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Poynter.
  • Reporter quits Sun-Times, cites ‘chilling effect in the newsroom’

    Dave McKinney’s blog | Crain’s Chicago Business

    Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney has resigned from the newspaper, saying, “I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me” in a letter to Michael Ferro, chairman of Sun-Times owner Wrapports LLC.

    McKinney was the paper’s Springfield bureau chief and was suspended for five days last week after a Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bruce Rauner, complained about a story on which he co-bylined, because he’s married to a Democratic consultant.

    In his post, McKinney calls that suspension “a kind of house arrest that lasted almost a week” and says “It was pure hell.” The Sun-Times later broke with its recent tradition of not endorsing candidates and endorsed Rauner, who is a former investor in Wrapports.

    “Readers of the Sun-Times need to be able to trust the paper,” McKinney writes. He continues:

    They need to know a wall exists between owners and the newsroom to preserve the integrity of what is published. A breach in that wall exists at the Sun-Times.

    It’s had a chilling effect in the newsroom. While I don’t speak for my colleagues, I’m aware that many share my concern.

    “It is with reluctance that I accept Dave McKinney’s resignation,” Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk said in an email to Poynter. He continued:

    As recently as this Monday on our Op/Ed page, I stated that Dave is among the best in our profession. I meant it then and I mean it now. The pause we took last week was to ensure there were no conflicts of interest and was taken simply to protect Dave McKinney, the Sun Times and its readers as we were under attack in a heated political campaign. We came to the right result, found the political attacks against us to be false and we stand by our reporting, our journalists and this great newspaper.

    I disagree with Dave’s questioning the integrity of this newspaper and my role as editor and publisher. I call the shots. While I’ve been here, our ownership and management have never quashed a story and they have always respected the journalistic integrity of this paper.

    Read more
  • Billy Penn launches desktop, mobile sites

    Billy Penn

    Jim Brady’s new local-news startup, Billy Penn, launched Wednesday, carrying a note saying its site is still in beta.

    The homepage currently features Philadelphia stories mostly drawn from other news outlets, although there are two stories reported by Billy Penn reporters and curators.

    The homepage of Billy Penn's desktop site.

    The homepage of Billy Penn’s desktop site.

    Although the site debuted Wednesday, Billy Penn has been building a following on email and social media in advance of the launch. The news organization has been on Twitter and Facebook for a couple months and has been delivering a weekday newsletter to subscribers for the past five weeks, according to an introductory letter from Billy Penn Editor Chris Krewson and Brady.

    RELATED: Brady takes another shot at local journalism with new venture

    The letter also lays out a few fundamental guiding principles for the site. Among them: the staff will link out to stories rather than over-aggregating the work of others; the site will allow audience members to track specific stories using a “follow” button that will send out relevant email alerts; and that it will eschew comments for the time being (“It’s our opinion that interaction is moving into a ‘post-comments’ period”). The site’s advertising section notes that Billy Penn will offer native advertising as well as “in moment” ads and themed sponsorships.

    This is Brady’s second attempt at starting up a local news site in a large metropolitan city. He presided over the creation of TBD in 2010, but that venture did not last very long.

    Read more
  • How newspapers connect the Royals’ World Series appearances

    Last Wednesday evening, I watched the status updates tick through my Facebook feed. I was on my 30-minute dinner break at my part-time bookseller job, away from television and radio. I posted a status update asking friends to keep their own updates coming, that I knew we – in this instance, the Kansas City Royals – were close.

    An office building in Kansas City after the Royals won the ALCS. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    An office building in Kansas City after the Royals won the ALCS. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    After my shift ended, I checked my phone once again, and I chuckled at The New York Times news alert that confirmed what I had already known for three hours. Headline: “Royals Keep Rolling, and Advance to the World Series.” The first paragraph read even more humorous: “After going 29 years without playing a single postseason game, the Kansas City Royals are making up for a lot of wasted time.”

    And during that long stretch of nothing between 1985 and 2014, there was one common thread to the experience of watching the Royals cause intermittent euphoria: Newspapers.

    My parents attended Game 6 in Kansas City on Oct. 26, 1985, a little less than two months before I was born. There’s a photograph of me in 1986 wearing a Royals outfit at 4 months old. But I didn’t really get introduced to the magnitude of the Royals’ eventual series win until I found a cardboard box in the basement.

    My father had collected stadium plastic cups, ticket stubs, programs, and at least two World Series shirts. The box also holds lots and lots of newspapers.

    I had called my dad that Wednesday afternoon to see if he wanted me to get him a copy of The Kansas City Star in the morning. My full-time job starts at 3:30 a.m. each day, and I knew that I would need to hit the rounds of gas stations at my soonest possible morning break if I were to get one. (One of my Facebook friends, aged 30, posted a Facebook photo at 7:50 a.m. Thursday of his stack of copies, proudly proclaiming that he had cleaned out the nearest 7-Eleven and was looking forward to one day passing along the copies to his future children and grandchildren.)

