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  • Opinion: Why it’s so disappointing that j-schools are panicking over Ebola

    In the last week, we’ve learned that three U.S. universities have canceled invitations to journalists due to fears about Ebola:

    • Syracuse University rescinded an invitation to Washington Post photographer Michel du Cille because he had reported on the epidemic in Liberia, and even though he’d been home longer than the 21-day self-monitoring period and had no symptoms, “there have been questions raised about whether the incubation period is longer,” Lorraine Branham, the dean of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, told Donald R. Winslow of News Photographer magazine.
    • The University of Georgia rescinded an invitation to Liberian journalist Wade C.L. Williams, who was due to speak at the university’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “It just became abundantly clear we had a risk scenario and a situation on our hands that was a little more sensitive issue,” Grady College Dean Charles N. Davis told Brad Schrade of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    • The University of South Florida at St. Petersburg rescinded invitations to African journalists who are taking part in the U.S. State Department’s Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. “We’ve cancelled out of upmost caution,” Regional Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Han Reichgelt wrote in a letter to journalism-school faculty, students and staff.

    “Caution,” “questions,” “sensitive” — these are all apparently synonyms for willful disregard for facts, which is a curious fit for journalism schools, institutions that purportedly train people how to report what they know.

    Here’s something those schools could have gleaned from reading some journalism: Unless you’re in contact with infected individuals’ bodily fluids, you have almost no chance of getting Ebola. The virus could conceivably change its pattern of transmission, but as Joel Achenbach and Brady Dennis reported in The Washington Post Oct. 18, “such a major change in transmission has never been observed in a pathogen that already affects human beings.”

    Another fact that inconveniences panic: There have been three cases of Ebola in the U.S. so far. One of those people has died. By contrast, Max Fisher reports in Vox, 30 people die in America every year and more than 40,000 are injured from their furniture falling on them.

    Fearbola” has no place at journalism schools. There’s simply too much well-reported information available to justify these jelly-spined responses. Administrators at Newhouse, Grady and USF are teaching their students a dismal lesson: If they fear criticism — or possibly lawsuits — they should back off, facts be damned.

    Two-thirds of Americans say they are concerned about an Ebola outbreak, according to a Washington Post poll last week. Journalism schools should be training their students to battle such perceptions (seriously, you’re probably going to die from heart disease or cancer). Which is why it’s so disappointing to see them leading in the opposite direction.

    Related: “In canceling African journalists’ program, fear trumps reason” (Tampa Bay Times) | When covering Ebola, “reports that lead to more questions than answers may also lead to harm.” (SPJ)

    Read more
  • Gannett gives employees an extra paid day off

    Most Gannett employees will get Dec. 26 off, President and CEO Gracia Martore tells employees in a memo. Anyone who has to work that day — “because as we all know, the news never sleeps,” she writes — can plan another day off before the year ends.

    Martore also gives some details about what divisions will stay with each company as Gannett plans to split its publishing and broadcast businesses. Gannett Digital will stay with the publishing company, as will IT and its national sales division.

    Likewise, HR will be part of the broadcast company and will provide shared services to the publishing company. Each company will have its own legal and communications teams, among others. The split, Martore writes, should occur “in mid-2015.”

    Here’s the memo:

    Dear Colleagues:

    I wanted to share some news in case you missed today’s employee Town Hall meeting.

    The holiday season is fast approaching and I want to thank you for all you have done to help this company grow and thrive. The past three years have been fast-paced and exceptional as we continue to transform the company’s business and chart a new course. Without your hard work,
    this company would not be in the terrific condition it is today.

    Because of this, I want to give everyone a special holiday surprise: This year, the day after Christmas, Dec. 26, will be a paid day off —
    a companywide holiday.

    Of course there will be some of you who, like on any other holiday, will work that day because as we all know, the news never sleeps, or
    takes a vacation for that matter.

    For those of you who are called upon to work that day, please coordinate with your managers and plan another day off before the end
    of the year. Every employee has earned this extra day off and your willingness to work on Dec. 26 is deeply appreciated.

