Daily Archives: July 23, 2014

ruiz2Frontera, a daily that covers San Diego and Tijuana, was redesigned for its recent 15th anniversary celebration. Political analyst and op-ed columnist Benedicto Ruiz Vargas (left) doesn’t like the new look and let readers know in a column that editors spiked on Tuesday.

A reader, who was slipped the column, sent me excerpts:

The changes at Frontera are with the idea of creating a newspaper that’s more attractive, easier to read, stressing photography and images, with information capsules, titles in large letters and short stories, with more stories about daily life about what happens to everyday people, with practical advice on family life or about aspects related to health, nutrition, etc. Sports and entertainment occupy are the centerpiece, with advertising on the front page, although these share the space with stories that tells of violence and crime.

Old (left) and new

Old (left) and new

The premise behind this orientation is that in the new consumer market there are hardly any readers, or the average buyer is seeking more entertainment and less information, more things that are practical, with no interest in fields such as economy, politics, government or democracy. This is a reader who is not interested in going any deeper, becoming more broadly informed, or following a debate…..

That is to say, we are witnessing a process in which the newspaper ceases to be a newspaper, converting itself into hybrid that combines information and entertainment. …

I’ve invited Vargas and Frontera CEO Juan Fernando L. Healy to comment.

Update: Vargas says in an email that he “agrees to a public debate with the owners/editors of Frontera on the subject.” I haven’t received a response from the CEO.

Google’s offices are contemporary and colorful; it’s a different story at Kickstarter. “Old school,” writes Rooster co-founder Jennifer 8. Lee, who took this shot of Kickstarter’s library. She was kind enough to post a few more photos of Kickstarter’s space this afternoon after I asked for permission to use the library picture.

(Photo: Jenny 8 Lee)

(Photo: Jennifer 8. Lee)

* Jenny8Lee on Instagram

Bob Eschliman was fired as editor of the Newton (Iowa) Daily News in May after complaining on his personal blog that “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” are trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God,” and that “we must fight back against the enemy.”
The head of Shaw Media – owner of the Daily News – wrote that while Eschliman “is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

Eschliman claims in a complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that he was fired by Shaw Media because of his religious beliefs. The former editor is represented by the Liberty Institute, a Christian advocacy law firm.

The attorney representing Eschliman says: “In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s welcoming workforce.”

Just asking, though: Who is the intolerant one here? (I’m hoping Eschliman’s lawyer, Matthew Whitaker, will return my phone call with his answer.)

* Editor who used “gaystapo” claims religious discrimination (
* Earlier: Editor blasts “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” | He’s fired (

From a Bangor Daily News staffer:

Post your crazy-calls-to-the-newsrooms stories in comments or send via email.

Update: Read the many phone-call stories from my Facebook friends and subscribers.

Russ Kendall, who quit his newspaper photo-editing job 18 months ago to run a pizza business, has created a Facebook group called “What’s Your Plan B?” He tells Romenesko readers that it’s “aimed at photographers, reporters, designers, and editors who have either lost their newspaper jobs or might lose them.”

I hope will offer resources to those folks who find themselves out of jobs suddenly and through no fault of their own. …When I read the recent Pew report that posits nearly 54,000 newspaper people lost their jobs in the past 6-7 years it really hit a nerve. That’s like the entire population of a reasonably sized town!

I wanted to create a meaningful space where those of us who have moved onto our successful Plan B could interact with those in need of one.

Most of the posts are serious, but I laughed at this one: “Um.. Photojournalism WAS my plan B. Plan A was to own a video rental store.”

The group, which was created on Monday, already has nearly 400 members. It’s invite-only, but send me an email and I’ll add you; it’s a charter-member privilege.

Update: “This was an especially regrettable lapse that drew wide attention as Dutch families awaited the return of their loved ones’ remains,” says the AP.

“Crash lands”?
That’s better.

* The “crash lands” tweet | The clarification (@ap)

* A.H. Belo sells the Providence Journal to GateHouse Media’s parent for $46 million. ( | ( || “A pretty steep sum.” (
* “Yes, there are newspapers for sale,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore tells analysts. (
greta* Greta Van Susteren blasts “snooty journalism magazine” CJR for not calling her before posting its Jill Abramson piece. (
* Houston Press will start using a freelance restaurant critic and reassign its fulltime critic. Will other Voice Media Group alt-weeklies follow? “We have no corporate policy to ‘do away with’ or otherwise molest staff restaurant critics,” says a VMG editor. (
* Alan Murray: “I think the No. 1 challenge [at Fortune] is to get the digital strategy on track. Fortune never really had the opportunity to develop a digital identity because it was subsumed by” (
* The “new” Mashable is more than social media and tech coverage. (
* Google considered buying Spotify, but didn’t like the $10 billion-plus price. (
* Tatiana SchlossbergCaroline Kennedy‘s daughter – is interning at the New York Times. “She was hired like any other intern,” says a Times spokesperson. (
* Jon Stewart asks his fans to help him buy CNN. (
* Hearst’s Albany Times Union fires an employee who had complained to the Human Rights Commission about a veep at the paper calling a colleague to say he wanted to take the fired staffer’s four kids to a movie and have them call him “Uncle Kurt.” (
* Scott Pelley wrote letters to NASA when he was a kid. (
* Cory Blair discovers that Kinja commenters are generally “informed, grammar-enforcing and well-meaning Internet denizens.” (
* I bet! “The first mosquito-repellent newspaper in the history of press was not easy to develop.” (
* Page Six reports David Gregory is losing his “Meet the Press” job. Source: “The discussion is whether to make a change before or after the midterm elections.” (
* Greg Moore, editor of Digital First’s Denver Post, remains upbeat: “Last time I checked, everybody was getting paid and on time.” (
* Wall Street Journal news graphics computer systems were hacked. (