Andrew Beaujon

Andrew Beaujon reports on the media for Poynter Online. He was previously arts editor at 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, his phone number is 703-594-1103, and he tweets @abeaujon.

Terror group says it will kill British-American journalist

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Qaida affiliate says it will kill journalist

    British-American photojournalist Luke Somers appeared in a video by an Al Qaida affiliate in Yemen. The video's "timing suggested a reaction to a rescue attempt on Nov. 25, a joint raid by American commandos and Yemeni troops on a cave in a remote part of Yemen, where Mr. Somers was believed to be held." (NYT)

  2. How Philadelphia mag staffer helped set off Bill Cosby's downfall

    Philadelphia contributing editor Dan McQuade accompanied a friend with an extra ticket to a Hannibal Buress show in October and recorded a clip of the comedian calling Cosby a rapist. A BuzzFeed editor noticed his subsequent post, and the boulder that flattened Cosby's career and reputation gathered speed from there. McQuade "feels like all he did was shoot a video and write an easy blog post." (Billy Penn)

  3. Hire people who write shareable stuff

    At a conference in Sydney, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith said "publishers needed to distinguish between 'hiring young people who know how to tweet, versus journalists who write stuff that people want to tweet.

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Video series asks journalists of color ‘how you get from Point A to Point B’


All Digitocracy is trying to raise $7,500 to produce a series of video interviews with women and journalists of color called “How’d You Get That (Media) Job.” Its first interview is with TV One host Roland S. Martin.

“One of thngs I hear constantly from journalists of color is they don’t understand how you get from Point A to Point B,” All Digitocracy founder Tracie Powell told Poynter in a phone call. The need is particularly acute as the news business changes, she said: “A lot of the job is audience engagement, audience strategy. Personally, I want to know how you get those particular jobs.”

Powell said she knew Martin from when she interned at Cox’s Washington bureau, and he covered county government for the Cox-owned Austin American-Statesman. “I saw how he took off in his career, and others don’t have the benefit of that knowledge,” she said.

Powell’s journalism career encompasses both editorial and business operations — after finishing j-school at the University of Georgia, she worked in ad sales and circulation for two Georgia dailies, and she helped develop strategies to re-create circulation operations during the Detroit newspaper strike. Read more


Matt Thompson leaves NPR for The Atlantic

Matt Thompson will be the deputy editor of, NPR staffers were told in a memo Wednesday, David Folkenflik reports. Thompson is NPR’s director of vertical initiatives and will work with site editor J.J. Gould “to help oversee editorial operations and shape strategic development,” The Atlantic says in a press release.

“It’s difficult to count all the ways and all the places where Matt has played a vital role at NPR during his years with us,” NPR managing editor for digital news Scott Montgomery and NPR News Executive Editor Madhulika Sikka write in an email to staffers, which is below.

Thompson, who worked at Poynter in the early 2000s, follows a number of high-profile departures from NPR in recent months. Chief content officer Kinsey Wilson left in October (and later landed at The New York Times). Senior VP for news Margaret Low Smith announced in July she would leave (she headed to The Atlantic, too). Read more


It matters how Rolling Stone reported its UVA rape story

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Rolling Stone story causes the wrong kind of unease

    Sabrina Rubin Erdely's story finally got UVA's administration to deal with campus sexual assault. But if it "turns out to be a hoax, it is going to turn the clock back on their thinking 30 years,” Caitlin Flanagan tells Allison Benedikt and Hanna Rosin. They found Jackie, the main character of Erdely's story, who "had already been interviewed by the Washington Post for a story that has not yet run." (Slate) | If the men Jackie accuses of rape "were being cited in the story for mere drunkenness, boorish frat-boy behavior or similar collegiate misdemeanors, then there’d be no harm in failing to secure their input," Erik Wemple writes. "The charge in this piece, however, is gang rape, and so requires every possible step to reach out and interview them, including e-mails, phone calls, certified letters, FedEx letters, UPS letters and, if all of that fails, a knock on the door.

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Twitter makes it easier to report abuse

Twitter blog | SCOTUSblog | Pew | The Guardian

Twitter is making it easier to report abusive behavior, it announced Tuesday. Reporting will now be “more mobile-friendly, require less initial information” and it will be “simpler to flag Tweets and accounts for review.”

And you won’t need to be a victim of abuse to flag tweets: “These enhancements similarly improve the reporting process for those who observe abuse but aren’t receiving it directly,” director of product management Shreyas Doshi writes. (Another nice feature: If you block someone, they can no longer view your profile.)

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court considered an appeal in a case involving threats on Facebook, and SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe said the court was “difficult to read.” The “end result could be a decision that neither side likes,” Howe writes.

