Journatic CEO to staff: ‘Bumps are going to be part of the ride’

Journatic CEO Brian Timpone wants his staff to know that “This American Life” and other reporting on the outsourcing company is “noise” that follows “the change we’re forcing” in journalism. In an email (subject line: “from the front”), Timpone also says Journatic is finalizing a deal with one of Canada’s largest publishers. Could it be Postmedia, which is about to reduce print and lay off staff? Here’s the note Timpone sent to staff on Tuesday, July 3 at 10:54 PM CDT.

Team–

Some good news.

I just returned from Canada, where we’re working out particulars with one of the largest publishers here– to be our first non-U.S. client ever. That’s a milestone– and it means we likely need to build out proficiency now… in French.

Look– I know it has been a distracting few days. It’s hard to see the good work you do each day unfairly maligned.

Setting the record straight:

1- Author aliases have been banished from Blockshopper.com real estate sales stories, the only place they ever systemically existed.

2- Author aliases were never a part of the Journatic editorial systems from which we produce news for clients.

3- Journatic writers have never been told to conceal their association with our company when talking with sources. Like any freelancer, they’re working on behalf of a publisher and are required to communicate as much.

4- We should all be proud of our offshore News Research operation and its team members. Without their support, we wouldn’t be the company we are.

Moving forward, we’re creating a set of clear editorial guidelines against which we’ll evaluate all 150+ types of news stories we do. We’re also establishing stricter ethical guidelines for our freelancers.

To be sure, we made a mistake when we gave Blockshopper.com stories with alias bylines to our customers. Or more specifically, I did. It was a detail I personally overlooked; it shouldn’t have happened.

But mistakes always do. And we’ll make more of them. When we do, we’ll take responsibility for them, implement remedies and push forward.

That’s the strength of a company like ours. We are not afraid to take risks; to try what hasn’t been done before; to admit we were wrong; to fail.

When we do, we learn from the experiences and are better for it. That’s what happened here.

So– don’t let the noise interrupt you. The work we’re doing and the change we’re forcing matters. It is meaningful — to media and to journalism. And like anything that is– bumps are going to be part of the ride.

Thanks– and proud to be associated with each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Brian

Julie Moos contributed to this report.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.fone.14 Dave Fone

    I always wondered what would happen to these fake bylines if a reader spotted an error, or had a complaint, and called the paper to ask to speak with that writer.

    “Uhhhh, I’m sorry, we don’t have an employee by that name, and if we did…he would speak with an India accent.”

    Good grief…..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ERF555TPXX647MJVCEUER3OVOE Randy

    This is beginning to remind me of Orwell’s “1984″…

    Yesterday: “Being based in the community is not beneficial”.
    Today: “Having real names on stories is not beneficial”.
    Tomorrow: “Telling the truth about anything is not beneficial”.
     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ERF555TPXX647MJVCEUER3OVOE Randy

    This is beginning to remind me of Orwell’s “1984″…

    Yesterday: “Being based in the community is not beneficial”.
    Today: “Having real names on stories is not beneficial”.
    Tomorrow: “Telling the truth about anything is not beneficial”.
     

  • Anonymous

    I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

  • Anonymous

    The change they are forcing involves replacing any reliable news sources with underpaid, illiterate writers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BDVBJFCDH7LEWBUN3HMUQFVOKU Renfield

    It would be good to build some competence.

  • Anonymous

    This is your captain speaking. Pay no attention to that loud thump you just heard. The smoke and fire streaming from our engines are perfectly natural, just part of the change we’re making in aeronautics.,,