I asked John Wolfson, the editor who gave us a Boston bombing cover that everybody loved, what he has to say about The Bomber cover that so many people hate.
The Boston magazine editor writes in an email:
“There are people here in the city, and even on my staff, who are really angry about the cover, but I’m having a hard time getting as upset as everyone else. I completely understand how the cover could be interpreted as glamorizing Tsarnaev and, in a way that further wounds the victims, painting him in a sympathetic light. But I think that interpretation misses the point of what Rolling Stone was trying to do, which was to spotlight just how unlikely it would have seemed on April 14 that his kid could have done something like this.
“Could the execution have been better? I think so. The cover language describes Tsarnaev himself as a victim, and from my perspective at least, that was insensitive to the people who were killed and wounded in the bombings. But overall, it’s my opinion that the outrage has been to some degree out of proportion to the magazine’s offenses.”
* “This would make a great poster…” | It became one, too (jimromenesko.com)
ALSO: Rolling Stone’s cover is brilliant, says Mark Joseph Stern (slate.com)
The downsizing continues at the Chicago Sun-Times.
The paper confirmed today that 14 production employees were laid off last Wednesday. The paper released this statement after I asked about the cuts:
The Sun-Times has expanded its relationship with Affinity Express for advertising services after more than two years of partnership with consistently positive results. This decision will help the company to optimize its ad production operation, but has led to the elimination of certain roles. We are working with affected employees on the transition, which will occur over the next few months.
Guild communications director Janelle Hartman tells Romenesko readers: “These are ad design/layout jobs outside of Guild jurisdiction that
have been outsourced to India. Although they are not union jobs, we are still very unhappy about this news.” UPDATE — The Sun-Times tells me their work will be done through Elgin and an office in Manila.
Sun-Times Media laid off 28 photographers six weeks ago when it closed its photo department.
UPDATE 2: Chicago Newspaper Guild president Dave Pollard put out this statement:
The company’s move to outsource its remaining layout department to a firm in the Philippines may seem fiscally prudent in their eyes, but it saddens me. It seems like the company is consistently moving away from what journalism is all about. No more photographers, no more people at arms’ length to reach out to and make sure an advertisement is where it is supposed to be in the newspaper. Sure, technological advancements have made things easier, but when all is said and done, the company’s brands are fueled by these employees and journalists who are out in the community — the blood that helps the heart of these newspapers keep pumping. Outsourcing photographers has already created devastating consequences and this most recent move may prove to be just as devastating.
LEE ENTERPRISES USES AFFINITY, TOO: “I work for a small Lee paper in Wisconsin as a multimedia graphic designer. Lee is now laying off designers also. They will be working with a company in Elgin, Illinois who outsources their designing to the Phillipines. Our sales staff will now have to design their customers ads so that the designers in the Phillipines will know what point size to make text. I will be out of my long career in October. Thanks to a(nother) Lee wide initiative!”
American Journalism Review, which is published by the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, is going online only.
“The model for publishing has clearly shifted to digital formats as online readership has grown,” says Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish. “It no longer made financial sense for the award-winning AJR to continue producing a print magazine because most AJR readers accessed content on the Web. In addition, philanthropy has long been an important source of funding for print magazines devoted to media criticism. That support has steadily declined over the past 10 years.”
* American Journalism Review to become online only publication (ajr.org)
Jason Feifer emails: “I just tweeted this out and then thought, hey, I bet Jim Romenesko would be interested in this question too!
“Nicholas Confessore’s wedding was included in the Sunday Styles section [last Sunday]. I wonder how the Times makes the decision to include or exclude its reporters’ weddings. Must be a spirited debate, to say the least.”
New York Times society editor Bob Woletz tells Feifer and other Romenesko readers:
We do not offer guarantees to anyone – staffers included – – that an item about any particular wedding will appear. And just like all of the other couples who submit their weddings for consideration, staffers must also fill out the online form and submit them on deadline to us. Then, as with all submissions, they are judged on a case-by-case basis, with space in that Sunday’s paper and other couples getting married that weekend are key factors in who makes the final cut.
* Anna Hoffman, Nicholas Confessore (nytimes.com)
* Read the comments about this on my Facebook wall (facebook.com)
Apalachicola/Carrabelle Times city editor David Adlerstein, who was criticized by some for publishing the above quote from a county commissioner, tells the Washington Post that jewing over “is rude, it’s crude, it’s unrefined, it’s offensive, but it is not being used as an anti-Semitic crack” in this case. He adds: “If that sounds like I’m an apologist, that is not me. I am not a self-hating Jew and I am not an ignorant Jew who is unaware of the pain of my people.”
Meanwhile, Cheryl Sanders apologized Tuesday at a county commission meeting for using the term. (The Tallahassee Democrat doesn’t use it in its story, so readers have to guess the “anti-Semitic slur.”) “It was a bad choice of words and it should not have been made. In no way, shape or form did I mean it to be derogatory or negative, and so I just want to make an apology for that.”
She added after the meeting: “Don’t you say some things you don’t mean to say sometimes? I just got caught up.”
Her word choice appears to be much-ado-about-nothing to other commissioners. “She didn’t mean anything by it,” said commissioner William Massey. “It was just a figure of speech and it didn’t go very well.”
* Florida editor defends comment seen by most as a slur (washingtonpost.com)
* Commissioner apologizes for anti-Semitic slur (tallahassee.com)
* Earlier: Editor explains why he ran public official’s ‘jewing over’ quote (jimromenesko.com)
* Gonzo videographer James O’Keefe (left) returns to New Orleans to settle a beef with former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. “It may not have worked out quite the way he hoped.” (theadvocate.com)
* Jack Shafer cares less about where a journalist is coming from — the left or the right — than to where his journalism takes him. (reuters.com)
* Greensboro News & Record editor apologizes for this Sunday column. “I tripped on that most important lodestar for any writer or journalist: Know your audience,” writes Jeff Gauger. (news-record.com)
* General manager at GateHouse paper in Michigan sues critics of meth-bust story for defamation. (mlive.com)
* Tribune Co. hires a real estate veteran to determine if it’s making as much money as it can from its holdings. (latimes.com)
* Politico is mentioned 135 times in the 368 pages of Mark Leibovich’s “This Town” – an average of one reference every 2.7 pages. (huffingtonpost.com)
* David Karp tells Stephen Colbert that Tumblr won’t police porn. (mashable.com)
* Texas paper explains why it didn’t put the George Zimmerman verdict on 1A: “It would have been a mistake for the Reporter-Telegram to elevate this cable news-generated story above coverage of local events and issues.” (mywesttexas.com) | Pew examines the Zimmerman verdict tweets. (pewresearch.org)
* Watch the trailer for the new “Calvin and Hobbes” documentary. (indiewire.com)
* Noted: Walter Cronkite died four years ago today. (@Cronkite_ASU)
* Tina Brown & Co.’s Beast Weekend launches in the fall. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Providence Journal puts up a pay wall on July 23. (providencejournal.com)
* A community college is expected to move some departments into the Mobile Press-Register building. (al.com)