Monthly Archives: January 2013

The union representing Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News newsroom employees and management reached a tentative agreement for a new two-year contract today. Some highlights:

images-1* A pay cut of 2.5% for 2013, which continues in 2014.
* No layoffs of Guild members in the first year of the contract.
* Profit-sharing in 2014 “if the company turns things around.”
* Two furlough weeks, except at
* A guarantee the company print both papers as daily papers for at least two years.

From: Guild Bulletin
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:05 PM

On January 31, 2013, the Newspaper Guild Bargaining Committee reached a tentative agreement for a new two-year contract to begin at ratification. Although this contract was bargained early to forestall possible threats to the future of the company, upon ratification, the company will be contractually obligated to print both papers as daily papers (7 days a week for the Inquirer, 6 days a week for the Daily News) for the duration of this two-year contract.

In addition, the company agreed that for the first year of the contract, there will be no layoffs of Guild members.

There will be a pay cut of 2.5% for 2013 which will continue in 2014. There will not be an additional pay cut in 2014. If the company turns things around, Guild members will be eligible for profit-sharing in 2014 and going forward. (The 2.5% cut does not apply to commission sales reps.)/CONTINUES Read More

Take that, BuzzFeed!
* BuzzFeed: Washington Post civil war breaks into public view. ( | (@monicahesse)
* “Today’s paper was made in my kitchen” because of gunman threat on campus. (
* Philadelphia Newspaper Guild and the papers’ owners reportedly have a deal. (
* Philly union leader and gossip columnist Dan Gross writes his farewell column. (
* Wall Street Journal says it was targeted by Chinese hackers, too. (
* CNET will no longer select the official “Best of Show” awards at CES. ( | Blame CBS. (
* Paul Schrader: “I spent an hour and a half on the phone with the New York Times fact-checker and…” (
* Fox News reporter fights to keep Colorado theater shooting sources confidential. (AP via
* Alan Wolfe: Why I was dropped from The New Republic. (
* Eddie Timanus is blind, but that doesn’t stop him from covering sports for USA Today. (
* “I’ve been at CBS longer than God,” jokes “48 Hours” producer Susan Zirinsky. (
* Dave Lieber: How to survive 20 years as a Texas newspaperman without voodoo. (
* Donald Trump dreams of someday being able to fire Paul Krugman. (
* George Washington U. paper’s new feature: “What the University Won’t Talk About This Week.” (

UPDATE: Tribune Media Services sent me this statement on Friday evening —

Tribune Media Services (TMS) recently moved an opinion column by Joel Brinkley about his observations from a trip to Vietnam that did not meet our journalistic standards. The column has provoked a highly critical response from readers since its release.

TMS has a rigorous editing process for its content, and in the case of Brinkley’s column that moved Jan. 29, all the required steps did not occur. We regret that this happened, and we will be vigilant in ensuring that our editing process works in the future.


In a column distributed by Tribune Media Services, author and journalism professor Joel Brinkley writes about the “unique” diet of the Vietnamese. “Even now, as Vietnam rapidly modernizes and matures, if the dog wanders too far from home, someone will grab it and then serve dog for dinner,” he writes.

Brinkley’s getting blasted by commenters (“an outrageous pack of lies”) and a Romenesko reader says the award-winning journalist “ought to know a whole lot better.”

Brinkley’s response and photo evidence follows his critic’s letter.

Letters to Romenesko

From PAUL VON ZIELBAUER: Joel Brinkley’s bizarrely inaccurate op-ed about Vietnam, its people and culture serve up an antiquated and rather offensive caricature of Asian culture. Do Vietnamese eat dog meat and raise some dogs specifically for food?images They do – and so do Chinese and Koreans, by the way – to the understandable dismay of many Westerners. Are Vietnamese barbarians who snatch untended dogs off the street, and does that ridiculously false fact make Vietnam, as he claims, “an aggressive country”?

No. Vietnamese people – despite the taste among some for certain kinds of food that we may find offensive – are lovely people to a remarkable degree. Mr. Brinkley, an award-winning reporter in his day and now a Stanford University journalism professor who claims expertise in Southeast Asia, ought to know a whole lot better.

The response

From JOEL BRINKLEY: I was traveling in Vietnam in late December and early January, and this is what I saw with my own eyes, first hand. And this is what the people I interviewed told me. On the issue of meat and aggressiveness, perhaps that was not as well phrased as it should have been. But eating a diet rich in protein will make you more robust than others, in Laos, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian states who eat rice and very little else. After all half of Laotian children grow up stunted, even today. In Cambodia the rate is 40 percent. That means they grow up short and not so smart. Would it also follow that they would be less aggressive than Vietnamese? I think so.

Don’t forget that the World Wildlife Fund calls Vietnam the world’s worst wildlife malefactor. And have a look at the attached photo [of rats below] I took in Da Nang.

(Credit: Joel Brinkley)

(Credit: Joel Brinkley)


Q: How is AVN (Adult Video News) covering the Ron Jeremy story? (The legendary porn star had heart surgery this week.)

A: “We’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” AVN senior editor Sherri L. Shaulis tells Romenesko readers. “We’ve been having meetings” to discuss coverage of one of the adult-video industry’s best-known stars. There are five AVN staffers working on the Jeremy story, she says, and information for an obit has been compiled. (Shaulis says AVN has 18 staffers.)

Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy

“We have a list of people to call” for quotes in case the actor known as “The Hedgehog” dies.

