Guards at empty prison threaten news crew with arrest

WNYT | Albany Times Union

A TV news crew with WNYT in Albany, New York, was threatened with arrest while filming a piece about Grant Cottage on Mount McGregor, WNYT reported last Thursday. While filming outside the nearly closed Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton, New York, Mark Mulholland and Matt Soriano were stopped by a correctional officer and told to stop filming.

The two told him they were doing a piece on Grant Cottage, a state historic site.

“No filming,” said the officer, who identified himself as Lt. Dorn.
“We’re doing a story on Grant’s Cottage,” Mulholland tried to explain.
“It doesn’t matter,” the officer continued. After a few more exchanges he then said, “You’re going to leave the mountain now.”

Police eventually arrived after an odd scene that includes another correctional employee blocking the entrance to the state historic site and then driving really slowly in front of the two journalists.… Read more

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Ken Armstrong joins The Marshall Project

Armstrong. Photo by Steve Ringman (The Seattle Times)

Ken Armstrong, an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times, will join the staff of The Marshall Project in the coming weeks, Marshall Project editor-in-chief Bill Keller confirmed Tuesday.

Armstrong, who has worked at The Seattle Times for about 11 years, said he made the move partly because The Marshall Project will give him an opportunity to tell stories in a variety of different ways. He’s already pitched stories for radio, magazine stories and “classic long-term investigations,” he said.

Armstrong began talking with Keller about the possibility of working full-time for The Marshall Project after submitting a freelance pitch for the site in March, Keller said. He assigned the pitch, and Armstrong followed up with a list of stories he’d like to cover.… Read more

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webat25-100

8 digital media lessons from Poynter’s ‘Journalism and the Web@25′ panel

Journalists shared personal stories about a “Goosebumps” fan site, a three-year-old riding an elevator, and dropping computer science classes in college to illustrate how journalism has changed since 1989 — and needs to change more quickly today — at Poynter’s “Journalism and the Web@25″ event Tuesday night.

The panelists at the Ford Foundation in New York represented both new and old media, and television, print, and mobile:

  • Rob King, ESPN‘s senior vice president, SportsCenter and News
  • Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and senior media correspondent for CNN Worldwide
  • Melissa Bell, co-founder, senior product manager and executive editor at Vox.com
  • Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press
  • Jeff Jarvis, founder of BuzzMachine.com and professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism

Here’s a replay of the lively discussion (the event begins around the 8:50 mark) and some digital journalism lessons shared by panelists as they reflected on the past 25 years of the Web:

The time for urgency was then — and now

When it comes to digital transformation, “I think we probably all wish we had been faster, sooner,” said the AP’s Carroll.… Read more

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David Frum apologizes for tweets on Gaza images

The Atlantic

David Frum wrote an apology Wednesday about tweets he sent out last week calling photos taken in a Gaza hospital fake.

The mistake involves a series of photos from Khan Younis hospital in Gaza. AP, Reuters, and The New York Times posted images of two blood-covered men. The men were identified as brothers who had just seen their father killed in an Israeli strike. In three tweets, I expressed disbelief in the authenticity of the images. Michael Shaw at the Bag News blog painstakingly argues that I was wrong to do so.

On review, I agree that Shaw is right and that I was wrong. These images do appear authentic, and I should not have cast doubt on them. I apologize especially to Sergey Ponomarev of The New York Times, whose work I impugned.

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AP is reviewing its procedures after third revised tweet in a week

What’s going on with the AP Twitter account lately? After this masterpiece Wednesday:

The AP revised. … Read more

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Sam Sifton named NYT food editor

Sam Sifton is The New York Times’ new food editor. The paper will also rename its Dining section Food.

Memo to staff from Executive Editor Dean Baquet:… Read more

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ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith, did Benny Johnson actually commit plagiarism?

Good morning. Here are 10 (OK, OK, it’s more than 10) media stories.

  1. ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith: “We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps,” ESPN President John Skipper says in a memo obtained by Richard Deitsch. “Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company.” (SI) | ESPN’s statement “very specifically does not mention the word ‘suspension.’” (Deadspin) | Richard Sandomir: “Smith’s weeklong suspension is less severe than the 30 days imposed on Max Bretos, an ESPN anchor who used the term ‘chink in the armor’ in reference to Jeremy Lin in 2012. In 2010, Tony Kornheiser was suspended two weeks for comments he made on radio about an outfit worn by Hannah Storm, a ‘SportsCenter’ anchor.” (NYT)
  2. Benny Johnson isn’t a plagiarist, because what he was doing wasn’t journalism: That’s the argument advanced by Gene Weingarten: “Reading a listicle in Buzzfeed, just what level of diligence does a reader expect?” (The Washington Post) | Weingarten’s fart joke in the piece is not original.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tribune wants to buy more newspapers

Crain’s Chicago Business

Tribune Publishing CEO Jack Griffin wants to buy “smaller newspapers in or near his existing markets,” Lynne Marek reports.

“We think there are more of these opportunities around the country that are geographically adjacent to where we run big papers and big brands, and that over time we can achieve similar kinds of consolidation and acquisition opportunities that are going to add meaningfully to our footprint and our revenue and our profit,” Griffin told Marek.

In the past year, Tribune’s Baltimore Sun Media Group has purchased Baltimore City Paper and two smaller Maryland papers, The Capital in Annapolis and the Carroll County Times.

