— Eric Scott Johnson (@HeyHeyESJ) April 24, 2015
The big announcement at Tuesday’s Gannett Town Hall meeting was that the broadcasting/digital side would be renamed TEGNA, but most of the emails I got from employees that day were about the “Everything is Awesome” video, featuring Gannett CEO Gracia Martore and her executive team lip-synching and “playing” guitars. I finally got a copy of that video, which includes at least one misspelled word (at right). The opening lyrics:
Everything is awesome.
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.
Everything is awesome when you’re living out a dream.
Everything is better when we stick together…
Arthur Raney (Florida State University), Mary Beth Oliver (Penn State), Sophie Janicke (University of Arkansas) and Robert Jones (Public Religion Research Institute) will spend the next three years researching whether good news can help make us better people.
The proposal that got them $1.95 million from the John Templeton Foundation was titled, “Your Daily Dose of Inspiration: Exploring How People Use and Are Impacted by Media Content that Elicits Self-Transcendent Emotions.”
From the Penn State release:
Inspirational media can take many forms: viral videos, social media, television and films, and even newspaper stories.
The research team will take a deeper look at what makes media inspiring, who seeks out such content and why, and how people use it to stimulate positive emotions. It will also explore how those emotional experiences might build character and promote greater care and concern for other people.
I’ve asked lead researcher Raney if he’ll share his proposal with us. Update – “The proposal is actually quite long and (at times) technical/jargony,” Raney writes in an email. “So, we have no plans to post it. However, we will launch a website this Fall for the project (which officially begins in August). It will contain information that might prove interesting to you and your readers.”
Chaz Repak, the global real estate and facilities services director at Dow Jones, gives us a tour of the 7th floor workspaces at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, home of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. (I like the music that Chaz has playing in background. Please email me if you can identify it. Update: Thanks to Debbie Hoffman and her son for telling me that it’s “Still a Soldier” by Ancient Astronauts.)
[Left] “We’ve got fun seating, to stimulate creativity.”
[Right/Chaz turns very serious] “I’d like to talk to you right now, but I’m in Focus Space. This is for individual work. So if you don’t mind, I’d prefer not to be disturbed.”
* [Above] Eat up. You’ll be happier. (nytimes.com)
* Home-improvement chain Menards sues Toledo Free Press for not disclosing lower distribution numbers or adjusting ad rates. (toledoblade.com)
* Can Gawker make unions cool again? (fastcompany.com)
* Comcast’s not getting Time Warner Cable – or Vox Media. (fortune.com)
* How should Diane Sawyer and other journalists refer to Bruce Jenner? ABC reps, according to Brian Stelter, “consistently refer to ‘Bruce’ rather than using a gender pronoun.” (money.cnn.com)
* Beautiful paintings that feature newspapers: (Rodich 2007)
* “If you hold on to [a newspaper job], your wages probably aren’t keeping pace with inflation. But public relations is growing, and the pay there is, too.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Denver Post Broncos writer Mike Klis jumps to TV sports. (westword.com)
* That’s high: Survey finds 4% of Americans trust the marketing industry. (adweek.com)
* The journalist who crowdsourced freelance word rates is trying to raise $6,500 to create a sort of Yelp for journalists. (kickstarter.com)
* Jake Tapper is named host of CNN’s Sunday morning “State of the Union.” (adweek.com)
* Poor Brian Williams; so unwanted. (washingtonpost.com)
* The Associated Press reports its first revenue gain in six years. (AP via abcnews.go.com)
* How to fix the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. (politico.com) | Paul Farhi on the dinner and journalism ethics. (washingtonpost.com)
* The Pulitzers: Joseph vs. Lilly. (democratandchronicle.com)
* Cal State Fullerton’s student paper runs a full-page A1 editorial blasting administrators’ “shameful track record of delaying and denying inquiries from Daily Titan reporters.” (dailytitan.com) | The front page: (issuu.com)
* University of Tampa’s newspaper is kicked out of its newsroom with little notice. (theminaretonline.com)
* Time’s tribute to film critic Richard Corliss, who died Thursday night. He was 71. (time.com)
Milwaukee freelance journalist Geoffrey Davidian, 70, tells Romenesko readers:
City of Milwaukee settled the federal civil rights case I filed after a cop broke my camera while I was recording several officers ticketing the victim after a squad car exited an alley and T-boned her car. When reporters and photogs have rights violated, they let their news organizations go to battle for them. But the violation is against the reporter and photog, not just the newspaper.
More power to the news organization that pushes back when an employee is violated, but the reporter or photographer still has a cause of action against rogue cops. We don’t act like the violated rights are our rights. It’s come to the point where we let the company’s rights take precedence over our own.
Anyone who sees the video of Police Officer Joseph Anderer grabbing my camera can see he smirks as he breaks it. Not until every instance of this conduct is challenged will there be justice for individual journalists. Meanwhile, taxpayers bail out these rogue cops all over the country, including repeat offenders like Anderer. I’m happy to share my strategy with any abused journalist and tell them what I did so that they can do it themselves.
