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W.C. Heinz writing lasts the test of time

** FILE ** W.C. "Bill" Heinz shows his 1932 Remington typewriter at his home in Bennington, Vt., in this Nov. 7, 2002 file photo. Heinz, an author, sportswriter and war correspondent, used the typewriter in World War II to write about the allied invasion of France. Heinz, a former New York Sun sportswriter and author who witnessed the Normandy invasion on D-Day, covered some of the greatest sports moments of the 1940s and helped write the book MASH,  has died. Heinz died early Wednesday in Bennington, Vt., according to his daughter. He was 93. (AP Photo/Tim Roske, file)

W.C. “Bill” Heinz shows his 1932 Remington typewriter at his home in Bennington, Vt., in this Nov. 7, 2002 file photo. Heinz, an author, sportswriter and war correspondent, used the typewriter in World War II to write about the allied invasion of France. (AP Photo/Tim Roske, file)

The passage of time doesn’t do justice to the greats of sports journalism. Their vast works tend to get forgotten in the new media world, where today and tomorrow seem paramount. Who needs yesterday?

So many thanks to The Library of America and Bill Littlefield for reviving the brilliance of W.C. Heinz in a new book, “The Top of His Game.” Littlefield, the host of NPR’s “Only A Game,” selected the best  columns and stories from one of the best sportswriters of all time. Read more

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Journalists might finally get paid for all those long days

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. But your late-night tweets might not countPresident Barack Obama’s proposal to grant overtime pay to millions of Americans should affect “the many reporters, editors and producers who routinely work long and unpredictable hours for relatively modest pay,” Michael Calderone and Dave Jamieson write for The Huffington Post. But in the case of journalism, the definition of work remains fuzzy. “Tweeting news from one’s couch at 10 p.m. may suggest one is on the clock, but what if one is simultaneously tweeting about a basketball game or awards show? The line between reporting and socializing, on social media and otherwise, easily blurs.” (The Huffington Post) | Related: How poorly are journalists paid? Depends on where you live.
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Career Beat: Clay Fisher named SVP at The New York Times

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

  • Clay Fisher has been named senior vice president of consumer marketing at The New York Times. Previously, he led the digital marketing and media group at DIRECTV. (The New York Times Company)
  • Paul Lewis has been named West Coast bureau chief for Guardian U.S. He is The Guardian’s Washington Correspondent. (‏@PaulLewis)
  • Brendan James will be a media reporter at The International Business Times. He is a newswriter at TPM. (@deep_beige)

Job of the day: The Intercept is looking for a political corruption blogger. Get your résumés in! (The Intercept)

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

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The New York Times told people to add peas to guac. People said nope.

On Wednesday, a New York Times food story suggested readers add peas to their guacamole. Here’s the tweet:

But readers refused. Here are some of their tweets:

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5 times journalists should have been listening to BuzzFeed’s podcast ‘Another Round’

Screen shot, Another Round

Screen shot, Another Round


If you’ve listened in to BuzzFeed’s “Another Round With Heben and Tracy,” you might look forward to Tracy Clayton’s super-bad jokes or Heben Nigatu’s live-list reading or that moment near the end of the show when they both sound pretty drunk. For me, one frequent highlight comes when they talk about the media.

Clayton and Nigatu are writers at BuzzFeed and co-hosts of the podcast. Here’s how they described the podcast as it launched:

Another Round is basically happy hour with friends you haven’t met yet. Grab a drink and yell along with your preferred electronic device as we talk about everything from pop culture to squirrels to racism to sexism to male strippers to literally everything.

If you’re a journalist, some of the talk at happy hour includes finding out what’s behind a piece, how a headline was chosen and what it’s really like to cover a story. Read more

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Press can’t see Hulk Hogan sex tape at trial, judge orders

Hulk Hogan is used to performing for a crowd. In his decades-long career as a professional wrestler, his matches drew thousands of spectators. But thanks to a ruling from a Florida judge, the raciest part of his latest contest will receive less public scrutiny.

Circuit Judge Pamela Campbell decided today that reporters and members of the public will not be allowed to view a sex video at the center of a multi-million dollar invasion-of-privacy lawsuit between Hogan and Gawker Media.

The courtroom will not be closed while the evidence is shown, Campbell ruled. Instead, monitors showing the tape will be pointed away from the gallery where the press sits, restricting the tape’s viewability.

The ruling came after a legal back-and-forth between lawyers for Hogan — real name Terry Bollea — and Gawker Media, which alternatively presented cases for Hogan’s right to privacy and the public’s right to an open court. Read more

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This Wichita reporter is covering a massive bee situation

On Wednesday morning, a truck carrying a reported 100,000 bees somehow let those bees loose in a Wichita, Kansas parking lot. KWCH’s Emily Griffin reported live from the scene.

“I’m not even gonna lie, I’m a little too scared to get out of the car right now,” Griffin said on camera. In a video with the story, you can see gray puddles of bees on the ground and a few of those bees flying by.

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Screen shot

“We did see a man in a bee suit a little bit down the road, maybe about a block away. It looked like he was talking with a police officer,” Griffin said.

She’s also live-tweeting.

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Memos reveal ideological divide at Bloomberg

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. The old guard clashes with the new

    Memos from Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait sent to staffers in recent months suggest "a philosophical shift" underway at the New York-based news organization, according to a 2,653-word takeout published by Columbia Journalism Review Tuesday. "To numerous employees CJR interviewed, they read as a coded rebuttal to time-intensive enterprise reporting, and raise a red-flag about the new regime’s commitment to the work they most prized." In the memos, Micklethwait outlines an editorial vision that eschews "self-indulgent" longreads and emphasizes covering big breaking stories. In one memo, Micklethwait urges caution over "'gotcha' journalism," warning reporters that a disrespected PR representative might be unlikely to provide Bloomberg with scoops in the future. (Columbia Journalism Review) | A recent profile in Politico Magazine shed light on the cultural gulf between the older and newer elements of Bloomberg's news operation.

