch of a new blog from columnist Peggy Noonan (@PeggyNoonanNYC), in conjunction with the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Ms. Noonan will be the sole contributor to the blog and write daily on a variety of political, cultural and personal subjects. Her blog will appear on in addition to her weekly column, “Declarations,” which appears online and in WSJ Weekend, the Journal’s weekend edition.

Ms. Noonan has written for the Journal since 2000. She is the author of eight books on American politics, history and culture, the most recent of which is “Patriotic Grace,” published in October 2008. She was a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, and before that was a producer and writer at CBS News in New York.

* Peggy Noonan’s Blog: Daily declarations from the Wall Street Journal columnist

Meredith-owned KPHO-TV in Phoenix is taking aim at paywall plans by Gannett’s Arizona Republic and KPNX-TV, saying in an ad that news and information should be free. “The ad also notes that the station won’t ask for viewers’ credit card number,” writes Jim Hopkins, “a clear attempt to stir up online security worries among potential subscribers to the [Gannett] website.”
* (

* CNN’s not saying much about nuts being thrown at its black camera woman at RNC. (
* Tensions run high at Newhouse’s Star-Ledger with staffers guessing that their print schedule will be cut too. (
* Reading Vogue feels a boost during economic distress — like liquor and ice cream and movie ticket sales.(
* Leslie Picard is said to be a strong inside contender for Time magazine publisher job. (
* J-prof: I’ve been kicked out of the United Arab Emirates. (
* New York Times leads group defense in mobile patent suit. (Associated Press)