Daily Archives: February 11, 2015

One of my Facebook subscribers posted this today:
* March 1964: Chet Huntley ends use of name on meat (


I asked The New Yorker’s Reeves Wiedeman how he came to write this March piece for Popular Mechanics. (The cover blurb reads: “How They Make The New York Times/24 Hours in the Life of the Last Great Newspaper.”)

Ryan D’Agostino, Popular Mechanics’ editor in chief, assigned the story to me last summer. The Times was gracious enough to open pretty much the entire operation to me, from Dean Baquet to the homepage producers to the deliverymen and women.

Did your view of The Times change after reporting the story?

It’s going to sound trite, but I’d say that after several months of popping in and out of the organization, I came away even more impressed with the Times as an institution.make I don’t think anyone there would claim that they’ve figured everything as they wade into the digital present and future, but I certainly came away convinced that they’re throwing everything they can at the question.

Some bits from Wiedeman’s piece:

* When the conversation [at a news meeting] turns to a vivid story from Liberia, where Ebola has overtaken a particular neighborhood in Monrovia, one editor proudly reports that she believes the Times is the only outlet with a reporter on the ground, which makes everyone happy until another editor says, “I think BuzzFeed actually has somebody there.” There is momentary silence.

* “We’ve almost entirely gone away from paying attention to any print deadlines,” says Jason Stallman, the sports editor.

* Times journalists communicate largely through a customized version of Gmail and a labyrinth of private chat rooms like these. “Until, like, six months ago we were literally communicating all day with AIM chat rooms,” [NYT Now producer Stacey] Cowley says. “Anyone in the world could have joined that chat room if they happened to find it.”

* “Election Day is like the High Holidays around here,” Cowley’s colleague Michael Owen says.

* How The New York Times works (

- Ad from The Week issue dated February 6

This ad appeared in the February 6 issue of The Week (h/t Aileen Cole). The copy reads:

“Some battle scars are worn on the inside. And for anyone who’s been there, there’s a secret. It doesn’t harden you. It makes you more human./He’s been there. He’ll be there.”


Gannett Broadcasting recruiting director Patti Dennis tells her colleagues:

From: Dennis, Patti
Date: February 11, 2015 at 6:01:34 AM PST
To: Gannett Broadcast News Directors
Subject: Brian Williams

Please be aware no one should be talking to the press about NBC’s decision. [Gannett Broadcasting president] Dave Lougee and [corporate communications veep] Jeremy Gaines are the only ones to address this outside of our organizations. Please refer all inquiries to Dave Lougee.

Please make sure your staff knows. Also, be very thoughtful with posts and tweets.

Patti Dennis
VP News

* Michael Wolff: “Don’t just sideline Williams, sideline the whole evening-news conceit” (


Mike Juley compiled this list and shared it with his Milwaukee Journal Sentinel colleagues before his recent retirement. “The tips really came from all parts of the newsroom,” he tells me. “I just happened to write them down. But I do sincerely believe in them and hope that they do some good.”

1. Ignore the haters. Time spent with them is time wasted.
2. Appreciate the work of your colleagues, and tell them so.
3. Know that, as busy as you are, there is someone in the newsroom who is busier.
4. Get to know the rest of the newsroom beyond your desk, for you are all in this together.
5. Don’t be afraid to pick up a ringing phone. It’s good to find out what an actual reader thinks.
6. Figure out your niche, and then own it.
7. Find a balance between recognizing great investigative work and recognizing great daily journalism.
8. Appreciate those who work during the day to generate our award-winning content, and also appreciate those who work anonymously at night to make that content look good and read well.
9. Putting out a newspaper and producing a website every day are difficult tasks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun doing it.
10. When your day is done, take a second to marvel at what you accomplished, and then vow to do even better tomorrow.

* A couple of guys stepping away from the anchor desk. (Red Eye) | (New York Post)
* Brian Williams exiting “Nightly News” isn’t a big deal, says Andrew Tyndall, because “the nightly newscast is a correspondent’s medium, not one that belongs to its anchor.” (
* Jon Stewart as the anti-Brian Williams. (
* Good advice for young journalists: Ignore people who try to discourage you from doing whatever it is you want to do. (
* Chicago Sun-Times looks to cut up to 15 newsroom positions – about a fifth of its staff. ( | ( || There were layoffs at the San Antonio Express-News, too. (
* USC Annenberg j-school director Willow Bay tells students not to underestimate the importance of feel-good stories. (
* Chinese hackers take over’s “Thought of the Day” widget for three days and used it to distribute malware. (
* Comedy Central’s in rebuilding mode after losing Oliver, Colbert and Stewart. (
* New York Times is experimenting with publishing articles in Spanish. (@lpolgreen)
* NPR ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen: “Listeners would have benefited from more pushback and context” in a “Morning Edition” interview with one of the Keystone pipeline’s biggest supporters. (
* Noted: The word “countless” appeared 255 times in the past year on NPR’s website, and was used in 112 broadcast transcripts from that same period. (
* University at Buffalo student newspaper’s annual sex issue is too hot for digital publishing platform Issuu. (
* Today’s debate – “Declinists be Damned: Bet on America” – is the 100th for Intelligence2 Debates. (
* The journalist who was fired for his John Boehner post on has some advice for Brian Williams. (
* A request that border newspapers “not scare the living bejesus out of readers” with their drug violence stories. (Steve Fagan)
* Time Warner beats estimates; HBO revenue is up 6.2% for the quarter. (
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