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.


Layoffs hit Providence Journal

Rhode Island Public Radio

Layoffs began at the Providence Journal Tuesday, Ian Donnis reports for Rhode Island Public Radio. Metro columnist Bob Kerr was among the people cut, Donnis writes.

The newspaper announced its sale to GateHouse Media owner New Media Investment Group Inc. in July. … Read more

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Katharine Weymouth leaves Washington Post

The Washington Post

Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth is leaving the paper.

Former Allbritton Communications Company President Fred Ryan will replace her. A Post news alert says owner Jeff Bezos made the switch; Bezos declined to comment to the paper.

Ryan told the Post’s Craig Timberg he plans to retain Executive Editor Marty Baron and Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt.

Here’s Weymouth’s memo to staff:… Read more

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Hand reaching from the grave

How your byline could outlive you

Good morning. September. Media stories. Let’s do this.

  1. Facebook may not be publishers’ friend: Editorial decisions are increasingly replaced by Facebook’s opaque algorithm, Emily Bell writes: “Accountability is not part of Silicon Valley’s culture. But surely as news moves beyond paper and publisher, it must become so.” (The Guardian) | Related: “Get ready to see a new set of Facebook publishers who see big and mysterious traffic boosts in the near future, as Facebook rolls out its autoplaying video.” (Re/code)
  2. Who will run Condé after Si? At some point Si Newhouse will no longer run the company. Soon-to-be-former Fairchild honcho Gina Sanders is someone to watch, Joe Pompeo writes. (Capital)
  3. What you need to know about this Jennifer Lawrence nude-pictures thing: The FBI is investigating how naked photos of several celebrities ended up online.
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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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foley 2

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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