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NewsFeed - Media

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How the media covers the 'deplorables'

remember when I saw my first "deplorable." I was in my teens. He was the subject of a photograph by Berenice Abbott. The picture has haunted me as a person, and as a journalist, ever since. In 1935, Abbott traveled through Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Deep South, taking pictures of the people and places she encountered. Though not done...
Posted: October 21, 2016, 10:45 pm

Covering the election: A CJR roundtable

Though the presidential election hasn’t yet happened, the journalistic post mortems have already begun. The past year has included some of the best moments in political journalism--reporting at the Washington Post, The New York Times and BuzzFeed have particularly stood out--as well as the most tortured: News outlets have struggled with the roles their reporters should take on Twitter, whether...
Posted: October 21, 2016, 9:39 pm

In a policy change, Facebook will allow more newsworthy graphic content

Facebook seems to have heard publishers who complained that it was censoring the news. In a blog post Friday, two executives at Facebook announced that the social network intends to relax its policies regulating content that is "newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate our standards." Joel […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 8:35 pm

Barron’s editor announces newsroom layoffs with accidental reply-all

Layoffs have become a regrettably common occurrence in the news industry. But today, an inter-office email went out at The Wall Street Journal that set a new standard for human resources failure. After Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerry Baker announced a round of buyouts Friday, a note went out to employees disclosing layoffs were also […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 7:20 pm

‘Substantial’ buyouts hit The Wall Street Journal

As part of the restructuring of its parent company, Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal is looking for employees to take a "substantial" number of buyouts, according to a memo from Wall Street Journal editor Gerry Baker. We are seeking a substantial number of employees to elect this benefit, but we reserve the right to […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 4:59 pm

With new investment, BuzzFeed would be worth almost as much as The New York Times

Last night's news that NBCUniversal (a broadcast company) was investing in BuzzFeed (a digital media company) for a valuation that approaches The New York Times (a legacy company) sent journalists to Twitter to discuss the comparisons: BuzzFeed is now worth $1.7B How that compares in publishing:Vice $4BNYT $1.8BTime $1.4BGannett $1.2BVox $1B — Gerry Smith […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 4:43 pm

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower Case... Every once in a while, it's possible to summarize an entire historical moment in six words.— David Sessions (@davidsess) October 13, 2016 Tonawanda (N.Y.) News Frontier, 1/18/75 Bridgeport (Conn.) Post 1/18/78 Yikes! Odessa (Tex.) American 3/17/77— Justin Ray (@jray05) October 20, 2016 Want to see more regrettable headlines? Check out the Lower Case...
Posted: October 21, 2016, 4:06 pm

40 percent of Financial Times readers stop ad-blocking when asked

Finally, some encouraging news in the fight for digital advertising dollars. The Financial Times announced this morning that, after a 30-day experiment to combat the use of ad-blockers on its website, almost 40 percent of readers agreed to view advertising when asked to do so. The results of the experiment are an indicator that readers […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 2:44 pm

The Huffington Post is raising money for groups of people Trump has insulted

This week, The Huffington Post launched a crowdfunding campaign for groups that represent people Donald Trump has insulted. "Join us in supporting these organizations, which represent communities that have been maligned and attacked by Donald Trump over the course of this election, and which are working tirelessly on issues of justice and equality for all […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 2:01 pm

The challenges facing the heir apparent at The New York Times

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. Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, the new boss-in-waiting at The New York Times, is facing a big challenge: plotting the future of a national treasure in a journalism industry where […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 11:56 am

Program lifts aspiring writers from poverty, infuses media with fresh voices

Stephanie Land had all but given up on becoming a writer in 2015. She was like many of the subjects who appear in articles about the poor--a single, thirtyish mother of two little girls from Missoula who worked long hours as a cleaner and collected food stamps. To pay for pizza dinners, she bounced checks. She earned $10 per hour...
Posted: October 21, 2016, 11:50 am

Print advertising woes are getting worse

The first half of 2016 was financially bleak for newspaper organizations; the second may be even worse. The same day The Wall Street Journal reported a deep global decline in print advertising, McClatchy led off the third quarter earnings season Wednesday, posting a $9.8 million net loss on revenues of $234.7 million. McClatchy was able […]
Posted: October 21, 2016, 11:04 am

CNN's pro-Trump posse clouds its journalism

The consensus headline from the third and final presidential debate was Republican candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the 2016 election results. It was a stunning rebuke of American political norms from the nominee of a major political party, and it quickly dominated coverage online Wednesday night and in major print newspapers Thursday morning.The Associated Press’ lede said...
Posted: October 20, 2016, 7:50 pm

