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.


Ohio legislature rushes to shield lethal-drug info from public records law

The Columbus Dispatch | RCFP

The Ohio General Assembly is moving quickly to pass a bill that would “shield the identity of manufacturers and sellers of drugs used in lethal injection, as well as physicians and members of the execution team who participate in the process,” Alan Johnson reports for The Columbus Dispatch.

Several other states have secrecy statutes regarding the source of lethal injection drugs, Michael Rooney reported this spring for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The laws sprang up after the European Union banned the export of drugs that could be used in capital punishment. States have had to turn to “compounding pharmacies” to get drugs, Rooney writes, and fear that “death penalty opponents might pressure those pharmacies to stop producing and supplying the drugs used for execution.”

Prisoners, too, have requested information on the drugs to be used on them. Ohio took 26 minutes to execute Dennis McGuire in January. Read more

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Stop comparing everything to Brooklyn, NYT says

The New York Times

New York Times journalists “now seem to be using Brooklyn as the measuring stick or point of comparison for everywhere,” Times Standards Editor Philip B. Corbett writes.

Times stories have likened a Queens neighborhood and Cape Town, South Africa, to Brooklyn recently, and Corbett links to an Atlantic story by Bourree Lam that lists a lot of instances of the crutch.

“[L]et’s think twice the next time we’re tempted to declare someplace the new Red Hook,” Corbett writes. Read more

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Uber executive incorrectly thinks journalists are interesting

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Uber for public-relations disasters

    At a supervillains retreat in Manhattan, Uber executive Emil Michael floated a plan to hire opposition researchers to investigate journalists. They could look into “your personal lives, your families,” Michael wisely told a group that included BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith. (BuzzFeed) | Creepiness aside, what does Michael think he'd find on most of us? A Cayman Islands bank account? | Michael directed most of his anger toward PandoDaily Editor-in-Chief Sarah Lacy. After Smith's piece landed, he called her to apologize and hung up when she refused to speak off-the-record. (@sarahcuda) | He apologized on Twitter. (@emilmichael) | Lacy: "And lest you think this was just a rogue actor and not part of the company’s game plan, let me remind you [Uber CEO Travis] Kalanick telegraphed exactly this sort of thing when he sat on stage at the Code Conference last spring and said he was hiring political operatives whose job would be to “throw mud.” I naively thought he just meant Taxi companies." (PandoDaily) | Uber is looking for more funding and investors "might force Kalanick to step up and do something about Michael’s comments," Liz Gannes writes.

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Lindy Chamberlain

NYT film looks at how a tragedy became a punch line

If you’ve heard of Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, it’s likely because of the line “a dingo ate my baby,” often attributed to her. She never said it, just one more measure of how badly the news media treated her.

A new film from the New York Times’ Retro Report series looks at how her family’s heartbreak became a pop culture in-joke. Chamberlain-Creighton’s 9-week-old daughter Azaria disappeared when the family was camping in the Australian outback in 1980. She was convicted of murdering the child in 1982, then freed in 1988 after evidence was discovered that cleared her.

The government botched the case, but the news media’s failure was equally “cosmic,” Clyde Haberman writes in an introduction to the film.

Chamberlain outside a courthouse in Alice Springs, Australia, in 1982. (AP Photo)

Chamberlain outside a courthouse in Alice Springs, Australia, in 1982. (AP Photo)

Many people in the U.S. know about Azaria’s death through the 1988 film “A Cry in the Dark,” starring Meryl Streep as Chamberlain-Creighton. Read more

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Let the talk of NYT buyouts begin

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Let the talk of NYT buyouts begin

    No newsroom names yet, but "but news of potential or likely takers are spreading among their colleagues." On the business side, Yasmin Namini and Tom Carley are confirmed takers. Application deadline is Dec. 1. (Capital)

  2. Get ready to cover Ferguson again

    One thing you might want to do: Learn the difference between "downtown" St. Louis and the Loop. (Reuters) | "Learn basics. Or we're sending our people to report on Manhattan entirely from Staten Island." (@sarahkendzior) | Kristen Hare gave you some basics about the region back in August. (Poynter) | She's still updating her Twitter list of journalists in the region. | Reread this if you get a sec: "How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty" (WP)

  3. "#pointergate" continues

    KSTP's report is "truly an example of shoddy journalism," Brian Stelter says.

