From Politico and Capital New York president and CEO Jim VandeHei’s conversation with WAMC radio’s Alan Chartock.
Q: If you hire a star at Politico, does that help you? Does the name recognition help you?
Jim VandeHei: “It helped tremendously five and seven years ago. There’s a diminishing return on just a name right now. Now if that name is backed up with game, then it helps a ton. There just aren’t that many people who can routinely tell you stuff you did not know that you want to know in a way that you want to read it. It’s a tough thing to do. So if you’re really a star, and it’s based on your performance – yes, it adds tremendous value.
There’s a lot of people who are stars — they have big names – but I don’t really think they’ve got the game to back it up. They’re living off a reputation that might have been true five or ten years ago; it’s not true today. I find zero value [in them].
Q: So if you get somebody good, how do you keep them?
VandeHei: There’s a couple of ways you keep people. Ultimately people want to feel like they’re part of something big. I think that’s one of the things we’ve been able to do at Politico and at Capital – that you’re part of trying to save journalism. So you feel like you’re part of something, that’s important. Compensation is certainly important. And then giving people opportunity to do things they couldn’t otherwise do.
* Alan Chartock in conversation with Jim VandeHei (wamc.org)
About 2,000 pictures set aside to be digitized were damaged Wednesday when a water pipe burst at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We quickly set up a washing station in the newspaper’s platemaking department. We soaked damaged prints, then set them onto tables to dry.”
The Post-Gazette’s Tumblr post by Steve Mellon and colleagues continues:
It was heartbreaking to see physical evidence of our city’s history so nearly ruined.
We tried opening a folder labeled “Bradshaw, Terry.” Images documenting the very public life of the former Steelers quarterback had fused into what can only be described as a photo brick. Bradshaw, it seemed, would be forever stuck to all three of his wives.
Dozens of images showing the construction of the Civic Arena were discolored and covered with grit. Among the carnage were pictures of Braddock, Pirates great Max Carey, the Pittsburgh Steel Co., and jazz legends Billy Strayhorn, Lena Horne and George Benson. About 75 file folders had taken a direct hit.
Each picture in the damaged files told a story — a unique Pittsburgh story.
The post’s last line: “Too bad nothing can be done to salvage those ’80s hairstyles” in the photos.
* After a near disaster, saving pieces of history (tumblr.com)
On July 11, ProPublica posted an exclusive report on the Defense Department inspector general’s “stinging rebuke of the Pentagon’s struggling effort to recover the remains of missing service members from past wars.”
Five days later, the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” sent a release to its email list touting the “first look at a Pentagon investigation into why so many American troops remain missing in action.”
The CBS promotion said that “the findings of the Pentagon’s investigation have not been seen until this report.” [VIDEO]
Megan McCloskey, the author of ProPublica’s story, responded this way
Her Friday tweet to CBS News publicist Lance Frank:
Update: I’m told that the two news organizations are now discussing the matter.
* Report finds litany of problems with effort to recover MIAs (propublica.org)
Dear Illinois Policy Institute: I’m a veteran journalist
looking to get out of the newsroom and slow down a bit – but still make more money. Never mind, I just saw your ad. …
Update: Media relations director Diana Rickert writes in an email:
The Illinois Policy Institute is a great place to work. We have a handful of other former journalists on staff who lead a robust story-telling operation and are in a variety of other roles. It’s a very driven and dynamic organization, but it’s also mission-oriented – so it’s really important that potential hires have a passion for what we’re doing.
I’m not sure where you got the idea that the ad is saying we don’t want “old newspaper people.” Where does it say that? We simply said that we wanted someone with the passion and drive of a journalist, not someone who wants to leave journalism. We are receiving a lot of applications from reporters whose cover letters read more like pleas to get out of the newsroom than an application to join the Institute. We are looking for someone who is excited about our organization and the opportunity to use their news skills in a unique and different way. And as with any job, it’s important for candidates to express why they want to join our organization – not just why they want to leave the one they currently are in!
* Illinois Policy Institute seeks media relations manager (journalismjobs.com)
* Update: Read comments about this ad from my Facebook friends and subscribers
* The MH17 crash on newspaper front pages: (buzzfeed.com) | (mashable.com)
* Graphic photos are all over social media. Reuters’s policy: “We should not…publish graphic images and details or obscene language gratuitously or with an intention to titillate or to shock.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Russia Today’s Sara Firth quits over her station’s coverage of the crash. (pressgazette.co.uk) | “I’m for the truth,” she tweets. (@Sara__Firth)
* The majority stake of Forbes is sold to a Hong Kong investment group. (forbes.com)
* NBC News isn’t saying why it pulled veteran reporter Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza. (huffingtonpost.com)
* Rupert Murdoch (right) says he can’t buy the Los Angeles Times because “cross-ownership laws from another age still in place.” (@rupertmurdoch) | Why he’s been off Twitter: “I have been busy lately with many preoccupations!” (@rupertmurdoch) | Murdoch’s chief of staff took the photo of the mogul tweeting again. (@nravitz)
* Murdoch went after Time Warner in the summer of 1983. (fortune.com) | Why he shouldn’t go after it now. (reuter.com)
* A convention devoted to Tumblr “goes horribly wrong.” (chicagotribune.com) | Statement from the organizers: (escapistmagazine.com)
* Atlanta’s mayor blocks journalists on Twitter. (clatl.com)
* [At right] Tipster: Journal Broadcast Group chief photojournalist Curt Tremper “pimps out air-conditioning company for free plane ride to cover story.”
* Report: New York Daily News is laying off 17 newsroom staffers. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Exploit much, Out Front? “The interview process will be a week-long trial in which the applicant works from home … to write the multiple stories that will be assigned.” (outfrontonline.com)
* Ezra Klein, “news personality.” (@MrDanZak)
* Hey, CNN, the Washington Post does not own Vox. (@christhorman)
* The Davenport (IA) City Council approves $178,000 for a city-run digital newsroom. (qctimes.com)
* “A committed writer should tell a beginning one to write fearlessly. Be not afraid.” (magazine.nd.edu)
* ESPN asks pro golfers if they can name all four Beatles; some can’t. (pga.com)