Police Shooting Missouri

Missouri professor: ‘You could teach a whole course on Ferguson’

The story of Michael Brown’s death and the city of Ferguson, of riots and protests, tear gas, arrests, a funeral and calls for action isn’t just one to watch because it’s news. For some journalism professors in Missouri, it’s a course on how news is created in 2014.

And for Amber Hinsley, Earnest Perry and Dan Kozlowski, it’s now also part of their latest curriculum.

“You could teach a whole course on Ferguson,” said Dan Kozlowski, an associate professor of communications at St. Louis University. This semester, Kozlowski teaches a First Amendment course called “Free Expression,” and he teaches media law in the spring. He’s not teaching a whole course on Ferguson, but there are issues from the past two weeks that will make it into his classes.… Read more


Grammar Girl: ‘I had wanted to be a professor, but I had given up on that dream’

Fogarty. Credit: Patrick Fogarty

That or which? Lie or lay? And where does that pesky comma go? The woman — or girl — who’s built a personal empire around guiding students and professionals through the thickets of grammar and usage recently added another job to a resume that includes writing books, public speaking and entrepreneurship — professor.

Mignon Fogarty, also known as “The Grammar Girl,” was recently named the Donald W. Reynolds Chair in Media Entrepreneurship at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism. Poynter caught up with Fogarty about her new job and what will happen to her website during the transition.

How did this opportunity come up for you?

I gave a guest lecture in Nico Colombant’s radio class last year in the Reynolds School, and the students were all creating podcasts.… Read more


9 under-the-radar ONA finalist’s projects you need to see

The Online News Association’s contest finalist list is always a source of inspiration for me. When it arrived in my email Monday I started scouring it to find great projects that I would use in my Poynter teaching.

Some of the more highly publicized projects you may have already seen, but if you haven’t, you should check these out:

I was delighted to find some other magnificent reporting I had not seen before the finalist list came out and wanted to share some of my favorites.… Read more

Facebook and Twitter Applications on Ipad

Times of India publisher to staffers: Give us your social media passwords if you’re posting news

Hey, it’s Tuesday. Media stories coming your way!

  1. Strict, strange social-media policy at Times of India: Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd staffers have been told not to post news stories from their personal social media accounts; instead, they must create company-authorized accounts, according to Quartz India. Even weirder: the company — which publishes The Times of India and The Economic Times — “will possess log-in credentials to such accounts and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge,” Sruthijith KK reports. (Quartz India) | Quartz-related: How often should a site launch a redesign, like Quartz just did? Mario Garcia: “The answer varies, and there is a basic principle I follow: redesign (and/or rethink) when you need it.” (Garcia Media)
  2. NYT’s controversial Michael Brown profile: New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes that calling Michael Brown “no angel” in a profile of the 18-year-old killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was “a blunder.” (Public Editor’s Journal) | Times national editor Alison Mitchell told Erik Wemple that the phrase derived from the story’s lead, which told an anecdote about Brown seeing a vision of an angel.
Read more

‘A time to mourn’: Newspaper front pages from Michael Brown’s funeral

More than two weeks after his death, thousands of people came to say goodbye to Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown, Elisa Crouch and Doug Moore reported for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday.

It brought people to his funeral who had never met Brown. It brought mostly African-Americans, some who spent more than 12 hours driving from cities as far as Atlanta because they felt a strong connection to him despite knowing little about his life. He reminded them of their own sons and grandsons, and the difficult conversations they have had to have with their children about how to avoid getting shot by a police officer.

Here are five front pages, courtesy Newseum, from Brown’s funeral. … Read more

1 Comment

For Hack Week, The Verge merges product and editorial — and publishes a lot of quizzes

The Verge posted some offbeat stuff during its anything-goes Hack Week last week: a timeline of Gordon Ramsay’s epicurean empire, a history of metaphors for the internet, a list of the top 10 videos featuring Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief.

“I was expecting traffic to crater,” Patel said. But pageviews actually jumped 11 percent from the previous week. More telling: Facebook engagement was up 52 percent.

Given the BuzzFeed-like content that the site ran as it experimented with tools like timelines, photo sliders and quizzes, that’s not a huge surprise. While articles like “Name this Samsung rectangle” clearly resonated with readers by offering something new, some commenters were a little fed up with all the quizzes and lists.

More examples:

Read more

Today in media history: Newspaper front pages remember Edward Kennedy

August 26, 2009
On this date in 2009, newspaper front pages reported on the death of Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy, who had passed away the day before. Here is a collection of pages from that week.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who carried aloft the torch of a Massachusetts dynasty and a liberal ideology to the citadel of Senate power, but whose personal and political failings may have prevented him from realizing the ultimate prize of the presidency, died at his home in Hyannis Port last night after a battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” his family said in a statement.