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Questions every writer should ask developers

Photo by corinnepw/Flickr

Photo by corinnepw/Flickr

More than ever before, reporters are learning hybrid skills by using open-source storytelling tools, building data visualizations such as charts and maps, and using HTML and CSS skills to improve Web stories. Editorial teams are working hand-in-hand with developers and their work every day, from using Tweet embeds to fusion tables, and sometimes, within our companies.

To start working with developers, it’s helpful to understand what kinds of work they do. On any team, there can be vague roles that have intersectional duties. This is also true for developers at media companies, whose responsibilities can range from keeping the site running and preparing a plan for DDoS attacks to working with designers on new editorial tools to developing user experience interactions in native ads. Read more

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Career Beat: Kaelyn Forde named executive editor for news at Refinery29

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

  • Carol Eisenberg will be a deputy editor at Politico Pro. She is a senior editor at Kaiser Health News. (Playbook)
  • Ali Salama is now publisher at Bloomberg Pursuits. Previously, she was group advertising director there. (Talking Biz News)
  • Renee Dudley will be an investigative reporter at Reuters. She was a reporter at Bloomberg. (Talking Biz News)
  • John Russell will cover health care at the Chicago Tribune. Previously, he was a reporter for the Indianapolis Star. (Talking Biz News)
  • Kaelyn Forde is now executive editor for news at Refinery29. Previously, she was a reporter and producer for Al Jazeera Media Network. (Email)

Job of the day: Business Insider is looking for a science editor. Read more

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ISIS-sex-toy-flag creator slams CNN

The Guardian

On Saturday, CNN reported on “an ISIS flag among a sea of rainbow colors,” at London’s Pride parade. It wasn’t an ISIS flag, though, but one made with images of sex toys.

Paul Coombs, creator of that flag, wrote a piece Tuesday for The Guardian about why he created it.

It has become a potent symbol of brutality, fear and sexual oppression. If I wanted to try and stimulate a dialogue about the ridiculousness of this ideology, the flag was key.

Coombs wrote he was approached by police officers, who thought the flag was funny but could put him in danger if people didn’t look closely. So Coombs put it away.

Several hours passed before I noticed spreading news that CNN reported on the flag as though it was an actual Isis banner, not a piece of cloth covered in sex toys.

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If families want to pay terrorist ransoms, White House shouldn’t stand in way, says New Yorker writer

President Barack Obama speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Wednesday about the completion of the Hostage Policy Review The president is clearing the way for families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom to terror groups without fear of prosecution, as the White House seeks to address criticism from those whose loved ones have been killed in captivity. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Barack Obama speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Wednesday about the completion of the Hostage Policy Review The president is clearing the way for families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom to terror groups without fear of prosecution, as the White House seeks to address criticism from those whose loved ones have been killed in captivity. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The United States government should not block families willing to pay ransoms to terrorists who hold a family member hostage, says a prominent journalist who has chronicled the plight of five such families.

“I had very ambivalent feelings about governments paying and I still do,” said Lawrence Wright, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and staff writer for the New Yorker. “But I believe the government should not get in the way of families trying to save their children.”

Wright is steeped in to the topic after reporting and writing “Five Hostages,” a 25,000-word New Yorker piece that was released online last week and surfaced Monday in the latest print edition of the magazine, which is dated July 6 and 13. Read more

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Philly contract deal: company hikes health payments, gets concessions on layoffs and raises

A tentative contract for Philadelphia’s major newspapers includes greater healthcare contributions by management but concessions on whether it must heed traditional seniority rules when it comes to layoffs.

The deal does not include any raise in basic wages. It was bargained shortly before a Saturday deadline. Details were discussed in several sessions with Newspaper Guild members on Monday.

In all, about 500 Guild members are covered by two separate contracts: one covering workers at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, while the other covers about 50 people at Philly.com

The two most heated issues were health care contributions and use of seniority in layoffs.

With layoffs, management will be able to exempt certain individuals “deemed to be essential to the company’s operations” from seniority-driven layoffs. Read more

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Gannett changes logo, says it’s a ‘next-generation media company’

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 1.42.26 PM
Fresh from a spinoff that saw its print and and broadcast assets separated into two different companies, Gannett’s newspaper enterprise is touting itself as an innovator.

Evidence of the rebrand can be found on Gannett’s Twitter page, which recently swapped its old avatar — a sans-serif block “G” against a blue background — for a brighter avatar with a dog-eared corner that suggest a print newspaper or digital design file.

Also new is a revised Twitter bio, which attempts to position Gannett as a “next-generation media company.” The company is using a hashtag, #NewGannett, to organize a series of Tweets relating to an initiative around the relaunch. Here’s a sampling of the posts, which have the flavor of a startup:

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Media outlets counter Hulk Hogan’s motion to block press from viewing sex tape

Hulk Hogan isn’t the only one who can call in a tag team.

Several media organizations on Tuesday moved to oppose a motion by the former professional wrestling star — real name Terry Bollea — to prevent news organizations from viewing at trial a sex tape that spurred a multi-million dollar invasion-of-privacy lawsuit.

The organizations, which include First Look Media, BuzzFeed, CNN, The Associated Press and Vox Media, claim that Hogan’s motion infringes on the freedom of the press. From the motion:

The overarching principles at stake — that the public is entitled to know what takes place in the courts of the state of Florida, and the First Amendment right of Intervenors to report what happens in the courtroom to its readers — transcend this case alone.

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