P-Space Photos

Today in Media History: In 1946, the media reported on the first photos from space

There have been news stories about rockets since the earliest newspapers, but reports about the use of former German V-2 rockets after World War II marked the beginning of space news as we know it today.

And what better example of early space news than the October 24, 1946 Universal newsreel story about the first photos from space.

Screenshot from 1946 newsreel

Screenshot from 1946 newsreel

“On October 24, 1946, not long after the end of World War II and years before the Sputnik satellite opened the space age, a group of soldiers and scientists in the New Mexico desert saw something new and wonderful — the first pictures of Earth as seen from space.

The grainy, black-and-white photos were taken from an altitude of 65 miles by a 35-millimeter motion picture camera riding on a V-2 missile launched from the White Sands Missile Range. Snapping a new frame every second and a half, the rocket-borne camera climbed straight up, then fell back to Earth minutes later, slamming into the ground at 500 feet per second. The camera itself was smashed, but the film, protected in a steel cassette, was unharmed.

….When the movie frames were stitched together, Clyde Holliday, the engineer who developed the camera, wrote in National Geographic in 1950, the V-2 photos showed for the first time ‘how our Earth would look to visitors from another planet coming in on a space ship.’”

– “The First Photo From Space
Air & Space Magazine, November 2006

This silent film footage is from a British Pathe newsreel:

“WHITE SANDS, N.M., Oct. 24 (AP) – The Army fired a German V-2 rocket sixty-three miles above the earth today and, although the altitude fell far short of the 104-mile record, an Ordnance Department spokesman termed the results of the test ‘fairly good.’

….Army experts had said they expected today’s rocket to supply information which might cause ‘serious revision’ of existing cosmic ray theories.

Lieut. Alexander Szabo of the proving ground’s public relations office said ‘high hopes of recovery’ of instruments carried in the nose were entertained.”

– “V-2 Rocket Is Fired To 63-Mile Altitude”
Associated Press, October 24, 1946

Screenshot from 1946 newsreel

Screenshot from 1946 newsreel

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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

5 journalism tips from Mark Leibovich

Leibovich. Credit: Ralph Alswang

Leibovich. Credit: Ralph Alswang

Mark Leibovich says his 2013 book, “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital,” did not make his job harder.

“Its actually been easier,” The New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent said in a recent phone interview. “One of the interesting things about the book is everybody seems to think it’s about everybody else.”

The book certainly didn’t seem to affect his relationship with former GOP nominee Mitt Romney. In fact, Romney — who himself gets 11 mentions in “This Town” — recently invited Leibovich into his summer home for a nearly 2,500-word profile that ran Sept. 30.

So how does Leibovich maintain access to contacts like Romney in a town he spends his professional life turning upside down? Liebovich offered tips on running a precarious beat, conducting productive interviews and holding onto his outsider status while chasing insider information.

  1. To get access, think carefully about your pitches
  2. Leibovich still remembers scoring an interview with Sen. Marco Rubio in 2012, when rumors abounded he was mulling a run for president. Rubio was a highly courted interview subject back then, due in part to the presidential hype, and so was stubbornly “resisting a blitz of news media interest“. Like the rest of D.C.’s press corps, Leibovich wanted access. But unlike them, he had an edge.

    “I knew he loved football,” Leibovich said. “And not only did he love football, but he had this incredible, obsessive interest with the Miami Dolphins.”

    So, Leibovich reached out to Rubio’s camp and asked: Would the senator be interested in attending a Dolphins game with him? To sweeten the deal, Leibovich agreed to a ground rule not to ask questions about politics. Rubio agreed, and the trip resulted in a 2,500-word takeout that added personal dimensions to a national political figure.

    When Leibovich snagged an interview with Romney for his recent profile, the strategy was similar. Knowing that he and the former GOP nominee shared a sense of amusement over the unforeseen demand he’d found himself in as the election creeped closer, he reached out to Romney’s people with a pitch along those lines and got a green light.

    The lesson? When crafting pitches for sought-after subjects, do your research and think of an angle they’ll be receptive to, Leibovich said. They might not agree, but there’s a chance you’ll get lucky.

    “It’s hit or miss,” he said. “Many, many people say no. And I’m always surprised that as many people say yes as they do.”

