BuzzFeed is reviewing Benny Johnson’s work

Our Bad Media

BuzzFeed is reviewing the work of viral politics editor Benny Johnson, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith tells Poynter.

Two Twitter users who go by @blippoblappo and @crushingbort have published what they call “more plagiarism” from Johnson, who Smith told Gawker’s J.K. Trotter is “one of the web’s deeply original writers.”

Some of what @blippoblappo and @crushingbort uncovered is patchwriting, but Smith says, “There are three serious instances of plagiarism in this post.” He told Poynter yesterday that he planned to keep Johnson on staff.… Read more

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Nescafe thinks reading the newspaper is ‘a rather lonely’ thing to do

Industry Tap | Business Insider | AdWeek

The company known around the world for instant coffee launched an ad campaign aimed at, it appears, getting people to share a cup of coffee with strangers instead of reading the news. Marshall Smith wrote about a Nescafé ad campaign that includes pop-up mugs in newspapers for Industry Tap on Thursday. “Called the “pop-up café”, the ad was a huge hit,” he wrote. Here’s a little from the ad:

In the morning, reading the newspaper can be a rather lonely moment. But what if we could turn that lonely moment into a conversation starter?

So people pass out free newspapers in France (it’s Metronews) wrapped in red folders, and when the newspaper readers get to their offices with the Eiffel Tower in the background, they discover the mugs, stop reading the news and go have a conversation.… Read more

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Iran confirms: Post correspondent has been arrested

Washington Post

Iran acknowledged the arrest of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, Ernesto Londoño and William Branigi reported in The Post Friday:

“Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, director general of the Tehran Province Justice Department, told reporters that the “Washington Post journalist has been detained for some questions and after technical investigations, the judiciary will provide details on the issue,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.”

U.S. officials told The Post that Rezaian, 38, was detained with his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two other U.S. citizens this week. Poynter’s Kristen Hare noted that Rezaian has not tweeted since July 21 and his wife has not tweeted since July 20.

Iran has thrown many journalists in jail in recent years for various charges relating to spreading “anti-state” information.… Read more

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The history of TMZ, FT’s mobile revenue rises

Good morning. Almost there! Here are 10 or so stories.

  1. The problem with making a graphic about diversity in top newsroom positions over the years: “there isn’t really any racial diversity at all,” Manjula Martin writes. “Any way you click it, of the 183 top editors of mainstream English-language media outlets [Vijith] Assar counted here, one is a black man. Nine are white women (and two of them are Tina Brown).” (Scratch)
  2. Digital subscriptions up 33 percent at FT: Total circulation (677,000 across platforms) is up 13 percent over the first half of last year, FT parent Pearson reports in its half-year results. Mobile “now generates almost 50% of total traffic and 20% of new digital subscriptions,” and mobile ad revenue was up 9 percent.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

BuzzFeed changes posts that swiped text

Gawker | Our Bad Media

BuzzFeed has updated and attached corrections to three articles by Benny Johnson that swiped passages from other sources, J.K. Trotter reports in Gawker. The notes (1, 2, 3) were added Thursday afternoon.

Two Twitter users with the names @blippoblappo and @crushingbort outlined examples of Johnson lifting text, in one case from a press release from U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson.

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith told Trotter BuzzFeed was “grateful to @blippoblappo and @crushingbort” for alerting it to the lifted text and said Johnson, the publication’s viral politics editor, “is one of the web’s deeply original writers, as is clear from his body of work.”

Smith told Poynter that BuzzFeed plans to keep Johnson on.… Read more

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Mideast Iran New Year

Washington Post reporter among 4 journalists detained in Iran

Washington Post

The Washington Post’s Ernesto Londoño reported Thursday that correspondent Jason Rezaian was detained in Iran on Tuesday along with his wife and two other Americans.

“We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them,” (foreign editor Douglas) Jehl said in a statement.

