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Today’s front page of the day: ‘Justicia’

Tuesday’s front page of the day comes from Chicago’s Hoy, which led with calls for a transparent investigation into the death of Mexican photojournalist Rubén Espinosa. Espinosa was found murdered along with four other people.


The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that Espinosa was found murdered in Mexico City on Friday after leaving Veracruz.

Veracruz is one of the most dangerous states for the press in Mexico, according to CPJ research. Four journalists have been killed in Veracruz in direct relation to their work since 2011, according to CPJ research. Seven other journalists were killed in unclear circumstances and at least three journalists have disappeared in the state in the same time period.

For the Christian Science Monitor, Whitney Eulich wrote about Espinosa’s murder and the dangers facing Mexican journalists. Read more


Former Guardian head of news joins BuzzFeed

Press Gazette

Make that two Guardian staffers who have followed former Editor-in-Chief Janine Gibson out the door.

Stuart Miller, who was previously head of news at The Guardian, is joining BuzzFeed to lead its UK news operation, British media outlet Press Gazette reported Tuesday.

In a comment to Press Gazette, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith hailed Miller as “one of the world’s great news editors” and noted that BuzzFeed was planning to further expand its presence in the UK.

Stuart is one of the world’s great news editors. Janine, Luke [Lewis, executive editor of Buzzfeed UK] and I are thrilled to have him head up our news operation in Britain as we continue to build out our editorial team.

The departure of some top talent from The Guardian comes after months of intrigue surrounding the replacement of former Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger. Read more

From Mashable's 'Raqqa: An Inside Story.'

How Mashable took user-generated content to create an animated story about Syria

From Mashable's 'Raqqa: An Inside Story.'

From Mashable’s ‘Raqqa: An Inside Story.’

When Louise Roug first saw the storyboards for Mashable’s animation on a city in Syria, they were just rough outlines. Then the animators started filling in the color.

“That’s when I completely recognized parts of Syria that I’ve been to,” said Roug, Mashable’s global news editor.

On Tuesday, Mashable published “Raqqa: An Inside Story.” The project includes a longform piece and an animation (with an Arabic translation) that were created with verified user-generated content. Both tell the story of one young Syrian man and how his life and the life of Raqqa changed as ISIS took over.

Roug, who worked as a war correspondent and lived in Baghdad from 2004 to 2007, also reported from Syria. She knows how difficult and dangerous the country has become for journalists. Read more

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Eat cereal, and other tips on creativity from Snapchat superstar Shonduras

Snapchat celebrity Shonduras

Snapchat celebrity Shonduras says anyone in a creative industry should involve the audience as often as possible. (Screen shot)

When it comes to social media platforms, Snapchat users might be stuck with the most limitations. Most famous for its (supposedly) self-destructing messages, Snapchat limits videos to 10 seconds, text to 31 characters and offers only rudimentary tools for users to draw images.

But Snapchat celebrity Shaun McBride, known as Shonduras to his followers, says Snapchat’s limitations foster creativity rather than restrict it.

Hundreds of thousands of Snapchat users have tuned in to watch McBride, a 28-year-old Utah native, gorge on massive bowls of cereal, pretend each of his many airline flights is his first or perform skateboarding tricks with his luggage.

McBride’s creativity and cheerfulness have built a massive and devoted fanbase and sizable earnings through branded stories. Read more


The New York Times’ grandpa jeans problem

Good morning.

  1. Marketing veep tweets (what else?) his take

    Max Pfennighaus, the executive creative director of brand and marketing for The New York Times, was atwitter tweeting Monday. He wrote of the challenge of going digital when you've been around a long time and fetching a new audience while keeping the old. And, being a marketing guy, he cited "our core brand challenge," which elicited his mention of grandpas and strip clubs. OK, he actually said nightclubs (he does work for The Times). Relevance, he said, is his problem, not awareness. Still, we do hope, as Max does, that the paper keeps getting down and nerdy with apps, even if it must dispense with grandpa jeans in challenging the core conundrum. (NiemanLab)

  2. Like a Ronda Rousey mismatch, Stewart takes down Kurtz

    The shift of former CNN-Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz to Fox News has brought some seeming re-tailoring of his world view, which at times appears to seamlessly fit (perhaps coincidentally) his employer's ideological thrust.

