Daily Archives: May 22, 2014


The kids in this video are reading actual complaints that got after its recent redesign. Here are some of the “child actors'” lines:

* “I can’t find anything I’m looking for.”
* “I feel like I’m looking at a children’s picture book.”
* “My wife and I hate your website.”
* “I think my grandmother might like this site.”
* “Is this an April Fool’s joke?”
* “Why did you change everything?”
* “What is beta?”
* “Was this John Henry’s idea?”
* “Please tell me this site was designed by an unpaid intern.”
* “Good luck fixing this crap.”
* “Are you fixing this?

That’s the son of news and homepage editor Hilary Sargent on the right; the other two belong to Boston Globe CEO Mike Sheehan.


* Complaint Department (

“Copy editors have to find something fun about the job,” Roanoke Times veteran Alec Rooney tells me after I ask about his interest in finding people in news stories whose names match their occupations.

Alec Rooney

Alec Rooney

“I don’t know how my interest started – I just tend to be a pack rat who collects errors and oddities. …I remember being struck by just *how often* a name fit a job, and just started keeping a file.”

Scroll down his Twitter feed and you see these examples:

Appropriate names in the news: Nicole Coffin, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Apr 13, 2014

Appropriate names in the news: Ron Godwin, Liberty University provost and senior vice president of academic affairs; Apr 27, 2014

Appropriate names in the news: “Benjamin R____ Sparks, 25 … was charged with arson … “; Apr 01, 2014

Appropriate names in the news: John Fish, vice president of American Underwater Search and Survey Ltd. of Bourne, Massachusetts; Mar 11, 2014

Appropriate names in the news: Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim; Feb 23, 2014

“I have been collecting these for years,” says Rooney, 49, a copy editor at the Roanoke paper since 2006. “Not sure why, but my all-time favorite is ‘Angela Knuckles, a life management skills teacher.'”

Others faves:

* Biologist Jim Beever, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission supervisor
* John Klicker, Associated Press photographer
* Joel Swallow, chairman of the Mayor’s Feed the Hungry Campaign
* Termite exhibit spokesman Aaron Woodward
* Kelly Breedlove, director of obstetrics at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne

Before he got on Twitter nearly a year ago, Rooney saved the paper versions of his finds “and showed them to the occasional person.” Now he tweets them at least once a week.

He has 80 in his collection, but “I’d really like to get more, though they would need to be verifiable.”

Send your finds to Rooney at

* Follow Alec Rooney on Twitter (@alecr2)

Update: My Facebook friends/subscribers have many suggestions for Rooney. (

Retired New York Times reporter Jane Gross hoped to get this published on the Times’ letters page, but editor Tom Feyer “felt – wisely I think – that after days of letters about Jill A. and Arthur G. it was time to stop the letters page from being all about the NYT and back to what it usually is.” She then sent it to me.

To the Editor,

During a week of tumult at the New York Times – and invective, some thoughtful and some over-the-top – those of us who consider the paper our professional home had a rare opportunity to mull what the Times means to us and why.
We are a tribe, who love our work, love each other and pass our devotion and our expertise from generation to generation. It’s a tough work environment, and that perhaps is part of what binds us. But it is also a family, sometimes literally a family – as apparent in two picture captions on Tuesday and Wednesday that most “civilians” wouldn’t even notice and likely not understand in that context even if they did.

In an obituary Tuesday about Jack Brabham, 88, a championship driver and builder of Grand Prix race cars, the decades-old photo was taken by Robert Daley, long a contributor to the Times from Europe. Mr. Daley, later a best-selling novelist, is the father of Suzanne Daley, currently the paper’s roving foreign correspondent and the son of the late Arthur Daley, the paper’s Pulitzer Prize winning sports columnist.

In Wednesday’s obituary of Arthur Gelb, 90, the Times’ legendary critic, cultural correspondent, metropolitan editor, deputy managing editor and executive editor – quite the resume – the photo was taken by Carl Mydans, himself a photographic legend. Mr. Mydans’ son Seth was for many years a national and foreign correspondent at the Times, most recently in South Asia.

It is not an accident that generations and members of the same family have worked here, my brother Michael among them. No doubt, there is the advantage of nepotism. But there is also something that courses through our veins.