Read more

Monday, Aug. 25, 2014

Turner announces buyout program for nearly 600 employees

The Wrap | Broadcasting & Cable | Variety | Atlanta Journal-Constitution | CNN

Update: Turner Broadcasting confirmed rumors Tuesday that the company will offer buyouts to almost 600 of its employees as part of an effort to cut costs across multiple channels, CNN’s Brian Stelter reports.

Turner owns CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. It is a subsidiary of Time Warner.

The buyouts will be offered to “Turner staffers age 55 and older who have been with the company for 10 years or more,” Stelter writes.

The Wrap’s Tony Maglio and Sharon Waxman reported Monday that “a couple of hundred of these buyouts will occur at CNN and HLN,” both Turner Broadcasting networks. The cuts are part of a restructuring effort aimed at downsizing the company’s staff by 15 to 20 percent, Rodney Ho wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.… Read more


New Yorker’s Ferguson cover artist has been on the front lines of police protests

Eric Drooker, the artist who created this week’s New Yorker cover art, has never been to Ferguson, Missouri. But like some of the suburb’s citizens, he has been arrested for protesting the police in his hometown.

That experience colors his latest work, a Dantean depiction of silhouettes raising their arms in the “hands up, don’t shoot” position through a miasma of tear gas while the headlights of a police vehicle burn in the background like the eyes of a “wild animal,” Drooker said.… Read more


ACLU, Guardian U.S. and Oklahoma Observer file lawsuit against state prison system

ACLU | The Guardian

On Monday, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit along with The Guardian U.S. and The Oklahoma Observer, according to a press release, “seeking to stop Oklahoma prison officials from selectively filtering what journalists can see during an execution.” The lawsuit, which ACLU of Oklahoma also joined, has been filed against the director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and the warden of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in response to the April execution of Clayton Lockett.

“The state of Oklahoma violated the First Amendment, which guarantees the right of the press to witness executions so the public can be informed about the government’s actions and hold it accountable,” said ACLU Staff Attorney Lee Rowland. “The death penalty represents the most powerful exercise of government authority.

Read more
Screenshot 2014-08-25 15.21.36

Some journalists choose not to live-tweet Michael Brown’s funeral

A St. Louis Cardinals baseball at rests on top of Michael Brown’s casket before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/New York Times, Richard Perry, Pool)

For a story that started and spread on Twitter, some journalists chose to be quiet, or quieter, on Monday for the funeral of Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown.

I have a fluctuating list of journalists who are in St.Read more


Today in media history: Reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew

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

August 25, 1835
The New York Sun reports that astronomer Sir John Herschel has discovered life on the moon. The “Great Moon Hoax” is described in the following excerpt:

The first installment of the moon hoax appeared in the August 25, 1835 edition of the New York Sun on page two, under the heading “Celestial Discoveries.” The brief passage read in part as follows: “We have just learnt (sic) from an eminent publisher in this city that Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope, has made some astronomical discoveries of the most wonderful description, by means of an immense telescope of an entirely new principle.”

….On August 25, the Sun ran four columns describing what Sir John had been able to see, looking at the moon through his telescope.

Read more
American Freed Syria

American journalist released in Syria; British officials ID man believed to be Foley’s killer

Happy Monday. Andrew Beaujon is taking a much-deserved vacation. Here are some media stories.

  1. American journalist freed in Syria: On Sunday, UN peacekeepers received Peter Theo Curtis, who was kidnapped in 2012, and turned him over to the U.S. “According to German newspaper die Welt am Sonntag, ‘something was given in return for his release’.” Curtis was “reportedly held by the al-Nusra Front or by splinter groups allied with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group.” (Al Jazeera) | Previously: The U.S. declined to pay ransom for James Foley, who was killed by Islamic State militants last week. (Poynter)
  2. UK intel ID’s person believed to be Foley’s killer: And “sources have said that rampant media speculation about the identity of the killer may be off base.” (NBC News) | Medill professor Ellen Shearer on Foley’s return to the front lines: “Passion prevailed.
Read more

Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014

Philadelphia Inquirer building

No brotherly love for rival papers in Philadelphia

Philly.com | Columbia Journalism Review | CBS Philly

The Philadelphia Daily News reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for a report on police corruption and sexual assault is being accused of paying the bills of one of its key sources and allegedly encouraging her to exaggerate facts of a criminal complaint about the incident. The story comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Both papers are owned by H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. Lenfest originally wanted to hold the story about why federal prosecutors did not bring charges against police officer Thomas Tolstoy, accused of sexual assault by three women in the “Tainted Justice” series, according the Columbia Journalism Review. But after an article was published about the story being held, the Philadelphia Inquirer published its story.… Read more


Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 3.28.25 PM

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

1 Comment