Andrew Beaujon heading for Washingtonian

Poynter’s news editor, Andrew Beaujon, announced to staff Friday that he’s leaving for Washingtonian, where he’ll be a senior editor.

“I’m grateful that Poynter gave me a shot as a media blogger,” Beaujon said. “I’ve loved my time here and care deeply about my coworkers. I have grown a lot in this job and learned so much.”

Beaujon came to Poynter in 2012 and he has most proudly worked as media blogger in that time. At the Washingtonian, Beaujon will return to local news.

“Anyone who knows me knows I love doing local news, especially news about the D.C. area,” he said. “And I’m very excited to finally work with Mike Schaffer, who I’ve admired for a long time, at a publication I grew up reading.”

At Washingtonian, he’ll work on the magazine’s digital strategy, he said, and still write about the media.

“I look forward to working in an office with other humans and relearning how to dress myself before I begin work,” he said. “For the first few weeks, I suggest my new coworkers IM me rather than speak to me directly, just so I don’t freak out.”

Here’s the email announcement Washingtonian sent out about the news:

Comrades-

I wanted to let you know I made a hire today. Andrew Beaujon, who currently runs Poynter’s Mediawire site, will join Washingtonian in mid December as a senior editor.

This is great news. Andrew has been copy chief at Spin magazine and an editor Washington City Paper, wrote a book on Christian rock, and was part of the launch team for the innovative local-news startup TBD.com. A veteran of the local music scene—he helped start Teen Beat records while he was at Wakefield High in Arlington—he built TBD’s local arts/entertainment newsletter while getting a close-up view of both the promise and the pitfalls of the digital space. We’ve never worked together, though when I worked at a paper he’d recently left, staff still spoke of Andrew in reverent terms. So did the references I checked this month, who described him as collegial, funny, whip-smart, and a great leader.

At Washingtonian, Andrew is going to do two things:

One, he’s going to help lead web efforts on the edit side: Finding subject areas to rule, coming up with plans to dominate the daily conversations, upping our social-media game and looking for new ways to both make our long-gestating service/feature pieces find a bigger audience online and infuse the print book with the crackling energy of our website.

Two, he’s going to keep doing some of what he’s been up to at Poynter: newsy, savvy coverage of the local media, which for 30 years has been a big piece of what Washingtonian does.

Andrew lives in Alexandria with his wife, Ewa, and their two sons. At Poynter, he’s been working out of his house, and I suspect having colleagues is going to be one of the smaller upsides of his new gig. I hope you’ll all give him a warm welcome.

mike

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In St. Louis, high school journalists are telling their own stories about Ferguson

Jennifer Fowler watched news as it flowed out of Ferguson, Missouri, in August. She felt scared. She wanted to know what was real. And she wanted to tell the story herself.

When her senior year finally started at McCluer North High School in neighboring Florissant, Missouri, she got the chance. Along with her staff, Fowler, the editor-in-chief of McCluer’s newspaper, focused on the stories they could tell — about Parents for Peace, a group that set up a makeshift school when the Ferguson-Florissant schools were delayed, about students who went to the protests, about what it meant to wait for school to start.

#Ferguson slants across McCluer North’s yearbook’s cover, too. It’s faint gray on a black background, near the top. The hashtag, the place and what has happened since August is a part of their year now.

Screenshot from the opening spread of McCluer North's yearbook.

Screenshot from the opening spread of McCluer North’s yearbook. “I didn’t think we were ever going to come back.”

Six days

Yearbook Editor-in-Chief Melissa Moore’s story on Ferguson begins with this introduction:

Six days. Students and their families anxiously waited for six days to get the call letting them know they would actually be able to start school. The first day back for the 2014-2015 school year was unlike any other for students of not only McCluer North, but the Ferguson-Florissant School District as a whole. Hushed whispers of the name Michael Brown floated through the air with sad eyes. Kids wore personalized t-shirts saying “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” and “No Justice, No Peace.” Despite the chaos, students and staff were eager to get back into school.

McCluer North’s journalism teacher shot the image on the yearbook’s opening spread — two friends seeing each other again, shaking hands. “I didn’t think we were ever going to come back,” sophomore John White said in the caption.

“That’s what they really wanted,” Jonathan Hall said, “to just come back to school.”

