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Daily Archives: April 2, 2014

In January, St. Augustine Record’s publisher recruited readers to help accomplish her 2014 goal of eliminating typos and grammar mistakes.

“It seems to take an army to help turn this tide,” wrote publisher Delinda Fogel.

Chris Quinn

Chris Quinn

Northeast Ohio Media Group content chief Chris Quinn is similarly frustrated by what he and readers see on Cleveland.com.

“We hear from people about typos every day,” Quinn writes in a staff memo. “It’s a genuine crisis, and it threatens our long-term success. So I’m taking the drastic action of instituting a zero-tolerance policy for typos.”

His advice to Cleveland.com journalists:

Ask a colleague to read your stuff before you post it. Or your spouse. Or your significant other. I can’t tell you how many times my wife has caught typos in my stuff. In a pinch on something really important, you might even send something to Andrea, who, it turns out, is the most eagle-eyed finder of typos I’ve ever met. She’s merciless. [He’s referring to Andrea Hogben, president of Northeast Ohio Media Group.]

The key is that you or someone you trust has to actively read your copy to find the spelling mistakes.

I left a phone message and sent an email to Quinn to see how his anti-typos campaign is going. Any Cleveland journalists care to comment on this effort? Please email me.

There are many comments about Quinn’s memo on former Plain Dealer staffer Mary Anne Sharkey’s Facebook page.

Update: A Plain Dealer staffer sends this email:

We predicted this would happen when the company moved to this digital-first philosophy. Now, with no copy editors in the digital mix, far fewer of us on the print side and an entire layer of editors gone after layoffs, the company is reaping the consequences. It’s no one’s fault but Advance publications’. Typos are important mistakes, of course, but typos are only a symptom of the problem at the core of this backward system.

* Northeast Ohio Media Group knows it has a typo problem (clevescene.com)
* St. Augustine Record asks the public to help catch mistakes (jimromenesko.com)

Update 2: Read comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers.

In early January, Honolulu Star-Advertiser sports columnist Dave Reardon questioned the selection of a University of Hawaii assistant football coach; it wasn’t a splashy hire, he wrote.

Columnist (left) and coach

Columnist (left) and coach

Three months later, Hawaii head football coach Norm Chow apparently is still angry about the opinion piece. On Tuesday, Chow abruptly halted reporters’ interviews at spring practice – open to the public – when he saw Reardon among the media.

The Star-Advertiser reports:

Television reporters were interviewing quarterback Taylor Graham when Chow yelled that Reardon was not welcomed at the practice.

Reardon said he was prepared to leave the grass practice field when Chow began yelling and then ordered a halt to the media’s interviews with players and assistant coaches. Graham, who was about to answer a question from television reporters, apologized and then joined teammates in sprinting off the field.

“Out of respect for media cohorts, Reardon said he was willing to leave the field when the outburst occurred,” reports the Star-Advertiser.

The coach later said in a statement that “I’m extremely sorry that my actions this morning deflected attention away from a very good beginning to spring practice.”

Reardon writes on Twitter: “I’m humbled by and appreciative for all the support from so many friends and colleagues after today’s bizarre incident at #hawaiifb practice. … was weird but not totally unexpected.”

* University of Hawaii football coach cancels interviews because of columnist’s presence (staradvertiser.com)
* Reardon’s column today: See you at practice, Coach Chow (staradvertiser.com)
* Read the comments on the Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page (facebook.com)

wsjfront
Update:
GREENSPAN

— Via @jfdulac

* Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome is dead and the company’s newspaper’s are going on the auction block, reports Ken Doctor. Thunderdome’s 50-plus journalists “produced national-ready topical sections on core topics that could also be localized,” explains Doctor.paton “The end of Thunderdome is likely to bring a smile or smirk to some of [Digital First CEO John] Paton’s (left) detractors in the industry. Some think he’s too much of a showman, and some question his numbers.” (niemanlab.org) | (washingtonpost.com)
* Reaction to the news: (storify.com) | From March 2011: Jim Brady explains Project Thunderdome. (niemanlab.org) | Earlier: “Thunderdome is central to Digital First Media’s future and will fuel the company’s growth.” (insidethunderdome.com)
* The Peabody Award winners have been announced. (cbsnews.com)
* The Toledo Blade journalists who were detained and had camera equipment confiscated last week have filed complaints with the FBI. (toledoblade.com)
oregon* The Oregonian debuts its compact format. Readers are told it’s “the first daily newspaper in the U.S. to use stapled sections throughout the paper. The technology is widely used in Europe. The paper is still recyclable; the staples don’t make a difference.” (oregonlive.com) | The front page: (newseum.org)
* Jeff Zucker is exactly what CNN needed, says Henry Blodget. (businessinsider.com)
* Chicago Public Media’s board chairman: “The problem with Chicago is that if you’re looking for [someone with] media skills, digital skills and so forth in Chicago, that’s a very limited subset.” (robertfeder.com)
* Joshua Benton reviews the just-released NYT Now. “There’s an awful lot to like,” he writes. (niemanlab.org)
* Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor – soon to be the Star Tribune’s owner – says he knows he’s getting into “a tough business.” (twincities.com)
* “A big percentage of our revenue now is digital,” says Miami Herald executive editor Mindy Marqués Gonzalez. “I think we’re at 20 percent.” (oceandrive.com)
geek* In a just-released 2012 memo, Geek Squad’s founder advised Best Buy to kill its social media team. “Everyone is on the social-media team,” wrote Robert Stephens. “No more press releases or corporate-speak.” (twincities.com)
* Huffington Post senior media editor Jack Mirkinson: “I do not subscribe to any print newspapers. …But I subscribe to a lot of different magazines: to the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, Harper’s, Vanity Fair.” (thewire.com)