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“Nobody is the same after being interviewed by @karaswisher”
– Jack Shafer tweet from February 13

I finally got around to listening to Jack Shafer on the Longform podcast that was posted earlier this month. Here’s the Politico media writer and former Washington City Paper editor talking to Max Linsky about hiring journalists:

You make mistakes. I’ve hired people I shouldn’t have hired, and then what you try to do is either reform them, reform yourself, or rectify the error and tell them to leave.

Jack Shafer

Jack Shafer

I mean, there are writers who came to me – I’ll give you a great example: I hired [at Washington City Paper], fresh out of college, Kara Swisher. And Kara Swisher I hired basically because she’s a dynamo, she’s unstoppable – just a force of nature.

But it wasn’t the right time for her. She didn’t embrace stories about conflict, her writing wasn’t particularly good, her editing wasn’t particularly good, and we agreed to part after I think it was six or eight months. But she got right back into the game. [He describes her successes after leaving City Paper.] … Maybe I should have given Kara another two months and I would have been able to harness this dynamo. So you make mistakes all the time. You think somebody doesn’t have it. You send them back to the minors, or you put them on waivers, and then they go succeed someplace else.

* Longform Podcast #128: Jack Shafer (longform.org)

Update:

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From Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s fundraising letter:
walker

* Scott Walker tries to turn controversy into cash (businessinsider.com)
* Spokeswoman: Walker isn’t going to respond to media’s “gotcha” questions (jsonline.com)
* Wisconsin State Journal has a “Tracking Scott Walker” page (madison.com)

Also: Walker took a selfie at the WH and Twitter hated it (suntimes.com)

spell

My first thought after seeing this reader-submitted screenshot was: Some prankster must have altered the headline to remove the second E. But no, that’s how it currently reads on PennLive.com. (Here’s a cache of version #1 in case they correct the error. UPDATE: They’ve fixed it.)

* Students are hoping to spell “victory” in Spelling Be [sic] (pennlive.com)


A St. Paul Pioneer Press police reporter tweeted on Sunday:

I asked Kristi Belcamino to tell us more, and she replied:

My editor asked me to go to the mall and see what it was like after the warnings from Homeland Security after the al-Shabaab video was released.

Along with interviewing mall visitors, we wanted to talk to someone in the security office or the mall spokesperson. We were having a hard time getting in touch with anyone at the mall by phone so my first stop was at an information desk near an entrance.

I asked the woman where the security office was. She said she would call security and someone would come down and talk to me right there. She called and told them a reporter from the Pioneer Press was interested in talking to them. She frowned at what they were saying and hung up the phone.

“They said you aren’t supposed to be here today. They are sending someone down here to escort you out.”

I told her I wasn’t waiting around to get kicked out and took off toward the center of the mall, taking off my jacket and scarf in case she described me. I spent the next hour talking to people for my story without any problems and headed back to the newsroom.

Here’s Belcamino’s story from Monday’s Pioneer Press.

* Read the comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers


philly* Great new ad campaign, Daily News! (@DavidLeePreston)
* Unemployment rates for recent college grads are falling for everyone but journalism majors. (“Other majors actually have higher unemployment rates – architects are highest at 10.3 percent – but journalism’s continues to climb.”) (fusion.net)
* New York magazine goes through Andrew Sullivan‘s blog archives. (nymag.com)
* Eric Engberg on Bill O’Reilly: “He was the kind of guy who wanted to find a story that was going to get him on the air that night.” (washingtonpost.com) | A hot topic on Kurtz and Stelter’s Sunday morning shows: (adweek.com)
* Ratings check: Lester Holt vs. Brian Williams. (adage.com)
* Daily Texan editor candidates have to write a piece about what role fundraising should play in the student newspaper’s future. (dailytexanonline.com)
* Andrew Cuomo: I read the New York Post so I know garbage. (observer.com)
* An NPR listener complains about music correspondent Ann Powers being “allowed to plug her husband’s book” without a disclosure. (npr.org)
* JOBS: The Colorado Independent is looking for an associate editor. (Romenesko Jobs)
* “People who aren’t supposed to remember what it’s like to even smell books” – that would be millennials – still prefer reading in print. (washingtonpost.com) | A wish-fulfillment piece? (@jbenton)
* How the New York Times has described BuzzFeed over the years: (@sealln)
* Editorial: “In Montclair, it’s appropriate to create and sustain a scholarship that may inspire a future Clem Taylor, David Carr, or Bob Simon.” (northjersey.com) | “60 Minutes” remembers Simon. (cbsnews.com)
* Sports producer Michael Weisman is put in charge of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” (variety.com)
* Paging through the revamped New York Times Magazine with Felix Salmon. (fusion.net)
* Wife of fired Alabama Media Group journalist: “This city has lost its voice for the voiceless due to a toxic, heartless company’s desire to destroy people’s careers. I despise AMG.” (Joey Kennedy told me he’s hiring a lawyer and didn’t want to say anything about his dismissal now.) (facebook.com)
* SPONSORED: Northeastern University’s Media Innovation Program takes a unique approach to journalism education. (northeastern.edu)
* Maryland governor’s lawyer advises that all correspondence to the state’s leader be stamped: “CONFIDENTIAL, FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY – PROTECTED BY EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE.” (baltimoresun.com)
* “We’re looking to diversify, we’re looking to grow into areas that we aren’t now,” says Crain’s Chicago Business publisher. (chicagotribune.com)
* An editor at the Florence (SC) Morning News apologizes for allowing a “careless” letter to be published. (scnow.com)


