The late Roger Ebert is up against The Daily Beast’s John Avlon and the New York Times’ Richard Parker in the online columns (large websites) category of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ annual writing contest.
Contest winners will be announced June 29.
UPDATE: Finalists in the Association of Alternative Newsmedia contest have been announced, too.
* 2013 column contest finalists announced (columnists.com)
Bleacher Report writer program manager King Kaufman (at right) says he stopped using lede a few years ago after reading that the word was invented “by those who were nostalgic for the passing of the linotype era.” (“I hate nostalgia,” he says.)
So Bleacher Report readers saw lead in Kaufman’s posts and lede in other writers’ pieces. That’s changing, though.
While this is a minor thing, I think there’s some value in journalism having a shared language. We write about heds and grafs and ledes when we’re talking to each other. It’s a signal that we’re over here talking shop. So lede it is.
* At the risk of burying the lead, we’re going to spell it lede (bleacherreport.com)
That didn’t go over well: “1. Telling readers that, should they continue to ask you to cover an event, you will be less likely to cover it is hardly a stance most of us associate with what we thought The Weekly was all about… -and- 2. xoxo at the end of such a rant is unprofessional.”
* Dear Everyone, Please stop sending us messages and… (facebook.com)
UPDATE — Dan Gibson tells Romenesko readers:
First of all, I get it. It might have been better to not comment on the constant stream of identical posts spamming our wall asking if we’re going to cover that particular march. However, a few things in my defense. We’re an alt-weekly, so the interactions I (and our other writers) have with our readers (and other interested parties) are a little different than other media outlets. I regularly comment on our Facebook page, responding to both criticism and compliments. In this case, I was honestly trying to save the anti-Monsanto types the trouble of flooding us astroturf-style on Facebook (although I should note, I haven’t received a single email, phone call or press release about the event).
We went through this same issue (with many of the same people) during the brief run of the Occupy movement in town: A flood of demands that we report on every last thing that was happening because we were missing out on the opportunity to capture a moment in history, but then it was all over and nothing really changed (at least here).
I make an effort to be engaged with our readers and potential readers, but I do think it’s fair (and even helpful, believe it or not) to guide people who feel they have something to share on the best way to get their message across, even if I didn’t use the ideal style in delivering mine. Accessibility in our profession has its perils (and I am still somewhat befuddled why people are so darn mad, although I’ve noticed that those are most angry don’t appear to have “liked” our page to begin with), but I’d rather aim to be more open with our audience than remain at some arbitrarily aloof distance.
“Robert (Bob) Holcomb died a couple of days ago which wasn’t exactly unexpected as he had been in poopy health for years. While he never complained much, those that knew him were aware that he suffered several heart attacks and had quadruple bypass open heart surgery before age 40, and it kinda went downhill from there.”
– h/t Deb Gaskill
* Bob Holcomb death notice: “Don’t waste money on flowers” (legacy.com)
* Time.com is on a hiring spree as it prepares for a fall relaunch. (wwd.com) | (adweek.com)
* The United Methodist Reporter, published since 1847, closes after years of financial struggles. (umc.com)
* New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright: “I’m not allowed to write brief things, book reviews. David Remnick wants me out there doing big stories, which I like doing, but there are times I’d like to do smaller pieces.” (thedailybeast.com)
* David Cay Johnston: The once innovative Village Voice “now slouches towards irrelevance for our culture and our democracy.” (nationalmemo.com)
* More Times-Picayune journalists jump to the Advocate. (bestofneworleans.com)
— Oh no, Chicago Tribune!
