Dave Philipps, who won the national reporting Pulitzer Prize in April for his “Other Than Honorable” series, is leaving the Colorado Springs Gazette to cover military and veterans affairs for the New York Times.
Philipps, 36, has been with the Gazette since 2003.
“I know this sounds sappy,” he tells the Colorado Springs Independent, “but I’m really sad to leave my home town and the Gazette. But it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
Editor Joe Hight tells Romenesko readers: “We are excited The New York Times sought a reporter from a newsroom of our size, thus showing the quality of the staff members that we have here in Colorado Springs.”
The managing editor’s memo to Gazette staffers:
From: Joanna Bean
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 9:40 AM
To: CS Newsroom
Subject: Dave’s going to the NYT
Dave Philipps, after starting at The Gazette in 2002 as an intern and is now our investigative reporter, will leave this summer to work as a reporter at The New York Times in New York. His departure date is still to be determined, as are farewell festivities. Dave is out of the office until Thursday this week. Please join me in congratulating him on this exciting move.
Also, please let me know if you have any interest or know of any potential candidates for this and other reporting positions.
– h/t Matt Hrodey, who sends this with the subject line: “Dude, is that a body in a suitcase?”
Update: A reader points out that Houston Chronicle’s Carol Christian had a story yesterday about Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen.
Unfortunately, I was terminated from The Commercial Dispatch. I accept this as a consequence for my comments & I’ll always be remorseful.
— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) June 9, 2014
I told Columbus (Miss.) Commercial Dispatch managing editor Slim Smith that I thought his sportswriter was doing what all radio sports-talkers do – spout over-the-top nonsense that everyone knows is done for attention and “shock” value. He responded:
It is our belief that Matt’s comments went well beyond “over-the-top nonsense” into something far more serious – bigotry. To suggest that is an open question as to whether a group of people are “even human,” is not an instance of overheated hyperbole. Matt’s comments did harm to our newspaper’s reputation and credibility. Matt has apologized and I have no reason to believe that his apology is anything but sincere. Even so, actions have consequences. This was not a difficult decision, although it was a painful one.
Columbus Commercial Dispatch sportswriter Matt Stevens recently covered a baseball tournament in Lafayette, La., which he called “the worst place in America.”
He added in his rant, which struck me as standard over-the-top sports-radio trash talk:
— “I can’t understand these people when they talk. I can pick out words and sentences, and I think I can figure it out. It goes over my head.”
— “Food, that’s it. That’s all they know how to do. I didn’t have a bad meal all week, but the rest of it was an absolutely horrid experience.”
— “It’s not [America]…I spent 90 minutes driving around and didn’t find one decent place to live.”
— “If Obama wants to cut Louisiana from the union tomorrow, we are better off as people.”
Of course, his remarks got people riled up and apologies – on Twitter and the radio – followed:
(1/2) I will & need to say this: I truly apologize to ANYONE if my comments on @BulldogsRadio about Lafayette or Louisiana offended folks.
— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) June 5, 2014
(2/2) While I had the worst experience of my life in Lafayette, that is no excuse for me not choosing my words more carefully. #wordsmatter
— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) June 5, 2014
Brian Hadad, one of Stevens’ radio show partners, also apologized on the air for his Lafayette slams: “I’ll tell you, we took a beating on Twitter, man, but it was totally justified a lot of the things that people were saying to us. The one tweet that stood out to me – and this is the one that really made me feel bad – … The guy was like, ‘Man, I’m a veteran from Louisiana,’ and I was like, ‘OK, I just took a dump all over that guy.’ So I apologize for that.”
What Commercial Dispatch managing editor Slim Smith says about Stevens’ remarks:
I certainly hate that this has happened because it’s not an accurate portrayal of the city or our paper. What I was really disappointed in is his characterizing so many people in a city with such broad terms. It’s not a fair assessment to make. This will be a teachable moment for Matt.
* Reporter apologizes for offending Lafayette residents (theadvertiser.com) | His rant
* Mississippi State Bulldogs sports radio calls Lafayette trip worst ever (espn1420.com)
* Visiting sportswriters slam baseball field press area (theadvertiser.com)
Left: The sold-out T-shirts that Warren Buffett & Co. promised to their newspaper employees have arrived. Mark Plemmons shows his off. “#14 Warren Buffett must be a Pete Rose fan,” he writes. Right: Journalists show support for photographers at Australia’s Fairfax Media. The company plans to outsource its photo work. (The T-shirts are “a big hit.”)
* [Above] David Foster Wallace‘s 2003 subscription to The Believer. (@MatthewGilbert)
* Yancey County News, an award-winning North Carolina weekly, folds after losing its largest advertiser. (irjci.blogspot.com) | Publisher: “Ingles [grocery] was our largest account and their check kept the business afloat.” (facebook.com) | From 2012: The tiny paper that scooped up journalism’s big prizes. (theawl.com)
* How Vox.com was built in just nine weeks. (niemanlab.org)
* Vox? What’s Vox? Corey Hutchins has an example of “the gap between working newspaper journalists around the country and the digital-media crowd.” (cjr.org)
* Toronto Sun: Our editorial cartoon had nothing to do with violence against women. (torontosun.com) | Here’s the cartoon: (@sladurantaye)
* James Galbraith (Harvard ’74) – son of the economist – goes straight to the obits when the alumni magazine arrives. (observer.com)
* Time Inc. once owned a forest, but it “eventually became a distraction from bigger priorities.” (adage.com)
* Losing the Snowden scoop “was really painful,” says NYT’s Dean Baquet. (npr.org) | Glenn Greenwald‘s reaction: (firstlook.org) | Noted: Baquet will be tweeting soon. (ajr.org)
* The New Yorker has writers telling secrets about old flames. (wsj.com)
* Claim: You can lose faith in humanity by reading just once website comment. (theatlantic.com) | Earlier: “I get dumber every time I read our comments section,” says a newspaper editor. (jimromenesko.com)
* There’s now a @HighMaureenDowd Twitter feed. (@HighMaureenDowd)
* The good things about dating a reporter, according to eHarmony. (eharmony.com)
* Original programming is growing, but “about 70% of the total watching on Netflix is television shows in their previous season models,” says the company’s TV head. (money.cnn.com)
* I’m guessing Amazon execs aren’t losing sleep over boycotts. (thestranger.com)
* Time for a newsroom party? New York’s comptroller lets the Journal News know it has $1,600 in the state’s unclaimed funds account. (lohudblogs.com)
* JOBS: Southern California Public Radio is looking for a government/politics editor (Romenesko Jobs)