Posted Tuesday on a
Fort Myers News-Press Gannett private Facebook #picassolution discussion board by the paper’s engagement editor:
From the Gannett “Picasso, baby” Tumblr:
A Romenesko reader has previously described Picasso as an initiative “in which journalism is driven solely by metrics and journalists are expected to be marketers and ‘community connectors.’” Another Gannett employee insists its more than that.
I’ve asked David Plazas if a discussion about election coverage is continuing in the newsroom.
Update – Plazas sends this email:
Thank you for your email. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to respond to you this morning. I saw that you posted the screen grab of the discussion I started last night on covering elections, and I think it was a very healthy conversation among Gannett journalists about understanding how we serve our readers and community best, given evolving reader and viewer habits.
Since your post was leaked from a private Gannett group (not Fort Myers News-Press) where our journalists have been encouraged to have hard and intimate conversations about Picasso, I am concerned that you and your readers may be led to develop conclusions that might not have all the context. The question posed shows a level of awareness among our staff that just because we build it, doesn’t mean our readers will come. In our minds, there was never a choice of whether we should cover elections or not. While our mission and our gut tell us we must cover them, metrics help us understand how we cover elections in ways that resonate more and best with readers. This applies to all our most important work. If we are truly dedicated to serving the public good, let’s do it in a way that best fulfills our responsibilities in and to the community. Let’s do it in a way that best informs and excites our readers and viewers./CONTINUES Read More
– Today’s front pages
* [Above] “Now that’s weird. #photoediting,” tweets David Joachim. (@davidjoachim)
* ESPN regrets its Tuesday report on Michael Sam‘s locker room shower habits. (washingtonpost.com) | (outsports.com)
* Boston journalist Peter Theo Curtis is back home after spending 22 months in captivity in Syria. (boston.com)
* Washington State University’s student paper turns an embarrassing error – printing the front page twice – into a scavenger hunt. (lisawaananen.com) | They have a winner! (#therealpage4)
* Report: Jeff Zucker and Tom Brokaw are fuming over NBC News boss Deborah Turness‘s claim that the news division has been asleep for 15 years. (pagesix.com)
* Guardian U.S. “in a period of ambitious growth, and we are working on a number of serious plans,” says editor-in-chief Katharine Viner. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Former Wall Street Journal reporter Les Gapay loses sight in one eye after being attacked in Montana. (missoulian.com) | Correction on a 2003 story about the “vagabond” journalist: “Gapay was sipping hot tea during his meal, not iced tea as mentioned in the article.” (latimes.com)
* Former Connecticut Post columnist MariAn Gail Brown sues Hearst, claiming false imprisonment and other wrongdoing. (Google Drive)
* Two former NPR journalists begin jobs at the University of Montana. (missoulian.com)
* Ranking New York Post’s “body language expert” stories. (washingtonpost.com)
* A “Cops” TV show crew member is shot and critically injured while shadowing Omaha police. (omaha.com)
* A new book reports Katie Couric was heard saying of Diane Sawyer: “I wonder who she blew this time to get [the interview].” (thedailybeast.com)
* Hobby magazines publisher Carstens goes out of business after 50-plus years. (railfan.com)
* Stop the presses! New photos and video reportedly of the reclusive Nikki Finke have surfaced! (hollywoodreporter.com)
* “Being paid to write stories is a pretty sweet gig,” says The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson. “Answering an economist’s email at 11:30 PM with a splash of Four Roses bourbon while SportsCenter flickers in the background is not a terrible way to live. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Kidnapped journalists are crime victims,” notes Steve Coll. (newyorker.com)
* ESPN’s coverage of Michael Sam‘s shower habits draws protests. (washingtonpost.com) | (deadspin.com)
* Rapper confusion at KSAT-TV in San Antonio. (mysanantonio.com)
* Students who take the MIT course that’s dubbed “Credit for Reddit” examine what makes the site work, and compare and contrast it with other social media. (vice.com) | Journalists should pay more attention to Reddit. (gigaom.com)
* Elizabeth Spiers‘ pledge: “I will write mostly badly and more often.” (elizabethspiers.com)
* An NPR interview subject admits he tries to intimidate bicyclists; some listeners don’t like the way the admission is handled. (npr.org)
* Roger Franklin: “When I was at Time, everyone ‘worked’ late on Fridays so the company would pay for $200 taxis to Hamptons. No more.” (@jolly_rogered)
* The last line of a long piece titled “Who Reads Mein Kampf”: “Full disclosure: I did not read Mein Kampf. Because it’s by Hitler.” (theawl.com)
* Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt discusses the paper’s climate change editorials with Joe Strupp. (mediamatters.org)
* New BuzzFeed president Greg Coleman says “I’m gonna be catching up to the rocket ship, getting into the rocket ship. Then once I catch up, I’ll figure out how to add the value the team here wants me to add.” (usatoday.com)
* “The [Philadelphia] Daily News was and is a fabulous foil to The Inquirer, but…” (frumped.org)
* Fire Sale coming soon? Amazon probably hasn’t sold more than 35,000 of its Fire phones. (marketwatch.com)
The Independent reports on typewriter sounds in the London Times newsroom
A journalism professor and former London Times staffer points out:
Typewriters disappeared from newsrooms in the late 1980s. There will be very few people there who remember the noise of massed bands of typewriters in the newsroom. They will have to find out whether a crescendo of noise will make reporters work better or faster.
