Steve Myers

Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans. Before working at Poynter Online, Steve spent about six years in Mobile, Ala., as a reporter for the Press-Register, focusing on local government accountability. He was a 2006 Ohio State University Kiplinger Fellow and an Open Society Institute Katrina Media Fellow. Contact him by email at myers.news@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @myersnews.


zakaria

Time, CNN reinstate Fareed Zakaria after plagiarism investigations

Time magazine has finished reviewing Fareed Zakaria’s columns after he lifted a few lines from a New Yorker story. The magazine is “entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident.” The column will resume Sept. 7.

The statement from Time spokeswoman Ali Zelenko:

We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7.

CNN has also completed its review of Zakaria’s work and says he will return to his show, “GPS,” on Sunday, August 26. The statement reads: Read more

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Could The New York Times Co. go private?

Bloomberg
The New York Times Co. is “better positioned than ever” to become privately held, writes Bloomberg’s Edmund Lee. Its stock price is low and it has built up a lot of cash through recent sales of its regional papers and the Red Sox; it may soon sell About.com.

Times Co. would have about $840 million in cash and short-term investments — equal to 61 percent of its $1.37 billion market value — if it succeeds in selling how-to website About.com. That would be more cash versus its market value than any U.S. publisher worth $200 million or more, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dueling analysts:

  • “Now would be a good time for the company to go private … The Times and other print newspapers are at an all-time low in valuations. They have been ‘cleaning up’ the business by selling off orphan assets for some time now.” — Reed Phillips, managing partner and co-founder of investment bank DeSilva & Phillips
  • “It’s a big stretch to go private,” Atorino said.
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Mark Thompson’s big unknown as NYT CEO: Revenue-building

paidContentThe Daily BeastGigaOM | Newsonomics | Poynter | WNYC
One of the biggest questions about the selection of Mark Thompson as CEO of The New York Times Co. is how he’ll help the company make money and build new revenue streams.

The main source of revenue at the BBC, where Thompson was director general, is an annual “license fee” of £145.50 per household. The New York Times’ sources of revenue are, well, voluntary. That’s going to be a big change for Thompson, according to The Daily Beast’s Peter Jukes:

Though he spent two years as the head of Channel 4, which relies on advertising for income, the channel is actually protected by legislation and has a public-service remit. No such protection is afforded to The New York Times, and all Thompson’s experiments will be tested by the hard metrics of the bottom line. Though his managerial and political skills will stand him in good stead with the paper’s empire and the Sulzberger family, it won’t necessarily generate new readers willing to fork out money for digital versions of the paper.

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How social media can improve your reporting on protest movements

Los Angeles Times reporter Kate Linthicum has spent her share of time at Occupy protests, but she’s found social media to be essential in tracking the movement online.

“So much of the Occupy movement has played out online,” she said via email. “Just as much as encampments, it’s where many protesters met, strategized and documented their demonstrations.”

By monitoring those channels, “I had at my fingertips literally hundreds of first-person narratives reflecting in real time the thing I was trying to explain to readers.”

Linthicum and Martin Beck, the Times’ reader engagement editor, took part in a Poynter live chat about how reporters can use social media to track protest movements.

Though Linthicum has used these techniques to cover the Occupy movement, other journalists can use them to cover protests at the political conventions in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.

Among the topics we discussed:

  • How social media can help you find key people involved in “leaderless” movements
  • How you can use Twitter and Facebook to find photos and videos
  • How social media can help you decide if you should go to the scene
  • How Facebook and Twitter can help you track a movement when there isn’t news
  • The importance of email listservs

You can replay the chat below. Read more

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YMCA executive named new chief fundraiser for NPR

NPR
Monique Hanson will start as NPR’s chief development officer in October, filling the last position left vacant since a turbulent period in late 2010 and early 2011, when three of the nonprofit’s top executives left.

Hanson will oversee “major and planned giving, and foundation grants, which taken together are NPR’s third largest source of revenue,” according to NPR. She’ll work with the NPR Foundation, which holds most of Joan Kroc’s $230 million endowment.

Hanson has spent the last several years raising money for the YMCA, which NPR notes is a $5 billion organization.”She was specifically brought on board to dramatically enhance contributed revenue and reposition the national corporate and foundation profile,” NPR says in a news release. Read more

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Adrian Holovaty leaving EveryBlock after 5 years

Holovaty.com | EveryBlock
Adrian Holovaty is leaving EveryBlock five years after launching the site with the help of a $1.1 million Knight News Challenge grant.

