Monthly Archives: March 2014

Buffalo News has second thoughts about its ‘A hole’ headline?

-- Friday's Buffalo News

— Friday’s Buffalo News

On Wednesday, St. Paul Pioneer Press sports copy editor Joe Bissen thanked a colleague for suggesting he reconsider his “A hole in the net” headline. “I failed to realize a reader could pronounce the first word as a long ‘A’,” he wrote on Facebook.

Someone at the Buffalo News should have read my post about Bissen and his rejected hed, tweets @tommyro1982. He sent the ‘A hole…” headline from Friday’s News, which apparently was replaced by the one on the right. (That’s the headline I saw on my News replica edition via PressReader.)

Update — News executive sports editor Lisa Wilson writes in an email: “We changed the headline because the story changed between editions (the game didn’t end in time for first edition). We see how some could read the first hed to be naughty; we didn’t.”

* Joe Bissen’s “A hole in the net” hed is red-flagged (

* Military police detained a Toledo Blade reporter and a photographer outside of a General Dynamics tank plant today.cop The two were released, but police kept the Blade’s camera equipment. The journalists “stayed outside the plant’s gate and did not pass an unmanned guard shack,” the paper reports. ( | Update: The Blade’s property will be returned today. (@NolanRosenkrans)
* Nate Silver‘s FiveThirtyEight apologizes to two climate scientists who say they were threatened for criticizing a climate change piece. ( | (
* Ebony: Senior editor Jamilah Lemieux‘s tweets “do not represent our journalistic standard, tradition or practice of celebrating diverse Black thought.” (
* The people at Pew “are actually underestimating the amount of journalism we’re getting,” says Dan Gillmor. (
* Newsweek’s new owners “come with a backstory that is unusual for the mainstream media.” ( | One believes gays can be turned straight. (
* Josh Marshall defends Talking Points Memo’s sponsored content. (
donate* It’s beg-athon time again at Philly’s WHYY – a public radio station that pays its CEO $538,412. “Many listeners, myself included, refuse to dip into our measly checking accounts to subsidize a rich man’s excessive salary,” writes Daniel Denvir. (
* Bill Speros,’s “Obnoxious Boston Fan,” introduces himself. (
* Forget Google Glass! “[Biz] Stone says that he knows one engineer who wrote a program to take a picture just by blinking.” (
* Des Moines Register sues to get taser-death and Juvenile Home records. (
* Check out The World’s-Best Designed(TM) news sites and apps. (
* Airbnb accidentally invites a journalist to join its focus group (and enjoy wine, cheese and crackers). (


Jake Silverstein – Texas Monthly editor since 2008 – is “an eyebrow-raising choice that brings a bit of Southwestern swagger to a position traditionally held by New York media insiders,” writes Joe Pompeo. He beat out Times Magazine deputy editors Joel Lovell and Lauren Kern for the job.
* Jake Silverstein of Texas Monthly to edit New York Times Magazine (
* Silverstein got national attention for hiring a “barbecue columnist” (
* Earlier: What the Times Magazine needs in its next editor (

Update: Here is the Sen. Jason Priest affidavit that the Billings Gazette didn’t want to share with readers.

A Billings Gazette print edition story about Montana State Sen. Jason Priest — he’s accused of attacking his 4-year-old daughter, his estranged wife, and her boyfriend — told readers to go to the paper’s website to read the charging documents against the Republican lawmaker.

State Sen. Jason Priest

State Sen. Jason Priest

But readers who went to only found the story about Priest; there were no court records.

“This wasn’t some shameless ploy to get people to log onto our website,” writes editor Darrell Ehrlick. (His column from last month was reprinted this week by the Montana Newspaper Association.) “Instead, it was a decision — after reading through the documents — that they simply should not be there.”

Why not? Because, says the editor, the details in them “paint a picture that is deeply troubling.”

He writes:

First, the case involves children. And to the extent that we can, we try to shield them, although in many instances that’s impossible or difficult.

More importantly, I believe the court documents could paint Priest in a harsh light. And, just as much as I am a fervent supporter of the First Amendment, I am also a big believer in the due process that says it’s up to the courts to decide Priest’s innocence or guilt.

Ehrlick tells readers he decided that “these documents were too damning and too extreme to print,” and “if you want to get [them], they’re located in Carbon County and you’re more than welcome (and entitled) to read them or make copies.” (Isn’t this the editor literally telling readers to take a hike — down to the courthouse?)

Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick

He adds: “We followed some of the oldest and best journalism advice out there: Just because you can print something doesn’t mean you should.”

I asked Ehrlick in an email, then in a brief phone conversation, if the decision to pull the documents was the publisher’s. He wouldn’t answer that, or any other question I had about the matter. I’ve left a message for publisher Mike Gulledge, who is also vice president of sales and marketing for all Lee Enterprises newspapers.

Note: I couldn’t find these documents on any site. Please let me know if you track them down. Update: The Carbon County Clerk of Courts office and the Carbon County News told me the charging documents aren’t online. | Update 2: The affidavit is now posted here.

* Editor: Why we didn’t post the Sen. Jason Priest documents (
* State Sen. Jason Priest pleads not guilty to criminal charges (

I’m told that Michael Bloomberg showed up at a Bloomberg News morning editorial meeting earlier this week and told staffers he fully supports the newsroom and that it’s important they keep doing tough coverage of China. (A second source who was at the meeting says Bloomberg encouraged overall “tough” reporting but didn’t single out China; Bloomberg added that “no one is going to tell us what to publish.”)