    No need: Dad’s been buying them at the gas station throughout the last month’s ride, not just Thursday’s “World Class” issue.

    "World class." Your @KCStar front page on the #Royals reaching the World Series. pic.twitter.com/3Mx2VWZrpG

    — Charles Gooch (@drgooch41) October 16, 2014

    Last Thursday I asked him why he still buys the papers.

    He likes the articles about the different players, the in-depth profiles, not just of the Royals but also for the San Francisco Giants.

    I ask when he thinks we stopped subscribing to the Star at our house, two hours west of Kansas City in Wamego, Kansas. He doesn’t remember taking it in the first place when I was growing up. I laugh and tell him that of course we did. I read “FYI,” the features section, from start to finish daily (and, if I skipped a day, I remember going back and getting caught up on my horoscopes, national music news and celebrity birthdays).

    My mind also turns to my late grandfather at this time. John DeWeese adored newspapers. He took both The Star and the Kansas City Times, which ceased publication in 1990. My grandmother’s kitchen table still bears the imprint of newspaper ink from where Pops read his papers every day.

    He’s been gone almost 15 years now. I wonder, what would Pops think of the Royals making it to the World Series? Would he share an interest in the Internet like my grandmother? More so, would he be sure to get a copy of each morning’s newspaper, even if the Royals were — as usual — having a mediocre season?

    I know for sure the answer to the last question. In 2008, one month after I graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in journalism, I pulled myself away from job applications and wandered into my grandmother’s basement, to my grandfather’s desk, which remains the same since his death in April 2000. There, his fill-in-the-blank desk calendar from 1997 is still sitting. Many of the dates’ questions remained blank, but I happened upon one date that asked, if he could go into any profession he wanted, what it would be.

    Journalism, he wrote in his near-perfect cursive.

    My mind jumps back to a block away, to my own childhood home, and the basement. I ask my father what editions are in the box – just World Series games, or all of the coverage leading up to the seven games?

    He’s not sure. The box might not even exist anymore, he says, laughing – it might have gotten thrown away.

    “Nah,” I say, with a laugh back. It has to be there. Nearby, in a similar box, there is a box filled with newspaper clippings and magazine issues paying tribute to Princess Diana, who died when I was in the sixth grade. Those are my mom’s.

    Greater Kansas City is now my home, and I’ve lived and worked on both sides of the state line. The former daily newspaper reporter in me is elated, to know that stands are selling out, that fans of all ages have rushed out to purchase their commemorative copies. I don’t want to be skeptical. I want to be in the here, in the now, celebrating the success of not only our baseball team but also the sales and general interest in the newspaper. I want this part of 1985 to stay with us permanently.

    It’s been 18 months since I’ve held the title of daily newspaper reporter, but my mind is weighed down with questions: How long will the sales momentum last? Is too much of a good thing ever bad? If it takes us another 29 years to make it to postseason play, will we still be able to purchase our tangible ink copies of celebration in the future?

    My five years of professional work experience in print journalism taught me patience, to take each deadline, each issue, each day as it comes, with grace and virtue and the hopes of getting to do it all over again in the next 24 hours. That is how I choose to answer my questions right now. What I do know – for now, at least – is that once the World Series is finished, I won’t go back and read through the Facebook status updates or the New York Times news alert that I forwarded to my family.

    I’ll go treasure hunting for that nearly 30-year-old cardboard box. Should it still exist, I’ll gingerly lift out the newspapers and hold the history in my hands. If they’re still around, part of me wants to properly archive them in acid-free folders as an early Christmas present to my father. Really, though, the box will remain where it is, perhaps gaining a new neighbor with the stories of 2014.

    Read more
2010 Wall of Distinction Honorees

The Syracuse Press Club bestowed its most prestigious award Thursday night to five outstanding Central New York journalists.  In a dinner held at Drumlins in Syracuse the club installed the five to its Wall of Distinction.

 

 

The honorees are:
Robert Atkinson, Executive Editor of The Post-Standard
(Retired)
Janis Barth, Managing Editor Local News, The Post-Standard
John Krauss, General Manager WRVO Stations (Retired)
Ron Lombard, General Manager, Your News Now
Hart Seely, Reporter, The Post-Standard

The Wall of Distinction is in the theater lobby of the John H. Mulroy Civic Center in downtown Syracuse.  Matt Mulcahy of WSTM-TV.CNYcentral served as the MC for the evening. Former WSTM anchor and now CBS News weekend anchor Jeff Glor was the keynote speaker.  


