Daily Archives: May 11, 2015

Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory was the keynote speaker at today’s Mount Ida College commencement. Here’s what he told the graduates:

Good morning. President Brown, thank you for the high honor of being able to join you at such a joyous celebration today. Thank you to the board of trustees. Please don’t look askance at President Brown because he signed up someone in such a high-flying, growth industry like newspapers as your commencement speaker today. To the faculty, proud grandparents, bored siblings, parents who are brimming with equal measures of relief and delight, and most especially, to the Mount Ida graduating class of 2015, huge and heartfelt congratulations.

I know that almost all of you have just two questions on your minds: Who is this guy and how long is he going to take? I have some very good news. I told President Brown that if I go even a second longer than an hour, to give me a little signal and I’ll make every effort to stop as soon as I can. Not that anyone here has anything else they want to do today — except maybe start the rest of your lives.

May is the month when EPA agents should be running around America in hazmat suits investigating the damage caused to our environment by all the commencement speakers who are blowing hot air at captive audiences, and New England, given the number of schools we have, suffers more than most. Since I received the invitation a few months ago, I’ve done something of a study of commencement speeches. There are entire websites devoted to them – good speeches and bad. And what I found was this:/CONTINUES Read More

Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz blasts Salon today in a TV segment, a column, and a series of tweets. (He claims the liberal website is using the Fox name as clickbait.) Salon editor-in-chief David Daley tells Romenesko readers:

We’re glad he’s reading Salon so closely. Hopefully it provides him with some valuable perspective during what must be long, sad days of taking Rupert Murdoch’s money.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill commencement speaker and former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar tells grads: “Before I begin I’ve gotta to capture this with a selfie, so you on the left and the right are going to have to move in just a little bit, and do me a favor hoop and holler and we’ll catch a little selfie. Let’s go. … OK, I’ll tweet that under hashtag #uncselfie and #uncgrad.”

Later in his talk…[begins at the 2:23 mark]
“The early days of Hulu were among the toughest in my career. I kept reminding myself of that phrase that was attributed to Winston Churchill: ‘When you are going through hell, keep going.’

“But here’s the thing that I can’t emphasize enough for you here today: Most people that you run into in life, including the smart ones, they will be averse to new things. They certainly were in my experience at Hulu and at Amazon. The typical human response in the face of the new is to ignore, mock or dismiss it. New is scary; new is the unknown. Most everyone does not believe that the new will work – until it does.

“If you think that the world is broken in a certain way, and you have a great idea to fix it, do yourself a favor and follow your convictions relentlessly. …Don’t let the fear of uncertainty, of not having all the answers, be the thing that holds you back from pursuing your dreams.”

Note: Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck gets her honorary degree at the 1:58 mark.

* VIDEO: 2015 UNC-Chapel Hill commencement (
* Founding Hulu CEO tells UNC grads “you can perservere” (

Too demanding, Jack!

* Jack Shafer’s let go from NYT Magazine Ethicist team (

From Sunday’s Rochester Democrat and Chronicle front page:

I asked executive editor Karen Magnuson about reader reaction to running the series in Spanish, and she responded:

We received a half dozen comments of criticism from readers opposed to seeing Spanish in the D&C but others are applauding our efforts to expose mistreatment of the most vulnerable students within the city school district.

It helps that our publisher, Michael Kane, supports our watchdog efforts. He didn’t bat an eye when we asked to publish a portion of the report in Spanish so the students and parents most affected would be able to read our findings.

* Doubly vulnerable (

Al Anstey, who was named CEO of embattled Al Jazeera America last week, sent this memo to his staff on Sunday:

From: Al Anstey
Date: 10 May 2015 17:55:28 GMT+3
To: AJAM-All
Subject: Looking forward to working with you, and to the challenge ahead.

Dear Colleagues,

I arrive in New York tomorrow evening and am looking forward to working with every one of you.
We have a critically important job to do. To tell the stories, and cover people caught up in events, that need to be heard. To provide information that is trusted, that challenges, that informs, and ultimately that inspires. This may sound like great PR, but it is a fact. You all know there are untold stories out there that deserve to be told. Decisions and organizations that need to be questioned and challenged. And moments of achievement and celebration that merit coverage. And that’s our job. No spin. No infotainment. No opinion inherent in our output. Just powerful stories and people to be heard.

That is our commitment to our audiences. And to our future viewers. That is what we are known for. That’s why we win acclaim and awards and will do so in the future. And this is the foundation for Al Jazeera America’s future./CONTINUES Read More