Peter Grauer and the Times headline

Peter Grauer and the Times headline

“He said he normally doesn’t believe in prepared remarks but he felt this was important enough to write down,” the first source says. “He also said the company has to respect the laws of individual countries citing how the UK has tougher libel laws which we abide by in that country.”

A recent New York Times piece about comments made by Bloomberg LP chairman Peter Grauer — “Bloomberg hints at curb on articles about China” was the hed — concerned the news organization’s journalists. The first source says: “The sense of it all [from Michael Bloomberg’s talk] was the Grauer’s comment wasn’t in line with the company’s ambitions and that the newsroom shouldn’t take it to heart.”

Bloomberg didn’t take questions at the 7:30 a.m. ET meeting on Monday, I’m told, but “he stuck around and answered a few questions from people afterwards.” There were about 15 people in the room and 40 journalists on the call.

Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet declined to comment.

Update: David Folkenflik mentioned Bloomberg’s “rare appearance” at an editorial planning meeting in a Tuesday broadcast.

* Bloomberg chairman hints at curb on articles about China (

start* Report: Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is close to buying the Star Tribune. The paper’s spokesman says: “We’re not going to comment on that speculation at this time.” (
* Goodreads’ top reviewer, Nenia Campbell, has reviewed 1,557 books so far this year – about 20 a day. (
* Tribune reports 2013 net income of $241.6 million vs. $422.4 million in 2012. ( | (
* Ontario labor ministry puts an end to unpaid internships at Toronto Life and The Walrus. ( | (
* New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff gets a big Washington Post Style section spread just days after being profiled by “60 Minutes.” (
* Star-Ledger and execs announce the creation of NJ Advance Media. ( | The news has Star-Ledger staffers scratching their heads. ( | More Star-Ledger cuts are coming. (
* Robert Jensen: “I’m not arguing that every news story should be an anti-capitalist polemic. But…” (
* Stop crying over silly little AP Stylebook changes! (
* Ken Doctor: The big question for a paid curation app like NYT Now: Does it offer enough curation to justify paying? (
* Self editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger apologizes to a tutu-wearing cancer survivor. (
* Another edition of “AnonyWatch” from Times public editor Margaret Sullivan. (
* Former Washington Post managing editor John Temple says nice things about his former colleagues and discusses the state of investigative journalism in a chat at CivilBeat. (
* Many publications won’t let staffers, or even freelancers, write sponsored content. (
* Gordon McLeod, a former Wall Street Journal digital network boss, is named Newsday publisher. (
* Fake news sites from around the world. (

* Correction: Spelling Bee word-shortage story (AP via
* Earlier: Fox News misspells spelling bee (
* Earlier: Spelling bee certificate misspells spelling (


WLOX-TV (Biloxi, Mississippi) news anchor Dave Elliott, who advises the LGBT community to take a “gaycation,” is “on the air seven days a week,” according to his bio. Maybe he’s the one who should be taking the break.

Update — WLOX-TV says on its Facebook page that “we are not happy at all with the post or any imagined ‘free publicity'” that the station gets from it.

I’ve emailed Elliott and news director Brad Kessie for comment. (Note to WLOX: Your phone system apparently isn’t working; I could hear you, but you couldn’t hear me. And my phone is working fine.)

999814_10152386262524369_481888547_n – From Poynter’s story about Willow Bay joining USC Annenberg[/caption]

Poynter’s post about Willow Bay being named director of USCs Annenberg School initially mentioned that she’s married to Disney CEO Bob Iger. He was later scrubbed from the post. Read the discussion about that on my Facebook page.

* “A potential conflict of interest. It warrants inclusion” (
* Earlier: USC president calls Bob Iger “a venerated member of USC’s Trojan Family” (

Update: Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon writes in an email:

Yesterday afternoon, Kristen Hare [author of the Bay post] and I were talking about the post and we decided that Bay’s husband wasn’t relevant in a news brief. We decided to take out that line, which we did not add in elegantly in the first place. But we didn’t want to change a post without indicating we made a change. So we added a correction.

Obviously you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what we took out. I did look at some of our other stories about men making job moves and I noticed they rarely if ever mentioned their spouses. Iger is not just any spouse but I thought that information would be more relevant in a longer story, not a quick news hit. Mostly I wish I’d done a better job editing this piece in the first place.

* Willow Bay named head of USC journalism school (

Rick Kushman, who left the Sacramento Bee in 2010 to “try something new,” is now a substitute host on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight” show. On Monday, one of his guests was former colleague Tim Swanson, the Bee’s features editor. Swanson was asked if restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson’s reviews are “mean.”

The exchange:

KUSHMAN: Your restaurant critic is pretty controversial, and some of the argument is simply that he takes opportunities when he doesn’t like a place to be mean. There is an argument in the business community that that’s just really — what’s the point? Why not just tell you what the place was like and not be mean?

SWANSON: Well, I don’t know if I would categorize Blair – Blair Anthony Robertson’s reviews as “mean.” I think he tries to be objective. I think he is a truth teller. I think that there aren’t — there are few other critics, at least restaurant critics in our city, who do that sort of thing. …some people have confused journalism with cheerleading, and we are first and foremost journalists.

I asked Robertson this afternoon: Are you mean? His response: “[Kushman] is certainly entitled to interpret my work however he pleases. Sometimes being critical is seen as being mean, but that is never my intention. I welcome all kinds of feedback and, as a writer, I’m always looking at my work to see how it can be better. But I know I will never be able to make everyone happy.”

* Bee features editor defends “mean” restaurant critic (
* Robertson in 2010: “I don’t like writing negative reviews at all. It stresses me out” (
* Earlier: Restaurant critics recall threats from mean people (