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Benét Wilson named editor-in-chief of AllDigitocracy

AllDigitocracy

Benét J. Wilson will be editor-in-chief of All Digitocracy, a site that explores how changes in media affect communities of color.

Wilson, formerly an editor at Aviation Week, will take over editorial responsibilities from founder Tracie Powell, who will focus on the site’s business strategy. Denise Clay, an editor at the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, joins the site as an assistant editor.

Both Wilson and Clay begin next month. Read more

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How a university is using Yik Yak for news

Mediashift

Screen shot, yikyakapp.com

Screen shot, yikyakapp.com

On Tuesday, Meagan Doll reported for Mediashift how the anonymous, location-based messaging app Yik Yak and the University of Florida’s Innovation News Center are collaborating. Doll spoke with INC’s director, Matt Sheehan, about why the university is experimenting with Yik Yak.

Our College’s mission is to not only provide training in the existing forms of good journalism, public relations, advertising and telecommunications, but also to explore the intersections of where all of those disciplines meet, as well as experiment with emerging platforms. Our INC’s mission is not only to serve our community and our students in the educational sense, but also to serve our industries in being a guinea pig or test case for what’s coming next. And with Yik Yak’s emergence on college campuses, we are in a unique position in that we have thousands of young people in our audience.

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Facing retrial, Al Jazeera journalist blames employer for hardship

The New York Times

Mohamed Fahmy, an Al Jazeera English journalist being retried in Egypt for propagating misleading information, wrote Tuesday in a New York Times op-ed that he blames his employer for deliberately stirring up animus that led to his imprisonment:

The network knowingly antagonized the Egyptian authorities by defying a court-ordered ban on its Arabic-language service. Behind that, I believe, was the desire of the Qatari royal family to meddle in Egypt’s internal affairs. While Al Jazeera’s Doha executives used the Cairo bureau of Al Jazeera English to give their scheme a veneer of international respectability, they made us unwitting pawns in Qatar’s geopolitical game.

Fahmy filed a $100 million lawsuit against Al Jazeera English in May, accusing the network of negligence.

In his op-ed, Fahmy says the Doha-based broadcaster hurt his case — and the cases of two fellow journalists — by suing Egypt for $150 million. Read more

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Baseball cap nearby, Jason Rezaian’s brother pleads for his release

Ali Rezaian, brother of journalist Jason Rezaian, speaks by a picture of his brother, who is being held in Iran, and their mother, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Ali Rezaian, brother of journalist Jason Rezaian, speaks by a picture of his brother, who is being held in Iran, and their mother, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The brother of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian sat before a congressional committee Tuesday with an Oakland A’s cap inches away and implored Iran to free Jason.

“It is time for Jason to come home,” see his family and watch his favorite team, Ali Rezaian told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The cap was a small but vivid symbol of family yearning, frustration and even outright fear over the arrest and trial on seemingly bogus espionage charges of Jason Rezaian, whose closed trial is currently suspended due to religious holidays in Iran. Read more

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Laurie Hays joins communications firm

Laurie Hays, formerly senior executive editor at Bloomberg News, has joined the Brunswick Group, a business communications firm, according to a release from the company.

Earlier this year, Poynter reported that Hays was leaving Bloomberg after being passed over for that news organization’s top job. That role went to John Micklethwait, formerly Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, who succeeded founding Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler.

According to the release, Hays will be a partner at the Brunswick Group, where she will focus on “deepening the firm’s relationships with C-suite executives.”

Hays joined Bloomberg in 2000, according to the release. Before that, she worked at The Wall Street Journal, where she held a variety of editorial roles. Read more

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People cast shadows on a rainbow flag during a Gay Pride Parade in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, May 23, 2015. (Andreea Alexandru/Mediafax via AP)

Covering a parade is not covering a community: 5 things to keep in mind this Pride Month

People cast shadows on a rainbow flag during a Gay Pride Parade in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, May 23, 2015. (Andreea Alexandru/Mediafax via AP)

People cast shadows on a rainbow flag during a Gay Pride Parade in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, May 23, 2015. (Andreea Alexandru/Mediafax via AP)

June is Pride Month, observed this month because the Stonewall riots occurred in June 1969. Stonewall is commonly thought of as the birth of the public, modern LGBT rights movement.

Here are five things to keep in mind and several examples to inspire you as you cover LGBT stories this Pride month.

1. There is no one gay narrative or trans narrative.

Empowering LGBT people to tell their own stories can provide a greater diversity of voices and show a range of experiences, as Katy Bergen did for the Sarasota Herald Tribune’s TransSarasota and The New York Times is doing on an ongoing basis in its series Transgender Today. Read more

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Madhulika Sikka named executive editor at Mic

The New York Times

Madhulika Sikka, executive editor of NPR News, is leaving the public radio network to join Mic, Sydney Ember writes for The New York Times.

Sikka, who became NPR’s executive editor in 2013, will be executive editor of Mic, where she will oversee the digital news outlet’s newsroom, according to The New York Times:

At Mic, Ms. Sikka said she would work to build a more sustained audience with content tailored to 18- to 35-year-olds. In particular, she said she would focus on introducing more videos. She also wants to expand the newsroom to more than 100 employees from 45.

According to her bio at NPR, Sikka has been with the network since 2006, when she joined as a supervising producer for “Morning Edition.” She climbed the ranks of that program before ascending to the executive editor post. Read more

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Elite Truong, Shadi Rahimi and Mario Garcia (Screen shot from Twitter and submitted photos)

Meet our new columnists: Elite Truong, Shadi Rahimi and Mario Garcia

Elite Truong, Shadi Rahimi and Mario Garcia (Screen shot from Twitter and submitted photos)

Elite Truong, Shadi Rahimi and Mario Garcia (Screen shot from Twitter and submitted photos)

Starting tomorrow, you’ll see some new faces around here. We’ll be featuring monthly columns from a group of smart journalists who will write about innovation in its many different forms. Our weekly columnists Melody Kramer and Ed Sherman will continue each Tuesday and Thursday, writing about innovation and sports, respectively.

