Thursday, November 20, 2008
The past five years have been exciting, challenging, fun, hectic, rewarding, frustrating, interesting, tiring, exhilarating – I could go on, but copy editors hate too many adjectives. I’ve worked as a journalist for 27 years and I don’t yet know if my next job will be as a journalist.
To those who remain at The Star: It’s been a pleasure working with you. If I could give a bit of advice, it would be to compliment your colleagues more for jobs well done. Don’t let complaints and criticism be the only things co-workers hear about.
I read an interview with Ted Turner in Time magazine, and he said this: “You can’t always stay in the place where you’d like to be.” (He was referring to his marriage to Jane Fonda, but what the heck.) Anyway, to those who are leaving, my hope for you is that you find a new place where you’d like to be.
Feel free to keep in contact with me (job notices, employment tips, notes of support or just to say hi) by e-mail at patricia (at) patriciapix.com.
(Thanks to graphic artist/editorial cartoonist Steve Greenberg for my caricature. Greenberg has been laid off as well.)
Note: I have been allowed to keep this blog up, although nothing else will be added to it after I leave.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wronged by a Thong?
Then I went searching online to see if I could find other headlines for this story. Here are many more:
Dinged by a G-string?
Woman sues Victoria's Secret over a thong 'malfunction'
What a thong and dance: Woman sues Victoria's Secret over G-string injury
Victoria's little secret lawsuit?
Granma injured by a thong! EWWWWWWWWW!
The thong did it
What headlines could you come up with for this story? Send them to me.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
It has two features I thought you might be interested in. The first is a new one for the site -- "(Least) Favorite Mistake" -- in which editors are asked what their most embarrassing mistake is. One copy editor tells her embarrassing tale when she didn't follow her own advice: that everyone needs an editor -- even an editor. You can read about it here.
The second feature is called "5 Questions With..." in which authors, editors and other journalists are asked the same five questions, such as "What punctuation mark are you fondest of?" and "If you weren't in your current line of work, what would you be doing instead?" You can find a few of the interviews here, and the rest of the interviewees are listed here.
Now it's your turn. Why don't you send me your answer to one of these questions, and I'll publish the responses. The question:
"If you weren't in your current line of work, what would you be doing instead?"
Please send me your responses. Thanks.
Subject: Karen Gindick
We are happy to announce that Karen Gindick has joined the newsroom as a copy editor.
Karen comes to us from the Los Angeles Daily News where she has held a number of positions during her tenure, including copy editor, copy desk chief, opinion page editor, wire editor, designer and assistant news editor.
She also taught editing, headline writing and design at USC. We are thrilled to have Karen join our desk.
She started today, so if you get a moment please go by and introduce yourself and welcome her to The Star.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Martin Gee, a designer at the San Jose Mercury News, writes on his Flickr site: "the last round of layoffs and buyouts really hurt me. i mean, each one does but this one especially. this place feels like a morgue. an abusive relationship. remnants and artifacts everywhere. empty cubicles. empty chairs. abandoned office equipment. goodbye emails. besides looking for a new job, this is a way for me to deal." The way he's dealing is to document the aftermath in images. His Flickr set of photos, called "reduction in force," can be seen here. The photo displayed here is from his set. It shows the empty nameplate for my friend, Rich Ramirez, who took his life a day after finding out his position was being eliminated. Martin adds a note, however, saying he wasn't trying to imply that this news caused Rich to do what he did (read his note with this photo for a full explanation). The photos are pretty dramatic, and having worked there for almost 6 years, I was saddened to see what the place is like now.
Martin's blog is here. Couldn't help but laugh at the photo at the top of his blog.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Friday, December 28, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
New York Daily News:
A headline in Monday’s Daily News, “He regrets his role in ‘postal’ vid,” implied that Richard Marino, the subject of a YouTube video, was sorry for an incident in December at a Brooklyn post office. Marino, in fact, is not sorry. The News regrets the error.
Typo of the Year:
The Houston Chronicle, like just about every other North American media outlet, spent a lot of time reporting on Anna Nicole Smith this past year. In attempting to explain her, um, humble origins, the paper gave itself a measure of comeuppance. And that’s what makes it the typo of the year.
A photo caption in the paper read:
“When Redding, a longtime scout for Playboy, discovered Smith, the model could barely right a sentence…”
Who’s illiterate now?
