MediaWire

Media industry news & commentary. Send tips.

Al Jazeera America gets a new CEO

Amid turmoil that has seen the departure of three high-level executives and a lawsuit from a former staffer in recent days, Al Jazeera America announced Wednesday the appointment of a new network head.

Al Anstey, who was previously managing director of Al Jazeera English, will lead the network, replacing Ehab Alshihabi.

Anstey’s appointment comes the day after a damning article from The New York Times that catalogued some of the network’s woes. Among them: Recently departed executive Marcy McGinnis attributed her exit to a “culture of fear” born from lack of job security.

In addition to McGinnis, Diana Lee, executive vice president of human resources, and Dawn Bridges, executive vice president for communications, have also left the network. All three departures come shortly after ex-employee Matthew Luke filed a $15 million lawsuit against Al Jazeera America that leveled complaints of a hostile work environment. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

NYT is publishing the questions it wants to ask Hillary Clinton

The New York Times

A new feature from The New York Times demonstrates a novel way for news organizations to deal with candidates who won’t answer reporters’ questions: publish them. Amy Chozick, the Times scribe who has been covering Hillary, explains:

Since she declared her candidacy on April 12, Hillary Rodham Clinton has answered just seven questions from reporters. This is the first installment of a regular First Draft feature in which The Times will publish questions we would have asked Mrs. Clinton had we had the opportunity.

Late last month, The National Journal tallied up the seven questions that Clinton has deigned to answer so far. She fielded a query about “Clinton Cash,” a book containing charges she’s rebuffed using her own messaging platform. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
trib-store-100

Tribune Publishing books a tiny profit for first quarter despite revenue decline

The Tribune Tower on Chicago's Michigan Avenue. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Tribune Tower on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Tribune Publishing completed its second full quarter as a separate company with results much like the rest of the industry, eking out a small profit but still facing revenue declines.

Net earnings were $2.5 million for the first quarter of 2015 on revenues of $396 million.  That’s a profit margin of 0.6 percent. In the same period in 2014, the business earned $12 million.

Revenues fell 4.9 percent total, 5.7 percent in advertising year to year. CEO Jack Griffin pointed out in a conference call with analysts that the rate of decline was an improvement on the last quarter of 2014 when it was 10 percent..

The results are not strictly comparable because Tribune Publishing was still operating as a division of Tribune Co. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Bob Schieffer to leave ‘Face the Nation’ earlier than expected

The Associated Press

Veteran CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer will leave “Face the Nation” this month, the Associated Press reports.

Schieffer, who was originally slated to host his last Sunday show this summer, will bow out early, hosting his last edition of the program on May 31.

But summer’s coming early for Schieffer, who wants to relax for the warm weather months while CBS gives his successor, John Dickerson, the chance to settle in before the presidential campaign begins in earnest.

News of Schieffer’s retirement came last month, when he told a crowd at Texas Christian University he was departing after for 46 years at the network.

Shortly thereafter, CBS News’ political director John Dickerson appeared on “Face the Nation” as Schieffer announced he would succeed him as host. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Boston Globe Future

Inside the upcoming life sciences newsroom from Boston Globe Media

Shortly after Rick Berke resigned from his post as executive editor of Politico in September, he was contacted by Boston Globe Media, which made him a compelling offer: Did he want to build a newsroom from the ground up?

“How often do you have an opportunity to pursue important, high-end journalism as well as create a new publication, a new news organization, from nothing?” Berke asked. “I couldn’t not do it.”

He talked to Boston Globe Media for months before he finally accepted the opportunity, becoming executive editor for an as-yet unnamed news organization focused on the life sciences. Since then, he’s been busy honing the vision and hiring for a newsroom he projects will have “dozens” of staffers and a presence in both Boston and Washington, D.C. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Stone_B_002

A new documentary celebrates muckraking journalist I.F. Stone

Screenshot of a new documentary called The Legacy of I.F. Stone, which is available on Vimeo and at www.ifstone.org.

Screenshot of a new documentary called The Legacy of I.F. Stone, which is available on Vimeo and at www.ifstone.org.

