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NewsFeed - Media

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Letters from our readers

Here are a selection of letters and emails we’ve received since mid-November. Please send correspondence to letters@cjr.org, along with your name, address, and any relevant affiliation.     TRUMP VS. THE PRESS “Covering Trump: An oral history of an unforgettable campaign” The oral history project is simply brilliant. Have you considered adding visual tools like this timeline? It could be...
Posted: December 2, 2016, 9:42 pm

Here are all the jokes about President Obama starting a digital media company

Mic founder Jake Horowitz reported Friday afternoon that President Obama has been "discussing a post-presidential career in digital media." The White House swiftly denied it, but that didn't stop journalists from cracking wise about the possibility: *March, 2017*"Barack Obama, CNN digital contributor," the chyron reads. — Byron Tau (@ByronTau) December 2, 2016 is obama coming […]
Posted: December 2, 2016, 9:04 pm

The New York Times on the alt-right: ‘It’s a racist, far-right fringe movement’

The New York Times on Friday joined The Associated Press and other news organizations in branding the alt-right as a movement with clear racist motives. In a memo to newsroom staffers, New York Times Standards Editor Phil Corbett ruled that the alt-right is a "racist, far-right fringe movement" that should be described in those terms […]
Posted: December 2, 2016, 7:53 pm

The view from Hollywood

In The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcolm writes of her excitement at the admittedly tricky prospect of interviewing a fellow tribesman: “[Joe] McGinniss and I would be less like experimenter and subject than like two experimenters strolling home from the lab together after a day’s work, companionably thrashing out the problems of the profession. The tape recorder would preserve...
Posted: December 2, 2016, 6:51 pm

Here are the journalists fighting for federal public records

Media executives are fond of making big speeches about the importance of press freedom. But which organizations are actually spending time and money on it? A new, searchable list from The FOIA project, a initiative from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, provides a partial answer. Earlier this week, TRAC published The News […]
Posted: December 2, 2016, 6:27 pm

Q&A: NPR Morning Edition host Rachel Martin on connecting with listeners

On Monday, listeners to NPR’s flagship morning news show Morning Edition will hear a new voice anchoring the broadcaster’s coverage. Rachel Martin, an award-winning reporter who has been hosting Weekend Edition Sunday for the past four years, will join Steve Inskeep and David Greene in leading the daily program. Martin has reported on US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the...
Posted: December 2, 2016, 6:07 pm

Paper makes audacious decision to highlight silent epidemic

The Palm Beach Post made the bold decision to profile all 216 people who died of an opioid overdose in its coverage area last year, risking the wrath of victims’ families, some of whom were horrified to have their private pain publicized. The stark display of photos of each of the dead, accompanied by brief profiles, effectively served The Post’s...
Posted: December 2, 2016, 5:10 pm

With VuHaus, public music stations hope collaboration will bring in more listeners (and money) online

In the digital era, public radio’s music stations need to stop seeing each other as rivals, and start thinking of each other as potential partners. That’s Roger Lamay’s view, and one he wants other music stations to share. During a talk at a public radio conference in 2013, Lamay, managing director at Philadelphia’s WXPN (and chair...
Posted: December 2, 2016, 2:30 pm

How news organizations are trying to get people to talk, and listen, to each other after the election

Amanda Wills devoted much of the past year to coverage of the presidential election. So when she listened to voicemails left for CNN after Nov. 8, she expected to hear a lot of screaming from both sides. Instead, she heard perspectives she'd never encountered before, ones that taught her not just about CNN's audience, but […]
Posted: December 2, 2016, 2:09 pm

Could email newsletters be a partial solution to magazine companies’ problems? (Toronto Life thinks so)

When Marc Weisblott launched Twelve Thirty Six, “Toronto’s lunchtime tabloid,” about a year and a half ago, it was really an experiment — a “fairly eccentric, self-indulgent idea of mine,” Weisblott told me. But the experiment has paid off: Twelve Thirty Six (which goes out at that time) now has around 7,000 subscribers and 35,000...
Posted: December 2, 2016, 2:00 pm

The student press is under threat

The independence of student media nationwide is threatened, in part by administrative moves that place a priority on public relations rather than campus journalism, according to a new report. "It has become disturbingly routine for student journalists and their advisers to experience overt hostility that threatens their ability to inform the campus community and, in […]
Posted: December 2, 2016, 1:38 pm

The real problem with fake news? Citizen stupidity

Good morning. Here's our daily summary of all the media news you need to know. Want to get this briefing in your inbox every morning? Subscribe here. The rise of "fake news" inspires the press to uncover its many practitioners worldwide, discern its economics and herald the alleged guilt-ridden soul-searching by its greatest enablers, Facebook […]
Posted: December 2, 2016, 12:43 pm