  3. During interviews, keep your options open
  4. When Leibovich agreed to take politics off the table during his interview with Rubio, he was making a rare exception, he said. Leibovich tries to go into interviews with as much freedom as possible.

    When handlers or press people ask him whether he can submit questions in advance, Leibovich demurs, preferring to see where the interview goes. Though he researches his subjects in advance and has some idea of what he wants to ask, Leibovich leaves his conversations open-ended in the hopes he’ll find something to seize upon.

    “I’ve always been, for better or worse, a big proponent of winging it and sort of trusting that your experience or your holy terror will lead to something that’s worthwhile,” Leibovich said.

    Take, for example, the time he was watching the Dolphins game with Rubio. Right before an important play began, Leibovich decided to ask the senator point-blank whether he was running for president, clearly flouting the one ground rule for their conversation: No questions about politics. Although Rubio didn’t announce his electoral plans then and there, he didn’t abort the interview, either.

    “Trust your inner wiseass if it feels right,” Leibovich said. “Because you never know what it’s going to yield.”

  5. When writing, ‘keep your ass in the chair’
  6. Leibovich’s writing process — if it could be called that — goes something like this: he sits down to a blank screen without an outline, confronted by the empty space in front of him. Then, he writes the top of the story, something he’s perfectionistic about. After that, he pounds away at the keyboard until he has a draft.

    Although he prefers to be immersed in a busy newsroom while reporting, Leibovich says he likes to be left alone while writing. And he resists giving his editors a sneak peak at his work before it’s ready because early feedback will “stick in his head” and make turning out a draft more difficult.

    “Don’t be afraid of a really really shitty draft because it’s always preferable to empty space,” Leibovich said.

    When writing, he tries to cut down on distractions, leaving only dictionary.com and an online thesaurus open on his browser, rewarding himself with the occasional peek at Twitter or ESPN.com. This simple act — “keeping your ass in the chair” and gutting out a story — has “never been more important from a pure, getting-over-procrastination standpoint,” Leibovich said.

  7. Hold on to your independence
  8. Leibovich frequently acknowledges that he belongs to the media-political class he’s made his professional bones dissecting. In his 2010 profile of Mike Allen, Politico’s chief White House correspondent, Leibovich fesses up to being part of the insider-y Playbook community, having once alerted Allen that he “spotted” former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at an organic Chinese restaurant.

    And in the beginning of “This Town,” Leibovich writes that he is “part of this culture” that “reinforces my worst tendencies at times — vanity, opportunism, pettiness.”

    Journalists everywhere battle to separate their own values and allegiances from those held by the people on their beat, and that battle can be particularly difficult in D.C., where there’s “so much cross-pollination between the media class and the political class and the PR class and the business class,” Leibovich said.

    The solution? Struggle against it, Leibovich said. Yes, there are basic rules: Don’t accept outrageously valuable gifts you can’t pay for and avoid conflicts of interest. But ultimately, remaining independent is “more a matter of psychic discipline than anything else.”

  9. Focus on the next story
  10. One of the most common myths of reporting is that the work is easier for the journalist in the cubicle next to you, Leibovich said. In fact, it’s a slog for nearly everyone.

    Even with a well-received book, a portfolio of trenchant profiles and a job at The New York Times, Leibovich says he constantly fears doing crummy work. And that — combined with an appreciation for the fun he gets to have — gets him into the office every day.

    “What gets me out of bed is the next story,” Leibovich said. “I live very much in fear of not doing good stories. So I guess there will always be that.”

    The best journalists are restless, never satisfied, and thirsty to prove that their record of accomplishments isn’t just dumb luck, he said.

    “On some level, all of us tend to believe that every success we’ve ever had in the field has been a fluke,” Leibovich said in an email to Poynter. “We need to work even harder the next time to prevent this fraud we’re perpetrating on the world from being exposed.”

    Mark Leibovich is the author of the forthcoming book “Citizens of the Green Room,” due out Nov. 13

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Tough times at McClatchy — A quarterly loss and four assets sold

McClatchy closed the books today on a rocky third quarter with an earnings report yesterday showing a small loss of $2.6 million (1 percent on revenues of $277.6 million).

But CEO Pat Talimantes instead opened the conference call with analysts offering commentary on a much bigger issue, what he described as “important events that have sealed our financial flexibility.”

