Daily Archives: September 18, 2012

The “lost” interview: A teen’s 1966 radio chat with Muhammad Ali — kept on reel-to-reel for decades — finally goes online. From the Blank on Blank editor’s email to Romenesko readers:

It was 1966 when a 17-year-old from a high school in the Chicago suburbs landed the interview of lifetime: Muhammad Ali. Ali was in his prime, training on the South Side of Chicago.

During the interview for the teen’s high school radio show he epically riffed on going to Mars, why boasting got him to his first title, and why he learned to box so he could get his bike back. But only a handful of people ever got to hear this vintage interview. Now after nearly 50 years locked away we’re bringing this slice of Chicago history back to life.

UPDATE: Recently retired Denver Post sportswriter Natalie Meisler sends this email: “I’d like to add a historical footnote to the Ali interview. The teenager who conducted the interview grew up to be Michael Aisner, one of the country’s pioneer bicycle race promoters. He ran the Red Zinger/Coors Classic, was responsible for getting Greg LeMond to race in this country, helped promote and develop the first wave of American riders who competed in The Tour de France and is recognized in the US Bicycle Hall of Fame. All of this was pre-Lance Armstrong.”

* Muhammad Ali: The lost interview from 1966 (

More from today:
* Rush of traffic to Mother Jones’s Romney blockbuster “melted the needle of our live meter. ..Our metric software just couldn’t keep up.” (
* Mother Jones’ page views are double the previous 24-hour record. (
* Who should get credit for the Romney scoop — Mother Jones or Huffington Post? (
* Towson University paper has more than 300 comments on its White Student Union story. (
* Media access to Pac-12 football practices is shrinking. (
* You’ll never read a better profile of ex-NY Observer editor Peter Kaplan. (
* Pine Cone editor says his paper covers Clint Eastwood “all of the time.” (
* More downsizing and reassignments at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ( | (
* Jeff Jarvis’s blueprint for radical innovation in journalism education. (
* Follow Romenesko on Twitter | Send memos, links and news tips to | NEW! Buy Romenesko’s DEATH LOG book on Etsy.

Joseph P. Kahn writes in a front-page Boston Globe story:

This Thursday, The Boston Phoenix will formally merge with its sister publication, Stuff, a glossy biweekly, into a publication called simply The Phoenix. As a newsprint entity, the old Boston Phoenix will cease to exist.

Succeeding in a rapidly changing media environment could be a tough challenge for the new magazine. Long-established alternative weeklies in other cities — New York’s Village Voice, the Chicago Reader, and the Washington City Paper among them — have recently been downsized or sold. …

Like many publications, including The Boston Globe, the Phoenix has suffered financially from the migration of classified advertising to the Web in recent years. Phoenix Media is a privately held company and does not release revenue figures. Twenty years ago, however, the newspaper published four thick sections weekly. Those days are long gone.

* A hybrid rises from the old Boston Phoenix (

Houston schools spokesman Jason Spencer was recently interviewed by a Houston Business Journal reporter about an upcoming bond referendum.

Jason Spencer

“When I asked her to send me a copy of the story after it was published, I was told I’d have to subscribe because their publication places all content behind a pay wall,” he tells Romenesko readers.

Spencer, a former Houston Chronicle education reporter, was surprised to hear that.

“I’ve found that other media outlets that use a pay wall will email me copies of stories if they’ve used information I provided,” he says. “Do the people who are quoted in news stories have a right to see those stories soon after they’ve been published in order to verify their views were accurately presented?” (Business Journal stories are free online after 30 days.)

Spencer sent me his email exchange with Business Journal editor B. Candace Beeke. She told him:

First, a new policy allows you to purchase just the edition in which the story ran. You can do that online by clicking on the story.

B. Candace Beeke

HBJ enforces this policy to protect the work we do and our intellectual property. Anyone who purchases the story or paper gets a copy that protects our licensing.

Our newsroom also is prohibited from sending out free copies of the work we do to protect the investment our readers make in receiving our products. I appreciate your understanding.

Spencer’s response:

So, you’re telling me I have to pay to read how you report the information I provide your reporters? I will keep this in mind in the future. Thank you.

I’ve invited the editor to elaborate on her paper’s policy. Houston Business Journal — a part of the American City Business Journals — is owned by the Newhouse family’s Advance Publications.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune executive editor Mike Connelly replaces Margaret Sullivan as Buffalo News editor. He’ll be the seventh editor in Berkshire Hathaway-owned newspaper’s 132-year history.