Chris Wallace steers debate focus from personal attacks to policy

For a debate cycle that has prized personal characteristics over policy positions, last night’s final meeting between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump presented a striking contrast to the mudslinging attacks of previous showdowns. Though Trump mentioned “bad hombres” and referred to Clinton as “a nasty woman,” moderator Chris Wallace kept the candidates focused on the issues a future president will...
Posted: October 20, 2016, 4:53 pm

Romenesko is retired, but occasionally tweets

Tweets by @romenesko Now retired, but still online. Thank you for checking my latest tweets and occasional retirement-era posts. (I’m still posting to Facebook, too.) Posted on other social media: * Writing about all of the dumb shit you’ve done in life isn’t journalism * Political reporter: “Gun to my head, I’d probably vote for …

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Posted: October 20, 2016, 4:15 pm

How the basics of storytelling can help you cover a big event

Great writers get ready for the big story, even if they don't quite know what the story will be.  They report and report and research and then report some more. They expect the unexpected. And then they write powerful stories. Here are some tactics to guide you on the big story. Stick with the basics […]
Posted: October 20, 2016, 4:08 pm

NPR rides Facebook wave to traffic record

Yesterday, NPR reported a large ratings increase across the board: radio, podcasts, and the website all saw a major jump in audience this year. NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn attributes this to the country’s “appetite for factual reporting” and NPR’s reputation. On the digital side, one of NPR’s greatest successes this year was its fact-checking page during the first...
Posted: October 20, 2016, 3:08 pm

These front pages capture what it was like to watch the final debate

Front pages around the country Thursday led with the final debate between GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Many fronts showed Trump's unwillingness to commit to the results. As they have in past debates, many envisioned the debate as a fight, a joust or a battle. And several newspapers captured a […]
Posted: October 20, 2016, 3:00 pm

Two new tools at the cutting edge of audio sharing

When you hear a great story on the radio, there is no easy way to send it to your friends. You might be in the car listening to live radio, doing the dishes with a podcast on, or streaming on the computer. Wherever you’re listening, the best you could do is send them a link to the Soundcloud, and tell...
Posted: October 19, 2016, 5:35 pm

Expect a policy focus at tonight's debate -- with plenty of fireworks

Tonight’s third presidential debate brings America its final chance to see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton together on the same stage. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News has announced plans to ask questions on six topics: debt and entitlements, immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hot spots, and fitness to be president. Wallace’s chosen topics provide some hope that...
Posted: October 19, 2016, 3:52 pm

Star-Ledger employees left scrambling after retirement plan dissolves

The story has finally hit home for retirees of the Newark Star-Ledger. In late September, the benefits administrator for Advance Publications, which owns the paper, sent a letter to retirees notifying them that they would no longer be covered by a company-sponsored group retiree plan. In its place, Advance informed them it was “pleased to offer a new solution” –...
Posted: October 19, 2016, 11:50 am

Foreign journalists on 2016: ‘Is this the demise of objective American journalism?’

An outsider’s perspective can often prove to be an invaluable catalyst for self-reflection. This election season has certainly shown that we Americans need it. Staffers from several international news organizations aimed to provide such a catalyst with a discussion of global views on the 2016 presidential race at an event Monday at the Columbia Journalism School. The journalists, whose news...
Posted: October 18, 2016, 9:52 pm

Before Nixon: When JFK tapped the phone of a New York Times reporter

Nearly every president, and most serious candidates for that position, exhibit a love/hate relationship with the press. In the popular mind, John F. Kennedy expressed mainly the "love" part, partly due to his witty manner at frequent White House press conferences.  Actually, while displaying affection for a number of reporters, JFK was extremely critical of the media. In the second...
Posted: October 18, 2016, 6:52 pm

It's not called 'fondling.' It's called 'assault.'

During this most contentious election season, “politically correct” has come in for more than its share of discussion. Depending on who’s defining it, it means “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people,” as Merriam-Webster says, or it means “The idealogy of...
Posted: October 18, 2016, 4:14 pm

Vice News Tonight is the newscast we want, not the one we need

Vice co-founder Shane Smith’s interview with John Boehner, which aired last Tuesday on Vice News Tonight, opens with b-roll footage of the former House Speaker mowing his lawn, then pensively smoking a cigarette as he peers into the distance. It’s the portrait of a suburban dad in retirement. It also serves as a reminder of the onetime tagline of Vice’s...
Posted: October 17, 2016, 7:35 pm

Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash

New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, a Pulitzer Prize winner, spent the Republican National Convention pen-pricking presidential nominee Donald Trump as a misogynist shyster running an “ugly and xenophobic campaign.” What Nussbaum didn’t disclose: she contributed $250 to Democrat Hillary Clinton in April. On the left coast, Les Waldron, an Emmy Award-winning assignment editor at television station KFMB, the CBS...
Posted: October 17, 2016, 5:00 pm

