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Caroline Little is stepping down as CEO and President of Newspaper Association of America

littleCaroline LIttle will be leaving her job as president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America at the end of August, NAA announced this afternoon.

She will have been head of the industry trade association for just over four years when she departs.

Little is a lawyer and served as publisher/CEO of Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive and then as CEO of the Guardian’s North America operations before joining NAA in 2011. Her background as a digital executive figured in her being hired to succeed John Sturm who served 16 years and was a lawyer and experienced lobbyist.

I reached Little by phone, and asked what she expects to do next. “I don’t really have any future plans right now,” she replied, except moving to Sante Fe, “where I have a husband, a child and a dog — in that order.”

As industry’s revenues have fallen, NAA has sharply downsized.  Sturm was at one time paid north of $1 million and the association had more than 100 employees.  It’s current staff directory lists only 13 professionals, and Little confirmed one of her tasks was to outsource functions to save money.

During Little’s tenure the American Press Institute was merged with NAA’s own community foundation. Both had substantial endowments but outdated missions.  API, with a separate board, hired Tom Rosenstiel as its executive director, and he has changed API from a training organization to a research and think tank mission.

At the end of Sturm’s term and beginning of Little’s, NAA also collapsed three annual conferences to one, now called mediaXchange, whose most recent edition was held in Nashville earlier this month, and typically draws more than 1,000 attendees. (Disclosure:  I have worked on the last two conference programs as a paid consultant).

Little has been at times criticized  – for instance by David Boardman, Temple journalism school dean and former Poynter National Advisory Board chairman — for painting an overly rosy picture of the industry.

On balance, I think it’s a bad rap  – part of a trade association head’s job is to identify the positives and deflect excessive pessimism.

Little told a Harvard-based oral history project in 2013 that she and the NAA board stopped reporting quarterly revenue figures, as I had suspected, to avoid being beaten up so often by negative news.  Annual industry results are due in several weeks and will almost certainly show another loss in total revenues as big print advertising declines persist.

When I asked how the industry had evolved during her time, Little said, “as the revenue mix has changed, people are much more willing to experiment  – there is a lot more transformation than before.”

And will newspapers still be around in another four years?  “No doubt…The mix of circulation (shifting to digital) will continue to change.  But the core of what newspapers do is not going away.” Read more

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The New York Times linked John Bolton’s op-ed to a story making the opposite case

The Intercept

Yesterday, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton published an op-ed in the pages of The New York Times, arguing that the United States has no choice but to bomb Iran. “Only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor … can accomplish what is required,” Bolton wrote.

But The Intercept’s Jon Schwarz noticed something odd about that sentence in the paper’s online edition. The reference to Israel’s attack on the Osirak reactor contained a link to a Washington Post op-ed that argued that far from crippling Iraq’s nuclear weapons program, Israel’s attack actually compelled Saddam Hussein to employ 7,000 scientists and spend $10 billion in pursuit of a nuclear bomb.

This is not exactly the sort of supporting link that Bolton might have hoped for. And when Schwarz called Times op-ed deputy editor Sewell Chan, he learned that an editor had inserted the link by mistake, and that Chan would see to it that the Osirak reference would link to a straight news story covering the bombing.

Now, when you click on that link in the Bolton piece, you are directed to the New York Times story that reported the incident — along with a denunciation of the attack by the Reagan administration, under which John Bolton served as an assistant attorney general.

The New York Times did not issue a correction indicating that editors had changed the link. Read more

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ACES: AP’s guidance on suicide terms shows sensitivity

ACES

On Friday at the American Copy Editors Society conference, The Associated Press revealed some of the upcoming changes to the 2015 AP Stylebook, and among them is updated guidance on suicide terms.

From our earlier story with the AP’s David Minthorn:

With stories about suicide, the AP now recommends not going into details.

“The guidance also says that we avoid using the term committed suicide except in direct quotations from authorities.”

Instead used “killed himself, took her own life or died by suicide.”

“Committed in that context suggests possibly an illegal act, but in fact, laws against suicide have been repealed in the U.S., at least in certain states, and many other places,” Minthorn said, “so we’re going to avoid using that term on our own, although it’s a term that authorities widely use and we will use it while quoting authorities.”

