Daily Archives: April 28, 2014

A petition launched by the Monterey County Herald’s newsroom union asks owner Digital First Media to keep the paper “as a valuable community resource by improving conditions for employees by approving a new contract with their union.”

In 2005, the newsroom had 12 reporters covering the county. Now, due to layoffs and attrition,herald six reporters struggle to cover the same beats. …

For six years, Herald employees have made sacrifices and endured shrinking paychecks because we are committed to bringing the news to our readers. We’ve accepted a wage freeze in our last three-year contract, along with unpaid furloughs that amounted to a 2 percent loss of income for each week furloughed.

The Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents Herald employees, is asking that the new contract have a “modest” cost of living increase and a severance package for those laid off in the future.

“The company has refused both,” says the union.

Guild chairman Phillip Molnar tells me: “We are asking for 3 percent raises each year for the next three years and health care premium costs capped at 34 percent. We’ve been in negotiations since October.”

The company hasn’t reacted to the petition, he says.

* Petition asks for a fair contract for Monterey County Herald staff (

Readers sent these news bloopers over the weekend:


* Who works at WSJ and says get’s? (@tweetattuan) | Corrected tweet (@wsj)


* They fixed it, but the URL still has “heres” (

A newspaper carrier recently seemed surprised that people still subscribe to their local paper’s TV guide.
Well, meet one of those subscribers — a very unhappy one because she’s complained to the Louisville Courier-Journal repeatedly about not getting her TV listings delivered.

Kathleen Loomis writes me: “Interested to read your bit last week on Laura Hollingsworth, Tennesseean publisher, admitting that Gannett customer service stinks. Here’s a customer service story from the [Gannett-owned] Courier-Journal.”

Read it after the jump. Read More


FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver is speaking at UC Berkeley on Sunday, and journalism school students there have tried for months to arrange a chat with him. So far they’ve been unsuccessful.

The assistant dean’s January email to Rusty Barnes at Cal Performances, the campus outfit that booked Silver for the $20/ticket talk.

Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:05 PM
Subject: Nate Silver

Mr. Barnes,

Our students are very interested in Nate Silver’s visit. Would Mr. Silver’s schedule allow for a short visit with journalism students on May 4th?

Roia Ferrazares
Assistant Dean
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Barnes’ response:

From: Rusty Barnes
Date: January 31, 2014, 3:00:00 PM PST
Subject: Re: Nate Silver

Hello, Roia,

Sorry for my delay in getting back with you. I wanted to let you know that I am looking into this, but I haven’t heard anything concrete yet. I hope to have an answer for you sometime next week.

Rusty Barnes
Public Relations Associate

Three months later…

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 10:26 AM, [Berkeley journalism student] Mihir Zaveri wrote:

Hi Roia, any update on this?


Still no news:

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 10:38 AM, Roia T. FERRAZARES wrote:

> Hi Mihir,
> Thanks for your reminder. The ball had been in the court of Rusty Barnes
> at Cal Performances, who said he was going to try to work something out. I
> hadn’t heard back from him, and didn’t follow up. I’ve written to him now.
> Keep your fingers crossed.
> Roia

“It’s a no”:

Para: “Mihir Zaveri”
Asunto: Nate Silver
Fecha: jue., abr. 24, 2014 1:20 PM

Rusty wrote back, and unfortunately it’s a no.
This from him:

Hello, Roia,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in my response. I have been
waiting on Nate’s management to get back to me on this for quite some time,
and unfortunately, he will not be available.

I’ve asked Silver if he’s aware of the campaign to get him to speak to Berkeley students on Sunday.

* Cal Performances presents Nate Silver at UC Berkeley (

Update — Linfield College (McMinnville, OR) Department of Mass Communications chairman Brad Thompson writes: “Jim Tankersley of the W.Post just visited my campus and spoke to five classes, had dinner (and good Oregon wine) with select faculty and students and guests and then spoke for an hour to a packed (for our small school) hall about the Post’s forthcoming effort to combine data mining and storytelling. Last year Mark Potok of the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] did a similar thing: all-day visits to many classes and talk in the evening. Before that, Leonard Pitts did the same. Seems the common thing to do.”

Twenty years ago today…
* “Internet is coming to NPR!” (
* USA Today’s publisher says readers aren’t focusing on national or local news; they just want something interesting to read. (
* “Journalism, by its very nature, draws a lot of people who have a real problem with authority,” and 13 other random observations from an editor. (
* Almost one in 20 bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2011-12 was in communications/journalism. (
nickel* A full-page ad in USA Today says a bag of old coins for $59 is a real deal; an appraiser values them at $6.50. (
* Salt Lake Tribune’s military and crime reporter is now covering the polygamy beat, too. ( | Talk about the Tribune vanishing soon is “hyperbole,” says the editor/publisher. (
* How does one become a “verified” New York Times commenter? Those people “are selected algorithmically based on the breadth and quality of the comments they have submitted over time.” (
* Martha’s Vineyard publication: We don’t pay interns, but we help them find jobs at local restaurants. (
* “I think [Google’s] pretty dangerous and thuggish,” says Kara Swisher, whose wife is a Google veep. (
* The old Miami Herald building is coming down. (@EvanBenn)
* A history of Rust Belt alternative weeklies. (
* The manifestos of Ezra Klein, Nate Silver and other big-name journalists. (
* An Albuquerque crime reporter takes a few days off and heads to Colombia. “Would I go back?” writes Andy Stiny. “When’s the next flight?” (
* Colombians have had it with people spelling their country “Columbia.” (
* A soon-to-close news council is engaged in a legal battle over the use of “TAO.” (