“Is Google a Media Company?” the New York Times asked in the summer of 2008. “Critics say each new Google initiative in [content hosting] casts more doubt on the company’s claims that it is not a media company.” On Monday, David Carr updated us on the company’s progress in three action-packed years: “Up and down its ranks, Google executives will tell you without fail that Google is not a media company, that its organizes and manages content, but stays away from producing it,” he wrote. That’s not exactly true, with their forays into video platforms and all, Carr explains, and today comes news of an online magazine too. But Think Quarterly, based in the UK, is just a “short book about data,” according to a Google spokesperson. More details inside Press Clips, our daily media round-up. Plus, a classic journalism job posting and a classic journalism disclosure!
Words by Google: Of Think Quarterly, NewsGrange writes, “The bias is obviously towards Google products, though some of the interviews could easily stand on their own in other publications.” A Google spokesperson quickly stepped in to clarify:
“Like most companies we regularly communicate with our business customers via email newsletters, updates on our official blogs, and printed materials. This short book about data was sent to 1,500 of our UK partners and advertisers.
“There are only a limited number of copies, and they aren’t for sale or designed for anyone other than our partners – but anyone who’s interested can visit the companion website at www.thinkquarterly.co.uk.”
So it’s not quite the new Conde Nast, but there is a 62-page magazine to read. If you’re really into “data,” that is.
A Journalism Job!: An ad seeking an investigative reporter in Florida at least got the attention of the internet. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is looking for a “serious candidate” with “a proven track record of conceiving, reporting and writing stellar investigative pieces that provoke change.” But that’s not all!
[O]ur ideal candidate has also cursed out an editor, had spokespeople hang up on them in anger and threatened to resign at least once because some fool wanted to screw around with their perfect lede.
…one day Walt Bogdanich will have to say: “I can’t believe the Sarasota Whatever-Tribune cost me my 20th Pulitzer.” As many of you already know, those kinds of projects can be hellish, soul-sucking, doubt-inducing affairs. But if you’re the type of sicko who likes holing up in a tiny, closed office with reporters of questionable hygiene to build databases from scratch by hand-entering thousands of pages of documents to take on powerful people and institutions that wish you were dead, all for the glorious reward of having readers pick up the paper and glance at your potential prize-winning epic as they flip their way to the Jumble… well, if that sounds like journalism Heaven, then you’re our kind of sicko.
Florida’s the perfect place for this, according to Matthew Doig, who wrote the advertisement:
We have all kinds of corruption, violence and scumbaggery. The 9/11 terrorists trained here. Bush read My Pet Goat here. Our elections are colossal clusterfucks. Our new governor once ran a health care company that got hit with a record fine because of rampant Medicare fraud. We have hurricanes, wildfires, tar balls, bedbugs, diseased citrus trees and an entire town overrun by giant roaches (only one of those things is made up). And we have Disney World and beaches, so bring the whole family.
(Full disclosure: I spent some childhood years in Sarasota.)
And Speaking of Disclosure: A Baltimore City Paper writer penned a classic one. In a story about a record store owner pleading guilty to drug charges, the journalist Van Smith admits his own role as customer:
“I sold weed for years,” Neu says – something that this writer, as a patron of Reptilian Records and acquaintance of Chris X’s, had known, having purchased small quantities of marijuana at the store more than 10 years ago while working as a freelance journalist and bartender.
“Had to,” the journalist told Romenesko. “Believe me, I’m not as Gonzo as this may make me seem.” Baltimore sounds sort of stressful. Maybe the man should check out Sarasota?