Daily Archives: September 27, 2012

NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan

An excerpt from New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan’s long reading and listening list:

I have a whole group of media websites that I read all the time. The three main ones would be Romenesko, Mediagazer, and Poynter’s Mediawire.

I am a regular reader of The Atlantic Wire, I’m happy to say. I think you guys do great stuff. I’m of course a huge fan of James Fallows. He’s an icon. I read The New Yorker regularly, and there I particularly love Adam Gopnik.

I read Vanity Fair. I like the way they sort of lure you in and then get the serious stuff in as well.

* Margaret Sullivan: What I read (

Bryan College Triangle editor Alex Green is getting a lot of support on his Facebook page for revealing in a self-published article that Biblical Studies professor David Morgan resigned after being accused of attempted child molestation.

But one student at the Christian college in Dayton, Tenn., wishes his classmate had not written about Morgan’s arrest “because sadly, slander and gossip are all Mr. Green’s article accomplished.”

Bryan College senior Samuel Gilbertson says in a letter to that “the overwhelming response of the students on this stunned campus is one of remorse and shame that one of our own classmates would be the cause of such a blemish to Bryan College — not that a former professor was found out to not be as upstanding as we believed.”

It is Alex Green who must wake up each day knowing that he has caused the reputation of a man and of a college to be forever tainted because of his selfish and misguided notion that the public has a right to know whatever they deem important.

Read Gilbertson’s letter to Romenesko readers after the jump. Read More

“After experiencing the conventions and listening on Monday to Ahmadinejad face-to-face, I’ve concluded that sometimes we journalists filter events too much,” McClatchy Washington bureau chief James Asher writes in a memo to colleagues.

James Asher

“I don’t want anyone to get this wrong. This is not a criticism of the bureau’s reporting or writing.

“But it is simple fact that the process of journalism leaves a lot of nuance on the cutting room floor. And I suspect a little bit of the truth goes with it as well. … We must work to capture more nuance in our work.”

Read Asher’s full memo after the jump. Read More

Television news may be losing its hold on the next generation of news consumers, reports Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Currently, 55% say they watched the news or a news program on television yesterday, little changed from recent years. But there are signs this may also change. Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day.

Other findings:

* The overall share of Americans saying they regularly watch local TV news has slipped from 54% in 2006 to 48% today.
* Just 23% say they read a print newspaper yesterday, down only slightly since 2010 (26%), but off by about half since 2000 (47%).
* 17% say they got news on a mobile device yesterday.
* 19% saw news or news headlines on social networking sites yesterday, up from 9% two years ago.
* 13% use Twitter or read Twitter messages vs. 54% who use other social networking sites, such as Facebook, Google Plus or LinkedIn.

* In changing news landscape, even TV news is vulnerable (

“This week has been too exceptional to go without mention,” Gawker Media boss Nick Denton tells his staff. “On Tuesday, on a single day, we booked $2m in revenue. I remember when that figure — even for a full year of sales — seemed unattainable.”

From: Nick Denton
Date: Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM
Subject: Rah rah!
To: All Staff

You know I don’t usually do this. Emotional restraint must be the one English characteristic I have been unable to shake. And I do believe that — as purveyors of unvarnished truth — any hype sits uncomfortably with the organization.

But… this week has been too exceptional to go without mention. And it’s not like this year’s been free of challenges; we should be able to recognize the good times too.

On Tuesday, on a single day, we booked $2m in revenue. I remember when that figure — even for a full year of sales — seemed unattainable.

Kate Middleton, iPhone and our excellent coverage of those and other stories drew 39.1m readers in the last month. 22.6m of them from our main market, the US. That’s a record.

And there are the first signs that our most significant tech project — the Kinja discussion and publishing plaform — is producing results. (Even ahead of the launch in January 2013.)

Just look at these collections on sites like Jalopnik and Gizmodo, submitted by readers and curated by our authors. They’re better than I could have hoped. (click on pretty much any link)

It’s just the beginning.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel deputy managing editor/local news Thomas Koetting sent this memo to colleagues:

In walking around the newsroom I’ve picked up on a few political conversations that made me uncomfortable. I spend part of every week responding to readers who are convinced we have a political agenda. I often tell them that not only is there no agenda, but we really don’t talk about personal politics at all. With that in mind, I understand that discussing the latest developments with campaigns and candidates is part of our job, and in many cases is part of the news judgment process. But bringing personal politics into the discussion is another matter. Let’s keep that to ourselves. — Tom Koetting

Koetting wasn’t in the newsroom when I called this morning, so I sent an email with a few questions.

