Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 28-June 3 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

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43 comments:

  1. The Arizona Republic's latest reorganization says nothing about copy editors or copy desks.

    Instead, it has "publishing editors" who are "responsible for editing and publishing a wide variety of content for multiple platforms, including print, desktop, tablet and mobile. These multifaceted editors proofread content for big-picture concerns, such as story structure and legal issues, as well as more-detailed concerns, such as grammar, punctuation, spelling and style. They craft headlines, captions and other prominent display copy that are accurate, clear and compelling, and they use SEO optimization techniques for digital publishing."

    The change makes sense on one level, but it represents a significant downgrade for these editors to merely "proofread" stories instead of aggressively editing them.

    On the other hand, maybe there is truth in advertising here. With the downsizing of the copy desks (er, the new publishing desks), the editors may well be so pressed for time that they can do little more than proofread.

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  2. It's funny, we still have readers who say, Aren't there any proofreaders at the paper anymore?

    Um, no, that went out in the 1950s.

    And now that's what the Republic is calling it again?

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  3. left after 9 years at USA Today and made over 40K a year once. Overpaid, not really.

    5/28/2012 8:23 AM

    Keep in mind the cost of living in greater DC is off the charts, compared to most other GCI markets.

    There's always been a myth about salaries paid to most of the folks who work at USAT and/or CP, that they're living large. Hardly. Given the difference in expenses (think $300K for a two-bed/two-bath condo in a suburban area 25 miles outside the District ... $450K for a decent townhouse ... no less than $500K for a modest single-family home) perhaps those in the other markets can count their blessings.

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  4. There are several tiers of pay. Senior editors and vice presidents generally are in the $200,000 and up range. The junior level web pepele are makingnin the low 30s tomlow 40s (it shows, you get what you pay for). Several fresh faced college student that are part of the last talent program class are also in that range. But they are more a liability than an asset. Lot of hand holding and teaching that should be done in a small Gannett market so they can get more attention and OTJ experience.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry it simply isn't true anywhere at USAT.

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    2. And you know this how?

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  5. Changing the discussion topic here:
    Look at your USCP 1A today.
    Is the ad at the bottom a paid ad or a house ad?
    My paper has a self-promotion ad, which makes me wonder: why waste the space? It should have been news hole, if no one wanted to buy it.

    A bad $ign, IMHO.

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  6. There are several tiers of pay. Senior editors and vice presidents generally are in the $200,000 and up range. The junior level web pepele are makingnin the low 30s tomlow 40s (it shows, you get what you pay for). Several fresh faced college student that are part of the last talent program class are also in that range. But they are more a liability than an asset. Lot of hand holding and teaching that should be done in a small Gannett market so they can get more attention and OTJ experience.

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  7. Layoffs and paywalls aren't just for Gannett. The Postmedia chain in Canada will be laying off reporters and phasing in paywalls over the summer.

    Postmedia also plans to drop its in-house news service (just like Gannett), centralize page design and pagination (just like Gannett), and stop publishing some Sunday papers. That last part won't be Earth-shattering as Saturday papers are the big moneymakers up North.

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  8. We have all been told how great the economy is doing amd jobs are now being created all over the country.
    So to the folks who hate Gannett,hate working for Gannett and hate the long hours,lower pay,being treated like crap,and contantly living in fear of a layoff.Just leave,for crying out loud,it's just a job.

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  9. Sounds like Gannett is trying to franchise out/farm out Deal Chicken based on the text of this ad:
    http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?APath=2.21.0.0.0&job_did=JHN1F575SPTFS4GP2HC&IPath=QHCMGM0I

    Anyone else seen these "social commerce manager" positions advertised?

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  10. 8:49 give it a rest already.

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  11. 9:04 That ad is a mess.

    It's advertising for a social commerce area manager for Shreveport, La.

    But it says: "Be the business owner of a local web site. Take responsibility for making your site a success."

    And then, among the job requirements, it says: "Strong knowledge of Phoenix and its local businesses and entertainment/social scene."

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  12. Top news headlines in Salem today:
    Big eater overcomes challenge posed by 12-pound pizza
    Volunteers needed to hang flower baskets
    Salem Friends of Felines seeks fabric donations
    Eagles host sock hop costume party Saturday
    Bring on the paywalls!!!!!

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. I just lost 1:22 minutes of my life watching that stupid ad. What a mess, indeed.

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  15. 10:43, the top three on Cincy's website are

    1. an anniversary story about a murder

    2 an anniversary story about a fire

    3 archival photos of people in the rain.

    When you cut your news staff, repackaging old news is a cheap substitute. Bring on the paywalls!

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  16. More than a little tired of these snarky "get what you paid for" comments about the young folks who do most of the heavy lifting on the web at USAT.

    Oh, really? Is that why so many of them move on to something better? And if you stroll around the newsroom, do you find the 20- and 30-somethings all playing solitaire on their computers?

    I don't want to disrespect the older generations at USAT -- a lot of them, including several of the people who lost their jobs last week, are terrific journalists who'd be right at home in any news organization. Others simply don't have much of a work ethic.

    But most of the youngsters hired at USAT are extraordinarily bright. If only USAT could hang on to them and/or harness their ideas.

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    1. Ive had to hold the hand of several bright young people who havent learned basic reporting skills. had to do the same with bright but naive webfolks. this shouldnt be the place for wet behind the ears rookies. we have too many solitaire and do nothings in the upper ranks.

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    2. Some judicious weeding, across the board, is needed. Now.

