The Daily Mail changes Georgia courtroom story

The Daily Mail
The Daily Mail has tweaked the first and third paragraphs of a story that ran Tuesday detailing a courtroom scene in Georgia. On Wednesday, Poynter wrote about Joe Kovac Jr., The (Macon, Ga.) Telegraph reporter who was in that courtroom and called the Mail out on the story on Twitter.

Here's how the story now reads: And the original: The changes are very small but they correct, at least, a scene that never happened. No note or correction accompanies the story.

High school won’t allow student to write about medical marijuana

The Ledger Lakeland, Fla., high school senior Abbey Laine wanted to write an article about medical marijuana for student magazine the Bagpipe. Her journalism teacher, Janell Marmon, told her she couldn't do it, Greg Parlier writes in Lakeland newspaper The Ledger. Frank Webster, who heads the school's Multimedia Communications Academy, told Parlier Laine's proposed article "does not fit our audience" and that "We are primarily about marketing and (being) a mouthpiece for Lakeland High and Harrison School of the Arts." The school's principal, Arthur Martinez, sided with the teachers, Parlier writes. Floridians will vote this November on a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Parlier writes that Laine said the article "would not have taken a position on medical marijuana." Laine has previously written about Syria for the Bagpipe. Webster told Parlier the school's communications academy is "not necessarily trying to turn students into journalists."
Instead, the goal is to teach 21st century multimedia communication skills, he said.

Vice reporter Simon Ostrovsky has been freed

Vice reporter Simon Ostrovsky has been freed from captivity in Ukraine, Vice confirms in a statement to Poynter: "VICE News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health. We would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time. Out of respect for Simon and his family's privacy, we have no further statement at this time."

BBC's acting Moscow bureau chief tweeted the news: Ostrovsky was held by militia in Eastern Ukraine, Brian Ries reported for Mashable on Tuesday.

MediaWireWorld: Detained Vice journalist working on ‘an exclusive story’ according to captors

On Wednesday, Committee To Protect Journalists reported that journalists are missing or being held as hostages in eastern Ukraine and a newsroom was destroyed.

CPJ reports that Ukrainian photojournalist Yevgeny Gapich hasn't been heard from since Tuesday. American journalist Simon Ostrovsky with Vice News is also still being held.
Today, CPJ spoke to Stella Khorosheva, spokeswoman for the self-declared mayor of Sloviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, who had earlier confirmed holding Ostrovsky in a pre-trial facility. Khorosheva told CPJ that Ostrovsky was detained by military units on suspicion of carrying out subversive activities and of covering the situation in Sloviansk from only one side. Khorosheva told CPJ that Ostrovsky "is safe, alive, well fed, and working on an exclusive story" in detention. Khorosheva said Ponomaryov had vowed to release Ostrovsky "when the time comes." She said the journalist has not been charged with a crime.
On Tuesday, according to CPJ, "unknown assailants threw Molotov cocktails at the newsroom of the local newspaper Provintsiya (Province) in the eastern city of Konstantinovka, in Donetsk region, Telekritika reported. The newsroom burned down."

On Wednesday, Kyiv Post ran a tally of people kidnapped by Russian-backed insurgents. So far -- 16. Eight of them are journalists. (more...)

McClatchy explains change in circulation revenue

The McClatchy Company Circulation revenue was up nearly 6 percent in McClatchy's first quarter, the company said in a report Wednesday. But, the report said, that revenue was up less than 1 percent "excluding the $4.3 million in revenue related to the transition to fee-for-service circulation delivery contracts at certain newspapers." Reached by email, McClatchy Director of Investors Relations Ryan Kimball said some of the company's newspapers "transitioned to a different circulation contract" during the first quarter. The contracts are fee for service, which for accountants means their "delivery expenses are no longer netted against circulation revenues and thus makes the reported circulation revenue higher." So some of the papers had higher revenues and higher delivery expenses, he said. The change "has no impact on operating income or cash flow but we do point it out so investors can get a sense of what circulation revenues did in a given period ignoring the impact of the transition." Advertising reveue was down nearly 7 percent compared with the same period in 2013, McClatchy said in its report. The company said nearly half of its advertising revenue now comes from "nontraditional sources." The company got $147 million from its stake in Classified Ventures, which recently sold. It expects to receive $34 million from the pending sale of its Anchorage Daily News. Taxes should shrink that nut to $24 million. Disclosure: Poynter has a training partnership with McClatchy.

