Monthly Archives: January 2015

From Friday's Charleston (VA) Daily Mail

From Friday’s Charleston (WV) Daily Mail

Romenesko reader Marty Chase says the Charleston Daily Mail’s “Vent Line” is a place “where readers call in all sorts of bizarre comments (and some solid ones).” They’re transcribed, then published in the print edition.

He adds: “This is the first time I’ve ever seen an editor’s note in these [Vent] columns.” (By the way, here are the five pillars of Islam.)

Update — Daily Mail business editor Jared Hunt tweets: “Actually, we’ve had several ‘editor’s notes’ run in the Vent Line in the past two years.” He gives links to them.

* Your vents for Friday, January 30, 2015 (


- From Daily Egyptian's YouTube video

– From Daily Egyptian’s YouTube video

Southern Illinois University’s Daily Egyptian will no longer be printed on campus in Carbondale. Do Savannah editor Heather Henley tells Romenesko readers:

As a former [Daily Egyptian] staffer, I can say the knowledge I gained from working with press superintendent Blake Mulholland and having our own press was invaluable. Beyond just how the machinery operated, he helped us learn the importance of deadlines (his dreaded “Deadline Stick” helped keep things on schedule) and plain old journalism ethics. It’s a historic (and sad) time for DE alumni and current staff. The print publication will continue, but will no longer be done in-house. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before that ends, as well…

Update: What’s this “deadline stick”? I asked. Henley replied: “It was an old broken newspaper rack/stickstick (like you see at the library; not sure of the proper name.) When things weren’t looking like they were going to happen on time (for a non-breaking news reason), he’d come out with it and threaten to beat us into making deadline.

“Obviously, this was all in good fun and no student journalists were actually harmed. But the truth is, when you saw Blake in the newsroom, it meant you better get your ass in gear.”

* [VIDEO] “Last Run: January 29, 2015” (
* It’s -30- for the printing press, but not the Daily Egyptian (
* Daily Egyptian press runs the last time ( | (

Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay is back with his sort-of-annual “Super Bowl Party Rules.” This year he tells us that pickled eggs do not make a good appetizer, but Froot Loops or some other sweet cereal will probably work. It’s OK to leave the bash at halftime if the game is a bore, he says. If you do stay, there’s a good chance you’ll end up in the host’s beanbag chair – and loving it, the sports scribe predicts.

- Wall Street Journal photo-illustration

– Wall Street Journal photo-illustration

I asked Gay if readers have started submitting their party rules.

Yes, Journal readers have submitted fun ideas for rules — and readers definitely disagreed with some of mine over years. It’s a fun conversation and I’m very grateful they are into it.

You had party rules columns in 2012, and 2013, but the feature was missing in 2014. What happened?

This is embarrassing but I don’t remember why we didn’t do it last year. I suspect it was probably because the Super Bowl was actually in New York City (well, Jersey) and we were so bonkers covering that live angle that it didn’t happen. It is also possible I just flaked on it. I honestly can’t remember. I’ll ask my editor. Related: I am 102 years old.

Update: Gay’s editor couldn’t remember either.

* Jason Gay: 25 More Super Bowl Party Rules ( | For 2012 | …and 2013

Note: Froot was incorrectly spelled “Fruit” in my first version.

The Awl’s Choire Sicha on why Internet journalists don’t unionize

* Why Internet journalists don’t organize (

Mitt Romney gets crossed off the Washington Post’s list

* Washington Post’s Steven Ginsberg puts a line through Mitt (
* There goes that Daily Beast “exclusive”! (
* Daily Beast: We were wrong about Romney running for president (@thedailybeast)
* “The bottom line was, we made the wrong call,” says editor (
* Others got it wrong, too (

- via Richard Pachter

– via Richard Pachter

* Miami Herald learns not to fool around with the TV listings (from today’s paper)
* Washington Post drops the Sunday KidsPost. (
* A Venezuelan tourism campaign uses a photo of Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss, who was detained there in 2013. (
* A judge rules that police didn’t violate Maryland’s Public Information Act when they refused to give the name of a 17-year-old drowning victim to a newspaper. (
* Good for St. Louis Public Radio for disclosing a subpoena that it was told not to mention. (
* Ezra Klein: “Blogging, for better or worse, is proving resistant to scale. And I think there are two reasons why.” (
* Robots aren’t taking journalists’ jobs – yet. (
* Eleven media outlets partner with Snapchat. ( | Have you figured out Snapchat yet? (If not, ask your kids for help.) (
* Kansas City Star lays off art critic Alice Thorson. She knew it was coming: “There wasn’t a day that I didn’t walk in there and think, ‘OK, this could be the day.'” (
* AOL is laying off about 150 people. (
* KOIN-TV’s decision to drop comments brings in hundreds of comments – but on a newspaper’s website. (
* Conde Nast orders its editors to work with advertisers to come up with “branded content.” (
* Knute Berger recalls interviewing “the Marshawn Lynch of writers.” (
* Noted: At Business Insider, “we’re no longer capitalizing every word in headlines.” (@stevekovach)
newsweek* Nina Burleigh: “I’m pleased that the [Newsweek] cover provoked this sort of reaction.” (
* Newsweek’s bestseller of 2014 had the Bible on the cover. (
* JOBS: Curate news in Birmingham … Oversee biz journalists in Greenville … Write about business in Wichita. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Digital ad agency CEO: “I don’t believe people who go to school for journalism want to write long-form pieces that are clearly supporting a brands’ point of view.” (
* Huffington Post contributor Barack Obama tells House Democrats not to read The Huffington Post. (
* Outrage over The Australian’s Colleen McCullough obit. (@JustinWolfers) | (
* NPR posts its accuracy checklist. (

Idaho lawmakers this week debated what’s been called the Add the Words bill, a proposal to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s Human Rights Act.

