Cheers and Regards for the Week of June 14, 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 that time you brought that hooker back to the mayor’s office with you; 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.

A small CHEERS but mostly REGARDS for former UPI and Hearst News Service reporter/columnist Helen Thomas for her abrupt retirement last week after she made some grossly ill-advised comments regarding Israel on tape. The 50-plus-year member of the White House’s press corp’s comments are basically indefensible, but at least she had the presence of mind to know it.

CHEERS to Frank Bridgewater, editor of the newly merged Honolulu Star-Advertiser for trying to wring something good out of a tough situation. The city now has one less news source, but Bridgewater says he wants the combined paper to do more big, investigative enterprise journalism. If he lives up to that promise, that’ll be a good thing.

REGARDS to Examiner.com for cheaping out journalists. The chain of news websites has 40,000 freelancers, all of whom they pay anywhere between a buck and $7 per 1,000 pageviews. Way to get struggling reporters to work for less than minimum wage, Examiner! And as icing, not even calling them journalists!

CHEERS to Bob Palser of McGraw-Hill Broadcasting for getting past the stereotypes that millenials are lazy whiners to see the real benefits twentysomethings pose to news organizations. People who are on the internet literally all day, every day have to know something about something, right?

REGARDS to the Chicago Tribune for some bad sportsmanship, with a little casual sexism mixed in. On Tuesday, the paper ran a full-page poster of Philadelphia Flyers player Chris Pronger in a skirt, with a list of all his lacking stats over the Stanley Cup series against the eventual champs, the Chicago Blackhawks. What, did you feel bad about writing a full story about how he was gay and also a lady who wets the bed, Trib?

CHEERS to AOL for being one of a very small group of media companies actually hiring more people to create editorial content. I know! What a concept!

REGARDS to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for filing lawsuits against 30 sites, including a cat blog of all things, for posting their stories without permission. A cease and desist e-mail? Maybe that would be okay. But a full-on lawsuit? Why you tryin to take away the cat people’s kitties, newspaper?

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