Monthly Archives: August 2013

I wrote in June: “I don’t know if the New York Times will claim the name causes confusion in the marketplace, but I suspect it’ll have a problem with one of the site’s Twitter feeds: @ceoNYTimes. (It has over 250,000 followers.)” The Twitter feed is no more. nyt

Here is what you see when you visit today:
* – the new home of New Yorker Times Magazine (
* June 2013: New Yorker Times Magazine help-wanted ad (


New York Times reporter John Eligon writes on Facebook about meeting the subject of his “White Power Takeover” story in today’s paper:

[Paul Craig] Cobb was quick to offer up shameful insults of Jews, gays and to The New York Times.

The white nationalist and the reporter

The white nationalist and the reporter

He said The Times was trying to play mind games by sending a black reporter and a blond-haired, blue-eyed female photographer to interview him. (After I refuted that, he did allow that it could have been a coincidence.) Before using racial slurs directed toward blacks, he would typically excuse himself. But he was not shy to spout his belief that blacks are genetically more violent than whites, that our frontal lobes made us more prone to snapping into violent rages, that we lacked intelligence.

So why wasn’t he scared that I would hurt him, I asked. Because I worked for The Times, he said, he figured that I wouldn’t be like that.

* A postscript to my interview with white nationalist Paul Craig Cobb (
* New neighbor’s agenda: White power takeover (

UPDATE: Jeff Bezos’s meeting with Washington Post employees, originally scheduled for Tuesday, has been changed to Wednesday. (Hey, @PostTV, how about broadcasting it, or at least doing a Bezos Q-and-A for the public?)

Date: August 30, 2013, 2:32:52 PM EDT
To: NEWS – All Newsroom
Subject: RESCHEDULED: Newsroom Q&A with Jeff Bezos

The Q&A with Jeff Bezos has been rescheduled. It will now take place on Wednesday, September 4 at 3:30, in the Community Room.

* Rem Rieder: “Interviews suggest that sentiment at the Post about the future [under Bezos] is decidedly mixed” (

Here’s what the Phoenix’s Jeff Inglis says billionaire newspaper owners Jeff Bezos and John Henry should do:

* “Take themselves out of the picture” to “avoid all sorts of questions about ethics, improper influence, and messing with the public trust”
* Not expect to make much money
* Make the product better
* Remember they still answer to the public.

* Billions and billions (

Jay Busbee tells the New York Post: “South Carolina and North Carolina are, in fact, separate states, and have been for a couple centuries now.”

-- New York Post Sports section

— New York Post Sports section

* New York Post thinks all Carolinas are one and the same (
* New York Post declares “Carolina” its own state (

SPJ is considering changing its name from Society of Professional Journalists to Society for Professional Journalism.

Some at SPJ, according to a Romenesko tipster, favor “changing the focus of the organization to upholding and advocating the principles of professional journalism rather than the people performing the craft.” The SPJ member added: “It’s also a reaction to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others trying to define who is and isn’t a journalist. It’s a proposal that the national board will be debating for quite a while, I suspect.”

SPJ’s newly elected president David Cuillier confirms this in an email:

On Monday, SPJ delegates considered a resolution that would have changed the name to the Society for Professional Journalism. There was healthy debate and ultimately it was voted down. If it were passed it wouldn’t have changed the name immediately – that would have required a separate action for a bylaws change. But it was a great opportunity to discuss an important issue.

The SPJ board met Tuesday morning to talk about the issue, as directed by the delegates. Reaction was mixed, as I imagine it would be throughout the profession, but I was impressed by the thoughtfulness and willingness to explore the topic. As a result, I am creating a task force to look into it further and provide recommendations to the executive committee and then the full board, which could then make a recommendation to the delegates at a future convention.

There are a lot of factors we need to examine, such as the costs to the national organization and local chapters in changing their banners/letterhead, etc. More important, there are compelling philosophical issues, such as how do you define “professional journalist”? How do you define journalism, or “professional” journalism? This is especially relevant as we talk about the federal shield law. I’m not sure if we’ll have any definitive answers right away, or even if we vote on it at EIJ14 Sept. 4-6, 2014, in Nashville. It might be later.

