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Daily Archives: October 29, 2012

Credit: Eliot Caroom, The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger reporter Tomas Dinges (right) works on a Hurricane Sandy story from a newsroom without power.

The New York Daily News reported earlier this evening that it was without power — along with 1.6 million New Yorkers — and had three feet of water in its lobby.

* Everyone from Star-Ledger to PSE&G employees have lost power (nj.com)
* New Canaan News still has power, but no Internet; preps for all-nighter (@Woods_NCNews)
* Gawker, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, other sites go down (buzzfeed.tumblr.com)


– image via @machfowler

Before the fall

* A in USA Today sign blown off Gannett building (patch.com)
* “All part of our redesign,” jokes USA Today DC bureau chief Susan Page (@SusanPage)

In August, the Charleston Gazette and reporter Ken Ward Jr. were sued by Murray Energy for a July 18 blog post that implied the company and CEO Bob Murray are criminals. (Read “Mitt Romney, Murray Energy and coal criminals.”)

Over the weekend, the Gazette made that lawsuit go away by publishing an op-ed about CEO Murray and his company headlined, “A Great Man For Coal Miners and Their Families.”

Bob Murray

The piece — signed by “Senior Management Employees of Murray Energy Corporation and Subsidiary Companies” — claims the Gazette and its reporter “have become totally discredited by your demonizing the responsible Americans who have created and maintained our important industry and the jobs and families that depend on it. You have chosen to falsely assail our Company and founder using second-hand information or by just creating mistruths.”

Gazette publisher Elizabeth Chilton tells WFPL public radio that the paper’s settlement “contains no admission by the newspaper that anything it published was incorrect, libelous or defamatory.”

Under the settlement, the Gazette agreed to publish a commentary by Mr. Murray responding to the Coal Tattoo blog post that prompted Mr. Murray’s suit.

Our newspaper also has a long history of providing space to allow readers and subjects of our stories to respond to what we publish. The ability to question our reporting or disagree with our commentary is available to anyone.

Meanwhile, Ward continues to post to his Coal Tattoo blog.

* Coal company, Charleston Gazette reach settlement in libel case (wfpl.org)
* Murray was probably very pleasantly surprised when he opened his paper and saw the op-ed (grist.org)
* Earlier: Murray Energy sues Charleston Gazette and reporter Ken Ward Jr. (jimromenesko.com)

Ohman self-portrait via wweek.com

Oregonian editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman announced on his Facebook page today that he’s leaving the Newhouse paper after 29 years and will reveal his plans later this week. “The decision to leave was mine and mine alone,” he writes. “They will always be in my heart, and I don’t want anyone to worry.” (The Oregonian also has a brief post about the departure.)

Also, Willamette Week reports that Michelle Cole, the Oregonian’s state capitol bureau reporter, is leaving the paper to join a lobbying firm. She’s been at the daily since 1999.

* Editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman leaves Oregonian (wweek.com) | (oregonlive.com)
* Oregonian’s Michelle Cole takes job with lobbying firm (wweek.com)

After Meat Loaf endorsed Mitt Romney last week, people wondered whether the New York Times would refer to the rocker as Mr. Loaf as, they claimed, the paper has done in the past.

Meat Loaf has made the same claim in interviews.

From the Las Vegas Mercury, July 24, 2003:

Mercury: Does anyone ever call you Mr. Loaf?

Meat Loaf: Have you ever heard of Clive Barnes? He was the premier theater critic for the New York Times. And the first year I did Shakespeare in the Park–it was with Raoul Julia, Marybeth Hurt, myself and another actress named Kathleen Widows–he wrote, “Mr. Julia, Ms. Hurt, Mr. Loaf and Ms. Widows.” That was when we performed As You Like It.

Here is that Barnes review from the June 29, 1973, Times; there’s no Mr. Loaf reference.

This comes from his CBS biography: “Meat Loaf went on to get his feet wet in Shakespeare when he appeared in a central part production of “As You Like It”. (It was this performance that led New York Times drama critic Clive Barnes, who was not impressed, to dub him “Mr. Loaf”).”

