Fall 2011 • Volume 41 Number 324 • $7.00
St. Louis Journalism Review Presents:
Trading the bush plane for the computer screen by Carol Perruso • Page 12
Illinois tough eavesdropping law ruled unconstitutional by William H. Freivogel • Page 7
Paywalls becoming a trend among newspapers by Scott Lambert • Page 8
by John McCarron • Page 6
Fall 2011 • Vol. 41 No. 323 • $7.00
T h a n k Yo u
The Journalism Review thanks all of those who attended the Sept. 15, 2011 gala celebrating the history of the St. Louis Journalism Review and supporting its future as the Gateway Journalism Review. We commit ourselves to continuing the media criticism that Charles Klotzer and other SJR supporters brought to St. Louis. We also promise to expand that commitment to provide media criticism in a 16-state Midwest region and beyond. The gala was a great start, but the task is a big one. We welcome your support as a subscriber or donor. William H. Freivogel Publisher Gateway Journalism Review
Charles Klotzer Founder William A. Babcock Editor Roy Malone St. Louis Editor Mallory Henkelman Creative Director Wenjing Xie Marketing Director Aaron Veenstra Web Master
William Freivogel Publisher Scott Lambert Managing Editor Jennifer Butcher Production Editor Sam Robinson Operations Director Steve Edwards Cover Artist
8 • P aywalls becoming a trend among newspapers Scott Lambert
News Gathering Evolution 12 • Trading the bush plane for the computer screen Carol Perruso
Features 6 • R ahm Headline John McCarron
Board of Advisers: Frank Absher, Jim Kirchherr, Lisa Bedian, Ed Bishop, Tammy Merrett, Don Corrigan, Michael Murray, Rita Csapo-Sweet, Steve Perron, Eileen Duggan, Joe Pollack, Michael D. Sorkin, David P. Garino, Rick Stoff, Ted Gest, Fred Sweet, William Greenblatt, Lynn Venhaus, Daniel Hellinger, Robert A. Cohn, Michael E. Kahn, John P. Dubinsky, Gerald Early, Paul Schoomer, Dr. Moisy Shopper, Ray Hartmann, Ken Solomon, Avis Meyer, Tom Engelhardt Published by School of Journalism College of Mass Communication and Media Arts Dean: Gary Kolb School of Journalism Director: William H. Freivogel
7 • I llinois tough eavesdropping law ruled unconstitutional William H. Freivogel
16 • Harmony v. Freedom William A. Babcock
17 • Let the media horse race begin John S. Jackson
18 • Lee Enterprises Reports Financing Agreement Roy Malone
20 • B ringing Stories Home: New Approaches to Covering the World Jon Sawyer
Gateway Journalism Review Mail Code 6601 1100 Lincoln Drive Communications Building 1236 Carbondale, IL 62901
22 • Is Accountable Advertising an Oxymoron? Narayanan Iyer
23 • B ook Review: Will the Last Repor ter Please Turn out the Lights
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24 • Book Review: Left Turn Scott Lambert
25 • Few control flow of information Charles L. Klotzer
26 • Bob Woodward, and All the Journalists’ Men Scott Lambert
Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 3
Editor’s Note • Letters to the Editor Most of the heavy lifting for the issue you now hold in your hand has come from GJR staffers Scott Lambert and Jennifer Butcher, and the publication’s publisher, William Freivogel. (Kudos to them all!) That’s because since late August I’ve been in China teaching journalism and mass media classes at Beijing’s University of International Business & Economics, which on Sept. 25 celebrated its 60th anniversary. (Personally, I think that was an auspicious day, as it was on that same date in 1690 that Benjamin Harris launched what most historians agree was America’s first newspaper.) Newsgathering has never been easy.
As a result, even when an organization or an individual journalist is fortunate to have the time to devote to a major piece, it’s often difficult to do much more than make a few phone calls to sources and spend some time Googling online. Thus, this edition of the quarterly Gateway Journalism Review examines in its cover story and related sidebar pieces how journalists do, can and should gather information in this era of media transition and convergence. Contributing to this package of articles is a group of journalism newsgathering experts. GJR’s page 12 piece is written by Carol Perruso Brown, a former Los Angeles Times reporter with a master’s degree in journalism — a person who also has a library of science master’s degree and who is the School of Journalism’s reference librarian at California State University, Long Beach. While this newsgathering package is designed for professional journalists, journalism educators and aspiring journalists should also find it helpful fodder for both reporting and advanced newsgathering classes.
Who should journalists use as sources, what documents to obtain, where to find information, when to seek a sensitive piece of information, why to search for some data and not others, and how to gather the stuff that constitutes a story. This all has become increasingly difficult as news outlets have become more complex and new-tech in nature. And all the while those news organizations fortunate to still have librarians have seen monies for their holdings dry up and researcher positions vanish.
I love The New York Times and National Public Radio. They are fabulous news organizations. But lately I find myself ranting about both of my loves. Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky, but the journalist in me is rebelling. Most upsetting is the new “Sunday Review” the Times launched last summer with great fanfare and enormous front-page graphics. In an alliterative letter to readers, then Executive Editor Bill Keller and Editorial Editor Andrew Rosenthal announced the new section “reinvents, reimagines and reorganizes the Week in Review to offer new features and a new way of presenting our finest analytical and opinion writing.” Here’s my problem. The new section is chock full of opinion, with lots of first-person pieces. What is missing is the strong news analysis pieces that once provided readers with the facts and context to understand the week’s events. Whoever would have thought that what Americans need is more opinion and less reporting and analysis? Whoever would have thought that the Times, reviled in conservative circles for left-leaning bias, would replace analysis with more left-wing opinion? I thought it pretty well accepted that the problem with media these days of hyper-opinionated blogs was too much opinion and too little fact. So why is the Times, in its showcase section, making the problem worse?
William A. Babcock, Editor
Dear Editor: Your summer issue is a vast improvement over the previous issue. Re “Journalists Struggling to Find the Truth,” I say, “The truth? What is the truth?” (Pontius Pilate) Re “Perceived Bias at The Daily Oklahoman,” what about perceived bias at the Gateway Journalism Review? My evidence? The cartoons in the magazine. Fred Lindecke St. Louis County, Mo.
Dear Gateway Journalism Review: I was fascinated to read your analysis of social media use in the Wisconsin “Labor Uprising.” It explained an observation I made when I visited Madison in May and talked to some of the protesters. They seemed to me to be existing in an echo chamber. They were listening entirely to the Tweets and re-Tweets of all those who agreed with them, and seemed oddly oblivious to the fact that there was anyone (aside from the demonized enemy) who might disagree with them. They were basking in their own narrative of a “people’s uprising,” and not exerting as much energy as they needed to communicate their point of view outside their own coterie of Facebook friends. Social media had actually isolated them from the wider public. I was not the slightest bit surprised when they ultimately lost. Carolyn Gilman St. Louis, Mo.
Take, for example, “What Happened to Obama’s Passion?” by Drew Western, a psychology professor at Emory University. Western argued that “conciliation is always the wrong course of action” in the face of political bullies like the “extremist Republican Party.” And he pined for the days when FDR told his opponents he “welcome(d) their hatred.” Not surprisingly, a few pages further into the section, the top editorial made precisely the same point in its second paragraph on the budget fight. It read: “The only glimmer of hope is that the battle is not completely over — if President Obama is finally willing to fight.” A week later, Neal Gabler a senior fellow at the Annenberg Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, opined on the front of the Sunday Review that “we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.” This reminded me of the Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” idea from the 1990s. My guess is that ideas, like history, have a pretty good chance of surviving as long as the human race does. One more example. Gail Collins, the former editorial editor of the Times, wrote an interesting piece on the front of the Sunday Review on the “Uber Texan” — Gov. Rick Perry. I learned a lot from it. But it made little effort at even-handed analysis.
Collins wrote: “Perry comes to the race with a remarkable lack of national experience and exposure. The only recent equivalent would probably be Sarah Palin…” Well, yes, Palin is a good example, as loaded as Perry’s six-shooters. But Barack Obama would have been an equally accurate analogy. Collins concludes: “Having an interest in national government that’s mainly limited to disliking it might work fine if you’re the governor of a state that has always regarded itself as ‘low-tax, low-service’ anyway. It’s a little more problematic if you’re the guy in charge of keeping the dollar stable, the food supply safe and the national defense ready. We could live with a president who named his boots ‘Freedom’ and ‘Liberty.’ Not sure about one who has contempt for the job he’s running for.” Nice editorial comment, but one made seemingly blind to the fact that one of the most popular presidents of the second half of the 20th Century, Ronald Reagan, had nearly the same view of the federal government. Just as I read the New York Times online every night before bed, I listen to NPR all the way from St. Louis to Carbondale and back every day. It is a wonderful news organization with pros like Nina Totenberg, Cokie Roberts and Linda Wertheimer. But there are too many narrowly sourced stories that leave listeners with a slant. On July 16, for example, Guy Raz, weekend host of, “All Things Considered,” played the audio of the same FDR speech that Western quoted in his Times’ piece — the one about welcoming the hatred of big business. The point of the piece was that deficit reductions then being hammered out on Capitol Hill risked a double dip recession just like Roosevelt’s balancing of the budget led to a double-dip Depression. Raz went on to a long interview with Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers arguing that the economy needed more stimulus not deficit reductions. I happen to agree, but to make Summers’ comments the centerpiece of NPR’s lead report during the height of the budget battle simply wasn’t fair. The most obvious manifestation of liberal bias at NPR was the firing of Juan Williams for his comments on Fox News about Muslims. Williams had quickly followed his remark about being afraid of people in Muslim garb at airports with the exhortation to Bill O’Reilly to avoid stereotyping people. Yet Williams offended NPR sensibilities. As a journalism professor, I’m also annoyed that NPR allows too many grammatical mistakes by its reporters — lie/lay, none is — to slip through and that it permits its young, hip, smart-alecky reporters on Planet Money or Radio Lab to ask questions with crude expressions such as “butt-kicking” and “pissed off.” It’s also disturbing when NPR blatantly hypes its reporters’ books, as it did earlier this year when Michele Norris promoted her memoir on four NPR shows. In a critical blog post, former NPR ombudsman Lisa Shepard called it a “fourfecta.” What finally sent me over the edge was NPR’s stories about the photo-finish for the wild card spots in the baseball playoffs. I’ll admit that I’m biased. I threaten to mark down my students by a letter grade if they cheer for the Chicago Cubs instead of the St. Louis Cardinals. Continued on Page 27
Page 4 • Gateway Journalism Review • Fall 2011
Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 5
J o hn M c C arron “to do” list had been accomplished. Behind him was a super-sized status board with huge checks in front of “early completion” items. TV always gets a snappy visual … just as they do it in Washington. And each new announcement is none-too-subtly fitted into a larger narrative arc — the story of an energetic young reformer out to move an inefficient and frequently corrupt city into the 21st Century.
News media here in the Midwest’s largest city agonize daily over those two questions. Nobody wants to be too cynical, or, worse in the journalism profession, even a bit naïve. But after a half-year of covering this wiry whirlwind of a mayor, the answer for some is turning out to be “yes” on both counts. Yes, he is backing down labor unions, for instance, by adding 90 minutes to the school day without a commensurate pay-raise for teachers; or by pitting city garbage crews in “managed competition” against private-sector waste haulers to see who wins the job. Managed competition doesn’t get more corporate than that. But Mayor Emanuel also is an accomplished spin-meister. His daily schedule often tracks more like a carefully plotted campaign than a day of routine governance. Most weekdays the press corps is treated to at least one conference or “availability” at which the mayor is flanked by business leaders with expansion plans or neighborhood leaders hailing a new program to cut down on gang shootings or home foreclosures. Last June, to mark his first 30 days in office, Emanuel staged a press conference to boast how many items on his 100-day
Mayor Emanuel also is an accomplished spin-meister. His daily schedule often tracks more like a carefully plotted campaign than a day of routine governance.
Is he a hyper-efficient reformer using corporate management techniques to shape up a city grown lazy and weak from decades of old-fashioned patronage politics? Or is Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel a calculating maestro of Beltway spin and the dark art of “controlling the narrative” … if not the reality?
“The story line he’s promoting,” observed Sun-Times reporter Fran Spielman in her analysis of Emanuel’s first 100 days, “is turning the page from Chicago’s corrupt, mismanaged, deficit-spending past to a refreshing, energetic new era of ‘transparency’ and reform.”
