AP wins SPJ award for public service, Boston Globe for deadline reporting

Society of Professional Journalists
Rebecca Boone of The Associated Press received the Society of Professional Journalists' public service award for coverage of the Idaho prison system and The Boston Globe staff won deadline reporting honors for its stories on the Boston Marathon bombings, SPJ announced Wednesday.

Also winning in the online investigative reporting category (affiliated) were ABC News and The Center for Public Integrity journalists Matt Mosk, Chris Hamby, Lee Ferran and Brian Ross. ABC News and The Center for Public Integrity are feuding over the sharing of a Pulitzer, which CPI's Chris Hamby alone won on Monday. Judges selected 85 winners from 1,800 entries covering a range of media, including newspapers/wire services, magazines, online, television and radio. (more...)
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New Star Tribune owner: Paper will be less liberal when current reporters retire

MinnPost
In an interview with MinnPost's Britt Robson, new (Minneapolis) Star Tribune owner Glen Taylor said the paper's reputation as a liberal outlet will change whether he owns it or not. That said: "Will it change because of the ownership of Glen Taylor? Yeah. To say it won’t wouldn’t be accurate," Taylor says, continuing:
But it isn’t like Glen Taylor is going to come in there on day one and say, “I’m going to fire people” and do all sorts of things. I am going to say — and I have already told them this — that first of all it has got to be fair and it has got to be accurate.
Taylor says he detects "a little bit more of a balance" among new reporters. "But I think traditionally, some of the reporters that have been hired and they have been there for a long time, I don’t know how you are ever going to change those people and what they write, but through time itself, some of those people will retire."

He says he envisions a bifurcated system in the future: "My thought is that you are more likely to find two different reporters, one not seeing it from one side and the other not seeing it from the other side, and both of them reporting."
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The Supreme Court Building is seen, Thursday, March 5, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

SCOTUSblog will appeal Senate’s denial of press pass

SCOTUSblog
The U.S. Senate Press Gallery denied SCOTUSblog's request for a press pass last week. "We were disappointed in that decision," SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein writes in a blog post. The publication plans to appeal:
We do not have a written list of the reasons for the denial, which makes the process more difficult. Our impression is also that the appeal may go to the same group that denied the application in the first place. If the appeal is denied, then we expect to litigate the issue. We’re now coordinating all those efforts with other groups that kindly have offered to support us.
A Senate Press Gallery credential is usually a prerequisite for a Supreme Court press pass, which SCOTUSblog still, somewhat inexplicably, lacks. The Senate granted the publication a press pass last April. "We then presented that credential to the Supreme Court, thinking that the issue was resolved," Goldstein writes, but the court declined to recognize it. “We are in the process of reviewing our credentialing procedures and are not issuing new credentials until that process is complete,” court public information officer Kathleen Arberg told Poynter last fall.

A reporter snapped this photo on the wall of the Supreme Court press room last October; it shows who has permanent credentials (click to view bigger). (more...)
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Bring out your bad ledes

Ah, journalism. On a crisp, bright morning in St. Petersburg, Fla., my News University colleagues and I started talking about bad ledes. When it comes to bad ledes, the dictionary defines them as -- OK, that's enough.
You know what a bad lede* looks like. They often involve cliches or tired tropes or slightly twisted song lyrics. In my case, the Bible played a role. Here's one of my own, from a 2004 story in The St. Joseph News-Press.

"To every fruit tree, there is a season."

(Shiver.)

My editor, Andrew Beaujon, did a bit of digging and found one of his own, from 2003 story for SPIN. "Please emphasize I'm sure I've written many worse ledes," he told me. He's written way worse ledes.
There are two kinds of music fans: those who are honest about what they like and those who claim to like everything. The latter were everywhere at the second annual Bonnaroo Music Festival, a jam-band event for people who claim there's no such thing as jam bands. But the thing is they're kind of right-as shrinking radio playlists and cash-strapped major labels leave more and more artists behind, more mainstream performers are following the jam movement's lead. Considering that Bonnaroo's 80,000 tickets sold out in 17 days, "going jam" seems like a wise career move.


Got one of your own to share? Tweet them, share them on our Facebook page or e-mail them to me, khare@poynter.org, and we'll pull together bad lede buffet. I'd also love to hear your bad lede peccadillos. If you ever wanted to share your bad stuff, this post is for you. (The bad ledes in this post came from a few people who joined in on some bad ledeing this morning on Twitter. Thanks to them!)

