Daily Archives: September 7, 2012

Journal Communications-owned WTMJ-TV says its I-Team — including Rob Koebel — “is there, asking the tough questions.” That apparently includes, “Do you know who you’re messing with?”

Investigative reporter Koebel barked that to a police officer while being arrested for urinating outside of an Apple Store and then becoming belligerent.

When police brought him back to the station, Koebel was uncooperative with officers. When an officer stated he was going to remove his handcuffs, Koebel warned him to “be careful.”

Koebel became increasingly uncooperative, saying “Don’t play games with me” and “Do you want to take the gloves off or no?” As he was booked, Koebel called an officer names such as “(expletive) face”, as well as a derogatory term for homosexual.

“Rob is no longer with WTMJ,” Journal Broadcast Group executive vice president Steve Wexler says in an email.

* TMJ4 reporter cited for using potty mouth with cops (

More links:
* R.E.M. tells Fox News Channel to stop using its music. (
* David Remnick says Obama’s speech “was not number one in his hit parade.” (
* OC Register is hiring three investigative reporters. (
* Newhouse’s South Jersey Media Group combines three papers into one. (
* Foster Kamer leaves New York Observer for Complex. (
* More downsizing at A.H. Belo-owned Providence Journal. (
* Journatic’s former editorial director talks about brief stint at the hyper-local operation. (
* “The Warren Buffett of the North” is investing in newsprint. (
* Warren Buffett — the one from Omaha — is betting that giving readers more will work for his papers. (

The IvyGate blog reported Thursday that Columbia Spectator associate arts and entertainment editor Jade Bonacolta plagiarized three paragraphs from the New York Times. Sarah Darville, editor-in-chief of the Columbia University paper, tells her staff this afternoon: “We have absolutely no tolerance for plagiarism, and Jade’s relationship with Spectator has been terminated.”

From: Sarah Darville
Date: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 5:02 PM
Subject: An important note
To: Columbia Spectator staff

Hi everyone,

I’m sure many of you noticed the editor’s note published online yesterday in response to an article in Thursday’s A&E section titled “Frank Lloyd Wright archives arrive at Columbia.” I want to take this space to explain what happened and where things stand now.

Yesterday around 6 p.m., I got a call from an editor at the blog Ivygate, telling me that they had just posted something about one of our articles being plagiarized. It was obvious that a few pieces of Jade Bonacolta’s piece closely mirrored a New York Times piece published two days earlier, and we immediately replaced the article with an editor’s note.

A closer look led to the article’s retraction within the next hour. Using the writer’s interview notes, the press materials released by the University, the articles themselves and conversations with the writer, we have concluded that she both lifted text from the Times piece and created a false quote using material from the Times piece. We did not find any evidence of anything similar in her past work for Spectator.

We have absolutely no tolerance for plagiarism, and Jade’s relationship with Spectator has been terminated.

We were, as you may be, shocked by such a clear breach of ethics, as our editorial standards for accuracy and originality are the first things new writers learn (second only, perhaps, to their own poor lung capacity after climbing three sets of stairs). But though this situation has been disappointing, it has been dealt with quickly in order not to distract from what you all do so well—produce high-quality journalism every day that serves the campus and our neighborhood.

Please contact me or Maggie if you have any questions.


In early July, Kari Dequine Harden told Romenesko readers that the Times-Picayune newsroom “is unhealthy, to say the least” but “I desperately want my job until October because I love it.”

The reporter added that “I also can’t just keep my mouth shut and pretend everything is okay, or that it doesn’t matter,” and shared an email that she wrote to Times-Picayune bosses. They eventually met with her, but she still resigned.

Dequine Harden announced on Facebook yesterday that she’s joining the Baton Rouge Advocate’s new New Orleans bureau, which is headed by Sara Pagones, also a former Times-Picayune reporter. I’ve invited her to comment.

* Earlier: “I can’t keep my mouth shut and pretend everything is okay” (

From Paul Miller’s story:

In a wide-ranging interview with The Pine Cone Tuesday from his home in Pebble Beach, he said he had conveyed the messages he wanted to convey, and that the spontaneous nature of his presentation was intentional, too.

“I had three points I wanted to make,” Eastwood said. “That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.”

* Eastwood says his convention appearance was “mission accomplished”

From a 2003 profile of the Carmel Pine Cone:

Under the stewardship of Kirstie Wilde, 53, a onetime anchorwoman in Los Angeles, and her husband, Paul Miller, 49, a former NBC bureau chief in Tel Aviv, the Carmel Pine Cone has become much more than something for out-of-towners to read over beers at Clint Eastwood’s former restaurant, the Hog’s Breath Inn. It has become a “must read,” along with the mainstream Monterey County Herald, for anybody who wants to know where the political bodies are buried, or soon will be, on the Monterey Peninsula.

