Daily Archives: October 17, 2014

Memo from Gawker Media’s editorial director:

From: Joel Johnson
Date: Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM
Subject: Misunderstandings
To: All Staff

I don’t want to tell you what to tweet. But I do want you to think about how your tweets can be perceived without context. I’m as guilty as anyone about using Twitter as a place for absurdity and trolling among friends, but the last couple of days have made it clear how people are willing to conflate personal tweets as official company statements. If it’s willful conflation, then there’s nothing to be done. But try to keep in mind when a tweet could be innocently misinterpreted—and then don’t tweet.

I’ll be thinking about our need for an official policy about tweeting, including possibly determining that we still don’t need one. But the fact that I’m sending this email should indicate the degree to which errant joke tweets have become a pain in the ass.

Of course, this applies everywhere. This isn’t about cottoning to the fallacy of our age (ask Slackbot for details). This is about making sure that people can’t use our own ideas and words to undermine the truth of what we’re trying to say. That obviously applies to our own sites; increasingly, it seems that applies to everywhere we speak on the Internet.

* Gawker refuses to denounce their advocacy of bullying ( | @sambiddle; 10/16; 11:30AM | @sambiddle; 10/16; 11:31AM



On Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 8:07 PM, [Deadspin editor] Tommy Craggs wrote:
As someone who is both drunk and responsible for the worst Gawker Media fuckup of the week, I probably don’t have any right to say this, but: this is shitty.


On Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 8:14 PM, Joel Johnson wrote:
That’s not very specific. But noted.


On Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM, Tommy Craggs wrote:
Specifically, I was drunk on Johnnie Walker Red Label, my fuckup was this, and the memo was shitty because it broadcast the message that we can be cornered into a pious/CONTINUES Read More

eBay listings

Bay Guardian staffer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez tells Romenesko readers: “It’s a shame folks are trying to make a buck off a paper that professed access to all for everything from housing to health care. That said, I’m a bit insulted it wasn’t more! The art alone is freaking gorgeous. Jeremy Fish is a talented and known guy in the art world.”

Update — Editor Steven T. Jones writes: “We know that people quickly snapped up our final issue for a variety of reasons (I still haven’t gotten my hands on one yet). It’s certainly a powerful symbol and collector’s item, in addition to being just a beautifully designed issue. I don’t like the idea of people profiteering off our final free newspaper, but that’s sorta the world we live in now. Greed is squeezing out progressive values, and that makes me and many in my community quite sad.”

* “Assholes” sell the free Bay Guardian on eBay ( | Bay Guardian on eBay
* The Bay Guardian and the decline of the alt-weekly (

Now this sounds like an interesting job out of Philadelphia:

This could be you!

This could be you!

WHYY seeks an energetic individual for the part time, temporary role of Costumed Character Performer. Candidates should be friendly, courteous, animated, and have a positive attitude, while also being punctual and reliable. Previous performance experience is preferred.

Due to the constraints of the costumes, all candidates must be of average weight and build and be no taller than 5’4”. Candidates cannot wear glasses while inside the costume, and must have the strength both to carry a large costume case, weighing 35 pounds, from transportation to events and to move, gesture, and dance in costumes that can weigh up to 20 pounds.

There will be an FBI background check, of course.

Ignore the 9/30/14 reference on the WHYY Employment page, because applications are still being accepted, says WHYY spokesman Arthur Ellis. He tells me that only “a handful” of people have applied to attend community events dressed as Curious George, Benny the Dinosaur and other characters from PBS kids’ shows. (The Times Square gang of characters hasn’t heard about the opening?)

In the past, the Philadelphia public media outlet used volunteers and staff members to get into costume, “but it’s harder to find volunteers now,” says Ellis.

* WHYY seeks costumed character performer (Recruit Wizard)
* Earlier: NPR is looking for someone to say “This is NPR” (

– via Dan McQuade


* Local goat stolen, family seeks help from community (
* Item editors made the right call, say my Twitter followers (@romenesko)

– h/t Robert Hurst

gannettHere’s the Gannett “Newsroom of the Future” training schedule from U.S. Community Publishing news executive Mackenzie Warren (right). The instructor for the debut session, held yesterday, told employees “how to perform well when interviewing for one of the new jobs.”