After those changes and others were shared at the ACES conference, ACES sent out a press release in support of the AP’s guidance on suicide terms. From that release:

For many years, the changes to the Stylebook that have caused the biggest waves have to do with long-time grammar rules being changed, but ACES is supportive of the direction the group went with sensitivity because of the direction journalism, writing and social media are moving.

“While we, as copy editors, might get more riled up about state abbreviations or making website one word, these types of changes aren’t likely to change lives,” (ACES President Teresa) Schmedding said. “But how we handle suicide and style issues on that level, will. Today’s story on the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane crash is a prime example of the need for consistency and responsible coverage when editors need to make style decisions on information of this kind quickly.”

Related – NPR editor: be careful using ‘suicide’ in Germanwings case Read more

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Ex-News of the World reporter’s conviction overturned

The Guardian | BBC News

Yesterday, the United Kingdom’s Court of Appeal threw out the conviction of a former News of the World reporter accused of paying a public official for information, BBC News reports. The decision is a setback for Operation Elveden, the controversial police investigation into the practice of journalists paying officials for leaks and confidential details about public figures.

According to BBC News, the journalist, whose name cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, was convicted in November 2014 of supplying money to an unnamed prison official in return for information. The journalist was given a six-month suspended sentence. The prison official who allegedly accepted the money has also had his conviction and 42-month sentence overturned.

The Guardian reports that the Court of Appeal ruled that Justice William Davis did not give sufficiently clear instructions to the jury. In order to convict the defendants, the jury must find that the misconduct must be so serious “as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust.” But according to the Court of Appeal, Davis did not sufficiently stress how serious this misconduct must be in order to justify a conviction.

Operation Elveden is an investigation into allegations that tabloid journalists have systematically paid public officials for private information about public figures or victims of sensational crimes. According to The Guardian, the Crown Prosecution Service has brought 24 reporters to trial as part of the investigation. Of the 24 reporters, one has been convicted, while a second reporter has pled guilty. The remaining 22 have either been acquitted or are awaiting retrials after juries could not reach a decision. Read more

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AP hasn’t decided what to do about ‘Redskins’ yet

The Associated Press is mulling over usage of the term “Redskins” as it relates to the Washington, D.C. football team, but has not decided whether to make a ruling on the controversial word yet.

The topic is of interest to the AP Stylebook committee, which meets weekly between October and March, said AP Stylebook co-editor David Minthorn. The word’s usage is an “active topic” that the stylebook might make a ruling on.

Minthorn fielded the question at the annual American Copy Editors Society gathering in Pittsburgh, where he and Associated Press assistant business editor Philana Patterson were previewing changes to the 2015 edition of the AP Stylebook, which determines the lingua franca for English-language journalists around the world.

A couple of journalists in the audience at Minthorn and Patterson’s session tweeted out news of the AP’s possible ruling on the term:

Several news outlets and journalists (at least 20) have struck the word from their copy amid concerns that it’s offensive to Native Americans. The list includes several prominent D.C.-area news organizations, including Washington City Paper, DCist, The New Republic, Capital News Service and The Washington Post’s editorial board.

The word has also been the subject of a protracted battle between administrators at Neshaminy High School and student journalists there, who voted not to use the term in any of their content.

The word still appears in Associated Press stories. A 2014 poll conducted for ESPN showed that 71 percent of Americans believed the name was acceptable, down 8 percent from a similar poll conducted the previous year. Read more

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Forbes writer on moving newsroom to New Jersey: Food courts can really make you think

Forbes

Last December, Forbes Media left Manhattan and moved its newsroom to Jersey City, taking advantage of a $27 million tax grant in return for bringing at least 350 jobs to New Jersey. And Chief Product Officer Lewis DVorkin is doing his best to adjust.

In a piece slated to run in the magazine’s April 13 issue, DVorkin says, “We love gazing at the Manhattan skyline — and who we’ve become.” From across the Hudson, he writes, the city’s view changes with each change in the weather, while the new, less cramped newsroom lets Forbes staffers collaborate in all the ways that are remaking journalism from top to bottom.