The Tribune’s 100-day piece described “a keen and cocksure strategist with sharp elbows and intense personal discipline.” On a typical weekday, by the time most morning-paper reporters straggle into their newsroom, the mayor they call “Rahmbo” has already swum dozens of laps at a college pool, eaten a heart-healthy breakfast at a neighborhood café and met with corporate executives about bringing more jobs to Chicago. Mayor Emanuel, observed Spielman, “considers ‘rest’ a four-letter word.” This same mayor, of course, also has a reputation for using saltier four-letter words, according to those who worked for President Bill Clinton’s chief-of-staff or negotiated with Emanuel during his years in Congress. So far his notorious temper has been held in check, an exception being a snippy exchange with NBC-TV reporter Mary Ann Ahern when she Continued on Page 27
Page 6 • Gateway Journalism Review • Fall 2011
I l l i n o is to u g h e a ve sdroppi n g l a w r u le d u n c o n sti t u ti o n a l W i l l i am H. F re i vo g e l
Illinois’ toughest - in - the - nation eavesdropping law has taken it on the chin twice in recent days. A judge in Crawford County ruled it unconstitutional and a jury in Chicago acquitted a woman who recorded her conversation with a police officer. Illinois law makes it a felony to record audio of conversations without the consent of all parties involved. Police in Chicago and around the state have been actively enforcing the law in cases where citizens tape the actions of police officers. In Crawford County, Judge David K. Frankland ruled that Illinois’ law violated both the due process and First Amendment rights of Michael Allison who had tried to tape his conversations with police and public officials after a dispute with police. Allison said in an interview earlier this year that officers were seizing old cars he was fixing on his front lawn. The police said that violated an ordinance. When Allison went to court he requested a court reporter, but his request was denied. Allison then announced he would record court proceedings himself with his DS-30 digital device. He was charged with five counts of violating the state eavesdropping law for trying to record conversations with the city attorney, circuit clerk, police and the court. He faced up to 75 years in prison. But Judge Frankland said the law had two constitutional flaws. The due process problem was that it did not have an adequate criminal-intent element. Judge Frankland noted that the law had been passed to protect people’s privacy but was being enforced to ban recording of public actions of government officials. “A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties,” he wrote.
In addition, Judge Frankland held that the law violated Allison’s First Amendment right to gather information about his case — the citizen version of a journalist’s right to gather news. The judge pointed out that the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had thrown out a similar Massachusetts law on First Amendment grounds. In that case, the federal appeals court ruled that “though not unqualified, a citizen’s right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in their discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.” The case had involved a Boston man videotaping a police arrest on public property. In the Chicago case, a jury acquitted Tiwanda Moore, an exotic dancer who went to police headquarters to complain about an officer she said had fondled her and left her his personal phone number. An officer receiving Moore’s complaint tried to dissuade her from pursuing Continued on Page 28
Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 7
Paywalls becoming a trend among
Springfield Journal-Register steps behind the paywall – again
S cot t L a mb er t
Analysts said that either the New York Times, the Washington Post, or preferably both, would have to step behind a different kind of paywall. This wouldn’t be the pre-2000s paywall, where all content was blocked off unless money was paid. This would be a new kind of paywall – a paywall that allowed people to see the site if they visited via search engines or would allow the casual reader a certain number of website visits before the paywall kicked in. Not only that, but the product wouldn’t be extremely expensive. Using the paywall, newspapers could charge readers as little as $3 per month with a print subscription to as much as $20 per month for an online-only package. The numbers
may face problems. Rick Edmonds, the media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, explained that some large newspapers face too much competition to make it feasible to charge for their content.
Paywalls have become the latest newspaper trend.
“You can find that in a place like St. Louis,” Edmonds said. “The television station there has an outstanding website.”
The results made many rethink the idea of the paywall. In June, businessinsider.com wrote that one of the results of the Times’ paywall was that print subscriptions were on the rise. Media analysts also discovered people now are more willing to make micropayments online than they were in the 1990s. So far, the paywall experiment at the New York Times has been a success -- enough so that the Boston Globe announced it would step behind the paywall in the beginning of October. The Globe kept its old web site, boston.com, and will place some content on that site, some wire news and the Boston-centric content that boston.com became known for. The new site, bostonglobe.com has an impressive interface, allowing viewers to see an extremely clean site, no matter if the viewer is on a cell phone, a tablet or a computer. It allows a certain number of free hits per day and then charges. The number of papers stepping behind the paywall keeps mounting. The Baltimore Sun announced it will go behind a paywall and in September, the Daily Herald, Chicagoland’s largest suburban newspaper, went behind the wall as well. Paywalls have become the latest newspaper trend. “We came to the realization some time ago that the traditional way of running a newspaper operation will no longer sustain our brand of uniquely reported and written community journalism in this new digital age,” said Scott Stone, senior vice-president of the Daily Herald Media Group, in an email. “We now engage readers on various platforms — print, niche products, websites, smart phones and tablets. These digital delivery mechanisms are costly to create and sustain, and cannot be supported through traditional forms of advertising alone. Deciding to charge for digitally delivered content was not difficult to make.” It’s not just the major papers making the move. In fact, in some cases major urban newspapers
Throw in online competition like the St. Louis Beacon and a Post-Dispatch paywall could be the wrong move. Edmonds says that smaller, mid-sized and regional newspapers are best suited for paywalls. The Daily Herald is neither of those. But, Edmonds points out, the Daily Herald has a specific audience that wants the Daily Herald’s product. The Daily Herald concentrates on the Chicago suburban market and provides unique news to that market. “The Daily Herald is a good example of a paper that has a specific product and doesn’t have a lot of television competition,” Edmonds said. The Springfield Journal-Register also made the paywall move in the spring of 2011. The Journal-Register has a circulation of more than 50,000. The Journal-Register made the move back to the paywall this year with results that pleased executive editor Jon Broadbooks.
Edmonds says that smaller, mid-sized and regional newspapers are best suited for paywalls.
While products such as the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times stood behind the paywall, the thought of bringing mainstream newspapers behind the paywall was still a foreign concept.
would change for each paper, but the concept wouldn’t. This became known as a porous paywall. In March, 2011, the New York Times finally stepped behind the paywall.
In the late 2000s and into early 2010, media analysts questioned the idea of the newspaper paywall. Newspapers’ first experiences with paywall, the process of charging readers for the content that is put online, failed in the 1990s. Even a short venture by the New York Times from 20052007 failed. Analysts wondered what it would take for the paywall to work.
“We are not an aberration,” Broadbooks said. “You have to have unique content, something that people can’t easily get somewhere else.” That’s a common theme among those going behind the paywall. The idea that unique content should be paid for, as well as the idea that professional journalists turn out a product that has worth, has been a driving force as newspapers return to online paywalls. “We have exclusive content,” Broadbooks said. “Should you just put it out there for free? No, we have to look at this as something more. People go through a lot of work to put this content out there. You shouldn’t get that work for free.”
S co t t L a mb er t
The paywall question has been in debate for more than a decade. Newspapers are increasingly stepping behind the paywall in an attempt to stanch the losses to the newspaper industry during the past few years. One newspaper can look at the paywall question from a unique point of view. The Springfield Journal-Register, a 50,000-circulation paper in the capital of Illinois, was one of the first newspapers to venture behind a paywall in the 1990s. After dropping the paywall in the early 2000s, the Journal-Register went back behind the wall in February 2011. “We’ve lived in both worlds,” said Jon Broadbooks, the executive editor of the Journal-Register. “We did have a paywall for quite a while, before I got here.” But he adds, “When we did this before, it wasn’t very robust,” Broadbooks said. So the Journal-Register went to the online model that most newspapers followed, some people paid for the print product but many were able to get most of it online for free. Like so many others in the journalism business, Broadbooks didn’t like the idea. His staff worked too hard to give its content away for free. “A lot of people take the content newspapers provide for granted,” Broadbooks said. “We’re always there and we’re always putting out a product. It’s professional journalism. This paywall reinforces what we do.” So the Journal-Register rebuilt its paywall. Like most successful paywalls, it’s porous. Breaking news is free. So are up to 20 stories per month. Once the reader surpasses that, reminders pop up asking the viewer to make a payment. Print subscribers pay less than non-print subscribers do. “It’s not going to buy us a new helicopter,” Broadbooks said. “But it’s money coming in that wasn’t coming in before. And that’s important.” Broadbooks also says it’s important to supply content that is unique. For Springfield, that’s both state’s political and medical content. Add to that the local sports and news that only hometown papers can present and the content is special. “I’ve worked at seven newspapers during my career,” Broadbooks said. “At every paper I’ve worked at, there was something about that city that was specific.” So far, Broadbooks is happy with the results. The website has more traffic than it ever had in its previous incarnation and its numbers keep going up. “The first few weeks it was relatively flat,” Broadbooks said. “I was apprehensive about it. But it started to grow and we’re happy with where it’s at right now.” The time may be right for paywalls. The acceptance of micropayments, the need to make a change in the newspaper business and the belief that journalists should be paid for their work helped force the change -- and so did the idea of supply and demand. “It’s not a new concept,” Broadbooks said. “It’s as old as time.”
Continued on Page 28
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Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 9
College newspapers Some mainstream newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe, have decided to implement a paywall for online content in the last year, and have done so with success. University newspapers, however, are approaching the trend delicately — or not at all. In January 2011, the Daily O’Collegian of Oklahoma State University announced that the paper would be implementing a paywall, a tool that allows a newspaper to charge readers to access content online. The Daily O’Collegian, which has a 10,000 circulation, was the first college newspaper to do so. After three page views, every reader of the Daily O’Collegian will receive this pop-up:
Catalino said a lot of thought went into the decision to implement a paywall. Considering the students was crucial. “We want students here to understand that their product has value,” he said. There were also indications in commercial media of paywalls becoming a trend. “It also helps them understand what they are going into when they graduate, and this is how the market is turning,” Catalino said. “A lot of college newspapers are struggling with the idea. Some are doing it in a different manner.” Southern Illinois University Carbondale is one of them. Jerry Bush, the business and advertising director for the Daily Egyptian, said he doesn’t think Carbondale is ready for a paywall. “We are in a unique situation here, where we are the city paper as well as the college paper,” Bush said. While the Daily Egyptian has not put up a paywall, in the last few weeks the paper has begun implementing a “paywall” requesting donations. “We just bought into some software last week, where everyone outside the siu.edu IP addresses will get a message when they read a story on dailyegyptian. com asking them to donate. It pops up once, and then it doesn’t pop up again until you’ve read eight stories. People can donate anywhere from 2 dollars to 500 dollars,” Bush said.
Anyone with a university email address, and anyone living within a 25-mile radius can still access online content for free. Raymond Catalino, general manager of the Daily O’Collegian, said he was pretty happy with results less than a year later. “Originally I set a goal of 100 dollars and we are well on our way to reaching that goal,” he said. Catalino said that the paper slows down during the summer, and the income derived from the paywall decreased as well. “Now that we are back to publishing daily, we are receiving on average one dollar a day,” Catalino said.
Page 10 • Gateway Journalism Review • Fall 2011
consider paywalls or can be solicited for voluntary donations to cover the expense of the journalism.”
J e n n i fe r B utch e r
‘Whether you like paywalls or not, these universities are trying to keep their papers alive, and want to teach their students about relevant issues in the business,’ said Ron Johnson, director of student media at Indiana University.
In the same interview, Crovitz said, “The student journalists running college newspapers who hope to have a career in journalism are very aware that the traditional model is broken — advertising is simply not going to pay so much of the expense of newsrooms as it once did, especially for newspapers and magazines. This generation needs to find new revenue streams, including new ways to generate revenues from the readers who get the most value from access.”
The Daily Egyptian, which has 20,000 circulation five days a week and also prints onsite, is one of the few college newspapers that operate completely on advertising revenue; the paper receives no funding from the university. “It makes a difference in how we approach advertising,” Bush said. Staying flexible, staying new and staying fresh in their advertising is key, he said. “Online ads are a great edition to a print campaign, but I just don’t think the action online is enough to survive on in our area.”
However, Johnson said anything is possible. Approximately 70 percent of the Indiana Daily Student’s readers are outside the Bloomington area, he said, which shows that alumni and parents care about what is going on, on campus.
“With such a high percentage of offcampus readers, and if advertising trends continue, we would look at all of our options, even paywalls or other new technologies,” Johnson said. “That would likely take changes in university policy, since our servers are on the campus system.” For now, the staff of the Indiana Daily Student are keeping fresh with their advertising packages, and are currently in the process of redesigning the paper’s website. “We are not trying to change anything, but we are trying to enhance what we have,” Johnson said. “Is that giving it away? Absolutely, but it is the same battle that everyone is fighting.” All newspapers are confronting financial pressures. College papers are not unlike mainstream media in that they desperately need to generate revenue, and are exploring many options. Many papers have cut down to publishing three days a week, or moved primarily online. Along with the partial paywall employed by the Daily O’Collegian and the donations paywall being implemented by the Daily Egyptian, new advertising techniques and packages are being tested, and other technologies are being explored. The Daily O’Collegian is about to release an App, which will be available for $10, and is working with Ditto, a platform that will allow for a more interactive PDF, said Catalino.
The platform is created by Press +, the same company Oklahoma State approached for its paywall. Bush said the Knight Foundation offered to fund the set-up fees, which typically run around $3,500, to the top 50 college papers in the country. The Daily Egyptian was one of them. In an interview with College Media Matters, Press + co-founder and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordan Crovitz said newspapers that use their product typically operate on a metered subscription model.
The Red & Black at the University of Georgia has moved online with a weekly print paper. Bush said this kind of move is becoming more typical, but not something the Daily Egyptian can consider.
“In the case of student newspapers, the tradition has been that they are free both online and in print. They need to serve their college community, and it makes good sense for students and faculty to have unlimited free access,” Crovitz said. “But outside the immediate campus community, there are people who will either become paying subscribers
The Indiana Daily Student does not currently have a paywall — requesting subscriptions or donations — and it is not something it is actively looking to employ.
“Whether you like paywalls or not, these universities are trying to keep their papers alive, and want to teach their students about relevant issues in the business,” Johnson said.
“I am like most every other person, I want my news for free,” Johnson said.
Jennifer Butcher is the production editor of the Gateway Journalism Review.
Ron Johnson, director of student media for Indiana University, said the Indiana Daily Student was not looking to make a similar move, but he could see that Georgia may not be alone in taking that kind of approach. “It is a bold move, and it will be interesting to see if their print advertisers join them,” Johnson said.
Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 11
News Gathering Evolution
Trading the bush plane for the computer screen C arol P erruso clip? Oh, you mean what editors ask you to send when you are applying for a job?” Yet, “pulling clips” is easier than ever, able to be done at the desk using digital archives, often with stories from many more newspapers. But for some reporters, especially in smaller newsrooms, checking those archives comes only if they can’t find the story they need searching Google, one stop information shop. As one reporter put it, “I don’t usually need something old enough to look in the clips.” News libraries, once a staple for background research, are an endangered species. Technology eliminated some news library workers’ jobs — clipping stories, filing negatives, looking up clips. Budget cuts eliminated others. According to the News Division of the Special Library Association, libraries at 68 news organizations have shed two-thirds of their staff in the past five years. One of the rationales for these cuts, besides cost saving, has been reporters’ greater searching capabilities. The jobs of reporter and news librarian are morphing into one as today’s journalists rely more on computer searches and databases and less on old fashioned shoe-leather reporting.
News libraries, once a staple for background research, are an endangered species.
GJR talked with reporters and news researchers across the country to gauge how the flood of online information, ever-present Web deadlines and shrinking newsroom resources have changed newsgathering and to ask what skills they see as critical for beginning reporters (See sidebar p. 13). The reporters, editors and news researchers emphasized that beat coverage is still the main source for most background information. But other background research methods have changed in ways that are intrinsic to the Internet, and have become routine, such as using Google to find company
or government information. For many reporters the default research process is no longer to call the morgue but to Google-first, askquestions-later. Or the reverse: When information comes from a source or a meeting, the next step often is to search Google for more. Other changes to background research are a little less obvious. For example, bulky reverse-look-up phone directories, and basic reference books have been replaced, largely, by information available for free on the Web. Many print resources, such as the Encyclopedia of Associations — once a bible in the news library for finding trade organizations and their public relations staff — have been replaced either by paid online databases (e.g. Associations Unlimited), or just by clever search strategies on the Web. Clips, often one of the first stops for journalists of a certain age for background information, seem to have receded as the flood of external information continues to rise. Despite drilling, many journalism students fail to consider news databases (today’s version of clips) as they write their stories. This seems to extend beyond the classroom. One young reporter we interviewed asked, “What is a
Two technical advances have contributed to this shift in news librarians’ role, according to James Matarazzo, dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College in Boston. Matarazzo and Simmons’ instructor Toby Pearlstein wrote about the two advances in a 2010 article in Searcher Magazine. “First was the ability of reporters to access the Internet and the World Wide Web directly.” “The second and related advance was when a newspaper’s archive itself could be similarly accessed. Together these advances reduced the number of basic information requests coming into the library. Exacerbating this decline has been a steady drop in both investigative journalism and other types of long, in-depth stories, which has likewise reduced the opportunity for more sophisticated and collaborative research support.” The magnitude of these shifts for journalists who have been in the business more than 15 years is hard to measure. Yet this is just part of the story. Nearly ever aspect of reporting has been affected from interviewing and the practice of public relations to access to
PIN-pointing Sources in the 21st Century C a ro l P er r u so
What journalist hasn’t thought about the “echo chamber” of sources, those used over and over again by reporters? Need a source? Look in the clips to see whom other journalists have quoted. A group of journalists at American Public Media in St. Paul, Minn., have developed a service called the Public Insight Network (PIN), which they hope will help reporters find a broader range of sources and to break through that “echo chamber,” said Joellen Easton, a journalist who is now the partners manager for the network. “People in the world have all sorts of expertise in their lives … and if reporters can tap into that, reporting will be better.”
Reporters in participating newsrooms can … use the database to find sources that meet criteria for their stories.
News Gathering Evolution
Public Insight Network began in 2003 in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom as a database with 39 sources and has since grown to 120,000 sources and 50 partner news organizations, Easton said, including the St. Louis Beacon. Sources include CEOs, teachers, farmers, moms, dads and kids older than 13, she said. Reporters can asynchronously interview these sources and gather new sources with online questionnaires that are often spread by digital word of mouth, sometimes going viral and producing a large response. Sources get into the database in a number of ways, Easton said. A reporter could ask a source to be in the network. Or a reporter might ask questions on Facebook or Twitter, for example, with a link back to a PIN query. Or a radio station might put out a call for sources with certain expertise, asking them to register as a source with Public Insight Network. When people respond to PIN queries, their response brings them into the network. Sources are asked if they would be willing to be contacted for future stories. If they say yes, they are in the database. Reporters in participating newsrooms can then use the database to find sources that meet criteria for their stories. For example, if a reporter is looking for small-scale farmers, he or she could look for sources that have said they are farmers and who make less than a certain amount of money from farming. The Public Insight Network does not vet the sources. That is up to the reporters, Easton said. Newsrooms pay an annual fee based on how many journalists will be using the network, and the level of support they receive from American Public Media, Easton said. She said that the PIN team also is working with universities to create a curriculum for journalism students using the network. Easton can be reached at email@example.com.
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News Gathering Evolution
News Gathering Evolution
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government records and massive amount of data. How big the change is depends, in part, on the size of the news operation and the type of story. Hyper-local reporting, such as that done by small community newspapers or Patch, the AOL-funded online news service in 23 states, still depends heavily on local interviews, government meetings and police blotters — feet-on-the-street reporting. (Although, increasingly, government meetings are available online via streaming video.) For these journalists, time for background research into the historical context of an event, to explore how other communities address similar issues or to find experts, is usually a luxury. That’s not to say that the typically younger reporters at small local news organizations don’t use the Web for research. Googling is second nature for them; they have a tendency to rely on it so heavily that editors complain they have to push reporters to pick up the phone to check information found online or to expand upon it. This same tendency shows up in journalism students, as well. Reporters in larger news operations may have relatively more time to dig deeper, to do sophisticated data analysis or to find experts. But they, too, face Web-first publication deadlines. As one journalist put it, regardless of the size of the newsroom, the first story usually says little more than, “Such-and-such a building burned.” One of the most striking changes mentioned by the journalists interviewed had to do with finding sources, especially experts. Most experts come from good beat reporting, they say, and using the clips is still a standard. Finding sources in the clips is an indicator of quality and a willingness to be quoted, said Scott J. Wilson, a news researcher for the Los Angeles Times who also writes for the paper. But often reporters need an academic expert or someone with a broader perspective or a different viewpoint from those previously quoted. Finding experts, such as university professors, or researchers at think tanks, used to be one of the main jobs of news librarians/researchers, said Cary Schneider, director of the editorial library at the Los Angeles Times. Now, journalists say, the experts find them. When a story breaks, public relations practitioners will conduct interviews with sources within their organizations and email the transcript of the interview to a large list of reporters. “What used to take me a half hour, can be done in 10 minutes. Everybody gets the same quotes. It’s an instant news release,” said Richard A. Serrano, a reporter in the Washington Bureau of the Los Angeles Times. (See sidebar on how this process has evolved in recent years.) Another new avenue for sources, sometimes with less formal expertise, is the Public Insight Network, said Mark Katches, editorial director for the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). Public Insight Network, begun in a National Public Radio newsroom in St. Paul, Minn., is a database of 120,000 sources used by 50 newsrooms to find, interview, recruit and manage recruit, many different types of sources, said Joellen Easton, a former journalist who is now a manager at Public Insight Network. (See Public Insight Network Sidebar). Social media have made it easier for reporters to find experts, as well, particularly experts that might not work for large organizations. Twitter, for example, can provide reporters a way to find experts if they carefully follow relevant feeds, said Terry Schwadron, editor for information and technology at the New York Times. The key,
according to Barbara Gray, formerly the director of news research at the New York Times and now a distinguished lecturer at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, is to be following the feeds before a story breaks. She said she first heard about WikiLeaks on Twitter. Another tool Gray uses to help mine social media is a Web site called Spokeo, a search engine for finding people. Basic information is free, with charges for additional material on a person. Experts also can be located using advanced searches on Google or LexisNexis. (See sidebar p. 13) Anotherareaofnewsgatheringchangesmentionedbyjournalistswas finding public records, in many newsrooms still the purview of research librarians. The Los Angeles Times’ Wilson estimates that half of his time is spent doing public records searches for lawsuits, property records and finding background on people or companies. (See Public Records Sidebar) Finding information on a specific person has become both easier and more difficult. Access to many formerly public records — birth, death, marriage, divorce — is no longer easily available in many jurisdictions as concern for identity theft has grown. For example, birth and death records are not considered public records in Missouri, according to the St. Louis Vital Records Registrar’s office. Even finding addresses and telephone numbers has become more difficult as more people abandon landline telephones, which were included in telephone directories unless they were unpublished. Many people have only a cell phone today, and those numbers are not yet compiled in accessible directories. Neither are email addresses. At the same time, personal information has become much more available as people disclose more personal information on the Web. The New York Times’ Schwadron says the paper’s news researchers receive 5,000 to 6,000 requests from reporters and editors each year, the biggest percentage of them involve finding people. For example, he said Times researchers helped uncover the identity of “Client 9” of a call girl service who was referred to in a federal affidavit. Client 9 turned out to be former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer. LexisNexis is one of the standard sources for finding people, even for reporters at smaller news organizations. Gray called Lexis’ Accurint service a very powerful tool for people searches. Craig Clough, a local editor for the North Hollywood part of Los Angeles for Patch.com, has access to LexisNexis through a corporate credit card, within strict budget limits. And reporters at a group of community newspapers in Southern California have access to LexisNexis through the papers’ parent, the Los Angeles Times, said John Canalis, editor for Times Community News South. LexisNexis access used to be guarded by news librarians because an untrained searcher could quickly rack up sizable charges. Now, many newspapers bring in LexisNexis to train reporters. Schwadron said LexisNexis comes in to the New York Times newsroom about once a month for such training, which includes not only searching skills, but also more advanced features such as news alerts that inform a reporter when something new on a topic hits the massive database. Another change in public documents’ searching is the growing availability of documents on government websites. For example, online restaurant health inspection scores, city council agendas and minutes, listings of jail inmates and registered sex offenders
are relatively new additions to the Web. At the same time, some government agencies have begun charging for online access. In the past, a reporter paid a photocopying fee for a document. Now they are expected to pay for online access, but don’t have to leave their desk to retrieve the documents. A frequently mentioned example is PACER, an index of federal court cases. For a minimal fee reporters can download any case in the federal court system. Some local courts are adopting pay-as-you-go access, as well. For example, Los Angeles County Superior Courts charge $4.75 per search, plus costs for documents. Property records are another valuable form of public documents. Some local governments have made them available online, saving reporters a trip to the county recorder’s office. Another source of property records is DataQuick, a national property information service, which offers a wide range of information for a fee. A third type of information gathering that has become more important in the digital age is data analysis. According to Schwadron, skilled reporters and researchers can “interview data, and the data will speak if you organize it in a way to understand the data.” He cited the vast quantities of material released by WikiLeaks. He said it took skilled computerassisted reporters to discern threads and suggest possible stories. Katches said this is still a relatively rare skill among journalists. And Canalis said, that of his 21 reporters, probably only three have good computer-assisted reporting skills. A recent example of a story that relied almost exclusively on data was the Los Angeles Times “value added” analysis of teachers based on a sophisticated statistical analysis of California Standardized Test scores in English and math. For this analysis The Times hired an economist to work with its editorial data analysis team. Such stories are likely to become a greater part of reporting, as companies and government agencies accumulate more data. But the reporting and writing may not always be done by humans. Two professors of journalism and computer science at Northwestern University, Kris Hammond and Larry Birnbaum, have developed a way to convert data into written articles, according to a Sept. 11 article in the New York Times. The two helped found Narrative Science, which says it now has 20 customers, including the Big Ten Network, a joint venture of the Big Ten
Sleuthing Public Records Old-Fangled and New-Fangled Ways C a ro l P er r u so
Some people think “everything” is available on the Internet, but a journalist trying to locate lawsuits, property ownership and criminal records quickly discovers how untrue that is. While the rest of the world races into a digital future, many governmental agencies lag badly in making public records available online. With each state, county and court system doing things differently, public records hunters must navigate a frustrating patchwork of online systems across the country. In some cases, there is no online access at all; other times, records are available only to those willing to pay for them. That said, there are ways to make your public record search more fruitful. Some key things to know: State courts: In most states, courts operate separately by county, so the first step is to locate the website of the court to be searched. Google, for example, king county superior court and the right site should pop up. Once at the site, something that says “online services,” “case information online,” or something similar may appear. Depending on the court, case summaries, a docket showing filings and events or, ideally, actual documents may be available. Typically, there is more available online for civil cases than for criminal ones. Sometimes domestic (divorce) cases are in a separate data base. If the court doesn’t provide what is needed online, a trip to courthouse still may be avoided: simply call up a lawyer in the case and ask if he or she can e-mail the needed lawsuit. Federal courts: This is a relative bright spot on the public records scene. United States district, appellate and bankruptcy courts are all part of the same system, known as PACER (www.pacer.gov). While an account must be opened, fees are modest. Downloading a 30page document costs $2.40. Property records: Online access varies, but check first on the assessor’s website in the county where the property is located. Try the county tax collector to find out if the property taxes have been paid (a parcel number likely is needed). Using a commercial service such as Dataquick allows a wide search across counties and states; there is a fee. Corporate records: Corporation filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available through the EDGAR database, it may be easier to get them from the company’s website. Look for the “investor relations” page. Other business records: Corporate registrations are normally filed with the secretary of state in a business’ home state. This person can help locate a business that “lurks in shadows.” If something like Iowa business search is Googled, it will typically lead to the right page. Also, check the website of the county where the business is based to see if they have a database of “fictitious” or “assumed” business names. Campaign contributions: For federal elections, campaign contributions can be searched at www.fec.gov. At the state level, records are usually kept with secretary of state, with varying levels of online access. Contribution filings in county and local races are less likely to be available online, but at least it is becoming more common. Commercial services: For a price, database giant Lexis-Nexis can make searching easier. Pricing plans vary. But even Lexis-Nexis doesn’t have everything. Scott J. Wilson is a research librarian at the Los Angeles Times. He has previously worked at the Orange County Register and San Francisco Chronicle
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Har mony v. Freedom W i l l i am A. B abco c k , E ditor I’ve either taught journalism or been a journalist for most of the past 40 years. Thus, on hundreds — perhaps thousands — of occasions I’ve chatted with and addressed individuals and groups of students, educators and journalists on how different news organizations, journalists and nations cover stories. Never before now, though, had I stood before a group of journalism reporting students to discuss the media’s coverage of a story about which no one was remotely familiar. The story in question was that of the Georgetown University’s men’s basketball team which played the Chinese People’s Liberation Arm Team Aug. 18, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Beijing. During the game, a fight broke out and fists, chairs and water bottles were thrown, and Chinese audience members came on the floor and attacked and stomped Georgetown student athletes. Referees apparently did nothing to stop the brawl and the Hoya team walked off the court with the score tied 64-64. Cell phone videos of the brawl were posted on the Internet and the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times covered the melee extensively. Clips of the event were shown on ESPN’s SportsCenter. China’s Xinhua news agency carried a four-paragraph item the following day saying “a brawl erupted … in a friendly basketball game,” and provided no specifics. After showing my reporting class (all of whom were English-speaking Chinese university students) the video and stories from Xinhua, the L.A. Times and the Post, I asked them which key facts they would include were they writing about this game. The “to cover” list the students came up with included the brawl, the student/ professional teams competing, that Biden was in China at the time, how the fight started, how the fans reacted, the referees’ inaction, what injuries players sustained, the “final” score of the game and reactions of members and coaches of both teams. Then, I asked students to write the first few paragraphs for three different stories: one for an American audience, one for a Chinese audience and one for a worldwide audience. When students shared their stories, only a couple of students had even mentioned — just in passing — there had been a fight, and no one included any of the other items they had listed as being “key facts” to the story. These students all have good English-language skills and had taken a course in newswriting. But each of them had severely self-censored him/her self when it came to reporting news that was unflattering about China. If bright, budding future journalists can find it so easy to
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self-regulate, I can only imagine what China Daily will be like when this English-language newspaper launches a 24-page, full-color weekly tabloid to be printed in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle and Atlanta. The weekly will also have a website and mobile applications. According to China Daily’s editor in chief, Zhu Ling, “In our process of globalization, China Daily is dedicated to ‘Connecting China, Connecting the World’ and committed to promoting communication across cultures and geographies for a harmonious world.” China’s focus on “harmony” dates at least to the time of Confucius, and is indeed a wonderful goal for the media of a nation. But carried to excess, a harmonious media can be a severely censored media in the same way that America’s focus on “freedom,” while a worthy goal, can result in journalism that is politically partisan and destructive to democracy. And so I ask myself, what will it take for China’s media to fairly and accurately report on issues concerning both our nations? Chinese journalism students clearly know what should be reported, but they are reluctant to engage in such reporting. Can we expect China’s professional journalists — especially those working in the United States — to be any different from my UIBE students? And to what extent might we be successful in having journalism about America and China that is both constructive and open? In this time of global fiscal and political uncertainty, these are mass media ethics questions worth pursuing. During the late 1980s, Dr. William A. Babcock, who has a graduate degree in international communication, was Asia Editor of the Christian Science Monitor. When not teaching journalism at UIBE in Beijing, he is professor and deputy director of SIUC’s School of Journalism.
