Tuesday, April 29, 2008

12 awarded JSK fellowships

Twelve U.S. journalists have been awarded John S. Knight Fellowships to study at Stanford during the 2008-09 academic year.

During their stay at Stanford, the Knight Fellows will pursue independent courses of study and participate in special seminars. The 2008-09 program marks the 43rd year that Stanford has offered fellowships for professional journalists.

The 12 U.S. Fellows will join nine from other countries who were announced in March. Financial support for the U.S. fellows comes primarily from an endowment provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Financial support for the International Fellows comes from sources that include the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Lyle and Corrine Nelson International Journalism Fund, and Yahoo! Inc.

Following are the 2008-09 U.S. Fellows and their principal areas of study:

Christopher Allbritton, freelance journalist, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; foreign news and new media: bringing the outside world online

Stephanie Banchero, education reporter, Chicago Tribune; preparing teachers to work in urban classrooms and the implications for closing the student achievement gap

Diane Cardwell, City Hall bureau chief, New York Times; how cities in the U.S. and abroad can meet the challenges of growth in a rapidly changing world

Babak Dehghanpisheh, Baghdad bureau chief, Newsweek; the war of ideas and information between the United States and Islamic radicals

Jeff Elder, columnist, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer; the impact of mobile Internet devices on news dissemination, reporting and citizen reporting

Andrew Haeg, senior producer and analyst, American Public Media, St. Paul, Minn.; leading change and innovation in journalism

Lee Hockstader, editorial board, Washington Post; comparative immigration policy in the United States and western Europe

Burt Herman, Korea chief of bureau, Associated Press, Seoul, Korea; foreign correspondence in the digital age

Michael Rezendes, investigative reporter, Boston Globe; the threat of secrecy in a democratic society

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, managing editor, Rumbo newspapers, Houston; new trends in immigration: how Spanish-language publications in the U.S. are addressing readers' cultural crossroads

Geri Smith, Mexico bureau chief and chief Latin American correspondent, BusinessWeek, Mexico City; immigration, trade integration and the quest for international competitiveness in the Americas

Janine Zacharia, diplomatic correspondent, Bloomberg News, Washington; changing how rulers rule: what went wrong with the freedom agenda and lessons for the future

The program received 88 applications for the U.S. fellowships and 166 applications for the International fellowships.

The U.S. fellows were chosen by the Knight Fellowships Program Committee: James Bettinger, director, Knight Fellowships; Eavan Boland, Stanford professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program; Theodore Glasser, Stanford professor of communication; Ardith Hilliard, executive editor, The Morning Call (Allentown, Penn.); James Mallory, senior managing editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Abbas Milani, Stanford visiting professor of political science and director of the Iranian Studies Program; Margaret A. Neale, Stanford professor, Graduate School of Business; Cathy Panagoulias, assistant managing editor, Wall Street Journal, and Rita Williams, reporter, KTVU-TV, Oakland

Val Pipps to teach full-time at U. of A,

Intercepted Memo:

From: Bruce Winges
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 11:50 AM

To:
Subject: Val Pipps


Val Pipps has decided to become a full-time teacher of communications at the University of Akron beginning with the fall 2008 semester.
I am sorry to make this announcement because Val's presence in the newsroom and his hard work and dedication to Ohio.com will be missed. I am happy for Val after talking to him about this change because he is looking forward to opening this new door in his career.
Val has been a tireless advocate for Ohio.com in general and breaking news on the web site in particular. From the time Val rejoined the newsroom in November 2006 until March, breaking news grew from 205,000 page views a month to 416,000 in March. He also was a key person in moving Ohio.com from McClatchy to its new platform last summer.
Val was one of the early advocates of Ohio.com in the newsroom when he took the position of new media editor in 1999. He then joined Ohio.com full time as a senior producer. Val worked as a national editor for Knight Ridder Digital.
Val joined the Beacon Journal as the weekend news editor in 1994. He was the news editor for the yearlong "Wheels of Fortune" project that examined the history of the rubber industry in Akron.
Val also has worked for the Gary Post-Tribune, Baton Rouge State Times, the Palm Beach Times, the Palm Beach Daily News and the Daily Oklahoman.
Val holds a doctorate in communications from Syracuse University.
We will miss him, but not quite yet as he will be here through the summer.

Thanks, Bruce

Monday, April 28, 2008

E&P Report: Gains in Circulation List



By E&P Staff
Not all papers bled circulation this winter. The Audit Bureau of Circulations reported the top dozen gainers -- dailies with 50,000 or more in paid circulation -- and three big metros make the list.

The San Jose Mercury News, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer,and the Cincinnati Enquirer all reported nice increases in daily circulation.

El Diario La Prensa topped the list advancing its daily circulation 7.6% to 53,856 copies.

Below is a list of the top 12 daily (Monday-Friday) gainers for the six months ending March 2008 provided by ABC. These are the preliminary figures as filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and are subject to audit.

Top Circulation Gainers
Newspapers with More Than 50,000 Paid Circulation

Listed are the name of the newspaper, the circulation on March 31, 2008, circulation on the same date in 2007 and percentage gain.

EL DIARIO LA PRENSA: 53,856 -- 50,047 -- 7.61%
THE TIMES, MUNSTER, IND.: 85,195 -- 82,709 -- 3.01%
THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER: 212,369 -- 206,320 -- 2.93%
TRENTON (N.J.) TIMES: 54,745 -- 53,197 -- 2.91%
THE DAILY HERALD, EVERETT, WASH.: 50,272 -- 49,109 -- 2.37%
VENTURA (CALIF.) COUNTY STAR : 86,276 -- 84,785 -- 1.76%
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: 234,772 -- 230,870 -- 1.69%
GREENSBURG (PA.) TRIBUNE-REVIEW: 150,911 -- 148,416 -- 1.68%
THE ADVOCATE, BATON ROUGE, LA. : 97,912 -- 96,558 -- 1.40%
THE STANDARD-EXAMINER, OGDEN, UTAH: 61,696 -- 60,956 -- 1.21%
MOBILE (ALA.) PRESS-REGISTER: 99,433 -- 98,245 -- 1.21%
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER: 129,563 -- 128,016 -- 1.21%

BJ's Love wins top AP photo award

Ken Love won the only first place winner for the Beacon Journal in the annual Associated Press Society of Ohio newspaper competition, but several Akron Beacon Journal staff members earned statewide honors Sunday. The Plain Dealer had at least 10 firsts.

Love took top honors for Best Spot News Photo among newspapers with circulations of more than 75,000, while fellow Beacon Journal photographer Phil Masturzo earned second-place honors in the category. Love also placed second in the Best Feature Photo category. In addition, Masturzo earned second-place honors for Best Photo Essay, and Mike Cardew earned third place in Best Sports Photo.

Lew Stamp finished second in the Best Videographer category.

The newspaper's Web site — http://www.ohio.com — was named the second best newspaper Internet site in the state. The Dayton Daily News website was judged the best.

Columnist Bob Dyer placed second in the competition for Best Columnist and Rick Steinhauser took second-place honors in the Best Graphics Artist category and third place in the Best Illustration competition. Dennis Earlenbaugh also earned an honorable mention for Best Illustration.

The Plain Dealer also was first in General Excellence ahead of the Columbus Dispatch and Cincinnati Enquirer. The Dispatch garnered a number of awards..

PD “best” awards went to Peter Krouse, burinsss; Becky Gaylor, editorial writer; Diane Suchestka, feature writer; Andrea Lervy, graphics artist; Toni Grossi, best game story Gus Chan, photographer and also best photo essay; The PD also won firsts for Best Community Service and best sports section

Former BJ staffers who won second place awards were PD staffers Terry Pluto, sports columnist; and Sheryl Harris, business writer.

