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NewsFeed - Media

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The Apple Watch will expose how little publishers know about their readers

I’ve spent the past few weeks with a town crier attached to my wrist. Or at least that’s the best metaphor I can come up with for what wearing an Apple Watch does for (to?) a news-interested consumer. It’s tweaked the modern American condition — constantly fiddling with your smartphone — with a system of...
Posted: May 29, 2015, 3:13 am

Romenesko is on vacation, but still tweeting

Tweets by @romenesko IT’S VACATION TIME… I’m going to try to step away from the MacBook for a few weeks to attack my growing to-do list, which includes: Finally finishing Mark Leibovich‘s “This Town,” which has been on my iPad for years (65 pages left); watching seasons 1 through 4 of “Veep”; getting an unlimited …

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Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:26 pm

You need to work on your insults, guys

Guys heading into court with Madoff's accountant to me: "how about instead of taking pictures you go for a run you fat fuck." — Sam Hodgson (@samuelhodgson) May 28, 2015 Fat? Hardly! Freelance photojournalist Sam Hodgson, who was shooting for Bloomberg News today, tells me: “I’m about 5’9, 185. So, pretty average sized dude, which …

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Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:02 pm

Science retracts research that hoodwinked news outlets

Science | Retraction Watch

The academic journal Science on Thursday retracted an article published in December 2014 that was covered by several major American news organizations.

The article, which purported to show that opponents of same-sex marriage could be swayed by talking to gay canvassers, was highlighted by The New York Times, The Washington Post and “This American Life” before a second article revealed irregularities in the research. Each of those news organizations appended editor’s notes acknowledging concerns about the article — and multiple outlets retracted their reporting — after Retraction Watch reported on the irregularities.

According to Science, the article was retracted because it misrepresented the incentives offered to survey-takers and falsely described sponsors of the research. Through an attorney, one of the authors of the study, Michael LaCour, apparently admitted the falsehoods. Read more

Posted: May 28, 2015, 7:54 pm

Advice for summer interns: Don’t screw this up

Kelly McBride and her daughter Molly in New York. (Photo courtesy of the Kelly McBride)

Kelly McBride and her daughter Molly in New York. (Photo courtesy of the Kelly McBride)

My eldest got her dream internship. She starts next week. Here’s the letter I wrote, with help from my friends.

Dear daughter,

Congrats on getting an internship at a place where you already love the journalism. I know you got called as an alternate, after someone dropped out. That’s OK. None of us are qualified for our first job. So it doesn’t matter how much experience you have or how competent you are on day one. What matters is how open you are to learning new things and how fast you can learn them. You’re going to feel stupid and incompetent. Just own that, rather than hide from it. It will give you the emotional resilience to be unassuming and spongy. Read more

Posted: May 28, 2015, 7:14 pm

Union vote is divisive issue for Gawker Media

Gawker | Capital New York

With days to go before a vote to determine whether Gawker Media will be the first large digital news organization to unionize, the choice appears to be a controversial one among staffers.

In a comment thread underneath an article inviting Gawker Media employees to justify their anticipated votes, employees cited a variety of reasons why they’re voting not to unionize. Among them: Inadequate communication surrounding the unionization effort, disregard for off-site employees and a distaste for the administrative formalities that might accompany unionization.

In a lengthy reply listing reasons why he’s choosing to vote against unionization, Deadspin columnist Drew Magary said the organization effort has caused “a galactic amount of acrimony” at the digital media company:

I’ve seen morale erode at an inhuman pace.

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Posted: May 28, 2015, 6:12 pm

Union at Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com to take strike vote

The Philadelphia branch of the Newspaper Guild on Thursday set a strike authorization vote next week for its 500 members at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

A June 3 vote comes amid ongoing bargaining on a new contract to replace the one that expired earlier in the month. It’s now been extended to June 27 by mutual agreement of the union and management.

The primary issues include health care contributions by employees and the role of seniority in potential layoffs. Talks resume Friday.

In a Thursday letter to members, the leadership of Local 38010 of the Newspaper Guild indicated the secret-ballot vote would start in late afternoon and that the union bargaining committee will be present “to answer any question before you cast this important vote.”