*After even more naval-gazing, we decided to use the jargony term "lede" rather than the far more clear "lead" to refer to the first sentence of an article. In 2011, Steve Myers rounded up some of the strong feelings people have about "lede" vs. "lead."
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Iraq most likely place for journalists to be killed without consequences

Committee to Protect Journalists | Reporters Without Borders
In the last decade, 100 journalists have been murdered in Iraq, and 100% of their killers got away with it, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists 2013 Global Impunity Index, released Wednesday.
With 100 journalists murdered in the last decade and 100 percent impunity, Iraq is the worst offender on the Impunity Index, a spot it has held since 2008, when CPJ first compiled the index. Nine new murders in late 2013 amid a resurgence of militant groups broke a two-year quiescence in fatal anti-press violence. Three of the victims, plus two media workers, were killed in a single attack when armed militants bombed and stormed Salaheddin TV station in Tikrit on December 23. Al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, according to news reports accusing it of warring against the Sunni people. Impunity Index Rating: 3.067 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants Last year: Ranked 1st with a rating of 2.818


In the No. 2 spot sits Somalia. Syria joined the list this year at No. 5. Afghanistan is No. 6, and according to the report, that country is "one of the few countries where fatalities among foreign journalists are higher than for local journalists." (The Associated Press' Anja Niedringhaus was killed there on April 4th.) (more...)
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Kushner: ‘Only in the newspaper business’ would L.A. Register’s launch draw criticism

Los Angeles Register | LA Observed | Associated Press | Reuters
The Los Angeles Register launches Wednesday. Owners Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz "are hand-delivering copies of the newspaper on Wednesday to business and civic leaders across Los Angeles," the paper says in a press release.

Wednesday's L.A. Register (photograph by Sandee Oshiro)
The paper promises heavy local coverage and opinion columnists who "will bring a right-of-center perspective and engage in civil debate," as well as "more than a dozen new community editions," the release says. Some of the staff moving north from the Register's homebase in Orange County, where Kushner publishes the Orange County Register, include sports columnist T.J. Simers; food writers Brad A. Johnson, Nancy Luna and Cathy Thomas; and film critic Michael Sragow. (more...)
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Can Livefyre’s annotations tool fix commenting?

Livefyre wants to bring its social commenting system not only to every story on the Web, but also to every paragraph, block quote and image. With its new Sidenotes feature launching today at Salon and Fox Business, annotations — essentially paragraph-by-paragraph commenting — could be poised to go mainstream.



It's not a new concept: Many news outlets, including Poynter, have tested a service called ReadrBoard, and Quartz and Medium have notably developed their own in-the-margins commenting systems. News Genius got some attention lately for hosting an annotation-based rebuttal to Newsweek's controversial cover story on bitcoin's founder.

But Livefyre has more than 650 clients, with its social tools living on almost 100,000 sites. With that kind of scale, it hopes Sidenotes can be adopted quickly across the Web. (more...)
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Don’t post your passwords in Washington Post comments section

The Washington Post
"I couldn't give a flying fig about the Heartbleed thingamajig," a commenter posted on a Brian Fung story in The Washington Post. He posted his passwords and welcomed others to:
read all the eMail I have. Sneak into my WaPo, NYT or CNN accounts and go crazy making comments in my name. Break-into my Facebook or Twitter profiles and change my hometown to Gas City Indiana, swap-out my avatar with a picture of your nads, make friends with people I don't know.
Guess what happened next.

"It's possible that this is a hoax," Fung allows. (Fung couldn't get in touch with the person, and he tells Poynter in an email that the Post removed his comment.) "But the lesson is no less valid: Share your credentials online, and you won't have to worry about getting hacked — you'll have done all the hard work for the criminals."
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Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014

Thunderdome hosts informal job fair for employees

For most of the staff at Digital First Media's Project Thunderdome, Thursday will be the last day at work.
But over bagels and coffee Wednesday morning or a drink Wednesday evening, they might meet their next employer. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thunderdome's hosting an informal networking event in New York to help connect their journalists with new jobs. The event will also feature a space to engage in an online chat with the 12 staff members located around the country.

Mandy Jenkins, Thunderdome's managing editor, said in a phone interview with Poynter that most of the major media organizations in New York will have someone at the event.

For Jenkins, who worked at the now-defunct TBD, this is her second time to be laid off.

"I have never seen people in such good spirits when they're being laid off," she said. (more...)
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This person has it worse than you. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Newspaper reporter: Now better than being a lumberjack

CareerCast | The Wall Street Journal
CareerCast's annual report of the "Top 200 Jobs of 2014" has "newspaper reporter" at No. 199 -- one slot better than lumberjack, which beat it last year. Some of the jobs better than newspaper reporter, per CareerCast: enlisted military personnel (198), butcher (179), actor (151), security guard (134). "Publication editor" comes in at 139 (I've known some who would have made great butchers) and photojournalist comes in at 186, just below welder and just above police officer.

This person has it worse than you. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)


In its blurb about newspaper reporting, CareerCast says it's a "job that has lost its luster dramatically over the past five years is expected to plummet even further by 2022 as more and more print publications abandon operations." It even found someone at the nexus of journalism and logging: Eric Johnson, the executive editor of Northern Logger magazine. “The two industries have changed dramatically since I started,” Johnson said.

