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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Romenesko’

Dumb Survey Results Followed by Even Dumber Reporting

Is a news trail about a shocking “tech terms” multiple-choice survey taken by American consumers on behalf of UK outfit Vouchercloud still valid if:

a) the LA Times reporter who started it all never actually saw the survey?;
b) the methodology and margins-of-error for said survey are completely unknown?;
c) the survey answers – including the headline-grabbing claim that 11% of Yanks answering think HTML refers to a sexually transmitted disease – suggest that many of the alleged two-thousand-plus respondents raced through the questionnaire with carelessness, goofiness, or both?

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LAT tech reporter Salvador Rodriguez‘s pick-up of a Vouchercloud press release blazed a trail across the Internet Tuesday, most notably as a Drudge link, Romenesko headline of the day, Time item and BuzzFeed pictorial. But some good digging by iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith has led BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick, Time‘s Jessica Roy and Romenesko to all post updates. Here is BuzzFeed’s:

BuzzFeedCorrection

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New Catchphrase? Tim Armstrong Deems Patch an ‘Asset with Optionality’

ShutterstockTimArmstrongFor Patch local editors grappling with shopping mall Santa features and overseeing in some cases a great many additional hubs, these words likely rang hollow. But to FishbowlNY’s ears, a portion of Tim Armstrong‘s remarks at this week’s UBS conference were Office Space-worthy.

Per a report by Ad Age‘s Alex Kantrowitz, Armstrong suggested that the possibility of a major impending partnership for Patch is one big reason AOL shareholders should view the hyper-local network as an “asset with optionality.” Rather than, say, an “option with assanality” or a “gigantic tactical embarrassment.”

We’re going to suggest right here and now: Any NYC media denizen who manages to seamlessly make use of this terminology at an upcoming holiday celebration will forever earn our admiration. That bowl of spiked punch? That empty conference room? That fully loaded copier? These are all, theoretically, “assets with optionality.”

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Tim Armstrong Apologizes for Conference Call Canning

We’re not sure why it took AOL CEO Tim Armstrong two full business days to circulate an internal apology for his on-the-spot firing of Patch creative director Abel Lenz while chairing a Friday August 9 company-wide conference call. But per Romenesko, Peter Kafka and others, that missive has finally been dispatched:

Internal meetings of a confidential nature should not be filmed or recorded so that our employees can feel free to discuss all topics openly. Abel had been told previously not to record a confidential meeting, and he repeated that behavior on Friday, which drove my actions…

On Friday I acted too quickly and I learned a tremendous lesson and I wanted you to hear that directly from me…

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Gawker Launches Graphs so Readers Can Track Writers’ Traffic Stats

Gawker is notorious for making their writers worry about traffic stats. Now there’s a new level to the madness: “Beautiful, interactive graphs,” according to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko.

In a note to staffers, Lauren Bertolini explains that instead of boring tables, the new graphs really let writers’ numbers shine. And there’s going to be more, too. “We’re going to continue to build these out, so send along any feedback or ideas,” writes Bertolini.

While the graphs are sort of nice to look at, we wonder: Do readers really give a shit about writers’ stats? If a reader likes a staffer’s content, why would they care how many uniques he or she has? It’s not like they’re going to stop reading that specific person if they have a bad month, or start reading someone they don’t like because they have a good month.

These graphs seem completely pointless. Unless the point is to annoy the writers.

George Takei’s Beloved Facebook Status Takes Temporary Hit

Wired reporter Ryan Tate has a solid recap of the Facebook mini-scandal involving George Takei. In case you missed it, many were shocked by Colorado-based author and gag writer Rick Polito‘s revelation to Jim Romenesko last Thursday that he is getting paid to provide Takei with humorous Facebook material.

