Career Beat: Kevin Roose named co-executive producer at Fusion

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

  • Kevin Roose will co-executive produce a show for Fusion. He’s a writer for New York Magazine. Kashmir Hill will be a senior editor at Fusion. She’s a writer for Forbes. Pendarvis Harshaw has been named an associate producer at Fusion. He’s a recent graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Cara Rose De Fabio is an experience designer at Fusion. She’s a performance artist and director. Daniela Hernandez will be a senior writer at Fusion. She has contributed to Wired. (Fusion)
  • Wilson Stribling will be a morning anchor at WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi. He was news director there. Hugo Balta will be senior director of multicultural content for ESPN’s digital and print properties. Previously, he was coordinating producer for SportsCenter. Damaris Bonilla is executive producer at WWSI in Philadelphia. Previously, she’d worked as a journalist in Puerto Rico. Matt Sinn is assistant news director at WISN in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Previously, he was an executive producer for WTSP in Tampa. Heidi Schmidt is now an executive producer at WDAF in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously, she was a producer there. Aaron Mason is now assistant news director at WKBW in Buffalo. He’s executive producer at WIVB in Buffalo. (Rick Gevers)
  • Chris Hocutt and Bisola Kamara will be the first social news interns at The Washington Post. They are both seniors at Howard University. (Washington Post)

Job of the day: WFSU in Tallahassee, Florida is looking for a reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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

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First Look seeks a publisher who can react ‘calmly to criticism’

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories. (Please read the note below if you’d like to keep getting this email.)

  1. Second looks at First Look

    Andrew Rice's profile of First Look Media founder Pierre Omidyar unspools the billionaire's animating interest in pandemics and Edward Snowden's revalations. It also catalogs the startup's awkward first steps. "The confusion inherent to any start-up has been exacerbated by Omidyar’s ruminative style," he writes. “I’ve never met Pierre in person,” Intercept reporter Glenn Greenwald tells Rice. (New York) | The NYT snagged a First Look solicitation for a publisher who can react "calmly to criticism and negative feedback." (NYT) | Related: Micah Lee writes about how he helped Snowden, Greenwald and Laura Poitras connect, and the dashed plans for a Snowden site called supportonlinerights.com. (The Intercept)

  2. 100,000 reasons to work on getting Jill Abramson's email address

    Writers at the startup she plans with Steven Brill "will be paid advances around $100,000 to produce stories that will be longer than long magazine articles but shorter than books," Kelly McBride reports. (Poynter)

  3. Condé Nast begins move to One World Trade Center

    175 employees move in today. (HuffPost)

  4. Police used FAA rules to keep media out of Ferguson airspace

    Recordings AP obtained "raise serious questions about whether police were trying to suppress aerial images of the demonstrations and the police response by violating the constitutional rights of journalists with tacit assistance by federal officials." (AP)

  5. Modern Farmer struggles with financing

    The buzzy magazine is "still looking for long-term financing,” EIC Ann Marie Gardner tells Alec Wilkinson, and its relationship with primary funder Frank Giustra "remains tense." Some staffers have left. (The New Yorker) | I wrote about Modern Farmer, and its plan to get around traditional newsstands, almost exactly a year ago. (Poynter)

  6. Why did the Northeast Ohio Media Group remove a video of Gov. John Kasich?

    Chris Quinn, its vice president for content, isn't answering. (PressThink)

  7. Mr. Smith goes to Washington

    The Texas Tribune "will announce Monday that it is opening a Washington bureau backed by the Hewlett Foundation, reversing a trend of regional flight from the capital," David Carr reports. The Tribune "has $6 million in annual revenues and $2.5 million in the bank," Carr writes that EIC Evan Smith told him. (NYT)

  8. But will Britain accept government-funded TV?

    RT launches in the U.K., and Al Jazeera will open studios in London this week. (The Guardian)

  9. Front page of the day, not curated by Kristen Hare

    Chicago's RedEye fronts Nik Wallenda's high-wire walks in Chicago. (Courtesy the Newseum)

    redeye-11032014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Kevin Roose will co-executive produce a show for Fusion. He's a writer for New York Magazine. Kashmir Hill will be a senior editor at Fusion. She's a writer for Forbes. Pendarvis Harshaw has been named an associate producer at Fusion. He's a recent graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Cara Rose De Fabio is an experience designer at Fusion. She's a performance artist and director. Daniela Hernandez will be a senior writer at Fusion. She has contributed to Wired. (Fusion) | Wilson Stribling will be a morning anchor at WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi. He was news director there. Hugo Balta will be senior director of multicultural content for ESPN's digital and print properties. Previously, he was coordinating producer for SportsCenter. Damaris Bonilla is executive producer at WWSI in Philadelphia. Previously, she'd worked as a journalist in Puerto Rico. Matt Sinn is assistant news director at WISN in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Previously, he was an executive producer for WTSP in Tampa. Heidi Schmidt is now an executive producer at WDAF in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously, she was a producer there. Aaron Mason is now assistant news director at WKBW in Buffalo. He's executive producer at WIVB in Buffalo. (Rick Gevers) | Chris Hocutt and Bisola Kamara are the first social news interns at The Washington Post. They are both seniors at Howard University. (Washington Post) Job of the day: WFSU is looking for a reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more

