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.


Canadian newspaper defies ban on publishing Rehtaeh Parsons’ name

Chronicle Herald

The Chronicle Herald in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Monday broke a court-ordered ban on publishing Rehtaeh Parsons name. Parsons died last year; she was tormented by a photo that she said showed her being raped.

The photo fell under Canada’s child-pornography laws, which meant, a judge said, that Canadian media would be enjoined against printing her name in subsequent actions. That led to weird write-arounds like referring to a “high-profile child pornography case” and the Chronicle Herald refusing an ad from Parsons’ uncle naming her.

“We believe it’s in the public interest in this unique case, given the widespread recognition of Rehtaeh Parsons’ name, and given the good that can come, and has already come, from free public debate over sexual consent and the other elements of her story,” an editor’s note atop Monday’s story reads. It continues:

It is difficult for readers to follow a news story when the name associated with it is omitted, and we want to inform Nova Scotians of the outcome of this legal case.

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Journalists hit with tear gas, other stuff, while covering Ferguson decision

Good morning. Here are nine media stories.

  1. How news outlets covered Ferguson decision

    The news media's demand for information was the "most significant challenge encountered in this investigation," St. Louis County prosecution Robert P. McCulloch said Monday while announcing a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. (Poynter) | Al Tompkins dug into the grand jury report. (Storify) | Some highlights from the testimony. (AP) | I watched CNN last night and saw reporters get hit with smoke and/or tear gas (St. Louis County Police said they used both, smoke first). | CNN's Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo got hit by tear gas. (Mediaite) | Protesters grabbed and broke a Fox News camera. (Gawker) | CNN's Stephanie Elam said a man looting a cell-phone store threatened her.

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Prosecutor: Media was ‘most significant challenge’ to Ferguson investigation

During his press conference Monday night, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch said members of the media and people on social media made the grand jury’s job more difficult:

“The most significant challenge encountered in this investigation has been the 24-hour news cycle and its insatiable appetite for something, for anything to talk about, following closely behind with the nonstop rumors on social media,” McCulloch said.

On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin said McCulloch’s speech opened with an “extended whine” that was “embarrassing and undignified.”

Later as President Obama addressed the country after the verdict, he said “There will inevitably be some negative reaction, and it will make for good TV.”

McCulloch announces the grand jury's decision Monday. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cristina Fletes-Boutte, Pool)

McCulloch announces the grand jury’s decision Monday. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cristina Fletes-Boutte, Pool)

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N.C. news outlets sue UNC for records in cheating case

News & Record

The (Greensboro) News & Record, The Charlotte Observer and WRAL-TV are among news organizations that have filed suit against the University of North Carolina asking for employee records in a cheating scandal.

More than 3,000 students benefited from bogus classes and inflated grades for nearly two decades at UNC Chapel Hill’s African and Afro-American Studies department, an investigation found last month.

The news organizations are seeking records for 21 employees, nine of whom “were terminated or have faced disciplinary action,” Sarah Newell Williamson reports for the News & Record. State law requires that information about state employees, including “dismissal, suspension or demotion for disciplinary reasons,” be made public.

“They are withholding access to public records,” N&R Publisher Jeff Gauger told Williamson. “Someone has to stand up to them and make them follow the law. No one’s better situated to look after public records than news organizations.” Read more

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Anchors met in secret with Darren Wilson

Good morning. Welcome to a short week! Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Anchors negotiated in secret with Darren Wilson

    Matt Lauer, George Stephanopoulos, Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon are among the television personalities who've met with Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson, Brian Stelter reports. There is some potential money for subjects of these bidding wars, Jim Moret explains -- in licensing photos. But mostly it's about comfort and timing. (CNN) | "When 'off the record' is used to protect not only what’s said in a particular meeting, but also the meeting itself, it becomes a tool not so much for journalists but for the sources seeking to own them." (WP)

  2. Meanwhile, in Ferguson

    Police said journalist Trey Yingst was standing in the road, but "as this reporter and a multitude of other witnesses saw firsthand -- and as was captured on video -- Yingst was not in the street." (HuffPost) | Judge: Police in Missouri can't stop reporters from recording them.

