Andrew Beaujon

Andrew Beaujon reports on the media for Poynter Online. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture. He lives in Alexandria, Va., with his family. His email is abeaujon@poynter.org, his phone number is 703-594-1103, and he tweets @abeaujon.


Washington Post editorial board will no longer use the term ‘Redskins’

The Washington Post

The Washington Post’s editorial board announced Friday it will no longer use the term “Redskins” to describe the D.C. football team. “[W]hile we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves,” the board writes.

The change won’t affect the newsroom, the board writes: “Unlike our colleagues who cover sports and other news, we on the editorial board have the luxury of writing about the world as we would like it to be. Nor do we intend to impose our policy on our readers. If you write a letter about football and want to use the team name, we aren’t going to stop you.”

Post Executive Editor Marty Baron told the Post’s Annys Shin that “Standard operating policy in the newsroom has been to use the names that established institutions choose for themselves.… Read more

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Fareed Zakaria gets even more plagiarism accusations

Our Bad Media

Enigmatic media critics @crushingbort and @blippoblappo say they’ve found more examples of Fareed Zakaria lifting material from other texts. The purportedly purloined passages, they say, appear in Zakaria’s 2008 book “The Post-American World” and in Newsweek and Foreign Affairs cover stories.

“On more than a number of occasions, Zakaria has taken entire paragraphs from the authors and shifted them around in an apparent attempt to avoid detection,” they write.

Here’s one of their examples, of stuff they say Zakaria stole from Fawaz Gerges (click to view bigger):

Zakaria responded to @crushingbort and @blippoblappo’s first post about his work, saying their previous examples “are all facts, not someone else’s writing or opinions or expressions.” Washington Post Editorial Editor Fred Hiatt told Poynter the allegations were “reckless.” Time, for which Zakaria last wrote a column in March, told Poynter it planned to re-review Zakaria’s work.… Read more

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The last email sent to Foley’s family

Good morning. Your weekend is in sight. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. James Foley’s last months: Cassandra Vinograd tells how James Foley‘s family communicated with his captors. (NBC News) | “Some messages were political and some were financial.” (CNN) | The last email sent to his family (GlobalPost) | Shane Bauer: “Like my family, [Foley's family] probably sometimes thought they should do more to try and convince his captors to let him go. Other times they likely reasoned they should stay quiet, hoping that silence would give the hostage takers the opportunity to quietly release him. It’s a hideous position to be in.” (Mother Jones) | NYT editorial: “There is no simple answer on whether to submit to terrorist extortion.” (NYT) || Foley’s family establishes journalism scholarship at Marquette.
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Sinclair launches original-programming division

TVNewsCheck | Sinclair Broadcast Group | MarketWatch

Sinclair Broadcast Group has launched a division to create original content for its TV stations, TVNewsCheck reports. Sinclair is the biggest owner of local TV stations in the country.

“Controlling our content and its development not only reduces our dependency on others, providing a hedge against network disruptions, but allows us greater economic upside potential,” Sinclair President and CEO David Smith says in a press release.

As Al Tompkins wrote earlier this month, networks are pressuring affiliates to share some of the windfall they’re receiving from ever-increasing retransmission fees paid to them by cable companies. CBS removed its affiliation from WISH-TV in Indianapolis, “a signal that it is prepared to play rough” over fees, which networks once paid affiliates and which now flow in the opposite direction.… Read more

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Scott Olson shot both Businessweek’s and Time’s covers this week

The work of Getty Images photographer Scott Olson is featured on both Bloomberg Businessweek’s and Time’s covers this week:

Olson was arrested and released in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday. He also took this iconic shot of the unrest there:

On his HBO show Sunday, John Oliver noted that CNN used the shot extensively, despite the fact that it shows a mailbox that says “Fuck the Police.” (Fast-forward to 6:25.)

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James Foley

U.S. tried to rescue James Foley

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. The U.S. tried to rescue James Foley, and it declined to pay ransom: Islamic State “pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release,” Rukmini Callimachi reports. Unlike many European countries, the U.S. and Britain will not pay ransoms for hostages. The terror group holds other Americans, including Time freelancer Steven J. Sotloff. (NYT) | David Rohde: “The divergent U.S. and European approach to abductions fails to deter captors or consistently safeguard victims.” (Reuters) | Administration officials yesterday confirmed that U.S. Special Operations forces tried to rescue Foley, but the op “was not ultimately successful because the hostages were not present . . . at the site of the operation.” (WP) | Media blackouts “don’t necessarily end with the release of hostages,” James Harkin writes.
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Why journalists should be skeptical about autopsy reports

A.C. Thompson is not a doctor. But neither are many of the people performing autopsies in the United States, says the ProPublica reporter, who has developed a special interest in those procedures.

“Reporters would do well to approach autopsies with some skepticism,” he said in a phone call. Among the problems with autopsies he’s outlined through his reporting: Many are performed by people with no medical training. In many jurisdictions, “When you’re cutting up dead bodies, you actually don’t have to be licensed by anyone,” he said. (Former New Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard told him one of the most important qualities in a coroner is the “love that you have for your fellow man.”)

Thompson.

Thompson read about 900 autopsies from New Orleans Parish after Hurricane Katrina and found stuff that was “absolutely mind-boggling” in them: “People would be shot to death by police, they would be beaten to death by police, and you would get an autopsy that would fail to note the very, very obvious injuries to their bodies,” he said.… Read more

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Startup that places women in tech jobs plans journalism vertical

News organizations have one great advantage over tech companies, Katharine Zaleski says: They’re used to people working remotely. “For years now, decades, newsrooms have been set up where someone can work remotely because of the bureau system,” she said.

When Zaleski was at The Washington Post she noticed that lots of people were able to work efficiently from home. Journalism, she said, is “already set up for the model that we have.”

Zaleski is a cofounder of PowerToFly, a startup that wants to match women in tech jobs no matter where they work from. “The whole concept is that female tech talent is out there and theres quite a bit of it,” Zaleski said. “If you want more female tech talent you have to be able to allow them to work differently.”

The service, which launched formally Monday, vets candidates through a series of interviews, then places them with companies that have contracted with them.… Read more

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James Foley’s mother: ‘We have never been prouder of our son Jim’

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ISIS video appears to show James Foley’s execution: Masked executioner speaking “with what sounds like an East London accent…. says that Mr. Foley’s execution is in retaliation for the recent American airstrikes ordered by President Obama against the extremist group in Iraq.” (NYT) | Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, on Facebook: “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.” (Find James Foley) | “As of 7 a.m.
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Digital First puts 51 newspaper buildings on the market

Digital First Media has listed 51 newspaper buildings for sale, according to a press release from the real estate firm Twenty Lake Holdings.

The properties are “for sale across seven states including California, Connecticut, Colorado and Pennsylvania, to name a few,” Twenty Lake Holdings says in its release.

The planned sale “enables us to streamline our real estate portfolio through a comprehensive program encompassing property sales, new leasing, relocations and consolidation, thereby freeing the company from the constraints of being overburdened with underutilized properties,” DFM President and COO Steve Rossi says in the release.

With the addition of the DFM properties, Twenty Lakes and the broker Praxis Commercial have 70 newspaper buildings for sale in total, the release says.

Reached by email, DFM CEO John Paton said the listings represent “the remainder of our real estate holdings not yet sold.… Read more

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