liveto

Former Washingtonian editor Jack Limpert, who put out the cover on the left in 1982, read Time’s piece from the latest issue (“actually good journalism”) and concluded that “you might live to 142 but you’ll be four feet tall, almost blind, diabetic, and, if you’re a man, beware of shrunken testicles.”

He adds: “As an editor, I’d be a little embarrassed about coming up with that live-to-be-142 cover to sell some good reporting.”

* What editors will do to sell magazines: First, find a cute baby (jacklimpert.com)
* The new age of much older age (time.com)

Investigative reporter Ken Silverstein has resigned from First Look Media’s The Intercept after 14 months, saying he and others were hired “under what were essentially false pretenses [by being] told we would be given all the financial and other support we needed to do independent,inter important journalism, but instead found ourselves blocked at every step of the way by management’s incompetence and bad faith.”

He adds:

The most telling example, was what happened to [First Look Media site] Racket. I won’t repeat that whole story but I will say that after the company forced Matt Taibbi to resign — and they left him no choice — and then told the rest of the staff that perhaps we could all continue working on a version of Racket without Matt.

None of us really believed it and in the end it was clear First Look had no intention of proceeding with such a project, it just a game it played so Pierre Omidyar and other people in the corporate leadership would look like they seriously cared about the Racket staff when in fact they clearly didn’t.

Silverstein’s story about his time at the Omidyar-owned news site is set to “Friends Only” on Facebook, but the former Harper’s Washington editor gave me permission to share it with Romenesko readers. His posts begin after the jump./CONTINUES Read More

hitch

“An unfortunate typo from my hometown paper,” writes Romenesko reader Rhiannon Meyers. “Spotted in [Friday’s] Times Tribune in Brookshire, Texas.” I notice that it’s also “bitches,” not britches, in the online headlineand “its” instead of it’s.


No? I could have guessed that.


* Bill O’Reilly calls Brian Stelter “another far left zealot … masquerading as a journalist.” (foxnews.com)
* O’Reilly says Mother Jones reporter David Corn deserves to be in “the kill zone.” (politico.com) | Apologize, Bill! (adweek.com)
* Check out all of the news organizations that want to use the photo of a mirror that fell at Balthazar restaurant. (@lizeswein) | It’s a 22-graf story in the New York Times. (nytimes.com)
* Business Insider may be onto something with its we-didn’t-bother-to-confirm disclaimer. (johnkrolldigital.com)
jake* New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein (left) “has a boyish charm and an instinct for mixing the fun with the serious.” (observer.com)
* Ebony editor Mitzi Miller steps down after 10 months on the job. (mije.org) | (theybf.com)
* MSNBC insists its primetime lineup “is solid.” (We’ll check back in a month or two on that.) (cnn.com)
* Spring training is “six weeks of journalistic waterboarding.” (wbur.org)
* “Local sports columnist loses his shit.” (@vodscott) | (deadspin.com)
* JOBS: The Colorado Independent is looking for an associate editor. (Romenesko Jobs)
* More on Gannett’s Louisville paper closing its Washington bureau and creating new beats. (insiderlouisville.com)
* Calgary alt-paper Fast Forward Weekly closes after 19 years. (ffwdweekly.com)
* A newspaper war breaks out in tiny Butler, Missouri. “I don’t need sympathy,” says an embattled owner. “I need labor. I need layout. I need workers.” (kansascity.com)
newjob

lex

“Lex Fenwick at a fashion show?” asks the Dow Jones employee who sent this photo. “I’m told it is really him, but I’m not certain 100 percent.” Help us out, please, Dow Jones employees. (Drop me a confidential note at jim@jimromenesko.com.)

Fenwick resigned – the Guardian said “ousted” – as Dow Jones CEO in January of 2014, after less than two years with the company. His departure followed a dismal earnings report.

Update: Fenwick’s Instagram photos.

* Lex and Ikue Fenwick attend Wednesday’s Rolando Santana runway show (gettyimages.com) | More photos of Lex and Ikue (bfanyc.com)

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