Let the Media Horse Race Begin J o h n S. J a c kso n The Iowa caucuses are almost upon us and soon people will be asking what these events are all about and why they garner so much media attention. The short answer is that the Iowa caucuses, along with their fraternal twin, the New Hampshire primary, are the first-in-the-nation contests where real voters get to cast their ballots for the candidate they want to be their party’s nominee for president. They can have a big impact on who is sitting in the Oval Office the following January. The framing of the story is already in place for Iowa and New Hampshire in 2012. The reporters who cover those states and their editors all know the script. The only thing left is to select the choice roles: Who will play the lead, (the “frontrunner”)? Who will be the bridesmaid (comes in second but does “better than expected”)? And who will be eliminated (finishes a “disappointing” third, fourth or fifth) by those two early contests. It is a handy template and the media will inexorably fill in the blanks as we rush toward January and early February in Iowa and New Hampshire. Their place in the media spotlight does not last long and as soon as the votes are counted, the candidates and the campaign entourage rush on to the next state and the next contest. However, the parameters of the rest of the campaign often have been set in place or at least narrowed by either Iowa or New Hampshire, or both. Whether this is the best, or most rational way to select our candidates for the most powerful office in the world is a question hotly debated in the academic literature. But those in power cannot agree on a better winnowing alternative. It
is the American way and because of cultural, political and economic influences, it is not likely to change materially any time soon. Since the party reform era began with the Democratic Party in 1970, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary have been at the center of the media’s focus on who the major party nominees should be. Iowa and New Hampshire jealously guard their first-in-the-nation status and the national party rules for both the Democrats and the Republicans have reinforced these states’ desires to give them special status. There are a number of empirical research studies that document the outsized influence of the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary in the mass media’s coverage of the nominating process. In many years almost half of all television and print copy coverage of the primaries is devoted to those two early contests. The media are enamored by these two opening contests, and they lavish so much attention on the winners, and on the alternative story line of which candidate did “better than expected” and “worse than expected” that the two states have created a compelling narrative about who will win and what it all means that simply cannot be ignored. Tens of millions of dollars and countless days and weeks of the candidates’ and their staffs’ precious time and attention must be expended in Iowa and New Hampshire.
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Lee Enterprises Reports Financing Agreement R oy M al o n e Lee Enterprises says it has reached agreement with most of its lenders to refinance $1 billion in bank debt and extend maturity dates up to five years. It will pay interest as high as 15 percent and offer to creditors common shares for up to 13 percent ownership in Lee. The company still has some hurdles to negotiate to avoid defaulting on its loans. Lee “will pay lenders as much as 15 percent to refinance $904.5 million of debt as it tries to avoid bankruptcy,” reported Bloomberg News in September. The newspaper chain, which owns the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and about four dozen smaller papers, many in the Midwest, faces a deadline of April 2012 to pay more than $1 billion in debt. Some industry watchers wondered if Lee might default and be threatened with bankruptcy. Mary Junck, Lee’s chairman and CEO, called the refinancing plan “excellent news” for Lee. “It will allow us to refinance our bank debt on good terms … The refinancing will remove a cloud that has obscured Lee’s formidable strengths in our market … (and) helps reinforce a solid foundation for Lee’s future,’’ she said. A Lee press release said the plan called for a structure of first- and second-lien debt. A $690 million first-lien term loan will mature in December, 2015, instead of next April. The interest rate will be 7.5 percent. Annual payments will total $10 million for the year starting in June, 2012, $12 million the second year and $13.5 million thereafter. The first lien also includes a $40 million revolving credit line with interest of about 6 percent. The second-lien term loan carries an interest rate of 15 percent and matures in April 2017. Creditors will share in the issuance of 6,744,000 shares of Lee common stock, or 13 percent of the outstanding shares. Lee must also refinance the remainder of its debt, called the Pulitzer notes, with a separate loan of $175 million yet to be arranged. That debt, a carryover from when Lee bought Pulitzer Inc. in 2005, has a maturity date of April 2012.
The Post-Dispatch is Lee’s largest paper, accounting for about a quarter of its revenue.
Carl Schmidt, Lee’s chief financial officer, said the firm has about 90 percent of its creditors on board with the refinancing plan and hopes to get at least 95 percent. Failing that, he said, Lee might have to go with a prepackaged Chapter 11 filing to implement the refinancing. He said this was expected to have no impact on company operations, employees, vendors, advertisers or subscribers. In a prepackaged
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filing, Lee would try to force holdout creditors to accept its refinancing plan and be out of bankruptcy court quickly. The Blackstone Group is advising Lee on the refinancing. Deutsche Bank AG is agent for the bank loans. Deutsche and SunTrust Banks Inc. arranged the original loans for Lee in 2005 when it bought Pulitzer Inc. In May, Lee withdrew a plan to sell more than $1 billion through bonds and loans. Investors didn’t go for the bond offering unless the yields were much higher than Lee wanted to pay. Lee had refinanced its debt in 2009 to get some breathing room. Lee paid a high price for Pulitzer when the economic downturn began. Drops in advertising revenue and circulation have affected the entire news industry causing massive layoffs and other cutbacks. The Tribune Co. even slipped into bankruptcy.
On another front, Lee is fighting a suit by Guild retirees who are trying to get back health care benefits they say Lee had promised “for life” but then eliminated. Lee refused to arbitrate the matter and a federal court judge ordered the company to do so. The case went to the federal appeals court and is still unresolved. More recently, the Mailers Union filed a similar suit to get health benefits restored to 22 of its retired members who were cut off by Lee earlier this year. In yet another controversy, publishers of free newspapers in the St. Louis area are complaining about an attempt by a Lee-owned subsidiary to control distribution of free papers at numerous retail locations. The firm, STL Distribution Services, began recruiting stores to accept its racks in exchange for a small payment, but with its control
over which papers are allowed in the racks. Lee has free publications — such as Ladue News and Feast magazine — to put into the racks. But some other independent free publications — such as Town & Style and Sauce magazine — are in direct competition. An alliance of publishers of free publications is trying to stop the plan saying it would hurt them financially. Dwight Bitikofer, publisher of the Webster-Kirkwood Times, The South County Times and the West End Word, wrote in an editorial that readers should voice their concerns to the stores, “Don’t let Lee Enterprises determine which papers are available for you to read.” Roy Malone is a retired St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter and St. Louis editor of Gateway Journalism Review.
The Post-Dispatch is Lee’s largest paper, accounting for about a quarter of its revenue. Lee cut the Post staff by more than a third through buyouts and firings, cut salaries, ended pensions, eliminated retiree health benefits and cut the paper in both size and content. Junck said in the news release, “We are also tightening our belts.” More layoffs occurred over the summer at the Post-Dispatch and other Lee publications such as the Tucson Daily Star (52 layoffs), and 20 layoffs and cutting of editions at the weekly Suburban Journals in St. Louis. Jim Gallagher, treasurer of the Newspaper Guild unit at the PostDispatch, wrote on a union website that the planned refinancing will substantially increase Lee’s interest burden and put “continued pressure on budgets and costs for years to come ... basically the company would remain a slave to its creditors.” Gallagher said in a contested Chapter 11 bankruptcy, creditors would exchange some of the debt for ownership in the company. John E. Morton, a top newspaper industry analyst, said in an interview “Lee has been able to maintain relatively high levels of cash flow.” He said Lee “is better positioned than most because of its concentration (with the exception of St. Louis) in small and mediumsized markets” where margins are better.
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J o n S aw ye r
I want to tell the story of a highly unlikely enterprise, something that began as the germ of an idea in discussions with Emily Rauh Pulitzer and David Moore six years ago and that has grown in a very short time into one of our most important venues for international journalism and educational engagement with systemic global issues. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is a reflection in part of the crisis in American journalism, a crisis that has upended our craft and caused enormous disruption, for storied news institutions and individual journalists alike. But the Pulitzer Center is a reflection as well of journalism resilience — a story about seizing on new technologies, new platforms, and new models of collaborative reporting so as to engage more people, more deeply than has ever been possible before.