* Quaint Carmel newspaper takes a prickly turn (

The Los Angeles Times hears from a reader: “‘The ‘9 Chickweed Lane’ strip today is porn!! What’s up with your standards that you allow visual sexual situations on the Comics page? My granddaughter reads this section, and it is unsuitable today.”
* “9 Chickweed Lane”: Some readers not laughing ( | (

Letter to Romenesko

From ANONYMOUS: I’m a local editor for Patch, and I have had enough.

I can work 60 plus hours per week, have a freelance budget that’s reduced to zero and take on the responsibility of managing editor-less sites because “we just aren’t hiring right now.” I can do all this, but I cannot and will not pass out promotional items to people I am either writing about or asking to blog for my site. It feels like a bribe at worst or slightly creepy at best.

The hats

I’ve been mulling over whether to share this with you for the last few weeks, but I think someone needs to say something. It is not appropriate to ask a reporter to give gifts to sources, and it’s certainly not OK to ask a reporter to give super cheesy gifts to a source. Patch has done just that by giving all its editors red and blue hats with their states on them and Patch-branded political buttons in the last month.

The blue and red hats are terrible, and why I need a dozen of each is beyond me. I certainly don’t have a dozen delegates living in my Patch. The green Patch buttons promote Obama and Romney. They say: [insert patch town name] for Romney and [insert patch town name] for Obama. They are in the Patch font and colors, and to me it makes it look like our sites are somehow supporting one or both candidates. It just feels wrong.

Who in the marketing department thought up this abomination? Why did Patch waste all this money on political hats and buttons when I can’t get $50 approved for someone to go take pictures at a damn event on the weekend so I can have a day off? You want to know why Patch struggles to succeed? It’s because it thinks asking journalists to pass out ugly hats is a more important investment than freelance budgets and copy editors.

* Editors say convention coverage is expensive, but essential. (
* (
* Voice of America journalists protest PR intern’s request to tweet out news releases. (
* AP defends decision to fact-check Bill Clinton using Monica Lewinsky. (
* What it’s like covering a bad baseball team (um, the Cubs) in September. (
* Springfield paper goes to court to find out what prompted the resignation of two coaches and a payment to a student-athlete. (
* Homicide Watch is looking to train j-students in crime reporting. Can you help? ( | (
* PSA: Nieman Journalism Lab is looking for a staff writer. (
* Columbia Spectator says portions of an article were lifted from the New York Times. (
* Texas Monthly redesign comes as the magazine seems to be performing better than many others. (
* Newseum resumes watermarking Today’s Front Pages newspapers. (

Letter to Romenesko

From RACHEL JACKSON, former Journal Register employee: The [Journal Register] Chapter 11/sale announcement does not surprise me in the least – and the employee you quoted as calling this “horseshit” is exactly right.

John Paton and his cronies ran the papers into the ground in their effort to “modernize” the company. They were killing off print and and they openly admitted it. They cut jobs with abandon, set unrealistic individual production goals and local benchmarks, attempted to clone community engagement efforts everywhere without regard to local demographics or values, and – as the other employee stated – constantly spewed the company line about how great Digital First is and how we all need to get on board. (Aside: I’m 30, very active on social media, and grasp the concept of live online updates, but clearly Digital First did not provide the solution to the company’s problems.)

Then, this week, Paton blamed the continuing budget problems on pensions – on the very employees doing the work in the field every day – the very employees who hear complaints in the community about how “this used to be such a great newspaper – it’s so thin now, there’s nothing worth reading in it – the online version is so buried under popups and other glitzy ads that you can’t even find the news anymore and it’s just not worth bothering.” This, we heard in the community.

In the office, our technology was so slow and awful we couldn’t perform basic functions – including loading those very same clunky news pages so we could update the copy with breaking news and information. We watched as the company poured what could have been salary money into remodeling or relocating offices. One property that had been moved out of downtown was relocated back into the downtown. Another property, which was too far for anyone to walk to, was remodeled to make room for community media labs and community engagement efforts.

He lays the blame on pensions? Give me a break. Without employees, you have no product – but, oh, wait: Perhaps that’s why we all were forced to help our local JRC property recruit 500 free community bloggers last year. So Paton wouldn’t have to pay anymore employees. Way to value the people, Paton. Way to reward them for trying so hard to support your goals.

* How JRC bankruptcy might affect the New Haven Register revival (