Daily Archives: August 15, 2013

Here’s the rejection letter that Brian Lowry mentions in his Variety column today. (My readers found problems with the letter when it was first posted here.)


* Bezos’ WaPo purchase spurs questions about future of print news (

pressplusChicago Sun-Times letter and Steve Brill’s response:
Dear Subscriber, We are continuously working to improve your reading experience. As part of this effort, we will be discontinuing the Press+ service you are currently subscribed to…/FULL LETTER AFTER THE JUMP Read More

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn is taking questions from readers as he celebrates 10 years of blogging. Here are just two:

Q: If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently 10 years ago?

A: I would have embraced comments more quickly. …I do not miss the days in which we members of the commentariat metaphorically stood on a balcony overlooking the public square and barked our views at you through a bullhorn, occasionally, later, deigning to read your letters or take your phone calls. It was less interesting.

Q: Thank God you don’t have to use Facebook comments – how did you pull that off?

A: So far I’ve been able to hang on to this particular platform. But it doesn’t play nice with the platforms the Tribune is moving to, company wide, and I’ve been told/warned that my Facebook comment days are coming. I’m not optimistic about that, because those threads are very difficult to moderate, the posts aren’t editable and the conversations, I find, far less civil than the conversations on well moderated conventional comment threads.

* Blog Questions: Change of Subject (

Self-described “cranky, gray-haired reporter” Kevin Woster quit the Lee Enterprises-owned Rapid City Journal on Wednesday afternoon.rapid His wife, Mary Garrigan — a Journal reporter, food blogger, and religion writer — walked out too. (I’m told they were the longest tenured newsroom employees.)

“We can no longer work for that organization and its management,” Woster writes on his Facebook wall. “It’s too diminishing, too demeaning. ..We could not, would not eat what they wanted us to eat today.”

Journal editor Bart Pfankuch wouldn’t comment and Woster wouldn’t give details. He wrote in an email:

I don’t want to talk specifics about our resignations yesterday. That would be unfair to all involved. But it was a unhappy parting. I still love that paper. I hope for its future, despite its current struggles and the challenges in the business. This is a great news town and region and a great place for a reporter to live and work. Mary and I are saddened and a bit dazed today, since most of our professional lives have been in newspaper work, with a mix of South Dakota papers but mostly the Journal since the late 1980s. We’re now in the job market, hopefully looking ahead.


* Kevin Woster: Know anybody looking for a couple of seasoned reporters? (
* “A husband-wife journalism duo unlike anything else in South Dakota,” says the owner of South Dakota Magazine (
* e.e. cummings: “Olaf (upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat ‘there is some shit I will not eat'” (

Casey McDermott was one of 80 or so people who applied to travel around the U.S. and report on unpaid internships for ProPublica. The former Penn State Daily Collegian editor-in-chief will be paid $700 per week during her internship.

Casey McDermott

Casey McDermott

“McDermott will interview employers, career counselors and unpaid interns about their experiences and the larger economic impacts of unpaid internships,” reports Sean McMinn.

The internship was funded with a Kickstarter campaign that went over its goal.

* ProPublica hires intern to investigate “intern economy” (

Letter to Romenesko

From DAVID LARTER, Real Estate News Service reporter: Just thought I’d point out a horrible emerging cliché: activist investors.

There is no such thing as an “activist investor.”word Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman, et al are media-savvy moneymen who bark loudly and throw their financial weight around in an effort to move a stock or company in the direction that they would like to see it go. This is so that their hedge funds make money.

As this CNBC article points out, they used to be called corporate raiders. “Activist investor” smacks of bullshit. Flamboyant, aggressive, pushy, etc. “Activist” makes it sound like they have some altruistic motive like saving the rain forests or something. And all the mainstream press is guilty. It’s just fundamentally unclear and I’m tired of seeing it.

I descend from my soap box.

A Post editor’s note to V.A. Musetto:
“Dear Vincent, I’m sorry, but because of budget cutbacks we cannot give you any further reviewing assignments. Your review of THE GRANDMASTER next week is your final assignment.”

* Post drops V.A. Musetto, journalists behind “HEADLESS” headline (


* Where the Washington Post is going and how it’ll get there (washingtoncitypaper)
* “The Daily Show” on Jeff Bezos and newspapers (

According to SEC documents, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway no longer owns shares of Gannett. It held 1.7 million shares in the first quarter.

* Warren Buffett’s Berkshire sells Gannett shares (
* Did Buffett sell because of Gannett’s TV station deals? (
* Buffett’s latest trades: Gannett — Sold out (

That would be nice, but I doubt that’s what happened here.

* Journalists among the dead in Egypt. ( | “If I see you again, I’ll shoot you in the leg,” police officer in Cairo tells Washington Post journalists. (
* Front pages: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today (
* Washington Post retiree Allan Sloan says it’s time for Jeff Bezos to discuss his political views. (
* The idea behind hyperlocal news sounds entirely sensible, but there aren’t enough digital dollars to make the sites work. ( | Hyperlocal can work. (
* Keith Olbermann hopes his obit will say that “he left ESPN in a tempest in 1997 and then returned later and retired with a gold watch.” (
* University of Ottawa suspends its journalism program after getting a critical evaluation. (
* New Orleans Advocate owner: “I had thought that by Christmas, we’d be a better paper than the Picayune. Now, I think we’ll be a better paper by Labor Day.” (
* Fifteen arts journalists are named fellows for the 2013 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program. (
glass* Carol Rosenberg (left) was hoping to use Google Glass for her Gitmo interviews, but was told no. (
* Exit interview with veteran Providence Journal investigative reporter Mike Stanton. (
* Some of the things that made Jack Germond a special mentor. (
* Report: Dallas Morning News will drop its paywall and launch a “premium” site for subscribers. (
* ASNE and APME team up for a 2014 convention in Chicago. (