Daily Archives: May 13, 2013

UPDATE: Here’s the Newspaper Guild’s statement:

The Newspaper Guild-CWA and its local that represents AP staffers, The News Media Guild, demands that the U.S. Justice Department return all telephone records that it obtained from phones — including some home and cell phones – of Associated Press reporters and editors.
The collection of these records is egregious and a direct attack on journalists, and the Justice Department needs to cease and desist such investigations. The ability of journalists to develop and protect sources is vital to keeping the public informed about issues affecting their lives.

There could be no justification or explanation for this broad, over-reaching investigation. It appears officials are twisting legislation designed to protect public safety as a means to muzzle those concerned with the public’s right to know.

The suggestion that the news story ‘scooped’ an announcement for partisan political purposes only exacerbates the damage such actions can have on a free press. This investigation has a chilling effect on press freedom in the United States – a right enshrined in the Constitution. Please contact your representatives and the White House to tell them to stop this outrageous, abusive investigation now.

* Washington Post: “Experts said the scope of the records secretly seized from the AP and its reporters goes beyond the known scale of previous leak probes.”
* NBC News: One freedom of the press watchdog calls the DOJ’s move “Nixonian.”

EARLIER: The U.S. Department of Justice secretly obtained phone records for more than 20 separate lines assigned to AP journalists and offices, including cell and home phone lines, the news organization reports.

AP president Gary Pruitt writes to Attorney General Eric Holder:

There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters.aplogo These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.

We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.

* AP responds to intrusive DOJ seizure of phone records (
* Justice Department gave AP no explanation for the seizure (AP via
* Six AP journalists who worked on Yemen story had phone records seized (@RyanLizza)
* UPDATE: Here’s the story the AP suspects led to the sweeping DOJ subpoena (

After the news came out late Friday that Columbia Journalism Review ajris “having a rough time right now” and letting editors go, I wondered how the University of Maryland’s American Journalism Review is doing. I asked Philip Merrill College of Journalism dean Lucy Dalglish about the publication’s future and she replied:

We’ve had a faculty and alumni task force working on issues related to the future of AJR since I arrived last fall. Lots of conversations, no announcements at this point.

Obviously, we have many of the same issues facing CJR, although AJR’s operations have been much leaner for quite some time. The philanthropy model of the journalism reviews is incredibly hard to sustain, as you know.

* Tough times at Columbia Journalism Review (
* “When CJR changed ‘Strong Press, Strong Democracy’ to ‘The Future of Media is Here,’ the game was over” (@AlanMairson)

T Magazine editor Deborah Needleman tells New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan:

thinJulia Nobis, the model [on the T cover], is a 20-year-old undergraduate studying medicine. We chose her because of her strong looks and the personality she is able to project. She is rather thin for my taste, as most models are, and I considered adding some fat to her with Photoshop, but decided that as it is her body, I’d let it be.

Timesman John Schwartz calls his colleague’s Photoshop admission “jaw-dropping.”

* NYT readers are bothered by IRS coverage and too-thin models (

From the discussion on my Facebook wall:

“The Plain Dealer’s collected output over the past weekplain is a testament to the value of the daily regional newspaper in the digital age.”
— Press critic Justin Peters

* Plain Dealer’s amazing reporting on Ariel Castro will be its last hurrah (
* Check out the PD visual team’s Not-So-Plain Dealer Tumblr (
* Earlier: Plain Dealer editor rebuts BBC’s racist coverage claim (

Michael Hiestand has left USA Today after 24 years to try something new.

Michael Hiestand

Michael Hiestand

The sports media writer tells Ed Sherman that “having the buyout will give me a little bit of time [and] gives me some time away from the everyday deadlines.”

He adds: “I wasn’t bored or burned out” on the sports media beat. “In fact, it was just the opposite. In many ways, I’m more interested than ever before. …I’m going to move to New York (from D.C.). I have talked to some people, but I don’t have anything specifically in mind. I am open to ideas.”

