Swimmin’ Hole! scoops The Washington Post

November 25, 2008

The Washington Post today has a story today about layoffs at the Newseum, where 19 employees accepted buyouts and two retired, resulting in a 10% workforce reduction.

Hmm, now where have you heard that before?

Oh, that’s right.

Right here on Swimmin’ Hole!

FIVE DAYS AGO.

Sure, we just picked up the story from FishbowlDC, who had the real scoop. But hey, we still had it before the Post, whose offices are only two miles away from the Newseum. So take that, Post. You suck.


Superman the blogger?

November 25, 2008

Science fiction blog io9 has a pretty funny post about what will happen to Clark Kent/Superman when Metropolis’ biggest newspaper, the Daily Planet, starts cutting costs and offering buyouts.

He’ll suffer the “gross injustice” of becoming a blogger:

You file your post, you see your byline on the front page, you smile…and then the comments start coming in, and you think, I know I addressed that point in plain English. Hey, I didn’t say that, why are you attacking me for saying that? Seriously, do you not get that it was a joke? Hey, I didn’t say that either. I do not even know what that means. No, that’s not socialism. Hitl—really? You went there? Did you even read what I wrote? That’s what passes for logic in your world? THIS WASN’T EVEN ABOUT THE WATCHMEN MOVIE!

And that’s just if he’s lucky enough to write for io9. We commenters over here are, by and large, Pulitzer nominees compared with what they get at, say, newsweek.com. And Clark would probably end up somewhere like that; he’s not hip enough for Slate or New York.

Clark, when that fateful day comes, there’s a spot open for you at Swimmin’ Hole! And don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us.

(Via Bloggasm)


Enough with the bailouts!

November 24, 2008

“Bailout” is quickly becoming the media’s overused buzzword du jour.

Spurred by coverage of the economic bailout and now the auto industry bailout, writers and editors are going out of their way to inject the B word into as many stories as possible — even when the story has nothing to do with any kind of bailout at all.

The latest offender is Variety, which posted a story this weekend called “Needed: Network bailout?” Intrigued by the possibility that the U.S. government would even consider bailing out struggling TV broadcasters, I clicked on the link … and quickly found out that wasn’t the story at all.

Instead, Michael Schneider writes about how ad revenue is down and the networks may have to cut back on programming to make ends meet. It’s all very interesting, but using the “bailout” buzzword so inappropriately is misleading and unfair to readers.


Brady who? Um, the guy who won 3 Super Bowls, that’s who

November 24, 2008

Boston is a notoriously tough town for athletes to play in, and the media plays a huge part in that. Some athletes thrive under the proverbial microscope, while others are driven to the brink of insanity.

Mostly, the obsessive media coverage stems from the fans’ own obsessions with their hometown players and teams. But with so many outlets covering every team’s every move, it can be tough for any one writer to stick out. And so occasionally we get things like Bill Burt’s column in today’s Eagle-Tribune, the provocatively — and obnoxiously — titled “Brady Who?

Sure, Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel is exceeding everyone’s expectations as he fills in for Tom Brady. He gets better every week, he’s putting up ridiculous numbers, and his teammates are looking to him for leadership. And the fact that, before this season, he hadn’t started a game since high school, makes his feats even more impressive.

But the fact is the Patriots are still 7-4 and in second place. Will they make the playoffs? Likely. Will they win the Super Bowl? Highly doubtful. And will Cassell start dating a Brazilian supermodel? Nuh uh. So to call his emergence “one of the greatest stories in NFL history,” as Burt does, is pure hyperbole.

Brady came off the bench seven years ago to lead the Pats to three Super Bowl wins. Now THAT is one of the greatest stories in NFL history. Cassell’s just the latest in a long line of athletes who have taken advantage of special opportunities.

And “Brady Who?” is just the latest in a long line of columns that give the Boston sports media such a bad image.


Online newspaper comment of the week, Nov. 22

November 22, 2008

One of the great things about reading newspapers online is the comments section, where crazy people with nothing better to do leave their opinions — sometimes about the story they just read, sometimes about whatever happens to be floating through their nutty little minds.

Swimmin’ Hole! will commemorate these last bastions of journalistic excellence with this weekly “comment of the week” section. Our first winner comes from a story in The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass., about a child rapist captured in the Dominican Republic. The comment is by “Laiza,” who writes:

he should definately be locked up for life and i hope he gets a big horny cellmate to teach him a little lesson..

I am totally naming my next fantasy football team the Big Horny Cellmates.


Conde Nast cuts Town Car use, free lunches

November 21, 2008

Pity the poor staffers at Conde Nast.

Sure, other journalists are parking their bosses’ cars and sorting mail, but these magazine employees are about to really have it rough. The New York Post reports today that Conde Nast is eliminating free lunches for employees who eat at their desks, curbing its “free subscriptions for everyone!” policy and — gasp! — cutting back on Town Car use.

No Town Cars? What are these people to do?

Sounds like Conde Nast execs should have stopped these practices a long time ago. Don’t they know they work in the 21st Century media, where “boosting employee morale” and “being a company that people like working for” are long forgotten?


Newseum cuts workforce by 10%

November 20, 2008

We know it’s a rough time to be in the media. Now the Newseum is commemorating these difficult times by getting in on the job-cutting fun itself.

prohibition newspaperNineteen employees at the Washington, D.C. media museum have accepted buyouts, and another two have retired, resulting in a 10% workforce reduction, according to FishbowlDC.

The Newseum just opened up a shiny new building on Capitol Hill back in April, moving from Arlington, Va. Swimmin’ Hole! visited last month, and the place is a must-see for any news or journalism junkie. Highlights include 9/11 front pages surrounding World Trade Center debris and a collection of newspapers from historic moments like the end of prohibition. Definitely check it out … while there are still staffers left to let you in.