Secretary-Treasurer Peter Szekely briefs press about El Diario on Aug. 19.
Local and Unit News
October 10, 2014
TIME INC. - After months of negotiations between the Newspaper Guild of New York and Time Inc. on a new contract for more than 200 newsroom employees, Guild members turned down the company’s so-called final contract offer in a nearly unanimous vote.
October 3, 2014
TIME INC. - The Guild will hold a meeting on Friday, Oct. 10 for members at Time Inc. to vote on a contract proposal that company managment representatives have described as their "last, best and final” offer. The package still would enable management to subcontract up to 60 of the slightly more than 200 Guild-represented, journalism-related jobs in the company, as well as another 100 temporary jobs.
October 3, 2014
HUDSON NEWS - After discussions with the Guild, Hudson News management has agreed to install 24 new lockers at Port Authority Bus Terminal, and to replace the worn out uniform shirts of employees who request it. Management also said that Port Authority-based employees must clock out and back in for their breaks, in addition to the starts and ends of their shifts.
September 30, 2014
TIMES - Times management is offering all Guild-covered Newsroom and Editorial Department employees with at least five years of service a buyout that would be its richest package ever for veterans with at least 20 years under their belts. Management said the buyout offer, which followed discussions with the Guild, is aimed at cutting 100 Guild-covered and nonunion workers from the staff.
October 22, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney has resigned from the newspaper, saying, “I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me” in a letter to Michael Ferro, chairman of Sun-Times owner Wrapports LLC.
McKinney was the paper’s Springfield bureau chief and was suspended for five days last week after a Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bruce Rauner, complained about a story on which he co-bylined, because he’s married to a Democratic consultant.
In his post, McKinney calls that suspension “a kind of house arrest that lasted almost a week” and says “It was pure hell.” The Sun-Times later broke with its recent tradition of not endorsing candidates and endorsed Rauner, who is a former investor in Wrapports.
“Readers of the Sun-Times need to be able to trust the paper,” McKinney writes. He continues:
They need to know a wall exists between owners and the newsroom to preserve the integrity of what is published. A breach in that wall exists at the Sun-Times.
It’s had a chilling effect in the newsroom. While I don’t speak for my colleagues, I’m aware that many share my concern.
“It is with reluctance that I accept Dave McKinney’s resignation,” Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk said in an email to Poynter. He continued:
As recently as this Monday on our Op/Ed page, I stated that Dave is among the best in our profession. I meant it then and I mean it now. The pause we took last week was to ensure there were no conflicts of interest and was taken simply to protect Dave McKinney, the Sun Times and its readers as we were under attack in a heated political campaign. We came to the right result, found the political attacks against us to be false and we stand by our reporting, our journalists and this great newspaper.
I disagree with Dave’s questioning the integrity of this newspaper and my role as editor and publisher. I call the shots. While I’ve been here, our ownership and management have never quashed a story and they have always respected the journalistic integrity of this paper.
October 22, 2014
Jim Brady’s new local-news startup, Billy Penn, launched Wednesday, carrying a note saying its site is still in beta.
The homepage of Billy Penn’s desktop site.
Although the site debuted Wednesday, Billy Penn has been building a following on email and social media in advance of the launch. The news organization has been on Twitter and Facebook for a couple months and has been delivering a weekday newsletter to subscribers for the past five weeks, according to an introductory letter from Billy Penn Editor Chris Krewson and Brady.
The letter also lays out a few fundamental guiding principles for the site. Among them: the staff will link out to stories rather than over-aggregating the work of others; the site will allow audience members to track specific stories using a “follow” button that will send out relevant email alerts; and that it will eschew comments for the time being (“It’s our opinion that interaction is moving into a ‘post-comments’ period”). The site’s advertising section notes that Billy Penn will offer native advertising as well as “in moment” ads and themed sponsorships.
This is Brady’s second attempt at starting up a local news site in a large metropolitan city. He presided over the creation of TBD in 2010, but that venture did not last very long.Read more
October 22, 2014
In 1986, Poynter’s Newsleaders series filmed an interview with Ben Bradlee, then editor of The Washington Post. Bradlee died on Tuesday, October 21, at the age of 93.
You can see the full interview, in which Bradlee talks about Watergate, the Pentagon Papers and his partnership with Katharine Graham.
Here are seven things he said from that interview in 1986. Let’s begin with the introduction, because, well, you’ll see.
1. “It ain’t necessarily so.”
