* ProPublica: Why we published our decryption piece. (“The story, we believe, is an important one.”) (propublica.org)
* Jen Chaney: “Dammit, I think film critics still matter.” (thedissolve.com)
* Facebook’s New York office has “that young and brash vibe.” (abs-cbnnews.com)
* Twin Cities’ alt-weekly points out that some of BuzzFeed’s “Most Minnesotan Things That Ever Happened” never happened in Minnesota. (citypages.com) | BuzzFeed will probably do about $60 million this year. (niemanlab.org)
* The Onion faces the same pressures as straight-news media — a mandate to be faster, do more with less, and have insta-opinions on everything. (slate.com)
* Longtime Albany Times Union chief editorial writer Jim McGrath dies of a heart attack at 56. (timesunion.com)
* A New York Times reader doubts the paper would ever choose a public editor “whose sensibility clashes with the paper’s self-important, preppy culture.” (nytimes.com)
* I’d take this college course: “Understanding Media by Understanding Google.” (coursera.org)
* Alec Baldwin will host a weekly prime time interview show on MSNBC. (nytimes.com)
* MailOnline posts over 600 stories a day, and nine other facts about the site. (adage.com)
* Science writer Dan Vergano quits USA Today for NationalGeographic.com. (nationalgeographic.com) | Tech writer Farhad Manjoo leaves Slate for the Wall Street Journal. (wsj.com)
* Whistle (and drink) while you work: OC Weekly staffers discover it’s the janitor who’s stealing their whiskey. (ocweekly.com)
Letter to Romenesko
From JAY BERMAN, retired journalism professor and newspaper reporter: I am on an Amtrak train that broke down nearly 3 hours ago near Oakland. [His email is time-stamped 4:15 ET.] I thought it might be something the San Francisco Chronicle might be interested in, so I called breaking news. After about five minutes, the voicemail told me breaking news was not accepting calls and that I should call back later.
In the meantime, about 100 people are on this train that hasn’t moved for nearly 3 hours, and nobody will ever know about it.
Bruce Poon Tip (shown below), the founder of G Adventures, writes in his soon-to-be-published book about a “flustered” New York Times reporter and the paper killing a story about him because he refused to call himself a CEO.
The journalist who tipped me off to this writes:
Any business reporter who’s worked the beat for a day knows this type of exec — young, idealistic, and believing that business culture can be changed by ripping up the conventions of work titles. Silicon Valley has brought us so many Chief Fun Officers and Executives of Awesome that I would be shocked—shocked!—if there was really a New York Times business reporter who’d get “flustered” by yet another such young CEO. But gosh, it sure makes a great anecdote about being bravely disruptive.
I emailed G Adventures spokesman David Holmes and asked for the name of the “flustered” reporter. He replied: “Unfortunately, the name of this particular reporter at the Times escapes Bruce – he wanted to include the name in Looptail, but couldn’t track down who it was.”
I’ve also called the Times for a comment.
A source close to Rupert Murdoch tells CNBC’s Robert Frank that the sale of the yacht doesn’t have anything to do with the media mogul’s divorce filing. “Rupert works all the time,” a broker says. “He loves the boat, he loves to sail, but he doesn’t really use it much.”
* Rupert Murdoch is asking $29.7 million for his yacht (cnbc.com)
* Check out the ad for Murdoch’s Rosehearty (camperandnicholsons.com)
* From 2009: Murdoch is renting out his Rosehearty for $373,451 a week (smh.com)
Star-Ledger publisher Richard Vezza says negotiations with the mailers’ union “have fallen far short of the Company’s savings needs” and that by the end of September “there may be a decision to terminate publication of The Star-Ledger at the end of 2013 and lay off all employees.”
Vezza says he’s sending a warning letter to union employees (it’s after the jump) “so that in the event of this sad outcome of our current negotiations with The Ledger’s four production unions, no one can claim surprise or say ‘if I had only known, I would have…'”
The president of the Council of Star-Ledger Unions says the paper and the mailers aren’t close to a deal, but “they are working hard to close the gap. … Nobody wants to see the doors shut, that’s absolutely for sure.”