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower case, some favorites from the archives ... Tarrytown Daily News, 8/16/75 (NY) Daily News, 1/21/76   The Sacramento Union, 4/24/84 Have a headline you want to share? Snap a photo and email it to editors@cjr.org or tweet it to us @CJR.
Posted: December 1, 2016, 7:59 pm

As Republicans promise Obamacare demise, reporters attempt their own do-over

With Obamacare in play once again, it’s fair to ask: Is the press repeating the mistakes it made covering the law the first time around? By that I mean the failure to fully explain the law’s provisions back in 2009 and 2010 during the run-up to passage, brushing off early warnings in 2013 before the law’s technology-driven, near-death experience, and...
Posted: December 1, 2016, 7:50 pm

Study: Fox and CNN are the top news brands for smartphone alerts

How many news alerts will you tolerate on your smartphone’s lockscreen? Which organizations do you get them from? And what types of alerts do you prefer? “News Alerts and the Battle for the Lockscreen, a new report by Nic Newman for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, surveyed 7,577 adults in the U.S.,...
Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:54 pm

Coda Story, focused on deep dives around single themes, is now tackling a “post-truth” Eurasia

“One of the conceits we’re totally in opposition to is parachuting into a story without really having our bearings,” says Ilan Greenberg, cofounder and one of the editors-in-chief of the new nonprofit storytelling platform Coda Story. “So we’re committed to being in the locale of the crisis, and that puts me here in Berlin.” The...
Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:52 pm

Want a strong ending to your story? Here are 3 tips

The start of your story hooks a reader, but the ending is what leaves an impression. It deserves as much attention as your opening. Here are three strategies from columnist Leonard Pitts for writing powerful kickers. End with a twist. Give readers a surprise, and take them in a direction they didn't expect. End with […]
Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:20 pm

Meet the photographer who accidentally made two presidential memes

By now, you know the photo — some version of it, anyway. President-elect Donald Trump is smiling over a bowl of young garlic soup. Across the table, former Republican nominee and current Secretary of State candidate Mitt Romney is smiling tightly underneath his furrowed brow. The photo, taken at Jean Georges in Trump Tower Tuesday, […]
Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:16 pm

Podcast: Emily Bell on Facebook and fake news

Does Facebook need to clean up its act? Can newsrooms overcome the longstanding culture clash between tech and editorial? And what about coverage of those Trump tweets?  We discuss all that and more on The Kicker, where I'm joined this week by CJR Tow Editor Nausicaa Renner and special guest Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.  Subscribe...
Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:00 pm

The premise of Jim VandeHei’s new media venture: People who care about real news are now a niche

One problem with journalism now: It’s “too damn long,” Jim VandeHei, the cofounder of Politico, told Recode’s Kara Swisher Wednesday night. His new media venture, Axios — set to launch in January, with $10 million already raised — will focus largely on “content you can read on a [single] screen…but when we go deeper…you can...
Posted: December 1, 2016, 4:25 pm

Finding new ways to follow the story

What are the purposes of innovation in journalism? Since the birth of radio almost a century ago, one has been to deliver news to audiences as they stampede from one new communications medium to another. Radio, television, cable television, the World Wide Web, and smartphones successively disrupted the formats in which journalism producers reached the public. And since it is...
Posted: December 1, 2016, 4:12 pm

Panama Papers journalists around the globe are being threatened

In late July, Moussa Aksar, the director of Niger’s L’Évènement newspaper, answered his phone and heard a familiar voice warning him that he was, once again, in danger. “Be careful,” a friendly source told Aksar. “Look out for yourself and be careful what you say on the phone.” Aksar had just published Niger’s first exposé […]
Posted: December 1, 2016, 2:02 pm

INN, LION, and IRE get $455,000 in new funding from Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation on Thursday said it was giving a total of $455,000 to three journalism groups to launch new initiatives that are meant to improve journalism education and help news organizations share best practices. The Institute for Nonprofit News, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and Local Independent Online News Publishers are the three organizations receiving...
Posted: December 1, 2016, 2:00 pm

First Draft News releases guide to eyewitness media and copyright law

First Draft News released a handbook Thursday with guidance for how journalists should deal with images, videos and information captured by people who witness news. “A Journalist’s Guide to Copyright Law and Eyewitness Media,” by Sam Dubberley, includes country-specific advice for journalists in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austrlia and Finland. It also […]
Posted: December 1, 2016, 1:09 pm

Remember, America: Hating the press is not American

Journalists in the US are never off-limits for criticism. But what we’re seeing right now goes too far. We must fight back. We must fight a president-elect who obsessively attacks the press on Twitter, fight death threats toward reporters and editors, fight unrelenting anti semitism on social media, fight the resurrection of the Nazi-Germany term “Lugenpresse.” It’s an affront to...
Posted: November 30, 2016, 8:01 pm

