Monthly Archives: March 2015

Former Boston Globe reporter and Pew Research Center associate director Mark Jurkowitz bought a weekly newspaper last summer after concluding that “solid, credible community weeklies can be pretty strong franchises.”

- via @dailynewshack

– via @dailynewshack

One of the things he’s learned as newspaper owner is that “there is virtually no matter too trivial for your attention.”

For example….

One afternoon this past summer, I got a somewhat frantic call from my editor telling me that an unlucky customer at a local mall was stung when a swarm of bees emerged from inside the Sentinel newspaper box he had opened. My first impulse was to ignore that call. My second was that this was definitely my problem. So armed with a Wiffle ball bat and a can of industrial strength bug killer, I managed to rout the colony of angry insects.

He closes his essay noting that “running a community paper isn’t just a job; it is a way of life.”

* Four lessons from buying and running a community paper | Nieman Reports, Winter 2015 (
* Earlier: Are bees killing single-copy newspaper sales? (

Tweeted on December 15, 2014

Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas wrote in December:

Humility, coupled with a proven track record of success and more confidence in the states and the people, is what’s needed at the national level. Mike Pence could be the one to bring it.

* “In his mind, Pence may have already crafted a winning scenario” (

fayettBAD…. I’m getting multiple reports of layoffs at the family-owned Fayetteville (NC) Observer. Those dismissed include an editorial writer, a copy editor, a graphic designer, an online sportswriter, and staffers from the IT and production departments. One tipster says 16 people were laid off, including ten seven in the newsroom, which now has 51 staffers.

The Observer’s executive editor wrote about changes at the paper yesterday – “changes [that] are driven by two things – shifts in our market and our continuing effort to maintain the biggest and best reporting team in southeastern North Carolina.” | Update: Here’s the Observer’s story.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, Post-Dispatch staffers are expecting more buyouts and layoffs. Six ad department employees were dismissed last week.

MORE BAD: A Romenesko reader reports: “Today Gatehouse media held meetings at all of the newspapers in its recently purchased Halifax Media chain, at the same time this afternoon, and told designers their jobs were all moving to its design center in Austin, Texas. This probably affects hundreds of people.” UPDATE: “False,” writes another reader. “Some papers’ desks are being moved to Austin, but not all. Some papers found out they were being moved, but this didn’t include every paper in the recent Halifax acquisition.”

GOOD… Greg David, who runs the business journalism program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, reports that 17 of his 20 former students who graduated in December have found jobs, and that eight are making $55,000 or more. The average salary is $47,000. Employers include Bloomberg News, NerdWallet, American Banker, and Ad Age.


Both of these headlines deserve the front page. @WSJ

That tweet was deleted after 34 seconds, according to the Sunlight Foundation. “Her Twitter account did not respond to my request for an explanation,” the foundation’s Nicko Margolies writes in an email. I called Congresswoman Ann Wagner’s office to find out why she thought the stories deserved front page play, and why the tweet was deleted so fast. Wagner aide Brett Mulvihill said he’d look into it (“it was probably a mistake”) and get back to me. I’ll keep you posted.

* Rep. Ann Wagner’s tweet is deleted after 34 seconds (

- From the March 29 New York Times Magazine

– From the March 29 New York Times Magazine

My tipster at the Washington Post writes: “The correct answer is: If you’re so concerned about Jeff Bezos, you shouldn’t be ordering stuff from Amazon in the first place.”

* “The Ethicists” column for March 29 (last question) (
* September 2014: Jeff Bezos freezes pensions at the Washington Post (

* Report: Newsday parent Cablevision is going to offer $1 for the New York Daily News. (
* Jeff Bezos‘s help-wanted ad from 1994, and other “fascinating posts from tech founders who changed the world.” (
* New “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah has second thoughts about a tweet. (@thebrandedgirl) | His old tweets – some “offensive,” others just “corny” – are circulating on social media. ( | (
* Hartford Courant apologizes for its UConn basketball writer’s tweets. (
* [RIGHT] Marvel is promoting “Secret Wars” with a New York Bulletin newspaper. (
* A constant struggle for reporters trying to get information from government bodies. Paul Farhi writes: “Roadblocks reporters say they have encountered at the federal level are also familiar to journalists covering smaller communities.” (
* A reporter for First Look Media’s The Intercept joins in a civil lawsuit filed by journalists who were arrested in Ferguson. (
* Even with ratings woes, MSBNC’s revenue this year is expected to beat 2014’s $501 million. (
* Chris Lehmann‘s piece on his time at Yahoo News “should be required reading for anyone interested in the ills of journalism in the Internet age.” (
* Zak Attack: “If you’ve tweeted breathlessly about the @indystar front page but don’t subscribe to your local newspaper, you can sit on a tack.” (@MrDanZak)
* Comedian Hannibal Buress is hosting the Webby Awards in May. (
* There’s now video of Andrew Sullivan talking about his decision to quit blogging. (

