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American Journalism Review
Bylines  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   November 1994


By Suzan Revah
Suzan Revah is a former AJR associate editor.     

On the Infobahn

Myrta Pulliam is the first director of electronic news and information for Indianapolis Newspapers, Inc., which publishes the Star and the News . Formerly the Star's assistant managing editor, Pulliam will coordinate the papers' efforts to leap into the information age through such projects as letters to the editor via the Internet, electronic classified ads and computerized library systems, as well as perhaps getting both papers online... Inter@ctive Week magazine, which will debut next month, hires Brock Meeks as Washington bureau chief and Carol Wilson as editor at large... The Wall Street Journal names Neil Budde , formerly deputy editor and director of database publishing, as editor of the Journal's new interactive, computerized edition, a 24-hour, dial-up service that will present up-to-the-minute editions of
the paper for subscribers. Rich Jaroslovsky , formerly national political editor of the Journal's Washington bureau, is named managing editor of the new project.

The Last Word

Los Angeles Times media writer Thomas Rosenstiel gets in his last shots after 10 years on the beat before switching to cover science and technology out of Washington. In his final column, Rosenstiel denounces the current tendency to interpret rather than report the news and pines for those pre-information superhighway days, before "news ha[d] become intravenous." Rosenstiel says he decided it was time for a change when he found himself covering stories for "the fourth or fifth time."

Around Magazines

Life hires its first staff photographer in 22 years, Joe McNally , who will now shoot exclusively for the magazine. McNally, who began his career as a copyboy at the New York Daily News , switched to photography in 1977 and has since shot for National Geographic , Sports Illustrated and Time . Three other photographers have signed contracts as contributors to the magazine, which had previously relied on freelancers... Former Smart Money Senior Editor Ellyn Spragins joins Newsweek as a contributing editor. She'll write the lead article on investment and finance for the magazine's monthly personal finance section... U.S. News & World Report names former AP Moscow reporter Alan Cooperman as Moscow correspondent... Two magazines are redesigning: New York magazine introduces a revamped front of the book section to be called "Gotham," along with a not-so-new version of its logo that dates back to the '60s, and Business Week debuts its new look and new logo in time for the magazine's 65th anniversary.

Bad Career Move

Steve Ramos , editor and publisher of the fledgling Stinnett Journal , must have been pleased that the Amarillo Daily News wanted to do a story on the small Texas weekly. But things didn't work out too well: He was arrested after a Texas Ranger saw his picture in the Amarillo paper. Ramos, 36, was wanted for violating parole stemming from theft charges. The Stinnett Journal has closed down, with no immediate plans to resume publication.

Shutting Down..

As a cost-cutting measure, Scripps League Newspapers closes its Washington, D.C., bureau, after almost 20 years of aiding the group's 21 papers by providing national context for regional stories, such as military base closings. The bureau's staff had been cut down to two reporters prior to its closing.

..And Opening Up

The San Jose Mercury News becomes the first American newspaper to establish a bureau in Vietnam since the end of the war in 1975. Kristin Huckshorn , 37, who has been reporting from Vietnam since June, is assigned to the Hanoi-based bureau.

Public Journalism

Jan Schaffer , former business editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer , joins the Pew Center for Civic Journalism in Washington, D.C., as deputy director. "It's a little scary to leave the daily jolt of journalism," Schaffer admits, "but as a business editor, I spent my days in meetings, or with five reporters hanging on each elbow, and I didn't have time to talk with the public." The center, she says, will try to determine whether "the news media can help to overcome the paralyzing public cynicism that has hobbled our very basic ability to govern ourselves."

Stepping Down

Charles Alexander retires as director of Northwestern University's Medill News Service after 20 years. The service, established in 1966, covers Washington with a local angle for subscribing newspapers and broadcast stations. Taking his place as co-directors will be Mary Coffman , who has been an assistant bureau chief of Post-Newsweek Stations and a correspondent for Capital Broadcast News , and Ellen Shearer , formerly an administrative editor at New York Newsday and an editor at Newhouse News Service .

A New Pundit

New York Times Chief Economic Correspondent Thomas L. Friedman , a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner for international reporting, takes over the paper's foreign affairs column starting in January. Friedman, 41, joined the Times in 1981.

Inside Newspapers

Robert Burdick joins Denver's Rocky Mountain News as managing editor after seven years as editor of the Los Angeles Daily News . He replaces Christopher Cubbison , now in charge of projects... The Washington Times promotes Deborah Simmons , who joined the paper in 1985, from deputy features editor to features editor. She succeeds Robin Berkowitz , who leaves to join the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel ... Christopher Georges , a former editor at the Washington Monthly and more recently an aide to then-deputy Treasury secretary and current Whitewater casualty Roger Altman, will now cover the budget and economics beat for the Wall Street Journal 's Washington bureau.

L.A. Stories

The Boston Globe had been thinking about opening a Los Angeles bureau for some time. With the nonstop string of high profile news stories – the Rodney King case, riots, earthquakes, the O.J. Simpson extravaganza – it was time to move. The Globe names national reporter Adam Pertman as its first bureau chief in La-La Land. Pertman, a 15-year Globe veteran, says he'll concentrate on lifestyle pieces and hard news stories tailored to the Boston readership.

Network News

Ted Savaglio , a 22-year CBS veteran and executive producer of "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Morning News" since 1990, is named executive editor of CBS News. He's succeeded by Jim Murphy , senior producer of the two shows since 1993... After five years of consumer reporting for "Good Morning America," Paula Lyons leaves to join WBZ , the NBC affiliate in Boston; her gig stays the same.

To the Pentagon

Kenneth Bacon , 49, a 25-year Wall Street Journal veteran, leaves the paper to become the Pentagon's top spokesman. President Clinton is expected to nominate Bacon to the position of assistant defense secretary for public affairs, a position that was cut by former Defense Secretary Les Aspin in his efforts to reorganize Pentagon staff, and requires Senate confirmation to be reinstated.

On The Radio

Veteran NPR foreign and environmental correspondent Daniel Zwerdling is the new host of "Weekend All Things Considered." Zwerdling joined NPR in 1980 as an environmental reporter and has reported from Africa, Asia and Europe in addition to having covered the science beat. In addition, NPR reporter Jacki Lyden moves from the network's Chicago bureau to become a correspondent in Washington for weekend programs and to substitute host for "Weekend All Things Considered" and "Weekend Edition on Sunday."

Lehrer Without MacNeil

"MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" coanchor Robert MacNeil , who began his journalism career at Reuters London in 1955, announces his retirement from the progam on October 20 of next year, his twentieth anniversary with the show. At around the same time, the NewsHour will move to Washington, D.C., ending the two-city broadcast with New York that has been a hallmark of the program since 1975.



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