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NewsFeed - Media

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GateHouse lays off journalists at newspapers it acquired last year from Halifax Media

Newspaper downsizing continues. I’m getting multiple reports of layoffs today at GateHouse papers that were formerly owned by Halifax Media, including the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. My readers say the Sarasota paper is losing several veterans, including sportswriter John Brockmann. He’s been with the paper for 54 years. (One tipster reports the H-T is losing two-dozen or …

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Posted: March 3, 2015, 6:31 pm

‘Weed’ sign is A1 news on campus – of course!

The giant road sign on the way to the UM gym says Smoke Weed Everyday. @MontanaKaimin anybody on this? I need answers. — Michael J. Wright (@mj_wright1) March 2, 2015
Posted: March 3, 2015, 5:48 pm

An argument that BuzzFeed is “the most important news organization in the world”

Analyst Ben Thompson has a good piece up providing the service he often does: examining a portion of the media landscape the way a Valley-tinged capitalist might, without any of the romance people brought up in the media business might bring. If you’ve ever wondered why so many people are fascinated by BuzzFeed — specifically...
Posted: March 3, 2015, 5:22 pm

Take two steps back from journalism: What are the editorial products we’re not building?

The traditional goal of news is to say what just happened. That’s sort of what “news” means. But there are many more types of nonfiction information services, and many possibilities that few have yet explored. I want to take two steps back from journalism, to see where it fits in the broader information landscape and try to imagine new things....
Posted: March 3, 2015, 4:14 pm

Confusing condominium

A couple of weeks ago, Martin S. Indyk, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and a former US ambassador to Israel*, wrote a two-part series on the future of US relations in the Middle East. The choices, he wrote, came down to “a Joint Condominium with Iran or a Back to the Future...
Posted: March 3, 2015, 4:01 pm

Morning Report for March 3, 2015

* Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny quits ABC News for CNN. ( | “Can’t wait to join the team.” (@jeffzeleny) * After panning a play about graffiti, Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times theater critics are called “old white people” working for “dying papers” who “don’t want to celebrate stories about youth culture who have been systematically denied …

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Posted: March 3, 2015, 2:29 pm

How a vibrant public radio station rose in the West Texas desert

AUSTIN, TX — Out in the most lonesome stretches of West Texas, that vast land spanning the Big Bend, the Trans-Pecos and the rugged Davis Mountains, everything is few and far between: houses, people, even radio signals. But as a traveler approaches the town of Marfa on the high desert, a radio station comes through loud and clear, carrying the...
Posted: March 3, 2015, 11:50 am

Please explain your dance, Paul Magers

The person who sent me the Paul Magers dance clip notes that “this was a prerecorded show and the entire control room staff left it in.” I’ve asked the CBS 2 News Los Angeles news anchor about his quirky exit from the set. (If you’re a Magers colleague or competitor and know more, please send …

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Posted: March 3, 2015, 12:52 am

Where’s *your* ‘Upshot’ column, USA Today?

I’ve ask the Times and Journal about both papers using “The Upshot” name. Update – Wall Street Journal spokesperson Colleen Schwartz writes: “The Upshot has been a column in WSJ since at least 2010. The column originally focused on earnings and now features pieces from WSJ’s bureau chiefs.”
Posted: March 2, 2015, 10:19 pm

Bringing prison violence to life

When Bill Keller left The New York Times for The Marshall Project last year, he told the newspaper that the nonprofit venture was intended to be “a bit of a wake-up call to a public that has gotten a little numbed to the scandal that our criminal justice system is.” That call rang this weekend with a biting, 7,000-word feature...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 10:08 pm blasted for reprinting journalist’s award-winning editorial days after firing him

February 23: “My husband, Joey Kennedy, was fired by Alabama Media Group on Thursday. …He had been with the Birmingham News/AMG almost 34 years. He won a Pulitzer Prize and was in the top three for a Pulitzer two other times.” ( March 1: Alabama Media Group/Birmingham News starts running a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of …

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Posted: March 2, 2015, 9:14 pm

Welcome to the new CJR

The Columbia Journalism Review takes on a new look this morning, with an elegant, fresh design on its desktop, tablet and mobile sites. If you remember CJR’s old look we think you’ll welcome our new one: visually bold, with cleaner lines, easier navigation and gorgeous color and typography. Best of all, it’s a better expression of our mission and our...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 11:50 am

