Daily Archives: January 14, 2013

* Will Atlantic readers realize that the magazine’s puff piece on Scientology is “sponsored content”? (Don’t miss the comments in the re-tweets.) (@romenesko)
* Press of Atlantic City is up for sale. Its longtime owner’s “investment priorities have always emphasized growth,” which explains everything. (
* Scott Pelley says he’ll ask President Obama at least one question about football on Super Bowl Sunday. (
* President Obama notes the power of conservative media. (

Really? (Flyer in today's Daily Northwestern.)

Really? (Flyer in today’s Daily Northwestern.)

* Howard Kurtz: “I don’t out people and responsible news organizations shouldn’t out people.” (
* Police say burglary connection to Journal News’ gun-permit map is “pure speculation.” (
* Wall Street Journal memo reports a bedbug problem. (
* Ex-NYTer Hedrick Smith: “My hunch is that some news organizations over time will find ways to form collaboratives with elements of the non-profit world such as libraries, universities and all kinds of charitable organizations.” (
* Watchdog Wire bets that citizen journalists can investigate, too. (
* Joyce Wadler is leaving the New York Times to try humor writing. (
* Laid-off Providence Journal photojournalist is congressman’s new press secretary. (
* “Putting your current employer in your Twitter handle is like getting a tattoo of your current boyfriend’s name.” (@alexia)

New York Times reporter and best-selling author Charles Duhigg recently did a podcast with host Aaron Lammer. Here are some excerpts from what I thought was an entertaining 45-minute chat:

On interviewing for journalism jobs:
“For anyone who is in journalism school or is thinking about it, this is the best advice I can give you about getting jobs in journalism: the nice thing about journalism is the way you get the job is the same way you do the job, which is that essentially you just hustle your way into it. There is no drawback in being as aggressive as possible in trying to get a job, because what you’re proving to the editor is: I will be this aggressive getting stories.”

On his Washington Post internship:
“The whole point of doing the Washington Post internship is you’re supposed to get an offer of a job. I was one of the people who was not offered a job at the end of the internship; half the interns got job offers and I did not. …I’ve often said you could staff an incredible newsroom with the people that the Washington Post did not hire and the New York Times has done exactly that.”

On interviewing with the New York Times
“I went in and I said, ‘I want to apply for the telcom job.’ We talked about telecom. I know nothing about telecom, but I sort of read clips on the plane. But then [Times business editor] Larry Ingrassia said, ‘So if you could have any beat at the New York Times, what would it be?’ I kind of knew [this was coming] because this is an inevitable question. I said, If I could cover anything, I would cover the insurance industry, and I would cover the insurance industry like it’s this passionate, passionate story — the same way this guy David Cay Johnston had covered taxes — because everyone owns insurance and no one ever thinks about it, and there’s people’s lives at risk, and there’s companies that essentially want to extort you for your premiums.

“The reason I said that is because I knew that no one had ever said that to Larry Ingrassia. No one ever says, ‘My passion is to cover the insurance industry,’ and the number one thing you want to do when you’re writing a story or when you’re applying for a job or doing anything else, you want to be surprising. People love surprises.”

powerOn the downside of success:
“Life actually gets harder in many ways once you’re successful. …Being successful means that you have to work more — that the reward of success is you get to do what you want to do all the time, and you have to do it all the time. You don’t get to relax; you have to actually be more tense. In the last year, The Power of Habit was — I was really lucky — a big best-seller, I worked on a series at the Times called the iEconony, where we’ve been investigating Apple, which got a lot of attention. I would say the last year has — I feel very fortunate, and I feel kind of even guilty saying this — the last year has been the hardest year of my life because I’ve been working all the time and because every day I feel like I’m missing opportunities.”

* Listen to the podcast (

Here’s part of a phone conversation between Evansville Courier & Press investigative reporter Tom Langhorne and Stonecreek Homeowners Association president Stephen Hess. The audio is posted on the paper’s website:

“I’m going to sue you if you put this in the paper. I’ll sue you. It’s that bottom line, and I’m threatening you. Right now.angry …I’m telling you sir, you’re going to be sued. You will be sued. You have been in violation of what’s posted legally for over two years at Stonecreek [subdivision] — a non-solicitation, non-harassment [notice]. And I have proof of five people that your office has harassed. Five. … I’m lividly pissed with you. … When I sue you you’re going to lose your job.”

* Woman says HOA demanded microchip in her dog (story and audio) (

Chazy Dowaliby, editor of GateHouse Media‘s Patriot Ledger and Brockton Enterprise, sent this belt-tightening memo (no more company-supplied coffee and other items) to her staffers on Friday:


As part of a broader effort to contribute to our general economic position as we develop new revenue strategies across the company, we are asking your cooperation with expense saving measures — effective immediately

1. Absolutely NO overtime without prior approval from an editor. This means you need to advise the editor on duty of your need to work overtime AT LEAST ONE HOUR IN ADVANCE of your shift ending. This includes those covering breaking news events. (If your usual editor is not immediately available, please email This email reaches all Enterprise and Ledger editors. You may also call the Ledger newsroom.

