- From Saturday's New York Times front page

– From Saturday’s New York Times front page

Credit goes to New York Times assistant national editor Renee Murawski and assistant news editor Philip Gray. “It was obviously tongue-in-cheek for a column, and well done,” says Dan Barry, author of the phone booth piece.

* NYT has taken to Voxplaining things for the millennials (@anibundel) | More tweets
* “I see a Pulitzer for explanatory journalism in someone’s future” (
* A town won’t let go of a coin-drop line to the past | Saturday’s A1 (

July 5 update: The New York Times says Sharma also accepted free hotel accommodations while working for them.

On June 10, the Wall Street Journal reported that it caught freelance travel writer Akhil Sharma accepting free and discounted goods and servicessharma – including hotel stays – while doing Journal pieces. The paper removed his stories from its archives.

“Nobody seems to have noticed that the NYT ran a travel article by him a few days later,” a Romenesko reader writes in an email. “Or maybe nobody cares?” (Sharma had a story in the June 15 Times print edition. It went online two days earlier.)

Update: Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy says: “After seeing the Journal’s note, we asked the writer about this week’s piece, which had already gone to press. He said he had not received any free benefits in connection with the piece. It is longstanding Times policy not to allow travel writers to accept free or discounted travel benefits.”

Update 2: Sharma did accept free hotel accommodations while on assignment for the Times, according to the paper. (h/t @phil_rosenthal)

Editors’ Note: June 30, 2014
After this article was published, editors learned that the writer had accepted free accommodations from the hotel that is mentioned. Times policy does not allow travel writers to accept such benefits; if editors had known in advance about the arrangement, the article would not have been published.

* Wall Street Journal freelancer took freebies and discounts while on assignment (
* Earlier: “Was this freelancer given or offered a budget for reporting? That’s the key question” (

The New York Times reported earlier this week that 20 to 40 Wall Street Journal employees have been let go in recent weeks and “the layoffs have not been announced to the newsroom staff.” They were not announced to the newsroom union, either.

“Quite frankly,” says a union memo, “if 40 people at The Journal lost their jobs last week, we don’t know who they are.”

From: Your Union: IAPE 1096
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2014 9:09 AM
Subject: On Layoffs And Holiday Pay


Many of you have contacted the IAPE office and asked about recent media reports describing layoffs at The Wall Street Journal.WSJ

Quite frankly, if 40 people at The Journal lost their jobs last week, we don’t know who they are. The Company is required to provide the Union with notices of any layoffs affecting IAPE-represented employees. We did receive notification of four new layoffs last Friday – three from Sales, one from News – to go along with Technology department cuts from earlier in the year.

Our layoff list is posted on the Union website.

If those media reports are accurate, we can only speculate that they represent the elimination of management and other non-Union positions, or open jobs that had been posted as vacancies.

* Wall Street Journal said to have cut 20 to 40 jobs (

A rep for ACES, the American Copy Editors Society, sent me an abstract of ACES president Teresa Schmedding‘s blog posts on what rules a copy editor shouldn’t lose sleep over and what things are keeping her up at night. Thoughts from Schmedding (pictured below):

We — as editors, copy editors and journalists — need to stop rioting in the streets over things that readers don’t care about.aces Instead, we need to focus on things that impede comprehension, that seriously damage our credibility and things that are just flat-out wrong. Call them what you want: rules, guidelines, misconceptions, old traditions or outdated notions. Here are five things that, for the most part, only matter to us and we’re wasting our time whipping ourselves into a frenzy over.

1. More than v. over
2. Question headlines
3. Repetition
4. Abbreviating state names
5. Starting sentences or paragraphs with conjunctions

Now, to be fair , here what is keeping me up at night. Unfortunately, it’s far harder to narrow this list down, but instead of listing all 200, I’ll keep it to five:

1. Numbers, numerals … any digits
2. Privacy, fairness and accuracy in crime, tragedy stories, reader comments
3. Plagiarism and fabrication
4. Pun headlines
5. Our content is just too darn boring for anyone to read. Or too homogeneous to pay for.

