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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multicolored teamwork

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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World War One Centenary Timeline

100 years later: Looking back at the start of World War I

In this undated file photo, Prussian soldiers leaving Berlin for the front are given flowers by a woman during World War One. (AP Photo, File)

The Guardian | Newseum | Daily Telegraph | The New York Times | BBC | Associated Press

One hundred years after the start of World War I “it is sobering to look back at the way that conflict was so badly reported,” Roy Greenslade wrote for The Guardian on Sunday. Greenslade writes about censorship and propaganda that came from inside and outside journalism at the time.

The catalogue of journalistic misdeeds is a matter of record: the willingness to publish propaganda as fact, the apparently tame acceptance of censorship and the failure to hold power to account. But a sweeping condemnation of the press coverage is unjust because journalists, as ever, were prevented from informing the public by three powerful forces – the government, the military and their own proprietors.

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Fareed Zakaria to join Atlantic Media as contributing editor

The Atlantic

Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” will join The Atlantic and Quartz as a contributing editor beginning in September, Atlantic Media announced today in a press release.

Zakaria will cover “pressing world matters and culture”, and his work will appear both in the magazine and on TheAtlantic.com, according to Atlantic Media:

“As part of this new relationship, he will write for The Atlantic as well as participate in events for both AtlanticLIVE and Quartz, Atlantic Media’s global business news brand. His first outing will be with Quartz’s flagship The Next Billion: A Connected World Conference in New York in November.”

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Forest

Should publishers be taking better advantage of evergreen content in their archives?

For most publishers, less than 10 percent of June page views came from traffic to evergreen articles — stories that were more than three days old by Parse.ly’s definition.

Among the publishers included in the analytics company’s data: Upworthy, Conde Nast properties, The Atlantic properties, Fox News, The New York Post, Mashable, Slate, Business Insider, The Daily Beast, The Next Web and The New Republic.

Nearly half of the publishers see less than 5 percent of their web traffic attributed to content that is more than three days old, according to Parse.ly:

Unsurprisingly, Parse.ly found that topic-specific sites generally received a higher percentage of traffic from evergreen stories than breaking-news sites did. Upworthy doesn’t include timestamps in its stories, and many of Slate’s pieces are less time-sensitive than stories from The New York Post or Fox News and thus more likely to have a long shelf life of shareability.… Read more

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Medical Marijuana Kids

NYT will take pot questions at 4:20 today

Good morning. Here are 10 or so media stories.

  1. BuzzFeed fired Benny Johnson for plagiarism: “After carefully reviewing more than 500 of Benny’s posts, we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites,” BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith wrote Friday night. (BuzzFeed) | Smith’s memo to staffers. (@brianstelter) | Johnson’s lifts offend “not only readers but Web journos everywhere who fiddle to no end with their copy to guarantee originality, who link neurotically to eliminate any suggestion of misappropriation, who close and reopen and close and reopen their posts before publishing to re-inspect this little thing or that little thing, and who finally hit ‘publish’ with a plume of palm sweat.” (The Washington Post) | The 34 sources from which Johnson lifted.
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

BuzzFeed fires Benny Johnson for plagiarism

Buzzfeed

BuzzFeed fired viral politics editor Benny Johnson after an investigation revealed “41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites“, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith wrote in a note to readers Friday night.

“Benny is a friend, colleague and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go,” Smith wrote.… Read more

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Friday, July 25, 2014

California media look into the case of some creepy dolls

KCAL9 | Los Angeles Times | San Clemente Patch | KTLA 5 | Newsy

On Thursday, a story caught the attention of the media in California. Many reported that some dolls were left on the door steps of families in San Clemente. The reports said that the dolls kind of looked like the little girls who lived there.

Here’s a link to the story from KTLA 5. It’s on autoplay.

The news spread.… Read more

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NYT’s use of ‘anonymity’ nearly doubled since 2007

There have been some clever applications of The New York Times’ new Chronicle tool since it was released for public use Wednesday. The tool, which allows users to examine how frequently words have appeared in the Times over the years, has been used to compare instances of the word “opera” and “hip-hop” and show when the Times’ style ruling on “illegal immigrant” changed.

But what happens when you plug terms that indicate anonymous sourcing, like “anonymity,” “anonymous” and “said a source” into the tool?

Even though “anonymity” only shows up in a small fraction of articles — about 2 percent in 2013 — use of the word has nearly doubled since 2007, the tool shows:

Plug in the phrase “sources said” and you get a similar spike after 2010:

The Times’ use of anonymous sources is a perennial topic among media critics.… Read more

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