    Best wishes to all and thank you for helping to steer a strong course for our company and for your efforts in support of this journey of
    transformation. I wish you and your families a very safe and joyous upcoming holiday season.

    Meanwhile, on a different note, we are taking positive steps toward what we initially announced in August: the creation of two publicly
    traded companies, one exclusively focused on our Broadcasting and Digital businesses, and the other on our Publishing business and its
    dynamic digital assets.

    This is — and will be — a long and complicated process as there are literally thousands of decisions, large and small, to be made as we go
    down this road.

    One of our initial considerations has been determining where the many parts of the business would be located — in other words — which group
    goes with which company. And while we do not have all of the answers today, I want to share with you some of the preliminary decisions we
    have made.

    Obviously — the vast majority of you already know which company you will be going with — USCP, USA TODAY and Newsquest employees will go
    with Publishing. Broadcasting and Digital Ventures employees will go with the Broadcasting and Digital company.

    However, there are other groups that provide services across divisions. Some of the preliminary decisions on where those groups
    will be housed have been made and I wanted to share that information with you.

    As mentioned earlier, Digital Ventures, including G/O Digital, will stay with the Broadcasting and Digital company. G/O Digital will be a
    shared service, providing its products to both companies. In addition, Cars.com will continue to offer its portfolio to the Publishing
    company through affiliation agreements. Pointroll will transition to Digital Ventures over the coming months and will become part of the
    Broadcasting and Digital company.

    Gannett Digital will be a part of the Publishing company, where the majority of its clients are. The digital team will continue to provide
    top notch products and services to Broadcasting and Digital Ventures. Over the next several months, we will be working to ensure that the
    Broadcasting and Digital company has the appropriate digital expertise on staff as well.

    National Sales will be housed in Publishing at separation, given it does the lion’s share of work for them but we will continue to look at
    opportunities, even after the separation, to leverage both companies’ scale and reach together.

    I.T. and Gannett Supply also will be a part of Publishing and provide shared services to the Broadcasting and Digital company.

    Labor Relations and HR will be a part of the Broadcasting and Digital company. They will provide shared services to the Publishing company.

    The Legal, Finance, Internal Audit, Investor Relations and Communications groups will be split between the two companies at the
    time of separation, as each company will need its own independent teams.

    I want to make it clear — I know we have the best people and corporate functions anywhere. In fact, supporting the two companies created by the separation will generate greater career opportunities for many of our current employees as we look at how to support both businesses.

    Of course, until the day of separation, we are ONE company. We need to continue to produce the outstanding, trusted content our consumers and
    communities expect from us; and we need to continue to support our clients by helping them grow their businesses with our strong products
    and services.

    So please keep up the terrific work you are doing today throughout this process — straight through to the separation, which we expect
    will occur in mid-2015.

    There are many more decisions to come and we will be sure to keep you updated.

    Warm regards,

    Gracia

    Read more
  • Gannett earnings strong, but publishing revenues continue a steep slide
    FILE - This July 14, 2010 file photo shows the Gannett headquarters in McLean, Va. Gannett Co. reported Overall company revenue growth of 15 percent. The media company said, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

    FILE – This July 14, 2010 file photo shows the Gannett headquarters in McLean, Va. Gannett Co. reported Overall company revenue growth of 15 percent. The media company said, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

    Embedded in otherwise excellent third quarter financial results reported today by Gannett are some sobering numbers on the continuing decline of revenues for its newspaper division.

    U.S publishing ad revenues year-to-date are down 6.3 percent. At Gannett, that difference is more than made up by booming broadcast operations and freestanding digital ventures like CareerBuilder.  So revenues for the entire company are up a healthy 13.4 percent.

    But I also consider USA Today and Gannett’s 81 community newspapers a reasonable proxy for the entire newspaper industry, which has stopped reporting its financial results quarterly.  If the rest of the year is roughly in line, newspapers are on track again in 2014 to lose $1 billion-plus in advertising.