Elite Truong, on the Vox Product team at Vox Media, kicks things off tomorrow. Truong will write about bridging developers and journalists and what’s working for Vox and other places.

Shadi Rahimi, a deputy producer for AJ+, will be writing about social media each month. She gave us a cool preview last month with this piece on how AJ+ reported from Baltimore using just mobile phones. Read more

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NYT has implemented every suggestion in the innovation report, chairman says

The recommendations listed in last year’s New York Times innovation report — an extensive look at the outlet’s digital successes and shortcomings — have all been implemented, company chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. announced Tuesday.

The news came during during a morning session of the World News Media Congress held at The Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., where media leaders from around the world convened to discuss the frontiers, practices and trends in media.

According to tweets from those attending the session, Sulzberger made several updates about the state of The New York Times. Among them:

  • Sulzberger says the recommendations made in the innovation report were “modest” and “all have been implemented in less than a year,” according to media blogger and CUNY professor Jeff Jarvis.
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More on those big changes at Medium

Business Insider | BuzzFeed News

The changes happening at Medium are starting to become a bit clearer. On Monday, Cale Guthrie Weissman wrote for Business Insider about what’s happening. Weissman reports that changes include staff cuts and the end of some of Medium’s sites, according to anonymous sources.

Medium insiders have been largely silent about the changes because all editorial employees are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement forbidding them from talking about internal changes when they join the company.

When asked about the changes, Edward Lichty Medium’s Head of Corporate Development and Strategy wrote to Business Insider: “All of our content team, including people working on Matter and other publications, will be part of the effort to help drive conversation on Medium. We don’t know exactly what this will end up looking like, but certainly you’ll see a broader variety of activity … Our content team will continue to do great work like they always have, including in our publications.”

On May 21, BuzzFeed News’ Charlie Warzel wrote about a preview of the recent changes in a post from Medium CEO Ev Williams. Read more

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How to kill an awful staple of Washington reporting — ‘the backgrounder’

Good morning.

  1. How to kill an awful staple of Washington reporting

    The National Journal’s Ron Fournier tackles a core daily practice of even great reporters that results in rhetorical self-imprisonment. It’s a journalistic Ebola virus called “the backgrounder.” Too many who should know better, including the White House press corps, let government officials and flacks determine rules of coverage because they’re scared to say no. (National Journal)

  2. Tapper’s queries stronger than new CNN mate’s answers

    The government-to-media revolving door is not slowed by George Stephanopoulos coming clean about contributions to the Clinton Foundation. CNN hired Dan Pfeiffer, a top Obama communications meister, as a contributor Monday. (Poynter) His opening day showed predictable room for punditry improvement as he was soft as cotton on Hillary Clinton when Jake Tapper asked about her stonewalling the media.

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Career Beat: Bob Schieffer named fellow at Shorenstein Center

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

  • Bob Schieffer will be the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow. He hosted CBS’ “Face the Nation.” (CNN)
  • David Freedlander is no longer senior political correspondent with The Daily Beast. He will be a contributing writer there. (@freedlander)
  • Lee Glendinning is now editor of Guardian US. Previously, she was deputy editor there. (Poynter)

Job of the day: The Wyoming Tribune Eagle is looking for an entertainment and features writer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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

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Monday, June 01, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 3.34.23 PM

Why Quartz is taking its time figuring out video

When Quartz launched, from the start there was an assumption it would do video, said Quartz Editor-in-Chief and President Kevin Delaney. But first, staff wanted to figure out what Quartz was before tackling something so resource-intensive.

“So two and a half years into the life of Quartz, we felt we had the confidence that we were ready to tackle video,” he said.

And the way they’re tackling it probably isn’t what you’ve seen so far. People make a lot of assumptions about what online video is, Delaney said, including that preroll advertising is the only way to monetize those videos. But he’s not so sure, so Quartz has created some space to experiment and rethink how video could work.

Last Thursday, Delaney wrote about how the site will approach the medium. Read more

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Caitlyn Jenner gets Vanity Fair cover, ESPN award

BlackSportsOnline

Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic decathlon champion previously known as Bruce Jenner, will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPN’s annual awards show, it was reported Monday.

Jenner, who was recently revealed to be the subject of the photoshoot for Vanity Fair’s July edition, will be lauded for making her much-chronicled transition. The annual ESPN event will be held July 15 in Los Angeles.

Last year’s award went to Michael Sam, a University of Missouri football player who became the first openly gay player picked in the National Football League draft. It’s named after the late pioneering black tennis star who died in 1993 after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion. Before his death, he campaigned to increase awareness of the disease.

Jenner originally disclosed her transition in a prime-time April interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Read more

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The New York Times now has ads from the ’20s on ‘Madison’

Screen shot, Madison

Screen shot, Madison

On Monday, The New York Times R&D Lab added a new decade to its online crowdsourcing ad archives project — the 1920s.

There’s also now a gallery to see the advertisements that have already been ID’d, tagged and/or transcribed in “Madison,” Abbe Serphos, executive director of corporate communications at The New York Times, said via email. “You can also now download data in JSON format that will contain all metadata collected so far.”

Here’s how the Times R&D Lab explains what it’s building with “Madison”, which launched last October with ads from the ’60s:

The New York Times’s century-and-a-half news archive is a rich and under-utilized resource, not only for news events but also as a reflection of cultural history. While news events and reporting give us a glimpse of one aspect of our past, the advertisements that ran alongside those news articles allow us a very different view.

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