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

Julie Drizin will be executive director of Current

American University | Current

The American University School of Communication announced Friday that Julie Drizin will be the first executive director of Current, the news organization devoted to covering non-profit media in America.

Drizin is the director of the Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland, which announced earlier this year it would close due to lack of financial support.

Current is seeking to expand its coverage, according to a release from American University. It currently has a team of five editors and reporters, along with “a corps of freelance contributors.”

Here’s the release:

The American University School of Communication has hired public media journalist, producer, and critic Julie Drizin for the new position of Executive Director of Current, as the newspaper and website seeks to expand its coverage and impact in U.S. public and nonprofit media spaces.

“I am thrilled to be coming home to public media as the Executive Director of Current,” says Drizin.

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Guardian: NYT makes ‘big move’ into London

The Guardian

The New York Times will move “up to 100″ staff to a new digital center in London, The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade reported Friday.

Greenslade writes that the new outpost, which will be based in the Bloomsbury borough of England’s capital city, will “become the newspaper’s European digital hub and centre for the paper’s international issues.”

There is no question of the Paris office itself – home for so long to the iconic International Herald Tribune – being closed. It is simply believed that London is a more appropriate place from which to cover the European continent.

According to a Property Week article, the paper’s owners have signed a deal for the entire 9,000 sq ft building at close to the asking rental fee of £50 a sq ft.

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Washington Post commenter speaks gibberish

A commenter Friday began deciphering the gobbledygook posted underneath a Washington Post story that was published in error.


The story, which was labeled “Test — delete this,” consisted of a series of random keystrokes with no apparent meaning.

But that didn’t stop a commenter named “Rob_” from parsing the bogus copy for deeper truths:

The first two instances of “asdf” are easily attributable to the four left hand home letters on the QWERTY keyboard. But in the third instance, the letters are transposed to “sdaf.” Exactly what the author intends by this is unknowable, but it cannot be denied that it evidences a narrative arc, a challenge to our preconceptions. In spite of the passage’s minimalism — perhaps because of the passage’s minimalism — the author establishes himself as a modernist force to be reckoned with.

Perhaps worried that his or her opus wasn’t yet ready for the public, the modernist recluse promptly deleted the post, then replaced it with an editor’s note posted in 2010 in the National section explaining the error. Read more


Company takes out ad for departing New York Times reporter

On page B11 of Friday’s New York Times, you’ll find a full-page ad, taken out by Interpublic Group in honor of advertising reporter Stuart Elliott, who took a buyout from The Times. It reads:

For more than two decades, you’ve asked the tough questions — often twenty at a time. Through it all, no one explained our fast-changing industry with more enthusiasm and insight. Or captured as clearly just how much fun it can be to work in advertising.

Thank you for your encyclopedic knowledge, your fair-minded skepticism, and some memorable headlines along the way. Not bad for a guy from Brooklyn.

All of us at IPG wish you the very best, Stuart.

Here’s the ad:


IPG wished Elliott good luck on Twitter, too:

I would be remiss if I didn’t note that that ad doesn’t strictly follow AP style (Oxford comma, 20 spelled out), but I’m sure Elliott won’t mind. Read more


Career Beat: Joel Lovell joins ‘This American Life,’ The Atavist

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

  • Joel Lovell will join “This American Life” and The Atavist. He was editing special projects for The New York Times. (Huffington Post)
  • Hernán Rozemberg will be editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current. He is metro editor for the Lafayette Journal and Courier. (Media Moves)
  • Mike Wilson will be editor of The Dallas Morning News. He’s the managing editor of FiveThirtyEight. (Poynter)
  • Byron Pitts has been named co-anchor of “Nightline.” Pitts is chief national correspondent at ABC News. (Huffington Post)
  • Ben Pershing will be editor at National Journal Daily. He’s the Washington editor at National Journal. Tim Alberta is now a senior political correspondent at National Journal. Previously, he was senior editor of National Journal Hotline. Shane Goldmacher is a senior political correspondent for National Journal. Previously, he was a congressional correspondent there.
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5 holiday gift ideas for the journalist in your life

Journalism is great, but doing Christmas shopping for my colleagues often feels like a back-to-school trip to Office Depot.

