Archive for the ‘Holidaze’ Category

Cut this, Martore!

December 10, 2008

You naughty Gannett Blog readers demand local-yokel coverage, so here’s a follow-up to an earlier version of this viral holiday favorite:

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Holidaze: Crank up the volume!

December 10, 2008

Because they’re b-a-a-a-a-a-c-k — and now, they’re embeddable!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Holidaze: I’m collecting awful holiday story ideas!

December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving’s aftermath: Big newspapers, no news, understaffed newsrooms — and dopey story ideas from editors desperate to fill the paper. But, hey: ‘Tis the season, right?

Was it the assignment to spend Christmas Eve with a lonely security guard — and live-blog the experience? Please post your worst holiday story assignments in the comments section, below. Send e-mail via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

Papers to compete with Cherry-Coke Jello Mold

November 27, 2008

There’s lots of competition for readers’ attention today, what with Thanksgiving newspaper circulars to scour for Black Friday deals — and all the extra bing cherries Aunt Marcelline piled into her world-famous Cherry-Coke Jello Mold. So! Why not try something different on page one — as this sampling of Gannett papers shows?

First up is the Times Herald in Port Huron, Mich. (bigger view):


The Tulare (Calif.) Advance-Register (bigger view):


And The Arizona Republic (bigger view):

Got a front page to recommend? First, find it at the Newseum’s Gannett pages. Then paste the link in the comments section, below. Or e-mail via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Images: Newseum]

Chatter: Oh, woe is you, little town of Burlington!

October 28, 2008

Chatter is an occasional peek at your comments. In today’s edition, readers compete for the title of Gannett workplace with the most pathetic holiday expectations.

Way up there in crunchy granola Vermont, a reader wonders: “How many GCI shops are having holiday parties this year? Bonuses? I work in Burlington. We haven’t had a party in 5-6 years, but every year for Thanksgiving we get a choice of a ham, block of cheese, turkey or some vegan thing. Simply outstanding.”

Moments later, a Garden State reader fires back: “You’re kidding me, right? We get nothing in N.J. In fact, we’re expected to walk to work, for miles, all uphill, in the snow, and with no shoes! And we like it!”

Then, from Somewhere Unknown in Gannettland, another reader insists: no, their Gannett workplace is the most pathetic! “This holiday season we will all get a Cornish game hen with pink slip stuffing!”

Finally, from a sturdy, Midwestern state: “Snow in N.J.? Wah, wah. Come live in Wisconsin; we had snow yesterday.”

Join the debate — or start a new one, in Real Time Comments.

Labor Day Weekend: Blogging will be light

August 30, 2008

[Workers march through Chicago in a 1915 Labor Day parade]

I’m taking it easy most of this weekend, the traditional close of summer in the United States. Many of you are celebrating the holiday, too, so traffic here will be light. As always, though, I’ll stay on top of your e-mail and comments. Barring breaking news, I’ll see you in a bigger way on Tuesday.

[Photo: Library of Congress American Memory site. This photonegative was taken by a Chicago Daily News photographer, and published in the paper May 1, 1915]

Holidaze: Sun, sand — and summer slowdown

May 27, 2008

[Three of anything: the formula for summer trend stories]

It’s the day after Memorial Day, and we all know what that means: The scramble has begun to fill all those newspapers and TV broadcasts between now and Labor Day — even though there’s no news, and no one to sell advertising. Plus! Good-humored though you may be, there are now fewer employees cranking out more news updates, selling more pre-roll ads, and taking more angry customer calls than ever. (Now, how do those buyouts sound?)

Related: Gannett’s strategic plan for dummies

Got a bogus summer ’08 trend story you’re already dreading? Drop a note in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link from a non-work computer; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Holidaze: Moms in the big house!

May 11, 2008

Holidays bring really dopey story assignments from editors desperate to fill the newspaper. But, hey: ‘Tis the season, right?

I plead guilty! Yours truly recalls the day when he, too, discovered there were women in prison. And some of them had kids! And that meant mothers behind bars — on Mother’s Day! (Frankly, I’m surprised I could only find two Gannett papers heaving that holiday chestnut into print today. Don’t worry: Father’s Day is June 15.)

The News Journal, Wilmington, Del.

The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press

  • Story: Missing mothers
  • Mom: Patience Francis, 31, sold two hunting rifles to a federal agent for $160. Previous legal run-ins included an arrest for repeatedly stealing from a grocery store, plus a DUI. She has at least three kids.
  • Home sweet home: Dale Women’s Facility, Waterbury, Vt.
  • Obligatory cognitive dissonance: Save for the high brick walls and concertina wire, Saturday’s tea party was perfect.
  • Quotable mom: “Nobody told me I was special.”

Was it the assignment to spend Mother’s Day with a mom — who was a man, before her sex-change operation? Use this link to e-mail your worst holiday story assignments; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note, in the comments section, below.

[Images: Susan Hayward, in 1958’s I Want to Live!]

Holidaze: The luck o’ the Arizona advertiser

March 17, 2008

A screenshot from The Arizona Republic‘s Front Page this morning, featuring this story next to an ad from this law firm. Now, who says page-one advertising undermines a paper’s credibility?

Was it the assignment to spend St. Patrick’s Day with a recovering alcoholic — and live-blog the experience? Use this link to e-mail your worst holiday story assignments. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the comments section, below.

Holidaze: Valentine’s Day trend story alert!

February 13, 2008

Holidays bring really dopey story assignments from editors desperate to fill the newspaper. But, hey: ‘Tis the season, right?

  • Newspaper: USA Today
  • Headline: Professionals pay matchmakers to be ‘headhunters for the heart’
  • The angle: In a world of ubiquitous Internet dating sites, matchmaking is suddenly a trendy occupation and the focus of several new reality TV shows. Matchmakers seem to be popping up all over the country, many targeting their personalized services to eligible businessmen.
  • Mitigating Factor: The story doesn’t quote inflight magazine advertising fixture Irene “Matchmaking in the European Tradition” Valenti.

Was it the assignment to spend Valentine’s Day with a lonely security guard — and live-blog the experience? Use this link to e-mail your worst holiday story assignments. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the comments section, below.