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Daily Archives: May 9, 2013

A Romenesko reader writes:

I thought you might find this interesting. When I visited the NYT site today, I was asked to take a survey. It asked me some interesting things. One question was whether I liked video on news sites. Another asked me to rank the quality of news on CNN, WSJ and NYT. The best question asked me to select names I recognized from a list of 12 editors and writers. Of those I recognized, the survey asked how I had heard of them, from their stories/columns, TV or videos. If you use this item, you don’t need to credit me.

Here’s the list:
Ashley Parker
John Harwood
Thomas L Friedman
silverRick Berke
David Sanger
Jeremy Peters
Marcus Mabry
Nate Silver (pictured)
Nathaniel Popper
Jackie Calmes
David Gillen
David Leonhardt

I asked a Times spokeswoman why those names are on the survey — where’s Carr? Collins? — and was told: “As a general rule, we do not discuss the details of the surveys.”

Also:
* A Travel Channel directive: “We need to remove any mention of him being a journalist, the Boston Globe, and his liberal arts education. We need to keep him from coming off as an elitist.” (esquire.com)
* Cyndi Stivers resigns as Columbia Journalism Review editor-in-chief to become AOL.com editor-in-chief. (aol.com)
* Longtime Barron’s columnist Alan Abelson has died. He was 87. (online.wsj.com)
* Memo: “Dow Jones Newswires now no longer has a separate reporting and managerial structure; it is, instead, a central part of a single, harmonized, global newsroom.” (talkingbiznews.com)
* Read the New York Daily News memo about this week’s layoffs: (capitalnewyork.com)
* Medill team spends months investigating U.S. energy security. (globalpost.com)
* The editors that ex-Washingtonian boss Jack Limpert would most like to have dinner with. (jacklimpert.com)
* San Antonio online news site Plaza de Armas goes on “indefinite publishing hiatus.” (plazadearmastx.com)
* Politico is testing a metered paywall in six states. (politico.com)

Seattle Stranger reporter Dominic Holden got a tip yesterday about Seattle Times staffers being required to buy a digital subscription to access their paper’s stories. “That would be like installing payphones on everyone’s desk and pocketing the money,” he writes.

Here, in part, is what Times executive editor David Boardman told Holden:

When we went to digital subscriptions, those who already had print subscriptions at home — even if only for the Sunday paper — received full, free access. Those who didn’t were offered deeply discounted print/digital or digital-only subscriptions.

David Boardman

David Boardman

Because full digital access is necessary for everyone in the newsroom, I offered all employees the opportunity to opt out of the subscription requirement if they felt they could not do it for either financial or philosophical reasons, and that we would pay for their subscription. I’m pleased to say that of nearly 200 newsroom employees, only seven took that option. So it’s clearly not a big deal here. Everyone has full access and has since the digital-subscription program began.

* Seattle Times tries charging its reporters to access their website (thestranger.com)

Me to Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin: “Care to elaborate on your dealings with the Koch brothers?”

Garvin: “I’ll pass for now, Jim. But I’ll let you know if I change my mind.”

Please do.

* Hamilton Nolan: If the Koch brothers want to pay too much for newspapers, let them (gawker.com)
* Joe Mathews: I’m rooting for the Kochs to buy the Los Angeles Times (zocalopublicsquare.org)

Elyse Tanouye has been named to the new Wall Street Journal position of content development editor. “An initial project will focus on building a WSJ e-book line with News Corp.’s Harper Collins, following on from the successful publication last month of our ebook on Pope Francis,” says editor Gerard Baker’s memo.

Tanouye has been the paper’s deputy managing editor for standards and ethics since 2011. (Will that position be filled, WSJ?)

From: Baker, Gerard
Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2013 2:25 PM
To: WSJ All News Staff; Newswires_USERS
Subject: An Editor To Reach New Audiences

As technology advances and demand for reliable information grows apace, we face proliferating opportunities to expand our audience and increase the range of ways in which we interact with it. The most dynamic news organizations will seize those opportunities and dominate the media landscape.

Elyse Tanouye

Elyse Tanouye

To help us achieve that goal, I am pleased to announce that Elyse Tanouye is appointed to a new role as Editor, Content Development, leading efforts to broaden our journalism’s reach and impact through books, e-books, television and film, events, and specialized web projects. An initial project will focus on building a WSJ e-book line with News Corp.’s Harper Collins, following on from the successful publication last month of our ebook on Pope Francis.

Elyse is admirably equipped to achieve these objectives, having been an invaluable member of the Dow Jones news staff for 25 years. She has served as Deputy Managing Editor for Standards and Ethics since 2011 and previously she was the Corporate Editor, tasked with transforming the Marketplace section to focus on business news and features. As the health and science bureau chief, Elyse led reporters whose health coverage in print and online won multiple awards. She was part of a team of reporters and editors who won recognition for their coverage of breakthroughs in AIDS therapies in the mid-1990s.

