Media industry news & commentary. Send tips.

The AP creates team of statehouse reporting specialists

The Associated Press

The Associated Press announced Thursday it will create “a team of state government specialists” in an effort to bolster coverage of statehouses across America:

As announced today to the AP staff, the specialists will collaborate with statehouse reporters, as well as on their own projects and stories focused on government accountability and strong explanatory reporting. Their over-arching goal will be “to show how state government is impacting the lives of people across the country,” said Brian Carovillano, managing editor for U.S. news.

The new team will “be a resource to our statehouse reporters looking for help broadening the scope of their reporting,” Brian Carovillano, AP’s managing editor for U.S. news, wrote in a brief Q and A accompanying the announcement. They will also work with a projects team that will turn out “ambitious enterprise” journalism on state government.

“The message here is that state government coverage is essential to AP and its members, and we are doubling down on that commitment, which should benefit the entire cooperative,” Carovillano wrote. Read more


Washington Post, Texas Tribune will be publishing partners

The Washington Post | The Texas Tribune

The Washington Post and The Texas Tribune announced Thursday they will begin a partnership that includes “shared editorial content, collaboration on events and more.”

The Texas Tribune, a non-profit newsroom based in Austin, Texas, will give The Post “exclusive outside-of-Texas access” to its stories, writes Post Executive Editor Martin Baron. Tribune reporters will also contribute to a broad swath of sections on The Post’s website, including The Fix, Post Politics, GovBeat and PostTV.

Together we’ll pursue a presidential debate in Texas while also co-sponsoring events. The first event, a half-day symposium titled “Texas on the Potomac,” is scheduled for January 29 in Washington.

We and The Texas Tribune have worked together on many occasions in the past in the realm of events, videos, and print and online stories. We’re now forging a closer relationship that offers exceptional opportunities to both of us.

In return, the Tribune will get “early budget lines on Texas-specific journalism” from The Post and permission to cross-post that content, Baron writes. Read more

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 9.45.56 AM

New Pew study finds most people OK trading privacy for valued digital services

The Pew Research Center this morning released the last of seven studies on where digital life is headed in the next decade — this one focused on privacy concerns.

A survey of experts revealed split opinion on whether there will be a trusted privacy-rights infrastructure in place by 2025.  But there was strong consensus on both sides that for right now people accept a degree of tracking as a fair trade for getting services, typically for free, that they value and use daily.

What’s the implication for media, with many outlets betting the franchise these days that they can develop higher priced advertising as they harvest data on what you prefer and perhaps where you are?

That is not addressed directly in the report, Pew director of Internet research Lee Rainie told me in a phone interview, but the implications are clear.

“The Internet of things,” will up the ante on privacy, Rainie said.  Read more


As Serial adjourns, the Internet gives a collective shriek

Serial, the podcasting phenomenon that launched a thousand hot takes, has just ended its first season. If you could call what happened this morning an ending.

Before you read any further, you should know that this article contains spoilers. Not any spoilers of the definitive, open-and-shut-case kind, but rather a hair-tearing, foot-stomping reaction to a months-long murder mystery that we’ve all become hugely invested in. Here’s what Serial listeners had to say about the season one finale:

Read more

Journalist on Cuba: ‘My mom has been waiting and waiting and waiting’

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. A more personal look at the Cuba story

    On Wednesday, Maria Carrillo, a senior editor at the Houston Chronicle, spent a lot of time on the phone with her mother, a Cuban exile. "I am an American, born here, raised here, never been to the island where my parents were born. But those are my people, as surely as if I'd toddled into the surf at Varadero or spent summer nights along the Malecón. And this has all been painful to watch. We are separated — by that embargo, by politics, by distance, by time. We've been waiting and waiting and waiting." (Houston Chronicle) | CNN's Patrick Oppmann is based in Havana. "Church bells ringing in Havana. Covering history..." (@CNN_Oppmann)

  2. ProPublica is watching you, China

    Since mid-November, ProPublica has been monitoring accessibility to international news sites in China. "Of the 18 in our test, 9 are currently blocked." (ProPublica) | It's getting even harder to report there.