    That’s against a 2013 base of $17.30 billion industrywide in daily print advertising or $23.57 billion including all form of advertising, according to estimates by the Newspaper Association of America.

    Gannett’s advertising decline to date (-6.3 percent) roughly matches the industry rate in 2013 (-6.5 percent).  So 2014 is proving no better than 2013.  Recent waves of staff cuts as companies budget for 2015 suggest that revenue growth is not expected next year either.

    At Gannett (and probably most U.S. papers) circulation revenues were up slightly for the quarter and holding even for the year. The papers are now cycling past one-time revenue gains of roughly 5 percent in both 2012 and 2013 from introduction of paywalls and price increases for print and print + digital subscriptions.

    Digital advertising is increasing, mostly at USA Today, but not nearly enough to offset the print losses.  And the continued growth of digital marketing services, sold to local businesses, is another plus.

    In an earnings conference call, CEO Gracia Martore said another bright spot for the company has been the introduction of a section of USA Today news at its 35 largest papers.  Surveys show a positive reader response, she said, in some cities justifying another round of subscription price increases.

    There is an echo of that strategy throughout the industry.  This weekend both The New York Times and Washington Post introduced print supplements which regional papers can include in their Sunday editions.  The Post had earlier made a free subscription to its digital report available to digital subscribers of partnering regional papers.

    This arrangement allows papers to focus on their local news report, while offering subscribers, especially the older demographic that prefers print, a fuller report of national and international news, as was standard in better financial times.

    Gannett’s broadcast revenues are up 97.2 percent year-to-date in large part because the operation is much larger after acquisition of Belo’s 20 stations. Retransmission fees paid by cable systems to local stations continue strong, up 61 percent for the quarter.

    And political advertising is booming beyond expectations.  At the company’s Denver station — where Colorado has both a competitive governor’s and U.S. Senate race — this year’s revenues are even outpacing those of 2012, a presidential year, said Martore.

    The different trajectories of broadcast and print have prompted Gannett to plan splitting those operations into two companies, a spinoff Martore said should be completed by mid-2015.

    News Corp., Media General, Tribune and the Washington Post (now Graham Holdings) have already completed such a split and Scripps and Journal Communications plan one as part of a merger.

    Other public newspaper companies, New York Times, McClatchy and Lee, do not own TV stations. So, soon there will be no combined print and broadcast operations among public companies, and some larger private companies like Hearst have separated TV and newspaper divisions as well.

    In theory the print-only companies will benefit from management focused exclusively on their digital transformation, audience and advertising issues.  And they won’t be competing internally with fast-growing broadcast for capital.

    All that, however, leaves the big question lingering — can the companies slow the print advertising losses, generate enough digital ad growth, increase circulation revenue and bring in enough income from new ventures to make up the difference.

    Read more
Winners announced for 2011 awards contest
I wanted to thank every media organization that entered the 2011 2011 Syracuse Press Club Professional Recognition Awards Contest. We had twice as many entries this year as we did in 2011. The competition was fierce.
 
Attached are identical lists of the winners. The first attachment is in a Word docx file and the second is in an older version of a Word doc file.
 
Congratulations to all of the winners!
 
Whether you won or not, we hope that you will join us and celebrate the best of CNY journalism at the Press Club’s annual awards banquet on May 5 at Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road, Syracuse, NY. Cocktails will be at 6 p.m. Dinner and the program will begin at 7 p.m. We will be accepting reservations for the dinner here beginning April 2. Please make your reservation ASAP. Tickets are $40, $380 for a table of 10.
 
If you did not submit any entries for this year’s contest, we hope you will join the fun in January 2013 when we will be accepting entries again.
 
(All decisions of the judges are final. But please notify us ASAP if you spot any errors in a contestant’s name or any other information in the list of winners.) 
 
