Tipster: Here’s a video USAT doesn’t want seen

USA Today often videotapes big staff meetings, so employees unable to attend can watch the event later, on the newspaper’s intranet. Makes sense, given USAT‘s far-flung network of employees, working in different states, countries and time zones.

So, indeed, last week’s much-anticipated USA Today staff meeting was taped, a tipster tells me. That was the event where Publisher Craig Moon reportedly had a bit of a temper tantrum on stage, more or less bashing this blog — and urging the help to take any concerns to supervisors, rather than airing their dirty laundry here. (An admonition, of course, that was immediately ignored.)

But as of late last week, that video wasn’t archived for replay on USAT‘s intranet, my tipster says. “Upper mgmt made it clear to . . . NOT archive the Moon meeting on 8/27. Do you find that odd?”

Can anyone else confirm — and explain the decision? Please post replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

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24 Responses to “Tipster: Here’s a video USAT doesn’t want seen”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I really wanted to get the microphone and ask “who the hell is Jim and where can I find his blog” because he spoke about it as if everyone in the room reads this religiously. I’m pretty sure some people were in the dark, which made him seem even more like a fool.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The meeting was open to anyone who wanted to call in. There was no secretive attempt.

  3. Jim Hopkins Says:

    8:03 am: I believe you missed my point. As I wrote, what if you could not call in, or attend in person? For those people, why isn’t the video archived — the usual procedure, according to my tip — and available for replay?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Angie P is the gatekeeper of the video. Ask her for it. Why would you video tape something and not share it with the employees who were out doing their work!

    Angie P…give it up!

    Craig Moon is one of the least inspiring speakers anyway, so it is probably somewhat boring.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Corporate isn’t disclosing a lot of things anymore. Where are the budget rankings from last month?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I never heard about this place until he brought it up, and hinted anyone who uses it will be gone.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    12:34 PM, I can see he scared you. Welcome to the site. Trying to rule by intimidation, will they never learn from their mistakes? This could be a great tool for Corporate, if they’d let it.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I have been amazed how many Gannett employees don’t know that this blog exists.
    Some who come over don’t enjoy it as much as I do, but they’re glad to know it is out there. I think a lot of editors read it, but some were pretty disturbed by a thread that insinuated that they were enjoying the layoffs. Many have fought the good fight to avoid newsroom layoffs and were offended by some of the conversations.
    But I bet they’ll be reading, just the same.

  9. Jim Hopkins Says:

    This post is an example of a type of journalism that, unfortunately, is on the decline: watchdog reporting. That means keeping an eye on people in power (a publisher) at institutions of power (the No. 1 circulation newspaper).

    I mention this because we now have many readers who may not be familiar with some of the editorial side’s traditions and ways of doing business.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    The cellkeepers at Gulag Gannett have been trained to detect and snuff out dissent at all of their papers. Inmates are manacled to their work stations and indoctrinated with new re-education programs superseding those of the previous year. They are forced to produce content stimulative of 35- to 49-year-old soccer moms. Those who complain are isolated so as to not infect the “team players” around them. Suggested improvements are not welcome unless they originate from corporate. The only comments allowed in group meetings are those that have been pre-approved by senior editors. In the ideal scenario, all comments are expressed by managers taking turns voicing their support of gulag initiatives.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Jim, with all due respect, do you really consider your blog “reporting”? Reporting would require that you print only the facts, that you check out your sources, that you back up your statements , and most importantly, that you write fair and balanced stories. This blog feels more like someone with an ax to grind and a personal vendetta gainst gannett. Right or wrong, it just is NOT journalism. Sorry. I am a professor of journalism and blogs are NOT journalism…especially not the ones with an agenda …which by definition is the whole idea of a blog.

  12. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Please help me improve this blog, professor. If blogs are not journalism, what has brought you here?