There was a lot of serious stuff in Thursday’s New York Times, but this paragraph made me laugh:


* Double-decker buses, for many, are the height of irritation (

* Tribune Co. reports second-quarter net income of $66.3 million — a 61.2 percent plunge from $170.8 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue dropped 10.5 percent. (
* Philadelphia Inquirer’s opinion section will go from two pages to one on Sept. 9, say sources. (
* Matt Hardigree on the problem with AP’s “Americans Driving Less” story. (
* Forbes writer: “There are few times that an article refuting a Forbes colleague is in need of publishing … this is one of those instances.” (
rupert* Rupert Murdoch’s pay drops to $28.9 million from $30 million last year. ( | A play about Murdoch’s life opens in Australia. (
* How two newspaper reporters helped free an innocent man. (
* College paper’s column comparing white rapper Macklemore to Martin Luther King Jr. gets “some extreme responses.” (
* Ken Doctor examines the GlobalPost-NBC News partnership. (
* Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang steps down in September. (
* The best-selling nonfiction Kindle Single in August is “Searching for Dave Chappelle.” (
* USA Today’s new Twitter account, @sportsPSA, sends sports alerts to your phone. (
* Denver Post lays off its photo director and web news content producer. (
* Rem Rieder to Obama administration: Lay off James Risen! (
* Farhad Manjoo wishes Valleywag would explore more important problems in technology and the tech industry. (
* Maybe a Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one who loves “Network”? (@ditzkoff)
ford* “Morning Joe” becomes “Morning Ford Commercial.” (
* Dan Kennedy on Boston media’s reaction to Rolling Stone’s Aaron Hernandez story. (
* Suggestion: Name San Francisco Zoo’s new Komodo dragon after ex-Chronicle editor – and 2001 dragon-attack victim — Phil Bronstein. (

“The AP’s helpful pronunciation key made me laugh today,” writes Romenesko reader Lori Henson. “Turns out Hoboken is pronounced ‘Ho-bo-ken.’ [Actually, the AP has it as HOH’-boh-kehn.] News in Schenectady must send the copy desk into a frenzy. P.S. If it matters, I’m in Terre Haute, Ind. (t-air-a HOTE)”

Remember MTV’s “The Paper”?

The reality show from 2008 showed enthusiastic high school kids putting out the student newspaper at Cypress Bay High School in Broward County, Florida. Each episode, said the New York Observer, was “a window into the prolonged collective and individual breakdown that is a newspaper close.”

But the reality series wasn’t all about making deadlines. There were fights, lots of insults and everything else you’d expect from teens who know they’re on camera. (“Tensions occasionally explode into emotional outbursts,” wrote the Sun-Sentinel’s Tom Jicha. “The producers “all but ignore actual work on the newspaper,” complained Andy Denhart of Reality Blurred blog.)

Adam Brock, who was the newspaper’s ad manager, tells me: “After an episode aired on TV, you could always expect the next day to be awkward in Mrs. Weiss’s [journalism] class” because of things that were said. “But we all pretty much knew how we felt about each other and specific situations that arose throughout the year.”

What happened to the journalism students from Cypress Bay High? They’re doing a variety of things now — from teaching to marketing — but not one main cast member from “The Paper” now works on a newspaper. (Only two responded to my emails and tweets asking for updates on their lives.)

Amanda Lorber, Editor-in-Chief
The feisty top editor “became a role model to some viewers, an inadvertent villain to others and a case study in the perils that a young person faces when she becomes a reality-television star before she is old enough to vote,” Dave Itzkoff wrote in a 2008 New York Times piece. (Gawker called her the show’s “go-get-’em star.”) She told the Times that “I’m really fond of print” and that “I want to keep it alive.” But Lorber, an NYU graduate, doesn’t have anything to do with print these days. Her LinkedIn profile says she now works as a Development Assistant at Prana animation studios in Los Angeles. She is, according to her Vimeo page a “writer, producer, director, idea chick.”

Alex Angert, Managing Editor
He went on to Penn State and worked on the Daily Collegian for four years. As sports editor, Angert coordinated the paper’s Jerry Sandusky scandal coverage and also contributed to the Patriot-News’s reporting. After graduating in 2012, he covered the Dodgers for He’s now a records manager at Guinness World Records.

“It was a year of my life with a camera crew following me around,” he says of the show. “They filmed me on my first date and followed us to parties. …It was a pretty cool experience. The downside was some of us weren’t portrayed in the light we hoped we would have been. …We all had our moments of triumph, and we all had our down moments.”