A strike authorization is not tantamount to a walkout. Read more

Posted: May 28, 2015, 4:41 pm

Washington Post refutes reporter’s ties to White House

The Washington Post | Mehr News

Washington Post editor Martin Baron on Thursday pushed back against nebulous accusations from Iranian authorities that Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian passed information to the White House in some official capacity.

The statement from Baron contested evidence from Iranian officials cited in an espionage trial against Rezaian that ostensibly established his connection to the administration of President Barack Obama.

The State-affiliated Mehr News agency in Iran reported on Wednesday that Rezaian was confronted during the trial with a letter he sent to Obama touting his connections to influentials within the country.

Not true, says Baron. In fact, the message cited was an application for a job in the Obama administration filed three years before he began working for The Post. Read more

Posted: May 28, 2015, 4:37 pm

News startup El Español to compete with traditional Spanish media

A Spanish news startup led by ousted El Mundo founding editor Pedro J. Ramírez has raised €3.1 million ($3.4 million) through crowd-funding in less than two months, likely the most ever generated by a journalism crowdfunding campaign. The well-heeled website, El Español, has €18.2 million in total capital and reserves, and is also taking the unusual step of giving all...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 4:22 pm

4 lessons from 5 years of pushing the boundaries of public media

The station application deadline is approaching for AIR’s “Localore: Finding America competition,” which will bring together 15 stations and collaborators to work on projects for public media. Stations have until May 31 to apply, and “outside collaborators” have from June 1 to June 26. They’ll then be matched and will work on a project together. From AIR’s site:

Finding America is the third in a series of AIR’s R&D storytelling productions to incubate innovation in public media. Finding America suggests that although there is an abundance of coverage and documentation by media each day, there are dimensions of the country that remain off the radar. Successful productions will enlighten the national narrative of America through the lens of public broadcasting.

Sue Schardt, executive director, AIR. (Submitted photo)

Sue Schardt, executive director, AIR.

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Posted: May 28, 2015, 4:05 pm

Knight fellowship director to step down from program

John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships

Jim Bettinger, the director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program at Stanford University, is leaving the program at the end of the upcoming academic year, he announced in an open letter Thursday.

In the letter, he said that his next step will likely include independent entrepreneurial work:

I’m retiring from this job — but not from journalism. I’ve worked in journalism institutions and organizations for nearly 50 years — 20 years with the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the San Jose Mercury News, and 26 with this program. Now I want to work more independently and entrepreneurially. I intend to use what I’ve learned at JSK, and before that in daily newspapers, to help others. I’ll be eager to learn some new dance steps.

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Posted: May 28, 2015, 3:46 pm

Vox works with McClatchy to bring explainers to local readers

There’s a problem in journalism that’s been bothering Melissa Bell for a long time: How can digital storytelling techniques dreamed up in national news organizations find their way to smaller publications with mostly local audiences?

“I think that when we talk about digital journalism, we’re not seeing a huge amount of success and answers getting down to the local level,” said Bell, the vice president of growth and analytics at Vox Media. “And I really worry about that. I think about that a lot. I think we as an industry should be thinking about how to take some of the solutions that we figure out at the national level and help them get to the local level.”

News organizations like Vox.com have big national audiences that come with the scale and investment to foster digital innovation. Read more

Posted: May 28, 2015, 3:00 pm

Newsonomics: The Vox/Recode deal is a sign of more consolidation to come

Vox Media’s acquisition of Recode appears to be a relatively small deal. No dollar amount was disclosed; Vox is trading a little of its stock for a highly regarded but underperforming tech-business site. The deal, though, is part of a much larger trend of media consolidation and tells us a lot about today’s largely me-too...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 3:00 pm

News as a design challenge: New ideas for news’ future from MIT

Every spring at MIT, Ethan Zuckerman teaches a class called “Future of News and Participatory Media.” It’s a class tailor-made for people who read Nieman Lab, because Zuckerman’s approach is treating news “as a design and engineering challenge.” (Not coincidentally, it’s a class you’ll often find Nieman Fellows and Lab staffers attending.) From the syllabus:...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 2:00 pm

Lodi News-Sentinel Sold to Central Valley News-Sentinel Inc.