 

 

 

Robert Atkinson

Like many in our community, Robert Atkinson began his career in journalism by attending Syracuse University. After six years in the U.S. Navy, where he began his career as a journalist, he returned to Syracuse to get a job with The Post-Standard. He began his forty year career at the paper with a posting as bureau correspondent in Saranac Lake in 1954.  He spent time as the Watertown Bureau reporter before making it as a reporter on he city desk. By 1965 he had moved up through the ranks to become Managing Editor, overseeing the paper's entire news operation.  In 1981 Atkinson was named Executive Editor, overseeing the paper's news operation and its editorial voice.
While Atkinson was at the helm of the paper it was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports in 1992 on how poor medical care in New York's prisons made them the deadliest in the nation.
Atkinson also showed editorial courage in a community in love with Syracuse basketball when a series of articles titled "Out of Bounds" revealed NCAA violations in basketball recruiting.  The series resulted in sanctions against the basketball team.
He retired in 1993.

Janis Barth Managing Editor Local News, The Post-Standard

Janis Barth began her career in journalism in radio working as a reporter in the North Country. She later switched to print as a part-time North Country reporter for the Syracuse Newspapers in 1978. By 1990 Barth joined the main newsroom in
Syracuse as a reporter on the city desk.  She quickly was named an assistant city editor.  In 1992 she was promoted to city editor for the Herald Journal/Herald American.  Barth later rose to the positions of Assistant Managing Editor and Managing Editor, leading the paper's news staff and coverage.

Barth's story ideas, newsroom leadership and editing skills lead the staff of the paper as it reported some of its most compelling and award-winning stories.  Among them the six month long investigation  by Jon Craig and Hart Seely that toppled the management at the NYS Division for Youth. The report found physical and mental abuse of young people incarcerated by the state.  Barth was the prime mover and final arbiter for every word and phrase of the series. 
Barth also personally led the paper's coverage at Woodstock '99. Staying with a team of reporters in a  rented trailer at the site. As the concert weekend came to a close, a riot erupted and Barth was there personally directing her team caught between thousands of rioters and state police.

John Krauss-General Manager WRVO-FM (Retired)

John Krauss is one of the rare people in broadcasting today who has spent more than forty years at one station, and the listeners of WRVO-FM are he better for it.  Krauss joined WRVO  when it signed on the air as a 10 watt educational radio station on the campus of SUNY Oswego. As the station grew in size and power, Krauss worked in all facets of station operations becoming its first news director and also served as morning host.
As WRVO increased its coverage area by adding stations in Utica and Watertown, Krauss was promoted to Assistant General Manager.  Ten years later he became the station's General Manager. Under his leadership the station continued its growth in  size and news coverage.  WRVO now broadcasts at 50,000 watts and in HD.  The station continually ranks as one of the top eight stations in the Syracuse area. In recent years its strong local news department and its affiliation with NPR has filled the gap in radio news coverage as fewer commercial stations in the area make a commitment to local news coverage.  That success can be seen in the growing number of SPC awards as well as statewide awards WRVO has won.

Ron Lombard-General Manager Your News Now

Your News Now, (originally News 10 Now) is an ambitious endeavor by Time Warner Cable to deliver 24 hour news across New York State. Ron Lombard was selected by Time Warner to handle the tremendous job of putting this operation together from scratch; hiring the staff, supervising the build out of studio and newsroom facilities, and training a young staff to make it all happen.  The Syracuse operation he oversees covers news stories from Binghamton to Watertown and from Utica to Auburn providing viewers with local news any time of the day.
Lombard is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication. He began his career in central New York as a reporter and anchor at WSYR radio. He later moved to WIXT (Now WSYR-TV) Newschannel 9. Ron started as assignment editor before moving on to the position of assistant news director. He was news director from 1991-2001, helping lead the station to its place as the dominant ratings leader in the market.

 

 

 

 

Hart Seely-The Post-Standard, Author

Hart Seely is a reporter, author, essayist, political commentator and so much more. Hart is one of the most versatile reporters and writers in central New York. He's written hard-hitting investigative pieces like his expose on abuses of teen inmates in New York, and his reports from Iraq while embedded with the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division.
Seely is also an accomplished writer of features and humor columns.  His work is not just seen in Syracuse. Seely's writing appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington, Slate.com and National Public Radio. Seely is also a published author of "Mrs. Goose Goes to Washington: Nursery Rhymes for the Political Barnyard," (Simon & Schuster, 2007). He is the co-editor of "O Holy Cow: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto" (Ecco Press, 1993), "2007-Eleven and Other American Comedies" (Random House, 2000), and editor of "Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld" (Simon & Schuster 2003).
 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 October 2010 19:56 )
 
"News is the first rough draft of history."
--Philip L. Graham (1915–1963), U.S. newspaper publisher

Wall of Distinction


J. Leonard Gorman

The Post-Standard

J. Leonard Gorman was employed with The Post-Standard more than 50 years, beginning in 1933 as a $40-a-week copy reader and rising rapidly through the ranks to become the publication's top editor.
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