Daily Archives: June 6, 2013

* Photographers protest Sun-Times layoffs (
* Cars driving by the rally beeped their horns in support (

Veteran Chicago news photographer Phil Greer wrote this for his Facebook friends and gave me permission to share it with Romenesko readers. He left the Chicago Tribune a dozen years ago to become Photojournalist in Residence at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Phil Greer

I apologize for my spelling and punctuation. I am just so angry over what transpired At the Chicago Sun-Times that I hit the send button before I read my post.

(Credit:  Ashley Boncimino)

(Credit: Ashley Boncimino)

This is a fight for more than just photojournalism at the Sun Times, This is a fight for journalism is the American public willing to except mediocrity. Do you want large corporations determining what they want you to think is news . Or do we want dedicated professional journalists to do the job .

Time and time again I watched large corporations buy Newspapers cut staff and say less is more. It is not!

Newspapers have an obligation to society. They are the watchdogs, To Keep society honest. All too often we except mediocrity I now say no more .

Now more than ever we need a strong media. One that holes government and society accountable for its actions.
If we except the actions of the Sun Times we except the demise of our society.

This is not to say that upper management is always the blame.

In my 24 years As a journalist at the Chicago Tribune I watch lower-level management rollover and followed dictates that were wrong. My job is important, I have a wife and children at home, I need to provide for them. I need a paycheck.
Not the way to function./CONTINUES Read More

summariesEight months ago, I tried to help Rick Polito get credit for his quirky “Wizard of Oz” summary that everyone reported was written by a Philadelphia Inquirer staffer. (That happened because of the way the image-gone-viral was trimmed.)

“Use the words ‘desperate for employment’” in your piece,” he told me last October.

On Wednesday, Polito sent Romenesko readers an update: “I was never able to turn the Oz synopsis viral tsunami into a job. Believe me, I tried –, Zap2It, TV Guide, etc. Every cover letter includes a reference to the ‘quip that launched a billion tweets.'”

Polito's Twitter avatar

Polito’s Twitter avatar

He now writes funny lines for George Takei’s Facebook page and “even at $10 a joke it still feels like a validation to see so many people reacting to my humor. I have written jokes that got 10 likes per second for hours. The power of George is unbelievable. His fans are a viral army. He may not be a stockholder, but he owns Facebook.”

My possible good news this week is that a book I wrote a few years ago (and my agent gave up on) is #2 in “Hot New Releases” for kids’ sci-fi in the Kindle store. That sounds more exciting than it is, given the sales. But it’s something. I’m in the top 100 in two categories.

“I love all the attention,” he adds, “but that’s not really a job.”

“Wizard of Oz” synopsis is going to follow writer to the grave (

Wall Street Journal sports columnist Jason Gay takes a ride on a Citi Bike:

WSJ staffers Dorothy Rabinowitz and Jason Gay

WSJ staffers Dorothy Rabinowitz and Jason Gay

The whole experience was rather simple. I believe this is the point of the bike. Somehow this act has become “controversial” in New York. Sharing bicycles. …Some of the arguments against bike share are just confusing. I don’t know how to handle the argument that we don’t need bike share because everyone who wants to bike already owns a bike. That’s like saying that we don’t need restaurants because everybody has a kitchen.

I don’t know what to do with the argument that bike share stations take up valuable space on a public street. You know what is also taking up valuable space on a public street? Your car. My car.

What Wall Street Journal readers say about Gay’s review vs. WSJ editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz’s earlier commentary:


* More comments about “Bikes and the End of the World” | Jason Gay’s review
* Earlier: When was Dorothy Rabinowitz last on a bicycle? (

ALSO FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: A memo sent to Journal staff last night says the paper’s looking for a telecom reporter and that “interested candidates should phone, text, Sykpe [sic], Tweet, or Snapchat Bureau Chief Andrew Dowell.”