Everyone’s connected by a central staircase, with common areas for people to gather on their way up or down. We inhabit enclaves of desks, sofas, living room tables and “huddle rooms.”

Even the second-rate food has a way of keeping DVorkin connected with the hoi polloi that, he suspects, might read Forbes more often than you suspect.

New York cuisine has been replaced with, well, something less. We now have a grab ‘n’ scan vending service to supplement the Jif peanut butter and organic milled flaxseeds brought from home.

Oh, yes. Our New Jersey office is next to a mall — anchor stores, food court and all. I consider it a good reminder that our audience includes the 99.9999% of us who aren’t billionaires.

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NPR editor: be careful using ‘suicide’ in Germanwings case

NPR

Mark Memmott, standards and practices editor at NPR, gave journalists there two reasons to be cautious of the word “suicide” to describe the death of Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of a Germanwings flight who may have purposefully forced the plane down:

— His motivation and state of mind aren’t known (and may never be).

– The investigation into what happened is still in the early stages.

Memmott also writes that the word “suicide” may not be adequate given that Lubitz might have deliberately crashed the plane. He also addressed the use of other formulations that incorporate “suicide,” including “suicide bomber” and “committed suicide.” In both cases, better alternatives exist, he says.

The AP Stylebook on Friday previewed a new entry for its forthcoming 2015 edition, recommending journalists should avoid using “committed suicide,” preferring instead “killed himself, took her own life or died by suicide.”

Committed, the new entry notes, “suggests possibly an illegal act” that is inconsistent with laws in certain U.S. states. Read more

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AP Stylebook change: BLT is now acceptable on first reference

BLT. Delicious and OK on first reference.

BLT. Delicious and OK on first reference.

On Friday morning, people at the American Copy Editors Society conference will get a preview of some of the changes coming to the 2015 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook. I asked David Minthorn, the AP Stylebook’s co-editor, about those changes and what people might freak out about.

“We’re never quite sure what people may be excited about,” Minthorn said. “But for example, we have two amended spellings of datelines that might be of interest.”

One of those datelines is Nepal’s capital.

“Now it’s K-A-T-H-M-A-N-D-U,” Minthorn said. “We felt it was time to conform with local preferences, and I think the dictionary also uses the that spelling.”

OK. That doesn’t seem melt-down worthy. And the AP doesn’t make these changes lightly, Minthorn said.

“We don’t normally make style. We reflect usage, in our view. We’re not trying to get ahead of the game. When we make a change, almost always it reflects the reality of language use and what’s happening in vernacular speech or idiomatic speech or in the case of social media, popular social media terms that are having an impact.”

Updating the stylebook is a year-round project, Minthorn said. This is his eighth edition, and he worked with editors Paula Froke and Sally Jacobsen. This year’s stylebook has 300 new or revised terms, and changes are made from studying usage and an annual survey.

“Some pan out, some are, shall we say, ahead of their time, some don’t make sense at all,” Minthorn said. “We look at them all, though.”

Here’s some of what’s coming in the latest edition, due out in late May:

‘Favorite’ and ‘meme’ have been added:

I asked Minthorn to read these twice: “Favorite: A button that a Twitter user can click to express approval for a tweet, and/or to bookmark that tweet, and any associated links, for later consumption. Also, the act of clicking on this button.”

And “Meme: A piece of information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that’s shared verbally or transmitted widely, often in social media.”

There’s a chapter for social guidelines, but this year, the online lexicon has been moved into the A-Z section.

There are lots of small changes in the sports section:

Elite Eight and Final Four are now capitalized.

Figure skating jumps, moves and spins are all lower case, “even if named after someone.”

The stylebook also standardized some basketball and baseball terms.

An entry on suicide has been added:

AP’s policy on suicide is to only cover suicide and attempted suicide if the person is well-known, the circumstances are unusual or it’s publicly disruptive, Minthorn said.

“We’re specifying this for our staff, although it’s kind of an inner AP guideline,” he said.

With stories about suicide, the AP now recommends not going into details.

“The guidance also says that we avoid using the term committed suicide except in direct quotations from authorities.”

