Daily Archives: March 8, 2013

Dana Gray, editor of the Caledonian-Record in St. Johnsbury, VT, was quick to tell me this afternoon that he wasn’t responsible for his paper’s “Fry Rice” poster.

(Credit: Paul Lamontagne)

(Credit: Paul Lamontagne)

“It was the production side,” he says. “This wasn’t a function of the editorial side.”

What did he think about the poster?

“I’d just as soon stay out of it.”

Gray, who joined the 9,500-circulation paper in 1994 and was named editor in 2008, tells Romenesko readers that “the feedback has been social media pretty much. I’ve taken no calls from readers. I believe there may have been one letter to the editor.”

By the way, Rice wasn’t fried on Thursday night; the basketball team won 48-40 in overtime.

AS A SIDE NOTE… I got a good scolding this morning from Mark M. Smith. He wrote:

I have just opened my e-mail and found a message from you. I went to your blog and found a reference to contacting the publisher of the Caledonian-Record. You have not done so.

As a trained journalist, University of Missouri School of Journalism, 1972, Newhouse School of Communication, Syracuse University, 1973, it is basic to have accurate information before you start asking questions. I am NOT publisher of the Caledonian-Record and have not been for 3 years. I am the corporate president of The Caledonian-Record Publishing Company Inc, the owner of The Caledonian-Record, The Orleans County Record, The Littleton Record, The Lancaster Record and The Woodsville Record. I am also semi-retired and a resident of Bulverde, Texas. I will adress [sic] any issues you may have with any of these publications when I return to Vermont in late June.

Thank you and have a good day.

Mark M. Smith

Dear Mr. Smith: I’m sorry I interrupted your semi-retirement with my email, but I went to your newspaper’s Contact Us section yesterday and this is what I found: Mark M. Smith, publisher.

UPDATE: The newspaper updated its Contact Us page after I posted this. Here’s how it looked until late Friday afternoon.

* Racist or tasteless? Sign supporting team draws national criticism (
* The paper will have an editorial about the poster in Saturday’s paper (
* Earlier: WTF were they thinking with “Fry Rice” poster is right! (

Letter to Romenesko

From RYAN GLASSPIEGEL, founder of As every Romenesko reader undoubtedly knows, freelance journalist Nate Thayer set off a firestorm — at least in our corners of the Internet — earlier in the week when he published an email exchange with Atlantic global editor Olga Khazan.

Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel

Khazan asked him to repurpose an NK News piece about Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea and the history of basketball’s role in U.S.-North Korea diplomacy. For free. (Well, “exposure,” which, as Mr. Thayer, a journalist with 25 years of experience, told NY Mag, “doesn’t feed my fucking children.”)

A lot of folks chimed in, and it was fascinating:

Choire Sicha hosted a discussion about freelance payments that eventually included more than 70 journalists and editors and over 15,000 words; Paul Carr explained why journalists need to be paid and should not support themselves with side gigs; Ann Friedman gave guidelines on when writers should work for free; and there much more (including discussions about Thayer’s alleged plagiarism).

I’m 26 years old and I’ve been a freelance writer for a little less than two years. I don’t really know if I’d call myself a journalist. I have no formal training. In my major foray into legitimate reporting — a 6,000 word story on medical marijuana industry and policy that ended up at Huffington Post — I discovered that financial incentives for creating these pieces independently were misaligned. I couldn’t find anybody who would pay me anything to publish a project that took me over a month to create./CONTINUES Read More

* Seattle Weekly reporter tweets commissioner’s phone chat (

A sister paper of the Cherokee Scout — the North Carolina newspaper that apologized for asking the sheriff for gun-permit information — says in an editorial this week that “there is a public interest in keeping the records of concealed carry permits open to the public.”

The lead story in that paper, the Mitchell News-Journal, is about county commissioners wanting concealed carry permit records to be kept confidential.gun “I see no reason why the media needs to know this information,” the sheriff told the commissioners. “The media shouldn’t be able to come in and say they want a complete list of concealed carry permits. That’s nobody’s business.”

I asked News-Journal editor and publisher Andy Ashurst what he’s heard about the editorial. He wrote:

I have not received any calls or threats, so far. We had bad weather on Wednesday, our date of publication, and Thursday, so that may have been a factor. I have received one letter to the editor in opposition, but it addresses issues.

I did not know what kind of reaction to expect, but we must provide open and honest debate.

* Should concealed carry permits be open to the public? (
* Earlier: Newspaper apologizes for making gun-permit records request (

-- March 7 Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News

— March 7 Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News

New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson’s note to her staff:

Dear Colleagues,

Danielle Mattoon is our new Culture editor.

And Sia Michel is the new editor for Arts & Leisure.

Danielle comes to the top job most immediately from Travel, to which she brought an impresario’s spirit and a keen eye for photography, design and multimedia, traits that will come in handy as she oversees the daily Arts report, Weekend and Arts & Leisure.

