Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Old Is New Again at Saturday Evening Post

The Saturday Evening Post, a centuries-old publication that helped make illustrator Norman Rockwell an American icon and showcased some of the greatest U.S. writers, is returning to its roots to show readers the value of a quiet read in an increasingly frenetic digital age.

A redesign launching with its July/August issue combines the Post's hallmarks — art and fiction — with folksy commentary and health articles. The revamped Post promises a more relaxing option for people who are used to doing much of their reading online, or are simply tired of special-interest magazines crammed into tight niches.

"There is a void of magazines now that do emphasize art and creative writing and fiction," Publisher Joan SerVaas said. [Click for MORE]

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Investigative Reporters Move Outside Newsrooms

As some newspapers are going out of business and many more are shedding costs, a lot of investigative journalists who have devoted years to exposing government corruption and corporate scandals are leaving their newsrooms.

While some have been given pink slips, others left on their own steam, bailing out for corporate or political PR jobs, teaching gigs or even new careers as private investigators.

Still others are seeking fulfillment in a different kind of public service. Take, for instance, the paths of Doug Frantz and Joel Sappell, two former journalists for the Los Angeles Times. [Click for MORE]

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pre-Holiday Putsch at L.A.Times


Newsroom groups are being informed right now that John Arthur is out as Los Angeles Times executive editor — that's number two on the paper's masthead. Sports editor Randy Harvey and obituaries editor Jon Thurber are reportedly getting expanded duties.
Titles and details to come.

Now posted at "John and I did not agree on the need for the just-announced masthead changes, and we differ on the best approach to reaching our goals," Editor Russ Stanton says in a memo.

* Also: Harvey becomes Associate Editor, effective immediately. "In this role, Randy will take on a host of broad and important responsibilities that currently keep me from spending more time in the newsroom." Thurber becomes Managing Editor, Print, with "primary responsibility for coordinating and carrying out the content plans for the newspaper and other print products produced by our newsroom, including overseeing the front page and the A1 desk." Meredith Artley, currently executive editor of the website, becomes Managing Editor, Online.

From Stanton's memo on Arthur:

Executive Editor John Arthur [photo, above right] will be the leaving The Times after a distinguished 23 years here. John and I did not agree on the need for the just-announced masthead changes, and we differ on the best approach to reaching our goals.

This decision was a difficult one. John has served in a host of leadership roles at The Times that have included assistant city editor in the Orange County edition, assistant national editor, editor of the Valley edition and managing editor with responsibility for the three regional editions and well as the national edition.

He later served as deputy Page 1 editor/nights, Page 1editor, managing editor and, most recently, executive editor.

More at the paper's Readers Representative blog plus the announcementon the new titles — the first updates since June 11.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Is Twitter the News Outlet for the 21st Century?

[AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]
Photographers line up in front of the Jackson family residence.

Cassy Hayes and Jasmine Coleman were among the first fans to arrive outside the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles where Michael Jackson was brought and later pronounced dead.

How had Hayes, 25, and Coleman, 21, heard the news so quickly?
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Online Newspaper Folds

"This experiment in building a narrowly focused online daily newspaper in Seattle is over. Why? The short answer is money. But there's more to it than that, and I'd like to take a few minutes to explain some of what I learned about publishing an online daily, so that others may succeed where I have not." [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students

Today’s journalism students are entering an industry that’s facing a crossroads. These days, newspapers and media in general are adapting and growing at a rapid pace, and it’s essential that students keep up, or they’ll be left in the dust. By reading these blogs, you can keep an ear to the ground on the latest developments that matter the most to journalism students. [Click for MORE]
  • We are included. We're honored.
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Another Big Round of Layoffs Imminent at Gannett

The Gannett Company, owner of the nation’s largest newspaper chain, will go through another round of layoffs soon, with an announcement possible in the next few days, executives said Tuesday.

The company’s United States and British newspaper divisions eliminated more than 10,000 jobs in 2007 and 2008, including about 2,000 layoffs last fall, and Gannett executives have said repeatedly that they expect more downsizing, including layoffs. The company, which also owns a chain of television stations and Internet ventures, ended last year with 41,500 employees, including 35,800 in its newspaper divisions. [Click for MORE]

  • Gannett Blog has been following the decline of America's largest newspaper company for months. It is shutting down July 10. Take a look before it goes dark.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

A Fired Reporter Spirals Into the Unknown

By Steve Persall,
St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer

She wanted to be a dancer or an actor and was lovely enough to be either. Instead, she became a newspaper reporter and a damn fine one.

But she looked nothing like the woman I once knew as she sat next to me the other evening at the Hub, the inveterate bar in downtown Tampa; puffier, sadder, disheveled, speaking in jumbled threads of thought that only another drug addict or a patiently sympathetic ear can understand. She fumbled in her purse for lord knows what, knocking over the rum and Coke.

I had yet to recognize her when she proudly declared that she had three job interviews the next day. I asked what kind of work she did before. She said she was a Tampa Tribune reporter until being fired two years ago. [Click for MORE]

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