An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Old School Journalism Rule #1:DO NO HARM.2013 Gannett "Journalism":If it will create buzz and build page views, IGNORE RULE #1.
All Detroit Media Partnership Management is at an offsite secret meeting, Sounds like Griffin all over again.
FYI, all: Project Griffin was the code name for the plan that led to shifting to three-times weekly home delivery in 2009.
Actually it was Project Griffon, named after the first European vessel to sail, and according to Susie Elwood, sink, in the Great Lakes. Yes, she actually mentioned the sinking part in an OC meeting when the project was announced to the management team. But then she paused and noted that we would not sink.
With Susie at the helm, I'm not surprised everyone was thinking "sink".
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cincinnati Enquirer has told employees not to take vacation in the first quarter. They say they can't spare anybody because they're reducing the size of the paper in March.
That came from our expert on short formats.
yea right, they can,t even get the Columbus paper out on time, The Press guys are showing what they can do...I love it. Good luck Pressier
What does one have to do with the other? If they're still not ready then they've got bigger problems.
FYI, "reduce the size" means Cincy is physically reducing the dimensions of the pages to an ultra-tabloid size.
Did they say why they need to cancel reporter vacations for that? Cincy is GCI's guinea pig on physical size reduction. So, no furloughs either?
Absolute drivel. Most people, I know from scheduling, don't take vacations in the first quarter, but those who do really want that extra time around MLK Day or Easter or whatever. Banning vacations for a quarter also makes it more difficult to juggle the rest of the year.
I see 4:49's point and completely agree that it's folly to ban vacations for a quarter, doing the whole "robbing Peter to pay Paul" deal. Indeed, though,I would like to add another perspective. Experience was that my management pressured as many people as they could to take their vacations in the first quarter. As usual, this pressure flew in the face of employees who had, oh, say, families... actual lives... and coordinating a vacation with, oh, say, a spouse. It was not "required" to do so - that would be too blatant - but those who resisted did not make any points with the bosses (the bosses who took all their vacation benefits at traditional times, like royalty).
Boycott Gannett on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/#!/BoycottTheGannettCompany
Free Press going to hubs even though they said they wouldn't. Announcement will be Friday
When you're wrong, will you come back and admit it?
I admit, I was bitter when I left... But I left friends behind and now I feel horrible for them because of the stories I am hearing about Gannetts current workplace situations.. many sites are imploding on themselves...
2:40, there are good workers at the hubs, and there are bad workers. The bottom line is that you'll get some weird designs, the story editing is crap now (Newsgate is so hinky it takes twice as long to get anything done) and my hometown paper has at least one misspelled hed a day.Good luck.
Free Press has great designers. If it goes to hubs than Gannett does not care about design or great copy editing.
Which Free Press designer are you?
Gannett already does not care about design or great copy editing. They proved that when they came up with the hub idea in the first place.
Free Press has gone way downhill in past 20 years
My question is this. If we now have a full-fledged corporate public relations arm that is paid big bucks, where the heck are they? Fox News CNBC< CNN, everybody you can imagine is running with this story, and there is NO COMMENT from any credible Gannett source.I suppose its becuase they'd have to admit that it was sloppy work --- I mean releasing data without any reporting is nothing more than a data dump.. But that said, the integrity of our company is at stake and all we get for our money is crickets....Just sayin, not preaching.
Do you really expect anything more from this motley crew? Really?
From the New York Times story, it appears the Journal News decisions to run the gun map was made carelessly and without much thought.The facts - A career, mediocre cops reporter comes up with the idea. Assistant metro editor pushes it forward. Executive editor gives go ahead. Topic is discussed sparingly in a couple of editorial meetings. Publisher is informed in passing (probably in an email with Sunday story subjects). Corporate is not informed at all.This is all a byproduct of the lack of analysis of editorial decisions that are the byproduct of scaled back editorial departments, but most importantly, push to get stories that will generate a "buzz" and page views regardless of ethics.This is not journalism.This is just sad.And wrong.
I've been reserving personal judgement on this whole issue for a while now. I support the right to own guns as a freedom I believe our constitution affords us all, so I bit my tongue regarding the decision to publish names and addresses of folks who LEGALLY obtained the right to carry their firearms, believing that I might be biased in my anger over the Journal's decision.I've mulled this over again and again, hoping that I would be able to look and things without personal bias.Unfortunately, I still can't come to grips with this. It was a horrible decision, made carelessly, and with little regard to true journalistic integrity. I'm ashamed to work for this company.