Click on the headline to see the full list which was published by the Canton Repository which was first in general excellence for newspapers with circulation of 25,000 to 75,000 circulation.

Madison loses afternoon newspaper

On Saturday, The Capital Times, the fabled 90-year-old daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, stopped printing to devote itself to publishing its daily report on the Web.

The staff will also produce two print products: a free weekly entert
ainment guide inserted in Madison’s remaining daily newspaper, The Wisconsin State Journal, and a news weekly that will be distributed with the paper.

The paper’s circulation dropped to about 18,000 from a high in the 1960s of more than 40,000.

“We felt our audience was shrinking so that we were not relevant,” Clayton Frink, the publisher of The Capital Times, said in an interview two days before the final daily pr
ess run. “We are going a little farther, a little faster, but the general trend is happening everywhere.”

The transition in Madison, while long foretold — The Capital Times was doubly part of a dying breed, being the afternoon paper in a two-newspaper town — has hardly been neat and clean and cathartic.

More than 20 members of the newsroom staff lost their jobs, mainly through buyouts, but also through layoffs. Each departing journalist was profiled in the final paper, and lives on at the Web site Madison.com under the headline “A Fond Farewell to Talented Colleagues,” with a “class photo” taken next to the presses.

The new staff total will be in the 40s. This includes seven new hires in areas like Web producing and arts coverage. Copy editors, by contrast, are “exiting at a higher rate than reporters,” said Paul Fanlund, the editor who arrived from The State Journal in 2006.

Click on the headline to read the full story by New York Times staffer Noam Cohen.

You might also like to visit the section on the of website Madison.com where you will find a farewell tribute including stories on each of the individuals who posed in front of the presses of the Capital Times–some of them with 30 to 40 years of service to the newspaper.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eunice and Bonnie Collins mark anniversary

This wedding anniversary announcement of Eunice and Bonnie Collins appeared on page E7 of the Beacon Journal on Sunday. Collins is a retired BJ printer.

Eunice & Bonnie (Mullens) Collins 50th Anniversary
On March 1, 1958 at the Akron Baptist Temple, Eunice Edward Collins and Bonnie· Mullens exchanged their wedding vows. Rev. Paul Outland officiated.

During the 50-year interim, the Collins have done extensive traveling. Mr. Collins is retired from the Akron Beacon Journal and Mrs. Collins is retired from Bridgestone/Firestone and the Akron Public Schools. Collins is a 50-year member and actively involved in the Masonic organization; The Collins .are members of the Cleveland Clinic Pyramid Legacy Society.

The Collins spent their 50th wedding anniversary with friends in Florida. A cruise is being planned for later this year.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The worst of Times for New York Times

The blaring (as usual) headline in the New York Post reads:

THE WORST OF TIMES

STAFF BRACES FOR LAYOFFS AFTER BUYOUTS FALL SHORT


Keith J. Kelly in his Media Ink column reports:

THE New York Times' news room is bracing for a bloodbath in the next 10 days.

The word from inside is that approximately 50 unionized journalists have accepted the buyout proposal, and only another 20 non-union editorial employees have gotten on board.

That means the ax could fall on as many as 30 editorial people in the company's first-ever mass firing of journalists in its 156-year history.

Executive Editor William Keller had said originally that he was looking to cut 100 people from the Times staff in response to the dismal newspaper advertising environment.

But then a week ago Assistant Managing Editor William Schmidt issued a memo saying it was almost certain that the company would be forced to make involuntary cuts, and he urged more volunteers to come forward.

The plea apparently fell on deaf ears.

With just 70 people stepping forward for buyouts, it is very likely that 30 newsroom staffers will be forced out in coming days.

Click on the headline if you need more

BJ sports statistician Roger Grecni dies at 62

\WADSWORTH -- Roger Grecni, age 62, started his life in heaven on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He fought his cancer bravely and with great faith.

Born in
Akron on March, 3, 1946 and preceded in death by parents, Katherine and Emil Grecni, and step-mother, Dorothy, Roger lived in the Akron area until 1970 when he moved with his wife, Kathy, to Wadsworth where he lived for the rest of his life.

Survivors include his wife, Kathy; children, Kristy (Jay) Alexander and Steve (Lori) Grecni; grandd
aughter, Elise Alexander and grandson, Levi Grecni. He is also survived by his brother, Jim (Debra) Grecni; sisters, Janet (Robert) Hogue, Maureen (Randy) Popa, and Hope (Don) Sine. He had six nieces, six nephews, five great-nephews and a great-niece.

Roger graduated from Garfield High School in 1964 and received his Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of Akron, where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He taught math for Wadsworth City Schools for 30 years, starting at the junior high level and transferring to Wadsworth High School in 1981. Roger was a natural teacher and had a life-long devotion for learning. After retirement he was employed as a sports statistician for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Music was a great love of his and he spent many years singing in church choirs. He sang barbershop harmony with the Akron Derbytown Chorus and with several different quartets. His last quartet family, Spotlight, was with Guyles Clifford, Scott Giles, and Tom Gentry. Roger followed Wadsworth sports and enjoyed the years he was the voice of the Grizzly basketball team. He enjoyed watching the Browns and the Cavs, but he was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians, never giving up on them during their off years. The last several years he enjoyed being one of the official scorers for the Akron Aeros.

In his spare time he enjoyed traveling, biking, tennis, and playing bridge. He dearly enjoyed getting to know his 5-month-old granddaughter, Elise, and Levi entered this world following his death.

Calling hours will be held at Hillard-Rospert Funeral Home at 174 North Lyman Street in Wadsworth, on Sunday from 1 to 3 and 5 to 8 p.m. The barbershop chorus will sing at 7:30. Roger's "Celebration of Life" will be held on Monday at 3:30 p.m. at First Christian Church, located at 116 East Boyer Street in Wadsworth. Memorial contributions may be made either to First Christian Church or toward a scholarship in his name at Wadsworth High School. Scholarship contributions can be made through the Wadsworth Medina County Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 1010, Wadsworth, OH 44281.
(Hilliard-Rospert, 330-334-1501)
[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH,Friday, April 25, 2008, page B7, col. 2]

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

McClatchy stock now down to $8.52



McClatchy Co. advertising revenues plunged 15 percent on economic weakness and more drainage of ad business to the Internet. Its shares fell 4 percent in the first quarter.

The company, which publishes The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, lost $849,000, or a penny per share, in the three months ended March 30 versus earnings of $9 million, or 11 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding charges and discontinued operations, McClatchy earned $1.6 million, or 2 cents per share. That was 2 cents below analysts' estimates and compared with $14.5 million or 18 cents per share a year ago.

Revenues fell 13.8 percent to $488.3 million, while advertising revenues fell 15.3 percent to $404 million. Its shares fell 35 cents to $8.52 in morning trading Wednesday.

McClatchy, the No. 3 U.S. newspaper company by circulation, continued to be hard-hit by the sharp economic downturns in California and Florida, where the declines in the housing market have been most severe.

CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement that while Florida and California made up only a third of the company's revenues, those markets accounted for 56 percent of the decline in the first quarter.

Pruitt said the advertising environment continued to be weak, with the company expecting second quarter revenues to be "somewhat better" than the first quarter, but still down in the low to mid-teen percentage range.
[Source: Associated Press. Click on headline to read the story]

While the lower results were anticipated because of the weakening economy and growing demand for online advertising, Pruitt said the company was "disappointed" with the double-digit decreases.

Classified advertising, which is particularly sensitive to economic swings as well as competition from online rivals like Craigslist, slumped again, plunging 25.7 percent in the quarter.

