June 1, 2009

NYT notices NJ effort; Michigan's 5 B's still hoping

In New Jersey, it is a group of journalists out to save the news. In Birmingham, it is the community. In Washington, a former journalism teacher sorts the yellowing newspapers in her basement to create a four-part review of another newspaper.

The work of the 40 ex-Star-Ledger journalists gets attention from the The New York Times today. Read about the NewJerseyNewsroom under a headline "Cast Out, but Still Reporting."

The journalists, who accepted buyouts from the Advance Publications newspaper, are slowly building an audience but are not making money yet.

David Carr quotes Garrett Morrison a sports editor who also is handling the business side:
“This is a start-up, but we are not doing it without resources We have Tom Hester’s experience, his Rolodex, and people are happy to return his calls. There are a lot of people like him.”
The New Jersey effort is not the first of its kind. Carr points to San Diego, Minneapolis, Denver and Chicago as some of the hybrid models. He also notes:
It helps that there’s a lot of talent at loose ends. Across the country, various bands of journalistic hardies — newsroom pros whose services are no longer salient to a crippled and disrupted information economy — have taken matters into their own hands.
Editor & Publisher wrote about the site in April.

Five B's want their newspaper

How's the fight for the five B's to save their newspaper in the Detroit area? Organizers hope for a good turnout at Wednesday's rally to save the Birmingham Eccentric from folks in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills.

The Freep reported on a lunch
that turned into a mini-rally for the effort and posted the refrain of Curtis Posuniak's ‘Keep the Eccentric News Flowing’
“To keep the Eccentric news flowing,
To keep the presses going!
If we meet our potential subscriptions,
We’ll all be happy, too!
A special web site encourages folks to sign up for a year-long subscription.

Bob Martin, who posts in Uncle Bob for President, shares a history of the Birmingham weekly and signs up for a subscription. He urging others to do so in Progress is not always good.

He also drops Tim Allen's name, reminding all that Birmingham is "The same town depicted in Tim Allen's "home Improvement" TV show, both he and I grew up there and went to the same High School together."

Wonder if Tim has bought a subscription or will be doing commercials for that cause.

Meanwhile, the West Bloomfield Eccentric published its last edition and a farewell column.

Basement of newspapers

And speaking of farewells, two of the writers of the B-Town Blog in Washington tracked down their former journalism teacher and had her write a four-part series reflecting on the closing of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Miss Dorothea Mootafes "known a little better as Dorothy, and affectionately as Miss Moo" finished the third installment.

She shares so many names and insights into the changes of newspapers. This installment starts with recalling a columnist who covered Harry Truman to George W. Bush.

"For this article of remembrance, I entered my basement with its myriad of yellowing and aromatically scented Post-Intelligencers proclaiming presidential nominations, elections, and inaugurations as well as the rare times when Seattle sports teams triumphed nationally (the Seattle Supersonics in 1979 when they won the NBA Championship and the Seattle Mariners in 1995 when they stopped one game short of playing in the World Series)."
You can still read the first and second installments, learning about the evolving women's section and a sports editor who was a "cheerleader and promoter of every Seattle-based team and outstanding athlete." If you don't read them, you'll miss learning about the columnist who shared that "Firefighters have the greatest incidence of heart attacks."

The B-Town Blog started as a hobby but turned into more for its founders who were intent on covering their community as the "only daily-updated, totally independent online source (meaning we’re not selling real estate, nor do we work for the city) for all things Burien-related."

Related posts:
Citizens won't let newspaper die


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