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Romenesko

mich
A journalist at a top-10 daily – and a Michigan alum – sends this note (anonymity was requested):

Just wanted to mention that the Michigan Daily has done an impressive job this week covering Michigan’s response/handling of a concussed player in its game on Saturday.

The four-person football beat wrote a strong but well-reasoned column calling for the head coach to be fired: and then were all over a 1 a.m. statement contradicting what the coach had been saying. They even managed to get that into print! With some great, contrasting pull quotes.

They’ve struck the perfect tone while going after the athletic department, which is something you rarely see a student newspaper do.

* Michigan football coach Brady Hoke must be fired (michigandaily.com)
* Statement reveals athletic department institutional dysfunction (michigandaily.com)

suntimes

“Interesting way to handle a story about a mentally ill man,” a Chicago journalist writes in an email. | “What do you want us to do? Kill him?” Chicago Public Radio’s Justin Kaufmann asks on Facebook. | Sun-Times + airport-related covers = controversy.

* “[The man's attorney] pleaded for the public to have compassion for the ‘deeply troubled man’ whose actions paralyzed national air traffic” (suntimes.com)
* Reactions from my Facebook friends and subscribers (facebook.com)

* New York Times ran something like listicles in the 19th century; the feature was called “Some Facts About…” (themorningnews.org)
* Boston University j-prof Mitchell Zuckoff‘s book about the Benghazi terrorist attacks is a bestseller. “One of the cool things about all this is that the guy with the No. 1 book on the nonfiction list is teaching our beginning journalism course this semester,” says the department chair. “That course assignment was his request.” (dailyfreepress.com)calls
* A slideshow explains how the work of journalists has expanded. “Our ideas have to be more compelling to get attention,” notes Amy O’Leary. (slideshare.net)
* [RIGHT] Tell us about the calls you’re getting, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Julia Terruso. (The phone number was taken off the headline after I alerted Terruso this morning.) | Update: “Amazingly, only three phone calls, two of them helpful readers alerting me.” tweets Terruso. (philly.com)
* How important is it that reporters tweet? (gigaom.com)
* “NYT should make all masthead decisions based on Tweet quality & frequency. Looking forward to the @jacqui and @harrisj Times.” (@chanders)
* A 20-year-old tech reviewer with 1.8 million YouTube subscribers has received job offers “left and right, but I love being independent.” (usatoday.com/WARNING: Autoplay video)
* Shamed by Gawker? Lena Dunham now says she’ll pay her book-tour performers. (thewrap.com)
* Post-Dispatch editorial: Billionaire Rex Sinquefield goes shopping for Missouri reporters. (stltoday.com) | Earlier: Grow Missouri’s big goof. (jimromenesko.com)
shop* Not surprised: Tumblr has a “shoplifting community.” (dailydot.com)
* Piers Morgan is named Daily Mail Online U.S. editor-at-large. (politico.com)
* Newsweek adds a plagiarism warning to Fareed Zakaria‘s archived pieces. (nymag.com)
* Will San Francisco Chronicle let Willie Brown go now that the ex-mayor is a paid lobbyist? (sfbg.com)
* Boston Herald runs on Dunkin’. (itsgoodtoliveinatwodailytown.com)

fucking

A former New York Times employee was surprised to see the word “fucking” in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review. (It’s in the last paragraph of a book excerpt.) He wrote in a Sunday email:

This may not be the absolute first time that a form of “fuck” has been in the paper (accidents and the Starr report, perhaps?), but it I’d bet it’s the first time it has ever appeared so casually. When I was there, that would have gone at least to the executive editor, and maybe even to Arthur. (And, of course, if that word found its way into the paper without a high editor passing on it, there is going to be an internal shitstorm.)

I passed on posting the letter and image yesterday; BFD! – as the kids say – I thought. But today I wondered: How did Book Review readers react?

“I haven’t had a single complaint,” says editor Pamela Paul. “Don’t know of anything,” public editor Margaret Sullivan writes in an email, noting that she’s “semi off the grid today.”

* Book excerpt: “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” (nytimes.com)

Owen Thomas wrote as “Jonathan Van Decimeter” on Suck.com. He explains why:

Jonathan Van Meter was a magazine editor and writer and he was most noted for asking if we were living in a, quote-unquote, post-gay moment. …The kind of post-gay thing really spoke to me and I thought, Well, I’m only a tenth the writer that Jonathan Van Meter is, so I will call myself Jonathan Van Decimeter.

suck

The funny thing is that someone at some point thought that Jonathan Van Meter had written my essays, so Jonathan Van Meter actually got in touch with me and said, “Hey, who are you?” and we had a nice exchange. It was a little bit of a fanboy moment to hear from one of my literary idols.

Uh, oh. Was I responsible for that? From Suck.com, February 3, 2000: “MediaGossip.com [my old site] gave the story a welcome plug but unfortunately attributed it incorrectly to the actual Van Meter. We apologize for any confusion, and we can assure the real Van Meter that he’s 10 times the man Van Decimeter is.”

* Owen Thomas discusses Hotwired and Suck (internethistorypodcast.com)
* “Mr. Van Decimeter, who identifies himself as post-postgay…” (suck.com)

Maybe they’ll even salt the pasta water for this special occasion.

olive

What similarly “newsworthy” press releases have come out of your governor’s office? Please post in comments or send me an email.

