Articles about "Detroit Free Press"

Free Press designer ‘cared about every single word, every comma, every period’ on 1A

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Free Press designer dies: 25-year veteran Steve Anderson was 59. Remembers Amy Huschka, assistant editor/social media: “He was so proud of his Twitter account and loved sharing historic images and daily 1A’s with his followers.” From Jason Karas, a designer and colleague: “He cared about every single word, every comma, every period that he placed on a 1A.” (Detroit Free Press) | A collection of memorable front pages designed by Anderson. (Detroit Free Press) | A Storify of Anderson’s tweets that anyone who loves newspaper design should check out. (Storify)
  2. Freelance cameraman contracts Ebola: The unidentified man was working for NBC News on a team in Liberia with medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The production team has been ordered by NBC News “to return to the United States and enter quarantine for 21 days,” Bill Carter reports. (The New York Times)
  3. More arrests in Ferguson: Our Kristen Hare is on the beat, of course. (Poynter) | And she’ll be updating her list of journalists arrested in Ferguson, Missouri since protests over the killing of Michael Brown began. (Poynter)
  4. How to cover Hong Kong protests: “The police sometimes use the excuse of a lack of media credentials as their reason to prevent access. Freelancers and journalism students seem to be their favorite targets.” Good list of resources here. (Committee to Protect Journalists) | Poynter’s Kristen Hare has a Twitter list of journalists covering the chaos in Hong Kong. It’s up to 173 members this morning. (Twitter)

  5. No more coffee at the Houston Chronicle: Because it’s better than cutting other things. (Houston Press) | Good timing: The Press published a list of the 10 best coffee shops in Houston on Wednesday. (Houston Press) | The Chronicle’s move to eliminate free newsroom coffee comes the week of National Coffee Day, which we celebrated by having readers “mug” for the camera. (Poynter) | And it comes the month after a study indicated coffee was even more important to us journalists than to cops. (Poynter)
  6. WaPo runs native ad in print: “It’s a godsend that the Washington Post made it look as horrible as it is, because no one will mistake it for editorial.” (Digiday)
  7. More layoffs at NYT: Between 20 and 25 people on the business side were laid off from The New York Times on Wednesday, sources tell Joe Pompeo. (Capital New York) | On Wednesday, the Times announced it plans to cut 100 of 1,330 newsroom jobs through voluntary buyouts or, if necessary, layoffs. (Poynter)
  8. Everything you need to know about the Facebook algorithm: Haha, just kidding. At ONA, Liz Heron took some tough questions but tried to reassure journalists that Facebook isn’t playing favorites with the News Feed. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The ever-innovative Virginian-Pilot tracks Ebola cases. (Courtesy the Newseum)


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: James Nord is now a political correspondent for The Associated Press. Previously, he was a political reporter at MinnPost. (AP) | Evan Berland is now global news manager for weekends at the AP. Previously, he was deputy editor for the eastern United States. (AP) | Mitra Kalita is now an adjunct faculty member at Poynter. She is Quartz’ ideas editor. (Poynter) | Catherine Gundersen is now managing editor of Marie Claire. She was editorial business manager at GQ. (Fishbowl NY) | Jacob Rascon is now a correspondent at NBC News. Previously, he was a reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: The Wall Street Journal is looking for a banking editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would you like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email Read more


Detroit newspapers’ building sold

Detroit Free Press

A real estate services company has bought the building that houses the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, John Gallagher reports in the Free Press.

Bedrock Real Estate Services “is the real estate arm of Quicken Loans founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert’s family of companies,” Gallagher writes.

The building at 615 W. Lafayette Street was designed by Albert Kahn and built in 1917. The papers plan to move to another building owned by Bedrock. Read more


Detroit Guild condemns police for photographer’s arrest, urges Free Press publisher ‘to take further action’ | Detroit Free Press | Fox 2 News

The Detroit Guild on Thursday sent a letter to Police Chief James Craig denouncing Free Press photographer Mandi Wright’s arrest last week after filming an arrest with an iPhone.

“The Guild demands that you issue a formal apology to Wright and that you take disciplinary action against the officers responsible for this illegal conduct against a photo journalist, who was just doing her job while witnessing a police arrest on a public street,” guild president Lou Mleczko wrote. He also sent a letter to Free Press publisher Paul Anger urging the organization “to take further action directed at the Detroit Police Department.”

The letters come the same week the National Press Photographer’s Association sent a letter to Detroit police this week saying  Wright’s First Amendment rights were violated.

“In any free country the balance between actual vigilance and over-zealous enforcement is delicate,” NPPA lawyer Mickey Osterreicher wrote in the letter to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, the Freep’s Gina Damron reports. “It may be understandable that law enforcement officers have a heightened sense of awareness after pursuing an armed suspect — but that is no excuse for blatantly violating a person’s First Amendment rights — as appears to be the case here.” Read more


M.L. Elrick leaves Detroit Free Press to join WJBK-TV

Crain’s Detroit Business Poynter

Veteran reporter M.L. Elrick is leaving the Detroit Free Press to become an investigative reporter at WJBK-TV2, the city’s Fox affiliate. Elrick, 44, told Crain’s Detroit Business that he’s ready for a new challenge and that the station has agreed to let him take time off in the future to work on a book about the Kwame Kilpatrick saga, which won him and Jim Schaefer the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 .

