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Daily Archives: February 3, 2015

Back in November, Dow Jones CEO William Lewis announced that Wall Street Journal Sunday “will come to a close over the coming months.”
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We learned today that the section, which appears in business sections of newspapers around the country, will be published for the last time on February 8.

Editor David Crook tells his email contacts: “As of Feb. 12, I will no longer be at this email address. We are closing my section, The Wall Street Journal Sunday after this weekend’s edition, and I, the soon-to-be former editor, am taking my leave of The Journal and Dow Jones.”

I asked Crook about his next chapter, and he replied:

“I’ve had discussions with various other organizations, but, for now, I’m going away for a week with my wife, then taking some time off for the first time in a long, long time. Then I’ll look at the job situation.”

* November 2014: Wall Street Journal to drop Sunday Journal (jimromenesko.com)

The Chicago Sun-Times, which laid off 28 photographers in 2013, has now dismantled its video team. I’m told the unit had two full-time staffers and two freelancers; executive producer Dustin Park, who led the team, was cut in early January and his former colleague, Peter Holderness, was let go today.

When the photographers were laid off nearly two years ago, the newspaper said there was a need to shift to online video. Wrapports, the Sun-Times and Chicago Reader parent, says it plans to use freelancers and remaining newsroom staff for video work.

Update: A Wrapports spokesperson sends this statement: “Two video producers have been laid off as part of our reorganization after the sale of suburban titles to the Tribune. We will continue to produce video content and continue to focus on building the Sun Times Network and reinvesting in the iconic Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper.”

Update 2: Dustin Park writes in an email:

My time at the helm of the Sun-Times video team was the best job of my career. I am extremely proud of the work my team put together. This included exemplary in-depth work from multimedia journalist Jessica Koscielniak. We also had two wonderful freelancers we used regularly, Melissa Klauda and Chris Buddy, who shouldered much of our series work. And, my right hand man, Peter Holderness who did anything and everything I asked of him and more.

In the two years we were producing work, we generated over 1,500 videos of high quality week in and week out. … We also were lucky to work with some of the best journalists in the business. I can’t speak for the others, but I will say we gave it our all and will always stand by the quality of our work. I wish nothing but the best to all the talented men and women in the Sun-Times newsroom, who are delivering incredible content under extraordinary demands.

* Sun-Times parent pulls plug on entire video team (@pmontoro)
* “Sad to hear the Sun-Times video team is no more” (@Brotractor)




From Neil Steinberg’s column about the nobody-lunches-anymore “bogus trend story”:
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* Neil Steinberg: It’s just lunch. Really. (suntimes.com)
* 2002: Chicago Tribune fires Bob Greene over his relationship with a teen girl (arstechnica.com)

New: “In a previous lifetime, it was my lot to write heds for Bob Greene columns…” (facebook.com)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apparently doesn’t want to discuss today’s New York Times story about his “fondness for luxury benefits when others pay the bill.”

* Christie declines to take questions on last day of UK trip (ap.org) | “Press pack literally circling” (@RAGreeneCNN)
* Christie’s $30K weekend paid for by king of Jordan (nj.com) | (nytimes.com)

Nicholas Stewart, the Western Illinois University (WIU) student who was suspended from his editing duties last month for selling a campus-disturbance video to news outlets, tells Romenesko readers: “As of 4:21 p.m. [Monday], I was reinstated as editor-in-chief of the Western Courier. …This was a drain on me both physically and mentally. But the enormous outpouring of support from all over the country really helped me get past it all.”
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Stewart was initially accused by WIU student services vice-president Gary Biller of violating a no-freelancing policy, but the administrator told the student editor on Monday that “a preliminary review … has revealed that no complete policy exists within the Western Courier to guide us in determining a finding regarding your association with the Western Courier and your work as a freelance journalist.”

“Given the lack of guidance available regarding Western Courier policies and procedures, I am lifting your suspension immediately, and I will inform the publications board of this action.”

Stewart writes in his email to Romenesko readers:

Biller essentially blames the Western Courier for the whole incident claiming there was a “lack of guidance available.” I disagree entirely.

Nicholas Stewart

Nicholas Stewart

The Courier operations manual states, “Permission to work for an off-campus medium and/or freelance work should be sought in advance of the commitment. It is permissible when such work does not conflict with the staff member’s or freelance employee’s obligations to the Western Courier…”

It’s pretty clear that they didn’t take the time to read the manual or ask the publications board their policy on freelancing prior to handing out the suspension. In the letter, Biller states that he wants the publications board to “develop policies, procedures, and a code of ethics appropriate to this publication.” Again, it’s always been clear that not only is freelancing allowed, it’s encouraged to build our brand. Unfortunately for Western, my work put them in the national headlines in an unflattering way.

It’s a shame they keep passing the blame instead of just taking responsibility for their drastic actions. But, I’m looking forward to focusing back on school and the Western Courier.

* January 23: Student editor suspended for selling campus-brawl video (jimromenesko.com)




* New York Times Co. blames severance costs and digital journalism investments for its profit decline in 2014. (nytimes.com) | NYT shares are up this morning after the company beats fourth-quarter forecasts. (yahoo.com)
* Gannett’s fourth-quarter net income rises 54%. (usatoday.com)
* New York and The New Yorker both win three awards at Monday night’s National Magazine Awards bash. Vogue is named Magazine of the Year. (huffingtonpost.com) | The winning pieces: (huffingtonpost.com)
selma* Former New York Times reporter Roy Reed is happy with how he’s portrayed in “Selma.” The 84-year-old journalist says: “I was impressed with the movie. It was really well done, especially the scenes of the beatings. I thought they must be using the old footage from the archives, but I guess not.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
* An Idaho family tries crowdfunding to pay for public records that reveal what Idaho State University’s president spends on house upkeep and renovations. (idahostatejournal.com)
* The next Charlie Hebdo comes out February 25th. (nytimes.com)
* PolitiFact’s True vs. Mostly True explained. (politifact.com)
* That would be me: “I mean, who has not watched YouTube videos of parrots singing arias or animal mindreaders?” (fusion.net)
* How to use Legos in a journalism classroom. (ajr.org)
* Andrew Sullivan: “I think blogging will have a big revival in the near future.” (andrewsullivan.com)
* Instagram is hiring journalists to write stories about its interesting users. (digiday.com)
* “New York millennials are, generally, ageist know-it-alls,” says 54-year-old blogger/copywriter Mark Duffy. “I learned this during my 18 months as BuzzFeed’s oldest employee (by a country mile).” (digiday.com)
* Cleveland Plain Dealer gets rid of the reader representative position. (mediamatters.org)
* JOBS: Curate news in Birmingham … Oversee biz journalists in Greenville … Write about business in Wichita. (Romenesko Jobs)404
* Carter Maness: “We assume everything we publish online will be preserved. But … most of the media outlets I’ve written for have folded and then were flat-out deleted.” (theawl.com)
* The future of Orange County’s Little Saigon Daily News is uncertain after it’s hit with a $4.5 million defamation fine. (ocregister.com)
* Rick Orlov, the dean of Los Angeles City Hall reporters, dies at 66. (laobserved.com) | (dailynews.com)
* “One of the risks of speaking to a reporter,” says a Boulder councilman, “is the danger of saying something careless that you do not really mean, or of being misunderstood or misquoted.” (He did that.) (dailycamera.com)
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