Daily Archives: November 28, 2012

* Jeff Zucker has lots of help retooling CNN. The suggestion box is overflowing. ( | But things are already looking up, the cable-newser says. (
* NYT assigns an editor to work with Jodi Rudoren on her social media skills. ( | “You’re wrong in describing this as ‘punitive,'” says a Times spokesperson. (
* Do they even bother with casual Friday at Details magazine? (
* Study: 82% of all content sharing is done by cutting and pasting. (
* What was missing in the Sandy coverage: Useful lists, according to Jeff Jarvis. (
* Ex-Newsday classical music writer Justin Davidson adjusts to a new pace at New York magazine. (
* ESPN tells the SportsCenter crew not to credit SportsByBrooks for its scoop. (
* Sorry, Chris Berman, but it’s doubtful you’ll get picked for the Hall of Fame this year. (
* Who killed progressive radio in Portland? (
* People’s Daily editor now realizes Onion’s “Sexiest Man” story was satire. (

Former Greensboro News & Record editor John Robinson wrote on Sunday: “Because we have more reporters than we know what to do with, let’s see now, we can assign reporters to…”

His list:

* Interview people lining up to buy tickets.

* Review exactly what 1-in-175 million chance of winning actually means. (You don’t have a prayer.)

* Show graphically now many times 425,000,000 one dollar bills would stretch around the world.

* Remind readers/viewers of past winners and the good/bad luck they’ve had since winning.

* Interview that guy who gives what he calls tips on how to win the lottery.

I told Robinson this afternoon that I’ve seen all of the stories he listed, but have yet to spot the dollar bills graphic. (I liked this Mercury News graphic that points out you’re more likely to be killed by a coconut than win tonight’s jackpot.)

“Have you spotted all 5 since your 11/25 post?” I asked the newsman. “Curious if you’ve seen any examples of lottery stories that you thought were done right. Any *really* dreadful ones? Angles that have been missed?”

He replied:

Actually, I’m embarrassed that I missed some [angles] on my Sunday list!

I haven’t really searched, but I haven’t seen any that justified a reporter’s time. (An anchor reading a few paragraphs from a wire story is fine. A newspaper running a wire story is fine. They take no staff time.)

As for the dreadful ones, boy, to me, most of them are dreadful. They’re full of cliches — a greater chance of getting struck by lightning! Money can’t buy happiness! — and shed little light on, well, anything.


From AP’s story: “In the hours before Wednesday’s drawing, Associated Press photographers fanned out across the nation to meet ticket buyers and ask about their lottery fantasies. Here’s a look at what they found:” Wait. What? They fanned out across the nation? That’s serving the public how, exactly? If I were still a newspaper editor, I’d be on the phone to the AP bureau asking for a day’s refund for that.

That said the Today Show led with the lottery story this morning. The lottery is the biggest story of the day? Take THAT Susan Rice and Fiscal Cliff and Sandy survivors in Long Island!

OK, OK, sorry. I’m no lottery expert. I’ve even bought a ticket. This is just part of my campaign to stomp out predictable, cliched news coverage that doesn’t truly help readers or viewers.

Now, if the reporter would look at problem gambling or how the state spends its lottery proceeds or whether the lottery truly attracts the poorest among us then that would be something. Of course, they never do. They just roll out the cliched piece on odds, on winning strategies, on lines of excited buyers, on how it doesn’t buy happiness.

Is it a big deal? No, it’s just another story in a day full of stories.

* Chances of avoiding lottery stories are 1-in-175 million (
* Newseum: “Coverage of the record-breaking Powerball jackpot made our top nine front pages today” (
* Author: “Although no one studies it as much as I do, I am still stunned by the way people are fascinated by the lottery” (

Washington Times editor David Jackson’s memo on staff cuts goes on to say: “I can’t give you the details of any decisions about the workforce because nothing has been finalized yet. … I can tell you, though, that the reductions in staffing that we expect will be a one-time only process.”