McClatchy's online advertising revenues from its own newspaper Web sites continued to grow, but not nearly fast enough to make up for the sharp declines in print.

Online ads grew 10.6 percent in the quarter to $45.6 million, and now make up 11.3 percent of McClatchy's total advertising revenues, compared with 8.6 percent for all of 2007.

Detective Felber reassigned

Akron police detective Vince Felber, son of retired printer Frank Felber, was temporarily assigned to light desk duty this week while the police department investigation into his book about the Cynthia George case proceeds for the next two to three weeks.

Perfect Beauty, authored by Felber and New York writer Keith Elliot Greenberg, was released this month by St.
Martin's Press. The book chronicles the 2001 murder of Jeff Zack, a Stow businessman, and the subsequent arrests of his lover, Cynthia George, and her other lover, John Zaffino..

In the book, Felber, a 16-year veteran, offers an insider's look into the detective bureau's sometimes stormy inv
estigation of what became one of the city's most provocative murder cases. Along the way, Felber reveals interdepartmental disputes and criticisms of fellow detectives and supervisors of how the investigation was conducted.

He also writes about the department's lack of basic police equipment, such as modern tape recorders and cell
phones for some detectives.

On Tuesday, Felber, 46, said he was told the internal investigation centers on his book and whether he violated department rules by what he wrote. It is unclear who initiated the investigation. Police Chief Michael Matulavich did not return a call for comment.

''I wrote the most honest book I could. I made mistakes, too, and they're in there as well,'' Felber said. ''If I did anything wrong by writing the book, my defense is that it's the truth. And if telling the truth is something that gets me in trouble, then I guess I'm in trouble.''

Greenberg covered the trial for Geraldo At Large.

Here’s the promo for the book on Bantam’s website:

Cynthia George was the stunning wife of one of Akron Ohio’s most successful restaurateurs, and mother of seven. She flaunted her money, her body…even her extra-marital affairs. Until she got in too deep with Jeff Zack, her younger, longtime lover who was also the father of one of her children—a secret that she kept for many years.

In a crime that shocked the heartland, Zack was killed, execution style, in the parking lot of a BJ’s Wholesale Club in Akron. From the beginning, investigators suspected Cynthia was involved. Little did they know that her other lover was the murderer. John Zaffino knew about Cynthia’s affair with Zack—and was jealous enough to do something about it…for good.

The Beacon Journal story provides a saner report you might want to read. Click on the headline. Or you can buy the book for $6.99

Monday, April 21, 2008

OHNO: Does it mean Oh! No!

Let Ted Diadiun, Reader Representative (ombudsman) of the Cleveland Plain Dealer explain:

Attentive readers no doubt have noticed that over the last month, some unusual bylines have been showing up in the pages and on the Web site of The Plain Dealer.

Stories from the Columbus Dispatch, the Toledo Blade, the Cincinnati Enquirer and even the Akron Beacon Journal are popping up all over the place. What's more, if you happen to find yourself in one of those cities or visit those newspapers' Web sites, you're likely to encounter Plain Dealer stories there.

What's going on here? Did all the newspapers in Ohio suddenly stop competing and become one big happy family?

Well, no. But, in a way, yes.

Competition for news is alive and well, but the eight largest papers in Ohio have finally come to an accommodation that, for my money, was long overdue.

It's called "OHNO," an unfortunate pronunciation for an acronym that means "Ohio News Organization."

However, there's nothing unfortunate about the agreement that it represents: a system through which newspapers in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown share their good stories with each other - and, of course, with each other's readers - every day.

So the ultimate winner is you because, under this system, you will be able to see the best work written by the best reporters in Ohio's largest cities in The Plain Dealer or on Cleveland.com. And you'll be getting it at the same time as the folks in those cities do.

It took a bit of doing because the competitive instinct is in every good journalist's DNA, and most of us would swallow our notebooks before we'd share what's in them with another reporter. We've spent our professional lives trying to keep other newspapers from getting our good stories. Now, we're giving them away.

Here's why:

The way that news from The Plain Dealer and other big papers used to find its way around the state was this: We would report and write our stories, wait until late in the day, and then turn them over to the Associated Press. The AP would then either rewrite them into wire service story format for general consumption; report and write its own stories later; or decide that the news was not of statewide interest and do nothing. If we had a breaking-news story all to ourselves, we would try to keep it away from the wire until the following day. So did everyone else.

That's not good enough anymore. In fact, I'm not sure it ever was. Competition is a wonderful thing. It keeps everyone sharp. But we don't compete for readers with the newspapers in Cincinnati or Columbus, except in the most tangential way, and never did.

We almost always break our stories online now as soon as they happen, so they're not exactly a secret from the other newspapers anyway. So why not give readers all over Ohio the benefit of the best work from each corner of the state?

In today's world, breaking news is measured in minutes, not days. It's important that we provide our readers with the best news report we can, as soon as we can, on our Web site and in the best and most current newspaper possible each day.

With the OHNO plan, each afternoon we and the other members post the stories our reporters have written on a common Web site that's accessible only in the eight newsrooms. From there, editors at each paper select which stories they want to run. So the Cincinnati Enquirer was able to give its readers our coverage on the National City bank problems, and our editors were able to pick off the Enquirer's coverage of Fifth Third Bank, which is based in Cincinnati.

That doesn't mean we're not competing. For example, both The Plain Dealer and the Columbus Dispatch have reporters working hard to break news about the sexual-harassment charges besetting Attorney General Marc Dann's office. The difference now is that when we get to a good story first, not only our readers get to see it, but so do readers of the Dispatch and the other papers.

OHNO is a natural progression of a coordinated effort undertaken at the beginning of the election season by The Plain Dealer, the Dispatch and the Dayton Daily News. Called "Eye on Ohio," it was a series that examined the accuracy and relevance of candidates' political ads before the Ohio primary, with reporters from each newspaper contributing.

"Instead of each of us doing all the commercials, we could each do a third and assign our reporters to do meatier perspective stories with the time we saved," said Dispatch Editor Ben Marrison. "We're still competitors - we still want to beat you, and we know you still want to beat us. But we can concentrate our efforts in areas where the competition will pay off for the readers."

Out of that success, Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg, Marrison and the other editors got together and forged the OHNO arrangement.

"It reflects how the nature of competition has changed in our business," said Goldberg. "All our readers will be better served."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Connie on Pulitzer: It doesn't hug me at night

Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schulz is among past Pulitzer Prize winners quoted in an Editor & Publisher story by Dave Astor which asked what they remember most about winning.

Schultz recalls standing in front of Columbia University's Low Memorial Library to ge
t her photo taken with other 2005 winners. "Some were complaining about the heat," she says. "That was so funny, and so typical of some journalists! Anyone would have traded places with us that day."

Several noted that there's post-prize pressure to keep doing Pulitzer-worthy
work -- though Schultz says few people would be too sympathetic if a Pulitzer winner complained about such pressure.

She says winning the Pulitzer had an enormous impact on her career: "Without it, I'd still be slamming out two columns a week and people would be asking 'Connie who?' I feel incredibly fortunate."

The Plain Dealer staffer's 2005 prize led to a book deal with Random House, a distribution deal with Creators Syndicate, and invitations to appear on national TV shows -- invitations not often extended to columnists who work at regional newspapers.

But Schultz is careful not to overdo the fame thing. "It can kill the writing," she says. "You end up squeezing your column into a busy celebrity life."

The Pulitzer also helps Schultz get more calls returned when working on columns. "People Google me and call right back," she says. "They often mention the Pulitzer."

But as life-changing as the award was for Schultz, there are some things the prize can't provide her or any other journalist. "It doesn't tell me it loves me," she says wryly. "And it doesn't hug me at night."