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Today in Media History: ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ premiered on November 3, 1975

ABC’s “Good Morning America” premiered on November 3, 1975 with hosts David Hartman and Nancy Dussault. Let’s take a look at how GMA introduced its 20th anniversary program:

When “Good Morning America” started in 1975 only a few people owned personal computers, but what a difference 39 years makes. GMA now uses various social media platforms to share stories and updates. It even posts some of the show’s history on its Facebook timeline page. Here are a few excerpts:

FACEBOOK TIMELINE
1975-1987

1975
“Good Morning America” debuted on Nov. 3, 1975 from ABC News headquarters on West 67th St. in New York City, near Lincoln Square. David Hartman was the morning show’s first host, aided by Nancy Dussault as his co-host.

1977
In 1977, Sandy Hill replaced Nancy Dussault as co-host of GMA. She and David Hartman are seen here on the “Good Morning America” set Oct. 5, 1978.

1980
Joan Lunden became the co-anchor of GMA in 1980, replacing Sandy Hill. She and David Hartman are seen here on the GMA set May 6, 1982. Lunden was an anchor for the local ABC station WABC-TV in New York and a contributor to GMA before becoming co-anchor.

1987
Charles Gibson replaced David Hartman Feb. 23, 1987, when Hartman retired after more than 3,000 shows.

The following video was produced when Diane Sawyer left “Good Morning America” in 2009. It provides a great overview of her ten years at GMA.

FACEBOOK TIMELINE
1998-2009

1998
After Joan Lunden and Charles Gibson stepped down from anchoring GMA, they were replaced by Kevin Newman and Lisa McRee.

1999
On January 18, 1999, Charlie Gibson returned to GMA as anchor and was joined by his ABC colleague, Diane Sawyer, seen here with him on the show’s W. 67th St. set.

2002
Robin Roberts takes over as news anchor.

*2009
Although it is not in the Facebook timeline, George Stephanopoulos joined GMA in December 2009.

And finally, here is an excerpt from one of the most famous GMA programs: “Robin Roberts Returns To Good Morning America.”

Read more

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Sunday, Nov. 02, 2014

hand pressing futuristic mail symbol on blue background

How Time’s email newsletter achieves a 40 percent open rate

It seems like everybody’s starting an email newsletter these days. The web offers an endless stream of information, David Carr wrote in June, so “having something finite and recognizable show up in your inbox can impose order on all that chaos.”

But the newsletter business is getting crowded now, too. The Financial Times and Vox have recently launched new newsletters, and Quartz’s has been widely celebrated. The New York Times recently made its “What We’re Reading” newsletter free for everyone.

(Ahem, you can sign up for Poynter’s new morning and afternoon newsletters here, by the way.)

Time’s newsletter strategy is different. While it’s trendy to offer links to stories your organization didn’t create itself, Time’s goal is to provide the best of what it has to offer every morning — “a snapshot in Time, as it were,” said Edward Felsenthal, Time.com’s managing editor.

When Callie Schweitzer was hired to be Time’s direct of digital innovation last year, the magazine offered RSS-generated emails for 10 different verticals, with open rates averaging about 17 percent. Time combined the readership of those 10 newsletters and started delivering just one, called “The Brief,” when the new website debuted in March.

Since then, the newsletter has achieved a 40 percent open rate — a figure Time Inc. boasted as twice the industry average when the company named Schweitzer its editorial director for audience strategy in October. Click-through rates after open are about twice the industry average of 16 percent, Schweitzer told me.

(One caveat: When the new newsletter launched, Time did some pruning of the list, removing bounce-back email addresses and subscribers who hadn’t opened a newsletter in six months. So dumping some of those who were dragging the old newsletters’ open rates down likely accounts for some of the increase in the current newsletter’s open rate. Its old newsletters had about 850,000 subscribers in total, but Time pared that down to 650,000. It’ll begin its first big promotional push, soon, using Time magazine and social channels.)