* Washington Times to cut staff (

Financial Times staffers are told not to tweet commentary or analysis of the Leveson report on media standards when it’s released tomorrow. “We will have commentary but it will stretch beyond 140 characters,” writes editor Lionel Barber. “Only the facts in other words on twitter.” Here’s his memo:

From: Lionel Barber
Date: 28 November 2012 17:35
Subject: Leveson – Twitter tomorrow
To: FT Editorial users A-J, FT Editorial users K-Z

Please take note: we need to focus on reporting not comment.

I would therefore ask people to refrain from tweets tomorrow which comment or purport to analyse the report with personal views.

Only the facts in other words on twitter.

We will have commentary but it will stretch beyond 140 characters – and it will be written by seasoned journalists who have
read and reflected on the report.

This is not a case of letting 1001 flowers bloom…..

Thank you


Monocle magazine editor-in-chief Tyler Brule did an interview with Bloomberg Television this morning. Here’s how it went:

What was your first job?
My first job was working for W.H. Smith and I was paid in magazines because I was too young to get a proper salary.

Tyler Brule (credit:

What car do you drive?
I don’t drive; I’m driven.

Do you tweet?
I absolutely do not tweet.

What’s the best thing and worst thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I’m constantly on the road; I get to see the world. That’s also the worst thing about my job as well.

Are you a hare or a tortoise?
Hair on my head, tortoise shell frames.

What’s your biggest indulgence?
My biggest indulgence is probably my roaming charges.

What would you like to be remembered for?
Not tweeting.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A fighter pilot.

Imagine it’s your last day on Earth. What would be your last meal?
My last meal would be around one of the big communal tables at La Baracca in St. Moritz. Beef, mashed potatoes with pesto and a good salad.

* This editor-in-chief used to get paid in magazines (
* There’s a good comments thread about this on my Facebook page (

Poynter Foundation chairman and former Philadelphia Media publisher Brian Tierney is being sued by his old PR firm, Tierney Communications, for using his own name in another business, which he agreed not to when he left the firm. Tierney now heads Brian Communications Group.

The suit notes that Tierney is using the phrase “A Brian Tierney Company” under his logo and on its website.

Stephanie Farr reports:

Tierney Communications also claims that Tierney owns the domain name, and that when Internet users enter it into a web browser, they are taken to the Brian Communications Group site.

The suit claims that Tierney is trying to “confuse clients and prospective clients” of Tierney Communications and misdirect them to his new company.

Tierney declined to comment to the newspaper he once owned. (It sounds like he fits right in at Poynter, which tried to keep using my name after I resigned last November.)

* Tierney vs. Tierney: What’s in a name? (

* the headline must not be more than 64 characters (

UPDATE: The Times pulled the story and their “the headline must not..” headline.

* One of the little-known facts about “local” TV news: In some instances it isn’t local at all — as “Conan” has shown several times with his clips. (
* John McIntyre: “Hey, AP, maybe you could ban ‘suspect.'” (
* “Justice League of New York journalism schools” releases a report on where news is headed. (
* Survey finds that the most any local news anchor made in 2012 was $850,000. (
* @NYTOnIt gains 6,000 followers, thanks to legal threat. (
* Jeff Zucker is expected to be named CNN president. ( | (
* Keith J. Kelly hears there may be a pink-slip flurry at Time Inc. in January. (
* Oprah to Letterman: “Well, you’re a white man, Dave. Of course, you had a different experience” growing up. ( | (photo gallery)
* Apple’s dominance of the tablet market is beginning to wane. (
* Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Kara Swisher: “Could a reporter be any more irritating and self-involved?” (@philiped)
* NYT’s David Brooks chats with the Princetonian, complains about students not respecting profs in the ’60s. (
* What happened to Boston alt-weekly The Phoenix? (
* In Pakistan, big perks and big risks to being a journalist. (
* Note to Your NSFW photo is still on your site. (Check “You may also like”) ( | Background story: (
* NBC claims “huge” ratings win for Brian Williams’ newscast last week. (