Rezaian is the Tehran correspondent for the paper. He hasn’t tweeted since July 21. Londoño reported that Rezaian’s wife is also a journalist. She hasn’t tweeted since July 20.

Rezaian, 38, holds American and Iranian citizenship. Yeganeh, an Iranian citizen who has applied for U.S. permanent residency, works as a correspondent for the National, a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates.

The other two American citizens detained with them work as freelance photojournalists.

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Quote approval isn’t necessary when White House insists on interview minders

The Washington Post | Politico | National Journal

The White House “may be the most diligent user of the chaperoned interview,” Paul Farhi writes in The Washington Post. Though many news organizations banned the practice of quote approval in 2012, the Obama administration makes diligent use of minders during interviews, which can accomplish a similar purpose.

“Let’s put it this way,” New York Times reporter Peter Baker told Farhi about the practice. “It’s not intended to increase candor.”

That’s assuming reporters can get near administration officials in the first place. The administration has kept the president unencumbered by reporters during two meetings with super PAC donors this week, and it limited coverage of an event in Washington Tuesday, Edward Isaac Dovere and Josh Gerstein report in Politico.… Read more

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Verge EIC Joshua Topolsky will join Bloomberg

The New York Times | The Verge | CJR

Joshua Topolsky will join Bloomberg “as the editor of a series of new online ventures it is launching as part of a revamped journalism strategy,” Ravi Somaiya reports in The New York Times.

Topolsky co-founded The Verge in 2011. Verge co-founder Nilay Patel left the publication in March to become acting managing editor of Vox.com, which, like The Verge, is published by Vox Media. Patel will become The Verge’s new top editor. Dieter Bohn will be its executive editor. “This is going to be rad,” Patel writes.

Topolsky’s move “is bucking the trend of young, web-native journalists leaving established media brands for smaller, more nimble startups,” Somaiya writes. The splashy hire comes on the same day as a CJR story that says Bloomberg News employees are becoming restless as they await the company’s reinvention under Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith.… Read more

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New York Times Executive Editor

NYT’s use of ‘illegal immigrant’ fell in 2013

The New York Times has opened Alexis Lloyd’s Chronicle tool to the public. Chronicle elegantly visualizes how often words and terms have appeared in the Times since 1851.

As an example, here’s how Lincoln, Roosevelt and Clinton came in and out of the news over the last 160+ years:

The tool is also handy for tracking language and style changes over time. Here’s a graph of the terms “illegal immigrant” and “undocumented”:

Last year, use of “undocumented” spiked and use of “illegal immigrant” fell sharply. That correlates with the Times’ April 2013 decision to tweak its style on the term “illegal immigrant.”

At the time, Associate Managing Editor for Standards Philip Corbett said some people “view the term as loaded or offensive.” Meanwhile, Corbett wrote, “undocumented” is “preferred by many immigrants and their advocates, but it has a flavor of euphemism and should be used with caution outside quotations.” It seems to have become more common in the Times anyway.… Read more

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Ad revenue down at McClatchy

The McClatchy Co.

Advertising revenue was down 7 percent in the second quarter of 2014 at the McClatchy Co., which released earnings Thursday. “Audience” revenue, which is what McClatchy now calls circulation revenue, was up about 5 percent. Excluding revenue from McClatchy’s change to fee-for-service circulation delivery contracts at some newspapers, circulation revenue was down about 3 percent.

“Still, we continued to see growth in direct marketing and digital advertising revenues and together these two sources accounted for 43% of our total advertising revenue in the quarter,” McClatchy CEO Pat Talamantes said in a statement.

McClatchy’s results include $146 million it made by selling its share of Apartments.com and, “to a lesser extent,” its share in in McClatchy‑Tribune Information Services. Tribune bought out McClatchy’s share in MCT in May.… Read more

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CNN, RT report missing staff in Ukraine

CNN

Ukrainian journalist Anton Skiba, who worked as a fixer for CNN, was abducted by pro-Russian separatists and is still in detention, Ivan Watson and Ingrid Formanek reported for CNN on Thursday.

