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Michael Days Moving to Philly Inquirer as ME

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sandy Clark Gets Expanded Duties in Reorganization

Jason Reid: I Can't "Replace" Wilbon at Washington Post

3 N.J. Gannett Papers to Lay Off Nearly Half of Editorial Staff

Native Journalists End Year With Another "Slight Deficit"

Public Was Interested in Haiti Longer Than Media Were

Hispanic Group Wants Study of Hate Speech, Violent Crimes

Boehner Gets Cover Treatment Denied Pelosi 

Short Takes 

Philadelphia Daily News reporters Barbara Laker, left, and Wendy Ruderman, and Daily News Editor Michael Days react to the news of their Pulitzer Prize last year. Days joined the newspaper more than 20 years ago and was named editor in 2005. (video) (Credit: Sarah J. Glover/Philadelphia Daily News)

Sandy Clark Gets Expanded Duties in Reorganization

Michael Days, editor of the tabloid Philadelphia Daily News, is moving to the larger Philadelphia Inquirer broadsheet as managing editor, staff members were told on Wednesday.

Days will succeed Mike Leary, who will head up the investigative unit of Inquirer, staffers said. Larry Platt, former editor of Philadelphia magazine, will become editor of the Daily News. The changes start Jan. 31.

"In his nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor in Philadelphia, Michael Days has established himself as one of the most respected journalists in the city and beyond," Inquirer Editor Stan Wischnowski said in a statement to the staff.

"Having worked closely with Michael on a variety of company-wide projects over the past few years, I’ve been very impressed with his collaborative management style as well as his aggressive approach to reporting. That combination will serve The Inquirer well going forward. Michael understands the need for our accelerated push into multimedia but also realizes that our future success starts and ends with great content above all else."

The Daily News has a daily circulation of 82,580, compared with the Inquirer's 259,780, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Days told Journal-isms that it will be 25 years this year that he has been at the Daily News. "The opportunity presented itself," and given that he and Wischnowski had become "professional friends, I said, 'let me get out of my comfort zone and follow this new opportunity.' "

Sandy Clark In other masthead announcements involving journalists of color, Sandy Clark, Inquirer arts and features editor, will become deputy managing editor for features and operations, overseeing nine feature sections, in addition to the news and copy desks; and Gabe Escobar remains as metropolitan editor, overseeing the city, suburban and South New Jersey coverage as well as the paper’s online breaking news team.

In addition, Avery Rome, Inquirer assistant managing editor for projects for the past two years, becomes deputy managing editor for writing and projects, serving as the staff’s writing coach and supervising a handful of news departments and projects, and Tom McNamara remains deputy managing editor for Sundays, business and sports.

The Inquirer and Daily news share common ownership. When new owners said they had bought the properties in October, Gregory J. Osberg, president and chief executive officer at Philadelphia Media Network Inc., praised Days.

"Michael and I have had lots of conversations," Osberg said. "I've found him to be creative," good with his staff and "very open to experimentation with respect to how and the Daily News can operate in an integrated operation," Osberg told Journal-isms.

Days remained editor of the Daily News, though his counterpart at the Inquirer, William K. Marimow, was demoted.

Days, 57, a Philadelphia native, is among the handful of African American top editors at daily newspapers. He joined the newspaper more than 20 years ago and was named editor in 2005. This year, two Daily News reporters, Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series on allegedly corrupt narcotics cops. "The series would NOT have happened without Michael Days," Ruderman told Journal-isms afterward.

When Clark was promoted last June, she told Journal-isms in an e-mail, "I've worked at the Inquirer since 1983, except for a 6-year stint in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, cross-cultural trainer, and consultant and administrator for Africare/Guinea-Bissau and Africare/Mozambique. At the Inquirer, I've been a copy editor, news editor, Deputy Features, Senior News Editor and department head for Arts & Features."

Jason Reid: I Can't "Replace" Wilbon at Washington Post

Jason ReidJason Reid, called by his editor "one of the most hard-working, conscientious and thoughtful sports writers in the country," was named Wednesday to succeed Michael Wilbon as a sports columnist at the Washington Post.

Reid, 41, told Journal-isms that "I can't look at this as 'I'm going to replace Michael Wilbon.' No one is capable of replacing him." He said he would produce columns based on his own reporting and had not educated himself enough on the controversy over the name of the NFL team he covers, the Washington Redskins, to have formed an opinion.