The Weybret family has sold Lodi News-Sentinel to a new corporation, Central Valley News-Sentinel Inc, led by veteran newspaper publisher Steven Malkowich.  The new owners have newspaper assets in the United States and Canada, including several ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 1:57 pm

Plan B for out-of-work journalist: Go to Abu Dhabi and make lots of money

Golf writer Steve Elling's first day in Abu Dhabi with a non-alcoholic drink.

Golf writer Steve Elling’s first day in Abu Dhabi with a non-alcoholic drink.


There are countless stories of sports journalists trying to survive during these challenging economic times. Few, though, have gone literally as far as Steve Elling.

Elling thought he had a dream job in 2012. He was given a wide range of latitude in covering as many as 20 golf tournaments per year for CBSSports.com. He received a glowing job review earlier in the year.

Then a few months later, just days before he was set to depart to cover the British Open, Elling was told that his job had been eliminated.

Now what?

“I was 50-years-old covering a niche sport,” Elling said. “I wasn’t looking at a ton of options.”

Only one true option materialized for him, but it hardly could be called a dream job. Read more

Posted: May 28, 2015, 1:15 pm

Career Beat: Farai Chideya named consulting editor at The Intercept

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Chris Connelly has been named interim editor-in-chief at Grantland. Previously, he was a contributor there. (Poynter)
  • Farai Chideya is now a columnist and consulting editor at The Intercept. She is a distinguished writer-in-residence at New York University. Roger Hodge will be national editor at The Intercept. Previously, he was editor of the Oxford American. (The Intercept)
  • Topher Sanders will cover racial inequality for ProPublica. He is investigative editor at the Florida Times-Union. (ProPublica)

Job of the day: The Verge is looking for an editorial developer. Get your résumés in! (Mediagazer)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Posted: May 28, 2015, 12:21 pm

A Times ‘Rising Star’ on the Paper’s Past, and Digital Future

When The New York Times announced to staff in November of last year that it was beginning a “company-wide project to explore ways to engage readers in languages other than English,” it was hardly a surprise that Lydia Polgreen had ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 11:03 am

France's Richest Man in Talks to Buy Paris Newspaper

Luxury goods group LVMH is negotiating to acquire the French daily newspaper Le Parisien for €50m (£35m), reports the Financial Times.   The Paris-based group, which owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Givenchy, also ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 11:01 am

As Jason Rezaian Stands Trial in Iran, Former Prisoners Share Their Experiences

Few facts are known about the espionage case against Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post correspondent in Iran who went on trial Tuesday in a closed Tehran courtroom, in front of a Revolutionary Court judge known for harsh sentences.   Shane M. ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:57 am

5 Ways Time Inc. Is Trying to Make Paywalls Work

Last week, Time Inc. erected a paywall at Entertainment Weekly in what it says is the first of more to come for its titles. Others will follow this summer. Time Inc. is struggling to turn around its revenue declines and gain the c ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:54 am

Politico Hires Dell's Managing Editor to Build a 'Brand Journalism' Team

Politico has hired a Dell marketing executive to help build and run a department called Politico Focus that will create content for brands -- a first for the political news organization.   Stephanie Losee, who helped build Dell's content-dri ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:52 am

The Right to Be Forgotten and Internet Governance - Legitimate Concerns for the News Industry

WAN-IFRA spoke to Courtney C. Radsch, Ph.D. Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists, who will be moderating two debates at our first World Media Policy Forum  in only a week’s time. The event will be an opportunity to assem ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:49 am

Stockbait? BuzzFeed Plots IPO as Clicks and Videos Keep Public Hooked

BuzzFeed is planning an IPO, the company’s CEO, Jonah Peretti, announced at a tech conference on Wednesday. It’s a long-expected move from the wildly popular site, which in recent years has moved from simple aggregation and funny ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:46 am

Johnston Press Unveils its New National Listings Website

Johnston Press, the regional publisher that is attempting to forge a digital future, has refreshed its online national entertainments and listings platform WOW247.   The revamp of the what’s-on entertainments site mixes news of events ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:40 am

Grantland Names Interim Editor-in-Chief

ESPN's Chris Connelly has been tapped to serve as interim editor-in-chief of Grantland, the site launched by Bill Simmons.   "Excited to be joining @grantland33 as interim editor-in-chief. Hoping to continue the great work of Bill Simmon ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 10:35 am

What if Mobile is Getting its Fair Share of Ad Spending?

