I’ve invited WTIC and Angela Dias to respond to Owens’ post. Thursday update: No word from them.
The Philadelphia Inquirer won a Pulitzer on Monday for architecture criticism – a beat that one of the paper’s owners wants eliminated, according to two Inquirer sources.
Twice in late 2012, I’m told, George Norcross criticized Inga Saffron – she won the paper’s Pulitzer this week – for not being a Philadelphia booster. He told an Inquirer journalist that “she brings down every major building in the city” in her reviews, one of my sources reports.
“Who needs an architecture critic?” Norcross reportedly said. I’m told that she was among the columnists that the newspaper co-owner wanted reassigned to reporting duties.
Norcross spokesman Daniel Fee tells me: “I guarantee you no one has spoken to George Norcross about Inga Saffron. George is happy that Inga’s work was recognized, and believes it was well deserved.
“Anonymous statements are worthless. If someone wants to attach their name to it, along with the details of when they assert these conversations occurred, I’d be really interested in knowing it – because then we’d know who is willing to make things up out of whole cloth.”
Saffron has heard that Norcross isn’t a fan, “but honestly I have no way of knowing if it’s true,” she says.
Her columns are posted on Philly.com – Norcross’s daughter, Lexie, is digital operations director – along with news stories and aren’t marked as architecture criticism.
“I think that policy is a huge mistake,” Saffron tells me. “Columnists are a brand that helps attract eyeballs. We should be doing everything we can trade on their identities.”
She adds in an email:
The title “architecture critic” is an old one that doesn’t reflect the breadth of what we do today. We’re really city critics and this is a time of profound change for American cities. We’re seeing quite a few big cities like Philadelphia rebound from years of depopulation and disinvestment, while others like Detroit struggle to find their footing. Pulitzer awards can’t help but tap into trends, so I think it’s no accident that both my work and [Detroit Free Press editorial page editor] Stephen Henderson’s were cited this year.
* “Tell me exactly how this is breaking news, CNN?” (@WillMcAvoyACN)
* Earlier: Meet the people who didn’t know the Titanic disaster was a real historic event. (jimromenesko.com)
* Aaron Kushner‘s Los Angeles Register debuts. (laobserved.com)
* John Henry‘s apparently an okay newspaper owner. (“While he has not yet raised pay, in January he absorbed a 6 percent increase in health costs that would have otherwise gone to [Boston Globe] employees.”) (nytimes.com)
* Diane Sawyer‘s newscast tops Brian Williams‘ in the 25-54 demo for one week; “NBC Nightly News” is #1 in total viewers, though. (nytimes.com)
* SPJ announces the winners of its Sigma Delta Chi Awards, including the Boston Globe for reporting under deadline. (spj.org)
* Pulitzer judges snub sportswriters – again. (shermanreport.com)
* Why didn’t the New York Times’ Dasani piece win a Pulitzer? (cjr.org)
* The 35 most powerful people in New York media, according to Hollywood Reporter. (hollywoodreporter.com) | The list.
* Google eliminates “How to become a drug dealer” and 1,200 other predicted search phrases. (washingtonpost.com)
* College newspaper publishers are advised to stick with print. (collegemediamatters.com)
* Marty Baron talks to NPR about the Washington Post’s two Pulitzers. (npr.org)
* Amanda Kludt is promoted to editor-in-chief at Vox Media’s Eater. (capitalnewyork.com)
A Romenesko reader writes:
I was wondering if you or your readers had any good book recommendations for folks new to management. Especially any books by newspaper people about leading a newsroom.
I posted this note on my Facebook wall a few minutes ago and suggestions are already pouring in. Do you have any books to add to the list?
Highlights from New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson’s podcast chat with Catie Lazarus:
* “[Nate Silver's lawyer] said to me, ‘[Repping Nate is] like representing the prettiest girl at the party.’ I looked at him with kind of a raised eyebrow and just in a deadpan voice, I said to him, ‘I’m very sorry, but The New York Times is always the prettiest girl at the party.’ I believed that then and I believed that now.”
