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Daily Archives: September 20, 2012

“It’s hard to imagine a worse-designed, more downright ugly newspaper website than what the Digital First Media brain trust has come up with for the New Haven Register,” writes Brett Sokol.

From the clown-car layout (how many separate boxes of headache-inducing text can we cram onto one page?) to the crude font, the Register seems less like the digital future than a creaky GeoCities holdover from the Web’s earliest days. This is what so many of Digital First’s boosters been cheerleading for? This is what millions and millions of dollars have been poured into?

* New Haven’s two newspapers: A tale of one success (theawl.com)

* Comedy Central execs explain why Jon Stewart was allowed to use “bullshit” — without the bleeps — on last night’s show. (nytimes.com) | (rawstory.com/VIDEO)
* Michael Wolff’s mother has died. He wrote a New York story about her deteriorating condition in May. (observer.com)
* BuzzFeed is looking for a longform editor. (buzzfeed.com)
* 21 Jonah Peretti quotes that will restore your faith in BuzzFeed. (pandodaily.com)
* New York Daily News to offer consulting services to small- and medium-sized businesses. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Even more from David Simon: he talks “Treme” and other topics. (reason.com)
* Even more from Jill Abramson about Scout the dog. (publishersweekly.com)
* AP president pledges close cooperation with member news organizations. (AP via greenfieldreporter.com)
* How the Los Angeles Times is using its Ford Foundation grant. (ajr.org)
* Reynolds Foundation awards $8M+ to Arizona State University for improving business journalism. (businessjournalism.org)

The Times-Picayune says it will have print and online Baton Rouge editions by the end of the year, with Carlos Sanchez serving as Baton Rouge managing editor. “We are hiring Baton Rouge-based reporters in the areas of politics, entertainment, local news and high school and college sports,” says Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss.

The Baton Rouge Advocate announced in July that it’s launching a New Orleans edition. It’s been hiring former Times-Picayune staffers for the expansion. Just yesterday, the Advocate said that it’s hired the Times-Picayune’s classified advertising director.

* NOLA Media Group will open Baton Rouge office (nola.com)

A New York Times memo that went out this afternoon says “demands for after-the-fact quote approval by sources and their press aides have gone too far.”

The practice risks giving readers a mistaken impression that we are ceding too much control over a story to our sources, In its most extreme form, it invites meddling by press aides and others that goes far beyond the traditional negotiations between reporter and source over the terms of an interview.

“Starting now,” the memo continues, “we want to draw a clear line on this. Citing Times policy, reporters should say no if a source demands, as a condition of an interview, that quotes be submitted afterward to the source or a press aide to review, approve or edit.”

* In new policy, the Times forbids after-the-fact quote approval (nytimes.com)

Read the memo after the jump.
Read More

Brandon Copple, who left Crain’s to join Groupon as managing editor in 2010, has been hired by Sun-Times owner Wrapports to oversee a new venture that will create sports and business media products. “Copple also will lead the development of a new web video initiative that will be carried on multiple Wrapports-owned platforms, including suntimes.com,” says the release.

Brandon Copple

At Groupon, Copple oversaw the writers and editors “who produce brilliant, hilarious descriptions of more than 100 Groupon deals every day.” He wrote on his blog in September of 2010: “You can’t imagine how much fun it is to work with people that funny and smart. We’re gonna do great things.”

Read the press release after the jump. Read More

* Steve Buttry: Students already consume news digital-first; student media should follow suit (niemanlab.org)

* Dan Reimold: Why there’s no mass digital experimentation among student media (collegemediamatters.com)

I sent Los Angeles Times video game and music journalist Alex Pham an email this morning after reading a one-sentence item on LAObserved.com about her resignation. I asked if she’d tell Romenesko readers more about her plans. (LAObserved.com: “Company Town staff writer Alex Pham announced to the newsroom that she is leaving the LA Times after 12 years ‘to pursue another opportunity that will give me more flexibility.'”)

Alex Pham

“I can’t share details on my next gig just yet because it hasn’t been announced (soon, though),” Pham wrote. “I can, however, say that it is a full-time job with an employer who is very much influenced by the work ethics recommended in this article.” (It’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” from the July/August Atlantic.)

She adds in her email:

There are plenty of women who succeed and rise to the top of news organizations. They sometimes make great personal sacrifices to do so. This was always true, but it’s even more so now with the brutal demands of the 24/7 news cycle.

I believe it is possible to succeed on the Web, be on the forefront of news driving the conversation and still have a work environment conducive to that “elusive work-life balance” journalists wistfully talk about. But it would take a radical rethinking of how our newsrooms operate (otherwise, it wouldn’t be so elusive). And right now, traditional news organizations have more urgent, pressing matters.

Pham’s memo to staffers is after the jump. (She jokes: “It’s NOT true that a certain high-level video game executive who shall be nameless has finally managed to get me fired.”) Read More


* See the “Movers & Shapers” feature and “Tools” ad in today’s Burlington Free Press (@jimsabataso)
* Check out more fun stuff from newspapers and TV on Romenesko’s Pinterest page

Mitt and his mom in 1964. (John McBride/SF Chronicle)

San Francisco Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub tells Romenesko readers:

I run a weekly reader request archive series called Let’s Go to the Morgue!, where I dig through the San Francisco Chronicle archives looking for cool old stuff. One of the regulars told me Mitt Romney was on the floor with his dad at the 1964 GOP Convention at the Cow Palace near San Francisco.

Took me several hours looking at photos through a Loupe, but finally found him.

I asked Hartlaub about the morgue series and some of his other finds. He wrote back:

Readers make requests, and usually vote on Fridays for the next week’s gallery. I’ve done everything from Richard Nixon riding BART to The Fashion of Rick Barry to then and now photos of pioneering local newscasters.

I also have a spin-off called Let’s Go to the Q&A where I track down people in the old photos and interview them now — with a current photo.

Here’s one from yesterday where I interviewed a baseball fan in a Joe DiMaggio photo from 1954.

* Let’s Go to the Morgue! (sfgate.com) || Let’s Go to the Q&A! (sfgate.com)


* By the way… (nationalreview.com)

UPDATE: Todd Sumlin writes: “I am a photographer at The Charlotte Observer. I was on the photo platform directly behind the President at the Democratic National Convention. Attached is a photo from that same angle. As you can see, the posters the North Carolina delegates are holding were changed from ‘Forward’ to ‘Abortion.'”

The photo is after the jump. Read More