"In his four years at the Post, Jason has become the dominant beat writer on the Redskins with impeccable sources in the locker room, front office, among player agents and around the league," Post Sports Editor Matt Vita said in a note to the Post staff. "His tireless work leading the Redskins Insider has helped grow the audience for the blog in each of the last three seasons. This past year, Jason demonstrated his considerable skills as an analyst and observer in writing weekly On Football columns that routinely were among the most widely read Redskins stories on the website.

"I am confident Jason has the experience, work ethic and drive to become a top-flight commentator on sports and their role in society, and will be a welcome addition to Tom Boswell, Sally Jenkins, Mike Wise and Tracee Hamilton as the best lineup of sports columnists in the country."

Wilbon left the Post last month after more than 31 years at the paper. A co-host of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption," Wilbon said he would devote more time to his ESPN duties. He was the Post's only full-time sports columnist of color, and Reid, like Wilbon, is a black journalist. In his farewell column, Wilbon wrote that his favorite enterprise assignment was not about box scores or game analysis but one that "made people examine their own values and beliefs."

Reid said, "I am not oblivious to the fact that there are not very many columnists of color. I look at this as succeeding at it not just for myself but for the people who might come after me and have been given this opportunity.

"I've been a beat reporter for most of my career," Reid continued, writing post-game analyses and the "On Football" column in the Post. "My approach has been to be open-minded. I'm going to let my reporting shape the opinions, talking to people and trying to get the story. The foundation has to be my reporting."

Asked about the controversy over the Redskins name, which many Native Americans and other groups call demeaning, Reid said, "It's clearly an issue that's not going to go away. I'd like to do my reporting. I need to do a better job of educating myself" on the roots of the controversy, adding that it had not been a subject on which he'd written a column.

Vita's note said that the Post had "a strong external candidate" but that Post staffers "interested in taking on the mantle of chief Redskins blogger and Redskins news hound on one of the most high-profile and demanding beats at the Post" were welcome to apply.

3 N.J. Gannett Papers to Lay Off Nearly Half of Editorial Staff

"Gannett Co. will lay off nearly half its editorial staff at three New Jersey community newspapers by next month and will restructure the remaining positions, according to several staffers," Beth DeFalco reported Tuesday for the Associated Press.

"The affected newspapers are the Courier News of Bridgewater, Daily Record of Parsippany and Home News Tribune of East Brunswick, where a combined 99 staff members will have to apply for 53 remaining positions. Those not kept will be cut loose by Feb. 4.

"The company offered to pay staff the difference between their salary and unemployment insurance, a week for every year of service up to 26 weeks, but no less than four, according to a staff member.

"The staff members spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the layoffs. They said reporters at the community papers will be assigned to teams to focus on particular topics and more content may be used from the Asbury Park Press.

"A memo by Thomas M. Donovan, president and publisher of New Jersey Press Media Solutions — a consortium of Gannett's four northern New Jersey newspapers — was made available to staff Monday explaining the process.

"In an e-mailed statement to the Associated Press on Tuesday, Donovan said the changes would help the company 'better focus' its resources on local and breaking news coverage."

In 2009, Rhonda Juanita LeValdo, right, then vice president of the Native American Journalists Association, was interviewed with NAJA Executive Director Jeff Harjo at Washington's Newseum on the state of Indian journalism. The organization ended that year and next with a 'slight deficit.'  The Newseum's Sonya Gavankar is at left. LeValdo is now NAJA president. (Credit: Indian Country Today/Courtesy Rhonda Juanita LeValdo)

Native Journalists End Year With Another "Slight Deficit"

The Native American Journalists Association ended the year with "a slight deficit," Executive Director Jeff Harjo acknowledged, but he would not say how much the deficit was. He said the shortfall was "about the same in 2010 as 2009" but also would not provide the 2009 figure.

"NAJA did have a slight deficit last year because our normal funders are appropriating less than what they used to send," Harjo told Journal-isms by e-mail. "We have continued to make profits from our last two conventions and look forward to another profit making convention. Once our registrations, entries for our awards competition and memberships start coming in, we will be in a better financial condition."

NAJA is the smallest of the journalist-of-color organizations in the umbrella group Unity: Journalists of Color. For most of those organizations, the annual conference is the primary revenue raiser.

In 2009, NAJA's 25th anniversary convention in Albuquerque, N.M., drew 140 registrants, then-NAJA president Ronnie Washines told Journal-isms at the time. He said the NAJA membership had grown to around 740 members, an increase of over 100 since the previous conference.

The National Association of Black Journalists announced last week it had turned a $338,901 deficit at the end of 2009 to a surplus of more than $191,000, and late last month, the Asian American Journalists Association said that it turned a $207,000 deficit to a $399,000 surplus.

