Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Night Football is King in Manatee

The headline on today's story says it all:

Lights. Camera. Action.

It's Friday Night Football. Probably should be in ALL caps. The season hasn't even started, and the pitch is at a record frenzy in Manatee County.

ESPN is in town to broadcast the Manatee Hurricanes' Kickoff Classic tonight against Tampa Plant. John Lembo gives us the inside scoop in his column today.

And Florida State University and -- more to the point -- the Collegiate Licensing Co. have challenged the longstanding logos and nicknames of the Southeast Seminoles. (Oh, right -- now, after a day after the news hit the headlines, they want to negotiate.)

OMG, what a season this promises to be. Good timing by the Bradenton Herald, too, if I must say so: Today's print edition includes our annual football sections, packed full of insights for the 2010 high school, college and pro seasons (see the covers below). Here online, you can find all the local schedules and sign in for all the game highlights tonight.

Countdown to kickoff is on!

-- Joan

(P.S.: My heart hasn't sold out. It's still baseball season. Albert Pujols hit his 400th home run last night, even though the Cards lost in the 13th inning... )

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Women, we must celebrate -- and we can!

We excel in every field of higher education.
We hold top professional jobs.
We have a voice.
We vote.

Baby, we really have come a long way. And Susan B. Anthony was in our midst this weekend to remind us of that.

The Manatee and Sarasota Commissions on the Status of Women, along with the Manatee and Sarasota Leagues of Women Voters, hosted the 90th Anniversary Celebration for Women’s Equity on Saturday.

The Bradenton Herald was a sponsor of the event, founded 15 years ago by Dr. Mona Jain and Dot Ridings -- the first female publisher of the Herald.

The Polo Grille’s ballroom was filled to capacity with the sold-out luncheon crowd of more than 430 -– mostly women, but men were welcome, too. And Susan B. Anthony -– aka actor Barbara Rowe -– was guest speaker, and she stole the show.

Through Rowe’s gripping monologue, we were honored to have a glimpse into Anthony’s amazing biography -– abolitionist, education reformer, labor activist, temperance worker, women’s rights campaigner. All of this served as a poignant reminder of how much she and other women suffragists sacrificed for the women of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The audience was a stunning representation of these women -– a crowd of diverse age and ethnicity. Our table was a great snapshot, with six young women who have bright promising futures – thanks in large part to the women before them who fought for their rights. (See the photo below, courtesy of Jim Jones, who also turned this story today.)

The event was a less-than-gentle reminder that women couldn’t always be doctors, lawyers, politicians -- or executive editors. In fact, Susan B. Anthony chided us, newspapers decried the suffragists’ efforts as immoral in the 1850s!

Take a moment this week on Women's Equality Day, Aug. 26, to reflect on what all the women like Anthony have done for us -- and remember them with gratitude.

-- Joan

At the Herald table, from left: Alanna Culver of Pineview Elementary, Juhi Mirchandani of Southeast High School, Olivia Ogles of Haile Middle School, Nupur Mathur of St. Stephens Episcopal School, Snreya Patel of St. Stephens Episcopal School, and Ruchi Ramamurthy of Southeast High School

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Facebook fan notes 'good news' was buried

Facebook gives readers another way to critique both the Bradenton Herald and One of our fans made a good point today:
(name) is extremely disappointed in the Bradenton Herald for choosing to run Bill Evers' complaining as a front page story. And making the fact that City Council voted to extend the CRA to include the Players & Rossi Park (a hugely positive move for our community) merely a footnote at the end of the column. Sensationalism over substance? C'mon're better than that.

We agree -- reporter Tim Wolfrum was under the gun with two other stories, and ended up including the CRA's news with the election story. So here's the headline now broken out separately, and a link to January Holmes' previous story.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Arrivederci, Carl Mario Nudi

Today marks the end of an era in the Bradenton Herald's newsroom. Veteran journalist Carl Mario Nudi is retiring after 44 years -- to the date -- in this biz.

Carl walked into our newsroom in 1986, with 20 years already under his belt at the Detroit Free Press. But he didn't start in a newsroom. Carl was a printer in the days of hot lead and Linotypes, when the backshop rightfully ruled. If you didn't have a good printer, you could kiss those deadlines and good-looking pages goodbye. My guess is, Carl was the best.