The idea that mobile advertising budgets will inevitably catch up to the amount of time people spend with their mobile phones has been taken as gospel in the marketing world.   But what if they don’t?
Posted: May 28, 2015, 8:18 am

First Look Publishes Open Source Code To Advance Privacy, Security, and Journalism

The Intercept and its publisher First Look Media strongly believe in the benefits of free and open source software — in part because we rely on such software every day. To keep our journalists and sources safe, we use secure communication t ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 7:57 am

In an Age of Social Media, Do Comments Sections Still Have Value?

Shortly after Postmedia closed a deal with Quebecor for its Sun Media English properties in April, it did a test run of shutting down the comments section for a single paper: The Belleville Intelligencer. - See more at: http://j-source.ca/article/ag ...
Posted: May 28, 2015, 7:45 am

Chris Farley on joining ‘Saturday Night Live': ‘I’ll try to stick my nose in there’

I spent the afternoon going through old copies of the Marquette Tribune – a paper I wrote for decades ago – and found some interesting items, including this 1990 page one story about Chris Farley. He told the paper he had a one-year contract and was getting set to “stay with SNL as long as …

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Posted: May 27, 2015, 4:01 pm

New word count, new skill set: Why Vox’s Racked hired a reports editor

Longform may get all the attention these days, but Racked — the style, shopping, and beauty site that Vox Media acquired when it bought the Curbed.com network in 2013 — is seeing a sweet spot in the middle. The site announced Tuesday that it has hired Meredith Haggerty, formerly the host of the podcast TLDR,...
Posted: May 27, 2015, 3:55 pm

The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a little scarier

It’s an annual moment of print realism here at Nieman Lab: The posting of the attention slide from Mary Meeker’s state-of-the-Internet slide deck. It’s enough of a tradition that I can now copy-and-paste from multiple versions of this post. Here’s a sentence from the 2013 version: For those who don’t know it, Meeker — formerly...
Posted: May 27, 2015, 3:32 pm

What is Data.gov doing wrong? And how could it get better?

When Jacob Harris left The New York Times last month to work for the federal government at 18F — a sort of in-house digital consultancy to up the digital smarts of government — one could imagine the benefits of having a skilled data journalist now working on the inside. Someone who’d spent lots of time...
Posted: May 27, 2015, 2:06 pm

What happened when a college newspaper abandoned its website for Medium and Twitter

The Mountaineer student newspaper at California’s Mt. San Antonio College no longer exists. About two months ago, the paper dropped its print edition, abandoned its website, ditched its longtime news production process, expanded its coverage base, and rejiggered its entire reporting philosophy. It also changed its name to SAC.Media. The result of all this reinvention: A...
Posted: May 27, 2015, 2:00 pm

Why movies make the best journalism

We are enjoying a golden age of documentaries, although your underfunded neighborhood documentarian may feel otherwise. HBO, Netflix, and PBS are all producing excellent work that's creating more buzz than print journalism, with films like Blackfish, Virunga, Going Clear, and Restrepo providing provocative and award-winning examples. Documentaries depend on drama, which creates chatter, which attracts eyeballs and advertisers. And as...
Posted: May 27, 2015, 11:50 am

Oxnard Press-Courier Editor Dies

Thomas Arthur Roberts of Oxnard, the former editor of the shuttered Oxnard Press-Courier newspaper and a longtime Ventura County journalist, died Monday at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. He was 87.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 10:36 am

Timeline: Tech Companies Hiring Journalists Through the Years

Journalists who burn out on the news grind have found plenty of opportunities at tech companies over the past few years.   Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Snapchat have all tapped media expats, particularly journali ...
Posted: May 27, 2015, 9:53 am

‘I guess people love a good fart joke,’ man says after his letter-to-the-editor goes viral

After the Pendleton (OR) city council amended its nuisance ordinance to ban marijuana odors, Peter Walters suggested in a letter-to-the-editor that the politicians “move on to restricting the other offensive smell that plagues our community: farts.” He writes in the East Oregonian: “Too often, homeowners and businesses fail to contain farts to their property, forcing …