Click on the headline to read what othes said.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

See the Giffels home in the NY Times

David and Gina Giffels with children Evan and Lia, now 12 and 9

Ever wonder where Beacon Journal columnist David Giffels lives? Well run out real quick to get a copy of the Home and Garden Section of the New York Times which has a delightful story about the 12 years spent by David and his wife, Gina, restoring a 1913 Tudor house.

The photo by photographer Jeff Swenson is one of 14 used with the story. Here’s the lead on the story by Joyce Wadler:
[As usual, click on the headline to see it all]
IN these times of mortgage crisis and credit card debt, of people living over their heads and losing their homes, it may be instructive to visit David and Gina Giffels, proud owners of an exquisitely renovated 1913 Tudor house, with six fireplaces, a solarium and a billiards room, which is well within their means, in part because they paid $65,000.

It is true, this was 12 years ago here in Akron, as the city was struggling to come out of its Rust Belt doldrums, and at the time the house was not so exquisite. It was, in fact, as the couple learned only at the closing, about to be condemned. There were large holes in the roof, various furry woodland animals in residence, a barely functional heating and plumbing system. The roof over the master bedroom leaked so badly that the previous owner had placed 55 aluminum baking pans on the floor to catch the rain. Passers-by, glimpsing the house through trees and brush, assumed it was deserted.

Saving this house has taken David Giffels, a columnist at The Akron Beacon Journal and sometime rock musician, and his wife, Gina, a special education teacher, 12 years. And the renovation, most of which Mr. Giffels has done on his own, is not finished. The strain on their marriage, as Mr. Giffels admits in his sweet and funny book, “All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House,” which will be published next month by HarperCollins, has not been inconsiderable. Weekends, vacations, time Mr. Giffels might have spent with his two children, have been given over to such projects as removing, cleaning, and re-caulking the 733 windowpanes in the house. (He counted.)

On the other hand, except for the mortgage on this house, the Giffelses have no debt. This is not only because they have done so much of the renovation themselves, but because they do not have and never have had credit cards. Their feeling, anachronistic as the servants’ call button in their dining room, is that if you don’t have the money for something, you don’t buy it. It is for this reason that none of the six fireplaces in their house are functional: they do not have the money to fix them. If this sounds extremely practical, you should know that the story of the Giffelses and the falling down house is as romantic as they come, tied up with not just the love of a house, but the love of a city. Ask Mr. Giffels (who once tried to evict squirrels from the house by playing guitar really loudly) how much money he’s put into it over the years, and you’ll get the idea.

Community Newspaper Assn. honors Black

The Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) and its board of directors announced today that Beacon Journal publisher David Black, president and owner of Black Press, has been selected as the recipient of the Margaret Hennigar Award for Exemplary Leadership for 2008. The award will be presented in Toronto during the CCNA Awards Gala on May 9, as part of the association’s 89th national conference.

The CCNA also made Black an Honorary Life Member “for his valuable contribution
and support of community journalism in Canada.”

"David Black started his career in community journalism and remained true to his roots, despite growing the company from one newspaper in the Interior of B.C. to over 175 publications in B.C., Alberta, Washington state, Ohio and Hawaii," said CCNA President Coleen Campbell. "H
e gets just as excited about his newspaper’s editorial excellence awards as much as the financial performance of his business."

Black's first newspaper was the Williams Lake Tribune, which he purchased from his father in 1975.

Black has served as president of the British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspapers Association, director of the CCNA, and governor of the Canadian Newspaper Association.

Black is being honoured for his achievements within the newspaper industry as well as his work with a number of organizations, including the Rotary Club, the Commonwealth Games, and the BC Progress Board.

The Margaret Hennigar Award is named after the late Margaret Hennigar, a longtime CCNA member who was active in the association as well as in her community. Marg helped found the Atlantic Community Newspapers Association and served as a board member for both the CCNA and the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE).

The award was created by members of the association in 2007 to honour exemplary individuals in Canada’s community newspaper industry who have shown outstanding leadership in business and within their community. Margaret’s daughter, CCNA Past President Lynn Hennigar, was the recipient of the inaugural award and her company, Lighthouse Publishing, now sponsors the award in honour of her mother.

For more information on the CCNA's annual conference, Ink & Beyond, visit the official conference website at www.inkandbeyond.ca.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A note from Geigers in Florida

Dear family and friends,

Thought you might enjoy seeing this photo of Sandy and Fletcher, the greeter cat at Green Cove Presbyterian Church. Even though it was raining a bit, Fletcher faithfully remained at his post, both before and after service. We are told that he lives nearby and know personally that he seldom, if ever, misses a service.

First Presbyterian Church of Green Cove Springs is a small, beautiful century-old church where we have just become members. (Although we were intrigued by the greeter cat, we joined after visiting a number of churches in the area, most of which were mega-churches. The one we chose is Reformed, friendly and small.) We also attend the church here on campus upon occasion, especially when special events are held there. However, it is nice to belong to a church that has people who are young and old

Florida is great. So far the weather has been just fine but we know the really hot weather will be coming. We had thought we’d just spend the spring and summer at Penney Retirement Center as we have heard a lot of people from here do go away, some for as long as four months. That leaves the volunteer work schedule hard to fill. However, our son Patrick’s health continues to decline so we have agreed that we should go north while he can still enjoy our visit with him. His infection of the brain is making it harder to communicate when we have telephone visits. A priority during the time we are with him will be to talk with his doctor. Last May Patrick said that doctors gave him six months to a year to live. His condition remains untreatable, although he is being given experimental drugs

Yes, we made travel arrangements with an airline that went bankrupt and closed down. Thankfully, we were able to make new arrangements for the same time period and will be leaving the sunny South on April 29th to spend a few days visiting Patrick. Renting a car, we will visit friends in Lorain County where our oldest son, Bill, and his Mongolian wife, Jill, will be able to join us for two days. After visiting with Patrick again, we will return to Florida . Please keep Patrick and our travels in your prayers

Then it is back to our volunteer work, which we are thoroughly enjoying. Both of us serve supper once a week at an assisted living facility. It is a hectic two hours of hard work, but the residents really love Pete telling jokes and making up crazy flavors of soups and ice-creams that he claims are on the menus. Most days Pete can be found at the computer and electrical shop unless he is busy editing “Penney for Your Thoughts”, the monthly newsletter. Sandy spends her time at Hagan Care Center , a memory care center, at the resale shop (working and shopping) and helping at the estate sales. She is also on the food committee and will soon be taking training to do hospice care. We both love the library on the grounds and there are more programs and meetings daily than we can possibly attend. Sandy has been named co-wedding planner for our new church. So far that has not been time-consuming. She has assisted with just one wedding. The music for the service was done entirely by acoustical guitar and, to our surprise, the recessional was a Beach Boys song, “Wouldn’t it Be Nice”. We are still laughing about it

Some folks have come to visit but we are hoping for more. Check your schedule and come on down. We’d love it.

Missing Mongolia and Ohio but loving it here in Florida ,

Sandy and Pete

The new emal address for the Geigers is psgeiger@bellsouth.net

Gary Pruitt named NAA president

Washington – Gary Pruitt, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The McClatchy Co. in Sacramento, Calif., has been elected to serve as the Newspaper Association of America’s next chairman. The gavel was passed to Pruitt from last year’s chairwoman Susan Clark-Johnson, president of the Newspaper Division of Gannett Co. in McLean, Va., during the Association’s Capital Conference held April 12-16 in Washington, D.C. Clark-Johnson will continue to serve on the NAA Board of Directors as immediate past chairperson.

