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Dallas Morning News auto writer Terry Box took a “tall, broad and powerful” 2013 Ram 1500 Longhorn Edition on a test drive a week ago.

Terry Box

Terry Box

The experience was “flawless,” he says, until the truck started losing power and speed.

“I headed for the exit, figuring I had some sort of bizarre computer problem and just needed to turn the engine off and reboot everything,” he writes. “As I unbuckled my seat belt, I noticed a gray Ford Explorer a lane over with a young woman gesturing at me from the passenger seat.”

The 24-year-old nurse was trying to tell him that the Ram was on fire — “a fact I discovered as soon as I opened the door and saw flames snaking out of the left front wheel well.”

Box says $54,335 worth of truck was gone in about three minutes. He writes:

Ram 1500 Longhorn Edition

Ram 1500 Longhorn Edition

Fred Diaz, CEO of Ram, was profusely apologetic about the fire — but certainly didn’t have to be. I couldn’t find anything to suggest that this was anything other than an extremely rare occurrence.

“We take these things very, very seriously,” Diaz said. “I’ve got to believe this is a one-in-a-billion situation. But we’ve got a team of engineers working on it, and we’ll figure out what happened.”

I’ve asked Box if he has “after” photos of the truck to share. UPDATE — Box writes: “I don’t have anything. I’m not a big cellphone person and for the first 20 minutes after I got out of the truck, I thought I had left my old flip-top on the console. I later discovered it in my laptop bag. The young couple who picked me up got a shot of the truck from behind a retaining wall where we were waiting for the cops and fire department, but all it shows is a large plume of smoke. You really can’t see anything of the Ram.”

* Freak pickup fire on test drive shows that vehicles don’t burn like they used to (dallasnews.com)

(Note: The column is behind a pay wall, but I was able to read with a “Terry Box test drive” Google search.)

After Milwaukee Journal Sentinel managing editor George Stanley sent out his memo about staffers “seriously over-using” iconic, columnist Jim Stingl checked the paper’s archives to see how often the word has appeared.

He writes in today’s column:

I’m going to tell you the things we described as iconic in this newspaper. These all appeared this month:

Pizza Man restaurant; Golden Zither restaurant;iconic Thorpedo restaurant; the Red Buses in Glacier National Park; the “Migrant Mother” photo; Grand Central Station; Sound City recording studio; the War Memorial Center; Hostess Twinkies, Ding Dongs and HoHos; the “Romeo & Juliet” ballet; the Cowardly Lion costume, red slippers, Tin Man and Toto from “The Wizard of Oz;” J.R. Ewing from “Dallas;” Wisconsin cheddar cheese; the Batman mask worn by George Clooney in the movie; “Star Wars” characters Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia; the song “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen; and New York radio station WBAI.

Stingl reports that even after Stanley warned about the word’s use, “iconic” appeared in the Journal Sentinel to describe the White House and Davy Crockett.

* Memo on “iconic” becomes hot-button issue (journalsentinel.com)

Earlier:
* Enough already with “iconic,” says Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editor
* Words and phrases the Washington Post Outlook section avoids

This memo (minus the logo and gun) went out to Associated Press employees on Wednesday afternoon.

From: Jacobsen, Sally
Subject: AP Stylebook – updated entries on homicide and weapons
Sent: Wed 3/27/2013 2:00 PM

All,

We have updated the entries on homicide, murder, manslaughter and on weapons in AP Stylebook Online, and they will be in the upcoming text version of the Stylebook.
apmemo
The homicide entry emphasizes that murder is the formal charge, and that charged with murdering should not be used. Instead, be specific about how the victim was killed or slain.

The weapons section combines assault rifle, assault weapon into one entry. While similar in design and appearance, these military-style guns have different firing capabilities, as underlined in several examples. Added detail in the magazine and clip entries show why these ammunition storage devices are not synonymous. The weapons section also includes new entries on bolt-action and lever-action rifles and details on the difference between pistol and revolver.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Sally, Darrell and Dave

AP Stylebook updates:

homicide, murder, manslaughter

Homicide is a legal term for slaying or killing. Murder is malicious, premeditated homicide. Some states define certain homicides as murder if the killing occurs in the course of armed robbery, rape, etc.

