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Syracuse Press Club


NYS Open Gov. Cmte's Bob Freeman

Nov 19, 2015, 7 PM

at Syracuse University, Newhouse III, Rm 141

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  • Rupert Murdoch says Tribune Publishing is being sold

    Media business reporter Rupert Murdoch has scooped us all with a tweet Friday saying he has “strong word” that Tribune Publishing is being sold to a Wall Street firm and the Los Angeles Times spun off to a local group.

    Strong word Tribune newspaper group to be bought by big Wall St firm, LA Times to go to philanthropist Eli Broad and local group.

    — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) November 27, 2015

    Well, maybe.  As rumors go, this one has a certain plausibility.  Consider:

    • Oaktree Capital Management, the largest shareholder in Tribune Publishing with an 18 percent stake indicated earlier this month in a securities filing that it is considering selling its shares.  Earlier an Oaktree source was equivocal in support of CEO Jack Griffin’s year-plus tenure in which shares have lost more than half their value.
    Read more
  • How freelance journalists can (mostly) avoid working for free

    Imagine punching in and out for time spent on researching, interviews, and writing. Now imagine making nothing or next to nothing for that time. Welcome to the minefield of freelance journalism in the age of the Internet.

    Most journalism outlets use some combination of salaried, contract, freelance, intern, and sometimes what is called a “citizen journalist”, “user-generated content” or some other term that means unpaid work.
    “Like many modern media outlets, we’re not completely exploiting everyone, but we are exploiting someone,” wrote Cord Jefferson in 2013 for Gawker of that publication’s practices.

    How-To-Submit-A-Guest-Post---ForbesAt Forbes, some contributors are not paid, while others get a flat monthly fee and bonuses for good traffic. One of those contributors, Susannah Breslin, opines that her flat-fee-incentive-based work for Forbes is normal. Read more

  • Reader’s Digest parent company bets its life on hearth-and-home, wholesome audience

    trustedmedia-740Bonnie Kintzer has had plenty of experience as a publishing consultant and executive as well as earning a Harvard MBA degree. Still, when she signed on as CEO in April 2014 to turn around the twice-bankrupt Reader’s Digest Association, it may have looked from the outside like Mission Impossible.

    “I came in with my eyes fully open,” Kintzer said, beginning a progress-report phone interview earlier this month. While not yet achieving fabulous financials, Kintzer now has in place a new executive team, new digital strategies and a much expanded digital audience.

    In late September, after more than a year’s preparation, the company took a plunge and rebranded. Reader’s Digest, the magazine, is still Reader’s Digest.  But the venerable Reader’s Digest Association has been rechristened Trusted Media Brands Inc. Read more

Saundra Smokes

The Post-Standard


Herald American

"I see through the eyes of a Christian, an African-American, a woman, a journalist, an aunt, a daughter. Someone who feels at ease with all kinds of people. I try to bring that varied perspective to my columns," says Saundra Smokes.

"Sandy," as she is known to friends and colleagues, became the first person of color in the history of the Syracuse Newspapers to sit on the Herald-Journal's editorial board in 1985. She also is the first person of color to write a full-time opinion column for the newspapers.

She has won numerous honors and awards as her career climbed from reporter to local columnist, to the editorial board, to syndicated columnist, and then back to The Post Standard as an editorial writer, copy editor, and editorial board member.

Upon her return to the editorial board in 2003, she initiated the series, "Taxpayers Held Hostage," which won a first place community service award from the New York State Publishers Association. Sandy also received awards for commentary (editorials and columns) in 1993 and 1994 from the Associated Press.

A Syracuse native, Sandy started writing while in elementary school and continued with soap operas about her middle-school classmates. After graduation, she attended the University of Buffalo. In 1978, she joined the Herald-Journal as a "copy kid," an employee who does all sorts of odd jobs in the newsroom. Soon, however, she began writing feature stories. She was promoted to reporter covering city and county news, and later, she became a copy editor.

In November 1992, a column on the outcome of the first trial of Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King, was picked up by newspapers nationwide. The following year, Sandy began writing a regular opinion column for the Syracuse Newspapers.

Seven months after she began writing the local column, United Features Syndicate selected Sandy to write a column they would syndicate across the United States. Twenty-two newspapers picked up her work each week for eight years. In 2003, she returned to The Post-Standard to write editorials and work on the copy desk.

Her awards include the 1998 Urban League Harriet Tubman Award, the Ann Felton Memorial Award and Community Service Award from the Syracuse Chapter of the NAACP, Citizen of the Year from Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Syracuse University, the Great Leader Award from the Onondaga County Political Women?s Caucus, the Marjorie Dowdell Fortitude Award from Delta Sigma Theta fraternity at SU, and the Pit Bull Award from the Greater Syracuse Communications Group. She also received the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Stands Award.

Sandy also writes plays, including "A Tribute to Motown" and "In Our Own Backyard," and a video drama, "Daddy's Home," which won a Cable Ace award. --Joseph A. Porcello



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2012 20:44 )
"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

Tim Atseff


Herald American

The Post-Standard

Tim Atseff has had only one employer in 40 years. He started at the Herald-Journal as a copy boy in 1965.
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