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From Boston to Ferguson ‘to bear witness of this moment for our readers’

When she saw people protesting after the death of Michael Brown, when she saw the outrage and turmoil, Akilah Johnson also saw echoes of what she has seen and heard as a reporter for The Boston Globe – lack of diversity on the police force, unequal resources for poor communities, strained relationships between police and communities, the death of young black men. And it felt, to her, like something people in Boston needed to know more about.

So Johnson flew to St. Louis and headed for Ferguson to report on something that echoes in Boston.

The reason, she said, “is to bear witness of this moment for our readers.”

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James Foley’s mother: ‘We have never been prouder of our son Jim’

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ISIS video appears to show James Foley’s execution: Masked executioner speaking “with what sounds like an East London accent…. says that Mr. Foley’s execution is in retaliation for the recent American airstrikes ordered by President Obama against the extremist group in Iraq.” (NYT) | Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, on Facebook: “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.” (Find James Foley) | “As of 7 a.m.
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Police Shooting Missouri

Heard and overheard in St. Louis

Tuesday, around 10 p.m., Atlanta, Georgia: They sit in row 40, him at the window, her at the aisle.

The two strangers introduce themselves on the plane headed from Atlanta to St. Louis Tuesday night. They’re both white. She lives here. He’s visiting on business.

“Not Ferguson, I hope,” she says.

No, he tells her, he’ll be downtown.

She’s upset with what’s happening in Ferguson. The autopsy clearly shows that Michael Brown lunged at the police officer, she says. And the media are making things worse.

“What if they just stopped filming for one night?” she says. “What if no one was there? Wouldn’t people just leave?”

“Yeah,” he says. “So, what do you do?”

The plane rolls toward the runway and up, into the night.… Read more


Today in media history: The dial telephone was 1896 cutting-edge technology

Here are four events that happened on this date and a trivia question.

August 20, 1896
A patent is filed for one of the most important devices in the history of reporting: the dial telephone. The following clip from the 1940 journalism movie “His Girl Friday” reminds us how reporters used this cutting-edge technology.

August 20, 1920
WWJ (8MK), one of the first commercial radio stations, goes on the air. The station was originally operated by The Detroit News. Newspapers around the country began buying or starting radio stations in the 1920s.

August 20, 1926
A syndicated newspaper column lists radio programs from around the country. Here are a few examples:

4:30 pm — WFAA — Dallas — Agricultural Program
5:30 pm — KDKA — Pittsburgh — Dinner Concert
6:00 pm — WSOE — Milwaukee — Sports; News
6:15 pm — WMAK — Philadelphia — Instrumental Trio
7:00 pm — WLS — Chicago — Lullaby Time
7:50 pm — WNYC — New York — Know Your City
8:00 pm — WWJ — Detroit — News
10:00 pm — WIL — St.

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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

After new plagiarism allegations, Time magazine will review Zakaria’s work again

Our Bad Media

Time magazine will review Fareed Zakaria’s work after Twitter users @blippoblappo and @crushingbort accused the CNN journalist of lifting from a variety of publications, including Vanity Fair, Businessweek and the New Yorker.

Time magazine “takes the accusations seriously,” according to a statement from Daniel Kile, vice president of communications for Time Inc.:

In 2012, we conducted a review of Zakaria’s work for TIME and were satisfied with the results of that investigation. We will be reviewing these new allegations carefully.

Zakaria is the host of “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” a columnist for the Washington Post and was recently named a contributor to Atlantic Media. He was previously an editor-at-large for Time magazine.

Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, called the new accusations “reckless” in a statement to Poynter:

“If I’m not mistaken, the newest allegations feature only one WP column, and when I looked at that I thought it was so far from a case of plagiarism that it made me question the entire enterprise.

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Digital First puts 51 newspaper buildings on the market

Digital First Media has listed 51 newspaper buildings for sale, according to a press release from the real estate firm Twenty Lake Holdings.

The properties are “for sale across seven states including California, Connecticut, Colorado and Pennsylvania, to name a few,” Twenty Lake Holdings says in its release.

The planned sale “enables us to streamline our real estate portfolio through a comprehensive program encompassing property sales, new leasing, relocations and consolidation, thereby freeing the company from the constraints of being overburdened with underutilized properties,” DFM President and COO Steve Rossi says in the release.

With the addition of the DFM properties, Twenty Lakes and the broker Praxis Commercial have 70 newspaper buildings for sale in total, the release says.

Reached by email, DFM CEO John Paton said the listings represent “the remainder of our real estate holdings not yet sold.… Read more

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A note to journalists in Ferguson: ‘You are living up to your responsibilities’

Richard H. Weiss is a former reporter, editor and writing coach at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and one of the founders of the news nonprofit St. Louis Beacon, which recently merged with St. Louis Public Radio. He operates WeissWrite LLC, a writing, editing and coaching service for students, journalists and anyone with a story to tell. (He’s also a former co-worker of mine.) He posted the following note on Facebook on Monday night. We are reposting it with his permission.

I was out of town the past week and not physically present for ‪#‎Ferguson‬. Watching from afar, I was so proud of the work of my friends and former colleagues. I was glad to see many getting national recognition. But with that said, I would like to offer just a bit of advice from someone taking this in as a consumer of news.… Read more

Facebook and Twitter Applications on Ipad

On the Facebookification of Twitter and the Twitterfication of Facebook

Twitter lately has been full of journalists critical of Facebook for not being more like Twitter — and critical of Twitter for being too much like Facebook.

