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Monthly Archives: September 2014

* Former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, 93, is now in hospice care. “His health has been so fragile that the organizers of a local Alzheimer’s and dementia support group asked him to stop attending the thrice-weekly meetings,” Paul Farhi reports. (washingtonpost.com)
ny* “The New Yorker is one of the few billboards left for cover art,” says ex-editor Tina Brown. (nytimes.com) | “The New Yorker cover is a GIF. What a time to be alive.” (@zoeschlanger)
* Online journalism “is trapped in something of a bubble right now. The big fixes have all been done.” (philly.com)
* The will-online-kill-newspapers? debate has been going on since the ’80s. (vox.com)
* Check out the winners of the 2014 Online Journalism Awards. (journalists.org)
* Ann Marie Lipinski: “Lots of journalists on Twitter calling out journalists who aren’t on Twitter. That’ll work.” (@AMLwhere)
* Bill Cosby biographer Mark Whitaker “not only seems out to protect Cosby, but, further complicating the tale, to be threatened by him.” (usatoday.com)
* A judge rules that a one-man news operation in New Jersey doesn’t have to turn over its notes and emails to Parsippany officials. (nj.com)
* It’s National Coffee Day – “or, as we say in newsrooms, it’s another day that ends in ‘y.'” (@hfuhrmann)
* An AP reporter apologizes for his incorrect tweet about Oakland Raiders’ coach being fired. (nbcsports.com)
* Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Sally Kalson didn’t want her obit to say “after a courageous battle with cancer.” (post-gazette.com)
* A Charleston journalist responds to Huffington Post. (charlestoncitypaper.com)
* Hundreds of Drake student newspapers are destroyed and dumped in front of the paper’s office over a pregnancy center ad. (desmoinesregister.com)
* Web pioneer Metafilter unveils its first new design in nearly a decade. (digiday.com)
* Someone gave up their weekend for this: Politico asks astrologers to predict Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky‘s future. (talkingpointsmemo.com)
* Minneapolis Star Tribune is blasted for running an anti-transgender ad. (citypages.com) | (thenewcivilrightsmovement.com)
trump* Donald Trump is tricked into retweeting a photo of serial killers. (dailydot.com)
* JOBS: KTOO in Juneau, Alaska, is looking for a news director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Matthew Keys: “Why don’t newspapers include a unique code in the printed edition that “unlocks” a paywall for 24 hours (a-la Starbucks free song download)?” (@MatthewKeysLive)
* Not even the National Enquirer could find dirt on Derek Jeter. (cbssports.com)

Grow Missouri is a conservative political action committee funded by billionaire Rex Sinquefielddescribed as “the Show Me State’s version of the Koch brothers.”
grow
Apparently not knowing the ethics rules for journalists, a PR woman working for Grow Missouri has asked St. Louis reporters – including one who covers Grow Missouri for the Post-Dispatch – to contribute to the PAC’s blog. The journalists are told they’ll get $250 “for bylined, or no byline if preferred, articles ranging from 500 to 700 words in length with the opportunity to earn more for special on-site projects.”

Grow Missouri representative Molly Berry adds in her email:

The scope of the project would be 2-3 articles per month, on-going, with a focus on tax reform, political news, family life in Missouri, and Grow Missouri’s “Create a Great State” initiative. It’s also worth noting that although this is a political client, we’re not aiming to create politically charged content.

So far I’ve heard about Post-Dispatch statehouse reporter Alex Stuckey and St. Louis Public Radio journalist Jason Rosenbaum being asked to write for Grow Missouri. (Anyone else? Please let me know.)

Stuckey told Berry in an email: “I appreciate your compliments toward my work, however, I cover Grow Missouri and Rex Sinquefield for my job. Writing public relations pieces in the form of blogs for Grow Missouri would be incredibly unethical – especially if I wrote them anonymously.” Rosenbaum tells me he didn’t respond to the solicitation.

I’ve left a message for Berry.

UpdateBerry’s employer says: “In an oversight, five of the writers that we contacted [to write blog posts] were news reporters that may cover Missouri politics. Going forward, we have amended our recruitment process for advocacy organizations to ensure we do not reach out to prospective writers who may be covering our clients’ work.”

