Daily Archives: April 8, 2013

* Did former Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose lose his job at WVUE over a Super Bowl commentary? (
* Chicago media coverage of today’s Roger Ebert funeral. (“First in line was Matt Fagerholm, a young film critic who writes his reviews on the web site Fagerholm described Ebert as ‘a huge inspiration.'”) ( | ( | ( | (
check* Glenn Nelson recalls a time when another media outlet reported something, a reporter would verify that information through his or her own sources. (
* Google Fiber “would be great for Austin technology.” ( | It’s confirmed. (
* John Paton: “Digital First is my name. I’ve been saying it long before I got here.” (
* How Evan McMorris-Santoro plans to cover the White House for BuzzFeed. (
* Was Susan Patton’s husband-hunting letter responsible for Daily Princetonian’s nine-day website outage? “This is a possibility.” (
* Claim: Graduate journalism programs may be more helpful to a career than ever before. (
* Alan Mutter on Google vs. newspaper ad sales. (
* Yes, I learned about Annette Funicello’s death via Twitter. (
* Will Bunch supports Fox News reporter Jana Winter – despite her hatchet job. (
* University of Windsor’s student paper ordered to stop the presses after 85 years. (

“Umm @mdeziel [Melanie Deziel] is the best and got me this @APStylebook T-shirt from the #ACES2013/@copyeditors conference,” tweets Megan Paolone.

Deziel also has a nice round-up of the conference highlights. Riverfront Times — St. Louis’s alt-weekly — covered the gathering too.

“You cannot work at any old-media organization, print or television, without having many friends and former colleagues who are seeking work,help often outside the news business. And the prospects are hardly getting better.” — New York columnist Frank Rich
* Frank Rich on the state of journalism (

“The proliferation of unpaid novice theater writers has left no room — or presumed need — for anyone to hire experienced arts journalists. And when there is no employment in it, legit journalists are forced to scatter and find alternate ways of making a living wage in some other field.” — former Denver Post theater critic John Moore
* Why journalism’s demise is bad for theater (

Journalists at the Clinton Global Initiative University St. Louis event over the weekend were angered by the organization’s media-control tactics.

“As a photojournalist I’ve been covering campaigns and politics off and on for a quarter century and the handlers always want to control the message, the tone, the look, etc.,” the Post-Dispatch’s Robert Cohen tells Romenesko readers. “That’s their gig. But never in that time I have encountered handlers that instruct their ‘volunteer’ staff to escort media to and from the bathroom.”

In a post headlined, “Maybe the Clinton Global Initiative people need to lighten up a little,” Post-Dispatch political reporter Kevin McDermott said that “I’ve never seen anything, ever, to rival the sheer control-freakishness of Clinton’s people at the Clinton Global Initiative University.”

He added:

It’s not just that they tried to set up a phone interview with the Post-Dispatch in advance, and then tried to get us to agree to not ask any “political” questions, and then suddenly couldn’t make time for the interview when we wouldn’t agree to those terms.

That was minor compared to the scene just now, in which I was shuttled to a press corral — a tight little isolated room, away from the hundreds of non-press people who are wandering around, seemingly unimpeded — and I asked where the bathroom was.

And instead of just having a men’s room pointed out to me, I was physically escorted there by a 20-something female guide.

And I came out afterward to find her still standing there, right outside the door, waiting, to take me right back to the press corral.

That’s not security-minded. That’s just weird.

McDermott eventually deleted the post. “It was written in anger,” he tells me, “and upon reflection I didn’t like the tone.” He adds that the CGI-U people “engaged in some pretty out-there media-control tactics” that had nothing to do with security.

“There weren’t even metal detectors at the event,” McDermott writes. “If anything security was light. It appeared to just be a matter of trying to control media access to the students.”

CGI-U communications director Craig Minassian says “we don’t restrict questions” and that McDermott’s colleagues “had open access to the president” to ask political questions. Journalists are escorted to the bathrooms, he says, because often journalists don’t know where they are.

* Clinton launches initiative program at Washington U. (

exxonMother Jones: Reporters covering the ExxonMobil oil spill in Arkansas say they’ve been blocked from the site and threatened with arrest.

ExxonMobil: “We don’t have the authority, ability or desire to restrict anyone’s access to any locations where the spill happened. …In fact, we’ve been assisting media to gain access to the site throughout the week by working with local authorities.”

* Reporters say Exxon is impeding spill coverage in Arkansas (
* InsideClimate News reporter threatened with arrest at oil spill scene (
* Five lies they’re telling you about the oil spill (

fishMy favorite quirky story last week was about the Florida woman who found “a sign from God” on her Goldfish cracker. “He had a cross on him, and he had a crown circle up by his head,” Patti Burke told Florida Today reporter Stacey Barchenger. “Something I’ve never seen before out of all the Goldfish I’ve eaten.”

How did Barchenger get her scoop, I wondered? (It’s been picked up by Gawker, the Huffington Post and many other sites.) I asked and she sent this response:

A member of Patti’s church called our breaking news line after Patti brought the cracker to a Bible study. To be honest, it had been a long day and I was really ready to go home when I picked up the phone. You know the kind of calls that come in on that line. I knew it would be good as soon as Luann Manderville, one of our news assistants who first took the call, walked around the corner with a big smile on her face. As soon as I talked to the woman, it was a huge surprise. I knew this would be a fun story.

Stacey Barchenger

Stacey Barchenger

I tried to write it in a straight forward way to be sure it didn’t seem like I was passing judgment on Patti or her pastor, especially since I think they truly believe this cracker is something special. Patti loved the story and has been surprised by the attention her fish is getting.

The reaction from the public has been varied. More than anything, journalists have emailed me about how much they love the story and video. My favorite was: “thank you for this little ditty.” The comments on our FLORIDA TODAY page and Facebook, where the story and video were first posted, have been a mixed bag. Some people think it’s an outrageous farce, others just find it humorous, some want to know when the fish will end up on eBay, and some are on Patti’s team. One man called me swearing he had a picture of an angel manifesting itself in a cloud formation, and asked if I wanted the story.

One woman questioned via email what I thought, asking whether I recognize that the mark on the Goldfish is likely just the imprint of the head of a screw. I’m not saying.

* Woman claims her Goldfish cracker has a sign from God (

- Roger Ebert gets a Chicago Headline Club scholarship (photo from Bob Kazel)

– Roger Ebert gets a Chicago Headline Club scholarship (photo from Bob Kazel)

* Chaz Ebert: “I want people to know that Roger was still vibrant right up to the end.” ( | Ebert funeral live-blog. (
* David Carr on Ebert: “He clearly loved newspapers, but he wasn’t a weepy nostalgist either.” (
* Why isn’t there a Roger Ebert of TV criticism? (
* Five social media lessons from Ebert. (
* Newspaper industry revenue fell 2% in 2012 — the smallest decline in six years; circulation revenue grew for the first time since 2003. ( | Ken Doctor’s analysis: (
* There’s reason for CNN to bring back “Crossfire.” (
* CNN reintroduces itself in a full page New York Times ad. (@brianstelter)
* “What’s happening at far too many of the serious, traditional media outlets is suicide.” (
* Former and current Boston Herald staffers recall their old headquarters. (“The esprit de corps here was extraordinary.”) (
* Thin Reads – a just-launched site devoted to e-singles — wants to help readers discover new titles. (
cher* The #nowthatchersdead hashtag has some people thinking that Cher died. (@wonderlandmag)
* Check out the innocent parenting blog that Facebook has decided to block. (
* Missouri Supreme Court says attorney disciplinary hearings should be open to the press and public. (
* “America’s Media Watchdog” misspells media. (