The memo is after the jump. Read More

Winners of the Livingston Awards — $10,000 prizes for journalists under the age of 35 — were announced this morning. From the release:

* Local reporting: Alexandra Zayas, 29, of Tampa Bay Times, “In God’s Name,” an investigation of child abuse in religious group-homes. Zayas reported on unlicensed facilities in Florida that are exempt from the state’s laws against corporal punishment and state oversight in “I sought to tell a story that had gone untold for almost three decades,” Zayas said. “The state launched a crackdown on this group of homes in response to the investigation, and the Florida House passed a bill to provide better oversight.”

* National reporting: Rachel Manteuffel, 28, in Washingtonian Magazine, “The Things They Leave Behind,” a poignant story about the items left by visitors at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. “The objects left behind speak of matters so intimate,” Manteuffel said, “they may be indecipherable except to two people – one living, one dead.”

* International Reporting: John D. Sutter, 29, and Edythe McNamee, 27, of CNN Digital, “Slavery’s Last Stronghold,” a multimedia story on slavery in West Africa. Mauritania abolished slavery in 2008 but only one person has been prosecuted for slavery since then and the tradition continues. Sutter’s and McNamee’s interviews with slaves and slave owners found a deeply ingrained system in which family history and skin color continue to separate the free from the enslaved.

* Livingston Award finalists


A longtime OpenTable user’s review for the site mentioned that fruit flies were flying around diners’ plates and dead flies were in the restaurant’s window. The piece never got posted and OpenTable marketing senior veep Ann Shepherd explains why:

We don’t edit diner reviews, but we do use some screens to filter reviews that may be inappropriate.

The review in question was flagged by our automated system because it contained words that might suggest possible safety issues or health code violations. Given the damage such a claim can cause to a restaurant’s reputation and our inability to verify the facts, our system identifies comments regarding sanitation and cleanliness and keys off words like “fly.”

* Questioning the reviews on OpenTable (

UPDATE: “How about airborne protein?” writes one of my Facebook friends. Read more fly/flies substitutes that might fly on OpenTable.

(Credit @LynnBecker)

(Credit @LynnBecker)

Laid off Chicago Sun-Times photographers and their supporters picketed the newspaper this morning. Here’s a Vine from WBEZ’s Lauren Chooljian that shows protesters carrying signs that say “Readers Deserve Better” and “Un-Ferro.” (Michael Ferro is the head of Sun-Times Media.)

* Laid off photographers picket the Sun-Times (
* Pulitzer-winner John H. White takes photos at the rally (
* Watch Stephen Colbert’s report on the Sun-Times axing its photo department (

nyp* “Bag Men” sue the New York Post; they say the tabloid’s false report subjected them to “scorn, hatred, ridicule, or contempt in the minds of a considerable and respectable segment of the community.” (
* National Geographic hires Matt Mansfield from Medill and Keith Jenkins from NPR. (
* Scott Pelley doesn’t have Brian Williams’ comedy chops, but “I get a little bit goofy on ’60 Minutes’ from time to time depending on the story.” (
* Suspicious powder found in the Iowa State Daily newsroom turns out to be photo paper residue. (
* Winners of the Mirror Awards — honoring the best journalism about journalism — have been announced. (
* AJR editor: “Politico’s embrace of long-form is a vivid symbol of the way attitudes about digital content have evolved.” (
* Kerry Lauerman resigns as Salon editor-in-chief to join Lerer Ventures. (
* CNN gets the first TV interview with Glenn Greenwald. (@jaketapper) | His NSA/Verizon exclusive: (
* The owner of SF Weekly, SF Examiner, and SF Bay Guardian is close to acquiring San Francisco’s gay newspaper. (
* Good news for journalists! “Scientists are figuring out that coffee has notable health benefits.” (
* Cliff Oxford: “I think the [Tumblr] deal is bad for American business, period.” (
* How stories on HBO’s “The Newsroom” were chosen. (
* Why Google Reader is being shuttered: “The old standard behaviors of news consumption” have changed. (
* Online journalists don’t care for hashtags. (
* Baba Shetty is out as Newsweek Daily Beast CEO after just nine months. (
* Movie stars don’t sell magazines the way they used to. “Audiences have shifted their allegiance in large part to television,” says EW editor. (
* Yoga and more! Employees have even more New Agey amenities at the Huffington Post. (