Writing about last year's report, Will Oremus noted it "ignores intangibles like autonomy, excitement, or fulfillment."
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Nate Silver: Pulitzer-winning newspapers aren’t immune to circulation losses

FiveThirtyEight
A newspaper's Pulitzer Prize count has very little effect on its circulation losses, Nate Silver found after a spin through some data:
Does that mean that newspapers might as well forget about quality as an economic strategy? That’s not what this data says. There is a relationship between Pulitzer Prizes and circulation (the correlation is .53 among the 50 newspapers listed here). It’s just that this relationship hasn’t changed much from 10 years ago. The vast majority of newspapers have seen their circulations decline; the ones that win a lot of Pulitzers have suffered about as much as the ones that don’t. You could spin this result as a negative for high-quality journalism — newspapers that win Pulitzers are doing no better at retaining their readers — or as a positive — almost all newspapers are struggling, but the ones that win Pulitzers continue to have more readers.
Silver looked at daily circulation figures, which led to some strangeness: The Times-Picayune dropped 100 percent by his count, for example, because it no longer publishes daily.

Increasingly, though, it's nearly impossible to wrest any meaning from the circulation figures publishers report to the Alliance for Audited Media. The data are, as Silver might say, very, very noisy.

Some papers count average daily circulation as Monday through Friday. Some do Monday through Saturday. Others, like the Times-Picayune, break out circulation data by individual day. At any rate, Sunday is "by far the most valuable audience for advertisers," Rick Edmonds wrote in 2012.

Here's what I wrote last October about circulation in Louisiana in September 2013: (more...)
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New award named for AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus

The International Women's Media Foundation Tuesday announced a new award named in honor of the late Anja Niedringhaus, who died Friday, April 4, while working in Afghanistan.
The Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award will honor women photojournalists who "set themselves apart by their extraordinary bravery."
Created with a $1 million endowment gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Award will be given annually to a woman photojournalist whose work follows in the footsteps of Anja Niedringhaus.

Niedringhaus who won the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award in 2005, spent her life documenting wars and the effects of conflict on people in war-torn regions. “I could have stayed out of trouble most of my life but always have been drawn to the people who suffer in difficult situations,” she told the audience at the 2005 Courage Awards ceremony.
On Saturday, the Associated Press honored Niedringhaus' life and work at her funeral in Germany.
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Jordan Stead, a photojournalist with SeattlePI.com, wrote Monday in PetaPixel about photographing the Oso mudslide in Washington.

The photographs I made while covering the Oso tragedy are not for me. They weren’t made for my portfolio, to win awards or to sensationalize. Those first two days, I made pictures with an effort to humanize the victims of the tragedy — not to belabor the damage or to scoop other news outlets.

For green photojournalists, the ‘opportunity’ of a disaster like the mudslide may appear exciting, posing as a chance to make that iconic picture we all strive for. While the visuals may be awe-inspiring, a place like the Oso debris field is far from a journalistic proving ground. Citizens of the community will go on living, long after the news trucks and cameras have left the scene. They will live in the shadow of your coverage.

Jordan Stead, PetaPixel

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Eli Saslow thanks his sources for their ‘huge act of courage’

The Washington Post
Speaking to The Washington Post newsroom after he won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting Monday, reporter Eli Saslow said that a friend had told him, "Oh Pulitzer Prize winner, now I know the first three words of your obituary."

Saslow saluted colleagues, editors and the Post itself. Referring to former owner Don Graham, Saslow said he's excited about its new ownership but is "so, so grateful that if I was ever going to get lucky enough to win one of these things that some of the stories were published when it was Don's paper." Saslow also talked about the people "I owe the most to": His sources.
They're the ones who take the huge risk. It's a huge act of courage to have somebody call, who you don't know, from out of town, and say that they want to come be with you constantly in sort of, you know, every corner of your life in this moment where things are usually not going well and there's a lot at stake. That's an incredible thing to ask of people, and yet they say yes, and I wonder a lot about that because I'm not sure I'd be the person who said yes. And I think it's because people are so -- they really crave to be understood and they want to know that what they're dealing with matters. And I think our journalism should validate that and it should take good care of the trust they're giving us to come into their lives.
He likened the prize to the experience of having a nice sandwich after reporting on a family without food security.

"In some ways this moment is a little bit like eating a sandwich," he said. "It's like, it's great. It feels really, really good. I hope some of the attention goes to the people who are letting us into their lives." Related: Saslow's author page at the Post.
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Boston Globe gathers people touched by bombing at marathon finish line

The Boston Globe | The New York Times
"Nobody wanted to leave," the Globe writes about a photo shoot that gathered "survivors, police, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses, runners, political figures, store owners, the Boston Athletic Association, Red Sox and Bruins players" for a photo -- with an interactive presentation -- at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

A year ago today, two bombs went off at the finish line. The Globe won a Pulitzer Prize Monday for its breaking news coverage of the bombings and the manhunt that followed -- "Nobody in this room wanted to cover this story, and we hope nothing like this ever occurs again on our watch," Globe Editor Brian McGrory told the newsroom. (more...)
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