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  • Dean Baquet still unsure about future of national race beat

    New York Times

    New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet hasn’t yet decided what will become of The New York Times’ national race beat now that Tanzina Vega has been reassigned to cover the Bronx courthouse, public editor Margaret Sullivan reported Thursday:

    At this point, he said, “I haven’t decided what to do about the beat, but I know that it has to be covered paper-wide.

    Baquet told Sullivan that although the future of Vega’s beat is uncertain, The New York Times will provide “paper-wide” coverage of race. Deputy Executive Editor Susan Chira told Sullivan that because issues of race are of critical importance, covering them shouldn’t be confined “to one reporter or beat.”

    Sullivan also called the timing of Vega’s reassignment “odd” in light of the recent news surrounding the death of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.

    Read more
  • Al Jazeera English news director tells employees to continue leaking memos

    Al Jazeera English has a plan to deal with the recent leaks that have aired the organization’s preferences regarding style and usage: invite its employees to keep leaking.

    Salah Negm, director of news at Al Jazeera English, sent a memo to employees Thursday with the subject line “TO BE LEAKED.” In it, Negm thanks the employee or employees who have leaked memos about the news organization’s attitude toward events such as the Charlie Hebdo shooting and decisions not to use the words “terrorist” and “Islamist”:

    Whoever forwarded these emails on to their friends, I personally thank you for offering a huge service to our channel. I have always been in favour of being transparent and open we have nothing to hide.

    In the future we will put all our style guide and editorial guidelines online for public consumption, because there is nothing that we hide and nothing that we are afraid of.

    Read more
  • Indiana governor cancels controversial news site

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has told the Indiana press corps that he plans to cancel “Just IN,” a proposed state-run news source that some feared would be used as an end-around the press.

    Maureen Hayden, Indiana statehouse bureau chief for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., tweeted that Pence ordered the website shut down.

    IN Gov Pence orders controversial Just IN website terminated. Statehouse press just notified.

    — Maureen Hayden (@MaureenHayden) January 29, 2015

    News of the proposed site, which was reported by The Indianapolis Star earlier this week, sparked controversy among journalism organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists, which said it would be following the development of the proposed site.

    In place of the site, Pence will “update the current public calendar website” run by the state of Indiana, Tim Swarens reports for the Indianapolis Star.

    Read more
Michael J. Connor, recipient of the Bliven-Ganley-Rossi Career Achievement award

Editors note: We are posting articles about the special club award winners honored May 5 at the annual SPC Awards dinner.

By Mike McAndrew

Michael J. Connor speaks with a fiery passion about the importance of watchdog journalism and the public’s thirst for local news.

But economic realities pinching all of Syracuse’s media organizations means there’s fewer boots on the ground and the city’s news is being covered less thoroughly now than 10 or 20 years ago, The Post-Standard’s executive editor said.

  “I can remember a time when all or most of the three network affiliates in broadcast TV had court reporters and municipal reporters. There was pretty fierce competition in government and institutional coverage. That’s gone away. Radio reporting is almost nonexistent,” he said. “There’s less competition. There’s just fewer reporters (in Syracuse) than there were at one time. That can’t help but reduce the amount of basic reporting and contextual reporting made available to residents of the area.”

 “If fewer institutions are being covered on a regular basis because you have a smaller total reporting staff in the community, at some point readers are missing something,” he said.
 Connor — who is being awarded the Gus Bliven-Joe Ganley-Mario Rossi Career Achievement Award by the Syracuse Press Club — has spent his entire 36-year journalism career at The Post-Standard.
 While a student at Cornell University, he decided to pursue a newspaper career after being inspired by a speech by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.

 Connor started out in 1976 as a bureau reporter based in Oneida. After working in a series of reporting and editing positions, he became the paper’s managing editor in 1983.
 Under Connor’s leadership, The Post-Standard in 1993 was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for explanatory journalism for a series of stories about poor medical care provided to inmates in state prisons. The prison series remains among Connor’s favorite stories published by the newspaper.

 That same year, Connor was named executive editor of The Post-Standard. When the morning paper merged in 1997 with The Herald-Journal, Connor became executive editor of the combined news operation.
 These days, the 59-year editor is overseeing the transformation of The Post-Standard from a newspaper into a news organization that delivers stories, photos, video and audio recordings to readers via the newspaper, syracuse.com, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.

 “The Post-Standard is the best-read newspaper in America. Syracuse.com is one of the strongest newspaper websites in America. Why? Because of Mike Connor,” said Stephen A. Rogers, editor and publisher of The Post-Standard. “He built a great staff and pushed it to the top.”

 Connor has two sons, Jeff, 25, who is a musician, and Adam, 21, who graduates this month from the University of Vermont.

 Outside of the job, Connor spends his time biking 10 to 15 miles per day before work. On weekends, he sometimes takes 40-mile rides around Skaneateles Lake.

 He also volunteers Thursday nights at Matthew House, serving terminally-ill people at a hospice residence in Auburn.

 “It’s an extraordinary place of great peace, for families and individuals preparing for that transition, that next phase. It’s about as caring and loving a place as you can imagine,” he said.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 13 May 2012 02:03 )
 
"Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen."
Warren E Burger, Chief Justice, US Supreme Court
Majority opinion in 7-1 ruling that prohibited the closing of courtrooms to the press, 2 Jul 80

Wall of Distinction

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Atkinson

Executive Editor, The Post-Standard

Atkinson was a reporter and editor with The Post-Standard since starting in 1954 as its Saranac Lake correspondent. Eleven short years later, in 1965, he’d worked his way through its ranks to become managing editor, directing the paper’s entire news operation.

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