Daily Archives: November 17, 2014

* New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein‘s first published piece was about a piano mover. (It ran in the East Bay Express.) (
* “Be a boat against the current,” Jill Abramson tells Phillips Exeter Academy students. (
* Jamie Horowitz is out at NBC News, where he was a senior vice president and “Today” general manager. (
* Fun with design at New York magazine. (
* Natalie Pierre, who was accused of plagiarism and fired from the Tallahassee Democrat in late September, is now senior sports reporter at (
head* Bob Sullivan: “If I hear one more analyst say this is a golden age of journalism, my head will explode.” (
* NPR’s Scott Simon talks to CBS News about his Bill Cosby interview. (@CBSNLive) | ( | (
* Vice Media tries science fiction. (
* Court: Michael Lewis did not libel a money manager in “The Big Short.” (Reuters)
* Gerry Lenfest: “I’ve given over a billion dollars away to charitable causes, but nothing I’ve done has the importance of saving these [Philadelphia] newspapers.” (
* Joe Biden chats with Bob Schieffer at the “Face the Nation” 60th anniversary bash. (@howardkurtz)
* San Francisco TV reporter expenses $600 worth of marijuana. “It turned out to be a great story,” says reporter Mike Sugerman. (


In addition to owning a laundromat, Ken Kurson is editorial director of Observer Media, which includes He writes [with my boldface]:

If I don’t get a check for the money we’re out plus a new door, plus some sort of guarantee that I won’t be held responsible for any future assessment that the door wasn’t repaired correctly, I’ll be writing about this again, and often.

I’m praying that the check arrives soon!

* Reckless driver damages editorial director’s laundromat (

Praise from a New York Times editor:

Nick Fox, another Times staffer, calls Jacqui Shine’s history of the Styles section “tough, fair, insightful,” while Travel section contributor Freeda Moon says “I’ve been waiting for this essay for as long as I’ve known there’s such a thing as the Style Section.”

Shine tells Romenesko readers about her Awl piece:

I pitched this piece cold to [publisher] Choire Sicha at the Awl (just after he announced that he was passing the editorial torch to Matt Buchanan and John Herrman) in March. (!) It definitely did not take 9 months, but it’s sort of difficult to gauge how much time it did take.

Jacqui Shine via @dearsplenda

Jacqui Shine

There were some delays on both sides, and eventually they decided to hold the piece for their site relaunch. On the other hand, yes, it was labor-intensive for all of us. I just looked at my initial pitch, where I anticipated writing something that was 2,000-2,500 words, and that . . . did not happen! But this was wonderfully fun to research, write, and revise, and I’m really pleased with it.

I was at least as interested in the Styles section’s audience as I was in its history. I’m sort of in a demographic sweet spot for a certain kind of high-level Internet outrage–someone I know is always mad at the Times for something, and the paper’s lifestyle coverage is often the source. (Witness, of course, the Twitter account “The Times Is On It.”) When I found myself frothing about something, I thought, “Wait a minute. Where does this come from, and where do we think it comes from?” These are questions I ask a lot.

In addition to writing for popular audiences, I’m finishing a Ph.D. in U.S. history, and as a cultural historian I’m keenly interested in the stories we collectively tell ourselves and where those stories come from. (My dissertation is about cop shows and, more broadly, media narratives about crime and the justice system.) And it almost immediately became clear to me that be the questions had really complex and deeply fascinating answers.

* Bonfire of the Inanities: History of the Styles section (
* Follow Jacqui Shine on Twitter (@dearsplenda)

The man behind content farm says he had no idea that his “journalists” were using fake names, stolen photos, and bogus job histories.

Radek Szlyk (that appears to be his real name) tells Romenesko readers:

Our company [Ruby Media Corporation] hires dozens of different journalists writing content for various websites. is only one of these. After posting a job offer on problogger we have received a single offer that provided services of a team of qualified journalists that we’ve decided to work with because their credentials seemed really good. Sadly, we were deceived and they turned out to be frauds. Our biggest mistake was that we didn’t verify their credentials thoroughly enough.

So Szlyk thought he was hiring journalists who had written for the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. Also, he apparently didn’t know that his human resources manager and blogger “Julia Trello” was a fictional character.

His company’s statement says:

Ruby Media Corporation assures that the co-operation with all such journalists has been terminated and the company announced that a more thorough screening procedure for hiring future content providers is already being implemented. Additionally, the company contacted LinkedIn and requested for removal of all inaccurate data from the journalists’ profiles.

The company suggests that the reason behind fake journalist identities on problogger is most likely the fact that better credentials usually equal better pay for freelancers, hence many talented journalists provide fake work experience in order to earn more money.

Meanwhile, Kristen Ruby, president of the five-year-old Ruby Media Group, complains that she’s been ripped off by Szlyk’s Ruby Media Corporation. “I am currently pursuing legal action against this company, who has stolen my identity,” she writes in an email. “Look at my web site then look at theirs; look how similar their logo is to mine.

“I think their entire company is fake as well as all of the fake journalists you found. I continue to have people tag my company @rubymediagroup on these alleged infographics being made that we haven’t actually created.”

* CompareCamp parent says it was deceived by its writers (
* Meet the fake reporters of (

* “Great journalists are difficult,” a source tells Lloyd Grove for his First Look Media piece, “and I don’t think many people appreciate that the best journalists are also the hardest to manage.” (
* StoryCorps founder David Isay wins the $1 million TED prize. (
* “Unlike many who are born, live, and die in poverty, I got where I am today through my own efforts,” writes retired Washington Post Pulitzer-winner William McPherson. “I can’t blame anyone else.” (
terms* Seth Stevenson on end-user license agreements (aka Terms & Conditions): “What exactly are you agreeing to when you browse around on the Internet?” (
* AOL boss Tim Armstrong says “we are one of the biggest disruptors in the industry.” (
* Want to buy That’ll cost you $2 million. (
* Salt Lake Tribune has had a reporter on the polygamy beat since 2006. (
* A cute koala helps reporters forget about fiscal stimulus for a few minutes. (@ZekeJMiller)
* At The Marshall Project, “we will examine the failings of our criminal justice system — but also test promising reforms,” writes Bill Keller. ( | (
* JOBS: Want to do “real journalism” at a Northwest weekly? Check out this opening: (Romenesko Jobs)
* A hipster coffee shop is using a New York Times newspaper stand – but not to sell papers. (@jadmouawad)
end* Locally written movie reviews will no longer run in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (
* Homicide Watch D.C. is looking for a savior. (
* Portland (Maine) Phoenix is sold to Portland Daily Sun, another free newspaper. (
* Airbnb is putting out a quarterly print magazine. (Free story idea: “Ten Most Trashed Home Rentals”) (