An unfriendly commentator might describe those “events” as a yard sale. So far in 2014, McClatchy has sold four separate and substantial assets. The largest of them, in a deal with Gannett closed the first week in October, was a 25.6 percent stake in Classified Ventures’ Cars.com, which will bring in $631.8 million before taxes, $406 million after.

Earlier this year McClatchy sold its stake in Apartments.com (another part of Classified Ventures)  It also sold its half of McClatchy/Tribune Information Services to Tribune and the Alaska Daily News to wealthy investor Alice Rogoff.  Those transactions generated another $181 million.

Talamantes said the cash infusion will go to investments in “digital transformation” and to pay down some high-interest (9 percent) debt.

On the operating side McClatchy had a year-to-year third quarter decline in advertising of 8.2 percent. Print advertising was down 11 percent. Though national advertising makes up only a small part of the total (about 7 percent), it was off 23.2 percent for the quarter compared to 2013, which was not a good year for national either.

Trends were better in audience revenues and remaining digital businesses, Talamantes said. With continuing diversification the company now gets 64 percent of revenue from categories other than print advertising.

Under questioning from analysts, Talamantes said McClatchy was unlikely to acquire any of the 76 Digital First papers or others up for sale. “We would rather invest n opportunities in our markets … (with) greater digital resources.”

McClatchy continues an affiliation agreement with Cars.com and Apartments.com., but going forward it will need to split some the proceeds of sales with the new owners, thus reducing the revenue it realizes.

Also, while McClatchy will continue to look for savings, he declined to predict that expenses will fall in t he fourth quarter or in early 2015. Digital transformation is essential, Talamantes said, “and that requires some investment.”

For the day, McClatchy shares were up slightly in mid-afternoon trading. However they have now lost roughly half their value from a 2014 high April 2 of $6.81. Other newspaper-only stocks including the New York Times Company (which has sold many non-core assets in recent years)  and Lee Communications have declined in value since the spring but not nearly so much. Read more

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Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, Anders Gyllenhaal, Alexandra Zayas among additions to Poynter’s National Advisory Board

The Poynter Institute announced Thursday the addition of five journalism leaders to its National Advisory Board, including Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, senior editor for strategy at The New York Times and Anders Gyllenhaal, vice president of news at the McClatchy Company.

Each of the board members have gained widespread recognition for their work and developed reputations as journalism innovators, Poynter president Tim Franklin said in a release accompanying the announcement.

“They’ll be invaluable partners for Poynter as we transform the institute to make it even more relevant and useful for media executives, practitioners, educators and students,” Franklin said. “We’ll benefit greatly from having their expertise and knowledge on the advisory board.”

The new members will each serve two-year terms on the 10-person board, which advises Poynter’s faculty and staff on trends shaping various media industries. They replace current board members whose terms expire at the beginning of the year.

Here’s the full list of new board members:

  • Arthur Gregg Sulzberger: Sulzberger is the primary author of The New York Times innovation report and the senior editor for strategy at The New York Times.
  • Anders Gyllenhaal: Gyllenhaal is the vice president of news at the McClatchy Company and former editor of the Miami Herald (2007 to 2010) and the Minnseapolis Star Tribune (2002 to 2007).
  • Lori Bergen: Bergen is the dean of the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University and was named 2014 Journalism and Mass Communication Administrator of the Year by the Scripps Howard Foundation. She is also the incoming president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Emilio Garcia-Ruiz: As managing editor of digital at The Washington Post, Garcia-Ruiz is The Post’s chief strategist for digital execution and the newsroom’s top liaison with business operations for digital programs.
  • Alexandra Zayas: Zayas, a reporter for The Tampa Bay Times, has won several prizes for her investigative reporting, including the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. She was a 2013 Pulitzer finalist for a series of stories that investigated abusive conditions at unlicensed religious group homes.

The following members are leaving Poynter’s National Advisory Board at the beginning of the year:

  • Philip Bennett, director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University.
  • David Boardman, dean of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication.
  • Mónica Guzmán, a columnist at The Seattle Times.
  • David Nordfors, president and co-founder of IIIJ.
  • Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute.
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Callie Schweitzer named editorial director for audience strategy at Time Inc.

Time Inc. has named Callie Schweitzer its editorial director for audience strategy, Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs and Time Inc. EVP Todd Larsen tell staffers in a memo (below).