Michigan frats sort of sorry they trashed copies of student newspaper

Student Press Law Center | CM Life
Despite now-deleted tweets showing burning copies of CM Life and hundreds of missing copies of Central Michigan University's student newspaper, some fraternity members are now sorry. Kind of.

On Wednesday, Student Press Law Center reported on missing and vandalized copies of CM Life after the newspaper ran a series of stories on Delta Chi, a fraternity that had been suspended last year. Rex Santus reported for SPLC that along with stolen newspapers, members of another fraternity at the school tweeted a photo of the newspapers being set on fire and another with a stack of the papers and “Thanks for the bonfire material.”

(Chapter president Dave) Kobel said his fraternity picked up about 50 copies, collectively, to discuss at a chapter meeting, but it was not meant as censorship. The articles were intended for reading, he said, and the bonfire tweets were "overblown" jokes. “I guess you could say that we’re sorry,” Kobel said. “We didn’t mean any poor intentions with the tweet. That’s not intention.”

CM Life's editor-in-chief, Justin Hicks, told SPLC “I called these guys out for refusing to talk to us. That’s when people started getting really mad about it.” (more...)
Facebook Headquarters Threat

Facebook and Storyful launch new ‘newswire’ for journalists

Facebook and the social media news agency Storyful Thursday announced the launch of FB Newswire, a site that the social networking giant hopes "will make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce." Storyful will provide verified content on the service.

"More and more we are looking for ways to make our content more accessible to journalists," Andy Mitchell, Facebook's director of news and global media partnerships, said in a phone call with Poynter. The company has been "driving a lot of referrals to news partners," Mitchell said. "It felt like we were a positive member of the ecosystem." The company recently hired Liz Heron from The Wall Street Journal to facilitate partnerships between Facebook and news organizations. Facebook is "excited to deepen our relationship with media organizations and journalists in the days to come," Mitchell wrote in a blog post. The page will be publicly accessible but is "100 percent" aimed at journalists, Mitchell said. "The format on the page will feel like a wire," he said. "It will seem as if it's gibberish" to people outside the field, he predicted. Among the subjects it will cover: Breaking news, sports, entertainment, weather, viral stuff. (more...)
Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton: The world needs more explanatory journalism

CNN | The Hartford Courant | Vox
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sees the need for more explanatory journalism, Dan Merica reported for CNN on Wednesday. Clinton spoke at the University of Connecticut.
Clinton's comments came as part of the question and answer portion to Wednesday’s event. University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst asked Clinton about how journalism has changed and whether journalists could help break gridlock that has halted work in Washington. The former secretary of state went on to say that she feels there is a space for "explanatory journalism because there’s a lot going on in the world that needs explanation."

Ad revenue rises at New York Times Co.

The New York Times Company | The New York Times
Advertising and circulation revenue rose at The New York Times Company in the first quarter of 2014. Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson said in an earnings release that while the company is "pleased with this result," it is "certainly not claiming victory in advertising yet." Both digital and print advertising revenue rose, for a combined total that was 3.4 percent higher than the same period in 2013.

The Times' native advertising product, Paid Posts, "launched very successfully" during this quarter, Thompson said.

The company says it now has about 799,000 digital-only subscribers, an increase of 39,000 over the first quarter of 2013. Circulation revenues were up 2.1 percent. It expects circulation revenue "to increase in the low-single digits in the second quarter of 2014" over the same period in 2013.

The company's operating costs went up 3.8 percent, "mainly due to higher compensation and benefits expenses associated with the strategic growth initiatives as well as higher retirement costs," the earnings report says.

Earlier this month the Times introduced two new tiers of subscriptions: A no-frills product, where readers get access to some stories via an app called NYT Now, and a high end one that promises "the highest level of connection with The New York Times." It launched a news startup, The Upshot, this week.

Regarding the new products, Thompson said he is "pleased with the reception thus far and by the continued strength of our core digital subscription packages, which grew by 18% year-over-year in Q1.”

Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014


Proposed FCC net neutrality rules could favor large content providers

The Wall Street Journal | The New York Times
In what would amount to a reversal on net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission will propose new rules that would allow companies like Netflix and Amazon to pay for high-speed delivery of their content, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The rules to be presented Thursday would prevent Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner from blocking or throttling individual websites called up by users, the Journal's Gautham Nagesh reported. But broadband providers could offer companies preferential treatment for speedier lanes to get their content quickly to consumers based on "commercially reasonable" terms. Consumers could end up paying more for services if companies pass on the additional charges. (more...)
1 Comment

Reuters finance writer Felix Salmon is headed for Fusion. He tells why on Medium:

“Fusion, in case you’re not familiar with it, is a joint venture between ABC and Univision. It’s a TV channel aimed mainly at millennials, whose only real guiding rule is that it’s going to stay away from anything conventional…

“But the core of what I do at Fusion will be post-text. Text has had an amazing run, online, not least because it’s easy and cheap to produce. When it comes to digital storytelling, however, the possibilities — at least if you have the kind of resources that Fusion has — are much, much greater. I want to do immersive digital stuff, I want to make animations, I want to use video, I want to experiment with new ways of communicating in a new medium.”

Britain NSA Surveillance

Emma Gilbey Keller has resigned from The Guardian

Several months after her controversial column was removed from its website, Emma Gilbey Keller has formally resigned from The Guardian.

"I haven't written for The Guardian by my own choice since they took my column down in January before contacting or consulting me," Keller told Poynter in an email. "I thought long and hard about whether or not to continue working for them and eventually decided to resign, which I formally did last month."

The Guardian confirmed Keller's resignation.

Keller was a Guardian contributor since January 2012, hosting its lifestyle series "The Living Hour" among other duties. In January of this year, Keller wrote about the public way Lisa Bonchek Adams, who has Stage 4 breast cancer, was chronicling her experience with the disease over Twitter and on her blog.

Several days later, her husband, former New York Times executive editor and columnist Bill Keller, also wrote a column about Adams. Neither column was particularly sympathetic to Adams – many thought they came off as critical (especially Bill's, which implied that people with cancer were more heroic if they suffered in stoic silence) – and Adams herself expressed her displeasure with both columns. Emma's, she said, used quotes that Adams gave months ago as part of what she thought was a private conversation. Adams said she had no idea Keller was planning on writing about her until the column went online. She also said both articles contained inaccuracies; the Times column sported a correction about the number of Adams' kids.

Emma's article was soon taken down, and a column from Guardian's reader's editor Chris Elliott explained why: (more...)

CNN Digital sees big jump in unique visitors during coverage of Malaysian airliner


The mystery surrounding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — which CNN covered exhaustively on TV for weeks after the disappearance — appears to have been good for CNN's online business, too.

CNN's digital properties saw 76 million unique visitors in March, according to a press release citing comScore figures. That's a 13 percent increase from the 67 million monthly uniques it averaged in 2013. Total page views in March were 1.9 billion, in line with the 2013 average.

In a press release, CNN cited "extensive coverage of the Malaysian airliner, the conflict in Ukraine, Academy Awards, Washington mudslide and other major news events." (more...)
1 Comment

How did you/will you remember the spellings of state names?

Now that we'll be spelling state names out in full, perhaps this is merely a way to remember that there was, once, another way.
Do you have any tips or tricks that helped you remember the shortened version of state names? (Before I came to Poynter, most of my reporting happened in Missouri, which was easy with just Mo.) But what about Pennsylvania (Pa.)? Wisconsin (always Wis., never Wisc.)?

And now that things are changing, do you have any tips or tricks that help you remember how to spell those names out correctly? Other than consulting the AP Stylebook, the dictionary or Google?

My editor, Andrew Beaujon, uses this Sammy Kershaw song to help him remember how to spell Tennessee.

And of course, there's "Oklahoma!"

Tweet your ideas to me @kristenhare or email them to

AP: Spell out names of states in stories

AP is not done rocking the journalism world with style changes.
The following guidance went out on the AP wire Wednesday: "Effective May 1, the AP will spell out state names in the body of stories." You will still use abbreviations in datelines, photo captions, lists, etc.

The change "also applies to newspapers cited in a story," the guidance says. "For example, a story datelined Providence, R.I., would reference the Providence Journal, not the Providence (R.I.) Journal." (For what it's worth, you don't have to call that jurisdiction the "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." Rhode Island works fine.)

Full note: (more...)