2. “… A better informed world is a better world.”
3. “The power of The Washington Post lies first and above all in the fact that it is published in the capital of the free world. It’s a geographic power. I mean, if we were in Omaha, we would not be as powerful as we are.”
4. “If I meet someone new, it’s odds on that they’ll say, ‘well you don’t look like Jason Robards.’”
5. “I’m more worried about the relationship of the press and government, to working that out, rather than I am worried about the relationship of the press and the public. I think the public eventually works that out pretty well, it seems to me.”
6. “We’ve got a lot of jobs to do but one of them is not be loved. We don’t have to be loved. We have to be respected, I think.”
7. “I hope people will be sorry that I’ve gone, will be appreciative of what I’ve tried to do, but I think it will be a blip.”Read more
October 22, 2014
Pitchfork has named Jessica Hopper the editor-in-chief of The Pitchfork Review, a quarterly print magazine about music and culture. Hopper will also be a senior editor at Pitchfork’s daily site, she said in a phone call with Poynter.
“It’s a very special, novel thing,” Hopper said about The Pitchfork Review. “It’s a music magazine about music.”
“We’re definitely excited for Jessica to join the staff full-time as senior editor of the website and Editor in Chief of The Pitchfork Review,” Pitchfork Editor-in-Chief Mark Richardson told Poynter in an email. “She’s known quite a few people on staff for years from being in Chicago, and we’ve all been following her writing for a long time before that. Beyond her talent, she’s a fountain of ideas and enthusiasm.”
In its first year the Review was edited by J.C. Gabel, who will still contribute to the magazine, Richardson said. Hopper’s first issue at the top of the masthead will feature a 20,000-word oral history of Jawbreaker written by Leor Galil, a photo essay about an open-air punk market in Mexico City and a piece by Eric Harvey that draws a connection between the early days of “reality rap” and the TV show “Cops.”
Hopper said her plan is to do stuff “that’s like real music journalism, stuff that’s not even doable anymore because it doesn’t fit into people’s verticals.”
The magazine will also do “longer pieces on contemporary artists that we think are going to be canonical,” Hopper said. Pitchfork President Chris Kaskie and Creative Director Mike Renaud, Hopper said, originally saw the magazine as “the kind of magazine where you pull it off the shelf in 10 years and you know who everybody is.”
The Pitchfork gig is Hopper’s first full-time job as a music journalist; she’s been writing music criticism for nearly 20 years, beginning as the proprietor of the fanzine Hit It Or Quit It and collecting lots of freelance bylines along the way, at outlets like Spin, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader and Minneapolis City Pages. From 1995 to 2003, she ran her own music PR company, representing acts including the Dismemberment Plan, the Gossip and At the Drive-In.
She will no longer be Rookie’s music editor once she begins at Pitchfork but will still write about non-music stuff for that publication — “Rookie is my spiritual home, always,” Hopper said.
A collection of Hopper’s criticism, “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic,” is due out next May on Featherproof Books, which is run by Tim Kinsella, a member of the great Chicago bands Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc. Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield will write an intro for the book, Hopper said, whose title is “kind of a joke” that also points out “the absurdity that at the very least, [NPR music critic] Ann Powers and half a dozen other people should be ahead of me on this one.”
The magazine has a print circulation of 10,000 and a single sponsor for each issue. The Pitchfork staff is “very democratic,” Hopper said several times. I asked her about the preponderance of dudes on its masthead. “My experience has been that it’s a place that’s been very welcoming to women and to feminist ideas,” Hopper said. “I wouldn’t be there otherwise. I couldn’t be there otherwise! I feel very respected there.”
Hopper called criticism her “nerd depot” and said she looks forward to helping inexperienced writers refine their voices, giving them the types of edits that are hard to dole out at hyperactive Web publications. “I was lucky that I was getting top edits from Kiki Yablon that made me cry for two years,” she said, referring to the Chicago Reader’s former managing editor and later editor.
Other editors she credits as influences: Will Hermes, Charles Aaron, Steve Kandell and Alison True. They taught her “how to write by showing me what I was doing wrong,” she said. “Because of the state of music journalism, you’re lucky if you get a top edit that’s more than somebody running spellcheck on your stuff.”
The Review doesn’t review records. When it does do criticism, it will tend to be longform, Hopper said, something that benefits artists as well as writers who want to stretch out: “What fun is it having a record come out and feeling like no one understands it enough to write about it properly?” she said.Read more