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Pension agency puts liens on property owned by Tampa Bay Times parent company

Tampa Bay Times

The Tampa Bay Times announced Monday that a federal pension agency has placed multi-million dollar liens on property owned by Times Publishing Company, the parent company of that newspaper. The liens also affect property owned by Poynter, which owns the Times Publishing Company.

The liens, which amount to more than $30 million, were placed on the organizations by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, a federal agency created to ensure the viability of benefit plans, reports Times senior correspondent Susan Taylor Martin. Collectively, they constitute “the difference between the pension plan’s current assets and the calculation of all future benefits,” she writes.

Jana Jones, the vice president and CFO of Times Publishing Company, is quoted by Martin as saying the liens figure into the company’s strategy to defer contributions to its pension plans:

As we have previously acknowledged, the Times received approval to delay some of its contributions to the pension plan during the economic recession and recovery,” said Jana Jones, vice president and CFO of Times Publishing, which publishes the Tampa Bay Times.

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Eric Zuckerman named news partnerships manager at Twitter

Eric Zuckerman, formerly director of video and broadcast sites at NBC News, has joined Twitter as the social media service’s partnerships manager for broadcast news, he announced Monday.

At Twitter, Zuckerman joins Niketa Patel, who was recently hired from Women in the World to manage news partnerships for the social media organization. Together, they fill a void left by Mark Luckie, who left his job as manager of journalism and news at Twitter in May.

Both hires come as Twitter is raising its editorial ambitions. In June, the social media service previewed Project Lightning, a tool that will showcase curated news feeds in real-time. Those feeds will be culled by a team of individuals with “newsroom experience,” according to BuzzFeed. Read more

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Want to get clicks? Write about Hillary Clinton as if she’s ‘the purest form of evil’

Vox

Here’s why one reason why Hillary Clinton might have ducked questions from the press until recently: Clinton chroniclers are tough, unforgiving and they don’t let admittedly outlandish stories die.

In a listicle for the explainer site Vox, Clinton scribe Jonathan Allen explained that the press’ default posture toward the former Secretary of State is one of suspicion and intense scrutiny, where nearly every nugget of news is worthy of a story.

Among the rules governing Clinton coverage, per Allen: Every allegation is believable until proven untrue, every ludicrous story merits further reporting and Clinton is perceived as acting in bad faith until she demonstrates otherwise. From the article:

As an author, I felt that I owed it to myself and the reader to report, investigate, and write with the same mix of curiosity, skepticism, rigor, and compassion that I would use with any other subject.

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The Verge temporarily cans comments for ‘a super chill summer’

The Verge

Add another outlet to the list of media organizations fed up with commenters.

Citing a desire to curb the onset of troll-y messages from Verge readers, Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel said Monday that the technology and culture site will “call timeout for a while” and turn comments off by default over the next few weeks:

And sometimes it gets too intense. What we’ve found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative — a change that feels like it started with GamerGate and has steadily gotten worse ever since. It’s hard for us to do our best work in that environment, and it’s even harder for our staff to hang out with our audience and build the relationships that led to us having a great community in the first place.

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Los Angeles Times has added a reporter to cover Black Twitter

Los Angeles Times Managing Editor S. Mitra Kalita announced in a memo to staff on Monday that the Times has added a reporter to cover Black Twitter.

Dexter Thomas joins us today to cover Black Twitter (which really is so much more complicated than that). He will work closely with the newsroom and #EmergingUS to find communities online (Black Medium to Latino Tumblr to Line in Japan) and both create stories with and pull stories from those worlds. Dexter is from San Bernardino and is a doctoral candidate in East Asian studies at Cornell University. He has taught media studies and Japanese and is writing a book about Japanese hip-hop. He began working in digital media at UC Riverside as a student director of programming at KUCR-FM (88.3), independently producing podcasts, music and news programs.