2. No meals, entertainment, food or other miscellaneous expenses may be incurred without prior approval from an editor.

3. We will no longer be able to supply coffee service in our newsrooms. We will use up whatever supplies are currently on hand. I suggest you bring in a mug or your own disposable cups. We do have a drip coffee machine available, if you wish to collect for, buy supplies and brew by the pot. Please ask me or Diana for a machine.

4. We will not be able to provided paper plates, plastic cutlery, cups or napkins.

5. We will not be replacing general office supplies in the short term. Please conserve use of paper for copy machines. There really is no need to print 10, 20 30 pages of materials which can be downloaded or aren’t vital to story reporting or page proofing. Please also consider absolute need before printing in color.

Every small action on you part does result in a contribution toward greater savings. If you have any ideas on how else we might make some short or long term economies, please send them to me.

I appreciate your cooperation and thank you in advance for helping us all through this challenging period.


While Gatehouse can’t find money to buy coffee and office supplies, it managed to scrounge up $800,000 for CEO Michael Reed’s year-end bonus.

Greg Sandoval, who covered media and digital entertainment for CNET News, writes in follow-up tweets:

“I am not disgruntled. CBS and CNET were great to me.greg I just want to be known as an honest reporter. …Please know no one in News or Reviews editorial did anything wrong. I believe CNET’s leaders are also honest but used poor judgement. …CNET wasn’t honest about what occurred regarding Dish is unacceptable to me. We are supposed to be truth tellers.”

CBS last week ordered CNET editors to cut Dish Network’s Hopper out of the running for the CES “Best in Show” awards. Editors were also told not to review Dish products while the companies were engaged in a legal battle.

Sandoval has also worked for the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

* CBS forced CNET to recast vote after Dish product won award (

The Hickory (NC) Daily Record is inviting churches and others let readers know what they think about the Roe v. Wade ruling.

A Romenesko reader sent the newspaper’s ad solicitation:

January 22nd marks the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs Wade.

Many churches and organizations are planning events to voice their thoughts and views on this ruling and what it has meant to them, our city and our country.
Let your voice be heard in the Hickory Daily Record and on our website:

Eight Page, full color print ad and 10,000 online ad impressions, $229.
Quarter Page, full color print ad and 12,500 online ad impressions, $383
Half Page, full color print ad and 20,000 online impressions, $716
Full Page, full color print ad and 40,000 online impressions, $1258
We have other options available if the above options do not meet your needs.

I called the paper to ask about this advertising opportunity and was connected with someone in the ad department (she wouldn’t give her full name) who said, “I’m not at liberty to give you that information.” She told me to contact publisher Eric Millsaps. I tried, but unfortunately he’s out of the office until Wednesday, according to his email auto-reply.

UPDATE — Millsaps sends this email: “The ad offering connected to Roe Vs Wade bubbled up from a conversation between an ad rep and a church. The ad rep asked if she could make an offer available to all groups interested in the debate. Of course, many will still rely on a letter to the editor. Let me know if you have other questions.”

I’ve asked him how the Roe vs. Wade ads are selling.

* Anonymous hacks MIT websites and posts a message about Aaron Swartz’s death. (
* MIT president wants everyone involved in the Swartz case “to reflect on their actions.” ( | His letter: (
* Ex-WaPo executive editor Len Downie on the Journal News’ gun-permits map: “My first reaction was, why are they doing this? What’s the purpose?” (
* “I’d have found a different way to make a point” about guns, writes Bill Keller. (
* One of the homes on the Journal News’ gun map is burglarized. (
images* Michael Wolff on Mark Thompson (left): NYT’s CEO “could well find himself seen as a wise and steadfast caretaker in a troubled world.” (
* Conde Nast cuts its writers’ shares in film and TV deals. Some agents are telling clients not to sign the new contracts. (
* Carl Bernstein: “Really great reporting organizations have always been the exception, not the rule.” (
* Of course, Buzz Bissinger regrets his August Newsweek “I Still Believe in Lance Armstrong” story. (
* NYT media writer David Carr is doing a Reddit AMA at 2 p.m. ET today. (@carr2n)
* “I’d like to see some humor come back to Men’s Health,” says the magazine’s new editor. (
* Florida A&M newspaper shutdown is “a big FU to students.” (
* Time cover upsets New Jersey Italian-American advocacy group. (
* Robin Roberts is returning to “Good Morning America.” (