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  • October 30, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Continuing a long-term trend, the Providence Journal's average daily circulation has dipped from 90,085 to 83,733 over the last year, while its Sunday circulation has dropped from 129,024 to 117,784, according to new third-quarter data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

    The declines, a 7 percent dip for daily circulation and a nearly 9 percent drop for Sunday circulation, come seven months after the Journal erected a "paywall" on its web site.

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  • October 18, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    I've got a cover story in this week's Phoenix asking whether Rhode Island's gay marriage advocates should consider putting the question on the ballot.

    Advocates have resisted the idea to date, and for good reason. In 32 states, voters have rejected same-sex nuptials at the polls. And the campaigns can get nasty, taking a personal toll on gay and lesbian families.

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  • October 15, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    This morning, Providence Monthly convened a panel of political reporters and editors to dicuss the state of political reporting - and, really, all kinds of reporting - in Rhode Island.

    It was a good group - Tim Murphy, assistant managing editor for public policy at the Providence Journal, reporters Tim White and Ted Nesi of WPRI-TV, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis, reporter Erika Niedowski of the Associated Press, news editor and reporter Dan McGowan of golocalprov, and myself.

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  • October 11, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Providence Journal management wants to cut $1.2 million in costs, which could mean up to 16 layoffs from Rhode Island's paper of record.

    John Hill, a reporter who serves as president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, says the paper has indicated that it would be willing to accept concessions from union workers in lieu of layoffs.

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  • October 10, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    For the past seven years, the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting has doled out the $75,000 Grantham Prize for Excellence in environmental reporting.

    Now, the prize is no more.

    The Grantham Foundation, which funded the prize - developed and administered by the Metcalf Institute - has elected to divert the funding to training for journalists.

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  • September 28, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Longtime Providence Journal music critic Rick Massimo is among the 11 staffers who have accepted the latest buyout offer from the paper.

    Two editors, features editor Phil Kukielksi and Sunday editor Jeanne Edwards, have also taken the buyout. John Hill, a reporter who serves as president of the Providence Newspaper Guild union, says no other names that the public might recognize are among the 11.

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  • September 26, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Pretty funny, if you haven't seen it.

  • September 26, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    We've got a strong Providence Phoenix hitting the news rack tomorrow. On the cover, our man David Thorpe recalls how he got the Internet to exile rapper Pitbull to a Walmart in Kodiak, Alaska.

    Seems the retail behemoth, in a bid to drive consumers to the Facebook pages of local stores, had promised to send the musician to the store that garnered the most "likes" and, well,let's just say David excels at mischief.

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  • September 19, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    PolitiFact Rhode Island, the Providence Journal's fact-checking wing, has a catchy tagline: "sorting out the truth in poltics." But the paper, it seems, had a little trouble getting at the truth in its most recent piece.

    On Sunday, PolitiFact deemed "mostly false" a recent statement by Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty.

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  • September 17, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    As many as 10 Providence Journal staffers, including features editor Phil Kukielski, have put in for the buyouts offered by the company, according to sources.

    A writer and a copy editor with the features department have also applied for the buyouts. No news reporters or columnists appear to have applied by today's 5 pm deadline.

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  • September 14, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    The Providence Newspaper Guild's leadership has sent a letter to Providence Journal management suggesting the union might be willing to accept concessions, such as temporary paycuts, to avoid layoffs at the paper.

    The move came after management offered buyouts and suggested that job cuts will be in the offing if there aren't enough takers.

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  • September 13, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Tim White, WPRI-TV's ace investigative reporter, is becoming the man to go to for your comeuppance.

    First, it was Congressman David Cicilline, who began his "apology tour" with White, seeking forgiveness for declaring the city of Providence in "excellent" fiscal condition during the 2010 campaign. And now it is former Republican Governor Donald Carcieri, who breaks his silence on the 38 Studios debacle with a White interview that will air, in part, on WPRI tonight at 5 and 6 pm.

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  • August 22, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    In the run-up to Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma’s highly anticipated press conference today, unveiling allegations of voter fraud by incumbent Congressman David Cicilline, the chattering class - this observer included - was pretty much unanimous: Gemma had to deliver the goods or he was finished.

    But as I write, something more complicated – and more interesting – is taking shape: a remarkable case study in Rhode Island’s strange relationship with the truth.

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  • August 21, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Oops.

    The Providence Journal's lead editorial today, "Bring your list to the polls," needles some public-employee union leaders for "trying to take out Democratic legislative leaders who pushed for pension reform last fall" and calls on voters to cast their ballots for the targeted pols. From the piece:

    The best known example of the attempt to take out pension-reform leaders is the primary challenge faced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Daniel DaPonte, of East Providence, from Pawtucket police Lt.

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  • August 15, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    While I was out on vacation, Politifact Rhode Island - operated by the Providence Journal - rated as "mostly true" Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's argument that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision had unleashed a torrent of negative advertising from anonymous donors.

    But Politifact took a narrow view of the claim, overlooking a strong argument to be made against it.

    Read More

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