“This is just a playful experiment thought up by our Editor to generate some of the excitement of newsrooms,” a Times spokesperson tells me. “Some reporters are bemused and some like the hat-tip to our historic past now that digital deadlines are so fluid. We are very much a digital newsroom, see here, but we’re also one of the oldest newspapers in the world – 230 years in January – and we were the first to use The Times in the title, so we’re proud of our heritage.”
* Murdoch’s UK paper adds the sounds of Fleet Street to its newsroom (independent.co.uk)
* How about adding wire service teletype machine bells, too? (baltimoresun.com)
Update: Check out the photo of the speaker pumping out the typewriter sounds – and don’t miss the replies to the tweet, including: “Why don’ t they just pipe in the noise of screaming tortured souls in hell?”
“Gannett thinks that advertisers still want ads that hit users over the head.”
Go to USAToday.com or any Gannett-owned newspaper website and you’ll get a full-screen ad blocking what you’re trying to read.
“We want to make the entire [computer] screen a TV set,” says Steve Ahlberg, Gannett’s Vice President of Revenue Solutions.
Okay, Steve, then consider Gannett a blocked channel.
* Gannett looks to ignite the return of the giant banner ad (wsj.com)
Update: Blame tipster @Easement1‘s Chrome extension for the false report that MarketWatch used “bullshit” in the story below.
What @easement1 saw:
What was published:
* Mobileye is car industry’s ‘iPhone moment’ (marketwatch.com) | h/t @easement1
University of Toronto professor’s tweet
Gazette editor-in-chief Iain Boekhoff (left) says of the story: “I’m surprised it’s got so much traction because it’s in our frosh week issue every year. Two years ago it was just straight ‘how to have sex with your TA’ as one of the 50 or 100 things to do before you leave Western. …I had one complaint late Sunday night which is after three days of people losing their minds on Twitter. This thing is entirely Twitter. I don’t regret publishing it. I regret that it caused offense to so many people, and it wasn’t well-received by some people.”
He adds that “Facebook stalk is a common term for students and is not a malicious term in any way.”
The London (Ontario, Canada) Abused Women’s Center has called for Boekhoff to step down. I’ve asked him to comment.
The provost says: “The Gazette has the right to run provocative articles but I find it objectionable that your paper would publish a column promoting the idea that students should attempt to have inappropriate relationships with graduate teaching assistants.”
* Western University runs article about dating teaching assistants (metronews.ca)
* So you want to date a teaching assistant? (westerngazette.ca)
* Western University’s provost blasts the article in a letter to the paper (westerngazette.ca)
From the Archives: Ten years ago today, Jay Rosen wrote to me about Jack Shafer and why the Slate press critic (at that time) hasn’t emerged as the next A.J. Liebling. Rosen wrote on August 26, 2004:
A.J. Liebling wrote the Wayward Press column for the New Yorker. Shafer writes the Press Box column for Slate. Those are roughly similar activities. Shafer tells us that Liebling did 82 press columns over 18 years at the New Yorker.
Jack Shafer (left) and Jay Rosen
Judging by the Press Box archive, Shafer has written 200+ columns over four and a half years. Is it fair to ask: why has Shafer himself not emerged as the “next” Liebling? After all, he has the most interest in the question. The opportunity has been there for him, week to week. He had motive, means. Is it the anxiety of influence? Other priorities at the time? Lack of competition, perhaps?
Rosen sent his letter after he was targeted by Shafer, who wrote: “Instead of producing the next Liebling, the field of journalism saddles us with the worry-bead analysis of Tom Rosenstiel and the goo-goo intentions of Jay Rosen, for which there is no audience outside the industry (maybe not even inside it).”
