September 28, 2009

Catchup: More on the Newhouse job pledge, Alabama lawsuit, Birmingham Eccentric, The Rapidian

Let's clean out my inbox which is filing up because my daughter returned to Michigan temporarily for some cancer checkups and my friend MS decided to remind me who is boss despite my three-day booking at American Sewing Expo.

AdvanceInternet is moving closer to getting its new community features working. Still, I had to laugh when I tried to read  blogger Andrew Heller's "I'm back and that's a good thing, right?" on He starts:
"After a week away, like MacArthur, I have finally returned. Believe me, this mini blog vacation was not my idea. Mlive, bless their Mlivey hearts, decided to upgrade the look of its blogs, and in doing so they gave we bloggers a brand new updated upload interface. That didn't work. At least for me."
See, when I clicked on the headline in Google Reader I got an "404 Not Found" error page. I navigated my way to Andy's column, read a few more lines and then tried to get the "full story." Ha. Ha.

I noticed that a few news sites are admitting problems - see the Grand Rapids Press' Trouble logging into Mlive accounts?  - and some are writing their own versions of explaining the features. Check out how Niki Doyle, social media editor for The Huntsville Times, explains to use the new tools. Or read The Jersey Guy's "Welcome to the new, improved" for a big picture view.

I'd comment on any of the Advance Internet sites, but still seem to run into trouble with authentication. (Update: The password recovery page is working. I think my problems are due to being a former blogger as I start at and end up at or the blog login site.)

In 'Newhouse Pledge,' Job Security, Now Relics of Once-Thriving Newspaper Industry, a  former Advance Publications employee reacts to the soon-to-be extinct Newhouse no-layoff pledge and an ex-publisher cites the ending of the pledge in his lawsuit.

Mark Holan, now a freelance writer looking for work and working on a book says that some  Mobile Press-Register employees told him that Howard Bronson is a hero for taking on Newhouse, but others worry that they'll face more financial pain and job insecurity if he prevails.

While we are on the suit, Lagniappe had a followup post to the the suit in Bronson takes on P-R. Rob Holbert quotes Howard Bronson's lawyer, shares that some employees are expecting the Newhouse newspapers in Alabama to consolidate, and that longtime Advertising Director Larry Wooley has retired. Holbert also reviews the lawsuit again, pulling out details about Bronson's improvements during his years as head of the news organizations and plans such as reducing the size of the newspaper page.

So, how about a happier ending - a community winning its fight to keep its community newspaper going. Gannett wanted to close a Michigan weekly - The Birmingham Eccentric - but the community objected.
InVocus Media Blog has an update on the effort, which just passed another deadline. Katrina M. Randall also shares how the newspaper staff is changing its efforts as a result of the community.

Over on the west side of Michigan, a new citizen journalism effort officially launched. Thanks to Jay Rosen, who teaches journalism at New York University, there's been a healthy discussion of some of the coverage of the opening of The Rapidian. There was praise for a Grand Rapids Press editorial:
"This is an exemplary editorial from the Grand Rapids Press welcoming @TheRapidian, a citizen journalism site, to the local news scene. No snark, no hostility, no insinuation that the "only the pros know" and a sense that in the rebooted system of news such sites will be a valuable part of the ecosystem."
That followed discussion prompted by an NPR piece.  Did the piece - Take That, Citizen Journalism! - miss?

I plan to write more about The Rapidian . Meanwhile, enjoy checking out the site.


Post a Comment