Daily Archives: November 14, 2013

postboxStephen Davies wanted the Washington Post to know that this box in Takoma Park, MD, hasn’t been filled since November 6.

He got on the phone to report that, but “calls to the Post today were shunted to a customer service line that played endless recordings with advice on how to use PostPoints and take advantage of the Post’s digital offerings,” writes Davies, editor of Endangered Species & Wetlands Report.

He then dialed executive editor Marty Baron’s number and left a message.

“The speculation here — in my brain, that is — is that Baron will quickly delete the voice mail and move on to more important matters.”

That’s not what happened, though.

“A woman from Marty Baron’s office called to ask me about the box,” writes Davies. “She said she would call circulation and find out what the deal is. So Marty Baron at least listened to my voice mail!”

The satisfied Post customer adds in an email: “I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised that Baron had an assistant call me, especially since I didn’t leave my name.”

That’s what you call Washington Post Prime service.

Baron’s email:

Dear Mr. Davies:

Thanks for … alerting us to the empty box. I get frustrated when I see an old paper in a box. So I’m even more concerned to learn of a routinely empty box.

Distribution of the paper is not my area, but we’ll make sure to get this to the right person.

We appreciate hearing from you. I regret that you had a difficult time getting through to the right person.


Martin Baron
Executive Editor
The Washington Post

* Washington Post box still empty at Cheesecake place (

Retired Associated Press reporter Scott Charton tweeted this week that he saw a “local photographer and TV reporter hugging #RyanFerguson Dad post-newser.”

TV reporter Melanie Moon and Ryan Ferguson

TV reporter Melanie Moon and Ryan Ferguson

Guilty! admitted KPLR-TV (St. Louis) reporter Melanie Moon, who has been covering the case of the Missouri man who was released from prison this week after his 2005 murder conviction was tossed. (Ferguson and Charles Erickson were both 19 when they were arrested in 2004 for the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.)

“I hugged both” Ferguson and his dad,” Moon tweeted. “In some cases media biases, based in a strong sense of right & wrong, serve the public good!” (The photo on the right is from Moon’s public Facebook page.)

* How a St. Louis TV reporter got both ethics and facts wrong (
* Moon defends hugging man whose murder conviction was overturned (
* Teens charged in 2001 murder of sports editor (

Coffee and snacks for reporters being kept away from Sarah Palin
walmartSarah Palin is signing books today at a Walmart near Wausau, Wisconsin. There’s a big religious-music-in-schools controversy there, so it makes sense that the former Alaska governor would stop by to promote her book about “protecting the heart of Christmas.”

It’s no surprise, too, that Palin – with the help of Walmart – would keep reporters at a distance.

“About 8 media members and myself now locked in back room,” Wausau Daily Herald reporter Theresa Clift, who is covering the Palin event, tweeted this morning. “We aren’t allowed to talk to guests here to see Palin.”

An hour later she posted: “All media will be escorted off the property after we get five minutes seeing Palin, we are told.” More updates:

Wausau Daily Herald editor Mark Treinen tells his followers that “I am sure some people are delighted to have journalists locked away.”

Update — JD Malone of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes: “Not sure what is going on at that Wal-Mart, but we had great access to customers and the store (Barnes & Noble) at the Tuesday night kickoff of her book tour here the Lehigh Valley (it was at the BN store in Bethlehem Township, Pa.).

“Palin was not available, and the closest we could get was maybe 10 feet away for 5-10 minutes, but we were then asked to stand in a section of the store where people exiting the signing area would pass us. We could, and did, walk around the rest of the store. …Here is the link to my coverage.”

Update 2 — Editor Treinen tells me that he was warned by that his reporter would have limited access, “but we weren’t told that she would be ushered into a room that was locked and guarded.”

Update 3 — Philip Bump is told that guard keeping an eye on the reporters in the back room was provided by Palin’s camp.

* Hundreds line up to see Palin at Walmart ( | Theresa Clift on Twitter
* Dear Sarah Palin: Wausau is more than “a battle against Scrooges” (

The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot & Union pans the Gettysburg Address

Today’s correction:

In the editorial about President Abraham Lincoln’s speech delivered Nov. 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, the Patriot & Union failed to recognize its momentous importance, timeless eloquence, and lasting significance. The Patriot-News regrets the error.

The Patriot-News editorial board blames “our predecessors” who wrote the review “perhaps under the influence of partisanship, or of strong drink, as was common in the profession at the time.”

* A Patriot-News editorial retraction: The Gettysburg Address (

* Politico Magazine debuts. “We’ll be opinionated but never partisan, and we hope to bring you perspective, not more punditry,” says editor Susan Glasser. (
* The Weather Channel is going to start paying closer attention to weather. (AP via Yahoo News)
* Snapchat says no-thanks to Facebook’s $3 billion all-cash offer. ( | Earlier: Groupon rejects Google’s $6 billion offer. (It’s now valued at $7 billion, reader Todd Wallack notes.) (
* Kurt Andersen: “I’ll bet anyone $3 that Snapchat is worth less than $3 billion 3 years from now.” (@KBAndersen)
corpses* “I can’t believe there is a magazine called Girls and Corpses! I saw it on the newsstand next to Barbie magazine of all things!” (
* Claim: Piers Morgan’s toughness “is mostly cosmetic.” (
* Pew Research: “Pinterest, a social pin board for visual content, is hardly used for news at all.” ( | I use Pinterest for news bloopers: (
* In its lengthy art museum scandal piece, Cleveland Scene claims Plain Dealer’s Steven Litt is “a reporter with a vested interest in covering the museum favorably.” (
* Newspaper Guild of New York’s president and secretary-treasurer are narrowly re-elected. (
* Ex-Reuters Digital chief Chrystia Freeland is grilled about sending media jobs to India. (
* Fired Philadelphia Inquirer editor Bill Marimow testifies: “I’d wondered whether I’d made a mistake in taking the job” after publisher Bob Hall said he’d be keeping watch over him.
* Lucky’s Kerry Washington cover is panned after being Instagrammed. (
* Les Brown, one of the first journalists to comprehensively cover television, dies at 84. ( | (
* Judge sides with Monterey County Weekly in clergy sex-abuse documents case. (
* Brooklyn hyperlocal editor: If you want to cover a community well, “you cannot be a visitor.” (
* Bradford University student union bans UK tabloids because of their Page 3 topless models. (
* University of Alaska Fairbanks professor accuses the student paper of sexual harassment. (