This is Hall’s eighth year teaching journalism at McCluer North, his 10th year as a teacher at the school. He also teaches history, and in both those classes, his students wanted to talk about Ferguson. Fowler heard rumors that people feared riots at the school, but it has been calm she said. And she’s seen different reactions from white and black students. 72 percent of McClure North’s students are black, according to 2014 statistics from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 20 percent are white.

“In this high school,” Fowler said, “Ferguson means something different for everybody.”

Fowler and her staff know school could close down again when the grand jury ruling comes out. This time, they plan to report the news as it happens, she said, and to take on the tougher stories about race and social justice.

“I think that we’re ready.”

Here

In August, students at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri, got news of what was happening in Ferguson as everyone else in the country did, said Mitch Eden, publications advisor. Since then, they’ve tried to tell stories of how what happened in Ferguson impacts students at Kirkwood.

The district as a whole has about 50 students from Ferguson in the schools, Eden said. According to DESE, about 18 percent of students at the high school are black, about 74 percent are white. In September, they wrote about how those students tried to get to school in the first days. They’ve also chased down rumors. Now, Lucy Dwyer and other students at the newspaper are making sure they have names and numbers students from Ferguson ready for when the grand jury ruling comes out.

“If the decision is made on Sunday, Riverview Gardens may cancel school,” Eden said. And if Riverview Gardens cancels school, those students won’t have busses to get them to Kirkwood again.

Dwyer, the newspaper’s editor and a senior, wants to cover Ferguson and to make sure it connects with students at Kirkwood, telling the stories of what some of their classmates have experienced and how it may relate to their own community. Kirkwood, also a St. Louis County suburb, has also faced issues of race and disenfranchisement, including a deadly shooting at the town’s city hall in 2008.

With Ferguson, Eden said, “we’re really trying to find how it impacts our community.”

Here are some newspaper and yearbook spreads from McCluer North, McCluer High School and Kirkwood High School. I’ve also reached out to the Normandy School District, The Riverview Gardens School District and the Hazelwood School District and will add them if I hear back:

A spread on Ferguson in McCluer North's yearbook.

A spread on Ferguson in McCluer North’s newspaper.

McCluer North's newspaper

McCluer North’s newspaper

Yearbook spread from McCluer High School.

Yearbook spread from McCluer High School.

Front of the Kirkwood Call newspaper.

Front of Kirkwood High School’s newspaper.

A spread from Kirkwood High School's yearbook.

A spread from Kirkwood High School’s yearbook.

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3 lessons from the G20 Summit ‘Factcheckathon’

G20factcheckathon460
Earlier this week, nine fact-checking websites joined forces to fact-check the statements made by world leaders during the G20 summit in Australia. Glenn Kessler wrote about the results in The Washington Post. I coordinated this first factcheckathon with Cristina Tardàguila from O Globo and took home three important lessons.

  1. Global fact-checking experiments can yield useful results for comparative politics
    Our fact-checking network caught three of the eight world leaders we were monitoring saying essentially the same thing: Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, Barack Obama of the USA and Matteo Renzi of Italy all said something along the lines of “large amounts of jobs were created under my government” – and then proceeded to inflate their records. What was interesting was not so much that politicians chose to dabble with figures, but that they did so in such a similar manner. While the rhetoric and imagery deployed by politicians may vary greatly across countries, facts are facts everywhere.

    A fact-driven analysis of speeches made by global leaders in the same forum opens up new avenues to compare political discourse internationally. Do elected politicians fiddle with facts in ways different from non-elected ones? Are there relevant cultural differences? This basic experiment produced a few valuable insights; a more rigorous one could provide a unique perspective by which to analyse international political discourse.

  2. The fact-checking whole can be greater than the sum of its parts
    The factcheckathon was a small, if practical, output of a larger phenomenon. Independent fact-checking is growing across the globe. The nascent movement – largely inspired by Factcheck.org and PolitiFact, and energetically led by the former’s creator Bill Adair – met for its first “global summit” in London this June. But the fact-checking movement needs to grow much bigger, and making that happen will require innovations. Fortunately, greater collaboration should catalyse this innovation process.

