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Monthly Archives: November 2013

What’s your problem with “news papers,” Fairway Market?
(via RachelEnsignWSJ)

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* Put something shocking at the top of the page, and other things the late Peter Kaplan said. (observer.com) | (@SridharPappu) | (newyorker.com)
kaplan* Under Kaplan, the New York Observer “gleefully chronicled the every move and shake of the city’s movers and shakers.” (nytimes.com) | Kaplan and his writers. (buzzfeed.com) | Media people tweet about the legendary editor. (politico.com)
* Gawker: “There isn’t a major publication operating, including this site, that doesn’t have a Kaplan man or woman with their hands in the wheel.” (gawker.com)
* Lara Logan a “60 Minutes” scapegoat? (csmonitor.com)
* Sex offenders in Minnesota aren’t allowed to read three of the state’s newspapers. (mankatofreepress.com)
* Gannett’s Asheville Citizen-Times apologizes for not making it clear that a 48-page “propaganda rag” was an advertising insert. (citizen-times.com) | (wlos.com)
* Of course, some New York Times readers were offended by Wednesday’s page one breast photo. (nytimes.com)
* Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Washington Post’s “Know More” and the attempt to find a balance between entertaining features and serious journalism. (gigaom.com)
*Oh, no! “I realize my Facebook posts have been public for anyone with an account to see.” (pando.com)
* Daytona Beach News-Journal opinion editor (and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” fan) “Mac” Thrower is dead at 60. (news-journalonline.com)
* A rarity? Social media editor at Chicago Tribune’s RedEye is “thankful for every day that doesn’t end in someone calling me an asshole on the Internet.” (facebook.com)
* Russell Brand blasts a Murdoch paper for claiming he cheated on his girlfriend. (theguardian.com)


Veteran Denver Post entertainment editor and music critic Ricardo Baca has been named the paper’s marijuana editor. A memo to staff calls him “the perfect person to lead this charge.”

Ricardo Baca

Ricardo Baca

So does that mean he’s quite familiar with the drug he’ll be covering?

“The short answer: I’ve covered concerts for a living over the last 15 years,” says Baca. “That means hanging out with musicians, working with people in the industry, attending music festivals in Austin and the Coachella valley and New York and L.A. So yes. And though I’ve never been a full-on stoner, I’ve shared concerts and conversations and late-night sessions at the bar, and had Twitter wars with thousands of them.”

Baca will be hiring a freelance pot critic and a freelance pot advice columnist. Email him at rbaca@denverpost.com if you’re interested.

The Post’s drug and alcohol policy applies to this position, but that doesn’t mean the pot editor and his staff have to abstain.

“As with alcohol, you are not allowed to ingest (either via cigarettes or food) marijuanapot in the office or come to the office ‘reeking’ of marijuana,” says the human resources senior vice president. “If you do imbibe marijuana in the course of covering it for your job, we expect you to take necessary steps to ensure you do not drive while impaired or put anyone at risk.”

* Q&A with the Denver Post’s new marijuana editor (denverpost.com)
* Earlier: Denver Post seeks a marijuana editor (jimromenesko.com)
* Earlier: “Saturday Night Live” has fun with the pot editor job posting (jimromenesko.com)


St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Nancy Cambria recently wrote a column about kids playing sports year-round. This was her paper’s headline:

Nancy Cambria

Nancy Cambria

“Is it really a good idea for kids to play a sport all year round?”

Cambria’s piece was picked up by Missouri News Feed, which used this headline:

“Is it unequivocally a good thought for kids to play a competition all year round?”

The Post-Dispatch put this note at the end of Cambria’s column:

Nancy Cambria is the parent of a baseball and a hockey player, 12 and 9. Her sons do not play all year, just, um, December through October for baseball and August through May for hockey. Early next year her family will travel to South Bend, Ind., Springfield, Mo., and Chicago for weekend tournaments. But she swears, she is not one of those parents.

Here’s how that note ran on the Missouri Feed site:

Nancy Cambria is a primogenitor of a round and a hockey player, 12 and 9. Her sons do not play all year, just, um, Dec by Oct for round and Aug by May for hockey. Early subsequent year her family will transport to South Bend, Ind., Springfield, Mo., and Chicago for weekend tournaments. But she swears, she is not one of those parents.

What the hell happened here?

Cambria tells Romenesko readers: “We can only assume that the story was translated into another language and then auto-translated back to English, and then stolen and posted on [the Missouri News Feed] site.”

Missouri News Feed couldn’t be reached for comment because there is no contact information on the site.

* Cambria’s column in the Post-Dispatch | Her column on Missouri News Feed

“We don’t have rules for what we show and don’t show” in photos, says New York Times design director Tom Bodkin. He tells Erik Wemple that he’s sure some readers complained about today’s page one photo, but “if we edited the paper to get zero complaints,” the Times would be quite bland. The photo below, he says, was an “extremely appropriate” choice
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* NYTer: “Fairly unanimous consensus” to run breast photo (washingtonpost.com)

- I have typo problems, too, CNBC. Thought you'd want to correct this.

