Daily Archives: July 2, 2013

Amy Chozick, who has been on the corporate media beat for the New York Times, is joining the paper’s political team to cover Hillary Clinton and her family.

Amy Chozick

Amy Chozick

“In addition to media stories, Amy got the first extensive interview with Chelsea Clinton and traveled to Africa with Bill Clinton to write the front-page curtain raiser to Mr. Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention,” writes political editor Carolyn Ryan.

Her memo is after the jump. Read More

Three or four (I’m getting different counts) of the seven city reporters at GateHouse Media’s Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star are withholding bylines to protest the layoff of metro/city editor Mike Cecil, who had been with the paper for 29 years. “Cecil had just completed work on a well-received tab on the recent flooding across the region,” a JS reporter tells me. “It published the day before his firing.”
Political reporter Chris Kaergard tells his Facebook friends: “I am exercising my contract right to withhold my name from all printed work (excepting the column, where it’s forbidden) until further notice to protest the foolish, short-sighted layoff of 29-year Journal Star veteran Mike Cecil … for ‘budget reasons’ at a time when the paper continues to make money hand over greedy fist.”

Journal Star executive editor Dennis Anderson writes in an email: “This was a reorganization of our newsroom management with a focus on putting more reporting resources in the community. We are hiring two reporters this week. We are losing a well-respected editor with years of experience. But after reviewing our existing resources, it came down to making sure we are serving our readers the best we can. It was vital that we have more reporters on the street.”

Columnist Phil Luciano tells Romenesko readers: “We’re told it’s a financial decision. And it feels like whiplash. A few weeks ago, the publisher called a meeting and told us that we were doing very well: good financial performance, plus a reader survey showing very positive responses regarding the paper. …Once again, despite our doing a good job here, the GateHouse bottom line costs the Journal Star yet another loyal employee (along with, we’re told, other jobs at other GateHouse papers). Though the city editor was a management position (one apparently that will be left unfilled), it leaves the newsroom bereft of 29 years of experience covering this city, something that can’t be replaced.”

* Union: “The employee was canned suddenly, then told to leave” (

Consulting firm SmithGeiger has given its TV clients a three-page list of phrases intended “to help reflect and promote urgency and a ‘happening now’ feeling in a newscast.”
It’s not enough for TV news shops to use words like new, rapidly developing, and breaking, according to SmithGeiger. “Those are just the basic ingredients. Mixing them up with a range of other words and topics can make for a rich vocabulary that leads to legitimate news urgency.”

Here are the words and phrases that SmithGeiger suggests be used:

* we do have some breaking news right away
* rapid developments
* this story is rapidly changing
* you saw it here first just minutes ago
* we are going to be covering this live for you
* breaking overnight
* you are looking live
* but first we begin with
* all new
* new right now
* new developments are unfolding
* we are watching with you these first pictures live from the scene
* this is a rapidly developing situation
* breaking as we go on air
* you’ll hear in just seconds
* take a live look behind me
* but after we told you…we kept asking
* we’ve been talking about this in the last hour
* we want to give you the very latest
* we are going to stay on this story every step of the way
* we have new information for you as soon as anything happens
* we are following this closely and are making sure you don’t miss anything
* we are going to stay on this story night and day
* we are not stopping with our coverage until this story is done

* TV consultant tells clients to make news sound urgent (
* This just in! Salaries are declining in local TV newsrooms (
* Earlier: TV station limits the use of “breaking news” (

UPDATE: There’s a lively discussion about this on my Facebook wall.


* Style & Substance: A Wall Street Journal bulletin (

mourn“I work at The Arizona Republic and found the debate below to be interesting,” writes a Romenesko reader. “It’s probably a conversation that goes on in a lot of newsrooms. A lot of ethical and practical questions here. …If you don’t mind, I’d like to remain anonymous. I’ve also redacted the names of the senders and recipients.”

The discussion is about a toothpaste ad that Republic readers had to watch before viewing a fire tragedy video report on the Republic’s website,

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Monday, July 01, 2013 1:02 PM
Subject: Re: Family of fallen firefighter talks to Steve Irvin

Just feels unseemly to click on video of this tragic event and seeing a toothpaste commercial. I think difference with tv is that commercials aren’t, say, attached to coverage as is the case with our video

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 1, 2013, at 12:58 PM, wrote:

> I’m sensitive to the concerns expressed here. This is a tragic event. Advertising on video is new to us — video itself is new to us — and I’m open to assessing whether to remove the advertisement. That said, ads have been a reality on TV and print forever, during many tragic events through many decades, and they have not diminished the impact of our reporting. We’ll monitor and adjust accordingly.
> Thanks.
> —–Original Message—–
> From:
> Sent: Monday, July 01, 2013 12:34 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: RE: Family of fallen firefighter talks to Steve Irvin
> Absolutely agree.
> —–Original Message—–
> From:
> Sent: Monday, July 01, 2013 12:34 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Family of fallen firefighter talks to Steve Irvin
> Don’t know how others feel but it seems wrong to me to have an advertisement on our front page video about the fire and the 19 lost. Just one opinion

* Great work by the Arizona Republic on a horrifically tragic story (

* Sen. Dick Durbin says the government should decide who’s a “real” journalist. (
* Margaret Sullivan’s “Who’s a Journalist?” post generates a lot of discussion. (
gang* Sign on the front page of the Delaware News Journal: “I’m here for the gangbang.” (
* “Internet is a chance for journalism, not the death, a chance,” says the head of online upstart Mediapart. (
* “If I could, I would repeal the Internet,” writes Robert Samuelson. (
* Three news outlets contest the sealing of search warrants in the Aaron Hernandez case. (
* Claim: Real value of the Boston Globe is the real estate. (
* Why is London-based Guardian revealing so many secrets about the American government? “We’re just doing what journalists do,” says its editor. (
* Legal experts pick the U.S. Supreme Court’s best writers. (“Robert Jackson wrote the best prose of any of the justices.”) (
* I suggest David Sedaris fans check out this WTF podcast. ( | Ira Glass interview (part 2) (
* Praise for Steven Mufson’s Chevron-Paton Boggs piece in the Washington Post. (
* The best TV shows of 2013 (so far), according to James Poniewozik. (
* Alison Brower is named editor-in-chief of Hearst’s new Dr. Oz magazine. (