Instead used “killed himself, took her own life or died by suicide.”

“Committed in that context suggests possibly an illegal act, but in fact, laws against suicide have been repealed in the U.S., at least in certain states, and many other places,” Minthorn said, “so we’re going to avoid using that term on our own, although it’s a term that authorities widely use and we will use it while quoting authorities.”

There’s an expanded entry on climate change:

Global warming and climate change can be used interchangeably. This isn’t an addition, but an elaboration on why.

“We say that climate change is more accurate scientifically, but global warming is a widely used term and is understood by the public to encompass climate change.”

Stop writing ‘execution-style’:

“It’s a widely used term in news reporting, and we’re cautioning against using it,” Minthorn said.

The new guidance is to avoid it because the term means different things to different people. If necessary, be specific.

“We’re not banning the term, we’re saying avoid it.”

Wicca and Wiccan are now in the religion section:

They’re capitalized on all uses.

BLT is OK on first reference:

This makes sense. Also in the food chapter is the term craft brewery instead of microbrewery.

“We’re suggesting craft brewery is more precise or a better explanation for what’s happening in the brewing industry.”

These probably won’t cause the ballyhoo that they did last year (when the AP announced that over was acceptable in place of more than. You remember.) If you’re still itching for some good knuckle rapping, here are notes from “20 nagging errors made by the experienced and inexperienced alike,” from The Washington Post’s Bill Walsh. And from last year, “AP’s year of freaking out language geeks.”

Correction: Elite Eight and Final Four had numerals in an earlier version of this story. They should be spelled out. Read more

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NYT reporter Tanzina Vega moves to CNN Politics

New York Times reporter Tanzina Vega will join CNN Politics to cover the intersection of technology, politics and civil rights, according to a Friday staff memo from CNN Politics Executive Editor Rachel Smolkin.

Vega, who will report from CNN’s New York office, will examine the ways that 2016 campaigns are using “technology, the evolution of micro targeting and new twists in voter registration,” according to the memo:

She’ll build on the work that she has done so well at the Times, including her smart coverage of race and ethnicity. This is an important area where we will distinguish ourselves going into 2016.

In January, The New York Times moved Vega from the national race beat to covering the Bronx courthouse, prompting several journalists and media watchers to speculate about the future of race coverage at The New York Times. Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times, questioned the wisdom of the reassignment in a column, noting it was an “odd time to discontinue the one Times beat devoted solely to race and ethnicity.”

Here’s the memo:

All,

I’m thrilled to announce that Tanzina Vega will join CNN Politics as a digital correspondent.

Tanzina, a reporter at The New York Times, will focus on the intersection of technology and politics. She’ll look at innovative ways the 2016 campaigns are using technology, the evolution of micro targeting and new twists in voter registration. She’ll also mine the blending of technology and politics beyond the beltway, from grassroots movements to civil rights to hashtag activism on social media.

She’ll build on the work that she has done so well at the Times, including her smart coverage of race and ethnicity. This is an important area where we will distinguish ourselves going into 2016. As previously announced, Nia-Malika Henderson joins us April 6 as a national political reporter focusing on identity politics, and we’re excited for the collaboration between these rock-star reporters.

Tanzina will be based in our New York office — along with the fabulous duo of Ashley Codianni and MJ Lee — and will be looking for opportunities to partner with our friends in CNNMoney as well.

She’ll start April 20. Please join me in giving her a warm welcome to CNN.

Rachel

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What Periscope saw

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Periscope’s first day

    On Thursday, Twitter's live-streaming app Periscope came out on iTunes and journalists quickly started sharing what they were seeing. By the afternoon, that included a fire and the collapse of two buildings in New York City. "I had less information than I would if I had waited for a formal news crew to arrive, report out what was happening, and then pass that information back to me. With the smartphones in our pockets, we're all citizen journalists now." (The Verge) | Here are full details on the fire, where 19 people were injured. (The New York Times) | On Friday, BuzzFeed News reported that six people were missing. (BuzzFeed News) | "The New York tragedy showed the potential for two new apps, including one from Twitter Inc. that made its debut Thursday. They are going head-to-head in a race to become the dominant way for users to broadcast their surroundings via social media." (The Wall Street Journal) | Also on Thursday, Josh Stearns wrote about what Periscope and Meerkat could mean for people's right to record. "I would love to see a partnership between these apps and an organization like WITNESS to create in app notifications, guides and best practices for safe and secure citizen journalism and eye witness recording." (Medium)