Social media feud leads to public records fight in Miami Beach

Grant Stern is a mortgage broker, radio broadcaster and the executive director of PINAC News, a national police accountability site—and he’s suing the city of Miami Beach and its mayor under Florida’s sunshine law to obtain some of the mayor’s tweets and his Facebook block list, among other things. In a complaint filed last week, Stern says the mayor, Philip Levine, “employs...
Posted: October 17, 2016, 4:05 pm

Donald Trump and the liberation of news

riginal behavior is impossible to resist, even as you recoil from it. Donald Trump possesses, as Dickens's biographer once said about his subject's gritty yet riveting tales, the "attraction of repulsion." Regardless of what happens on Election Day, dark clouds are gathering in politics. But above the storm, blue skies are visible in the media world. Trump's effect could well...
Posted: October 14, 2016, 8:30 pm

7 photos that capture the absurdity of this election season

The 2016 presidential campaign has inspired a visual backlash to business as usual, targeting the typical posturing, rituals, and coronations. From early on in the election cycle, staff photographers and freelancers have been challenging the campaign process at every turn, especially on Instagram and Twitter. It's not just visual satire and irony, which were prevalent in large doses in 2008...
Posted: October 14, 2016, 4:46 pm

On verge of teacher strike, Chicago turned to social media

On Monday night in Chicago, more than 300,000 children and their families waited to find out whether teachers from the nation’s third largest school district would strike in the morning. As the clock ticked toward a midnight deadline to reach a deal, the city’s education reporters watched from a downtown conference room, where union leaders were reviewing an offer from...
Posted: October 14, 2016, 3:48 pm

Q&A: Journalist who broke Trump groping story on why others were slow to follow

Revelations this week about Donald Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct shocked no one who had listened to him brag to Billy Bush about groping women in a 2005 Access Hollywood video that surfaced last week. But a parade of fresh testimonials from women who have crossed paths with the Republican nominee, published in The New York Times, People, and the Palm Beach...
Posted: October 13, 2016, 10:39 pm

Donald Trump threatens press freedom worldwide

For the first time in history, the Iranian state broadcaster livestreamed the entire 90-minute US presidential debate on Sunday. This was not meant to be a civics lesson. Rather, it was an effort to highlight the dysfunctionality of the American political system to the Iranian public. That decision shows the ways in which--win or lose--the Trump campaign has eroded US...
Posted: October 13, 2016, 6:48 pm

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower case ... Quite a typo for a headline from @FoxNews —even in the url. How did the shark get to the coach? #Sharknado— Bodo Winter (@BodoWinter) October 11, 2016 Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah) 10/24/75 The Macon (Ga.) 8/11/76 The Daily Independent, Kentucky 7/30/2016, via Joel L. Thompson ‏@LifeInsFinder Want to see more...
Posted: October 13, 2016, 4:34 pm

How CNN is 'future-proofing' itself

On Wednesday, CNN launched a mobile app to curate a more personalized feed of business news. Last week, it hired away a crack team of BuzzFeed reporters who’ve frequently broken stories this campaign through archival research of historical interviews and video clips. Both developments—the creation of a digital product and addition of digital talent—point to a broader change that has...
Posted: October 13, 2016, 11:50 am

Freed from UN, a 20-year-old news network embraces independence

Three years ago, United Nations officials told editors of its in-house news service to stop covering the Syrian war. The UN office, which controlled the $11 million budget for IRIN, worried that detailed coverage by the service could derail Syria-related talks involving the UN. The ban on IRIN’s Syria reporting added fire to a longstanding debate over the 20 year-old...
Posted: October 12, 2016, 6:03 pm

Five tools for journalists to enhance election coverage

This election cycle has seen a proliferation of online tools that make the job of digging up and delivering newsworthy information a little bit easier. The tools--which take advantage of advances in artificial intelligence, algorithms, video software, and analytics--help journalists navigate big data and an internet ecosystem increasingly entwined with the political landscape. The social media wave that helped put...
Posted: October 12, 2016, 2:03 pm

Covering tech? You might want to lighten up

What’s the difference between journalism and criticism? The division is baked into many newsrooms, where reporters are expected to remain as objective as possible and reveal bias where it exists, while critics rely on the strength of their opinions and the arguments underpinning them.  Nowhere is this as evident as in technology writing, where criticism is often seen as standing...
Posted: October 11, 2016, 6:07 pm

Biting off more ‘informal language’ than you can chew

When we talked about “bizarro” words last week, we promised to talk this week about the difference between “colloquial” and “slang.” Just for fun, we’ll throw in “idiom” as well. They’re all part of our “informal” language, weapons in our arsenal to convey the tone of something we are saying as well as its substance. Just as you change your...
Posted: October 11, 2016, 4:30 pm

Analyzing debate questions: Is it time to rethink the town hall?