This is really the result of years of layoffs and buyouts reducing the ranks of experienced and thoughtful people and leaving the decisions in the hands of fools.
You can talk First Amendment and right to know all you want, but it was ill-conceived, sloppy work. It will however, generate buzz and page views, and that's all Gannett really cares about. More emotional, but similar to what Wisconsin Gannetts are doing now by having searchable data bases for all public employees. It's a gimmick that will generate page hits, and who really cares how much individual professors or teachers make in overtime.
I think Wisconsin editorial has done an a great job in explaining why they're doing what they are doing, laying out the reasoning and opening up avenues for discussion for the community. Will it draw page hits? Sure - people are interested in where their tax dollars go. At some level, we still should be serving the entire community with news and analysis they can't gather themselves.It's also very obvious that past data-dump-style-story feedback has been taken into consideration - to the point where it's not just teachers or city workers but everyone whose paycheck ultimately comes from a taxpayer.I'm not a cheesehead in editorial, just an advertising schmuck and a subscriber who read the stories and watched the videos... and to be honest, ignored the actual list of names. I think our staff got it right.
10:56 pm - Once you get out, you won't regret it. You will come here to watch the implosion due to all the stupid decisions made by corporate and your decision to leave will be affirmed over and over and over again. You can't make this stuff up! Blue Balls........the publishing of names and addresses of folks who legally obtained the right to carry their firearms and putting thousands of lives at risk.......can't wait to see what's next. This is why I still read the blog. So glad I'm on the outside looking in.
I agree. I've luckily been gone from Gannett after a dreadful tenure and always enjoy returning to this site to read of the decline of Gannett. Pitiful state of affairs
Ditto guys,. Watching the decline of what could have been a good chain is sad, but at least I am watching it from the outside now.
So very glad to be successful on the outside looking in at the sad decimation. Good luck to you all.
My experience has been that the design studio is operated poorly but there are some talented designers who, on the nights they are not dealing w/ 4-5 different section, have done good work. Now, don't even get me started about the wire desk, inadequate staffing and lack of attention to detal.
Certainly this wasn't journalism's finest hour, but this gun argument is getting bizarre.When I read someone say that lives have been put at risk by announcing to the world that your suburban neighborhood is an armed camp, I think 'are you shitting me.'Lives are risk because you've made your suburban neighborhood an armed camp, with almost no control of the arms.Many of your families are disfunctional, seething with anger, and your kids are hopped up on dope or their meds.You think the danger comes from outside, but the real danger is in bed with you, or in the room down the hall, or the house next door.You who rip this news article are like the person who eats junk food twice a day, but worries about the danger posed by flouride in the drinking water.You think an interactive map put you at risk? Look in the mirror, read the headlines, you and your families and your neighbors are already at risk and you brought the weapons in yourself.
Rubbish. You have absolutely no basis to believe that the LAW-ABIDING households whose privacy was invaded by this stunt are any more "disfunctional" [sic] than average. (Indeed, the likelihood almost certainly would be the exact opposite, i.e., that law-BREAKING households would be more dysfunctional.)The bottom line is they've done no wrong to anybody and deserve to have their privacy rights respected.
Nope. That was a good post at 7:57.
You are correct 7:57. Look at the stats and you'll see a big percentage of gun injuries and deaths are committed by someone the victims know. The people who keep guns in their homes are the ones who put people at risk, not a news outlet that publishes public information.
10:21 you're correct. The 'law-abiding' are no more, no less dysfunctional. And that's a problem.The drunken husband who shoots his wife during an argument, the kid that's upset because he got grounded, the unemployed worker who sinks into depression and decides to take out former boss and co-workers - are all law-abiding until they go over the edge.
7:57 - you have my endorsment for what you said. Well put.
1:08 - you're referring domestic cases, crimes of passion. Where the person getting hurt or killed would be hurt or killed anyway because it's a rage killing rather than a calculated act.Look at the stats. The occasional spree killing gets a lot of attention, but most homicides in this country (and the world) are committed the drug trade and the gangs that run it. And they don't buy their guns at stores, register them with the police or give a rip about observing the law.
7:57 - By that 'logic' we should ban automobiles, since more people are killed in automobile accidents. A handful of crazy or irresponsible people and you want to strip Americans of their liberty, thinking to make yourself secure?Hand over your own rights. Not mine. Too many of my fellow Americans have died defending them.
