MediaWire

Media industry news & commentary. Send tips.

Caity Weaver takes the Gawker buyout

Caity Weaver became the latest Gawker Media staffer to accept a buyout from the company Tuesday, announcing her departure on Twitter.

According to KnowYourMeme, “Bye Felicia” is a dismissive farewell that has its origins in the 1995 comedy “Friday.”

When reached by Poynter for comment, Weaver confirmed she was taking the buyout.

“Yes, I’m accepting the buyout and also GO EAGLES!” she said.

Weaver, who once spent 14 hours in a TGI Fridays on assignment for Gawker, joins colleagues Leah Finnegan, William Arkin, Max Read and Tommy Craggs in accepting the buyout. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Study: People read more on sites with modern designs. They also remember more.

A new study from Engaging News Project found sites with contemporary design have a significant increase in pageviews over sites with a more traditional newspaper layout. That part of the study, released on Tuesday, isn’t too surprising. But the study also found that people remembered more (50 percent) from the contemporary sites than they did from the traditional ones.

From the study:

Some of the 2,671 study participants browsed a site with a classic newsprint layout, while others looked at a page with a contemporary modular and image-based layout. The same 20 articles with identical text appeared on both sites.

The Engaging News Project team consistently found that the contemporary site garnered more page views than the classic site. In all three of the experiments, the contemporary site had at least a 90 percent increase in unique page views compared to the classic site.

Read more
Tools:
0 Comments

Clinton emails inspire note to readers, more headaches for New York Times

Good morning.

  1. Paper offers a mea culpa amid email kerfuffle

    It started with a lede last week about a criminal investigation into whether then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mishandled "sensitive government information" via her email account. The Clinton camp, famous for an unceasing sense of righteous victimization, yelled and the lede was altered to say the probe was actually into whether sensitive information was mishandled, not necessarily by her. Then came both another change and a column by Margaret Sullivan who, as the public editor, possesses a thankless task akin to being a toll collector in an exact change lane with people yelling at her on every shift. (The New York Times)

    Her criticisms of her own paper were insufficient for some, including Joe Conason, a smart and passionate journalist of liberal bent (and a friend), who argues that Sullivan "lets the Times editors and reporters off a bit too easily, allowing them to blame their anonymous sources and even to claim that the errors 'may have been unavoidable.'" (National Memo) Now the paper offers an editor's note in Tuesday's print edition (online last night) four days after the original imprecise prose and concedes that a correction should have been run earlier.

Read more
Tools:
0 Comments
newsroom-retention-asne

Newspaper industry lost 3,800 full-time editorial professionals in 2014

The American Society of News Editors annual newsroom census, released this morning, found that job losses accelerated in 2014, falling by more than 10 percent in a single year.

The net job loss of 3,800 brings the total number of news professionals to 32,900 — with additional losses clearly taking place so far in 2015.  That total is down just over 40 per cent from a pre-recession peak of 55,000 in 2006.

It’s the biggest single year drop since the industry was shedding more than 10,000 jobs in 2007 and 2008.  The comparable figure for 2013 was 1,300 jobs and 2,600 in 2012.

The survey began in 1978 to track progress in improving diversity in newspapers’ newsrooms and leadership ranks and continues to embrace that mission. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Career Beat: Dayna Evans joins New York magazine

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

  • Dayna Evans will join New York magazine. Previously, she was a staff writer at Gawker. (Capital New York)
  • Anas Fouda is editor-in-chief of HuffPost Arabi. Previously, he was Executive Producer for New Media at Al Jazeera. (The Huffington Post)
  • Noelle Sciacca is now a fashion reporter at Mashable. Previously, she was Fashion Market Editor at The Lucky Group. (Email)

Job of the day: Snapchat is looking for an assignment editor. Get your résumés in! (Snapchat)

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

Tools:
0 Comments
Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 7.33.30 AM

Caleb Hannan: ‘Screwing up has not made me an expert’

When freelancer Caleb Hannan published the now-infamous “Dr. V’s Magical Putter” on Grantland, everyone wanted to talk to him. He received a barrage of emails and a flood of tweets. Some wrote to congratulate him on a story well-reported and a job well-done. Some wrote to excoriate him.

Hannan’s story was about his experience reporting on an inventor whose golf club had become popular and whose company was touting its success and innovation. He reported on Dr. V’s invention, her company, and her background. He discovered that she lied about her qualifications as a scientist and that she fabricated an impressive resume. He also reported, with the same sort of “Can you believe this?” tone, that she was a transgender woman.

In the time between Hannan reporting on the story and it being published, Dr. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Photo by Beverley Goodwin/Flickr

6 ideas for getting creative juices flowing…for almost no money

When you work in a small newsroom and have to keep up with a daily news cycle, it’s tough — if not impossible — to hold week-long internal coding hackathons with your product team. Heck, you might not even have a product team.

But that doesn’t mean there’s not time or room to innovate or think about new ideas. Below are six ideas that any newsroom, of any size, could use to ideate, share and learn. And they don’t break the budget or interrupt the daily routine for too long.

Photo by Beverley Goodwin/Flickr

Photo by Beverley Goodwin/Flickr


 

  1. Make it really easy for people in different departments to mingle in person

In many of the newsrooms where I’ve worked, the radio people sit in one place, the digital people sit in a different place, and the business people sit in a third place — and sometimes on a completely different floor. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Monday, July 27, 2015

Leah Finnegan to leave Gawker amid buyouts

Leah Finnegan, Gawker’s features editor, announced on Monday she is leaving the site as Gawker Media offers buyouts and realigns itself around new editorial standards.

