About 20 community reporters for Gannett’s Arizona Republic have been told they’ll become “mobile reporters,” filing stories from McDonald’s, Starbucks or other public places with Wi-Fi. (My suggestion: Avoid Starbucks, which has painfully slow Wi-Fi. I’m writing this from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, which has fast Internet.)
“The move is expected to save money and be the next step in the Republic’s digital coverage,” reports Phoenix Business Journal’s Hayley Ringle, a former Phoenix reporter.
* Reporters are told to do their work from Starbucks or McDonald’s (bizjournals.com)
* Earlier: Reporting job candidate should have a car, as it may be your office (jimromenesko.com)
Update: I asked Republic staffers for more information — and memos — about this move and got this response:
The move isn’t quite as bad as that article made it seem. Reporters can work from home, there will be some docking stations downtown and in the Tempe space, they just won’t have an actual desk anywhere. Yes, it’s a money-saving measure, but it’s also a means to get the reporters out of the office and into the community. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. About half of the reporters are excited and the other half not so much.
I know this sounds like it’s coming from an apologist, but believe me, it isn’t. The thing that bothers me most is that we were told yesterday that there are still many things that need to be hashed out. Flying by the seat of our pants again.
There has been no memo, just a meeting with the top dogs, community editors and peons yesterday.
A site called The Deadbeat Link has published the home addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth of Palm Beach Post and WPEC-TV staffers. The site founder claims South Florida journalists are lazy and need to be shamed “into better behavior.”
In a digitally altered voice, the man behind Deadbeat Link says “the ones doing the job of the big reporting outlets are small, one-man sites and don’t have the ability to communicate their findings to the masses like the large outlets. … This is my protest of the news agencies that are filled with reporters that should look in the mirrors and be ashamed of themselves.”
Here’s more of his statement:
In most parts of the world, journalists are the people who are supposed to keep the population safe from the government. If it weren’t for the investigative, pro-active journalists, our government would run rampant over the people with no checks and balances because absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Because journalists in South Florida aren’t doing their jobs, this is exactly what’s taking place. We have so-called reporters who report nothing of substance. They are lazy and don’t feel like investigating and are not reporting on serious issues. A good example: they haven’t answered the question about why four unarmed people have been shot and killed by deputies in Palm Beach County. … The reason is simple: because most reporters in South Florida will only report on matters that pose no threat to them or their career and asking hard questions of government officials is politically unpopular. They avoid it at all costs. …
“I think it’s pretty silly,” Post columnist Frank Cerabino tells Romenesko readers, “and obviously the work of somebody looking for attention. To contend that everybody in a news organization is a ‘deadbeat’ because they’re not helping you go after your political enemies is a little twisted.”
* Website publishes South Florida journalists’ personal information (browardpalmbeach.com)
* DeadBeatLink.com founder releases “creepy statement” about his site (gossipextra.com)
“Which NYTimes staffer’s cell # is in today’s front-page @Pogue video?” asks Jason Feifer. “I texted; no reply. @romenesko, got anything?” It goes to voicemail after about 10 rings, but doesn’t give a name.
Update: “It was another phone I’m reviewing,” David Pogue tells Romenesko readers.
Stars and Stripes publisher Max Lederer warns his staff that “Fiscal Year 2014 will be a difficult year financially,” and that “Stripes is cutting muscle – staff who are producing quality work and are dedicated to serving the military community and success of the Stripes mission.”
He adds: “This is a sad and difficult time for the organization and for me personally, but I believe Stripes still provides a vital service and the future is a positive one.”
Lederer’s memo about Fiscal 2014 cuts is after the jump. Read More
* Former San Antonio Express-News editor Robert Rivard failed to disclose he was being paid by a utility that he was defending on his website. (expressnews.com)
* Center for Investigative Reporting and Public Radio Exchange team up to “take a longer, deeper look at the stories that matter most.” (usatoday.com)
* Tribune Co. CEO tells employees there’s no fixed target for budget cuts or layoffs. (robertfeder.com)
* For its 80th anniversary issue, Esquire tries to create “a living portrait of the American man right now.” (capitalnewyork.com)
* Facebook’s new housing community will have doggie day care and a sports bar. (wsj.com)
* New York Times public editor blasts Monday’s “Qaeda Plot Leak” story. (nytimes.com)
* Hartford Courant editorial: Journal Inquirer managing editor “is an effective provocateur and commentator, but this rant is unworthy of responsible journalism.” (courant.com)
* NPR and the AP curb use of “Obamacare” term. (mije.org)
* Journalist who made the “I Quit” video gets a job offer from Queen Latifah. (nbcchicago.com)
* How will ad-free Circa make money? “I have no idea,” says co-founder Ben Huh. (adage.com)
* Eyebrows are raised over Media Research Center’s home purchase. (thedailybeast.com)
* Domino magazine returns as an e-commerce site. (nytimes.com)
* Jeff Bezos leads Vanity Fair’s latest power list. (nypost.com) | Read what the magazine says about him: (vanityfair.com)
* Hassan Fattah steps down as editor-in-chief of The National in Abu Dhabi. (thenational.ae)
* Co-founder of struggling Sacramento Press: “Simply put, we can’t depend on either grants or online advertising to support local news.” (streetfightmag.com)
* There’s a Gil Thorp on “Modern Family” and a Gil Thorp on the comics pages. “Complete coincidence,” says the TV show’s producer. (variety.com)