Read more

Career Beat: Russell Contreras named president of UNITY

  • Russell Contreras will be president of UNITY. He is a reporter at The Associated Press (NAJA)
  • Sam Figler is now head of global business development at BuzzFeed. Previously, he was vice president of global business development at Yahoo. (Capital)
  • Wendy Carrillo is now an anchor and producer at Previously, she was a writer and digital producer for NuvoTV. (MediaMoves)
  • Will Hobson will be a sports news reporter at The Washington Post. Previously, he was a cops and courts reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. (Washington Post)
  • Ryan O’Hara will be CEO of Move, Inc. Previously, he was president at the Madison Square Garden Company. (News Corp)
  • Katy McColl is now senior executive editor at Southern Living. Previously, she was an editorial consultant. Whitney Wright is now general manager at Southern Living. Previously, she was deputy food director there. (Time Inc.
Read more
P-Communications Satellite

Today in Media History: President Eisenhower speaks from space

An Atlas rocket launched the first communications satellite on this date in 1958. A pre-recorded message from President Eisenhower was soon transmitted from space.

(This flight was one of the early projects for ARPA, the government agency that later helped create the Internet.)

Here is a Universal newsreel story about the mission:

Many people heard a replay of Eisenhower’s message on their local radio stations.

“This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space. My message is a simple one: Through this unique means I convey to you and to all mankind, America’s wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men everywhere.”

The following recording comes from radio station WBAI.

Eisenhower’s message from space made news again in 2013:

“The first audio message to be relayed from outer space will be preserved as part of the National Recording Registry alongside Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’ Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Sounds of Silence,’ and Chubby Checker’s rendition of ‘The Twist,’ the Library of Congress announced Thursday.

Read more
Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 1.57.26 PM

The year in media errors and corrections 2014

Correction of the Year

This New York Times correction combines Kimye, butts and a writer treating a fake news website and a fake radio station as real. Bravo:

An earlier version of this column was published in error. That version included what purported to be an interview that Kanye West gave to a Chicago radio station in which he compared his own derrière to that of his wife, Kim Kardashian. Mr. West’s quotes were taken, without attribution, from the satirical website The Daily Currant. There is no radio station WGYN in Chicago; the interview was fictitious, and should not have been included in the column.

Runner Up

The Sun (U.K.) offered a correction that detailed just how ridiculous their original “reporting” was:

In an article ‘London Bridge IS Falling Down’ (16 June) we stated that the iconic bridge, now a tourist attraction in Arizona, was falling into disrepair and could soon be bulldozed.

Read more

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

Meteorologist shot multiple times outside of TV studio


Patrick Crawford, a morning show meteorologist for KCEN in central Texas, was shot multiple times in the parking lot outside the studio, multiple sources reported Wednesday.

Crawford “exchanged words” with a man before he drew a semi-automatic handgun and shot him, according to KCEN.

Crawford drove away and found a construction worker who called the police, KCEN reports. He was in surgery as of late Wednesday morning.

Police have arrested a person of interest “who was hold up inside of a house” in connection with the shooting. Read more

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 2.44.06 PM

This j school has a pretty great Christmas card

UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism has mailed out its Christmas card, and it’s a good one.

FullSizeRender (4)

FullSizeRender (5)

The idea for the card came from the school’s new dean, Edward Wasserman, said Roia Ferrazares, assistant dean. It was designed by a student. The card’s free speech theme is a nod to the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, Ferrazares said. It’s meant to be fun, too, and to remind people that journalism is both an important area of study “and important to our democracy.”

Does your j school or your newsroom have a holiday card worth sharing? Read more


The New York Times has been translating its Cuba editorials into Spanish


In advance of Wednesday’s news that the United States and Cuba are establishing full relations, The New York Times was publishing Spanish versions of its editorials advocating freer diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The New York Times has written seven Cuba editorials to date, including one that explicitly called on President Barack Obama to end the embargo on Cuba, wrote Ernesto Londoño, who was hired in September by the New York Times to write editorials about foreign affairs.

All of those were translated into Spanish, Londoño said. Many were “published verbatim, or extensively quoted, in Cuba’s official press,” and were republished or covered by other outlets including the BBC, Univision, Venezuela’s Telesur and El Tiempo.

