Daily Archives: February 5, 2013

press“I think there’s more room for media criticism … the good stuff,” writes Capital New York editor and former New York Observer editor Tom McGeveran.

There’s a readership for media stories, it’s just a question of whether the readership is large enough, even at the saturation point, to support x number of writers and editors at x publication. I think in the case of the Observer, it might have been, or could have been. Not everyone slices the tomato the same way to make their sauce. The important thing is to have something to cook with.

* Notes on the media on the media (
* Techdirt: We have no obligation to call Teri Buhl for comment. ( | Earlier from Buhl.
* News execs say “nobody under 30 reads anything anymore” so they’re embracing video. (
* What journalism schools can learn from music conservatories. (
* Slate’s “traffic-whorey stories” haven’t been that successful, says editor David Plotz. (
* Philadelphia Inquirer columnist resigns after management issues its “liquidation” threat. (“There’s something very demeaning about that word.”) ((
* New York Daily News is returning to Manhattan after being washed out of its offices by Sandy. (
* Will Bunch’s goal is to make the NRA’s enemies list. (
* Just say no! Beyonce’s publicist wants BuzzFeed to take down “unflattering” photos. (@hreins)
* Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner blasts Radar Online for lifting parts of his Travolta story. ( | Danny Shea has a similar beef with TVNewser. (@danielshea)

Former Hartford Advocate writer Jon Campbell’s Unemployed Reporter beer has gotten a lot of social media attention in recent days. (Food/drink blogs are also writing about it.) Too bad the brew’s not available at a liquor store near you.

The bottle label

The bottle label

“Lots of folks are expressing interest, certainly, but this is really a hobby more than anything,” Campbell tells Romenesko readers, adding that he’s “exploring” the possibility of putting out a limited edition brew. “I’m glad people got a kick out of the label, and that’s really what I was going for.”

His label says that “we’ve included chocolate and roasted barley malts that are as dark and bitter as the future of American journalism, and a high alcohol content designed to numb the pain of a slow, inexorable march toward obsolescence. While Unemployed Reporter is especially delicious as a breakfast beer, it’s still smooth enough to be enjoyed all day, every day. And let’s be honest: what else do you have going on?”

* Former Hartford Advocate writer brews Unemployed Reporter beer (


KMPH (Fresno) reporter Jessob Reisbeck is thrilled with the reaction to his viral video interview with hatchet-wielding homeless hitchhiker Kai. “People from all over the country, London, Dublin, everywhere showin props!” he writes on his Facebook page.

* KMPH exclusive interview with Kai, the hatchet wielding hitchhiker *Warning: Language* (
* Check out the Kai discussion on the reporter’s Facebook page
* Reisbeck’s Twitter feed is all about Kai in recent days (@JessobKMPH)

Q.: Did Fort Worth Star-Telegram executive editor Jim Witt take on this mudpack assignment because he laid off his beauty editor?witts

A. Nope. “If a woman wrote the column I did about GlamGlow nobody would notice,” says Witt. “I did it because the ‘fish out of water’ approach would get more attention in my opinion.”

A Romenesko reader sent me the link to Witt’s piece and wrote: “I’m not sure what motivated this. I doubt many editors of ‘major market’ dailies are doing product reviews of their spouse’s beauty products.”

I sent the reader’s note to the Star-Telegram newsroom boss and he responded:

“If you only knew half the crazy stuff I’ve done during my 16 years as editor of the Star-Telegram, you wouldn’t even ask that [what-motivated-this?] question! The staff knows that I’m not the typical newspaper editor, so as far as I know nobody even blinked. And the emails I’ve received from readers have all been positive.

“With newspaper staffs shrinking over the past few years, we encourage all our folks to be content creators when they can and to incorporate things they have a passion for or have personally experienced. Although I’ve written about serious subjects recently like Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, I’ve also written about my obsession with Elvis and made a humorous video about a new oversized golf putter I bought.”

He sends more “Startlegram” stunts:

1. When Disney bought us, I purchased 200 Mouseketeer hats and everybody had to “earn their ears” by doing a good story, photograph, page design, etc. They thought it was ridiculous — but everybody wound up displaying their hats on top of their computer monitors when they won them and if you didn’t have one then everybody knew you hadn’t done something worthy of praise yet.