  13. Anonymous Says:

    In what way is this blog not journalism, professor? I think you are too wedded to your course materials to see new forms of communication are developing that are refashioning journalism. In fact, professor, define journalism for us all here. You seem to not like blogs because they are written by people with agendas and with axes to grind. Do not newspapers have axes to grind, and agendas? The times they are a-changing, and blogs like this one are showing that the old gatekeepers of the past no longer have control over even what in the past they regarded as their own, personal information.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Since when are blogs not journalism? Take a look at the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s daughter issue. This would have been a sidelined issue if the MSM had its way, and even the McCain campaign admits it is the blogs not the traditional MSM that is making this an issue. For good or ill, blogs are here and are making or massaging news. The New York Times today had three separate stories on the Palin pregnancy issue on its front page Tuesday, so don’t say it is just blogs. It is news in the making, raw and edgy, filled with errors, opinion and misspellings. It is also subject to manipulation or ax-grinding, and both parties are very active participating in it (witness the pro and con on the Palin pregnancy matter). But IMO it is journalism in its rawest form.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    If written by a reputable journalist who practices journalism, yes. If written by someone who prints gossip, rumor, and BS. No . If average citizens start relying on anything printed by any anonymous person in the blogoshere as fact…..then we will undoubtedly see a rise to respectable journalists again as people crave reliable news.
    There is too much information and very little knowledge/

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Truth be told, while I do enjoy some of the whining and complaining when it hits a spot with me, I can’t really think of anything new I have learned on this blog. Mostly this stuff resonates when it agrees with a position I already have in place.

    I have heard a great deal of rumor that usually, like the big Moon meeting, turns out to be nothing.

    The business side of this business has been faced with layoffs and downsizing for years. It began to hit really hard at USA TODAY with the “recession” of 2000/2001. It is interesting how much editorial folks get upset when it finally begins to happen to them as in the buy outs of last year at USA TODAY.

    True, there are some really dumb decisions being made. Many in the interest of pleasing Wall Street which is really the master with the whip. There are also some realistic decisions being made as well. Just look to the automotive industry for perspective. They’ve been dealing with outsourcing, layoffs and retractions for years. Even they can’t get it right and make dumb decisions.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    this blog exists for one reason: misery loves company

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Again, take a look at the Bristol Palin incident — something that grew from the blogosphere to the front page (three stories, did I mention that before) of the New York Times today. I have never seen that before. It may be rumor and garbage, but it is driving news. From what I read on the blogs today, I suspect tomorrow’s newspapers will be special interest legislation Palin pushed as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, plus a few stories on Bristol’s hockey playing boyfriend. Again, the gatekeeper role of newspapers is being breached as badly as Katrina put holes in New Orleans’ levees.
    As for the gossip, rumor and BS part, the blogs are strangely self-correcting.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Most posters here choose anonymity because they are GCI employees, afraid of reprisals. I find it difficult to believe that any real journalism professor — without such a threat and, presumably, aware of the value of attribution — would even consider posting here anonymously. Why not post with your name?

    If you are indeed a university journalism instructor, then I feel sorry for your students. They’d be much better served by someone who understood the industry’s current structure, trends and direction, rather than someone who hasn’t seen or understood a newsroom in decades.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    The longer I am in the newspaper business the more convinced I am that blogs — or blog like Internet tools — are the way of the future.

    You can publish with little or no cost, you can publish at a moments notice and you can place advertising.

    We are going to start seeing web-books, laptops that are hyper thin — think Mac Air — and have Wi-Max. I could see everyone having one of these low-cost computers, especially when you look at the statistics of people with home computers and cell phones now.

    We would be wise, as an industry, to start taking technology very seriously — I mean more than just coming up with a new look for the web page and making all GCI papers follow the template.

    Blogs allow hyper-local, low-cost publishing at an almost real-time pace. The weekly and daily model of newspaper is doomed.

    At least that’s how I see it.

    This blog re-affirms why I left the company on almost a daily basis. Thank you Jim.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t believe it was ever said that if someone blogs here they would be fired.

    If so, we are all Spartacus.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Spartacus was never identified, but I have already built my cross.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Let’s be honest here. Over the past few months that I have been reading this blog, the sentiment is clear that a majority of journalists are having a difficult time coming to terms that with the technology available today, newspapers just don’t need as many of you to tell the same stories over and over. Have a handful of reporters to cover the hyper-local stories and have a couple of national bureaus ship over the big stories. Snap a few photos while your there and email them to the RTC. Egos seem to be getting pretty bent here seeing that high school kids are posting online what you all seem to think is a right of passage as so-called “journalists”. Get over yourselves. The train’s engine burns advertising, so that is where the engineer’s will be shoveling.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Funny I didn’t know about this blog until our Ad Director called all Managers to her office to discuss the letter from the publisher announcing layoffs coming over the next couple of weeks. We were directed to snuff out any fires that arise from this blog. Then a week later, it was me who was laid off, not any of my employees! LOL Mark one up for the Ad Director….she blind sided me. But, thanks to her, I know abut this blog and will tell everyone I know about it.

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