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Hulk Hogan sex tape case against Gawker Media put off for several months

A multi-million dollar legal rumble between Gawker Media and former professional wrestling star Hulk Hogan — real name Terry Bollea — has likely been delayed through the summer after a superior court granted the media company a last-minute stay.

The Sixth Judicial Court of Florida announced Monday that representatives for Hogan and Gawker Media will meet on Oct. 20 to determine the next steps in a legal battle that has been raging now for several years.

The hearing comes after an eleventh-hour reprieve granted late last week by a Florida appellate court, which ruled that a lower court overlooked rules governing the scheduling of trials. The contest, which would have kicked off today, will now likely wait until months after the proposed October court date. Read more

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In this May 16, 2015, photo, former slave fisherman Myint Naing, left, is embraced by his mother Khin Than, second left, as his sister Mawli Than, right, is overcome with emotion after they were reunited after 22 years in their village in Mon State, Myanmar. Myint, 40, is among hundreds of former slave fishermen who returned to Myanmar following an Associated Press investigation into the use of forced labor in Southeast Asia’s seafood industry. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

AP editor: ‘It’s not every day that we help get hundreds of slaves freed.’

In this May 16, 2015, photo, former slave fisherman Myint Naing, left, is embraced by his mother Khin Than, second left, as his sister Mawli Than, right, is overcome with emotion after they were reunited after 22 years in their village in Mon State, Myanmar. Myint, 40, is among hundreds of former slave fishermen who returned to Myanmar following an Associated Press investigation into the use of forced labor in Southeast Asia’s seafood industry. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

In this May 16, 2015, photo, former slave fisherman Myint Naing, left, is embraced by his mother Khin Than, second left, as his sister Mawli Than, right, is overcome with emotion after they were reunited after 22 years in their village in Mon State, Myanmar. Myint, 40, is among hundreds of former slave fishermen who returned to Myanmar following an Associated Press investigation into the use of forced labor in Southeast Asia’s seafood industry. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Last week, Associated Press reporter Margie Mason told the next chapter in a dramatic story the AP started telling in March. Mason wrote about a Burmese man who had once been enslaved on a fishing ship in Indonesia.

One day in April, a friend came to him with news: An AP report linking slavery in the seafood industry to some of the biggest American grocery stores and pet food companies had spurred the Indonesian government to start rescuing current and former slaves on the islands.

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Washington Post reporter’s fate still in the dark

Winston Churchill said that Russia “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

The Tehran “espionage” trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian is now something of the sort.

It’s nearly a month since the most recent, closed court proceeding in his trial. That’s all anybody knows. So goes Iran’s Revolutionary Court. Silence and ambiguity prevail.

Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron and New York-based Iranian expert Hooman Majd both said Monday that they have no news on Rezaian.

Majd is in Vienna monitoring the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Several deadlines have come and gone in those closely-watched talks, which are now expected to reach some conclusion later this week as Secretary of State John Kerry leads the U.S. bargaining team. Read more

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Hillary Clinton will grant national media interviews

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ‘America will see more of her’

    Months into her campaign for the presidency, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided to adopt a more open posture toward the media and will grant national television interviews soon, Howard Kurtz reports. Clinton has ducked the press for much of her nascent campaign — as of mid-May, she had only taken nine questions from reporters since she declared her candidacy. So why the change? By granting more interviews, Clinton hopes to diminish the relative importance of each interview she gives, making her less open to "gotcha" questions from the press, says campaign spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri. "'The more media interviews you do, the less any one interaction matters,' Palmieri says." (Fox News) | Not everyone is buying this logic.