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Posted: May 26, 2015, 11:58 pm

Boston Globe editor blasts ‘juvenile’ opinion piece on business columnist Shirley Leung

In a Friday CommonWealth opinion piece, executive editor Michael Jonas wrote that Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung “has emerged as the undisputed cheerleader-in-chief for the Boston 2024 effort” and that “more than any opinion writer in town, Leung has been carrying the torch (water, her critics would say) for the Olympics effort.” Here is …

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Posted: May 26, 2015, 10:17 pm

At one Virginia paper, coders and reporters unite to make sense of government data

These days, Wednesday evenings in the Daily Press newsroom in Newport News, VA, mean pizza. And data. Lots and lots of data. The paper, which recently moved from a 1960s building to new digs at City Center, has been opening its office up for monthly meetings of the local chapter of Code for America, a national nonprofit that builds open-source...
Posted: May 26, 2015, 8:00 pm

Prairie news companion: Why The Tulsa Frontier thinks it can succeed with a hard paywall and no ads

Not long after his family sold The Tulsa World to Warren Buffett’s BH Media Group in 2013, Robert E. Lorton III, the paper’s former publisher, began thinking about how he could get back into the news business. The traditional newspaper model is broken, Lorton figured, and online advertising isn’t really a sustainable way to support...
Posted: May 26, 2015, 6:51 pm

Not all conjunctions are created equal

Multiple people have written multiple times to dispel the myth that sentences cannot begin with conjunctions. We’ve tried to dispel it, too. That creates situations like the one where a student turned in a paper with this The landlord refused to respond to inquiries. Because he said he needed to talk to his lawyer. When told the phrase beginning with...
Posted: May 26, 2015, 6:46 pm

What to expect from Sports Illustrated’s new media podcast

Sports Illustrated is expected to launch close to a dozen new podcasts over the next couple of months. While SI has had a somewhat patchy history with the form, staffers were asked earlier this spring to pitch podcast ideas “that would serve both the SI audience as well as help bring new people to SI,” says senior editor Richard Deitsch....
Posted: May 26, 2015, 3:57 pm

Yottio and FOLD: Two new tools for storytelling

Yottio, a video streaming start up, is hardware-based and charges a monthly fee. FOLD is an open source reading, authoring and publishing platform. 

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Posted: May 26, 2015, 5:00 am

“Digital leads” newsrooms push print to the back of the line

In a '‘digital leads’’ newsroom, journalists first create content and engage on digital platforms – phones, web, tablets. Then, the digital content that is most likely to interest print readers is repurposed for the next day’s newspaper.

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Posted: May 26, 2015, 5:00 am

A step-by-step guide to create a simple, virtual reality data visualization

 Roger Kenny, an interactive designer at the Wall Street Journal offers a tutorial on building 3D graphics to StoryBench.

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Posted: May 26, 2015, 5:00 am

Free online class: "Math for Journalists Made Easy" you decide the schedule

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Mon, June 1, 2015 | 12:00 a.m. PDT
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Sun, June 28, 2015 | 12:00 a.m. PDT
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Posted: May 26, 2015, 1:23 am

Former USA Today ad exec says killing the print edition would be ‘a friggin’ travesty’

USA Today editor-in-chief David Callaway said on Wednesday that the company could stop publishing a daily print newspaper as early as the next “five or six years.” (A weekly USA Today print edition coming soon?) That remark didn’t go over well with Jim Gath, who was on the ground floor of USA Today. He tells …

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Posted: May 23, 2015, 11:04 am

‘Fresh Air’ host Terry Gross: I always think listeners are disappointed when they meet me

NPR “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross tells Marc Maron in a recent interview in front of a live audience at the BAM Opera House in Brooklyn: There was a period when I didn’t want to be photographed. It was a short period, but I declined to be photographed because I thought radio listeners want you …

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Posted: May 22, 2015, 7:05 pm

Open-mic journalism: How The Arizona Republic found success with storytelling events

In the beginning, Megan Finnerty knew she’d have to tell a story in front of a group of strangers. That’s not counting however many friends and assorted colleagues at The Arizona Republic she could draft into service on the first night of Arizona Storytellers. It was an experiment: gather community members together for a night...
Posted: May 22, 2015, 2:00 pm