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Daily Archives: April 14, 2014

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In the late 1960s, an 8-year-old girl saw coins on a stack of Sunday newspapers at her neighborhood pharmacy. “In my child’s mind I found money,” she tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Looking back the coins were buying newspapers.” Two weeks ago the “coin thief” – now 55 – mailed her confession and a $5 check to the paper’s accounting department.

* Woman atones for taking coins at pharmacy in 1960s (jsonline.com)

The 2014 Pulitzer winners
Public Service
The Guardian and the Washington Post for their National Security Agency coverage. | The Post’s story about its prizes. | Guardian’s story.
* Finalist: Newsday

Colorado Springs Gazette's celebration

Colorado Springs Gazette celebration

Breaking News Reporting
Staff of The Boston Globe for its “exhaustive and empathetic coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing.” | Editor Brian McGrory told his newsroom: “There’s nobody in this room that wanted to cover this story.”
* Finalists: Washington Post staff; Arizona Republic staff.

Investigative Reporting
Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity for his reporting on lawyers and doctors who rig a system to deny benefits to coal miners. | “Our first Pulitzer Prize,” notes CPI’s executive director.
* Finalists: Megan Twohey of Reuters; Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese of the Sacramento Bee.

Explanatory Reporting
Eli Saslow of The Washington Post “for his unsettling and nuanced reporting on the prevalence of food stamps in post-recession America.”
* Finalists: Dennis Overbye of The New York Times; Les Zaitz of the Oregonian.

Editorial Cartooning
Kevin Siers of The Charlotte Observer for “thought provoking cartoons drawn with a sharp wit and bold artistic style.” | “Last week,” he says, “I won a fishing contest, too.”
* Finalists: David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times; Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune./WINNERS LIST CONTINUES
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“I personally think we’re saving journalism,” Journatic founder Brian Timpone said in the summer of 2012.

I’m guessing he now regrets that remark.

Just months after the low-paying, hyperlocal content provider teamed up with the Chicago Tribune,journa “This American Life” revealed that Journatic occasionally used fake bylines for Filipino workers and some U.S. journalists. (“Jake Barnes” – remember him in “The Sun Also Rises”? – was one.)

The Tribune dropped Journatic over the bylines and other ethics breaches in July 2012, then five months later started using its services on a limited basis again. After that, though, few journalists paid attention to the embattled news/listings provider.

In January of this year, Journatic – the “savior” of journalism – was renamed LocalLabs “to better reflect the scope of the work we do,” says Hanke Gratteau, LocalLabs vice president for media services. “We don’t just work for media companies.” (My questions were emailed to CEO Brian Timpone, but he passed them on to Gratteau, a former Chicago Tribune editor.)

“Regarding your other questions [about which papers use LocalLabs], we don’t talk about our client list,” Gratteau writes in her email.

I have learned, though, that the Las Vegas Review-Journal is using the Chicago-based LocalLabs for one of its View neighborhood sections. (Publisher Ed Moss, who is known for cutting newspaper staffs, made the decision to hire LocalLabs as a cost-savings measure, I’m told. I’ve sent him some questions.)

The Review-Journal View section last week had stories by LocalLabs writers Jessica Sabbah (based in Chicago) and Kasey Schefflin-Emrich (in New York), along with stories by the five fulltime Review-Journal View journalists who fear they could lose their jobs to LocalLab contributors. (When contacted, Sabbah referred me to Gratteau without additional comment; I couldn’t reach Schefflin-Emrich.)

“The writers and editors are upset, and raised concerns, but they’re also resigned to their fate,” my source says.

He adds:

[R-J staffers are] also hearing most of the briefs and “community happenings” in the View are being outsourced to writers in India, and our local editors haven’t been able to interact with them. The Journatic writers clearly had trouble understanding the events they were writing about and have ZERO sense of Las Vegas (one even wrote that Downtown Vegas was about 6 miles east of where it really is).

* April 2012: Tribune Company invests in Journatic (tribune.com)
* July 2012: Chicago Tribune suspends use of Journatic (jimromenesko.com)


DECLAN

From the comments section: “I’m Declan Curry, the presenter in the photo. I write my own caption[s]; this was a joke about me being away for an extended holiday. …No-one was being rude or insulting and no-one got into trouble. Also – it was many months ago. This is a very old photo.”

* BBC caption department telling it like it is (@JohnDonoghue64)

* “We believe a new [comments] system will encourage even more readers to engage with us,” says Chicago Sun-Times editor-in-chief Jim Kirk. “We are asking our readers for patience during this process.” (robertfeder.com) | Earlier: Sun-Times pulls the plug on comments while it works on a new system. (suntimes.com)
prizes* Former Pulitzers reporter Joe Strupp says the journalism prizes are still a big deal to him. (blogstrupp.blogspot.com) | Pulitzer winners will be announced at 3 p.m. ET. (reuters.com) | (pulitzer.org)
* Aaron Kushner‘s Los Angeles Register launches on Wednesday. On weekdays, the paper will have 50 to 60 pages in five sections; Sunday’s paper will be 80 to 90 pages. (ocregister.com) | Former Los Angeles Timesman Kevin Roderick: “I remain in the hopeful but not optimistic camp.” (laobserved.com)
* Hyperlocal sites in Chicago are still trying to figure out how to make money. (chicagobusiness.com) | A laid-off Patch editor returns. (streetfightmag.com)
* Associated Press West Africa bureau chief Rukmini Callimachi wins the 2014 Michael Kelly Award. (kellyaward.com)
* “The Michigan Daily fills an important niche in Ann Arbor and a need that is unmet by our regional newspapers,” says the student newspaper’s editor-in-chief. (Ouch, Ann Arbor News!) (nytimes.com)
* New York Daily News loses its “remarkable” online editor to London’s Metro commuter paper. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Temple’s data journalism class was created to teach “the practice of finding stories in numbers and using numbers to tell stories.” (temple.edu) | At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, only two three sign up for the course. (@mattwwaite)
* Career counselors and media entrepreneurs have some advice for Class of 2014 j-students. (ajr.org)
* John Cook, editor-in-chief at First Look’s The Intercepter, is taking reader questions. (firstlook.org)
* Pew: 18% of online adults say they’ve had important information stolen. (pewresearch.org)
colbert* Arkansas Democrat-Gazette didn’t hear that David Letterman‘s replacement has been named? (@SaylorRyan)
* Questioning Facebook’s future “is like going to Rome and questioning the existence of God.” (mondaynote.com)