Griffin also told Marek that cutting costs to adapt to lower revenue is “an absolute requirement of the business.” Tribune Publishing’s spinoff from Tribune Co.… Read more

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NYT looking into claim one of its reporters swiped from Wikipedia

FishbowlNY

Carol Vogel’s July 24 New York Times story about the artist Piero di Cosimo includes the following description:

He is said to have been terrified of thunderstorms and so pyrophobic that he rarely cooked his food, subsisting mostly on hard-boiled eggs that he prepared 50 at a time while heating glue for his art. He didn’t clean his studio. He didn’t trim the trees in his orchard. Giorgio Vasari, the Renaissance biographer, described Piero as living “more like a beast than a man.”

And here is part of the Wikipedia entry for Piero: … Read more

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NYT says its Gaza photos are real

BagNews

The New York Times says Atlantic senior editor David Frum is incorrect to claim that some photos taken in Gaza last week were faked or staged. “David Frum’s claims are false,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Poynter. Frum sent several tweets last week claiming the photos were faked.

“We have a complete account from the photographer, Sergey Ponomarev, who arrived with two other photographers to a local hospital as ambulances began arriving with dead and wounded civilians following an Israeli military strike on the outskirts of Khan Younis,” Murphy writes in an email.

Ponomarev “witnessed the man covered in blood in this photo arrive in an ambulance with a badly wounded elderly man (who ultimately died),” Murphy writes.… Read more

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New York Times Sales

New York Times adds 32,000 digital-only subscribers as profit falls

The New York Times

The New York Times added 32,000 digital subscribers in the second quarter of 2014, the company reported today. The number was driven by its new products — the NYT Now and NYT Opinion apps and the new Times Premier subscription tier.

Paid digital-only subscribers now total 831,000, the company said. Revenue from those subscriptions jumped 13.5 percent, to $41.7 million, from the same period a year ago. Total circulation revenue increased 1.4 percent.

The company’s total revenue fell 0.6 percent to $388.7 million. While digital ad revenue increased 3.4 percent, the Times reported, that was again not nearly enough to offset a print ad revenue decrease of 6.6 percent. Overall ad revenue declined 4.1 percent.

The Times’ adjusted operating profit dropped 21 percent.… Read more

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CC USA Medien

Employment tumbles again at newspapers, and First Look’s plans shift

Good morning. Here are 10 (OK, maybe not exactly 10) media stories.

  1. The newspaper business lost 1,300 employees last year: “The overall revenue figure, as measured by the Newspaper Association of America, was down 2.6 percent in 2013, close to an even match with the percentage of news job cuts for the year,” Rick Edmonds writes. (Poynter) | One small bright spot: Minority employment was up, after years of stagnating. (Poynter)
  2. An update on First Look Media: “We have definitely rethought some of our original ideas and plans,” Pierre Omidyar writes. (First Look Media) | Jay Rosen: “For First Look the way to a large user base isn’t ‘one big flagship website’ or an ‘everything you need to know’ news app to go up against, say, the Guardian or npr.org.” (PressThink) | Mathew Ingram: “More than anything else, what Omidyar is describing sounds like a real-time journalism lab, one that will test out different ways of interacting with readers around a topic — albeit a lab that happens to have a quarter of a billion dollars behind it.” (Gigaom)
  3. Margot Adler, R.I.P.
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Minority employment in newsrooms rose in 2013

Minority employees accounted for a little more than 13 percent newsrooms in 2013, according to a new survey by the American Society of News Editors. That’s a percentage point higher than last year’s census, which suggested diversity efforts had stagnated at the newsrooms ASNE surveys, which include many daily newspapers and this year more than 100 online-only publications.

The percentage of minority employees in this year’s census, 13.34, is “nearly as high as the record of 13.73 percent in 2006,” ASNE says. The industry added about 200 more full-time minority employees in 2013. That gain is a rare, if small, bit of good news in an otherwise somber report, which, as my coworker Rick Edmonds writes, shows an industry-wide loss of 1,300 jobs.… Read more

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Survey: Women and minorities on TV and radio reach a high that’s still pretty low

RTDNA

The number of minorities at radio stations reached a ’90s-era high, and women news directors in TV reached an all-time high according to the latest report, released Monday afternoon, from RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey.

Still, as far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 24 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 11 points; but the minority workforce in TV news is up less than half that (4.6), and the minority workforce in radio is up 2.2.

Some other points from the report:

– In TV news, minorities made up more than 22 percent of total employment, marking a 13 year high.
– Smaller stations have more minorities.
– On TV, “For the first time, black women outnumber black men.… Read more

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Do local news orgs need national news?

NetNewsCheck | The New York Times

Former Project Thunderdome editor-in-chief Jim Brady asks whether local news organizations need to provide much national news anymore in a reflection on his time at the now-shuttered Digital First Media venture.

Writes Brady, a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board: “Do we think local news organizations — in the disaggregated Web world we live in and the even more atomic mobile world we’re speeding into — actually need much national news anymore?”

DFM announced the shuttering of Thunderdome in April, and it officially closed July 1.

RELATED: What went wrong at Digital First Media — and what’s next?

Among Thunderdome’s goals, Brady wrote, was:

To serve as a centralized national news desk for our properties so that we didn’t have multiple papers producing the same story about the royal baby or the Kentucky Derby or the Academy Awards.

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