    This was clear in a recent fact-checking conference in Buenos Aires, where I saw some impressive efforts in data visualization, and the open-source “DatoChq” platform the Argentinian site Chequeado has built to receive datasets live via Twitter. At Pagella Politica, the fact-checking site I edit, we are developing a “fact-checkers’ Google” aimed at giving citizens structured and user-friendly access to certified data. Computer scientists and journalism professors from Duke, Stanford and the University of Texas at Arlington are looking at ways to automatize certain steps of fact-checking. These experiments may not yield revolutions; but every day fact-checkers sift through an ocean of data with a teaspoon – and the ocean is only getting larger. Given fact-checkers’ shared methodologies, a breakthrough in one country would be rapidly transferrable.

    A lot of work remains to be done. This article published recently by The Guardianhas been haunting me. It shows the distance – often enormous – between public perception and reality on key indicators such as the unemployment level or the immigrant population. Factcheckathons and other efforts aimed at sharing fact-checks internationally can have an impact in defusing stereotypes across countries.

  3. Facts can be fun
    My colleague Peter Cunliffe-Jones of Africa Check has quipped that a world meeting of fact-checkers sounds as riveting as an International Congress of Actuaries. So fact-checking doesn’t set the heart racing; but it doesn’t need to be dull either.

    Pagella Politica submitted two fact-checks to the G20 factcheckathon. The first one concerned the jobs created during Prime Minister Renzi’s government. The second one verified Mr Renzi’s claims that there were more Sim cards than humans worldwide; and more kangaroos than humans in Australia. While everyone (half-heartedly) recognized the greater relevance of the first, I could see the joy with which colleagues from the US, Brazil and elsewhere lapped up the second one (you can read about it in Italian here).

    This is not meant to showcase my Prime Minister’s penchant for cutesy comparisons. It is supposed to show that facts can be fun. What is more, they translate well. There is space for more fact-driven analysis of international summits, and this week has shown that fact-checking websites are up for the challenge.

The experiment was not perfect. For one, our results came out more than 48 hours after the summit was over; that is eons in the current live-news cycle. Moreover, our sample of fact-checkable statements was quite small. Nevertheless, a rough template was set for a more structured experiment in the future. Watch this space.

Alexios Mantzarlis is the CEO and editor of Italian fact-checking site Pagella Politica Read more

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I’m dreaming of a Christmas without holiday clichés

It’s beginning to look a lot like laziness from headline writers across America:

It'sBeginningtoLookALotLikeCliche

The result is the same no matter which holiday standard you plug into Google.

'Tistheseason

Here’s “Deck the Halls”:

DecktheHalls

If you’re looking to shake off the Christmas clichés, NPR standards editor Mark Memmot has a few banned phrases.

Have you spotted any holiday ledes or headlines that make you cringe? Send them to me at bmullin@poynter.org. Read more

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As the media waits in Ferguson, it begins covering itself

WJBK-TV

In August, when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editor-in-Chief Gilbert Bailon spoke with Poynter about Ferguson coverage, he said “Ferguson is an inner-ring suburb of 21,000 that has never seen such glare of the national media.”

Three months later, Ferguson has seen a lot of glare, (including from Poynter. We reported from Ferguson in August.) Members of the national media are back now, and they’re waiting. Sometimes together.

Here’s Charlie LeDuff’s video about the media in Ferguson, from WJBK-TV.

On Twitter, St. Louis journalists are doing a good job showing who’s in town. From my former colleague Jason Rosenbaum at St. Louis Public Radio:

And the St. Louis American’s managing editor, Chris King:

And from Post-Dispatch photographer Huy Mach:

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New York magazine creates ‘pop-up blogs’

Since May, New York magazine has launched an irregular series of “pop-up blogs” to expand its coverage on a variety of topics including relationships, the arts and travel.

The blogs focus on a specific theme — exploring Paris, untangling love lives or navigating New York’s art scene, said Ben Williams, digital editor of New York Media (which owns New York and its associated properties). They run for a month, and they have bolstered the magazine’s traffic and its bottom line, he said.

Each “pop-up” is basically a Web version of a traditional magazine insert, Williams said. The editorial team comes up with a series of topics they think would be a good fit for New York, and the advertising staff tries to sell those concepts to advertisers. If the sales team finds a sponsor, the editorial side creates the blog and fleshes out plans for coverage.

“Advertisers like them because they’re kind of a TV miniseries, so you have a beginning, middle and end,” Williams said.

So far, New York has rolled out four blogs with the following sponsors:

Although the blogs are targeted to specific advertisers, they do not contain native advertising, Williams said. Beyond approving the initial concept, the sponsors don’t have any control over the editorial content.

