Recent quotes:

Gawker and the Rage of the Creative Underclass

“New York is a city for the rich by the rich, and all of us work at the mercy of rich people and their projects,” says Choire Sicha, Gawker’s top editor (he currently employs a staff of five full-time writers). “If you work at any publication in this town, you work for a millionaire or billionaire. In some ways, that’s functional, and it works as a feudal society. But what’s happened now, related to that, is that culture has dried up and blown away: The Weimar-resurgence baloney is hideous; the rock-band scene is completely unexciting; the young artists have a little more juice, but they’re just bleak intellectual kids; and I am really dissatisfied with young fiction writers.” Sicha, a handsome ex-gallerist who spends his downtime gardening on Fire Island, is generally warm and even-tempered, but on this last point, he looks truly disgusted. “Not a week goes by I don’t want to quit this job,” he says, “because staring at New York this way makes me sick.”

Gawker Founder Suspects a Common Financer Behind Lawsuits - The New York Times

Several legal experts said that it was particularly unusual for a plaintiff using a lawyer being paid on a contingency basis not only to turn down settlement offers (several sizable settlements were proffered by Gawker) but also to pursue a strategy that prevented an insurance company from being able to contribute to a settlement. “It’s a very unusual thing to do, because the insurance company would have deeper pockets than Gawker,” said Larry Geneen, a risk management consultant who has long dealt with lawsuits involving insurance companies. “I’ve never had a situation where the plaintiff intentionally took out the claim involving the insurance company.” And given that Mr. Hogan has had financial ups and downs, the cost of the hundreds of motions his lawyers made is significant, and the chances the award is significantly reduced based on previous cases he lost making the same claims in federal court, it’s hard to completely understand the motivations at play. Additionally, Mr. Harder has brought two new cases against Gawker that seem puzzling. One is a defamation case on behalf of Shiva Ayyadurai, who claimed to have invented email. Gawker had written an article challenging his argument, similar to an article from The Washington Post and others on the same topic.

New York Times closes editing and press operations in Paris, cuts up to 70 jobs

the proposal we announced today would result in the closing of the editing and pre-press print production operation in Paris, with those responsibilities moving to Hong Kong and New York. France remains a vital market for us and we will maintain a robust news bureau in Paris as well as a core international advertising office there.

The Problem With Journalism Is You Need an Audience

In fact, this imaginary Universal Law of Writing—“Make something great and the readers will come”—is false. It has always been false, though that does not prevent it from being harbored deep in the heart of every ambitious writer and prestige-starved press baron. The history of journalism is littered with the corpses of good publications. The “new media” world is no different. The “long tail” and “audience segmentation” and every other buzzword term does not change the nature of the business. The audience for quality prestige content is small. Even smaller than the actual output of quality prestige content, which itself is smaller than most media outlets like to imagine.

The media doesn't see its own pampered blindness.

Despite claiming to “know” Mr. Jobs after “scores of hours in private conversations,” Mr. Mossberg of ReCode said in his column: “I know very little about his relationship with his daughter Lisa.”

Requested anonymity 'to avoid betraying' or 'because betraying' ?

Two people interviewed, who are in direct communication with the elder Mr. Bush but requested anonymity to avoid betraying a confidence, said Mr. Trump had revived painful memories among the Bushes of another blunt populist: H. Ross Perot.

What The New York Times Didn’t Tell You — Amazon strikes back

While we were talking, I also realized that you were envisioning a story that is basically a stack of negative anecdotes from ex-Amazonians. But if we were using that story form, we’d just come to you for responses and be done.

Building a Small Sailboat

And for a decade and a half TPM has been both my work, my hobby, my living, in a word, my everything. As work, it is all words and symbols. I love it. In some ways I am it. But there’s nothing physical or tactile or concrete about it. Woodworking was filling some void in me that I hadn’t known existed.

Tommy Craggs and Max Read Are Resigning from Gawker

represented an indefensible breach of the notoriously strong firewall between Gawker’s business interests and the independence of its editorial staff.