2. During the OJ trial in the early ’90s, we selected our own “jury” of local people who watched the entire trial for weeks at our office on TV. But before they could render their verdict, two of the people got into a fistfight and we had to disband.
2. We produced what we think was the first newspaper section in the U.S. in 3-D more than five years ago and passed out 250,000 glasses to our subscribers so they could enjoy.

3. We had a team-building exercise once during Easter week. Everybody had to split up in teams of two to find Easter eggs hidden all over the building. But the trick was that one member was blindfolded and their partner had to verbally tell them where to go without touching them to guide them to the eggs. The winning team got an extra week of paid vacation.

4. To pump up our unsung copy desk, we found a headline-writing game kind of like Scrabble so we had a NCAA-style playoff with brackets, etc. Then we brought in bleachers for the finals with a big cheering section and televised it complete with play-by-play commentary to all the TV sets throughout the building.

We also had the highest reader satisfaction numbers of all Knight Ridder papers during the 10 years they owned us and were selected several times as newspaper of the year or website of the year in Texas. We take what we do seriously but try to have fun too …

* Product review: GlamGlow is much more than simply mud in yer face (

Pew Research Center reports 61% of Facebook users have taken a voluntary break from using the site at one time or another and 27% plan to spend less time on the site this coming year. Here’s why:


* Coming and going on Facebook (

“Techdirt did not call me for comment about that story you followed this am [in the Morning Report],” writes Teri Buhl. (The Techdirt piece is headlined, “Investigative Journalist Claims Her Public Tweets Aren’t ‘Publishable;’ Threatens To Sue Blogger Who Does Exactly That.”)

“I finally reached the reporter early this am who says he is working at his day job and can’t update the story until he gets home. Then he won’t give me the info to directly reach a techdirt editor.”

Buhl asked me to post her response:

My tweets were protected for a long time because I always looked at twitter as a conversation with my readers, not quotes, I’m not reporting news there. I can say silly things some times and I’d like to apologized for my knee jerk reaction to Gideon.teri Of course I can’t sue him/her because I don’t even know the person’s real name. This was a lesson in tweet protection for me. Asking fellow journos (or bloggers) not to publish my tweets is about a copyright issue for me. I make money off my words, research, and analysis as a journalist. I never print someone’s tweet in a story because 1) I didn’t get that comment from them directly 2) tweets can be changed and manipulated. I’ve never had another journo ignore that request. I think it’s ironic that a lawyer on his blog to promote his business choose to do it. Twitter says I own my tweets and I’m giving them license to use them but I simply don’t think that means I am giving others license. Of course it also depends on what the tweet is to prove I own the copyright.

As far as Mark Bennett (the lawyer blogger) – I would like to sue him and see how copyright law relating to tweets and photos in tweets would be tested. If can afford to do it I will. There is not a lot of case law for this in the U.S. I am not fan of aggregater sites who take journalist original work, screen grab it, and don’t link or credit back to the original reporting. It think that’s stealing page views and intellectual content.

* Investigative journalist claims her public tweets aren’t publishable (

“Thought you might find this interesting,” writes Romenesko reader Ram Hinojosa. “Headline and hyperlink both say ‘In Competent.’ I don’t know who takes the blame on this. It’s an AP article, but you’d think the New York Times would still catch it. The lede spells incompetent correctly though.”

* Prediction: Vine will be the next great newsgathering tool. ( | ( | (
* “On Point” host Tom Ashbrook brings new zest to NPR. (
* Alan Mutter on how mobile coupons could clip newspapers. (
* Frank Rich: “I’m proud to be on the NRA enemies list.” (
* Prof’s study shows Facebook unfriending has real-life consequences. ( | Prof’s earlier unfriending study: (

-- From the Wellsville (NY) Daily Reporter (h/t @heyfeifer)

— From the Wellsville (NY) Daily Reporter (h/t @heyfeifer)

* An investigative journalist demands that her public tweets not be published. (
* First look at Kristina O’Neill’s WSJ. Magazine. (
* “Best thing I’ve seen all week”: A publisher rejects a manuscript in 1944 because of a paper shortage. (@jonathancape)
* “Motivated” newspapers often don’t get the best price for their real estate holdings. (
* NYT’s standards editor on the many misuses of “like.” (
* AJR editor doubts even the Onion would touch zany “skeetgate.” (
* The tech nerd in Go Daddy’s Super Bowl ad talks to Adweek about his new fame. (
* An outdoors writer who once received a death threat over a waterfowl hunting story dies at 96. (