From: Warren, Mackenzie
Date: October 16, 2014 at 11:58:26 AM EDT
To: Editors of Gannett Daily Newspapers, Editors2 of Gannett Daily Newspapers
Subject: Upcoming training for newsroom staffers


As the roles and structures of our newsrooms change dramatically, our journalists need training and support to be as successful as possible.

Over the coming year we will offer dozens of training seminars, each targeted at one or more of the 13 new roles in the Newsroom of the Future. Here is an early look at some of what we’re working toward.

Most immediately, here is what we have lined up:

As you can see, the training we are assembling is, thus far, a combination of:

* Home-grown resources as seen with the headline, SEO, social and Newsgate/Presto workflow examples
* A repurposing of existing training from other sources, like those from Poynter/NewsU
* Custom-designed resources using external experts, as is the case with the job interview and previous resume writing sessions.

We are in active discussions now with a number of providers to develop even more custom, role-based trainings. As we add new sessions, we will highlight those to you. In the coming weeks we will also field a survey asking our journalists where they most need training. The results of that survey will steer us and help us prioritize what’s needed most.

Please circulate this message to your staff so people can begin taking advantage of the eight items outlined above. As you review the plans for more training, I welcome any feedback you have about how to make it more useful and empowering for your team.

Going forward, who in your newsroom is the best point of contact for future communications about training? Please let me know.

Thanks very much.

Here’s what the Associated Press sent to news organizations today:


We’re increasingly hearing reports of “suspected” cases of Ebola in the United States and Europe. The AP has exercised caution in reporting these cases and will continue to do so.
Most of these suspected cases turn out to be negative. Our bureaus monitor them, but we have not been moving stories or imagery simply because a doctor suspects Ebola and routine precautions are taken while the patient is tested. To report such a case, we look for a solid source saying Ebola is suspected and some sense the case has caused serious disruption or reaction. Are buildings being closed and substantial numbers of people being evacuated or isolated? Is a plane being diverted? Is the suspected case closely related to another, confirmed Ebola case?

When we do report a suspected case, we will seek to keep our stories brief and in perspective.

The AP

* AP advisory on Ebola coverage (

- Sent by a Romenesko reader and Oregonian subscriber

– Sent by Oregonian subscriber Ken Bilderback

Ken Bilderback writes: “Another reason newspapers are failing. We subscribe to The Oregonian. The good news is that we will get the Thanksgiving and Christmas papers we’re paying for. The bad news is that our subscription will be shortened because of it.”

* Why charge more? “Because they have too many subscribers and want to pare it down some” (

Earlier on
* How the Richmond Times-Dispatch justifies charging more for holiday papers
* Newspaper subscribers don’t want to pay more for Black Friday coupons

* “One of the greatest challenges we face as an institution,” says New York Times boss Arthur Sulzberger Jr., “is that we must adapt to a dramatically fast-paced changing environment.” (
* “You don’t know where the world’s going to go,” says CBS chief exec Les Moonves. (
* All the media bigs love Jason Hirschhorn. “He’s just super-smart about all things digital,” says Jeffrey Katzenberg. (
* Today’s San Francisco Chronicle page one (
* The hottest magazine covers so far this year. (
* Journalists on the Ebola beat. “AP staffers are having their temperatures monitored through the day,” says spokesman Paul Colford. “They’re avoiding taxi cabs or unknown drivers and carrying bottles of bleach spray to clean their shoes and gear every time before they enter the vehicle arranged for them by the owner of their hotel.” (
* Gary Webb was no journalism hero, says the Washington Post’s investigations editor. (
* New York Times is offering its International Weekly supplement to U.S. publishers. ( | (
* Washington Post has a new national weekly print edition. (
* Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News websites will soon go dark as becomes the papers’ only website. (
* Newsweek’s Jim Impoco: “My friend Michael Wolff called us the poster child of magazine journalism failure. He gave us a year. Yo, Michael, still here!” (
* Norwalk reporter’s crime scene mistake was shouting expletives at a cop. (
* Podcast: How Stephen Colbert gets in character. (
* More newspapers are dropping political endorsements. ( | The Sun-Times finds a way to “endorse” Bruce Rauner for governor. (@RobertFeder)
* The Guardian vs. Whisper, cont’d. (
* IWantMedia founder Patrick Phillips and the people who bought his website four years ago are fighting. (
* Arnie Robbins is stepping down as ASNE executive director. He was named to the post in 2012. (
* Nicholas Lemann joins the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company board. (