Daily Archives: December 6, 2012

The Washington Post is likely to put up a metered paywall in 2013. “One person familiar with the matter said the paywall will be introduced no earlier than next summer,” reports the Wall Street Journal’s Keach Hagey. She hears there will be a newsstand price increase, too. (
UPDATE: The Post is now reporting, too, that it “will probably start charging online readers for access to newspaper articles in the middle of next year.” The Post’s source is only identified as “a person familiar with the plans.”

Long reluctant to charge for online content, the newspaper is close to a decision to introduce digital subscriptions and charge online readers once they surpass a certain number of articles or multimedia features a month, the person said. Access to the home page and section fronts would not be limited.

* Washington Post reportedly considering adding a paywall (

* Daily Beast considers charging for its website. (
* Chicago Tribune is using Journatic again, but only on a limited basis. (
* Roger Ebert is hospitalized with a fractured hip. (
* Bill prohibiting career officials from participating in “background or off-the-record” sessions with reporters “a classic example of overkill.” (
* New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt takes questions on Reddit. (
* Catholic school apologizes after student’s testicles are exposed in a yearbook photo. ( | (
* John E. Mulligan leaves the Providence Journal Washington bureau after 32 years. (Providence Journal eEdition)
* UT-San Diego catches city workers snapping photos from a boom lift on “the taxpayers’ dime”; commenters blast the paper for its report. (
* George Zimmerman sues NBC over edited Trayvon Martin tape. (
* San Francisco Chronicle pays $200 million to amend $1 billion printing contract. (
* Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Newspaper Guild have a tentative agreement. (
* Dan Froomkin leaves The Huffington Post to focus on a new accountability journalism project. (

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took swipes at the Washington Post and New York Times sports pages this morning. He said:

Reid: Failing grades for sports pages

Every morning I get up, the first thing I read is the sports page. I’m disappointed in it. The sports page in the Washington Post is not nearly as good as it used to be, and the New York Times — not very good either. But I read them; it’s the first thing I do. There’s always some news, and they’re [sic] on the sports page. And then I go to the front page and get some of the bad news. …

* Harry Reid compares Republicans to the New York Jets (

Newsweek/Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown tells her staff that “today we will be letting staff on the editorial side know where we will be eliminating positions.” She adds that “this is a very difficult day, and one that we approach with enormous regret.” (New York Observer has her memo.)

Meanwhile, The Daily Beast’s Michael Moynihan writes about the death of Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily. He’s told by a former senior staffer that the iPad publication’s demise week was unexpected. “The rumbling from within the company is that we would make it to June 2013, the end of the fiscal year,” the ex-staffer said.

* Daily Beast cuts newsroom jobs as Newsweek goes online (
* As NewsBeast layoffs begin, some employees are quitting on their own (
* Why did The Daily die? A view from the inside (

Some journalists at The National in Abu Dhabi have launched a Facebook campaign to force the resignation of editor-in-chief Hassan Fattah, who they contend has “led the paper into oblivion” and “forced a near wholesale turnover of the staff.”

One of the journalists involved in the effort tells Romenesko readers: “We are demanding that he be fired and that his large salary (retroactively) be shared by all present and former National employees.”

Fattah declined to comment Thursday afternoon.

On the Facebook page, former and current National employees complain about … well, things journalists often complain about. “We are treated like stupid, misbehaving kindergartners, are allowed no input and are expected merely to say yes,” says one commenter. “Any possible journalistic disagreement – or even simple questioning – is treated as coming from a disloyal dissident.”

My brief Q-and-A with one of the disgruntled journalists:

Hassan Fattah

What’s been the reaction to the campaign inside the newsroom? Has anyone been fired for it?

No one has been fired yet. Much talk about the campaign, but the newsroom is accustomed to such controversy, including the leaking of salaries the year after the National launched. As is to be expected, current staffers are very nervous about speaking out. Fattah has told more than a few people personally that “I can fire you!”

Any word from him?
Hassan has been heard discussing it, but nothing concrete.

This will probably result in no changes.

UPDATE: I’m told that the note below circulated among National journalists with the National story published last week by American Journalism Review.