Gawker's editor celebrates The Writers

The essence of Gawker has always been what happens when we get out of those meetings and go back to writing and editing the stories you do that no one else can do. You writers are this company. You are funny. You are smart. You are vital. You are honest and righteous and pissed-off and stupid, so galactically stupid, and you commit hilarious blunders and you perform great, honking prodigies of journalism that make me proud to have sat in a room with you. Often you do all these things in the same day. You are this company. Nick forgot that, and I hope he one day remembers it. You are, you will always be, the best argument for a company that no longer deserves you.

Wishing (again) that Carr2n was around to write about this one

Today’s unprecedented breach of the firewall, in which business executives deleted an editorial post over the objections of the entire executive editorial staff, demonstrated exactly why we seek greater protection.

Good tips for a reporter... or an entreprenuer, from WaPo's Dan Zak

Always put your name and contact information on the cover of your notebooks. Stay a little longer. Even just a minute. If you can go, go. Always go. Life doesn't usually conform to narrative, or, at least, a single narrative. Rigorous reporting can reveal arcs and themes and twists and denouements and literary-like symbolism, but in the end life is mostly open-ended, unsatisfying and incomplete. Honor that incompleteness. Respect it. "It's the reporting, stupid." (Someone said this, I don't know who, but Ann Gerhart had it on a Post-It note on her computer at one point.) Don't lose your way. Start to cheat a little, and soon you'll be cheating a lot. Every story, no matter how small, is somehow about the meaning of life (this is the Weingarten Corollary). Say "I don't understand this; help me understand this" early and often. Close interviews with "Who else should I talk to?" and/or "What else should I know?" and/or "Is there a question you wish I'd asked that you've been waiting to answer?" Answer every reader e-mail; return their calls, especially.

When Seymour Hersh first pitched Bin Laden story to David Remnick

I tell him about the story, and his initial approach was to say do a blog item. Go fuck yourself! A blog? I have done a couple blogs when it is 1,000 words but this is worth more.

My Year Ripping Off the Web With the Daily Mail Online

As part of my initial training session, I was told that any link or attribution in an aggregated piece should be placed no higher than the first set of images in the post—which were typically three or four paragraphs in, where a reader might overlook the fact that the information provided in the preceding paragraphs had no attribution. If the original report was an article in the New York Daily News, a direct competitor of the Mail's, I was sometimes instructed to not give attribution at all. (The Mail, contacted for comment, maintains that its standards for attribution are high: "We often link above the first three photos and we link to the NYDN on a daily basis," it says. "We always strive to attribute." After this article was first published, a spokesperson followed up: "We always strive to make the story better, whether through a new angle, new photographs, or additional information and quotes.")

Journalists have to decide what to do about candidates who are climate change denialists » Pressthink

Claims that climate science is a hoax, or that human action is not a factor are not just positions in a political debate. They are ways of saying: hey, the evidence doesn’t matter. # Honest journalists have to look that statement in the face and decide what to do about it.

Time Editors Are "Happier" Without Wall Between Church and State

“They are more excited about it because no longer are we asking ourselves the question are we violating church and state, whatever that was. We are now asking ourselves the question are we violating our trust with our consumers?  We’re never going to do that,” Mr. Ripp said in a video interview with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle. The interview comes less than two weeks after Time Inc. separated from Time Warner and became its own publicly traded company. Instead of worrying about upholding the divide between church and state, Time editors can worry about maintaining consumer’s trust in Time brands while simultaneously using it to work with advertisers. “They’re not stupid. They are running a business. They know that. They’ve been firing hundreds of people over the last couple of years, following a different path,” Mr. Ripp said, of his editors.

Journalists give, Twitter takes

In the last month, I've created nearly 2 million impressions for Twitter. Whether that is good for my Twitter persona and my pride is a qualitative question whose answer resides outside the bounds of an analytics dashboard. But it is quantitatively not a good deal for The Atlantic. Something I already suspected has now been made crystal clear: 99 percent of my work on Twitter belongs to Twitter.

Michael Lewis on the Columbia School of Journalism

Those who run, and attend, schools of journalism simply cannot—or don't want to—believe that journalism is as simple as it is. The textbooks, the jargon, the spell checkers—the entire pretentious science of journalism only distract from the journalist's task: to observe, to question, to read and to write about subjects other than journalism. They have less to do with writing journalism than avoiding having to write journalism at all.

