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Daily Archives: October 16, 2012

* There’s another report that Marcus Brauchli will be replaced as Washington Post executive editor. (forbes.com) | Earlier rumors: (washingtonian.com)
* Stories from the BBC and New York Times are the most widely retweeted. (paidcontent.org)
* Van Jones says on CNN that Romney acted “kind of like a douche” in the first debate. (freebeacon.com)
* Murdoch critics’ proposals for management changes are shot down. (nytimes.com)
* Jay Rosen: “No one is really in charge of the presidential debates. The situation is in charge.” (guardian.co.uk)
* Profs who donate to Obama’s campaign have been quoted in stories about his administration. (thehill.com)
* AirPR could be the biggest disruption yet in public relations. (pandodaily.com)

Scott Torgerson of WBNS 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, OH, was suspended indefinitely for the above tweet about ESPN’s Desmond Howard, who tweeted this response: “You won’t catch me wishing you death on twitter for doing your job, no matter how poorly I think you underperform at whatever it is you do.”

Torgerson’s @myguythetorg account has been closed.

* Torgerson is suspended and criticized by a colleague (awfulannouncing.com) | (ap.org)

“The Mobilization Committee” at the New York Times tells guild members this afternoon that newsroom managers have been nicely rewarded.

During the two and a half years (and counting) that our wages have been frozen, the base pay for newsroom managers increased by 6 percent (3% in 2011, 3% in 2012).

We have spoken with a number of exempt managers who, during that same time period, received bonuses that came to more than 45% of their pay (above 30% in 2011, and more than 12% in 2012). These figures come from mid-level people who advise that there may be some variation on the size of the bonus, depending on a person’s rank and department.

These are our colleagues. They earned that money.

So have we.

Read the memo after the jump. Read More

Some BlackBerry users are ashamed to be seen with their much-derided devices, according to a New York Times story that has an LA musician saying “BlackBerry users are like Myspace users” and “they probably still chat on AOL Instant Messenger.”

BlackBerry, says another person quoted in the piece, is “a desperate company.”

It’s also an unhappy one — miffed that the Times didn’t call for comment.

What would the company have said had the Times reached out? I asked Research in Motion senior PR director Amy McDowell.

“We have a lot of points we would have countered with,” including making the point that “there are 80 million BlackBerry users.”

She points to #TeamBlackBerry and Hey @nytimes campaigns that RIM launched after the Times piece went online. There are many supportive tweets, but I’m guessing that McDowell cringes when she reads things like this under #TeamBlackBerry: “BB’s are so bad it’s not even funny. I’m so glad I have an iPhone now,” and “I’ve been through SIX BlackBerry’s in so many months. Not counting those stolen or lost.”

Ouch!

* RIM says NYT didn’t seek comment for devastating BlackBerry story (prdaily.com)
* BlackBerry becomes a source of shame for users (nytimes.com)
* Earlier: Not the last RIM jobs headline we’ll see (jimromenesko.com)

Six days ago, a group of fraternity pledges sent the University of Alabama’s Crimson White newspaper an anonymous email saying that “we can no longer take the brutality of pledgeship and something must be done.”

Today the paper runs a story about hazing in which an unnamed pledge, representing the letter-writers, describes what goes on inside of frat houses. For example, he tells reporter Ashley Chaffin:

You can be forced to drink – a lot. Well, it’s probably eight or nine beers, but it’s in like half an hour. So you don’t really get drunk, you just can’t physically keep the carbonation in your stomach and you have to throw it up. …

I can’t see myself, like, doing this back. After feeling what it’s like, I wouldn’t want to ruin a kid’s first semester.

The paper also runs a 12-paragraph editorial today explaining why it’s using an anonymous source for the hazing story:

The environment fostered by the administration and the few men in fraternities who continue to perpetrate dangerous hazing practices at the University has become too toxic for whistle-blowers – they can’t speak out even though they feel a moral imperative to do so because of the fear of the consequences of having their names attached to an issue so volatile.

That’s why you’ll find an anonymous source in today’s Crimson White. It is the last remaining avenue by which our sources can contest the leadership of our administrators when it comes to hazing in the greek community.

* Fraternity pledge details University of Alabama’s culture of hazing (cw.ua.edu)
* Editorial: Anonymity used to keep sources safe (cw.ua.edu)
* Earlier: Crimson White staffer explains the five stages of life as a copy editor (jimromenesko.com)

UPDATE: I asked Crimson White editor-in-chief Will Tucker about his paper’s anonymous source policy. His response is after the jump.
Read More

Former Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti wants to get back to work, “but will anyone hire him?” asks Ed Sherman. “He still has that domestic violence incident with a former girlfriend that derailed his career. It hangs out there, regardless of what Mariotti claims really happened.”

Why isn’t he back to work on a full-time gig? Is it because of his own choice, or because nobody has called? Or nobody has called with the right offer?

Say what you will about him, Mariotti is a gifted writer and a polarizing figure who can command the room. But will a large entity give him another chance?

Mariotti is awaiting your call.

* Will Jay Mariotti ever land another big-time gig? (shermanreport.com)
* Jay Mariotti: Why I still love sports writing (chicagosidesports.com)
* Earlier: Ebert lashes out at Mariotti for saying newspapers are dead (suntimes.com)


“Spelling would contribute to success,” writes Doug Conarroe, who sent this image from yesterday’s Colorado Daily.


833.9 mpg? “That’s better than a Prius I think,” writes Romenesko reader Michael Horning, who spotted this in Gannett’s Opelousas, LA, Daily World.


“I guess it’s true for NYT copy editors as well as Cy Young and MVP award winners,” Bob Seybold writes in an email that included a link to this headline.

* No more presidential endorsements from the Knoxville News Sentinel. “The decision to abandon this practice was not an easy one,” says the editor (knoxnews.com)
* Ombud investigates complaints that NPR sound bites favor Republicans. What he found: “Measuring the air time of sound bites on ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ the day after each debate, I found a virtual dead heat in time by the Democratic and Republican candidates.” (npr.org)
* Candy Crowley leaves little doubt that she plans to function as a journalist during the debate. (washingtonpost.com)
* Debating the role of the debate moderator. (boston.com)
* Larry Flynt buys Boulder-based New Frontier Media for $33 million in cash. (dailycamera.com)
* Questions asked while reading New York magazine’s profile of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. (chicagoreader.com) | (nymag.com)
* Appeals court says phone books have the same free speech protections as newspapers. (chicagotribune.com)
* USA Today’s page one lead poisoning story was reported and written by a 22-year-old intern. (reportingonhealth.org)
* Magazine editor smokes out the truth about the origins of 420. (mediabistro.com)
* Dartmouth Radical debuts with “tons of really positive remarks from students.” (thedartmouth.com)