RELATED: Time.com’s bounce rate down 15 percentage points since adopting continuous scroll

“I think the biggest risk we took was assuming that people who had opted in to a vertical-focused newsletter list would want an editorially curated product,” Schweitzer said. “The Brief” offers links to 12 stories every morning.

I talked to Schweitzer and Felsenthal about how Time experiments with the newsletter and how they’ve arrived at best practices. The following lessons might not all apply to your newsletter strategy, but here are some things to think about:

Show restraint in your subject line

It might be tempting to pack your email newsletter’s subject line with lots of information to lure readers in, but Schweitzer said Time has learned through A/B testing that open rates decrease when subject lines are crowded.

Referring to multiple stories or adding language like “and more” to the subject line doesn’t capture attention like one tightly written headline does. So editors aim for 45 characters or fewer in subject lines, Schweitzer said. That means they’re readable in full on most smartphones (please forgive the dire battery life situation in this screenshot):

timenewsletter

“In terms of the split between desktop and mobile, desktop is still leading, but mobile has drastically closed the gap,” Schweitzer said.

Deliver on the subject line’s promise

“I always think about the subject line as something that’s going to make a reader take an action,” Schweitzer said. “But that does not mean being sensational, or not delivering on the promise.”

What it does mean is giving readers a reason to click or tap the email to open it, and then providing them with what they expect. The story referenced in the subject line is generally the top story in the body of the email.

With some newsletters, Felsenthal said, “It’s hard to find the reason you clicked.” This jibes with Schweitzer’s notion of earning your news organization’s spot in readers’ inboxes: “I always say that inviting someone into your inbox is the new inviting someone into your home,” she said. “You have to earn the right to be there, but you also have to earn the right to stay there.”

Remember that newsletters aren’t opened immediately by everyone

Tweets fly by in an instant, but emails can linger in ways that even Facebook posts don’t. In fact, Schweitzer said, she sees a surprising number of subscribers opening the newsletter at night and catching up on the week’s emails during the weekend.

That doesn’t mean offering evergreen content at the expense of timeliness, but Felsenthal says Time tries to be mindful of the fact that stories won’t be seen right when the email is sent in the morning. “Theyre news-relevant, but unless something is truly momentous news that just happened,” the newsletter doesn’t pretend to break news like morning-after newspaper headlines often do.

For example, The morning after the first case of Ebola in New York, Time’s newsletter didn’t announce the arrival of Ebola. It assumed readers had already heard about the news, so the subject line was “Everything we know about Ebola in NYC.”

Keep experimenting — and track results

Time distributes its email with CheetahMail, which offers robust ways to test the effectiveness of various techniques.

Health stories, Schweitzer has found, perform well — maybe because they tend to have less of a news peg than other stories, but Schweitzer also stressed that “we abide by the fact that it’s a newsletter. The subject line and the stories in it are pegged to news.” The top article in Chartbeat when she arrives at the office in the morning is invariably the lead story from the newsletter, she said.

Time hasn’t done much testing in terms of the body of the email yet, but Schweitzer says she hopes to find out more about what drives readers to click certain stories, especially as Time considers offering more than just one newsletter.

“We’re just so hungry for data that we can take action on,” she said.


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Jill Abramson startup to advance writers up to $100k for longform work

Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson shed light this weekend on her plans with Steven Brill to grow a start up.

Writers will be paid advances around $100,000 to produce stories that will be longer than long magazine articles but shorter than books, she said. There will be “one perfect whale of a story” each month and it will be available by subscription.

She discussed her plans during an hour-long keynote interview at Journalism & Women Symposium’s annual Conference and Mentoring Project. She declined to name any funders. She and Brill haven’t settled on a name yet.

She first talked about this venture two weeks ago during a WBUR event with David Carr. Brill is an award-winning long-form journalist who created Court TV, and is most recently known for his 26,000 word investigation on health care billing that became the longest piece by a single author ever run by Time Magazine. Brill has also had failed projects.

In response to a question at the end of the breakfast keynote interview for the crowd at JAWS Camp 2014, Abramson did say that she and Brill were very close to having a deal with one investor.

“If you are offering the ability to deliver something that is qualitatively different, there are investors willing to jump into that space,” she said. “We have had serious discussions with fewer than five and had serious interest from about 15” potential investors.

One of the five serious candidates isn’t a media company at all, she said, but has a principal that has done some media investment.

The attendees at the annual event, held this year in Palm Springs, Calif. wanted to know how to get a piece of that action. Abramson told them to pitch a great idea and demonstrate the ability to deliver on it.

Good luck with that.

