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  • May 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    The ProJo's Daniel Barbarisi offers an appropriately skeptical look today at Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline's latest budget and his upbeat description of it.

    Certainly, Cicilline -- a highly likely Democratic candidate for governor in 2010 -- has a number of accomplishments to his credit, but he also shares a bit of Buddy Cianci's penchant for cheerleading without getting into the pesky details.

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  • May 01, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Returning to town from a recent trip, N4N picked up a copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer during an airport layover in that city. It was a Saturday edition, not always a newspaper's best effort, and the Inquirer, a great paper not that long ago, seemed dull and uninspired.

    So it was reassuring upon our return to Rhode Island to find another strong run of outstanding in-depth reporting in the Sunday ProJo.

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  • April 18, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    A Georgia man outraged by the Providence Journal's decision to stop its longtime sponsorship of the Rhode Island Statewide Spelling Bee has created a Web site calling for a boycott of Rhode Island's statewide daily. By so doing, he hopes to cost the paper $10,000 -- about twice the amount of the annual sponsorship.

    Billy Kramer, who lives in Atlanta and publishes a Web site about high school sports in Georgia, learned of the ProJo's sponsorship withdrawal when he read an April 4 story in USA Today

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  • April 16, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    News-hungry wretch that I am, N4N ventured out to the local Cumby's yesterday to secure a Providence Sunday Journal after experiencing the problems described in the previous post. It was a good thing that I did, for the ProJo ran off its second consecutive strong Sunday paper in two weeks.

    For my money, the best and most enterprising piece was Karen Lee Ziner's tough story about the troubled history of "Carmelo Kercado, the federal government's inspector at the New Bedford factory that was raided last month .

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  • April 16, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    A familiar dichotomy plays out on very rainy days at the N4N manse: the delivery of a moist, if not sopping wet, ProJo, along with a pleasantly dry New York Times.

    How does the Times do it? They put two plastic bags on the paper, rather than just one, and from two different directions, creating an effective seal. Simple.

    Why doesn't the ProJo do this? I imagine I'm not alone in getting a wet paper, and it's not as if readers need more encouragement to ditch the print subscription and read the paper online instead.

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  • April 12, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Paul M. Farrell, who had been senior vice president of advertising for the ProJo, has taken a similar job with Iowa-based Lee Enterprises.

    Farrell, a graduate of Providence College, had previously worked at the Boston Globe, among other places.

  • April 09, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Speaking of the ProJo . . .

    Robert Decherd, CEO of the Dallas-based Belo Corporation, which owns the Providence daily, earned the tidy sum of $5.3 million in 2006.

    As Phillipe + Jorge write in the Phoenix coming out later this week, the dichotomy between Decherd's compensation and what's happening here in Rhode Island (fewer reporters, ProJo ceasing sponsorship of the statewide spelling bee, no longer picking up the tab for pizza for regular in-house writing sessions) is outrageous.

  • April 06, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    As forecast here last month, Steve Peoples has gotten the nod to succeed the departed Scott Mayerowitz in the ProJo's State House bureau, and he started on the job this week. Congratulations, Steve. You've got what we call a target-rich environment.

  • March 30, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    N4N tends to agree with those who say the 2003 Station fire disaster caused an overreaction in new laws and regulation. Representatives Joseph Trillo (R-Warwick) and Peter Ginaitt (D-Warwick) discuss this topic during an appearance Sunday on Newsmakers, broadcast at 5:30 AM on Channel 12 and at 10 AM on Fox 64. Also, Providence City Councilman Miguel Luna appears on the show to discuss immigration and his proposal for making Providence a sanctuary city.

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  • March 29, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Angered by recent coverage in the ProJo, Governor Carcieri is slated to fire back with a live interview with Gene Valicenti during WJAR-TV's 5:30 broadcast tonight.

    As part of Channel 10's coverage, political reporter Bill Rappleye interviewed me about the friendly relationship between House Speaker William J. Murphy and the ProJo's Mark Ryan.

  • March 29, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Relatively few Rhode Islanders would be able to identify the name of the Providence Journal's general manager, but Mark Ryan is a very influential guy on Fountain Street and he's positioned to have a big impact on the newspaper's future. I profile him in this week's Phoenix:

    Some of Ryan’s admirers tab the one-time Irish Catholic kid from Warwick as a born-and-bred Rhode Islander — a description they would never bestow on the Journal’s former Yankee owners, even though they were among the state’s founding Five Families.

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  • March 28, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Tomorrow's Phoenix will contain my profile of Mark T. Ryan, general manager and executive vice president of the Providence Journal, whose influence has steadily ascended during Howard Sutton's eight-year tenure as publisher.

    As Anchor Rising's Marc Comtois astutely pointed out, the fate of the Journal should concern all Rhode Islanders since, as the state's largest and most important news organization, it has a dramatic impact in determining which stories do (and don't) get covered.

    Read More

  • March 23, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Following media writer Andy Smith's reassignment to writing about jobs for an advertising supplement, the Providence Journal is dispatching assistant features editor Alan Rosenberg to oversee the ProJo's South County bureau. Rosenberg, who plays an important role in coordinating the Journal's arts and entertainment coverage, will reportedly not be replaced in his current post.

    Read More

  • March 23, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    The Providene Journal's estimable Kathy Gregg had a great story yesterday about the Carcieri administration's growing use of temporary staffers. One suspects that if legislative Democrats offered as few answers on this, the governor would be all over them.

    Still, isn't it kind of fascinating that the ProJo's editorial board has been ahead of its reporters in taking Carcieri to task?

  • March 21, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Joel Rawson, executive editor of the Providence Journal, recently offered his view that the full details of the February 2003 Station fire disaster in West Warwick will never be told. Brian C. Jones has the details.

    As Brian notes, it's a stunning declaration:

    Rawson’s comments came during a session sponsored by Access/Rhode Island, an open-government coalition, and URI’s journalism department.

    Read More

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