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Daily Archives: September 5, 2012

The East Valley Tribune says a spring 2012 intern plagiarized several articles and that her school, Arizona State University, has been notified.

The Tribune is in the process of contacting the publications that were plagiarized and is also taking steps to increase scrutiny of articles before they are published.

UPDATE: The student, Raquel Velasco, was recently fired from ASU’s State Press, which has apologized for running her plagiarized pieces and says “our staff hopes to rise above this incident and dedicate ourselves to take a harder look into every piece we produce.”

* Intern articles in Tribune plagiarized from other publications (eastvalleytribune.com)
* An apology and retraction from the State Press (statepress.com)

More stories:
* News outlets say entertaining political elites at the conventions pays off. (washingtonpost.com)
* What we’re learning about the convention ratings. (time.com)
* Michelle Leder buys footnoted — logo at left — back from Morningstar. (footnoted.com)
* The Mann who got Bob Woodward hired at the Post. (That’s Jim Mann.) (newspaperalum.com)
* Successful nonprofit news outlets hire not only journalists — but also business managers, tech experts and event planners. (AJR.org)
* Houston Chronicle staffers may not get raises, but there’s still barbecue and 5K runs. (houstonpress.com)
* Sacramento Bee puts up a paywall. (bizjournals.com)
* Switch to new format causes Columbus Dispatch delivery delays; paper apologizes. (dispatch.com)
* Dart Center announces the 2012 Ochberg Fellows. (columbia.edu)
* Roanoke Times is selling one of its bureau offices. (roanoke.com)
* What Harper’s got wrong in its story about Philadelphia’s newspapers. (citypaper.net)

A Change.org petition with more than 1,000 supporters asks that Allan Kozinn be reinstated as New York Times music critic. The veteran journalist was recently reassigned to general culture reporting — a “demotion [that music insiders say] is unjust, illogical, unfair to a loyal and dedicated writer and very bad news indeed for the New York Times,” writes Norman Lebrecht, who discloses that Kozinn is “a personal friend of long standing.”

Allan Kozinn

The change.org petition calls Kozinn “one of the best all-around music critics today and a most crucial part of what has made the New York Times music articles and reviews such a incredible resource.”

Both Kozinn and a Times spokeswoman decline comment on the reassignment, but the journalist tells Romenesko readers:

Critics don’t generally do what we do in order to be liked or make friends, and I know that things I’ve written have angered people over the years – which is what makes the amount and vehemence of the response – on blogs, Facebook and now the petition – all the more astonishing. It’s a little like being in “It’s a Wonderful Life” without having to hang out with Clarence.

* New York Times causes outcry for reassigning music critic (oregonlive.com)
* “The move … is rooted entirely in the poison of internal politics” (artsjournal.com)
* Petitioning NYT: Reinstate Allan Kozinn as Times music critic (change.org)

An unsigned memo titled “Portrait of a Digital Day — Beat Reporter” is being given to Oregonian staffers as they meet with managers to discuss boosting the Newhouse newspaper’s digital efforts. The tipster who faxed it to me writes: “It’s so wonderfully glib in describing a brave new world that some journalists would consider disturbing. It’s hard to imagine that the author ever put in much time as a reporter. And at the end, it says of enterprise work: It’s possible. It’s desired.”

Most media-watchers expect the Oregonian to eventually reduce its print publishing schedule and focus on digital.

UPDATE: Oregonian executive editor Peter Bhatia sends this email:

The item you posted on the memo is accurate to a degree. Here is some context: The memo is about two months old, was used as part of our digital transition discussions and was created by our managing editors for use in those discussions. It was widely distributed electronically and on paper. [Too bad my Oregonian source didn't know about the e-version; the tipster had to fax it from Kinko's -- Romenesko.]

Bhatia

The memo is as described — a portrait, not a rigid set of guidelines. We have subsequently met one-on-one with reporters to discuss how they will work digitally within their beats as well as in print. Each reporter’s situation is unique. I am proud of the way our staff has adapted. We still produce outstanding journalism every day — with unique enterprise, investigative reporting and narrative writing, in print and across platforms. We also have moved aggressively into a digital-first posture. We post relentlessly and accurately as news occurs. Our multimedia skills grow every day. We are all over social media. We have a successful hyperlocal operation, feeding more than 20 web pages and weekly community news newspaper sections. And we recently restructured our traditional copy and design desks into a digital publishing operation that aggregates and curates news throughout the day and night, while still putting out the newspaper. Rest assured: The Oregonian is about good journalism and will continue to produce it.

Here is the memo:

PORTRAIT OF A DIGITAL DAY — BEAT REPORTER

The goal is to build audience on OregonLive.com by being the No. 1 place the market goes for news and information.

The keys for you are time management, attitude and agility. Your work flow will be your own.

Reorient your thinking to what you can deliver for the web today. Cover your beats, push information, don’t worry about where or whether a story will play in print. Editors will worry about that for you.

Consider social media/engagement, OregonLive.com posting of real-time information, visual storytelling.

Start with social media/engagement:

Set the table for the day with your readers/followers. Tweet early, let folks know you’re up and at ‘em. (Joe Rose’s tip: Twitter is always on via TweetDeck and iPhone notifications.) Don’t just use Twitter as an RSS feed; that’s no good for you or your readers — you need to engage. As you post during the day, Tweet. Watch for story ideas from your followers. Respond to questions. Retweet other stories of interest. /CONTINUES Read More

Earlier today, I posted Washington Post staffers’ emails about last night’s “serious technical problems” that resulted in many subscribers not getting papers with stories about Michelle Obama’s speech and the Nationals game. Here’s a follow-up memo:

From: John Temple
Date: Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 1:48 PM
Subject: Tuesday night’s publishing problems
To: NEWS – All Newsroom

As you all know by now, we experienced technical issues last night involving The Post’s computer network that caused the newsroom to lose connection with our data center and limited our ability to publish both to
print and the web. The problems began at about 10:30 p.m. — after we had published the first edition — and lasted about three hours. This meant that we were able to update about 40 percent of our metro delivery and single copy papers with the lead piece out of the Democratic convention, but we weren’t able to put the Nationals’ game in any papers. We did publish and deliver a strong paper to all of our readers, as well as a fully-updated special convention edition in Charlotte. Our publishing limitations also meant that on the website we had limited ability to update stories for several hours.

