Steaks, burgers and the smell of failure

Muck Rack Daily

Steaks, burgers and the smell of failure
October 18th, 2016
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Muck Rack Daily
Hello from Muck Rack, where you can get a snapshot of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking and commenting on right now.

Good morning. We start our Tuesday Daily with some really useful advice from public relations professional Michelle Garrett, who shares 4 habits PR pros need to ditch.

Garrett cites figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which show the number of PR people has more than doubled since 2000. More people means more opportunity, and Garrett says PR pros need to make sure to keep their skills sharp.

These tips will help; they’re quite good. Let us know what you think. Tweet us at @muckrack.

Steaks, burgers and the smell of failure

Print is dead. Or maybe it isn't.

Jack Shafer at Politico raises a question that should make every journalist squirm uncomfortably in their 20-year-old office chair: What if the newspaper industry made a colossal mistake? What if the shift from print to web was a huge business blunder and newspapers should have stayed with what they did well all along? It's a fascinating look at a paper written by H. Iris Chyi and Ori Tenenboim of the University of Texas and published this summer in Journalism Practice. Keith Griffith suggested that we focus on the steak. In an interview, Chyi serves up this analogy: She says newspapers had been running the equivalent of a very nice high-end steakhouse and then came cheap burgers. Newspaper thought, “Let’s compete with that,” and dropped the steak for hamburger, even though it had no real expertise in producing hamburgers. “What they should have done is improve the steak product.”

So basically what they're saying is we didn't do our medium well. Oh, c'mon! Rarely do opportunities like that come along. (That's it, I swear.) Ben Welsh tweeted “Congratulations @jackshafer for inventing a time machine that transported me back to print denialism of 2008.”

Speaking of time machines, maybe Doc and Marty were on to something. You'll remember in Back to the Future II, which came out in 1989, the 2015 version of USA Today was a souped up print edition.

Now, that's heavy.

With our flux capacitor fluxing back here in 2016, here are some of the other stories we’re talking about today. (Please note that Donald Trump is indeed running for president and Marty’s love of Grays Sports Almanac is not to blame.)

Journalists are showering Hillary Clinton with campaign cash, writes Michael Beckel at The Center for Public Integrity. Ben Wieder sums it up: “Journalists have contributed nearly $400K to the presidential candidates, with vast majority going to Clinton.”

This story by Michael Barbaro at The New York Times has us talking. The new protesters defying Donald Trump are his customers. "Across the country, voters alarmed by the tenor of Mr. Trump's campaign and the emerging accounts of his personal conduct are engaging in spontaneous, unorganized and inconspicuous acts of protest that take direct aim at perhaps his most prized possession: his brand name." This @nytimes tweet was spot on: “Some Americans are cutting up Trump ties, canceling stays at Trump hotels and no longer drinking Trump wines.”

Nobel panel gives up knockin’ on Dylan’s door. The Guardian reports that the Swedish Academy says it has given up trying to reach Bob Dylan, days after it awarded him the Nobel prize in literature. "Right now we are doing nothing. I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies.” We aren't privy to any info, but his lack of communication could have something to do with his tour.

O, Canada. Sympathetic Canadians have a message for Americans: You guys are great. Liam Stack of The New York Times writes: "The presidential campaign has exposed deep divides in American society and has left many in every political party anxious about the future. During this time of political tension, our neighbors to the north have one thing to say: America is just great." Ben Gittleson tweeted: “.@liamstack brings us THE MOST CANADIAN THING EVER” while Meenal Vamburkar says “Canadians are the true heroes of this election.” Hanna Ingber tweeted “This video is brilliant. And beautiful. And, ok, I got a little teary.”

We love you too, Canada.

So what happened with that Twitter sale? Remember that Disney was a rumored suitor. Turns out, according to Alex Sherman, Chris Palmeri and Sarah Frier at Bloomberg, Disney dropped its pursuit of Twitter partly over image. More specifically, Walt Disney Co. decided not to pursue a bid for Twitter Inc. partly out of concern that bullying and other uncivil forms of communication on the social media site might soil the company's wholesome family image, according to people familiar with management's thinking. Carl Quintanilla tweeted it this way: “The trolls would've made it a Bit of A Fixer-Upper.”