The New Republic, then and now

the implosion of The New Republic was shocking in its totality. The departure of 23 staff writers and editors—in addition to researchers, assistants, and contributing editors—forced the political magazine to temporarily halt publication. It was the exodus that launched a thousand takes, as liberal thinkers mourned the supposed death of a progressive institution. Yet in early February, The New...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Changing words

The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself By Andrew Pettegree Yale University Press 445 pages. $35; paper, $25 arrives with honors, as the winner of the 2015 Goldsmith Book Prize given by the Harvard Kennedy School, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Its author is a distinguished scholar of Renaissance and...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am


a year after the break-in that ignited the Watergate scandal, National Lampoon deadpanned a faux Soviet conspiracy that saw officials “removing bugs from telephones, mixing actual letters and telegrams from Soviet citizens in with the usual phony ones, telling the truth to foreign newsmen,” and refusing to lie at their own trials. Dubbed Volgagate, it was the first post-Watergate...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Failure can be fun

rooting for a team having a bad year is like watching Season 6 of a TV show that hasn’t been good since Season 1: After each episode (or game), you shake your head and wonder why you waste your time. For sports reporters, covering such a team can be similarly excruciating. Take this year’s Knicks, who had the NBA's...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

How 'combat barbies' get played by the press

a woman with a gun, especially if she has pinup potential. When female soldiers are in the media spotlight, stories might peg them as an exotic novelty—or just make a blatant play for clicks through photos of bombshells in uniform. Here are some recent examples from around the world. Syria & Iraq The narrative of Kurdish women battling the...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Caching in

sound alike, and are interconnected, but maybe not in the way you think. The oldest in English, somewhat surprisingly, is “cash.” From the Old French “casse,” for a box or chest, “cash” first showed up around 1595, The Oxford English Dictionary says, referring to both a box and its contents of coins or other monetary instruments. Next up is...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Betting on The Guardian

when you’re a media pundit. No sooner had Alan Rusbridger announced he would retire as editor in chief of The Guardian than speculation kicked off over who would replace him. So far, The Independent has touted online editor in chief Janine Gibson as frontrunner. The UK’s Spectator puts Guardian US head Katharine Viner “not far behind.” But media prognosticators...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Hard numbers: BuzzFeed in 2014

200 million unique visitors a month 5 languages in which BuzzFeed publishes 25 countries from which BuzzFeed reporters filed stories 4 foreign bureaus opened in Sydney, Berlin, Sao Paolo, and Mumbai 2,170 posts about cats and dogs (garnering 291 million pageviews)
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Analyzing journalists' Twitter bios

personal branding is key to building a career in journalism. Of all the tools journalists have at their disposal in their hunt for digital glory, the Twitter bio reigns high. But with only 160 characters available, it’s not easy to strike that magical mix of informative, funny, and engaging. The Twitter Bio Generator parodies this struggle. Click the “Generate...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Foul play

Bias in the Booth: An Insider Exposes How Sports Media Distort the News By Dylan Gwinn Regnery Publishing 272 pages, $27.99 for Dylan Gwinn, at least: He gets to the point. A mere two paragraphs into his new book, Bias in the Booth: An Insider Exposes How Sports Media Distorts the News, Gwinn has already asserted his provocative thesis: “This...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Not a pretty book

I Left It On the Mountain By Kevin Sessums St. Martin's Press 288 pages, $25.99 2007 coming-of-age memoir, Mississippi Sissy, an early mentor describes the demeanor that would contribute to Sessums' success as a celebrity interviewer for Vanity Fair, Parade, and other publications: “Don’t ask me why,” Frank Hains, a newspaper editor, theater columnist, and stage director, tells the teenage...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Survival strategies of an online freelancer

as more practical than driven--capable of knowing his goals, reading an environment, and deciding what his next steps should be without a lot of emotion. A 26-year-old freelancer who makes his living writing online, Chayka’s preternatural calm sets him apart from a crowd balancing the competitive pressure of writing for some of the best-known publications on the internet with...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

The president and the press

the 2014 midterm elections was not a time of celebration for the losing Democrats, and the White House press corps was determined to get the party’s most senior member on the record about what was surely a disappointing night for the president. Ten reporters were given the chance to ask questions during the 74-minute press conference, and seven of...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

What will happen to the Tampa Bay Times?

