Benjamin Mullin


I write, edit, report and produce media for as one of the institute's first Google Journalism Fellows. Before that, I was the editor in chief of my college newspaper, The Orion, a freelancer for USA Today and an intern at a variety of publications throughout Northern California. I love to talk media and journalism! Tweet me @benmullin or email at

Longtime Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss steps down


Jim Amoss, the veteran journalist who steered the New Orleans Times-Picayune through its coverage of Hurricane Katrina and confronted a dramatic downturn in the newspaper industry, is stepping down from the editor’s job after 25 years.

He will be replaced by Mark Lorando, the state and metro editor of the Times-Picayune and its associated website,, according to the Times-Picayune. Amoss will become editor at large for Advance Digital.

NOLA Media Group president Ricky Mathews praised Amoss for decades of leadership amid the transition to digital journalism, per the Times-Picayune:

“Jim has been a great newsroom leader,” Mathews said. “When confronted with revolutionary changes in the way readers consume news and information, he led the multimedia transformation of the newsroom, and in the process, carried forward a tradition of journalistic excellence into the digital era.

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NBC News lands Hillary Clinton interview

NBC News

Hillary Clinton will sit for her third national TV interview as a presidential candidate with Andrea Mitchell Friday, NBC News has announced.

The interview will focus on Clinton’s presidential campaign, the GOP field and the controversy surrounding her use of a private server to send and receive emails while serving as Secretary of State.

The conversation will air first on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Friday at noon, according to NBC News. Excerpts will appear on the network’s flagship news and public affairs programs, including
“NBC Nightly News,” “TODAY,” and “Meet the Press.”

The interview is part and parcel of an ongoing effort on Clinton’s part to open herself to wider media scrutiny. In July, Clinton’s team announced the candidate would begin giving a series of national television interviews in effort to seize control of the narratives surrounding her campaign. Read more


David Axelrod named senior commentator at CNN

Politico | CNN

The White House revolving door has brought yet another staffer into the waiting arms of the media.

David Axelrod, formerly senior adviser to President Barack Obama, is joining CNN as a senior political commentator, Tom LoBianco writes for the network:

He has long been one of Obama’s most trusted campaign gurus. He was a senior adviser during Obama’s first term, ran both his White House bids and Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate race. Prior to that, Axelrod played a role in other major campaigns, including the Senate and presidential races of Paul Simon, the mayoral campaign of Harold Washington, the gubernatorial campaign of Deval Patrick, Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2000, and the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and John Edwards.

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Turkey frees 2 VICE News journalists; 1 remains jailed

The Associated Press

Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, two VICE News journalists who were imprisoned on charges of “knowingly and willingly” aiding a terrorist organization, have been released from prison, Suzan Fraser reports for The Associated Press.

Their translator, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, remains in custody “pending the conclusion of an investigation,” Fraser writes.

Hanrahan and Pendlebury were arrested along with Rasool last week and subsequently charged with assisting terrorists, accusations VICE calls “baseless” and “absurd.” Along with Rasool, they were reporting on escalating tensions between authorities and the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK. Read more

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‘The reaction has been bananas,’ says Amber Jamieson, who went topless to report on desnudas

Before Amber Jamieson pitched a literal exposé to her editor at the New York Post, she mentally prepared herself to appear nearly nude in the newspaper.

But when she began reporting, she had no idea her first-person account of working as a desnuda — the painted street performers in New York City — would grace the front page of the Post.

Several days and nearly 1,000 Twitter followers later, Jamieson says she was surprised by the feedback — most of it positive — the article elicited from fellow journalists and readers. Poynter caught up with Jamieson, who talked about the origins of the story, her short-lived experience as a performer and how she took notes on the job without a pen, paper or pockets. Read more


NYT editor: Botched Clinton story due to ‘sloppiness on deadline’

The Daily Beast

A flawed story that mistakenly said government officials sought a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of government information was a result of inattentive reporting on deadline, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove Wednesday.

“I think if you did an anthropological study of how we made the mistake, the mistake had nothing to do with the Clintons. The mistake had to do with some sloppiness on deadline.”

Baquet’s comments appeared in an article that asked whether The Times’, with its adversarial coverage of Clinton, was “at war” with the former Secretary of State. Spoiler alert: Baquet denies it.

“If you look at this reasonably, there is no institutional animus toward the Clintons. I don’t buy it,” Baquet told The Daily Beast.

Read more

Stelter scoops Byers with some personal news

CNN Money

Dylan Byers, one of POLITICO’s most prominent media reporters, is joining CNN, “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter reported for the network Wednesday.

In his new job at CNN, Byers will write for the network’s politics and business verticals, covering the “intersection of the two increasingly-connected worlds,” Stelter writes.

Byers, a scoopy, well-sourced reporter who is known for breaking news on Twitter, appears to have let Stelter report word of his move to CNN. One announcement preceded the other, with Byers announcing (in characteristic fashion) incoming news, then retweeting his new colleague.

Byers, a Seattle native, has been a staple of POLITICO’s media coverage for more than three years, running his eponymous blog with colleague Hadas Gold. Read more

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With ‘Only Clinton Emails,’ BuzzFeed brings a distributed approach to politics coverage

"Only Clinton Emails," a new Twitter account from BuzzFeed Politics, curates and highlights the most interesting excerpts from the Hillary Clinton email dump. (Screenshot)

“Only Clinton Emails,” a new Twitter account from BuzzFeed Politics, curates and highlights the most interesting excerpts from the Hillary Clinton email dumps. (Screenshot)

When a judge ordered the State Department to release a trove of emails from Hillary Clinton in dribs and drabs earlier this year, he fated U.S. news outlets for months of repetitive coverage.

By now, a clear pattern for the Clinton email story has been established: Every time a new batch of emails is released, reporters dutifully troll through the correspondences and file story after story summarizing their contents. The resulting articles have been a diverse mix of fluffy news, serious analysis and somewhat haphazard roundups (a recent article touched on the subjects of gefilte fish and the former Secretary of State’s TV preferences). Read more


Salon apologizes for calling Nicki Minaj’s speech ‘savage’

Salon on Monday apologized for an errant tweet (since deleted) that called Nicki Minaj’s acceptance speech at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards a “savage, expletive-laden rant,” responding to criticism from readers who said the tweet was racist.

The bulletin, sent this morning from Salon’s main Twitter account, promoted a story summarizing a heated moment at last night’s VMA awards, when Minaj called host Miley Cyrus a bitch for remarks she made in the press. “The look on Miley’s face during Nicki Minaj’s savage, expletive-laden rant says it all,” the tweet read:

Salon quickly reversed itself, deleting the original tweet and posting a revised version that called Minaj’s rebuttal “raw” and “righteous.”

But it was too late. Read more

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VICE journalists charged with terrorism in Turkey

Journalists for VICE News were formally charged with “working on behalf of a terrorist organization” by a Turkish court Monday, days after they were arrested by authorities for lack of proper accreditation.

The VICE crew was reporting in the city of Diyarbakir in the country’s predominantly Kurdish region when they were arrested last week for lack of proper government identification, “security sources” told Reuters Friday.

Kevin Sutcliffe, VICE’s head of news programming for Europe, called the terrorism charges “baseless and alarmingly false” in a statement, saying the arrests represented an attempt to “intimidate and censor” the journalists.

“VICE News condemns in the strongest possible terms the Turkish government’s attempts to silence our reporters who have been providing vital coverage from the region,” Sutcliffe said in the statement. Read more

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