Steve Myers


Steve Myers was the managing editor of 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 Follow him on Twitter at @myersnews.

Portland Press Herald to pay woman for using photograph without permission

The Portland Press Herald will pay a woman $400 for publishing a photograph from her Flickr account after she complained that she hadn’t given permission or been contacted beforehand.

The newspaper came under fire for using the photograph (in print and online) in connection with a story about how a local university had allowed a chaplain to return to campus after he had been accused of sexual abuse.

The paper then published an explanation of why it ran the photo, but later deleted the post. In its explanation, the newspaper said a reporter had tried to reach Audrey Ann Slade, but when he was unsuccessful, editors decided that they could legally publish the image under fair use.

Slade wrote on her blog that she was “floored” by the paper’s failure to reach her:

No attempt to contact me. No attempt to credit me. Just taking something I did and with no care or regard, dragged something I did to be kind into a sordid and disgusting story. With not so much as a heads up. …

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Science writers: Jonah Lehrer’s scientific errors worse than fabricated quotes

Discover Magazine | Psychology Today | Huffington Post | Meetings & Conventions

Jonah Lehrer’s fake Bob Dylan quotations detract from a more serious problem flagged by scientists while he was a rising star: his habit of misstating and mischaracterizing scientific facts. The problem, according to science writers, is that Lehrer isn’t a scientist, nor are his editors or readers.

A Discover Magazine commenter says he spotted an error in a 2010 New Yorker article by Lehrer, but “no amount of emailing or writing” The New Yorker would correct it. Read more


Another false quotation found in Jonah Lehrer’s ‘Imagine’

The Skeptical Libertarian
Teller, of the Penn & Teller magician duo, joins Bob Dylan as a famous person who didn’t say what Jonah Lehrer quoted him as saying in his book “Imagine.” Here’s what Lehrer claimed Teller said in 1981:

“I was definitely on the verge of giving up the dream of becoming a magician … I was ready to go back home and become a high-school Latin teacher.”

Kevin Breen thought that from Teller sounded suspicious, in part because it contradicted another Teller quotation in a story Lehrer wrote for Wired in 2009. So this week, Breen drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to ask Teller about it in person.

I read Teller his quote from the Wired article: “I always assumed I’d spend my life happily performing in artsy-fartsy little theaters,” before asking him about the contradictory quote in Lehrer’s book.

“That’s correct,” Teller confirmed, before pointing to the fabricated quote from Imagine, “This is not.”

There is another similarity between the fake quotations ascribed to Teller and Dylan: Both were discovered by people who are serious fans of the people being quoted. Read more


TechCrunch: Gannett buying Facebook advertising firm BLiNQ Media

TechCrunch | Gannett Blog
TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden and Josh Constine report that Gannett will pay “up to $92 million” for the Facebook advertising company firm BLiNQ Media, with $23 million coming upfront and the rest over the next few years.

The rationale behind the deal is clear: when brands buy ad placements on Gannett properties, it could use BLiNQ to also sell them ads on social sites and collect a solid margin.

Gannett is looking to BLiNQ, which has built up a profitable Facebook ads API business, to become G’s equivalent of the Washington Post Company’s SocialCode, its social media marketing and analytics agency (which picked up 15 Digg engineers in May). Gannett and BLiNQ, TechCrunch understands, have already been working together for about a year on ad campaigns for advertising clients, primarily via those brands’ agencies. This will bring more of that expertise in house.

Gannett Blog’s Jim Hopkins reacts:

A deal worth this much money would be one of the largest I can recall GCI ever signing. The only one approaching it would be the reported $100 million the company paid in 2005 for advertising services subsidiary PointRoll.

TechCrunch reported in July that BLiNQ had revamped its service to allow clients to track app installations, “buy home page ads and logout page takeovers, and target ads specifically to mobile.” Read more

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Olympics show YouTube’s potential as live-streaming platform

Mashable | The Hollywood Reporter
The Olympics shows how YouTube is shifting from an on-demand video platform to one aimed at live-streaming newsworthy events, reports Mashable’s Sam Laird. About 2.7 million people turned to YouTube to see the U.S. women’s gymnastics team win gold and the 200-meter IM race in which Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps. YouTube built a new streaming platform for the Olympics, according to Laird. Jason Gaedtke, YouTube’s director of software engineering, tells him:

“We certainly see strong demand in a couple verticals: gaming, sports, news increasingly — anything with a realtime or community-driven aspect to it seems to play well in this format.”

