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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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2 bosses depart Condé Nast, former Time Inc. exec joins as CFO

Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend announced Wednesday the hiring of a new chief financial officer and the departure of two company executives.

In a memo to employees, Townsend announced that David Geithner will be joining the company as CFO, replacing John Bellando, who “has decided to leave the company.” Geithner is a former Time Inc. executive who lost his job when the company was reorganized earlier this year. Also gone is Thomas Wallace, Condé Nast’s editorial director since 2005.… Read more

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University may sell radio station after ‘Sexy Snapchats’ promotion somehow goes wrong

Student Press Law Center

In April, KCPR’s sex talk show “Getting It In,” held a fundraiser with the promise that after donating $20, people would get “a week of sexy snapchats featuring the hosts of Getting It In!” The show’s hosts, Logan Cooper and Sean Martinez, had to stop broadcasting in May, Jenna Spoont reported Monday for Student Press Law Center, and officials at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo are now considering selling the station.

CalCoastNews.com, an independent news website located in San Luis Obispo, reported Thursday on emails they obtained through the California Public Records Act, which hint that the school could sell the station.

“I am beginning to believe that we should sell the radio license,” Douglas Epperson, dean of the college of liberal arts, said in an email sent on May 19, adding that the university has had an offer.

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Employment down, anchor salaries stagnant in local TV newsrooms

Pew Research Center

Despite increased budgets and an optimistic advertising market, anchor salaries and employment were down throughout local television newsrooms in 2013, Katerina Matsa reported for Pew Research Center Wednesday.

The Pew report was based on a survey of 1,300 local news directors published by RTDNA and Hofstra University.

A little more than half of local TV news directors nationwide reported that their budgets increased in 2013, but the number of full-time jobs fell to about 27,300, down 400 from 2012, according to the report. When news directors added new employees to the staff, they were most likely to hire producers and reporters, according to the study.

These budget increases weren’t reflected in anchor salaries, however. Median anchor salaries fell by $1,500 in 2013, going from $64,000 to $62,500.… Read more

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AP sends clumsily worded tweet about MH17 victims, world reacts

No, the plane didn’t crash.

“This was an especially regrettable lapse that drew wide attention as Dutch families awaited the return of their loved ones’ remains,” AP spokesperson Paul Colford writes in a blog post.

I looked through the AP Stylebook for guidance on compound verbs (i.e., “crash-lands” as opposed to “crash lands”) and came up empty. I’d hyphenate that verb if that was the intended meaning, but the book advises “the fewer hyphens the better; use them only when not using them causes confusion.” It does advise against using “awkward constructions that split infinitive forms of a verb…or compound forms.”

A lot of Twitter hounds suggested a comma (e.g.Read more

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Colorado Shooting-Batman Mythology

21st Century Fox gets back into the newspaper business

Good morning. Here are 10-ish media stories.

  1. Another tough year for newspapers? Gannett’s earnings report showed weak national advertising and “just how unequal the local broadcast and local newspaper businesses have become.” Circulation “is a relative bright spot, though overall it was down slightly.” (Poynter) | A “a well-programmed computer could have done better” than I did in yesterday’s morning roundup, Alan D. Mutter writes. The post highlighted the report’s statement that circulation revenue increased at local papers. “[I]n his haste to crank out a story, the author evidently relied on the bafflegab in Gannett’s press release, instead of looking at the several pages of detailed financial tables appended to it.” (Reflections of a Newsosaur)
  2. Alan Murray leaves Pew to edit Fortune: Pew “will promptly begin a search for the new president” of Pew Research Center.
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Gannett

If Gannett is a bellwether, 2014 will be another tough year for newspaper advertising

the sign for Gannett headquarters is displayed in McLean, Va. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, file)

Since the Newspaper Association of America stopped reporting quarterly revenue results last year, I have looked at Gannett’s numbers as a reasonable proxy for the industry. Here are three takeaways from yesterday’s second quarter earnings report and conference call with analysts.

  • National advertising was terrible in the second quarter (down 16.3 percent compared to the same period in 2013) for Gannett’s publishing division. Despite a small gain in digital advertising and marketing services, overall advertising was down 6 percent.CEO Gracia Martore told analysts she had heard of similar weak national results from friends in the industry, as have I.  One explanation, on top of the stop-and-go economic recovery — the World Cup was an attractive advertising opportunity for big companies, and they pulled from print budgets to go heavy in social media.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Providence Journal sold for $46 million

WPRI | The Providence Journal

The Providence Journal has been sold to New Media Investment Group Inc. for $46 million, Ted Nesi reported Tuesday.

