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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.

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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.

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Career Beat: Tyler Borchers is now senior audience strategy editor at Time

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

  • Tyler Borchers is now senior audience strategy editor at Time magazine. Previously, he was audience engagement editor there. (Email)
  • Ben Klayman is now editor-in-charge of U.S. general news in the Midwest at Reuters. Previously, he was an automotive correspondent. (Fishbowl NY)
  • Janine Gibson has left The Guardian. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website there. (Politico)

Job of the day: The Huffington Post is looking for a special projects editor. Get your résumés in! (MEOJobsOnline)

Send Ben your job moves: Read more

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At Nashville Public Radio, Emily Siner’s bringing together the movers, the thinkers and the community

In April, about 50 people gathered at Nashville Public Radio to hear enterprise reporter Emily Siner interview a pastry chef, a letterpress poster maker and a cyber security expert.

The idea, as Emily puts it, was to find people who work behind the scenes in fascinating places and ask them more about their jobs.

I love that Emily pitched the idea for a bimonthly event series to her bosses and that they championed the idea. But what I love even more was that Emily then turned the live event into both a podcast and a newsletter — ensuring that a feedback loop was then created between the station and their audience in person, then on digital, and then through email.

Emily Siner, screen shot

Emily Siner, screen shot

The podcast, called Movers and Thinkers, is described as “one part TED Radio Hour and one part Fresh Air — mixed with a Nashville flavor.” I asked Emily to talk a little bit more about the podcast and what other local journalism organizations could do to ensure that their live events live beyond the event itself. Read more


Monday, May 25, 2015


Washington Post calls Tuesday closed trial of Jason Rezaian ‘shameful’

The Washington Post said it was “shameful” that the trial of its Tehran-based correspondent Jason Rezaian would be closed even to members of his family.

“The shameful acts of injustice continue without end in the treatment of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian,” said Post Executive Editor Martin Baron in a statement about a trial set to begin Tuesday.

“Now we learn his trial will be closed to the world. And so it will be closed to the scrutiny it fully deserves”

Baron also noted that his reporter was placed in isolation, denied medical care for months, saw his case “assigned to a judge internationally notorious for human rights violations” and was given just 90 minutes for one meeting with a court-approved attorney.

In addition, even on the eve of trial, no formal set of charges and evidence had been presented to him. Read more


Sunday, May 24, 2015

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Memorial Day front pages are ‘In their honor’

Here’s a collection of front pages via Newseum from around the U.S. honoring veterans on Memorial Day Weekend. As you’ll see, some focus on veterans today, some on the those from past wars and some on the impact those veterans have had on the community.

From Sunday:

The Anniston Star, Anniston, Alabama:

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ontario, California:

The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, Illinois:

Palladium-Item, Richmond, Indiana:

The Town Talk, Alexandria, Louisiana:

The Sun Chronicle, Attleboro, Massachusetts:

The Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon:

The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tennessee:


From Monday:

Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama:

The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, California:


Fort Collins Coloradoan, Fort Collins, Colorado:

Honolulu Star Advertiser, Honolulu, Hawaii:

Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois:

The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa:

The Hutchinson News, Hutchinson, Kansas:

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky:

Boston Herald, Boston, Massachusetts:

Omaha World-Herald, Omaha, Nebraska:

Newsday, Long Island, New York:

The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee:

The Virginian-Pilot:

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington:


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Friday, May 22, 2015

‘This American Life’ to address retracted segments on air

This week’s broadcast of “This American Life” will include a note from host Ira Glass addressing an academic article, used in a previous episode of the show, that has come under heavy fire this week.

The study, which purported to show how individuals could be swayed on the issue of same-sex marriage by talking to gay people, was featured in episode 555 of “This American Life,” “The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind.” The article was also covered by several major news organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

“I talk about it in a program note in this week’s show, and refer listeners to our website where we tell the full story of the Science article’s retraction,” Glass told Poynter via email. Read more


Judy Woodruff to PBS ombud: ‘What you wrote was unfair’


“PBS NewsHour” co-anchor Judy Woodruff on Friday responded to a post from PBS ombudsman Michael Getler calling her donations to an initiative by the Clinton Foundation “a mistake.”

I’m a longtime admirer of your work, as a journalist and as ombudsman, but what you wrote was unfair. To lump what I did in 2010 under the simple heading of “Clinton” ignores the facts and the context. I gave $250 two days after the Haiti earthquake struck in 2010, to an emergency relief fund, and in response to one of the first appeals to cross my desk when we were witnessing wall-to-wall scenes of death and devastation. I am a journalist, but I also am a citizen who supports non-partisan, charitable causes when I feel so moved.

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This week on Medium: 6 media stories you may have missed

Links shared in Poynter’s internal Slack channel are quite frequently from Medium and almost always about journalism and media (although sometimes not.) So this week, we’re trying something new and gathering them up here. Throughout the week, let me know what you’re reading on Medium and we’ll try to include it next Friday, if we try this again. Here are six things about journalism from Medium this week (with thanks to Ren LaForme and Vidisha Priyanka for helping curate.)

Lessons on using WhatsApp for publishing — an election experience

On May 18, Paul Bradshaw wrote about how students at Birmingham City University used WhatsApp for election updates during the U.K.’s recent election.

Frankly… they nailed it. In the process they learned a lot, so I thought I’d share some of the things that came up throughout the process — as well as the experiences of the person responsible for the Mirror‘s political WhatsApp account in the week leading up to the election.

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