* “I have often paused and wished I could take a month off and go to business school and really study. Actually, my predecessor Bill Keller did that, and I think before him that Howell Raines did that as well. I envy them that they did that.”
* About letters she’s received: “The most absurd is after a C-Span appearance a reader, who was in prison, wrote me begging me for a pair of my glasses. I thought that was absurd and slightly ominous.”
* About her tattoos: “I have now four. I think eventually, when I finish doing them, will tell the story of me, of where I lived, and what things have been important to me. … I have two then on my back that are the two institutions that I revere, that have shaped me. One is unsurprisingly the amazing ‘T’ in The New York Times newspaper. Then I have a Crimson Harvard ‘H’ and that’s for Harvard, and also for my husband Henry, who we met when we were in the same class at Harvard. … And now I feel like shooting myself for spending, like 10 minutes, talking about such a trivial thing.”
CareerCast is out with its latest best/worst jobs listings. Newspaper reporting – ranked the worst job out of 200 occupations last year – is in the 199th slot this year.
191. Corrections officer
193. Garbage collector
194. Flight attendent
195. Head cook
197. Taxi driver
198. Enlisted military personnel
199. Newspaper reporter (“A job that has lost its luster dramatically over the past five years is expected to plummet even further [-13%] by 2022 as more and more print publications abandon operations.”)
CAREERCAST’S TOP TEN JOBS: Mathematician; tenured university professor; statistician; actuary; audiologist; dental hygienist; software engineer; computer systems analyst; occupational therapist; and speech pathologist.
CareerCast publisher Tony Lee explains why the reporting job moved up a notch: The work environment for lumberjacks “got a little worse,” while it stayed the same for reporters. Also, pay for lumberjacks declined more than it did for reporters.
* It was “idiotic” for the Pulitzer judges not to give a feature-writing prize, says Daniel Okrent. “The notion that there was no prize-quality feature-writing this year doesn’t imply there’s anything wrong with feature writing; it just suggests there’s something wrong with the prize committee.” (dailynewsgems.com)
* Jay Rosen: “No prize for the network of journalists and newsrooms that brought the surveillance story forward.” (pressthink.org)
* Sig Gissler (left), administrator of the journalism prizes, refuses to channel Joseph Pulitzer. (theawl.com)
* Surprise! People don’t rush out to buy newspapers just because they’re Pulitzer-winners. (fivethirtyeight.com)
* Sorry, Pulitzer winners, but we’ll quickly forget that you got the prize. (washingtonpost.com)
* University of Missouri-St. Louis student government sticks with its decision to cut newspaper funding. (stltoday.com)
* Scott Smith: “People who bemoan lack of comment sections are Web 1.0 folks who remember when comments were discussions, not digital cross-burnings.” (ourmaninchicago.net)
* John Cook, editor-in-chief of Pierre Omidyar‘s The Intercept, is looking to hire journalists who are fast, not white, and not male. (niemanlab.org)
* A California newspaper publisher – the guy who lifted a Michael Sam commentary a few months ago – faces a $5,000 fine for running misleading political ads. (thedowneypatriot.com)
* Akron Beacon Journal is the only news organization that’s staying on top of the Kent State documents-shredding story. (whenjournalismfails.com)
* Ryan Chittum on USA Today’s clickbait. (“I counted 12 bylines in one day from one reporter.”) (cjr.org)
* Aol.com adds what it calls “premium” video content to its home page. (hollywoodreporter.com) | Jeff Jarvis: “Aol premium video? Looks like cable leftovers: meatloaf TV.” (@jeffjarvis)
* Looking for a scent critic? Michael Perry‘s your man. (madison.com)
In the late 1960s, an 8-year-old girl saw coins on a stack of Sunday newspapers at her neighborhood pharmacy. “In my child’s mind I found money,” she tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Looking back the coins were buying newspapers.” Two weeks ago the “coin thief” – now 55 – mailed her confession and a $5 check to the paper’s accounting department.