“It’s my job as an editor to see around corners, to look at all the possible meanings and nuances of words and of images,” writes Boston Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen. “It’s my job and two weeks ago I failed at it miserably” when the above cartoon got into the paper.
The artist who drew it – “a decent and honorable and utterly guileless man who gets an image lodged in his brain” – saw a tube of watermelon toothpaste that his kids left on a bathroom counter before he went to work. Cohen and cartoonist Jerry Holbert didn’t see a problem with the sketch, but why didn’t someone else at the paper raise an eyebrow?
On the night in question — the night the cartoon appeared on a page proof, the proof was not left in the proper bin. No senior news editor ever saw it.
And every evening the publisher gets a copy of the editorials sent to his email — not the images — only the words.
So there you have it. The remarkably simple way in which bad stuff can happen.
Longtime Boston media critic Dan Kennedy says “kudos to Cohen for a straightforward, no-excuses apology, and to the Herald’s management for coming to grips with a serious lapse in a serious manner.”
“Shocktoberfest,” Ebola – You’re scaring us above-the-fold, Reading Eagle
* Ebola Deeply website launches. (fastcompany.com)
* James Risen tells Terry Gross: “I’ve had a lot of time to think about [the possibility of going to prison]. It’s just now part of the background noise in my life.” (npr.org)
* San Francisco Bay Guardian’s owners “have told us that if we can find a buyer, the Guardian can be sold,” says editor Steven T. Jones. “For the members of our community that want to own a progressive newspaper at fire sale prices, contact us.” (sfgate.com) | Check out the last issue under the current owners: (issuu.com) | Joe Strupp‘s tribute. (blogspot.com)
* Bill Simmons, who returns to ESPN today after a three-week suspension, “is furious and has been talking a lot about whether ESPN is still the right place for him.” (NYT via boston.com) | What Simmons did during his suspension: (nymag.com)
* White House correspondents are using Google Groups to distribute pool reports without Obama press office interference. (washingtonpost.com)
* Oh, great: “Although we’re still two years out from the presidential race, there’s more coverage this time around than in previous election cycles.” (pewresearch.org)
* An Indianapolis TV crew is carjacked while covering a prayer vigil. (indystar.com)
* Los Angeles Times sues the Orange County Register. “The Register has repeatedly broken its promises and breached its agreements,” the suit says.
* The Register’s investors are moving ex-publisher Aaron Kushner to the back of the bus. (niemanlab.org)(latimes.com) * Among women, Pinterest is more popular than Twitter. (forbes.com)
* Ezra Klein on Vox’s new email newsletter: “I don’t care if it drives traffic back to the site. I care if the people who read it feel well served by it.” (niemanlab.org)
* What’s Mark Zuckerberg discussing with Samsung in South Korea? (wsj.com)
* You’ll soon be able to buy HBO shows on the web. (recode.net)
* Arkansas journalists learn through a Google News Alert that their newspaper building is for sale. (arktimes.com)
A Romenesko reader writes: “Have you heard anything about significant departures at the Tennessean? Freep reporters are telling folks that Nashville is seeking temps from Detroit and perhaps other Gannett properties.”
Yes, I have heard that … and I asked Gannett spokesman Jeremy Gaines about the reports. He forwarded my email to Tennessean executive editor Stefanie Murray, and she replied (with my boldface):
When we announced our newsroom restructuring at The Tennessean in August, we knew there would be a massive change in beats, reporting structure and workflow, all geared toward creating a more dynamic, responsive newsroom of the future – today. We are currently about two months in to our restructuring and have about another month to go.
As I said in a column a couple weeks ago, it’s an emotional, hopeful and scary time for the staff. Change is not easy!
We do have several open jobs at this moment as folks come and go, and that’s been apparent by the 20+ job postings that have been on the Gannett careers website for the past month. We’ve been able to make several local hires, but for others, it takes time for folks to give two weeks notice, move their family to Nashville, etc. We are leaning on our sister Gannett publications to send us a few reporters to help out while some of our new hires relocate to Nashville. And we are very thankful for that support! They’ll be with us for the next two weeks, and all are excited to visit Nashville and help us out.
I do want to be clear that we are not using any temps.
A Romenesko reader writes: “Ten-year-old in Scranton, PA is charged as an adult in the murder of a 90-year-old. Throughout the [Allentown (PA) Morning Call] story, the 10-year-old suspect is referred to as ‘Mr. Kurilla.’ Seems more than a little bizarre, adult charges notwithstanding.”