Schweitzer joined Time last August after hitches at Vox Media and Talking Points Memo. In her new role she’ll “continue to oversee the social team, editorial technology, content partnerships and newsletters at TIME while working on a variety of digital initiatives at the corporate level,” the memo says.

RELATED: Fortune magazine triples amount of online content even as Time Inc. cuts costs

We are delighted to announce that Callie Schweitzer has been named Editorial Director, Audience Strategy for TIME and Time Inc.

In a remarkably short time, Callie has come to play a unique role across departments, and, increasingly, across brands at Time Inc. Though based in TIME editorial, she has from almost day one worked with executives and editors throughout the company to help identify new digital opportunities and expand our existing audiences.

This promotion for Callie formalizes that role. She will continue to oversee the social team, editorial technology, content partnerships and newsletters at TIME while working on a variety of digital initiatives at the corporate level. She will have a dual report to Time Inc. Chief Content Officer Norman Pearlstine and to Time.com Managing Editor Edward Felsenthal.

Since joining TIME last year, Callie has been a key leader on the team driving the expansion of Time.com. In overseeing the social team, she has led the site to a record 20 million monthly social referrals, a 227% increase over last year. TIME’s combined social followings now exceed 20 million, the largest at Time Inc. Its daily newsletter, The Brief, has more than 600,000 subscribers with open rates averaging 40%, nearly twice the industry average.

Prior to joining Time Inc., Callie was Director of Marketing and Communications at Vox Media, publisher of The Verge, SB Nation and Polygon. There, she helped introduce and launch Polygon, the video game vertical, and Vox Creative, an in-house creative services wing. Before that, Callie was Deputy Publisher of Talking Points Memo, responsible for mobile, video and content partnerships and increasing audience growth. She has written for a variety of outlets. Named two years in a row as one of Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 in Media, Callie is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism—and was for two summers an intern at People.

Please join us in wishing Callie every success in her new role.

Best,

Nancy and Todd

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Peter Lattman named deputy business editor at The New York Times

New York Times media editor Peter Lattman will be deputy business editor at the paper, according to a memo from New York Times Business editor Dean Murphy:

Peter will come back to the 2nd floor wearing two hats. He will direct our media coverage along with Bill Brink and Craig Hunter, while also applying his smarts and journalistic skills as deputy editor to our broader business report.

Here’s the full memo:

About a year ago, Peter moved upstairs to become media editor. He quickly combined a hotshot crew of Times veterans and newcomers who have continued to make the media report essential reading across the paper. None of that is changing, except for the upstairs part.

Peter will come back to the 2nd floor wearing two hats. He will direct our media coverage along with Bill Brink and Craig Hunter, while also applying his smarts and journalistic skills as deputy editor to our broader business report. Peter’s knowledge of business, Wall Street and beyond is deep, having been a reporter for DealBook, The Wall Street Journal and, back in the day, a money guy at Goldman Sachs (and even a lawyer before that).

Media reporters will continue to write for BizDay, Culture and other sections, with Mr. Media himself, David Carr, anchoring the Monday business report. More broadly, the media team will benefit from greater interaction and crosspollination with reporters and editors from tech, DealBook and the other clusters — and vice versa. In short, we’ll see collaboration, elevation and innovation among a whole new mix of talented reporters and editors.

I’m very excited to have Peter at my side as we think ambitiously and creatively about how best to tell the story of business and the economy in our changing media landscape. Equally important, we both feel great responsibility as stewards of our storied media report, ensuring that it grows only stronger, more vibrant and remains central to the journalistic mission of The Times.

Dean

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Former AP editor sues over dismissal that followed retracted story

Style Weekly

Dena Potter has filed suit against the Associated Press, saying “she was unjustly fired for an error in a story edited by another staffer,” Ned Oliver reports for Style Weekly.

Potter was Bob Lewis’ editor in Richmond, Virginia, but says in the suit she did not work on the story that led to his dismissal, which claimed that then gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lied during a federal investigation.

AP retracted the story. AP fired Potter, Lewis and another editor, Norm Gomlak.

Potter’s suit says Gomlak and Lewis worked on the story, and that she was “busy working with a reporter on another story, a shooting at a courthouse in West Virginia,” Oliver reports. She is seeking damages of $950,000 plus court costs, he writes.