We had a little farewell shindig for Carl last week in the newsroom, with a lot of Italian food, good memories and more than a few tears. In his typical self-deprecating style, Carl had begged us not to make a big deal of it. But he had been loudly counting down the days for, oh, at least a couple years. We owed him the hot seat, one last time. Carl knew better, and he came prepared with a touching farewell, which we published today as his column.

We presented him with this keepsake front page, designed by news editor Jason Bartolone, who captured the essence of Carl in this handsome cover. The well-wishes of current and past coworkers flowed through two entire pages, memorializing everything from his salty retorts to, well, his days as an artist's nude model. That's our Carl.

I chose the conservative route:

You can count on Carl Mario Nudi. Period.
He’s the guy who will ask the tough question when the bosses call a meeting.
He’s the guy who will reach out to every new person and make sure they feel welcome.
He’s the guy who will rush to help without asking for anything in return.
And he’s the guy who makes us smile on even the toughest days.
Carl has made the Bradenton Herald a much richer home for journalists.
And we will miss him.

All the best to you, Carl. Your adventures have just begun.

-- 30 --

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here's looking at

We monitor traffic on constantly, moving and updating stories and images accordingly. Each day, we generate reports on "page views" and "unique visitors" that have shown healthy growth for

Here's a welcome trend: Our photo galleries rock. In recent weeks, especially since we launched "Our Manatee Beaches," staff galleries have knocked a lot of petty crime stories out of the Top 10.

Monday's top stories and galleries are a good example:

Bradenton tells condo residents to move out (with photo gallery)

PHOTO GALLERY: Anna Maria Beach

Gallery: Condo residents told to move out

Story: Concerned neighbors clean up vacant Bayshore house

PHOTO GALLERY: Coquina Beach

PHOTO GALLERY: The Birds of Anna Maria Island

Woman dies in I-75 traffic accident

Gallery: 2489110Saving Myakka history


PHOTO GALLERY: Lionfish found off Anna Maria

What a treasure trove!

-- Joan

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Herald goes to Washington

This very cool e-mail came this week:

Dear Ms. Krauter,

Today as my family and I were touring Washington DC we discovered that the front page of today's Bradenton Herald(August 2nd) was on display in front of the Newseum. The Newseum is a museum in DC focusing on the 1st Amendment. Each day they display a different front page from a newspaper from each of the 50 states, and the Bradenton Herald was the front page today for Florida. I am attaching a picture of my children (Miranda, Gabrielle and Andrew) in front of the newspaper.

Thank You,

Kristi Lim
Fifth Grade Teacher
Wakeland Elementary

I haven't had the pleasure of visiting the Newseum yet, but it's an amazing statement to the value of journalism. According to its Web site, the 250,000-square-foot museum of news "offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits."

The website is especially cool if you've lived in other towns and miss your former hometown newspaper. Each day, many front pages from around the country are posted at this link -- it's a great bookmark.

Kudos to Kristi Lim for highlighting the value of our First Amendment with her children -- and for sharing.

-- Joan

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tell us about your claim against BP

The best news on the oil spill front today, Day 103, is that we may be in the "cleanup phase" of this disaster. Leading off a three-part McClatchy series on all aspects of that challenge, Bradenton Herald reporters Grace Gagliano and Sara Kennedy examine in today's story how everyone who works or lives along the Gulf Coast must work to clean up the image damaged as much by perception as the actual oil residue.

But the damages are real. More than 100,000 claims against BP have already been filed, according to national accounts. How will these be paid? President Obama has appointed an independent claims administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, to oversee the claims process.

Starting today, the Bradenton Herald/ and other news media are partnering with ProPublica in a watchdog project monitoring the BP claims process.

As ProPublica -- "an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest" -- writes in our story today:

We could take BP at its word that it will pay all “legitimate” claims, and trust the administration’s assurances that the people of the Gulf will be made whole. We think it’s better to shine some sunlight on the process.

If you’ve filed a claim with BP, please share details of your experience with the Bradenton Herald’s and ProPublica’s reporters using this form. If you need help in filing a claim, ProPublica has compiled important guidelines for you.

Keep this out in the open. You have a right to know.

-- Joan