Williams said readers have responded positively to the blogs. Two blogs finished their run with a combined 1.4 million unique views, and had individual stories (including this Rachel Corbett post about art selfies) that have gotten more than 100,000 views.

He declined to say exactly how much revenue the blogs bring in but said they’re a “bonus” rather than a fundamental part of New York’s business model.

The biggest challenge to creating the blogs, Williams said, is “staffing up” once an advertiser has agreed to bankroll the content. He said the magazine takes a portion of the revenue from each blog and invests in finding writers who fit each topic. So far, contributors have included Jen Doll, Tim Murphy and Thessaly La Force.

“That’s a good challenge because these are things we actually want to do,” Williams said. Read more

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‘Desperation can be your best ally’ and other lessons from Mario Garcia’s master class

Visual staffs are usually the first to get cut from the budget, Mario Garcia said Thursday at Poynter, but in journalism, sometimes it’s good to feel desperate.

“Desperation can be your best ally,” he said.

In the 1980s, no one was desperate because ads brought in so much money. So change came slow. Now, change is rapid and the opportunity for experimentation is everywhere.

“I’m not going to say that it’s as bad as the Titanic, but you see the violin playing up there and you say ‘Is he going to be the last to go?’”

On Thursday during Poynter’s Master Class featuring Garcia and hosted by Poynter’s Kenny Irby, Garcia shared lessons learned over his long career and hundreds of projects. The course of the three-hour conversation began in Cuba, where Garcia was born, and wound through his work as a designer and re-design consultant, a design thinker and an educator. Here are three lessons from Garcia’s talk.

1. Adapt to change.

The message of Garcia’s talk was this — no matter what organization you work for, school you teach at, or university you attend, you have to not only face change but also adapt to it. Every college student should take a class in change, Garcia said. There should be sections on “Adapting to change, reacting to change, and bringing change to those you work with.” He called on editors and people in newsrooms to believe in themselves and their ability to change. “They can face disruption and emerge from it better,” he said. To educators and academics, he was more specific: “Change the courses. Throw away. Go near a river and throw away that old syllabus and incorporate what is new.”

2. Stop relying on the old recipe.

“Innovation is learning that stories can be told without the traditional headline, summary and text,” Garcia said. “We create a palette of stories, that are primarily for mobile devices, and in a number of ways can tell what is happening — through numbers, through quotes, through photos, through video.” Designers should bring back the archetypes of magazine design, including icons, Garcia said. Digital journalists have to remember that their readers, though they scan much of what they read, are informed about the topics they’re reading about. In fact, he said, audiences are much more informed than they ever were in the past, because mobile devices provide people so much freedom to customize when, where and from whom they get their news. “For journalists in traditional newsrooms, this is very difficult to comprehend, because we all learned that you have to assume that people don’t know,” Garcia said. “So you would begin to tell me the beginning of the story and then eventually you tell me what just happened now.” That’s where design should come in, he explained. If the designer creates an icon, a visual way for the reader to know what the story is, then the reader can be attuned to this heuristic and feel comfortable jumping in to what’s most current. The reader doesn’t waste time in this case, finds your update useful, and moves on to the next thing.

3. Don’t waste too much time on your homepage

So much of your audience gets to your content from social media, Garcia said, that to spend the bulk of your time designing your homepage is foolish, and akin to painstakingly decorating the front door or foyer of your house. “Most people are coming in – your neighbor comes in through the backdoor, through the garage, through the kitchen,” he said. “And you have spent considerable time and money creating a look for the front of your house.” In designing other areas of your site or your paper, though, you should be attuned to the culture and aesthetic of the audience. Choosing a color because you like it is not enough, he said. Some sort of rationale or evidence for your choices is essential. “What you like is of no interest to anyone,” he said.

You can watch the replays of the Master Class with Mario Garcia on NewsU, and catch the first Master Class, with David Barstow. Read more

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Want to cover Will and Kate? Fill out an application, and don’t wear jeans

Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit the U.S. Dec. 7-9. U.S. journalists who wish to cover the event have till 11:59 Friday to submit an application for credentials.

The royal visit will mostly be confined to New York, though the Duke of Cambridge will spend a little time in D.C. at the World Bank.