Gawker has high aspirations for pranking

To give you more of an idea of what sort of projects I hope to work on, here are a few of my favorite media hijinks of years past: Spy sending checks for absurdly small sums of money to various celebrities to see which ones would go to the trouble of cashing them; The Baffler revealing how The New York Times was taken in by faux "grunge" lingo; Dan Savage attempting to infect Gary Bauer with the flu; Christopher Morris leading a conservative MP to bring up a "made-up drug" in Parliament; Michael Moore having Janeane Garofalo confess the same sin at Catholic Churches across the country to see which ones were the most lenient; and Ken Silverstein enlisting Washington lobbyists to work for a corrupt and repressive regime.

Unpublished by Life Magazine, Gordon Parks Photos Document Segregation

In 1950, Gordon Parks was the only African-American photographer working for Life magazine, a rising star who was gaining the power to call his own shots, and he proposed a cover story both highly political and deeply personal: to return to Fort Scott, Kan., the prairie town where he had grown up, to find his 11 classmates in a segregated middle school.[…]For reasons that remain unclear, Life never published those words or the powerful pictures Parks took of nine of his classmates

The lipstick index, as reported by NYTimes

After Estée Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder revived the truism that the cosmetics industry is recession-proof and actually suggested that the “lipstick index” could indicate economic fluctuations in 2001, writers in the business section and the magazine, including pop economist Adam Davidson, simply repeated it and attributed it vaguely to economists. (So did Maureen Dowd, but in pure Dowd fashion.) Only in the Styles section did reporters ask economists about it and look at some numbers, much less correctly attribute the concept’s revival to Lauder. Also, they noted that it had “been largely discredited.”

Radical Chic night, as reported by NYTimes' Charlotte Curtis

Wolfe defines New Journalism

Wolfe said New Journalism relied on four devices: scene-by-scene construction; the use of reported dialogue; “third-person point of view”; and what Wolfe called “status details”—the “everyday gestures, habits, manners, customs” of the subject. (In true Wolfean style, of course, his complete definition goes on for another 89 words.) This, he said, was a strategy that nonfiction writers had learned from the literary masters—Balzac, Dickens, Gogol.

How to skewer someone? Watch closely.

During the 1960 presidential campaign, she profiled Rose Kennedy, skewering Camelot’s sainted matriarch under the headline “Mother Comes To Town.” Rose Kennedy, Curtis makes clear, is cosseted and demanding. Covering a midday press appearance, for which Mama Rose is turned out in Oleg Cassini, alligator shoes, and a pile of gold, diamonds, and pearls, Curtis simply documented everything Kennedy did. Mrs. Kennedy… said she was too warm, that someone should turn on the air-conditioning and that if there were going to be pictures, she’d like to put on a hat and gloves. She disappeared into her bedroom and returned wearing a white wool toque. She worked her small hands into long white kid gloves while the television cameras were set up. And someone found a pillow so she would be more comfortable. ‘If we’re going to be on television, I wish you’d tell me what questions you’re going to ask,’ she said…. ‘I don’t answer political questions. I talk about the way the children were brought up…..’ The reporters continued their questions. The cameras ground on. And Mrs. Kennedy pulled out a jeweled compact and powdered her nose.

The wild side of the mild side

Women’s reporting could be a place where reporters wrote pieces that were wryly complicated, even critical of, their subjects and topics. Judy Klemesrud wrote some of the paper’s earliest and best coverage of the women’s movement. In 1966, the year Klemesrud was hired, a story about the founding of the National Organization for Women appeared under a piece about Thanksgiving recipes.

The NYTimes and (a few) women

From its earliest days, the New York Times was a particularly difficult place for women to work. Maybe a dozen or so women worked as reporters and editors in the paper’s first 100 years. From 1896, when Adolph S. Ochs bought the Times, to his death in 1935, only four women wrote for the paper. He hired one of them, Anne O’Hare McCormick, as a freelance contributor in 1921. She was not officially on staff until 1936, the year after his death and the year before she won a Pulitzer Prize for her work as a foreign correspondent. Like McCormick, many of these exceptional women worked as general assignment reporters, city room staffers, and correspondents, even if they also served time on the society desk or the women’s pages.