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In the past few weeks you will have seen our work in the pages of The New York Times, Esquire and National Geographic. You will have watched our reporting on PBS NewsHour and heard it on NPR and PRI/The World — or engaged with it online, on Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, TIME.com and The Washington Post. What you may not realize is that none of this reporting would have been possible without the Pulitzer Center’s help, from travel grants to journalists and editorial support to the crafting of pitches to news-media outlets. Some of you here tonight may attend — or may have children — at one of the dozen St. Louis schools that have been active members of our Global Gateway educational outreach program. This week they’ve been hearing from photographer Andre Lambertson about his work in Haiti since the earthquake, or in Liberia with groups working to help former child soldiers rebuild their lives. Journalist Anna Badkhen has been making the rounds of St. Louis schools this week as well, talking about her extraordinary ground-level reporting she has done this year for Foreign Policy, The New
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Republic and the Pulitzer Center in the villages of northern Afghanistan —villages where the Taliban is rebuilding even as U.S. and allied forces plan for pulling out. Visits like those by Andre and Anna are part of an outreach program at the Pulitzer Center that has grown like kudzu. At this point our total of in-person visits by journalists and staff to high schools and middle schools for 2011, completed or scheduled, is 85. We have also staged 69 public events thus far for 2011, most of them university presentations but also collaborative partnerships like our multimedia presentation on child brides this past Monday at National Geographic in Washington, a joint photo exhibit with Human Rights Watch on the Lord’s Resistance Army, and the premiere of our multimedia poetry project, Voices of Haiti, last month at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. •••• …As I say, an unlikely enterprise … and one with roots very much here in St. Louis and with the man whose name we honor in this lecture series. It was Jim Millstone who gave me my first foreign assignment, a trip to the failed Windscale reactor in England as part of a series we did on nuclear waste, and it was Jim who taught me a lesson about seizing the moment, and decisive judgment, that I’ve thought of often as we make decisions each week on whether to back the journalism proposals we receive. It was 1986 and the regime of “Baby Doc” Duvalier had just fallen in Haiti. Photographer Jim Forbes and I were dispatched to go but by the time we got to Miami the airport in Port au Prince had been closed to commercial aviation and was about to be closed entirely. Jim Forbes made some calls and determined that we could get in, via a chartered Lear jet, but we had to leave within the hour — and it would cost us $1,500 each. It was my task to call Jim Millstone, close to midnight at home, and ask permission. I can’t remember whether Pat had to wake him up or not but I do recall there was a long pause after I asked the question. “Get the story,” he said. And then a slightly longer pause. “And it had better be good.” I never heard from Jim how the conversation went the next morning, when he had to explain to Dave Lipman what he had approved. It wasn’t long after I arrived in St. Louis, straight from college, that I started to dream of going to Washington. A big part of the reason was that byline “Richard Dudman.” He had been everywhere, known everyone, and lived a life I desperately wanted to emulate. I got to Washington as a summer replacement in 1977 and then eventually,
after some miscues (mine), I got a permanent slot on the Washington bureau staff. That was late 1980, just a few months before Richard’s absurdly premature “retirement” — witness the fact that he is still going strong, batting out editorials for the Bangor Daily News 31 years later — but I did have the privilege and pleasure of watching him in action. What a bureau that was. Jim Deakin was covering the White House, Tom Ottenad politics, and Bill Wyant the environment. Bob Adams was all over Iran and the Middle East, Bill and Margie Freivogel had just arrived, and Gerald Boyd was well along that remarkable trajectory that would take him from north St. Louis to being the first AfricanAmerican managing editor of the New York Times. As for Richard himself, this audience knows a lot of the highlights already — from chasing after guerrillas in Guatemala in the early 1950s to his capture in Cambodia, from Dallas in 1963 to being on board for Nixon’s breakthrough trip and on his infamous list of enemies too. I’ll share just one quick story more, from a routine day my first summer. “Walkin’ Joe Teasdale” was then the somewhat erratic governor of Missouri, and when I got to work that morning there was a press release from his office warning that routine discharges from the Callaway nuclear power plant would pose high health risks to people downstream in St. Louis. It didn’t ring true to me but I couldn’t reach anyone in the governor’s office for further comment — and back then, when we were still an afternoon paper, we were up against the deadline for our main press run. I thought we should wait but Richard said no, that this was a statement from the office of the state’s top official and it was news. “Bird who sits on story gets tail burned,” Dick told me, “and if it turns out that Teasdale has his facts mixed up we’ll have an even better story for the next edition!”
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Editor’s note: Jon Sawyer delivered this year’s James C. Millstone memorial lecture at St. Louis University Law School on Oct. 6. Sawyer, former Washington Bureau Chief of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, heads the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Millstone, and assistant managing editor for the Post-Dispatch before his death in 1992, was a mentor to a generation of journalists. Richard Dudman, who traveled the world as head of the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, was honored at the event. The full text appears online at:
For most of my career at the Post-Dispatch people commiserated with me that I had missed its Golden Era, the age of Dudman and Pete Brandt, Charlie Ross and Robert Lasch, Jim Millstone and Marquis Childs. Those of us in my generation, who came of age in the ‘70s and ‘80s, spent our careers bemoaning the fact that we had missed out, that we were spending our careers in the age of the paper’s decline. We sort of took for granted that we were getting some remarkable opportunities ourselves. Fanning the country for enterprise coverage of every presidential campaign, with equally ambitious coverage of House and Senate campaigns too. Giving Margie Freivogel the chance
to become one of journalism’s top voices on the emerging role of women in politics, or letting Bill Freivogel and me spend 18 months investigating defense fraud at General Dynamics and McDonnell Douglas and Bill nearly that long deconstructing what had happened in the government attack on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Sending Bill Lambrecht on multiple investigative forays that made him one of the leading journalist experts on genetically modified organisms. Or, in my case, approving long projects that made me a witness to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of China, and so much more. We were expected to fill a news analysis section each Sunday with three or four 40-inch pieces of analysis and stories of that length and complexity were also the stuff of our daily work. When we look back at that experience now and compare it to journalism today — not just the Post-Dispatch but virtually any paper in the country, from the Chicago Tribune to the Los Angeles Times to The Washington Post — we realize that it wasn’t just Dick Dudman who worked in the Golden Era. We all did. •••• This is not a speech of lament, however, and it’s worth noting that there were some things that weren’t so glittery, journalistically speaking, about that Golden Era. There were some things to which we didn’t pay as much attention as we should have — like audience engagement, collaboration and outreach. These failings are more apparent in retrospect, now that the bottom has dropped out from under the old news-media model, but it’s also true that technology has given us far better tools today than we ever had then. One figure that sticks in my mind was from a survey of our readers that as I recall was done back in the 1980s. Subscribers were asked what features in the paper made them buy it, and what coverage they were most likely to read. Coupons and classified ads were hands-down the most important features (and thank you, Craigslist, for destroying the latter). As to what people read, obituaries, comics and sports all ranked high, as did weather and community news. Something like 13 percent of our readers said that international news was of interest to them — and who knows how many of that 13 percent actually read the stories and how many were just saying they did because they knew they should. I don’t know how our Washington bureau would have fared, back then, had our editors back home known each day precisely what our real readership was. Second, looking back, I think that all of us were remarkably disengaged from our audience. I know that in my case I was far more conscious most days of writing for Jim Millstone, Continued on Page 32
Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 21
Is accountable advertising an oxymoron? N arayanan I yer
In the landmark book, “What Sticks” Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart addressed the question of accountability in advertising. Their research estimates that a $112 billion dollars out of a total of $295 billion dollars in advertising spending is wasted in the US alone. That’s 47 percent, approximately the same number Wanamaker speculated 100 years ago. The current recession served as an impetus for marketers to question the accountability of the efforts executed by their advertising partners. The partnership between client and agency that used to function on the principle of shared credit and blame has now given way to an increased criticism and scrutiny of agency work, particularly when sales go south. Among the litany of complaints clients have against their advertising agencies are:
• Agencies don’t focus on the client’s needs • Agency costs are too expensive • Agency executions take too long • The creative work, while aesthetically pleasing, doesn’t speak to the customers • The value gained from different media placements • The growing obtrusiveness of advertising
Such complaints point to an increasing discord in the partnership between agencies and clients. Advertising agencies are usually the first on the chopping block when corporations feel the need to shake up things in an effort to rejuvenate sales and increase profits. Agency hiring and firing has become a norm within the marketing world. The hope is that the next agency would be one that leads the brand to the promised land of customer loyalty and increased sales, and thereby enable the corporation to earn the grudging respect its stockholders. This has led to a shakeup in the structure of the advertising industry and has exposed advertising agencies to become targets of takeovers and mergers by a few big holding companies. To avoid becoming a victim of the hire and fire turnstile, agencies have trotted out numerous measures of accountability such as consumer engagement and brand experience to ensure that clients are able to validate agency
work and measure its success. But for the most part, clients say that attributing a number to the potential exposure of a campaign among its target audience is not really the same as a seeing an increase in their sales and profits after the campaign has launched. Corporations liken their advertising spending as an investment that should produce immediate results in terms of sales and profits. This myopic and arbitrary definition of accountability tends to be a difficult benchmark for evaluating advertising effectiveness.
The partnership between client and agency that used to function on the principle of shared credit and blame has now given way to an increased criticism and scrutiny of agency work, particularly when sales go south.
One of the most commonly cited quotes of advertising goes like this: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” These words are attributed to a Philadelphia retail store merchant, John Wanamaker, a pioneer in ‘modern’ advertising. Even though the quote was made nearly a century ago, its use and suggested notion of accountability, or the lack of it, is by far one of the biggest drivers of contemporary advertising practice.
Traditionally, the compensation structure for advertising agencies is based on a fixed percent of their client’s annual advertising budget. This fixed percent once was a standard 15 percent, but over the past two decades, this fixed percent can vary above or below this level based on the agency’s reputation in the marketplace. Clients would love to change this compensation structure to something tied with sales. This would involve a flat fee for the services provided by the agencies and additional incentives based on the growth in sales that can be directly attributed to the campaign provided by the agency. The tricky part would be to find measures that indicate sales achieved was directly linked to the current advertising campaign rather other factors such as the equity that the brand enjoys in the market, product quality, and sales promotions. The problem is perhaps better understood if we can accept the fact that, despite the large amounts of market research that is conducted, marketing is not an exact science by any means. If marketers knew exactly what works then we would be living in a world that only had successful products. But as it stands, more than 90 percent of all new product launches are doomed to failure because of this knowledge gap. Despite this uncertain environment of advertising accountability, there are many examples of brands that have become successful. An examination of why some
Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights:
The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done to Fix it R e v i ewe d by J e n n i fe r B utch e r The newspaper industry is bottoming out; print media is in dire need of a eulogy. This has been the message thrust upon the public. And with an increasing number of people looking for the quickest way to get their news (not always waiting for their morning paper — and why? Because they don’t have to), it is not completely unfounded. “Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights: The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done to Fix it,” addresses this debate through a collection of 32 thoroughly edited essays written by journalism professors and media professionals. The collection is organized in three sections, structuring the book to flow from what is known about the media crisis, to a discussion of the crises framed around American tradition and finally to essays proposing various solutions. While at times the essays seem a bit disorganized, they attack this debate on two fronts: the role the Internet and other new technologies are/should be taking, and the extent to which the government should (or should not) lend a helping hand. In the first section, “The Crisis Unfolds,” Eric Alterman discusses in his essay “Out of Print” a brief history of the newspaper, portraying the newspaper as the most important tool for keeping the public informed. David Simon calls for paywalls on Internet news sites in his essay, “Build the Wall,” declaring that making people pay for content online is the only way to “still have a product … still have an industry, a calling, and a career known as professional journalism.” Paul Starr, in “The New Republic,” states that “by giving away their content or limiting access, [newspapers] may be digging their own graves.” In “The American Traditions,” the second section of the collection, names such as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Walter Lippman are thrown around when discussing the long-standing relationship between the press and government. Geoffrey Cowan and David Westphal argue there has indeed never been a wall between press and state. They say government support for the press took many forms, including subsidizing postal costs and tax breaks. One of the editors of the book, Victor Pickard, also argues for some
``Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights: The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done to Fix it’’ Edited by: Robert W. McChesney, Victor Pickard Publisher: New Press Paperback: $19.95, 372 pages
form of state support. In his essay, “Revisitng the Road Not Taken,” he positions American journalism as a two-faced entity, one of public service, the other, a commodity. It is a crisis in business model that the newspapers are facing, he argues; the quality journalism is still present. In the final section of the book, “The Way Forward,” Yochai Benkler argues that the new “networked public sphere” that is developing out of the ashes of the old monopoly model has the potential to be even better for journalism as it “combines several different elements, which represent diverse approaches along the axes of commercial and noncommercial, professional and amateur,” but it needs time to do so. The solutions proposed in these essays are preliminary, but well thought out, whether a reader agrees with them or not. And while each essay posits its point differently, they unite under one general conclusion: The business model must change, and government support may be the answer. While the organizational structure of the book was created with good intentions, it is not functional and not needed. The essays could be shuffled in any order and still make sense, building off one another. It is the lack of a substantial introduction to the book and to each section, which would normally provide a quality framework that allows readers to draw their own conclusions. The essays themselves, however, are concise and informative. This is an informative, interesting read, but not distinguishable from other informative, interesting books on the same topic. And as it mirrors so much of McChesney’s own earlier writings, one is tempted to ask, “Why bother?”
Continued on Page 34
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Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 23
How Media Bias Distorts the American Mind
``Left Turn: How Media Bias Distorts the American Mind’’ Author: Tim Groseclose Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Hard Cover: $26.99, 292 pages
America’s true political center can be found by examining the state of Kansas, Salt Lake County, Utah, and NASCAR fans. Many liberals may have just blanched at that thought, but this is the argument Tim Groseclose makes in “Left Turn: How Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.” Groseclose argues that a liberal media bias distorts the average American’s political viewpoint and tilts the political field to the left. He also claims conservative news organizations such as Fox News actually present a centrist point of view. Before dismissing these statements out of hand, one should read Groseclose’s book. He has the academic credentials to make his claims (he’s a professor of political science and economics at UCLA) and most of his work on this subject has been published in respected academic journals. Groseclose’s book is an indictment of the news media as we know it, claiming that a liberal bias not only exists but tilts the political argument so far to the left that the center of the political spectrum is also tilted heavily to the left. He grounds his book on studies he conducted with Jeff Milyo. In these studies, Groseclose and Milyo used a gauge of how lawmakers vote on certain issues to define whether they are conservative or liberal. This becomes the lawmakers’ political quotient. Groseclose and Milyo followed by scouring U.S. newspapers and graded news stories as if they were political speeches. Finally, they did a content analysis on the number of times each media outlet referred to left-leaning or right-leaning political think tanks. The findings, based on these particular criteria, point to a liberal bias in media.
