Daily Archives: December 17, 2012

* Newtown Bee editor says there’s “a growing number of incidents” involving media invading yards and grieving survivors’ space. ( | How media affect mourning. (
* Fox News bans discussion of gun-control policy. (
* Pew: News interest in the Sandy Hook massacre is higher than for other recent gun tragedies. (
* Jack Shafer: Newtown teaches us, once again, to discount early reports. (
* News outlets complain to former Romney campaign officials about expenses billed to reporters. (
* Journalist who worked until 101 dies at 104. (
* Sally Jenkins isn’t angry at Lance Armstrong, but many WaPo readers are angry at her. (
* The people behind “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Food, Inc.” plan a new cable channel. (
* Gannett’s Newark Advocate puts a high school newspaper staff in charge of its community page. (


* A word about today’s editorial cartoon (
* Roanoke Times cartoon divides readers (
* Read what people are saying about the cartoon on the paper’s Facebook page

They’re upset about other comics strips being pulled too. “We especially regret replacement of Mallard Fillmore,” Phil and Nancy King tell the Statesman editors in Boise, Idaho. “He tells it like it is. Maybe that is why he isn’t as popular.”

Pearl S. Simon writes the paper: “Obviously, the ‘comic editor’ is much younger than I am. Some of the comic strips need an explanation under them for me. It is sort of like the ads on TV.”

I asked Statesman editor Vicki Gowler if reader reaction to the changes was what she expected, or more vocal. She replied:

Interestingly, it’s not as vocal. I’m used to being swamped by calls the first few days and that didn’t happen.

The changes were based on a survey that we did earlier in the year. There were some new comics being suggested to me and, of course, like many papers we were heading into another year of re-runs on For Better For Worse. I had a half page available in my Sunday comics section and decided to do a comics survey after running an extra page of comics for folks to see and choose from.

Don't mess with his comics!

Don’t mess with his comics!

The poll was done with an intensity scale — not just what do you like/dislike, but how much. Then the numbers were crunched to give each comic a ranking. It was a bit surprising to me to see what the least favorites were among current comics: Rose, Dennis, Tiger, Family Circus, Blondie, For Better For Worse and Mallard. Blondie had never dropped there before. Nor Family Circus. Nor FBFW. So I made the changes based on that.

I am still tallying reaction and considering whether to bring anything back. Many of the callers said they didn’t participate in the survey, despite the fact that we promoted it heavily in print to reach our comics fans and ensure they had a chance to weigh in on the choices. We had a really good response, so I’m a little reluctant to make changes, but we’ll see how it all stacks up. What I might do is conduct another survey after the first of the year and see if those results are compatible.

* Note to readers from Vicki Gowler about comics changes (
* “I used to so look forward to Family Circus and Dennis the Menace every day” | More letters (
* Editor: Take away favorite comics and you’ve got a fight on your hands (

The Associated Press was scheduled to release its Top Stories of 2012 today (the voting deadline was last Thursday), but the Sandy Hook School tragedy has forced another vote. Here’s the memo that AP projects editor Brooke Lansdale sent to AP member editors:


Due to the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and other recent developments, The Associated Press is conducting a new round of voting on the top news stories of the year.
If you already voted earlier this month, please use this link to vote in the new poll: http://XXXXX. If you did not vote previously, please use this link to cast your vote: http://XXXX. Alternatively, you can respond by fax using the attached PDF files.

This poll is for AP members and customers only, and the link is NOT TO BE REDISTRIBUTED ONLINE OR IN PRINT. Each organization should vote only once in each poll.

Voting ends on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. EST. Results will be transmitted on Thursday, Dec. 20.

Thank you for your participation,
The AP

Here are the stories being considered (voters are told to select 10 and number them from 1 to 10 in order of preference):

– Syria wracked by civil warfare as rebels try to dislodge Bashar Assad.
– Superstorm Sandy kills more than 170 in 10 states, Caribbean; ravages parts of NJ, NY.
– China: Blind dissident lawyer makes dramatic escape from house arrest into U.S. protection.
– London Olympics: Britain successfully hosts Summer Games.
– French politics: Francois Hollande and the Socialist Party win power. /CONTINUED Read More

money“Plenty of newspapers are profitable,” writes Nat Ives. They include the New York Times (“running narrowly in the black this year”); the Wall Street Journal (“solidly profitable”); and Warren Buffett’s Omaha World-Herald. Not doing as well: New York Post; Times of London; and The Guardian.

* A look at newspapers turning a profit (

engelVeteran NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel and a Turkish journalist working with him haven’t been heard from since Thursday. They were last known to be in Syria.

John Cook reports:

NBC News has been asking every reporter who inquires about the report to participate in a news blackout. It has also taken to Twitter and asked people who repeated the Turkish reports there to take them down.

* Richard Engel is missing in Syria; NBC News enforces news blackout (

* Forty years ago, “I broke the cancer cure story for the Associated Press.” (
* Marty Baron’s plan to save the Washington Post. (
* A journalist is struck by how little emotion TV correspondents are showing in Newtown. (
simon* The number of government PR workers more than doubled from 2003 to 2011 while the number of reporters fell by a quarter. (
* Ex-Gizmodo editor Brian Lam: “I came to hate the Web, hated chasing the next post or rewriting other people’s posts just for the traffic.” (
* Can Jeff Zucker and CNN revive Facts? asks AJR editor Rem Rieder. (
* Media General CEO is relieved to be rid of newspapers. (
* ESPN to use Twitter to send out instant replays of college football. (
* Check out the media people who made Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list. (
* “Journalists have grown increasingly fascinated with Reddit,” notes CJR. (
* Kansas City Star’s longtime religion editor retires. “It’s time,” says Helen Gray. (


December 13: NRA announces it has 1.7 million Likes on Facebook.

December 16: NRA deactivates its Facebook page after the Sandy Hook School shootings.