Read more

Career Beat: Brian Madigan named photo director at BuzzFeed Life

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

  • Brian Madigan is now photo director at BuzzFeed Life. Previously, he was deputy photo editor at Real Simple magazine. Annie Daly is now BuzzFeed Life’s travel editor. Previously, she was a freelance editor at Yahoo Travel. (Email)
  • Elizabeth Anne Shaw has been named Editor-in-Chief of FamilyFun magazine. Previously, she was integrated content director at Scholastic Parent and Child. (Email)
  • Alice Rhee is leaving The Washington Post to start a digital media consulting firm. She was a senior producer there. (Email)
  • Sarah Spigelman Richter is now a food reporter at Mashable. Previously, she was a community manager at Tastemade. (Email)
  • Dan Shea will be publisher at the Advocate. He is president there. (Advocate)
  • Jarrod Dicker is now director of ad product and engineering at The Washington Post.
Read more

Monday, Aug. 03, 2015

Photo by Heather Phillips/Flickr

A list of every hidden journalism-related social media group I could find

I’m overwhelmed by the number of different platforms that journalists use to share information, tips and job notices with each other. There are conferences and symposiums, not to mention Facebook groups and Slack channels and Twitter chats and listservs.

I prefer Twitter to the other mediums: it’s open and accessible. In order to participate in a closed Facebook group or Slack channel or listserv, you have to know that they exist in the first place — which excludes people who are not well-connected to already-existing circles of journalists.

I’m a big fan of getting new voices into journalism and keeping them there. One of the ways to help level the existing playing field is to make sure everyone knows about the groups that already exist. Many of these groups are not well-advertised and are hard to find, particularly if you’re a freelancer or new to the field. Read more

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Meet the 17-year-old who breaks cybersecurity news

William Turton was transcribing interviews at The Daily Dot office when he got information that Planned Parenthood’s website had been hacked. It was 8:22 p.m. on a Sunday evening. He started reporting. Around six hours later, he got another tip that New York Magazine’s website was facing a cyber attack. He jumped on that as well. Sitting in an empty workspace, Turton had kept the lights off so that he could manage his headache. He went on to report on both the stories into the night and published them at 8 a.m. that morning. He was the first one to get the news out. Turton covers politics and hacking for The Daily Dot. He is also a 17-year-old high school student.


William Turton at the Daily Dot office.

Read more

Police drop charges against 2 journalists arrested in Ferguson

American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri

On Monday, the ACLU of Missouri announced that journalists Trey Yingst and Bilgin Şaşmaz will not face charges by St. Louis County Police. Both were arrested while reporting from Ferguson, Missouri. According to the announcement, the county will help both journalists get the arrests removed from their records.

From the ACLU:

On the evening of Aug. 19, Şaşmaz had been photographing Ray Albers, a former St. Ann police office, who was pointing his weapon at protesters and yelling that he was going to kill them. A St. Louis County Police officer threw Şaşmaz violently to the pavement, handcuffed and arrested him, even though Şaşmaz repeatedly identified himself as a member of the media. Şaşmaz, of Middle Eastern descent, was working alongside many Caucasian reporters and photographers, who were not arrested but documented the interaction.

Read more
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Front page of the day: It’s Sasquatch!

Today’s front page of the day actually comes from Sunday, when most newspapers offer pretty great front pages. Merry Eccles designed this front for The (Staunton, Virginia) News Leader, which led with the hunt for Sasquatch.


“We’re in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, and we have national forests, several of them surrounding us,” said William Ramsey, news director at the News Leader. And photojournalist Mike Tripp is interested in groups that have less traditional outdoor pursuits. So when he learned about a group called the East Coast Bigfoot Research Organization, he took writer Laura Peters along to find out more.

