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.


Kushner: ‘Only in the newspaper business’ would L.A. Register’s launch draw criticism

Los Angeles Register | LA Observed | Associated Press | Reuters
The Los Angeles Register launches Wednesday. Owners Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz "are hand-delivering copies of the newspaper on Wednesday to business and civic leaders across Los Angeles," the paper says in a press release.

Wednesday's L.A. Register (photograph by Sandee Oshiro)
The paper promises heavy local coverage and opinion columnists who "will bring a right-of-center perspective and engage in civil debate," as well as "more than a dozen new community editions," the release says. Some of the staff moving north from the Register's homebase in Orange County, where Kushner publishes the Orange County Register, include sports columnist T.J. Simers; food writers Brad A. Johnson, Nancy Luna and Cathy Thomas; and film critic Michael Sragow. (more...)
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Don’t post your passwords in Washington Post comments section

The Washington Post
"I couldn't give a flying fig about the Heartbleed thingamajig," a commenter posted on a Brian Fung story in The Washington Post. He posted his passwords and welcomed others to:
read all the eMail I have. Sneak into my WaPo, NYT or CNN accounts and go crazy making comments in my name. Break-into my Facebook or Twitter profiles and change my hometown to Gas City Indiana, swap-out my avatar with a picture of your nads, make friends with people I don't know.
Guess what happened next.

"It's possible that this is a hoax," Fung allows. (Fung couldn't get in touch with the person, and he tells Poynter in an email that the Post removed his comment.) "But the lesson is no less valid: Share your credentials online, and you won't have to worry about getting hacked — you'll have done all the hard work for the criminals."
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This person has it worse than you. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Newspaper reporter: Now better than being a lumberjack

CareerCast | The Wall Street Journal
CareerCast's annual report of the "Top 200 Jobs of 2014" has "newspaper reporter" at No. 199 -- one slot better than lumberjack, which beat it last year. Some of the jobs better than newspaper reporter, per CareerCast: enlisted military personnel (198), butcher (179), actor (151), security guard (134). "Publication editor" comes in at 139 (I've known some who would have made great butchers) and photojournalist comes in at 186, just below welder and just above police officer.

This person has it worse than you. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)


In its blurb about newspaper reporting, CareerCast says it's a "job that has lost its luster dramatically over the past five years is expected to plummet even further by 2022 as more and more print publications abandon operations." It even found someone at the nexus of journalism and logging: Eric Johnson, the executive editor of Northern Logger magazine. “The two industries have changed dramatically since I started,” Johnson said.

Writing about last year's report, Will Oremus noted it "ignores intangibles like autonomy, excitement, or fulfillment."
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Nate Silver: Pulitzer-winning newspapers aren’t immune to circulation losses

FiveThirtyEight
A newspaper's Pulitzer Prize count has very little effect on its circulation losses, Nate Silver found after a spin through some data:
Does that mean that newspapers might as well forget about quality as an economic strategy? That’s not what this data says. There is a relationship between Pulitzer Prizes and circulation (the correlation is .53 among the 50 newspapers listed here). It’s just that this relationship hasn’t changed much from 10 years ago. The vast majority of newspapers have seen their circulations decline; the ones that win a lot of Pulitzers have suffered about as much as the ones that don’t. You could spin this result as a negative for high-quality journalism — newspapers that win Pulitzers are doing no better at retaining their readers — or as a positive — almost all newspapers are struggling, but the ones that win Pulitzers continue to have more readers.
Silver looked at daily circulation figures, which led to some strangeness: The Times-Picayune dropped 100 percent by his count, for example, because it no longer publishes daily.

Increasingly, though, it's nearly impossible to wrest any meaning from the circulation figures publishers report to the Alliance for Audited Media. The data are, as Silver might say, very, very noisy.

Some papers count average daily circulation as Monday through Friday. Some do Monday through Saturday. Others, like the Times-Picayune, break out circulation data by individual day. At any rate, Sunday is "by far the most valuable audience for advertisers," Rick Edmonds wrote in 2012.

Here's what I wrote last October about circulation in Louisiana in September 2013: (more...)
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Eli Saslow thanks his sources for their ‘huge act of courage’

The Washington Post
Speaking to The Washington Post newsroom after he won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting Monday, reporter Eli Saslow said that a friend had told him, "Oh Pulitzer Prize winner, now I know the first three words of your obituary."

Saslow saluted colleagues, editors and the Post itself. Referring to former owner Don Graham, Saslow said he's excited about its new ownership but is "so, so grateful that if I was ever going to get lucky enough to win one of these things that some of the stories were published when it was Don's paper." Saslow also talked about the people "I owe the most to": His sources.
They're the ones who take the huge risk. It's a huge act of courage to have somebody call, who you don't know, from out of town, and say that they want to come be with you constantly in sort of, you know, every corner of your life in this moment where things are usually not going well and there's a lot at stake. That's an incredible thing to ask of people, and yet they say yes, and I wonder a lot about that because I'm not sure I'd be the person who said yes. And I think it's because people are so -- they really crave to be understood and they want to know that what they're dealing with matters. And I think our journalism should validate that and it should take good care of the trust they're giving us to come into their lives.
He likened the prize to the experience of having a nice sandwich after reporting on a family without food security.

