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Photo by Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Why The New York Times is traveling with migrants and refugees through Europe

Migrants get on the train that will take them straight to #serbia border. #refugees #Europe #migrants #onassignment @nytimes

A photo posted by Sergey Ponomarev (@sergeyponomarev) on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:41am PDT

Along with a group of migrants and refugees, Anemona Hartocollis is now making a journey through Europe. It started a week ago. It feels like longer.

“Every day seems like a new discovery,” said Hartocollis, who was in Hungary when we spoke on Monday. “And it makes it much more exciting and much more difficult, because you have to find your way just as they’re finding their way.”

She’s following them, she said, and they’re all following each other.

Her serial about the journey, “Traveling in Europe’s River of Migrants,” started running as part of The New York Times’ Reporter’s Notebook feature on Aug. Read more

Tim Cook

Apple watch: time for dramatic move into programming?

Good morning.

  1. Tech goliath may go Hollywood

    Drum roll, please. "The moment the media and technology industries have been expecting for years may finally be arriving: Apple is exploring getting into the original programming business." Variety broke word that Apple's had "preliminary conversations in recent weeks" about producing entertainment content. Imagine if it really set its mind, and treasury, to go after Netflix, Amazon and others. It's dipped its tootsies into content via Apple Music. And, oh, it's got about $200 billion in cash on its balance sheet. That's billion. Or a lot more than beer and tipping money even in Beverly Hills. (Variety)

  2. Bloomberg layoffs coming

    The New York Post was right earlier in the month when reporting that the financial news giant would make big cuts, including in its huge, talented and at times rudderless Washington bureau.

Read more

Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

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Financial maneuvers bring McClatchy share price back up

McClatchy_logo-160x94Typically, having a stock trading at $1.26 a share is not cause for celebration. But when McClatchy stock closed at that level today, it represented a gain of 23.5 percent in the last three trading days.

McClatchy was threatened two weeks ago with delisting on the New York Stock Exchange.  The company responded with two moves that appear to have boosted investor confidence:

  • It authorized a repurchase of up to $15 million of its regularly traded shares (there is a second class of stock controlled by family members that is not affected.)
  • It paid down debt by $22.9 million, further chipping away at the large interest expense that has dragged down earnings for years.

Buying back shares is a slightly arcane practice, essentially a bet by the company that its stock is undervalued.  Read more

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions from reporters at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Behind a winning Trump tactic: feuding with the press

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions from reporters at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions from reporters at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mischiefs of Faction

The resilience of Donald Trump includes his clearly relishing feuding with the press.

What’s up with that?

Richard Skinner, a George Mason University political scientist, contends that it’s part and parcel of a symbiotic relationship, including a somewhat complicated one with the “Conservative-Entertainment Complex.”

Skinner and Seth Masket, a University of Denver political scientist, oversee a site called “Mischiefs of Faction,” and Skinner’s latest blog entry in part tries to make sense of one element of Trump’s surprisingly early durability.

While Trump loves to feud with the mass media, his rise in polls matches up nicely with his disproportionate share of press coverage.

Read more

Ten years ago today, NPR podcasts made their debut, with a directory of 170+ programs created by NPR and public radio stations. At the time, we didn’t know whether podcasts would crash and burn next to minidisks, but the format was a beautiful match for the audio programming our journalists had been shaping for decades, and it had potential. Potential to let us think about programming in new ways, to stick with our audiences as their lives became more on-demand and to take that step forward with our existing network in public radio.



Salon apologizes for calling Nicki Minaj’s speech ‘savage’

Salon on Monday apologized for an errant tweet (since deleted) that called Nicki Minaj’s acceptance speech at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards a “savage, expletive-laden rant,” responding to criticism from readers who said the tweet was racist.

The bulletin, sent this morning from Salon’s main Twitter account, promoted a story summarizing a heated moment at last night’s VMA awards, when Minaj called host Miley Cyrus a bitch for remarks she made in the press. “The look on Miley’s face during Nicki Minaj’s savage, expletive-laden rant says it all,” the tweet read:

Salon quickly reversed itself, deleting the original tweet and posting a revised version that called Minaj’s rebuttal “raw” and “righteous.”

But it was too late. Read more

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VICE journalists charged with terrorism in Turkey

Journalists for VICE News were formally charged with “working on behalf of a terrorist organization” by a Turkish court Monday, days after they were arrested by authorities for lack of proper accreditation.

The VICE crew was reporting in the city of Diyarbakir in the country’s predominantly Kurdish region when they were arrested last week for lack of proper government identification, “security sources” told Reuters Friday.

Kevin Sutcliffe, VICE’s head of news programming for Europe, called the terrorism charges “baseless and alarmingly false” in a statement, saying the arrests represented an attempt to “intimidate and censor” the journalists.

“VICE News condemns in the strongest possible terms the Turkish government’s attempts to silence our reporters who have been providing vital coverage from the region,” Sutcliffe said in the statement. Read more


Sign of print times: California daily moves to twice a week

Central Valley Business Times

The Madera Tribune, the only daily newspaper in the California county adjacent to booming Fresno, will no longer be a daily as of Wednesday.

The decision seems part and parcel of melancholy times for local mainstream media: it will move to a twice-weekly schedule, publishing each Wednesday and Sunday instead of five days a week.

“That change is due to tough economic circumstances, which nearly all newspapers seem to face these days,” Charles Doud, the editor and principal owner, told readers last week.

“Other small dailies in the San Joaquin Valley have cut back on publication frequency — some to become weekly, and some to become twice weekly. Examples of these are the Turlock Journal, the Hollister Freelance and the Gilroy Dispatch.”