Look how nicely these people are dressed. Now look at yourself. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Look how nicely these people are dressed. Now look at yourself. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Hadas Gold reported Thursday that Buckingham Palace requires aspiring royal-watcher journalists to dress up:

“Smart attire for men includes the wearing of a jacket and tie, and for women a trouser or skirt suit. Those wearing jeans or trainers will not be admitted and casually dressed members of the media will be turned away. This also applies to technicians.”

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Scotland gets a pro-independence newspaper

The Guardian

The National, Scotland’s first explicitly pro-indepence newspaper, will launch Monday, Mark Sweney reports in The Guardian. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest will publish the paper, which Glasgow Sunday Herald Editor Richard Walker will also edit.

The Sunday Herald was the only Scottish paper to support independence, and it saw sales go up dramatically in the runup to the country’s ultimately doomed referendum.

Sweney says a “source with knowledge of the launch said the title sounded ‘very i-like’, a reference to the Independent’s cut-price spinoff, which has a skeleton staff and relies on its stablemate for most resources and content.” Read more

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Career Beat: Dan Lyons named editor-in-chief at Valleywag

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Dan Lyons is now editor-in-chief at Valleywag. Previously, he was a marketing fellow at HubSpot. (Re/code)
  • Rachel Racusen will be vice president of communications at MSNBC. Previously, she was associate communications director for the White House. (Playbook)
  • Jeff Fager will be an executive producer at “60 Minutes”. Previously, he was chairman of CBS News. (Politico)
  • Nitasha Tiku is now a west coast senior writer at The Verge. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Valleywag. (Business Insider)
  • Jason Kravarik is now a producer at CNN. Previously, he was assistant news director at KOIN in Portland, Oregon. (TV Spy)

Job of the day: The Rockford (Illinois) Register Star is looking for an editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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Fusion tracks news orgs that use term ‘illegal immigrant’

Fusion

Despite “all the good reasons not to use” the term illegal immigrant, “it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines,” Felix Salmon writes. He lists news orgs that make a point of not using it (AP, the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed), those that have an “It’s complicated” relationship with the term (The New York Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg News) and those that prefer it (The Wall Street Journal, Reuters).

Here are a couple more that eschew it:

When AP stopped using the term, Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll told Poynter it was because “It’s kind of a lazy device that those of use who type for a living can become overly reliant on as a shortcut. It ends up pigeonholing people or creating long descriptive titles where you use some main event in someone’s life to become the modifier before their name.”

“No major publication has started using it again after a period where it was banned,” Salmon writes. “So although it’s pretty clear where the media is moving on this issue, it’s also evident that we have some way to go.” Read more

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Push for Parity: What do women in leadership need next? Courage.

Typewriter with Push button, vintage

This essay is the fifth in our Push For Parity essay series, featuring stories about women in leadership in journalism. For more on our series and details about how you can contribute, see Kelly McBride’s essay introducing the project. Poynter and ONA have also announced a tuition-free women’s leadership academy.

What do we need in order to push forward leadership from women at news organizations?

Courage.

Courage, persistence, and a calm sense of expectation.

There is nothing whatsoever left to discuss in the matter. All the issues have been thoroughly discussed in the last 50 years. We know that many of us need flexibility at a certain moment of our careers. We know we need recognition of our competence, abilities, accomplishments and ambition. We no longer need to prove that leadership from women adds dimension, credibility and authenticity to news coverage. It has been proven. We no longer need to fill the pipeline. It has been filled. We no longer need to get the credentials. We have them. We no longer need to prove that women can be successful leaders. They have been so.

Now, assuming that you have taken the hard assignments, gotten the wide experience, learned from your mistakes and failures, developed the calm resilience and trust of your peers and of those above and below you that is needed for leadership, then what remains is for you to require the next step.

Require it of your top editor. Require it of your publisher. Require it of your media company. Require it of the venture capitalists who are backing your endeavor. Require it calmly, confidently and persistently.

Require it for yourself, but more important, require it as your expectation of a great news organization. If you yourself are blocked, look first to your own experience, background, accomplishments and leadership. If you honestly find them ready and sufficient, then require whatever needs to come next. Do it for yourself, and do it for others. When you look around your news organization, and others, find the women of accomplishment and achievement and support them. Actively, honestly, openly and courageously.