Since his detention, CNN has attempted through a number of different separatist officials, including the office of the self-declared separatist prime minister Alexander Borodai, to secure Skiba’s freedom.
CNN chose not to report his abduction at the time while making efforts to obtain his release.
That has not happened to date, so CNN is now publicly asking those who are holding Skiba to release him immediately.

Graham Phillips, a British blogger working as a stringer for Russia Today, has also gone missing along with three others, RT reported. “The agency cites anonymous sources, saying the group of four was taken hostage by Ukrainian troops.”

In May, RT reported that Phillips was detained by the Ukrainian National Guard.… Read more

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Italy Monuments Man

MailOnline’s ad revenue soars, Clooney be damned

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Bloomberg News employees are getting restive: Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith‘s “broad goals still don’t add up to a rationale for the enterprise,” Dean Starkman writes. (CJR)
  2. Sorry, George Clooney: MailOnline’s second-quarter advertising revenue was up 49 percent over the same period in 2013. Digital advertising brought in £15m (about $25.5m), which “offset a £3m (5 per cent) fall in print advertising revenue from the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, which stood at £46m for the quarter.” (PressGazette) | The Daily Mail’s “great stories you may not have seen anywhere else” are often untrue or ripped off. (Craig Silverman) | More earnings: McClatchy’s Q2 earnings report is due today.
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Florida paper’s marijuana site: Not just for Grateful Dead fans

For one year 45 years ago, Michael Pollick lived in Monterey, California. It was an interesting year. Pollick, who was studying Mandarin with the Air Force, lived at Presidio of Monterey. Two years after the Summer of Love, there was the bloody standoff over People’s Park in Berkeley, “and the fanning out of the hippie point of view throughout the culture,” he said.

This June, Pollick, a reporter with the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune, traveled back to California to see something new — a culture, businesses, regulations and people rising around the legalization of medical marijuana. Then, he went to Colorado and did the same thing.

Stories about what he found are running now in the Herald-Tribune and on its new site, Medical Marijuana. The site launched last Sunday, with plans to roll out a series of stories leading up to November’s ballot initiative that could legalize medical marijuana in Florida.… Read more

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Yorker editor watches cartoons come to life on ‘Late Night’

Late Night With Seth Meyers

Talk about sketch comedy.

David Remnick appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers last night for a discussion about the international tension between Russia and Ukraine, in which Remnick compared Russia’s state-controlled media to a legion of Glenn Beck clones:

“Imagine if Glenn Beck were appointed by the president — hard to imagine this president — but appointed by George Bush, as it were; and there were many Glenn Becks all over television, and that was all the information you were getting about the world.”

Then, he stood next to Meyers and watched as The Late Night Players re-enacted cartoons that have appeared in The New Yorker over the years. Watch as Remnick and Meyers play for the camera while the New Yorker editor explains the high-brow punchlines that were once confined to bubbles:

Meyers, who played a fake newsman on Saturday Night Live, has had used journalism as fodder for comedy before.… Read more

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AP photographer’s killer gets death sentence

 Associated Press | Huffington Post | Nieman Journalism Lab

The Afghan police officer who killed Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus has been convicted and sentenced to death, the AP reported Wednesday.

Roses lay in front of a picture of the Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, 48, who was killed April 4, 2014 in Afghanistan, in Paris, Saturday, April 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Police commander Naqibullah, who goes by one name, was given an additional sentence of four years for wounding correspondent Kathy Gannon, the AP reports.

RELATED: Some of Niedringhaus’ final images

Naqibullah surrendered shortly after the slaying, according to the report:

“Gannon and Niedringhaus traveled to Khost under the protection of Afghan forces and were at a district police headquarters in a village outside the city on April 4 when witnesses say Naqibullah walked up to their hired car, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great — and fired on them in the back seat with a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

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