He was also rather candid about one source of his changing circumstances:

“In the long run, California’s English language newspapers are going to continue to have a hard time because so much of the population is not conversant or literate in English.”

According to Doug Caldwell, the editor-publisher of the Central Valley Business Times, the paper sits in “both a bedroom community to Fresno and a pass-through for those heading to Yosemite [National Park].”

Madera County, for example, has the only children’s hospital between Los Angeles and the Bay Area/Sacramento, he noted by email. Read more

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The legacy of puzzle master Merl Reagle and the gamification of news

Merl Reagle, a crossword-crafting master, died Aug.  22.  (Credit: Tampa Bay Times)

Merl Reagle, a crossword-crafting master, died Aug. 22. (Credit: Tampa Bay Times)

Merl Reagle had the soul of a copy editor and the style of a stand-up comedian. During his too-short life he was both of those and much more: musician, songwriter, author, and one of the world’s great puzzle masters. If you love crosswords – not cross words – send up a prayer of thanks to Merl.

My friend Merl died suddenly last week at the age of 65. Reports said the cause was an attack of acute pancreatitis. I am not writing this to note his passing but to celebrate a remarkable life spent swimming in the English language. “You need two things to do what I do,” he once told me. “You have to be passionate about words, and you have to be curious about trivial stuff on lots of different topics.”

Merl created his first puzzle at the age of 6. Read more


BBC host after on-air interruption: ‘It was a blue whale! Live!’


On Sunday, the BBC’s Steve Backshall reported live from Monterey, California, for the show “Big Blue Live,” when he got word that a blue whale had been spotted. Mashable’s Blathnaid Healy wrote about the broadcast on Monday, noting it was the first time a blue whale had been broadcast on live TV.

“This is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen,” Backshall said.

Read more

New press freedoms for students in North Dakota (yes, North Dakota)

The Associated Press

Did you figure on North Dakota as a free speech bastion?

It appears that journalism students working at state public high school and college papers will do so with a lot more confidence in their own legal protections, according to The Associated Press:

The measure that took effect this month guarantees student journalists the right to exercise free speech in school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the school supports the media financially or students participate as part of a class. The law puts North Dakota among a few states that have enacted legislation meant to counteract a 1980s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said limits can be set on the free-press rights of high school students.

That 1986 ruling offered a seemingly expansive view of a school’s authority when it came to discipline. Read more

Larry King

Larry King live plots Larry King dead

Good morning.

  1. CNN legend also plans to freeze himself

    Life's not been quite the same for workaholic, vain, celebrity-loving Larry King since CNN pulled the plug on the gabfest icon. He's now 81, on his seventh marriage (this one's gone for 18 years with just one brief hiatus after his fling with his much-younger wife's sister) and clearly obsessed with his death. So Larry King live is mulling Larry King dead. "King would love to attend his own funeral. He would watch invisibly over the proceedings and laugh. 'I would like the ceremony to begin, 'Today we are honoring a 160-year-old man who was caught in bed by an irate husband,’" King said in a characteristically droll Mark Leibovich profile.  ‘"And the funeral is late because it took six days to wipe the smile off his face.’"

    He wanted Mario Cuomo to speak, but Cuomo's gone.

Read more

Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015

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An expert’s forecast — Canada will have few if any print newspapers by 2025

Ken Goldstein, a leading media business analyst in Canada, has just published a grim prediction for legacy news outlets north of the border: “In 2025, it is likely that there will be few, if any, printed daily newspapers.”

For good measure, Goldstein adds, “there might be no local broadcast stations in Canada” 10 years from now.

canada-papers-circWhile noting declines in advertising, classified particularly, Goldstein bases his bleak view on newspaper circulation trends (see graph).  Daily paid circulation as a percentage of Canadian households, he writes, has fallen from just under 50 percent in 1995 to 20 percent in 2014.

If those declines continue, circulation will amount to only 5 to 10 percent of households in 2025, too little, Goldstein says, “to support a viable print business model for most general interest daily newspapers.”

He adds in his August 20 paper, “Canada’s Digital Divides,”

Thus, Canada’s daily newspapers now are engaged in a 10-year race against time and technology to develop an online business model that will enable them to preserve their brands without print editions, and – even more difficult – to try to develop new kinds of economic bundles (or other kinds of economic arrangements) that will enable their online presence to maintain their current journalistic scope.

Read more

VICE News crew faces terrorism accusations in Turkey

Reporters on assignment for VICE News in southeast Turkey are scheduled to appear in court Monday to face accusations of terrorism, allegations the international media company says are unsubstantiated.

The VICE crew was reporting in the city of Diyarbakir in the country’s predominantly Kurdish region when they were arrested for lack of proper government identification, “security sources” told Reuters Friday.

Two journalists from VICE UK, British citizens Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, are among the crew. Along with a translator and one other colleague, they were reporting on escalating tensions between police and the youth wing of a pro-Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

No formal charges have been filed against the journalists yet, according to a spokesman for VICE News.

Since news of the journalists’ arrests spread Friday, several advocacy groups have called for their immediate release. Read more

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Front pages from Hurricane Katrina, then and now

Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. On August 30, newspapers around the country led with the devastating storm. You can see a collection of fronts from around the world in Newseum’s archives starting August 30 and running to September 4. Here are front pages from three newspapers on August 30, 2005 and August 30, 2015. You can slide between the two to see the stories then and now.

The Times-Picayune:

Sun Herald:

Montgomery Advertiser:

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