Press Clips, Lunch Edition, Day 2: Are You a ProPublican, or a ProPublican't?

Okay, second day of Press Clips. All killer, no filler. Here we go.

Non-Profit (Baller) Status: Hysterically, as it turns out, we're all in the wrong business. Of making money. Mike Taylor at Fishbowl NY wins the morning with his breakdown of what staffers at non-profit news organization ProPublica are pulling these days. Does a Pulitzer Prize merit a $584K salary for ProPublica's president? You tell me. That call's above our pay-grade.

An NBC Comedy About Fact Checkers actually sounds like a story that needs fact-checking itself, but alas, is true. NBC partnered with Samsung on a comedy called Fact Checkers Unit that's going to run online, on-demand, on "mobile platforms" (whatever that means), and "Syfy's digital platforms in the U.K., Syfy Universal throughout Asia/Pacific and the Sci Fi Channel in Australia." Basically, everywhere but American TV. The show was based on a short film you can watch here, which starred Bill Murray. The show's going to be about two fact checkers who...check facts. Alex Trebek is supposed to make a cameo. I kinda wanna watch it.

Newsweek'd: We need a new word for people who keep saying they were planning to leave before the ship started sinking and then leave. Whether or not we believe them. A Newsweek reporter is now going to teach.

Afghanistanding Down: Also from B&C, nobody in news cares about Afghanistan. Either it doesn't sell or it's more interesting to talk about some guy who gets good leaks and posts them on the internet.

Darth Dvorkin's Pageview Smackdown: The big story yesterday and today continues to be Lewis Dvorkin -- he who sold out the good ship True/Slant for a cushy gig at Forbes -- installing a pay-by-traffic system for each of Forbes' writers. Basically, what True/Slant did. Traffic incentives for bloggers has long been a touchy subject, and surely, there're some people at Forbes freaking out right now who we'd love to hear from. It's not something I want to get into here, because I've got pretty mixed feelings about it. On one hand, yes: you should eat what you kill. On the other, the quality of writing -- granted, something that can't be quantified -- often takes a dip when unequipped writers are told to pull pageviews. I try not to remember some of the things I've done for pageviews (enter Bob Saget: "Have you ever sucked dick for marijuana?"). There are surely some bloggers and dark cynics who think this is long overdue for a mainstream publication like Forbes, though. Traffic-based pay pioneer Nick Denton's advice, via Twitter? "Always interesting when a legacy employer of journalists grapples with performance pay. Tip: don't use pageviews."

Spit The Hoyt Fire: Former New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt is going to Bloomberg, where he can softball people in positions of power for more money. Zeke Turner called him a "proctologist" of the Times, which is funny to think about, because Clark Hoyt had his head up Bill Keller's ass for the last year of his tenure.

Ready, Set, TBD: Turner also turned out (har) a piece on the launch of TBD News, which has already exceeded expectations by making the Washington Post jealous and insecure before their first day in the office. TBD looks nice. I haven't read it yet because I don't live in DC.

The Daily Bungle: Want a job writing for Sarah Palin's hometown newspaper where she was once a reporter? Here. You're no longer allowed to complain about the lack of media jobs, or something.

Frock This Noise: Speaking of pageviews, David Freedlander -- a New York Observer politics writer -- landed a great scoop yesterday in the story of New York Post writer John Wilson who's turning to priesthood. He has a Twitter. This is not a joke. It's also in the lead for the most likable New York Media Story of the Year. He's a good lookin' kid! Also, money quote: ""The phrase you hear a lot of in priestly circles is 'Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable,' he said. "At the very least I hope I've managed to afflict some powerful and comfortable people at the Post."" And here's where we'd normally put the potential Post headlines, or the betting line for how long he lasts, but know what? We wish him the best. You should too! No cynicsm here. This isn't not a likable story in any way that immediately comes to mind.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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