– h/t @alexnazaryan
Retired Detroit bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes claims the media had “an odd fascination in my participation in the rock and roll band that I play in.”
Odd fascination? I don’t think so. Senior-citizen judge who strums guitar on the side = decent feature story. Just play along, sir.
He also said he wished his courtroom had been open to cameras during the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings, and that “in a public case like this the judge in charge should have the discretion to open it up to the media.”
Rhodes added: “I wish that someone in the media had made a formal issue out of this by filing a First Amendment motion. It’s likely that I would have granted that motion but it never happened.”
The Detroit journalist who passed this story along writes in an email: “Nobody bothered asking, because federal court is the last place in America where 20th Century technology is still barred from being used to document what the hell goes on.”
Update: I invited Detroit News managing editor Gary Miles to comment. He writes:
As your Detroit journalist suggested, it’s probably true that nobody filed because of the highly restrictive history of the federal courts. It’s also true that Rhodes barred laptops from the courtroom, barred the recording any proceedings from an overflow room, barred media interviews inside the courthouse and thwarted any attempts to get a photograph of him inside or outside of the courthouse. Yet, given his statements, maybe he was just waiting for a challenge. We should’ve given him the opportunity.
* Well, there you go: “The 2015 First Amendment Day celebration at Iowa State is made possible because of a generous donation from the Charles Koch Foundation.” (iastate.edu)
* Prof’s piece in Newsweek failed to disclose his Charles Koch Foundation ties. (washingtonpost.com)
* Young journalists are warned: The rate at which someone becomes a dinosaur is only going to speed up. (fusion.net)
* Wall Street Journal plays catchup on the digital front. (niemanlab.org) | A new look for TheAtlantic.com. (theatlantic.com)
* Proud dad Dave Barry mentions that son Rob is part of the Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer-winning team. (herald.com)
* The computer scientist who came up with the emoticon doesn’t care for emojis. “I think they’re ugly,” says Scott Fahlman. (digiday.com)
* Imagining Howard Cosell as a 21st century media figure. (thebiglead.com)
* Paul Lukas on the psychology of leaking, with a few words from me. (uni-watch.com)
* Former “Daily Show” correspondent Rob Corddry hasn’t watched live news in eight years. (adweek.com)
* A second 2015 Pulitzer-winner recently left newspapers for PR. (cjr.org)
* A Grey Goose vodka “corporate publicity stunt” angers the White House Correspondents’ Association. (washingtonpost.com)
* Jay Rosen to Facebook: “Stop treating us like children at a Passover seder who don’t know enough to ask a good question.” (pressthink.org)
* “Facebook has been super shady since Day 1,” writes B.J. Mendelson. (observer.com)
* New York magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman is promoted to national affairs editor. (nymag.com/PDF)
* Baltimore Sun crime reporter Justin George, who contributed to the “Serial” podcast, is one of Marquette’s O’Brien Fellows. (baltimoresun.com)
* Some good ear-to-the-door reporting by the AP’s Gary Fineout in Tallahassee. (tbo.com)
* New York Times’ “36 Hours” column becomes a Travel Channel show. (capitalnewyork.com)
— Andrew McFadden (@onetomany) April 22, 2015
Here’s what Gannett CEO Gracia Martore says: “TEGNA is a nod to the more than 100 year-old history of Gannett. While always reminding us where we came from, the new name also shows our innovative spirit and commitment to being a forward-looking company that empowers people, businesses and communities to grow and thrive.”
Here’s what Romenesko readers who work (or once worked) for Gannett write in emails:
— “Did a 5th grade class studying anagrams have a contest to come up with that?”
— “Multiple little birdies tell me that the new name for GCI’s newspaper division, TEGNA, autocorrects to TENGA. (Google it, I’m begging you.) Apparently the entire newsroom is calling their new company by its autocorrected name.” (Note: “Tenga products are all new masturbation tools” made in Japan.)
Some the of tweets:
— “LOL. Gannett doesn’t want investors to even think it still prints newspapers. So it adopts a non-word.” (WHarkavy)
— “Rejected names: Tangent. Nag Tent. Gnat Net.” (@jpheasly)
ALSO – A Romenesko reader and Gannett staffer writes: “The Town Hall Meeting with employees [during which the name change was announced] included a pre-recorded video of Gracia Martone ‘playing’ ‘Everything is Awesome’ with a ‘band.’ Even had Gannett execs rapping. All pretty tone-deaf and cringe inducing. Not sure they understood that the community publishing folks probably don’t see it that way.” Anyone have that video to forward? I’m firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) wants to check the financial accountability of the Daily Californian student newspaper, but it’s a bit of a mystery how it’s going to do that.
“We find it concerning that this bill …[was] rushed through the ASUC Senate before being written,” writes editor-in-chief Chloe Hunt. “We find it even more concerning that less than 12 hours before the committee meeting where the bills are scheduled to be discussed, the bills were still empty, apart from filler text.”