— via Reid J. Epstein

* Check out the photo of Gov. Quinn cutting the Olive Garden ribbon (facebook.com)
* Read the full Olive Garden “wait is over” press release (illinois.gov)


* Former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, 93, is now in hospice care. “His health has been so fragile that the organizers of a local Alzheimer’s and dementia support group asked him to stop attending the thrice-weekly meetings,” Paul Farhi reports. (washingtonpost.com)
ny* “The New Yorker is one of the few billboards left for cover art,” says ex-editor Tina Brown. (nytimes.com) | “The New Yorker cover is a GIF. What a time to be alive.” (@zoeschlanger)
* Online journalism “is trapped in something of a bubble right now. The big fixes have all been done.” (philly.com)
* The will-online-kill-newspapers? debate has been going on since the ’80s. (vox.com)
* Check out the winners of the 2014 Online Journalism Awards. (journalists.org)
* Ann Marie Lipinski: “Lots of journalists on Twitter calling out journalists who aren’t on Twitter. That’ll work.” (@AMLwhere)
* Bill Cosby biographer Mark Whitaker “not only seems out to protect Cosby, but, further complicating the tale, to be threatened by him.” (usatoday.com)
* A judge rules that a one-man news operation in New Jersey doesn’t have to turn over its notes and emails to Parsippany officials. (nj.com)
* It’s National Coffee Day – “or, as we say in newsrooms, it’s another day that ends in ‘y.'” (@hfuhrmann)
* An AP reporter apologizes for his incorrect tweet about Oakland Raiders’ coach being fired. (nbcsports.com)
* Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Sally Kalson didn’t want her obit to say “after a courageous battle with cancer.” (post-gazette.com)
* A Charleston journalist responds to Huffington Post. (charlestoncitypaper.com)
* Hundreds of Drake student newspapers are destroyed and dumped in front of the paper’s office over a pregnancy center ad. (desmoinesregister.com)
* Web pioneer Metafilter unveils its first new design in nearly a decade. (digiday.com)
* Someone gave up their weekend for this: Politico asks astrologers to predict Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky‘s future. (talkingpointsmemo.com)
* Minneapolis Star Tribune is blasted for running an anti-transgender ad. (citypages.com) | (thenewcivilrightsmovement.com)
trump* Donald Trump is tricked into retweeting a photo of serial killers. (dailydot.com)
* JOBS: KTOO in Juneau, Alaska, is looking for a news director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Matthew Keys: “Why don’t newspapers include a unique code in the printed edition that “unlocks” a paywall for 24 hours (a-la Starbucks free song download)?” (@MatthewKeysLive)
* Not even the National Enquirer could find dirt on Derek Jeter. (cbssports.com)

Grow Missouri is a conservative political action committee funded by billionaire Rex Sinquefielddescribed as “the Show Me State’s version of the Koch brothers.”
grow
Apparently not knowing the ethics rules for journalists, a PR woman working for Grow Missouri has asked St. Louis reporters – including one who covers Grow Missouri for the Post-Dispatch – to contribute to the PAC’s blog. The journalists are told they’ll get $250 “for bylined, or no byline if preferred, articles ranging from 500 to 700 words in length with the opportunity to earn more for special on-site projects.”

Grow Missouri representative Molly Berry adds in her email:

The scope of the project would be 2-3 articles per month, on-going, with a focus on tax reform, political news, family life in Missouri, and Grow Missouri’s “Create a Great State” initiative. It’s also worth noting that although this is a political client, we’re not aiming to create politically charged content.

So far I’ve heard about Post-Dispatch statehouse reporter Alex Stuckey and St. Louis Public Radio journalist Jason Rosenbaum being asked to write for Grow Missouri. (Anyone else? Please let me know.)

Stuckey told Berry in an email: “I appreciate your compliments toward my work, however, I cover Grow Missouri and Rex Sinquefield for my job. Writing public relations pieces in the form of blogs for Grow Missouri would be incredibly unethical – especially if I wrote them anonymously.” Rosenbaum tells me he didn’t respond to the solicitation.

I’ve left a message for Berry.

UpdateBerry’s employer says: “In an oversight, five of the writers that we contacted [to write blog posts] were news reporters that may cover Missouri politics. Going forward, we have amended our recruitment process for advocacy organizations to ensure we do not reach out to prospective writers who may be covering our clients’ work.”

Update 2 - “This particular offer had the rankest odor of anything I have encountered in my professional career,” writes Columbia Daily Tribune’s Rudi Keller.

* Boston PR firm solicits political journalists to blog for conservative PAC (columbiatribune.com)
* Grow Missouri’s email to Post-Dispatch reporter Alex Stuckey (@alexstuckey)
* From 2010: Billionaire Rex Sinquefield knows best (stlmag.com)
* Who is behind the Grow Missouri movement? (dailykos.com)

Grow Missouri’s email to Stuckey is after the jump. Read More

crap

The “All Things Considered” story aired this evening. From the script:

“After rain events, all the crap comes down,” Artigas says. “Literally. And supermarket carts, mattresses — everything is floating down this river.”

Francisco Artigas is director of the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute.

* How radio is made: An amusing warning on a story (@SachaPfeiffer)
* Earlier: NPR stations get a “dumbass” warning (jimromenesko.com)