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Daily Archives: October 23, 2012

A Seattle Times reader describes what happened when he called to cancel his subscription because of the paper’s political ads.

You know, she said, a great way to register your complaint — and a lot of subscribers are doing this — is to suspend your subscription during the campaign season and then restart it after the election. No, I said, I want to cancel.

* facebook.com/mmatassa | Earlier: Paper’s ad campaign “takes the cake” (jimromenesko.com)
* DNAInfo.com Chicago editor quits just as the site is about to launch. (timeoutchicago.com)
* U-T San Diego fails to disclose owner’s connection to anti-Obama documentary. (sdcitybeat.com)
* Tina Brown: “The Daily Beast is on fire with its traffic. We have proved all those naysayers wrong.” (npr.org)
* NYT public editor: Is Mark Thompson the right person for the Times Co. CEO job at this point? (nytimes.com)
* You won’t see Bob Schieffer’s “Obama bin Laden” slip in the CBS News transcript. (politicker.com)
* A $3.725 million grant for the Center for Health Reporting. (centerforhealthreporting.org)
* Judd Apatow to guest-edit Vanity Fair’s first-ever comedy issue. (vanityfair.com)
* The “Today’s Front Pages” for college newspapers is calling it quits next week. (collegefrontpage.com)

New York Times standards editor Philip Corbett sent an “ethics reminder” to the paper’s freelancers on Tuesday afternoon.
He tells them to “take care to avoid activities on social media that would damage the credibility of that journalism – for example, partisan advocacy or offensive personal attacks.”

Other common areas of concern include these:
– Work for companies or organizations that The Times may cover.
— Undisclosed ties between the writer and people or institutions mentioned in an article.
— Lobbying, advocacy or political activities or contributions related to the area of coverage.

I assume this memo was prompted by Times Magazine freelance columnist Andrew Goldman’s Twitter comments, which got him suspended for a month.

From: NYT PACT/SYS/NYTIMES
Date: Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM
Subject: The New York Times Freelancer Ethics Reminder
To: [Times freelance writers]

TO: ALL FREELANCE WRITERS
October 2012

This is a reminder about The Times’s ethics policies for journalists.

As you know, we take very seriously the issue of conflicts of interest and other problems that might undermine the credibility of our journalism or the reputation of The Times.

Your freelance contract obliges you to comply with the applicable provisions of The Times’s policy on Ethical Journalism and to take care to avoid conflicts or the appearance of a conflict. The provisions pertaining specifically to outside contributors are reproduced below, but you should review the entire document. Readers do not distinguish between freelancers and staff reporters in The Times, so as far as possible we expect outside contributors to adhere to the same standards as Times staff members./CONTINUES Read More

Earlier this morning I asked the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins when she plans to write about Lance Armstrong — her last column on him was published in August — and if she wanted to comment on Glenn Nelson’s piece, “Should Lance Armstrong’s downfall sully Sally Jenkins?”

Jenkins sent this email:

I haven’t read what you’ve written, but then I haven’t read much of anything. I’ve been away from the Washington Post working on a book project — Pat Summitt’s memoir — and haven’t had time to read the full report. I did read George Hincapie’s affidavit, which I assume is truthful. When I’ve had time to look at all of it and think about it, I will, but the book is due November 15 and it’s my first priority, not Lance.

In the meantime I can tell you that while my thoughts are complicated Lance remains a friend of mine, and my personal opinion of him was never based on what he did or didn’t do while riding a bike up an Alp. I like the guy.

If my editors ask me to write when I come back from the book project, I will discuss it with them. Until then my thoughts remain my own. As for my reputation, if I can wind up with a rep for being a good friend and an independent thinker, I’d like that.

Best, Sally

Earlier: Will Armstrong’s downfall hurt sports journalist Jenkins? (jimromenesko.com)

I posted a memo yesterday about the newly acquired Tampa Tribune offering buyouts and cutting staffers’ pay. Today I’m told by my tipster that it’s “6 percent salary cuts for most staffers.”

