Newspaper Gaffe

27 08 2008

And this is the stuff that gets you in trouble. I have to say though, I have laughed bout it since I first saw it a few weeks ago.

The obvious line is “Damn, that must have hurt.”


LA Times Gets Its VP Story Wrong

23 08 2008

Wow. This is embarrassing.

Chicago – Barack Obama has chosen Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia as his vice presidential running mate, bringing to the ticket a politician who could reinforce Obama’s message of change but who also shares the drawback of inexperience.

Obama’s decision – kept secret amid intense speculation as next week’s Democratic convention draws near – was announced via text messages and e-mails to supporters.

Kaine, who took office in January 2006 and who previously was lieutenant governor and mayor of Richmond, grew up in the Kansas City area. Fluent in Spanish, he worked as a missionary in Honduras before graduating from Harvard Law School, where Obama also earned a degree.

Together with the 47-year-old Obama, Kaine, 50, would give the Democrats the youngest presidential ticket since 1992, when 46-year-old Bill Clinton selected 44-year-old Al Gore as his running mate.

Umm, this obviously didn’t happen.

Your Dewey Beats Truman moment of Zen.

Twitter And Local News Coverage

21 08 2008

An excellent commentary about how local news organization can cover those stories that won’t make the nightly news or the next edition of the deadwood edition.

Applications like Twinkle are also great journalistic tools, of course. In the old days, newspaper reporters had the TV on in the background, in case TV news had something that they should know about. Today, someone in the newsroom should be monitoring local tweets; it’s the new early warning system for news, with an army of witnesses feeding you information.

Read the whole thing.

I’ve noticed that Twitter is already doing this to a large extent. I’ve seen traffic updates from most of the major cities in the state and the amount of breaking news I’m seeing on the site is ridiculous.

I just keep watching. One problem here is that there aren’t a lot of people who know about Twitter.

I think it’s coming though.

UPDATED: When I wrote this earlier this morning, I didn’t know about the school shooting in Knoxville. Where did I hear about this horrible tragedy. On twitter.

The Knoxville blogosphere is mourning their loss, and we mourn with them.

Gannett To Cut 1,000 Jobs

14 08 2008


SAN FRANCISCO — Gannett Co. will cut 1,000 newspaper jobs, or about 3% of that division’s workforce, the company said Thursday. Employees affected by layoffs will be notified by the end of the month.

I’ve got to wrap my head around this one.

Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen

6 08 2008

I just finished Basket Case and I have to tell you, it knocked my socks off.

Yeah, it’s about an investigative reporter whose role is diminished at a newspaper to writing the obituaries after he calls the new corporate owners a few choice names. It’s your basic murder mystery but the reason why the book was so good is that Carl Hiaasen has written a sardonic and real critique of the dead tree news business.

And it doesn’t just bark, it bites.

In the novel, the lead character, Jack Tagger, talks about how his fictional paper has reduced staffs, added the always dreaded special advertising sections and basically, IMHO, how journalists/editors are asked to basically not do news.

Hiaasen has worked for decades at the Miami Herald. The tiers and hierarchy of the news staff in the novel are real. Anyone in the news business will recognize everything from the excitement of an intern to the cluelessness of non-journalists managing a newspaper. They will also recognize Jack Tagger, a 46-year-old journalist who is clouded by apathy and mourns the changes in his profession before he reinvents himself.

And there is a Warren Zevon connection for you rabid fans out there.

Yeah, I’m gushing.

Old Vs. New Media Practices

5 08 2008

Mark directs us to a new policy at CNN.

Basically, employees of the network cannot use Facebook, Twitter, Blog or even comment in forums and chat rooms without permission from the CNN higher ups according to Chez Pazienza, who was famously fired from CNN for blogging at Deus Ex Malcontent. His story is here.

You can head to their blogs to get the vibe of what’s going on.

I agree with Mark who says this:

Did I give up my right to protest or vote when I started working for a newspaper? I hope not.
Many newspapers are actively encouraging reporters to take up blogging.  Newspapers invite reporters to express opinion in the print editions. Newspapers have long held that as long as the opinion expressed is marked clearly as that of the reporter, it is acceptable.

I talk about evolving trends in the news business a lot. I don’t understand why more media folks don’t blog or use Twitter. I’ve seen more breaking news on Twitter that it still boggles my mind.

Ryan Sholin points us to a post written by an outgoing newsman of the LA Times, who is getting out of the dead tree business.

  1. Technology has run laps around the print media — giving readers instant news, open-source journalism, no barriers to become publishers, and an infinite news hole.
  2. The idea that your daily news is collected, written, edited, paginated, printed on dead trees, put in a series trucks and cars and delivered on your driveway — at least 12 hours stale — is anachronistic in 2008.

I think these things are connected. The writer talks about his 18 years with the Times. I’ve worked in news off and on for nearly 20 years. The way I started out has vastly changed in those two decades.

And the blogosphere has changed in the nearly three years I’ve been blogging. Some media outlets get it and have actively worked toward changing their model to accommodate changes that will happen in the future, which is smart. Even some rural outlets do although there are a great deal of folks who do not and angrily (yes, I said angrily) hold on to that the old ways are the only way to do news.

There is chasm that exists between old and new.

And CNN is treating online communication like a dinosaur. When you edit free thought, then what do you have?

Zombies in a newsroom.


1 08 2008

Steve Smith is the editor of the The Spokesman-Review. He writes a nostalgic and bittersweet account of what a newspaper used to be.

Something is coming, some turn in the media universe, a turn in the future of my newspaper. A turn that will mean the end of me, of us. There will be reporters. Editors. Something called on line producers and multi-media coordinators. Mojos. Slojos and Nojos. Bloggers, froggers and twitters.

But there won’t be newspapermen. At 58, I am among the last of a dying race.

And what a race it was.


A newspaperman knew the meaning of a deadline. He felt a chill when the presses rumbled at midnight and would look for a reason to be in the press room, slipping an early run paper from the conveyor to give the front page a quick look and maybe also to see his byline in print.

Newspapermen worked hard and played hard. The bartender at the dive across the street knew how many beers each reporter could consume between editions. And after the last edition went to press, the bar lights would be turned up just enough to let the newspapermen read those papers pulled fresh from the press.

There is a great deal more over there. As I said, I see the sentiment and nostalgia he is invoking, because sometimes I feel the same way.

Everything changes. He’s right on one account. Those days will soon be altered forever. To me at least, this post at his house, which is a must read, is about grief and loss.

They already have been.

And we move on.