* Aug. 26, 2012: Davidian: “I’m not going to go away. I intend to have my story public” (jsonline.com)
* April 21, 2015: City of Milwaukee settles with journalist over his broken camera (jsonline.com) | Video of the incident (youtube.com)
“I think we all have a relative like that,” writes the Romenesko reader who forwarded this screenshot from bostonglobe.com.
Rich Meislin, who is leaving the New York Times after almost 40 years, wrote what one Romenesko reader calls “the best farewell address.” Here it is:
Rich Meislin, April 22, 2015
When I started here as a copy boy almost four decades ago, The Times was distributed only once a day, only on newsprint, and only in black and white. The front page was eight columns, not six. The paper had only two sections each day. Abe Rosenthal was the editor.
Newsroom technology was pretty straightforward: reporters wrote their stories using manual typewriters on ten-part carbon books, which a copy boy would fetch, snap apart and distribute to many editors. Serious reordering of a story was done with scissors and paste, not copy and paste.
Finished stories were sucked by pneumatic tube to a huge composing room, where more than 800 people punched at Linotype keyboards and created type from molten lead, then assembled it into pages. The pages were pressed into mats and sent downstairs to be turned into plates and printed in the basement of 229 West 43rd Street. In the lobby, you could smell the ink in the air when the presses ran.
When I came to The Times, I dreamed of what was then a pretty typical career: I would hopefully work my way up from copy boy to be a reporter trainee and reporter, then maybe a Washington or foreign correspondent, and then an editor someday, maybe even a big-deal one.
My additional, private hope was that I could prove that I was a great reporter and become a correspondent before they found out I was gay./CONTINUES Read More
Catching up after a morning flight:
* John Robinson: “I believe I stayed [on as Greensboro News & Record editor] three years too long. Not because I lost my love for journalism or for newspapering. I lost my will to keep battling the alligators in a company that had a different vision than I.” (johnlrobinson.com)
* The end of journalism as a decent career? Hardly! (digidave.org)
* The White House Correspondents’ Association spent almost 60% of its revenue on scholarships in 2009, but just 26% in 2013. (washingtonian.com)
* #freejason pins will be distributed at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. (washingotnpost.com)
* Shame on you, Cumulus Media’s WPRO! A Rhode Island reporter spends months trying to get the money he’s owed. (patch.com)
* Miami of Ohio’s Miami Student retracts a feature story and apologizes. (miamistudent.net)
* Finding your radio voice apparently isn’t easy. (niemanlab.org)
* Howard Dean calls the press “one of the failed institutions in American democracy.” (politico.com) | Dean slams the New York Times, which is defended by reporter Jeremy Peters. (@morning_joe)
* JOBS: Bankrate.com is looking for a personal finance reporter, or work in Indiana as a marketing/communications director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Jon Stewart on Fox News’ “The Five”: “I think of it … as a shit taco.” (huffingtonpost.com)
* Journalism merges with theater at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. (adn.com)
Staffers at the University of Missouri’s independent student newspaper had to stop working on their Wednesday edition last night after someone phoned in a bomb threat to the Student Center, where the newsroom is located.
“We were roughly two hours into our production night when the Student Center was evacuated,” says Katie Pohlman, editor-in-chief of The Maneater. (The threat was called in at 7 p.m.)
The staff hoped to put the paper together outside of the newsroom.
We tossed around the idea of going to the Journalism School and working from there – we can work on our server as long as we’re connected to the school’s wireless – but we realized that most, if not all, of our InDesign pages were still pulled up on computers in the newsroom and therefore we couldn’t work on them. We also hadn’t dropped any photos onto the server and the photo editor’s computer was still in the newsroom, so we really couldn’t do much production work.
Pohlman warned her production team and printer that the weekly Maneater might have to come out a day late.
“I knew that if we could get back into the office anytime before midnight, when the Student Center locks, we would produce a paper with this [bomb threat] story as the main article,” the editor says.
Meanwhile, the student journalists set up a temporary newsroom of sorts “on a portion of grass, kitty-corner from the Student Center” and did their reporting on Twitter.
“We also only had one camera on hand so the photographer had to run around a five-block area taking photos of all the aspects of the incident,” says Pohlman. “We had to move around a bit as the police widened the perimeter so there was a lot of picking up and moving ourselves, our laptops and our temporary workspace down the street a little further.”
Finally, at about 10 p.m., The Maneater crew was allowed back into the newsroom.
It was crunch time. My production manager called on other members of our editorial board who had gone home already for design help. Every one was designing pages, reading stories and writing cutlines. Our social media editor and my managing editor came back to the newsroom to help the production process.
There were seven of us designing pages, when usually only three or four do. We all had adrenaline rushes and worked nonstop (usually our production nights are a little bit more casual with breaks to run up to the convenience store for snacks). Our production nights usually last from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the earliest, but, even with a two-hour delay last night, we got out at 2 a.m.
It was our fastest production night this year and we produced a 20-page paper.