Reuters, the reigning back-to-back champ in this category, didn’t win but did come in second place by calling the Muttahida Quami Movement the “Muttonhead Quail Movement.”
Daily Telegraph (UK):
APOLOGY: In Friday’s article on Liz Hurley’s wedding it was wrongly stated that the actress is holding a pheasant shoot on the Sunday after the ceremony. Game shooting is of course illegal on Sundays and the pheasant season ended on Feb 1. We apologise for the error and accept that if any shooting is to be done it will be by the paparazzi, who have no season and do not observe the Sabbath.
Portland Press Herald:
A story on Page B4 on Wednesday about foraging for edible mushrooms contained a photo of amanita muscaria, which is a poisonous and hallucinogenic mushroom. It was a copy editor’s error.
Best Meta Correction, The Guardian:
We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and clarifications column on September 26, page 30.
Most Puzzling Correction, The New Scientist:
Several readers complain that the dancing cow illustrating Feedback, 20 January, appears to have six teats. It was of course drawn as seen by an intoxicated fellow dancer.
Monterey County Herald:
Monterey X-rated movie director Inkyo Volt Hwang’s nickname was Wanker Wang. An article on page A1 Saturday misspelled the nickname.
You can see the full report here, which includes people's comments at the bottom that correct Regret the Error's writer for his mistakes!
Ike Turner, 1931-2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
"I worked for Gallagher at both The Trib and the Star, and was often advised by him to focus on what I could change, which was what the staff of The Tribune did best. ...
"Trib staffers didn't just look out their windows, they examined their own operation as aggressively as any. This was the culture during and after Gallagher. When I was a part of it, the staff questioned its bosses as aggressively as it did bureaucrats and business leaders. So when Gallagher decided to leave, and a corporate VP dropped by to make it official (and to introduce the new editor, Scott Ware), the staff fired away. People wanted to know if this was the beginning of the end.
"The matter was also addresed frankly in that December 30, 1994, story, which I pulled out to review this week and found the following Gallagher quote regarding the circulation situation:
"We're fighting an uphill battle here, the trend away from evening newspapers. I quit blaming myself for it. I went through the Stuart Smalley 12 steps. I'm doing what I can, we're putting out a good newspaper, everybody knows it's a good newspaper [SNIP ...] Don't get worked up about these numbers. This is still a very profitable business."
"Gallagher's departure was not the beginning of The Trib's end. It has continued to publish for the past 12 1/2 years since he left. And although the staff size has been considerably diminished during that time, along with circulation, The Trib's product has continued to be recognized with national awards.
"Quality, however, doesn't always sell."
You can read the entire piece here.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
"When my career as a stand-up comedian and sitcom staff writer started winding down, I took on a number of freelance comedy-writing jobs -- writing jokes for Jack-FM stations, for other comedians and for Cracked magazine. My Cracked editor went to work for the WWN and invited me to contribute stories. Before long, I had five or more stories in each issue. Fake news was my day job. Imagine my mother's pride: " 'France Makes Hanky Panky Mandatory' ... my son wrote that!" I was, at first, confused about whether I was supposed to write true offbeat news, general satire or complete fabrication. So I asked. The response was loud and clear: "complete fabrication." Yet each piece was written as if completely real. So when, for example, Bigfoot got married, launched his acting career and became involved with Kabbalah, each story got a dateline, quotes from "sources" and "experts" and followed a typical Associated Press structure. In fact, much of the original staff came from mainstream newspapers. The standard? It had to seem true. "Half the readers realize the stories are tongue-in-cheek; the other half believe they're all true," my editor explained. "You have to write the stories to satisfy both groups." ...While most of the supermarket tabloids constantly recycle one another's celebrity gossip and diet plans, the WWN went unashamedly for the bizarre, unbelievable and tasteless. For any creative writer, the gig was a gold mine. Inspiration was everywhere. One day I wondered just exactly how snug is a bug in a rug? Shortly thereafter, I sold "Researcher Determines Snugness of Bugs in Rugs" to the WWN. Photoshop was the graphic department's best friend. On their pages, Elvis lived, Bat Boy rode atop subway cars, and space aliens shook hands with world leaders. Explorers discovered Noah's ark, the Garden of Eden, Jesus' sandals and the world's fattest cat. They had just as much fun with the less spectacular news items. For one of mine, "African Tribe Worships Barbra Streisand's Nose," they created a gigantic stone statue of Streisand's head in profile to show off her famed schnoz and surrounded it with spear-toting natives in loincloths. ...One thing's certain -- waiting in line at the supermarket will be a lot less fun." You can read the full piece here.