* Sarasota editor named Buffalo News editor (
* Halifax-owned Herald-Tribune hasn’t named Connelly’s successor (
* Earlier: Sullivan leaves Buffalo News to become NYT public editor (

“Here I am in front of you. I’ve never done this before,” Houston Chronicle food critic Alison Cook told a cooking show audience last Sunday.

After years of using disguises, the veteran critic says “my newspaper wants and needs me to be more visible, and I have honored that request.” Cook tells Eater’s Eric Sandler:

It’s not a comfortable situation for a critic who has tried to keep a low profile for many years, and whose photo is not online. But times have changed for journalists,and for newspapers, and I’m willing to adapt to new circumstances as long as I can keep my ethical standards intact. I think I can.

Cook tweeted early this afternoon: “The upside to Eater running my photo? One less thing to dread. Onward.”

* Chronicle critic Alison Cook goes public, sheds anonymity (
* “The anonymous restaurant critic was an innovation of the 1960s” (
* “Restaurants know who the critic is,” says a food writer (

Both of these Hearst-owned papers had been using Journatic for editorial content. Did they just recently team up with Demand Media? I asked a Hearst spokesman that question and will post his response when/if it arrives.

You’ll notice that the “To Apply, Click Here” links in the ads go to Demand Media’s site.

* Seeking nutrition writers for the San Francisco Chronicle
* Seeking business writers to write for the Houston Chronicle

* Houston Chronicle says Journatic stories may have had fake bylines (
* San Francisco Chronicle says Journatic writer used “Jake Barnes” as his pseudonym (

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes wants the federal government to investigate shows like “South Park.” He asks:

When has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths?

Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?

* Fox News host wants “South Park” investigated for blasphemy (

* Sportswriter Jay Mariotti is back — sort of. (
* New York Daily News touts gains with new national website. (
* NBC’s decision to kick Ann Curry off the “Today” couch has backfired. (
* Fox 5 New York gets suckered by iPhone 5 concept video. (
* Scammer arrested in KSLA-TV’s lobby after the station falls for his hard-luck story. (
* Gail Shister on how the F-word went mainstream. (
* Rob Curley: “If you look at things differently you can solve problems.” (
* Conde Nast is launching a French edition of Vanity Fair. (
* Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times touts its ticker featuring paid press releases. (

The Internet Archive website now has “every morsel of news produced in the last three years by 20 different channels, encompassing more than 1,000 news series that have generated more than 350,000 separate programs devoted to news,” reports Bill Carter. Broadcasts — including “The Daily Show” — are added 24 hours after they’re aired.

All of this will be available, free, to those willing to dive into the archive starting Tuesday. …The user simply plugs in the words of the search, along with some kind of time frame, and matches of news clips will appear.

* All the TV news since 2009 on one website (
* Internet Archives launches TV News Search & Borrow (

Daily Princetonian editor-in-chief Henry Rome complains that the use of email interviews “has resulted in stories filled with stilted, manicured quotes that often hide any real meaning and make it extremely difficult for reporters to ask follow-up questions or build relationships with sources.”

There is no opportunity to clarify the complicated issues we cover every day, from scientific discoveries to nuanced University policies. In fact, we often receive requests from administrators for closer relationships with reporters so that reporters can develop a certain knowledge base in specific areas.

Those kinds of relationships simply cannot be achieved through dry email correspondence.

From now on, the Princeton paper’s sources will only be allowed to comment via email “in extraordinary circumstances” that are approved by top editors.

Rome notes deep in his story that the Princetonian “will continue the practice of sending quotes back to sources upon request” but that “quotes will only be changed if there is a question of factual accuracy.” Two weeks ago, the Harvard Crimson announced that it’s no longer letting sources approve their quotes before publication.

UPDATE: I asked editor Rome about the paper’s practice of sending quotes back to sources. He emailed back:

We are firmly against “quote approval” and do not practice such a policy. When I refer to “quote review,” that is a non-binding courtesy we provide to sources in limited circumstances. If they provided factual information that they later found to be wrong (eg “I said five but I meant six”), that is the only instance in which we would consider replacing a quote. If there’s a question of whether the quote was transcribed accurately, that would be addressed then as well. This happens entirely at the discretion of the editors.

To be clear, if a source said it, a source said it. We don’t do revisionist interviewing.

* Can we talk? Column by Daily Princetonian editor (
* Harvard Crimson ends quote review practice (