An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Jim, what has the Point-Roll investigation uncovered?
The usual backstabbing environment mixed with failure of leadership. big surprise. it will all be swept under the rug by corporate, which doesnt have a clue to what is really going down.
I'd like to know:1. Who is Gannett sending to the London Olympics and why?2. Who is Gannett sending to the Cannes advertising conference and why?
Here is a question; whom do you think should go to each?
There have been recent posts,and with increasing numbers,about under the radar layoffs ,do we know more.Is this happening again?Some posts also informed about people who were offered buyouts and did not except, are being essentially forced out after the fact.Are there any more verification.
Where did this stupid rumor come from that folks that didn't take the EROP have targets on their back. Some of you just look for reasons to be unhappy.
Lots of posts lately about under the radar layoffs.Is this happening on a national scaleor are just the sites that are under performers being targeted?
HR RIFs on the way. Current HR duties will be taken over by contractors. Negotiations in the works. I will give my fellow HR news as I get it. Just wait this out and take the package (TPP).
Jim this BS. Total lie by a disgruntled former East Coast HR rep who wasn't asked to stay.
The Enquirer's new emphasis on watchdog journalism is finally paying off. Our new high-paid "storyteller" discovered (on today's Local cover, in his quaint fifth-grade style) that women read romance novels! And those books are erotic! Must be one of them new passion topics. Nice job, Carolyn. You've earned that big new glass office.
Is "storyteller" the latest buzzword? We can't cover the basics but we have a new position for a storyteller. What the hell?The people who run this company are insane.
2:34 "Storytelling" came out of the Passion Topics initiative launched last year.
There's a "storyteller" team coming to the Arizona Republic when they roll out the newsroom reorganization.
Outsourcing HR and RIFing HR people wouldn't surprise me at all. It's the direction the company has been headed in for years. They've outsourced local photo toning to the RTC. They're outsourcing local page design to Design Centers. They outsourced local circulation call centers. HR is a logical extension of that. Furthermore, the new review forms appear to be templates that would support outsourcing. Gannett is intent on reducing its number of employees any way it can. Outsourcing HR just makes sense from that perspective. It might be a little trickier to outsource the newsroom but it's doable. Presswire, which we haven't heard much about lately, gives Gannett a list of cheap, ready to work photographers located across the country that could easily replace much more expensive staffers.Outsourcing reporters would be a little harder but I'm sure a company like Manpower could find a way to bring in writers and farm them out to Gannett. In Phoenix, the Republic has eliminated reporting positions and is picking up the slack by using students from the Cronkite School. That's a model that could be copied at any Gannett paper in a town with a university level journalism program. It's coming, it's just a matter of when.
Reinforcing Journalism 101 basics now and then is a good thing. Storytelling, I'm guessing, is a reference to unspooling a narrative in a way that pulls the reader through to the end. It's the sort of journalism that can't be done in a tweet, and so has a much higher value.
Many of us seasoned true journalists are flexible enough to spin out watchdog journalism and to be great storytellers. Question is are these new "storytellers" as flexible? Haven't seen proof of that yet in Cincy.
Hey 10:24, thanks for the tip about the Enquirer story. I had a look. Wow. Not exactly storytelling (the compelling edge-of-your-seat stuff) as I know it. More a solid, but ordinary, feature story, apparently aimed at the suburbanites who stil (gasp!) use the library. The kind of story an experienced reporter writes all the time. It seems a waste of John F.'s experience and talent, based on some of his work at AZ. I hope they let him work on some REAL stories.The Cincy Web site at this moment on a Saturday is lackluster--the calendar listenings and Mother's Day restaurant specials are the lead stories on the homepage.
Their will be a major work slow down and late time this evening at most GPS Production/ pressrooms...Evan Ray, plan for a long night
Based on the juvenile, error-ridden copy our storyteller has produced here in Cincy, our guess is that some editor in Phoenix must have been doing some major rewrites. And why import a "storyteller"? The Enquirer already has outstanding storytellers, e.g., Radel, Johnston, Morse and Erardi. Let them write!
I especially like the Cincy storyteller's reference to "a male masseuse." Huh?
The Cincinnati website is always lackluster.
Finally escaped Gannett. My next destination is somewhere with a track record of investing in their product and employees. I really wish Gannett would have forged a way forward instead of trying to cut their way to prosperity, but they refused to make investments that had any payoff aside from cutting staff. As a result, employees are badly overworked, morale is really low and the products are suffering. The company is not showing any sort of plan for the future other than what results they can get their stockholders next quarter. Making money is why any corporation is in business, but you do need to have something to sell. Gannett has hampered their future product for a quick buck at quarter's end. They won't invest in their employees, and that's going to leave the company unable to compete in the future.
Breaking headline news on usatoday.com: Canines on campus to bust stress.And you expect readers to pay for this worthless crap?
Wait a second, now everyone's a "storyteller"? I thought the readers only had attention spans for six inches of copy?Can Gannett ever make up its mind what it wants?
Whew. Appleton has its weekly Cory Chisel lovefest on the web. I shudder to think what would happen if they missed a week.
When's the last time you got a raise?