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Want to cover Will and Kate? Fill out an application, and don’t wear jeans

Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit the U.S. Dec. 7-9. U.S. journalists who wish to cover the event have till 11:59 Friday to submit an application for credentials.

The royal visit will mostly be confined to New York, though the Duke of Cambridge will spend a little time in D.C. at the World Bank.

Look how nicely these people are dressed. Now look at yourself. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Look how nicely these people are dressed. Now look at yourself. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Hadas Gold reported Thursday that Buckingham Palace requires aspiring royal-watcher journalists to dress up:

“Smart attire for men includes the wearing of a jacket and tie, and for women a trouser or skirt suit. Those wearing jeans or trainers will not be admitted and casually dressed members of the media will be turned away. This also applies to technicians.”

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Scotland gets a pro-independence newspaper

The Guardian

The National, Scotland’s first explicitly pro-indepence newspaper, will launch Monday, Mark Sweney reports in The Guardian. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest will publish the paper, which Glasgow Sunday Herald Editor Richard Walker will also edit.

The Sunday Herald was the only Scottish paper to support independence, and it saw sales go up dramatically in the runup to the country’s ultimately doomed referendum.

Sweney says a “source with knowledge of the launch said the title sounded ‘very i-like’, a reference to the Independent’s cut-price spinoff, which has a skeleton staff and relies on its stablemate for most resources and content.” Read more

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Fusion tracks news orgs that use term ‘illegal immigrant’

Fusion

Despite “all the good reasons not to use” the term illegal immigrant, “it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines,” Felix Salmon writes. He lists news orgs that make a point of not using it (AP, the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed), those that have an “It’s complicated” relationship with the term (The New York Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg News) and those that prefer it (The Wall Street Journal, Reuters).

Here are a couple more that eschew it:

When AP stopped using the term, Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll told Poynter it was because “It’s kind of a lazy device that those of use who type for a living can become overly reliant on as a shortcut. It ends up pigeonholing people or creating long descriptive titles where you use some main event in someone’s life to become the modifier before their name.”

“No major publication has started using it again after a period where it was banned,” Salmon writes. Read more

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NYT edges closer to layoffs

Good morning. Almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT may have layoffs, after all

    A memo from Janet Elder says the news org may not have enough buyout applications to forgo layoffs. "Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs." Also, if you take the buyout, MOMA will not let you in for free anymore. (Mother Jones) | Last month Keith J. Kelly reported that more than 300 people had filed buyout applications, but many were "just securing their rights and checking it out," Guild unit rep Grant Glickson said. (NY Post) | Floyd Norris is taking the buyout. (Talking Biz News) | More N.Y. Guild news: Eight Guild members who worked at Reuters' Insider video project are losing their jobs. (The Newspaper Guild of New York) | Time Inc. has declared it's at an "impasse" with the union and "can begin unilaterally imposing many of the terms, including the right to farm out up to 60 full-time jobs while slashing vacation and medical benefits and eliminating voluntary buyout provisions from future layoffs." The Guild has asked the NLRB to investigate.

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ABC News says story Craigslist calls a ‘Hit Piece’ will be fair

Craigslist blog

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster says ABC News plans a piece that “mischaracterizes our efforts to prevent free classified ads for recalled sale items by craigslist users, and falsely accuses us of not cooperating with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

The story will unfold across a couple programs, and the segments will begin to roll out Friday.

Buckmaster says the news org wouldn’t take calls from Craigslist and “chose instead to ambush our largely-retired founder, Craig Newmark, outside his home on November 11.”

“Our piece will be fair and accurate and will include comments from Craigslist and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the results of our ABC News investigation of the country’s product recall system conducted with 17 ABC stations across the country,” an ABC News spokesperson told Poynter.

Disclosure: Newmark is on the Poynter Foundation’s board and has donated to Poynter. Read more

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