When you pick up the daily newspaper, I.F. Stone used to say, go to page 17 since that’s where the truth is.

That notion was part and parcel of the idiosyncratic and ravenous ways of Stone, one of great muckraking journalists, who’s subject of two new video tributes released Wednesday that could be a primer for anybody in the news business today.

Stone (1908-1989) was essentially a dazzling pre-Internet blogger, whose weapon was a manual typewriter, a two-finger peck-and-poke style of typing and a print newsletter that once claimed 70,000 subscribers.

But at the heart of work that made him both a hero to many and a pariah to the establishment, which could include parts of the journalism establishment, was an insistence that important truths can get buried, out of deceit, laziness or misunderstanding. Read more

Tools:
1 Comment
Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.23.41 AM

The Washington Post’s new Web experiment hopes to offer up some serendipity

Screen shot, The Washington Post

Screen shot of the pinch view of The Washington Post’s test Web experience

Climb up three steps from The Washington Post’s fifth-floor newsroom to the sixth floor, then head down two flights of steps via a wrought iron staircase. There, you’ll find Team Rainbow. It’s a collaborative place for development, news and tech, and it’s where the Post’s latest Web experiment came from.

Remember the office space in “Being John Malkovich?”

“Yeah, so we work there,” said Julia Beizer, director of mobile product at the Post. Beizer works in this weird part of the Post’s building with Cory Haik, executive producer and senior editor, digital news, with IOS developers, Web developers, Android developers, product designers, news designers, producers and editors.

The sign outside Rainbow Team's space at The Washington Post. (Photo by Cory Haik, The Washington Post)

The sign outside Rainbow Team’s space at The Washington Post.

Read more
Tools:
0 Comments

At cable convention, news is not a focus

The NBCUniversal booth at the Internet & Television Expo. (Photo by James Warren)

The NBCUniversal booth at the Internet & Television Expo. (Photo by James Warren)

A Tribune Publishing official was explaining Tuesday why quality journalism will win out and make money online, especially when one has “authority” and a close relationship to your community.

When finished, Joyce Winnecke, who oversees Tribune Content Agency, the company’s syndication arm, asked the panel moderator, “Does that make sense?”

“I don’t believe you,” said Dan Miller, a longtime Chicago business reporter who now runs an annual awards program that recognizes Chicago business innovation.

If Miller was unconvinced, at least he, the long-ago reporter Winnecke and two other news executives were mentioning the word “journalism.”

That is decidedly rare at the Internet & Television Expo, a giant media gathering held by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in Chicago. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Inside the tumult at Al Jazeera America

Good morning. Here are nine media stories.

  1. ‘I didn’t like the culture of fear’

    The New York Times examined the turmoil that has roiled Al Jazeera America in recent days, including the departure of executive Marcy McGinnis. "Ms. McGinnis, who most recently served as Al Jazeera America’s senior vice president for outreach, said that the newsroom was in total 'disarray behind the scenes,' a view echoed by almost a dozen current and former employees interviewed." (The New York Times) | A former employee has filed a lawsuit against the network. (Politico) | Al Jazeera America has denied accusations of gender bias, calling them "false and malicious." (PR Newswire)

  2. Gubernatorial candidate threatens to sue newspaper

    Kentucky gubernatorial candidate James Comer is denying allegations of domestic abuse, made by his ex-girlfriend, that were published by The (Louisville, Kentucky) Courier-Journal.

Read more
Tools:
0 Comments
Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 8.24.49 AM

Today in Media History: Hindenburg explodes and a reporter cries out, ‘Oh, the humanity’

On May 6, 1937, the German airship Hindenburg exploded over Lakehurst, New Jersey after a flight from Germany.

A reporter for Chicago radio station WLS described the accident, “It burst into flame and it’s falling….this is terrible, this is one of the worst catastrophes in the world….oh, the humanity.”

