Thursday, February 21, 2008

Assignment for Feb. 27

Assignment due Feb. 27

Following class discussion Monday about covering speeches and meetings, plan to attend this Tuesday event and turn in your story in class on Wednesday. If you have a conflict, please contact your instructor for an alternate assignment.

Politics, Environmental Health, and History of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site will be discussed this coming Tuesday night, Feb. 26th at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

A flyer was emailed to you.

For questions, here's the faculty contact:
Lori Clark
Professor of Environmental Science
Moorpark College
Office: PS - 238
Campus ext. 1753
E-mail: loriclark[at]

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China Eats Crow Over Faked Rare Antelope Photo

It turns out that train tracks in Tibet aren't where the antelope play.

Earlier this week, Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, issued an unusual public apology for publishing a doctored photograph of Tibetan wildlife frolicking near a high-speed train.

The deception -- uncovered by Chinese Internet users who sniffed out a Photoshop scam in the award-winning picture -- has brought on a big debate about media ethics, China's troubled relationship with Tibet, and how pregnant antelope react to noise. [Click for MORE]
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Four Papers Named World's Best Designed

In its 29th annual “The Best of Newspaper Design™ Creative Competition,” the Society for News Design has named four “World’s Best-Designed Newspapers™” and issued 1,162 other design awards for journalism published in 2007. The winners -- which came from 14,818 entries submitted by 373 daily and nondaily newspapers around the world -- are listed in a searchable database. [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

Bill Gates on the Future of Journalism

I hope that readers will be willing to pay subscriptions or watch ads or things that will keep the high quality and breadth of journalism alive and (make it) even better than it is today," [Microsoft Chairman Bill] Gates said. "In some ways, we have better journalism today... (With) in-depth, certain kinds of journalism...there's still a question of how that gets funded." [Click for MORE]
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The Media and the McCain Scandal

>> Here's the NYT story
>> Here's the WP version

> Keller: "It's not a 'gotcha' story about some kind of quid pro quo"
> CJR has five McCain story-related questions for NYT's editor
> Rieder: It's not the most airtight piece ever published, but... (AJR)
> CJR editor says NYT made the right call in running the story (CBS News)
> WP was able to finish its McCain story because of NYT (E&P)
> NYT-owned Boston Globe passes on Times' story, runs WP's piece (BP)
> Limbaugh: You're surprised that Page Six-type gossip is in NYT? (Politico)
> Claim: McCain story likely cost NYT one investigative reporter (TNR)
> Keller: No one's challenged what we've reported on McCain (MSNBC)
> Read the 1,500-plus comments about the story (
> McCain camp promises war against NYT over lobbyist story (Politico)
> Many will ask if NYT had enough facts to run the story (PressThink)
> Story reads like it's had most of the meat lawyered out of it (TPM)
> Why did New York Times hold its McCain-lobbyist story? (HuffPost)
> McCain owes New York Times a thank-you card, says Cooper (HuffPost)
> Story reads like "an elaborate and extended piece of insinuation" (Slate)
> "NYT could've told the story in a much more fair-minded way" (MW)

-- Links from Romenesko
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Tribune Deal Might Be Getting Messy

Contrarian investor Sam Zell rarely bets on an easy turnaround. That's good, because his $12.7 billion buyout of Tribune Co. (TRB) could be messier than even he expected, reports.

With the ink barely dry on the deal, the loans and bonds used to finance the transaction are, on average, trading for about 75 cents on the dollar. By that measure, investors have shaved almost $4 billion off the value of the media conglomerate since Dec. 20. [Click for MORE]

> Read the full story

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Variety Up for Sale

Reed Elsevier has announced that it plans to sell Reed Business Information, the magazine publishing division that includes Variety and Daily Variety, Broadcasting and Cable, Multichannel News, Publishers Weekly and New Scientist.

Reed Elsevier chief exec Crispin Davis said the move was aimed at “reducing exposure to advertising markets and cyclicality,” enabling the Anglo-Dutch group to focus on its core business of “subscription-based information and workflow solutions.” [Click for MORE]

> Behind Reed Business Sale; Who Wants To Be Variety's New Owner?

> SF Chronicle to combine sports, biz sections two days a week
> Stockton Record making staff and section changes

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Assignment for Feb. 25

1) Continue to review your AP Stylebook.

2) Read Chapter 18 in the text: "Speeches, News Conferences and Meetings."

3) Rewrite the "Hungry pet starts kitchen fire" story sent to you in a separate email.

4) Consider reporting an extra credit story. You get double points if you offer the story to the campus newspaper and it gets published.

5) Catch up on any reading you have failed to finish.

6) The deadline for submitting any past-due assignments is class time on Feb. 25. Any missing assignments not submitted by that time will get a grade of zero. After Feb. 25, deadlines will be strictly enforced.

