Articles about "Chicago Sun-Times"


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Sun-Times kills comments until it can fix ‘morass of negativity, racism, and hate speech’

Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times has temporarily eliminated story commenting on its website until it can develop a system that will "foster a productive discussion rather than an embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing," managing editor Craig Newman announced:

The world of Internet commenting offers a marvelous opportunity for discussion and the exchange of ideas. But as anyone who has ever ventured into a comment thread can attest, these forums too often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content. In fact, the general tone and demeanor is one of the chief criticisms we hear in regard to the usability and quality of our websites and articles. Not only have we heard your criticisms, but we often find ourselves as frustrated as our readers are with the tone and quality of commentary on our pages.
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Sun-Times subscribers can pay with bitcoin

CoinDesk
The Chicago Sun-Times has started accepting bitcoin for yearlong print subscriptions and subscriptions to the newspaper's digital replica. Payments will be processed via Coinbase digital wallet technology.

The cheapest digital replica option costs $47.88 for 12 months.

In February, the Sun-Times did a 24-hour test of a paywall powered by startup BitWall to accept small, name-your-price payments for access to the site.

It yielded 713 bitcoin donations, but payment was optional and bitcoin users — many of whom likely weren't regular Sun-Times readers — rallied to support the experiment.

The Sun-Times has also recently run Bitcoin advertorials online and in print. While accepting bitcoin for subscriptions is an interesting cutting-edge move for the paper, the real promise of digital currencies is that they could support micropayments unfeasible with traditional currencies due to high bank transaction fees. Today's news just means an alternative way to pay for longterm access to content; the game changer would be offering users who don't want to pony up for full digital access an easy, frictionless way to pay for single articles or time-based access to a site.

Disclosure: I used to work for the Sun-Times.



Related: Sun-Times to test Bitcoin paywall that’s really just an optional donation box
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Sun-Times will rehire 4 photographers

Robert Feder
The Chicago Sun-Times plans to rehire four of the photographers it let go last year, Robert Feder reports:
Rich Chapman, Brian Jackson, Al Podgorski and a fourth photographer whose name was not confirmed are expected to be rehired under terms of a contract settlement reached in November between Sun-Times Media and the Chicago Newspaper Guild.
More layoffs are coming to the Sun-Times and affiliated papers, Feder writes, though reporters' "employment appears to be secure for the moment," he writes. The paper and the Chicago Newspaper Guild agreed last year to bring back the four photo slots. "It is our position that Sun-Times Media is acting is good faith," Guild spokesperson Beth Kramer told Poynter in an email. She expects the hires to be completed today.

The Sun-Times laid off around 30 full-time photographers last May and said it planned to train people left on iPhone photography basics, a prospect Stephen Colbert had some fun with.

John White, who won a Pulitzer Prize while at the Sun-Times, told Poynter's Kenny Irby “It was as if they pushed a button and deleted a whole culture of photojournalism.” White is not returning, Feder reports -- "He is teaching at Columbia College Chicago."

One former staffer, Brian Powers, took portraits of his erstwhile coworkers for CNN. Another, Scott Stewart, returned to firefighting. In an interview with Poynter's Kristen Hare published Monday, former Sun-Times photographer Andrew Nelles said “I couldn’t see a reason to go back there. ... Four photographers doing the work that 28 did previously seems like a warning sign already.”
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Changes at the Orlando Sentinel felt ‘extremely familiar’ for a former Sun-Times photographer

Andrew Nelles, a former Chicago Sun-Times photographer. (Photo by Andrew Nelles)
When the photo staff at the Orlando Sentinel was told they'd have to reapply for their jobs last week and that those jobs would be "videocentric," according to a report from the National Press Photographers Association, "it seemed extremely familiar," said Andrew Nelles, a Chicago-based freelance photographer, in a phone interview. Nelles only worked for the Chicago Sun-Times for nine months before he and the entire photo staff were laid off in May of last year. Nelles, who freelanced before that job, was able to bounce back into freelance quickly. "But that's not the case for most people," he said. (more...)
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The men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Why Olympics spoilers provide a perfect excuse for news organizations to engage in clickbait

