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AP Stylebook has hundreds of new or revised entries

The annual revision of the AP Stylebook, released today, contains more than 300 new or revised entries, the news cooperative announced Wednesday.

We covered some of the changes when they were announced at the annual American Copy Editors Society conference earlier this year. Some notable differences between this year’s edition and last year’s:

  • You can write “BLT” on first reference.
  • The capital of Nepal — which has been in the news frequently lately — is now spelled “Kathmandu.”
  • “Favorite” and “meme” are now in the stylebook.
  • There’s now an entry on suicide.

In addition to those individual style changes, the 2015 edition also contains an 85-page index in the back of the book to help users navigate the manual. The chapter on sports guidance has also been revamped, with updates to baseball, basketball and football, among other sports. Read more


BuzzFeed launches open-source news lab

Wired | BuzzFeed

On Wednesday, BuzzFeed announced a new project, “BuzzFeed Open Lab For Journalism Technology and the Arts.” The lab has been in development for the last six months and will be based in San Francisco, writes Mat Honan, BuzzFeed News’ San Francisco bureau chief:

When you think about media experiments, you probably think about advertising models or paywalls or, more recently, partnerships with companies like Facebook or Snapchat. But those kind of media experiments are deeply boring to pretty much everyone who doesn’t depend on ads for a paycheck. The logic of this new lab is: screw it, let’s fly drones. Drones with lasers. And more to the point: let’s build drones with lasers and show everyone how to make them too. We want to push the envelope.

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Note to self: WNYC’s tech podcast has a new name and it’s Note to Self


Courtesy WNYC

Courtesy WNYC

On Wednesday morning, WNYC’s tech podcast New Tech City announced it has a new name – Note to Self. It came about, host Manoush Zomorodi wrote, from listener suggestions.

As I went through all the suggestions, a theme emerged: we’re on a search for balance in the digital age. In no uncertain terms, you told me you listen to our show because you’re interested in “purposeful use of technology.”

You may have already been introduced to this concept with Melody Kramer’s debut column for Poynter on the WNYC’s clever campaign to reintroduce boredom into our lives – Bored and Brilliant.

The newsletter portion of the project is what really caught my eye — because it is really, really smart. As NPR’s Social Sandbox recently put it, “They’re getting new subscribers for their newsletter and engaging those subscribers with an email welcome that’s specific to their point of entry to the newsletter.

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Knight Foundation’s Eric Newton headed for ASU

USA Today | Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Eric Newton will become innovation chief of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. USA TODAY’s Rem Rieder reported the news on Tuesday.

Eric Newton is leaving the Knight Foundation, where he has long championed — and funded — journalism innovation, to become Cronkite’s innovation chief. The idea, says the school, which has a wide array of professional programs including digital news bureaus in Phoenix, Washington and Los Angeles and an entrepreneurial innovation lab, is to “serve as a test bed for news industry innovations and experimentation.”

Eric Newton, submitted photo.

Eric Newton, submitted photo.

In a press release, the Cronkite School of Journalism reports that Newton will continue advising the Knight Foundation. Read more


Greta van Susteren among 100 most powerful women, Jason Rezaian’s trial opens with bad news

Good morning.

  1. The most powerful women in media include Greta van Susteren, says Forbes.

    The Forbes annual World’s Most 100 Powerful Women list includes Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and, yes, Greta van Susteren of Fox News Channel. Other folks from media include Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, FOX TV CEO Dana Walden, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer and The Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner. And this tidbit: a mere 9 percent of Silicon Valley’s executive officers are females. (Forbes)

  2. Jason’s Rezaian’s first day in court

    The seemingly rigged legal proceeding against Washington Post Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian on "espionage" charges Tuesday was barred to his mother Mary and wife Yeganeh.

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Career Beat: Will Mendelson joins Time Out Chicago

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

  • Will Mendelson will be an associate editor at Time Out Chicago. Previously, he was style and entertainment editor at amNewYork. (‏@williemendelson)
  • Eric Newton is now innovation chief at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Previously, he was senior adviser to the president at The Knight Foundation. (USA Today)
  • Kate Nocera has joined public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker. She was a congressional reporter at BuzzFeed. (Politico)
  • Meredith Haggerty is now reports editor at Racked. Previously, she hosted “TLDR.” (Poynter)

Job of the day: Bloomberg is looking for news editors. Get your résumés in! (Mediagazer)

Send Ben your job moves: Read more


API has a new take on innovation — ignore the tribal nature of news organizations at your peril

One model was for a single-subject news website shows the staffing structure of the site. Rather than present the team in a typical org chart, they use concentric circles to show that each group is connected. (Image from the API report)

One model was for a single-subject news website shows the staffing structure of the site. Rather than present the team in a
typical org chart, they use concentric circles to show that each group is connected. (Image from the API report)

News organizations have become more “tribal” than ever, according to a pair of new reports from the American Press Institute, and effective innovators must work with that reality rather than try to bulldoze change through.

At news organizations, Jeff Sonderman, deputy director of API and co-author of the report, told me by phone, a frequent problem is that “we come to the same building every day, but we may not really be working toward the same goals.”

Knowing the need for change or even being willing to change are no longer the big issue, Sonderman said, “but how to do it, how to make it work and stick is.”

The API report identifies reporters as one tribe. Read more


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Correspondents say working in China isn’t getting easier

Nearly all foreign correspondents reporting from China say that the country’s working conditions fail to meet international standards, according to a report released Tuesday by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China.

