Daily Archives: September 30, 2014

mapA Romenesko reader writes: “The Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal erupted in the backyard of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. Since November 2011, the pages of this newspaper have been filled with references to it: a grown man showering with boys, oral sex, sodomy, grooming, anal rape, etc. Well, apparently the coverage tricked Google Maps into thinking the newspaper has something to do with sex abuse. If you search Google Maps for ‘Centre Daily Times,’ you’ll see for yourself. (There is a screenshot attached [above] in case it goes away.)”

Update: My search for the Centre Daily Times brings this up:

PBS ombudsman Michael Getler looked into the matter above and found out that the second guest scheduled to be on last night’s “NewsHour” was a no-show.

“It remains inexplicable to me why the viewers were not told that a scheduled out-of-town guest who previously worked in the Obama administration could not appear because of last-minute technical problems,” writes Getler. “The decision not to do so unnecessarily hurt the credibility of the program and viewers will have no understanding of how this happened.”

When Kagan – an analyst with the conservative American Enterprise Institute – finished his remarks, anchor Judy Woodruff closed by saying, “We hear you, Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. Thank you.”

A “NewsHour” viewer writes to PBS: “Judy’s closing remarks ‘We hear you Frederick’ seemed to imply her agreement with the guest’s questionable take on this issue of national importance.”

Woodruff tells Getler: “This is an expression I sometimes use at the end of an interview or a letter – especially when someone has expressed strong views on something. It’s a polite way of saying something other than ‘thank you.’ There is absolutely no suggestion of endorsement or the opposite.”

Getler writes: “My strong and unsolicited advice would be to stop using that ‘we hear you’ phrase as a sign off. It is quite understandable that viewers were especially outraged to hear that at the close of a segment that they rightly viewed as one-sided.”

* “We hear you” is not what viewers wanted to hear (
* Greta Van Susteren: What the ombud should be writing about (

The Record (Bergen County, NJ) travel writer Jill Schensul was – again! – named Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year earlier this month. “Since 1995, Schensul has won 29 Lowell Thomas awards for herself, and The Record travel section has taken 39 awards in total,” notes the Society of American Travel Writers press release.

The Record keeps winning, even as its travel section shrinks.

“We used to have up to 16 pages for our Sunday Travel section,” Schensul writes in an email. “Now it’s four. One page is dedicated to Record on the Road – our readers bring the travel section along on vacation and take a photo of themselves holding it up at their destination. Wildly popular.”

Schensul, who has been on The Record’s travel beat for 20 years, explains how the paper covers travel with a limited budget:

* We buy almost no freelance from outside writers. I believe we still take (and pay for) the occasional travel story from staffers if they offer to write something after they come back from vacation.

* We do more close-to-home trips. Not only are these less expensive, but if I go out on the road for a week or two, I am able to pick up fodder for multiple future stories. We use the same tactic for international trips.

* We’re doing more consumer advice stories, and more round-ups of hotels, spas, etc. No budget required. Readers appreciate the how-tos and the buyer-beware stories. We also manage to come up with some engaging lists – ideas for, say, one-of-a-kind accommodations (drain pipes, silver mines), the most extreme weather destinations and (also cited in the Lowell Thomas awards this year) where to see amazing animal spectacles (not eyeglasses, but huge migrations, synchronized firefly courtship flashings, etc.).

What about junkets? I asked.

Jill Schensul

Jill Schensul

“Ever since I’ve been doing travel at the Record, the policy here is we don’t take free trips,” says Schensul. “If we get ‘invited’ on a trip and it sounds interesting and would be a good fit for our readership, we’ll negotiate a press rate. It’s standard operating procedure. A few papers – The NY Times and the Washington Post, I think – pay for everything, and require their freelancers do the same. We negotiate a rate with the trip’s organizers that makes it possible for us to get out and test drive new places. It’s the way we have come up with to keep providing Record-generated stories, photos and insights rather than wire copy for our readers.”

The travel journalist adds in her email:

“This isn’t to say we only travel when someone offers us a ready-made press trip. We decide on at least a few big projects at the beginning of the year, and then I go about researching the best way to go. We may get a press rate at a hotel, or a guide through the tourist office, but almost everything else is full price. (I don’t eat gourmet meals very often … well, ever.). Still, we are always weighing the bang for the buck.”

* The Record’s Jill Schensul is named travel journalist of the year (

A journalist at a top-10 daily – and a Michigan alum – sends this note (anonymity was requested):

Just wanted to mention that the Michigan Daily has done an impressive job this week covering Michigan’s response/handling of a concussed player in its game on Saturday.

The four-person football beat wrote a strong but well-reasoned column calling for the head coach to be fired: and then were all over a 1 a.m. statement contradicting what the coach had been saying. They even managed to get that into print! With some great, contrasting pull quotes.

They’ve struck the perfect tone while going after the athletic department, which is something you rarely see a student newspaper do.

* Michigan football coach Brady Hoke must be fired (
* Statement reveals athletic department institutional dysfunction (


“Interesting way to handle a story about a mentally ill man,” a Chicago journalist writes in an email. | “What do you want us to do? Kill him?” Chicago Public Radio’s Justin Kaufmann asks on Facebook. | Sun-Times + airport-related covers = controversy.

* “[The man’s attorney] pleaded for the public to have compassion for the ‘deeply troubled man’ whose actions paralyzed national air traffic” (
* Reactions from my Facebook friends and subscribers (

* New York Times ran something like listicles in the 19th century; the feature was called “Some Facts About…” (
* Boston University j-prof Mitchell Zuckoff‘s book about the Benghazi terrorist attacks is a bestseller. “One of the cool things about all this is that the guy with the No. 1 book on the nonfiction list is teaching our beginning journalism course this semester,” says the department chair. “That course assignment was his request.” (
* A slideshow explains how the work of journalists has expanded. “Our ideas have to be more compelling to get attention,” notes Amy O’Leary. (
* [RIGHT] Tell us about the calls you’re getting, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Julia Terruso. (The phone number was taken off the headline after I alerted Terruso this morning.) | Update: “Amazingly, only three phone calls, two of them helpful readers alerting me.” tweets Terruso. (
* How important is it that reporters tweet? (
* “NYT should make all masthead decisions based on Tweet quality & frequency. Looking forward to the @jacqui and @harrisj Times.” (@chanders)
* A 20-year-old tech reviewer with 1.8 million YouTube subscribers has received job offers “left and right, but I love being independent.” ( Autoplay video)
* Shamed by Gawker? Lena Dunham now says she’ll pay her book-tour performers. (
* Post-Dispatch editorial: Billionaire Rex Sinquefield goes shopping for Missouri reporters. ( | Earlier: Grow Missouri’s big goof. (
shop* Not surprised: Tumblr has a “shoplifting community.” (
* Piers Morgan is named Daily Mail Online U.S. editor-at-large. (
* Newsweek adds a plagiarism warning to Fareed Zakaria‘s archived pieces. (
* Will San Francisco Chronicle let Willie Brown go now that the ex-mayor is a paid lobbyist? (
* Boston Herald runs on Dunkin’. (