R e v i ewe d by S co tt L amb er t Arguments have been made disputing Groseclose’s methods and the effectiveness of those methods, but those arguments only add to the reader’s enjoyment of this book. While explaining the methods behind his findings, Groseclose wrote a book that happily denounces the liberal media. His positions are well known for those who question if media are biased and try to examine media bias in any form. The first point questions journalists. Groseclose cites studies that state that most journalists vote democratic. He continues by writing that these journalists are often surrounded by friends who have the same political agenda they have and therefore, without any actual malice, report on stories that fit their personal set of beliefs.
The author makes this point by citing an example of a story by the Los Angeles Times that discussed the dropping numbers of African-American-freshmen enrolling at UCLA. Groseclose explained that much of the story’s information came from sources that would give a particular point of view while ignoring statistics that showed the overall population of African-American students was rising. Groseclose claims this wasn’t outright bias; rather, that it was bias by omission. The reporter found the story she was looking for and stopped digging at that point, therefore missing a better story. Groseclose explains how omission is a major form of media bias. Groseclose says journalists often ignore stories conservatives would find important while concentrating on stories liberals would find important. The selection of stories tilts the overall conversation to the left. Add to that the preference of the media to quote liberal think tanks ahead of conservative think tanks and, if quoting a conservative think tank, labeling the organization as conservative, Groseclose makes a convincing argument for a liberal media bias. The author conducts interviews in Salt Lake County, Utah, to give the reader an idea of where the “true center” of the U.S. political spectrum actually sits, in his opinion. The argument that a liberal journalist placed in Salt Lake County would be out of place is easily made in this scenario. Groseclose states that political writers, working in Washington, D.C., or New York or Los Angeles have no clue about how the average citizen in Salt Lake County thinks about specific issues, such as gun control or serving in the U.S. military. Continued on Page 34
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Few control flow of information C h ar l e s L. K l o t ze r
The 20 corporations that dominate the media (In order of revenue) Walt Disney
(TV, movies, cable, magazines)
(Movies, magazines, cable, TV)
(Newspapers, magazines, movies, TV, cable, Books)
(Motion pictures, cable)
(Movies, cable, TV)
Google $7.9 billion (Internet)
Yahoo $3.5 billion (Internet)
New York Times Co.
Our knowledge of what is happening locally, nationally or internationally is totally dependent of what the media decide to let us know. As media literacy grows, this assertion, once novel, nowadays sounds trite. The more adventuresome among us, may use the Internet to find media outlets in various countries, some independent others state-controlled, which will differ from what we are accustomed to read, see or hear. But most of us depend, whether in print or digital, on what editors or news directors have selected. Over the years, actually decades, this journal has described the dominant corporations that control this flow of information. Even a summary, would take up more space than this journal provides. Fortunately, other media critiques, such as Extra!, the magazine of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, Inc., have updated who controls what. Patrick Morrison writes in the October 2011 edition of Extra! that Ben Badikian’s 1983 edition of The Media Monopoly concluded that 50 men and women control more than half the information and ideas that reach than 220 million Americans. By 1993, when the last edition went to press, the number had fallen to 20. Bagdikian has been a Washington Post editor and is Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley. “The biggest companies whose combined market share exceeded 50 percent of their sector were counted by Bagdikian as the dominant media corporations,” writes Morrison. Extra! used the same method and concluded that the number in 2011 had fallen to 15. By adding new technologies the number of dominant corporations remained at 20. The following findings are from the Extra! Report excerpted with permission. Movies: In 2009, Time Warner’s Warner Brothers, Viacom’s Paramount, Sony/Columbia and News Corp’s 20th Century Fox accounted for more than 60 percent of the $10.6 billion box office take. Newspapers: Five corporations received over half the newspaper industry’s $19.7 billion revenues. They are Gannett, Tribune, New York Times, Advance Publications and MediaNews Group. Magazines: For 2009, the number of corporations receiving half of the $12.6 billion of magazine advertising revenue is just three: Advance Publications, Time Warner and Hearst. Radio: Clear Channel Communications and Sirius XM control more than half the revenue for 2009. Network Television: Three companies took in more than half the broadcast TV advertising revenue for 2009. They are Comcast, the nation’s largest provider, Viacom and CBS. Cable Television: For 2009, three cable networks received more than half the $49 billion in advertising revenue: Disney, Time Warner and Viacom. Continued on Page 35
Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 25
Bob Woodward, and All the Journalists’ Men S co tt L amb er t Every morning Robert Woodward, the man who inspired a generation of would-be investigative journalists, gets out of bed, walks into the kitchen and thinks to himself, “What are the bastards hiding today.”
Woodward spent time via satellite Sept. 15 as the featured speaker for the St. Louis/Gateway Journalism Review’s fundraising gala, “Who is minding the media?” The gala celebrated the career of founders Rose and Charles Klotzer, the 40th anniversary of the review and raised part of the $65,000 SJR is providing GJR, published by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Journalism. Woodward spoke to the crowd about the need for journalism reviews in today’s media landscape, emphasizing the importance of a watchdog over journalists. “Journalism reviews need to turn up the heat on all of us,” Woodward said. “A journalism review can provide an assessment and tell readers what has been done well and sound the alarm when the media aren’t putting out their best work.” Woodward talked about the 24-hour news cycle and media’s propensity for manufacturing controversy. Journalism reviews need to step in and let the media know they’re not staying on task, he said. Woodward seemed torn about the current state of the media. While defending journalists and their ability to still go out and get stories such as the Watergate scandal, he also pointed out that with the shrinking number of investigative journalists in particular and newsroom losses overall, the media were stretched thin. The investigative staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch itself is less than half what it was several years ago, he said. “The news media are going to miss something big and people are going to wonder why we missed it,” Woodward said. “And the people with cash are going to have to find a way to get the news out there.”
Page 26 • Gateway Journalism Review • Fall 2011
Publisher’s Note Continued from Page 5
But NPR’s Tom Goldman — an interesting sports reporter — was objectively way off base when his report on the wild card races in the American and National League focused almost entirely on the Boston Red Sox. Hey guys, Atlanta and the Cards may be flyover, but they are storied franchises that mean as much to their parts of the country as the Red Sox do to Boston.
The geo-centric approach was reminiscent of the day last summer when the earthquake on the East Coast filled the NPR airwaves, while a slightly smaller earthquake in Colorado received minimal notice. Maybe the world just looks different from here, and that’s another important reason to nurture a journalism review with a Midwest focus.
It’s that drive to find out the truth that has led to Woodward’s incredible success as a journalist. From breaking the Watergate scandal to a series of books that chronicled George W. Bush and his latest book, “Obama’s Wars,” Woodward is considered one of the United State’s best investigative journalists. In fact, one of his biggest fans was Osama bin Laden, who allegedly had a copy of Obama’s Wars on his bed stand the night the Navy Seals came calling. “Quite honestly, you’re always happy to have someone reading your book,” Woodward said. “But I would have preferred not to have his endorsement.”
Continued from Page 6
An example of something big missed is the weapons of mass destruction statements leading up to the second Iraq War. Media didn’t question sources well enough and have taken some of the blame for the country’s venture into a war to find weapons of mass destruction when there weren’t weapons. Woodward blames the media as well, including himself, for not doing a better job. “I fault myself personally for not being more aggressive on this,” he said. At the same time, Woodward said the quality of journalism had not declined. “I don’t think it’s declined; I think it’s more difficult to get some stories,” he said. During a conversation with former Vice-President Albert Gore, Woodward asked how much the media really knew about what was going on in the White House. Gore replied 1 to 2 percent. Woodward’s point was if the media know only a small percent of what is happening in the White House, then the media need to do a better job. Woodward also noted the rising unhappiness of the public with the media. A recent Pew poll found the public’s distrust of the media at an alltime high. Woodward understands why. “Right now the product isn’t good enough,” Woodward said. “It often has a bias or a tilt to it so people start to tune out.” Woodward says plenty of options exist for the media to right themselves in the public’s mind. “All kinds of topics are out there,” he said. “The wars, the economy; media could take a look at more hard targets and I think people would respect that.” Scott Lambert is the managing editor of the Gateway Journalism Review. He worked as a sports journalist and editor for 13 years.
pressed him about sending his kids to a private school while presenting himself as an advocate for better public schools.
mad. But city workers who do show up on Mondays and Fridays are even madder.
There is wide suspicion, however, that the other Rahm still lurks beneath the cool and controlled persona. Teachers’ union chief Karen Lewis complained after a closed-door meeting over longer school days that the mayor clobbered her with F-bombs. “My father never talked to me like that,” Lewis debriefed to reporters about what she called “enormous disrespect.” “My husband’s never talked to me like that.”
So has Emanuel been able to work similar magic on the media? That depends.
On substantive matters, however, Emanuel has encountered little second-guessing from the media. As might be expected, the conservative Tribune’s editorial page has cheered the mayor’s efforts to reign in “abuses” by public-sector labor unions. “Let the competition begin,” headlined a recent Tribune news analysis of Emanuel’s plan to rationalize sanitation services. There would be a handful of computergenerated service zones instead of 50 separate ward operations. And Waste Management will handle one or two zones to determine whether or not their one-man recycling trucks are more efficient than are city crews. So far union leaders — aside from Lewis — have taken a wait-and-see stance, perhaps because the rank-and-file have been surprisingly mum on Emanuel’s moves. Many city workers, including police and fire, have bridled under City Hall’s informal system of political sponsorship. If a person wanted to get light duty, or go on disability leave, or even get promoted to lieutenant, it helped to have a sponsor with clout in one of the Regular Democratic Organization’s favored wards, especially one of the Southwest Side wards led by a Daley, Burke or Madigan. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley didn’t invent this system — it even predates his father, Richard J. — nor did Alderman Edward Burke or Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. But it’s there, and hundreds, if not thousands, of city workers with lesser sponsorship are tired of working shorthanded or getting passed over for promotion. Emanuel’s pronouncements about “right-sizing” are pointedly accompanied by statistics showing that, for instance, about a third of the city’s unionized workforce is “missing” on Mondays and Fridays, for one reason or another, be it a “sick day” or an extended disability leave. Taxpayers get
John Kass, the Tribune’s Mike Royko-styled news columnist, regularly scalded Mayor Daley and started out skeptical of the man he called Daley’s “handpicked” successor. But in recent months Kass has avoided direct criticism, and even delivered a compliment or two. “Finally, a mayor who gets it,” Kass exuded about Emanuel’s bid to lengthen the school day. Mark Brown, Kass’s counterpart at the Sun-Times, started out neutral, but lately has shown uneasiness with Emanuel’s pre-packaged news-as-narrative. Recently Brown chastised Emanuel for claiming to put another 1,000 police “on the street” when half the new beat cops are transferring from disbanded tactical units that already were “on the street.” Brown complained Emanuel sometimes puts out “just a little too much b.s. to have to swallow whole.” But in general, and with the city staring at an impending $635 million budget shortfall, Emanuel-the-Efficient seems to have tamed a press corps that, during the Daley years, was known for its cynicism. Ben Joravsky, political writer for the weekly Chicago Reader, probably goes too far in asserting: “I haven’t seen as much love between the mainstream media and a political boss since Mayor Daley tried to bring the Olympics to town.” All honeymoons inevitably end, though. And sooner or later one suspects Chicago’s news media will live up to their skeptical reputation by jumping from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s narrative arc. John McCarron is a freelance urban affairs writer with 40 years of experience writing about Chicago government.
G TEWAY J OURNALISM REVIEW
gatewayjr.org Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 27
I l l i n o is to u g h e a ve sdroppi n g l a w r u le d u n c o n sti t u tio n a l it. She began recording the conversation with her Blackberry. When officers discovered what she was doing, they charged her under the eavesdropping statute. The jury acquitted Moore after hearing her four-minute recording in which the internal affairs officer told Moore she would certainly lose because it was her word against the policeman’s. Moore’s lawyers argued that the taping was legal under an exception to the Illinois law that permits secret taping of conversations if they involve possible criminal activity. Meanwhile, an American Civil Liberties Union challenge to Illinois’ eavesdropping law may be running into trouble in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that influential Judge Richard Posner suggested during oral arguments that reporters and gangbangers would run wild if they could secretly tape conversations. “If you permit the audio recordings, they’ll be a lot more eavesdropping,” he said. “… There’s going to be a lot of this snooping around by reporters and bloggers. Yes, it’s a bad thing. There is such a thing as privacy.”
Continued from Page 7
Scan QR Codes with mobile device Previous GJR story:
Chicago Sun-Times story on 7th Circuit argument
Article by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press with link to Frankland decision:
Continued from Page 9
“There were experiments with paywalls until the early part of the last decade,” Edmonds said. “The problem was that it depressed traffic and that led to ad losses.”
Page 28 • Gateway Journalism Review • Fall 2011
So far, it’s been a success. The Daily Herald, less than a month into its experiment, is cautiously pleased with the results. “It is still very early, but we are encouraged by early results, and they are exceeding our expectations,” Stone said. “Being first in the Chicago market to make this decision, we are setting the trend for others to follow. Our readers value what we do and are willing to support our journalism with their hard-earned dollars. We’re thankful for that.” Scott Lambert is the managing editor of the Gateway Journalism Review. He worked as a sports journalist and editor for 13 years.
Conference and Fox Networks, which uses the technology to create short recaps of games. Newspaper customers are experimenting with the software to see if it can generate short summaries of high school games, according to the New York Times article.
Paywalls becoming a trend among newspapers
The idea that unique content should be paid for, as well as the idea that professional journalists turn out a product that has worth, has been a driving force as newspapers return to online paywalls.