  2. Journalists targeted in Yemen

    On Thursday, Reported.ly's Andy Carvin spoke with the editor of Al Masdar, a newspaper in Yemen. Sameer Jubran told Carvin that the newspaper offices were attacked by Houthi militants and some staff were kidnapped. (Medium) | Related: Earlier this month, Reporters Without Borders reported that Yemeni journalist Abdul Karim Mohammed al-Khaiwani was murdered. (Reporters Without Borders)

  3. How things get made at BuzzFeed

    A series of stories on Thursday look at the process behind the products at BuzzFeed. Aaron Edwards wrote about testing out workflows while building with BuzzFeed News' app team. (And please, check and enjoy that URL.) (BuzzFeed) | From Millie Tran, "What We Learned From A Week Of Prototyping A Newsletter In Public." (BuzzFeed) | And Laura E. Davis wrote about the news app team's approach. "The goal of #teamnewsapp is to tell you about the news the way a friend might. We don’t want our app to abuse the privilege of being invited to interrupt your day. We want the BuzzFeed News app to be a welcome guest on your phone’s home screen, rather than an app you rage delete after one too many irrelevant push notifications." (BuzzFeed)

  4. 'Every 26 hours, a journalist in Mexico gets attacked'

    A new study finds that under the current administration in Mexico, attacks on journalists have increased 80 percent, compared with the previous administration. (International Business Times)

  5. There's a pretrial for Ghomeshi today

    On Friday, there's a pretrial in the sexual assault case against former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi. "Ghomeshi currently faces seven sexual assault charges stemming from allegations that span from 2002 to 2008." (Global News)

  6. Vice and HBO

    Vice and HBO announced a deal on Thursday that Vice will produce a daily news show for HBO five days a week. (TimeWarner)

  7. This is a 'murky inquiry'

    On Thursday, The New York Times reported that a private investigator has been asking questions about former New York Times reporter Ariel Kaminer and a NYU professor, who has been critical of NYU's involvement in Abu Dhabi. "Sean O’Driscoll, a freelance reporter who collaborated with Ms. Kaminer on the article about the N.Y.U. campus, said he was told last year by United Arab Emirates security authorities that he would receive generous payments and immunity from prosecution if he would write favorably about the government. He said he had refused and had not been permitted to re-enter the country after leaving for a short period." (The New York Times)

  8. Principal for a day

    Rich Mirman, publisher of the Orange County Register, spent the day as principal at a middle school that probably has more tech than you do. "Classrooms had state of the art technology, including projectors and computer screens. Teachers used microphones that elevate the tones of their voice to enhance concentration. Students had their own tablets fully loaded with software. There were also books, pencils and paper that kids were actually using." (Orange County Register)

  9. Front page of the day, selected by Seth Liss

    From the Des Moines Register (Courtesy the Newseum)
     

    IA_DR

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Mark Kelly is now a space and aviation contributor at NBC News. Kelly is a retired naval aviator and NASA astronaut. (NBC News) | Olivia Fierro has rejoined KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona. Previously, she was weeknight anchor at KVVU in Las Vegas. (Media Moves) | Nick Falloon will be chairman of Fairfax Media. Previously, he was chairman of Ten Network Holdings. (TheNewspaperWorks) | Lindsay Radford will be news director at KMGH in Denver. Previously, she was news director at KSTP and KSTC. (TVNewsCheck) | Miriam Kramer is now a space reporter at Mashable. Previously, she was a staff writer at Space.com. (Email) | Teddy Schleifer will be a political reporter at CNN Politics Digital. He is a political reporter at the Houston Chronicle. Karl de Vries will join the breaking news team at CNN Politics Digital. He is an editor and producer for the digital team at Fox News. Alex Lee will be an associate producer at CNN Politics Digital. He produces, films and edits video at Discovery Digital. (Email) | Job of the day: The Desert Sun is looking for a health and wellness reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Corrections? Tips? Forget those fully loaded tablets, remember how awful middle school was? Please email me: khare@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more