Reached via email, AP spokesperson Paul Colford had no comment. Read more

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The politics of reforming digital audience metrics — don’t underestimate the status quo

Long-time critics of imprecise unique visitor and page view metrics like me have had reason to cheer in recent months.

Both the Financial Times and Economist have started to offer advertisers the alternative of rates based on time spent rather than raw traffic numbers.

Chartbeat corrected a major flaw in existing measures of time spent, then got its system “accredited” by the influential Media Ratings Council. And Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile has been an effective evangelist in interviews and speeches for a more sophisticated way of looking at the attention of digital audiences.

That’s real progress. But plowing through dozens of articles and interviewing a few key sources, I have concluded that it is way early to declare victory and a new day dawning in digital measurement.

Oddly, although we like to think of the digital world as fast-moving and progressive, there is an established status quo for counting digital audiences backed by powerful vested interests who remain mostly happy with the unholy triad of uniques, page views and clickthroughs.

Start with the digital big guys — Facebook, Google, Yahoo, AOL. They lead the pack in traffic volume as conventionally measured. With targeting capabilities, they suck up a huge share of digital ad spend — even more now with the shift to smartphones than they already did in the desktop/laptop era.

Uniques and page views have also been good to the most popular start-up digital-only content providers — Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Upworthy and more.

A more surprising source of resistance is a large slice of the advertising industry, as spotlighted in Ad Age’s excellent takeout a month ago, “Is Digital Advertising Ready to Ditch the Click?” It summarized the resistance this way.

“Agencies are among the entrenched interests,” said Benjamin Zeidler, director-research and analytics at digital-marketing agency Tenthwave. “They’re good at buying ads. They know how to do it. It’s probably scary to change the mode of how they do business — how they sell it, price and benchmark it.”

Also, as you may have heard, these are boom times for “programmatic buying” — eliminating the middle men of sales people and media planners and instead relying on algorithms to locate and book available inventory at the lowest possible rate. Thoughtful consideration of a range of attention metrics would only get in the way of that process.

Pay-per-click may be a relic of the early days of internet advertising. But the measure still makes sense for a certain kind of ad — trying to grab attention for the unfamiliar — like the pitches for Harry’s Razors or the Bellroy Skinny Wallet that stalk me as I move around the web.

A middle-of-the-road constituency may buy in intellectually to a case for more varied metrics, but as a practical business matter needs to keep selling the way most advertisers are buying.

That was the drift of a thoughtful rejoinder from News Corp.’s Raju Narisetti to an earlier screed of mine this spring denouncing uniques and page views. In his view, some of this kind of criticism comes from print traditionalists who would prefer not to give audience metrics a prominent role in news coverage decisions.

Narisetti made the additional good point that metrics like page views per visit or repeat visits per month, “variations on relatively conventional” measures, are a reasonable way to identify attention.

Trade groups like the Newspaper Association of America and the MPA magazine association also do versions of the straddle. Both have working groups exploring new metrics that may capture what they see as unique strengths of their digital offerings for advertisers. But neither is abandoning the standard measures just yet.

NAA, for instance, puts out regular releases on industry gains in uniques and page views. That has always been a charm of the two measures — between the steady movement of audience to digital platforms and the easy tricks available to inflate the numbers, a growth story is all but sure to emerge.

Another slightly different middle ground position fits auditing, rating and standards groups like the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly ABC), Nielsen and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. They naturally watch carefully for any new metric offerings in their core business. The IAB even has instigated important reform with work showing that the majority of “impressions” as measured a few years ago were not even seen (because they did not load fast enough or were too low on a screen page).

But the heart of the auditors’ business interest is that if something new is going to be measured, they want the contract to be the recognized verifier of those numbers. For example, Nielsen, facing some new disruptive competitors like Rentrak, announced Tuesday a collaboration with Adobe on a new set of measures it is developing for digital viewing of television shows and other video.

I also need to concede that the reformers have a self-serving agenda of their own. The Economist and Financial Times have strong paywalls, dedicated high-demographic readers but relatively modest total audience numbers. So it is to their advantage to shift the discussion with marketers to time spent engaged with their quality content and accompanying ad messages.

Chartbeat and CEO Haile have made a great case for the flaws in traditional measures and the logic of shifting to time and attention (which are finite) from “impressions” which seem to multiply endlessly and are often fleeting at best.

