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Salon agrees to recognize union, starts negotiations on contract

Management at San Francisco-based Salon Media has agreed to start talks on a first union contract with its workers, it was disclosed Saturday.

“Salon Media has agreed to recognize the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) as the collective bargaining representative of its editorial staff, whose decision to unionize was unanimous,” the union said in a formal statement.

Workers voted last month to join a union. The company could have forced a formal vote overseen by a third party or perhaps otherwise stalled union recognition. It did not, which now triggers the process of attempting to bargain a first contract.

“The men and women who write, edit, and produce stories for Salon.com have gained a voice on the job, and the intelligence and unity they have brought to the project is an inspiration,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. Read more

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Friday, July 31, 2015

New York Review of Books responds to New York Times’ rebuttal of nails’ exposé critique

New York Review of Books

Richard Bernstein continued his beef with the New York Times’ nail salon exposé and says the editor’s response was late and insufficient.

Bernstein’s article, published on the New York Review of Books website on Friday, came in response to the letter issued by New York Times editors earlier this week. And so, the debate rages on over ‘Unvarnished’ by Times Reporter Sarah Maslin Nir.

The Times’ rebuttal called his critique as “industry advocacy” while Bernstein responded by focusing on the paper’s lack of response to its allegation that classified advertisements don’t offer $10 a day for workers, as was reported by the story. Bernstein is a part owner of two New York City day spas that are operated by his wife and sister-in-law, both Chinese natives, in an industry with many Asian immigrants. Read more

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American Journalism Review to cease publication

American Journalism Review will cease operation after almost 38 years of publication. The announcement was made on the publication’s website Friday evening. The news comes exactly two years after it ceased the production of its print edition. The magazine was published by Phillip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

“Over many decades, American Journalism Review has been an incredible value both to the college and to American journalists,” said Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish. “Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the resources needed to keep AJR the vibrant, innovative online publication it deserves to be.”

The magazine will no longer be publishing “original” content. However, the existing archives will still be available on the website.

AJR’s death comes almost one and a half year after its redesign in late 2013. Read more

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This week on Medium: 5 stories you may have missed

Happy Friday! Here’s some weekend reading (if you just can’t get enough of journalism, writing or the media,) gathered from good stuff published on Medium this week and last. Thanks to Katie Hawkins-Gaar and Vidisha Priyanka for helping to curate.

‘Twelve Step Program’ for Becoming An Investigative Reporter

Brock Meeks delivers on the promise of that headline with what it takes to make it in investigative journalism. They should teach No. 4 in journalism school:

4. Cultivate the Crazies, Kooks and Conspiracy Theorists

As an investigative reporter you’re going to hear from all corners of society, none more so that the “fringe element,” those that believe the CIA has implanted listening devices in fillings of their teeth or are secretly working on an anti-gravity machine. And you’ll hear from them in droves: Pay.Attention.To.Them

Once in a great while, among the flotsam and jetsam of cornball theories and suspicions, you’ll find an absolute pearl, an honest-to-god scoop of story that no one else took the time to uncover.

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Chicago Bears new media coverage rules: don’t report on us

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler speaks during an NFL football training camp media availability at Olivet Nazarene University, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Bourbonnais, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler speaks during an NFL football training camp media availability at Olivet Nazarene University, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Bourbonnais, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Tom Brady destroyed his cell phone. Now the Chicago Bears apparently would like beat reporters to self-destruct or otherwise disappear.

The team has released new coverage rules for its training camp. Like all NFL teams, it just started.

Dan Bernstein, a Chicago radio sports talk host, summarized the new rules thusly after mentioning the rather open access for fans:

Credentialed reporters, however, have now been told not to report. They can’t tell anyone what they see on the field, nor can they approach players or coaches at the conclusion of practice without having submitted a request for approval 24 hours prior.

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Commentary: Does ‘tonight’ really mean ‘tonight,’ tonight?

Screenshot from ABC World News Tonight.

Screenshot from ABC World News Tonight.

It’s a common ploy in news writing — using a time reference like “tonight,” “this morning,” or “overnight” to give a story an air of immediacy. But is it needed? And is it accurate?

Sometimes it is needed. For instance: “the decision announced this morning…” when it really was announced this morning and is different from the decision announced, say, yesterday.

Sometimes it is accurate – “a plane crash tonight…” when it really did happen tonight.

But too often, it’s neither. Too often the time reference is clearly meant just to give the story some punch. And too often it’s plain wrong.

Take ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” for example.

On Tuesday, July 21, I counted 45 “tonight” references in the newscast. Read more

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Front page of the day: Malaysia’s The Star and MH370

We’re testing out some new places for this daily feature, which you can find in Jim Warren’s morning newsletter and on Poynter’s Front Page of the Day Tumblr. Today, and for a while, you can also find it here. When possible, I’ll check in with the newspaper and the designers to see what went into making the front.

Here’s today’s pick, via Newseum, from The Star in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Star led with news that we’ll soon know more on the wreckage found at Reunion Island. Many think the found piece came from MH370, which went missing in March of last year. The Star also included an update on the investigation of MH17, which was shot down near the Russian border last July. Read more

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Obtaining government officials’ business emails should be easier

This is another in a series of articles by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press covering legal issues that affect journalists. RCFP’s Legal Fellow Kristin Bergman wrote this article.

In this 2011 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from inside a C-17 military plane. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, wants to know why the panel has no emails from the day the photo was taken as Clinton, then the secretary of state, was en route to Tripoli. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

In this 2011 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from inside a C-17 military plane. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, wants to know why the panel has no emails from the day the photo was taken as Clinton, then the secretary of state, was en route to Tripoli. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

This spring, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came under fire when the State Department disclosed her exclusive use of a personal email server during her time as Secretary of State.