Note: This post is a spoiler-free zone.
UPDATE: The U.S.-Russia hockey game Saturday provided more examples of the good and the ugly. Here's one from WGAL in Pennsylvania: See @WSJbreakingnews and @washingtonpost tweets if spoilers don't bother you. >>>>> I jumped into a Twitter discussion this afternoon about how the Chicago Sun-Times (where I used to work) is live-tweeting Winter Olympics results from Sochi hours before events air on prime-time in the U.S. on NBC.

Some people aren't happy about what they consider spoilers:   (more...)
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Sun-Times to test Bitcoin paywall that’s really just an optional donation box

It's being called the first test of a Bitcoin "paywall" by a major U.S. newspaper, but readers of the Chicago Sun-Times won't actually be forced to pay anything during the 24-hour experiment Saturday, publisher and editor-in-chief Jim Kirk told me this week. (more...)
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Sun-Times will test Bitcoin paywall

The Domains
The Chicago Sun-Times will test a "social paywall" Feb. 1. To access the site, "readers will be prompted to donate Bitcoins to or Tweet about the Taproot Foundation," a group that says it "makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society."

Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Jim Kirk said the Sun-Times is the "first major USA newspaper to test a Bitcoin-based paywall." The Dish Daily implemented a paywall built by the same company, BitWall, last year.

The Sun-Times erected a more traditional metered paywall in 2011.

Related: News nonprofit starts taking donations in Bitcoin
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‘Chi-beria’: Newspaper front pages note record cold in Midwest

As snow and cold slam into the Midwest, the region's newspapers are offering the country a look at the polar weather up close. All front pages courtesy the Newseum. In St. Louis, which has had more than a foot of snow so far, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows a motorist in a haze: St. Louis's deep cold made the news in Washington, where the forecast predicts highs in the mid-40s: (more...)
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Bowlers Journal International marks 100th year

Wall Street Journal | Chicago Tribune | Times Union | Chicago Sun-Times
One hundred years ago, a shoe salesman and devoted bowler named Dave Luby started a weekly bowling magazine.

"He wasn’t schooled as a journalist, but Luby made up for it with enthusiasm and devotion to bowling," Bowlers Journal reports.

The magazine turned 100 in November, an occasion that's made the pages of several of the country's newspapers.

On Monday, Kevin Helliker reported on the big anniversary, noting that fewer than 100 of the country's 10,000 magazines have lasted so long, and the industry the magazine covers isn't doing so great, either.
As a magazine that covers bowling, Bowlers Journal operates at the intersection of bad and worse. Not only is the magazine industry troubled, losing advertisers to the Internet. But since 1980, the number of competitive bowlers in America has plummeted from almost nine million to about two million, leaving most bowling publications with no place to go except broke. The latest to tumble: 20-year-old Bowling This Month, a magazine that published its final issue this autumn, citing economic difficulties.


But this isn't a magazine for casual bowlers, Helliker wrote.

Bowlers Journal is for bowlers who own their shoes, whose balls are custom drilled to fit their fingers and whose leagues play one or more nights a week more than half the year. If once that described a significant percentage of America, it no longer does. And yet the number of Bowlers Journal subscribers stands where it did back in the sport's heyday—at about 20,000.
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The Chicago Sun Times may reinstate some of its photographers who were laid off in May 2013.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Some Sun-Times photographers could return

Robert Feder An interim agreement between the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Newspaper Guild "could lead to the rehiring of some of the photographers who were laid off by the newspaper earlier this year," Robert Feder reports. The Sun-Times laid off its entire photo staff this past May. Feder reports the Sun-Times management "agreed to bring back a number of the 28 photographers who were fired."
In exchange for the agreement on the photographers, the union is expected to drop its unfair labor relations charge with the National Labor Relations Board.
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