We were mentored by those ahead of us and we mentored those behind. Our colleagues are like family even if they aren’t. As long as there are newspapers, whether printed on presses or living on the web, the Times will be the best of them. And Times’ staffers, past and present, will feel a vital part of its contribution to a civil society.

Jane Gross
New York City, NY
New York Times retiree (1979 to 2008)


newmadMAD Magazine is giving Romenesko readers an exclusive look (must credit Romenesko blah blah blah!!) at this Huffington Post parody, which doesn’t hit newsstands until June 17. You’ll see the Puffington Host spread in MAD #528, with a “Kim & Kanye In… MONSTER MARRIAGE!” cover.


Blue Cheddar, a liberal Wisconsin political blog, calls the above headline “a new low for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.”

That text had to be added inside of the database that Milwaukee Journal Sentinel uses to enter a story. Facebook then grabbed the text and auto-inserted it.

We didn’t do it! Journal Sentinel social media editor Sharif Durhams tells me. He writes:

Facebook allows us to set a default headline for each story,facebook but it allows anyone posting to modify that headline before they post it to their account. We initially posted the Marquette poll story yesterday. As you can see from the attached file [at right], the story didn’t have that headline 20 hours ago when we initially posted it.

We checked our systems. The file on our end hasn’t been modified since last night, so if this person got a different headline an hour ago, the most likely reason that would have happened is because the person typed in a different headline when they posted it to their page.

They did exactly what they said they didn’t do – modified the headline before posting to their wall.

Durhams writes in a follow-up email: “There’s another possibility: The first time we published the story yesterday, it didn’t have a headline. We fixed that quickly, but that might have given an outsider the opportunity to tell Facebook what the headline should be before we did. We’re still poking around, but in any case, there’s no sign that the rogue headline came from here.”

UPDATE: Blue Cheddar accepts Durhams’ explanation after consulting a “social media pro.”

* New low for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (
* “More signs that the press is neither balanced or honest” (

- A guard puts Jen Chung  on the not-allowed-in list

– A guard puts Jen Chung on the banned-from-premises list

A 9/11 Museum security guard confronts Jen Chung after she asks someone a question. From her post:

The museum’s PR man told Gothamist: “If you go to our website, it clearly states that all media access has to be cleared through my office. I don’t recall providing Mrs. Chung a pass for reporting purposes. Chung was welcome to join the countless of other reporters on the memorial plaza. Our security team acted accordingly per our guidelines and rules. It wasn’t personal.”

Any reaction from the museum – an apology perhaps? – since you posted this piece? I asked Chung. “No reaction from the museum so far,” she says. “I don’t think they’ll apologize, given their answers to me. Maybe they have to figure out what they are doing with this cheese plate.”

* How I got kicked out of the 9/11 Museum (

- via @wsj

– via @wsj

* What Jill Abramson should have said at Wake Forest. (
* A onetime Worcester Telegram & Gazette editor claims Boston Globe and Red Sox owner John Henry “had absolutely no interest in finding a local buyer [for the T&G], unless the local buyer was willing to overpay for a company that he stripped of all its assets.” ( | Three companies made offers to buy the Worcester paper. (
* The Georgia Attorney General who wanted a student to remove public records from his blog was once called an FOI hero. (
* An allegedly drunk Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett is arrested at an airport bar in Minneapolis. He was briefly jailed. (
* You go girl! A 68-year-old Amazon customer called the company and let them know she’d be boycotting it until the Hachette dispute is resolved. (
* BuzzFeed has second thoughts about this headline: “Which Supreme Court Justice Should You Masturbate To?” (@JayCaruso) | It was changed to “fantasize about,” which didn’t please everyone.
* A new Goodreads feature connects readers with their favorite writers. (
* Time Inc. magazines start running tiny ads on their covers. (
* The struggling St. Paul Pioneer Press has “a reason to exist … and we’re damned determined to,” says its editor. (
* is shutting down. “Changing market conditions and the proliferation of competitive publishing outlets and free blogging tools, as well as declining usage and revenue, were all contributing factors.” (
* Anyone from Entertainment Weekly want to respond to this claim that you’ve “allowed Andy Serkis to co-opt the animation narrative for his own ends”? (