In a 2007 “Talk to the Newsroom” Q and A, Times standards editor Phil Corbett was asked about the “Mr. Loaf” reference. He said:

The notion that The Times referred to Meat Loaf as “Mr. Loaf” is more or less apocryphal. As my colleague Merrill Perlman explained when she took questions in this forum, our one use of “Mr. Loaf” was as a joke, in a headline for a review of a movie about him. The headline was, “Is He Called Just Plain Meat Or Should It Be Mr. Loaf?”

What about Michael Barbaro’s Times story last week about Meat Loaf’s Romney endorsement? The 65-year-old singer was referred to as Meat Loaf throughout; Mr. was never attached to his name.

UPDATE I: Greg Robb tweets: “but i think they might have called jamaican rapper shinehead, mr. shinehead.” You’re right. Here’s the 1988 story.

UPDATE II: It’s been pointed out that the Wall Street Journal has used Mr. Loaf. See the ninth paragraph of this story.

UPDATE III: The American-Statesman’s Ken Herman shares this: “Mitt, meet Meat. Meat, meet Mitt.”

UPDATE IV: Stacy Vogel Davis tweets: “I once heard NPR refer to 50 Cent as ‘Mr. Cent.'” Steve Inskeep did that in a 2007 piece.


Letter to Romenesko

From BRITTANY HANNAH, Rome (Ga.) News Tribune: An unusual journalism note perhaps, but I found this too cute for words and wanted to share. I spoke at an elementary school a few weeks ago as a photojournalist for Career Day. I displayed a series of images from my job including house fires, business features and daily life around Rome, Ga. This is one of the thank you notes I received from a 5th grade student.

So much for inspiring a student towards journalism! At least I tried! Kids these days!

Stanford Daily has followed the Daily Princetonian in banning email interviews. There have been too many of them, complains Stanford Daily editor-in-chief Billy Gallagher, and because of that “we are failing our readers in our duty to give them quality journalism and not serve merely as a conduit for community PR.”

We will continue to use email for simple inquiries, such as data requests and statements. In the past, we have attributed all email responses as “wrote in an email to The Daily.” From now on, we will treat anything in an email as its true nature, a press release, attributing it as “wrote in a statement.”

Gallagher says email interviews will only be approved by the paper’s top two editors if a source is out of the country “and is unable to do an interview via Skype or other technology.”

* Letter from the editor: An end to email interviews (stanforddaily.com)
* Sept. 18: Daily Princetonian bans email interviews (jimromenesko.com)
* Sept. 4: Harvard Crimson ends quote review practice (jimromenesko.com)

Romenesko reader Chris Rimel writes: “Caught this today showing Colorado north of Colorado. Too many interns?”


The Chicago Tribune’s Stephan Benzkofer has a good piece today on his paper’s “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline from Nov. 3, 1948.

“Although other papers made the same error that year, no other was displayed gleefully by President Harry Truman for a photograph,” he writes. “Today, readers calling up to complain about an error — no matter how small — still will dredge up our 64-year-old blunder, as if to hammer home that it hasn’t been forgotten.” (chicagotribune.com)

Sandy, Mitt and more:
* “Jonah Lehrer’s tortuous fall began on what should have been a day of celebration,” notes Boris Kachka. (nymag.com)
* South Florida TV viewers complain about graphic anti-abortion ads. (gossipextra.com)
* Jay Mariotti: “I’ll be back in sports media when the timing is right.” (shermanreport.com)
* Sacramento Bee editor: “I’ve helped reporters write stories about high-profile family tragedies. This month, my family became one of those narratives.” (sacbee.com)
* How Hurricane Sandy affects election coverage. (huffingtonpost.com)
* A full-color “MittZine” appeared in swing-state Sunday newspapers. (cleveland.com)
* So relieved! “It is not accurate to say [Tina Brown] is always wearing the same jacket on air.” (wwd.com)
* Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore: “Trust me, no one wants to be wrong more than me.” (adage.com)
* FRANK will stop by your home to make sure you don’t jump over his pay wall. (feathertale.com)
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