Mike McAndrew,
Awards Committee Chair
 

Winners in the 2011 Syracuse Press Club Professional Recognition Awards Contest

 

COLLEGE STUDENT JOURNALISM

Best Print Feature Story

1st Place, Ashley M. Casey, The Dolphin, ‘Rhinoceros’ provokes thought, giggles from audience; 2nd Place, Eva de Charleroy, The Overview, Bistro falls short on service to campus

Best Print News Story

1st Place, Ryan Gavin, The Overview, Campus-based YMCA opens doors; 2nd Place, Kevin Carr, The Overview, Sculpture dedication marks beginning of anniversary commemoration

Best Print Sports Story

1st Place, Matthew Clark, The Dolphin, Spadine's game winner keeps Dolphins afloat; 2nd Place, Pete Schneider, The Overview, OCC athletics lauded for sportsmanship

Best Radio Sports Story

1st Place, Chet Davis, NCC News & WAER, How Tulane keeps pushing for the return of an on-campus stadium; 2nd Place, Bill Spaulding, NCC News & WAER, SU Marching Band

Best Radio News Story 

1st Place, Matt Johnston, WRVO, Central NY man brings Santa to special needs children; 2nd Place,  Durrie Bouscaren, NCC News & WAER, 7-11-11 Southern Sudanese community celebrates first Independence Day

Best Radio Feature Story

1st Place, Matt Johnston, WRVO, Quilt exhibition educates people about AIDS awareness

Best TV News Story

1st Place, Marlei Martinez, NCC News & ABC News OnCampus, From infantryman to freshman; 2nd Place,  Danielle Waugh, NCC News & ABC News OnCampus, Fighting childhood obesity with books

Best TV Feature Story

1st Place, Matt Phifer, NCC News & ABC News OnCampus, Football walk-on shares his story; 2nd Place, Clay LePard, Ryan Koletty, Nena Garga, Bill Sharp, NCC News & CitrusTV, CitrusTV visits the Syracuse zoo

Best TV Sports Story

1st Place, Clay LePard, NCC News & ESPNU, Syracuse racer; 2nd Place,  David DeGuzman, Ted Goldberg, Caleb Lamb, Ryan Koletty, NCC News & Citrus TV, We still remember

 

DAILY NEWSPAPER

Spot News

1st Place, Staff, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Flood of 2011:  worse than '06; 2nd Place, Emily Kulkus, Mike Waters, Mike McAndrew, Bud Poliquin, The Post-Standard, Bernie Fine fired

Investigative Story

1st Place, Tim Knauss, The Post-Standard, Political contributions returned; 2nd Place, John O'Brien, Catie O'Toole, Fernando Alfonso, The Post-Standard, Jordan-Elbridge

News Feature

1st Place, Jennifer Micale, Valerie Zehl, Press & Sun-Bulletin, When care can't wait ... but it does; 2nd Place, Staff, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Protecting our children

Human Interest Feature              

1st Place, Jon Campbell, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Who was Whitney Titus?; 2nd Place,  Renee Gadoua, The Post-Standard, Mother Marianne: The saint from Syracuse

Front Page Design

1st Place, John Catlett, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Designs by John Catlett; 2nd Place,  Tom Schmitt, The Post-Standard, Front pages by Tom Schmitt

Sports Story

1st Place, Joy Lindsay, Kevin Stevens, Mike Mangan, Press & Sun-Bulletin, SENSATIONAL! B-Sens capture city's first pro hockey title; 2nd Place, Andrew Legare, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Concussions

 

ALL PRINT

Still Photos - Photo Portrait

1st Place, Mike Greenlar, The Post-Standard, First homicide victim of 2011; 2nd Place, Connie Berry, The Catholic Sun, Young girls from Kenya

Still Photos - Scenic Photo

1st Place, Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, Clinton Square; 2nd Place, Peter Chen, The Post-Standard, Fall Beauty in the Adirondacks

Still Photos - Sports Photo

1st Place, Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, From the sidelines; 2nd Place,  Herm Card, City Eagle, Lessons learned outside the classroom

Still Photos - Photo Illustration

1st Place, Christa Lemczak, The Post-Standard, Photo Illustration by Christa Lemczak; 2nd Place,  Peter Allen, The Post-Standard, Photo Illustration by Peter Allen