Generally speaking, manslaughter is homicide without malice or premeditation.

A homicide should not be described as murder unless a person has been convicted of that charge.

Do not say that a victim was murdered until someone has been convicted in court. Instead, say that a victim was killed or slain. Do not write that X was charged with murdering Y. Use the formal charge – murder – and, if not already in the story, specify the nature of the killing

– shooting, stabbing, beating, poisoning, drowning, etc.: Jones wascharged with murder in the shooting of his girlfriend.

Examples:

An officer pulled over 29-year-oldJohn White, who was arrested and charged with murder, according to Andrew Johnson, the county sheriff’s spokesman.

The 66-year-old amateur photographer has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder for the slaying of four women.

The killings occurred between 1977and 1979. Prosecutors say Adams raped, tortured and robbed some of them before killing them.

Cook County Sheriff James Jones says a shooting that left one woman dead and a man injured appears to be a murder-suicide.

See execute and assassin, killer, murderer./CONTINUES Read More

topjob
* WTOP Radio seeks weekend digital news writer (journalismjobs.org)


nate

Adweek’s Tim Nudd did a Q-and-A with the man who posted this “jaw-dropping homemade ad” for his Toyota Camry, which unfortunately has been removed from Craigslist. Nudd asks Nate Walsh:

Are you bummed it’s been flagged for removal on Craigslist?
I was at the time, but it’s taken on such a weird life of its own at this point — I’ve seen it on Pinterest, Jezebel, Jalopnik and Reddit, among other places — that I’m not really fussed at this point.craigad I’m just glad people are enjoying it. The Internet can be a pretty snarky place (to put it lightly), but everyone has been amazingly positive and complimentary, which is a miracle in itself.

I am slightly worried, though, that the person who flagged the ad may have been one of the exes from the chart included in the ad, in which case she has to be blowing a gasket about the amount of attention it’s managed to get since. So, you know, no darkened alleys for me for a while.

* The story behind the best Craigslist ad ever (adweek.com)
* Single-most entertaining ad for a used Toyota ever posted on Craigslist (happyplace.com)
* Tweets from Nate (@whateverdude) Walsh

“Thank you all for refusing to let our incapacitated building get in the way of getting out a newspaper,” Harvard Crimson managing editor Rebecca Robbins tells her staff after dealing with a power outage. “We went from having no inDesign files at approximately 8 p.m. to distributing a meaty nine-story paper by morning, power outage be damned.”

Her memo:

From: Rebecca Robbins
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Subject: [News-l] A big thank you
To: News , biz-l@googlegroups.com, Sportstalk , EdTalk

Hey everyone,

If you picked up today’s paper, you might have noticed that it looked a little different than usual. If you proceeded to read the paper, you might have spotted the telltale sign that something was up — the rare Crimson tradition of reporting on ourselves.

CRIMSON

“Hampden was not the only building affected, as adjacent buildings, including a handful of Harvard Square businesses and the offices of The Crimson at 14 Plympton Street, plunged into darkness. With the newsroom darkened and the presses at a standstill, production of Tuesday’s Crimson shifted next door to the Adams House dining hall, where a skeleton staff worked past 2 a.m. to edit and design the paper. Turley Publications, Inc. of Palmer, Mass., printed Tuesday’s paper.”

Daily designers Kerry and Shree had just sat down to design the paper yesterday afternoon when the lights went out at The Crimson. We all expected the power to come back on quickly, but it didn’t. As the night wore on, we started to confront the reality that we wouldn’t be producing or printing a paper at 14 Plympton St.