Other notable comments from Abramson include:

  • She definitely got fired and part of it had to do with her conversations around salary inequity. She wished she would have negotiated her starting salary as executive editor better. “Silly me.”
  • Newspaper advertising revenue declines are going to continue to be “frighteningly steep.”
  • Superficiality in news is not something she worries about but lack of proportionality is. She pointed to Ebola coverage specifically on cable television and said, “Because of the economics of news, very few places can have boots on the ground. Then single stories tend to dominate, where news people are just recycling things resulting in an endless yackathon on what I think is garbage.”
  • She’s proud of her work diversifying The Times’ masthead and pointed out that the Washington Post has an all-male masthead and suggested that Katharine Graham is spinning in her grave.
  • “Hillary Clinton would make a good president.” Abramson said she enjoyed being unfettered enough to say that.
  • Bitchy vs. badass? “Badass of course.”
  • Her advice to women leaders: Do not “get all tangled up inside your head. Am I coming across too pushy? Do I have to be sweeter and nicer? Because basically authenticity is very important in life, not just at work. You can say I paid a price for my own authenticity. I was who I am. I tried not to be too blunt or hurtful to people.”

After her speech I asked her what newsroom leaders should do who inherit pay inequalities, but lack the ability to give raises. “You bring the guys down to give a little more to the girls,” she said. “I did that at The Times. No one’s happy to get a cut, but too bad.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect spelling of Hillary Clinton’s name. Read more

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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

African journalist not upset university canceled on his visit

The Poynter Institute Friday hosted a group of African journalists visiting the U.S. for training as part of the State Department’s Edward R. Murrow Program.

The visit, which will continue next week, was originally scheduled to take place at the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg, which backed out of hosting the journalists due to concerns about spread of the Ebola virus.

One of the visiting journalists, Bernard Avle, said he wasn’t upset by the university’s decision. I asked Avle, who’s director of news programming at Ghanian radio outlet CITI, about his reaction to the sudden change of plans and his observations of U.S. media’s coverage of the Ebola outbreak.

Avle, director of news programming at at CITI, a broadcast outlet in Ghana.

Avle, director of news programming at at CITI, a broadcast outlet in Ghana.

Poynter: Coming from Ghana, what have you noticed about the perception of the epidemic here?

Avle: I got an email from a student — this was like a week before we came here — saying that USF St. Pete had canceled because of parents’ fears that there was Ebola, and they weren’t really sure if we’d pass that onto their wards.

I was a bit surprised — but then again, coming to the U.S. and watching U.S. media, I understood where the apprehension came from. I think the media is a very powerful tool for information and misinformation — and regrettably, I think, on this particular point — there’s been a lot of hysterical reporting, for whatever reason.

I think there’s a lot of ignorance of Ebola, of public health issues, and that has contributed to the public concern. So I have no problems with the parents who requested USF St. Pete to cancel. Because if I were a parent and I saw the reports I did on TV, I would be very concerned for my ward.

Poynter: What advice would you give to United States media organizations that are trying to cover this thing compassionately and accurately?

Avle: I can’t pretend to give advice. What I can say is they know their audience better than I do. And so the interest of your audience can sometimes drive the way you cover a story, because news must be contextualized.

So the concern for people is whether Africans are bringing Ebola to the U.S, so that tends to become the angle from which you frame the story. Having said that, you need to get more information about what happens on the ground so that you can give your listeners, your readers, your viewers the information. I’m not going to advise anybody on how to cover Ebola, but I’ll just say there’s a lot you can learn from journalists who are closer to the situation.

Poynter: How is your news organization covering the epidemic?

Avle: We are physically close (to an Ebola-affected country, Liberia). There has been research done that says Ghana is susceptible to getting Ebola because we seem to be the center for West Africa — lots of movement in and out. But the government has put into place — I wouldn’t say extremely stringent — but reasonably stringent checks for people coming into the country.

There’s an Ebola isolation center, there’s videos of what to do if you see somebody with Ebola. Everybody’s weighing in to try to inform people better. So on my show, for example, we had a whole hashtag we used for many weeks called “#EbolaFacts.” And people were sort of following along and getting more information.

Poynter: Given the mediums that you work with primarily, radio and online, what are some other things you do?

Avle: We do video, for example, if you interview health officials, talk through how you simulate an Ebola case if somebody presents with Ebola. We have videos we put online that are quite educative. We do interviews and make the audio available on Soundcloud, people listen. We translate into the local language — our show is in English, by the way. And then you have phone-ins. People send messages.

We have a WhatsApp number, people send lots of information to us. In my country, people like to report things to the media before it even gets to the police. So if somebody sees something odd, they’d be more likely to send the information to a radio station then they would a police station. And there are historical reasons for that. So we almost become this conduit between the public and the government.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Read more

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Why the Toronto Star unpublished an article about race

On Thursday, the Toronto Star published an article by Natasha Grzincic called “5 other labels for people of colour er… non-whites uh… racialized people.” Later that day, it took the article down.

