Benjamin Mullin

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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.


NPR: Before you write a correction — or correct that correction — notify the author

NPR

On Thursday, we pointed out a variety of correction rarely glimpsed in the wild: a correction-correction-clarification.

Clarification

May 21, 2015

In a previous correction on this post, we corrected something that was actually correct. So we have corrected that correction. It had to do with Celsius temperatures.

NPR deserves plaudits for the abundance of transparency demonstrated above. But the correction itself might have been avoided if the corrector got in touch with the correctee, NPR Standards and Practices Editor Mark Memmott writes:

This note is a reminder that when we think an error has been made, the people who did the work need to be notified immediately so that they can help determine if it really was a mistake.

He notes that obviously wrong and serious errors sometimes have to be fixed before the responsible party can be reached, “but they should still be notified immediately.” Read more

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Paul Krugman didn’t know he was on Twitter until he had more than a half-million followers

The New York Times

Most journalists must toil away in 140-character dispatches for years before they manage to accrue a hefty Twitter following. Not so for New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who had 600,000 followers before he realized his Twitter feed was extant. Here’s an excerpt from an item published early this morning titled “Blogging Begins.”

A proper blog came much later, when I realized that I wanted a place to put the backstory behind my Times columns; the Times added a Twitter feed (which I didn’t even know existed until Andy Rosenthal casually mentioned that I had 600,000 followers). And so here we are today.

Krugman now has more than a million followers on Twitter.

(h/t Ezra Klein) Read more

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Career Beat: Doug Sutton named general manager of WUPV

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

  • Doug Sutton is now general manager of WUPV in Richmond, Virginia. Previously, he was general manager of WHDF Huntsville, Alabama. (TVNewsCheck)
  • Cristine Couldridge is now general manager of WXTX in Columbus, Georgia. Previously, Couldridge was general sales manager at KWES in Midland, Texas. (TVNewsCheck)
  • Russ Newton will be president and chief operating officer for The San Diego Union-Tribune. He is senior vice president for operations at the Los Angeles Times. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Job of the day: Planet Money is looking for a correspondent. Get your résumés in! (NPR)

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

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PBS ombud: Judy Woodruff’s Clinton Foundation donation a ‘mistake’

PBS

Michael Getler, the ombudsman for PBS, called on Thursday a decision by “PBS NewsHour” managing editor Judy Woodruff to donate to the Clinton Foundation “a mistake”:

Woodruff has had a distinguished, 45-year journalistic career, holding down important positions with CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS. She has always struck me as straight and professional in her approach to the news and, having watched her now for several years, I couldn’t tell you how she’d vote. But there are lots of ways to contribute to Haitian earthquake relief. So the choice of the Clinton Foundation, even in a small amount and with the best of intentions, was a mistake in my book.

As Getler explains, Woodruff recently discussed on air a donation of $250 to the Haiti Relief Fund, a charitable initiative founded by the Clinton Foundation in 2010 when the country was reeling from a massive earthquake. Read more

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Tribune Publishing restores San Diego Union-Tribune’s old name

Tribune Publishing just closed the deal on the newspaper formerly known as U-T San Diego. One of the first orders of business: restoring the paper’s old name.

The San Diego Union-Tribune (as it’s now called) already has a new Twitter avatar that reflects the changed name.

Austin Beutner, the publisher of the California News Group, explained the name change in a letter to Union-Tribune readers published Thursday. The paper was rechristened to reflect “the proud history of this organization,” he wrote. Read more

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New York Times hires 2 from Washington Post

The New York Times is hiring away two journalists from The Washington Post, according to an announcement from Post editors sent to staffers Thursday.

Michael Gold, a ‎social media producer for The Washington Post, is leaving for New York along with Tim Herrera, who’s been the brains behind “several buzzy stories” for the newspaper, according to the memo.

Both joined The Post last year within weeks of each other.

Here’s the memo:

We are sad to announce that Michael Gold and Tim Herrera will be leaving us to join The New York Times. The pair started at The Post within weeks of each other (just over a year ago) and are departing within days. Michael’s last day is May 29 and Tim’s last day is May 27.

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NPR publishes Holy Grail of corrections

NPR

Since I started on this beat nearly a year ago, I’ve seen a lot of corrections. Some are funny, some are morbid and some seem obvious in retrospect. But NPR on Thursday published something I’ve never witnessed before — the seldom-seen correction-correction-clarification.

Clarification

May 21, 2015

In a previous correction on this post, we corrected something that was actually correct. So we have corrected that correction. It had to do with Celsius temperatures.

RELATED: NPR: Before you write a correction — or correct that correction — notify the author. Read more

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NPR ombud: Hosts shouldn’t plug their own books on air

NPR

The long-standing routine of NPR employees using the network’s airtime to discuss their own books has got to stop, NPR ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen wrote Thursday.

NPR hosts, correspondents, producers and contributors write an awful lot of books, many of them eagerly anticipated by listeners who turn them into bestsellers. But I believe NPR should not routinely help their cause by featuring the books on air and online. NPR’s new top news executive concurs, in part, particularly when it comes to show hosts discussing their own outside projects on their own shows.

By way of example, she cited a recent appearance by “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep, who discussed his new book “Jacksonland” on the show.

This sort of thing is unacceptable, Jensen writes:

Nonetheless, NPR should not be featuring a host’s book on his or her own program (and no longer will be; see below.) Overall, it also ought to be much more stingy when handing out these features to fellow staff members, particularly when it comes to the main newsmagazines, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and their weekend counterparts.

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Shooting Military Building Capitol

Study: Washington insiders haven’t given up on print

Capitol Hill. (Image credit: The Associated Press)

The U.S. Capitol. (Image credit: The Associated Press)

Although Washington insiders are consuming lots of digital news, they still value the “credibility and access” of print publications, according to a study released Wednesday by the National Journal.

According to the survey, the National Journal’s fifth, 69 percent of Capitol Hill staffers said they read print publications because they were readily available; 59 percent said they chose ink-and-paper editions because of their credibility.

The report was based on a survey of 1,200 “Washington insiders,” who gave answers over a period of four weeks, according to the study. The group included 120 staffers from Capitol Hill, nearly 400 federal executives and 600 people from the “private sector public affairs community.” They answered multiple-choice questions and also penned longer responses. Read more

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Meet Cafe.com, the political news site with a sales strategy

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on Thursday profiled Cafe.com, a news site that’s aiming to be a “blend between Vox, BuzzFeed, the New York Times, and Amazon.”

Here’s the pitch, as told by founder Vinit Bharara to Smith:

“We’re trying to create these big blocs of communities,” Bharara said. Rather than simply serve readers display ads, the challenge is to “act as their union rep, go to the brands, and figure out a mutually advantageous way” to sell readers products. In the case of Scary Mommy, that could be diapers; on Cafe, Bharara suggested he might connect readers to advocacy groups. The site’s revenue would come from vendors, not readers.

Media companies once dreamed of being the home base for engaged, passionate communities, but that has declined alongside the rise of mobile, and of Facebook and Twitter.

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