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Journos

Two Things We *Really* Didn’t Know About Toni Senecal

ToniSenecalSo far this year, about-town TV chronicler Toni Senecal has reported on everything from the ultimate slice of New York pizza to the vegan oxymoron of a meatless meatball heroes sandwich. It’s all part of her weekly program Toni On!, which airs Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and midnight on WLNY TV/55 and Sundays on CBS 2 at 5:30 a.m.

Westchester Journal News reporter Barbara Livingston Nackman recently caught up with Senecal, who lives in an historic Cortland, NY home with former CNN-journo husband Tracy Shea and their two children. Nackman eases into a list of “Ten Things You Might Not Know About Senecal” and consider us delighted and surprised by items #4 and #10:

4. As a New York University student she was a showroom model for French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

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Times, Chronicle Celebrate Rise of Vietnamese Immigrant News Anchor

Over the weekend, Bay Area TV news anchor Thuy Vu had both U.S. coasts media-covered. Deservedly. Not only is she a journalist who recently took over on KQED for a local PBS legend (Belva Davis), but the story of how her family sacrificed in order to provide Vu and her siblings with a better life is replete with American Dream detail.

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For example, to help make ends meet, Vu as a teenager passed on to her family all monies earned from a summer job soldering components onto motherboards at a San Jose computer company. From this weekend’s San Francisco Chronicle feature-interview by Peter Hartlaub:

Vu’s family fled Vietnam when Saigon fell to the communists in 1975. She was elementary-school-age and the second-youngest of eight children. The family was so large they couldn’t leave together, so some left by plane and others by cargo ship. Their only money was some gold sewn into the lining of her mother’s skirt. Nobody spoke English.

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Pam Oliver Revisits Her Meme-rable Hair Day

Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter Jenice Armstrong has today what for many will be an essential piece of Super Bowl lead-up reading. A chat with Fox News sideline reporter Pam Oliver about the reaction to the latter’s now infamous NFC Championship hair.

JeniceArmstrongLogoArmstrong blogged, the day after the Seahawks-49ers contest, about the social media brouhaha that resulted from Oliver’s loud do. From FishbowlNY’s perspective, the TV reporter should be thankful that on Sunday January 19, the owner-operator of the Twitter account most logically positioned to take advantage of it all – @Chewbacca – was dormant.

From Armstrong’s item, cheekily headlined “Pam Oliver Brushes Off Criticism:”

“It’s the psychology of it that I want to understand,” Oliver told me during a phone conversation Monday afternoon. “It’s comical. This whole thing is just comical…”

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NYT Vet Clyde Haberman Recalls a Few Jerusalem Highlights

ChemiShavelLogoChemi Shalev, New York-based U.S. editor for Haaretz, has a fun interview with Clyde Haberman, a reporter who very recently wrapped up 36 years of stalwart service with the New York Times. When you’ve had as long and varied a career as Haberman, the lede for a third-party article pretty much writes itself:

Haberman recounts the time a member of Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations – “A president of something or other,” as he puts it – got up and said: “Every morning when I read you, I get sick to my stomach.”

“Your health is everything,” the veteran New York Times journalist responded. “You should stop reading.”

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NYFCC Verdicts: Armond White Expelled; Lou Lumenick Suspended

ArmondWhiteTwitterAvatarThe craziest film-journalist group kerfuffle this side of a Hollywood Foreign Press Association rumble has been brought to a swift and resolute close.

At a special emergency meeting today of the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC), it was decided that Armond White is to be expelled for his miscreant behavior at the organization’s recent annual awards gala. White continues to adamantly deny the accusations, even though there is corroborating audio and no one else has come forward to take ownership of the muttered comments about the filmmaker who accepted last night’s Best Drama Golden Globe.

Here’s the NYFCC statement issued today, via THR:

“The New York Film Critics Circle deeply regrets any embarrassment caused its guests or honorees by any member’s recent actions,” said Stephen Whitty, critic for the Star-Ledger and the group’s new chair. “Sadly, disciplinary measures had to be taken, to prevent any re-occurrence. We apologize again to our guests and look forward to the rest of 2014 and our 80th anniversary.”

