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  • March 21, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Some ProJo staffers are riled by management's abrupt reassignment of longtime scribe Andy Smith, who in recent years has handled the media beat, reportedly to a slot writing about jobs for an advertising supplement.

    Smith didn't immediately return a phone message left earlier today. If he responds, I'll update this post.

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  • March 19, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    From Michael Janusonis in Friday's ProJo:

    Well, maybe [Chris] Rock's Americanized version would seem lighter and brighter and more knowing if it had been performed in French. Despite a scattering of funny bits here and there near the start, I Think I Love My Wife quickly devolves into a tedious exercise that's dead in the water.

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  • March 14, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    The Providence Journal's Mike Stanton yesterday continued his good reporting on Operation Dollar Bill, the federal probe of State House influence-peddling. As Andrew notes at Anchor Rising, the timing was very appropriate, given how this is National Sunshine Week.

    The ProJo has long played a vital role by unearthing important information in Rhode Island, particularly wrongdoing by public officials, and by aggressively fighting for the public's right to know.

    Read More

  • March 12, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Eight years ago, the Providence Police Department's failure to implement city-wide community policing was a source of widespread dissatisfaction. I got to see former police chief Urbano Prignano's best Joe Pesci impersonation when I interviewed him and former Captain John Ryan about this at the old police station in LaSalle Square.

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  • March 08, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    A long time ago, when N4N was a cub reporter at the Fitchburg-Leominster Sentinel & Enterprise, an older, more experienced reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette turned to me during a Fitchburg City Council meeting and asked me to explain what was going on. My surprise notwithstanding, that reporter, Linda Killian, went on to write a well-reviewed book about the freshman class of Newt Gingrich's (short-lived) 1994 Republican revolution and to direct Boston University's Washington Journalism Center (WJC).

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  • March 08, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    If it seems like the state is frittering around the edges of trying to reduce rapidly expanding prison costs, you're not imagining it. Tom Mooney had an insightful story in yesterday's ProJo, showing how the state has long resisted efforts to make greater use of alternative programs.

    Earlier this month a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts said Connecticut, a state which once had one of the fastest-growing prison populations, is now one of only three states projected to buck the national trend of growing inmate populations through this decade.

    Read More

  • February 27, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    An intriguing drama is playing out in North Providence today -- the special election battle between interim mayor John Sisto, an ally of his predecessor, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, and challenger Charles Lombardi. While the mayoral runoff is interesting in and of itself, another compelling element is how the Providence Journal has taken a backseat to other media in covering the story.

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  • February 22, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Scott Mayerowitz, a smart, politically savvy standout among the young reporters at the Providence Journal, will be leaving to take a job with ABC News.

    Mayerowitz, a 28-year-old Wesleyan grad who started at the ProJo as a two-year reporter-intern shortly after his graduation in 2000, says his new assignment will be doing Web-based reporting for the national business desk of ABC News

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  • February 21, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    UPDATE: One of my astute media colleagues has come up with an even-better dark horse: John Celona, who has a little more than a week of freedom left before he is scheduled to be imprisoned.

    One of the great Rhode Island events of the year is prevented, by statute, from taking place in Rhode Island. We speak of the Providence Newspaper Guild's annual Follies, which happens on the last Friday in February (in other words, two days from now) at the inimitable Venus de Milo in Swansea, Massachusetts.

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  • February 13, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Not for Nothing, but second terms commonly prove more problematic for chief executives than the first time around the block.

    I might have overstated things a bit when I wrote in December about the post-election outlook facing Governor Carcieri. Yet despite the governor's continued upbeat tone, it doesn't bode well when his ideological supporters on the fourth floor of Fountain Street sternly take him to task today, with a stinging double-hit.

    Read More

  • February 08, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Although 1997, when the Dallas-based Belo Corporation bought the Providence Journal Company, was a whole different era in the media industry, the Journal Company's many TV stations -- and not the ProJo itself -- were the main attraction. It's not hard to see why: while newspapers, particularly one with a strong journalistic tradition like the Journal's, are prestigious properties to own, TV is where the big money is.

    Read More

  • February 07, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    There's another squeeze on the news side at the Providence Journal. Here are the details, as reported in a piece I prepared for this week's Phoenix:

    When the Providence Journal focuses its resources, it remains quite a good newspaper.

    This was the case last week, when the ProJo did an impressive job in offering the state’s best and most comprehensive coverage of three important stories: the governor’s budget proposal; the latest developments in an ongoing federal probe of State House influence-peddling; and the release of grand jury testimony in the 2003 Station nightclub fire disaster.

    Read More

  • February 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Amid recent cuts at the ProJo, Not for Nothing had heard that RI's newspaper of record was also pulling sponsorship for Brown University's annual public affairs conference. The Brown Daily Herald has the details.

  • February 01, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    It's hard to say it any better than this letter to the editor in today"s Providence Journal:

    01:00 AM EST on Thursday, February 1, 2007

    As a 20-year-old college student who reads The Journal on most days, it makes me very angry when I read about how newspapers are going out of business because of falling readership.

    Read More

  • January 25, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Hard on the heels of the news of that the Providence Journal was withdrawing as the lead sponsor of the annual Rhode Island Statewide Spelling Bee, the ProJo is pinching more pennies. While the newspaper industry remains in a collective state of anxiety, because of the movement of readers and advertisers to the Internet, these cuts seem small-minded and short-sighted, not to mention harmful to newsroom morale.

    Read More

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