* Veteran sports media reporter signs off at USA Today (

“For a newspaper that used to pride itself on diversity, there is some very troubling news this morning from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newsroom — and many of the women in the trenches are upset by it,” writes a Romenesko reader. “A new editor on the news side has been named, and once again it is white male. That means there still are NO WOMEN editors helping to determine news content at the paper.”

Here’s the memo that went out this morning:

We are pleased to announce that David Paulsen will be joining us next week as Breaking News Editor.

David Paulsen

David Paulsen (via LinkedIn)

For the last five years David has run the evening and overnight operation at in New York. At Fox he was in charge of a team very much like our Newshub, shaping its urgent response to national and international breaking news. He had responsibilities over story assigning and editing as well as production and news placement on the site.

Prior to his time at Fox, he was a reporter and editor at the Wausau Daily Herald and a reporter at the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal.

David, his wife Liz and their three boys (all under the age of 4) will be moving to the Milwaukee area in June. David plans to start here on May 20.

My emailer continues: “Many other people — male and female — are talking among themselves because this guy is from Fox News. Most of us can’t figure out why a guy who doesn’t work for a legitimate news organization would be hired as Breaking News Editor. Many of us fear Paulsen’s hiring is a further sign of the newspaper’s pandering to the right. It endorsed Scott Walker repeatedly and has treated Paul Ryan as a Golden Boy. But that’s another issue entirely.

“Please respect my request to remain anonymous. Not long ago a memo went out that we were not to communicate with Romenesko.” (Others in that newsroom, where I started my newspaper career, have told me about the edict.)

Any other Journal Sentinel staffers (editors included, of course) care to comment? Post your thoughts or email me.


I saw Chris Krewson’s tweet about the SpongeBob Squarepants episode exploring sensational journalism and had to check it out. SPOILER ALERT: Bad reporting angers SpongeBob’s readers and the yellow journalist ends up teaching his publisher a lesson.

Here’s Krabby Kronicle owner Mr. Krabs’ approach to news:

SpongeBob, what’s the meaning of this? ‘LOCAL RESIDENT WATCHES POLE’? No one’s going to pay to read this malarky.bob When you write these stories, you’ve got to use a little imagination, boy. Maybe instead of “Man Watches Pole,” you could say something like, “Man Marries Pole.” Then you could alter the photo a little to fit the headline and see — now that’s a doozy story [sic]! ..The public expects a little embellishment here and there, so I want you to go out and get me a lead story that’ll sell!”

* Mr. Krabs launches the Krabby Kronicle and makes SpongeBob a reporter (

* Bloomberg News editor-in-chief: “We apologize for our error as it does not reflect on our culture or our heritage.” ( | Bloomberg admits terminal snooping.bloom1 ( | ( | (
* “Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath.” (
* Some people on the cutting edge of tech are turning off their home Wi-Fi at night and reading books on paper. (
* Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus won’t be speaking publicly or with reporters while criminal proceedings against Ariel Castro are ongoing, says their spokesman. (
* Three Reuters staffers are reprimanded for not telling their bosses that the FBI raided Matthew Keys’ apartment. (
* The Newseum is rethinking its decision to include two cameramen from Hamas-run al-Aqsa TV in a tribute to journalists who died last year. (
* Chris Heath goes from Pet Shop Boys expert to award-winning war correspondent. (
* Previously.TV launches. (“We want to talk about last night’s TV shows.”) (
* PBS MediaShift puts out ebooks on self-publishing and cord-cutting. (
* “This daily newspaper thing may be catching on,” David Carr writes in a column about the Times-Picayune (with a Philly Inquirer mention). (
* We agree with the Times that Declan Walsh’s reporting from Pakistan has been “balanced, nuanced and factual.” (
* What happens next in media? Nine predictions from Simon Dumenco. (
* Southern Illinois University’s Daily Egyptian is in danger of folding if it doesn’t get financial help soon. (
* Reporter says cops in Springfield, Ill., harassed him for years because of his police misconduct investigation. (
* Durham Herald-Sun is selling its building and looking for smaller office space. ( | It’s going to start charging for online access, too. (
* Letter: “Don’t give up,” a reader advises laid-off journalists. (Romenesko Letters)