Cheers and Regards for the Week of May 17, 2010

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 nitrous oxide you thought you so cleverly hid in some helium tanks; 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 the Los Angeles Times‘ Jill Loevy for starting the blog The Homicide Report, which sought to tell the stories of every homicide victim in the Los Angeles area. It was Leovy’s belief that the media’s tendency to cover only strange murders–and consequently to ignore everyday folks who died–was a disservice. (KL)

REGARDS to Gawker and writer Adrian Chen who, in a “where are they now” piece on Tom Hintnaus, the first Calvin Klein underwear model, described the life of a fit, healthy, ruggedly handsome fifty-something man who owns his own business in Hawaii as “tragic.” Because he apparently had the audacity to actually grow older gracefully instead of dying young and pretty. (DW)

CHEERS to a group of laid-off Baltimore Sun employees for finding a place to tell their stories. Their brand new site includes photos, videos, poems and essays about what brought them to journalism and why they still stand behind the profession. Their work shows an optimism not common among many struggling ex-reporters right now. (MW)

REGARDS to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for what basically amounts to an intimidation campaign against journalists trying to get information with his plan to post all requests for Freedom of Information Act Requests on a city website. So much for exclusive, well-researched enterprise stories in the Windy City. (MW)

CHEERS and REGARDS to the Chicago Tribune for its story and subsequent correction regarding President Barack Obama reportedly describing Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as “a trailblazing lady.” The only problem? Obama didn’t say “lady.” He said “leader.” But the Tribune had the good sense to admit its mistake and give itself a good tongue-lashing over the error. And, you know, it’s a pretty fair assumption to think a politician could say a stupid thing, even though this time it wasn’t the case. (MW)

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