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The people you meet on West Florissant (and what they think about the press)

It’s hot on Thursday night, the heavy Missouri humidity back after an unusually cool summer. Up and down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri, people wipe the sweat from their heads, faces and necks.

Tammy Norman, though, is not dressed for a protest. She walks up to the roped-off area in a parking lot where CNN’s set up under a white tent, with tangles of cords and cameras and men standing like guards outside. She holds her phone and a disposable camera.

St. Louis resident Tammy Norman came out Thursday night to get a photo with Anderson Cooper.

“I see exactly who I came to see,” she says as she moves closer. Her hair’s pulled back in a neat ponytail and she wears a black and white houndstooth dress.… Read more


How Argus Radio livestreams from Ferguson

If you’ve watched livestream night-vision footage of police clashing with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, or chanting, marching protesters, you probably saw at least some of that from Argus Radio.

But the independent, digital, volunteer-operated St. Louis, Missouri, station wasn’t livestreaming before a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown on Saturday, Aug. 9. A few days after that, their equipment arrived in the mail. Argus Radio’s Mustafa Hussein planned to offer livestreaming concerts to help independent musicians. When he saw what was happening in Ferguson, he grabbed the new gear, came to Ferguson on the night of Wednesday, August 13th, and started streaming.

Hussein has made news already. Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone wrote about Hussein and his operation. The Washington Post’s Andrea Peterson wrote about Hussein getting threatened by police while covering Ferguson.… Read more

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HuffPost’s Ferguson Fellow: ‘This is huge for me’


Mariah Stewart hasn’t always been sure about her future in journalism. She remembers calling her mom in tears on her way to a feature writing class late last year, unsure if she’d be able to finish journalism school. She was having trouble finding a beat she was passionate about, and it was making her anxious.

That changed when she began reporting on the shooting of Michael Brown. Stewart, a 23-year-old freelance journalist who graduated from Lindenwood University in May, started covering Brown’s shooting days after it occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, without any financial backing because “it was news,” she said.

This week, the story suddenly turned into a yearlong assignment for Stewart after she was named the recipient of The Huffington Post’s Ferguson Fellowship. … Read more


Washington Post editorial board will no longer use the term ‘Redskins’

The Washington Post

The Washington Post’s editorial board announced Friday it will no longer use the term “Redskins” to describe the D.C. football team. “[W]hile we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves,” the board writes.

The change won’t affect the newsroom, the board writes: “Unlike our colleagues who cover sports and other news, we on the editorial board have the luxury of writing about the world as we would like it to be. Nor do we intend to impose our policy on our readers. If you write a letter about football and want to use the team name, we aren’t going to stop you.”

Post Executive Editor Marty Baron told the Post’s Annys Shin that “Standard operating policy in the newsroom has been to use the names that established institutions choose for themselves.… Read more

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Inside The Washington Post’s makeshift Ferguson newsroom

Guests with cocktails and coffee sit in the dim lobby of the Marriott St. Louis Airport Hotel late on Thursday afternoon. A man tunes his guitar near the check-in desk. Men in khakis and polos roll their carry-on luggage out to the waiting shuttle.

There’s also a newsroom here, on the third floor, even though it’s really a conference room with a long table lined with chairs. On that long table sits an open chocolate bar, empty water bottles, a pack of notebooks, open laptops, tangled cords and a gas mask.

See? Newsroom.

From left, Kimberly Kindy, Chico Harlan, Lee Powell, Wesley Lowery and Krissah Thompson work from a makeshift hotel newsroom in St. Louis. (Photo by Kristen Hare)

Around the table today sit Krissah Thompson, Chico Harlan, Kimberly Kindy, Lee Powell and Wesley Lowery.… Read more


3 places journalists should see before they leave St. Louis

If you’re still in town covering Ferguson, or you’re on your way out, here are three places you should check out. They’re not tourists stops exactly, but they offer more context on this city, this region and its history. (With thanks to my former colleagues, now at St. Louis Public Radio, Margaret Wolf Freivogel, Susan Hegger and Donna Korando, for helping with these suggestions.)

The Old Courthouse, 11 N. 4th St., St. Louis:

Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton speaks during a news conference outside the Old Courthouse Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in St. Louis. Michael Brown Jr., 18, who was unarmed, was shot to death Saturday by a Ferguson police officer while walking with a friend down the center of the street. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Old Courthouse is on the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, according to the NPS.… Read more


Fareed Zakaria gets even more plagiarism accusations

Our Bad Media

Enigmatic media critics @crushingbort and @blippoblappo say they’ve found more examples of Fareed Zakaria lifting material from other texts. The purportedly purloined passages, they say, appear in Zakaria’s 2008 book “The Post-American World” and in Newsweek and Foreign Affairs cover stories.

“On more than a number of occasions, Zakaria has taken entire paragraphs from the authors and shifted them around in an apparent attempt to avoid detection,” they write.

Here’s one of their examples, of stuff they say Zakaria stole from Fawaz Gerges (click to view bigger):

Zakaria responded to @crushingbort and @blippoblappo’s first post about his work, saying their previous examples “are all facts, not someone else’s writing or opinions or expressions.” Washington Post Editorial Editor Fred Hiatt told Poynter the allegations were “reckless.” Time, for which Zakaria last wrote a column in March, told Poynter it planned to re-review Zakaria’s work.… Read more

Jay Nixon

Was Ferguson a ‘news desert’ until two weeks ago?