“We decided to publish the Cuba editorials in Spanish because we felt it was important to make them accessible to Cubans and readers elsewhere in Latin America,” Londoño wrote. “We’ve been pleased by how much attention and interest they have sparked on the island and among readers whose primary language is Spanish.”

Londoño wrote that the Times is translating its editorials on “a case-by-case basis when we think doing so gives them significantly broader reach.” This is part of a broader effort to attract more readers globally, he wrote. Read more


‘Tomato Can Blues’ author says her job will ‘cease to exist’ at NYT

Mary Pilon, the award-winning New York Times sports reporter who wrote “Tomato Can Blues,” tweeted Wednesday her job at the paper “is among those that will cease to exist.”

Pilon told Poynter it was “a privilege and an honor to work at The New York Times” in an email.

“The people make the place and I feel incredibly humbled to have counted myself as a member of the newsroom,” Pilon said. “I’m proud of the work I did there and send nothing but best wishes going forward.”

In addition to writing the illustrated longread for The Times, Pilon is also the author of “The Monopolists,” a forthcoming book about the history of the game Monopoly, according to her website. Read more

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 11.31.25 AM

7 journalist Twitter bios we love (and why we love them)

Putting together a good Twitter bio is like writing an informational haiku. It has to be informative and informed by your personality, at once emotive and descriptive without being dense. Attracting followers is like speed dating, 140 characters at a time.

To showcase our favorite examples of this delicate art, we affixed our monocle and combed through Twitter lists from several publications and took submissions from colleagues. Here are our picks:

  • Max Seddon, BuzzFeed foreign correspondent:
    In soviet russia, news reports you

    This Twitter bio elegantly combines Seddon’s job reporting foreign news with an homage to comedian Yakov Smirnoff and alludes to the dangers that involve reporting on Russia. Russian correspondents may find themselves and their news organizations the subject of stories, as BuzzFeed was recently.

  • Andy Borowitz, humorist for The New Yorker
    There is a fine line between social networking and wasting your fucking life.

    This descriptor manages to subvert the conventions of the Twitter bio in much the same way that Borowitz shows readers the obverse face of journalism and current events through humor.

Read more

Directive: It’s OK to publish Rehtaeh Parsons’ name, just not ‘in a derogatory way’

Toronto Star | CBC

On Wednesday, a directive from the Justice/Public Service Commission of Nova Scotia clarified “the use of Rehtaeh Parsons’s name under the existing publication ban.”

The directive, issued to the Public Prosecution Service, says no breach of the ban identifying Rehtaeh Parsons as the victim in the recent high-profile child pornography case, by media, or in any forum, will be prosecuted, unless her name is used in a derogatory way.

Katherine DeClerq reported on the directive for The Toronto Star.

On Nov. 24, the Halifax Chronicle Herald broke the ban in a story about the second young man associated with the case pleading guilty to distributing child pornography.

“We’ve decided to publish the name of the victim in this story, despite a court-ordered ban. We believe it’s in the public interest in this unique case, given the widespread recognition of (the victim’s) name, and given the good that can come, and has already come, from free public debate over sexual consent and the other elements of her story,” read the editor’s note attached to the article.

Read more

It’s now harder to report in China, harder to get there and easier to get arrested

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Journalism had an awful year in China

    Two hundred and twenty journalists were jailed around the world, according to Committee to Protect Journalists' count. China was the country with the most arrests with 44. It's also harder to work there, now, thanks to rules about what journalists can cover, and harder for foreign journalists to get visas. (CPJ) | On Tuesday, Reporters Without Borders released its annual roundup of abuse toward journalists. That list puts the tally of arrests at 178 and also marks China as the country where the most journalists were arrested. (RWB) | RELATED: Nieman Reports' fall issue looks at "The Future of Foreign News." (Nieman Reports) | 2015 Nieman Fellows awarded Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal with the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. (Nieman)

  2. Prosecutors know what they won't ask Risen, at least

    The New York Times' James Risen will be subpoenaed, "though a Tuesday hearing indicated there was much confusion about what he might be asked to reveal." (The New York Times)

  3. Joe Arpaio thinks it's a good idea to get more coverage for immigration, and he sort of helped

    Proceeds from a settlement against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will go toward a new position at Arizona State University that will focus on immigration, as well as greater coverage of immigration.

Read more
Page 1 of 3,12112345678910...Last »