@romenesko 1st reaction: glad I'm not answering newsroom phone. 2nd reaction: sad that maybe papers have already lost all those readers.
— David Simpson (@adviserdavid) April 20, 2014
Actually, the Denver Post complaint line was quiet, reports Linda Shapley, director of newsroom operations. Editor Greg Moore got one email about Sunday’s page one not mentioning Easter, Shapley says, and one person left a phone message and said they’d be emailing, too. (The phone call and email from the same person? Possibly.)
* Kent State journalism faculty criticize the university for the way it’s handled its presidential search. (crainscleveland.com)
* Of course, a Florida newspaper that runs covers like this and this isn’t going to run NYT’s tough Jameis Winston/FSU investigation. (cjr.org)
* Former Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor Ken Bunting collapsed and died while playing tennis on Sunday. He was 65. (mije.org)
* The Kindle Single interview with Nikki Finke was a best-seller. (thinreads.com)
* NBC says it brought in a brand – not psychological – consultant to talk to David Gregory‘s friends and wife. (hollywoodreporter.com)
* How Washington City Paper is designed. (altweeklies.com)
* Sharyl Attkisson “seems a little bitter,” says Media Matters’ president. (washingtonpost.com)
* “All God’s Danger,” a 1974 National Book Award winner, gets a boost from the New York Times. (observer.com)
* JOBS: Want to write in Boulder, Colorado? Check out this job opening.
* Felix Salmon is leaving Reuters and staying quiet about his new job. (@jyarow) | (nytimes.com)
Jimmy Kimmel has video clips showing news anchors across the U.S. reporting the death of actor “Andy” Rooney.
Fox 11 Los Angeles: “Andy Rooney, the pint-sized anchor who was giant on stage and screen, has died.”
From other stations’ reports:
* “We’re going to look back at actor Andy Rooney’s career.”
* “Andy Rooney received an Academy award.”
* “You know, I grew up with Andy Rooney.”
* “Andy Rooney dies at 93″
Kimmel wraps up his segment with a clip of Andy Rooney saying, “I hate it when that happens!”
Andy Rooney died on November 11, 2011. He was 92. Mickey died on April 6. He was 93.
Retired Washingtonian editor Jack Limpert’s piece last week about firing a film critic for praising Oliver Stone’s “JFK” brought in this comment from former Washington Post critic Tom Shales: “Jack, as a critic who once worked for you, I am shocked! Plus whatever fault you could find in Stone’s politics, his mastery of cinematic technique in JFK, and later on Nixon, was impressive.”
Gary Arnold, the great film critic of The Washington Post, was forced out because a couple of editors, one named Ben, were upset that he didn’t like Tender Mercies, which had made them cry — boo hoo. Posterity has not been kind to that corny film; Gary was right.
Ben Bradlee fired Arnold over his April 1983 “Tender Mercies” review? (Headline: “Miserable ‘Mercies’: Duvall: Movin’ slow on the lone prairie.”) I called the retired critic to check that out.
“I asked Ben about it” at the time, says Arnold, “and he said there was nothing to it. …I thought there was something silly and trifling about [the rumor]. I thought it was pretty ridiculous. Why predicate anything on a single review? An accumulation of discontent would make more sense.”
Besides, no editor ever complained to him about the “Mercies” review, he says.
Arnold was removed as film critic in August of 1984, after 16 years, but stayed at the Post for 13 more months to do book reviews and other assignments.
The departure, he says, was “amicable.”
“You can’t have the notion that you have a job for life,” says 72-year-old Arnold. “They wanted to make a change” and eventually hired Paul Attanasio.
The retired critic seemed surprised that the “Tender Mercies” rumor was still circulating. “It’s had a longer life than it certainly deserves, and it’s one that’s never bothered me.”
* Daily Mail hed: No questions asked; the story: questions were asked. (dailymail.co.uk)
* NBC had a psychological consultant interview David Gregory‘s friends and wife “to get perspective and insight from people who know him best.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Toronto Star ombud: Are dashes in swear words “a coy and quaint standard of the past or an ongoing mark of respect for readers?” (thestar.com)
* Justice Antonin Scalia says the court’s New York Times vs. Sullivan ruling “was wrong … It was revising the Constitution.” (latimes.com)
* A good news/bad news week at the Philadelphia Inquirer. (artsjournal.com)
* Vox, FiveThirtyEight and The Intercept explained. (adweek.com)
* Religion News Service announces the closings of Faith & Values sites in Hartford, Spokane, and Toledo.
* CNN wonders if the Klan can rebrand itself. (digiday.com)
* A labor reporter laid off from In These Times asks for donations to keep him on the Volkswagen beat. (@MikeElk)
* Slate Plus – a $5/month or $50/year membership program – “enables our most committed readers and listeners to get an enhanced Slate experience, while supporting the work we do,” says editor David Plotz. (slate.com)
* Because of light-rail tracks near Minnesota Public Radio’s building, “the floor is vibrating, the ceiling is shaking, the structure is making noise, and that affects the recordings.” (startribune.com)
* Hartford Courant editorial cartoonist Bob Englehart writes about his “unique childhood” and love for NASCAR in a new book. (cagle.com)
* ICYMI: A reporter live-tweeted the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday. (@philtvnews)
Update: New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz tells me he doesn’t understand the point of Mark Fitzgerald’s tweet below. What was “weird” about using FO’ SHIZZLE? he asks.
It’s true that it’s dated language. But then so are HEP, RAD, EGAD, and other old-fashioned terms, which appear in crosswords all the time. The key is to clue things like these in similarly dated ways. For example, FO’ SHIZZLE was clued as “Definitely, dawg!,” which is a contemporaneous way of saying approximately the same thing.