But the premise worked. The news industry had to find a model to fit the premise, and that became the porous paywall. The porous paywall allows the casual viewer access to a site as well as the print subscriber. The small fee
In 2009, media analysts started to call for a major newspaper such as the New York Times and the Washington Post to go behind the paywall. Once that happened, other organizations had the cover to try it as well.
Continued from Page 13
William H. Freivogel is director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a board member of the St. Louis Beacon. He is a member of the Missouri Bar.
The first discussions over paywalls occurred in the 1990s. The internet was new, newspapers were healthy and the business model worked. People paid a small subscription fee for the newspaper and received news, and a great deal of advertising. Advertising paid the bills.
“I think the success of the music industry has been an example for quite a while,” Edmonds said. “But it isn’t really exactly parallel. When you download music you can keep listening to it as long as you want. That’s not true for a newspaper. Its worth doesn’t last like a song does. The idea of replicating the music industry couldn’t be done.”
is not too scary for the consumer and this also adds to the increase of print subscriptions.
Trading the bush plane for the computer screen
If the 7th Circuit decision ends up at odds with the 1st Circuit’s, the issue could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The right time for Paywalls
predict the explosion of the Internet. Technology was new and those in charge didn’t expect it to change the working dynamic that relied on advertising. Sites that went behind the paywall weren’t succeeding. The idea of paying a small fee online for a product was foreign. But that changed as the music industry started charging for music online — small fees, only a dollar per song. People bought into the idea. Today, music, books, movies — just about everything — can be found online and for a small fee.
At first, the thought was that advertising would pay the bills online just like it did with the print product. Media experts said the goal should be to draw eyes to the website. Those eyes would see advertising and advertisers would jump onto the bandwagon. However, advertising didn’t work online the same way it did in print. Craigslist and other online advertising sites were cheaper and easier to use. People became used to the thought of getting their news free and didn’t want to pay to look at news online. As a result, many newspapers that originally went behind a paywall found their sites had little traffic, and the idea of a paywall was discarded. Then the newspaper industry hit hard times. Newspapers folded, advertising rates plummeted and the industry found itself in trouble. Newspapers were giving all their content away for free and going broke in the process. “If we could have seen into the future clearly, I’m sure all media organizations would have started out with some form of charge for websites and digital delivery,” Stone said. The newspaper industry was working with an unknown entity. Individuals running the papers weren’t able to
Not all “data analysis” requires sophisticated skills or programs, however. Finding and accurately reporting basic Census or economic data is a skill all reporters should possess. Yet, that’s not always the case. Journalism students shy away from anything with even a remote scent of math. A reporting assignment at California State University Long Beach asks students to find the most recent statistic on the percent of families whose income falls below the poverty line. Over several semesters of the assignment, typically one third of the students simply Google for an answer, pulling up all sorts of numbers, including numbers that are 10 years old and data from zoning applications. Even students who made it to the Census website found it difficult to distinguish between “families” and “individuals.” But there are websites striving to make it easier to report demographics. Schwadron mentioned Social Explorer, a website aimed at making it easier to create reports and maps with demographics. Still with all of the digital research tools available, everyone GJR talked to stress the importance of interviews and observation and developing sources. People are what make the story, they say. Serrano said his greatest satisfaction comes when a source hands him a document or tells him something he probably could not have found another way. In addition, some communities haven’t entered the digital age. Bradley Zint, until recently a reporter for the Kodiak, Alaska Daily Mirror, said Internet connections and telephones were often hard to find in some of the remote
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communities he covered. The paper’s website had minimal searching capabilities, so looking for the clips sometimes meant leafing through bound copies of the paper — without an index. And the only way to reach some sources would be to call one person in a village and ask them to go knock on the door of the person you wanted. Or, better yet, get on a bush plane.
less than a week later on January 8. Both contests likely will be held in February, as early as necessary to be first, in 2012. The more complicated answer to why Iowa and New Hampshire have become preeminent is that on some occasions, if the conditions are right, they not only launched some candidates on their way to their party’s nomination, but also helped launch previous underdog and outsider candidates into the White House. More frequently, results in both states have also eliminated some candidates previously thought to be serious and competitive possibilities.
Carol Perruso is the journalism librarian at California State University Long Beach, where she teaches journalism students information-gathering skills. She is also a former Los Angeles Times journalist and president of latimes.com.
Let the Media Horse Race Begin Continued from Page 17
In the modern post-reform era, it has become an axiom that all serious candidates must compete in one or both of those early tests or present a good story to explain why they are not there. Presidential aspirants who wait for a later contest, as for example Rudolph Giuliani did in 2008 when he put all his resources into Florida on February 29, which was the fourth state to vote, finds that the horse race has already begun and they are still at the starting line while the other candidates are already half way around the track.
The weather is cold, dark, and raw in Iowa and New Hampshire in the winter and few tourists visit either state in non-election years. However, candidates and their staffs will come and hundreds of volunteers can be bused in from outside to knock on doors and distribute literature. The media will come in swarms and they will provide free airtime and free coverage. In addition, the candidates will take out millions of dollars in advertising which is spent on
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local television and newspapers. All these people need hotel rooms, rental cars, places to eat, and bars to serve them drinks at the end of a long cold day out covering their assigned candidates. This means big business for the hospitality and media industries at a time of the year ordinarily defined by a succession of “slow news days.” The two states, and their Chambers of Commerce, love their first-in-line status, and they have fought aggressively to maintain that status.
The successful candidate must generate momentum, create a buzz about his or her campaign that stresses the potential for emerging as the eventual winner and either Iowa or New Hampshire is the surest route to that goal. Likewise, the unsuccessful candidates are winnowed very quickly as they experience failure, resources dry up, media attention is directed elsewhere and their candidacy, no matter how promising it may have seemed at the outset, is over and they quickly drop out. Iowa and New Hampshire are very good at creating the top two candidate brackets, and they are also very effective at eliminating the second tier of candidates who are summarily banished.
The Republican and Democratic national committee have capitulated to these local demands and both parties have enshrined Iowa and New Hampshire in their national party rules with this special status. Both parties have “windows” during which they allow the presidential primaries and caucuses to be held. It opens at the first of February and closes the first week in June.
The successful candidate must generate momentum, create a buzz.
In 2008, the Democrats decided to add two more states to the mix to include more diverse populations, and they added South Carolina and Nevada to the early primary list. The Republicans quickly followed suit. A lot of other states did not like that exception and wanted in on it. Notably, both Florida and Michigan decided to go early, before the window was open. Both states held primaries not authorized by the national party law thus creating a loud controversy. Both national parties put sanctions on those state delegations in 2008 and stripped them of half their votes at the conventions. The same controversy from the same sources has developed for 2012. In 2008, the nominations season got its earliest start ever with the Iowa caucuses held on January 3 and the New Hampshire primary
The most famous cases of success coming to “outsiders” and previously little known candidates are Jimmy Carter who won, or did better than expected, in Iowa and New Hampshire in 1976, and Barack Obama who won Iowa in 2008. Although Obama lost New Hampshire less than a week later, his Iowa victory ultimately propelled him to the Democratic nomination and then to the White House. John Kerry’s victory in Iowa in 2004 was the crucial first step on his way to the nomination. Likewise, New Hampshire helped George W. Bush to dispatch John McCain in 2000, and it helped McCain to beat the field in 2008. All received a shot of campaign adrenaline, massive media attention, improved polls and the increased fundraising advantages which come as prizes for winning in the early contests. While a few candidates have been able to skip Iowa or New Hampshire and survive, most candidates feel they have to reach for the golden ring in those contests if they are going to make it to the White House. John S. Jackson is a visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
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Continuations Bringing Stories Home:
Continuations New Approaches to Covering the World Continued from Page 21
or Bill Woo…— or for the subjects of my stories — than I was on writing for the ultimate readers of the work. I didn’t hear from them much, in part because I was often writing about subjects distant from home, and I didn’t think nearly as much as I should have about how and why — or whether — my stories were relevant to their lives. Third, very much related, we too often failed to think enough about how to sustain engagement in the issues we covered. We did a good job with this on the editorial page — one reason I only lasted three years on the editorial page at the start of my career was that I had a hard time coming up with clever ways to restate our position on gun control a fifth or fifteenth time. We did well also on sustained investigative campaigns like our work on defense fraud. I’m thinking more of our big enterprise projects, where we would assign a journalist to dig deep on an issue, making herself expert on an issue and traveling the world to gather the story. We would give great play to the project, six and seven days of multi-page stories, but all too often that was it. The reporter would move on to the next assignment; there was very little in the way of crosspromotion with radio or television, school or campus and community talks. It was a little bit crazy, looking back. We had invested large sums in making our journalists expert, on subjects of public interest, and then too often we let that expertise wither on the vine. And lastly, very little thought to collaboration across media platforms. When I look back now it’s striking to me how selfcontained our world at the Post-Dispatch was. We wanted to beat the competition — whether it was the Globe Democrat or local television or national papers covering the same story. There’s clearly a lot of good in competition, of course, and I was never a fan of the top-down “public journalism” sort of collaboration popular 10 or 15 years ago that too often was a cover for getting in bed with local or national establishments. What I am talking about is cross-platform collaborations that could extend the reach and impact of our reporting, taking the time to find a television partner or maybe a print outlet from some other city with an interest in the same topic, and then producing reports that complemented and built on each other. I mentioned earlier the defense fraud investigation that consumed Bill Freivogel and me for a year and a half. Our principal competitor was Patrick Tyler, then of The Washington Post. He had been cultivating for months Takis Veliotis, the former head of the General Dynamics nuclear submarine division who had fled the country in advance of a criminal indictment. He absconded to Greece, along with boxes of documents that incriminated higher ups in the company. He had given some of the documents to Patrick Tyler, who spent weeks corroborating them but was slow to publish. Veliotis, seeking to spur him on, invited me to Athens. For a week I called him each day and for seven days he put me off. He finally agreed to meet me, and to share the documents, among them tape recordings that included compromising comments by David Lewis, the company’s chair. It was a classic Veliotis move. He knew by then that The Washington Post was running its story the next day, spurred in part by his threats of giving it to us instead. What
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he hadn’t figured on was that it was seven hours earlier in St. Louis — and that by working with Bill, Jim and our lawyers we were able to get our version of the story in that night as well. It was probably the worst written story of my career and maybe the most unintelligible too — every quotation from David Lewis was preceded by the phrase “a voice purported to be that of David Lewis” — but we had matched The Washington Post. Would we have been better off talking a bit more with Patrick Tyler along the way, and comparing notes? Bill Freivogel and Richard Dudman would probably say No but I’m thinking, maybe Yes. •••• One bright side of the collapse of the old journalism ecosystem is that today journalists, editors and news-media outlets are open to multi-platform cross-media collaboration in ways they would never have dreamed of before. This change in perspective has happened with astounding speed. We think the Pulitzer Center has been at the forefront, pushing such projects through our journalism grants and brokering partnerships wherever we can. I would like to talk a bit about how this model works, with reference to some of our recent reporting projects. For starters, we know precisely how many people read us. The cities where they live, the number of seconds or minutes they stay with a story, where on the Internet they came from and whether, after landing on our site, they stick around to explore or bounce off to someplace else. For the month of August I can tell you that our website had 90,634 visitors. A quarter of them were Americans but we also had nearly that many from India. They looked at a total of 166,181 of our web pages and they spent on average one minute and 34 seconds per visit. About a third of our visitors came as a result of Google Ad Words, those featured links on the right side of search-engine results. We get a certain amount of Ad Words free each month, through a Google grant program for non-profits, and in our case we’ve used them to draw audience and attention to Downstream, our strand of reporting on water and sanitation issues, and to the lesson plans that we write o encourage teachers to make use of our journalism in class. Thanks to Google Analytics we can drill deeper, and get a sense of what the level of engagement is. We know that in August our Web pages presenting Andre Lambertson’s work on teenager prostitution were viewed 1,730 times, on average for 3 minutes 48 seconds each — in Internet time, a virtual eternity. We know that the haunting multimedia piece that Stephanie Sinclair produced for us on child brides was viewed 1,561 times, for an average time of 6 minutes 24 seconds each. We also know that in a collaborative, high-technology world we don’t have to depend on our site alone to reach the audiences we seek. The child-brides video is featured on the Pulitzer Center’s YouTube channel, for example, where
it has reached 13,878 viewers so far. It reached thousands more via the PBS NewsHour website and NPR, which ran an interview with Stephanie about her work. Water and population are also two of the topics where we are pioneering a new form of collaboration, one that matches seasoned international journalists and leading news outlets with journalists from the developing countries on which so much of our reporting has focused. The goal is to identify strong journalists in these countries and give them a voice in the reporting that reaches audiences in the United States and the rest of the industrialized North. In the water initiative we recruited four West African journalists; they are working with my colleagues at Pulitzer and with Steve Sapienza, a video journalist who has done multiple projects with the Pulitzer Center including work for NewsHour, on a project that will address issues of sustainability and accountability in the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on water and sanitation projects, with too much of it wasted along the way. … That brings me to one last form of collaboration, the partnership with donors that makes all of this work possible. Non-profit journalism is not a new phenomenon….What is new is an explosion of journalism initiatives that depend in part on individual and foundation donations, from national enterprises such as Pro Publica and the Pulitzer Center to local news organizations like the St. Louis Beacon that have done great work in fostering information and debate on topics that commercial metropolitan dailies are increasingly less able to tackle.
