Philadelphia Inquirer


Talk of Philly newspaper strike, unionizing move at Gawker, big window onto media labor relations

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia rally  outside the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News building in 2006. Union members  will vote Wednesday on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout. (AP Photo/George Widman)

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia rally outside the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News building in 2006. Union members will vote Wednesday on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout. (AP Photo/George Widman)

Union members in Philadelphia will vote Wednesday evening on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout and potentially trigger an American labor relations rarity: a big city newspaper strike.

In fact, you’re far more likely to ever see a lunar eclipse than a newspaper strike. We at least tend to get an eclipse or two every year. Guess when the last big newspaper strike was?

The contract between the Philadelphia Media Network and the Newspaper Guild expired May 23 but is extended to June 27 by mutual agreement. Read more


Union at Inquirer, Daily News and to take strike vote

The Philadelphia branch of the Newspaper Guild on Thursday set a strike authorization vote next week for its 500 members at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and

A June 3 vote comes amid ongoing bargaining on a new contract to replace the one that expired earlier in the month. It’s now been extended to June 27 by mutual agreement of the union and management.

The primary issues include health care contributions by employees and the role of seniority in potential layoffs. Talks resume Friday.

In a Thursday letter to members, the leadership of Local 38010 of the Newspaper Guild indicated the secret-ballot vote would start in late afternoon and that the union bargaining committee will be present “to answer any question before you cast this important vote.”

A strike authorization is not tantamount to a walkout. Read more


Go to the places where the cameras aren’t, says award-winning journalist

Quarterback Mark Sanchez hugs his father, Nick, before an NFL football game in this 2012 photo. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Quarterback Mark Sanchez hugs his father, Nick, before an NFL football game in this 2012 photo. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

It was Thanksgiving Day, and for once, Mark Sanchez didn’t deliver a turkey. The often-maligned quarterback had a huge game in leading Philadelphia to a big win over Dallas.

Sitting in the press box, Mike Sielski considered his options. The columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer could have written a piece on the importance of the game to Sanchez and the Eagles. Perhaps he would go down to the locker room to get some perfunctory comments. Maybe not. Quotes often are excess baggage in today’s opinion age.

Sielski, though, had something different in mind.

He knew Sanchez’s father, Nick, was at the game, and that Mark’s career also had been a rollercoaster ride for him. Read more

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Interstate General Media to close

Philadelphia Magazine and, standalone websites for two newspapers owned by Interstate General Media, will soon close, Philadelphia Magazine reported Thursday.

According to a memo obtained by Philadelphia Magazine, the two sites, which feature content from The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News, will be “folded into” one site,

What this means is that the standalone newspaper-branded sites will no longer exist and will instead redirect readers to, where users will find Inquirer and Daily News journalism featured more prominently and have access to branded Inquirer and Daily News section fronts that represent the editorial voice and judgment of the newspapers.

The decision marks an end of an experiment began in April 2013, when both newspapers unveiled the subscription-based sites. The sites were designed to “reflect the papers’ personalities”

A few newspapers have released parallel free and subscription-based sites, including The San Francisco Chronicle (which maintains free of charge and for subscribers) and The Boston Globe (which offers for free and with a metered paywall system) Read more


Here are the media’s best 404 pages

Bloomberg Politics got some attention Monday after an enterprising reporter noticed that navigating to a broken page on the site reveals this animation of Joe Biden shooting lightning at a revolving “404″ symbol:

That got me thinking: how do other news organizations handle the dreaded error message? To find out, I went to a lot of sites and broke a lot of links. Here’s what I found:

Bloomberg Business

The recently launched Bloomberg Business website has a colorful error page, like several other sites throughout the company. This one features a polygonal businessman a laptop off a table in frustration, then collapsing into his constituent parts.


