MONDAY’S LINKS: Gossips Similar to D.C. Press, Interest in KR Orphans, Selling the Front Page to Advertisers

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s links, Howard Kurtz wonders whether tabloid gossip is so different from the work done by Washington beat reporters, McClatchy says that there has been good interest in the KR orphans, and a New York Times article examines the growing practice of selling the front page to advertisers.


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Washington Reporters Traffic in Gossip Too
“No one is suggesting that a Beltway reporter would ask a source for $220,000 to keep bad stories out of the paper, as the Post’s suspended gossip writer, Jared Paul Stern, was caught doing on videotape in conversations with Beverly Hills billionaire Ron Burkle,” writes Howard Kurtz. “Not only that, while Stern was seeking money for his own punk-preppy clothing line, many Washington reporters are decidedly wardrobe-challenged. But despite its loftier reputation, the Washington press corps hasn’t exactly been drawing rave reviews in recent years.”


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‘Strib’ Thieves Take Papers to Protest Nickel-and-Dime Policy
About a month ago, The Star Tribune in Minneapolis let it be known that, as a cost-cutting effort, free copies of the newspaper would no longer be broadly available around the newsroom. Instead, the staff was offered an electronic edition of the paper that they could access online. Last Monday, Star Tribune reporters who came to work and booted up were greeted by the following message from Steve Alexander, senior vice president for circulation, who had been spending time researching the program’s introduction: “During the first week that the additional on-site racks were in service, 43 percent of the Star Tribunes removed from those racks were not paid for. For the second week the rate was 41 percent. This is called ‘pilferage’ in our business; but put more plainly, it is theft, pure and simple.”


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Objectivity in the Eye of the Beholder
In a New York Times Op-Ed on Sunday, Daniel Gilbert writes that research suggests that decision-makers don’t realize just how easily and often their objectivity is compromised. The human brain knows many tricks that allow it to consider evidence, weigh facts and still reach precisely the conclusion it favors.


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Publisher of Mo. Spanish-Language Newspaper Deported
Cecilia Velazquez was escorted into Mexico on Friday and will be barred from re-entering the United States for 10 years, said Carl Rusnok, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency. Velazquez, 36, is publisher of Red Latina, a Spanish-language newspaper. ?Red Latina? means ?Latin Network.? She also is president of Radio CuCui, a group that brings ethnic performers and commentators to WEW-AM radio.


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Impact of ‘Page Six’ Felt in Buzz Industries
“Beneath its gossamer skin of celebrity sightings and innuendo, Page Six occupies a significant coordinate in the business cosmology of New York City,” writes David Carr. “Scores are kept and settled on the page, deals are floated and brands, both personal and corporate, are forged and melted down. … the right blurb can have a more profound impact than any number of deeply reported articles in more sober newspapers.”


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Page One For Sale
Newspapers have long sold their back pages to advertisers. But the front page, a paper’s most valuable real estate, generally has been considered sacred. … For years, many newspapers have been running what the industry calls wrap-arounds, full-page ads that are wrapped around the actual paper. Last week, The Daily News in New York ran full-page ads in some copies that were, in effect, the front page.


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McClatchy Reports Signifigant Interest in KR Orphans
McClatchy said that interest in the 12 Knight Ridder papers it is selling has been high and that it continues to ”feel good about our expectation for the proceeds” during a conference call with Wall Street analysts that mainly focused on its disappointing first-quarter earnings. As McClatchy prepares to double its bet on newspapers by acquiring Knight Ridder, its latest earnings report did little to ease investors’ worries that the company is expanding too deeply into a fading industry.


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New Web Site Rates Health-Care Journalism
Newspaper and magazine health coverage will be reviewed online at a new Web site beginning Monday. Access to the site and its findings, HealthNewsReview, is free and open to consumers. It was created by University of Minnesota journalism professor Gary Schwitzer, who fashioned the site after similar efforts in Australia and Canada.


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San Jose Mercury News’ Ad Loss to Web Is Financial Wake-Up Call
Today, Craigslist is an international phenomenon and the Mercury News is an orphan. Already zapped by the tech-industry implosion and a sluggish recovery, the paper is losing precious ad dollars to Craiglist, Monster.com and others. Although some of those dollars are flowing to Career Builder, an Internet operation partly owned by Knight Ridder, the paper is still struggling. Although it sits in one of the wealthiest regions of the country, the Mercury News is sufficiently troubled that The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento plans to sell the paper and 11 others from the KR sale.

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