Gannett continues to have the worst possible PR people.Why the heck hasn't Gannett instructed its executives to protect, through privacy settings, the Facebook profiles of their children.Maryam and team , at least you owe the kids this much.What a bunch of inept executives.
If it doesn't impact Blue Balls Banimarim personally then she could care less. It's a mess working with her.
So how many people will lose their jobs when the Free Press goes to a hub? And which hub? The designers at the hub in Des Moines are inflexible and filling in a template. No real creativity (although granted they have a lot of pages to move everyday) and no thought about photo choice, catchy hedes, etc. It really is an assembly line.
As an outside observer in Wisconsin, I disagree with your assessment of Des Moines. I've seen quite a few good pages from the Wisconsin papers and an overall increase in design quality since the hub took them over. When they get good content, they seem to do a good job, but there's only so much they can do with the typical mediocre content the papers provide most days.
You should see some of the IMs that go back and forth between the local folks and design folks in Des Moines. So much time is spent telling some of these designers how to assemble the pages that it would be quicker and more efficient if it was still pre-hub days.
4:57, any chance of getting some more details?
I'm not 4:57, but here's my experience. At my site, we have an unspoken rule that we'll IM a designer three times on a particular issue, then give up. For the first couple of months, we gave it our all and tried to get the designers to follow our style guides. They even had copies of our paper, but that helped little. They do what they want, and we let them do it just to make deadline. And keep our sanity.I'd be interested in hearing what others at local sites have to say.
I would be interested in that, too.
Sometimes good enough is good enough. I could never figure out why it took sports so freakin long to strip in the wire copy and agate that essentially was the same size every day. Three guys did four pages and it took all night. Meanwhile the copy desk did the entire rest of the paper with two.I worked at five papers and it was always the sports guys dragging it out - not because of late games but because they kept going back to the same stories over and over and over. Best I could figure was that they weren't the best readers.
At least the design hub will alleviate some of the fiscal drain Detroit places on the rest of the company.It's funny that a Detroiter decries the assembly line method of production.
9:05 here. I'm not a Detroiter.
I laughed ..... my old boss Robert Andrews whom I had reported to HR because of his verbal and physical threats (nothing happened) and the reason I resigned had the fukin nerve to have the plant call me a few weeks ago because they went hard down and could NOT figure out how to bring their computers/ network back up.The phone call started out with accusations of me sabotaging the site by changing and or hiding passwords to telling me i HAVE to help them to begging me to help them, I was hit with calls, texts and voicemails until 2am that night.Yes I did help them come back up, because my old crew are my friends... but I feel sorry for anyone in Robert Andrews direct reach because the man is a complete idiot (prob why Vertis dumped him) and he has given Gannett a reputation as being a dump in the southeast market.I sometimes wonder if he gets a fuel surcharge from the shipping companies that are constantly sitting idle at the docks for hours on end waiting for their product?
Ha ha. Reminds me my place. Some guy completely unfamiliar with our system angrily, insultingly demanded to know what "I" had done to system to make it crash the day before. I informed this dude (politely) that he should check the schedule... it was my first day off in two weeks. He storms over to the schedule to prove, no, I was working (at the time schedules were posted in his office). "O.K., you were off." Not only was his attitude insulting (as in as if I were that type of person his question implied!), he felt no apology was necessary. "Well, what are standing around for? Shouldn't you be producing work?" Pathetic, absolutely pathetic.
The Design Hub decision was the worst in a long line of bad decisions for Gannett. But then again, it is not about quality journalism, quality products, quality employees. Gannett has let its talent and good people go and what readers are left with are stories full of typos and holes and, at least in Shreveport, reporters who fail to ask hard-hitting questions. They read like the reporter is regurgitating what was said at a news conference. But back to the design hub - tell me who thinks it good design to run a dominant photo of the face of a child 3 columns wide while running a 2-column photo next to it that has seven people in it? The Des Moines "designers" do. And what's sad, that is one of the first rules you learn in design - tight shots with one person can run smaller than long shots with groups of people. Then again, you don't even have to have had design. Just look at the damn difference people.
The way they fawn over their own offal is amazing too. My goodness, the emails they send out praising their 'brave choice of a contrasting color for the headline' or 'interesting juxtapositions' would make you think the page artists would flop over dead if they weren't praised every five minutes.
12:34, Thats why I left Atlanta. Intimidation only works on the weakest of people, needless to say Mr Andrews now has a weak crew and a failing operation.The rest of us have moved on.
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."
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
Subscribe in a reader