N&O publisher: Sara Glines of Gannett succeeds Orage Quarles | News & Observer

Sara Glines takes over as publisher of the N&O today. This is the same Sara Glines who in the past prohibited swearing in her newsrooms:

From: Sara Glines
Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 4:11 PM
Subject: Appropriate office speak
To: PA-YorkDailyRecord, PA-YorkNewspaperCompany, PA-LebanonDailyNews, PA-PublicOpinionNews, PA-EveningSun, Teresa Hoover, Allison Roth-Cooper

I’ve heard some troubling conversations recently, so I want to remind all employees that cursing is not appropriate in the work environment.

It’s not appropriate in the office and it’s not appropriate when you are representing us elsewhere.

Ms. Glines does realize she’s in the news business, right? Perhaps she should know that the happiest employees are the ones with the greatest autonomy.

RALEIGH – A veteran publishing executive who also has worked extensively on the news side of the business has been named the new president and publisher of The News & Observer.

Sara Glines is joining The News & Observer from the Gannett newspaper chain, where she was president of the Atlantic Group, overseeing eight daily newspapers plus non-dailies in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Source: N&O publisher: Sara Glines of Gannett succeeds Orage Quarles | News & Observer

Does criticism of government turn off new leaders?

A few weeks ago, a local media outlet published a story taking a few swipes at Raleigh’s city manager. While the criticism was mostly harmless (and city managers know it comes with the territory), it reminded me again that while taking digs at city government might seem to win points with hipster readers, it also alienates those hipsters from possibly getting involved themselves. Make public service look uncool and you run the risk of scaring off good people who might do great things with it.

I’m not saying don’t afflict the comforted when they rightfully earn it, but at the same time if you’re taking swipes just for the sake of taking swipes then you could be inadvertently turning away the bright, creative people who could be doing us all good.

I guess the constant focus on the negative when there’s really a ton of good being done gets tiring to me. And it’s not just the local level but at every level. Maybe it’s human nature to find something to complain about. Or maybe not.

Sometimes walled gardens are good

I often knock Facebook as being like the new AOL: a wonderful walled garden designed to keep you from ever wandering elsewhere on the Internet. There’s some truth to that, sure. But it occurred to me that the vast majority of really inspiring, uplifting news I’ve gotten has come from sources like Facebook.

Sure, Facebook gets repetitive (“cat-video-du-jour!” “you won’t BELIEVE what happens next!”) and often the choices made by Facebook’s feed algorithm feel claustrophobic, but a lot of news offered by the traditional media seems too often biased towards the negative (“if it bleeds, it leads.”). To my surprise I’ve discovered I have soft spot for the “fluff pieces” found on Facebook.

Al Jazeera America to shut down

Sorry to hear that Al Jazeera America is shutting down. I liked the kind of journalism they did. Perhaps they were too truthful?

On the bright side, perhaps Al Jazeera will become available again on the FTA satellites.

Al Jazeera America, the American cable news outlet owned by Qatar-based Al Jazeera, plans to shut down less than three years after its much-ballyhooed launch, unable to overcome low ratings, operational problems and a lack of advertisers.The cable news network will be phased out by April 30, according to a memo that was emailed to staffers Wednesday.

Source: Al Jazeera America to shut down

N&O loves broken links

Wow, I’m surprised this is still an issue. I’ve complained for years how the N&O loves to break links to its older stories whenever it updates its website. Surprisingly, the company still hasn’t learned.

I found links to the Officer Boyd column N&O Columnist Josh Shaffer wrote last February. The original link, no doubt sent around the world to thousands, now goes nowhere.

Nowhere as in 404. It’s dead, Jim.

Yet, the story still lives online at its new address.

What drives me nuts as a system administrator is that it isn’t too difficult to write a script that points the old links to the new links. Doing so preserves the links that millions have passed around. Not doing so means the N&O forfeits potentially millions of advertising page views that could be helping to keep the lights on over there.

I did some work a few years back on the website of USA Today. Did you know that links to USA Today content that’s several years old still lead viewers to the correct stories? It’s not rocket science, and any website worth its salt will work to keep their site from suffering link rot.

I first mentioned this five years ago. (actually six years ago). Some things never change, I guess.

15 for ’15: Counting down to Top 5 online

A friend alerted me to this tweet that the News & Observer sent out this afternoon, prominently featuring Hallie:

Hallie represents tenacity in the N&O top stories list.

Hallie represents tenacity in the N&O top stories list.

It turns out her lawsuit story was the second most-read story on the N&O website. Pretty stunning, especially coming so late in the year.

We’re all still a bit surprised that Hallie’s activism has gotten as much attention as it has. If it helps change minds and get the state moving in the proper direction again this would be enough.
Contine reading

What really attracts business to North Carolina?

Flag-map_of_North_CarolinaThe front page of the News and Observer trumpeted that North Carolina’s population has finally exceeded 10 million. The story, written by Charlotte Observer reporter Ames Alexander and News and Observer reporter David Raynor, quotes a number of experts for their opinions about what brings them here.

Gov. McCrory says it’s the economy and quality of life (and he even works in a cheesy mention of the new state marketing motto):

“With our growing economy, great colleges and universities and quality of life, from the mountains to the coast, nothing compares to North Carolina,” Gov. Pat McCrory said.

Chuck McShane works for the Charlotte Chamber and should know what attracts people here:

“People are flocking for jobs, opportunities, mainly to our urban areas,” said Chuck McShane, the director of research at the Charlotte Chamber.

These two probably hear a lot from the companies that move here, so it’s understandable they were quoted. But then the reporters slipped this in (emphasis mine): Contine reading