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Boston mayor wins byline from Globe columnist in bet

The Boston Globe

Readers looking for Shirley Leung’s twice-weekly business column in The Boston Globe this morning will see an unfamiliar face: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

According to a note above the column, Leung lost one byline to Walsh when she made a bet that he wouldn’t fill a municipal vacancy before a new governor took office. He did:

Last year I made a bet with the good mayor of Boston, and he’s now collecting his prize. He was so slow at installing a permanent director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority that I bet he couldn’t find one before Charlie Baker was sworn in as governor. I lost.

Elsewhere in the note, Leung pokes fun at the mayor, calling him “a wannabe writer” and notes that he was “just as tardy turning in this column” as he was appointing a new director.

Walsh used his Globe byline to promote “Cities of Opportunity,” a task force made up of mayors from across the country that aims to address income inequality.

Don’t look for Walsh to be a regular columnist at The Globe. Even though he was late turning in his column, Leung says she “wasn’t about to make another bet with him.” Read more

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Today in Media History: In 1947, the press reported on the Hutchins Commission report

On March 27, 1947, the press reported on the Hutchins Commission report about the media.

Robert M. Hutchins, the president of the University of Chicago, served as the chair of the 1940s Commission on the Freedom of the Press. Time magazine’s Henry Luce suggested the creation of the commission and provided $200,000 in grants.

They evaluated the print and broadcast media as well as motion pictures. Their final report, “A Free and Responsible Press,” concluded that freedom of the press was in danger.

The commission cautioned against ownership concentration, rising costs, and the media’s preoccupation with sensational news. They felt that the media needed to take more responsibility for its actions.

Image - F and R P

The Internet Archive has posted a copy of the Hutchins Commission’s publication, “A Free And Responsible Press, the report of the Commission on Freedom of the Press.”

This how the report begins:

“The Commission set out to answer the question: Is the freedom of the press in danger? Its answer to the question is: Yes. It concludes that the freedom of the press is in danger for three reasons:

First, the importance of the press to the people has greatly increased with the development of the press as an instrument of mass communication. At the same time the development of the press as an instrument of mass communication has greatly decreased the proportion of the people who can express their opinions and ideas through the press.

Second, the few who are able to use the machinery of the press as an instrument of mass communication have not provided a service adequate to the needs of society.

Third, those who direct the machinery of the press have engaged from time to time in practices which the society condemns and which, if continued, it will inevitably undertake to regulate or control.”

See Also:

— “A Free and Responsible Press. A Review of Free Press Report.”
Nieman Reports, April 1947.

— “Press Reaction to Hutchins Report.”
Nieman Reports, July 1947.

— “Book Review: The Commission on Freedom of the Press.”
By Ralph S. Brown Jr., Yale Law School, Faculty Scholarship Series, January 1948. Copy posted by Digital Commons.

— “The Hutchins Commission, The Press and the Responsibility Concept.”
By Margaret A. Blanchard, Journalism Monographs, May 1977.

The following quote about the report comes from a Walter Lippmann column published in The Emporia Gazette:

Image-EG 1

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Career Beat: Mark Kelly named contributor at NBC News

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

  • Mark Kelly is now a space and aviation contributor at NBC News. Kelly is a retired naval aviator and NASA astronaut. (NBC News)
  • Olivia Fierro has rejoined KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona. Previously, she was weeknight anchor at KVVU in Las Vegas. (Media Moves)
  • Nick Falloon will be chairman of Fairfax Media. Previously, he was chairman of Ten Network Holdings. (TheNewspaperWorks)
  • Lindsay Radford will be news director at KMGH in Denver. Previously, she was news director at KSTP and KSTC. (TVNewsCheck)
  • Miriam Kramer is now a space reporter at Mashable. Previously, she was a staff writer at Space.com. (Email)
  • Teddy Schleifer will be a political reporter at CNN Politics Digital. He is a political reporter at the Houston Chronicle. Karl de Vries will join the breaking news team at CNN Politics Digital. He is an editor and producer for the digital team at Fox News. Alex Lee will be an associate producer at CNN Politics Digital. He produces, films and edits video at Discovery Digital. (Email)

