This is a big no-no for reporters - Get Paid By the People You Cover!
A pharmaceutical company offered a free-lance reporter $250 just to show up to a press conference/presentation on Botox and two other drugs.
The ethics policy at The N&O says this: "Staffers may not accept gifts or favors from their sources, the people regularly relied on for tips and information. It's clear we cannot be in the debt of anyone we depend on for news. This means not taking gifts of any kind and not accepting favors, such as an offer by a municipal official to void a ticket."
If you are a close and thorough reader of The N&O, you might have an advantage on the new Grammar Guide quiz. I based the quiz on Sunday's newspaper. I found five sentences that included words or terms that are sometimes confused in writing. To the credit of writers and editors, all but one of the five sentences were correct in the paper.
I am a copy editor, and as part of that job, I write headlines. Last week, I wrote this headline, using a word that we rarely see except in headlines
The holiday season brings out the familiar and the banal.
A bizarre story out at the University of Arizona, where 10,000 copies of a recent edition of the Daily Wildcat school newspaper went missing.
Hmm. The newspaper's editors think members of Phi Kappa Psi, a fraternity stole the papers because of a police item involving a couple of frat brothers.
Here's where the fun starts: The papers were reportedly recovered in a heap out on the outskirts of town...along with some homework bearing the names of two fraternity brothers.
Now, the student paper is challenging the fraternity to a duel. Okay, maybe not a duel, exactly, but in this column, the paper's managing editor is clearing throwing down a challenge.
Arizona's president, by the way, is Robert Shelton, the former UNC Chapel Hill provost. Shelton condemned the theft of the papers, telling the student newspaper that it is "completely counter to the principles of freedom of expression that we embrace at the UA."
Yes, consensus is that the printed word is deader than dead. But before we get to the funeral and turn this whole mess over to the blogosphere, dig this sharp list of 10 songs about print journalism -- compiled by Charlotte writer Mark Kemp.
ADDENDUM (7/28/09): Three reasons music mags are dying.
A handsome coffee table book arrived in the mail today. It is the Poynter Institute's collection of the best front pages of newspapers published on November 5, 2008. That, of course, was the day after America's historic election of its first African-American president.
The News & Observer's page is one of 100 from around the world selected by Poynter, a St. Petersburg, Fla. nonprofit devoted to journalism education, for this book. Our sister publication, The Charlotte Observer, is also included. A team of journalists contributed to this page, but we are especially proud of news designer Jennifer Bowles, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, has designed many News & Observer fronts and special projects.
The print newspaper has sometimes been undervalued in the age of the Internet. "Election Day, November 4, 2008, was different," cartoonist Garry Trudeau, writes in his introduction to the book. He describes an election evening of boistrous celebrations around the globe. "And then the next day, after the street parties were over, people went out and did something many of them hadn't done in years. They bought newspapers. Yes, newspapers. By the trainload, actually."
The printed paper was not for the purpose of information, Trudeau notes, rather to the people who stood in long lines, it was a tangible keepsake "that can forever evoke and refresh a deeply consequential memory."
Prior to election, we mostly saw this reaction with sports championships.
Here's to the ink-stained, bird cage fillers, fish wraps that we love.
The Poynter book is available here.
I ran across the word "doorstepped" in a story about a British
journalist today. I didn't understand what it meant even in context. So I looked it up.