President Obama: The ‘world is shaped by people like Jim Foley’

James Foley, a journalist who reported for GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse about conflicts in the Middle East, has been missing since November 2012. He was apparently killed by a terrorist group, and video of the incident was posted on the Internet Tuesday.

Foley in 2011. Photograph by Jonathan Pedneault

President Obama addressed the country today about the incident. Here is the complete text of his speech:

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL.

Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother, and a friend. He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away. He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there.

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Why journalists should be skeptical about autopsy reports

A.C. Thompson is not a doctor. But neither are many of the people performing autopsies in the United States, says the ProPublica reporter, who has developed a special interest in those procedures.

“Reporters would do well to approach autopsies with some skepticism,” he said in a phone call. Among the problems with autopsies he’s outlined through his reporting: Many are performed by people with no medical training. In many jurisdictions, “When you’re cutting up dead bodies, you actually don’t have to be licensed by anyone,” he said. (Former New Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard told him one of the most important qualities in a coroner is the “love that you have for your fellow man.”)

Thompson.

Thompson read about 900 autopsies from New Orleans Parish after Hurricane Katrina and found stuff that was “absolutely mind-boggling” in them: “People would be shot to death by police, they would be beaten to death by police, and you would get an autopsy that would fail to note the very, very obvious injuries to their bodies,” he said.… Read more

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‘Where’s the calming?’ Scenes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s morning meeting

ST. LOUIS — Around 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning, a small group of journalists stand in a loose circle on the fifth-floor newsroom of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It’s quiet except for the static of the scanner. Many desks sit empty, for now. On one wall, front pages from the week hang in three rows. As the group waits for the metro team to join the scrum, they talk about news that isn’t about Ferguson, Missouri, the St. Louis suburb that’s made international headlines for more than a week.

That non-Ferguson news written in purple dry-erase marker on a large white board includes: boy bands, free burritos and a forecast that shows temps in St. Louis heating up in what’s so far been a cool summer.… Read more

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Startup that places women in tech jobs plans journalism vertical

News organizations have one great advantage over tech companies, Katharine Zaleski says: They’re used to people working remotely. “For years now, decades, newsrooms have been set up where someone can work remotely because of the bureau system,” she said.

When Zaleski was at The Washington Post she noticed that lots of people were able to work efficiently from home. Journalism, she said, is “already set up for the model that we have.”

Zaleski is a cofounder of PowerToFly, a startup that wants to match women in tech jobs no matter where they work from. “The whole concept is that female tech talent is out there and theres quite a bit of it,” Zaleski said. “If you want more female tech talent you have to be able to allow them to work differently.”

The service, which launched formally Monday, vets candidates through a series of interviews, then places them with companies that have contracted with them.… Read more

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Poynter, Arizona State University announce online adjunct faculty certificate

The Poynter Institute and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication announced Wednesday an online certificate program for adjunct journalism professors.

The program, which will be made available to journalism and mass communication programs across the country, will teach instructional skills. It will focus on the five areas: building a syllabus and course schedule, assessing teaching success, new teaching tools, student engagement and participation and teaching and evaluation and grading.

This pedagogical instruction is essential for adjunct professors, most of whom are trained primarily as journalism professionals, said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School.

“They bring real-world experience and up-to-date skills into their classrooms, but few are trained as teachers,” Callahan said. “By giving them the tools they need to be successful in the classroom, we can meet the high expectations of journalism and mass communications programs and strengthen student learning.”

The program will be hosted by News University, with coaching and feedback provided by educators at the Cronkite School.… Read more

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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

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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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