Chartbeat in its accredited “time spent” measure also did the good deed of correcting earlier stabs at such a metric — the loophole that counted a tab left open while the user shifted to something else conceivably for minutes or hours, as time on site. The Chartbeat refinement is that “time spent” is counted only if some indicator of viewer action registers every five seconds.

Haile also announced this week that he will make the company’s methodology public, aiming for even further credibility, accepting some risk of giving away competitive secrets to a knock-off vendor.

All that said, Chartbeat (and the similarly oriented Moat in the video sphere) are fighting the good fight for what they have to sell against established competitors who have built a good share of their business around uniques, page views and clicks.

More sophisticated digital agencies like Razorfish are also in the camp advocating a combination of metrics and strategies they provide that are missing from more perfunctory ad placement methods.

Where does this state of play leave legacy media or local digital startups in searching for a business model in the digital sun? Even the pioneers like the Financial Times are hedging their bets — their minutes viewed metric is being offered to a limited number of pilot advertisers in a beta test (going well according to Haile) while the majority of ads are still sold the old-fashioned way.

I would look for companies like the New York Times, with good raw traffic numbers, to also explore alternative attention metrics. And the trade associations are likely to at least give a nudge to consideration of a suite of metrics in measuring audience and pricing ads rather than just the conventional big three.

Jerry Hill, Gannett’s top audience executive and chairman of the newly formed NAA task force, told me the group is starting by surveying advertisers and agencies about “what they look at” now in evaluating effectiveness. The next step, he said would be to identify new measures that could be validated and “communicated out in simple terms.”

The MPA has launched what it calls the “360-degree brand audience report,” a monthly update by participating magazine sites that measures audience on multiple dimensions in a standardized format, including, for instance, referrals from five social media channels.

Mark Contreras, then of E.W. Scripps, led a crusade for better digital audience metrics during his term as NAA chairman in 2009. He hoped to establish a better “gold standard,” perhaps with a nudge from government, as happened with a move from chaotic claims from competing vendors measuring television audience in the 1950s and early 1960s to the agreed-upon methodology Nielsen and others now follow.

A gold standard does not appear in the cards right now, but movement to a more  varied and logical set of metrics has at least started. Contreras, now CEO of a small private TV and newspaper company, Calkins Media, told me in a phone interview that the logic remains unchanged: “For local papers, relying on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) economy is not going to grow digital ad revenue as we need to.”

One alternative, Contreras added, is to “find niches and sell sponsorships” on roughly the same principle as “soap operas did in the 1950s,” aimed at stay-at-home housewives. Targeting is more important than a raw audience count for a sports site or a food site, and smartphone apps or specialized sites lend themselves to the “brought to you by…” format.

A number of the articles on this fall’s metrics developments stumbled upon the same summary phrase — “a step in the right direction.” That seems about right. The current system is unlikely to be turned on its head anytime soon.  But content providers who think they can offer sustained attention are beginning to get some tools to make the case to advertisers that they offer a superior value. Read more

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Could Sun-Times reporter’s resignation affect governor’s race?