The article, still available at partner sites like this one, notes that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has settled on the term “racialized” to describe people instead of using what it calls “more outdated and inaccurate terms” like “racial minority” or “non-white.”

The Star doesn’t have a style on using the term “racialized,” Public Editor Kathy English says in an email. Its style guide currently says to use the term “visible minority” rather than “nonwhite.” (The Star urges journalists to not refer to “colour or ethnicity unless it is relevant to the story.”)

Grzincic’s article looks at how “visible minority” and other terms are deployed. For example:

Ethnic minorities

Like “visible minority,” there’s the problem with “minority,” which could have a subordinate meaning. Same goes for “marginalized groups.”

Non-white

Non-preferred, because it defines people by what they are not. Used by StatCan to define visible minorities.

English says her office began to receive complaints that the article “made light of a sensitive, serious subject” not long after it was published. English said she discussed the article with Star Managing Editor Jane Davenport, who she said had not seen the piece before it went up.

Davenport thought the story should come down, so the Star doinked it and appended a note “In line with the Star’s transparency goals,” English said.

“Davenport’s view of the piece – which I agree with — is that a discussion of how visible minorities should be ‘labeled’ is inappropriate material for a listicle,” she writes. She continues:

The piece was flippant and commented on instead of reporting on the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s arguments. The writer of the piece is not a columnist with latitude to make such comment.

The Star is trying to find other outlets that published the piece and inform them it has removed it, English said. Further, “The newsroom is also looking further into the circumstances of the article being published.” Read more

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This weekend, one last get-together at the Minneapolis Star Tribune

The cover of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's homecoming publication. This image is courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The cover of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s homecoming publication. This image is courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, current and former employees of the Minneapolis Star Tribune can walk through most of the building that has been the home of the newspaper since 1920.

By next summer, the Star Tribune will be in a new space, and the building at 425 Portland Ave. will be gone, or close to it.

“There’s certainly some nostalgia,” said Steve Yaeger, the Star Tribune’s vice president of marketing and public relations, in a phone interview. “I would say overall — this is not the PR spin — we really are more excited about getting to the new place. Our building is very old and it was built for a very different news organization than what we have.”

There are people who work there today, though, who’ve spent their whole careers in that building, Yaeger said. Many are attached to the space, and not just people who work there now, but people who once did.

So on Saturday, the Star Tribune is having a homecoming. So far, about 700 people have RSVP’d, but Yaeger expects around 1,000.

“Some people will want to hug the building,” Yaeger said, “some people will just want to see the press operators they used to work the same shift with.”

A postcard from the Star-Tribune in 1950. This image is courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

A postcard from the Star Tribune in 1950. This image is courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

People can walk through three of the four floors of the building — to see where the presses and the mailroom once were. They’ll see images along the way of how the building has changed. In one hallway, there’s a 30-foot-long timeline that shows things that have happened at 425 Portland Ave. There’s food, of course, and speeches and the chance to catch up with old friends.

“It’s not just about the building,” Yaeger said. “It’s about the interactions in this building. A building is just a building in the end.”

The Star Tribune no longer owns that building, they’ve leased it through June 30 of next year, when they’ll be out for good and the building will come down as part of a redevelopment plan.

“The challenge for all of us, as we move, is to remain places of character,” Yaeger said. “We don’t want it to be bland. If it’s bland, we’ve lost something.”

Here are some other newsrooms that no longer live in their original buildings. I know there’s a lot to add here, and I will try and update this, so please send me suggestions at khare@poynter.org or @kristenhare.

Minneapolis Star Tribune

starjournal

Built: 1920

Sold: 2013. The building will be torn down in 2015. Some demolition has begun.

Now: The Star Tribune still operates out of the building, which it is currently leasing. They’ll move to 650 Third Ave. S by the end of June 2015 at the latest.

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Boston Herald

Built: 1957

Sold: 1998, then leased back. It was torn down in 2013. Herald photographer John Wilcox photographed a ceremony with Ink Block, which took over the space.

Now: Condos.

Miami Herald

The Miami Herald building is seen Wednesday, April 23, 2008 in Miami.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Miami Herald building is seen Wednesday, April 23, 2008 in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Built: 1963

Sold: 2011, moved in 2013

Now: Demolition started this year. In May, Selima Hussain wrote “9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Old Miami Herald Building,” for WLRN.

