Category Archives: Dan Froomkin

Florida as Journalistic Paradise

The editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is reported (!) to have issued what is widely being called the world’s greatest journalism job announcement touting the virtues of their newsroom — and the joy of reporting in the target-rich environment which is Florida.

We want to add some talent to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune investigative team. Every serious candidate should have a proven track record of conceiving, reporting and writing stellar investigative pieces that provoke change. However, our 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.

We do a mix of quick hit investigative work when events call for it and mini-projects that might run for a few days. But every year we like to put together a project way too ambitious for a paper our size because we dream that 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.

For those unaware of Florida’s reputation, it’s arguably the best news state in the country and not just because of the great public records laws. 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.

The Political Animal (Steve Benen) posting that I linked to above has other reasons why Florida is so great for journalism.

I’m reminded of a comment — that I want to attribute to Dave Barry because even if he didn’t say it, it sounds like he should have — that Florida is what you get when you pick up the country and shake it: all the nuts fall down to the bottom.

Plus, I can’t help wondering why the Herald is so lame.

(Thanks to Ann Bartow for the original link to another version of this announcement.  It’s everywhere.)

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Read This

Gulf Oil Spill: Rick Steiner Got BP Disaster Right From The Beginning, Warns Crisis Is Far From Over.

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‘The Decider’ Endorses Dan Froomkin

The Decider's Blog says “This article by Dan Froomkin is well worth reading.”

Don't miss the comments.

The spirit of Dennis Thatcher's Dear Bill letters lives on.

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He’ll Try Harder

Hey, Dan is #2 on the Power List 2010: NextGen Media Personalities … whatever that is.

(For those under 30 or so, title is a reference to an old car rental commercial.)

Posted in Dan Froomkin | 1 Comment Does ‘7 Questions for Dan Froomkin’, Democracy in America, Seven questions for Dan Froomkin

My favorite of the seven:

DIA: Much of Huffington Post’s traffic is driven by gossipy stories about sex and entertainment. Are you concerned about the effect this has on the site's respectability?

Mr Froomkin: It’s not my favourite thing about the site. But mostly, I recognise it as evidence of how the Huffington Post is truly a creature of its medium. A fair amount of people come to a website in part to be entertained, and to deny that would be to turn away a large audience of potential news consumers. And please keep in mind that our staid, holier-than-though newspapers carry horoscopes and Sudoku, not just news. I know some people who subscribe to newspapers primarily because they couldn’t live without the comics.

The kids' demand for the comics does seem to be why we still get the Miami Herald. Even though they now print some so small I can hardly read them.

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Readers Follow Dan to HuffPo

Huffington Post Passes In Unique Visitors In September: Nielsen. More data at Editor & Publisher

I had no idea Dan was that popular….

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