* Star-Ledger publisher again threatens to shut down the paper (nj.com)
Read Vezza’s memos after the jump. Read More
A journalist who works for A.H. Belo — owner of the Dallas Morning News, Providence Journal and other publications — tells Romenesko readers: “I wanted to pass along this health benefits letter AH Belo employees received yesterday requiring biometric screenings. Next year employees will have to pass three out of five unspecified health goals or pay a $150 (per month?) surcharge.”
Here’s one passage:
In 2014, we will again require biometric screenings; however, the scope of the biometric screening will change. To avoid a surcharge in 2015, enrolled employees and their covered spouses/domestic partners must take the biometric screening in 2014 through Quest Diagnostic and pass three of five risk factors. Tobacco use, or any form of nicotine use, will continue to be a separate $75 per month surcharge for both the employee and the covered spouse/domestic partner. Additional details regarding the five risk factors and the potential 2015 surcharge will be provided later this year.
The letter is after the jump. Read More
In mid-August, the Deseret News told readers in a print edition-only note that several paragraphs in a “Why the family” column were lifted from the New York Times and that “we are conducting further review.”
Richard and Linda Eyre
That review of nearly 300 columns by Richard and Linda Eyre is finished, and the News says it found five more columns “where sentences were not properly attributed to their original source.”
“The Deseret News has chosen to pause publication of the Eyres’ column for one month,” the paper says. “We realize that many of our readers have benefited from the Eyres’ voice on family issues and anticipate a return of the Eyres’ column.”
Richard Eyre tells the Salt Lake Tribune in an email that “there is really no excuse because while we are not professional journalists (we write our columns as unpaid volunteers) we are professional authors, and we certainly should have been more careful — as we will be in the future!”
* Review of Eyre “We are family” columns is completed (deserertnews.com)
* “These are fairly egregious examples of plagiarism,” says ethicist (sltrib.com)
* Earlier: Deseret News says columnist lifted from the New York Times (jimromenesko.com)
* Stories are bumped from Washington Post Magazine because of business-side objections. (washingtonpost.com)
* Seven answers to the question: What should we demand of our reporters? (themorningnews.org)
* GateHouse Media and its majority owner agree on a prepackaged bankruptcy plan. (rbj.net) | GateHouse stock “tumbled Wednesday on Wall Street, with its shares closing out the day at 2½ cents, down 47 percent.” (democratandchronicle.com)
* The NFL concussions settlement story that journalists missed: it’ll be subsidized by taxpayers. (cjr.org)
* BuzzFeed founder: “By this time next year we should be one of the biggest sites on the web.” (linkedin.com) | Why BuzzFeed is “the media industry’s worst nightmare.” (paidcontent.org)
* Patch reporter who was ordered to turn over his notes and name of a source tells the court he won’t do it. (chicagotribune.com)
* Jeff Bezos’s take on aggregation sounds “old-school.” (washingtonpost.com) | “He said all the right things” during his WaPo visit. (usatoday.com) | Washington City Paper has audio clips of Bezos’s meeting with WaPo staff.
* Governor calls reporter after hearing that she’d been laid off from Gannett’s News Journal. (figureoneblog.wordpress.com)
* Is it time to add “beloved” to the list of words that journalists should avoid? (uni-watch.com)
* Details mag hosts sessions on monetizing changes in technology; one was called “In$tagram.” (wwd.com)
* AnnArbor.com will shut down after four years as a standalone website and its content moved to MLive.com. (annarbor.com)
* Howard Kurtz: “I like to say that Twitter is the new AP, except that it harnesses far more brainpower than a wire service ever could.” (foxnewsinsider.com)
* Former Page Six editor Richard Johnson is returning to the Post, but “the specifics of his new role are unclear.” (capitalnewyork.com) | NYPost.com is redesigned and loses its made-in-the-1990s look. (adage.com)
* Poynter’s still trying to sell the land it put on the block more than 9 months ago. (tbo.com)
* Obit of the Day: “Do the Jumble every morning,” and other tips from the late Mary A. “Pink” Mullaney. (legacy.com)