Hand reaching from the grave

How your byline could outlive you

Good morning. September. Media stories. Let’s do this.

  1. Facebook may not be publishers’ friend: Editorial decisions are increasingly replaced by Facebook’s opaque algorithm, Emily Bell writes: “Accountability is not part of Silicon Valley’s culture. But surely as news moves beyond paper and publisher, it must become so.” (The Guardian) | Related: “Get ready to see a new set of Facebook publishers who see big and mysterious traffic boosts in the near future, as Facebook rolls out its autoplaying video.” (Re/code)
  2. Who will run Condé after Si? At some point Si Newhouse will no longer run the company. Soon-to-be-former Fairchild honcho Gina Sanders is someone to watch, Joe Pompeo writes. (Capital)
  3. What you need to know about this Jennifer Lawrence nude-pictures thing: The FBI is investigating how naked photos of several celebrities ended up online.
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P-Diana

Today in media history: Continuing coverage of Princess Diana’s death and funeral

On September 2, 1997, the major news story continued to be the death of Princess Diana. She, along with her companion Dodi Fayed and their driver, were killed August 31st. They were traveling in a Paris tunnel near the Eiffel Tower. Questions arose immediately whether attempts by the paparazzi to photograph the couple may have led to their high-speed car crash. Her Westminster Abbey funeral took place on September 6th.

(Video from the BBC: “Breaking News of Lady Diana Crash”)

“Diana, Princess of Wales, was reported to have died in a road crash in France early this morning in which her close companion, Dodi Fayed, was also killed.

The accident happened as their limousine was allegedly chased through the west of Paris by paparazzi — freelance photographers — on motorbikes.

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Monday, Sep. 01, 2014

Facebook icon

How to crop photos for Facebook and adapt to the News Feed’s latest algorithm change

Lost in the noise over Facebook’s crackdown on clickbait last week was another change to the social network that could impact all news organizations: the News Feed algorithm will now favor link posts over photo posts and status updates.

When you paste a link to an article on your news organization’s page and Facebook automatically generates a preview box containing the story’s headline, a photo and other information, that’s a link post (here’s documentation on making sure the Facebook Crawler identifies the right information for the link preview). Alternatively, Facebook says, “Some publishers share links in status updates or in the text caption above photos.”

Here’s an example of a link post:

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

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Bethune Cookman FIU Football

Journalists are losing access, but the public still expects the story

Update: FIU provides credential for Miami Herald’s beat reporter

After denying access to Miami Herald beat writer David J. Neal for the football team’s opening game last Saturday, Florida International University has decided to credential him for the remainder of the season, according to Paul Dodson, the school’s assistant athletic director for media relations.

This weekend, Florida International University opened its 2014 football season at home in Miami against Bethune-Cookman University. The game was close, ending when FIU fumbled a field goal attempt that would have won the game as time ran out.

Pretty good game, I’m guessing. But I’m only going on the six paragraphs that ran on the Miami Herald’s website under a byline: “From Miami Herald Wire Services.”

The Herald decided not to cover the game.… Read more

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P-Labor Day

Today in media history: ‘The Workingmen’s Picnic’ and other early Labor Day reports

What was the news coverage like for the first Labor Day celebrations? The Library of Congress and its “Chronicling America” collection gives us some newspaper examples and this description of the first parade:

On September 5, 1882, some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City to participate in America’s first Labor Day parade. After marching from City Hall, past reviewing stands in Union Square, and then uptown to 42nd Street, the workers and their families gathered in Wendel’s Elm Park for a picnic, concert, and speeches. This first Labor Day celebration was eagerly organized and executed by New York’s Central Labor Union, an umbrella group made up of representatives from many local unions. Debate continues to this day as to who originated the idea of a workers’ holiday, but it definitely emerged from the ranks of organized labor at a time when they wanted to demonstrate the strength of their burgeoning movement and inspire improvements in their working conditions.