Leaders of the American Society of News Editors, Unity: Journalists of Color, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Conference of Editorial Writers and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association also said they ended the year financially healthy.

However, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists projected a $240,000 deficit for the year, and the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives, dormant for at least a year, now plans to dissolve.

Jeff Johnson of talks with Sam Dixon of the aid group Oxfam International in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in a video posted on (Video)

Public Was Interested in Haiti Longer Than Media Were

In the weeks following three major news events last year — the Haiti earthquake, the passage of health care legislation and the capping of the Gulf oil spill — "public interest remained high long after the news media’s focus had turned elsewhere. And while public interest in the 2010 midterm elections was on par with press coverage in the final stages of the campaign season, coverage far exceeded public interest earlier in the campaign cycle," the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reported on Tuesday.

The study also showed "how CNN proved to be an 'outlier' in the cable news coverage when it came to three major stories: the 2010 midterms, BP oil spill and Haiti earthquake," Michael Calderone reported for Yahoo News.

"CNN's Anderson Cooper won critical praise for exhaustively covering those two disaster stories, but the network continued losing prime-time viewers. On the other hand, ratings leader Fox News and second-place MSNBC kept turning up the partisan volume this past year, with their stables of conservative and liberal commentators, respectively. That strategy has proven more successful at getting viewers to return nightly rather than only when a major news story, like an earthquake, takes place," Calderone wrote.

The Pew report coincided with Wednesday's one-year anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake, "as well as the anniversary of one of the largest ever humanitarian responses to a natural disaster, with almost $3.8 billion in aid given or pledged for Haiti relief," as the Knight Foundation noted in a report on lessons learned.

"Three innovative practices in particular, the report says, were put to the test: broadcasting crisis information with SMS," or text messages, "crowdsourcing data into actionable information, and using open mapping tools to meet humanitarian needs," Michael Morisy reported for Nieman Lab.

"The report found that none of them, however, would have been as effective without one very low-tech tool: radio."

Hispanic Group Wants Study of Hate Speech, Violent Crimes

Alex NogalesPrompted by the shootings in Arizona over the weekend "and ensuing national conversation about the role of violent rhetoric in politics and the media, the National Hispanic Media Coalition plans to press the Federal Communications Commission to act on its longstanding petition on hate speech," John Eggerton reported Monday for Multichannel News.

"That is according to NHMC president Alex Nogales, who said the group would also push the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to update an almost two-decades old . . . report on the effects of hate speech, and press Congress to make sure NTIA got the money to do so.

"The FCC has not yet acted on the petition, according to an aide to one of the commissioners.

". . . NHMC has been urging the FCC to investigate what it sees as the link between extreme rhetoric and hate speech on radio and cable TV and real world violence and hate crimes. Nogales sees the Arizona shootings as an outgrowth of that hateful speech. 'We can't stand there with our arms crossed and make like there isn't a reason why this is happening,' he told Multichannel News in an interview.

" 'We started this dialog in the last immigration debate four years ago. We could see that it was just out of control. It started with just an issue of immigration, then every pundit on radio and TV who wanted an audience started talking about it and started using the worst of language, and now it has spilled out into mainstream,' he said."

Boehner Gets Cover Treatment Denied Pelosi

"On Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi handed over the speaker’s gavel to John Boehner, who is charged with leading the 'Tea Party Congress' in their efforts to repeal health care reform, disband the Select Committee on Global Warming, defund Planned Parenthood and do a bunch of other things that people who have never held elected office think are good ideas," Annie Shields wrote Friday for Ms. magazine.

"So it’s no wonder Boehner has gotten so much media attention: Within a few weeks of the midterm elections, Boehner graced the covers of Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker and The Economist. Not to mention his mug on the October 30th issue of the National Journal’s cover. Five major magazine covers in less than a month might seem like a lot for an incoming Speaker who hadn’t even been sworn in yet, but hey, being the Speaker of the House, in the words of Joe Biden, is a 'big fucking deal!'

"So one would assume that she’s been featured on the covers of many a major U.S. magazine. Well, one would be wrong. . . . Time never devoted a single one of the 208 or so covers it put out during her 4-year tenure to the most powerful woman in American history.

". . . And the snubbing doesn’t end with Time‘s postage-stamp Speaker. The New Yorker? Never put Pelosi on the cover. Newsweek? Never. The Economist? Never. Vanity Fair? Never. Harpers? Never. I could go on, but you get the idea."

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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