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Will Sun-Times reporter’s resignation shake Illinois governor’s race? Sun-Times Springfield bureau chief Dave McKinney quit publicly yesterday, saying the paper suspended him after Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner — a former investor in the Sun-Times’ parent company — tried to get a story squashed because he’s married to a Democratic consultant. (Dave McKinney’s blog) | Sun-Times EIC Jim Kirk responds: “I call the shots. While I’ve been here, our ownership and management have never quashed a story and they have always respected the journalistic integrity of this paper.” (Poynter) | To make this story even more gothic, the Sun-Times endorsed Rauner last Friday, breaking a policy it set in early 2012. | “But, at a minimum, the ongoing story certainly will give the [campaign of Rauner's Democratic opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn] an enormous platform to charge that Mr. Rauner is against not just poor people but freedom of the press,” Greg Hinz writes. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  2. OK, it’s time to pay attention to Gamergate: The online movement, which opposes…something “has declared another victory after software maker Adobe implicitly condemned a recent series of tweets from Gawker writer Sam Biddle that made fun of the Gamergate movement.” (Re/code) | Gawker Editor-in-Chief Max Read writes: “I’ve been told that we’ve lost thousands of dollars already, and could potentially lose thousands more, if not millions.” Read says he feels like “went to sleep in the regular world and woke up in an insane new one where ‘bullying’ is something that it’s possible to be seriously and sincerely ‘for.’” Nevertheless, brands like Intel and Adobe have proven themselves “willing to distance themselves from independent publishers over the spurious claims of a limited but dedicated group of misogynists and trolls.” (Gawker) | “Adobe walks into Gamergate, staggers around confusedly” (Boing Boing)
  3. A little bit more on Ben Bradlee: He struggled with issues of race and sex in the newsroom. (Maynard Institute) | Rachel Jones remembers how Bradlee pushed her to take a Washington Post internship and basically willed her into employment as a journalist. “We have GOT to make an effort to include voices besides our own in this goddamned newspaper,” she remembers him saying. (LinkedIn) | “If there was one happy facet of the [Janet] Cooke affair, it was that the mistake of one young reporter cleared the way for the success of another,” Jon Campbell writes: The Village Voice got its first Pulitzer after the Post returned Cooke’s prize, for Teresa Carpenter‘s story about Dorothy Stratten, “Death of a Playmate.” (The Village Voice) | Bradlee’s tenure at the Post should be viewed in relation to his slimly acknowledged competition with Jim Bellows at the Washington Star. “Bellows might have gotten a bigger send off when he died at the age of 86 in 2009 had Bradlee had preceded him in death,” Jack Shafer writes. “But, no, Bradlee was the last giant standing, and according to the rules of the game, he who dies last gets the biggest funeral pyre. Bellows would understand completely.” (Reuters) | Media myths creep into Bradlee obits. (Media Myth Alert)
  4. Anderson Cooper swats reporter who asked for selfie with him: Vandon Gene requested a photo with the CNN anchor at the site where a Canadian soldier was killed yesterday. (The Blaze) | “I can’t believe any station employs you, and if you want to be a journalist, learn how to behave when covering a story.” (@andersoncooper)
  5. NYT may have lots of takers for buyouts: Guild rep Grant Glickson tells Keith J. Kelly “There were over 300 requests,” by members to look at the company’s severance packages. (NYP) | The company is looking to shed 100 jobs. (Poynter) | “‘Some people who were undecided about leaving, or just curious, didn’t want to request the paperwork because they worried (correctly or not) that it would put targets on their backs,’ Times higher education reporter Richard Pérez-Peña, a Guild vice chair, wrote Thursday in a post on Facebook. ‘To protect those people, some of my colleagues suggested that EVERYONE should ask for it. Suddenly, the number soared, but most of those people have no intention of leaving.’” (Capital)
  6. Why did Politico Magazine let a BP PR exec write a story about pollution in the Gulf? Geoff Morrell‘s story, “No, BP Didn’t Ruin the Gulf,” is “Free native advertising,” Erik Wemple writes. (WP) | “As of Wednesday afternoon, Morrell’s piece is now filed to the ‘Opinion’ section of Politico Magazine. The story was earlier filed to ‘Environment’ and not clearly marked as an Opinion piece.” (Newsweek)
  7. Roman Mars’ advice for indie radio producers: “The most fundamental thing is own your work.” (Capital)
  8. A road trip in North Korea: Eric Talmadge took a monitored trip through the Hermit Kingdom: “At the best hotels in cities such as Hamhung, Samjiyon and Chongjin, the places where we stayed as our journey proceeded through the hinterlands, the rooms, replete with doilies and cushy velvet-covered chairs, were clean, the decor retro Soviet and the food plentiful. But the vintage TVs, when they worked, offered only one channel.” (AP)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: “Attacked,” on the front of the Globe and Mail. (More Canadian front pages here.)

