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"Only Clinton Emails," a new Twitter account from BuzzFeed Politics, curates and highlights the most interesting excerpts from the Hillary Clinton email dump. (Screenshot)

With ‘Only Clinton Emails,’ BuzzFeed brings a distributed approach to politics coverage

"Only Clinton Emails," a new Twitter account from BuzzFeed Politics, curates and highlights the most interesting excerpts from the Hillary Clinton email dump. (Screenshot)

“Only Clinton Emails,” a new Twitter account from BuzzFeed Politics, curates and highlights the most interesting excerpts from the Hillary Clinton email dumps. (Screenshot)

When a judge ordered the State Department to release a trove of emails from Hillary Clinton in dribs and drabs earlier this year, he fated U.S. news outlets for months of repetitive coverage.

By now, a clear pattern for the Clinton email story has been established: Every time a new batch of emails is released, reporters dutifully troll through the correspondences and file story after story summarizing their contents. The resulting articles have been a diverse mix of fluffy news, serious analysis and somewhat haphazard roundups (a recent article touched on the subjects of gefilte fish and the former Secretary of State’s TV preferences). Read more


Texas station airs unedited video showing man killed by police


KSAT in San Antonio, Texas published a video showing a man’s shooting death during an arrest, Brian Stelter reported Tuesday for CNN.

The video shows Gilbert Flores being shot and killed by police officers who responded to a domestic disturbance call coming from his home last Friday.

According to the authorities, Flores resisted arrest and nonlethal techniques were used before guns were drawn.

KSAT, a CNN affiliate, said it received the video from a witness, Michael Thomas, who recorded it from a distance. The station’s managers initially decided not to show the moment of the shooting.

From KSAT on Monday afternoon:


On Friday, KSAT 12 News obtained video showing the shooting of Flores by the deputies during a domestic violence call.

Read more
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‘Brilliant jerks’ no longer welcome as Kansas college daily heralds ‘kick-ass’ first week


Katie Kutsko doesn’t suffer from low ambitions, undue modesty or lack of clarity as editor in chief of the University Daily Kansan at the University of Kansas.

Exhibiting the exuberance of youth and the tactics of a wizened field general, last spring she detailed a lengthy manifesto for change. She’d turn the paper from a four-days-a-week print product into a twice-a-week print paper that focused its efforts online. As College Media Matters chronicled the vision, she was declaring the need for:

“Morning newsroom meetings. Daytime reporting and editing shifts. Editor-reporter collaboration throughout the story development process instead of simply at the draft-revision stage. An email newsletter. A brand manager position. A strengthened Kansan alumni community. A pushback against topdown decision-making and ‘brilliant jerks’ on staff who exude entitlement more than excitement. Read more

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Front page of the day: Have we reached peak Denali/McKinley?

I apologize for that headline.

Tuesday’s front page of the day comes from The Cincinnati Enquirer, which led with news that the president was renaming Alaska’s Mount McKinley to Denali. From President William McKinley’s home state:


On Monday, Jennifer Steinhauer wrote about some to reactions to the news for The New York Times:

To be clear, President William McKinley has one of the largest grave sites of any former American president, so perhaps a mountaintop was a bit superfluous.

But this has not stopped the political outrage — manufactured, deeply felt and otherwise convenient — flowing from the state of Ohio, birthplace of the 25th president, on the heels of President Obama’s announcement on Sunday that he was changing, or in the view of many Alaskans restoring, the name of Mount McKinley to Denali.

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Photo by Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Why The New York Times is traveling with migrants and refugees through Europe

Migrants get on the train that will take them straight to #serbia border. #refugees #Europe #migrants #onassignment @nytimes

A photo posted by Sergey Ponomarev (@sergeyponomarev) on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:41am PDT

Along with a group of migrants and refugees, Anemona Hartocollis is now making a journey through Europe. It started a week ago. It feels like longer.

“Every day seems like a new discovery,” said Hartocollis, who was in Hungary when we spoke on Monday. “And it makes it much more exciting and much more difficult, because you have to find your way just as they’re finding their way.”

She’s following them, she said, and they’re all following each other.

Her serial about the journey, “Traveling in Europe’s River of Migrants,” started running as part of The New York Times’ Reporter’s Notebook feature on Aug. Read more

Tim Cook

Apple watch: time for dramatic move into programming?

Good morning.

  1. Tech goliath may go Hollywood

    Drum roll, please. "The moment the media and technology industries have been expecting for years may finally be arriving: Apple is exploring getting into the original programming business." Variety broke word that Apple's had "preliminary conversations in recent weeks" about producing entertainment content. Imagine if it really set its mind, and treasury, to go after Netflix, Amazon and others. It's dipped its tootsies into content via Apple Music. And, oh, it's got about $200 billion in cash on its balance sheet. That's billion. Or a lot more than beer and tipping money even in Beverly Hills. (Variety)

  2. Bloomberg layoffs coming

    The New York Post was right earlier in the month when reporting that the financial news giant would make big cuts, including in its huge, talented and at times rudderless Washington bureau.

Read more

Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

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Financial maneuvers bring McClatchy share price back up

McClatchy_logo-160x94Typically, having a stock trading at $1.26 a share is not cause for celebration. But when McClatchy stock closed at that level today, it represented a gain of 23.5 percent in the last three trading days.

McClatchy was threatened two weeks ago with delisting on the New York Stock Exchange.  The company responded with two moves that appear to have boosted investor confidence:

  • It authorized a repurchase of up to $15 million of its regularly traded shares (there is a second class of stock controlled by family members that is not affected.)
  • It paid down debt by $22.9 million, further chipping away at the large interest expense that has dragged down earnings for years.