Gary Pruitt assumed the role of McClatchy Co. chairman in 2001. He has been chief executive officer since 1996 and president since 1995, the year he also became a director. He served as chief operating officer from 1995 to 1996 and as vice president, operations and technology from 1994 to 1995. Before that, Mr. Pruitt was publisher of The Fresno Bee from 1991 to 1994, served as corporate secretary and general counsel from 1987 to 1991 and was counsel from 1984 to 1987. He currently serves as a director of The Associated Press and The James Irvine Foundation.

Other officers elected were: Michael E. Reed, president and CEO of GateHouse Media Inc. in Fairport, N.Y., as treasurer; George B. Irish, president, Hearst Newspapers, a subsidiary of The Hearst Corp. in New York City, as vice chairman; and Mark G. Contreras, senior vice president/newspapers for The E.W. Scripps Co. in Cincinnati, as secretary.

Elected to two-year terms on the NAA Board of Directors were: Stephen Hills, president and general manager, The Washington Post; Carol Hudler, president and publisher, The News-Gazette, Fort Myers, Fla., and group president of Gannett Co.’s Sun Coast Newspaper Group; and Michael R. Romaner, president of Morris DigitalWorks, a subsidiary of Morris Communications Co. in Augusta, Ga.

Modesto Bee offers buyouts to 100-plus

The Modesto Bee offered voluntary buyouts Monday to more than 100 employees.

About one-quarter of The Bee's 455 employees were offered buyout packages. Not all who apply will be approved, President and Publisher Margaret Randazzo said. She said only a limited number of buyouts will be accepted from each division.

Randazzo said the buyouts were offered to employees in every division, except for ad sales representatives and reporters. The buyout packages include up to 26 weeks of pay depending on tenure, and medical coverage.

The Bee, owned by Sacramento-based McClatchy Co., does not have a set number of buyouts it will accept, she said. But, she added, "We anticipate that the percentage of our work force approved will be in the low single digits."

Mark Vasché, editor and senior vice president of The Bee, said the buyouts will affect a "very small" number of the newsroom's 90-plus employees and thus should have a minimal impact on readers.

Click on the headline to read the full story by Christina Salerno in the Bee

BJ's Dyer wins top columnist award

Akron Beacon Journal columnist Bob Dyer on Monday was named the nation's top general columnist in 2007 by the National Society of Professional Journalists.

Dyer has
worked at the Beacon Journal since 1984. On Oc\tober 5, 2006 Dyer became the Beacon’s ''columnist with attitude,'' seeking to provoke and entertain with reporting and perspective on local topics.

The awards were announced Monday in Indianapolis. This year’s winners were chosen from more than 1,000 entries in 48 categories including print, radio, television and online.

The Sigma Delta Chi Awards date back to 1932, when the Society first honored six individuals for contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939, when the organization awarded the first Distinguished Service Awards. These awards later became the Sigma Delta Chi Awards.

The awards, which recognize work published in 2007, will be presented July 11 during the annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“Year after year, the winners of the Sigma Delta Chi awards represent the very best journalism has to offer,” said SPJ President Clint Brewer. “These awards and the journalism they recognize represent the incredibly positive contributions our profession makes to the national dialogue and to our communities. We thank the winners and all the entrants for their service and congratulate them on a job well done.”

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

Dyer won the award for a collection of columns. You can read the full columns online at Ohio.com The Beacon Journal announced the award in a story on page B1, the Local section front, which summarizes the four columns Click on the headline to see the complete list of awards.

Dyer also is the author of three books, Cleveland Sports Legends: The 20 Most Glorious and Gutwrenching Moments of All Time; Omar! My Life on and off the Field, with Omar Vizquel, and The Top 20 Moments in Cleveland Sports.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Newseum is apparently a hit

The Washington Post has a ton of information on the Newseum. Click on the headline.

The museum's best day was 5,000 visitors when it was located in Rosslyn. The new facility reached capacity sometime after 2 p.m. Friday, the opening day, and that more than 1,000 free tickets were handed out to people who couldn't get in.

A Q,& A. with Gary Pruitt

Here’a a Q&A wth Gariy Pruitt from a site called Examiner.com with various city locations. There is no informatrion on the site to explain exactly what it is or where it comes from. The piece sounds a bit like a PR release, but here’s the post by Patty Reinart

Gary Pruitt, chairman, president and CEO of The McClatchy Co., made headlines in 2006 when his company acquired Knight Ridder to become the nation’s second-largest newspaper chain. McClatchy’s stock price has plunged, but Pruitt says he has no regrets about the deal and believes newspapers have a strong future as they reinvent themselves as news information companies. As newspaper editors and executives meet in Washington this week, Pruitt will take over as chairman of the Newspaper Association of America.

Q The newspaper industry is experiencing the worst drop in advertising revenue in 50 years. Circulation numbers continue to fall as more people get their news from the Internet. Are newspapers dying?

A It is indeed a painful transition, but newspapers are not taking it lying down. While circulation is declining over time, the newspaper still has the biggest reach of any single medium in the local market. Most newspapers operate the most popular local Internet site. They also publish specialty and niche and direct mail products. While print circulation slowly declines, total audience is growing, and that remains the best predictor of future success.

Q Should newspapers continue to serve a broad audience or should they focus on niche publications and Web sites to target specific readers and advertisers?

A I think it’s important for newspapers to remain a mass medium. We are still reaching more people in the market than other media outlets. That’s important for the business model and it’s important in terms of public service. Very few institutions can bring a common base of knowledge to an audience the way a newspaper can. We also have to be a leading Internet company. We have to target content and advertising in online products and print products so advertisers can choose to reach a mass audience or a targeted audience.

Q Can newspapers move to the Internet and still make money?

A Yes, I think so. Right now Internet operations only represent 10 percent of newspapers’ advertising revenue, but they are growing. They operate at a higher profit margin because delivery is cheaper; there’s no paper. So revenues needn’t equalize, but we will need to grow Internet revenue strongly and quickly.

Q Do you expect newsrooms to downsize even further? How has McClatchy avoided newsroom layoffs?

A I expect there will be more cost-cutting industrywide. At McClatchy, we often think about trying to allocate resources in those areas that drive quality and performance most. As a result, we try to maintain ad sales capabilities and our ability to produce quality journalism. That doesn’t mean we don’t have cuts in the newsroom or other areas. But we do our best to make sure we keep those areas resourced in a way to continue to produce quality news.

Q What changes do you see coming in the next 10 years in the way newspapers operate?

A I think you will see newspapers focus on their core capabilities most — gathering and reporting of news, especially local news, and selling of advertising. Some of the other areas of their operations may be contracted for or outsourced over time. There will be a much greater focus on growing online and digital products — not just the Internet, but also digital delivery to cell phones and mobile devices.

Survey: shows biggest staff drop in 30 years,

The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) conducted a survey this year that found that newsrooms have encountered the biggest loss of jobs in 30 years and that the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms is still disproportionate to the larger workforce.

The survey found:
  • U.S. daily newsrooms shrank by 2,400 journalists in the past year, a "4.4% workforce decrease that's the biggest year-over-year cut in ranks since ASNE began conducting its annual census 30 years ago.
  • 52,600 people work full-time in daily newspaper newsrooms. 1984 was the last time that number has been so low at 50,400, of whom 5.75% were journalists of racial or ethnic minorities.
  • Nearly 300 fewer journalists of color are working in newsrooms than this time last year.
  • But due to the layoffs and hiring freezes, the percentage of journalists of color in daily newsrooms actually grew by a tiny margin, to 13.52% from 13.43% of all journalists.
  • The largest number and percentage of journalists of color are black, with 2,790 or 5.3% of the workforce."
  • There are 2,346 Hispanic journalists, 4.5% of newsrooms.
  • Asian Americans are 3.2% of newsrooms at 1,692 journalists.
  • Native Americans are the smallest minority group: 284 journalists or 0.5% of newsroom employees.
  • Men still outnumber women in the daily newsroom by a 63% to 37% margin.
  • Minority journalists are more likely to be reporters. Only 11.4% of supervisors are journalists of color.
Click on the headline to read the full story.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mary Beth wins furnishing award

Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Beckenridge has won the top award in the newspaper category from the American Home Furnishings Alliance in High Point, NC, for her coverage of home furnishings products and trends. Breckenridge joined the Beacon Jurnal in 1987 and has been the Home and Garden writer since 1996.

