* “It’s almost unnatural how much I love newspapers,” says Warren Buffett. (usatoday.com)
* A retired engineer builds one of the world’s largest newspaper databases. (reason.com)
* Don’t forget to add photo credits to your post. (duncandavidson.com)
* Sports Illustrated lands a Lance Armstrong interview. (nytimes.com)
* Toronto Star is looking to get rid of its radio room. (theglobeandmail.com) | Canadian journalists share police scanner stories. (storify.com) | “You have to start at the bottom. This is the bottom!” (rrj.ca)
* A Philadelphia magazine writer hopes you won’t read “Being White in Philly.” (phillymag.com)
* Chicago Tribune wins Nieman’s Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers. (nieman.harvard.edu)
* Daily Voice, which launched as Main Street Connect, lays off staff. “Bloodbath,” says one source. (thehour.com)
* NYT ombud on environmental reporting cuts: “Something real has been lost on a topic of huge and growing importance.” (nytimes.com)
* Larry King isn’t a fan of opinionated programming on CNN. (salon.com)
* Leadership changes at the Boston Globe. (boston.com)
* Finally, a dictionary for deciphering the news. (newspaperalum.com)
* Daily Texan adviser quits in frustration, citing the student media board’s lack of vision. (collegemediamatters.com)
* Digital subscription prices are rising while meters are dropping. (adweek.com)
I got an auto-reply to my email to Mankato (Minn.) Free Press editor Joe Spear: “Hello. I am sorry I missed your email. I will be out of the office until March 11.” Probably a good thing, Joe. || A commenter points out that Spear noted in January: “Unfortunately folks, we cannot take stories off the Internet.”
* “How somebody thought a C-shaped half slice of fruit looks like a G is beyond us” (citypages.com)
* “Bad design is a total bummer and in this case inadvertently offensive” (facebook.com/jimromenesko)
* Earlier: Does that headline say “Suit Yourself” … or “Shit Yourself”? (jimromenesko.com)
An email exchange –
Tipster: “Have you looked really closely at the New Yorker cover this week?”
Me: “Help me out. I don’t see anything suspicious.”
Tipster: “Look at his right hand.”
I look at the cover again.
Me: “OK, I see the hand …. and see nothing unusual.”
I looked a third time and finally saw what the tipster was referring to.
Tipster: “An editor pointed out it looked like he was grabbing something other than the newspaper. I didn’t see it at first. Could just be the power of suggestion.”
Cover artist Barry Blitt says: “Oy vey. Not intentional. [cross my heart]”
* New Yorker for March 11, 2013; cover by Barry Blitt
In the August of 2011, Mark Milian broke the news that Tribune Co. was working on a tablet that it planned to offer to subscribers. Months later word leaked out that the company was testing MediaPad tablets made by Huawei Technologies Co. of China.
There were software problems, though, and Tribune ended up scrapping the project and giving the devices away to employees as an incentive for finishing performance reviews.
“We did a fair amount of testing,” Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman told me this afternoon. “But we decided not to make and market our own tablet.”
Instead, Tribune is now offering subscribers a tablet made by ProScan. “It’s a new promotion,” says Weitman. (I got the offer in an email last night.) The model that Tribune’s giving to new subscribers costs $60 on discount sites.
The Atlantic tells a writer: “We unfortunately can’t pay you for [your piece], but we do reach 13 million readers a month.”
From James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic
Atlantic staff journalists write most of the stories on our sites. When we publish original, reported work by freelancers, we pay them. Our freelance rates vary, depending on the kind of work involved. We do publish some unpaid pieces, typically analysis or commentary by non-journalists, if the work meets our standards and if, of course, the writer sees value in publishing with us. We don’t force anyone to contribute to us, and we are extremely grateful to the wonderful writers who do.
The case involving Nate Thayer is unusual. We did not ask him to report and write an original piece for us, but we did ask if he’d be interested in posting a condensed version of an article he had already published elsewhere, which we would have done with full credit to the original publisher. We rarely do this outside our established partnerships, but we were enthusiastic about bringing Thayer’s work to a larger audience – an outcome, I guess, we have now, backhandedly, achieved. We’re sorry we offended him.
* Thayer: “I’ve gotten more than 20,000 hits in the past hour [but] I haven’t made a penny off of any of this” (nymag.com)
After Andrew Sullivan stirred things up last week by suggesting that the pope is gay, I sent National Catholic Reporter editor Dennis Coday an email asking his reaction. “Has NCR ever touched on this? I’m curious what your thoughts are on Sullivan’s piece,” I wrote.
Coday responded this morning:
Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. I am in Rome and battling deadlines. My fast answer is that I think such speculation is nonsense and does no one any good. For a more thoughtful response, I quote Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the Catholic group New Ways Ministry. Frank writes about this on his blog.
DeBernardo says the possibility that the pope is gay “is certainly a viable one,” but “speculating that all male-male relationships are potentially homosexual creates a climate of suspicion, which is, in fact, homophobic. .. It is Benedict’s policies, not his orientation (however repressed it may be), which make him a harmful influence to pro-LGBT initiatives.” He has more to say on the matter here.
* Cardinal Mahony talks to Italian newspaper after refusing to speak with Los Angeles Times reporters (latimes.com)
Michael Koretzky took this photo at a Publix store — I added the uncensored cover — and posted it on his blog with this commentary about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue “shrouded with a white plastic screen”:
It’s mildly transparent, which sends a confusing message about the store’s modesty. It also makes the cover seem worse than it really is: Model Kate Upton reveals only cleavage, no nipples.
If the idea is to protect our children’s fragile psyches, I’d prefer they dream of fondling breasts over barrels. Safer and quieter for everyone. …
I need to get into gun journalism. At least at my local supermarket, there are more magazines about that than any other topic.
* American magazines: Guns good, boobs bad (journoterrorist.com)
* Editor: “The senator was not taking any questions on guns” (jimromenesko.com)
The only remaining line of the release: “Those interested in scheduling a one-on-one interview should email firstname.lastname@example.org.” (Note: I added the boldface.)
* Sen. Manchin’s “no gun questions” Q&A with a West Virginia paper (cjr.org)