Buying back shares is a slightly arcane practice, essentially a bet by the company that its stock is undervalued.  Read more

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions from reporters at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Behind a winning Trump tactic: feuding with the press

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions from reporters at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions from reporters at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mischiefs of Faction

The resilience of Donald Trump includes his clearly relishing feuding with the press.

What’s up with that?

Richard Skinner, a George Mason University political scientist, contends that it’s part and parcel of a symbiotic relationship, including a somewhat complicated one with the “Conservative-Entertainment Complex.”

Skinner and Seth Masket, a University of Denver political scientist, oversee a site called “Mischiefs of Faction,” and Skinner’s latest blog entry in part tries to make sense of one element of Trump’s surprisingly early durability.

While Trump loves to feud with the mass media, his rise in polls matches up nicely with his disproportionate share of press coverage.

Read more

Ten years ago today, NPR podcasts made their debut, with a directory of 170+ programs created by NPR and public radio stations. At the time, we didn’t know whether podcasts would crash and burn next to minidisks, but the format was a beautiful match for the audio programming our journalists had been shaping for decades, and it had potential. Potential to let us think about programming in new ways, to stick with our audiences as their lives became more on-demand and to take that step forward with our existing network in public radio.



Salon apologizes for calling Nicki Minaj’s speech ‘savage’

Salon on Monday apologized for an errant tweet (since deleted) that called Nicki Minaj’s acceptance speech at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards a “savage, expletive-laden rant,” responding to criticism from readers who said the tweet was racist.

The bulletin, sent this morning from Salon’s main Twitter account, promoted a story summarizing a heated moment at last night’s VMA awards, when Minaj called host Miley Cyrus a bitch for remarks she made in the press. “The look on Miley’s face during Nicki Minaj’s savage, expletive-laden rant says it all,” the tweet read:

Salon quickly reversed itself, deleting the original tweet and posting a revised version that called Minaj’s rebuttal “raw” and “righteous.”

But it was too late. Read more

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VICE journalists charged with terrorism in Turkey

Journalists for VICE News were formally charged with “working on behalf of a terrorist organization” by a Turkish court Monday, days after they were arrested by authorities for lack of proper accreditation.

The VICE crew was reporting in the city of Diyarbakir in the country’s predominantly Kurdish region when they were arrested last week for lack of proper government identification, “security sources” told Reuters Friday.

Kevin Sutcliffe, VICE’s head of news programming for Europe, called the terrorism charges “baseless and alarmingly false” in a statement, saying the arrests represented an attempt to “intimidate and censor” the journalists.

“VICE News condemns in the strongest possible terms the Turkish government’s attempts to silence our reporters who have been providing vital coverage from the region,” Sutcliffe said in the statement. Read more


Sign of print times: California daily moves to twice a week

Central Valley Business Times

The Madera Tribune, the only daily newspaper in the California county adjacent to booming Fresno, will no longer be a daily as of Wednesday.

The decision seems part and parcel of melancholy times for local mainstream media: it will move to a twice-weekly schedule, publishing each Wednesday and Sunday instead of five days a week.

“That change is due to tough economic circumstances, which nearly all newspapers seem to face these days,” Charles Doud, the editor and principal owner, told readers last week.

“Other small dailies in the San Joaquin Valley have cut back on publication frequency — some to become weekly, and some to become twice weekly. Examples of these are the Turlock Journal, the Hollister Freelance and the Gilroy Dispatch.”

He was also rather candid about one source of his changing circumstances:

“In the long run, California’s English language newspapers are going to continue to have a hard time because so much of the population is not conversant or literate in English.”

According to Doug Caldwell, the editor-publisher of the Central Valley Business Times, the paper sits in “both a bedroom community to Fresno and a pass-through for those heading to Yosemite [National Park].”

Madera County, for example, has the only children’s hospital between Los Angeles and the Bay Area/Sacramento, he noted by email. Read more

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The legacy of puzzle master Merl Reagle and the gamification of news

Merl Reagle, a crossword-crafting master, died Aug.  22.  (Credit: Tampa Bay Times)

Merl Reagle, a crossword-crafting master, died Aug. 22. (Credit: Tampa Bay Times)

Merl Reagle had the soul of a copy editor and the style of a stand-up comedian. During his too-short life he was both of those and much more: musician, songwriter, author, and one of the world’s great puzzle masters. If you love crosswords – not cross words – send up a prayer of thanks to Merl.

My friend Merl died suddenly last week at the age of 65. Reports said the cause was an attack of acute pancreatitis. I am not writing this to note his passing but to celebrate a remarkable life spent swimming in the English language. “You need two things to do what I do,” he once told me. “You have to be passionate about words, and you have to be curious about trivial stuff on lots of different topics.”

Merl created his first puzzle at the age of 6. Read more


BBC host after on-air interruption: ‘It was a blue whale! Live!’


On Sunday, the BBC’s Steve Backshall reported live from Monterey, California, for the show “Big Blue Live,” when he got word that a blue whale had been spotted. Mashable’s Blathnaid Healy wrote about the broadcast on Monday, noting it was the first time a blue whale had been broadcast on live TV.

“This is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen,” Backshall said.

Read more

New press freedoms for students in North Dakota (yes, North Dakota)

The Associated Press

Did you figure on North Dakota as a free speech bastion?

It appears that journalism students working at state public high school and college papers will do so with a lot more confidence in their own legal protections, according to The Associated Press:

The measure that took effect this month guarantees student journalists the right to exercise free speech in school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the school supports the media financially or students participate as part of a class. The law puts North Dakota among a few states that have enacted legislation meant to counteract a 1980s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said limits can be set on the free-press rights of high school students.

That 1986 ruling offered a seemingly expansive view of a school’s authority when it came to discipline. Read more