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Daily Archives: October 4, 2013

Ryan Martin worked for St. Louis Patch for three years before being laid off in August. “I’m not mad or critical,” he writes. “I’m simply sad to see the great experiment fail.” (He landed at The Elkhart Truth, an Indiana daily, as digital content director.)

I’m heartbroken that so much great local reporting—the kind patchof news about local schools, small business owners and neighbors that bigger operations can’t cover—will again be missing in these communities. I’m disappointed to see so many great journalists finally give up on their journalism careers and transition into other occupations.

Patch’s problem, he says, was that it grew too fast and “dared to gamble in 2010 by hiring hundreds of journalists.”

* Patch’s closure in St. Louis (and my closure after Patch) (ryanmartin.me) | h/t Mark Maley

A buck and a quarter on Thursday:
buckquarter

Only a buck on Friday:
buck

* Today’s price was an error and the print edition remains $1.25 (huffingtonpost.com)

A reader sent the dispatch below after reading yesterday’s post about the Arizona Republic telling its community reporters to work out of Starbucks and other public places with WiFi.

I wanted to point out that The Bergen Record did the “mobile reporters” move years ago when they shut down their original newsroom in Hackensackbees and crammed everything into a smaller space in Woodland Park. There was a pretty infamous memo that went out – I want to say this was 2009 [actually, it was 2008] – that reporters were going to be like “swarms of bees” reporting the news.

What really wound up happening was all the reporters who lived up there worked from home. Those who didn’t worked out of Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, wherever they could go to file. I used to spend a lot of time at the public library conducting interviews on my crappy company-issued cell outside.

* Arizona Republic tells community journalists to go mobile (jimromenesko.com)
* Memo from 2008: “I envision the ‘MOJOS’ like a swarm of bees landing in different towns”

* TWTRQ up as much as 1,800% as investors confuse Tweeter for Twitter (marketwatch.com)
* Twitter reveals $1 billion IPO plan (online.wsj.com)
* 2008: Home entertainment retailer Tweeter files for bankruptcy (bizjournals.com)
tweeter

bbobit
High school science teacher David Layman and other members of the “Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour” Facebook group, paid for the Walter White death notice that appears on 4A in today’s Albuquerque Journal. (See how it appears on the page.)

“I’ve been a humongous ‘Breaking Bad’ fan since the beginning,” says Layman, who notes that he has a student named Jesse. “I was actually in the pilot, and putting the obit in the paper was fitting, because the series was based in Albuquerque and it provides some of us some closure.”

* “Breaking Bad” fans place Walter White obit in the Albuquerque paper (abqjournal.com)
* Shame on me — and the Albuquerque Journal — for revealing the ending? Read the discussion on my Facebook wall (facebook.com)

Update: The Associated Press, Gawker and others have now written about the obit.

Update 2: The Albuquerque Journal tells me the obit cost $166 plus tax.

Update 3: The obit set an ABQJournal.com traffic record.


Manchester (Conn.) Journal Inquirer managing editor Chris Powell was blasted earlier this week after he wrote that “newspapers cannot sell themselves to households headed by single women who have several children by different fathers, survive on welfare stipends, can hardly speak or read English, move every few months to cheat their landlords, barely know what town they’re living in, and couldn’t afford a newspaper subscription even if they could read.”

Chris Powell

Chris Powell

The Hartford Courant said “this rant is unworthy of responsible journalism.” It’s “off-base on many levels,” added Matt DeRienzo.

Will Bunch put Powell down “as Exhibit A for exactly how NOT to save newsrooms.”

Kirsten Lambertsen ‏nominated the managing editor “for @WhiteWhine of the month. Make that, the year.”

What does Powell have to say about his critics and the online reaction to his column?

“Well, for starters, I was surprised to find myself becoming so important,” he tells Romenesko readers. “After all, the world is full of opinions, including wacky ones, so what makes the opinion of an editor in Connecticut who is of no particular renown so deserving of criticism nationally? If my opinion is so wacky, why bother with it? Hell, the federal government has just been incapacitated. Aren’t there a few more important things to upset commentators?”

He says he never blamed welfare mothers for the decline of the newspaper business.

Rather, I correlated the decline of the newspaper business — the decline of the news business generally, really — with the social disintegration all around us, and cited quite a few examples, including the collapse of public education and participation in elections. The disintegration represented by childbearing outside marriage, a frequent topic in my writing, was a prominent example because it underlies so much of the social disintegration generally, as it is child abuse and neglect. Even the liberal-originating social science has been confirming this lately.

Many single mothers took the now-infamous paragraph of criticism about welfare mothers as an attack on them, but the paragraph criticized only WELFARE mothers in some VERY SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.

Powell says he’s not surprised by the “abusive” emails and calls that the Journal Inquirer received after his column went viral. “That’s always the case when there’s controversy and when people don’t have to identify themselves,” he writes in an email. “More disappointing to me is the continuing general refusal to recognize the social disintegration.”

Will he address his critics in a future column?

There’s a possibility, he says, “but I can live with letting the column speak for itself. ….Besides, while criticism can sting, my 15 minutes of fame will be up today or tomorrow.”

* Journal Inquirer editor says newspapers can’t sell themselves to dysfunctional families (jimromenesko.com)

* Editor Jim Impoco’s goal: “Turning Newsweek back into an indispensable read, not an optional read.” (capitalnewyork.com)
* Impoco thanks his staff for getting the magazine out “under extraordinary circumstances.” (@jimpoco)
* Photographer Bill Eppridge — best known for his Life magazine image of a dying Robert F. Kennedy — is dead at 75. (newstimes.com)
* Roger Yu: “The Onion has morphed into a digital newsroom with a special emphasis on original video production.” (usatoday.com)
kelly* Megyn Kelly: I’m not going to be the female Bill O’Reilly on my new primetime show. (politico.com)
* Should Business Insider and BuzzFeed merge? Not yet, says BI founder Henry Blodget. (businessinsider.com)
* Why Becker’s Hospital Review has never used the term “Obamacare.” (beckershospitalreview.com)
* Politico’s Jason Zengerle recalls stalking Michael Moore for Might magazine. (The reporter was accompanied by a pal in a gorilla outfit.) (longreads.com)
* Legacy media outlets can’t match Politico’s “Playbook” because their reporters refuse to play Mike Allen’s game. (washingtonpost.com)
* “Cheesy” and “vulgar” sex columns in the Daily Texan have fans — and many haters. (collegemediamatters.com)