Daily Archives: May 10, 2013

Tara McKelvey (below) wrote in a Thursday BBC News piece (“Cleveland abductions: Do whites gets more attention?”)tara that in the 10 years Amanda Berry was missing, the Plain Dealer published 36 articles about the white girl. The report claimed the Cleveland paper, over nine years, ran 19 articles about Gina DeJesus, who is Hispanic.

But the Plain Dealer says those numbers are wrong and that “the number of stories about DeJesus actually is greater than the number mentioning Berry.”

Here’s the letter that Plain Dealer assistant managing editor/metro Chris Quinn sent to the BBC:

Because your network saw fit to brand as racist The Plain Dealer’s coverage of the Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus cases, based on an analysis so simplistic we would have thought it beneath an organization such as yours, we are sending you the following information based on a much more thorough review. Please pass it along to whomever is responsible for the posted report so that they can more accurately present the situation.

Chris Quinn

Chris Quinn

As you will see, the number of stories about DeJesus actually is greater than the number mentioning Berry, contrary what you assert. Your analysis did not include all variations of the DeJesus first name, a rather glaring lapse.

Because of the racial aspect your network chose to focus on, we also included in our review stories about Shakira Johnson, a black child who went missing around the same time as Amanda and Gina. The hunt for Shakira was as big a community effort as the hunt for the other missing girls.

Stories mentioning Shakira Johnson and not Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry: 145
Stories mentioning only Gina DeJesus (or Georgina DeJesus): 24
Stories mentioning only Amanda Berry: 17
Stories mentioning Berry and DeJesus together: 8
Stories mentioning Berry, DeJesus and Johnson: 6
Stories mentioning DeJesus and Johnson together: 2

And, in further response to your theme that The Plain Dealer under-reported stories about missing minority women, I again suggest you look at our stories in the aftermath of the Anthony Sowell serial killing, which have won awards over the past five years for the breadth of coverage.

The suggestion that this newspaper has used race as any kind of filter in its story choices is offensive in the extreme. We’re shocked that such a poorly reported story could be posted by a network with your reputation.


Chris Quinn
Assistant Managing Editor/Metro
The Plain Dealer

Columbia Journalism Review executive editor Mike Hoyt has been laid off. “I loved working there,” Hoyt tells Joe Pompeo.cjr “We did some great work and I’m sorry to go, but I wish them the best.” He’s been with the journalism review for 26 years.

CJR editor-at-large Justin Peters has also been laid off, reports Pompeo, while writers Dean Starkman and Curtis Brainard have been given the option of being laid off or going part-time.

On Thursday, CJR editor-in-chief Cyndi Stivers announced that she was resigning to become editor-in-chief.

* Tough times at Columbia Journalism Review (

A Romenesko reader who saw yesterday’s post about Seattle Times journalists being asked to buy a digital subscription to read their own stories and get archives access sends this email:

I work at an EW Scripps paper in SC, Independent Mail, and we recently had to pay for a digital subscription. It’s necessary to do our jobs (posting stories, monitoring comments, research, etc).
We were not given, as the Seattle Times folks apparently were, an option to not buy the subscription. [At the Times, the paper will buy the subscription for staffers who can’t “for either financial or philosophical reasons.”] Our publisher told us it was mandatory. A proposal to put it on our company credit cards (it IS a business expense) was outright rejected by the publisher.

It was not well received. The only thing probably stopping the rage was that it was only $60, likely not worth the hassle of going to war. They tried to bribe us with a free umbrella and chip clips. [I’m told a chip clip is “a potato chip bag clip. Little plastic thingy.”]

It does not feel right that we should have to pay for the privilege of doing our jobs. I’m now wondering how many other journalists are being forced/coerced into goosing the stats and the revenue base.

UPDATE– An emailer writes: “I can say as a Scripps employee at a different, larger paper not only have I not had to pay for a digital subscription, I’ve been given paywall access to other Scripps papers for journalistic research purposes. Maybe that is just the case at that one paper, I’m not sure. But it’s not a company-wide policy, at least not yet.”