In Cuba’s ‘second capital,’ covering Castro’s death a letdown for journalists

For South Florida newspapers and television stations, Fidel Castro’s death was not just a local story, it was the local story, the one that some journalists had anticipated and planned for their entire careers.  When word came late Friday night that Castro was really, most sincerely dead–there were so many false alarms over the years that his previously reported demise...
Posted: November 30, 2016, 7:06 pm

Reuters built its own algorithmic prediction tool to help it spot (and verify) breaking news on Twitter

When it comes to automating the process of spotting breaking news, solving one problem can create several more. Reuters discovered this firsthand over the past two years as it built Reuters News Tracer, a custom tool designed to monitor Twitter for major breaking news events as they emerge. While reporters curate their own lists of sources...
Posted: November 30, 2016, 6:46 pm

Inside (The) Information

On the astro-turfed rooftop of a SoHo penthouse this summer, a mix of tech executives, investors, and B-list celebrities sipped Champagne and nibbled mini tacos served by a white-jacketed waiter. Gayle King, the Oprah confidante and CBS This Morning anchor, was there, admiring the views across Wooster Street to the rest of Manhattan, and talking to Jon Miller, former CEO...
Posted: November 30, 2016, 6:16 pm

Attention all journalists: US border agents can search your phones

Award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker Ed Ou, who has covered the Middle East for over a decade, has worked under threat as a journalist in almost too many countries to count. Authorities in Turkey, Egypt, Somalia, Djibouti, and Bahrain have arrested or detained him at some point in his career. But he always assumed working in the United States would be...
Posted: November 30, 2016, 5:13 pm

The Tulsa Frontier is ditching its pricey paywall and becoming a nonprofit as it attempts to grow

The Tulsa Frontier launched in 2015 in an attempt to take a different approach to local news. The Oklahoma investigative news site was a for-profit outlet behind a paywall, with subscriptions costing $30 a month. On Tuesday, however, the site said it was shifting away from that model by dropping its paywall and transitioning to...
Posted: November 30, 2016, 4:26 pm

The age of the cyborg

You’ve probably heard that news organizations such as AP, Reuters, and many others are now turning out thousands of automated stories a month. It’s a dramatic development, but today’s story-writing bots are little more than Mad Libs, filling out stock phrases with numbers from earnings reports or box scores. And there’s good reason to believe that fully automated journalism is...
Posted: November 30, 2016, 1:27 pm

Election Day mobile notifications offer peek into future of news delivery

More Americans than ever this year learned about Election Day results from their phones, including via mobile push notifications news organizations deployed in brand-new ways. According to data collected by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism as part of a larger project examining the role of push notifications in the digital strategies of 23 publishers, 469 notifications were sent on...
Posted: November 29, 2016, 7:55 pm

5 takeaways from the Rolling Stone defamation verdict

The verdict came down in the first defamation case stemming from Rolling Stone's famously flawed investigation about college rape on the Friday before Election Day.  Now that the electoral shock has ebbed, it's time to give the results a second look. In this case, a former associate dean at the University of Virginia, Nicole Eramo, charged that the magazine and...
Posted: November 29, 2016, 6:31 pm

The glamorous restaurateur, and other anomalies

English is fun. Let’s prove it: A “restaurant” can be full of “glamour.” But the “restaurateur” is “glamorous.” Note the difference? Each drops a letter when it gains a suffix. This is not the kind of letter-dropping that occurs with words like “fire/firing,” where the letter that’s dropped is at the end of the original word. No, “restaurant” and “glamour”...
Posted: November 29, 2016, 4:35 pm

Hot Pod: Should Apple become a more useful middleman for the podcast industry — and if so, how?

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue ninety-seven, published November 29, 2016. Ken Doctor on the role Apple should play. The media analyst made an appearance on the latest episode of The Wolf Den, Midroll’s pretty handy content marketing podcast-slash-guide to the industry, to discuss his spectacular series on the podcasting...
Posted: November 29, 2016, 3:32 pm

Twice the FOIA fun: MuckRock bulks up its records request resources with the free FOIA Machine tool

Nonprofit FOIA site MuckRock announced Tuesday that it is officially taking over the records request tool FOIA Machine. FOIA Machine, funded through foundations like Knight and via a successful 2013 Kickstarter campaign, helps records requesters (whether journalists or interested members of the public) send and track their information requests. It’s a service that intersects with...
Posted: November 29, 2016, 2:32 pm

Revolution at The Washington Post

Is it an underhanded compliment to be called the most innovative company in the newspaper business? The Washington Post will happily take it. In the three years since Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the Post for $250 million—now seen as a steal for one of the great brands in publishing—the Post has reinvented itself with digital speed. Its Web traffic has...
Posted: November 29, 2016, 12:25 pm