Amanda Bennett

Amanda Bennett

If the next step is flexibility, then require that it be made to work. Figure out how to make it work, for you, for the beat, for your readers, for your colleagues, for your management. There is no longer any question that it can be made to work. It is just a matter of figuring out how it will work in YOUR situation and YOUR management. Require this not only for women, but for men as well, first, so that they will be able to better support the women they share family duties with, but also so that their work life will be better, happier and more balanced. If you see women or men of accomplishment and ambition being blocked for reasons of flexibility, this is no longer their problem. It is your problem. If you are blocked, it is not your problem alone, it is their problem too. You must support your colleagues and you must calmly and confidently expect that they will support you.

If the next step is promotion, then require that. Require that your leadership reflect the diversity, skills and accomplishments of the newsroom, and of the news industry in general. After 50 years of talking, it is no longer acceptable that a senior leadership team be overwhelmingly or exclusively male. There are no longer arguments that explain that well.

Require promotion and flexibility not just for yourself, but for every other woman of accomplishment, achievement and ambition. Do not support women just because they are women. Support those whose abilities match or exceed those of men who are promoted.

Where does the courage part come in? It comes in here: When I say “support” and “require” I do not mean behind-the-scenes discussions. I do not mean complaining or sympathizing. I do not mean organizing conferences or mentoring programs. I mean speaking up and requiring change. Making it clear that the current situation is unacceptable. Calmly, confidently and with a sense of expectation. Talk among yourselves, of course. But do not leave it at that. Talk among yourselves and then go to your editors. Not as a group. One at a time. Go over and over again. Tell them that they must act. Figure out how to get flexibility for those who need it. Offer them suggestions and solutions. Figure out how to get flexibility for those who need it. Figure out how to get promotions for those who deserve it. Tell them that the time for explanations is past. Speak to your publishers. Not once. Not twice. Over and over again. Expect it from them. Speak calmly, professionally, logically and helpfully. But speak with a sense of expectation.

This is where courage comes in. It is easy to speak to each other. Easy to agree that the path is hard. Easy to sympathize behind the scenes. It is harder, though, to take a risk. To put yourself forward and say: This is what I believe — believe for myself, and for others. This is what I expect — expect for myself and for others. This is what I deserve — deserve for myself and for others. This is what takes courage. But it is courage that is required.

Amanda Bennett is an investigative journalist, editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Read more

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NYT edges closer to layoffs

Good morning. Almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT may have layoffs, after all

    A memo from Janet Elder says the news org may not have enough buyout applications to forgo layoffs. "Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs." Also, if you take the buyout, MOMA will not let you in for free anymore. (Mother Jones) | Last month Keith J. Kelly reported that more than 300 people had filed buyout applications, but many were "just securing their rights and checking it out," Guild unit rep Grant Glickson said. (NY Post) | Floyd Norris is taking the buyout. (Talking Biz News) | More N.Y. Guild news: Eight Guild members who worked at Reuters' Insider video project are losing their jobs. (The Newspaper Guild of New York) | Time Inc. has declared it's at an "impasse" with the union and "can begin unilaterally imposing many of the terms, including the right to farm out up to 60 full-time jobs while slashing vacation and medical benefits and eliminating voluntary buyout provisions from future layoffs." The Guild has asked the NLRB to investigate. (NY Post)

  2. Aereo files for bankruptcy

    The "challenges have proven too difficult to overcome," the company says. (Aereo) | "Aereo's CEO told early VCs: This either will be the best investment of your career, or it will be a total loss. There is no in between." (@danprimack)

  3. Networks on Obama's immigration reform speech:

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    ABC, NBC and CBS gave it a "collective shrug," Erik Wemple reports. "Asked whether the White House formally requested coverage, the White House wouldn’t even provide the Erik Wemple Blog an on-the-record response." (WP) | New York Post front: "Bamnesty" | "Sí se pudo": How La Opinión and El Diario La Prensa covered the speech. (WP)

  4. Gatehouse parent co. buys Halifax newspapers

    New Media Investment Group will pay $280 million for Halifax's 36 newspapers, which include 24 dailies. (NMIG) | NMIG will be the Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette's third owner in 16 months. (T&G)

  5. Phone hacking scandal principals move on

    Rebekah Brooks may be named editor of the New York Post, Leela de Kretser writes in a kicky inaugural column for Capital. She and her family are "ensconced in an Upper East Side pad." (Capital) | Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson got out of jail early. (The Guardian)

