Daily Archives: March 19, 2015

Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker’s memo to staff:

Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2015 5:40 PM
To: WSJ All News Staff
Subject: David Bird

As many of you will have heard, the remains of our colleague, David Bird, were found today, more than a year after he was first reported missing.

David Bird

David Bird

On behalf of everyone at Dow Jones, I want to extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Nancy, and their two children, Alex and Natasha, who have borne the unknowing of the last year with such grace and dedication, and who have now been so tragically bereaved. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers.

David was among the most respected energy journalists anywhere – a must-read for energy-market professionals, known as an acute observer and commentator on the global oil market who was devoted to his beat and generous with his colleagues.

He first joined Dow Jones more than three decades ago and eventually became the deputy managing editor of the Dow Jones Energy Service. He was instrumental in the expansion of energy coverage at Dow Jones in the 1990s, leading its coverage of OPEC and energy markets and building a team regarded as among the best in business. He later launched a highly regarded column on the topic.

Well-sourced among the world’s most influential oil ministers, David would regale younger reporters with stories about what went on behind the scenes at some of the most historic OPEC meetings. His ability to navigate the vast troves of public oil data was unmatched. At 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, he could often be seen hunched over his computer, sifting through spreadsheets and crunching numbers just released by the Energy Information Administration. He was often the first to gain insight into important energy-market trends.

To his colleagues at Dow Jones, David was a mentor, a friend and a model of integrity and dedication to his profession. Above all that, of course, he was a loving father and husband.


* Just asking: Is this your typical House Judiciary Committee press release? (
* Michael Oreskes, NPR’s new editorial director, says “the scarcest resource in journalism right now is attention span.” (
* WTF?! “Before I interview with you, you must agree to make nigger be the first word in your article.” (
* New York Times bosses “are really, really focused on mobile right now.” (
* The body found in the Passaic River is identified as missing Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird. (
* [RIGHT] San Francisco Chronicle’s pizza recipe from 1947 is “a culinary travesty.” (
* Meet the first journalists to use Meerkat. (
* JOBS: A new NYC-based website is looking for education journalists; Honolulu Civil Beat seeks an investigations editor. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Apple Watch will kill the web browser? Doubt it. (
* Seattlish editors: We can’t keep quiet about The Stranger’s controversial, “click-baity opinion piece” by Ryan Boudinot. (
* Minneapolis Star Tribune’s publisher says leaving the paper’s longtime headquarters “made tremendous financial sense.” (
* US Weekly retracts its Kendall Jenner interview. ( | The quotes were suspicious. (


“The original web headline [above, via HuffPo] felt like click bait, although it certainly reflected the top of the column,” writes New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan. “Toning it down [to “The Health Concerns in Wearable Tech”] was a smart move — in fact, a necessity. That change happened after Times Science staff members saw the first headline online and objected.”

Nick Bilton’s column was criticized by several science, health and tech sites, including Discover, Wired, and Slate’s Phil Plait writes: “I expect this kind of thing from rags like the Daily Mail or other fact-free tabloids, but from the New York Times? Wow.”

* A tech column on wearable gadgets draws fire as “pseudoscience” (
* “Literally everyone is crushing that article” (

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza celebrates the anniversary by sharing some of his favorite C-SPAN moments. In case you missed it in 2012, here’s my post with a dozen journalists’ first C-SPAN appearances.


Staffers at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Austin American-Statesman and other Cox Media Group newspapers were told on Wednesday they had to sign an Intellectual Property Agreement by March 31 as a “new requirement” of employment.

The agreement states that “property created by you as part of your job or using CMG resources belongs to the company.”

My tipster tells Romenesko readers: “HR told us it’s to avoid ‘confusion’ and ‘issues’ since the company is ‘blessed with an abundance of innovation and creativity.'”

The agreement is after the jump. Read More

Letter to Romenesko
From GREG RICHTER: I worked at The Birmingham News in Alabama for 17 years. We were not allowed to use the word “butt” in the paper because the publisher’s wife found it crude.

Today, this appeared on, the website of the News and two other Newhouse papers:


Times and management change, of course, but interestingly, many commenters noted that people have their comments deleted or their accounts suspended for using the same language.

I received a few emails about this, and I notice that the text has been changed to f—–. I should point out that I had two posts yesterday that used the word “fuck.” – Romenesko

Berkeley resident Marty Schiffenbauer spotted this letter to the man who has been swiping a Wall Street Journal subscriber’s papers. He shared it with Berkeleyside.

To the Berkeley man who has been taking my Wall Street Journal so many times over so many years:
We recently installed a video surveillance system around the building and we have a very nice image of you taking the newspaper yesterday March 12th at 7:32:08 AM at 2019 Blake Street.

Here’s the deal:

Obviously the Wall Street Journal is important to your life. So, if you’d like, just feel free to borrow it every day as long as you return it around 10 or 11 the same morning.

This offer is contingent upon the newspaper being returned in a relatively crisp state with no coffee stains.

I find the editorial stance of the Wall Street Journal to be reprehensible, but the journalism still justifies the subscription.

However if you are reading the WSJ for its editorial and op-ed positions, I reserve the right to withdraw this offer.

By taking the newspaper today, Friday March 13th, you hereby initiate this contract with no jeopardy to your reputation.

Any stock tips you might have would be greatly appreciated.


Update: “The perp read the note carefully – we have him on video – but I’m afraid he has yet to take me up on my proposal,” Richard tells Berkeleyside. “I have gotten the WSJ every day since the note went up.”

* “To the man who has been taking my Wall Street Journal…” (
* Earlier: “Out of the blue a copy of the Wall Street Journal was delivered to my apartment” (

– h/t Matthew Keys

* Desplaines Valley News, owned by an Illinois lawmaker, is accused of plagiarism. (
* Michael Oreskes leaves the Associated Press to become NPR editorial director and senior vice president for news. (
* A body was found Wednesday in the Passaic River, not far from where Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird went missing. His family is waiting for more information. (
* Jill Abramson, who turns 61 today, “was spotted Tuesday night, riding the downtown E train,mitra wearing purple sneakers and looking thoughtful, clutching a well-worn composition book with the words ‘New York Times’ handwritten on the front.” (
* Quartz’s Mitra Kalita (right) is named Los Angeles Times managing editor for editorial strategy. ( | “A female (!)” (
* New York Times is adding 20 online opinion writers. (
* Kendall Jenner accuses US Weekly of making up quotes. (
* More byline fun: Times reporter Michael Wines writes about a vineyard dispute. (
* An NBCUniversal “insider” tells Dylan Byers that the current MSNBC lineup is “a death wish.” (
* The phrase “vast majority” was heard on NPR 202 times in the past year. “That’s a problem,” says the ombud. (
* So much for “Don’t do evil”: Google joins the effort to kill Obamacare. (
* SPONSORED: The National Press Club Journalism Awards entry deadline is April 1. (
* Google disables ads on over Abu Ghraib abuse photos that have been on the site for years. (
* A “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” fan rings up C-SPAN. (