* Seattle Times asks staffers to buy the paper’s digital subscription (

Christy Lemire says in another tweet that “I’ll continue to co-host [the online show] What the Flick?! and will still see movies and enjoy the privilege of writing reviews.”

Lemire tells me she submitted her resignation this morning and her last day with the AP will be May 24. “I’m not sure if a fulltime critic is what they need,” she says. Also, movie writer David Germain told the AP earlier this week that he’ll be departing next Friday, according to Lemire.

“We do plan to fill the positions,” says Lou Ferrara, AP managing editor for sports and entertainment. “We will continue to cover movies and all of entertainment.”

Fortune tech writer JP Mangalindan takes a look at how several digital publishers are doing. Here’s what he found:

Huffington Post
Revenues: They’re not available, but the web giant once aimed to triple sales from $30 million in 2010 to $100 million last year. It was briefly profitable in 2010, but not since it was sold to AOL in early 2011.
Gawker Media
Founder Nick Denton has said he’s looking to grow revenue 40% this year and thinks sales will be a $100-plus million business “someday.” Profitable? Yes, possibly since 2006.

Revenues quadrupled through most of 2012. Profitable? Information not available.

Business Insider
“A small, undisclosed profit during the first quarter of this year.”

* Who is making money publishing on the web? (

On May 1, Baltimore City Paper ran a story about a former police officer who makes robots out of old toys and other items.churn Nine days later CNN also profiled the cop and his hobby.

“We say CNN ripped us off,” writes editor Evan Serpick. “You be the judge.” (Baltimore Sun police reporter Justin Fenton asks him: “Didn’t the Afro [newspaper] have it first?” City Paper’s replay: “Stories were pretty much concurrent.”)

Ripped off? Perhaps, but I’m guessing that wasn’t the only story on CNN that day that was first reported by a print journalist.

UPDATE: Read what my Facebook friends and subscribers say about City Paper’s complaint.

* Robocop: Retired city policeman takes refuge among droids (
* The real Robocop: Ex-policeman builds robot from household goods (
* Retired officer builds human-like robot from appliances (

Larry King asks “dear friend” Carlos Slim: “Why did you invest in me and this?” [The Mexican billionaire is backing King’s talk show on Hulu.]
Slim: “We invest in Larry King. …It is clear that the Internet is a very important tool of civilization, maybe one of the most important tools, and the future is just beginning. ….”

King: “I’m honored to be associated with you and we’re very proud to be ‘Larry King Now.’ .. We’re on our way!”

There was no mention of Slim’s stake in the New York Times during this week’s 21-minute “Larry King Now” interview on Hulu.

Here’s the transcript. (Thanks @craytonharrison)

* Watch Larry King’s chat with Carlos Slim (
* Earlier: Larry King to host Internet show on Carlos Slim’s Ora.TV (

A Romenesko reader writes: “Check out the two page ‘special advertising section’ in the most recent edition of ESPN, The Magazine. The Charmin ad is clever. The idea for an editorial tie in should have been, well, flushed.”


In other words, he was dead at the scene….

-- From a sheriff's department press release

— From a sheriff’s department press release

* Love those law enforcement press releases! Accident victim’s injuries “were incompatible with life.” (
* Daily Mail website has 80 journalists working out of its Manhattan office, making $40,000 to $60,000 a year. (
* Meet two recent journalism grads who got jobs because administrators were mad at them. (
gplus* The average Google+ user spent 7 minutes on the site in March. (
* The Onion is praised for its Twitter hack tell-all. (
* Sheboygan Press, a Gannett daily in Wisconsin, is selling the building it’s occupied since 1924. (
* A judge says the Los Angeles Times can’t be stopped from reporting on testimony from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s top manager. (
* BuzzFeed is teaching ad agencies how to tell stories the BuzzFeed way. (
* Journatic presses on after last summer’s fake byline scandal. (
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