Daily Archives: October 28, 2014

NPR standards and practices senior editor Mark Memmott writes in his Tuesday blog post: “Words and phrases matter, of course, because we’re in the business of writing and telling stories that are compelling and clear.” Getting them wrong and relying on “cliches and shopworn phrases” gets in the way of NPR’s mission, he notes.

These words and phrases annoy NPR staffers:

* “In the wake of.” How about “after” or “following?”
* “Ordinary people” and “real people.” As opposed to what?

* “Dude.” There’s really only one.

* “Confined to a wheelchair” and other phrases that imply a judgment about someone’s condition. A simple substitute: “Uses a wheelchair.”

* Don’t Be Reticent Or Reluctant About Flagging The Words We Overuse, Misuse Or Otherwise Abuse (
* Earlier: Words and phrases that WaPo’s Outlook section avoids (


* New York Times-branded M&Ms in the Washington bureau (@carolynryan)
* Earlier: The story behind Associated Press candy (


The story explains that the quotes are from Ferguson protesters a black rights protest. Michael Gulledge, whose tweet tops this post, “has been one of the few people who has had a negative response to the cover,” says Standard editor-in-chief Trevor Mitchell.

He adds in an email:

While there have a been a few people who have expressed disappointment or offense at the cover, the vast majority of feedback we’ve gotten has been positive. Many protesters have retweeted the story and the front page image saying that they’re happy that we’re showing the truth of what was said to students protesting on their own campus … I got a phone call from an African-American alumnus that said he’d “never been more proud of an article dealing with an issue” and that “the stand that you took putting that out there, the words that you guys used, it was brave, it was refreshing, it was fantastic that you actually dealt with the issue.”

People have the right to disagree with our decision, to dislike it, to be offended by it — and that’s fine. … We wanted people to take notice, and to have that reaction. And I think we’ve achieved that.

Update – Someone who shared my link on Facebook writes: “It might make people cringe but I think it’s actually an effective way to get people’s attention and get them talking about what this means for their communities.”

* “We are not going to censor a student paper,” says MSU president (
* Read the October 28th issue of The Standard ( | The Standard Online (

Matt Taibbi said in February after being hired by Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media: “This is clearly the future, and this was an opportunity for me to be part of helping to found something and create something that might carry us into the next generation.”

Now it’s not clear whether he’ll be creating anything at First Look; Taibbi has taken a leave from the site after disagreements with bosses, according to New York’s Andrew Rice.

He writes:

Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi

Taibbi’s abrupt disappearance from the company’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has cast doubt on the fate of his highly anticipated digital publication, reportedly to be called Racket, which First Look executives had previously said would launch sometime this autumn. …

The confrontational approach that made Taibbi’s name at Rolling Stone — and before that, as the founding editor of the gonzo Moscow expatriate magazine The eXile — appears to have contributed to internal trouble at First Look.

John Temple, First Look Media President of Audience and Products, tells Rice that “I don’t comment about internal matters and I don’t comment on personnel matters.” I’m guessing reporters will approach Taibbi at tonight’s Books and Booze Fundraiser tonight.

* Matt Taibbi disappears from Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media (
* The near future of First Look Media’s next site looks fuzzy (
* February 2014: First Look Media hires critic of Wall Street (

Update: Here’s a video of the candidates meeting with with the editorial board. | Update 2: It’s been taken down.

cleveThe Northeast Ohio Media Group last week posted a video of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and challenger Ed FitzGerald meeting with the editorial board, then took it down without explanation and replaced it with an audio recording.

The video shows Kasich – endorsed by the Plain Dealer – slumped in his chair and refusing to answer questions, according to the Plunderbund website. That site posted part of the video on Monday, then received this threat from NOMG content veep Chris Quinn.


“We believe our posting of the video falls under the category of fair use,” say Plunderbund editors, “however we have temporarily removed the video while we discuss our options.”

I’ve asked Quinn and editorial pages editor Elizabeth Sullivan about the vanishing video. [Wednesday morning update: They never responded.]

* NOMG’s Chris Quinn threatens to sue website over Kasich video (
* NOMG pulls video of Kasich refusing to answer editorial board questions ( | Plain Dealer endorses Kasich (

The FitzGerald campaign’s press release is after the jump. Read More

- Don Surber

– Don Surber

From Charleston (WV) Daily Mail editorial writer Don Surber‘s blog:

Update: Surber has taken his post down, but a cached version is below.

* Why I stop listening when you say, “police brutality” (
* “How does Don ‘put this animal down’ Surber still have a job?” (@seanholeary1)

* The top three newspapers by circulation are USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. (
* David Gregory is joining Katie Couric on Yahoo for an election special. (
* Seattle Times blasts the FBI for putting a fake news story on a fake Seattle Times website. “Not only does that cross a line, it erases it,” says editor Kathy Best. (
* Chicago Sun-Times is launching a “mobile-first app network.” CEO Tim Knight says “this innovation … begins an exciting new chapter for the Sun-Times brand.” ( | (
* “The odds of major success are long,” Ken Doctor says of the Sun-Times network. (
fired* Nassau County D.A. threatens 5 Towns Jewish Times over a link to a “factual” New York Observer story. (
* Report: Tampa Tribune has fired controversial conservative columnist Douglas MacKinnon. (
* “I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be journalist, especially a young journalist starting out,” says Brian Stelter. “The flip side of that, there has never been a more unpredictable time.” (
* The Bobby Harrell case in South Carolina shows why local accountability reporting matters. (
* Washington Post creates the Ben Bradlee Award for Courage in Journalism. (
* Len Shapiro: “Very little has been written about Bradlee’s great affection for sports, and yes, even some sportswriters.” (
* Ebola and “a big-time journalistic juggling act.” ( | (Joe Strupp)
* R.L. Stine will be writing a story live on Twitter tonight. (@RL_Stine)
* Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times isn’t commenting on layoffs. (
* Newseum exec Paul Sparrow says “the next generation of news/media companies must deliver critical or entertaining information customized for a specific person based on their location, job, relationship status, interests, contacts and eventually, even their mood.” (
* New York Times standards editor Phil Corbett isn’t a fan of channeling one’s inner something-or-other. (