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  17. The Cincinnati Enquirer has created new social media accounts to patronize and insult readers with non-answers to their legit questions:

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/enquirermedia/2012/05/25/have-a-question-ask-the-enquirer/

    Does the English teacher post the responses?

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  18. That's right, 10;43AM
    I see lots of my old work online every week.
    Uncredited, of course.

    I never click on it.

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  19. 12:15 PM:
    Not just repacking but reprinting. This year Cincinnati Enquirer ran an opening day story that was two or three years old. Sports editor just plucked it from the archives and popped it onto A1 without even telling the reporter so the piece could be updated.

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  20. 12:40 The Cincinnati Enquirer's creating an #asktheenquirer Twitter page is a little risky. Suppose few readers pay attention?

    For example, the page was launched on May 23. But so far, after nearly a week, I've seen just one question posted (although it doesn't show up in the page's feed, for some reason).

    There's a note from the Enquirer that says, "We've already received some insightful questions, keep them coming."

    But I don't see those questions, nor any answers.

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  21. Jim, regarding your post at 10:06, welcome to the new Shreveport. Nobody knows what they're doing here anymore. This place is a mess.

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  22. re: Enquirer social media - Their "keep them coming" comment is pretty funny. I don't know what they were thinking here, and it's risky regardless of the platform if it's not transparent or if it's just lip service. Their response about the intrusive ads on both Facebook and Twitter is pretty insulting, IMO because it's a non-answer. What's the point of putting up the accounts to answer reader questions if you're not going to answer the questions?

    I think this will end up hurting their image more than improving it. Comments posted in response to the paywall announcement prove that people are not afraid to provide brutal feedback.

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  23. Bright is one thing. Seasoned and experienced are another. And good character isn't exclusive to either.

    Back in the day, if you were young and had a good work ethic, you could speed up the seasoning process by learning from experienced folks in the newsroom.

    Nowadays, from what I've seen all too often at USA TODAY, the young guns seem to think they know it all. There has been a lot of disrespect going both ways, but the blame seems to lie largely in the laps of the people who are a little too bright for their own good -- the folks who know little about world affairs, let alone journalism -- but can tell you 20 different ways to get a crappy video online.

    This is all condoned by upper management, which places a bit too much faith in employees who are not only wet behind the ears, but are arrogant about it.

    This is not to say there haven't been some seriously lazy seasoned journalists here. Some senior reporters and editors had and still have quite a cushy gig. USAT has always been a place where half the people work twice as hard to compensate for the other half who pretend this place is a country club. There have also been some older employees who fought every new advancement. But overall, the mistakes, the oversights, the embarrassments that have made it into print and online in the last five years has been a result of too many inexperienced people who should have paid their dues elsewhere, or are in the wrong field entirely.

    The best newsrooms have always been the most diverse in terms of age, culture, race, etc. But that's presuming that all of the people in that newsroom bring something different to the table, yet respect their colleagues. Starting in about 2007, I saw disrespect leave the newsroom as the result of too much power being given to people who hadn't accomplished a damn thing in this business yet were give a lot of power. And, unfortunately, they were younger people who, in some cases, intentionally tried to ruin the careers of others who hadn't done anything wrong except try to uphold certain standards that helped build the brand.

    Yes, there is a lot of bad blood in the USAT newsroom.

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    Replies
    1. You have captured the flavor perfectly. unfortunately, it got worse under Hunke, especially on the digital side.

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  24. Hey Shreveport: Who's the EE there?
    NUFF SAID.

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  25. Here's a current headline from the website of The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla.:

    Heart of finalist for Edison State College presidency never left Southwest Florida

    At first, I thought it was a story about a heart transplant gone awry.

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  26. Coming up on the one-year anniversary of the "Get Rid of 40-Somethings."
    Will the CP be cutting another 700 poor souls in a couple weeks? Perhaps starting with the list of those who didn't take the buyouts?

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  27. Jim, Gannett editors don't know anything about heart!

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  28. What is Kramer up to? Where is his anti-complacency plan? Getting blowback from entrenched managers afraid theyll have to find work elsewhere?

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  29. 1:51 - The problems in Shreveport have nothing to do with the EE.

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  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  31. Coming up on the one-year anniversary of the "Get Rid of 40-Somethings."
    Will the CP be cutting another 700 poor souls in a couple weeks? Perhaps starting with the list of those who didn't take the buyouts
    Fuck You DON LEMIRE

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    Replies
    1. Lemire needs to push for a major housecleaning in the ad dept at the courier-post!

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  32. Just wondering what the hours are that the digital folks are around Gannett world?
    Is Mon-Fri 8-4 the schedule for your digital folks?

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  33. USA Today was once well-known for being on top of new, still-emerging trends.

    Yet, I've just now read a brand-new USAT story about a trend first seen -- and written about extensively by other media -- at least 10 years ago.

    How does this stuff get in the paper?

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    Replies
    1. Editor hits pothole.

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  34. As an ex-circulation person (who's now happily employed outside the industry), my heart goes out to the front line people who still believe in newspapers. And still rely on them! Yet I talk with friends still at Gannett and can't find anybody who can honestly say they agree with, or understand the changes going on. Poor communication, or lack of as in no layoffs announced just before new rounds are announced. Reorganization in departments where people in those departments don't know what's happening. Internal announcements of how exciting new changes will be great for the industry although nobody understand how or why, or worse- these changes sound just like the others changes announced that didn't work either.

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  35. Couldn't agree more. Start in senior management.

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  36. 7:40, I am hearing the same things. I don't think the veteran newspaper employees are unwilling to change, the people in charge don't want to be bothered. Since most don't have newspaper experience, it's a conundrum.

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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