Posts by Benjamin Mullin

About Benjamin Mullin

Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics. He's also reported for USA TODAY College and The Sacramento Bee, and he was editor in chief of The Orion, Chico State's student-run newspaper. An Air Force brat who grew up around Northern California, he's still adjusting to the Florida sunshine.
POYNTER

Tribune Publishing rejects Gannett's offer, announces $70 million investment

Tribune Publishing turned down a $864 million offer from Gannett to buy the company on Monday as it announced a $70 million investment from a new shareholder. The pair of developments is the latest in a weeks-long battle between Tribune Publishing and Gannett for control of the company and 11 of America's most storied daily newspapers, including the Los … Read More
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The New York Times of the future is beginning to take shape

An ambitious effort to overhaul The New York Times is beginning to come into focus. In a memo sent to staffers Friday, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet outlined several steps in a project, announced in February, to remake the newsroom in a bid for "journalistic dominance." Among them: A shift away from commodity coverage. "The digital news … Read More
POYNTER

A timeline of the messy newspaper war between Gannett and Tribune Publishing

If you blinked today, you might've missed the latest volley in the weeks-long trench warfare between the newspaper companies Gannett and Tribune Publishing. If the headline looks familiar, that's because both companies have been posturing in public since late April, when Gannett unveiled its $815 million bid to take over the Chicago-based Tribune Publishing. Talks between the two … Read More
POYNTER

Gannett slams Tribune bosses in letter to shareholders

Update, 2:50 p.m.: Tribune Publishing responded in a press release, calling Gannett's statement "misleading": Once again, Jeff Lewis and Robert Dickey are misleading investors with half-truths and conjecture designed to mask their desperate need to acquire Tribune Publishing to save their own business and their positions. This latest statement contradicts what Gannett has been stating to our shareholders, that … Read More
POYNTER

PRX launches RadioPublic, a company that aims to redefine audio with a new app

By now, media types can recite by name companies that have been spawned by the so-called "great podcast renaissance." Panoply. Gimlet. Pineapple Street Media. The mainstream success of "Serial," combined with increased listener demand and innovations in advertising technology, has ushered in an all-out landgrab for audiophiles looking to stake their claim in the early … Read More
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Inside USA TODAY's Facebook Live strategy

John Kasich was supposed to go live with USA TODAY. In the dwindling hours of his presidential run, the Ohio Governor was scheduled for a back-and-forth on Facebook Live. It would've been a newsmaker, given that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had dropped out the night before, putting Kasich in a two-way contest with Donald Trump. Then, after months of fighting … Read More
POYNTER

Elizabeth Spayd is the New York Times' next public editor

The New York Times announced Wednesday morning that Elizabeth Spayd will be its sixth public editor. Spayd, currently editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review, will join The New York Times later this summer. Per custom, Spayd will report to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, who praised her appointment in a statement. Liz is an … Read More
POYNTER

What does the First Amendment look like in the digital age? Knight and Columbia are spending $60 million to find out

The Washington Post and The Guardian shocked the world in the summer of 2013 when they pulled back the curtain on a global spying machine orchestrated in part by the U.S. government. The immediate legal blowback for the disclosures was mostly directed at Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor responsible for the leaks, who fled to Russia to avoid trial on … Read More
POYNTER

Allan Beaufour named senior vice president of engineering at The New York Times

Allan Beaufour, the former chief technology officer at web analytics company Chartbeat, has been appointed senior vice president of engineering at The New York Times. Beaufour, who will be responsible for data infrastructure across the The New York Times Company in addition to APIs and content management, will report to chief technology officer Nick Rockwell, according to a release from … Read More
POYNTER

Mic wants to promote activism with a new widget and messaging bot

Editorial policy at several digital-only news outlets reveals a stated belief that some issues don't have two sides. BuzzFeed favors "civil rights, women’s rights, anti-racism and LGBT equality." The Huffington Post openly declares Donald Trump to be "racist" and "a serial liar." Gawker Media's headlines frequently skew toward the unabashedly opinionated. Count … Read More
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Gannett doubles down on bid to buy Tribune Publishing

Gannett is trying to make Tribune Publishing Chairman Michael Ferro an offer he can't refuse. On Monday morning, Gannett upped its bid to purchase the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and nine other major dailies to $864 million, an increase of nearly $50 million from its previous offer of $815 million. The increased offer now values … Read More
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Washington Post denies Jeff Bezos sways coverage

Martin Baron, the executive editor of The Washington Post, hit back on Friday against characterizations made by presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is using the newspaper to advance his agenda. "As the individual who oversees The Washington Post’s news staff, I can say categorically that I have received no instructions from Jeff Bezos regarding our … Read More
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In the wake of furor, Facebook publishes explainer on Trending Topics

Facebook sought to quell the controversy stemming from accusations of bias creeping into its Trending Topics feature Thursday, publishing an explainer that breaks down the inner workings of the curation feature. At its core, Trending Topics is designed to help people discover major events and meaningful conversations. Trending Topics is a feature we added in 2014 — separate from … Read More
POYNTER

Going long(er): The Huffington Post doubles down on longform journalism initiative

When The Huffington Post was getting ready to launch Highline last year, its editors weren't wringing their hands (publicly) about drawing tons of eyeballs to their stories. Greg Veis and Rachel Morris, two transplants from the New Republic, just wanted to publish good, quality narrative journalism once a week. And they were betting readership would follow. A year, dozens … Read More
POYNTER

By dealing with Amazon and non-news organizations, can The Washington Post 'blow the top off' the CMS industry?

Shailesh Prakash doesn't want to oversell things. As chief information officer at the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, quality control and customer satisfaction are paramount. Thus, the caution. "My biggest fear is that I don't want people to think of this as vaporware," Prakash said. "That's my biggest worry." Prakash, a veteran executive who's spent his career at tech colossi … Read More