Cheers and Regards for the Week of September 20, 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 “carnival” you started in an empty old warehouse; 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 for their piece on what essentially amounts to paid ads showing up as local TV news stories because unsolicited pitch-people simply show up at their doorsteps. It’s almost as if they’re just trying to fill time any way they can or something!

REGARDS to the 235 journalists who donated to a total of nearly $500,000 to political campaigns this election cycle. Yes, yes, freedom of expression and all that. But you’re just giving the people already inclined not to trust you a concrete reason not to trust you. And arguing that something you report on often (campaign contributions) shouldn’t be public? That’s real trouble.

CHEERS (yet again) to the LA Times for increasing the weekend circulation of its Spanish-language newspaper, Hoy. Maybe all those hand-wringing editors who are looking for more print readers should stop fixating so hard on English.

REGARDS to the Portland Press Herald for apologizing for its coverage of the end of the local Ramadan observance. Should they have put a 9/11 story on the front page on Sept. 11? Yeah, probably. But does that have anything to do with whether or not they should have covered Ramadan? It most certainly doesn’t.

CHEERS to Apple for its likely plans to offer newspaper subscriptions on the iPad. Some newspapers already have subscription-based apps, but backing from Apple itself will be a big boon.

REGARDS to Apple for taking a likely 30 percent cut of subscription fees and 40 percent for advertising once that subscription plan starts up. Those are pimp/ho-level terms!

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