Benjamin Mullin

I write, edit, report and produce media for Poynter.org 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 bmullin@poynter.org.


New app from Longform allows freelancers to cultivate audiences

Longform.org, a website dedicated to curating excellent in-depth journalism, debuted its first iPhone app Wednesday. The app represents Longform.org’s first attempt at customization, allowing readers to tweak their story feeds according to their tastes.

“We’re trying to let you create your own reading list, your own diet,” said Longform.org founding editor Max Linsky in a phone interview.

Longform.org readers can now tailor their list of stories by following specific writers, a feature that will allow journalists to build up a following, Linsky said. This means freelancers who who are published by multiple news outlets can put all their work in one place, where their fans can see it.  The team at Longform.org is also planning to offer its writers the ability to view data for their stories, including scroll depth and number of views, Linsky said.… Read more

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High school newspaper editor suspended for refusal to use the term ‘redskin’

Student Press Law Center

The faculty adviser and student editor of a high school newspaper in southeast Pennsylvania were suspended amid a drawn-out fight over the paper’s refusal to use the term “redskin,” Anna Schiffbauer writes for the Student Press Law Center.

Tara Huber, adviser to Neshaminy High School’s Playwickian newspaper, was suspended without pay Tuesday and Wednesday by Neshaminy School District superintendent Robert Copeland, according to the SPLC. Copeland also suspended Playwickian editor-in-chief Gillian McGoldrick from her position for a month.

The suspensions stem from the paper’s decision not to use “redskin” in its pages, despite insistence from principal Rob McGee.

The fight began in October, when the Playwickian’s editorial board voted not to use the term in any of their content. In June, after editors refused to publish the term in a student op-ed, McGee called McGoldrick into his office for a meeting to discuss her decision and confiscated copies of the newspaper.… Read more

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Career Beat: Susan Glasser named editor of Politico

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Susan Glasser is now the editor of Politico. Previously, she was editor of Politico Magazine. (Politico)
  • Lindy West is now a pop culture writer for GQ. Previously, she covered pop culture for Jezebel. (Lindywest.net)
  • Megan Sowder-Staley is now vice president for product strategy at Roll Call. She was formerly director of product strategy there. (Fishbowl DC)
  • Chris Peck is now president of the American Society of News Editors. He is associate editor at the Riverton (Wyoming) Ranger (ASNE)
  • Kristen Donnelly has joined the DC bureau of NBC News. Previously, she was a senior producer at MSNBC. (TV Newser)

Job of the day: The Minneapolis (Minnesota) Star Tribune is looking for interns.… Read more

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News organizations continue to confuse llamas with alpacas

The New York Times

The New York Times added the following correction on Wednesday to a story about about Wisconsin llama races:

A picture caption on Monday with an article about llama races in Hammond, Wis., misidentified the animals shown running down the street. They are alpacas, not llamas. (While the llamas were the stars of the day, one race was designated just for alpacas, perhaps to make the llamas’ kissing cousins feel included.)

This isn’t the first time The Times has mistaken alpacas for their larger cousins. Last year, they trotted out a similar correction to an article about llama ownership:

Because of an editing error, an article last Thursday about keeping llamas as pets referred incorrectly to alpacas. They are bred for their wool; they are not beasts of burden, as are llamas.

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Gubernatorial candidate bars student journalists from marijuana presser

Student Press Law Center

Student journalists at Columbia College Chicago were turned away from an Illinois gubernatorial candidate’s press conference about medical marijuana because they weren’t considered part of the “working press,” Michael Bragg reports for the Student Press Law Center:

A press representative for Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, told the Columbia College students and their professor, Curtis Lawrence, that the press conference on medical marijuana was open only to the “working press.” Rauner, who is running against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, would not talk to the students, either.

Lawrence told the SPLC he asked Rauner to talk to the students as he was leaving the conference, but he said the candidate ignored him, not meeting his eyes before he was “whisked down the hallway.”

The students wanted to attend the presser for “Covering Politics,” a course at Columbia College Chicago that features live event coverage, Lawrence told the SPLC.… Read more

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Career beat: Dana Liebelson joins HuffPost Politics

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Dana Liebelson will be a political reporter at HuffPost Politics. She’s a reporter for Mother Jones. (Email)
  • Ashley Codianni is now a senior producer and digital correspondent for CNN Politics Digital. She’s Mashable’s director of news video. (Fishbowl DC)
  • Cara Parks has been named executive editor at Modern Farmer. She was previously a freelancer and deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. (Observer.com)
  • Suejin Yang has been named vice president and general manager of digital entertainment at People and Entertainment Weekly. Previously, she was vice president of Bravo Digital Media. (Fishbowl NY)

Job of the day: ProPublica is looking for a research editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org… Read more

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Is it original? An editor’s guide to identifying plagiarism

If you’re reading this, it happened again. Right now, an editor may be about to issue an apology or a stern rebuttal. Someone’s reputation and body of work is being scrutinized. And a gaggle of self-appointed fact-checkers may be plugging sentence after sentence into Google for any traces of dishonesty. If you’re reading this, a journalist has been accused of what Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark calls “the unoriginal sin”: plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious charge. If true, it has the potential to upend a career and mar a journalist’s reputation for life. And yet, in today’s world of aggregated news, plagiarism is an imprecise word that stands for a spectrum of offenses related to unoriginal work. And its severity varies dramatically depending on a variety of circumstances.… Read more

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Career Beat: Ryan Nobles named national correspondent for CNN

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Ryan Nobles is now a national correspondent for CNN. Previously, he was an anchor and reporter for WWBT in Richmond, Virginia. (CNN)
  • Preetma Singh has been named market director for Nylon. Formerly, she was market editor at WSJ Magazine. She’s also the drummer for Vomitface. (Email)
  • Danielle Jones has been named executive vice president for expansion at Politico. Previously, she was deputy editor-in-chief there. Miki King has been named executive vice president for operations at Politico. Previously, she was senior vice president of business development there. (Politico)
  • Carol Morello will be a diplomatic correspondent at The Washington Post. She covers the census and demographics there. (The Washington Post)
  • Theodore Kim is now a homepage editor at The New York Times.
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‘You learn it by doing it’: Readers weigh in on Berkeley’s proposed 10k fee

On Monday, I wrote about a proposed $10,250 supplemental fee at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. While I was compiling the (mostly unfavorable) responses, I asked Poynter’s readers whether they thought pricey graduate degrees were worthwhile. Here’s what they had to say:

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‘I believe I would major in English’: journalists decry Berkeley’s proposed 10k fee

Romenesko

UC Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism is considering imposing a $10,250 supplemental fee by the 2016-2017 academic year, Jim Romenesko reported Sunday. That would mean a 65 percent increase over the current cost of attendance for in-state students ($15,801, not counting books).

Predictably, journalism types greeted the news with some consternation:

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