July 7, 2014 Last Updated 2:23 pm

NYC paper gets push back for printing the N-word in Obama column; SF paper wants to bring back bicycle delivery

Morning Brief: More spying allegations worsen US-German relations

The three day Independence Day weekend is over and it is back to work. Usually the summer lull means little real news, but that is not the case this week as events continued too heat up in the Middle East and elsewhere.

In NYC, the small West Village newspaper, WestView News, grabbed some attention with it used the N-word in a headline for a column on the Obama administration. The kerfuffle is probably much ado about nothing as the column was actually pro-Obama and the paper is went out of its way to explain why it used the word by adding an explanation before the column.

More meaningful may be the latest NSA scandal. This one involves the arrest of a supposed double agent who was caught selling information to U.S. This episode follows reports that the National Security Agency had eavesdropped on the cellphone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. So far the White House has not come out with the logical reply: “we know nothing, they don’t tell us what they do either.”

PublicPress-smWhile the German government is up in arms, the German press has the tough job of balancing this news with their stories on tomorrow’s semifinal match with Brazil. German chances improved when word came out that Brazil’s star Neymar will miss the match after being seriously injured in the Columbia-Brazil quarterfinal match last week.

A small San Francisco newspaper garnered a bit of attention this weekend when it was reported that they are bringing back delivery via bicycles. The small local paper, San Francisco Public Press, ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to match a grant from the Knight Foundation – they easily exceeded their goal.

Many observers are already saying how quaint the effort is, failing to take seriously the basic premise of home delivery. Newspapers, long before the rise of the web, moved from newspaper delivery carried out by young people on bikes and on foot, to independent contractors who simply drive by your house and heave the paper out their car windows. The decline in delivery quality, tied to the loss of connection with the area kids who delivered the paper, meant that readers became less and less tied to their newspapers.

When I spent an interesting 6 months as a circulation director in the Bay Area my first reaction to meeting the delivery crews was “who are these guys?” The answer I got back was “don’t ask.”

Patrick Pruniaux, vice president for sales at the Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer, will be joining Apple, adding more evidence that Apple really will be launching a so-called smartwatch. If returning to wearing watches is progress, lord help us.