I looked up the article by the "storyteller" mentioned above. I'm not a professional writer, but let me humbly suggest that even an adequate one should keep names straight, unlike where he switches from "Mancuso" to "Mancuson." His style is bloated and hackneyed ("The waiting – perhaps anticipation is a better word – can be agony for prospective readers"). At times, it's merely inane ("...a billionaire into bondage, domination, sadism and masochism. Aren’t they all?"). He loads his prose with lard, starting with the superfluous "now" in the first sentence. Add blunders such as "male masseuse" and his confusion of "led" with "lead." Note clumsy punctuation, especially the overpopulated commas and his instances of double quotes within double quotes. See also the sloppy proofreading (examples: "from their mid-30 to their mid-70s" and "said the Crestview Hills, Ky., woman.said"). That's a large load of unprofessionalism to pack into such a pedestrian article. It certainly tells a story about the storyteller, and about his employers.
Thank you, 10:54. Your comments led me to read the Enquirer article, and your critique is on-target. I teach journalism, and this story will be perfect for my students to take apart in the fall. They can learn from it.
Typos have become an accepted part of our business by the publishers and other non-journalists who keep slashing people and don't care about the product.
Once upon a time the glitches 10:54 am mentions would have been repaired by a copy editor. But the Enquirer and other Gannett papers are in the process of dismantling their copy desks, from the assigning editor level on down. The few editors left have too much work to do, so they miss junk like male masseuse, etc. To be a good editor, one has to have time not just to read a piece of copy, but to THINK about it.
If you haven't read this summary of Richard Gingras's Nieman Foundation presentation today, it's worth a read. In particular, one bit really grabbed me:"Richard sees the iPad as a fatal distraction for media companies. Too many publishers looked at the tablet as the road home to their magazine format, subscription model, and expensive full-page ads. The format of a single device does not change the fundamental ecosystem underneath it, and this shiny tablet has taken media companies' eyes off of the ball. We haven't seen any significant success stories ... on tablets."I remember Hunke turning to pudding during one staff meeting, crowing about how the iPad was "manna from heaven," and how it would save USA Today. So, Dave, how's that workin' for ya?
The copy editors at USA today don't read their own newspaper and are careless from copy to headlines. But the real problem is the lack of top down news judgement by the web folks, and the careless way they display stories, keep multiple versions on the mobile devices or simply fail to freshen up .com sites.Few take any pride in their work, few have earned close to any of the responsibility given to them. Few have any real reporting or editing experience. A recipe for disaster.
So true, 3:19. And it's not just at USAT. At least that description was unnervingly characteristic of my location. A few still had some standards left, and that included all departments not just the news room. But a lot, also in all departments, just went through the motions. Again, I can only speak for my site, but the stack of free copies left for employees each morning usually sat undisturbed except for two or three copies being taken. Only if an edition was laden with ad inserts did papers disappear. This set off no alarm bells with anyone, but it did with me. But I wasn't in the clique. Most of my input was met with "mind your own business."
And what makes you an expert?
It’s a sad commentary when journalism professors start using our copy in their classrooms as examples of what NOT to do. The Enquirer is already a favorite topic in media ethics courses for its Chiquita debacle a few years back. Now we’re again a laughingstock in our community.But such notoriety is not new to Washburn.As editor of The Idaho Statesman, Carolyn was taken to task by The Washington Post for its ethics in the coverage of one of Boise’s largest employers. Cincinnati’s City Beat summarized it here: http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/article22492new_enquirer_editor_has_odd_views_on_journalism.htmlWhat did Gannett do? It promoted her to Des Moines.As editor of the Register, Carolyn embarrassed herself and the paper during the December 2007 GOP debate, dubbed by Charles Krauthammer “the worst debate in western history,” and prompting the national media to compare Carolyn to a schoolmarm and Nurse Ratched. What did Gannett do? It got her out of Des Moines before the 2012 campaign and gave her her dream job: editor of her hometown paper, the Enquirer. As editor of the Enquirer, Carolyn quickly embarrassed herself by letting her paper name her one of Cincinnati’s “Women to Watch.”This would be (almost) laughable if it were an isolated example. But this isn't about Carolyn. It's bigger than Carolyn -- or the Enquirer. Her staying power is indicative of a thoroughly dysfunctional company, from top to bottom. The Carolyn Washburn story has been repeated and repeated and repeated throughout Gannett, at papers large and small, for years now. It’s a big part of why we fail to thrive. And it's a big part of why so many of us feel the need to come to this blog and cry out to the wilderness.
7:30 pm, Newsgate down! Way to go, CCI.
A friend of mine suggested that I look at this blog, before I consider switching my major to communications. Am I right to presume that most of the posters are males? And do most work in the newsroom? I ask this not to cast judgement, but out of curiousity.
NewsGate is down -- again. Becoming nearly a daily issue.
In our local rag today, even the executive editor's column had a typo. And the story on Shelby's death...which was old news days ago already.
Sunday. The biggest circulation paper of the week, and the Enquirer outsources its editorials to not one, not two, but three talking heads on the earth-shaking subject of Mother's Day. We see the incoming editorial page editor introducing himself on the op-ed page, so where were the other members of the paper's editorial board? There is an editorial board, isn't there? Or is Margaret Buchanan the editorial board? OK, doesn't she have SOMETHING to say to her subjects? What about Carolyn Washburn? Couldn't she have found the time to write about SOME injustice or travesty in the region? This is what editors at big-city newspapers do, Carolyn. Everyone in this city with a college degree is wondering what the hell is going on at the Enquirer. It has become quite obvious that the paper is packing it in. At least put it up for sale so someone can can show you what journalism is all about.
9:44, that's just one of the many reasons I no longer subscribe to the Enquirer.
The errors, sub-standard reporting, and overall weakening of the Gannett and USAT brands is the function of a complete stripping of morale from a souless and clueless management team.
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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