Update 2 – “This particular offer had the rankest odor of anything I have encountered in my professional career,” writes Columbia Daily Tribune’s Rudi Keller.

* Boston PR firm solicits political journalists to blog for conservative PAC (columbiatribune.com)
* Grow Missouri’s email to Post-Dispatch reporter Alex Stuckey (@alexstuckey)
* From 2010: Billionaire Rex Sinquefield knows best (stlmag.com)
* Who is behind the Grow Missouri movement? (dailykos.com)

Grow Missouri’s email to Stuckey is after the jump. Read More

crap

The “All Things Considered” story aired this evening. From the script:

“After rain events, all the crap comes down,” Artigas says. “Literally. And supermarket carts, mattresses — everything is floating down this river.”

Francisco Artigas is director of the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute.

* How radio is made: An amusing warning on a story (@SachaPfeiffer)
* Earlier: NPR stations get a “dumbass” warning (jimromenesko.com)


Free stuff for #ONA14 attendees
swag

* “What do reporters love more than free food? Free stuff! (@PoJoNSchuutzman)

Letters to Romenesko
From JAY ARTHUR: My experience with the Wall Street Journal circulation department this week reminds me of a line from the Eagles’ 1970s era hit “Hotel California” … “We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.”

On Monday out of the blue a copy of the Wall Street Journal was delivered to my apartment. I am not a subscriber, nor have I ever been one.

I emailed them right away through their web site … and got no response.

On Tuesday I received another copy. I emailed again. Late Tuesday afternoon (30 hours after my original email) I got a response saying my email had been forwarded to a delivery supervisor. Five hours later I got another email acknowledging they had no record of me being a subscriber.

On Wednesday, I received another copy. I emailed again.

Thursday morning I got another copy. Still no response from my Wednesday email. I emailed again.

Since I’m not a subscriber, you wouldn’t think it would take four days to unsubscribe. Do you think this is an issue because most papers have outsourced their circulation/delivery issues?

I emailed him Friday morning for an update. He wrote:

Today, for the fifth consecutive day, I received a copy of WSJ.

Update: Arthur tells me the head of the Journal’s customer service contacted him today and said she would contact the delivery manager and have the deliveries stopped.

Complaints about The Oregonian, too
From JOHN ETTINGER: I’m a former small city editor/publisher, now author. I live in Portland where The Oregonian, since it switched to 4 day home delivery, has mysteriously been delivering free newspapers all over town. I have been getting a free copy, even though I haven’t subscribed in a couple of years. People have even Tweeted pictures of papers piled up, begging the newspaper to stop delivery.

Do they claim these in their “paid” circulation? Again, I get it free, my neighbor gets it free etc.

“My Twitter account was accidentally activated by NBC”
brian

Brian Williams received the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award at Temple University this morning. He joked about Twitter, then got serious and told students that “if you can’t write in this business, you’re dead. … It’s gotta be like breathing.” Temple students asked “Williams-worthy questions,” tweets David Boardman, dean of the School of Media and Communication.

* Brian Williams accepts the Lew Klein award at Temple (nbcphiladelphia.com)
* Read tweets about Williams’ Temple U. talk (#TempleLKAM)
* The accidentally activated @BWilliams account (twitter.com)
* October 2011: Help convince Brian Williams to start tweeting (today.com)

onepage


* The final New York Times Magazine “One-Page Magazine” (nytimes.com)
* Earlier: Changes are coming to New York Times Magazine (capitalnewyork.com)