Billy Penn

If for some reason you stray across a broken page at local news startup Billy Penn, you’re greeted by an oil painting of William Penn, the site’s namesake, who delivers a gentle admonishment: “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”


The Chicago Tribune

Break a link at The Chicago Tribune and a dapper fellow named “Colonel Tribune” appears and introduces himself as the “Web ambassador for” He suggests you search the site’s topics pages before bidding you a fond farewell. Read more

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Barack Obama, Bill Clinton

Obama met with journalists before ISIS speech

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Obama met with journalists before Wednesday’s ISIS speech: “The group, which met in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in an off-the-record session, included New York Times columnists David Brooks, Tom Friedman and Frank Bruni and editorial writer Carol Giacomo; The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, Eugene Robinson and Ruth Marcus; The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins and George Packer; The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and Peter Beinart; The New Republic’s Julia Ioffe; Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll; The Wall Street Journal’s Jerry Seib; and The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, a source familiar with the meeting told The Huffington Post.” (HuffPost)
  2. CBS won’t CNET CBS News: While the company’s news operation benefits from cross-pollination among news properties, it doesn’t have to worry about suits asking for more sinister forms of synergy, Alex Weprin reports: “[W]e are not going to be asked to do something that doesn’t fit for the news division,” Steve Capus says.
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Philadelphia Inquirer building

No brotherly love for rival papers in Philadelphia | Columbia Journalism Review | CBS Philly

The Philadelphia Daily News reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for a report on police corruption and sexual assault is being accused of paying the bills of one of its key sources and allegedly encouraging her to exaggerate facts of a criminal complaint about the incident. The story comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Both papers are owned by H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. Lenfest originally wanted to hold the story about why federal prosecutors did not bring charges against police officer Thomas Tolstoy, accused of sexual assault by three women in the “Tainted Justice” series, according the Columbia Journalism Review. But after an article was published about the story being held, the Philadelphia Inquirer published its story. Read more


Will Steacy photographed The Philadelphia Inquirer’s turmoil for 3 years

Will Steacy was in his New York apartment in 2011 when he got a call from his father in Philadelphia. It was bad news. After almost three decades at The Philadelphia Inquirer, his dad was being laid off.

The call was painful. Steacy, a professional photographer, had spent the last three years chronicling financial hardship at the Inquirer for a project he called Deadline. Starting in 2009, he began capturing images that depicted the Inquirer’s struggle to survive during an era of diminished ad revenue: vacant desks, trash bins piled high with newsprint, an old typewriter being used as a bookend. Steacy took a break from the project for a month. When he came back, the first image he captured was of his dad’s old desk. Read more


Philadelphia Inquirer names 2 managing editors

Sandra Clark and Gabriel Escobar are The Philadelphia Inquirer’s new managing editors, its editor, Bill Marimow, announced Wednesday.

Clark “will oversee The Inquirer’s features department, the copy desk, news desk, graphics, photo and,” the paper says in a press release. Escobar “will lead the Metro desk, business news, health and science, the investigative team, and he will work closely with those teams responsible for further developing the company’s digital strategy.”

Clark was a deputy managing editor in charge of features and’s strategy, the release says, and Escobar was its deputy managing editor for news and “was integral in developing and its social media linkages.” Read more


Bloomberg publications await launch dates, alt-weeklies get together on a story

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Where are Bloomberg’s new verticals? Its politics site will launch in October, “30 days before the 2014 Midterms,” Joe Pompeo reports. Bloomberg Business, Bloomberg Markets and Bloomberg Pursuits have “no hard launch dates,” Pompeo writes. “‘It’s still mostly chatter about strategy with no product being delivered,’ said one executive who was not authorized to speak on the record. ‘People want to see something on the table, basically.’” (Capital)
  2. Pulitzers have a new boss: Former Concord Monitor Editor Mike Pride will become the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes this September. (NYT) | Pride talks with Kristen Hare: “What the Pulitzers really have to do, like every other institution associated with journalism, they have to change with the times and the times are changing very quickly.” (Poynter)
  3. Brown Moses is launching a site for crowdsourced reporting: Bellingcat will give citizen journalists “a chance to learn what I’ve learnt over the last two years by trial and error,” Eliot Higgins, a.k.a.
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