Cassia Laham, Entertainment Editor
The high school paper’s entertainment editor had some beefs with the media five years ago. “I feel like we’re becoming too tangled in things unimportant,” she told Matt Haber, who was then with the New York Observer. “Like spending four weeks on Anna Nicole Smith or any petty news when there are bigger things happening.” But still, she said, “I really think journalists are so important in informing. The biggest way to help people is by telling them what’s going on.”

After high school, she decided to ditch journalism for education and now teaches American History at Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembrooke Pines, FL.

Adam Brock, Advertising Manager
The former high school sales guy with a “charmingly outsize personality” now works for NBCUniversal’s Oxygen Media. “I am responsible for the production of several on-air and print projects within our show launches as well as continuity efforts,” he writes in an email. Brock’s also involved with strategy and execution of Oxygen’s digital word of mouth campaigns.

“I will always be thankful and never regret anything about my experience on The Paper,” he says. “I think it’s interesting to see how far reality television has gone since The Paper premiered back in 2008. It has become a cultural phenomenon and I am thrilled to have been a part of it.”

Do people still mention that they saw him on the show? I asked.

“It happened a lot in college, but has slowed down a lot more since moving to New York. Since I’m in the television industry now, it’s funny to go to networking events and meet lifelong MTV employees and bring up the show and have them remember it and then see the light bulb flash in their head as they realize who I am.”

Dan Surgan, Staff Writer
Dan Surgan blogged about the show as it aired. “It was an exciting episode for me,” he wrote after week three, “as I did my first nude scene on national television. I’ve been getting a ton of Facebook friend requests and everyone who contacts me has been very nice.”

From another post: “One girl who walked into me in the hallway freaked out when she realized who I was and pretty much raped me with compliments. I later gave her an MTV backpack and she told me that I just made her life.”

Surgan now attends Florida Gulf Coast University and it appears he still has some interest in newspapers.

Giana Pacinelli, who was The Circuit’s news editor, is now a grad student at Nova Southeastern University, according to her LinkedIn profile. Layout editor Trevor Ballard, who was Pacinelli’s boyfriend when the show aired, got his industrial engineering degree from the University of Florida and apparently is in grad school.

Rhonda Weiss, Newspaper Advisor
For 12 years now, she’s been teaching journalism and advising the student newspaper staff at Cypress Bay High. She tells me in a phone chat that she had eight journalism students her first year, about 70 the year that “The Paper” aired, and expects 113 in her j-classes this school year. Her kids are still gung ho about newspapers, and The Circuit now has separate staffs for the print edition and the online edition, she tells me.

Weiss says of “The Paper”: “I don’t think it changed my life one way or another. It was just an interesting experience” — one that took an unexpected turn for the teacher/adviser.

“They told me this was going to be about smart kids. I guess I was maybe a little bit of a sucker to believe that.” (Before the series aired, Weiss told the Sun-Sentinel: “These kids are really bright. I’m glad the rest of the world will get to see that.”)

In the end, though, “they kind of steered the series toward the pettiness that’s in all human beings. …But overall, I think everyone [at the school] was OK with it.”

* Meet the cast of “The Paper” | Watch full episodes of “The Paper” (

Reviews from 2008:
* MTV’s Baby Woodwards love Sy Hersh and MoDo (
* High school journalists make headlines on MTV’s series (
* The show just trivializes the students’ experiences (
* Editor Lorber has “an outspoken love for a news medium most people her age regard as terminally uncool” (
* These are real people whose lives will be altered by this show (
* The teen journalists are “a competitive, highly dramatic bunch” (

The Orange County Register confirms a tipster’s report that the paper has tweaked its housing deal with trainees.

Here’s what my emailer from the Register writes: “The company gathered all trainees (at least 30 people at this point) into a conference room to tell them they will no longer be getting (reeeally expensive) company housing for free. Instead, the company, starting in November, registerwill give trainees $750/month stipends for living. So it’s not like people are being hung out to dry, but it is an interesting change, I think. The current company housing is about $1100/person, with 4 people in each 2-bedroom apartment.”

Here’s what Register local editor Rob Curley tells Romenesko readers: “Trainees will continue to start at $10 an hour, and will now get a $750 monthly housing stipend instead of an apartment rented by the Register. The only difference is that the housing will no longer be rented directly by the Register; just paid for by the Register. When we were directly renting the apartments, we had four trainees per apartment. Our trainees are still eligible for full benefits after six months. We’re not changing our program, just fine tuning how we are implementing it.”

* Dec. 2012: OC Register pays trainees $10/hour *and* provides housing (