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Career Beat: Jessica Davies named Digiday’s UK editor

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

  • Jessica Davies will be UK editor at Digiday. Previously, she was news editor at The Drum. (Digiday)
  • Charles Apple is now deputy design director for the Houston Chronicle. Previously, he was managing editor for visuals of the Victoria (Texas) Advocate. (@charlesapple)
  • Maria Rozman is now news director for WZDC in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was working for CNN en Espanol. (Rick Gevers)

Job of the day: Bloomberg is looking for a senior editor. Get your résumés in! (Bloomberg)

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

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

White House press room, news photographers

White House correspondents unveil proposals to loosen presidential press control

The White House Correspondents’ Association unveiled a set of “principles and practices” Saturday in search of “meaningful and consistent access to the President and his or her aides whenever and wherever they conduct the public’s business.”

The principles and a set of proposed practices reflect a growing frustration with the administration of President Barack Obama and a sense by those who cover the White House daily that they are increasingly kept in the dark.

That frustration is part and parcel of clear trends of successive administrations. Inevitably they believe they can manage their “message” and images of a president more effectively by avoiding traditional media, keeping even the frequently pedestrian under wraps and circumventing the mainstream press through their own use of social media or many new outlets. Read more

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Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 8.05.59 AM

Flags, fireworks, freedom of the press and an eagle: Here are 5 Fourth of July fronts

Sunday fronts will likely be bursting with images of fireworks from around the country, but newspapers are celebrating the Fourth of July today, too. Here’s a quick collection of fronts, via Newseum, that shows how:

The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi led the holiday calling out the politicians who haven’t yet responded to a poll about removing the Confederate flag from that state’s flag.

MS_CL

In St. Louis, Missouri, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch captured a sky full of fireworks with a statue of King Louis IX looking on.

MO_SLPD

The Oklahoman, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has what looks to me like the fourthiest Fourth of July front today.

OK_DOK

Home News Tribune in East Brunswick, New Jersey, led the front with an editorial about why freedom of the press matters. Read more

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Gawker Media alleges ‘serious irregularity’ in Hulk Hogan sex-tape evidence

Hogan. (AP)

Hogan. (AP)

Last week, Gawker Media prevailed in a legal battle it had been waging with the FBI for more than a year.

A judge ruled that the bureau and another law enforcement agency had to turn over evidence related to an investigation into a sex tape that figures prominently into Gawker’s pending high-stakes lawsuit.

But during a hearing today, lawyers from Gawker Media expressed concerns about the evidence.

Representatives from Gawker Media, the FBI and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys appeared before a judge at a United States District Court in Tampa, Florida. The purpose of the hearing was to sort out which documents requested by Gawker under the Freedom of Information Act the law enforcement organizations were legally obligated to turn over. Read more

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This short week on Medium: 5 media stories you may have missed

It’s a short week, but there has been some good stuff on Medium about journalism and for journalists. In case you missed it, here are five of those stories, including how people first found out about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, where to find great stock photos and more on a new cartoonist collective:

June 26, 2015: A snapshot in love: Locals and visitors to San Francisco’s annual Pride Parade share the moment they found out same-sex marriage is now legal in the United States.

June 29, Alice Yin:

“I was at home actually. I was at home on the Internet and I read it on Facebook. I cried. I cried and the first thing I did was call my fiancé and say that we could get married in this state.”

“When are you planning on that?”

“Beginning of next year.”

These 39 Sites Have Amazing Stock Photos You Can Use For Free

July 1, Thomas Oppong:

It can be insanely hard to find high quality, high-res free stock photos for personal and commercial use.

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News crew mugged while reporting from a crime scene

KNTV

A news crew with KNTV was mugged and pistol-whipped on Thursday morning while reporting from the scene of a crime, the station reported Thursday.

The brazen attack occurred just before 6 a.m. at Pier 14 in San Francisco, where the reporter and photographer were covering a story about a woman who had been shot to death there the night before.

As the two were about to go on air, a suspect pulled up to the curb in a black four-door BMW and approached the photographer and pistol-whipped him with a gun, shoved him to the ground, the photographer and reporter said. The suspect then grabbed the photographer’s camera gear, and as he was struggling to get it inside his getaway car, returned to pistol whip the photographer again, the news crew reported.

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