The award was announced on the cover of the Home section (page E1) in today's Beacon Journal

Friday, April 11, 2008

Akron to become digital superstar

Akron is about to become a digital superstar.

Here’s the lead on the play story in the Akron Beacon Journal by staff writer Jim Carney:

The city will become the national headquarters of a multi-million dollar think tank that will help communities bring the online world to more people.

And at the same time, Akron will be a model of universal, free access to the World Wide Web with the creation of a wireless Internet access corridor covering about 10 square miles in the central part of the city.

Those plans were shared today by officials from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the city of Akron, and the nonprofit group OneCommunity during a press conference at Akron's Knight Center in downtown Akron.

The foundation announced it will spend $15 million during the next five years — including $4.5 million this year — to establish the Knight Center for Digital Excellence in Akron, likely somewhere in the downtown area. The center will employ 16 people, officials said.

The center is part of a $25 million initiative by the Knight Foundation during the next five years to accelerate digital access projects in 26 Knight Foundation communities, including Akron.

In addition, the Knight Foundation said it would provide $625,000 of the $2.2 million needed to create the wireless corridor in Akron.

When the Akron corridor is up and running by the end of this year, people with wireless-ready computers will be able to tap into the Internet for free within the district.

The district includes downtown, the University of Akron, museums, all three downtown hospitals and neighborhoods in North Hill, East Akron and Highland Square, along with Goodyear and Lockheed Martin, the Helen Arnold School and the Urban League, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic said.

Plusquellic said he has signed a ''memorandum of understanding'' with OneCommunity and will recommend that Akron City Council approve a five-year commitment of about $800,000 toward the design, deployment and operation of the wireless corridor in Akron.

The University of Akron has pledged another $350,000 to the corridor because the University Park area is part of the district, Plusquellic said.

The city's six-term mayor said the free wireless corridor will cover about 80,000 to 90,000 residents and about 31,000 workers.

Click on the headline to read the full story by Carney.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ron Kirksey retires after 10 years at Kent State

Click on this image to read about Ron Kirksey's retirement

Tom Batiuk is Pulitzer finalist

Tom Batiuk of King Features was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize for editorial cartooning.
for a sequence in his cartoon strip “Funky Winkerbean” that portrays a woman’s poignant battle with breast cancer.

The strips covering Lisa Moore's final battle with breast cancer are now in a new book, Lisa's Story: The Other Sh
oe from The Kent State University Press, with proceeds going to Lisa's Legacy Fund

Batiuk spent several years as a middle school art teacher before creating the comic strip Funky Winkerbean in 1972. Originally a “gag-a-day” comic strip that portrayed life in high school, Funky has evolved into a mature series of real-life stories examining such social issues as teen dating abuse, teen pregnancy, teen suicide, violence in schools, the war in the Middle East, alcoholism, divorce, and cancer.

In 1999, Lisa Moore, one of Funky’s friends and a main character, discovered she had breast cancer. Batiuk, unsure about dealing with such a serious subject on the funny pages, decided to go ahead with the story line. He approached the topic with the idea that mixing humor with serious and real themes heightens the reader’s interest. Lisa and husband Les faced the same physical, psychological, and social issues as anyone else dealing with the disease.

After a mastectomy and chemotherapy, Lisa was cancer free. She finished her law degree, opened a practice, and had a baby daughter, Summer. Then, in the spring of 2006, the cancer returned and metastasized. Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe is a collection of both the 1999 comic strips on Lisa’s initial battle with cancer and the current series examining her struggle with the disease and its outcome. Additionally, it contains resource material on breast cancer, including early detection, information sources, support systems, and health care.

Tom Batiuk is a graduate of Kent State University. His Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft comic strips are carried in over 700 newspapers throughout the U.S. In 2006, he was honored by the American Cancer Society and presented its Cancer Care Hall of Fame Award for his sympathetic work in highlighting the experiences of those with cancer.

Blogger Note: Thanks to Rich Heldenfels for an item in his HeldenFiles column today which called our attention to Batuik's honor which was almost overlooked.

[Info from Kent State University Press]

Retired printer Warren Watson dies at 86

Warren Watson, of Naples, Fla., and Akron, Ohio, passed away on April 3, 2008.

Warren was born on Dec. 10, 1921 in Akron, Ohio to the late Elmer and Nettie Watson. He was a proud U.S. N
aval pilot Lieutenant (jg) during World War II. He attended Iowa State University where he received his pre-flight training. He was also a graduate of North High School. Following his time in the service, Warren joined the staff at the Akron Beacon Journal as a printer. He retired in 1983 after 35 years of employment. Warren was an avid golfer, participating in several golf leagues, including golf with his longtime Winnipeg friends. Warren was a Little League coach in the Firestone Park area and later enjoyed watching the accomplishments of his grandchildren as they played sports.

Warren is survived by Isabel, his wife of 61 years. He is also survived by his children and their spouses, Dennis and Regina Watson of Akron, Ohio, James and Jean Glase of Naples, Fla., David and Robin W
atson of Akron, Ohio and Robert and Ashley Watson of West Chapel, Fla.; nine grandchildren, Christopher, Amie, Nathan, Laura, Jeanine, James Jr., Jeffrey, Taylor and Rachel; three great-grandchildren, Jacob, Amelia and Amber.

Warren was preceded in death by his brothers, John, Robert, Paul and Leland.

Visiting hours will be at the HENNESSY-BAGNOLI FUNERAL HOME, 936 N. MAIN ST., AKRON, on Thursday, April 10, 2008 from 5 to 8 p.m. Services will be Friday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. at the same location, followed by interment with military honors at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.

There is a word of grief the sounding token

It is known on land, sea and ocean

It is the saddest word ever spoken

'Tis called good-bye.
[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH,Wednesday, April 9, 2008, page B7, col. 5 ]

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

About those anonymous comments

Some 70 percent of editors surveyed said requiring commenters to disclose their identities would support good journalism, while only 45 percent of the public did. Similarly, 58 percent of editors said letting journalists join online conversations and give personal views would harm journalism, but only 36 percent of the public agreed.

Most editors and the public agree that local news online should follow longstanding journalism standards, such as verifying information. But views of the two groups diverged on whether users of local news Web sites should post comments without giving their real names, according to a new survey.

You may remember that this blog posted a question by Bill O’Connor last December 20 about unsigned comments on the blog. There were a half dozen comments. So we thought viewers might be interested in this study.

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), in partnership with the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME), conducted the comprehensive study of credibility of online local journalism between August and October 2007. The purpose of the study was to examine opinions of the general public as well as newsroom editors regarding the credibility of online local news content, interaction between newsroom and readers, and the attributes that comprise good journalism practice online.

Five hundred interviews were randomly completed with adults 18 years of age or older throughout the United States, as well as 1,251 interviews with newsroom editors of U.S. daily newspapers. The surveys were conducted by RJI's Center for Advanced Social Research (CASR) at the Missouri's School of Journalism.

Click on the headline to read the article on the suvery or read the full report on the Associated Press Managing Editors website. The complete report is 49 pages in a PDF file

Regina Brett is Pulitzer finalist

Plain Dealer metro columnist Regina Brett was one of three finalists for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Commentary, Columbia University announced Monday.