7. The materials used to build it

1HP boasted mahogany paneling, two kinds of granite (gray on the facade, red-veined on certain interior walls) chattahoochee rock and yellow ceramic tiles, according to Ibby Vores, Miami Herald human resources manager.

“It was impressive… there was all of this lifted space and a terrazzo floor, marble on the walls,” she says. “At the time it was built, it was an icon of the future.”

In April of last year, Erik Bojnansky wrote “Farewell, My Lovely Miami Herald,” for the Biscayne Times.

Now: Demolition has been slow and is still happening. The new development is supposed to include a hotel and casino.

Work continues on the former headquarters of the Miami Herald building on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in Miami.  Demolition on the south wing of the former headquarters began last Monday.  Genting, a Malaysian casino company, purchased the waterfront property in May, 2011, for $236 million, and plans to build a condo and hotel resort on the 14-acre site. The Miami Herald moved to Doral, Fla., in 2013. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Work continues on the former headquarters of the Miami Herald building on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in Miami. Demolition on the south wing of the former headquarters began last Monday. Genting, a Malaysian casino company, purchased the waterfront property in May, 2011, for $236 million, and plans to build a condo and hotel resort on the 14-acre site. The Miami Herald moved to Doral, Fla., in 2013. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Built: 1924

Sold: 2011

Now: It’s supposed to be redeveloped into a casino, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Photographer Will Steacy successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $26,000 from a $15,000 goal. Steacy spent five years photographing the Inquirer newsroom and is now writing a book with the help of the Kickstarter funds.

There’s also a Facebook page with images from the Inquirer’s last days in the building.

Los Angeles Herald-Examiner

Director Richard Brooks, center, discusses a scene with actors John Saxon, left, and Ryan O'Neal, right, on the set of the motion picture "The Fever," in the city room of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, on December 11, 1984, in Los Angeles, California. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)

Director Richard Brooks, center, discusses a scene with actors John Saxon, left, and Ryan O’Neal, right, on the set of the motion picture “The Fever,” in the city room of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, on December 11, 1984, in Los Angeles, California. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)

Built: 1913

Closed: 1989

Now: You can film movies on sets there.


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Here are more buildings and moves I heard about today. I’m just listing them for now but will add more.

– Detroit Free Press and Detroit News
Kalamazoo Gazette
Grand Rapids Press
Ann Arbor News
Muskegon Chronicle
Indianapolis Star
Oregonian
Seattle Times
Seattle P-I
Times-Picayune
New York Daily News
The New York Times
The (Syracuse) Post-Standard
The Marion Star
The Daily Oklahoman
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Santa Cruz Sentinel Read more

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Public fear and ‘an abundance of caution’

I wonder how George Orwell would react to a phrase that has been repeated time and again by government and university officials to justify recent stringent actions — such as quarantines and dis-invitations — in response to the Ebola crisis.

These officials say they are acting “out of an abundance of caution.”

It seems to be one of the phrases of the day, expressed by leaders who are trying to limit or eliminate contact, not just with sick people or people who have cared for the sick, but with almost anyone who has worked or traveled through countries where Ebola has spread.

Orwell was a famous critic of political speech, especially of the kind that used euphemism or passive constructions to cloud misbehavior or avoid responsibility. Mistakes, after all, are made.

To my ears, “an abundance of caution” is a peculiar phrase. It sounds like a parody of collective nouns such as “a gaggle of geese” or “an exaltation of larks.” How much caution will you exercise, Governor? Why, an abundance of caution, of course, sir.

“Abundance of caution” also carries the kind of tension you might find in an oxymoron (such as “jumbo shrimp”). “Abundance” is not the opposite of “caution” at the literal level. At the level of connotation, however, abundance suggests expansion while caution suggests contraction.

Which leads me to this strategy for journalists: Any time a political figure or thought leader wants to operate “out of an abundance of caution” – especially when the risk is demonstrably slight – look for the many ways in which they are operating out of a “scarcity of caution” – my term – when the risk is great.

Not a single American, to my knowledge, has contracted Ebola in the USA and died from the disease in the USA. On the other hand, here is a list of much more serious dangers to life and limb, based on statistics taken from the CDC. After each real danger is my fantasy of what a leader might say “out of an abundance of caution.”

  • About 35,000 Americans were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009. Twenty-two percent of them were people 15 to 24 years of age. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to raise the legal driving age to 25, and to greatly improve the quality of mass transit in our community.”
  • 16,250 people were victims of homicide in 2010, most of them from handguns. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to initiate a Constitutional Amendment that will allow reasonable restrictions on gun ownership.”
  • 38,360 Americans took their own lives in 2010. “Out of an abundance of caution, we will establish community based mental health facilities, whatever the cost, to create a safety net for those suffering from mental illness.”
  • According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as 22 American war veterans, maybe more, take their own lives every day. That’s more than 8,000 per year. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to multiply by ten the budget for the care of soldiers and other first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress, and will raise taxes to pay for it. Out of an even greater abundance of caution we have decided to no longer send our sons and daughters into protracted distant wars that we cannot win.”

