10:59 am Jun. 6, 2012
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
For a little magazine, GOOD has been a big part of the media-news cycle these past few days.
Then again, whenever a publication hands out pink slips (as GOOD did to the majority of its editorial staff last Friday) or shuts down altogether (which GOOD has not done, although it appears the earnest six-year-old quarterly is assuming a new form altogether), there's usually a healthy amount of scrutiny.
The latest regarding the situation at GOOD comes this morning from Poynter's Andrew Beaujon, who broke the news about the firings initially, and who connected the dots about "how things went bad" at a magazine that purports to be so—well, you get it!
Here's the gist of it:
Last March, GOOD hired Ann Friedman to edit its magazine. ... Journalists followed, welcomed to the company by owners seemingly eager to implement her vision of building on GOOD’s 'reputation for positive, solutions-oriented journalism while pushing it a bit—making it funnier, edgier,' as Friedman told Julie Greicius just last month. Over the next year, though, GOOD’s cofounders slowly revealed an evolving, competing vision.
(Click through to Beaujon's piece for the requisite awkward staff-meeting anecdotes.)
And here's how co-founder Ben Goldhirsh spun it in a company-wide staff memo obtained by The Atlantic Wire:
Layoffs are a really tough call to make. And frankly, it's easier to make them when financial pressure is the catalyst. But that wasn't the case here. This was about the direction of the business and the path to manifesting the very exciting potential ahead. Furthermore, this was a decision that was discussed at length, and included the opinions of every team at the company. At the end of the day, the path forward requires some new roles and perspectives, and this meant that some roles got eliminated. While that's hard. It's also right. Right for our business, and frankly right for the folks who are great at those roles, and who deserve to be at a place where those roles are fundamental to strategy.
Translation: “They said they wanted to be a Reddit for social good,” managing editor Megan Greenwell told C.J.R. of the still ambiguous community-driven online strategy GOOD is reportedly pursuing in lieu of a print product.
GOOD's terminated editorial hands, meanwhile, have something else up their sleeves.
"We’d like to make at least one more magazine together," they announced on Tumblr yesterday afternoon. "Not an issue of GOOD—something different. We’re calling it Tomorrow. It’s going to be about what’s next, what’s on the cusp."
Friedman reflected on her brief tenure as editor-in-chief in a separate post on her personal Tumblr.
"While it certainly wasn't the easiest year of my life, it was one of the most fun and most rewarding," she wrote. "If there’s one thing I’m disappointed about, it’s that this hardworking and accomplished group of writers and editors never got to realize its full potential."
An interesting thing in the background here: Last August, GOOD merged with Jumo, the social-cause-oriented social networking site founded by Chris Hughes, a cofounder of Facebook. In March, Hughes bough a majority stake in The New Republic, which is now expanding.
In other news...
"Like Britain, CNN is a diminished empire that on special occasions still commands respect and attention. Except, paradoxically, when it gives lavish, unfiltered coverage to a glittery extravaganza like the Diamond Jubilee." [The New York Times]
Barbara Walters is sorry that she tried to help get a former Bashar al-Assad aide in good graces with Piers Morgan and the Columbia Journalism School admissions office. [The Telegraph / Media Decoder]
CNN taps The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza as a contributor. [Politico/Dylan Byers]
The Senate is investigating leaks to The New York Times. [NYT/The Caucus]
How The New York Times is figuring out how to "please a global audience." [Nieman Journalism Lab]
The Times' evolving social media team. [Poynter]
And it's new police bureau chief. [The New York Observer]
Also, it's on Pinterest now. [Pinterest]
Politico goes "fair and balanced." [C.J.R.]
Matthew Igram: "Does being digital rob a newspaper of some of its power?" [GigaOM]
Jack Shafer: "A newspaper owner who feels trapped by losses and can’t find a new owner at what he considers a fair price may feel he has no alternative but to cheapen his newspaper bit-by-bit, month-by-month." [Reuters]
A reporter from In These Times is pressing charges against a corporate flack for barricading him in a room. [PR Daily]
The New York Post and Fox News go after Anna Wintour. [The New York Observer]
Paywall skepticism. [C.J.R.]
More by this author:
- Ahead of an avalanche, the 'Times' reminds us this new thing is theirs, and it's called a 'Snow Fall'
- What is this new Twitter 'Amplify,' you ask?