Thanks to an anonymous, but impeccable source, I have a copy of the e-mail sent from editor Glenn Gilbert of the Oakland Press. Here is the memo, I will comment after:
Subject: citizens unite
From: Glenn Gilbert [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tue 12/30/2008 1:32 PM
Our first citizens journalism class was a stunning success. We had 45 people in news and seven in sports. Jeff will handle sports, but in news, 29 of the individuals filled out forms desiring to continue in the process.
There is no way to make this work without staff commitment. I would never ask you to believe something that you don't believe in, but I do need your help. Names will be divided up among newsroom personnel. You will be responsible for working with the individual and accountable for their progress and your contacts with them.
Be generous with your time, but time-efficient. You can learn valuable teaching, coaching and management techniques in the process. Some of you who are teaching oriented will enjoy the process. Just remember, those who teach learn. Let me know if you think you can handle more than one or two individuals, or your interest in the process (or even lack of interest if you feel strongly).
(memo ends here)
Ain't this grand, the editor is strong arming his staff to help those who are in line to replace them. And I love his little aside at the end "or even lack of interest if you feel strongly." If you feel strongly about that you may be replaced sooner than you might anticipate.
And don't think of this as extra work, think of this as a chance to learn more. Where did this guy come from? He had to have been a press secretary for some politician to put out doo-doo like this.
If this is journalism, then Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is the Indianapolis 500. I don't even know what more to say about an idea this stupid.