“We’ve had some fairly serious hard news Sunday covers lately,” Ramsey said, “and we like to have fun every now and then, so they went out on a couple of hunts.”

They approached the story, images and videos straight, he said, and thinks the audience gets it and brings an open mind to stories like this one. Read more

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The ‘Netscape Moment,’ 20 years on

This article was originally published on The 1995 Blog and has been republished with permission.

We’re in the runup to the 20th anniversary of the “Netscape Moment” of 1995, the day when a California startup’s eye-popping market debut illuminated the World Wide Web for millions of people otherwise only vaguely familiar with its potential and promise.

The initial public offering of shares of Netscape Communications Corporation stimulated the boom of the late 1990s and enabled Netscape to help establish what one writer called “the technological, social, and financial tone of the Internet age.”

Netscape was the Silicon Valley maker of the breakthrough Web browser, Navigator. By summer 1995, Navigator commanded more than 70 percent of the emergent browser market. The company had yet to turn a profit, but on August 9, 1995, Netscape put 5 million shares of its stock for sale on NASDAQ, priced at $28 per share. Read more


Hillary Clinton camp in overdrive going after New York Times

Good morning.

  1. Chief Clinton flack turns media critic on CNN

    The New York Times screwed up a story on a government investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as Secretary of State. It's made clear it screwed up and did so once again Sunday.(New York Times) But the Clinton campaign won't take yes for an answer and Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign's communications director, offered this firm grasp of an obvious reality of modern media with Brian Stelter on CNN Sunday: "There is an inclination to think, 'I want to be fast, and if it's wrong I can fix it online later.' And that's just so dangerous."

    Yes, yes. Now let's see how many times over the next year and a half her own operation tries to be fast, and not necessarily comprehensively candid, when things hit the fan in New Hampshire, Iowa or somewhere else.

Read more

Sunday, Aug. 02, 2015

Salon agrees to recognize union, starts negotiations on contract

Management at San Francisco-based Salon Media has agreed to start talks on a first union contract with its workers, it was disclosed Saturday.

“Salon Media has agreed to recognize the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) as the collective bargaining representative of its editorial staff, whose decision to unionize was unanimous,” the union said in a formal statement.

Workers voted last month to join a union. The company could have forced a formal vote overseen by a third party or perhaps otherwise stalled union recognition. It did not, which now triggers the process of attempting to bargain a first contract.

“The men and women who write, edit, and produce stories for have gained a voice on the job, and the intelligence and unity they have brought to the project is an inspiration,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. Read more


Friday, July 31, 2015

New York Review of Books responds to New York Times’ rebuttal of nails’ exposé critique

New York Review of Books

Richard Bernstein continued his beef with the New York Times’ nail salon exposé and says the editor’s response was late and insufficient.

Bernstein’s article, published on the New York Review of Books website on Friday, came in response to the letter issued by New York Times editors earlier this week. And so, the debate rages on over ‘Unvarnished’ by Times Reporter Sarah Maslin Nir.

The Times’ rebuttal called his critique as “industry advocacy” while Bernstein responded by focusing on the paper’s lack of response to its allegation that classified advertisements don’t offer $10 a day for workers, as was reported by the story. Bernstein is a part owner of two New York City day spas that are operated by his wife and sister-in-law, both Chinese natives, in an industry with many Asian immigrants. Read more


American Journalism Review to cease publication

American Journalism Review will cease operation after almost 38 years of publication. The announcement was made on the publication’s website Friday evening. The news comes exactly two years after it ceased the production of its print edition. The magazine was published by Phillip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

“Over many decades, American Journalism Review has been an incredible value both to the college and to American journalists,” said Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish. “Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the resources needed to keep AJR the vibrant, innovative online publication it deserves to be.”

The magazine will no longer be publishing “original” content. However, the existing archives will still be available on the website.

AJR’s death comes almost one and a half year after its redesign in late 2013. Read more