UPDATE: Koetting responded late Friday afternoon to my email:

I was out of the office and am just catching up with your note.

Thomas Koetting

I did not warn against newsroom political conversations. I said just the opposite — that “discussing the latest developments with campaigns and candidates is part of our job, and in many cases is part of the news judgment process.”

What I did add was a reminder to keep personal politics out of it. I don’t know how the people around me vote, and I don’t want to.

I haven’t checked your website, so I don’t know why this would generate interest. It’s pretty basic.

Does your newsroom have a no political-discussions rule?

The full memo is after the jump. Read More

Globe and Mail columnist Leah McLaren recently used her paper’s “Home of the Week” feature to try to unload her cottage.

Readers scolded McLaren and the Globe and Mail for publishing a “brazenly shameless advertisement for the sale of her home under the thinly veiled guise of journalism.”

A few more of the dozens of comments posted below the feature:

She’s selling her own house via her employer! What’s going on at this newspaper? Are there zero standards?

Leah McLaren

Her mother, Cecily Ross, did exactly the same thing a couple of years ago while she was working for the Globe.

Holy Fuddle Duddle Batman!!! The Globe and Mail is in freefall. First Wente and now this. [Editor John] Stackhouse asleep at the switch. Reporter Leah MacLaren features her own home (for sale) in the Homes section… Conflict of interest anyone.

Must be nice to work for a newspaper. A blatant real estate ad, free of charge. She even gets paid for it.

I wonder how much of this article was plagiarized from her real estate agent.

The columnist didn’t respond to my email — busy negotiating offers for the place? — and I haven’t heard back from editor John Stackhouse, but Globe and Mail media reporter Steve Ladurantaye tells me “there was a lot of eye rolling” in the newsroom over the feature. Also, “to be perfectly honest, we had more pressing in-house things to talk about than a freelancer selling her house once the Margaret Wente thing started happening a day later.”

Ladurantaye adds:

Also, I think it’s a good example of the disconnect that can exist between the printed paper and the website. In the paper, it’s tucked in the back of a real estate section surrounded by real estate ads. On the web, it’s a standalone piece that looks like any other news story.

* “Home of the Week”: A $599,000 cottage built for family life | Read the comments

UPDATE: An editor says in a staff memo that letting McLaren write about her home “was an unintentional oversight on our part, but to clarify, it is not Globe editorial policy to allow people to write about things that could result in their own commercial gain.”

UPDATE II: Her place sold on Monday — three days after the feature ran — for $1,000 over the asking price.

UPDATE III: The Globe and Mail’s public editor has weighed in on the matter.

* The Atlanta Journal-Constitution headline has been corrected. (h/t Jeff A. Taylor)

On late Wednesday, Patch added a this-is-fiction notice to its story about gun-toting college kids after a newspaper pointed out there’s no Rocky Mountain State University in Durango. Belmont Patch editor Joan S. Dentler tells the paper: “Our apologies for any misleading information in the column — it was strictly meant as satire and not intended to mislead or misinterpret.” ( | (

More morning links
* Cornell students give NYT reporter fake names for story on college bars. A Times correction is coming. (
* WSJ. mag’s Deborah Needleman is named editor of NYT’s T style magazine. (
* Wall Street Journal has a “replacement writer” cover the Jets. (
* Mayor announces the end of his Seattle Weekly advertising boycott. (
* Detroit News reporter Frank Donnelly’s “‘Carrie’-with-a-happy-ending” story goes viral. (
* Female magazine editors-in-chief make $15,000 less than male counterparts. (
* Bride magazine’s Keija Minor is the first black top editor at a Conde Nast title. (
* Boston Herald’s Howie Carr says his Scott Brown yard sign was stolen. (
* Drudge’s one-billion pageviews claim is questioned; “he’s juicing his data.” (
* New York Times nets more than $100 million on its investment. (
* Huffington Post continues expansion with new site in Italy. (