The deal, which includes the paper’s production facility but not its headquarters, is expected to close “sometime in the third quarter,” The Journal reports.

Longtime owner A.H. Belo Corporation put the paper up for sale in December, after substantial declines in both circulation and advertising, as Nesi reported. The Journal’s average Sunday circulation was 105,810 in September, down 11 percent from the previous year. And advertising revenue fell 66 percent since 2005, dropping to $46 million in 2012. In April 2013, Karen A. Bordeleau took over as executive editor, replacing Thomas E. Heslin, who resigned due to health reasons.… Read more

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AJC’s rapping political reporter plans to keep his day job

Atlanta Journal Constitution | Gawker

Yo, yo, everybody listen up: you’re about to get an infusion of electoral knowledge, East Coast style. This reporter’s colleagues call him Rap Master Malloy, and he’s bringing you election news with a Wu-Tang beat.

That’s right — Daniel Malloy, the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Washington correspondent, who’s known alternatively as MC Malloy, took some time last night to record his second political rap in 2014. The track dropped today, to the amusement of Malloy’s colleagues and not a little bit of snark from the Internet.

In a post, Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan declared “there is absolutely no reason for this to exist.” Malloy tweeted the article, declaring “this is truly the highest honor.”

The rap, which exhorts Malloy’s readers — or fans — to go vote, details some anecdotes from his campaign coverage.… Read more

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Newspaper tries to keep publishing in fire-pounded region

The Wenatchee World | Methow Valley News (Facebook)

While Washington state’s Methow Valley is being ravaged by wildfires, the Methow Valley News is trying to keep publishing. That’s complicated, because its working from a region where few have electricity.

Publisher Don Nelson obtained a generator after his partner, Poynter Editing Fellow Jacqui Banaszynski, put out a call on Facebook and Twitter. Two former coworkers arranged to get him one, Banaszynski writes in an email.

Now, “Reporters have been out gathering stories with pen and paper and bringing or phoning them in so office staff can type them in on a cell phone with Internet service to get stories on the paper’s Facebook page,” Rick Steigmeyer reports in The Wenatchee World. … Read more

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Here’s the storyline behind The Washington Post’s Storyline

When Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron congratulated the team of writers and editors behind Storyline after its launch Tuesday morning, he was addressing journalists who’d been spending a lot of time at work.

Some members of the team were in the office until 9 p.m. Monday night making final preparations. Jim Tankersley, the site’s editor, got in the office at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“It’s fair to say that we worked many a night and weekend to get this where it is,” Tankersley said.

The site, which aims to answer big questions about public policy, bears some similarities to initiatives like FiveThirtyEight, The Upshot, QED and Vox, which was founded by Post alumnus Ezra Klein. This morning, Michael Calderone wrote in The Huffington Post wrote that the site was another salvo in the continuing “wonk wars.”

But what distinguishes Storyline from these other explanatory sites, Tankersley said, is its ambition to put public policy questions into context with powerful personal stories.… Read more

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Purple Hello Nametag

Taft Wireback, Xerxes Wilson and even more great bylines

On Friday, I wrote about some great bylines, including Valerie Wigglesworth and Holly Hacker. The story came out of a post I wrote about a Comedy Central show that played a game of “NPR Anchor or Minor Star Wars Character,” last week. Throughout the weekend, I heard even more great names and thought it was time for another post.

Here they are:

Frank Bi is a news developer at PBS NewsHour. Because of the way Newshour configures its emails, well, see for yourself.

Clifford Fewel left this comment with the story. Like Holly Hacker who works with data, Fewel has also been well-cast.

“We are self-syndicated automotive writers Clifford and Mary Fewel (cq), aka AutoCouple. People ask us what our REAL last name is. Fewel is Welsh and before Ellis Island was spelled Fewyll and pronounced FEH-weck.”

Jake New, a reporter for Inside Higher Ed, is also in the right business.… Read more

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AP F IL USA EARNS TRIBUNE

Eighteen months after dropping AP, Tribune happy with Reuters

When newspaper ad revenues were in free fall in 2008, there was much angry complaining among editors about the high cost and inflexibility of the Associated Press service. At a gripe session in Washington, one editor compared the cooperative to the USSR’s politburo.  Threats to quit were common.

In the end though, AP cut its rates, offered several levels of service and has retained the great majority of its newspaper members (who also own the cooperative and hold most its board seats).

But there was an exception.

Starting in 2009, Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern quietly began working with Reuters to build an acceptable substitute service.  Kern told me the Chicago Tribune ran its last AP material in March 2012.  With six other Tribune papers (but not the Los Angeles Times), it dropped AP entirely at the start of 2013.… Read more

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