Reporter covers massive bee spill, gets stung

Slate | KIRO

Journalists from Seattle TV station KIRO were “stung numerous times” as they covered an overturned semi truck that scattered millions of bees across Interstate 5. The station created a supercut titled “Battle of the Bees” that shows reporter Jeff Dubois enduring several bee assaults and describing an onset of bee-induced paranoia:

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‘Pushy’ ‘badass’ and other words used to describe women in leadership

This week 25 women came to Poynter for the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, and we wanted to ask them three questions: What’s the worst word you’ve heard that describes women in leadership? What’s the best? And what’s your advice for women just entering the business?

Jordan Kranse, News University’s Finberg Fellow, brought along a whiteboard and spoke with some of them.

Here’s what they told her:

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How the Tampa Bay Times followed a mailman’s flight to the capital

A police device rolls toward a copter device, right, that landed on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

A police device rolls toward a copter device, right, that landed on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Ben Montgomery started running. He sprinted, pushing himself as fast as he could go, burdened by a backpack containing his laptop. His quarry, which started out as a distant speck in the skies over Washington, D.C., had now descended on the nation’s capital, flying low in the April air.

It must have been an unusual sight for the rarefied skies around the United States Capitol Building on Wednesday afternoon. Here was a man aboard a lightweight craft borne aloft by helicopter blades and driven forward by a propeller, buzzing through protected airspace in open defiance of the law.

Before he saw it with his own eyes, Montgomery would have bet against the man making it this far. Read more

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Expand the pie: 5 tips for the compensation conversation

Wedding pie. (Photo by Cassidy Duhon)

Wedding pie. (Photo by Photo by Cassidy Duhon)

When you imagine a negotiation, you probably imagine this scene: on one side of the table, there’s an employee who wants more money — a bigger slice of the pie. On the other side, a manager who wants to save some pie for other employees, for big projects, and for the sake of the bottom line.

When Will Neville-Rehbehn of VShift got married about four years ago, he wasn’t thinking about salaries or compensation packages. But he was thinking about pie.

He knew that not only did he want pie at his wedding, he also wanted to make the pies himself. Everyone told him it was not only unconventional but also impossible. Instead of compromising on what he wanted, he zoomed out and thought about what was important to him. Read more


Media must pay for South Carolina police shooting video

scouthcarolinashootingThe New York Times reports that an Australian based “publicity and celebrity management company” representing Feidin Santana, is sending cease-and-desist letters to media outlets demanding they pay for the use of the video Santana captured. That video shows a North Charleston police officer shooting an unarmed man, Walter Scott in the back as Scott ran away from the officer.

The letter from Markson Sparks demands media outlets pay $10,000 to run the video that has gathered millions of page views on multiple YouTube web pages.

The Times’ story quotes Santana’s attorney, Todd Rutherford:

The lawyer, Todd Rutherford, said it was only fair for Mr. Santana to start getting paid for something that news outlets benefited from.

“The search for justice is served by turning the video over to law enforcement,” Mr.

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Academics criticize media’s handling of Ray Rice case

When it came to placing the domestic assault case of NFL star Ray Rice in any larger societal framework, much of the media fumbled early on, according to an academic study.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, left, addressing the media at a news conference after NFL football training camp practice, on July 31, 2014, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, left, addressing the media at a news conference after NFL football training camp practice, on July 31, 2014, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

An assessment of press coverage also suggests that while old-line newspapers were more sophisticated than others initially, both old and new media improved later in similar fashion.

The preliminary findings were presented Thursday at an international gathering of political scientists via a draft of a paper titled, “Mediating the Red Zone: Tracing Sports Media’s Coverage of the Ray Rice Case and the Continued Influence of Traditional Media.”

A trio of young political scientists from Georgetown University and Colorado State University conclude that traditional media, led in no small measure by the New York Times, did better early on in grasping the larger significance of the Rice case. Read more

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Do the stuff that scares you and other lessons from Thunderdome

Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome didn’t last long. But the journalists there learned a few things both while working and while leaving. Here are four of them:

1. Get used to this.

“If you’re in journalism, you know it’s an industry that gets shaken up a lot, and it’s tough to deal with,” said P. Kim Bui, now with First Look Media’s “I had some very low moments, but I had a support system that made sure I didn’t stay down for too long. It’s not that journalism is dying, it’s that projects, sites, ideas, live and die, much like they do anywhere.”

“Having been through a promising startup being abruptly closed down before, when I was at TBD in 2011, I pretty much go into every journalism job knowing it could disappear tomorrow,” said Mandy Jenkins, now Storyful’s news director. Read more

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1 year after Project Thunderdome closed, most former staff have pretty great jobs. Here’s why.

April 17, 2014 was the last day for most of the journalists at Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome.

And it was a sad one, obviously, said Jim Brady, who was DFM’s editor-in-chief at the time. But what he saw that day and in the days leading up to it was something he’d never seen before in journalism. The journalists at DFM’s news hub helped each other with job searches. They made calls. They practiced interviewing together.

“Even people who were competing for the same jobs were helping each other prepare,” said Robyn Tomlin, who was then Thunderdome’s editor. “Unlike situations where only a handful of people are affected, we were all in this together.”

One year later, most of 50 or so people in Thunderome’s newsroom are still in journalism, and most of them have jobs. Read more


A Boston Marathon bombing victim family’s plea on Boston Globe’s front page

For the second time in as many weeks, a major newspaper has placed a powerful and dominating essay on its front page. Boston Globe readers awoke to a front page plea from Bill and Denise Richard, the parents of an eight year old son who was killed and a seven year old daughter who was seriously injured in the Boston Marathon bombing attack.  The front page letter asks federal prosecutors to “end the anguish” by dropping the death penalty and locking up Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the rest of his life.