Finnegan, who joined Gawker last year from The New York Times, reportedly got into an argument with Gawker Media founder Nick Denton during a staff meeting convened to discuss his decision to remove a controversial post that had drawn significant pushback on social media. The removal of the post, which detailed an alleged attempted dalliance between a Condé Nast executive and a male escort, prompted the company’s executive editor and the editor-in-chief of Gawker to resign in protest. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

A former journalist created a site to help journalists find experts

Screen shot, Expertise Finder

Screen shot, Expertise Finder

Stavros Rougas and Ebrahim Ashrafizadeh created a site a few years ago to help journalists find academic experts. Originally called Media Spot Me, the site is now Expertise Finder.

I spoke with Rougas, a former journalist, via email about why he helped create the site and what you’ll find there.

Stavros Rougas and Ebrahim Ashrafizadeh, co-founders, Expertise Finder. (Submitted photo)

Stavros Rougas and Ebrahim Ashrafizadeh, co-founders, Expertise Finder. (Submitted photo)

What are the roots of Expertise Finder?

I was a TV producer on a current affairs program called The Agenda with Steve Paikin, it’s on a public broadcaster called TVO located in Toronto. I was looking for experts with depth all the time, too often scrambling for deadline and ending up with less than ideal guests. I thought there must be a better way so I looked and looked and looked. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

New York magazine demonstrates digital alacrity in face of alleged cyber attack

Hours after New York published its powerful cover story containing testimony from 35 women who said they were assaulted by comedian Bill Cosby, the site was unavailable, knocked down by an apparent cyber attack.

The culprit appears to be a hacker who referred to his or herself as “ThreatKing” and tweeted under the handle “Vikingdom2016” on Twitter. The hacker offered different justifications for the attack: Speaking to The Daily Dot, ThreatKing said the strike was motivated by a dislike of New York City. In a Skype conversation with Poynter, Vikingdom2016 said the attack was launched for “many reasons” and made reference to “pranks.”

As of 2 p.m., the site was up again after a brief outage after noon. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 1.46.40 PM

Trump might be ‘Entertainment’, but HuffPost is still writing about him. A lot.

On July 17, the Huffington Post announced that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was a “sideshow” and will be a part of its entertainment section.

Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

More than a week has passed, and there has been some debate about how the Huffington Post has been deciding when to put him in its entertainment section. Erik Wemple wrote how that was a problem, raising the question whether the banner on the page actually mattered. We spoke to Danny Shea, the editorial drector of the Huffington Post, and the team stands by the move and said that they were very proud of the decision. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Donald Trump

Huffington Post stoutly defends Trump coverage decision

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Early in a marathon presidential campaign, Donald Trump is an unforeseen force that has caught a suspicious media by surprise. And no outlet is more notable than Huffington Post, which announced it would treat him as essentially an entertainment story, or at least classifying as “Entertainment” its coverage of his campaign. As Poynter discovered, it hasn’t really diminished the amount of Trump coverage on the site.

There have always been different sets of rules for covering presidential candidates, especially in large fields. The press routinely exhibits benign neglect for those it considers long-shots, or not especially serious, aspirants for the White House. But Huffington Post is taking a different tack despite the fact that he’s showing well in early polling. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

William Arkin critiques Gawker story on the way out

William Arkin, the founder of Gawker Media’s national security site, announced on Twitter Monday he is leaving the company during a round of buyouts offered to the editorial staff amid a reorientation of the site.

Reached by email Sunday evening, Arkin told Poynter he’d been “asked to leave in not so many words.”

Arkin becomes the first staffer to announce his departure from Gawker Media since founder Nick Denton announced a round of buyouts for employees earlier last week. The buyouts are part and parcel of a new editorial direction at the company that came to the fore after Gawker published an exposé that alleged Condé Nast executive David Geithner attempted to hire a male escort. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

New York Times public editor: Clinton story ‘fraught with inaccuracies’

The New York Times

A New York Times story that originally reported government officials had requested a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of government information was “fraught with inaccuracies,” New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote Monday morning.

The story, a bombshell that has received intense pushback from Newsweek and others in recent days, drew fire from Clinton’s camp shortly after it was published. The article was revised multiple times — once to distance Clinton herself from the probe and once to eliminate references to a “criminal” inquiry.

The story quickly found itself in the crosshairs of Media Matters for America, a left-leaning organization that called on The New York Times to investigate its Clinton reporting Friday. The New York Times originally claimed that the story was error-free, then declined to elaborate on the justification for its corrections when contacted for comment. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Lost newsroom sounds, part 3

Peta Pixel

Let’s add the photo transmitter to our growing collection of lost newsroom sounds. On Sunday, Michael Zhang wrote about United Press International’s Model 16-S photo transmitter for Peta Pixel with “This is How Press Photos Were Transmitted Back in the 1970s.”

First, you place a print on the drum and start the transmitter. The drum then rotates at a consistent speed while a scanning beam would move slowly across the photo, scanning one line at a time. Transmitting the analog signal required a connection to a phone line.

Last February, I wrote about The Museum of Endangered Sounds, which has a series of newsroom sounds that have already vanished, including the dial-up modem, the typewriter and the teletype, (part 1 in this occasional series. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments