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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Steele’

Boston Globe Reporters Rally to Save Their Paper

boston-globe-logo.jpgWith the Boston Globe potentially facing an imminent demise, Globe reporters and the Boston Newspaper Guild have teamed with local politicans to host a rally at noon “in support of saving the Boston Globe.” The event was billed as featuring “journalists and business staff” from the paper, along with Boston City Council President Mike Ross and union leaders. At the rally, members of the public were invited to sign a petition saying they are “committed to saving the Boston Globe from the threat of closure.”

This morning, the Globe’s crosstown rival, the Boston Herald, published a story claiming that the rally raises “concerns about potential conflicts” because the Guild organized the event with the powerful Boston lobbying firm O’Neill and Associates and sought the participation of area politicians. Massachusetts State Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei told the Herald that he was invited to attend, but “would feel uncomfortable.” The Herald also spoke with Poynter Institute scholar Bob Steele, who said it “puts pressure on the principle of journalistic independence,” when reporters ask politicians for support. Massachusetts senator John Kerry has also spoken out in support of the Globe, calling for Senate committee hearings on the future of the newspaper industry in response to the crisis.

Earlier today, we spoke with Scott Allen, an investigative reporter who’s been at the Globe for almost 17 years, to get his take on the mood in the newsroom…

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LAT Runs Story On Controversial Front Page Ad

Today’s Los Angeles Times features an article about the advertisement designed to look like a news story that ran on the front page yesterday. It seems that the ad, which was for the NBC show Southland, was the brainchild of the LAT advertising staff:

NBC wasn’t planning to buy print ads for “Southland” until The Times pitched this concept, said Adam Stotsky, NBC Entertainment Marketing president.

The advertisement, which drew complaints from about 70 readers, ran over the objections of Editor Russ Stanton. In addition, a dozen editors had e-mailed Hartenstein on Wednesday night asking that the ad be “withdrawn or revised.”

Perhaps the LAT advertising department should read the following:

“It’s unwise and ethically problematic to have advertising morph into news content and style,” said Bob Steele, a journalism values scholar at the Poynter Institute and a professor at DePauw University. “Each step may seem like a small one. But each time you cut a corner, you create weakness in the overall product.”

More Mirthala Media Madness

Tele_Mayor_e_d_SM.jpg

ERS News has all the Mayor, the Mistress and the Media news and everyone knows it. In fact, LA Times ISPs are the 2nd and 3rd highest visitors to the site. More info:

NBC exec Paula Madison confirmed to be the highest ranking exec in charge at NBC/Telemundo who led decision to pull Salinas off the political beat .. and escaped any punishment

Investigation didn’t cover anything but late 05 to June 06 and only Salinas and the Mayor issue (nothing else)

Two Telemundo producers to be disiplined as well.

Direct sourcing from Bob Steele at the Poytner Inst. on their involvement.

Stay tuned…..

Reporter Rips Poynter: It’s A ‘Halfway House For Failed Editors’

mcclellan_stl_dispatch.jpgBill McClellan, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter [a.k.a that guy, left, in what apparently is not an Onion stock photo] read a Poynter professor’s take on the New York Post‘s controversial jailhouse interview with Michael Devlin, the suspect in the Shawn Hornbeck kidnapping case, and unleashed a rare rant attacking the esteemed journalism institute:

The Poynter Institute sees itself as a sort of New Age school for journalists, but here in the hinterlands, where so many memories are soaked in beer and where journalism is seen as a trade rather than a profession — and a low trade at that, something that doesn’t require the skill of an electrician or a carpenter — we have our doubts about Poynter.

In fact, we see it as a halfway-house for failed editors. Two of them who left this newspaper with the imprint of a boot on the backside of their trousers both landed temporarily at Poynter. And God bless Poynter for taking them in; but still, we have our doubts about the wisdom that comes from the institute.

I mention this only because a representative of Poynter has weighed in on the latest episode in the story of the abduction and rescue of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. The episode is a jailhouse interview that suspect Michael Devlin granted to Susannah Cahalan, a New Jersey native who attends Washington University. Actually, she interviewed Devlin in jail twice, and the results of those interviews were splashed across the pages of the New York Post.

Cahalan went to the Franklin County Jail and requested to talk with Devlin. He agreed to talk with her, and when she signed the visitors’ log, she identified her relationship to the inmate as “a friend.” She reportedly told Devlin she was a college student interested in the case. She reportedly did not mention that she was acting as a member of the media. Was this wrong? Yes, said Bob Steele, a professor of journalism ethics at Poynter. “Deception in this case does not seem in any way justified.”

As far as McClellan’s take? He thought Cahalan showed initiative in going to the jail: “Where was the deception?”

  • Was jailhouse report an ethics violation? I’ve got my doubts [St. Louis Dispatch]