media

The Providence Journal remains the best-staffed local news organization when it comes to covering the Statehouse. But there’s nothing quite like subjecting lawmakers (and their would-be successors) to tough questions and the unblinking eye of a TV camera.

Switching to an iPhone from a BlackBerry was all it took for state Representative Jon Brien to become a Twitter enthusiast earlier this year.

The BlackBerry interface for Twitter was “useless,” and Brien says, “I really didn’t get Twitter.” But a new world of information and communication opened up when  he signed up for a Twitter handle on his iPhone last spring.

As the Providence Journal continues to wrestle with the challenges facing old-line media, reporters at the statewide daily are being encouraged to increase their use of social media.

A recently issued five-page set of social media guidelines “demonstrates a lot of faith in the professionalism of the people who work here,” says reporter John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild. ”Basically, the policy is, ‘don’t be a jerk.’ “

First, Anthony Gemma wouldn’t take questions from reporters at his campaign announcement.

Jason Schwartz, who wrote the definitive story on the 38 Studios saga for Boston Magazine, tells NECN the short version is this: the company “never really had a chance.”

Despite vowing during his campaign announcement in April to sit down for detailed interviews with reporters, Anthony Gemma’s campaign has spurned repeated invitations to appear as a guest on Rhode Island Public Radio’s weekly Political Roundtable.

Providence Journal reporter Richard Salit will take over the role formerly played by his esteemed colleague, the late Peter Lord, at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting.

Sunshine Menezes, the Metcalf’ Institute’s executive director, says this in a news release:

In a victory for the Rhode Island media, the state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a defamation case filed by Providence restaurateur Robert I. “Bob” Burke against the Providence Journal, ProJo Statehouse chief Katherine Gregg, WPRO talk-show host Dan Yorke and Citadel Broadcasting, the former owner of WPRO.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist once famously talked about shrinking the federal government “to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Providence native Joe Nocera uses his New York Times’ op-ed column today to argue that state Representative Jon Brien is wielding a similar cudgel to cut spending in Woonsocket:

A journalism scholarship fund has been established in the name of Peter Lord, the superb Providence Journal environmental reporter who died in April. The deadline for making contributions — June 30 — is fast approaching, as a family member notes:

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