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The story of Friday, Nov. 14, as told by two headlines

1) The Chicago Sun-Times ran a page with an unforgettable headline and deck:

The Sun-Times also pushed out an email with dummy text Friday, Robert Feder noted.

Sun-Times Managing Editor Craig Newman tweeted what the page should have looked like:

2) The Washington Post published an epic headline.

uranus

Happy Friday, everyone. Read more

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The Poynter Institute lost $3.5 million in 2013, makes progress toward new revenue sources

The Poynter Institute filed its financial statement for 2013 with the Internal Revenue Service Friday. It shows a loss of about $3.5 million for that year. (Here’s Poynter’s press release about the report.)

Poynter has taken a number of steps in 2014 to try to regain its footing as its traditional revenue sources have dwindled — it last received a dividend from its ownership of the Tampa Bay Times in 2010. It hired Tim Franklin as president in February. In May, Franklin released his plan for the institute’s future, which includes more international instruction, custom teaching programs and the sale of some of Poynter’s assets (though not its building, which has taken on six paying tenants, all digital startups, this year).

There has been progress toward these goals, Franklin said in a phone call. “We’re on pace to set a record this year in teaching income, which I’m very excited about,” he said. Read more

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WHO agrees to start working with BuzzFeed again

The World Health Organization has “never blocked or banned anyone from joining our media list,” its spokesperson Fadéla Chaib told Poynter.

The time element of that statement is a bit hard to square with what BuzzFeed foreign editor Miriam Elder told Poynter after I asked her for comment on it: “I spoke to WHO this morning and they’ve agreed to work with us again,” she wrote.

A little background: As Brian Ries reported for Mashable, WHO staffer Laura Bellinger said she didn’t reply to BuzzFeed reporter Tasneem Nashrulla’s request to get on WHO’s media list because “My understanding is that BuzzFeed is banned.”

Not so, said WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic in another email Ries obtained: BuzzFeed as a whole isn’t banned, just its reporter Jina Moore, who has been reporting on Ebola from West Africa. Moore “on two occasions reported inaccurately and when in Liberia she was trying to enter WHO/MoH meetings without permit.”

Jasarevic also says WHO communications director Christy Feig contacted Elder, to tell her WHO would no longer “deal” with Moore. Read more

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WHO blacklists BuzzFeed reporter, accidentally tells her

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. WHO blacklists BuzzFeed reporter

    World Health Organization spokesperson Laura Bellinger mistakenly CC'd BuzzFeed reporter Tasneem Nashrulla on an email saying "My understanding is that BuzzFeed is banned." Tarik Jasarevic, another WHO staffer weighed in on another email -- Nashrulla was still CC'd -- saying only BuzzFeed reporter Jina Moore, who is covering Ebola in West Africa, was blacklisted. Jasarevic has not replied to a request from Poynter for elaboration on the thinking behind such an extraordinary (and petty) step. (Mashable) | In August, Jasarevic listed among his duties "being available to report to national and international media about the situation," but he was talking to someone who worked for Bono, not Jonah Peretti. (One)

  2. Former SPJ treasurer sentenced

    Scott Eric Cooper admitted embezzling more than $43,000 from SPJ's Oklahoma chapter and will serve a 10-year deferred sentence.

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llenas-fox-small

Fox News diversity program marks 10th year

Fox News Channel’s Ailes Apprentice Program has graduated its 10th class. The diversity initiative, launched by Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, provides four people a paid yearlong deep dive into Fox News’ operations. Vice President of Fox News Latino Francisco Cortes was a 21-year-old production assistant when he got the tap in 2003.

“I was thinking I was getting a call from the newsroom director because I did something wrong,” he said. Cortes, who had recently left the U.S. Army, called the program “boot camp for up and coming journalists.” He would learn about various departments and “the ABCs of the business” from company executives he said, and the year culminated in meeting Ailes.

“You’re not just given a certificate, given a pat on the back,” Cortes said. “You’re given continued mentorship after that, continued support from Mr. Ailes and his executive team.”(Cortes, a network executive, said he still refers to Ailes as “Mr.” – a habit he attributes to his military background.)

Llenas.

Llenas.

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