Monthly Archives: October 2012

Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carroll notes that her journalists covering Hurricane Sandy “are covering a story that involves you and your families quite directly. Hundreds of AP folks lost power and many will be without it for days to come. Yet you’ve put the story first and been enormously creative in finding ways to contribute.”

Read her thank-you message and AP president Gary Pruitt’s memos after the jump.

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Rufus Friday: Favors Romney

The Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday endorsed President Obama, saying that he “can be trusted to look out for all Americans.”

The paper’s publisher doesn’t agree. Rufus Friday tells readers that “Romney is better suited to address the shortage in jobs and related problems that plague the country and the world.”

Editorial page editor Vanessa Gallman tells Romenesko readers that there are five people on the McClatchy paper’s editorial board and that Friday “was the only supporter of Romney and did try to sway others.”

She writes in an email:

He did not threaten to veto the edit and did not demand rewrites.

Vanessa Gallman

The publisher, who came up through circulation, was not comfortable writing a dissenting column (which the last publisher once did on a local-government matter) yet he wanted his view reflected inside the endorsement. That seemed much too disconcerting for readers, so we agreed on the separate statement.

This has generated a lot less community reaction than I expected. A few readers have criticized the publisher for what they see as hubris, a few were thankful to know he is conservative, a few said the rest of the edit board should have followed his lead.

The Obama endorsement, she says, “was no surprise to our readers. Lexington, along with Louisville and a few mountain counties, were the only specks of blue in this red state in 2008.”

* Re-elect President Obama (
* Minority view: Choose Romney (

Chicago Tribune social media manager Amy Guth tweeted this today:

She’s referring to this Facebook message posted by someone posing as Tribune publisher Tony Hunter.

The fake Tony Hunter page was still up at last check. I’ve asked Guth for comment. | UPDATE: A day later, the page remains online with many commenters apparently believing they’re responding to the real publisher.

UPDATE II: “We put in the request w FB to take down the page yesterday,” the Tribune’s Guth emails on Thursday morning.

Two professors say New York Times execs failed to adequately explain the need for their paywall when it was launched — they simply said it would strengthen the company’s “journalistic mission” and allow “digital innovations — and that other papers should learn from that mistake and do a better job justifying their new charges.

“When [research] participants were provided with a compelling justification for the paywall — that The New York Times was likely to go bankrupt without it — their support and willingness to pay increased,” say Jonathan Cook of Columbia University and Shahzeen Attari of Indiana University. The two surveyed 954 Times readers before the paywall went up and 400 after it was launched. The professors’ report appears in the November issue of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

* Study finds news consumers accept paywalls if they’re justified (

UPDATE: Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist Paul Daugherty mentions his paper’s paywall today. “It’s crazy to believe that we can keep giving away something we pay people to produce,” he writes. “We should have started charging a decade ago. …We charge for the print product. Why is this any different?”

The Daily’s Daniel Libit wondered what “On Bullshit” author Harry Frankfurt had to say about President Obama indirectly calling Mitt Romney a “bullshitter.” The BS expert said he was tired of discussing the matter.

Just this morning I recorded an interview on the subject with somebody from the Canadian Broadcasting System, and that is surely enough for a while. As for Romney, the only question is whether he is a bullshitter or simply a liar. Probably, he is both.

* Harry Frankfurt’s tired of BS (

The Center for Media and Public Affairs’ (CMPA) latest study finds that late night TV talk-show comedians love joking about Mitt Romney, and that the GOP is the target of jokes more than twice as often as Democrats. From August 27 to October 3, 2012, the GOP presidential candidate was the target of 148 jokes in monologues delivered by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson; there were 62 jokes about President Obama in that period.

CMPA notes: “The disparity was greatest on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman.’ Letterman told 44 jokes about Romney and 9 about Obama, a five to one margin.”

Read the full release after the jump.

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“The Press of Atlantic City published 24-page editions on Tuesday and Wednesday and delivered where we could,” executive editor Neill Borowski tells Romenesko readers. “On Tuesday, the power went out in the newsroom and in the printing plant. We moved the editors to the business office, which still had power, and published the paper on our laptops. An off-site company printed the Wednesday paper (we printed our own Monday night for Tuesday).

“I’ve attached a photo of our editors and reporters working in a business office conference room to get the paper out last night.” (

* Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on every type of news outlet, notes NYT. (
* Patch reports its highest traffic day ever with pageviews up 88% over the previous record-setting day. (
* WSJ notes that two of its reporters tweeted the false NYSE flooding report. (
* The New York publishing world slowly returns to normal. (
* The Gap is criticized for an insensitive tweet during the storm. (
* Superstorm Sandy? “Where are the AP style supercops when you need them?” asks an ex-editor. (
* Advance’s Reddit worth $240 million? (
* Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight “has set a new standard for horse race coverage.” (
* Chicago Sun-Times editor-in-chief would like to see his paper make endorsements again, but “I don’t think my bosses are there yet.” (
* Oh, no! “Today” show cancels its Halloween celebration. (@jonathanwald)
* Two Chicago radio stations are picking up Tavis Smiley’s show. (

Smug (no more?)

BuzzFeed’s reported earlier today that @ComfortablySmug — the guy who purposely tweeted false Hurricane Sandy information last night — is a hedge fund analyst named Shashank Tripathi. He also is — or was — campaign manager for Republican U.S. House candidate Christopher R. Wight.

Tripathi tweeted this tonight:

* “I hope they throw the book at you,” and other reactions to his tweet (@ComfortablySmug)
* Tweeting fake news in a crisis: Illegal or just immoral? (
* Meet Hurricane Sandy Twitter villain @ComfortablySmug (
* Some Twitter heavyweights retweeted his misinformation (

* How New York City hyper-locals covered the hurricane. (
* Why no mention of climate change in the hurricane reporting? (
* Is tweeting fake news in a crisis illegal or just immoral? (
* Meet @ComfortablySmug, Hurricane Sandy’s worst Twitter villain. (
* Memo to Gawker Media staff from the boss: “If we’re the indestructible cockroaches of the media world, now’s the time to show it.” (
* Michael Wolff: Arthur Sulzberger “always seems to lash himself to sinking ships … now he’s gotten himself on Jimmy Savile’s boat.” (
* At least 21 newspapers that endorsed Obama in 2008 have endorsed Romney in 2012. (
* Editor & Publisher names its EPPY award winners on YouTube and in a Word doc; how about just letting us read them on a webpage?
* Get ready for Uncool, a new kind of music journalism. (
* AP’s report on today’s “almost unchanged” circulation numbers. (
* Advance Publications says its digital revenues are up 22% in 2012. (

Conan: “That puppy just heard that Newsweek went out of business.”

Conan O’Brien mourns the death of Newsweek in print: “It’s sad, it’s a little mind-boggling. And what’s even stranger and sadder is when you see some of the magazines that actually outlasted Newsweek.

“Newsweek’s gone but these magazines still exist! These are all completely real:” Pond Hoppin, Chess Life, Pole Spin, Airports of the World, Where to Retire, Witches & Pagans, Weed World, Amateur Radio, Racing Pigeon Pictorial, and Just Labs.

* 12 real magazines that outlasted Newsweek (
* Also: Conan thanks a “brave” reporter covering Hurricane Sandy (