Still Photos - Photo Essay

1st Place, Frank Ordonez, The Post-Standard, Kicking cancer; 2nd Place,  Nicholas Lisi, The Post-Standard, Bald eagles on Onondaga Lake

Still Photos - Feature Photos

1st Place, David Lassman, The Post-Standard, Say Yes!; 2nd Place, Seth Harrison, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Health risks everywhere

Still Photos - Carl Single Award for Spot News Photos

1st Place,  Gary Walts, The Post-Standard, Drone arrests; 2nd Place,  Casey Staff, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Fearing the worst

Critique

1st Place, James MacKillop, Syracuse New Times, Bohemian Rhapsody; 2nd Place, Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Reporter, Trash or treasure

Editorial

1st Place, Renee Gadoua, The Post-Standard, Practice what you preach; 2nd Place, Ned Campbell, Eagle Bulletin, Mannion made a contest a contest

Headline Writing

1st Place, Mark Libbon, The Post-Standard, Headlines by Mark Libbon; 2nd Place,  Al Vieira, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Headlines by Al Viera

Magazine

1st Place, Tim Atseff, Peter Allen, Linda Bien, CNY The Good Life; 2nd Place, 2nd Place,  Karen Sherwood, Jennifer Creighton, Bud Poliquin, Mark Libbon, CNY Sports

 

NON-DAILY NEWSPAPER

Human Interest Feature              

1st Place, Molly English-Bowers, Chris Baker, Michael Elliott, Ed Griffin-Nolan, Syracuse New Times, The Fab Four; 2nd Place,  Sarah Hall, Eagle Star-Review, Taking a stand against suicide

Robert Haggart Award for Best Column

1st Place, Jason Emerson, Skaneateles Press, Some of us need to remember: Football is only a game; 2nd Place, Ed Griffin-Nolan, Syracuse New Times, The shame game

Sports Story

1st Place, Kevin Corbett, Syracuse New Times, Shoot to chill; 2nd Place, Erin Smith Wisneski, Baldwinsville Messenger, State golf champ!

Investigative Story

Carol Thompson, The Valley News, County clerk vendor under investigation in Essex County; 2nd Place,  Carol Thompson, The Valley News, County to return five permits to City of Oswego

News Feature

1st Place, Sarah Hall, Eagle Star-Review, Ending the epidemic; 2nd Place,  Ed Griffin-Nolan, Syracuse New Times, Hydrofracking

Front Page Design

1st Place, Michael Davis, James Rutkey, Meaghan Arbital, Syracuse New Times; 2nd Place, Ami Olson, Doug Campbell, Jen Wing, Ken Jackson, Urban CNY Newspaper

 

ONLINE JOURNALISM

News Website

1st Place, Staff, Becky Combes, Ginger Whitaker, Teresa Riley, ynn.com; 2nd Place, Staff, wktv.com

Blog

1st Place, Matt Mulcahy, cnycentral.com, Matt’s Memo: Sweet dreams Angel; 2nd Place, Katie Gibas, ynn.com, Give it a tri  

Video Journalism

1st Place, Steven J. Pallone, Syracuse.com; 2nd Place, Ellen M. Blalock, Syracuse.com

Still Photos - Photo Essay

1st Place, The Post-Standard Staff, Syracuse.com, Fall beauty in the Adirondack Park; 2nd Place,  Stephen D. Cannerelli, Syracuse.com, Southern Tier flooding aftermath - Owego cleans up

Public Service

1st Place, Jeff Platsky, Staff, pressconnects.com, Data Center; 2nd Place,  Peter M. Naughton, CNYradio.com/CNYtvnews.com

 

RADIO

Public Affairs Program

1st Place, Emma Jacobs, Rachel Ward, Mark Lavonier, WRVO, Innovation conversation: Following the power lines; 2nd Place, Fergus Nicoll, Fred Vigeant , Mark Lavonier, WRVO, Community forum - culture under siege in Pakistan

News Feature

1st Place, Joyce Gramza, WRVO, Transforming long term care in CNY; 2nd Place,  John Smith, WAER, Syracuse Tech Garden entreprenuers