From Ryan Glasspiegel’s interview with longtime Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan:
On the teams’ treatment of sports journalists: “As far as writing, it’s very annoying what they’ve done to us. They treat the writers like cow dung. They care not one lick about the print press. They are so close to charging us to get in that it’s frightening. That’s a whole other matter. …They care about television. That’s it. Everything else is a bother.”
His media diet: “I get the Boston Globe and New York Times at home. And then I go and I purchase the USA Today, New York Post, New York Daily News daily at my local newsstand. I read all the New York people, of course. Online I read a lot at ESPN.com daily. I don’t read Yahoo, CBS Sports, and other stuff as often as I should. You can only do so much.”
On Twitter: “I’m following more people on Twitter, and I’m enjoying it. [He's following 83 people.] I haven’t really concentrated on that until very, very recently. …Suddenly I’m into it a little bit, and I find myself thinking Oh great. One more thing that’s time consuming! As if it’s not enough that I’m trying to get through six papers a day plus the Wall Street Journal on Friday and Saturday because of their wonderful entertainment section. They’re indispensable. But — that’s hours of stuff! And next thing you know it’s lunchtime.”
What he’d do if he were coming out of college today: “I wouldn’t want to be a beat writer. … I don’t think that’s an enjoyable way to make a living any longer. The lack of access is totally frustrating, and the conditions that I just described about how you’re treated like a total afterthought, who needs that? …What I would probably do — as much as I love to write, and I did and I do — I’d want to get into sports on the other side. I’d want to work for a team or a league and work my way through that rather than being involved in the coverage knowing what I know about what that’s like now.”
* Former Harrah’s exec Richard Mirman replaces Aaron Kushner as Orange County Register publisher. (ocregister.com) | “Looks like newspaper investor coup,” tweets the paper’s former travel editor. (@thegarywarner) * Susan Glasser: “That narrative [that Politico is a 'boy's club'] has no truth to it,” but “journalism writ large has a ‘boy’s club’ problem.” (usatoday.com)
* What happened here, New York Times? (Right: Front page, below-the-fold story in today’s Times.) (@dgelles) | The Gannett jokes follow. (@mbrumble)
* No “Redskins” ban at NPR. Staffers are told: “The team’s name is the name and our job is to report on the world as it is, not to take a position or become part of the story.” (npr.org)
* “The Guardian has been dragging its feet on the pursuit of NSA-related stories while keeping the [New York] Times on a short leash.” (thedailybeast.com)
* HBO refuses to say it has a “news unit”; it prefers to say it has a “non-fiction area.” (variety.com)
* BuzzFeed’s “secret weapon” is promoted to publisher. (recode.net)
* John Henry: “I prefer to think that I have joined the [Boston] Globe, not purchased it.” (commonwealthmagazine.org) | via @dankennedy_nu
* Meet Gannett’s interactive applications group. (digiday.com)
* I’d love to be listening in on NBC’s PR department meetings today. (deadline.com)
* Comic books are still a guy thing: “Female characters make up only 30.9% of the DC universe and 30.6% of the Marvel universe.” (fivethirtyeight.com)
* Not your mother’s – or Helen Gurley Brown‘s – Cosmo. (npr.org)
* Denver alt-weekly Westword gets a kick out of Miley Cyrus‘s cover spoof. (westword)
* A story you’ve probably never pitched: The secret emotional lives of punctuation marks. (theweek.com)
* Eleanor Clift on Jan Hooks: “She picked up on mannerisms I didn’t even know I had.” (bloomberg.com)
* McClatchy’s Raleigh News & Observer moves local and business news into the A section. (“Merging our two news sections into one during the week will enable us to better manage our space.”) (newsobserver.com)
The “shriveled” New York Times – with 1,330 people in its newsroom – “has nobody left to scratch up news,” according to Cindy Adams. Does she know that the Post has only 180 or so editorial staffers remaining after cuts earlier this year?
…while another Texas paper had a different result:
The Huntsville Item sent this response to my inquiry: “It appears to have been a lapse in communication or some other sort of human error between our news desk and sports desk. The correct score and victory appear on the sports page. We’re still looking into the exact cause.” (Thanks to Romenesko reader Robert Hurst for sending the Huntsville Item image.)