Sochi Olympics Pussy Riot

Media’s new darling – the c-word

If orange is the new black, then the c-word may be becoming the new f-word? It certainly seems that way. With the f-word drifting to more common usage, we need another word for its shock value.

When I write c-word, I do not mean “cable.” But it is on cable television where the c-word is creeping out of the shadows. Tony Soprano and his cronies used it. I hear it on episodes of the popular fantasy drama Game of Thrones, sometimes used to describe a body part, more often as a corrosive epithet against women and men.

Surprisingly, the c-word has taken on a political connotation. In his comedy routines and on his HBO show, Bill Maher has described Sarah Palin as a c—. He defends the use on First Amendment grounds: that Palin is a public figure and that nasty name calling is as old as the Republic.… Read more

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Monday, July 28, 2014

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Help Poynter improve its website

My top priority as editor of The Poynter Institute’s website is to find the best online method for delivering media news and education. I think listening to our readers is the best way to do this. That is why we are conducting a website user survey to better get to know our readers and figure out how to best serve them.

In addition to the survey, we plan to have one-on-one conversations with people interested in talking to us, and you can send an email to sliss@poynter.org at any time with ideas and suggestions.

It can be a real challenge to manage a website with the amount of content we have. Keeping up with ever-evolving Web technology and trends presents another challenge. That’s where you, the user of our website, come in; we need your input to help guide and shape Poynter.org’s design, look and feel.… Read more

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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Essay: Hey, Publishers: Stop fooling us, and yourselves

For an industry built on a foundation of truth-telling, the newspaper business sure has trouble telling the truth about itself.

Last month at the World Newspaper Congress in Turin, Italy, the chief spokesperson for U.S.-based dailies, Newspaper Association of America President Caroline Little, gave publishers, editors and educators from around the world a presentation on “the current state of newspaper media in the United States.”

Little’s PowerPoint show was a work of art. With her palette of selective statistics, context-less trend statements and stock photos of smiling, young news consumers, she painted an uplifting masterpiece worthy of the Italian master Botticelli. His cherubic angels were Little’s news-hungry Millennials; his dancing nymphs were her nimble publishers.

David Boardman, Dean, Temple University School of Media and Communication

If I hadn’t known better – knowledge gained through years as the editor of The Seattle Times and in my current role as the president of the American Society of News Editors – I’d have thought U.S.… Read more

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Monday, July 14, 2014

John Seigenthaler

John Seigenthaler: You couldn’t choose a better journalism hero

“Mr. Seigenthaler is on the phone, “ I was told. It had to be important. Why else would John be calling me in the middle of the day?

After greetings the conversation went something like this:

“John, what can I do for you?”

“Well, Gregory, you know that cologne you wear? Dolores [his beautiful wife] loves it and she wants me to start using it. I was wondering if you could tell me how I can get some.”

Seigenthaler in 1994. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

He got it, and every time we met afterward, we sniffed each other and laughed, leaving bystanders wondering if we had misplaced our marbles.

Now, John Seigenthaler is gone. And everyone he ever touched, up close or far away, deeply mourns his passing but will never forget what he did in a life that was truly well-lived.… Read more

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Katy Perry

How Katy Perry, Elvis and Springsteen can change the meaning of your video

It seems that everywhere I turned online this weekend, somebody was flying a quadcopter with a camera through fireworks.

Leaving the wisdom of doing that out of this posting, I wanted to play with how music and special effects would affect the viewer’s experience with a fireworks video shot via drone and published in May. In the original, a classical score and slow drifting shots add drama and elegance to the piece.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Mideast Iraq

ISIS poses serious threat to journalists

When an armed insurgency intensified its campaign across Iraq in recent weeks, journalists quickly began trickling into the conflict zone — despite the fact that the country is the most dangerous place in the world for them.

ISIS fighters parade in Mosul, Iraq, Monday. (AP Photo)

More journalists have been killed in Iraq than any other country in the world, according to data published by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Since 1992, 248 media workers have lost their lives in the country, nearly double the amount in the second most dangerous country, the Philippines.

The majority of the deaths occurred during the Iraq War, which was the deadliest conflict for journalists on record. The war claimed the lives of 150 journalists, 85 percent of whom were locals.… Read more

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Supreme Court TV On the Internet

Broadcasters: Aereo decision was not an attack on innovation

Update at 1:40 p.m.: Stock prices for Scripps, Gannett and Meredith were up between one and two percent after the decision. Sinclair, the biggest owner of local stations in the country, saw its stock shoot up a breathtaking 12.88 percent on the news.

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The U.S. Supreme Court handed broadcast networks and local stations a victory by ruling that Aereo cannot take TV signals and send them to phones, tablets and other platforms without paying for the rights.

The networks told the court that if Aereo was allowed to lease its antennas to users without compensation, cable companies would quickly do the same, which could cost broadcasters billions of dollars.

Journalists outside the Supreme Court during arguments in the Aereo case this past April.

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Takeaways from the Al Jazeera Forum

While journalists in the United States have to worry about Tweeting out misinformation, journalists in the Arab world have to worry about their Tweets getting them thrown into jail.

At Al Jazeera’s Eighth Annual Forum in Doha, Qatar last month, 700 media and political leaders gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the media. Meanwhile, the trial of three Al Jazeera journalists, who have since been sentenced to serve jail time in Egypt came up frequently in the conversations.

A display at the entrance of the Al Jazeera Arabic newsroom features staff members showing their support for three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Supreme Court

Supreme Court Aereo ruling expected soon: Get prepared

UPDATE: The Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 that the signals from other networks captured by Aereo, Inc. are protected under by the transmit clause of the Copyright Act of 1976, and thus constitutes a performance of the petitioner’s works publicly. Here’s Poynter’s story on the decision.

The legal case is called American Broadcasting Companies Inc. V. Aereo, Inc. The stakes are hard to overstate.

Broadcasters say the very future of commercial broadcasting hangs in the balance of a Supreme Court ruling that could come Wednesday, Thursday or next Monday. The Big Four networks all want to stop Aereo from being able to capture their free over-the-air signals and then make the signals available to people who want to watch on mobile devices. Aereo offers to store up to 60 hours of content for $8-$12 a month.… Read more

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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Fact-checkers plan international organization

The Poynter Institute’s Global Fact-Checking Summit concluded Tuesday with participants voting to start an international association.

The group will build on the progress of the London summit to connect fact-checkers and convene future meetings, said Bill Adair, creator of PolitiFact and the summit’s organizer.

“The meeting showed there is a passionate community of fact-checkers that is growing around the world,” said Adair, a professor at Duke University and an adjunct faculty member at Poynter. “The association will keep the fact-checkers in touch with each other and help them learn from each other.”

Look out, untruths!

“We’re excited about the possibility of The Poynter Institute being the home of the international fact-checking organization, and producing a website that showcases members’ best work and impact on democracies” Poynter President Tim Franklin said.… Read more

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