Job of the day: The Desert Sun is looking for a health and wellness reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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

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Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015

NPR updates ethics policy after ombud raises political advocacy questions

NPR

NPR has revised its ethics code to describe which staffers it covers after network ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen raised questions about host Diane Rehm’s attendance at fundraising dinners for the right-to-die movement. Jensen explained the update in a new post:

The changes follow the debate sparked when The Washington Post reported that Diane Rehm, the host of the NPR-distributed The Diane Rehm Show, was taking part in fundraising dinners for Compassion & Choices. That non-profit organization’s activities include lobbying for states to permit medically-assisted death.

At heart the heart of the issue was whether NPR’s stricture preventing journalists from engaging in political advocacy should apply to Rehm, who hosts “The Diane Rehm Show” at WAMU in Washington, D.C., an NPR member station. The new guidelines make clear that the prohibition applies to “those who work for shows, podcasts and programming that are not part of the News division,” Jensen writes. Here’s an excerpt from the new section:

The principles apply to material that comes to NPR from independent producers, member station journalists, outside writers, commentators and visual journalists. Finally, producers of stand-alone programs acquired by NPR and the staffs of those shows should also study and apply the ethical principles and guidance in this handbook.

In a statement to Poynter, WAMU spokesperson Kathleen Allenbaugh said the station will abide by the new ethics policy, which it worked with NPR and Poynter to redefine:

We came to a collective agreement that it is best not to proceed, and Diane has decided she will not be attending future dinners.

We are happy that we could work collaboratively to help clarify NPR’s policy as it applies to NPR’s code of ethics for acquired programs.

We appreciate the guidance NPR has provided. We will continue to consult NPR on these issues, as we have done in the past.

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The New York Times, ‘PBS Newshour’ strike video-sharing agreement

The New York Times and “PBS NewsHour” have entered into an agreement to share video journalism, including news reports and longer documentaries, on a regular basis, the outlets announced Thursday.

The deal specifies that both news organizations will begin to offer each other footage for use on their websites and social channels.

This announcement formalizes an arrangement that manifested recently when “PBS NewsHour” aired a New York Times video about the film giant Kodak attempting to reinvent itself, according to the announcement. The program also broadcast two other videos from The New York Times, including an in-depth look at the life of Times Tehran Bureau Chief Thomas Erdbrink.

The agreement does not include a provision for sharing revenue, according to a spokesperson for The New York Times.

The agreement between the Times and PBS is the second video-sharing deal involving a major American newspaper to be announced Thursday. Earlier in the day, The Washington Post announced a similar agreement with the Washington, D.C.-area TV station WUSA 9 allowing “video reports, and some live video streaming coverage to appear on The Post’s website.”

Here’s the announcement from The New York Times and PBS:

The PBS NewsHour, co-anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, and The New York Times have begun sharing video journalism including news reports and longer form documentaries. The news outlets will regularly offer each other access to rich video content for publishing across websites and social channels.

In recent weeks, the PBS NewsHour has broadcast a New York Times video about Kodak trying to reinvent itself and recently aired a NYTimes documentary about the radicalization of one young Egyptian who joined ISIS. The NewsHour also broadcast part one in a seven-part series on life in Iran featuring Thomas Erdbrink, Tehran bureau chief for The New York Times.

“Our goal on the NewsHour is to present great reporting that illuminates the world we live in now. Much of that is produced by our own staff but we are also proud to showcase great work being done by others,” said NewsHour Executive Producer Sara Just. “We are big fans of the video work being done at The New York Times and eager to share it with our audience, and present our work to The New York Times audience as well.”

“The New York Times has led the way in the creation and presentation of video journalism on the web. Working with The News Hour, long known for its high-quality broadcast journalism, is a natural fit for us. We are excited about the benefit these expanded offerings bring to both our audiences,” said Ann Derry, The New York Times’ editorial director for video and television partnerships.

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