Great Moments in Journalism

Former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee offers his thoughts to an over-aggressive public relations person who complained to Bradlee when a section editor shot down a pitch. The classic Bradlee closing zinger:

“I would like to be sure that you understand that we trust our editors’ news judgment and that we distrust yours.”

Is there any question why his reporters would have killed for him?

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.30.22 AM

Great Moments in Photojournalism

The last year has been a bloodbath for photojournalists as newspapers across the country continue their cost-cutting measures. But, really, who needs professional photographers when Renaissance men like Chuck Fieldman can snap a photo while also reporting a story?

And can someone please convince the National Press Photographers Association to create an anti-Pulitzer award that recognizes photos taken by reporters like this one?

Pew Reports Finds Journalism Execs Remain Pessimistic

The money quote from the summary of a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in association with the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA):

“Fewer than half of all (journalism executives) surveyed are confident their operations will survive another 10 years – absent significant new sources of revenue. Nearly a third believe their operations are at risk in just five years or less. And many blame the problems not on the inevitable effect of technology but on their industry’s missed opportunities.”

Denver News Channels Unveil ‘Pool Coverage’ System

It’s no secret that the news resources of local television affiliates are stretched thin. Layoffs have hit every station, and the Fox31/WB2 “marketing agreement” looks to be the future of local news. But it was still surprising to see the details that Pete Webb of Webb PR shared of a new “pool coverage” system that Fox31, 9News, KMGH7, CBS4 and Univision are implementing.

Starting today, the five stations will pool coverage of up to three events per day. The pool is on a rotating basis with each station responsible one day a week. The assignment desks will join a conference call each morning at 8:30 a.m. to determine which events will be covered by a pool representative, and the resulting raw video will be sent to all stations at 3 p.m. According to Webb, the arrangement “is intended for newsworthy events that all the stations would customarily cover on their own, such as gubernatorial news conferences, the Mayor’s State of the City, product launches, events.”

Says Webb, “My fervent hope is that we’ll see more enterprise reporting, now that crews are being freed up, but I’m not holding out much hope. More likely, viewers will see more of the same, with identical footage on each broadcast. That doesn’t reward creativity, enterprise, or just good old fashioned newsgathering, and it doesn’t reward the viewer.”

Top Newspaper Websites for September

September was a very good month for newspaper Websites, thanks in part to the 2008 election and the financial meltdown. Here’s a list of the 30 most-trafficked sites during September, according to Editor & Publisher:

Website — Visits — Increase — 20,068,000 — 37% — 12,956,000 — 43% — 11,439,000 — 33%
LA Times — 10,022,000 — 102%
Wall Street Journal Online — 9,047,000 — 94% — 8,610,000 — 122% Francisco Chronicle — 5,129,000 — 18%
New York Post — 4,815,000 — 98%
Politico — 4,605,000 — 219%
Chicago Tribune — 4,558,000 — 46%

Daily News Online Edition — 4,439,000 — 56% – The Dallas Morning News — 3,777,000 — 115%
Chicago Sun-Times — 3,676,000 — 64%
The Houston Chronicle — 3,396,000 — 51%
Newsday — 3,051,000 — 13%

International Herald Tribune — 2,940,000 — 121%
The Washington Times — 2,410,000 — 78% — 2,332,000 — 73%
The Seattle Times — 2,256,000 — 22%
Anchorage Daily News — 2,190,000 — 928%

Atlanta Journal-Constitution — 2,180,000 — 14%
Boston Herald — 2,153,000 — 118%
Baltimore Sun — 2,136,000 — 30%
Star Tribune — 2,134,000 — 50% — 2,086,000 — 70%

Seattle Post-Intelligencer — 2,070,000 — 17%
Detroit Free Press — 1,994,000 — 62% — 1,964,000 — 64% — 1,895,000 — 64%
Village Voice Media — 1,745,000 — (-13%)

Former ABC Reporter Joins Obama; Intends Not to ‘Spin’

Retired ABC correspondent Linda Douglass has joined the Obama campaign as a senior strategist and spokeswoman, but, worry not, she’ll be keeping her journalistic integrity intact. Says Douglass, “My intention is that I won’t spin…I absolutely vow that I will tell the truth.” Of course, those of us already on the dark side know that the best spin comes from those who tell the truth … selectively.

And, really, is there anyone who can afford to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth less than a politician? Journalists can complain about big business all they want, but ExxonMobil tells fewer lies in a year than presidential candidates utter in a day. A politician who only spoke the truth couldn’t get elected to his or her HOA, much less an office of consequence. It’s the nature of politics. 

New York Times, Chicago Tribune Earnings Worry Wall Street

The newspaper industry took a double hit today as The New York Times Company posted a Q1 loss — “one of the worst periods” the company has seen — and new Chicago Tribune Co. Chairman and CEO Sam Zell disclosed that revenues are down so far (double digits) this year that the company may be forced to sell newspapers and other properties

Despite the earnings news, at least Sam Zell is trying to keep things interesting.

The Downside: Pen Marks on My Monitor When I Do the Crossword

The only thing newspapers have been shedding faster than reporters is paying subscribers. With free Web sites, it’s hard enough to get twentysomethings to pay for a newspaper subscription, but what happens when you can’t even keep subscribers who are in their fifties and used to be copyeditors at your publication? The Boulder Daily Camera is finding out. (Hat tip to Daniel Brogan at 5280.)