Letter to Romenesko
From DERRICK PERKINS, Alexandria Times executive editor: Not sure if you recall, but I tipped you off about Darryl Fears’ excellent piece on bug-phobias last year. I’ve come across another one for you, though a bit more dated.
The backstory: Our fair city is considering dropping a 1950s era ordinance that requires new north-south streets to be named after Confederate generals. We got curious and wondered why they had ever enacted such a weird rule. There’s obviously more to it, but the official explanation seems to be making it easier for residents/visitors to navigate around town. That makes no sense to me, but whatever. Here’s our story.
Anyway, in the course of working on that, my reporter – Erich Wagner – found this great article that ran in WaPo at the time explaining the move.
The name of the reporter? Robert E. Lee Baker, of course.
* “He used Robert E. Baker as a less-provocative byline” (@jfdulac)
* Reporter named Fears is the perfect guy to cover bug phobia (jimromenesko.com)
John Seigenthaler asks New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson if she sees print in the future of the Times.
I think that in terms of the future — the next, let’s say, 20 years — I think that we’re going to be publishing digitally, and I think there still is going to be an audience for the print paper. I really do. We have over 800,000 home-delivery subscribers, who have taken the paper for two years or more. It’s a very loyal base of readers. The newspaper is profitable still. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize the reality that our much bigger audience is a digital audience, and that is the audience where our future growth will come from, for sure.
More Abramson quotes from the Al Jazeera America interview:
– “I still get immense pleasure out of reading the print newspaper.”
– “This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with.”
– “The New York Times represents a kind of cosmopolitan outlook towards the world and to this country and this city that may strike, you know, some readers as liberal because we have, you know, paid a lot of attention to stories like gay marriage, but these are newsworthy currents in our society.”
* Jill Abramson talks to John Siegenthaler (aljazeera.com)
Update: My Facebook friends/subscribers are having a lively future of print discussion.
In January of 2002, I posted a Shift magazine piece by Neil Morton that said “a new generation is growing up on the net and for many of them, the print papers aren’t even an option.” I heard from many readers about this, including 16-year-old Brian Stelter. Part of his letter:
It would scare me that anyone would expect newspapers to be overtaken by technology. How, exactly, is someone supposed to immerse themselves in a story by watching television — particularly the cable news networks? By the way, yes, CNN, there is a market for the news you used to produce — not the infotainment you churn out now.”
Ted Allen – not yet “Queer Eye” famous in 2002 – also joined in the discussion:
Neil Morton’s not the first younger person to predict the eventual triumph of the Internet over newspapers, and he won’t be the last. Also, he may be right, but I hope not, and I doubt it. (And I’m no fossil — I’m obsessive about my cable modem.) I just can’t yet imagine the equipment that’s going to allow me to get news and feature stories from the Internet on the beach without worrying about getting sand in the keyboard or having it stolen, or that I can carry to my local lunch joint and afterwards conveniently throw in the garbage.
* From January 2002: Romenesko readers on the death of newspapers (poynter.org via Wayback Machine)
* All the news that’s fit to post (shift.com via Wayback Machine)
Stories from today:
* The remarkable rise of Brian Stelter (newrepublic.com)
* CNN lays off more than 40 senior journalists (ft.com)
(Illustration: Piotr Lesniak)
“Twelve years ago, on January 23, 2002, Danny left my home in Karachi, Pakistan, for an interview and never came back.” – Asra Q. Nomani
* This is Danny Pearl’s final story (washingtonian.com)
A Romenesko reader writes:
Eagle-eyed friend noticed the lead “Latest” “Featured story” on the Oregonian’s weather website is actually FOUR months old. Real forecast: No rain for the next week. It’s actually unusually dry here this winter.
* Heavy rain, strong winds expected (oregonlive.com)
Romenesko reader Dan Zimmerman writes: “I think the ancient weather reports links are a standard Advance website habit. Here in New Orleans right now, if you go to nola.com and click through to the weather page, the Pic’s first story is current weather, but the second one is weather from December 16, 2010.”
* The AP cuts ties with a photographer who altered an image from Syria last year. Narciso Contreras took a colleague’s video camera out of a photo of a Syrian rebel fighter. (ap.org)
* Does it matter that Vogue Photoshopped Lena Dunham? (npr.org)
* Photojournalist: Digital First Media won’t pay me $1,400 for the work I did in Syria “at risk of life and limb, and at my own expense.” (reddit.com)
* The story behind the Velveeta-shortage story. (adage.com)
* Brian Stelter “has alchemized TV fanboyism into an actual career on television.” (newrepublic.com)
* Two women are at the top of Harvard Lampoon’s masthead. “The feeling around here and elsewhere is, it’s about time,” says the departing Lampoon president. (bostonglobe.com)
* “The intensity of interest in my son’s disappearance was extraordinary,” writes Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby. (bostonglobe.com) | The teen ran away from home, say police. (forward.com)
* The family-owned Fredericksburg (VA) Free Lance-Star files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (fredericksburg.com)
* Report: “Piers Morgan is on ever more precarious footing as CNN’s 9 p.m. talk show host” (thewrap.com)
* Upworthy editorial director: “From the beginning, we’ve been very clear that we are not journalists and we are not a journalistic operation.” (philadelphiaweekly.com)
* CNN is bashed for publishing an Upworthy-like tweet. (hypervocal.com)
* A Gannett newspapers and broadcasting breakup “makes long-term sense,” says an analyst. (bloomberg.com)
* Winston-Salem Chronicle wants a $100,000 loan from the city. “Should this loan be approved, it will look like the City of Winston-Salem is playing favorites in our local media market,” says a Chronicle competitor. (camelcitydispatch.com)
* Do you have what it takes to be the Deputy Geeky Editor at BuzzFeed? (jobscore.com)