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Daily Archives: January 19, 2015

Investigative reporter Thomas Caywood received only one small raise in his seven years at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, while his paid vacation benefit went from three weeks a year to two. Invited by new owners to stay at the paper, Caywood told Telegram publisher James F. Normandin that he’d stay put if he received a 3% raise and went back to three weeks paid vacation.

Tom Caywood

Tom Caywood

“The meager raise would barely be noticeable to my finances,” he told the boss, “but it’s vital to me that I see some tangible evidence of this commitment to quality journalism of which you and [T&G owner] GateHouse speak.”

The publisher said corporate wouldn’t let him negotiate, so it was take it or leave it.

“I left it,” writes the 44-year-old reporter.

He resigned last Tuesday without another job lined up.

I asked Caywood about his resignation and he responded via email [with my boldface]:

To answer your questions from yesterday: I have a reasonable savings and no major debt, so I’m not in any immediately jeopardy of destitution. I’ll be looking for work, of course, but I can get by without it for many months with a some austerity measures. I’m not married and don’t have any children, so I was only putting myself at risk when I resigned.

I didn’t leave the Telegram & Gazette with any hard feelings and my departure was not intended as some kind of provocative “fuck you” gesture. The publisher is a likable guy, and our meeting was cordial. I wish him and all my former colleagues well under the GateHouse ownership. I loved the job and was one of the T&G’s most-ardent promoters and defenders in the city. But I just couldn’t avoid any longer the unwelcome truth that I valued the job more highly than the company valued me.

* “I no longer have a job or health insurance. But whatever” (Thomas Caywood)
* Ex-colleague: “I will shave my head if you reconsider and stay” (storify.com)
* Thomas Caywood on Twitter (@thomascaywood)




(Photo: Bill Gnade)

(Photo: Bill Gnade)

A homeless man was killed last week after a fire swept through his makeshift shelter. Keene (NH) Sentinel photographer Bill Gnade took pictures for the story, and showed a beer can in his published photo. “Bad taste,” wrote a Facebook commenter. “Disrespectful to him and his family,” wrote another.

Gnade did a good job defending his photo. He wrote in part on the newspaper’s Facebook page:

I would like to know why you believe it to be in bad taste. There are perhaps 100 beer cans in this shelter; I have photographed this scene thoroughly. Note that there is only one can shown. I have been to the scene three times the last 24 hours or so; and I’ve been there several times since August 2012 (when I first photographed it).

If toxicology reports come back — though this probably would not fall under Right to Know — and it turns out that the victim was dangerously inebriated, would this picture be out of line? Alcohol MAY be a factor here; just like it MAY be a factor in vehicular homicides. I can only show what is present (but note that I did not show ALL that was present).

I work diligently to be honest in the photos I offer to the public. There is a shopping cart in this image, too; does that imply anything — really? Perhaps it does, but I didn’t put that cart there. I can only record what is in front of me, and I do it, not for me, but for you and everyone else. I try to be YOUR eyes.

* Keene Sentinel photographer responds to his critics (faceook.com)
* Friends of man who died in fire say he was a “gentleman” (sentinelsource.com)

* AP North Korea bureau chief Eric Talmadge says “it’s too easy to treat North Korea as an incomprehensible place. Fundamentally, of course, it’s not.” (washingtonpost.com)
* SPJ gives $150 to help Northern Michigan University’s student newspaper obtain public records. (marquettesocialscene.com) | Starbucks is involved in the matter. (CEO Howard Schultz is an NMU alum.) (briancabell.com)
* San Francisco Chronicle is no longer using newspaper “hawkers.” (sfbay.ca)
* Techmeme and Mediagazer founder Gabe Rivera says “lying by omission, hyperbole and other forms of intellectual dishonesty are creeping into more tech reporting.” (digiday.com)
larry* Larry Wilmore‘s “The Nightly Show” debuts tonight on Comedy Central. “I look at it as, ‘Who do I want in my barbershop talking shit with?” he says. “That’s the big group of people we’re collecting for the show. … Who’s our Andrew Sullivan? Who’s that kind of person who is going to be our ‘Nightly Show’-type of guest?” (npr.org)
* More than 100 journalists have been killed or have disappeared in Mexico in the past 15 years. (azcentral.com)
* Lee Enterprises CFO Carl Schmidt retires at 58 after pocketing a half-million dollar bonus. (stltoday.com)
* Penthouse, which once sold about 5 million copies a month, is down to 100,000. (nytimes.com)
* The city of Billings sues the Billings (Mont.) Gazette, claiming that release of documents about alleged corruption would violate employees’ privacy. (courthousenews.com)
* Jessica Pressler, who wrote New York mag’s debunked $72 million teen trader story, wasn’t nominated for a National Magazine Award. She tweets: “Maybe someday I’ll be good enough to get nominated for an Asme. Or, I’ll grow a penis.” (@jpressler)
kane* “Citizen Kane” is going to be shown at the Hearst Castle for the first time. Tickets for the fundraiser are $1,000 each. (variety.com)
* North Carolina newspaper photo editor Brad Coville thwarts a robbery at a Subway sandwich shop. (wilsontimes.com)