AJR News Wrap: Abramson’s High Road and ‘Voxplained’ Explained
May 23, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: Links to selected media news from the past week.

CHANGES AT POYNTER: Look for a redesigned website at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a school for journalism and media, which also covers the industry on Poynter.org. That’s one of several changes proposed by the new president, Tim Franklin, released this week. His strategies include ways to make more money for the organization, which has suffered financially in recent years (losing nearly $2 million in 2012, according to the Tampa Tribune).

Poynter has also made headlines for its employees’ pay; jimromenesko.com posted  in January the highest paid Poynter employees’ total compensation (IRS 990 form data from 2012), which ranged from $117,603 for senior faculty member Howard Finberg to $505,843 for chairman Paul Tash. Kristen Hare on Poynter.org reports that Franklin didn’t think salary levels were out of line, and said he wanted Poynter to be considered the “gold standard, which means investing in high-quality talent.”

Among his cash-generating ideas are to allow tenants in the headquarters, located in St. Petersburg, Fla. His report overall also seeks to “infuse all of Poynter with a stronger sense of innovation,” reports Hare.

PROFITS FOR PATCH: The New York Times reports this week that Patch, now with “15 percent of its news staff … left”  after laying off the bulk of its newsgathering operation, is profitable. Hale Global now holds majority ownership of the company. Under AOL, the network of hyperlocal websites “hemorrhaged cash” and lost “at least $200 million,” reports The Times. Other news for Patch? Its new editor is Warren St. John, a former NYT reporter. The story on Patch profits post-layoffs drew some snark on Twitter, especially from those noting the quality of the sites with a pared-down news staff.

From Northeastern University Journalism Professor Dan Kennedy:

DRONIE IS THE NEW SELFIE: Concerned that the selfie trend is getting a little — well — tired? Take a dronie, a picture of yourself with a drone, instead, suggests Nimrod Kamer on The Daily Dot, the Austin, Tx.-based site that covers Internet communities.

HERE’S ANOTHER VOCAB WORD: All the cool kids on Twitter are throwing around the term “Voxsplained.”  It’s the word followers of Vox use to flag a topic that has been covered by the online explanatory journalism startup.

SPOTLIGHT ON ABRAMSON: Ousted New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson spoke (and wrote) for the first time publicly since she was dismissed from The Times last week and replaced by former Times managing editor Dean Baquet. She, in short, “crushed it” during her commencement address to Wake Forest University graduates, wrote Rem Rieder in USA TODAY. During her speech, she “stayed very much on the high road” and praised her former employer as an “important and irreplaceable institution,” according to Rieder. Abramson also had her first post-ouster byline — a blog post in The Huffington Post that contained recollections of Arthur Gelb, a longtime NYT editor who died Tuesday at age 90.

EXITING THE ‘DEMORALIZING’ FIGHT FOR CLICKS: The founder of the financial website Minyanville told The Wall Street Journal’s Moneybeat that he’s selling his site after becoming frustrated from the pressures to get pageviews. He said he hopes a financial institution buys his site and uses it as a new opportunity to reach a young audience. (Company and industry rules often prohibit financial employees to post on social media, Moneybeat reported.)

THE ‘ATOMIC’ WOMEN OF THE NEWSROOM: Journalism is indeed a male dominated field, reports Amy Joyce in The Washington Post, citing data from The American Society of News Editors annual newsroom census, which documented the gender gap; in 2013, newsrooms remained two-thirds male. In contrast, in 2012, women made up 46.9 of the U.S. workforce, Joyce reports.

So what’s to be done about this situation? While it’s still being hashed out in 2014, the newsroom men of the 60s had this gem of advice to consider:

“A woman’s anger can be atomic in power; when there’s a blast-off, direct the force to useful ends.”

That came from The Associated Press Managing Editors “Ten Commandments for Dealing with Women Employes [sic],”  reports Poynter. It was found in a 1966 APME publication, Poynter writes.

*This story has been updated correct Dan Kennedy’s title and to reflect that Poynter does not own The Tampa Tribune.


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