Alicia Shepard


Largest German newspaper rejects prestigious prize it would have shared with tabloid

The Henri Nannen Prize is considered the most prestigious journalism print prize in Germany, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize in the United States.

So it came as a surprise earlier this month when, at the annual awards ceremony in Hamburg, three journalists from Sueddeutsche Zeitung rejected the award for the investigative news category.

The judging is similar to the Pulitzers in that submissions are weeded down to three finalists. This year, however, the Henri Nannen judges could not decide between two of the three finalists in the investigative news category. So they split the prize between Sueddeutsche, the largest broadsheet in Germany, and Bild, a populist New York Post-style tabloid that runs pictures of half-naked women inside.

It was the first time the award had been split, said Susanne Hacker, a spokesperson for the Henri Nannen Prize, by email. Read more


ASNE chooses five women editors for leadership panel

The opening panel of the American Society of News Editor’s convention on Tuesday starred an unusual lineup: five heavy-hitting top female journalists.

ASNE, long a bastion of white male editors, intentionally decided to have a high-powered, women-only panel this year. It was the brainchild of Wanda Garner Cash, associate director of University of Texas’s journalism school, who has held several top newspaper editor jobs.

“This is extremely rare, probably unprecedented in my life,” said panelist Chrystia Freeland. (Photo by Alicia Shepard)

The “Innovative Newsroom Leadership” panel included Jill Abramson, editor of The New York Times; Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post; Kathleen Carroll, AP executive editor; Donna Byrd, publisher of of; and Chrystia Freeland, editor of Thomson Reuters Digital. Gwen Ifill of “Washington Week” and PBS “NewsHour”moderated. Read more

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The iconic photos of Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman & why you may not see the others

Since the shooting of Trayvon Martin became national news, two photos have come to define the emotionally and racially charged narrative.

News organizations initially had just a few photos of Martin to choose from, and just one of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed him. More recent photos have emerged lately, but a month after the shooting, the narrative already has been established.

This is the most recognized image of Trayvon Martin, although it’s several years old. (Associated Press)

“The challenge we have is a lot of folks are getting a very surface view from the photos,” said Orlando Sentinel photo editor Tom Burton. “Photos can be used to get people emotionally involved and we need to be careful. It’s a concern if we had more of a choice, but we are limited by availability.”

The dominant photo of Martin shows him 13 or 14 years old, wearing a red Hollister T-shirt. Read more


Chicago Public Radio to examine what went wrong with ‘This American Life’ story on Apple
The leaders of Chicago Public Radio and “This American Life” will conduct an in-depth examination into why they had to retract perhaps the most popular episode in the show’s nearly 17-year-history.

Torey Malatia, president of Chicago Public Radio, which produces “This American Life,” told me for a story that he wants to see what went wrong with the show’s fact-checking:

`“We are doing a forensic on this whole thing as soon as Ira [Glass] gets back, and we will write up some policies on verification and confirmation,” Malatia said. “Our managing editor, Ira and some folks from other shows will be involved, and there will be a report handed over to our board for approval.” …

“My instincts are that, had the procedures been followed the way it is usually done, you never would have heard the initial broadcast,” Malatia said.

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CNN producer wins $1 million lottery, says ‘I’m not quitting my job’

Late last Saturday night, CNN producer Jennifer Hauser and her husband, on a whim, bought a $10 lottery ticket to mark their seventh wedding anniversary.

They scratched off the blue “50X The Money” ticket and couldn’t believe their eyes. They’d won $1 million. Only three months before, the lucky couple won $100,000.

“It was late at night and I was pretty tired and had to be up at 6 a.m. to work the next day,” said Hauser, 29. “I didn’t really believe it was real.”

On Monday, she took the ticket to the Georgia Lottery and they confirmed that she was indeed a two-time lottery winner.

Did she want to hold a press conference?, they asked.