Monday, August 6, 2007
New York Times, July 30
An article on Thursday about the arraignment of three men in the shooting of two New York police officers, one of whom died, misstated the schedule set by a judge for a trial in the case. The trial is expected to begin by February, not by "Feb. 30. "
The error occurred when an editor saw the symbol "- 30 -" typed at the bottom of the reporter's article and combined it with the last word, "February." It is actually a notation that journalists have used through the years to denote the end of an article.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Man Poses as CPR Dummy To Meet Women
Mother Nature Endorses Gore for President
Astronomer Rebuked For Endless Staring into Space
Man Marries Computer -- Becomes GigamistPit Bull Eats Mobile Home
200 ELVES LAID OFF! Santa moves operation to Honduras sweatshop
VENGEFUL FROGS EAT FRENCH CHEF'S LEGS
VENTRILOQUIST IS IN COMA -- BUT HIS DUMMY'S STILL TALKING!
GRAVY TRAIN DERAILS!
Chocaholic Mom Has Sugar-Coated Baby
MEEK SUE TO INHERIT THE EARTH!
Woman gives birth to baby rabbits
Hitler's Brain Found in Mayonnaise Jar
HITLER'S NOSE ALIVE IN A JAR -- AND IT'S GROWING A MUSTACHE!
Gay Dinosaurs: the real reason they went extinct
Doctors Reattach Siamese Twins
Man searches for his own severed head
CONCRETE ENEMAS A BAD IDEA, DOCS WARN
You can read the full blog item here. (George Bush photo by AP)
Monday, July 23, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Smooth-running conventions don't just happen. Behind every successful
convention are the volunteers who handle all the essential details. Behind every
effective band of volunteers is an organizer with a vision, a checklist and the
right blend of charm and persistence to cajole the troops.
At NAHJ that was Rich Ramirez, a 44-year-old executive assistant, from
the San Jose Mercury News.
In the weeks leading up to the convention, Ramirez was peppering his
colleagues around the country with e-mail requests, big and small. He sent
spreadsheets with detailed marching orders for volunteers. He made last-minute
pitches for editors to shake down their publishers for $1,500-a-hole
sponsorships for the charity golf tournament. He even sent out an appeal for a
baby sitter on behalf of a CNN producer.
The convention was a huge success and no one seemed to be having a
better time than Rich when I caught up with him at an opening-night reception.
As always, he was quick with a smile and quick with questions about how things
were going with my life and job.
Four days after the convention, Rich Ramirez was found dead in the backyard of his Livermore home, with a knife wound in his midsection. Police still suspect it was a suicide, by about the most painful and difficult method imaginable.
Those who knew Rich Ramirez could not say which was more inconceivable:
That he would take his life or that someone would want to hurt a man who
radiated such brightness and generosity. One could only speculate: Was it the
angst and uncertainty that has gripped the profession he loved? Or was it a
deeply personal pain that no one who thought they knew him ever recognized?
On Thursday, Rich was eulogized at a memorial service in San Jose. The
church was overflowing with family, friends, colleagues.
... One question came up, over and over, as his friends and colleagues
marveled at the size of the crowd and depth of sentiment at the memorial
service: "I wonder if he knew how much he was appreciated?"
I know what you're thinking about the Rich Ramirezes who bind the communities in your lives. Don't wait, don't assume they know. Tell them.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
You can read the entire transcript here.
10) "Covers all the news that happens within one block of the office."
9) "Today's exclusive: 'Nixon Dead!'"
8) "Reporter sent to jail for refusing to divulge a source...Oh, and he
also killed a dude."
7) "All horoscopes: 'Now would be a good time to get out of the
newspaper business.' "
6) "Paper's motto: 'Suck It'"
5) "Every 'hot gossip' item is about Jack Klugman."
4) "Managing editor and guy who wheels around breakfast? Same guy."
3) "Under 'weather,' it just reads 'yes.'"
2) "Instead of 'Garfield,' has a comic strip called 'Garfunkel.'"
... and the No. 1 sign that your newspaper is in trouble is: ...
1) "You endorsed Dennis Kucinich."