The NYTimes Asks: Are Men’s Magazines Disowning Men?

Playboy in November 1980.

From a New York Times story, by Alex Williams, titled “As Men Are Canceled, So Too Their Magazine Subscriptions”:

The boys’ club of glossy publishing confronts an identity crisis.

Imagine if Kodak had answered the threat of digital photography by pivoting from film to outdoor grills. Imagine if Blockbuster had taken on the challenge from Netflix by shifting from DVDs to fast food. Imagine if men’s magazines stared down the post-#MeToo manpocalypse by disowning men.

Maybe the last one isn’t so hypothetical?

Sportswriting and Deadlines: “Boz, you’re killin’ me.” 

Tom Boswell.

From a November 4 online chat with Washington Post sportswriter Tom Boswell:

This was certainly not the most EXCITING World Series. There was one GREAT game–Game Six. Game Seven was close, tense and with a shocker of a finish. There have been better Game Sevens that went down to the last pitch–but it was a very good one.

There Are Good People in Washington—But to Read About Them You Have to Turn to the Death Notices

Journalism in the last 15 years has become ever more dominated by its digital side, which increasingly tends negative—it’s been proven that bad emotions have more impact than good emotions. Bad news thus tends to be much more effective clickbait than good news.

And at the Washington Post, under the ownership of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the paper has become more national and less local—the Post is now driven by getting more national and international web traffic at the expense of covering local news. So it’s harder now to find Post stories—except in the sports section—about local people leading interesting lives. This is especially true in the paper’s obit section—almost all the obits now are about national and international figures. They’re interesting people but not someone a Washingtonian ever has encountered or connected with.

When Writing About Ted Williams and the Washington Senators Got Us Into F—ing Trouble

Screen shot 2013-12-11 at 10.06.09 AMBy Jack Limpert

Metro:US published a story about people on the island of Madagascar eating lemurs (a small primate). The story called lemurs “adorable creatures,” said poverty on the island was causing people to eat them, and then ran an interview with actor Morgan Freeman on the subject.

Freeman, who did the voiceover for a nature documentary about Madagascar, is asked, “So people are actually eating lemurs now.” He answered, “It’s not f—ing OK. Yeah, people are poor. I don’t know what we’re going to do about that.”

Philip Roth: “In some ways he never left Newark. It was home to his imagination.”

From a story, Philip Roth’s $2 million library gift,  in the Wall Street Journal:

Philip Roth, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, quietly arranged to give at least $2 million of his estimated $10 million estate to the Newark, N.J., public library before his death last year.

Friends say he intended his bequest to aid not just the library but the struggling city, where he grew up and which featured prominently in his writing. Before he died, the Newark Public Library announced that Mr. Roth had decided to give it his personal book collection. . . .

“Bradlee was the best man. He hid a tape recorder in the bushes. . .”

Sally Quinn, Ben Bradlee, Harry Evans, Tina Brown.

From the book, My Paper Chase, by Harry Evans. A longtime British editor, Evans moved to the United States in 1984 and edited The Atlantic Monthly Press and then U.S. News & World Report. In 1986 he was the founding editor of  Conde Nast Traveler and from 1990 to 1997 publisher of the Random House trade group.

In 1968, when Ben Bradlee took over the editorship of the Washington Post, I’d been editing the Sunday Times [of London] for a year, so we got together to compare notes and become friends. Later on, the timing in our personal lives was the same. He fell in love and made a second marriage with his paper’s intrepid and glamorous young Style writer, Sally Quinn.

What Journalism Can Learn From Ted Lerner and the Winning Washington Nationals

This was first posted six years ago on October 24, 2013: Ted Lerner celebrated his 94th birthday on October 15, 2019, two weeks before the Washington Nationals won the World Series on October 30, 2019.

October 24, 2013

By Jack Limpert

In 2006 Ted Lerner, then 80, bought the Washington Nationals baseball team for $450 million. For an older man known to be careful with each dollar as he built a local real estate empire, $450 million must have seemed like a lot to pay for a locker room full of guys who play ball.

“Don’t Let the Rules Make You Write Something Awkward or Ugly”

From a column by Roy Peter Clark of Poynter on a debate over apostrophes:

What really matters to my readers is punctuation and AP style. There was that issue of the Oxford comma, you may remember. Then the semicolon emerged from its cage, seeking attention. The dash made a dash for the front of the stage.

So, desperate for readers and attention, I give you the apostrophe, the possessive and, yes, AP Style. A firestorm of controversy—a cliché I have condemned countless times—has been sparked by the AP’s announcement that it is considering a change in the way we use the possessive apostrophe. . . .

When an Obit Headline Is Much Too Kind

After the Washington Post headlined its obit of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghddadi with “Austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State dies at 48,” it got enough negative feedback that it apologized and changed it to “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.”

The first Post headline inspired the writer Cockburn of the Spectator/USA to ask readers for other much-too-kind obit headlines:

Adolf Hitler, passionate community planner and dynamic public speaker, dies at 56.

Joseph Stalin, former seminarian and noted agrarian reformer, dead at 74.

Jeffrey Epstein, noted Island Hopper, dies tragically at 66.

“Too Much of Journalism Was OWM4OWM”

Tweets from an American Press Institute seminar in Arlington:

I think it’s a good sign when you’re leading a newsroom training with a brand new organization and the eradication of racist institutions, systems, and practices casually comes up before 10am.

A major key for allowing this to happen was starting the two day training with a community meeting and dream salon so that community informs the process.

I lol’d when someone said that too much of journalism was OWM4OWM: old, white men for old, white men.