Steven Pe
arlstein of the Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize in commentary for his columns that explored the nation's complex economic ills. The other finalist was John Kass of the Chicago Tribune.

"We are all very proud of Regina - today and every day," said Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg. "She is passionate about her work and about our community, and it comes through in every column she writes."

Judges recognized Brett for her "compassionate columns on alienated teenagers in a dangerous city neighborhood."

"I feel really blessed," Brett said. "There are so many great writers out there. To think that I ended up in the final three, it makes you feel giddy inside."

Brett wrote a series of columns that explored inner-city violence, poverty and hopelessness among black teenagers and young men.

She said journalists must never fear going to inner-city neighborhoods to give the people there a voice and to tell their stories.

"Last year took me to the heart of [the inner city], and I realized that these kids need our voice more than anybody," Brett said.

"While journalists cannot right every wrong, champion every cause or fix every problem, they can - through the written word - lift someone's burden for a day, make some elderly woman on a bus smile or let them know they are noticed by someone.

"As much as the Pulitzer is the hallmark of journalism, I think what I love the most is when somebody says they took my column and it's in their wallet," Brett said. "I have had people open their wallet and show me a corner of a column."

Future columns will build on last year's themes, Brett said, urging a united front to step forward to address urban violence and poverty that no one person or organization can solve.

Brett, who has been writing professionally since 1986, joined The Plain Dealer in 2000 and her columns appear Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. She also hosts a weekly radio show each Friday on WCPN FM/90.3, Cleveland's Natonal Public Radio affiliate.

In the mid-1980s, she covered City Hall for the Lorain Journal, before moving on to the Beacon Journal in Akron, where she covered business and breaking news. She began writing columns in 1994.

Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz won the Pulitzer Prize in commentary in 2005.

Click on the headline to read the Plain Dealer article.

Click here to read some of Regina's work.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wash Post wins 6 Pulitzers, NYT takes 2

Click here to read Joe Strupp's story in Editor & Publisher or click on the headline to go to the Pulitzer site.
The Washington took home six of the 14 journalism categories -- including the coveted Public Service award -- the most ever for the newspaper. The Times won two Pulitzers this year, for investigative reporting and for Explanatory Reporting. There was a tie in the investigative category, with the Chicago Tribune also getting the nod

Winners were announced at 3 p.m. at Columbia University.

The Post's six-prize sweep is second only in history to The New York Times, which won seven Pulitzers in 2002, many for its Sept. 11 coverage. The board offered no winner in editorial writing, the first time that has occurred in that category since 1993.

The Post's winners this year are:

  • Public Service - Dana Priest and Anne Hull, for their Walter Reed Army Hospital expose.
  • National Reporting - Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, for their series, "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency."
  • International Reporting - Steve Fainru, for his coverage of Iraq-related security and Blackwaer..
  • Breaking News - Coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre.
  • Commentary - Business columnist Steven Pearlstein..
  • Feature Reporting - Gene Weingarten, for "Pearls Before Breakfast," his story on violinist Joshua Bell playing in the subway
The New York Times two awards are for:
  • Investigative Reporting (co-winner), for its "Toxic Pipeline" series on dangerous foreign imports by Walt Bogranich and Jake Hooker.
  • Explanatory Reporting, to Amy Harmon for "The DNA Age."
This marks the third win for Bogranich, who previously won in 1988 and 2005.

The five remaining categories:

  • Feature Photography: Concord (NH) Monitor, Preston Gannawy.
  • Breaking News Photography: Reuters, Andrees Latif.
  • Editorial Cartooning: Investor's Business Daily, Michael Ramirez
  • Local Reporting: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, David Umhofer, stories on tax laws and pension misuse.
  • Criticism: Boston Globe, Mark Feeney
  • Investigative Reporting (co-winner) : Chicago Tribune staff, for stories on faulty government regulation of toys, cribs, car seats

Footnote: Bob Dylan was awarded a special "citation" for music.

Charts from McClatchy Co. annual report



Here are circulation and revenue charts from the annual report to shareholders of the McClatchy Company which aquired Knight Ridder newspapers. Click on the top chart to enlarge for reading.

Total Revenues by Newspaper (dollars in thousands)

Newspaper..............................................................2007...............2006
The Miami Herald *.............................................$297,417..... $350,993
(Fort Worth) Star-Telegram * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229,133....... 245,755
The Kansas City (Missouri) Star * .......................220,320 ......235,692
The Sacramento Bee ..........................................211,035 .......254,741
Charlotte Observer * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169,292.........176,246
The (Raleigh) News & Observer. . . . . . . . . . . . . 144,254..... .146,799
The Fresno Bee ..................................................107,673........ 117,522
The (Columbia, SC) State.................................... 83,933.......... 87,825
The (Tacoma) News Tribune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83,011...........84,652
Lexington Herald-Leader * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77,912...........80,218
The Wichita Eagle * ..............................................62,979............66,393
The Modesto Bee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57,663............65,943
Anchorage Daily News .........................................55,301...........60,622
Idaho Statesman (Boise)* .....................................53,663..........58,099 ..
The (Myrtle Beach, SC) Sun News * . . . . . . . . . . 45,315..........45,203
(Biloxi) Sun Herald * ............................................ 35,659...........36,320
The (Macon, GA) Telegraph * ..............................35,148..........36,731
Belleville (Illinois) News-Democrat * . . . . . . . . . . 34,361.........35,542
(Columbus, GA) Ledger-Enquirer * . . . . . . . . . . . 33,317.........34,330
The Bradenton (Florida) Herald * ..........................32,322.........38,051
The Olympian (Washington) * ...............................27,491..........27,046
The (San Luis Obispo, CA) Tribune * ....................26,366....... 30,893
Tri-City (Washington) Herald. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25,867 ..... ...26,235
The Bellingham (Washington) Herald * . . . . . . . . . 19,778.......19,975
(Pennsylvania) Centre Daily Times * ......................18,300.......18,612
The Island Packet (Hilton Head, SC) ......................17,824.......19,307
The (Rock Hill, SC) Herald ......................................16,092........16,281
Merced (California) Sun-Star ............................... 12,775..........15,059
The Beaufort (South Carolina) Gazette. . . . . . . . . 6,892.......... 7,084
El Nuevo Herald * (included in Miami totals). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
* Acquired on June 27, 2006




Attendance is mandatory, Ted Gup says

“Attendance is mandatoriy,” former BJ staffer Ted Gup tells his students.

A commentary by Gup in the April 11, 2008 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education Gup notes that today’s college students have turned out the world and it’s party our fault.

“Families and schools must instill in students the habit of following what is happening in the world,” Gup writ
es. “A global economy will have little use for a country whose people are so self-absorbed that they know nothing of their own nation's present or past, much less the world's. There is a fundamental difference between shouldering the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship — engagement, participation, debate — and merely inhabiting the land.”

Gup is a professor of journalism at Case Western Reserve University and author of National of Secrets: The Threat of Democracxy and the American Way of Life. His commentary is well worth reading.


The last two paragraphs givel us Gup’s conclusion:


The noted A
merican scholar Robert M. Hutchins said, decades ago: "The object of the educational system, taken as a whole, is not to produce hands for industry or to teach the young how to make a living. It is to produce responsible citizens." He warned that "the death of a democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment." I fear he was right.

I tell the students in my secrecy class that they are required to attend. After all, we count on one another; without student participation, it just doesn't work. The same might be said of democracy. Attendance is mandatory.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Commentary: Iraq War coverage plunges

Coverage of the Iraq war has decreased dramatically since President Bush announced the troop surge in January 2007. For the first three months of 2007, coverage of the war accounted for 23% of the overall newshole. One year later—from Jan. 1 through March 20 of 2008—the conflict generated only about one-sixth as much media attention.

[Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism: See News Index on our website]

Ray Redmond given credit for Pulitzer role

Ray Redmond, 90, war veteran, journalist
Reporter played key role in earning Beacon Journal 1971 Pulitzer Prize

By Bill Lilley
Beacon Journal staff writer
Ray Redmond proved more than once he had a reporter's greatest gift — the knack for being on the scene for the big stories.

As an information officer in Gen. George Patton's U.S. 3rd Army, the quiet and unassuming Mr. Redmond was in France on June 6, 1944 — D-Day.

As a reporter for the Beacon Journal during the final chapter of his 34-year career in journalism, Mr. Redmond was at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 — the Kent State massacre.

Mr. Redmond, who died Thursday at 90, played a key role in the Beacon Journal earning the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for its Kent State coverage.

His widow, Nea Redmond, said the Portage County prosecutor had an FBI report that basically said the National Guard was not threatened enough to merit shooting. And because Ray had such a good relationship with him, the prosecutor told Ray the paper would be on his desk and he'd be out of his office.

''The swift reporter got to the paper and got the big story and that helped clinch the Pulitzer,'' she said. ''Ray wouldn't talk about it because he was too humble, but I'm thrilled to tell people what a great reporter and husband he was. We truly had a great life — 57 years — together.''

Mr. Redmond was born July 4, 1917, in Warren.

''He was a July 4th baby and it stayed with him his entire life,'' said Tessie Lazos, a family friend for six decades. ''Patriotism was a big theme in his life.

''No matter where he was, he always celebrated D-Day with a drink,'' she said.

Redmond began his career in journalism at the Akron Times Press near the end of the Great Depression.

He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and spent 31/2 years overseas chronicling the stories of Patton, first in the North Africa campaign against the Germans and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and later in the liberation of France and the rest of Europe.

Return to journalism

Mr. Redmond returned to Akron after World War II and resumed his career at the Beacon Journal, which had bought the Times Press in 1938.

''He WAS the Portage County Bureau forever it seemed,'' said retired Beacon Journal assistant state desk editor John Olesky. ''He handled everything out there and did a great job. He also was a great guy.''

Mr. Redmond also was a mentor to young reporters.

''I loved him because he was the sweetest, kindest man you could ever work with,'' said Pam McCarthy, now a journalism teacher at North Canton Hoover High School. ''And he was the master of the understatement. He had a great sense of humor.''

Mr. Redmond retired from the Beacon Journal on March 29, 1975.

Besides traveling extensively, he and his wife were involved in the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

''He and Nea were big-time volunteers at the church, especially for the Gyro Luncheon we put on every Thursday,'' the Rev. Jerry Hall said. ''He was just a peach of a guy, a very gentle and kind-hearted man.''

Services will be 11 a.m. today at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church at 129 S. Union St., with burial at Rose Hill Burial Park.
[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH,Saturday, April 5, 2008, page B6, col. 1 ]

Friday, April 04, 2008

A familiar name in LA Times list

Thanks to LA Observed, there's an updated list of buyouts at tjhe LA Times which includes the once familiar name of a former BJ staffer who is now a former LA staffer:

Click on the headline to go to the blog or read this list:

Departed Times staffers:
Kevin Crust, film writer in Calendar
Jennifer Delson, Orange County staff writer
Glenn Doggrell, design editor
Joan Fantazia, assistant copy chief
Robin Fields, Washington bureau reporter
Tom Furlong, deputy National editor
Laura Gutierrez, editorial hiring staff assistant
Greg Griggs, Ventura staff writer
Liz Hale, magazine deputy art director
Don Hunt, City desk weekend editor
Connie Kang, Metro staff writer
Greg Krikorian, federal court reporter
Myron Levin, Metro staff writer
Ela Lindsay, research assistant
Joe Mathews, Washington bureau staff writer
Alan Miller, Washington bureau staff writer
Sonia Nazario, Metro staff writer
Robyn Norwood, Sports writer
Charles Perry, food writer
Jonathan Peterson, Washington bureau staff writer
Gina Piccalo, film writer in Calendar
Jeff Rabin, Metro staff writer
Cecilia Rasmussen, Then and Now columnist
James Ricci, Metro staff writer
Ruth Ryon, Hot Property writer
Joel Sappell, special projects editor
John Spano, Metro courts staff writer
Lewis Segal, dance critic
Molly Selvin, Business staff writer
John Stewart, National news editor
Mike Terry, Sports writer
Tomas Alex Tizon, Seattle bureau chief
Cicely Wedgeworth, features copy editor
Henry Weinstein, legal affairs writer in Metro
Robert Welkos, film writer in Calendar
Nona Yates, politics desk researcher

And a Ricci comment:

James Ricci:

Subject: My turn to say...

…farewell. The greatest honor of my 37 years as a newspaper guy has been to be counted among you for the last twelve. That loud voice from the sidelines cheering you and the Times on will be mine.

Ray Redmond: Reporter with a capital R

Ray Redmond’s obituary in the classified section lists his occupation as Reporter with a capital R. It’s unusual to capitalize the title of reporter, but Ray truly was a reporter with a capital R.

You would
never call Ray a journalist--too stuffy a title. . He was not a flashy or brilliant writer. Writing ability is valued asset for a reporter, but it is only one asset. Ray’s skills are best recalled by the complaints of his fellow reporters on the old Beacon Journal State Desk.

He could ge
t on the phone and come up with enough stories to fill his section front while other reporters spent hours scrounging around their beats in the outlying counties to come up with a decent play story for the page.

Surprisingly, Ray did not spend that much time in the office. He got around. Every official or township flunky in Portage County knew Ray. Better yet, they must have loved him, too, because when news happened they made sure Ray knew about it first. . And there were no cell phones then.

He did not
get much credit for his work in covering the Pulitzer prize story of the Kent State shootings. The best staff members were dispatched to cover the story. And yet, it was always Ray who got the first word of any new development. After the story broke, Knight Ridder sent in its top guns to bolster the coverage in case the local reporters did not have enough moxie

There probably was not much glory in Ray’s career. Like many good reporters who learned their craft from the bottom up, Ray spent hours writing countless obituaries about others. Perhaps someone at the Beacon Journal will write a decent obit for Ray. I cannot. He was 90 years old but many of us who glanced at the obit pages today cannot believe that Ray died.
~ harry liggett

BLOGGER NOTE: Usually we relegate our comments to the commentary sections of our website. The classified obit (in 215 words) follows:

Raymond Redmond, 90, passed away April 3, 2008.

Born in Warren, Ohio on July 4, 1917, he and his wife Nea lived in Akron all their 57 years of married life, where he was a Reporter for the Beacon Journal for many years. He was member of the Fairlawn V.F.W. Post, the Order of Ahepa, and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

SSgt. Ray proudly served in World War II with Patton's 3rd Army Hdqtrs. in North Africa and Southern France. Ray was involved in the invasion of D-Day in the infantry in 1944. He also served overseas for 3-½; years. Ray was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his story he covered on the Kent State riots.

Ray is survived by his loving wife, many loving cousins, and dear friends. Ray and Nea enjoyed traveling to Europe, Paris, Ireland, and Greece.

Services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 129 S. Union St., Akron, 44304, with Rev Fr. Jerry F. Hall officiating. Interment at Rose Hill Burial Park where military services will be conducted by the Copley V.F.W.-American Legion. Friends may call one hour prior at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Building Fund or the AMHAS Scholarship Fund. (Billow, 330-867-4141)
[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Friday, April 4, 2008, page B7, col. 3]