– I have typo problems, too, CNBC. Thought you’d want to correct this.

* Oregonian editor Peter Bhatia is a finalist for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln j-school dean job. (wweek.com)
* Laughs and a little controversy at last night’s International Press Freedom Awards. (capitalnewyork.com) | “The Jon Stewart of Egypt” received an award. (nytimes.com) | Bloomberg LP’s CEO was there. (buzzfeed.com)
* Red Sox owner John Henry is looking to sell his recently acquired Worcester Telegram & Gazette. (bostonglobe.com)
* AP denies reports that it sat on the U.S.-Iran talks story for months. (ap.org)
* Lots of social media chatter about this Los Angeles Times front page: (newseum.org/PDF)
* Norm Pearlstine defends Lara Logan. “More often than not it is really the editor, sitting behind the desk directing the reporter, who is more at fault and more to blame than the reporter,” he says. (huffingtonpost.com) | Fire “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager. (whenjournalismfails.com)
* Jack Shafer: The cynic in me believes the Pogue/Couric/Bai hirings “are largely designed to produce positive press for the Yahoo name.” (reuters.com)
* B.J. Mendelson blasts NYT’s story about anti-semitism in Pine Bush. (bjmendelson.com)
* The highs and lows of Gannett’s philanthropic arm. (gannettblog.blogspot.com)
* Pope Francis, media critic. (@BrettLoGiurato)

From a TCPalm.com “Off the Beat” crime story:
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* Journalist goes the extra length to define what a pizza is (@MatthewKeysLive)

The news team from Duluth’s Northland News Center dressed warm to cover the annual Christmas City of the North parade — even though they were doing their live commentary from a warm studio with a green screen. They were busted by a local radio station, which asked: “Why are hardy Duluth anchors sitting indoors wearing big winter jackets?”

News director Barbara Reyelts (pictured on the right) tells me there was no deception because viewers weren’t told that the anchors were outside. In fact, she says, the news team was both inside and outside during the two-hour parade.

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— The smaller photo is from the station’s Facebook page.

* Duluth anchors fake being outside from warm comfort of studio (citypages.com)
* Did you notice anything strange while watching the parade? (mix108.com)
* Duluth TV audience demands its anchors freeze like everyone else (mpr.org)


David Skok, director of Globalnews.ca and co-author of “Breaking News: Mastering the art of disruptive innovation in journalism,” is joining the Boston Globe as digital adviser to the editor.

David Skok

David Skok

Editor Brian McGrory says in a memo that Skok “will play a key role in our upcoming push to further define our two brands — bg.com as a broader, more ambitious site that better reflects the creative journalism of the Globe, and a redesigned boston.com as a sharper, edgier site with a strong news spine.”

He’ll work with the entire room to help develop even bolder ways to tell our stories online, and to tailor story-telling for a mobile viewership. He’ll help imagine and build additional sites devoted to more focused topics — verticals, in the parlance of the day.

Read McGrory’s memo after the jump. Read More

Bend (OR) Bulletin parent Western Communications told employees Monday that it can no longer afford to provide health benefits and that the company-sponsored insurance plan will end on January 1. (Western owns six papers in Oregon and two in California. The 28,000-circulation Bulletin is its flagship paper.)
bendBulletin
“This decision was not made lightly,” publisher Gordon Black writes in a memo. “We considered and researched every conceivable alternative. We found nothing was fair or affordable. …We would not be doing this if it wasn’t absolutely essential for the well-being of the company and by extension, you as an employee.” (The company has 280 employees on the insurance plan.)

A Bulletin staffer tells me: “Everyone knew that health insurance was going to be changing, and probably not for the better. But I don’t think anyone really thought that scrapping health insurance entirely was going to happen.”

Update: Publisher Black tells me “the alternative is a hell of a lot of bodies” being laid off, “and we’ve tried to maintain the workforce.” He adds: “We believe if we don’t create the content, we start the death spiral.”

The family-owned chain is making some money, says Black, but just “eeking by.”

Read Gordon Black’s memo after the jump. Read More

toughboss
A Romenesko reader, who didn’t want to be named, writes:

James Rensenbrink

James Rensenbrink

Let me break that down. He expected reporters to be able to spell? He thought a deadline meant something? Fiend! In 1969, a gallon of gas was about 35 cents, a first-class stamp was six cents and the median income was $8,400. That “little” $25 was a lot better than the “exposure” I see most publications offering now, and in purchasing power, depending on the online calculator I use, it represented the equivalent of about $175 or so in current dollars. Not a king’s ransom, but a lot better than the spiteful pittance most publishers grudgingly toss from the BMW parked in their second home’s driveway.

Update: Romenesko readers discuss what they were paid in the 1960s through 1980s.

* James Rensenbrink, whose alternative paper endured, dies at 81 (nytimes.com)