7) You may rewrite any assignment to try to raise a grade. Submit the rewritten assignment with the original graded story attached. For clarity, when you convert any number grade to a letter grade, you can use this key:

A = Publishable quality
B = Publishable with editing
C = Substantial editing needed
D = Marginal quality
F = Unacceptable

8) Be prepared for a possible open-book test covering class notes, readings in the text and AP style on Feb. 27. Sphere: Related Content

CEO Sam Zell to Tribune workers: 'This is a crisis'

Tribune Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Sam Zell's tour of company properties brought him back to Tribune Tower on Tuesday. His meeting with Chicago Tribune personnel reached a dramatic pitch when Public Editor Timothy J. McNulty told Zell his profanity-laced remarks elsewhere raised concerns among staff, particularly women.

Zell responded by citing his record of promoting women, then said those who fixated on his language missed the point. Tribune, he said, lost $50 million in cash flow, and newspaper revenue has suffered a steep decline of late.

"I'm not disrespecting anybody. I'm trying to make everybody uncomfortable," Zell said. [Click for MORE]

> Done deals in distress
> Extra, Extra! Trib bonds look bleak! Sphere: Related Content

Big Changes Coming to OC Register

Terry Horne, the new publisher of The Orange County Register, is betting on free community newspapers, expanded Web offerings and a smaller Register newspaper to help the company weather falling ad revenue and declining circulation.

The three-pronged approach is an acknowledgment that the old newspaper business model – based on a one-size fits all newspaper – is no longer viable, Horne said in his first interview since becoming publisher in September.

"The Register has to become a 21st century business," Horne said. "We can't have the same model that worked 10 years ago." [Click for MORE]

> Albuquerque Tribune to publish its final edition on Saturday
> Group plans to offer $10,000 for Albuquerque Tribune
> Bay Area papers seek buyouts to cut costs

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One Mission, Two Newsrooms is not near The Washington Post.

Other papers have abandoned the Washington Post’s separate-but-unequal model. A year ago, the Los Angeles Times integrated its news and Web functions after an internal report called the paper “Web-stupid.” The New York Times began combining its Web-paper operations in August 2005 and accelerated the process when it moved to a new building last spring. “It’s very much a two-way street,” says Jonathan Landman, the Times’ deputy managing editor and top editorial voice on the Web site. [Click for MORE]

> blog editor takes over the Times’ online kingdom
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Baltimore Sun to Launch Free Daily Publication Targeting Younger Crowd

The Baltimore Sun will launch a new free daily tabloid newspaper aimed at luring younger readers.

Called b, the publication will debut April 14 with an initial distribution of around 50,000. Sun officials say the publication will target Generation Y with its coverage of news, entertainment and music. The paper will be distributed at universities, coffee shops, restaurants, clubs and in bright orange boxes. The newspaper will come out Monday through Friday and initially contain between 40 to 48 pages. Sun executives hope to double the newspaper's distribution by the end of the year. [Click for MORE]

> Variety launches the Biz
> Layoffs at Ventura County Star
> Another Zell shoe falls: KTLA's GM out
> Bay Area News Group to cut "significant" number of jobs

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Media Work Force Sinks to 15-Year Low

Newspaper Slump and Shift to Digital Take Toll on Employment

Get out of media. Get into marketing.

U.S. media employment in December fell to a 15-year low (886,900), slammed by the slumping newspaper industry. But employment in advertising/marketing-services -- agencies and other firms that provide marketing and communications services to marketers -- broke a record in November (769,000). Marketing consulting powered that growth.

Since media employment peaked in dot-com-infused 2000, media companies have eliminated one in six jobs (167,600).

Newspapers, TV and radio all cut staffing last year. The only media sectors to add jobs: magazines (up a meager 400 jobs) and internet media companies (up 9,200). [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

L.A.Times Editor Ousts Features Editor

The rumors were true that new Los Angeles Times editor Russ Stanton made getting rid of John Montorio his first big move. Montorio is/was the managing editor for features. He leaves at the end of the month. [Click for MORE]

> Montorio says he was 'surprised' at firing
> For publisher in Los Angeles, cuts and worse Sphere: Related Content

Can Newspapers Afford Editors?

Now that pending layoffs at the New York Times and Los Angeles Times have made newsroom cutbacks all but unanimous, some managers eager to maximize the feet on the street at their newspapers are wondering if they really need all those editors.

“How many people have to read a story before it goes in the paper?” asked a senior editor at a major metropolitan daily who is struggling to sustain the quality of his news report in an era of shrinking resources. “If we have to economize, the editing process is the place. Why do we have all these people processing stories after a reporter writes it? They are not producing anything that will get us traffic on the web.” [Click for MORE]

> Can journalism live without ads? Sphere: Related Content

High School School Newspaper Drops a V-bomb

Grover Cleveland High School Principal Bob Marks has his limits.

On Thursday, it was the labeled diagram of a vagina splashed across the front page of the student newspaper's Valentine's Day issue.

Flustered teachers rushed to confiscate the publication, but with some copies already in circulation and the Reseda campus in an uproar, it quickly became a hot read for the school's roughly 3,700 students.

And some of the contraband issues made their way home, getting a quick reaction from parents. [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

How the Student Paper Covered the NIU Shooting

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Local Biz Sections Dying

The Denver Post becomes the latest large-city metro to eliminate its stand-alone business section (the Register made a similar move several weeks back). It's the predictable consequence of eliminating stock tables (they have become anachronisms in the online age) and then not having enough ad support to justify holding onto those pages. [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content