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon speaks during a news conference in Ferguson, Mo. Violent protests in Ferguson erupted in the wake of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer on Aug. 9. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Coming late to the Ferguson story, I have a modest thought to add to the ongoing discussion of why the police shooting and the bumbling local response to protests happened there.

My hunch is that like many aging and changing suburban communities, Ferguson had received only the most episodic of news coverage until all hell broke loose.  Political theory and high profile reports from the Knight Foundation and FCC suggest that when a town is a news desert, low civic engagement is almost certain to follow.

So if that’s the theory, isn’t Ferguson the practice? … Read more

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The last email sent to Foley’s family

Good morning. Your weekend is in sight. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. James Foley’s last months: Cassandra Vinograd tells how James Foley‘s family communicated with his captors. (NBC News) | “Some messages were political and some were financial.” (CNN) | The last email sent to his family (GlobalPost) | Shane Bauer: “Like my family, [Foley's family] probably sometimes thought they should do more to try and convince his captors to let him go. Other times they likely reasoned they should stay quiet, hoping that silence would give the hostage takers the opportunity to quietly release him. It’s a hideous position to be in.” (Mother Jones) | NYT editorial: “There is no simple answer on whether to submit to terrorist extortion.” (NYT) || Foley’s family establishes journalism scholarship at Marquette.
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Today in media history: In 1762, Ann Franklin becomes one the first women newspaper publishers

Three events that happened on this date and a trivia question.

August 22, 1762
Ann Franklin, the sister-in-law of Benjamin Franklin, becomes the sole editor and publisher of the Newport Rhode Island newspaper, the Newport Mercury. She had earlier worked with her husband and son on other publications. Ann Franklin, later named to the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame, is considered one of the first women to run a colonial newspaper. The later part of her life is described in the following excerpt:

Successful as a printer and businesswoman, Franklin also assumed the responsibilities of a master craftsman, training her two surviving daughters as typesetters and shopkeepers. Her surviving son, James Jr., was dispatched to Philadelphia to apprentice with his uncle, Benjamin Franklin, returning to Newport in 1748 as a partner in his mother’s business.

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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

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The journalists you meet on West Florissant Avenue

Ryan Reilly, Alex Altman and Wesley Lowery work from the McDonald’s on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo by Kristen Hare)

It starts at the McDonald’s on West Florissant Avenue, as it should if the purpose is to write about journalists covering Ferguson, Missouri. Wednesday, those journalists and some of the people they’re covering met here, at the place where The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly were arrested — before journalists getting arrested in Ferguson became a common story.

And they’re here, of course, in the afternoon, plugged in and working. Time’s Washington correspondent Alex Altman sits nearby. So does Ben Casselman, chief economics reporter for FiveThirtyEight. The Boston Globe’s Akilah Johnson stops by. Other journalists sit and stand, cameras and videocameras resting on round high-top tables and the floor.… Read more


Will Steacy photographed The Philadelphia Inquirer’s turmoil for 3 years

Will Steacy was in his New York apartment in 2011 when he got a call from his father in Philadelphia. It was bad news. After almost three decades at The Philadelphia Inquirer, his dad was being laid off.

The call was painful. Steacy, a professional photographer, had spent the last three years chronicling financial hardship at the Inquirer for a project he called Deadline. Starting in 2009, he began capturing images that depicted the Inquirer’s struggle to survive during an era of diminished ad revenue: vacant desks, trash bins piled high with newsprint, an old typewriter being used as a bookend. Steacy took a break from the project for a month. When he came back, the first image he captured was of his dad’s old desk.… Read more

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Ferguson in photos: A fast food newsroom, a sign of support and an unused gas mask

We’ve seen images from Ferguson, Missouri, for almost two weeks now. Here’s a little of what I saw on Wednesday, in both St. Louis and Ferguson, as I met with journalists and newsrooms here to cover the story. (Photos by Kristen Hare)

Newspapers pile up on a table in Santiago Carlos Ayulo’s office at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’ve just been going loud and proud because this is the most important thing from the day,” said Ayulo, assistant managing editor of editing and presentation.

A note between desks at St. Louis Public Radio. The station recently spent $3,000 on riot gear. “But of course you can’t interview anybody with a gas mask on,” said Margaret Freivogel, editor.

Two journalists were arrested at the McDonald’s on Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, but with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, outlets and food, it’s still a hub for journalists.

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Sinclair launches original-programming division

TVNewsCheck | Sinclair Broadcast Group | MarketWatch

Sinclair Broadcast Group has launched a division to create original content for its TV stations, TVNewsCheck reports. Sinclair is the biggest owner of local TV stations in the country.

“Controlling our content and its development not only reduces our dependency on others, providing a hedge against network disruptions, but allows us greater economic upside potential,” Sinclair President and CEO David Smith says in a press release.

As Al Tompkins wrote earlier this month, networks are pressuring affiliates to share some of the windfall they’re receiving from ever-increasing retransmission fees paid to them by cable companies. CBS removed its affiliation from WISH-TV in Indianapolis, “a signal that it is prepared to play rough” over fees, which networks once paid affiliates and which now flow in the opposite direction.… Read more


Another executive leaves Condé Nast

The Wrap | Condé Nast

Condé Nast announced the departure of another member of its executive team Thursday, the third in the last two months.

Lou Cona, chief revenue officer of Condé Nast and president of Condé Nast Media Group, will be leaving the company, according to a press release. No reason was provided for his departure.… Read more