Gregory Favre

Started in daily newspaper business 57 years ago. Former editor and managing editor at a number of papers, former president of ASNE, retired VP/News for McClatchy.


John Seigenthaler

John Seigenthaler: You couldn’t choose a better journalism hero

“Mr. Seigenthaler is on the phone, “ I was told. It had to be important. Why else would John be calling me in the middle of the day?

After greetings the conversation went something like this:

“John, what can I do for you?”

“Well, Gregory, you know that cologne you wear? Dolores [his beautiful wife] loves it and she wants me to start using it. I was wondering if you could tell me how I can get some.”

Seigenthaler in 1994. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

He got it, and every time we met afterward, we sniffed each other and laughed, leaving bystanders wondering if we had misplaced our marbles.

Now, John Seigenthaler is gone. And everyone he ever touched, up close or far away, deeply mourns his passing but will never forget what he did in a life that was truly well-lived.… Read more

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The short shelf life of today’s heroes, in sports and in journalism

Michael Wilbon was on ESPN radio discussing Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o when he posed this rhetorical question: “What is the shelf life of a hero today?”

An excellent question: What is the shelf life of heroes in a world overflowing with instant communications, the need for instant gratification, and instant (and too often bitter, obscene and mean-spirited) rebuttals?

The talk show conversation and Wilbon’s question registered a stronger reaction than it may have on other days; it came at a time when I was thinking about one of my personal heroes, Gene Patterson, at a time when the news of his death was still raw.

There was a time when the answer seemed so simple, in the long ago years when we cheered for Johnny Lujack, the All America quarterback and the Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon; when we listened on the radio to Joe Louis’ latest victory or President Roosevelt’s fireside chats, or in theaters watched Sugar Ray Robinson, who may have had some flaws outside the ring but was unflawed inside the ropes.… Read more

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Gregory Favre: Just a footnote to his famous football cousin

I always wondered what it would be like to be a footnote. Now I know:

“Poynter has a longtime association with Brett Favre’s cousin, Gregory Favre, who was in no way involved with this story.”

There you have it. I am a footnote. How did it happen?

A website called Deadspin broke a story that alleges that Brett Favre (he’s the quarterback) sent videos of his private parts and messages that match the pictures to a woman who worked for the New York Jets. Poynter published a piece a couple months ago criticizing Deadspin, and the Deadspin folks claimed I obviously influenced that story.

So now full disclosure demands the footnote. And it appeared for the first time on the current Favre-Deadspin on Poynter.org.

For the record: Brett is a distant cousin in six different ways.… Read more

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Paulson: First Amendment Needs to Be Taught Better, Protected

Ken Paulson has had a full dance card for the past three decades.

He has been the editor of USA Today, the nation’s largest circulation newspaper, editor or managing editor of four other newspapers, and is now president and chief operating officer of the Newseum and the Freedom Forum.

If you ask him which accomplishment at this juncture in his career has given him the most satisfaction, he’ll say his work on behalf of the First Amendment.

“I can’t really single out a specific accomplishment,” he says, “but being part of the First Amendment community and working to help Americans understand the value of these five freedoms in a free society has been extraordinarily rewarding.”

Being part of the First Amendment community? Don’t be so modest.… Read more

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Milton Coleman: Diversity Isn’t a Social Experiment; It’s an Industry Imperative

“The times are changing, but the mission has not.”

That’s what Milton Coleman, senior editor of The Washington Post, has to say to young journalists of color in today’s rapidly-evolving news media world.

Coleman’s advice comes from his own experiences, from four decades of fighting on the front lines for diversity in newsrooms and in content, from never forgetting the mission.

He started his career in his hometown at The Milwaukee Courier, a weekly serving the African American community. After a few more jobs, he joined the Post as a reporter in 1976. He was assistant managing editor/metro news before being named senior editor.

Currently, he is vice president of the American Society of News Editors and treasurer of the Inter American Press association.… Read more

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Kaiser Takes Over as ASNE President: ‘Our Profession is in Crisis’

Marty Kaiser, editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, officially becomes the new president of the American Society of News Editors this week. But there won’t be the ceremonial passing of the gavel before a crowd of his colleagues at the convention in Chicago. 

And he will not have an opportunity in person to flesh out the theme of his presidency or issue a call for action during this time of volatile change in the news media and economic downfall that is crippling newspapers.

Because, of course, there won’t be a  convention. It was canceled after too few editors indicated they could attend.

So Poynter, via e-mail and telephone, gave Kaiser the chance to say what he would have told ASNE members.

Favre: You will not have the opportunity to accept the gavel of the president’s office and speak of your plans to your colleagues at the convention.Read more

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NAMME Director: Diversity Important to News Organizations’ Survival

Toni Laws vividly remembers the days when she was told to sit in the back of the bus and when she could only buy a ticket at the black-owned movie theater in her hometown of Wilmington, Del.

That was years before she became a vice president at the Newspaper Association of America, directing what was in 1992 the newly created diversity department. For more than a decade in that role, Laws helped launch several innovative programs that increased minority staffing at media companies across the country.

While her place of employment has changed, her commitment and dedication in the fight for multicultural representation hasn’t. After retiring from NAA in 2003, Laws joined the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives (NAMME) as its executive director.

That same year, Laws received NAMME’s Lawrence Young Breakthrough Award.… Read more

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In Death Do Us Part: Saying Goodbye to Your Newspaper

There is no easy way to say goodbye to the newspaper you love. How we grieve is so personal. Some cry, some bundle it inside, some seek isolation, others company.

And worst of all is when the death comes quickly. When we don’t have time to prepare our thoughts, to really share last conversations and memories, to make sure the past is honored.

That must have been the way the staff at the Rocky Mountain News felt last week when they were told that in one day the Rocky was going to die, victim of the incredibly bad economy, victim of enormous change, victim of self-inflicted wounds.

One day to work with all the pride they possessed, pride in themselves, their colleagues and their paper, to produce the best possible last edition they could give their readers.… Read more

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ASU’s Rodriguez Teaches How to Provide In-Depth Immigration, Latino Coverage

When Chris Callahan, dean of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, went looking for someone to be the Carnegie professor and to help launch a program that is part of the university’s Southwest Borderland’s Initiative, it didn’t take him long to land the person he wanted.

It was Rick Rodriguez, former executive editor of The Sacramento Bee and a past president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He’s a journalist who has years of experience reporting on and directing the coverage of immigration issues.

Rodriguez learned a little of what it’s like to be a farm laborer as a teenager picking strawberries near his hometown, Salinas, Calif. Then after graduating from Stanford University, as a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Californian, he helped cover the organizing of farm workers by Cesar Chavez.… Read more

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NAHJ President: Membership Is up, but Number of Hispanics in Newsrooms Is Down

Ricardo Pimentel, editorial page editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has compiled a busy resume during his newspaper career: reporter, metro editor, Washington correspondent, managing editor, executive editor, syndicated columnist, author.

In that mix there is one constant: advocate for diversity.

And now you can add another title: president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), a position he was elected to last year, at a time of turmoil in our industry, a time when financial support for organizations such as NAHJ is shrinking, a time when there are questions about the attention being paid to diversity these days.

Pimentel, a former colleague and longtime friend and editor of the editorial pages of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since June, 2004, recently replied to several e-mail questions from Poynter.… Read more

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