Is that a meteor or Wendy McCaw?


Last week I wrote about how publisher Wendy McCaw had  sued former editor Jerry Roberts for trying to deflect her meddling in the news. Now a report says the National Labor Relations Board “will prosecute the conflict-ridden Santa Barbara News-Press newspaper for unfairly firing eight reporters.” The article quotes Barry Cappello, a lawyer for the News-Press: “The meteor has hit. We’re watching the end of the industry . . . Journalists think they can write what they want when they want. I don’t know if that can survive in this age.”

If a mass extinction of journalists looms, they’ll go down arguing. Unfortunately about rehashing many of the same debates. It’s time to stick a fork in journalist vs blogger debate; let this bit in Paid Content be the last of its genre. 

March Madness . . . as if it’s a bad thing. TNS Media Intelligence says advertisers will spend $500 million during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. GM, AT&T and Anheuser-Busch led the list of top 10 advertisers.

Right of reply: What if anybody could track postings and correct erroneous information? My friend Tom (SiliconValleyWatcher) Foremski came up with this idea that has merit but needs more thought. I appreciate the value of corrections, but am not sure how this would be implemented. Any ideas?

Got widgets? At the New Communications Forum I heard closing speaker Shel Holtz declare that widgets would heat up in 2007. In  evidence thereof, this Editor & Publisher commentary calls widgets a “proactive way to get your content onto other websites and thus expand (your) audience.” Okay, so do non-techies build a widget? Examples?

The margin of error? The International Herald Tribune, reporting on a conference of global magazine and newspaper publishers called Magazine Media 2.0, said:

After spending millions of dollars to buy digital media companies, online advertising firms and search engines, only a few of the 350 magazine and newspaper companies represented at the conference said, in a show of hands, that they were making more than 3 percent of their sales online.

The Big Four Portals rule: MediaPost reports that “Google, Yahoo, AOL and MSN will sop up a whopping two-thirds–66%–of the $19.5 billion spent on online advertising.”

Citizen journalism in the developing world. We take freedom of expression for granted. Cristi Hegranes, founder of  the Press Institute for Women in the Developing World, writes a proud report for the Poynter Institute about the first five trainees of her program:

Could five women with no journalism experience really report and write hard-hitting stories? Would they be able to put aside their political biases and strive to produce balanced reporting?

Nothing has inspired me more than watching those five women rise to the challenge. In the six months since they completed their training, they have uncovered stories about cervical cancer, rape, the plight of organic farmers, a lack of health care services and more. They have been courageous and they have been fair . . .