  6. Your daily BuzzFeed links

    Should BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith have disclosed that some of his publication's backers have invested in Uber competitors? It's "easy to see this sort of thing creating an endless rabbit hole," Peter Kafka writes. (Re/code) | BuzzFeed has discovered that "social URLs" -- think back to the punny headlines you may have written before Google ruined all your fun -- can "act like a rocket booster for a post," Lucia Moses reports. Note the URL on the story. (Digiday)

  7. #Pointergate: The timeline

    Corey Hutchins writes a fabulous tick-tock of KSTP's ludicrous non-story and its risible attempts to defend it. Owner Stanley Hubbard confirms the station's initial tip came from "the police federation guy" and says the station polled viewers after it became a national laughingstock for running it: "We just did a major study—we wanted to find out the public reaction—I haven’t got the number exactly, but it’s something like 65 or 70 percent of the people don’t care one way or the other. But interestingly, of those who are aware of the story, 52 percent of black people say, ‘Good for you, right on.’” (CJR) | The Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists calls the story "fundamentally flawed." (MNSPJ) | A big takeaway from all this from David Brauer: "Primarily, we should be vigilant about civilian control of police." (Southwest Journal) | Hubbard called a sponsor's decision to pull advertising from KSTP "unbelievable." Finally, something KSTP finds hard to believe. (MPR News)

  8. HuffPost may host Jill Abramson-Steven Brill startup

    A "decision on a deal is likely to be made soon," David Carr and Ravi Somaiya report. (NYT)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Washington Post goes big on Obama's immigration action. (Courtesy the Newseum)
    wp-11212014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Dan Lyons is now editor-in-chief at Valleywag. Previously, he was a marketing fellow at HubSpot. (Re/code) | Rachel Racusen will be vice president of communications at MSNBC. Previously, she was associate communications director for the White House. (Playbook) | Jeff Fager will be an executive producer at "60 Minutes". Previously, he was chairman of CBS News. (Politico) | Nitasha Tiku is now a west coast senior writer at The Verge. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Valleywag. (Business Insider) | Jason Kravarik is now a producer at CNN. Previously, he was assistant news director at KOIN in Portland, Oregon. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: The Rockford (Illinois) Register Star is looking for an editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more

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P-Edison Phonograph

Today in Media History: Before digital recording there was Edison and his 1877 phonograph

The digital recorders we use today can trace their history back to the 1870s. There were a number of inventors who built the foundation of audio technology, but one stands out.

On this date in 1877 Thomas Edison introduced his phonograph. The device was unique because it could both record and play sound.

What were his historic first words on the new machine? The original recording no longer exists, but he supposedly said hello, then read the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and ended with “ha ha.”

In 1940 actor Spencer Tracy gave us an idea of what Edison’s first recording was like.

The following 1933 newsreel features someone who worked with Edison and heard his historic “hello” and “ha.”

“In the end, they named it the phonograph. But it might have been called the omphlegraph, meaning ‘voice writer.’ Or the antiphone (back talker). Or the didasko phone (portable teacher). These are some of the names someone wrote in a logbook in Thomas Edison’s laboratory in 1877, after Edison and his assistants invented the first rudimentary machine for recording and playing back sounds. From the first, they thought it would be used to reproduce the human voice, but they had no clear idea of its exact purpose.

Edison once said, ‘Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent.’ But all his life, he was a better inventor than salesman. The phonograph, his first invention to make him world-famous, is a perfect example. It was the product of a well-prepared but wandering mind.”

— “The Incredible Talking Machine
Time Magazine, June 23, 2010
(Click here for their related video)

And finally, a little history about recording devices during the time of Edison and his fellow audio technology innovators.

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Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

Halifax Media Group will be bought for $280 million

Herald Tribune

New Media Investment Group Inc. will purchase Halifax Media Group for $280 million, according to a report in the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune.

The purchase will include the 24 dailies owned by Halifax Media Group, which “have total daily circulation of approximately 635,000 and 752,000 on Sundays,” according to the Herald Tribune. It is scheduled to close in early 2015.

Halifax Media Group formed in 2010 and soon acquired the Daytona Beach News-Journal in addition to motor trade insurance nearly 15 newspapers in The New York Times Regional Media Group, according to the Herald-Tribune. It then added 19 papers from Freedom Communications. Read more

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