* Labor lawyer: “It looks like the newspaper business, at least in Chicago, is saying to itself, ‘We can get a lot of young people who want to do this cheap, so let’s do it.’” (chicagoreader.com) | Chicago Tribune hed this morning says “grid rate hik veto overtunred.” (biznewsindex.com)
* Emotion didn’t make KFOR-er Lance West’s tornado report “any less attentive or substantive,” says Laura Bennett. (newrepublic.com)
* New York Times tells Cody Brown to take down his “Snow Fall.” (“I can see how the video could fall under Fair Use, but we don’t have the resources to fight the Times’s legal department.”) (medium.com)
* Hugely profitable ESPN lays off hundreds. (adage.com)
* An investigation by Clarion-Ledger’s Jerry Mitchell leads to a murder arrest. (clarionledger.com)
* Ten anti-Koch protesters showed up at the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday. (baltimorebrew.com)
* I nominate Sarah Palin for president of the Jake Tapper Fan Club. (@SarahPalinUSA)
* Internet Archive gets $1 million from the Ford Foundation to expand its TV News Search & Borrow service. (knightfoundation.org)
* Vox Media’s Callie Schweitzer explains how to use new media to advance your career. (fastcompany.com)
* Advance Publications-backed Newsle – a “news discovery engine” – raises $1.65 million. (marketwatch.com)
I read on Columbia Journalism Review’s site today about two Climate Desk reporters tracking down their “most pernicious” troll and interviewing him at his home. (We learn that the 57-year-old guy loves cats, wears argyle sweaters and is “really normal.”)
That got me wondering: What happened to Paul Lukas’s troll? About five weeks ago, I posted a link to the Uni-Watch editor’s Q-and-A with his most obnoxious troll — a man who calls himself “Joe ‘Big Cock’ Johnson.” Lukas told his readers that for the past half-dozen years or so, the man has posted “extremely profane and abusive comments” to the Uni-Watch site.
“After years of dealing with this Wizard of Oz, I wanted to see this man behind the curtain.”
What happened after the long interview with the troll was published? “Big Cock Johnson has gone back down into his hole (or foreskin, or whatever),” Lukas tells Romenesko readers. “Not a peep out of him since I ran that interview transcript.”
* Under the bridge: Climate Desk tracks down its most pernicious troll (cjr.org)
* Trolling right along: An interview with Joe “Big Cock” Johnson (uni-watch.com)
HELP WANTED: NPR seeks a person who loves public radio and has a “clear, confident, and welcoming” voice that will be used for all of the network’s “support for this program comes from…” announcements.
Applicants get bonus points for demonstrating familiarity with “the Public Radio sound” and having the ability to sound authentic on the radio. “We’re not looking for ‘the voice of god,’” says the ad.
The ideal candidate has a “working style that makes the complex look simple” and gets “a bit tingly at the thought that your voice will be part of public radio’s daily connective tissue all across the country.”
* NPR Careers Center – “This is NPR” announcing job (npr.icims.com)
UPDATE: NPR spokesperson Cara Philbin tells Romenesko readers:
Frank Tavares [pictured here] has voiced our underwriting credits as a part-time contractor (from his home) for more than three decades. NPR is creating an Announcer staff position and moving this role in-house to bring greater efficiency to our broadcast operations. We are also putting in place a new process that will allow us to respond quickly to new sponsorship opportunities. We hope to make the final selection for the Announcer position by this summer and, once it is filled, we’ll have a gradual transition this fall.
* Tavares reads lyrics to “Welcome to the Jungle” (npr.org)
* Tavares’ visit to WNPR “turned us all into giddy schoolgirls” (yourpublicmedia.org)
Gannett is asking employees to use their social networks to encourage followers to give $10 to the Red Cross. The messages will be going out at 3:50 p.m. ET today — the time the tornado touched down in Moore yesterday.
From: Gannett Communications
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:25 PM
Subject: Gannett Cares
As Oklahoma struggles to recover from the impact of yesterday’s devastating tornado, Gannett will for the first time launch a cross-company campaign called “Gannett Cares.” At Gannett, our purpose is to serve the greater good and today people are in need. Our goal is to harness the power of our 100+ brands and our 31,000 employees to help those impacted by the tornado. Gannett Cares is intended to augment the terrific work already being done by our local media organizations.
As part of this campaign, we would like to encourage employees to use their social networks at approximately 3:50 p.m. (ET) today (to coincide with the time the tornado touched down yesterday) to extend this message:
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to #Oklahoma relief. Spread the word. #gannettcares
Together we can make a difference.