I called Revolution Capital in Los Angeles — the Tampa paper’s new owner — for comment. “I can’t verify any numbers,” Revolution M&A veep Gary Alcock told me, then pointed out that I posted the company’s memo without permission. (Welcome to our world, sir!)

I’d like to hear from Tampa Tribune staffers with more information; you’ll remain anonymous.

* Tampa Tribune’s new owner cuts salaries and offers buyouts (jimromenesko.com)

I’ve had my problems, too — the only failing notice I received in high school was in Algebra — so I double-checked with an online calculator to make sure that the iPod was introduced 11 years ago, not 9.

* Nine years ago — in 2001 — Apple unveils the iPod (digtriad.com)
* Earlier: It’s common to hear a journalist say they’re “not a math person” (cjr.org)
* Oct. 23, 2001: Apple’s just-announced iPod spurs mixed reactions (cnet.com)

Sergio Romo with the Chronicle Extra

San Francisco Chronicle sports editor Al Saracevic‘s memo to colleagues:

From: Al Saracevic
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 1:57 AM
To: [San Francisco Chronicle sports staff and others]
Subject: Romo with the Extra!

Amazing scene after the game..

I brought the Extras out on the field, in the rain, and everyone was waving them around.

But it got crazy in the clubhouse. Players were waving them around. But Sergio Romo took it to another level. When he saw he was on the cover, he literally ran around the clubhouse waving The Chronicle. Great moment for us. All over social media and mainstream media.

Sally Jenkins wrote two books with Lance Armstrong “near the height of his alleged illicit activities,” notes Glenn Nelson. The Washington Post sports columnist “closely hitched her star to Armstrong’s,” he writes, and now “I wonder if she consequently will — and should — be sucked into the draft of Armstrong’s nosedive.”

His conclusion:

Sally Jenkins


Sally Jenkins has accomplished too much to be dragged down by Lance Armstrong, who did so much bad to offset so much good. She was just a partner in telling his story, not an accomplice to his misdeeds.

She’s also continued to be a Lance loyalist.

Jenkins wrote on August 24: “Lance Armstrong is a good man. There’s nothing that I can learn about him short of murder that would alter my opinion on that. …For a long, long time I’ve had serious doubts about the motives, efficiency and wisdom of these ‘doping’ investigations. …I do know that he beat cancer fair and square, that he’s not the mastermind criminal the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency makes him out to be, and that the process of stripping him of his titles reeks.” [My boldface.]

A Washington Post commenter points out that “Jenkins has done a total disappearing act with the subsequent Post reporting on the Armstrong scandal being done by other reporters. Jenkins owes her audience a follow-up” to the late August piece.

UPDATE: What Washingtonian’s Harry Jaffe wrote earlier this month:

Sally Jenkins is one of the Post’s most brave and incisive columnists. In the case of Lance Armstrong, she has tied herself to his fortunes, to his veracity, to his worthiness as a champion. If he takes a fall, will she write about it? Will she take one, too?

Jenkins has yet to respond to questions about whether she would write about Armstrong’s latest travails. Her readers deserve her take.

I’ve asked Jenkins when she’ll next write about Armstrong. UPDATE: In an email, Jenkins explains she has a Nov. 15 book deadline, and that writing about Armstrong isn’t her No. 1 priority now.

* Should Lance Armstrong’s fall sully Sally Jenkins? (seattleweekly.com)
* What’s Jenkins’ take on the latest Lance Armstrong charges? (washingtonian.com)

Monday’s “labor action” at the New York Times involved union members posing for a photo that they’ll give to incoming CEO Mark Thompson. On Wednesday, Times staffers will move outside for “informational hand-billing” on 41st St., outside the Times building and across the street from the law firm that’s representing the company in contract talks.

Read the memo after the jump. Read More