Cheers and Regards for the Week of May 24, 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 hamsters you’re trying to genetically engineer to have human-like intelligence; 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 Denver Post editor Greg Moore for asking his staff to answer a question many editors are too scared to ask: Is our paper boring? And just as important, are the paper’s decreasing resources being used in a way that could make it interesting? The answer at most papers is, “probably,” and “probably not,” respectively.

REGARDS to James Rainey at the Los Angeles Times’ On the Media blog for his column arguing about how Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s sexuality shouldn’t matter by discussing her sexuality and the reasons to question it at length.

CHEERS to the Hollywood Reporter for sticking by its guns and getting a real-life scoop on NBC’s fall lineup, even though they likely knew full well that the network would be none too happy about it.

REGARDS to the Oregonian for firing 12-year reporter Lisa Grace Lednicer for freelancing. Lednicer co-wrote a story in Glamour about a murder 26 years ago, and the editors at the Oregonian apparently thought that this breaking story from half a century ago should have been theirs first.

CHEERS to the Washington Post for making more of an effort to correct its mistakes. For whatever reason, the newsroom had done little to deal with a backlog of correction requests, but according to ombudsman Andrew Alexander, that mindset has changed for the better.

REGARDS to the Morgantown Dominion Post in West Virginia for (pretty badly) Photoshopping three delegates out of a posed photo of Gov. Joe Manchin signing a new law regarding hit-and-run incidents. The reason they removed the delegates? They didn’t want to run a photo of politicians who are up for re-election. Well, guys, get another photo or don’t run one.

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