Fever? Headache? Muscle aches? Forget about Ebola, chances are astronomically higher that you have the flu or some other common bug. That message still hasn't reached many Americans, judging from stories ER doctors and nurses swapped this week at a Chicago medical conference. Misinformed patients with Ebola-like symptoms can take up time and resources in busy emergency rooms, and doctors fear the problem may worsen when flu season ramps up. . (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Fever? Headache? Muscle aches? Forget about Ebola, chances are astronomically higher that you have the flu or some other common bug. Misinformed patients with Ebola-like symptoms can take up time and resources in busy emergency rooms, and doctors fear the problem may worsen when flu season ramps up. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

There are many more real things to be afraid of in the USA. Influenza and pneumonia caused 53,826 deaths in 2010, and yet we don’t require folks to get immunized for these common diseases. Using the logic of the governors, perhaps we should “out of an abundance of caution.”

Here are some possible translations for various uses of the phrase “out of an abundance of caution”:

  • Because our lawyers told us to.
  • Because I know my constituents don’t believe in science.
  • Because I know my constituents don’t trust the government.
  • Because I don’t want to get blamed for something outside my control.
  • Because I don’t have the backbone to do the right thing.
  • Because I’d rather demonize heroic caregivers to make myself look decisive.
  • Because our lawyers told us to. (Oh, sorry, I already said that one.)
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How news orgs plan digital coverage of midterms

Tuesday’s midterm elections will determine which party controls of the U.S. Senate. There are also 36 gubernatorial races, and the biennial U.S. House elections. Here’s how some news organizations plan digital coverage of the races. (This is by no means comprehensive; please email me your plans.)

ABC News will feature a live stream on its site, on its mobile app and on Apple TV. It plans some killer mobile alerts: One every time it calls one of the 507 races it’s covering Tuesday. Don’t worry, you won’t get 507 alerts: You can tell your app what your interest is overall (low, medium, or high), or pick individual races, or let it know your location and it will tell you the winners and losers near you. You’ll also be able to watch live video via iPhone and iPad apps.

The Associated Press says it “has reporters working in every statehouse throughout the year, and more than 5,000 stringers will be deployed across the country on election night to help AP Election Services gather local vote counts.” Its mobile app will feature coverage from member newspapers in hot-race states as well as “a dynamic feed of race calls, photos and videos.” Here’s a Twitter list of AP reporters on election duty.

The Boston Globe plans a “A homepage takeover with results for key races” as well as “A second-screen experience where reporters will file dispatches from the field on election night,” BostonGlobe.com Editor Jason Tuohey tells Poynter. Plus, of course, stories, results, analysis.

CBS News will offer a livestream of network coverage and “will provide a variety of tools to help users navigate the voting results, including interactive maps and exit poll data as it becomes available,” it says in a press release. CBS News’ site will also “feature original reports from CBS News correspondents in the field.”

CNN plans a live “Hambycast,” which will start streaming at 8 p.m. on CNN.com. The site will also feature a “digital version of John King’s infamous Magic Wall, where users can drill into the districts and data for themselves,” CNN says in a release. Plus: Short animated videos, like this one, that CNN has been posting on Facebook, and an experiment with the gaming platform Pivit, where you can play games like “Will Florida Governor Scott (R) win re-election?” PLUS: A chat on Facebook at 1 p.m. with Peter Hamby, Chris Moody and Stephen Collinson.

The Denver Post will feature live video from its video initiative DPTV, Post news director Kevin Dale said. New anchor Molly Hughes will speak with Post reporters through the night. The Post will replace its homepage “with a larger Elections presentation that will help us highlight our video, stories and results,” Dale said.

Visitors to Fox Newssite can look at a dashboard that shows balance of power graphics, links to predictions and news stories. Fox News’ coverage will be available to people using the FoxNewsGo app as well. Fox News will stream two video entities online from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET: FOX News Latino, and a revival of its old online show “The Strategy Room.”

The Huffington Post‘s politics crew will run a live blog, and HuffPost Live will “stream special coverage of midterm election night 2014, hosted by Marc Lamont Hill, Alyona Minkovski and Howard Fineman” from 6 p.m. until midnight Tuesday, HuffPost spokesperson Sujata Mitra said.