Danielle Mattoon

Danielle Mattoon

Danielle sent Dwight Garner seaward on the Queen Mary 2; Alessandra Stanley on a mother-daughter spring break trip to Florida; Frank Bruni to chase history in Ireland; Chip McGrath to England and the Netherlands on the track of our founding forefathers; and Charles Isherwood to Switzerland simply because what could be more delicious? (“I’ve never really seen the point of Switzerland,” Charles wrote.) Along the way, she built an impressive roster of outside voices as contributors as well, including Paul Theroux, A.A. Gill and Pico Iyer.

But Danielle’s heart is in Culture. And with a well-loved past in the department as the deputy editor of Arts & Leisure, she is no stranger to the desk. These qualities made her stand out in a very strong field of candidates. Danielle edited many of the cover stories during her time on A&L and worked closely with our critics – notably Alessandra, along with Holland Cotter, Charles Isherwood, and the Jons, both Caramanica and Pareles – and reporters, including Debbie Sontag, Patrick Healy, Robin Pogrebin and Carol Vogel, to make the section full of news and imagination.

Before her first stint in Culture, Danielle was in Styles, where she says Trip Gabriel taught her how to edit a news article. Styles was, after all, her first newspaper job, which she came to after stints at Talk magazine, Rolling Stone, Details and The New Yorker.

Sia joined The Times in 2007, also from magazines, after a year freelancing for us as a pop critic. Before that, she spent almost a decade at Spin, starting as a reporter and emerging as editor in chief after postings as executive editor, editor and staff writer. She became deputy editor of Arts & Leisure in 2010.

Sia Michel

Sia Michel

Her career began at SF Weekly in San Francisco, where she worked as a reporter and pop music editor, covering the emergence of gangsta rap and grunge. Her first big break came there, when Ann Powers, then of the Village Voice and later to come to The Times, assigned her to cover the death of Jerry Garcia. Her byline was misspelled.

Sia succeeds Scott Veale, who has had a distinguished run as A&L editor for five years and has injected the section with beauty and energy. He will soon be tackling a new editing role.



“I had not heard of a formal ‘Cost-Conscious AP’ program before today,” a Romenesko reader writes in an email that includes a link to the ad below.

I asked AP spokesman Paul Colford about it. He writes:

The cost-conscious effort, under way companywide for some time, has focused aggressively on spending, apart from payroll.aplogo This has involved a comprehensive review of all contracts with outside vendors, a hard look at achieving savings in smartphone usage, a renegotiation of leases at some of AP’s many office locations worldwide, as well as a switch in large offices to networked copy machines. These are some of the highlights, combined with a campaign to foster greater staff awareness of ways to cut everyday costs, that have resulted in substantial savings companywide.

* AP seeks undergraduate student to be part of Cost-Conscious AP initiative



David Cay Johnston: A marketing partner of the maker of TurboTax “is trying to lure journalists into unethical behavior.” || See the third comment: “Intuit highly values our long-standing relationships with journalists and we’re embarrassed that a partner we work with has done this.” (
* Juan Williams column in The Hill borrows from a Center for American Progress report. The Fox News talker blames a researcher. (
* In 1967, an ad man predicted the personalized, on-demand future of digital media. (
* Murdoch’s new publishing company will have a $2.6 billion safety net. (
* Would paywalls have worked for newspapers ten or fifteen years ago? (
* Nate Thayer is accused of plagiarism. He responds: “I will defend to the death my reporting and attribution of this piece.” ( | “I don’t really see why Thayer should get away with this.” (
* BKLYNR, a website that promises in-depth stories about Brooklyn, launches April 4. (
* Mathew Ingram: “Facebook may succeed in building the world’s best personalized newspaper, but…” (
Unknown-1* Once again, cameras won’t be allowed at the Gridiron Dinner — even though President Obama is attending. “Journalists find it particularly ironic that after all the press corps’ recent complaints about access and transparency, fellow journalists are making the decision to keep the president’s remarks in camera — which is to say, off camera,” writes Dylan Byers. (
* Clay Travis: “Sports Illustrated employs too many people to make a living on that brand on the Internet.” (
* WaPo’s Fred Hiatt on new reader rep Doug Feaver: “Nobody who knows him will doubt that he will be totally independent in his judgment and that he will hold us all properly accountable.” (
* Press release claims a PR woman “developed, researched and brokered” a Pulitzer-winning Tampa Bay Times piece. (She “has a lot of damn nerve,” says blogger.) (
* Rachel Maddow’s doing a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) this morning and she’s a little nervous. (@maddow)
* Legendary celeb photographer Richard Corkery apparently is no longer with the New York Daily News. (
* Letters: Drone strike? Nope, that’s the Indiana gas explosion. (Romenesko Letters)

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