* Losing sleep over…/Not losing sleep over… (
* Earlier: Why copy editors need to worry about hyphens (

After hearing about the death of Louis Zamperini, a Romenesko reader rewatched the “CBS Sunday Morning” segment about the Olympian and World War II P.O.W. “Towards the end of the piece there is a picture of Louie and [biographer] Laura Hillenbrand sitting together,” writes my tipster. “Hillenbrand just ran the same picture on her Facebook page. Did CBS do something to the picture or did Hillenbrand and her people send the picture to CBS altered?” (I’ve asked.) The tipster points out the photo-doctoring (right photo) at the 8:40 mark in the video. [Update: A reader points out that the altered photo has appeared in other places, which leads me to believe that the author's reps did the Photoshopping.]

* Video: A war hero’s unbroken bond with his biographer (

* Update: “Wonderful writer in any neckline,” and other comments (

A tipster writes: “Keep an eye on papers that ran a cartoon by Dana Summers last week [I got it from Monday's Tampa Tribune] that misidentified Edward Klein as Joe Klein. The cartoon accepted Ed Klein’s dubious account of Hillary’s heart condition but attributed it to the much more credible Joe Klein – apparently an honest mistake by the cartoonist, although a very serious one. After prompting, the Tribune syndicate sent out a correction.” I’ve asked Tribune Content Agency to forward the correction.

* Ed Klein’s book says Hillary Clinton has a heart problem (

FRANKNOWUpdate: That’s me, says CBS News correspondent Frank Ucciardo (at right). He was a UPI reporter when the photo was taken.

Letter to Romenesko
From JESSICA BURSTEIN: I’m a photographer living in NYC and am trying to identify the reporterin the attached photograph, which I shot at the 1992 Democratic Convention. Corbis, my licensing agency, wants a release and I’m obligated to follow up. Various people have been trying to help and the best guess, thus far, has been that it’s either Howard Kurtz or Agent 86-Maxwell Smart. photo

* David Brooks says his first six months at the New York Times were “the worst” because “I had never been hated [by readers] on a mass scale before.” (
* The Wall Street Journal has quietly cut 20 to 40 jobs. (
* Vice Media plans to add 525 jobs and move into “freaky, space-age” Brooklyn digs. (Right: Vice’s future home.) (
* Jay Carney: I’m proud of a lot of my work as White House press secretary, but… (
* Washington Post beefs up its National Politics desk and institutes new deadlines. (
* Leave James Risen alone! (
* The only time I took a drug test is when Knight Ridder/St. Paul Pioneer Press demanded one before I was hired. (
* A reporting team hopes to tell the stories of the Sherpas. “Donating to this project will not only support underreported journalism, but will also help the community there.” (
* JOBS: Blog about arts and culture for a weekly … or cover politics and government in California. (Romenesko Jobs)
* A 1983 Harvard Business Review article helps explains why Glen Taylor bought the Minneapolis Star Tribune. (
* The Star Tribune’s historic medallions are going on the Wells Fargo building. (
* Survey: 40% say it would be difficult, if not impossible, to give up their smartphone for a day – even if given $100 to do it. (

“How can a mug shot released to everyone by police be a ‘TMZ exclusive mug shot?’” asks a Romenesko reader. I called Hartford Police Department Public Information Officer Brian J. Foley and he said nobody has an exclusive on the police photo of WWE wrestler “Emma,” who is accused of stealing from Wal-Mart. Foley said he’s sent out photos of the WWE “diva” to dozens of media outlets.

Foley’s email to news organizations is after the jump. Read More

On June 2, Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory announced that Tom Farragher was stepping down as Spotlight team editor to work on “high impact enterprise stories.”
McGrory now tells his staff: “Never mind.”

“Sometimes great ideas overtake very good ones, and this is one of those times. Upon further consideration, I’ve asked Tom to become a new Metro columnist for the Globe, a job for which he is uniquely and ideally equipped.”

From: McGrory, Brian
Date: Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Subject: Tom Farragher, Part 2

It was in early June when I shared the news that Tom Farragher had chosen to leave his coveted perch as editor of Spotlight after an extraordinary eight year run. At the time, I said he’d be returning to the Metro operation to write high impact enterprise stories, play a significant role in major news events, and report his own projects. I believe I might have said that the future of the Globe, if not all of journalism, pretty much hinged on Tom successfully performing this critical new assignment.

So there’s really no way to say this delicately: Never mind./CONTINUES Read More