The front page of the Mount Carmel (Pennsylvania) Item:

Image-MCI

Image-Break 760

Herb Morrison was working for Chicago radio station WLS when he traveled to the Lakehurst Naval Station in New Jersey to record what should have been another routine landing of the German airship Hindenburg. WLS engineer Charles Nehlsen and Morrison brought a disc machine to record the story. Morrison’s detailed description of the ship’s landing was running quite smoothly when the hydrogen-filled dirigible burst into flames. Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

After earthquake, NYT changes style to ‘Kathmandu’

The New York Times

When Nepal was rocked by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake, Times journalists traveled to Kathmandu and began filing dispatches from the damaged capital city. Since the day they arrived and today, the paper made a style change in how its correspondents should spell the city’s name.

New York Times standards editor Philip Corbett explained the justification for changing “Katmandu” to “Kathmandu” in a post on Times Insider. Although the former had been the accepted spelling for years, local usage — with an added “h” – has become dominant in recent years, he writes.

Our researchers found that at this point, most American and British publications were also using Kathmandu, though a few were inconsistent and others (including The Wall Street Journal) still used “Katmandu.” We also realized that the spelling with “h” was a far more common search term in Google.

Read more
Tools:
1 Comment
VoxMediaSmall

8 tips from Vox Media engagement editors for using visuals on social media

In late September, the team at Vox.com was faced with an interesting challenge: How to make simple facts about Ebola spread faster than alarmist misinformation?

They had an article explaining how the virus spread but weren’t sure of the best way to promote it on social media. So they mulled the problem over in one of the startup’s kitchens over some string cheese.

Finally, they settled on a simple flowchart with one question and one answer. “Have you touched the vomit, blood, sweat, saliva, urine, or feces of someone who might have Ebola? No. You do not have Ebola.”

The graphic was concise, punchy and answered an urgent question about a major news event. It was shared more than 58,000 times and racked up nearly 9,000 likes. Read more

Tools:
2 Comments
tip-100

R.I.P. — Six month newspaper circulation reports are gone for good

Alliance for Audited Media logo

Alliance for Audited Media logo

Compulsive calendar watchers may have notice that May 1 has come and gone without the typical report on newspaper circulation averages for the six months ended March 31.

There isn’t such a report and won’t be.

Instead the Alliance for Audited Media is requiring newspapers to report quarterly and giving them the option of updating digital metrics monthly.

The first of the new format quarterly reports are available on AAM’s website and others will be uploaded over the next several weeks, according to Neal Lulofs, executive vice president for marketing and strategy.

The so-called Consolidated Media Reports aim to offer more detailed and more up to date information.  Of course, they include paid digital subscriptions and other variations like free Sunday distribution of coupon packets without the news to selected zip codes. Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

de Blasio accidentally sends NYT reporter email about subway gripes

New York | The New York Times

A New York Times story published Tuesday morning documenting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s subway angst was made possible by an errant email sent to a reporter from the paper. Michael Grynbaum explains how the “stern, bullet-pointed missive” found its way to a Times reporter’s inbox:

Mr. de Blasio, who has been making a concerted effort to repair his reputation for tardiness, copied two senior aides on the email, including his chief of staff. The mayor, by accident, added another recipient as well: a reporter for The New York Times.

Writing for New York, Jessica Roy raises the possibility that the wayward gripe wasn’t sent by accident at all, but instead a clever ploy to play up the mayor’s everyman sensibilities. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Journalists report false accounts of Baltimore shooting

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ‘We screwed up’

    Journalists from at least two different news organizations on Monday reported on an officer-involved shooting that didn't actually happen. Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin saw a foot chase, heard a gunshot, saw a man on the ground and concluded police had shot the man. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith issued an on-air apology for the incident. "On behalf of Mike Tobin and the rest of our crew there, and the rest of us at Fox News, I am very sorry for the error." (Poynter) | Tobin explained his reporting later Monday on "The Five" with Juan Williams. "If the situation were to duplicate itself a short period of time from now or anytime in the future, I'd be hard-pressed not to arrive at the same conclusion given all the things that transpired in such a quick flurry of activity." (Fox News) | Reporting for McClatchy Newspapers, Hannah Allam tweeted that police "appear to have shot" a young man.

Read more
Tools:
0 Comments