There was no single event, person or experience that swayed my decision — just a gradual realization that I’ve done what I wanted to do with EveryBlock and am hungry for the next thing. I’ve really enjoyed building the site, collaborating with talented people and breaking ground in several areas, from open data to mapping to local news — but I’ve realized lately that I don’t have the passion for it that I once did.

Msnbc.com bought EveryBlock in 2009; unlike most acquisitions, Holovaty writes, this one has worked.

Msnbc.com has been a fantastic company to work for. With EveryBlock, it’s managed to do something very rare: not only keeping it alive post-acquisition (which the acquired company cannot take for granted), but achieving the delicate balance of providing guidance/resources and keeping their hands off.

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Game changer: AP Stylebook moves faster than Merriam-Webster as linguistic authority

Merriam-WebsterAssociated Press | The Atlantic Wire
Merriam-Webster has officially sanctioned a bunch of words by adding them to the dictionary, hereby removing most of the fun of saying things like “F-bomb” and “sexting.” Merriam-Webster paints this as a way of keeping up with the changing nature of language, but of course we all know that it’s a direct challenge to the AP Stylebook, which every cardiganed copy editor knows is the true arbiter of a journalist’s vocabulary.

The inclusion of these words raises an interesting question: Which is more in tune with the English language: Merriam-Webster, which traces its origins to the early 1800s, or the AP’s Stylebook, which only two years ago sanctioned “website“? (Related question: If AP Stylebook and Merriam-Webster are enjoying a drink at a bar and Urban Dictionary walks in, do they even give him a polite nod?)

Herewith, a list of some newly-added words, with the closest corresponding guidance from the AP. Read more

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Fareed Zakaria says many journalists don’t attribute quotations

The Atlantic
After Fareed Zakaria apologized last week for plagiarizing a couple of passages from a New Yorker article, reporters reminded Jeffrey Goldberg of an incident in 2009 in which Zakaria had used quotations from two of Goldberg’s stories without noting their source. Zakaria has now responded to Goldberg, arguing that what he did is common:

I think it is quite untrue that it is standard journalistic practice to name the interviewer when quoting from an interview. Look through the New Yorker, the New York Times, or any other prestigious publication and you will see that most quotes from interviews do NOT mention the name of the interviewer. This is a subject close to my heart since I interview people every Sunday. On Monday, we get clips of the papers, magazines, and blogs that quote from these interviews. Most do not mention my name. Many do not even mention CNN.

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Mobile Web, apps won the Olympics

paidContent | The New York Times | The Times of London
Sixty percent of traffic to the official London2012.com website and apps came from mobile devices, according to Alex Balfour, the head of new media for the London Organizing Committee. That’s partly due to the fact that the committee had several apps, reports paidContent’s Robert Andrews.

Balfour’s statistics provide an interesting window into the shift to mobile. On Sunday, Aug. 5, desktop computer traffic peaked twice, around 3 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. Mobile traffic, however, was always higher than desktop, continuing to climb as desktop traffic dropped after 3 p.m. and shooting up around 7 p.m. In the evening, mobile traffic was often twice that of desktop. (See slide 21 below.)

A sample of weekday traffic showed the same peaks for desktop Web traffic at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but mobile Web and apps (phone and tablet) again started to rise at 7 p.m. Read more

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NY photojournalist gets cameras back after arrest, but not press credentials

NPPA | The New York Times
Robert Stolarik’s cameras were confiscated when he was arrested on Aug. 4 while photographing police on a public street. He has them back now, but he still hasn’t received his press credentials. Stolarik met with NYPD’s Internal Affairs unit on Monday to discuss his complaint against the officers who beat and arrested him.

In an interview with the Times, NPPA lawyer Mickey Osterreicher says “the war on terrorism has somehow morphed into an assault on photography,” both by the press and the general public.

“Literally every day, someone is being arrested for doing nothing more than taking a photograph in a public place. It makes no sense to me. Photography is an expression of free speech,” Osterreicher says.

NYPD has issued guidelines telling officers not to interfere with the press, but Osterreicher said the problem persists.

I believe that the problem is it’s ingrained in the police culture.

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