They are barely noticeable on the cream-colored wall of the seventh floor executive suite at the Tampa Bay Times: nine simple wood-framed announcements signed by the president of Columbia University and one emblem, lined up in two modest rows—Pulitzer Prizes, the brass rings of journalism. The newspaper, still widely known outside Florida as the St. Petersburg Times, its name until...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

The rules of plagiarism

is the mythical Bob Dylan, a man of singular talent who gave birth to a strand of acoustic rock so compelling that it made others want to rip it off. And so they did. By the hundreds. His work became an inspiration for Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, and Kurt Cobain, all legends in their own...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

The power of Pop-Up Magazine's live journalism

a group of journalists and artists gathered around a conference table backstage at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco to toast their shared contribution to Pop-Up Magazine, which was scheduled to go live in half an hour. Not in the way that a digital magazine goes live, but in the most literal sense of the word: Live onstage,...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Hurting for words

was asked to cook a partridge. Escabeche de perdiz, a standard dish. Like countless chefs all over Spain, he had made it countless times, but now, faced with the task of cooking it again, he froze. He just couldn’t do it. “How to deal with this sad bird?” the celebrated magazine journalist Michael Paterniti writes in his book, Love...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

How to get attention

the deputy international editor of The New York Times, would be leaving to become editorial director at Upworthy. O’Leary’s role at the Times, where she had worked for eight years, mostly involved helping the paper adapt to the digital world. Most famously, she co-authored an “innovation report,” leaked last May, that concluded the paper has struggled to make that...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Drawing inspiration from the South Bronx

shoots from the hip. The Nigerian-born photographer holds a camera near his waist as he navigates 149th Street in the South Bronx, snapping photos of unknowing passersby mid-sentence, mid-purchase, mid-chew. Crowds on the snow-coated corridor thicken as they approach The Hub—a nickname for this part of the neighborhood, which pulses with nail salons, Latin American restaurants, and mobile phone...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

The foreign desk in transition

met the newsroom for the first time in September of 2013, he mentioned two recent Post stories that he’d found particularly intriguing. The first was a human-interest feature on the death of a bouncer, the kind of richly descriptive narrative that has been a Post hallmark for decades. But Bezos’ other favorite was something of a surprise: a 2,800-word...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Cheap shot

or at least they used to be. Images come cheap in the digital news market, with iPhone snapshots saturating social media and high-quality cameras becoming more affordable for amateurs eager to get published. Many newsrooms have responded by slashing photo staffs. In 2013, the Chicago Sun-Times justified axing its entire 28-person team, including Pulitzer Prize-winner John H. White, with a...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Why plagiarize when you can rip off a writer's thoughts?

about plagiarism by starting with a little verse about a renowned professor who won his fame by appropriating the work of another: Let no one else’s work evade your eyes Remember why the good Lord made your eyes So don’t shade your eyes But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize... Only be sure always to call it please 'research.' I might credit...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

The irredeemable Chris Rose

in his small French Quarter apartment, its glass badly chipped from various accidents. The disfigured accolade for his work on a reporting team at the Times-Picayune is a reminder of both prowess and loss. "The way the people of New Orleans made me feel after Hurricane Katrina—like I was holding this fucking city together all by myself,” Rose tells...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

The value of digital data

about the conduct of the NSA don't just tell us about the past conduct of the government. They tell us something about the future of political journalism. In light of the extraordinary pressure on New York Times reporter James Risen to reveal his sources, and significant movements to restrict journalistic reporting of leaks by the Obama Administration, it's clear...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Why the media don't get Detroit--and why it matters

In Detroit, the American Dream has become an American Paradox: Corporate-backed revitalization downtown belies the continued deterioration of sprawling neighborhoods of single-family homes; a fledgling creative class masks the ongoing plight of what was once a massive working class; white newcomers trickle in by choice, just as many black natives have no choice but to stay where they are....
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

The New Republic: A public trust or a business?