If you, like me, think Christmas calls for more than paperclips and Post-It notes, try out the following gift ideas this year:

  1. Selfie stick
    These telescoping vanity poles get a lot of bad press, and with good reason. If you’re not familiar, selfie sticks allow you to increase the distance between the camera and your duck face, making it easy to contort your body into appealing shapes.

    But unlike the average citizen, who would use this gift to snap thousands of pictures of their food, or their face, or their food entering their face, journalists have an actual professional justification for owning these remote-controlled narcissism rods. He or she can use it as a monopod, which come in handy to take pictures of a march or protest, or as a video stabilizer.

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National Press Photographers Association moving to Grady College


The University of Georgia

The National Press Photographers Association will move its headquarters to Grady College at The University of Georgia, the university announced Thursday.

The NPPA, which is currently based in Durham, North Carolina, will offer Grady College students access to “visiting professionals, participation in workshops taught by NPPA staff and members, and employment opportunities,” according to the release.

NPPA and Grady College also plan to embark on joint fundraising campaigns and apply for grants for visual journalism projects, according to the release.

Here’s the announcement:

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced that the National Press Photographers Association will relocate its headquarters to the Athens, Georgia, campus in early 2015.

NPPA is the voice of visual journalists, representing photographers, videographers, multimedia journalists, editors, designers, visual managers and academics, with nearly 6,000 members nationwide and around the world.

“UGA’s Grady College and NPPA share a deep commitment to excellence in journalism,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

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Mike Wilson named editor of The Dallas Morning News

Mike Wilson, managing editor of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight, will be the next editor of The Dallas Morning News, the paper announced Thursday in a staff memo.

Wilson, who visited the Morning News for an interview earlier this month, will replace Bob Mong, who has been editor of the paper since 2001.

Before he joined FiveThirtyEight, Wilson was managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times. Before that, he was a newsfeatures editor at The Tampa Bay Times. During his stint at the paper, he was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.

Prior to arriving at The Times, Wilson was a longtime writer and editor at the Miami Herald.

Mong announced in August he would step aside sometime in 2015, after nearly 35 years at the Morning News. After Wilson begins at The News in February, Mong will become Editor Emeritus to assist in the transition.

Here’s the memo:


To: One and All

From: Jim and Bob

Re: Mike Wilson to become editor of The Dallas Morning News

We are pleased to announce that Mike Wilson will become the new editor of The Dallas

Morning News and will assume his new duties on Feb.

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Why New York magazine isn’t changing its bogus headline


New York magazine ran with a too-good-to-be-true tale Sunday featuring a teen who managed to score millions on the stock market before getting his high school diploma.

As has been widely reported, the story unraveled when The New York Observer published an interview with the teen, Mohammed Islam, in which he admitted the whole story had been a sham.

New York first appended an editor’s note saying that although Islam denied making millions, the magazine had seen bank statements verifying his worth. Later, the magazine issued a full apology for the article, admitting the staff had been “duped.”

But as of Thursday, the incorrect headline remains unchanged. Why?

“With the Editor’s note explaining that the story was false, we wanted to leave the story and headline intact for the record,” wrote Lauren Starke, director of public relations for New York.

The magazine has amended the original headline to show that the $72 million was a rumored figure, but it didn’t edit it to show that the premise of the story is inaccurate. Read more


Tasneem Raja named senior digital editor at NPR

Tasneem Raja, interactive editor at Mother Jones, has been named digital editor of NPR’s identity and culture unit, according to a staff memo from NPR unit executive producer Carline Watson and Lynette Clemetson, director of editorial initiatives at NPR.

Raja, who was previously an interactive producer at The Bay Citizen and a features reporter at The Chicago Reader, will join the unit’s 11-person team in late January, according to the memo.

Here’s the announcement:

Dear All,

We have great news to share from the Identity and Culture Unit: We have hired Tasneem Raja to be our Senior Digital Editor, and she is a catch!

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