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Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

A&E Networks purchase stake in Vice Media

The Hollywood ReporterNew York Times | The Huffington Post | Financial Times |

A&E Networks will pay $250 million for a 10 percent stake in Vice Media, a deal that values the company at 2.5 billion, Paul Bond wrote in The Hollywood Reporter Friday.

Earlier in the day, Time Warner dropped its bid to purchase a stake in Vice Media, a deal reportedly fell through because the two companies could not agree how much Vice Media was worth, Jonathan Mahler wrote for The New York Times. He wrote one possible outcome for the deal might have included giving Vice control of HLN, a network owned by Time Warner that has seen flagging ratings recently.

Vice chief executive Shane Smith told Financial Times that the investment from A&E was “a great deal,” adding that it will enable the company to grow for another three years.… Read more

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Intercept redesign shows article pageview counter

The Intercept

The Intercept debuted a new look Friday, shrinking its navigation bar, adding a pageview counter and reconfiguring the homepage layout.

The new design allows readers to see more content — one prominent story and four secondary stories — without having to scroll.

Here’s a look at the transformation:

Before:

After:

The new icon next to the tally of comments for each story indicates how many pageviews the article received. The new feature is meant to help readers choose between stories, said John Cook, editor-in-chief at the Intercept.

 

“Gawker publishes traffic data, so does Business Insider,” Cook said. “It’s an easy way for readers to gauge which stories on the front page might be more interesting.

Also new is a “most popular” sidebar that stays frozen on the left side of the page as users scroll:

Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald referred to the redesign as “stage 1,” on Twitter, implying that more change might be on the way:

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Businesswoman stressed out

Overworked and overwhelmed? Consider these 7 questions

If you’re feeling swamped at work these days, you’re not alone. I’m not talking “I don’t get to go out for lunch very often” busy. I mean “I’m buried in work, never fully off the clock and still feel I’m letting people down” busy. I hear it regularly from the managers I teach and coach.

It’s a function of the downsized staffing but increased demands and responsibilities in changing organizations.

The story is familiar: to hit budget numbers, the company cuts head count but leaves fully intact the expectation of quality, service and measurable results. (I’ll give CNN president Jeff Zucker credit. Referencing the depressing specter of buyouts and layoffs, he didn’t try to spin it as some great opportunity for the survivors to work smarter, not harder.… Read more

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Bar b cue barbecue fire BBQ coal fire iron grill

Texas Monthly BBQ editor travels ‘from one end of the state to the other eating smoked brisket’

Happy Labor Day weekend. Andrew Beaujon’s back on Tuesday. Thanks for reading this week.

  1. Ask him about his cholesterol: The nation’s only full-time barbecue editor — no, he doesn’t weigh 400 pounds — understands why readers are obsessed with his health: “My job requires that I travel from one end of the state to the other eating smoked brisket, one of the fattiest cuts on the steer. And I can’t forget to order the pork ribs, sausage, and beef ribs,” Daniel Vaughn writes. Former Texas Monthly editor in chief Jake Silverstein says Vaughn has “figured out how to make the barbecue lifestyle compatible with staying above ground.” (Texas Monthly)
  2. What to do when you’re arrested: Whether it happened in Ferguson or elsewhere, first you should call the station where you were booked to get your arrest report.
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Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 2.59.11 PM

So you got arrested in Ferguson, now what?

If you’re Matthew Giles, an NYU grad student studying in the Media, Culture and Communications department, then the answer has a few components.

1. Try and get your arrest record through a variety of ways.
2. Try and get disassociated from a group of protesters whose members were arrested on the same night.

Giles went to St. Louis and into Ferguson on August 14 with another student to talk with protesters and journalists.

“My focus was specifically on my Master’s thesis, which looks at media spectacle and the differences in each individual’s lived experiences vs. what comes up on national media,” he wrote in an email. (We also spoke on the phone.)

Giles got to know all of that for himself pretty well in Ferguson.

On Sunday, August 17th, he was arrested around 9 p.m.… Read more

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