Kids? Do you like Target, kids? Well, David Letterman (and his beard) shop there these days. This is a long but excellent read by Dave Itzkoff at The New York Times. "Why does David Letterman have a beard? To put it more precisely: Why did Mr. Letterman, after stepping down from CBS's "Late Show" and a 33-year career in late-night television and all but disappearing from public life, spend the past year and a half cultivating a fleecy and prodigious mound of facial hair, which, depending on your disposition, makes this 69-year-old entertainer look like either a lanky Santa Claus or an escapee from an asylum?" Did we mention this is an excellent read? Journalists are certainly talking about it this morning, including Edward-Isaac Dovere, who reminded us in his tweet that Dave and Paul Shaffer still get together for dinner every few weeks.

And last today, but certainly not least, we turn to news out of Cupertino. Mark Gurman and Alex Webb at Bloomberg write about how Apple scaled back its Titanic plan to take on Detroit. Apparently the company’s direction no longer includes building its own car. This is far from the end of the road on this story. Mike Murphy sums it up in this tweet: “Making a car is a lot more difficult than making a smartphone.”

Question of the Day

On Monday we asked: A number of writers, most notably Maureen O'Connor writing for New York Magazine's The Cut, have drawn prescient - and, to be honest, rather dispiriting - parallels between the 2016 presidential election and the fictional election depicted in Alexander Payne's brilliant, brutal, and biting 1999 comedy film, Election. If you've never seen it, watch it. Like, now. (If you've got Amazon Prime you can watch it for free here).

If you have seen it, then try to answer the following question: What is the campaign slogan used by Reese Witherspoon's character in the film? (Hint: it's most memorably seen written in tiny letters made out of icing on Witherspoon's campaign cupcakes).

Answer: “PICK FLICK."

Congrats to Michelle Morrissey. She was the first to answer correctly. Honorable mention goes to David Daniel. We know that journalists always answer the call when it comes to food.

Your question for today is ...

Oooh, it's a fill in the blank! Airbnb cofounder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk said if you offer a ______, you can make on average $10 more per night.

Click here to submit your answers to @MuckRack. IMPORTANT: If you choose not to click that link, please include the word "answer" in your tweet so we can find it (the link will automatically do so for you)! We’ll announce the winners in the next Daily!

Russ Hryvnak

Meet Russ Hryvnak, former #WBSPens intern, freelance sports writer and social media professional. He’s from Wilkes-Barre, PA and his work has been seen in DK Pittsburgh Sports, Citizens Voice, Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA) and The Guardian(Canada).

Russ covers sports in general, however he has an interesting mix of writing specialties: ice hockey, football and mixed martial arts (MMA). And rounding out his portfolio, he also works on travel and social media -- 10.7K tweets! -- with feature articles a specialty.

Ice hockey and mixed martial arts. Never heard of that combination, but it's pretty darn cool.

Thank you for being a part of Muck Rack, Russ. And keep up the great work ... we'll be following along.

Career Updates
We've got moves

Sarah Terry-Cobo has been promoted to Senior Reporter and Digital Strategist at The Journal Record in Oklahoma. Terry-Cobo has covered the energy, health care, aerospace and manufacturing industries for the paper since 2012 and will continue to manage those beats. In her new role, she will also research and recommend strategies for The Journal Record to more fully engage with readers.

Terry-Cobo holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Tulsa, a master of journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master of arts in Latin American studies from U.C. Berkeley.

She is an adjunct instructor at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.

But wait ... there's more!

Mashable has hired Jessica Coen as Executive Editor.

According to Poynter, Coen, who joined Vocativ as its top editor in October 2015, left Vocativ late last month.

At Mashable, Coen will be responsible for leading "Mashable’s global editorial team, leading its smart and obsessive coverage of culture, entertainment, technology, science and business."

Congratulations to you both, and we wish you the best in your new roles.

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!
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