On Wednesday, the Idaho Statesman ran an anti-gay front-page sticker advertisement that said, “Add No Words/Stand up to bullying.” The ad included the URL to a website with a post claiming that “the essential nature of homosexuality, ‘transgenderism,’ and other forms of sexual deviancy is, ultimately a form of rape.”

After getting complaints, the Statesman ran this note from publisher Mike Jung:

It’s unfortunate the advertising Post It note that appeared on the front page of the Statesman has created hurt and anger among some readers. That was not the intent.
We welcome and encourage open discussion and dialogue among many topics, including the legislation to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people, commonly referred to as Add the Words. In fact, if a company or individual wanted to communicate they were in favor of the legislation, we would have accepted their paid advertising. Our position is clear on the bill as we strongly support its passing.

Regarding the paper accepting the ad, we provide a platform for both sides of every issue. I would have accepted the same Post-It note if it had read, “Add the Words, Stop the Bullying.” We offer the same advertising opportunities regardless of the opinion shared within the advertisement. That said, we reserve the right to refuse advertisements that include slanderous or defaming statements. Wednesday’s ad was marked as “Paid for by Lance Wells.”

On Thursday morning, a House committee voted 13-4 to reject adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

* “Add No Words” ad on front page causes stir (
* Publisher explains why an anti-gay sticker ad was accepted (
* Idaho House committee rejects Add the Words bill (

In my Tuesday post about WSPA-TV’s cardboard cutout named “Michelle,” I wondered if TV news directors are being advised by consultants to put cardboard characters in their newsrooms to remind reporters and producers of the target audience. This email from a female TV journalist arrived last night:

To answer your question regarding whether media consultants nationwide are giving similar advice, WSPA’s “Michelle” is a copy of the “Female Switchable” that [a consultant] has been preaching to Raycom Media-owned stations around the country for more than two years. [A “switchable” is a viewer who hasn’t decided on a favorite newscast, and switches from one station to another.]

They're cardboard.

– Meet today’s TV news consumers

[He] describes her as a mother short on logic but long on social media obsession, terrified of her neighbors, needing constant updates on the weather and consumer trends, with the attention span of a fourth-grader and much less understanding of the greater world around her. She wants “lists,” wants to know how things “affect her.” She’s self-centered, myopic and terrified.

She is nothing like the women I know, and I’m glad you finally called television news out on this caricature. I’d really like to see the data that’s used to build that caricature, because as far as I can see, she’s the sexist mythology of overpaid consultants.

This consultant’s fallacy of the “female switchable” isn’t good for anyone. And it isn’t good for the company.

Montgomery, Alabama-based Raycom Media says it “owns and/or provides services for 53 television stations in 37 markets and 18 states.” I left a message for vice president of news Susana Schuler. The consultant declines to comment on the broadcaster’s email except to say it’s inaccurate.

* What a cardboard cutout says about local news priorities (
* Earlier: TV newsroom uses cardboard “Michelle” to portray its target viewer (

The governor says:

Rather than developing a new website, I have instructed the Office of Information Technology to update the current public calendar website to ensure that the press and the public have unfiltered and convenient access to all press releases and public meeting notices. The updated calendar will be fully automated and designed to post all press releases and public meeting notices in real time.

* Gov. Mike Pence kills Just IN news site (

Earlier on
* Ex-Indy Star reporter to oversee new state-run news service
* Columnist: Pence should kill this idea before it further embarrasses him

Bob Eschliman, the Iowa editor who was fired last year after claiming that “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” are trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God,'” is back in the news business.

The former Newton (IA) Daily News editor has launched The Iowa Statesman, which he says “will fill a void for honest, dependable and unbiased news coverage of Iowa politics and government at the federal, state and local levels.”

Eschliman is seeking $100,000 “to get the ball rolling.” He says in his Indiegogo campaign video:

I was fired for expressing my deeply held religious views on both the sanctity of the Bible and my opposition to efforts to coerce churches to change their views on homosexual marriage.

I believe the Bible is the infallible and inspired word of God and that marriage can only exist between a man and a women. I expressed those views on a personal blog written on my time. As a journalist and defender of the First Amendment, I was shocked to have been fired for expressing my religious views. In the six months since I lost my job, it’s been real difficult on my family. But the Lord has provided when we needed it the most.

He adds that “by donating to this cause, you’ll be championing a free press for all of Iowa, while providing a real voice for our shared values, and at the same time you’ll be helping me provide for my young family’s needs.”

With two days left in the campaign, Eschliman has to raise $95,949 to meet his goal.

* Bob Eschliman seeks $100K for his Iowa Statesman (
* Earlier: Iowa editor blasts the “Gaystapo” and “LGBTQXYZ crowd” | He’s fired (