Fitzgerald’s response is in Comments.
Anyone else think it weird that the answer to the first clue in Friday's @nytimes crossword was "Fo shizzle?"
— Mark Fitzgerald (@fitzbeat) April 19, 2014
From the Times WordPlay blog: “FO’ SHIZZLE makes its debut today, even though, technically speaking, it is so last decade.”
From the Puzzle Constructor’s Notes: “I’m pleased with this puzzle, and I hope you are, too. Fo’shizzle.”
Crossword Fiend objects!
* Tracee Herbaugh recalls her late mother – the first woman AP bureau chief to die while on assignment – and writes: “I’d become annoyed at people who assumed I would follow in my mother’s footsteps and pursue journalism. And yet, I did.” (washingtonpost.com)
* U.S. newspaper industry revenue fell 2.6% in 2013. (AP via washingtonpost.com)
* “People with money are excited about the news business.” (theatlantic.com)
* “I believe that Edward R. Murrow (left) would have embraced our selection of Arianna Huffington as this year’s [Murrow Forum] speaker” at Tufts University. (tuftsdaily.com)
* “Freedom is choosing not to live behind the locked door,” says the man who shared his passwords with the world. (onthemedia.org)
* Nina Totenberg recalls being ignored in the newsroom at the start of her career because “I was not one of the guys.” (medium.com)
* More on Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann and her classroom remarks about the Star-Ledger. (Raritan River Review)
* The prestigious Clark Medal goes to a University of Chicago economist who studies media bias. (wsj.com) | Prof. Matthew Gentzkow talks to NPR. (npr.org)
* Media bias, dammit! The Bush pregnancy was ignored! (@newsbusters)
An assistant district attorney tells the defendant he has to share his story with the Sheboygan Press as a part of a plea deal. What if the Press says it’s not interested? I wondered.
“We could have said no,” says reporter Josh Lintereur. “There was no pressure on us.”
Sheboygan Press key audience manager (aka editor) Dan Benson adds: “It was clear there were no ground rules and we weren’t barred from asking any questions and no expectation was laid down as to what kind of story it had to be, although their hopes or intentions were made clear.”
I judged it completely on the news value of it and that there was a public service aspect. It helped that the crash itself was so bizarre and was news when it happened. [John Krizenesky hit a utility pole with his 1966 Corvette, the pole fell and electrocuted a boy.] The only condition was that Krizenesky did not want his photo taken during the interview, but it was understood that we would be shooting stills and video in court.
Benson says he’s never had a prosecutor make this kind of request before, and “my only concern now is that they will want to do it again. If so I’ll have to consider it purely on news value again.”
Both the editor and reporter tell me they’re hearing mixed reactions to today’s page one story. “One woman accused us of making the driver out to be the victim,” says Benson. “Other reactions, which we’d already heard following the sentencing story, was that the sentence was way too lenient [30 days in jail, a fine, and a newspaper story], which is an ongoing complaint about Sheboygan judges.”
From the Colorado Springs Gazette’s video about investigative reporter David Philipps’ Pulitzer-winning series: “Though Philipps was in Washington, DC, when news broke of the award, he flew home Monday evening to a hero’s reception at the Gazette office and a late-night celebration at a nearby brewery.”
How Philipps got onto the story about the Army’s mistreatment of combat veterans: “I got this call essentially saying, ‘Hey, there’s this soldier from Fort Carson who was in the psychiatric hospital here in town, and the Army pulled him out against his will and put him in jail. I thought, wow, can they do that? That seems like a really bad idea. I went to visit him and he told me his story. …I knew I had something.”
* Search warrant: Peoria’s mayor told police he wanted the person behind the @peoriamayor parody Twitter account tracked down. (pjstar.com) | Earlier: Seven cops raid home to find who’s tweeting as @peoriamayor. (pjstar.com)
* Victory for protesters: The Newseum will start including weeklies in its Today’s Front Pages exhibit. (iswne.org)
* ESPN profits are expected to grow in the “high single digits” the next few years. Its annual ad sales are about $3 billion. (nytimes.com) | Deadspin hires Dave McKenna for the ESPN beat. (capitalnewyork.com)
* (At right) “This can’t be a real sentence in a real news story, can it?” (@RachelSB)
* With an editorial staff of 16, the Kyiv Post “makes a remarkable journalistic difference.” (niemanlab.org)
* Ex-Washingtonian editor Jack Limpert recalls firing a film critic over her review of “JFK.” (jacklimpert.com)
* Roger Ebert‘s first movie review appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times 47 years ago today. (@charlesapple)
* The Deadline Club announces its awards finalists. (deadlineclub.org)
* “Surveillance, Security and Journalism Ethics” will be discussed at a May 2 University of Wisconsin-Madison conference. (news.wisc.edu)
* Toronto Star digital journalists will be paid less than others in the newsroom. (thetyee.ca)
* Tucson Weekly and Inside Tucson Business are sold to East Valley Tribune parent 10/13 Communications. (tucsonsentinel.com) | (eastvalleytribune.com)
* JOBS: A defense contractor in Colorado seeks writers. | Tech journalist wanted. (Romenesko Jobs Page)
* Chris Wallace has a new multi-year deal with Fox News. (mediabistro.com)
* “The LA Times is a very nice national newspaper,” says LA Register publisher Aaron Kushner. (npr.org)
* Jonah Lehrer started blogging again last week. (jonahlehrer.com)