* Actually, we need more to watch this guy: “We’ve frankly got enough psychologists and sociologists and political science majors and journalists,” says North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. “With all due respect to journalism, we’ve got enough. We have way too many.” (bizjournals.com) | Earlier: McCrory says his policies are “too complex” for reporters to understand. (dailykos.com)
* ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte says Bill Simmons deserved to be suspended. “What makes him always think something’s right just because he thinks it is?” he writes. (espn.go.com)
* ESPN tells its on-air talent not to discuss the Simmons suspension. (thinkprogress.org)jet
* Josh Levin on Simmons: “If he wants to be able to say whatever he wants, in whatever medium he wants, then he’s going to have to start his own company.” (slate.com)
* [Right] Nick Cotsonika: “Wrote this purple prose in 1999. Funny to read after Jeter’s hit last night. I was young then. Man, I feel old now.” (@cotsonika)
* Fox News host Eric Bolling apologizes for his “boobs on the ground” remark after getting “the look” from his wife when he got home. (mediaite.com)
* PBS cancels its Harper’s advertising over October’s “PBS Self-Destructs” piece. (nypost.com)
* “I would die happy if I had written this lede.” (@elizmccracken)
* The New School teams with the Knight Foundation for a new “human centered journalism” program. (@jcstearns) | (pbs.org)
* Washington Post, September 23: The Post cuts its 401(k) contribution. (washingtonpost.com) | The Post, September 26: “What should you do when your 401(k) match is terrible.” (washingtonpost.com)
* PolitiFact’s ruling on Ted Nugent is questioned. (burntorangereport.com)
* John Oliver, investigative journalist. (AP via yahoo.com)
* Claim: A new film will vindicate former San Jose Mercury News investigative reporter Gary Webb. (newsreview.com)
* “Police do not need social media presences.” (dailydot.com)

I saw American Journalism Review intern Cory Blair’s tweet about using a typewriter for a week, and that got me wondering if the Times of London is still pumping typewriter sounds into its newsroom to generate some excitement. I sent an email to Times spokesperson Jessica Carsen and she wrote back: “Ah – the lovely sound of typewriters. Sadly the experiment has now finished, the clack-clack-clack was endearing for some, but not for all!”

The newsroom got to put up with enjoy the typewriter sounds for about two weeks.

(Oh, and Cory, that’s really a lousy manual typewriter you’re using there.)

Update: I asked the AJR intern a few questions about his typewriter experiment and he responded:

What’s the worst part of writing on a typewriter? That’s hard to say. When I was getting used to it (and before I bought white-out) it took me 13 tries and about an hour to pump out a flawless 300-word news story.

Cory Blair

Cory Blair

That was frustrating. I’ve since gotten better at typing on the keys (it really is a different feel than a computer) and was actually able to type a 1200 word essay pretty quickly. But I’d say my biggest problem is if you mess up once, the page is shot. I’m going through so much paper I feel like I have to plant a forest just to make amends with the environment.

Another hard part about writing on a typewriter is the organization. On a computer, you can see the whole picture and go back and edit/move different parts of your story to make sure the whole thing flows. With a typewriter, it’s one-take, start-to-finish. You can’t write down ideas and go back and modify them later – you really need to know what you want to say before you start typing. I’ve begun writing outlines either by hand or on the typewriter before I dive into an article.

Oh, and hauling this thing around everywhere is a pain. It’s 40 pounds. But, overall, I’m having fun with this whole experiment.

* August 26: Times of London newsroom adds typewriter sounds (jimromenesko.com)
* September 9: No more typewriters at the Times (standard.co.uk)


huffpo
“HuffPo combo uh-oh,” writes John Kroll, who sends this image
* C’mon, Sy! Seymour Hersh is interviewed on camera for about 15 minutes, then announces that everything he said is off the record. (ryerson.ca)
* NPR ombudsman: We can’t pretend that beheadings will stop if we no longer use that word on the air. (npr.org)
* “I’m not particularly sympathetic to newspapers and their plight, because yes, it’s been really hard and all that, but it’s not like you couldn’t see this coming,” says BillyPenn.com founder Jim Brady. (phillymag.com)
* A Fox News talker makes a “boobs on the ground” crack about a female fighter pilot. (politico.com) | (eonline.com)
* This “objective news site” is brought you – created, actually – by Chevron. (latimes.com)bs
* Lots of support for suspended ESPN star Bill Simmons. (digiday.com) | “Simmons is a prime example of the journalist-as-brand.” (washingtonpost.com)
* David Letterman‘s sister Gretchen is in today’s group of Tampa Bay Times staffers taking buyouts. (saintpetersblog.com)
* More ink for Chicago Tribune crime reporter Peter Nickeas. (nymag.com) | Earlier: (chicagoreader.com)
* A busy day for Carrie Johnson, the NPR reporter who broke the Eric Holder resignation story. (npr.org)
* Starkly different explanations for the “bizarre” press restrictions at Olympic National Park. (pugetsoundblogs.com)