With fewer audience questions than in past years, an unrelenting focus on the characters of the candidates at the expense of substantive issues, and a shift in power from undecided voters to professional journalists moderating the event, last night’s presidential debate raised the possibility that the town hall format is due for a rethink. A feature of the election cycle...
Posted: October 10, 2016, 9:19 pm

Martha Raddatz and the case for a more assertive debate moderator

When Martha Raddatz needled Donald Trump’s apparent lack of knowledge about American foreign policy on Sunday, it was an unusually aggressive approach for a presidential debate moderator. The tactic stood out even more given the event’s billing as a town hall showcasing questions from “undecided voters.” Still, ABC’s chief global affairs correspondent ultimately added more value by stepping in. The...
Posted: October 10, 2016, 6:20 pm

A reporter pursued a grim tip about teen slaves. Now he’s a national hero.

One day in June, Swe Win, chief correspondent for independent news agency Myanmar Now, walked into a tailor shop in downtown Yangon. He announced that he was a businessman going to Europe for the first time, and he wanted to order the most expensive suits available. “The most important thing for me was just to buy time,” the 38-year-old investigative...
Posted: October 10, 2016, 5:10 pm

Why it's important for news organizations to show their corrections

As coverage of the presidential race enters the final stretch, CJR Editor Kyle Pope and our resident management guru Jill Geisler look at leaders who lie, social media missteps, and fact-checking the fact-checkers. Kyle: Lying, and the media's role in calling it out, has become a theme, oddly enough, of this presidential campaign. What about closer to home? Is it...
Posted: October 10, 2016, 2:00 pm

Analyzing debate questions: Why the town hall style is unique

Sunday night’s second presidential debate will look very different from the last showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on September 26. Following a format first used in 1992, the candidates will answer questions posed not by a journalist moderator, but by voters in the auditorium and online. If past town halls are any guide, Sunday’s debate will bring focus...
Posted: October 7, 2016, 9:52 pm

The media’s Weimar moment

n June 1954 on national television, Joe Welch, the US Army's chief counsel, exposed Senator Joseph McCarthy's dubious morality with those two legendary questions: "Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" Such was the novelty of television back then that having given McCarthy an authoritative forum for his views, TV could now...
Posted: October 7, 2016, 9:14 pm

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower case ... Florida Times-Union, 10/2/16 Contra Costra (Calif.) Times 5/31/77 The Herald (New Britain, Conn.) 10/14/78 Detroit Free Press, 7/1/75 And one more for fun: Headline of the day from @denverpost— Toby Harnden (@tobyharnden) October 6, 2016 Want to see more regrettable headlines? Check out the Lower Case archives.
Posted: October 7, 2016, 3:31 pm

Nikole Hannah-Jones speaks on schools, segregation, and systemic racism

Five years ago, Nikole Hannah-Jones was thinking about quitting. “I only became a journalist because I wanted to write about racial inequality,” she told professor Keith Gessen in front of a gathering of journalism students, faculty, and fans at Columbia Journalism School’s first Delacorte Lecture of the 2016-17 season. Frustrated with constantly being steered away from the type of reporting...
Posted: October 6, 2016, 9:45 pm

R.I.P. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

We’re going to call a time-of-death on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, despite the fact that the newspaper says it’ll live on with a website. Everyone says that these days. The more important news is that the 24-year-old daily will shutter its print edition and lay off 106 staff members. It will maintain an online-only edition, but most […]
Posted: September 29, 2016, 12:59 am

Startup Says It’s Figured Out a Way to Make Micropayments Work

The idea of convincing readers to pay a few pennies to read a single article has been largely scoffed at over the years, but Blendle may have cracked the code, at least a little bit. Launched two years ago in Europe, Blendle says it just surpassed the one-million-member mark. It’s getting hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors […]
Posted: August 12, 2016, 1:34 pm

The Best 20 Minutes of Video You’ll Watch This Week

John Oliver’s sendup of the news industry for preposterous ideas like Tronc is both hilarious and sad. Oliver digs into the video history bag to remind us that Sam Zell really did own a newspaper company at one point and thought that stories about cats could possibly support stories about crime and corruption. He also calls […]
Posted: August 10, 2016, 4:30 pm

Leroy Black gets two obits – one placed by his wife and the other by his girlfriend

The top obit was placed by Leroy Black’s “loving wife.” The second obit was put in the Press of Atlantic City by Black’s longtime girlfriend. * Loving wife and longtime girlfriend place dueling obituaries (
Posted: August 5, 2016, 11:16 am