Elrick told Crain’s that he still considers the Free Press to be “a great paper doing the lord’s work,” but that in the end, the newspaper’s work “wasn’t avante-garde enough” for him. This isn’t Elrick’s first TV job; he worked for a year at WDIV-TV and then returned to the Free Press in 2007. Read more


Guild official worries today’s Free Press will look like ‘gold standard’ after buyouts

M.L. Elrick, vice chairman of the Free Press unit of the Detroit Newspaper Guild, says he’s worried about the talent the paper will lose after its next round of buyouts. On Monday, management offered buyouts to 155 people at the Free Press, the Detroit News and the Detroit Media Partnership, which oversees their joint business operations.

In an email interview, Elrick said:

While I applaud the company for finding a humane, even generous, plan to reduce costs, I dread thinking of the experience and institutional knowledge that we will lose. I am also concerned that those who remember what the Free Press once was — a dynamic newspaper with a landmark building, bureaus all over the world, scintillating columnists and page after page stuffed with fun and fascinating stories and features — are disappearing. We’re still doing great work, despite the challenges, but I shudder to think that for every new employee, the diminished Free Press of today will be considered the gold standard against which they measure the newspaper in the future.

Elrick also wonders how the buyouts will affect diversity at the Free Press. Several news organizations, including The Washington Post, The Times-Picayune and the Philadelphia Daily News, have seen a decrease in newsroom diversity this year due to staff reductions.

“One of the great casualties of the newspaper economic crisis has been staff diversity. We used to hear about it all the time. Now? Never,” Elrick said. “It is, of course, possible that folks talked about diversity when I was out of earshot, but it’s definitely not like it was. It seems these days that bosses mainly care about color when it comes to inks: red, black and green.” Read more


Detroit Free Press, News offer buyouts to staffers

Crain’s Detroit Business
Buyouts were offered to 155 people at the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News and the Detroit Media Partnership, which oversees their joint business operations.

Alan Lenhoff, director of project management and corporate communications with the Detroit Media Partnership, told Poynter that employees age 56 and up who have worked at the papers for 20 or more years will be eligible. The offer includes two weeks pay for each year at the paper (capped at 52 weeks) and health insurance. Some people who are eligible may not be allowed to accept the buyout, Lenhoff said, depending on how many people want to take it from each department.

Lenhoff told Poynter he expects less than half of eligible employees to accept the buyout. “It’s a total win-win because we would like to reduce some expenses, and it’s an excellent opportunity for people who are close to retirement to make that possible for themselves,” he said by phone.

As for layoffs, Lenhoff said: “I don’t think anyone in any company would tell you that layoffs are out of consideration. I’m not going to speculate on what the future might bring, but I do know that this is a good deal and we expect a lot of interest.”

Staff reduction at the papers was expected. Earlier this month, the Free Press, which publishes with the Detroit News via a Joint Operating Agreement, moved into Gannett’s Community Publishing Division, which left the paper more vulnerable to cuts. In June, Detroit Free Press Publisher Paul Anger told staffers that he expected layoffs would happen. The Detroit papers are printed daily, but reduced home delivery in 2009 to three days a week. The latest circulation figures show the Free Press with some of the largest losses in daily circulation, down 6.27 percent. Read more


How the Detroit Free Press used Facebook to involve readers in a controversial publishing decision

It’s not uncommon for readers to object after a newspaper decides to publish or withhold sensitive information — public employee salaries, sexual abuse allegations or an underage victim’s name.

But an exchange on the Detroit Free Press’ Facebook page shows how those decisions now can be shaped in advance by a public dialogue between the paper and its readers.

On Tuesday, the Free Press told its Facebook fans it would soon be posting audio of a grim 911 call in which a 17-year-old girl reports that her ex-boyfriend killed her current boyfriend with an ax, then shot himself in the head. At the time, she did not know her mother had also been killed.

There are several journalistic questions: Was the 911 audio sensationalistic, or valuable reporting? Does a teenage caller deserve more sensitive treatment? Was it right to embed the audio on the news website’s homepage, rather than deeper in the site, so readers would not be confronted by it?

But for today we’ll focus on how the audience became part of the journalistic process.

The Free Press’ original post was followed by a series of critical comments from readers who could not understand why it would be necessary to post the recording, and who would even want to listen to it.

The Freep’s assistant managing editor for digital media, Stefanie Murray, responded quickly in the comments to explain the paper’s thinking: The audio “furthers the story,” she said, and other news outlets had already posted it.

Some of the original commenters argued that it shouldn’t matter whether others had posted the audio, and said the paper should be more sensitive in its promotion of the information. Murray continued to respond to the comments and explained how the paper makes these decisions.

Then some interesting notions emerged. One commenter suggested that the paper had an obligation to “respect the feedback from [its] audience” and not post the audio. Another said “we make the decisions.”

A couple readers came to the paper’s defense, arguing that anyone who didn’t like the decision could choose not to listen to the audio. The paper shouldn’t withhold potentially objectionable content, they said, as long as each reader can choose whether to view it.

In the end, the Free Press published the audio.

Although commenters did not dissuade the paper in this case, they might in another place and time. This process demonstrates how news decision-making is changing. Once the static product of isolated editors, it is now a public process with a two-way dialogue between journalists and the audience. Read more