Young women are “significantly more likely to say they have been stalked or sexually harassed than men,” Pew reports about a recent survey. Read more


Washington City Paper opens Miami bureau

Three staffers from Washington City Paper will set up a pop-up Miami bureau at the Art Basel festival from Wednesday through Sunday. This is an interesting addition to the mission of the D.C. alt-weekly (where I was once managing editor), because staffers there tend to view subway-accessible suburbs as exotic locales.

Arts editor Christina Cauterucci and reporters Perry Stein and Aaron Wiener will represent the paper in Miami. They paid for their own tickets, Stein tells Poynter in an email, and they’ll stay at Stein’s grandmother’s house on Miami Beach.

But what on earth will they cover? “I can see no earthly reason for the staff of a D.C. alt-weekly to go to Miami together,” City Paper assistant managing editor Jenny Rogers wrote in an email, adding, “I wish I were going so badly.”

Cauterucci got some press passes to Art Basel shows, Stein said, and “she and I will be finding D.C. Read more


Rolling Stone didn’t contact the men it accused of rape

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Why didn’t Rolling Stone contact frat boys it accused of rape?

    Sabrina Rubin Erdely told Slate she "reached out" in "multiple ways" to the guys in her blockbuster UVA story and instead spoke with a local fraternity president and a national representative. “I’m satisfied that these guys exist and are real," Rolling Stone editor Sean Woods tells Paul Farhi. We knew who they were.” Erdely tells Farhi, "by dwelling on this, you’re getting sidetracked." (WP) | If an article "plays to rather than challenges your biases, you should subject it to tougher scrutiny," Judith Shulevitz writes about Erdely's account of the rape of a main character named Jackie. "What we don't know is whether every detail of Jackie's story, as told to Rolling Stone, is true; by not contacting the alleged rapists, Erdely opened the article up to questions." (TNR)

  2. More NYT buyout names trickle out

    Interactive news desk editor Lexi Mainland and photographer Fred R.

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BuzzFeed hires Clickhole’s Daniel Kibblesmith

Clickhole associate editor Daniel Kibblesmith will join BuzzFeed as a staff writer for its Buzz vertical, the publication told staffers Monday.

“Daniel first came to our attention with his powerful and important Clickhole piece, ‘Which Hungry Hungry Hippo Are You?,’ which is not just a profound philosophical question, but a major quiz opportunity that we ourselves had somehow overlooked,” BuzzFeed editorial director Jack Shepherd told Poynter in an email. “As you can imagine, we are extremely excited to have him on the team.”

BuzzFeed was among the sites Clickhole was founded to lampoon. (Clickhole has already had some influence on BuzzFeed’s editorial decisions, a recursion that you’d probably need a couple of semiotics professors to unpack properly.)

“I’m extremely excited to join the BuzzFeed team,” Kibblesmith told Poynter. “I’ve never felt closer to my ultimate goal of living directly inside of the internet.” Read more


Who is taking NYT buyouts?

Dec. 1 was New York Times’ employees’ deadline to apply for one of the 100 buyouts the company offered.

Sports reporter Barry Bearak confirms to Poynter he’s applied for the buyout. Edward Wyatt in the Times’ Washington, D.C., bureau tells Poynter he’s applied. Ron Wertheimer, on the Culture desk, says he is retiring as part of the buyout. Fellow Culture deskers David DeWitt, Christopher Phillips and Ray Cormier say they have applied.

David Geary, the late news desk editor for the past decade, applied and will leave on Dec. 19. Don Hecker, an editor in the Times newsroom’s administration unit (and a cofounder of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute) is taking the buyout.

Assistant business editor Jack Lynch says we can add him to our list.

Interactive news desk editor Lexi Mainland tells Poynter she is taking the buyout, as is photographer Fred R. Read more

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Young conservative journalists aren’t too worried about the mainstream media

Bloomberg Politics

Journalists at the Washington Free Beacon, The Federalist and the Independent Journal Review are more concerned with faulty explainer journalism and Jon Stewart clips than proving bias in the mainstream media, Dave Weigel writes.

A previous generation of conservatives trained their guns on Dan Rather and the network news that Americans used to watch. The newer generation does not fear the mainstream media. It pities the media, and understands, after a generation of Matt Drudge and Fox News, that manipulating it is child’s play. On the new sites, a little reporting and a little snark can expose that the government, and its defenders in the press, are puffing up their expertise to hide their incompetence.

But that doesn’t mean the more traditional conservative critique of U.S. mainstream media has gone away: Just today, some conservatives hit how much coverage (now reportedly former) congressional staffer Elizabeth Lauten’s dopey remarks about the president’s kids received in mainstream outlets. Read more

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