Elyse joined Dow Jones in 1988 and in addition to her unrivaled news experience, she also has an MBA, making her that rare thing in our world: a journalist who knows how to run and grow a business!

Please join me in congratulating Elyse on her new role.

Gerry

threetabsNew York Post: “Today we are offering voluntary buyouts to a limited number of newsroom employees,” editor-in-chief Col Allan tells his staff. “It is our intention now to reduce our staffing levels by 10% through this initiative, and other measures if necessary.” (Other measures = layoffs, no doubt.)

New York Daily News: More than a dozen staffers were laid off yesterday – including veteran gossip columnist Joanna Molloy — and another round of layoffs is expected today, reports Joe Pompeo.

UPDATE: The editor-in-chief and deputy editor at the Village Voice resigned this morning after being told to cut five positions from their 20-person staff, reports David Carr. Veteran columnist Michael Musto is said to be a layoff target. He’s been in the paper about three decades.


That’s a tweet from Seattle Weekly’s restaurant critic, whose position is being eliminated.

Hanna Raskin tells Weekly readers that the recently sold paper will hire a food and drink editor less focused on writing “and more focused on developing and managing all of the paper’s food and drink coverage.” She was offered that job — with a pay cut — but turned it down.
weekly
“It’s inevitable that when a critic leaves his or her post, a cry of ‘good riddance’ goes up,” she writes. “Many readers will be glad to see me go. But I hope there are many more readers who’ve found reason to enjoy [her column]. …I like to think I’ve helped introduce readers to the food producers, purveyors and consumers who make Seattle such a wonderful eating city.”

UPDATE: I asked Raskin if she saw this coming, what her plans are, and if she cared to share her thoughts on restaurant criticism and alt-weeklies. She responded:

I didn’t precisely forecast that [Seattle Weekly owner] Sound would do away with the critic position and replace it with a job that appears to meld editing and marketing (if I had, I would have done better with my Derby bets), but the shake-up didn’t come as a complete surprise.walmart The ownership transition has been extraordinarily difficult: In the past few months, our archives have disappeared; our blogging capabilities have been severely reduced and our newsroom budget has been slashed. I assumed the food section wouldn’t survive unscathed.

I’d hesitate to draw any conclusions about the state of alt-weekly criticism from my experience. Sound is new to the alt-weekly game, and I don’t think its decisions necessarily reflect the industry’s priorities. I’ve been fortunate to work for a succession of alt-weeklies which valued and defended independent, thoughtful criticism, and imagine they still do.

As for me, I’ve lined up a gig to sell used cameras at Walmart this weekend for 16 bucks an hour, but am sincerely hoping that’s not the pinnacle of my post-Weekly career. I’m looking forward to putting out a great food section for two more weeks, and then exploring options which will allow me to keep writing.

Raskin was one of the restaurant critics who told Romenesko readers last November about reviews that got readers and chefs angry. Here’s what she wrote:

I’ve heard plenty from restaurant owners, even when my reviews were relatively innocuous: Restaurateurs with hurt feelings have e-mailed death threats and tried to sell my editors on elaborate conspiracy theories. But my favorite follow-up came from the owner of a seafood restaurant I’d taken to task for ignoring the basic principles of responsible sourcing: He offered to fly me to rural Alaska “in a very small plane” to check out his fishing operations. I declined.

* Hanna Raskin: My position has been eliminated (seattleweekly.com)
* Raskin out as Seattle Weekly restaurant critic (eater.com)
* Restaurant critics recall death threats and screaming chefs (jimromenesko.com)

* Ten public employee unions urge Tribune’s largest shareholder not to sell to the Koch brothers. (nytimes.com) | Meanwhile, Charles Koch is now a sponsor of BuzzFeed Politics. (@JuddLegum)
* Koch Industries spokeswoman declines to say whether the company is seeking to buy the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune properties. (latimes.com)
* Does Chicago care if the Koch brothers buy the Tribune? (chicagobusiness.com)
* “No, Twitter doesn’t have ambitions to be a news operation,” says its creative content manager. (pbs.org)
onion* How the Syrian Electronic Army hacked The Onion. (theonion.com)
* In the years Amanda Berry was missing, the Plain Dealer newspaper ran 36 articles about her; it published 19 about Gina DeJesus. (bbc.co.uk)
* Student journalists discover Otterbein University has been violating federal law by requiring students involved in sexual-assault cases to sign confidentiality agreements. (dispatch.com)
* What the…?! University of Sydney media lecturer tells students to try to get a fake story published in the campus paper. (collegemediamatters.com)
* Teen’s browser plug-in blocks tweets with TV spoilers. (latimes.com) | (npr.org)
* A Slate review of “Wool” produced an immediate sales spike; a Wall Street Journal feature produced a comparable result, but with a delayed reaction. (oceandrive.com)
* USA Today’s Craig Wilson writes in his final “Final Word” column: “Some of you were offended by the fact I wrote so openly about my longtime partner, Jack. I have no regrets. It was my little contribution to the cause.” (usatoday.com)