On Thursday, December 4, Frank Foer resigned as editor of The New Republic, having learned from a gossip site that the magazine's owner, former Facebook executive Chris Hughes, had already hired someone to replace him. Leon Wieseltier, who was widely known to be on the chopping block, and whose renowned back-of-the-book Hughes had already threatened, followed suit. The next...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Should journalism worry about content marketing?

At a glance, the Daily Growl could be any morning news meeting held in the "win the internet through pet videos" bureau of a lavishly funded media startup. Rows of eager young people stand behind their monitors--"TMZ-style," managing editor Lisa Keller told me--as Keller solicits memes and news pegs to supplement the content already scheduled on the team's editorial...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

How to build an audience

The Marketplace of Attention: How Audiences Take Shape in a Digital Age By James G. Webster The MIT Press 280 pages; $29.95 ome Facebook users were outraged this summer when they learned that the world’s biggest social network had, during a week in 2012, manipulated their emotions by tweaking its News Feed algorithm. Researchers showed some users mostly upbeat posts,...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Can newsrooms boost traffic without spoiling their brand?

hey don’t make bylines like they used to. In July, I read a story on by someone named Rick Ungar. I found the story through Facebook—someone had shared it on my feed. Like most news articles on Facebook, it displayed just a picture, a short-source URL ( in this case), and a headline: “Hobby Lobby Invested In Numerous Abortion...
Posted: March 2, 2015, 6:01 am

Newsonomics: The Financial Times triples its profits and swaps champagne flutes for martini glasses

Even as the Financial Times announces excellent bottom-line numbers, the heat it’s feeling from the diverse and growing competition in business news is palpable. The FT may be 127 years old and roundly and rightfully respected for its journalism. But it doesn’t even break into the top 25 business news websites, as counted by comScore...
Posted: February 27, 2015, 12:16 pm

A farewell to #content: Optimism, worries, and a belief in great work

The other day, someone called me at work and asked me, What’s the future of journalism? As calmly and politely as I could, I replied, I don’t know what the future of journalism is. I’ve been asked to predict the future a couple of times. It comes with the territory I guess. What are the...
Posted: February 26, 2015, 8:18 pm

In the “web vs. apps” debate for online publishers, apps are on a run

It’s what qualifies as an age-old debate in the digital media business: Web or native apps? The question isn’t really either/or — for most news outlets, the answer is “both” — but since the iPhone arrived, publishers have debated how much emphasis to put behind publishing on the open web vs. building native app experiences...
Posted: February 26, 2015, 7:16 pm

On convening a community: An excerpt from Jake Batsell’s new book on engaged journalism

Where was God in Aurora? It was a frank, arresting, and painful question to ask in the days following the macabre shooting spree that left 12 people dead and dozens of others injured at a screening of a Batman movie in Colorado on July 20, 2012. Still, the question struck a nerve for hundreds of...
Posted: February 26, 2015, 5:08 pm

Elections the focus of Knight News Challenge 2015: Applications now open

2016 will be a big election year in the U.S. So this year's Knight News Challenge will focus on ideas to inspire engagement and better inform voters before, during, and after elections. Applications opened today.

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Posted: February 25, 2015, 6:00 pm

Medium, known for going long, wants to go shorter

Medium announced some new updates to its publishing platform today. They include a tagging system (which means more structured data), a redesign of post presentation called The Stream, and an inline editor that’s supposed to make it easier to start writing. This last feature has received the most attention so far, with the general consensus...
Posted: February 24, 2015, 8:06 pm

Adaptive skills and design thinking work in tandem to address news desert

Incourage team members believe early funding from Ford Foundation to encourage adaptive skills and current funding from the Knight Foundation to apply design thinking are increasing the impact of their work with residents in Wisconsin Rapids. In a way, adaptive skills plowed the ground and fully aerated it so the current human-centered design approach  can better take root and transform the people and the culture of the place where they work and live.

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Posted: February 24, 2015, 6:17 am

“I know what Guns and Ammo is. I know what Road and Track is…I don’t know what Fusion is.”

If you’re a weekend denizen of Media Twitter, (a) my apologies and (b) you’ve already seen this Friday blog post from Fredrik deBoer, a doctoral student at Purdue and a smart critic of contemporary media. He’s riffing off of some time spent reading Fusion and noting the sameness of the 2015 News Web: But [Fusion]...
Posted: February 23, 2015, 7:59 pm