"In some ways this moment is a little bit like eating a sandwich," he said. "It's like, it's great. It feels really, really good. I hope some of the attention goes to the people who are letting us into their lives." Related: Saslow's author page at the Post.
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Boston Globe gathers people touched by bombing at marathon finish line

The Boston Globe | The New York Times
"Nobody wanted to leave," the Globe writes about a photo shoot that gathered "survivors, police, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses, runners, political figures, store owners, the Boston Athletic Association, Red Sox and Bruins players" for a photo -- with an interactive presentation -- at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

A year ago today, two bombs went off at the finish line. The Globe won a Pulitzer Prize Monday for its breaking news coverage of the bombings and the manhunt that followed -- "Nobody in this room wanted to cover this story, and we hope nothing like this ever occurs again on our watch," Globe Editor Brian McGrory told the newsroom. (more...)
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Pulitzers

Gellman: Baron’s editing ‘made me feel like it was still The Washington Post I’d grown up with’

Bart Gellman is by no means done with reporting on the NSA. His stories for The Washington Post won a Public Service Pulitzer today, a prize he and collaborators, including Ashkan Soltani and Laura Poitras, shared with The Guardian for their reporting on Edward Snowden's revelations. "Look, there are more great stories to do, and I have a book to write, so I will be on this subject for time to come," Gellman said by phone.
Gellman speaks to The Washington Post newsroom after the Pulitzer announcement Monday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Gellman speaks to The Washington Post newsroom after the Pulitzer announcement Monday. Asked whether he'd changed his methodology in the course of reporting these stories, Gellman said "I've had to become much more careful to protect my reporting materials and my confidential sources." Whereas he used to worry about keeping stuff only from the U.S. government, "Now I have to worry about foreign intelligence services."

Gellman said he's "even more conscious than I was before about putting sources at risk." At times, he's worried about asking even "fairly innocent questions" he feared might put sources under scrutiny. "There are times I don't make the call or don't make the visit I want to make" because of such concerns, he said.

Post Executive Editor Marty Baron "did not know me from Adam when I came to him with a really high risk" story, Gellman said, saying he's "genuinely, no bullshit, immensely grateful to this paper and its leadership." Baron "made every decision with guts and good judgment," he said. "It made me feel like it was still The Washington Post I'd grown up with."

"We are enormously grateful that Bart Gellman brought this story to the Post, where he had worked for so many years," Baron said in an email to Poynter. "His experience and expertise in the realm of national security and intelligence are unequaled. That allowed him to navigate some especially sensitive and difficult terrain. Throughout this story, he showed persistence, great care, and no small measure of wisdom."
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Newsrooms celebrate Pulitzer wins

Monday's Pulitzer-winners announcement was eagerly anticipated in newsrooms. Guardian US:   Boston Globe: Tampa Bay Times:   New York Times: The Philadelphia Inquirer: The Charlotte Observer: The Washington Post: The Center for Public Integrity: The Gazette:
Reuters breaks out the bubbly.
The Detroit Free Press:
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Deseret News’ Ten Commandments series: ‘Not just preaching’

The Deseret News inaugurated its launch of a national website Sunday with a series on the Ten Commandments. The series is "emblematic of the type of coverage you're likely to find" on the new site, Allison Pond told me in a phone call Friday. It follows CEO Clark Gilbert's imperative that the news organization be not "the best in our market, but the best in the world" at covering certain topics, including family, faith, culture and money.



Pond is editor of the Deseret News' national edition and was lead editor on the Ten Commandments series. The goal was to show how they related to everyday life, she said. Mark Kellner looks at how terms like "OMG" relate to the prohibition on taking the Lord's name in vain; Lane Anderson writes about how social media drives consumerism and covetousness.
Former Pope Benedict XVI on Jordan's Mount Nebo in 2009, where the Bible says Moses saw the Promised Land. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
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Jennifer Conlin writes about independent student publication The Michigan Daily, which beat local daily The Ann Arbor News on a major story. Since the News underwent several repositionings in the local market, the Daily has been “the only Monday-through-Friday print publication in town”:

The constant changes have muddled The Ann Arbor News’s identity and, according to some residents, eroded its standing as the go-to source of news in the community. That sense was reinforced by the football article, on which The Ann Arbor News played catch-up after student reporters broke the story.

“I feel The Michigan Daily fills an important niche in Ann Arbor and a need that is unmet by our regional newspapers in an era of constrained resources,” said the student paper’s editor in chief, Peter Shahin, sitting with the two reporters who broke the football scandal story, Adam Rubenfire and Matt Slovin, in the Daily’s conference room. …

“We have 200 to 250 staff, and though we are a trade publication first covering the university, we are also trying to fill a void in other areas here, like the arts,” Mr. Shahin said. “I think we truly have the pulse of the town.”

Jennifer Conlin, The New York Times

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