Throughout the clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Missouri, Twitter users have noted that their timelines are blanketed by Ferguson coverage. But their News Feeds on Facebook have been slow to reflect breaking news as it erupts:

Chartbeat’s chief data scientist, Josh Schwartz, weighed in with a traffic referral observation:

Photos, links to livestreams, and breaking-news updates were rapidly spreading on Twitter on Sunday night, while Facebook users were catching up on the day’s Ice Bucket Challenge videos.… Read more


Which journalists have been arrested in Ferguson?

We’ll keep this list updated as journalists are arrested or detained in Ferguson, Missouri. This list is in order of most recent arrests.

  • Coulter Loeb, The Cincinnati Herald

  • Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept

    The Intercept’s John Cook wrote about Devereaux’s arrest early on Tuesday:

    Intercept reporter Ryan Devereaux was detained this morning while on the ground covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer David Carson, who witnessed the apprehension, Ryan and a German reporter he was with were both taken into custody by members of a police tactical team. They were handcuffed and placed in a wagon, and Carson was told they were being taken to St.

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Police Shooting Missouri

Where to buy gas masks for your reporting staff in Ferguson

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Who got arrested in Ferguson last night? Getty Images photographer Scott Olson. (Poynter) | Intercept reporter Ryan Devereaux (The Intercept) | Devereaux “was shot with rubber bullets/beanbags by police last night, spent night in jail. Is due to be released w/o charge soon.” (@the_intercept) | German reporters Ansgar Graw and Frank Hermann. (The Local) | “On Monday, The Washington Post, following the lead of other news organizations, began outfitting its employees with gas masks, purchased at a chain hardware store.” (WP) | Amazon has a pretty good selection of gas masks, some of which are eligible for Prime.
  2. St. Louis Post-Dispatch front page: “Streets Flare Up,” with stunning photo by David Carson (via Newseum) | Carson talked with Kristen Hare last week about covering the unrest in Ferguson.
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Today in media history: Soviet hard-liners stage coup against Gorbachev

Here are three events that happened on this date and a trivia question.

August 19, 1848
The New York Herald is the first newspaper on the U.S. East Coast to report on the discovery of gold in California.

August 19, 1991
Conservative Soviet hard-liners stage a coup against president Mikhail S. Gorbachev. On the ABC News program Nightline, Ted Koppel reports:

Almost exactly 24 hours ago the world was told that Mikhail Gorbachev had been forced to step down as president of the Soviet Union for “health reasons.” President Bush didn’t even engage in the normal diplomatic courtesy of pretending to believe that explanation. The U.S. government is proceeding along the assumption that there has been a coup in the Soviet Union…..Boris Yeltsin remains prominently and defiantly in Moscow, denouncing the new government and calling on Soviet citizens to engage in acts of civil disobedience.

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Monday, Aug. 18, 2014

Getty photographer arrested, released in Ferguson

Getty Images photographer Scott Olson was arrested and released Monday night in Ferguson, Missouri. Olson was back to work a couple of hours after police led him away in zip cuffs.

“I want to be able to do my job as a member of the media and not be arrested for just doing my job,” Olson said in a statement from Getty Images. The company “condemns Scott’s arrest,” vice-president for news Pancho Bernasconi said.

Fellow Getty photographer Joe Raedle documented Olson’s arrest.

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Olson was arrested for “not getting out of the way fast enough,” according to Rob Crilly, a journalist from The Telegraph who was detained and released Sunday.

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Whites are half as likely as blacks to follow Ferguson news closely


54 percent of blacks are following news from Ferguson very closely, Pew reports. Only 25 percent of whites say the same thing.

Age played a role in how people Pew surveyed viewed the Ferguson story: People above 50 were far likelier to say they were following the news closely. But the race of respondents had a stronger correlation with how they viewed the story:

Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to say that the shooting of Michael Brown “raises important issues about race that need to be discussed.” Wide racial differences also are evident in opinions about of whether local police went too far in the aftermath of Brown’s death, and in confidence in the investigations into the shooting.

27 percent of all respondents said they were following Ferguson news closely.… Read more

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How St. Louis’ alt-weekly is covering the chaos in Ferguson


A couple Fridays ago, Riverfront Times Editor Chad Garrison left his office with a cover story laid out and ready for proofreading.

But over the weekend, things changed. On Saturday, an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis 22 minutes from the Riverfront Times’ office. The next day, looting began.

On Monday, Garrison had to decide whether to keep the story they’d laid out before the weekend — an evergreen investigative piece, he said — or tear up the paper and scramble to put together a new cover story about Michael Brown’s death.

“I think we’d have looked foolish if we’d have came out with the cover story that had nothing to do with the coverage here,” Garrison said.… Read more

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How CIR measured the impact of an investigative series

When Lindsay Green-Barber took a job as the at the Center for Investigative Reporting’s media impact analyst, she was struck by the difference between the way two stories were received.

Editorials and investigations followed Corey G. Johnson’s story about forced sterilizations in California prisons. But a CIR series called “Rape in the Fields” got a much quieter reception, despite airing on PBS and Univision.

Both stories “revealed injustices committed against women in vulnerable communities,” Green-Barber writes in a new report, her first case study for CIR, assessing “Rape in the Fields”‘ impact. (You can read the report below.) “Yet, the sterilization story appeared to be creating more of a national public outcry.” Then, she writes, “I had a bit of an aha moment: Spanish.”

I Googled the Spanish title of the documentary, “Violación de un Sueño,” and at the top of the results list was El Diario, the largest and oldest Spanish-language newspaper in New York City and the oldest Spanish-language daily in the U.S.

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