* Romenesko Letters: Jay Rosen has a question about Jack Shafer (archive.org)
* Shafer on the uncritical worshippers of press critic A.J. Liebling (slate.com)
* Hundreds of Turner Broadcasting veterans will be getting buyout offers. (cnn.com)
* CNN’s Jeff Zucker is praised for admitting you can’t do more with less. (usatoday.com)
* Time’s Ferguson story – shared 4,076 times on Twitter – was the most social of the three newsweeklies. (digiday.com)
* Cartoonist Matt Bors predicted a he-was-no-angel story about Michael Brown. The cartoon on the right is from August 18. (washingtonpost.com) | “No angel” reference in New York Times’ Brown story “was a regrettable mistake,” says the public editor. (nytimes.com) | Did people read the entire story? asks the Timesman who wrote the piece. (talkingpointsmemo.com)
* When journalists become the story. (washingtonpost.com)
* Former AP Jerusalem bureau staffer Matti Friedman tries to provide “a few tools to make sense of the news from Israel.” (tabletmag.com)
* Napa Valley Register’s newsroom is badly damaged by Sunday’s earthquake, but staffers still put out a paper. (abc7news.com)
* Please pull the plug on the MTV Video Music Awards! (chicagoreader.com)
* Longtime Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Karen Heller heads to the Washington Post Style section. She writes in her farewell piece: “The Inquirer has been roiled by turbulence. This was no place for the weak. Every spring or two brought a new owner, a new plan, and, often, chaos. This fabled paper kept churning, this amazing newsroom pushing against the tide.” (philly.com)
* How New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor got Starbucks to quickly change its barista scheduling policy. (niemanlab.org)
* John Oliver explains things better than TV news broadcasts. (cjr.org)
* Big producer changes at ABC News. (mediabistro.com)
* Claim: “Mainstream journalists delight in their ability to get Al Sharpton on the phone for a quote.” (qz.com)
* Philadelphia Public Record says it fired the staffer who added Asian slurs to a photo caption. (philly.com) | (phillymag.com)
* Andrew Leonard: “A world in which the [New York] Times is struggling to survive does not sound like the golden age of journalism to me.” (salon.com)
* “Who could do such a thing to the most open-hearted person any of us knew?” asks one of James Foley‘s friends. (vice.com)
* Men’s Health: We stand behind our story on the costs of robotic surgery. (menshealth.com)
* BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner is named NLGJA’s Journalist of the Year. (advocate.com)
* A new corporate headquarters for the Baton Rouge and New Orleans Advocate. (theadvocate.com/WARNING: AUTO-PLAY AD)
* The 2014 Online Journalism Awards finalists have been announced. (journalists.org)
* New York congressional candidate Elise Stefanik cuts a press conference short after being asked a question she doesn’t like. (poststar.com)
* Nothing on my feed: Tweeting photos of passed-out college students is said to be a “trend.” (thecollegefix.com)
In his piece about this saga, Bob Frump mentions that an Inquirer task force once “worked a story for two years about the corruption of a major national candidate … only to conclude that there were only smears there, not hard facts and firm links. The story never ran and no one felt any sense of a ‘cover up.’”
After I asked about it, Frump revised his post to note that Geraldine Ferraro was the task force’s target. The journalist, who worked at the Inquirer from 1976 to 1986, writes in an email:
In the mid-1980’s, The Philadelphia Inquirer assigned top reporters to investigate mob links to VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro’s husband. The paper broke several stories about possible connections but after months of looking into the affair, and renting hotels for weeks at a time in New York for its task force, the editors decided that the results did not warrant the patented Inky “take out” treatment for which it was famous because there was no clear evidence Ferraro was dirty.
The decision was accepted in the newsroom as a good journalistic reasoning, not a coverup, as I recall. This was an extreme example of quality control during the Gene Roberts years, in my opinion. It was not uncommon for a reporter to spend months on a story — and still not meet the standards set by editors. Not everyone was happy with that, but it marked the difference in my mind between in-depth journalism that sorted out truths and “at length” journalism, which just printed charges and denials.
* Ruderman responds to Inquirer’s takedown (phillymag.com) | Her post: (facebook.com)
* Daily News reporters forced to defend Pulitzer-winning series (cbslocal.com)
* “A big Inquirer fan” says the meat of the Inky story was undercooked (frumped.org)