To colleagues and whom it may concern:

Hassan Fattah’s academic credentials from Columbia should be withdrawn and made null and void. He is unqualified to run a newspaper, and he is misguiding and harming the careers of journalists. He has surrounded himself with sycophants, people with no integrity who will do anything to keep their salaries coming in, no matter the professional price to others. The essay below, written by a former editor on the National’s foreign desk, should be printed and posted all over the newsroom and building. We have attempted to get the word out that Fattah is unfit to guide us, that he has been the main reason that so many of our colleagues left the paper in disgust, that his sycophants laugh behind his back and ridicule him incessantly when he is not in the office, but our complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Complaints to HR about Fattah and his gang result in, “Do you want to keep your job?”

Probably the most we can hope for is that he and his sycophantic underlings (they know who you are) (Cowan, we feel sorry for you, no matter how much you are being paid.) will be forever shamed. But, we think it would be just for Fattah to be fired and to be forced to give back his salary in the form of bonuses that were supposed to be paid to the people who put out the PR rag that is the National. The amount of money he has been paid to be a clown is utterly tragic.
And, no matter what, let’s continue to get the word out about this joke of a journalist. He disgusts us.

Yours truly,

(Real) National Journalists United

* Visit the Simon Kefauver Facebook page, where the campaign is hosted
* A veteran editor writes about his time on The National’s foreign desk (

Letter to Romenesko

From BILL HOBAN, managing editor, Sonoma Index-Tribune: Evidently, has filters to block certain words from its site. This is what happened when Cal hired Sonny Dykes as its football coach:

The SI FanNation page has been pulled, but you can see via Google that one commenter remarked: “This is awesome! This is what happens when the FN filters fire back.”

Oops, never mind!

* Wednesday: Denver Post reports Butch Jones will be named Colorado football coach
* Thursday: Denver Post reports Jones turned down University of Colorado’s offer

Elizabeth P. McIntosh, who was a Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter in 1941, wrote a story about the attack on Pearl Harbor that her editors thought was too graphic to share with readers. The 97-year-old woman’s piece is published today for the first time in the Washington Post.

McIntosh — that’s her conducting an interview on the right — wrote in mid-December of 1941 that she “felt that numb terror that all of London has known for months.”

It is the terror of not being able to do anything but fall on your stomach and hope the bomb won’t land on you. It’s the helplessness and terror of sudden visions of a ripping sensation in your back, shrapnel coursing through your chest, total blackness, maybe death.

The vision of death became reality when I was assigned to cover the emergency room of the hospital.

* Honolulu after Pearl Harbor: A report published for the first time (

* Are photojournalists obligated to help in rescues? (
* Pulitzer-winner Paul Salopek, who is walking 22,000 miles, has in his backpack: a MacBook Air, a satellite phone, a Sony HXR-NX7OU for video and stills, a GoPro camera, an audio recorder, and a personal GPS tracking device. (
* Neil Steinberg: “Should a good Jewish boy follow the pope on Twitter?” (
* A newspaper that stopped publishing for the first time in 119 years because of Sandy resumes printing. (
* Already-short USA Today online stories now even shorter. (
* College students too hungover from Thursday night to pick up a Friday paper? (
* Former San Diego Union-Tribune newsman calls Doug Manchester’s UT-San Diego “an embarrassment.” (
* Steven Swartz adds president to his Hearst COO title. (
* Daily Beast and Huffington Post advice columnist Mona Ackerman is dead at 66 (
* Judge orders woman to remove Yelp and Angie’s List posts about contractor. (
* Betsy Lumbye retires as Fresno Bee executive editor. (
* Westwood One exec Steven Kalin is named Patch president and COO. (

The New Statesman’s Alex Hern points out that “marvellously, even when writing in faux-hip-hop slang, the FT style guide still insists on a leading apostrophe in the word “hood.” Reni Eddo-Lodge ‏tweeted: “Love this Financial Times headline — language is about 10 years out of date, nice effort though.” “So confused by the existence of this,” said Martha R. Robinson.

* FT loses its motherloving mind with rap-themed opinion piece (
* changed headline to “Osborne more Boy George than rapper” (
* Great moments in rap and journalism; FT headline is real (@moorehn)