No way, she wanted to keep this quiet, like she had with the previous win. Read more

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Park City paper shifts coverage from government to celebrities during Sundance

Reporter Jay Hamburger’s beat is county government in the 7,500-population hamlet of Park City, Utah – but anything goes when the Sundance Film Festival kicks in.

“How could I forget my story, ‘Lady Gaga-dressed man arrested at Occupy protest on Main Street‘?” said Hamburger, who has reported for The Park Record for 14 years. “That’s a Sundance-only type story.”

Every third week in January since 1981, Sundance has premiered thousands of films in Park City. Some 50,000 pour into town over 10 days, dramatically shifting the coverage from local politics and property disputes to parties and stories on the latest movies.

Each year, the 132-year-old paper kicks into gear for the onslaught.

Nan Chalat-Noaker has been the Park Record’s editor for 16 years.

“We have this delicate balance,” said Nan Chalat-Noaker, editor since 1996. Read more

Eric Carvin

Eric Carvin’s social media goal: ‘To get to every last journalist at AP’

AP’s new social media editor, Eric Carvin, 38, got his first computer in grade school. His mom won the IBM PCjr. in one of many sweepstakes contests she regularly entered by mailing in dozens of postcards.

“I was in fourth or fifth grade and someone from the front office stopped me and told me my mom had just won me a computer,” said Carvin. “I was so excited. The one characteristic of this computer that was unusual was it had a keyboard that wasn’t attached to the computer but had an infrared sensor that connected it. You could say it was the Bluetooth of the day.”

It was also a big flop.

“We won it just as it was being discontinued,” said Carvin’s mother, Nancy. Read more


‘60 Minutes’ story on homeless children in Florida spurs $1 million in donations

“60 Minutes” doesn’t often do updates unless it re-airs an old story. But it will this weekend because of the overwhelming response to its story on homeless kids living in vehicles in Florida.

Since the piece aired Nov. 27, offers of cash, housing and even scholarships have poured in. The children in the story “didn’t ask for anything,” “60 Minutes” Correspondent Scott Pelley will say this Sunday, according to a transcript. “But since our broadcast, viewers have sent in or promised more than $1 million to help homeless families in Central Florida.”

Three colleges also offered two children in the story, Arielle and Austin Metzger, full scholarships, and all the parents in the story have been offered jobs, according to “60 Minutes.” One of the schools is Stetson University; Arielle wore a Stetson T-shirt in the first story. Read more


CPI reduces staff to compensate for $2 million budget hole

The Center for Public Integrity laid off staff today to try to compensate for a $2 million budget shortfall.

Ten positions were eliminated, and five people lost their jobs with the Washington-based nonprofit journalism organization. One of those five people was transferred to a newly-created position within CPI, according to Communications Director Randy Barrett.

Sandy Johnson and Keith Epstein were among those laid off. Johnson started working at the Center one year ago this week. She was the managing editor for politics and government. Epstein was also a managing editor.

“It’s a very difficult position,” said Bill Buzenberg, CPI’s director, who also handled the 2007 layoffs when nine people lost their jobs.

“We started 2011 with a lot of momentum. It was the most money we’ve ever had rolling into 2011. Read more


Journalists have better communication tools than on Sept. 11, but challenges persist

Ten years ago on Sept. 11, Paul Steiger was standing in lower Manhattan repeatedly dialing his cell phone to call The Wall Street Journal, where he was managing editor.

But his cell didn’t work. Nor could he use a pay phone — he didn’t have enough change. He vowed to carry a roll of quarters from then on; that only lasted a few years, considering pay phones are all but gone and BlackBerrys and their ilk are more sophisticated than a decade ago.

If a catastrophe the size of 9/11 were to occur today, Steiger would have many more options for reaching the office or loved ones. But he likely would face the same jammed wireless lines that made his cell unusable that day.

The gadgets may be more powerful and plentiful now, but wireless capacity hasn’t grown at the same rate. Read more

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