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  • April Fools’: The day in funny, or at least the metafunny

    The Takeaway | The Paris Review | The New York Observer | The Washington Post | Fortune Magazine | The Atlantic | Slate

    April 1 isn’t just the day when media outlets across the land either prank their audiences or get pranked themselves — it’s the day when professional head-scratchers scratch their heads about the nature of comedy in the modern era. We’ve got a roundup of both for you and will add as the day goes on:

    • Public Radio International’s “The Takeaway” led off this morning’s show with blockbuster news about the putative Democratic presidential nominee. From the broadcast:

      Official papers seem to have been filed in Westchester County, New York family court. Someone named Hillary Rodham Clinton has filed for divorce from a William Jefferson Clinton.

    Read more
  • Should journalists use the phrase ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ in their reporting?

    Now, Indiana is not alone. Tuesday, Arkansas joined the Hoosier State in passing a so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In Arkansas the act, which critics say opens the door to allowing businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation or identity, is heading to the governor’s desk. In Indiana, the governor signed the bill last week and has been catching hell for it ever since.

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is careful to headline the bill as HB 1228, not The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as the law is formally known. That is the same name attached to the Indiana law.

    We plopped some of our Poynter colleagues in front of a camera to ask about language and that front-page editorial:

    This bill at the center of the debate is called the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” How concerned should journalists be that they are being used as propagandists when they refer to the act with that language, even when that is a proper noun? Read more

  • Toronto Star drops paywall, joins Snapchat

    Toronto Star

    The Toronto Star announced Wednesday the retirement of its digital subscription program, formalizing a move that was projected months ago.

    The Star also launched a Snapchat account and enabled readers to share its articles with WhatsApp. The announcement, which carries the byline “Toronto Star,” includes details of an update to the outlet’s mobile app.

    The Star’s paywall was introduced in 2013 and heralded as a “major transition” for the newspaper. The paywall comprised different payment tiers for digital and print subscribers.

    Media analyst Ken Doctor was quoted in a November Globe and Mail story saying the decision to discontinue the paywall was driven by a bid to generate increased advertising revenue.

    In general, paywalls have helped offset some of the falling print advertising revenue at many papers, Mr.

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E.R. Vadeboncoeur

WSYR Radio and TV

Syracuse Journal

Mention the name E.R. Vadeboncoeur and it's his radio news broadcasts and Election Night commentaries that come to mind for many longtime Central New Yorkers. Long forgotten is that "Curly," as he was known to his friends, started out to be a newspaperman.


He got his first job on a newspaper after leaving Central High School and worked his way up to city editor at the old Syracuse Journal. When the paper merged with the Herald a few years later, he was offered a spot on the new Herald-Journal. Instead, he decided -- on the advice of his wife Orletta -- to switch to broadcasting by accepting another job offer at WSYR Radio.

The change made sense because Curly had been doing a Sunday night broadcast on WFBL called "City Editor" during his later years at the Journal. Soon after joining WSYR, he began doing noon-hour news and commentary every day. In the late 1940s, he successfully crusaded against a proposal for a city sales tax. (Years later, however, the tax became reality).

In an effort to help his listeners better understand what was happening overseas during World War II, Curly traveled to the Pacific for a month. He is believed to be the only war correspondent accredited personally by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Several times, he risked his life by flying in bombers on missions out of New Guinea to get a better feel of war.

In the early 1950s, several years after he became general manager of WSYR radio and television, Vadeboncoeur gave up his broadcasts to become more involved in S.l. Newhouse's plans to expand Newhouse Broadcasting, which owned WSYR. The expansion included purchase of stations in Harrisburg, PA; St. Louis, MO; Birmingham, AL; and Portland, OR. Curly traveled weekly to Harrisburg and once a month to the others. He also was involved in the development of Newhouse cable properties.

Meanwhile, he continued to appear on television every Election Night, analyzing returns for viewers after being introduced as the "dean of Syracuse newsmen."

As a boy, Curly Vadeboncoeur earned money to support his widowed mother by bicycling prints of films from theater to theater. His interest in theater led him to join Murray Bernthal to create the Famous Artists Series in 1946. The two men also launched a concert series. The following year, they inaugurated the star-driven Famous Artists Country Playhouse in Fayetteville, later expanding to East Rochester and Watkins Glen.

Vadeboncoeur served as president of the Upstate Chapter of American Cancer Society, was awarded the Simon LeMoyne Medal by LeMoyne College, and chaired numerous Red Cross benefits.

Even after Newhouse sold off the television stations and then the radio stations, E.R. continued to preside over the Newhouse cable enterprises almost until his death in 1986.
--Joseph A. Porcello
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2008 01:26 )
"Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day—23 minutes—and that’s supposed to be enough."
--Walter Cronkite

Wall of Distinction


Dick Case


Herald American

The Post-Standard

Dick Case's start in journalism came during a high school English class in Marcellus when he wrote a column for a school news page produced by the class for the weekly Marcellus Observer.
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