From a story just posted on Columbia Journalism Review's website:
"When the news broke, when clarity mattered most to the nearly 32,800 people working in Gannett's newspaper division, the announced elimination of 1,000 jobs came not from its eighty-four Local Information Centers but from a blog run by a man vacationing off the coast of Spain.
"About 2 a.m. in Spain on Aug. 14, Jim Hopkins, a fifty-one-year-old spending his summer on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, checked his e-mail one last time before bed. A reader of his site, the independent Gannett Blog, had written to him from Maryland, where employees at the Daily Times of Salisbury had received a memo from the publisher: 'Across Gannett’s Community Publishing division,' Rick Jensen's afternoon dispatch read, in part, 'about 1,000 positions will be eliminated -- about 3% of the workforce.'
"Six hundred of those eliminations would come through layoffs. The memo confirmed rumors that Hopkins had been tracking. He sent e-mails to Tara Connell, Gannett's vice president of corporate communications; Jensen; and Greg Bassett, executive editor of the Daily Times. Bassett replied and didn't dispute the news. Hopkins posted an entry that unfurls like a news story -- it flashes a leaked memo, delivers hard numbers, and provides context. It's a more thorough account than anything a Gannett paper published the next morning."
CJR's story continues, here.
Here's my favorite part!
It's Connell's response to CJR, of course:
"Gannett's Tara Connell, in an e-mail last week, said the blog initially was an open forum, and the corporate office responded to Hopkins as it would to any journalist:
'But over time, the blog has changed. When we asked the blogger to correct factual inaccuracies -- nothing happened. Standards of accuracy and fairness were dropped in favor of rumor mongering and sensationalism. The attacks he inspired became personal, particularly against women in the company. For these reasons, we don't participate.'''
Indeed, Connell has very occasionally asked me to correct what she called factual inaccuracies. But it is not true that I did nothing. I responded, by declining her request. On one occasion, involving my first Gannett Foundation post, I offered to reprint her objections -- which I did, here.
As to her allegation that I inspired personal attacks -- particularly against women in the company -- Connell neglects to mention the following e-mail exchange, on May 2. I initiated it, under the subject heading: "A comment that should not have been published." Click on the image for a readable view.
Earlier: My life, on Internet time
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