Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Wish Granted

Santa brought us a present just in time for Christmas: a new news editor. Here's John Moore's e-mail to the staff:

Subject: News editor
Joe and I are pleased to announce our appointment for news editor of The Star: Darrin Peschka and Amanda Reiter.

We asked Darrin and Amanda to serve as co-news editors, and they have accepted. We know they will make an excellent management team, working together to run our desk.

They are excellent journalists and we're excited about the contribution we know they will make to The Star. We hope you take a moment to congratulate them. They have both earned this promotion through their efforts, and we look forward to their continued growth as journalists and managers.

-- John

Darrin and Amanda took some time to pose for their official co-News Editor portraits (just kidding!) and they are shown above and below. It may give you some indication of their management style.

Congratulations, Darrin and Amanda!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hey, Mistakes Happen!

Once again this year, Regret the Error has published its list of the top media errors and corrections. I always enjoy reading these. Here are a few gems I've copied and pasted from the page (a link to the whole column is at the bottom):

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?

Runner Up:
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!

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

I came across a couple of headlines earlier this month that struck me -- one for how clever it was and the other that seemed sensationalistic. Both, once again, come from the L.A. Times.

On the Times Obituaries page on Dec. 13 was this headline:

Ike Turner, 1931-2007
Rock pioneer
was known for
abusing wife
Tina Turner

I think that Turner was first and foremost a musician and singer, but this headline downplays that and plays up the abuse angle. Yes, the abuse was a significant, much publicized part of his life, but it seemed odd to me to have that be the main headline. I guess I would have preferred to see information like that in a deck. I think another reason this headline struck me was that it appeared in the L.A. Times. It seemed out of character for them. Now, if I had seen this in the L.A. Daily News, I wouldn't have felt quite the same way (though I would still think that angle was overplayed).

On the same day, the Times' front page had main art and a story about a real estate agent in Stockton who takes prospective buyers on a free Repo Home Tour, going by bus to see foreclosed homes they might want to scoop up. In one column, four lines was this fabulous headline:

A magical
tour in


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Smiling Stars

As part of a challenge to ourselves, the photographers in a group I'm a part of are photographing a portrait a day for the month of December. Finding subjects to make this task a reality means I've needed to ask co-workers if they'd pose for me. Thought I'd share in a collage four of the portraits I've done of Star staffers. Thank you to them for being such good sports! Anyone want to be a portrait subject for me this month? I'd appreciate it!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Big Girls DO Cry

The news came last Thursday that Carole Ferguson is leaving us. Assistant News Editors Amanda Reiter, left, and Darrin Peschka reacted to that news with tears and screams; even Santa couldn't console them (nor could the half-price coffee the next day soothe them). (ANE Alicia Hoffman was too upset to visit with Santa). Here's the e-mail from John:
Joe and I are sad to announce that Carole Ferguson will be leaving The Star. Carole has accepted the position of managing editor of the Redding Record Searchlight. Her last day here will be right after the first of the year. This is a wonderful opportunity for her and we are excited for Carole, and know she will make an excellent managing editor in Redding. Their gain is definitely our loss. Carole started with us as a copy editor in 1999 and became news editor in 2003. She manages the largest staff in the newsroom while spending most of her time each day working hands-on on tomorrow's paper and making sure we make deadline. Silas Lyons, editor in Redding, which is the other Scripps-owned paper in California, had this to say about Carole in announcing the appointment to his staff: "She has a genuine commitment to community journalism and a passion for what we do. She also understands exactly what it takes to get the paper out every day. Those of you who interviewed her had great feedback. ... I'm absolutely thrilled to have her coming on board in such a critical role for our newsroom. I think you'll find her to be an able leader and a valuable colleague." I know she will provide excellent counsel to Silas, a young, dynamic editor (I gave him his first job out of college ... a few years ago). Sometime between now and her departure we will squeeze in an appropriate good-bye. --John