In July, PEJ reported that YouTube has emerged as an important platform for news.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Andrew Tyndall focuses on YouTube in addressing CNN’s ratings woes. The Web is CNN’s future, he writes:

CNN’s lack of ideological turf has harmed it in the ratings war as a cable news channel but helps it online, where video content, not an anchor’s politics or tone of voice, is key. CNN’s future rival is YouTube, not Fox News. …

Read more

More journalism majors finding jobs after graduation

Project for Excellence in Journalism
The job picture is looking better for college grads who majored in journalism and mass communications, at least in the short-term. The percentage of graduates who reported finding full-time employment within six to eight months rose to 62.2 percent in 2011, up four percentage points in a year and the second year of increases. That’s still lower than the 70.2 percent of new graduates who found jobs in 2007, though.

The share of those graduates who say they’re “very satisfied” with their job has risen to the highest point in 25 years. “I think it probably reflects that if you’ve got a job, you’re pretty happy with it,” said Lee Becker, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia.

The study also found that median salary of those new graduates rose from $30,000 to $31,000, but when you factor in inflation, that’s almost $2,000 less than in 2000. “And it’s well below the $40,735 that the National Association of College and Employers reported as the median starting salary for all 2011 college grads,” notes PEJ’s Mark Jurkowitz.

“The survey of 2,195 bachelor and master degree recipients in journalism and mass communication was conducted by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia.”
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Voice of San Diego defends itself over not crediting another journalist

Joel on the Road | | Fishbowl LA published a stunning story Monday about a local school district that was on the hook for $877 million in interest after borrowing $105 million. The story got national attention and garnered reporter Will Carless a spot on CNBC, which credited him with breaking the story.

That irritated Michigan journalist Joel Thurtell, who had written about the bond deal already and helped Carless with his story. Thurtell wrote in a letter to CNBC that, contrary to what was said on the air, he was the one who broke this story.

Note that he corrected your reporter for mispronouncing his name, but allowed your staffer’s statement that he broke the Poway story to pass.

Will Carless and the Voice of San Diego did NOT find, nor did they break, the Poway story.

Thurtell then followed it up with another post accusing Voice of San Diego of “journalistic impropriety.” Read more


Few news orgs cross the ‘Continental Content Divide’ between social and immersive journalism

Edelman Digital
Steve Rubel outlines what he calls the “Continental Content Divide” that has emerged among media companies:

Some publishers see social networking as their primary path to growth. As a result, they are mixing journalism and web culture in clever ways that get their stories shared so they find you.

Others, meanwhile, believe the future is in immersive experiences that audiences seek out and, perhaps, even pay for.

Very few media brands are equally adroit. The reason, according to Darren Burden form Australia’s Fairfax Media, is that “news you read is different than news you say you read.”

The goal of the social strategy is to create news that finds you, while the immersive approach results in “news you find.” Another way of describing it: “spreadable media” vs. “drillable media.” Read more


Gallup: People want Olympics televised live and in prime time

GallupJoe BlogThe Wall Street Journal
A new poll on the Olympics “suggests there is widespread dissatisfaction with NBC‘s decision to televise the most popular events solely on tape delay in the evening,” Gallup reports. Most Americans (59 percent) would prefer that NBC air the Olympics live on TV and again during prime time; just 12 percent would prefer solely tape-delayed TV coverage.

The preference for live and delayed broadcasts is strongest among people who said they’re watching the Games a lot, but it holds for most people who said they’re just watching a little.

Read more

11 Comments didn’t live up to promise of expanded reach, revenue

All Things D | The New York Times Co. | The New York Times
All Things D’s Peter Kafka reports that The New York Times Co. may sell to (Suggested name: Drat, someone beat me to it!) The Times confirmed that it’s in talks to sell the site, but wouldn’t name the suitor.

With a reported price of $270 million, this is a good time to review the Times’ seven-year ownership of The Times bought the site, which offers advice and commodity information, for $410 million in 2005.

That was down from the $690 million in stock that Primedia had paid in October 2000, but “there were whispers that it overpaid,” Kafka wrote in 2008, in a story about how the Times wanted to unload the site. At the time, Dealbook shot down the rumor.

An analyst noted in 2005 that’s annual revenue of $40 million was tiny compared to the Times’ overall revenue. But in the next few years grew its revenue, surpassing $100 million in 2007. In February 2009, the company reported that’s revenues had grown 30 percent each year and its operating profit was 41 percent. Read more

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