    globeandmail-10232014  

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Rachel Zarrell is now news editor at BuzzFeed News. Previously, she was a weekend editor there. (‏@rachelzarrell) | Ben Calhoun is now director of content and programming at WBEZ in Chicago. Previously, he was a producer for “This American Life.” (Robert Feder) | Ada Guerin is now creative director at The Wrap. Previously, she was design director and associate art director at The Hollywood Reporter. (The Wrap) | Jose Zamora is now on the board of directors of the Online News Association. He is director of strategic communications at Univision Network. (ONA) | Carla Zanoni will be global audience development director at The Wall Street Journal. Previously, she was director of social media and engagement at DNAinfo.com. (Carla Zanoni) | Tara Adiseshan is now a Knight-Mozilla fellow at The New York Times and The Washington Post. Previously, she worked on search design at Autodesk and conducted research focused on harvesting rainwater in India. Juan Elosua is now a Knight-Mozilla fellow at La Nacion. He is a telecommunications engineer and data journalist. Livia Labate is now a Knight-Mozilla fellow at NPR. Previously, she led Marriott’s digital standards and practices group. Linda Sandvik is now a Knight-Mozilla fellow at The Guardian. Previously, she worked in local government. Julia Smith is now a Knight-Mozilla fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting. Previously, she was a designer and developer on news sites and mobile applications. Francis Tseng is now a Knight-Mozilla fellow at The New York Times and The Washington Post He currently teaches at the New School’s Design + Journalism program. (dansinker.com) | Jon Garinn is now medical editor of the radiology administration department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Previously, he was managing editor of CURE Magazine. (email) | Job of the day: Politico is looking for a lobbying reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Read more

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P-Pod

Today in Media History: Apple’s Steve Jobs introduces the iPod in 2001

The iPod, Apple’s hard disk-based digital audio player, was introduced by Steve Jobs on October 23, 2001.

“‘With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go,’ said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. ‘With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.’”
– An excerpt from the original Apple iPod press release

Screenshot from iPod introduction video, 2001

Screenshot from iPod introduction video, 2001

“Now, with the introduction of the sleek little iPod, a $399 personal digital-music player, Steve has finally built a widget. About the size of a pack of cigarettes, the iPod is more than just a portable sound machine, however. It’s a new kind of gadget that has the potential to change how we think about personal audio-entertainment gizmos, much as Sony’s first pocket-sized transistor radio did in 1958, and the Sony Walkman portable stereo tape player did 20 years later. The progeny of an eight-month crash-development project, the iPod also vividly illustrates how Apple’s engineering and software skills could make it a force to be reckoned with in the consumer electronics business long dominated by leviathans like Sony and Matsushita.”

— “Apple’s 21st-Century Walkman CEO Steve Jobs thinks he has something pretty nifty. And if he’s right, he might even spook Sony and Matsushita”
Fortune Magazine, November 12, 2001

A video of the Steve Jobs iPod introduction:

“Steve Jobs noticed something earlier this year in New York City. ‘I was on Madison,’ says Apple’s CEO, ‘and it was, like, on every block, there was someone with white headphones, and I thought, Oh, my God, it’s starting to happen.’ Jonathan Ive, the company’s design guru, had a similar experience in London: ‘On the streets and coming out of the tubes, you’d see people fiddling with it.’ And Victor Katch, a 59-year-old professor of kinesiology at the University of Michigan, saw it in Ann Arbor. ‘When you walk across campus, the ratio seems as high as 2 out of 3 people,’ he says.

They’re talking about the sudden ubiquity of the iPod, the cigarette-box-size digital music player (and its colorful credit-card-size little sister, the Mini) that’s smacked right into the sweet spot where a consumer product becomes something much, much more: an icon, a pet, a status indicator and an indispensable part of one’s life. To 3 million-plus owners, iPods not only give constant access to their entire collection of songs and CDs, but membership into an implicit society that’s transforming the way music will be consumed in the future.”

— “iPod Nation
Newsweek, July 26, 2004

Here is a 2006 Discovery Channel documentary about the iPod. (This clip is part two. Click here to see the rest of the program.)

The iPod era, which began on October 23, 2001, is coming to a close. Recently Mashable posted a story called, “Requiem for an iPod Classic.”

“Amid all the new products it introduced on Tuesday, Apple also quietly but officially retired the iPod classic.

This was more than a little ironic, considering U2′s appearance alongside Tim Cook with a splashy new Apple video that recalled the iPod silhouettes campaign from the mid-2000s. Indeed, the U2 ad feels like an homage to what is still one of the most successful consumer electronics products ever (which also came in a U2 edition).

Although the end of the iPod classic hardly comes as a surprise — Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff wrote a eulogy for the device back in January — we can’t help but greet the reality that Apple has retired its hard disk-based MP3 player lineup with a twinge of sadness.

Sure, the iPod nano, iPod touch and iPod shuffle still exist. But for many of us, the traditional iPod still holds a special place in our heart. It’s not a stretch to say that without the original iPod, Apple as we know it would not exist.”

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