Back on the grid, with the Daily News, Time, Businessweek and Ali Velshi
After spending the past three days with no power, no cell phone service, and no means of transportation into Manhattan, I'm back on the grid today, catching up on some of the news I missed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Here's a catchall of some of the media stories that are in my feeds and inbox.
In the days after the storm, multiple sources contacted me with updates about the situation at the Daily News, whose Financial District headquarters could pretty much dip its toes in the East River, and whose systems were utterly knocked out by the surge.
The Wall Street Journal's Keach Hagey has the details on how the News has been managing to get its print edition out the door each day with no central newsroom and a powerless printing plant in Jersey City, which (as I can attest!) has largely been without power since about 9:30 Monday night:
The fierce competitor in New York City’s aggressive newspaper world has survived Sandy with a little help from rival news organizations. The New York Times, Newsday, Newark Star-Ledger, Bergen Record and Hartford Courant have all agreed to help print copies of the tabloid daily and some of the company’s other commercial-printing work while it waits for power in Jersey City to be restored, according to Daily News President and CEO Bill Holiber. The Associated Press and Jewish Week have offered office space and technological help.
One of our sources familiar with the situation was a bit more skeptical about the paper's Sandy troubles: "They had no emergency plan despite being in the evacuation zone. It's a joke."
UPDATE: Daily News president Bill Holiber tells us that the paper did in fact have emergency plans in place:
We had generators at our building down at 4 New York Plaza, generators at our plant in New Jersey, all of those things. But with the severity of what happened, nobody expected everything to be down all at the same time, and that's what happened. But even under those circumstances, we got Tuesday's paper out on Monday night, and at all times, our web operation was fully running. All of our staff in every department is working and keeping the operation going. The most important thing we're focused on is getting the News out to New Yorkers, and that effort is happening at 150 percent.
As for other media survival stories, Nick Denton tweeted on Thursday:
Manhattan diaspora: Tumblr, Foursquare and Gawker workers from the deadzone take refuge in Williamsburg. twitter.com/nicknotned/sta…— Nick Denton (@nicknotned) November 1, 2012
And Steven Kotok, president of The Week, wrote in with an anecdote about how the magazine's editors "carried their computers and servers down five flights of stairs and set up a virtual office in a hotel conference room to meet our Wednesday deadline."
Some of the other newsweeklies kicked things into high gear, too, with Sandy-related cover stories.
Time released three separate covers today, two about the election, and one about Sandy that will be available to readers in the Northeast. "TIME's coverage on the election and on Hurricane Sandy from the issue will be free to readers on TIME.com," said a spokesperson for the magazine, whose covers are below:
Bloomberg Businessweek, meanwhile, went the more provocative route:
Last but not least, Rupert Murdoch is opening his corporate coffers to help those affected by the storm, according to a press release issued today:
News Corporation today announced it will donate $1 million to help victims of Hurricane Sandy -- $500,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for NYC and $500,000 for relief in New Jersey. The storm affected millions of people and, with the Company’s global headquarters in New York City, had a direct impact on the communities within which many News Corporation employees live and work.
“Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones and those families coping with this tremendous natural disaster. But we are also heartened by the stories of communities pulling together, with neighbors helping neighbors through this difficult time,” said Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO, News Corporation. “I sincerely hope many other companies will also be able to provide assistance to families and communities in need of help.”
In other Sandy-related media news....
Barack Obama and Chris Christie appeared on front pages all over the world. [Capital New York]
Fifty-six reporting credits on The New York Times' storm-recovery story. [The New York Observer]
David Carr on "How Hurricane Sandy Slapped the Sarcasm Out of Twitter." [NYT/Media Decoder]
Heidi Moore on how "Even a superstorm is no excuse for journalists not to check Twitter trolling." [The Guardian]
Howard Kurtz calls Sandy "the rare storm that lived up to the media hype." [CNN.com]
And CNN's Ali Velshi says the criticisms of his Sandy coverage are "well-intentioned and fair." [The Huffington Post]