Cheers and Regards for the Week of 3/1/10

If you ever get an e-mail from a journalist, there’s one portion of it you should pay attention to more than any other. No, it’s not the part where they’re asking you about the drugs you’re selling out of your day care business; it’s the sign-off.

If it’s “Cheers,” you’re cool. You did OK. If it’s “Regards,” you pissed somebody off, and you better figure out how to fix things, quick.

We apply those same tenets here, every week.

CHEERS to Mashable, for providing a timely reminder that there is actually a way to block that REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING Farmville spam on Facebook. (DW)

REGARDS to the New York Times and The Huffington Post, for finally realizing that what journalists really need in this economy is unpaid work. Says Huffington Post editor Adam Clark Estes, “We expect that the byline and exposure offered by our millions of readers will be the best way to give credit.” (DW)

CHEERS to new Bay Area News Project Editor Jonathan Weber for trying to resuscitate the metro newspaper with a more conversational writing style and cooperating with other news sources to create a more collegial rather than competitive environment, while still holding on to enterprise reporting. Maybe, one of these days, news sites will actually link to someone’s reporting other than their own, if you could imagine such a thing. (MW)

REGARDS to the Justice Department, for doing a good old-fashioned Hey-Let’s-Do-This-On-Friday-Afternoon-So-No-One-Will-Notice-It release of a report from their Office of Professional Responsibility, on the architects of the policies that gave the United States the legal backbone to torture terror suspects. John Yoo, now a professor at Berkeley and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer (!) and Jay Bybee, now a federal judge (!), were found to have used flawed judgment, but were not ruled guilty of professional misconduct. Kudos to Justice for showing everyone how this sort of thing should be done. (RJW)

CHEERS to Newsweek book critic Sharon Begley for doing some fact-checking on media critic Howard Friel’s The Lomborg Deception, which uncovers and exposes the many fraudulent and overblown claims made by climate change debunker Bjørn Lomborg. Begley is thorough, quizzing Lomborg on Friel’s research and taking Friel to task for frequently engaging in overkill. If only the non-book-critics at Newsweek and other publications had been half as thorough.” (KL)

REGARDS to Cheryl Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times, who in an article about a legitimate complaint with Walmart’s selection policy for Black History Month, takes great pains to remind us that gangsta rap and everything associated with it is still kneejerk-reprehensible. (KL)

CHEERS to the Columbia Journalism Review for holding Bloomberg’s feet to the fire on their so-called “exclusive” reporting on Toyota. Now if we could just get the word “alert” back. (MW)

REGARDS to the AP for what we figure will be overcharging. Last week, AP CEO Tom Curley announced the creation of a new “strategic business (i.e. money-grabbing) division.” The first thing to come out of it? An app for the Apple iPad. Their Stylebook app for the iPhone is nearly 30 bucks, so with the iPad being about three times bigger, we expect this to be like $1,000, having done some Journalist Math. (MW)

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