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No Happy Ending for Gannett Reporters Past or Present

We all know what would have happened if a BuzzFeed staffer had been the one purchasing a legal ounce of “Blue Dream” in Colorado. We would today be watching a split, comparative video contrasting the high effects of legal vs. illegal marijuana.

Instead, Trevor Hughes of the Fort Collins Coloradoan nonsensically purchases $27 worth of legal Colorado weed and then, as agreed with his reimbursing boss, takes it straight to a local sheriff’s office to be destroyed. That’s just Cheech and wrong.

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Armond White Embarrasses Himself at NYFCC Awards Gala… Again [Updated]

ArmondWhiteTwitterAvatarThe good news, for those who attended the latest New York Film Critics Circle awards celebration: Armond White‘s outburst from the back of the room could not be heard at the front. The bad news: In a roomful of reporters, anything said can be quickly and duly noted, casting a permanent pall on the proceedings:

From the back of the Edison Hotel Ballroom, White yelled at Steve McQueen, the NYFCC’s Best Director winner for 12 Years a Slave. “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F— you. Kiss my ass,” according to a Variety reporter seated near him.

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How to Achieve Financial Security as a Freelancer

SixfigureFreelancerFreelance writing isn’t an obvious route to monetary success. Many people choose to freelance because they want to pursue their passion, and making boatloads of money isn’t really the goal. But what if you could do what you love — and make a killing at the same time?

Our latest Mediabistro feature discusses various tips and tricks on how to score major moolah on your next assignment. Seeking out new markets is a great way to expand your repertoire and make new connections:

“Writers think that if they want to make a lot of money they have to pitch the biggest magazines because they pay the most,” said [Linda Formichelli, author and co-founder of the Renegade Writer blog]. But, she warns, those are so difficult to break into that “not many people make a living writing only for the consumer magazines.” As a veteran freelancer, she has shifted her writing focus to include trade (business-to-business) and custom publications (like the ones you get from your credit card or insurance company). It’s a strategy she suggests for other writers who want to earn more cash, too.

To hear more tips on how to earn a major paycheck as freelancer, read: How to Become a Six-Figure Freelancer.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Harvard Crimson Editor Questions Nicholas Kristof D-cision

HarvardCrimsonLogoEverything about Nicole J. Levin‘s open letter to Class of 1981 grad Nicholas Kristof is spot-on. Right down to the way she signs her missive:

Sincerely,

Nicole J. Levin
Magazine Editor at Large, former Executive Editor, and
future Pulitzer Prize potential nominee.

Levin’s letter strikes just the right tone with respect to where Kristof’s recent decision to drop the “D.” middle-initial from his byline falls in the grand scheme of things:

I’m sorry, but you can’t just drop the D. It goes against everything in The Crimson’s Style Guide. Once you break one rule, what’s next? Maybe you will start writing “first-year’s dean’s office” instead of “Freshman Dean’s Office.” Worse, you might start writing “am” instead of “a.m.” If you set the precedent of no middle initial soon the Crimson Style Guide will have no authority; all 15 pages in our Google Drive will be completely meaningless and arbitrary.

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Newspaper Vet Moves On from Patch Conference Call Layoff

RalphEllisThumbFrom August 2011 until August 2013, former Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Ralph Ellis was the editor of Decatur/Avondale Estates Patch. Looking back this week on a tumultuous journalism-year-that-was, he still finds room on his list of “My Top Five Journalism Jobs of 2013” for the AOL hyper-local network. Even though he was rudely dumped via conference call and still to this day doesn’t understand how his bosses determined who got to stay and who had to go.

Intriguingly, Ellis’ list can be found on decaturish.com, a Patch competitor launched in the spring by Dan Whisenhunt that counts Ellis as a contributor. So what else does a grizzled newspaper guy who still loves to write do, post-Patch? In Ellis’ case, he has been freelancing for the New York Times, CNN.com and anyone else who will have him:

I write newsletters for WebMD on dogs, cats, gastrointestinal disorders and cold & flu, thus allowing me to pen headlines such as “Myths, Facts About Snot,” “Why Dogs Hump, Mount” and “The Scoop on Poop.”

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