(Front page photo courtesy the Newseum)

(Front page photo courtesy the Newseum)

The timing of the “End the Anguish” plea comes as the city’s emotions are once again, raw. This week marks the second anniversary of the bombing. Soon the federal jury considering the case will gather for another month or so to decide whether to hand Tsarnaev a death sentence. Read more


8 lesser known stories the Pulitzer committee should know about

Related: Roy J. Harris Jr. makes his Pulitzer predictions

National journalism awards have already sniffed out some exceptional journalism that no doubt will be top Pulitzer contenders: The Arizona Republic’s exceptional work investigating VA hospitals, The New York Times’ coverage of Ebola in Western Africa and The St Louis Post-Dispatch’s coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting and protests all have rightfully been cited as among 2014’s best journalism. But let me tell you about some other reporting in print and online that deserves your attention.

  • Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.17.52 PMOne of my favorite investigations of 2014 was “Subsidized Squalor” by the Center for Investigative Reporting and a host of partners. I loved the project from the first sentence, “There are 4,055 public housing agencies across the U.S., and we’ve spent the past year writing about one of the worst.” People living in Richmond, California’s public housing lived with rodents and sewage CIR created a unit-by-unit interactive graphic so you could see what was wrong in each unit.
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Wikileaks publishes documents stolen in Sony Pictures hack

Good morning. Here are 9 media stories.

  1. Sony condemns leak

    Wikileaks, a website devoted to the publication of sensitive and confidential information, has posted and organized documents from the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in a searchable index. Sony isn't happy. "Calling the original attack 'a malicious criminal act,' Sony said in a statement that 'we strongly condemn the indexing of stolen employee and other private and privileged information.'” (The New York Times) | Media reporters are already digging through the trove for stories. Peter Sterne reports that BuzzFeed executive chairman Ken Lerer tried to wrangle internships at BuzzFeed for children of Sony Entertainment C.E.O. Michael Lynton and Jake Winebaum. (Capital New York) | Daily Mail North America CEO Jon Steinberg reached out to Lynton for a potential partnership in June, Jeremy Barr writes.

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P-1988 Pulitzers

Today in Media History: 2006 Pulitzers honored Hurricane Katrina coverage

On April 17, 2006, the Sun Herald and the Times-Picayune were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Their award-winning work, along with other great journalism honored that year, is posted on the Pulitzer website and linked to below.

Public Service
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans
Sun Herald, Biloxi-Gulfport

Breaking News Reporting
Staff of The Times-Picayune, New Orleans

Investigative Reporting
Susan Schmidt, James V. Grimaldi and R. Jeffrey Smith of The Washington Post

Explanatory Reporting
David Finkel of The Washington Post

Beat Reporting
Dana Priest of The Washington Post

National Reporting
James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times
The San Diego Union-Tribune and Copley News Service with notable work by Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer

International Reporting
Joseph Kahn and Jim Yardley of The New York Times

Feature Writing
Jim Sheeler of Rocky Mountain News, Denver

Nicholas D. Read more


Thursday, Apr. 16, 2015


The Tampa Bay Times should have alerted authorities earlier

A police device rolls toward a copter device, right, that landed on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

A police device rolls toward a copter device, right, that landed on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

The Tampa Bay Times was wrong.

That is my reluctant conclusion after reading the story “Ruskin flier eludes Capitol air security.”  The story, well known by now, concerns Doug Hughes, an eccentric postal worker who committed an act of civil disobedience by flying a “gyrocopter” onto the West Lawn of the nation’s Capitol.

As I studied the coverage last night and today, I imagined a different headline:  “Times coverage shows unsteady man committing dangerous act.”

Ben Montgomery, a reporter I admire, wrote the story.  I saw him on the Today Show arguing in a brief sound bite that it was not his job to blow the whistle on a stunt like this one, in which Hughes planned to deliver letters to each member of Congress complaining about the evil influence of money on American politics. Read more


Predicting the Pulitzers: Will a magazine win?

Related: 8 lesser known stories the Pulitzer committee should know about

On Monday at 3 p.m., the Pulitzers reveal what reporting, commentary and photography is the best of the best. For journalists involved with award-worthy work last year, the Pulitzer Prizes may feel like the end of a high-profile gantlet. A half-dozen lesser contests—all younger than the Pulitzers, which celebrate their centennial in 2016—have announced their winners.

In reality, though, the path to the Pulitzers isn’t a gantlet at all.

The two-step Pulitzer selection process this year began with jurors meeting in mid-February to select the three top entries for each of the 14 categories in this granddaddy of contests. Submissions come from the nation’s newspapers and online news sites—with the door open a crack for magazines in 2015. Read more

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What it was like to cover baseball and Billy Martin in the ’80s

Cover of Bill Pennington's book.

Cover of Bill Pennington’s book.

Bill Pennington wasn’t immune. Like everyone else, he had a memorable encounter with Billy Martin.

Pennington covered Martin and the Yankees for the Bergen Record during their wild ride. He actually had a good relationship with the manager when he assumed the beat in 1985.

“He often was nice to newcomers,” Pennington said. “He felt like he had a clean slate.”

However, it almost changed one night in 1986. Martin, stewing in off-mode in George Steinbrenner’s ridiculous on-and-off managerial circus, was working as a studio analyst for Yankees TV games. Somehow, he thought Pennington wrote the telecasts would be better without him.

It wasn’t true, but that didn’t stop Martin from confronting Pennington at a hotel bar during a Yankees road trip. Read more