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Daily Archives: November 27, 2012

* You’ll never read about gay rights or see the word “pig” in The National, the English-language newspaper run by the government of the United Arab Emirates. (AJR.com)
* Ron Fournier goes from editor-in-chief to editorial director at National Journal. (politico.com)
* Sarah Lacey says Mathew Ingram is “1,000% right” about paywalls not being the newspaper industry’s savior. (pandodaily.com)
* Toledo Blade gives nonsubscribers 20 free digital stories a month, and then it’s $5.99 for the first six months and $5.99 each month after that. (Toledoblade.com)
* Sun-Times loses its metro editor to just-launched DNAInfo Chicago. (timeoutchicago.com)
* Ombud: NYT photo caption could have been better, but it wasn’t “Orwellian” as Greg Mitchell claims. (nytimes.com)
* “Ms. was the first mass circulation magazine to report the truth about what was happening in women’s lives,” says a founding editor. (slanthere.com)
* Denver Post outsources 29 call center jobs to Honduras. (westword.com)
* Connie Schultz is wrong about Clark Kent; he’s no traitor to the newspaper business. (examiner.com)
* Bill O’Reilly has a nutrition tip that’s especially handy around the holidays. (washingtonpost.com)
* Men who tried to steal holiday tips from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel carriers get jail time. (patch.com)

WARREN BUFFETT: “I think newspapers in print form, in most of the cities and towns where they are present, will be here in 10 and 20 years. I think newspapers do a good job of serving a community where there is a lot of community interest.” (nytimes.com)

JILL ABRAMSON: “For foreseeable future, I think I’m going to be putting out the best news report in journalism that will be both in newspaper form and all kinds of digital forms,” says the executive editor of the New York Times. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Of course, Abramson hopes Nate Silver will stay with the Times (mediabistro.com)
* Abramson: “I have every confidence in [Mark Thompson] as CEO (businessweek.com)
* Abramson: I couldn’t fire columnist Joe Nocera even if I wanted (businessinsider.com)

Last week, the Helena (MT) Independent Record told readers that it disciplined the staffers responsible for adding “allegedly” to an AP story that noted “Obama was born in Hawaii.”

On Monday, I called publisher Randy Rickman (left) and asked what the punishment was.

“Why would I tell you that?” he said.

“Because I asked?” I replied.

“We’re not going to discuss that,” he told me, “but you’ll never see that happen in this newsroom again.”

How did “Obama was allegedly born in Hawaii” end up in the paper?

“One copy editor thought the other was going to catch it and he didn’t.” (They suddenly got busy, I’m told by someone else.)

— From the Independent Record

I talked to other people about the incident and learned this:

The copy editors are “basic liberal media types” who were lampooning their boss with the “allegedly” insertion.

Rickman is conservative and he wears that on his sleeve,” says former Independent Record city editor Pete Nowakowski. “I’m guessing it was an inside joke making fun of the perception of the paper and the publisher. …At night, there’s kind of a locker-room humor and people screwing around since there are no suits around. We would do Onion-style headlines and things like that. Unfortunately it backfired on them.”

Another source says the two copy editors received letters of reprimand and had to “promise to never put anything on a page that you don’t want the public to read.”

That person adds: “They were pretty embarrassed but are good solid guys with a bad sense of humor.”

* Earlier: Paper disciplines copy editors for “Obama was allegedly born in Hawaii” line (jimromenesko.com)

I was recently surprised to receive a Facebook friend request from Tina Brown.

I accepted it and quickly discovered that my new virtual pal — Tina A. Brown — wasn’t the Newsweek/Daily Beast editor; she’s a struggling journalist from Savannah, Georgia.

I asked her if there’s been confusion over the years because of her name. She wrote:

I’ve used the same byline for 30 years. I can’t remember how many times I’ve scheduled an interview, shown up and the person asked with a dubious tone “you’re Tina Brown?” I used to think it was because they were surprised by my race. Some of my telephone sources from all over the country have said I don’t sound black. They ask to see my press pass when we meet.