Investigative Story

1st Place, Joyce Gramza, WRVO, Prom, body image and eating disorders; 2nd Place,  Ellen Abbott, WRVO, Concussions

Sports Story

1st Place, Kevin Barry, WAER, Penn State scandal reactions; 2nd Place,  Adam Feldfogel, WAER, Dyshawn Davis, special relationship with coach

Spot News

1st Place, Chris Bolt, WAER, 99 percent and Jobs Act at bridge                                   

Human Interest Feature

1st Place, Ellen Abbott, WRVO, Central New York woman helps heal the sick with music; 2nd Place,  A. Randall Wenner, Freelance, Remembering the Cardiff Giant

 

 

SPECIAL INTEREST PRINT

News Feature

1st Place, Jeanne Albanese, CNY Business Exchange, Crucible's hot idea; 2nd Place,  Dave Tobin, CNY The Good Life, Aurora after Pleasant

Sports Story

1st Place, Farah Jadran, Syracuse Woman Magazine, Mother, wife, professional...triathlete; 2nd Place,  Jessica Zurell, Cammi Clark, Kimberly Cook, Amy Fields, Today's CNY Woman, Queen of Heights

Robert Haggart Award for Best Column

1st Place, Bud Poliquin, CNY Sports, Great Success at Colgate, but with a tinge of 'what if?'; 2nd Place,  Barbara Stith, CNY The Good Life, Reading recipes between the lines

Human Interest Feature

1st Place, Mark Libbon, CNY The Good Life, Rosamond Gifford's battle of wills; 2nd Place, Farah Jadran, Syracuse Woman Magazine, Pregnant and battling breast cancer... now what?

 

TV

Documentary

1st Place, Curtis Jetter, YNN, After the storm; 2nd Place,  Brian Dwyer, Curtis Jetter, YNN, Force on force

Special Program

1st Place, Jim Beebe, Tim Fox, WSYR TV, Lion King; 2nd Place,  News Staff, WKTV, Boilermaker 2011

Spot News

1st Place, Staff, WSYR TV, Flooding   9/8/11; 2nd Place, Staff, YNN, Flooding ravages Southern Tier

Investigative Story

1st Place, Katie Alexander, WWNY, The war within - combating military suicides; 2nd Place,  Christie Casciano, Jack Estabrook, WSYR TV, Targeting gang violence

News Feature

1st Place, Tim Fisher, WKTV, Heartbreak on Schuyler Street; 2nd Place,  Alex Dunbar, CNY Central, School kids Grammy nomination

Human Interest Feature

Bill Carey,  Jay Hy, Tom Walters, YNN, Following Lincoln's trail home; 2nd Place, Staff, YNN, Your hometown

Sports Story

1st Place, Andy Malnoske, WENY, Acceptance: Troy's Greg Congdon battles homophobia; 2nd Place,  Andy Malnoske, WENY, Beating the odds: Trevor Umlah

Video Journalism

1st Place, Keith Kobland, Phil Rankin, Luke Eggleston, Liz McDougall, WSYR TV, Video journalism; 2nd Place, Jim Beebe, WSYR TV, Video journalism

Video Essay

1st Place, Scott Irving, WSYR TV, Winter day at the zoo; 2nd Place,  Jason Hy, YNN, Lake Ontario's rich history

Sports Show

1st Place, Staff, YNN, First and 10; 2nd Place,  Lindsay Liquori, Sal Maneen, Steve Infanti, WSYR TV, SU basketball NCAA preview

Regularly Scheduled Local Newscast

1st Place, Kristy Smorol, CNY Central, Major flood and homicide arrest; 2nd Place,  Staff, WSYR TV, Bernie Fine fired 
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 March 2012 00:03 )
 
"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."
--Thomas Jefferson

Wall of Distinction


Richard Long

Herald-Journal

Herald American

Skaneateles Press

Richard Long's career has spanned the world and embraced such endeavors as reporter, columnist, author, playwright, documentary filmmaker, director and producer.
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