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Angel Rodriguez, sports editor, Los Angeles Times. (Submitted photo)

Angel Rodriguez moved from digital to print and now uses both skills at the L.A. Times

The cover of Sunday's Los Angeles Times sports section, courtesy Los Angeles Times

The cover of Sunday’s Los Angeles Times sports section, courtesy Los Angeles Times

About a month ago, the sports department at the Los Angeles Times was fully-staffed, ready for a day that included a horse race, a basketball game and a boxing match.

“It looked like a Tuesday,” said Angel Rodriguez, sports editor. By 3 p.m., the Times’ coverage of the Kentucky Derby began. At 5 p.m., the Los Angeles Clippers started playing the San Antonio Spurs in game seven of the NBA Playoffs. By 9 p.m., Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquio started their fight.

By midnight on Sunday, the L.A. Times sports pages had 7 million pageviews and 2 million unique visitors — a daily traffic record for the sports department.

Rodriguez doesn’t take credit for the record-breaking traffic. Read more

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Career Beat: Kengo Tsutsumi joins Mic’s programming team

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

  • Kengo Tsutsumi will join Mic’s programming team. He is deputy social media editor at IBTimes. (@kengos)
  • Neil Janowitz is now editorial director at Vulture. Previously, he was assistant managing editor of EW.com. (Capital New York)
  • Elise Viebeck is now a reporter on The Washington Post’s national staff. Previously, she was a reporter at The Hill. (The Washington Post)
  • Emma Loop will be a politics reporter at BuzzFeed Canada. She is a digital journalist at the Ottawa Citizen. (@CraigSilverman)
  • Travis Waldron will join The Huffington Post as a sports reporter. He is a sports reporter at ThinkProgress. (Fishbowl D.C.)

Job of the day: St. Louis Public Radio is looking for a race and poverty reporter. Read more

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Science retracts research that hoodwinked news outlets

Science | Retraction Watch

The academic journal Science on Thursday retracted an article published in December 2014 that was covered by several major American news organizations.

The article, which purported to show that opponents of same-sex marriage could be swayed by talking to gay canvassers, was highlighted by The New York Times, The Washington Post and “This American Life” before a second article revealed irregularities in the research. Each of those news organizations appended editor’s notes acknowledging concerns about the article — and multiple outlets retracted their reporting — after Retraction Watch reported on the irregularities.

According to Science, the article was retracted because it misrepresented the incentives offered to survey-takers and falsely described sponsors of the research. Through an attorney, one of the authors of the study, Michael LaCour, apparently admitted the falsehoods. Read more

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Union vote is divisive issue for Gawker Media

Gawker | Capital New York

With days to go before a vote to determine whether Gawker Media will be the first large digital news organization to unionize, the choice appears to be a controversial one among staffers.

In a comment thread underneath an article inviting Gawker Media employees to justify their anticipated votes, employees cited a variety of reasons why they’re voting not to unionize. Among them: Inadequate communication surrounding the unionization effort, disregard for off-site employees and a distaste for the administrative formalities that might accompany unionization.

In a lengthy reply listing reasons why he’s choosing to vote against unionization, Deadspin columnist Drew Magary said the organization effort has caused “a galactic amount of acrimony” at the digital media company:

I’ve seen morale erode at an inhuman pace.

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Union at Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com to take strike vote

The Philadelphia branch of the Newspaper Guild on Thursday set a strike authorization vote next week for its 500 members at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

A June 3 vote comes amid ongoing bargaining on a new contract to replace the one that expired earlier in the month. It’s now been extended to June 27 by mutual agreement of the union and management.

The primary issues include health care contributions by employees and the role of seniority in potential layoffs. Talks resume Friday.

In a Thursday letter to members, the leadership of Local 38010 of the Newspaper Guild indicated the secret-ballot vote would start in late afternoon and that the union bargaining committee will be present “to answer any question before you cast this important vote.”

A strike authorization is not tantamount to a walkout. Read more

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Washington Post refutes reporter’s ties to White House

The Washington Post | Mehr News

Washington Post editor Martin Baron on Thursday pushed back against nebulous accusations from Iranian authorities that Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian passed information to the White House in some official capacity.

The statement from Baron contested evidence from Iranian officials cited in an espionage trial against Rezaian that ostensibly established his connection to the administration of President Barack Obama.

The State-affiliated Mehr News agency in Iran reported on Wednesday that Rezaian was confronted during the trial with a letter he sent to Obama touting his connections to influentials within the country.

Not true, says Baron. In fact, the message cited was an application for a job in the Obama administration filed three years before he began working for The Post. Read more

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4 lessons from 5 years of pushing the boundaries of public media

The station application deadline is approaching for AIR’s “Localore: Finding America competition,” which will bring together 15 stations and collaborators to work on projects for public media. Stations have until May 31 to apply, and “outside collaborators” have from June 1 to June 26. They’ll then be matched and will work on a project together. From AIR’s site:

Finding America is the third in a series of AIR’s R&D storytelling productions to incubate innovation in public media. Finding America suggests that although there is an abundance of coverage and documentation by media each day, there are dimensions of the country that remain off the radar. Successful productions will enlighten the national narrative of America through the lens of public broadcasting.

Sue Schardt, executive director, AIR. (Submitted photo)

Sue Schardt, executive director, AIR.

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Knight fellowship director to step down from program

John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships

Jim Bettinger, the director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program at Stanford University, is leaving the program at the end of the upcoming academic year, he announced in an open letter Thursday.

In the letter, he said that his next step will likely include independent entrepreneurial work:

I’m retiring from this job — but not from journalism. I’ve worked in journalism institutions and organizations for nearly 50 years — 20 years with the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the San Jose Mercury News, and 26 with this program. Now I want to work more independently and entrepreneurially. I intend to use what I’ve learned at JSK, and before that in daily newspapers, to help others. I’ll be eager to learn some new dance steps.