Tina Brown and Tina A. Brown

I started appearing on television and fewer people asked until the other Tina Brown became a mogul. Now, I like to say with a smile: “I’m the other Tina Brown.” Wink. Wink. I’m quite sure I’ve lost a few great job opportunities with major media because we share the same name. I’ve considered using my initials recently if it will help me get back to work.

“I see that your LinkedIn bio still has you at the Savannah Morning News,” I told her in an email. “Were you laid off?”

The Morning News had plenty of opportunities but wouldn’t hire me as anything other then a modern day sharecropper. I freelanced for the newspaper and its “print only” publications until this spring. I suspended that contract because four of the five editors who had promised I wouldn’t be “working at McDonald’s” don’t work there anymore. The remaining editor was not giving me enough work. The contract said I couldn’t work for its competition.

Most of my journalism work has dried up. Slow pay is just as bad as no pay. My savings and 401K lasted just under four years. I used to write about the working poor. Now, I know what it feels like to get recertified for food stamps and to put in that call to the temp agencies. If I think about it I could put on a one-woman show since I moved to Savannah. I’ve taught writing in the jail and community centers; conducted the Census in an inferno; become a storyteller with veterans of The Moth and washed pots.

I’m looking for a full-time job where I can use my professional skills as a reporter, writer, editor, web content producer, teacher, short story videographer and social media manager that pays a living wage and on time.

Romenesko reader Jonathan Sanders forwards a Yahoo Sports job posting and writes: “Crazy that they don’t care if they’re getting ‘biased’ fans writing horse-crap … even crazier that they claim to then want ‘expert-level contributors’ but will only pay $1.10 per 1,000 page views, and only people who are willing to write prolifically, self-edit, build your own audience and generate all your own ideas need apply.”

Sanders adds: “As someone looking for legitimate work as a freelance journalist, I’m tired of having my education insulted with ‘offers’ like that.”

* Freelance writers for Yahoo! Sports (journalismjobs.com)

“@phillydotcom posts NSFW photo — seriously NSFW, like why-is-this happening,” Daniel Victor tweeted after seeing Dan Gross’s column, headlined “Bolaris’ fiance sends titilating tweets,” with the exposed-breast photo below.

On Facebook, too, I was seeing criticism of Philly.com. (“In case your son doesn’t know what naked skank boobs look like yet, point him over to Philly.com,” wrote Amy Z. Quinn. “Haven for 15-year-old boys.”) I went to the Philly.com page, but the image was gone. A tipster sent a screenshot a few minutes later and wrote: “Took at least 1/2 hour to pull this down after a major morning radio host talked about it. Yes, the photo is from Playboy, the ad is for Sesame Place.”

I’ve asked the paper for comment.

UPDATE: Leah Kauffman, Philly.com executive producer of entertainment, tells Romenesko readers:

We apologize for the production glitch that allowed an inappropriate photo to accompany this story earlier this morning. We have since removed the photo and are taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again.

* Philly.com made at least one guy happy: “This is a new direction I can support!” (@themjm)

* An Outlaw in hiding (William Outlaw IV, actually) agrees to talk to an editor. “I wasn’t nervous about my own safety at all,” says Paul Bass. (dankennedy.com)
* Top BBC officials acknowledge “errors” in reporting scandals. (nytimes.com)
* What they’re up to at New York Times’s R&D Lab. (adweek.com)
* AP now says “-phobia” should not be used “in political or social contexts,” including homophobia. (politico.com)
* Washington Post Co. CEO Don Graham sells $6.7 million worth of Facebook shares. (washingtonpost.com)
* NBC News to start paying its college interns. (mije.org)
* A change in female anchors’ dress code: Blazers out, sleeveless sheath dresses in. (washingtonpost.com)
* Howard Sherman on Pete Wells’s Guy’s review: “I stand with critics for their right to say what they think, but…” (huffingtonpost.com)
* How PRWeb helps deliver crap into Google and news sites. (searchengineland.com)
* People’s Daily congratulates Kim Jong Un on being named The Onion’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” (buzzfeed.com)
* Suffering from information overload? Try changing your news platform. (niemanlab.org)