We had a hard-working and fast-thinking team on hand last night who worked into the early morning trying to trouble shoot the technical problems and devise work-arounds to enable us to publish outside normal channels. Through the cooperation of the tech team, circulation and production we were able to sharply limit the disruption to readers.

We’ve completed a post mortem of the technical issues and believe that we have a plan to address them.

Marcus, Liz, John, Shailesh

* “We experienced serious technical problems last night” (jimromenesko.com)

Digital First Media CEO John Paton writes on his blog:

Journal Register Company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to implement a prompt sale.

We expect the auction and sale process to take about 90 days, and I am pleased to tell you the Company has a signed stalking horse bid for Journal Register Company from 21st CMH Acquisition Co., an affiliate of funds managed by Alden Global Capital LLC.

The filing will have no impact on day-to-day operations, Paton tells employees. “While I get this news may make some of you nervous, don’t let it.”

UPDATE: A reporter from a Journal Register paper writes:

This is the first any of us at my paper have heard of any financial problems in the company. Granted, the media industry is kinda messed up, so it’s not surprising. But, how do you not tell us anything til it happens? This is horseshit.

The only emails we ever get from corporate head-honcho John Paton (DFM and JRC) or someone at his level is some dumbass new VP of digital operations, regional editorships, social media crap or other guy who sits at a desk in NYC making several times what any of us make for doing half the work and just shoving stupid catch phrases down our throat about how we need to be “Digital First.”

You’ll see some stuff in there about how all our jobs and salaries are OK. But they forget to mention “for now.” Last July, when we were bought by Alden Global Capital, they said the same thing but then laid off three of our five editors within two months.

OUCH!

* Another tough step (jxpaton.wordpress.com) | Read the press release (journalregister.com)
* Paton in December: We’re shifting our rate of change into high gear (jimromenesko.com)

Some Washington Post home-delivery subscribers didn’t get stories about Michelle Obama’s speech and the Nationals’ game because of technical problems. Here’s a thread about the “meltdown” from the Post’s internal message board. (I’ve removed some email addresses.)

—–John Temple/news/TWP wrote: —–
To: “NEWS – All Newsroom”
From: John Temple
Date: 09/05/2012 09:15AM
Subject: Technical problems last night

We experienced serious technical problems last night. This meant that some readers received the regional edition and that we were unable to complete updating of website.
—-

To: John Temple
From: Jonathan Yardley
Date: 09/05/2012 09:58AM
Cc: NEWS – All Newsroom
Subject: Re: Technical problems last night

As one who received a paper that had no report on Michelle Obama’s speech and nothing on the Nationals’ game, I certainly think the Post owes is readers a public explanation, via a box on tomorrow’s Page One, explaining and apologizing for this.
—–

From: Darryl D Fears
To: Jonathan Yardley
Cc: John Temple, NEWS – All
Newsroom
Date: 09/05/2012 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: Technical problems last night

I was also very surprised (and disappointed) to get a paper in Maryland that did not carry the speech. Whatever the “technical difficulties,” they should be thoughtfully explained, or readers will fill the void with their own reasons. It’s a safe bet that they already are.
—–

From: Anup Kaphle
To: Darryl D Fears
Cc: Jonathan Yardley, NEWS – All
Newsroom
Date: 09/05/2012 10:10 AM
Subject: Re: Technical problems last night

Folks: Please do not hit “reply all” — you can respond to John only.

Thank you!
——

From: Steve Hendrix
Date: Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: Technical problems last night
To: Anup Kaphle
Cc: NEWS – All Newsroom

I think they MEANT to include us all Anup. Phew, my neighbor who may also be irritated that I still have his pole saw) came this morning out to say he wanted his 75 cents back for the paper, listing the missing Obama and Nats coverage. I explained about the technical meltdown. Then he pointed out the mis-captioned photos on Tara’s wonderful Metro display, which I had missed, and the “Doctor’s Pore Over Research” subhed on the organic food story, which I hadn’t. I gave him 75 cents AND his pole saw. (NOTE: Hendrix tells me: “I should point out that I didn’t actually give my neighbor 75 cents (or the saw, either, yet). And he was sympathetic. That was a joke for my colleagues.”)

Terry Egger

Cleveland Plain Dealer staffers were on pins and needles this morning after being told to gather for a 10 a.m. meeting. The fear was that the bosses would announce a reduced print publishing schedule. Instead, newsroom employees learned that publisher Terry Egger, who turns 55 this week, will retire shortly after the first of the year. He’s been publisher at the Newhouse-owned paper since 2006.

* Plain Dealer publisher announces his retirement (cleveland.com)
* Publisher’s retirement was how it began at sister paper Times-Picayune (twitter.com)
* “And, the first shoe falls,” tweets @BhamnewsDean (twitter.com)

A COPY OF EGGER’S LETTER TO THE STAFF IS AFTER THE JUMP. Read More

h/t @old_holburn

This did not run in the Sun in the early 1990s, as many are reporting. It’s explained here.

* Hold Ye Front Page: Invention of World Wide Web (thesun.co.uk)
* @HoldYeFrontPage seems to enjoy the attention the mock-up is getting