According to the report, which was based on a survey of 210 members of the correspondents’ club, 96 percent of respondents say that working conditions are “almost never” on par with conditions elsewhere around the globe. Nearly half (44 percent) said conditions in the country held steady compared to last year and a third said they worsened from year to year:

China’s importance in current affairs continues to grow, and foreign journalists’ efforts to chronicle the important events and changes have kept pace. Unfortunately, getting access to the news in China is not getting any easier.

Read more

Vox Media to acquire Re/code

The New York Times | Re/code

Vox Media, the venture-backed digital news company, will acquire tech site Re/code for an undisclosed amount of stock, Sydney Ember reported Tuesday for The New York Times.

According to a release from Vox Media, which owns seven separate brands dedicated to style, tech, culture and current events coverage, the deal includes co-founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, who will both join the company.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of entrepreneurial moves for Swisher and Mossberg, who struck out on their own in 2014 to form Re/code after developing technology website AllThingsD for The Wall Street Journal. Re/code will continue to publish on its own website, but the brand will rely on its new parent company for several services, including production, marketing, communications and creative services, according to a release from Vox Media. Read more


Meredith Haggerty joins Racked

Meredith Haggerty, the former host of Internet and technology podcast “TLDR” who left the program earlier this year, has landed at Racked, the site announced today.

Haggerty started Tuesday as Racked’s reports editor, a new position for the Vox Media style publication. There, she will be responsible for overseeing its medium-length original reporting, which will include features, Q and A’s and columns.

“I’ll be working with Racked’s fantastic team on new ideas, awesome columnists on their awesome columns, and bringing in an exciting roster of writers, making sure their industry reports are as compelling, thorough, and fun-to-read as possible,” Haggerty told Poynter via email. “I will also be trying to eat breakfast in the mornings, but that is more of a personal goal.”

Haggerty’s appointment fits in with a reorientation of Racked, which in recent months has announced its intentions to focus more on original journalism. Read more


Maligned gay marriage study: The far-reaching lessons for journalists

A now notorious study on same-sex marriage underscores a frequent newsroom reality: Political polling or a piece of academic research arrives and is by and large blindly passed along to readers, viewers and listeners.

If it’s seemingly headline grabbing, like the derided study on whether gay canvassers could change voters’ views in fundamental ways, the “news” value rises.

And in an era in which social media and competition make speed the frequent priority, there can be more of a chance that bad research is transmitted without much double-checking of methodology. Most newsrooms simply aren’t equipped to scrupulously double-check, and often not inclined if the origin of the research seems to be a reputable organization or individual.

“It’s a huge concern,” Bill Marimow, editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter, told me. Read more


Report: Journalists are largest, most active verified group on Twitter


Journalists make up the largest category of Twitter’s verified users, according to a report from Triggertrap CEO Haje Jan Kamps published on Medium Monday.

The report, which is based on a sample of 15,000 verified Twitter accounts, shows that journalists make up nearly a quarter (24.6 percent) of the service’s authenticated users. The next-largest category is sports teams and athletes (17.9 percent) followed by actors and entertainers (13.6 percent).

Although journalists make up a significant proportion of the Twitter’s verified userbase, they have relatively few followers (140,000 on average) compared to their higher-profile counterparts in music (more than 1.2 million on average)
and acting (more than 400,000 on average).

The report also says journalists and news organizations are the most active group on Twitter, a claim it supports with two metrics: follower ratios and number of tweets. Read more


Minnesota Public Radio shows how to put the public into fact checking

DFLWiener_720“Ben Wiener will be another vote against Medicare.” Or so claimed a 2012 campaign flier targeting the Republican candidate in a close Minnesota legislative race.

The claim was false, according to Minnesota Public Radio’s PoliGraph. As the political fact checker noted, the state House would have no real say over federal efforts to fix a funding gap in the Medicare Part D program — despite what the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party suggested in its mailing to voters in Wiener’s district, halfway between Minneapolis and Duluth.

For Catharine Richert, the reporter who has led PoliGraph for the past four years, that was just another day of campaign truth-squadding. But Richert’s source on that particular story was worth noting: an alert but unnamed public radio listener in Pine City, about an hour north of Minneapolis, who had forwarded the message to the station. Read more


Gigaom to relaunch in August

Knowingly Corp, an Austin-based startup, has acquired the pathbreaking tech news site Gigaom and plans to relaunch it this summer, according to a release from the company.

The deal, which was cut for an undisclosed sum, was for Gigaom’s website and part of its asset library. Knowingly Corp declined to disclose Gigaom’s purchase price.

The resurrection of Gigaom came as a surprise to the site’s former writers, who were unaware of their ex-employer’s fate, according to a tweet from Laura Hazard Owen, a former managing editor of the site who is now deputy editor at future-of-news publication Nieman Journalism Lab.

News of the deal was reported first by Re/code’s Peter Kafka on Twitter. Read more

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Charter gobbles Time Warner, Post reporter’s dubious ‘trial’ begins

Good morning. Ready for a four-day work week?

  1. With Comcast deal down the tubes, Charter swoops in for Time Warner Cable

    The ravenous, decades-long ambitions of cable billionaire John Malone were obvious when regulatory qualms killed the Comcast-Time Warner deal. Now his Charter Communications is offering $55.1 billion in stock and cash, or a nice 14 percent hike ($195 a share) above Time Warner’s pre-Memorial weekend closing price. Time Warner is No. 2 in the cable industry, Charter is No.4. (Bloomberg News) And with a smaller, $10 billion deal also to be formally announced Tuesday for most of the Newhouse-owned Bright House Networks (which operates mostly in Florida), cable consolidation that's largely about the internet proceeds apace. (The New York Times)

  2. Jason Rezaian’s personal hell reaches its climax

    French existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sarte’s classic play, “No Exit,” is about men stuck in a Hell of being confined to one room.

Read more