* A for-profit college investor takes a controlling stake in the Inside Higher Ed website. “A built-in conflict is unavoidable,” notes one observer. (huffingtonpost.com)
* Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times is selling its downtown St. Petersburg offices to pay off a $28 million loan. (tampabay.com) | (saintpetersblog.com)
* The Upshot could be a money-maker for the New York Times. (adage.com)
* [RIGHT] A lesson from “Peaches”: “DON’T write from memory or bad things can happen.” (ladailymirror.com)
* #ThrowbackThursday: In 2005, Washington Post journalists were asked to start reviewing themselves – and their bosses. (Wayback Machine)
* Boston.com fires the staffer who wrote the John Boehner post that prompted a management apology. The axed journalist admits it was “awful” and “mean.” (politico.com) | (bostonmagazine.com)
* Please keep Super Bowl ads secret until Super Sunday. (wsj.com)
* Two Chicago-area newsstands will sell Charlie Hebdo. (chicagotribune.com) | There’s an app, too. (@stephen_taylor)
* Plenty of Muslim artists drew Muhammad. (pri.org)
* Gawker Media combines its tech teams to produce “original reporting, must-read explainers, and smart analysis.” (gigaom.com)
* Sasha Frere-Jones: The New York Times headline about my departure from The New Yorker wasn’t accurate. (newsweek.com)
* Public media fans will be interested in The Current’s new podcast. (current.org)
* VCR? What the hell is that?! (@burkyturco)
* I’ll pass: An old photo of an Oregonian reporter sitting at a messy desk is on eBay, asking $27. (eBay.com)
Worried you’ll be one of the next Digital First Media (DFM) employees laid off? Do terrible assignments and mean bosses have you stressed out? Digital First Media will now send you to a counselor at no charge. Here’s the memo that employees at one DFM newspaper received on Wednesday:
Digital First Media is offering all employees an Employee Assistance Plan, a new benefit for 2015!.
– Photo via drdianawiley.com
As an employee of MediaNews Group (and it’s subsidiaries), you and your household members are each entitled to up to 5 counseling sessions per calendar year, free of charge. When you call in for a referral, you can choose to be scheduled for a face-to-face appointment in an area of your choosing (near your office, near your home, etc.) or you may choose to access your sessions telephonically.
You may also choose from the MINES network which includes: Ph.D., LMFT, LPC, and LCSW.
The use of your Employee Assistance Program is strictly confidential and available 24/7. We are here to help with the everyday issues that come up in your life, including stress, career, child and elder care, death and grief, anxiety, financial problems, drug/alcohol abuse, eating disorders, depression, legal referrals, relationships and wor-related issues.
* Bidders are preparing their final bids for DFM newspapers (niemanlab.org)
From the press release:
Five magazines were nominated for the most prestigious honor, Magazine of the Year. They are Better Homes and Gardens, Cosmopolitan, The Hollywood Reporter, New York and Vogue.
Twenty-nine magazines received multiple nominations, led by New York with 10 (New York also led last year with nine nominations). Bon Appetit and The New Yorker both received six nominations, followed by The Atlantic, GQ and Virginia Quarterly Review, each with four nominations.
* National Magazine Awards finalists announced (magazine.org)
Cleveland Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group (NEOMG) photographer John Kuntz was temporarily blinded Monday after being pepper-sprayed while covering the Ohio State football victory celebrations. NEOMG is now threatening to sue the city of Columbus for its officer’s actions.
NEOMG content vice president Chris Quinn tells Columbus police chief Kim Jacobs:
This is an unacceptable attack on an innocent journalist and the First Amendment. John clearly was not a student celebrating the victory. He is much older than the students on the street, was shooting photographs with a professional-level camera and carrying a bag and several pouches containing his photographic equipment. He posed no threat to the officer and obviously was performing his duties as a journalist, documenting the behavior of your officers and the students.
Kuntz writes of the incident: “The spray hit my camera and splashed into my eyes. I was hunched over in excruciating pain. … It was nearly an hour before I was able to open one eye.”
A Columbus Dispatch videographer was also sprayed. His paper reports:
Doral Chenoweth III, a veteran producer and videographer for The Dispatch’s website, was among those hurt by tear gas and pepper spray. He said the students surrounding him in front of the Ohio Union were jubilant but nonviolent. …
Chenoweth took a direct shot of pepper spray as he was filming the celebration and found himself unable to see for nearly a half-hour. He returned to the Downtown office of The Dispatch with a swollen face and burning eyes and nose.
* Northeast Ohio Media Group demands apology after photographer sprayed (cleveland.com)
* Columbus police to review pepper spray use (dispatch.com)
* “People were trying to find water bottles if they could and dump it in their eyes” (thelantern.com)
A Spokane TV station’s tweets:
Update: Melissa Luck of KXLY tells Romenesko readers:
The tweets this morning were a result of “voice to text” technology. Our reporter was using his voice to tweet and, as you can see, it didn’t quite capture what he was really trying to say. He was posting simultaneously to his account and our main account.
It’s an error we deeply regret and a good starting point for the conversation that includes only the words “Don’t use voice to text for Twitter.”
* KXLY4News on Twitter
* Boston.com apologizes for its “off-color and completely inappropriate” post suggesting that John Boehner has a drinking problem. (bostonglobe.com) | (bostonherald.com)
* Dan Kennedy on how to fix Boston.com. (wgbhnews.org)
* Study: More than 75% of journalists say they feel more pressure now to think about their story’s potential to get shared on social media. (edelman.com)
* Another study: “Women who use Twitter, email and cellphone picture sharing report lower levels of stress.” (pewinternet.org)
* “Places like The New York Times [need to] dive head first into a strong culture of experimentation,” says departing NYTer Amy O’Leary. “And by that I don’t mean throwing everything to the wall and seeing what sticks.” (niemanlab.org)
* Photographer Reinier Gerritsen‘s three-year project was taking pictures of New Yorkers reading books on the subway. (observer.com)
* Print book sales were up 2.4% in 2014. (adweek.com)
* At the Virginian-Pilot, “management influence on the newsroom has undermined coverage, distracted journalists from their work, and created a chilling effect on future reporting.” (cjr.org)
* Bill Keller on the latest Charlie Hebdo cover: “I’d be inclined to publish it. But I respect the [New York Times’] decision not to.” (huffingtonpost.com) | (nytimes.com)
* Natasha Vargas-Copper resigns from The Intercept after clashing with new editor-in-chief Betsy Reed. (capitalnewyork.com) | (natashavc.tumblr.com)
* Carlos Slim is now New York Times’ largest individual shareholder. (wsj.com)
* Finding of a December Vox experiment: “No one even seemed to notice that we were flooding the site with previously published content.” (vox.com)
* The average millennial will pay just $19 on newspapers this year vs. $316 for pay TV. (digiday.com)
* Those wacky radio programmers! Milwaukee’s WLWK refuses to play Seattle bands until after the Packers vs. Seahawks NFC championship game. (jsonline.com)
* Neetzan Zimmerman is out as Whisper editor-in-chief. (Pando’s take: “The king of clickbait has fallen.”) (capitalnewyork.com) | (pando.com)