Quartz launches its Bot Studio with $240K from Knight, and plans for Slack and Echo

Quartz is betting big on bots. The Atlantic Media-owned outlet is getting a $240,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to launch Quartz Bot Studio, a group focused on developing three bot-related projects in the coming year, for everything from messaging platforms like Slack to voice interfaces like the Amazon Echo (disclosure: Knight is a supporter...
Posted: November 29, 2016, 11:00 am

Five lessons on covering trauma from the campaign trail

Of the many crises unleashed by America’s recent election, that faced by journalism is high on the list. Combine the fact that so much campaign reporting simply got this election wrong with the escalating hostility, harassment, and threats directed at news professionals and media companies, and you have a grimly astringent moment of reckoning. Most post-election news analysis has, understandably,...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 9:27 pm

The Times responds to discrepancy between Trump transcript and news coverage

Lost amid the print media back-slapping last week after The New York Times’ on-the-record meeting with Donald Trump was confusion over how the newspaper covered its own sit-down with the president-elect. At issue: a potential Trump U-turn on torture that would eventually be picked up by numerous other outlets around the country and world. A roomful of Times journalists didn’t...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 8:47 pm

Newsonomics: Canada’s government imagines what a news-less future might look like

Given our stunning recent news weeks here in the U.S., you may have missed a little story from up north in mid-November. In what was truly an extraordinary statement, the government of Canada is now considering “what the media landscape would look like without the country’s two largest newspaper companies.” Yes, you read that right. Prime Minister...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 7:51 pm

Q&A: Photojournalist on documenting Cuba, challenging country's stereotypes

Despite the American fascination with Cuba, life there continues to be a mystery to many outsiders--helped little by media coverage of the island. Now, the death of Fidel Castro offers the opportunity to move beyond the tired themes, from communism to old cars, and toward a better understanding of a nation that has had such an outsized influence on US...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 7:23 pm

ProPublica’s collaborative reporting experiment takes on widespread voter fraud (and finds no evidence of it)

After president-elect Donald Trump falsely claimed on Twitter Sunday that “millions of people…voted illegally,” costing him the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, ProPublica took to his favorite social media platform to refute the claims. On Election Day, the nonprofit investigative outlet led Electionland, a coalition of more than 1,100 people that covered voting problems across...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 7:05 pm

The tech/editorial culture clash

At this year’s annual meeting of the Online News Association in Denver, many of the 2,000 attendees and delegates crowded into the opening keynote address. In the middle of the most charged US election in living memory, at a time when the relevance and role of the news media were under intense scrutiny, the assembled newsroom operatives were not coming...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 3:55 pm

With its first community reporter, The Texas Tribune is turning Texans themselves into its next big beat

One of the most common criticisms leveled at the political press after the election is that reporters fundamentally failed to listen to the concerns of the people they write for. This (goes the thinking) may explain why so many were caught off-guard by the groundswell of support for president-elect Donald Trump, who appealed to a...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 2:43 pm

A note from the editor

We began work on this issue with the belief that the conventional wisdom about journalism is almost certainly wrong. You know the litany: Newspapers are dying; young people are abandoning mainstream news sources for Snapchat and Twitter; talented college students are choosing different professions; journalism, at least as it has been practiced for the last century, is done. The result...
Posted: November 28, 2016, 11:50 am

Romenesko is retired, but occasionally tweets

Tweets by @romenesko I’m now retired, but still online. Thank you for checking my latest tweets and occasional Facebook posts.) * GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT! Buy Romenesko’s DEATH LOG on etsy.com
Posted: November 26, 2016, 5:15 pm

A TV station taps viewers to help ‘truth-test’ the news

Broadcast chain Tegna about a year ago assigned reporter David Schechter the task of finding an innovative way to “truth-test” the news. Schechter, who works at the Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA, knew what he wanted to avoid: a reporter talking at the screen, delivering his verdict on the truth, with only a handful of graphics to break up the visual...
Posted: November 25, 2016, 4:50 pm

Canadian journalists who covered Rob Ford offer tips on Trump

Americans would agree the US has never seen a politician quite like Donald Trump. Constant falsehoods, attacks on newspapers, over-the-top insults directed at individual reporters--these are things many in the US media haven’t had to deal with before. To Canadians, though, this type of media manipulation is all too familiar. For several years, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford treated journalists...
Posted: November 25, 2016, 2:30 pm

Podcast: What we're thankful for in journalism this Thanksgiving

The holiday weekend is as good a chance as any to reflect on what's going right in journalism, even after an election that left many of us flummoxed.  On The Kicker this week, I'm joined by Associate Editor Nausicaa Renner and Delacorte Fellow Pete Vernon in discussing what we're thankful for in 2016, trolls' effect on journalism, and CJR's massive...
Posted: November 23, 2016, 10:13 pm