But none of you were daunted. We went from having no inDesign files at approximately 8 p.m. to distributing a meaty nine-story paper by morning, power outage be damned./CONTINUES Read More

* From NBC News to Jeopardy? “I got a feeler” from the game show, Brian Williams tells David Letterman. “It never went anywhere.”
brian
Letterman: “You would never leave the venue of news.”
Williams: “Oh, no, I’m not sure I’d never leave the venue of news. It chews people up and spits people out. It’s a young man’s game, and any other cliches you want to pile on there. When I go, I’m just going to go. I’ll be at the Jersey shore on a PO box. I’m not going to stay in it forever. The daily deadline is a grind on you.” (yahoo.com)
* Peabody Awards announced. “Girls,” “60 Minutes,” and “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” are among the winners. (peabodyawards.com)
* USA Today puts its cover story “on hiatus” and keeps story jumps to “a bare minimum.” (politico.com)
* Columbia j-school prof has “a new way to think of how we get stories in front of readers.” (capitalnewyork.com)
* Columbia’s new j-school dean doesn’t tweet? So what? (pandodaily.com)
* Why some small papers aren’t running gay marriage editorials. (Romenesko Letters)
* Daniel Victor: “I believe a tweet free of hashtags is more pleasing to the eye, more easily consumed.” (niemanlab.org)
* Why the weekly Chinook Observer put up a pay wall: “We were sort of looking at this model of, gee, you know, we’re giving away all this stuff we’ve agonized over the week to produce. How does this compute?” (npr.org)
jack
* Raleigh business editor has a “Jackass” experience during his lunch-hour stroll. (bizjournals.com)
* HBO is going to show the “grown-up, smarter” version of Vice Media. (observer.com)
* Is it OK to publish off-the-record remarks after a source dies? (slate.com)
* D magazine editor asks: “Why the heck would a press club give scholarships to PR and advertising students?” (dmagazine.com)
* NOLA Media Group’s Baton Rouge bureau chief resigns after six months on the job. (bestofneworleans.com)
* Anderson Cooper isn’t being considered as a Matt Lauer replacement, says NBC. (hollywoodreporter.com)
* New York Times explores Palm Beach Daily News’ cozy relationship with local socialites. (gossipextra.com)
* The first thing Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz does in the morning is check Reddit. (adweek.com)

UPDATE: Newspaper staffers did not use school funds to buy sex toys for the controversial issue, the editor-in-chief tells KRQE-13 news.
——

Administrators at Central New Mexico Community College went ballistic over the student newspaper’s Sex Issue and closed the CNM Chronicle newsroom for at least the rest of the semester while it does a “full evaluation of the structure and oversight” of its operations.
sexissue
College bosses call the sex issue “offensive and not appropriate for the educational mission of CNM,” while college-media watchdog and journalism professor Dan Reimold says it’s “incredibly tame by student press sex edition standards.”

Editor-in-chief Jyllian Roach says six hours after the issue was distributed Tuesday, she and other Chronicle staffers were ordered into a dean’s office and told the college-funded paper was “raunchy.” (The editor insists the sex issue “really focuses on education.”)

She tells KOB-TV that college officials tried to get the papers off campus.

People were pulling all the papers off the stands and weren’t identifying themselves until I asked and they said they were part of the administration. They were pulling papers off the stand and actually out of peoples’ hands.

The issue includes sexuality resources; persons-on-the-street revealing their favorite sex positions; a consumer guide to sex toys; a guide to “safe, sane and consensual” bondage and S&M; and a feature on abstinence.

The editor of the University of New Mexico’s Daily Lobo says she’s showing support for the Chronicle staff by suspending her print editions until Chronicle journalists are reinstated and administrators “allow the newspaper to remain free of faculty, staff or administrative oversight.” There’s also a Change.org petition that calls for reinstatement of Chronicle staffers and distribution of the sex issue.

* Read the Chronicle’s sex issue

* Community college suspends student paper over sex issue (collegemediamatters.com)
* CNM suspends student paper (abqjournal.com) | Video report (kob.com)
* Daily Lobo will not be published in print until further notice (dailylobo.com)