The Star Trek alum has made previous reference to social media outsourcing on The Howard Stern Show and in his book Oh Myyy!: There Goes the Internet. But predictably, the Romenesko item sparked much larger media fallout. The good news for Takei is that – per the final paragraph of Tate’s Wired item – damage is likely to be extremely temporary:

Disillusioned fans, however many there are, seem likely to come around. One devoted follower, to whom the writer of this article happens to be married, reacted Thursday to news of a ghost-joker by saying, “I feel cheated!” Given the opportunity the following day to suggest a tough interview question for Takei, she added, “Just tell him he’s awesome.”

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Jann Wenner Names Gus Wenner Editor of RollingStone.com

Jann Wenner, the owner of Rolling Stone’s publisher, Wenner Media, has a son named Gus Wenner. The former Wenner has named the latter Wenner — all 22 years of him— the new editor of RollingStone.com. Seems fair.

In a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, Jann wrote that he was “very proud” to make the announcement.

We’re sure the staff at Rolling Stone is excited as well.

The Boston Globe Returns the Favor, Sends Chicago Tribune Doughnuts

Last month, as the staff of The Boston Globe was working on overdrive to chronicle every foreseeable angle of the Boston bombing story, the Chicago Tribune sent them pizza and snacks.

On Friday, a grateful Globe returned the token of journalistic camaraderie and sent the Second City newsies doughnuts, Jim Romenesko reported.

“More than ever, we’ve been honored to be journalists these last weeks, helping our community understand and process the Boston Marathon bombings and related events — but, as you guessed, the experience left us exhausted emotionally and physically,” read a note signed by “your friends at the Boston Globe.” “Then your surprise lunch arrived, feeding out appetites and lifting our spirits.”

“Since you helped keep us going, let us return the favor,” they added.

Maybe the next step is to propose marriage under a new owner, since both papers are going up for sale.

Image: [Jim Romenesko]

WSJ Wants Someone to Cover CEOs

According to a memo, The Wall Street Journal is searching for a staffer to cover “executives, management and corporate leadership trend.” Sounds breathtaking.

Here’s another snippet from the note, obtained by Jim Romenesko:

The reporter must have at least four years of experience, deep sources within companies and work well across bureaus. The reporter will write section-front stories packed with insightful takes on the news and frequent, lively blog items.

Don’t everyone raise their hands at once, now.

Gawker Adds Senior Writer

Gawker has named Nitasha Tiku a senior writer. Tiku comes to the site from The New York Observer’s BetaBeat. She had been with the Observer for almost two years. Prior to her time there, Tiku contributed to New York’s Daily Intelligencer.

In a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, John Cook, editor of Gawker, said of Tiku, “She brings deep knowledge and extensive sources on the tech beat, and so will certainly be helping us deflate egos and mock stupidity and expose fraud in that arena. But she is a prodigiously talented reporter and merciless intellect, and will take on all manner of stories, long and fast, for us.”

You can read Cook’s full note over at Romenesko’s site.

A Good Example of Aaron Kushner’s Media M.O.

From the outset of Aaron Kushner’s reign as owner-publisher of the Orange County Register, we’ve been impressed by his willingness to engage not just the community but also outside reporters and critics.

In this latest example, Kushner took the initiative via email. The context for his correspondence with USC professor Marc Cooper and website Voice of OC was an old journalism axiom, a pair of articles by Adam Elmahrek and a related Romenesko report of some March 6 newsroom comments by Kushner.

Last night, Voice of OC published two emails sent by Kushner (one to both Cooper and Voice of OC, one to just Cooper) as well as Cooper’s response. From Kushner’s first email:

There are many ways a newspaper serves its community. One important way is by holding those in power accountable for their use of that power. That is why in just the last six months the Register has hired more investigative reporters and journalists to cover city halls and Orange County business and political leaders than every other newspaper in America combined. How we cover those in power with one of the largest watchdog and beat reporting teams in the country is about getting it right, which includes tone. I agree with Marc that there is no dichotomy between being respectful and having robust coverage of our community and those who lead it.

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