Lately, says American Lawyer editor-in-chief Kim Kleman, “it’s as if some PR folks don’t understand that the job of a reporter is different from that of a publicist. … Here’s a cheat sheet so they’ll know exactly where The American Lawyer stands.” From that sheet:


* We don’t let anyone see stories before they’re published, and PR staff doesn’t get to “approve” the quotes we plan to use. …To fact-check pieces, reporters will sometimes review with a subject the gist of his or her comments. And occasionally, for very complicated pieces, I encourage reporters to read word-for-word specific passages to experts to make sure we got the details right.
* If we didn’t make a mistake, we’re not going to change a published piece so you like it better.
* News judgment is our call. Sometimes, we’ve gotten requests to kill a story when a PR person thinks an article is heading the wrong way. This doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, PR man and former newspaper journalist Gil Rudawsky lists some misconceptions that reporters have about PR people, including:

* PR is just spin.
* PR pros couldn’t make it as journalists.
* No stress.
* There are no deadlines in PR; and
* PR people don’t know how to write.

The best PR people, says the former Rocky Mountain News journalist, “know how to pitch good stories, and work with reporters to get them information and sources on deadline. This is even true in cases when a story might be negative toward a client.”

* Dear PR Professional… ( | If you hit a paywall, try the link in the tweet above
* What I learned from both journalism and PR (

Washington Post, February 17

Washington Post, March 30

Pine Bluff (AR) Days Inn employee Shanna Tippen talked to the Washington Post about her quarter-an-hour raise in February. The slight bump in pay – to $7.50/hour – won’t make much difference, she told the Post’s Chico Harlan. He reports today that Tippen was fired by hotel manager Herry Patel for talking to the newspaper. “He said I was stupid and dumb for talking,” says Tippen. The reporter says Tippen is taking her case to the National Labor Relations Board.

Patel was “unavailable” when I called the hotel this afternoon.

* What life is like after a 25-cent raise (
* Minimum wage worker loses job after talking to reporter (
* Days Inn & Suites, Pine Bluff, AR (

sullivan* “I had to stop [blogging] primarily because it was killing me,” says Andrew Sullivan (left). (
* Journalists shouldn’t be writing native ads. “Good long ad copy is written like one person talking to another, grammar be damned,” says Mark Duffy. “Journalists are trained to not write this way.” (
* Reassuring: “An algorithm can’t yet replace a good reporter.” (
* “Meerkat crumpled like a wet napkin” after Periscope launched. (
* Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner is launching “Behind Bars,” a weekly column by a convict. ( | A teacher thought the new columnist might be president someday. (
* GOOD returns to newsstands today – at $14 a copy. (
* Question for Philip Terzian: “Why do you – a former Pulitzer juror, published author, and experienced journalist and editor – publicly celebrate the demise of a newspaper?” (
* Caroline Little is stepping down as president of the Newspaper Association of America. ( | Earlier: A new public filing puts Little’s pay at $632,845. (
* Scripps newspapers around the country say farewell to their blue lighthouse. (
* Sacramento Bee takes another shot at website comments after shutting them down in 2013. (
* Get to know new “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. ( | Five thoughts about the Noah selection. (
* Gary Shelton, the onetime “face and soul of the Tampa Bay Times Sports section,” joins SaintPetersBlog. (
* Tribal council bans sale of Rapid City Journal over a headline published in January. (Lakota Law Project)
* Oops! A Romenesko reader spots “Final Four Birth” on the Freep website. (


From the front page of Sunday’s Anderson (SC) Independent Mail. | Here’s the uncovered photo.