The Los Angeles Timeshomepage will link to a “one-stop blog for local, state and national election news,” a Tribune Publishing spokesperson tells Poynter. The homepage will also feature track key races and feature poll results.

Hotline’s Race tracker will power National Journal‘s election-night dashboard. NationalJournal.com will also feature a live blog featuring “instant updates, reporting, video, photos, and commentary on the races as they are called,” the publication says in a press release.

NBC News will roll out a new look for online and on-screen graphics, NBCNews.com’s product and operations director, Rachel Rique, said. “We designed it for mobile so it’s a lighter weight and a lighter feel,” she said. Visitors to NBC’s homepage will see a status bar that shows balance of power in the Senate and House, and prominent links to a redesigned elections page, which will host live video coverage, stories and links to “cards” for individual races. When NBC’s decision desk makes a call, the anchors will announce the result, and a new API will push a green check mark next to the winner’s name on a card. Those cards can easily be shared on social media.

The New York Times will have correspondents on the ground in 10 states with competitive races, and it will feature “Real-time election results across all of our platforms and devices, including our web site, mobile web site and phone and tablet apps,” Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades-Ha said in an email. Times data-y vertical The Upshot “will be applying its usual analytical, graphic-heavy methods to Election Night, on nytimes.com, Twitter and elsewhere.” Plus interactive maps, detailed results pages and photo essays “that tell the story of the election in a way that only the Times’s photojournalists can.”

NPR is throwing an “election party,” and guess what: You’re invited! (Sorry, getting a little punchy here.) NPR.org will stream the news org’s live coverage, from 8 p.m. ET to 1 a.m., and the NPR politics desk’s Tumblr will feature “live blogging, photos and more,” according to a release. There will also be an “expanded version [of NPR's coverage] built for television and optimized for Google Chromecast.” Also I’d like to salute NPR’s PR squad for including the sentence “Party on, Melissa. Party on, Robert” in a press release.

The Orlando Sentinel plans to live-stream video from its newsroom and will offer interactive results on its homepage and elsewhere. It also plans a live blog, and a “special elections barker.”

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel plans live results on its homepage, plus a live blog featuring reporters and columnists. Also photos and lots of video, including stuff from its newsroom studio and standups from partner WPEC.

USA Today will livestream “segments from the USA TODAY newsroom featuring political pundits and USA TODAY experts,” Gannett spokesperson Steve Kidera said. “In partnership with Gannett’s Video Production Center and Gannett Broadcasting, all the key races across the country will be covered, including live reports from many Gannett Broadcasting stations and campaign headquarters. Beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) and running throughout the night, coverage will be viewable across mobile, tablet and desktop devices on USATODAY.com, all Gannett Broadcasting websites and many of Gannett’s USCP sites.” USA Today’s elections forecast tool “will turn into a results page” on election night.

The Wall Street Journal will launch “a special election hub that will track the key races in real-time with live headline feeds and data galore,” U.S. news editor Glenn Hall said. “A key feature of the data hub will be a comprehensive map that allows users to drill down into voting results in each Congressional district of every state.” The Journal’s homepage will have “a live election scorecard, an interactive map, streaming video analysis, a live blog, real-time headlines and scores of analytical articles updated throughout the night.” Its relaunched politics section, Capital Journal, “will serve as the content hub for our election news and analysis.”

The Washington Post plans a “takeover display” of its Election Live Stream — maps, graphics, stories, etc. on its homepage. “Users will also have an option to switch to the original homepage to access a variety of non-election stories,” the company says, and the stream will work on mobile. Post reporters will be covering hot races on the ground in 10 states beyond the three in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Pregame coverage:
CNN plans a Twitter chat with Jake Tapper Friday and a Facebook chat with SE Cupp Monday.

The New York TimesUpshot Senate model “is being updated at least twice a day as new polls come in to help readers assess the state of the most competitive races,” Rhoades-Ha said. The Times also plans a readers’ guide to important races, a “voters’ voices video with a distinctly 2014 midterm feel that focuses on the national mood” and state pages that “give a closer look at the most interesting races and ballot initiatives in all 50 states.”

Twitter‘s election dashboard lets you drill down to individual states or look at national trends and issues being discussed.

USA Today and Twitter have partnered on a political issues list that breaks down tweeters on various issues by their age, gender and state. The index “makes no attempt to analyze the sentiment expressed in tweets — only the subject area,” Paul Singer writes. USA Today has also decided “not to compare tweet volume around various candidate names, because in the last days of the campaign swing so much of the Twitter traffic around candidates is driven by campaigns, consultants and other professional partisans.” USA Today also has an iOS app that tracks political ads.

Correction: This post originally misspelled Capital Journal as Capitol Journal. Read more

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