* Gannett earnings were up 4% in the first quarter, but revenue for the publishing business fell 8.8%. (usatoday.com)
* Claim: The impact of data sites FiveThirtyEight and The Upshot is still limited. (digiday.com)
* Esquire is putting celebrity interviews and other editorial content on Medium. (wsj.com)
* [RIGHT] Do you have showers at your workplace? (instagram.com)
* Listen to Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price drop 77 f-bombs on Enquirer baseball writer C. Trent Rosecrans. (thebiglead.com) | Excerpts here: (cincinnati.com) | Rosecrans: “Price was not in the mood for follow-up questions on Monday.” (@ctrent)
* The Enquirer and Courier-Journal have second thoughts about posting audio of the tirade. (deadspin.com) | Analysis of the rant: (washingtonpost.com)
* Dan Gillmor: “All journalists need to think of themselves as activists in the world we now live in.” (dangillmor.com)
* A lunch interview with Don Lemon. (gq.com)
* Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan is invited to visit Spartanburg, SC. “I’m p busy,” he tweeted. (wyff4.com)
* Good for you! A PR firm notes that it got a client’s letter into the Washington Post. (@jackshafer)
* New York Times’ standards editor warns colleagues about hyperbolic language. (nytimes.com)
* How Marc Maron gets his podcast guests to open up. (pri.org)
* David Letterman wants Brian Williams to be one of his final guests. (@ditzkoff) | Jay Leno‘s been invited, too. (@ditzkoff)
* Slate declares Slate Plus a success. (slate.com)
* Pay cuts for some Tampa Tribune journalists. (saintpetersblog.com)
* News International scandal chart updated. (propublica.org)
* A third arrest in the murder of Kentucky Kernel’s photo editor. (wkyt.com)
Talking Points Memo reported this afternoon that Tulsa World staff writer Dylan Goforth, enterprise editor Ziva Branstetter and two other World journalists have quit the paper. The TPM piece – headlined, “Reporters who published story on Okla. deputy resign suddenly” – includes this passage:
I’ve confirmed that the ex-World journalists have joined an enterprise/investigative news site being launched by Robert (Bobby) Lorton III, who was the World’s CEO and publisher before Warren Buffett’s BH Media bought the paper in 2013. His family had owned the World for over a century. Lorton, 46, a self-described “news junkie,” went to work for a bank after his paper was sold – only because he wanted something to do, I’m told. My source adds that the news site, called The Frontier, is considered a “prestige project” for Lorton.
Cary Aspinwall, who has also joined Lorton’s team, and Branstetter were named Pulitzer finalists today for their World stories on botched executions in Oklahoma.
Update – Here’s an excerpt from a press release that came out this evening:
Today, Branstetter, Aspinwall and two of their peers – Kevin Canfield and Dylan Goforth – announced they have left the Tulsa World to help create The Frontier, a new digital media company. The Tulsa- based website will focus on in-depth and investigative news within the Tulsa region and beyond.
Former Tulsa World publisher Robert E. Lorton, III founded the project.
“I have a deep passion for Tulsa and an even deeper passion for covering the news in a way that makes a difference,” said Lorton. “Through in-depth and investigative journalism, we will hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on things kept in the dark while also highlighting the best of Tulsa and the surrounding state of Oklahoma.”
The organization will provide news for paid members and will not sell advertising. Its website will launch in May.
Note: I earlier used a photo of Robert Lorton Jr. instead of Robert Lorton III.
[Above] Pulitzer Celebration at the Los Angeles Times
2015 Pulitzer winners and the victory stories from their newspapers:
Public Service – Charleston Post and Courier for “Till Death Do Us Part”. | The paper’s story about its prize.
Breaking News – Seattle Times staff for its landslide coverage. | The Times’ prize story.
Investigative Reporting – Eric Lipton of the New York Times for his reporting on the influence of lobbyists; and the Wall Street Journal staff for “Medicare Unmasked”. | WSJ editor-in-chief’s tweet about the win.
Explanatory Reporting – Zachary R. Mider of Bloomberg News for his reporting on tax-dodging U.S. companies. | Bloomberg’s prize story.
Local Reporting – Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci of the Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA) for their investigation of school district corruption. | The Daily Breeze’s prize story.
National Reporting – Carol D. Leonnig of the Washington Post for her Secret Service coverage. | The Post’s prize story.
International Reporting – New York Times staff for its Ebola coverage.
Feature Writing – Diana Marcum of the Los Angeles Times for her stories on the California drought. | The Times’ story about its two prizes.
Commentary – Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle for coverage of Texas grand jury abuses. | The Chronicle’s prize story.
Criticism – Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times for her television criticism.
Editorial writing – Kathleen Kingsbury of the Boston Globe for “Service Not Included.” | The Globe’s prize story.
Editorial Cartooning – Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News. | The News’ prize story.
Breaking News Photography – St. Louis Post-Dispatch photography staff for its images from Ferguson. | The P-D’s prize story.
Feature Photography – Daniel Berehulak, New York Times freelancer, for his photographs of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Bloomberg View’s Paula Dwyer, a former New York Times editor, discusses the newspaper on the “Full Disclosure” podcast (discussion starts at 47:10):
The [Ochs Sulzberger] family is very dedicated to that newspaper and I don’t think they would sell out the way that Don Graham did at the Washington Post or the way that the family did at the Wall Street Journal or even the Los Angeles Times. …I think they really do feel that they have a trust, that they have been trusted with this national treasure, and it is a national treasure. The interesting thing is, the New York Times’ journalism is still fantastic, and Dean Baquet, the executive editor there, is not going to let up. …
Maybe Mike Bloomberg will step up to the plate and say, “This is a national treasure and I need to save it.” He always says, “I’m not interested in owning the New York Times. Why would I want to own that? I have Bloomberg LP.” But the New York Times is a different animal than what Bloomberg is. I think he should buy it, but he’s not asking me for my advice. …
You could buy the New York Times now – their market capitalization is only about 1.2, 1.3 billion – so it would be cheap. But you couldn’t get it for that; you would have to pay many multiples over that to convince the family to sell. But then once you do that you’d be in the position that Rupert Murdoch found himself in – remember, he way overpaid for the Wall Street Journal – so once you do that then you have to figure a way to monetize that. It would have to be a charitable thing, it would have to be a trophy for some wealthy hedge fund manager or something like that, and that’s not the person the New York Times will be sold to. The family won’t do it.