•••• Emmy Pulitzer likes to say that if the first Joseph Pulitzer were with us today, the man who helped invent the penny press and made the exposé of tenement abuses and other investigative crusades a staple of daily journalism would most definitely be part of the online revolution. He would be every bit as excited by the possibilities of multimedia presentation on iPads and interactive engagement as he and his successors were about sending Nelly Bly around the world or introducing color comics and photographs to daily newspapers. We are very much driven by that same entrepreneurial excitement, determined to seize every opportunity before us and to leverage our resources as far as we possibly can. But we’re also inspired by the third Joseph Pulitzer, Richard Dudman’s boss and mine, a man of exquisite taste and deep commitment to the highest ideals of independent, fearless journalism. When he became editor of the Post-Dispatch, in the 1950s, he said something that we have made a watchword of our work at the Pulitzer Center: that “we will illuminate dark places and, with deep understanding, interpret these troubled times.” You’ll find it at the bottom of every page on the Pulitzer Center website. It’s the mission that drives our work.
…But we have no illusions as to doing this work without the support of individuals and foundations who understand that what we are talking about are classic public goods — reporting of value to our democracy as a whole but that isn’t going to be accomplished on any standard commercial scheme. If you look at our site you will see that it is almost entirely “serious” work, work that we are endeavoring to make as vivid and compelling as possible but that doesn’t rely on celebrities or sex or sports or the story of the hour or whatever it is that most commercial sites have to tout to bring the eyeballs in. We joke that we’re selling spinach, tough news on difficult stories from often obscure spots of the globe. We sauté it, we lace it with spices when we can, but spinach it remains. Good for you, and important, but not as enticing as the latest congressional scandal or what Dominique Straus-Kahn did at the Sofitel Hotel. One of the most inspiring aspects of our experience at the Pulitzer Center these past six years has been the growing number of individuals and foundations who care about these issues… For us it began with the example and support of Emmy Pulitzer and David and Katherine Moore. They set a standard of funding independent reporting on systemic global issues without constraining how the reporting was done that has served us extraordinarily well as we have brought in new supporters to expand our work.
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Continuations • Media Notes
Is accountable advertising an oxymoron?
Continued from Page 22
Corporations liken their advertising spending as an investment that should produce immediate results in terms of sales and profits. This myopic and arbitrary definition of accountability tends to be a difficult benchmark for evaluating advertising effectiveness.
brands have become iconic more so than others does not reveal any radical solutions that can be easily replicated or used as a formula for advertising accountability. The biggest advantage these successful brands have over others is that they occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of consumers. But achieved iconic status doesn’t mean that a brand cannot be displaced from the position that it enjoys. But as we have seen time and again, in a social media-driven world there are always threats around the corner. Coke and Pepsi probably never considered an energy drink like Red Bull to be any kind of a threat to their market.
Book Publishing: By 2009, the number of corporations controlling half the $23.9 billion market had fallen to five: Bertelsmann (Random House), Pearson, Hachette, News Corp (Harper Collins) and CBS (Simon & Schuster). Of the five, four have significant holdings in other media industries.
No brand should feel comfortable about its status in the market. So what is the magic mantra if there is any? And how do you make advertising accountable and effective in a way that it translates a brand into iconic status and shows significant growth in sales percentage.
Internet: The Internet’s future has not been determined. Most Americans may choose from only one or two Internet service providers, and the corporations that currently control the pipes are making unprecedented gains into the content that flows through them. For 2009, Google and Yahoo received more than half the $20.9 billion in advertising revenue.
Briggs and Stuart, in their book, “What Sticks,” say the answer lies in the four M’s: motivations, message, media and maximization. Motivations relate to understanding the consumers needs from a particular product, how the product is positioned in the marketplace and how the consumers can be segmented. The message refers to the creative that needs to break through the clutter and create an impact. Media planning needs to be completely rethought and archaic ways of allocating funds to different media needs to be reconsidered. Finally, corporations and advertising agencies need to figure out how to build and develop a strategy that would maximize on your return of investment in advertising. These factors perhaps serve as a starting point to provoke marketers and agencies alike to think more about how they could ensure more value out of their advertising and how to make it more accountable.
Continued from Page 24
personal beliefs of the authors shine through their books. Both authors make similar claims about media, both rely on their data and both use personal anecdotes to explain their points. But the points are polar opposites. One thing is certain: Groseclose writes an entertaining book. A liberal may read it and disagree with Groseclose’s methods and dismiss his claims, while a conservative may read it and agree completely. Both will be entertained. Both may gain a better insight into how they view the media. That alone may make the book worth reading.
G TEWAY J O U R NALISM R EVIEW
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Continued from Page 25
Subsequent sales data showed that the carbonated soft drink and beverages category was actually losing ground to other product categories such as sports drinks, energy drinks and water. This is marked among teenagers and young adults who constitute the future generation of sales.
Left Turn: How Media Bias Distorts the American Mind Groseclose is a conservative. He quickly announces his personal beliefs in the book and stands by them. But it’s hard to read this book without thinking of Eric Alterman’s “What Liberal Media?” a book written from the point of view that media actually leans to the right. Placing both of these books together, one can see that despite the methods (Groseclose uses quantitative methods to prove his point, Alterman uses qualitative methods) the
Few control flow of information
Monopoly vs. Democracy Morrison concludes his essay by noting that the heads of all 20 dominant corporations are still white males. “Lack of diverse ownership,” writes Morrison, “leads to non-diverse newsrooms and viewpoints: According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors (4/16/09), ethnic minorities make up less than 13 percent
MEDIA SHORTS Joplin Globe Lauded The Missouri Press Association is lending its support to the creation of a documentary on the role the Joplin Globe played in covering the tornado that decimated the town on Sunday, May 22. The news staff came in to remake the Monday edition and followed each day with tragic reports that saw the death toll rise to more than 150 people. It reported on the efforts for relief and rebuilding. The homes of 25 Globe staffers were destroyed and the paper’s page designer was killed. An editorial in the Washington Missourian said: “Long after the television trucks rolled out of town, the Globe is doing what good community newspapers have always done — tell the story.”
West End Word Sold The West End Word community newspaper in St. Louis has been purchased by Webster-Kirkwood Times Inc. and will continue to be published every other week, covering “city living from the Arch to the Innerbelt.” The Word was started 39 years ago and for the last 22 years was owned by Jeff Fister. The Webster-Kirkwood Times and a sister paper, the South County Times, is owned by Dwight Bitikofer, the publisher, and Don Corrigan, the editor-in-chief who also teaches at Webster University. The Times’ combined circulation is 77,000. The circulation of the Word is 20,000.
Lovejoy Society Shuts Down The Elijah P. Lovejoy Society in St. Louis has been shuttered
of newsroom employees, less than four percent of television station ownership and less than eight percent of radio station ownership. This in a nation revealed by the 2010 census to be 36 percent minority.” Technologies, writes Morrison, “will continue to serve a corporate minority that is inherently contradictory to the values of democracy.” Which of the American mass media would dare to feature a columnist on economic issues that compares to European columnists on the left. That would not be popular and sell. The farthest the American media dare to go is to feature Paul Krugman, a middle-of-the road writer. As giant media companies continue to push an interpretation of the First Amendment that focuses only on their freedom to speak, the freedom to hear “diverse and antagonistic voices” has all but disappeared.
Charles L. Klotzer is the founder of the St. Louis Journalism Review. because of a lack of funds, according to its founder, Robert Tabscott. He is a retired Presbyterian minister who started the non-profit organization in 1975 to develop educational materials and activities to promote cultural diversity. It was named after the abolitionist newspaper editor in Alton, Ill., who was killed by an angry pro-slavery mob in 1837. The society has not been dissolved within the state of Missouri in the event that others may want to carry on its work.
MEDIA NOTES John Auble recently retired as a reporter for KTVI Channel 2 after 44 years in the news business in St. Louis. He started as a reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and then was a reporter and features host for KSD Channel 5 (now KSDK), and worked at Channel 2 for 23 years. He scored several scoop interviews including the first with James Earl Ray, who was convicted of murdering Martin Luther King Jr. Eddie Roth, an editorial writer at the St. Louis PostDispatch, h as resigned to take a newly-created job in the office of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. As the chief performance officer he will work with various branches of the criminal justice system in the city to hold them accountable for improvement. Tim Dorsey has told staffers at KTRS radio he was stepping down this fall as president of the station he has headed and co-owned for the last 15 years. The 65-year-old Dorsey had earlier worked at competitor KMOX radio. He made his mark at KTRS 550 AM by recruiting name personalities and high-profile sports franchises.
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MEDIA AWARDS Bonneville St. Louis Media Group John Kijowski, vice president and market manager, has been named by Radio Ink Magazine a 2010 Best Manager/ Large Market. He was also nominated a Bonneville Best for 2010 from Bonneville International Corporation. The group includes stations 92.3 WIL, 101 ESPN and 106.5 The Arch as well as websites www.ToastedRay.com and www.GatewayCitySavers.com.
St. Louis American The paper won four awards in the Suburban Newspapers of America’s 2010 Editorial Contest. It won first place in the class of 36,000 or more circulation for Best News Photo by Wiley Price and Local Election Coverage for the November 2010 elections, reported by Rebecca S. Rivas and Chris King with photographs by Price and page design by Mike Terhaar. The paper won third place for its Entertainment/Lifestyle section reported by Kenya Vaughn and designed by Melvin Moore. The staff of the paper and the St. Louis American Foundation won second place for community service.
St. Louis Commerce Magazine The May/June 2010 issue won a Mercury Award from the international group Advertising Public Relations, Corporate Communications and Design. The magazine’s design consultant Stan Gellman Graphic Design Inc. also received an award in the category of Annual Reports-Overall Presentation/Electronics.
St. Louis Magazine Co-owner Ray Hartmann received the Star of Hope Award from the St. Louis Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
St. Louis Media Hall of Fame
Continuations • Media Notes such as immigrants and their struggles, Haitian earthquake survivors” and people in similar situations. Jeremy Kohler and Blythe Bernhard won top awards in the 2011 Missouri APME competition in the community affairs/ public interest story category. Chris Lee, photographer, won in the feature photo category and Christine Byers won in the feature writers’ category. Tom Borgman, graphic director, won for an illustration on lead production. Bryan Burwell won in the sports feature category. Roger Kuechler won in the headline-writing category. Aisha Sultan has been selected a Knight Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan for the upcoming academic year. She will research “Raising Children in a Digital Age.” She will be on leave from the Post-Dispatch from August until June 2012. J.B. “Jim” Forbes, chief photographer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will be inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame this fall. Reporter Tim Logan and columnist David Nicklaus won a Gerald Loeb award for distinguished financial journalism for their series last year on the competitiveness of the St. Louis region.
Missouri Honor Medal Awards Five media leaders, two news organizations and a public relations expert were honored this fall with the 2011 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service to Journalism.Those honored at the University of Missouri School of Journalism on Oct. 3 are: Margaret Wolf Freivogel, founding editor of the online St. Louis Beacon; FRONTLINE, the investigative TV documentary series; Mario R. Garcia, designer for multiplatform news presentation; David Granger, editor-in-chief, Esquire magazine; Robert S. Leaf, international public relations counselor; Danny Lyon, photographer, filmmaker and writer;
Grizzell & Co
Chris Reimer was hired as vice president, social media.
The agency was recently a winner in the 2011 Hermes Creative Awards Competition.
Hughes Marketing Agency The agency hired Monica Giardina as a senior art director, Shannon Casey as a social media and event coordinator, and Laura Poolea as a media assistant.
Rodger Townsend The agency promoted Michael McCormick to senior vice president, executive creative director.
Sisters of Mercy Health System Bob Davidson joined the system as director of communications for the St. Louis region.
Suddenlink Communications Mark Mihalevich joined the agency as vice president for marketing strategy.
G TEWAY JOURNALISM REVIEW
Suddenlink Communications The Midwest chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications awarded The Spirit of the Midwest Awards to Marsha Humphreys Gee, vice president of billing, and to Erin Lorenz, information technology director.
IN MEMORIAM James Creighton, 75, died May 1 in California. He was a writer and held various editor positions at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 34 years. Bob Posen, 82, died June 25. He started as a sports writer at the Post-Dispatch and held various editor positions including city editor, wire editor and news editor.
Mark Russell, editor, the Orlando Sentinel; Suddeutsche Zeitung, the largest daily newspaper in Germany. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
The following were named to the Print Media Hall of Fame: Linda Eardley, the late Alice Belcher, the late Selwyn Pepper, the late Carl Schurz, and Elaine Viets. Inductees in the Radio Hall of Fame were Doug Eason, Jim Gates, Columbus Gregory, the late Prince Knight (Ron Lipe) and Nancy Pool. Added to the Television Hall of Fame were John Auble, Howard DeMere, Ray Hoffstetter, Sharon Stevens and the late Parker Wheatley. The St. Louis Media History Foundation, founded by Frank Absher sponsored the event.
The AEJMC, which chose St. Louis for its annual convention Aug. 10-13, honored Charles and Rose Klotzer with its “Professional Freedom & Responsibility Award” for their efforts of 40 years in founding and publishing the St. Louis Journalism Review.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Archdiocese of St. St. Louis
Earlier this year, Doug Moore received the St. Louis Newspaper Guild’s 2010 Terry Hughes Award for his “ability to tell personal, richly detailed stories about people
Anne Steffens, director of communications, was discharged in a restructuring of the department, reported Deb Peterson, Post-Dispatch columnist.
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Fall 2011 • Gateway Journalism Review • Page 37
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