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Vox works with McClatchy to bring explainers to local readers

There’s a problem in journalism that’s been bothering Melissa Bell for a long time: How can digital storytelling techniques dreamed up in national news organizations find their way to smaller publications with mostly local audiences?

“I think that when we talk about digital journalism, we’re not seeing a huge amount of success and answers getting down to the local level,” said Bell, the vice president of growth and analytics at Vox Media. “And I really worry about that. I think about that a lot. I think we as an industry should be thinking about how to take some of the solutions that we figure out at the national level and help them get to the local level.”

News organizations like Vox.com have big national audiences that come with the scale and investment to foster digital innovation. Read more

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Plan B for out-of-work journalist: Go to Abu Dhabi and make lots of money

Golf writer Steve Elling's first day in Abu Dhabi with a non-alcoholic drink.

Golf writer Steve Elling’s first day in Abu Dhabi with a non-alcoholic drink.


There are countless stories of sports journalists trying to survive during these challenging economic times. Few, though, have gone literally as far as Steve Elling.

Elling thought he had a dream job in 2012. He was given a wide range of latitude in covering as many as 20 golf tournaments per year for CBSSports.com. He received a glowing job review earlier in the year.

Then a few months later, just days before he was set to depart to cover the British Open, Elling was told that his job had been eliminated.

Now what?

“I was 50-years-old covering a niche sport,” Elling said. “I wasn’t looking at a ton of options.”

Only one true option materialized for him, but it hardly could be called a dream job. Read more

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Career Beat: Farai Chideya named consulting editor at The Intercept

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

  • Chris Connelly has been named interim editor-in-chief at Grantland. Previously, he was a contributor there. (Poynter)
  • Farai Chideya is now a columnist and consulting editor at The Intercept. She is a distinguished writer-in-residence at New York University. Roger Hodge will be national editor at The Intercept. Previously, he was editor of the Oxford American. (The Intercept)
  • Topher Sanders will cover racial inequality for ProPublica. He is investigative editor at the Florida Times-Union. (ProPublica)

Job of the day: The Verge is looking for an editorial developer. Get your résumés in! (Mediagazer)

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

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Jason Rezaian’s day in court, Stephanopoulos back in the fray

Good morning. Liking this short week?

  1. Jason Rezaian’s frustrating day in an Iranian court

    With the Washington Post reporter's espionage trial closed even to family, Mehr News is one of the few sources of information about the proceeding available. It's what Iran expert Hooman Majd describes to me as a semi-official agency close to the Hassan Rouhani regime, rather than to current hardliners. Its primary dispatch on the action so far inadvertently suggests the trial is rigged as the judge buys into conspiracy theories about Rezaian ties to the White House. (Mehr News) | The trial was adjourned Wednesday, and it's unclear when it will resume. (The Washington Post)

  2. His neutrality doubted, Stephanopoulos returns to political inquisition

    On "World News Tonight," ABC's George Stephanopoulos interviewed Rick Santorum as the GOP former U.S.

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‘Fifa Nostra’: Newspapers around the world led with the Fifa scandal today

The arrests of some of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s top officials made big news Wednesday, and that news made front pages around the world on Thursday. Here’s a collection of front pages, via Kiosko and Newseum.

Los Angeles Times:

latimes.750 (1)
 

Hoy, Chicago, Illinois:

IL_HOY

 
The New York Times:

newyork_times.750
 
The Wall Street Journal:

wsj.750
 

Express, Washington D.C.:

DC_EXPRESS (1)
 
Kleine Zeitung, Austria:

AUT_KZ
 

Lance! – Rio de Janeiro:

BRA_LRJ
 

Correio*, Brazil:

BRA^BA_COR
 
Liberation, France:

liberation.750
 
La Prensa Gráfica, El Salvador

prensa_grafica.750
 
Diario Más, Honduras:

diario_mas.750
 
La Prensa, Mexico:

PRI28515
 
Lider en deportes, Venezuela:

ve_lider.750
 
El Observador, Uruguay:

uy_observador.750
 
The Times, South Africa:

the_times.750
 
The Independent, United Kingdom:

the_independent.750


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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Samantha Power calls on UN to protect journalists in conflict zones as Russia portrays itself as victim

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power Power called on UN to protect journalists in conflict zones. (AP file photo / Richard Drew)

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power Power called on UN to protect journalists in conflict zones. (AP file photo / Richard Drew)

The United States urged the United Nations Wednesday “to ensure that people who attack journalists are actually held responsible for their crimes.”

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, herself a Pulitzer Prize winning former journalist, systematically laid out challenges in conflict zones and a potential set of recommendations during a Security Council session on protecting journalists.

The debate centered around a resolution stemming from a UN concept note titled, “Protection of journalists in conflict situations” authored by Lithuania, which currently holds the council’s rotating presidency.

Speakers were primarily ambassadors but also included Mariane Pearl, the French journalist and widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002. Read more

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Chris Connelly named interim editor-in-chief at Grantland

ESPN has chosen a new editor to helm Grantland in the absence of founding editor Bill Simmons.

Sports journalist Chris Connelly, who regularly talked movies with Simmons and staff writer Wesley Morris, will take over editorship of the site on an interim basis, according to a press release published Wednesday by ESPN.

According to the release, Connelly will keep his contributing roles at Outside the Lines, SportsCenter and E:60.

Connelly’s appointment comes weeks after ESPN confirmed Simmons was leaving the network after a failed contract negotiation. Then came word via Sports Illustrated that Simmons would no longer appear on any of the network’s platforms.

Connelly tweeted about his appointment shortly after it was announced Wednesday, praising Simmons for his leadership of Grantland.

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