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Daily Archives: September 4, 2012

* Hosting a political convention cocktail party is not Fox News’s style. (nymag.com)
* New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan examines fact-checking in her debut blog post. (nytimes.com)
* What Matt Taibbi got right and wrong about Bain Capital in his Rolling Stone piece. (fortune.cnn.com)
* Matt Welch on Ezra Klein: “He’s impossibly young, infuriatingly accomplished, and impressively wonky.” (cjr.org)
* How to succeed in journalism when you can’t afford an internship. (randomhouse.com)
* Joanna Coles replaces Kate White as Cosmopolitan editor. (nytimes.com)
* Why do Americans hate the media? Just watch the conventions. (theatlantic.com)
* Cox Media’s Springfield News-Sun looks to sell its building, then remain as a tenant. (springfieldnewssun.com)
* Marquette Tribune: “Sometimes we just make an honest mistake.” (@mutribune_photo)
* Tim: Worstall: I don’t think mini-tablet users will buy apps to read specific newspapers. (forbes.com)

A memo sent to Kansas City Star employees today says longtime Star TV critic Aaron Barnhart got a clean bill of health after undergoing leukemia treatment and will be leaving the paper.

Star editor Mike Fannin and managing editor Steve Shirk write:

Having mixed emotions is a cliche, but in this case wholly justified. In the last few days Aaron Barnhart got a clean bill of health from the medical staff at the National Institutes of Health, where he has been undergoing experimental treatment for a particularly rare kind of hairy cell leukemia. Wonderful news. Coming out of that experience and looking toward the future, Aaron, our television and media writer for the last 15 years, has determined that he will move on to a different life plan and the proverbial other things, including some interrupted book projects he and his wife, Diane, Eickhoff, had been working on together.

Over the years, Aaron represented The Star everywhere. In addition to his regular print presence, he maintained his blog, TVBarn, he appeared regularly on local and national radio shows, and he appeared frequently on CNN as well. He kept us ahead of the curve, whether it was his online efforts (and early adopter of Twitter and Facebook) or in his coverage. …

His ideas were numerous and his energy at times seemed boundless. We will, of course, miss Aaron tremendously. |t’s with much regret that we say so long and Wish him and Diane al! the best.

BARNHART’S MESSAGE TO THE STAR STAFF:

First let me say how grateful I am for all the cards and emails of encouragement sent in the past few months, messages that I have read and re-read. Thank you as well to everyone who protected my privacy during this long healing process. Not only did I have a full recovery, but my clinical trial at HIH has give me a way forward with this chronic condition, so that I don’t have to fear the kind of debilitating relapse that sidelined me for much of the past year.

Being sidelined, however, did give me a chance to contemplate what I might do with my life once I recovered. I realized that I had a strong desire to take my writing to the next level, and that this would likely involve stepping away from the world of mass media. In addition, there were other projects I have wanted to pursue but couldn’t because of my employment at The Star. In the end, the force of these possibilities proved irresistible.

The irony is that I could only image leaving The Star because of all The Star has given me. Simply put, I would not be the writer or the person I am today had Steve Paul not called out of the blue nearly 16 years ago to inquire of my interest in coming to Kansas City.

Though I am eager to do new things, my affection remains undiminished for this great newspaper and the community of FYI [the Star's feature section] who supported me in sickness and in health all these wonderful years.

* Aaron Barnhart “I’m back! And here I go…” (tvbarn.com)
* Earlier: Where is TV critic Aaron Barnhart? Is it anybody’s business?

Letter to Romenesko

From SCOTT LEBAR, senior editor/investigations, Sacramento Bee: Picked up my People mag, looked at the Neil Armstrong picture and was a bit surprised to see a lunar rover. Pretty sure Apollo 11 was a land, walk, get-the-hell-out-of-there kind of mission. The lunar rover didn’t show up on the moon until Apollo 15, if memory serves. One small misstep in photo editing, one giant deceit in imagery.

And the astronaut is…John Young from Apollo 16. Click on this link, hit back to results, shows the gallery. There aren’t many still pictures of Armstrong on the moon, — only one famous one that I know of — mostly because he did most of the picture taking. What you have here is the wrong photograph of one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century.

I’m not a space geek and don’t really know the missions that well, but my dad was involved in the program (Stan Lebar died 2009) and he would have been appalled. Me, it’s sloppy journalism on kind of a cosmic scale.

— From People magazine

For years, the Harvard Crimson has allowed school leaders to approve their quotes before publication and “as a result, their quotations have become less candid, less telling, and less meaningful,” the paper says.

Sometimes nothing is changed. But often, the quotations come back revised, to make the wording more erudite, the phrasing more direct, or the message more pointed. Sometimes the quotations are rejected outright or are rewritten to mean just the opposite of what the administrator said in the recorded interview.

The Crimson says it’s now “forbidding our reporters from agreeing to interviews on the condition of quote review without the express prior permission of the President or the Managing Editor.” Staffers are told that “as you arrange interviews with your sources, please be clear about these terms with them.”

*Harvard student paper to school’s president: No more quote review, for now (bizjournals.com)
* A letter to readers about the quote review policy change (thecrimson.com)

Here is Harvard Crimson president Ben Samuels’ memo to staff:

Hi everyone,

As we get ready for the upcoming school year, we’re making an important policy change and reinforcing our commitment to two lapsed policies, all regarding our use of quotations. We hope that this renewed emphasis on transparent and uninfluenced quotations will enhance the quality of writing and reporting that we expect from everyone here at The Crimson.

As many of you know, we’ve seen an increase over the past several years in sources, especially Harvard administrators, who insist on reviewing their quotes prior to publication. When those administrators read their quotes, even quotes that Crimson reporters have recorded, they frequently ask that these quotes be modified./CONTINUES Read More

Political reporters can’t wait until the campaign is over, reports Dylan Byers. Veteran newsman Walter Shapiro tells him: “This is worse than normal, a lot less fun, and it feels impossible for us to change the conversation.” NBC News’s Chuck Todd adds: “The campaigns are trying so hard to manipulate us, to work the refs, to withhold access. If these candidates were comfortable, the campaign might be joyful to cover.” (politico.com)
* Halifax Media Group’s 34 newspapers will end candidate endorsements. (theledger.com)
* U-T San Diego says putting the Bushes on its “best presidents” list “was a provocative effort to stimulate community discussion.” (utsandiego.com)
* Veteran TV producer: It’s time to scale back convention coverage. (mediabistro.com)
* LAT’s Doyle McManus on why it’s important to be at the conventions. (nationaljournal.com)
* Claim: “A significant [newspaper] price hike won’t necessarily translate into a material drop in circulation.” (MondayNote.com)
* NYT standards editor has “an extra-large grab bag of grammar, style and other missteps” from the Times. (nytimes.com)