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Daily Archives: September 13, 2012


Los Angeles Times ombud Deirdre Edgar says readers are reacting strongly to today’s page one photo of slain U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens. “Some readers called the photo graphic, unwarranted, inappropriate, disgraceful, gratuitous and insensitive,” she writes. I asked her about the numbers. “More than 60 emails and calls, and still coming,” she tells Romenesko readers. (latimes.com)

More links:
* American University student paper finally runs a story about the classroom breast-feeding flap. (theeagleonline.com) | Editor’s note. (theeagleonline.com)
* NYT public editor: Both versions of Romney story should have stayed on the web. (nytimes.com)
* Tech journalists no longer smitten with Apple? (cjr.org)
* Spare an apostrophe for the Chicago Teachers Union. (chicagoreader.com)
* BuzzFeed acquires a company founded by two ex-HuffPo employees. (Business Insider via sfgate.com)
* Meet the investor who would rather own Gannett than Facebook. (thestreet.com)
* The high cost of restaurant critic-chef interactions. (seattleweekly.com)
* What CNN Digital looks for when it hires young journalists. (niemanlab.org)

Michael Lewis discussed his “Obama’s Way” story in the current Vanity Fair at a PEN@Bloomberg event last night. He explained how the piece came about:

On a whim, last November, I thought: what would be a fun magazine piece to do? Boy, it would be fun to go hang out with the President. So I got Jay Carney’s email and I sent the press secretary a note and I said, “There used to be a kind of journalism that could be done with the President.”

John Hersey, an old New Yorker writer whom I greatly admire, wrote a series of articles on President Truman, back when Truman was in office…It was very simple, plain and straight-forward. The sort of thing my kids could be interested in. It taught you what it felt like to be President. And the thing opened with Hershey meeting Truman at his front door in the morning and going on a walk along the Potomac with basically one security guard in the distance behind them, coming back and going to the White House gym and sitting in saunas naked kind of thing. It was two guys hanging out together.

I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if I could take Obama and do the same thing? Just two guys kind of hanging out together.’ It was like fishing with a lure. …I really didn’t expect to catch anything.

According Bloomberg PR, Lewis also said of Obama:

When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a writer I think – he won’t completely admit that but he was writing short stories and submitting them to literary journals and getting rejected. Had any of them been accepted, he wouldn’t be President, I bet. He’d be off writing short stories no one ever read for very little money.

A survey by Missouri School of Journalism’s Reynolds Journalism Institute finds that most publishers of U.S. dailies remain optimistic about the future of newspapers: 40% are “somewhat optimistic,” 25% are “very optimistic,” 4% are “not optimistic,” and 31% are neutral.

Do you ever envision a time when your organization will not publish a printed edition?
No – 62%
Yes – 33%
Maybe – 5%

Publishers who envision a day when their companies will no longer print say…
It will happen in 10-20 years – 46%
It will happen in less than 10 years – 19%
It won’t happen for at least 20 years – 14%

Has your company considered eliminating a day of publication?
No – 77%
Yes – 17%
Already have – 5%

Publishers from smaller papers are most optimistic

Circulation size was a key factor associated with the degree of optimism expressed by publishers. Although publishers from every circulation size were included in both the “very optimistic” and “somewhat optimistic” groups, 83% of those in the “very optimistic” category lead papers with average weekday circulations below 50,000.

Read the press release after the jump. Read More

Showtime’s monthly newsmagazine, “60 Minutes of Sports,” will debut in November, reports Brian Stelter.

Each episode will include two new stories, along with one old (but updated) story from the “60 Minutes” archive; and one in-studio interview. “60 Minutes” correspondents and CBS Sports reporters will both contribute to the newsmagazine. …

The new program may be a sign of Showtime’s eagerness to challenge its bigger rival HBO in the category of sports. For many years HBO has televised a monthly sports newsmagazine, “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.”

* “60 Minutes” to produce a monthly sports show for Showtime (nytimes.com)
* In other sports news… SI has a bake-off for its managing editor job (deadspin.com)

Some findings:
Pinterest is dominated by women, with nearly a fifth of online women using it.
Instagram is dominated by young adults. Some 27% of Internet users between ages 18-29 use it.
— While 5% of online adults say they use Tumblr, some 11% of young adults have signed up.
— 46% of adult Internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created.
— 41% of adult Internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites.

* Pew study on online curators and creators | The report’s main findings

New York Times media writer David Carr talks to the Globe and Mail’s Simon Houpt. A few quotes from Carr:
— “If my name was David Schmeckler and not David ‘New York Times,’ I don’t think people would care all that much what I had to say. …When you work for the Times, you should never get confused about why an event sells out, or why people race to pick up your phone calls.”

David Carr

– “The fact that I’ve tweeted or retweeted 20,000 times – that’s a source of shame to me. I mean, what did I tweet last night? …I think the person who actually originally talked me into tweeting was Kurt Andersen, and he said: It’s like, you’re working on something and you need a break, and wanna’ have a cigarette and you do a tweet instead.”
— “I don’t want to be seen as some gossamer creature of Manhattan media life – because I’m not. I’m really worried about my lawn, there’s a big weed problem right now.”
Houpt: A few months ago there was a blog post which suggested you’re the ultimate insider who, as this writer had it, may have lost a sense of true north. Carr: “I think it was CJR – ‘The two David Carrs’? That thing? Yeah, it was one of those moments: Was it worse that they said it, or worse that part of it was true? The case-building that went with it – the one thing in it that got me going was, the writer said I didn’t even try to find out if Huffington Post made money and that’s a dead-wrong assumption.”
* David Carr and journalism: old-media grampypants vs. new-media avatar. (theglobeandmail.com)

More links:
* Newspaper covers the EPA while taking money from the agency. (washingtonguardian.com)
* Is this USA Today’s new logo? (gannettblog.com) | A grim prediction for the paper. (editorandpublisher.com)
* USC lifts ban on Los Angeles Daily News football writer. (shermanreport.com)
* Since last summer, Detroit Free Press has lost 20 staffers — and it’s about to lose 22 more. (deadlinedetroit.com)
* Claim: Everyone in Madison is talking about a story that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won’t cover. (urbanmilwaukee.com)
* Kansas City Chiefs apologize after insulting fan on Twitter. (sports.yahoo.com)
* Judge throws out defamation/invasion of privacy lawsuit against The Wrap. (thewrap.com)
* New York Times explains why quote was taken out of Romney story. (politico.com)
* Charles Eisendrath: “Rupertism isn’t about conservative politics … it’s about strong journalism.” (theatlantic.com)
* Bill Grueskin writes an open letter to Journal Register boss John Paton. (cjr.org)
* NYT’s Nick Kristof looks for stories that will make Americans spill their coffee when they read them. (theeagleonline.com)
* Answers.com CEO discusses his failed About.com deal and losing to Barry Diller. (bizjournals.com)

Last paragraph of NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan’s blog post, “Was photo of dead ambassador acceptable?”

Public editor Sullivan got her way; there are no disturbing photos on the front page of today’s Times. But check out the New York Daily News and Los Angeles Times front pages.

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