Jeremy’s condition is a huge story for AVN, says the editor. “He’s been in the business longer than AVN has been.” Jeremy debuted in adult films in 1979; AVN launched in 1983.

* Ron Jeremy in critical condition with aneurysm near his heart (
* Ron Jeremy recovering from heart surgery (

UPDATE: My Facebook friends and subscribers are having fun with this one in the comments.

AOL Sporting News is being criticized for putting jerry-sandusky in the URL of a story about Penn State hockey. Onward State managing editor Kevin Horne calls it “a seemingly shallow move … to improve the Search Engine Optimization of the website while taking advantage of a common search term.”’s David Rogers says “including Jerry Sandusky in a random Penn State hockey article comes off as a blatant attempt to ‘cheat’ the system.” (Well, it is an AOL/HuffPo property, so does that surprise anyone? Do you recall HuffPo’s “most legendary act of SEO trolling ever”?)

I’ve asked Sporting News editor-in-chief Garry Howard for comment.

UPDATE: Howard tells Romenesko readers —

It was a SBJ (our sister publication) story that had a reference to revenue Penn State lost because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. It was legitimate. And “Sandusky” was at the end of the URL.

Sporting News senior digital editor Chris Littmann says the URL flap is “overblown.”

Love this!: “So my ‘Jerry Sandusky Presents: At the Movies’ movie review series isn’t going to fly?”

ALSO: Look what Bleacher Report did this week.

* AOL Sporting News uses Jerry Sandusky in hockey article URL (
* AOL Sporting News article exploits Sandusky for page views (

The Thompson (Manitoba) Citizen closed its Facebook page on Wednesday.

We won’t mince words here. We’re leaving because for some time commenters have been posting virulently racist anti-aboriginal commentsdislike on our page and tagging photos in a similar way, including our profile photo of the Thompson Citizen building this morning.

It ends here.

This newspaper is not going to stand by and let anti-aboriginal racists and haters spew their evil on a vehicle we’re facilitating them using.

* Racist anti-aboriginal slurs and comments prompt paper to leave Facebook (

buffettWarren Buffett has purchased the Greensboro News & Record for an undisclosed amount. The paper, which has been owned by Landmark since 1965, has a daily circulation of 58,000 and is North Carolina’s third largest newspaper. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway also owns the Journal in Winston-Salem, and four other North Carolina dailies and six weeklies. It owns 26 dailies around the country.

Former News & Record editor: Why the sale is good for the newspaper.

* Warren Buffett’s newspaper group buys North Carolina paper (
* News & Record sold to Warren Buffett’s company (
* Earlier: Why Buffett is bullish on newspapers (

Alan Smolinisky, who recently paid seven figures for the Palisadian-Post, has never used Facebook or Twitter, spends five hours a day “reading newspapers the old-tech way”alan and doesn’t get much done when he’s in the newsroom. Here’s why: “I sort of worship the writers and just like to watch them and listen to what they are up to.”

Martha Groves reports the 33-year-old publisher (pictured here) “recently high-fived the staff for posting updates of a rush-hour street closure.”

What Smolinisky says:

“I have a moral obligation to make sure this newspaper arrives every Thursday for as long as I live.”

“I love knowing everything going on everywhere in the world.”

“All the other papers are so serious and scary. The Palisadian-Post was never like that. It always had this hyper-local, fun attitude of ‘we are the luckiest people on Earth to live in such an amazing, crime-free community.'”

* Pacific Palisades newspaper junkie buys his own paper (
* Smolinisky: Why I’ve bought the Palisadian-Post (

* Chinese hackers have attacked the New York Times for months. ( | Anti-virus software maker Symantec doesn’t look good here. (
link* Small-business owners say LinkedIn helps them far more than Twitter. (
* Three men are accused of burglarizing the homes of vacationing Los Angeles Times subscribers. (
* E.W. Scripps’ Record Searchlight says it’s going to disclose an anonymous commenter’s name at a court hearing today. (
* Burlington Free Press offers its “profoundest apologies” after screwing up on the comics and puzzles for two straight days. (
* The secrets to not being a terrible writer; a Q&A with Ben Yagoda. (
* Daily Beast’s David Frum vs. WSJ’s James Taranto. (
* Jon Stewart grills Al Gore about his Current TV/Al Jazeera deal. (
* New York Observer’s favorite #BuzzFeedNewYorker tweets. (
* In South Africa, vandals are “bringing newspapers into disrepute” by putting the F word on posters. (
* Reader query: “Do you know of any Nielsen type rating system that exists for newspaper mutli-media content?” Let Michael Goldberg know, please.

* Jeffrey Goldberg is “quite possibly Washington’s most polarizing journalist.” (
pennies* Facebook made about two cents per user last month. ( | Facebook earnings live-blog. (
* Los Angeles Times reader Trent Sanders has had 54 letters published in the paper since 1985. (
* New York Times declines to name a company (Get Your Shit Together) with a “vulgar” name. ( | (
* Jacques Steinberg joins “Say Yes to Education” after taking the New York Times’ buyout. (
* What will animal shelters do when we live in an all-digital world? (
* Matt Buchanan resigns as BuzzFeed tech editor to join The New Yorker. (
* Andrew Sullivan has collected over $500,000 in pre-subscriptions. (
* The Atlantic puts out new advertising and sponsored content guidelines. (
* Enough already with the “hyperconnected world” references, Thomas Friedman! (