This raised major transparency concerns because she used a private account and her email correspondence was not available for production when the State Department received Freedom of Information Act requests. Read more

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Morning Roundup: Bono’s shout-out to Rolling Stone’s embattled Jann Wenner

Good morning.

  1. Amid magazine’s turmoil, a rocker’s kind words

    Among those "in the house" Thursday night for U2's knockout concert at Madison Square Garden in New York was Jann Wenner, the Rolling Stone founder and boss. It must have been music to his ears that Bono thanked "the believers at Rolling Stone and Jann Wenner," especially given the ongoing disaster of the magazine's botched University of Virginia gang rape expose (his managing editor exited the day before). The kudos seemed to be for their support of the band, and perhaps artists in general. One assumes any kind words are appreciated these days by an embattled rock journalism pioneer who will be spending a lot of money in legal bills as litigation mounts. (Washington Post)

  2. Clinton campaign's very unhappy letter to the editor

    It's now disclosed that the Hillary Clinton campaign had sent New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet a letter of predictable and seemingly quite detailed outrage over its errant story regarding an investigation of Clinton emails while Secretary of State.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

8 questions about becoming a data journalist (with answers)

Last night, Scott Klein, who runs the News Apps team at ProPublica, took part in the weekly #wjchat on Twitter. The topic was “So you want to be a data journalist?” Other journalists in the data/interactive journalism community, including Yuri Victor of Vox and Sandhya Kambhampati from Chronicle of Higher Education, chimed in for the conversation aimed at helping people figure out what was the best way for someone to enter the field.

Here are the key takeaways from the chat:

1. What is a data journalist? What skills and knowledge do you need?

Short answer: The ability to think of creative ways to channel data. You can interview a person, and you can interview spreadsheets.

2. Read more

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Media as kingmaker: Roger Ailes rules over first GOP debate

New York Magazine

 Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News in 2006. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News in 2006. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Amid ample confusion, one thing is clear: Fox News boss Roger Ailes is the power behind the throne for the first big Republican presidential debate.

No, it’s probably really the power in front of the debate throne.

Fox is running next week’s first debate in Cleveland and, at this point, it’s even unclear which ten candidates will be allowed on stage (or at least who’ll be the tenth and final combatant, given Fox’s ultimately poll-driven decision).

Ailes was a master of stagecraft as a GOP political operative and, fittingly, there’s been much discussion and lobbying over the format.

“Fox told campaigns this week that the candidates will be lined up onstage according to their poll numbers, with the leader in the center and the others to his left and right. Read more

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John Cook named temporary executive editor at Gawker

The International Business Times

John Cook will be temporarily taking over the position of executive editor at Gawker Media. The announcement comes after seven staffers left the company recently, including executive editor Tommy Craggs and editor-in-chief Max Read.

Cook is currently the investigations editor at the publication. The announcement came from a memo that Cook sent out this morning. It also notes that Leah Beckmann, the current deputy editor, will take over as the editor-in-chief until a permanent replacement is hired for Max Read. Hamilton Nolan, currently a senior writer at the publication, will take over Beckmann’s position.

Cook, in collaboration with Nick Denton and Heather Dietrick will set up a search committee for a new permanent executive editor in addition to identifying candidates for the position of editor-in-chief. Read more

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Arthur Gregg Sulzberger named associate editor at The New York Times

The New York Times Company

The New York Times Company announced that Arthur Gregg Sulzberger was named an associate editor on Thursday. Sulzberger was previously senior editor of strategy. He was an author on the Times’ Innovation Report. Sulzberger is also a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board.

From a note from Executive Editor Dean Baquet:

For a year now, the Newsroom Strategy team has worked closely with the masthead to draw the roadmap for our digital transformation. At a moment when The Times is making big changes and significant progress, the team of Tyson Evans and Jon Galinsky, led by Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, ​has played a role in nearly every digital project we have undertaken.

They crafted the initial audience development plan, which led to the creation of our outstanding audience development team.

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Terry Bollea, Hulk Hogan,

Hogan’s lawyer accuses Gawker of leaking content of tapes

On Thursday, lawyers representing Gawker Media and Terry Bollea (the real name of Hulk Hogan) gathered in the Sixth Circuit court in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Image Credit: AP

Image Credit: AP

In a motion, the counsel representing Hulk Hogan accused Gawker of reportedly leaking tapes to the National Enquirer, which published an article reporting that racist slurs were part of the conversations on the tape.

“The Enquirer article is very close to the transcripts,” said Hogan’s lawyers.

“If National Enquirer quotes court documents that they could have obtained only from three sources, how did they get them?” questioned Hogan’s lawyers. They requested an electronic forensic investigation to explore if Gawker communicated with National Enquirer.

As reported earlier, the lawsuit centers on whether Gawker Media was legally justified in posting an edited video showing Hogan having sex with Heather Clem, the ex-wife of shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. Read more

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Philly TV station asked viewers to share moon pics. Viewers got creative.

On Wednesday night, WTXF-TV in Philadelphia tweeted a photo of the moon and asked viewers to share their own moon pictures.

Of course there were a few tweets of backsides, but most people took their creativity to the next level. This looks like Denny’s “Moons Over My Hammy.”

Here’s the Rev. Sun Myung Moon:

And Moon Zappa:

That iconic E.T. moment:

Here’s the Who’s Keith Moon:

And the Death Star:

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