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Mike Juley compiled this list and shared it with his Milwaukee Journal Sentinel colleagues before his recent retirement. “The tips really came from all parts of the newsroom,” he tells me. “I just happened to write them down. But I do sincerely believe in them and hope that they do some good.”

1. Ignore the haters. Time spent with them is time wasted.
2. Appreciate the work of your colleagues, and tell them so.
3. Know that, as busy as you are, there is someone in the newsroom who is busier.
4. Get to know the rest of the newsroom beyond your desk, for you are all in this together.
5. Don’t be afraid to pick up a ringing phone. It’s good to find out what an actual reader thinks.
6. Figure out your niche, and then own it.
7. Find a balance between recognizing great investigative work and recognizing great daily journalism.
8. Appreciate those who work during the day to generate our award-winning content, and also appreciate those who work anonymously at night to make that content look good and read well.
9. Putting out a newspaper and producing a website every day are difficult tasks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun doing it.
10. When your day is done, take a second to marvel at what you accomplished, and then vow to do even better tomorrow.


UPDATE: Bruce Murphy, who has covered Milwaukee media and politics for decades, writes: “Sources tell me the newspaper felt the heat of endorsing Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the bitterly contested recall election and decided it wasn’t worth it. The word is the newspaper will do no more endorsements unless the editors really feel like a candidate has crossed the line and they need to weigh in.”

UPDATE II: Editorial page editor David Haynes explains why the Journal Sentinel won’t be making endorsements.
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Wisconsin’s largest and most influential news organization — won’t be endorsing in the very tight presidential and Senate races this year. (Oct. 17 headline: “Marquette Law School Poll finds presidential and Senate races tied in Wisconsin.”)

I asked editorial page editor David Haynes about this and he replied in an email: “I’m writing a column on our decision for the Sunday paper. We may post that early (Friday). As a point of history: The JS did not endorse in the 2000 presidential election, and I remember [editor] Marty Kaiser writing at the time that it was not the first time that a newspaper in Milwaukee had not endorsed. It wasn’t common, but it had happened before.”

Will the paper be making any endorsements? “Sorry, going to have to put you off until we tell our readers,” Haynes replied.

I’m told that both U.S. Senate candidates Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson were furious when they heard the no-endorsement news; I’ve requested comment from both campaigns.

Inside the paper, I’m told, there’s the feeling that “we have two tough picks to make and we’re taking a pass,” and the paper is less relevant because of it.

Five years ago, a Journal Sentinel staffer told Milwaukee Magazine that “we should endorse for president or get out of the editorial business.” In the same media column, the head of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee journalism department said: “If you’re not going to editorialize on the most important topic of the day, and if you’re not going to take a stand in the most important presidential election of our lives, what’s the point?”

The Journal Sentinel endorsed Barack Obama in 2008.

* Milwaukee paper is going to drop its political endorsements (urbanmilwaukee.com)
* 2007: To endorse or not to endorse: Journal Sentinel gets caught midstep (milwaukeemag.com)