3 ways to prevent your apology from becoming the story

On Wednesday, The Atlantic’s David Frum apologized after accusing The New York Times and other news organizations of faking photos at a Gaza hospital. And then he kept talking. So now we have more stories.

Here are three tips on how to apologize so that your apology doesn’t become the story. Study them, and you may be able to shut down some bad press.

1. Do it. Then hush.

In 2012, Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon wrote “How journalists bungle apologies: They keep talking.”

Here is how you apologize: “I’m sorry.” Maybe “We’re sorry.” If your apology includes the words “if,” “but,” or especially “however” it is not an apology. It’s a justification, which is not the same thing.

I’m adding “also” to the list.

Frum started this on Twitter.… Read more

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breakup rope  on big dollar background

Splitsville: Why newspapers and TV are going their separate ways corporately

Like the sale of the Washington Post this time last year, the merger of E.W. Scripps and Journal Communications, announced last night, and their reorganization into separate print and broadcast companies came as a jaw-dropping surprise.

But the morning after, the complicated transaction makes perfect sense.

  • Local broadcasting is seeing a wave of consolidations. The business is healthy, and getting bigger provides station groups more leverage negotiating retransmission fees with cable providers. That has become a significant new source of revenue growth as political and automotive advertising remain strong.
  • Financially squeezed newspapers drag down the share price of companies with prospering TV, cable and digital divisions. The spinoff of Tribune Publishing scheduled next week and the division of News Corp a year ago give the remaining parent television and entertainment companies investment wind at their back.
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Tumblr page shows how much news orgs pay photographers

PetaPixel | Who Pays Photographers?

“Who Pays Photographers?” is a Tumblr that takes anonymous submissions about who pays how much to photojournalists.

On Wednesday, Gannon Burgett wrote about the page for PetaPixel.

As photographers, one of the most difficult aspects of using it as a form of income is determining what is and isn’t deemed appropriate compensation for our work.

An almost taboo topic amongst photographers and even more so amongst editorial clients, the talk of pay is one that rarely gets brought to the front-lines. Ultimately, this leaves those looking to get into editorial gigs have a much larger barrier to entry, as less information is known by both parties.

The page credits the Tumblr page “Who Pays Writers” for the inspiration. Submissions include the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and Texas A&M’s university newspaper, The Battalion.… Read more

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Lede of the day (it involves Rob Ford, deadmau5 and espresso)

Associated Press

Associated Press reporter Rob Gillies wrote a story about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ordering five espressos, and its lede is phenomenal:

TORONTO (AP) – Famed DJ deadmau5 asked Rob Ford to go for a coffee run in his Ferrari and was jolted by the Toronto mayor’s order: five espressos in one cup.

But the last three lines of the story are remarkable as well.

Ford asks the teller twice if there’s five shots and later says he throws the “espressos back. I do.”

Ford admitted last year that he had smoked crack in a “drunken stupor.”

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LAURA

Future of Homicide Watch D.C. uncertain as Amico joins Boston Globe

In 2012, Laura Amico got a call that changed a lot of things — her city, her work and, eventually, her future

Amico, who lived and worked in Washington, D.C., had been selected to be a Nieman-Berkman fellow at Harvard University, where she would research how the Web could be applied to criminal justice journalism. She was eager to go, but she knew moving to Cambridge for a year would mean leaving behind Homicide Watch, a project she and her husband Chris Amico created together to catalog every single homicide in the D.C. area. She didn’t want the site to wither.

“This thing that I’d built from nothing really had a place in the community,” Amico said.

Laura Amico (submitted photo)

She and her husband — who eventually made the move to Cambridge permanent — raised more than $47,000 on Kickstarter and were able to hire student journalists to keep the site running in their absence.… Read more

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NYT acknowledges Carol Vogel lifted from Wikipedia

Good morning. 10-ish, anyone?

  1. NYT acknowledges Carol Vogel lifted from Wikipedia: Part of a July 25 column “used specific language and details from a Wikipedia article without attribution; it should not have been published in that form,” a grisly editor’s note reads. (NYT) | Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Ravi Somaiya “editors have dealt with Carol on the issue.” (NYT) | “It seems to me that there can be little dispute about the claim,” Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote Wednesday. “Anyone can see the similarity.” (NYT)
  2. E.W. Scripps Co. and Journal Communications will combine broadcast properties, spin off newspapers: The companies “are so similar and share the deep commitment to public service through enterprise journalism,” Scripps Chairman Richard A.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Scripps, Journal Communications will combine broadcast groups, spin off newspapers

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Scripps

E.W. Scripps Co. and Journal Communications announced an agreement Wednesday night to combine their broadcast assets and turn their newspapers into a separate company, Bill Glauber reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Among the 15 newspapers that the new Journal Media Group will hold: The (Memphis, Tennessee) Commercial Appeal, the Knoxville (Tennessee) News Sentinel and the Kitsap Sun of Bremerton, Washington. All of those were previously owned by Scripps; the Journal Sentinel is Journal Communications’ biggest paper.

With 35 stations, Scripps will become the fifth-largest independent TV group in the country after the deal goes through. It also picks up Journal Communications’ 34 radio stations.

“It is no surprise that Scripps would want to move its broadcasting and digital properties from the print holdings just as it moved its considerable cable holdings some time ago,” Poynter’s Al Tompkins said in an email.… Read more

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Guards at empty prison threaten news crew with arrest

WNYT | Albany Times Union

A TV news crew with WNYT in Albany, New York, was threatened with arrest while filming a piece about Grant Cottage on Mount McGregor, WNYT reported last Thursday. While filming outside the nearly closed Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton, New York, Mark Mulholland and Matt Soriano were stopped by a correctional officer and told to stop filming.

The two told him they were doing a piece on Grant Cottage, a state historic site.

“No filming,” said the officer, who identified himself as Lt. Dorn.
“We’re doing a story on Grant’s Cottage,” Mulholland tried to explain.
“It doesn’t matter,” the officer continued. After a few more exchanges he then said, “You’re going to leave the mountain now.”

Police eventually arrived after an odd scene that includes another correctional employee blocking the entrance to the state historic site and then driving really slowly in front of the two journalists.… Read more

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Ken Armstrong joins The Marshall Project

Armstrong. Photo by Steve Ringman (The Seattle Times)

Ken Armstrong, an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times, will join the staff of The Marshall Project in the coming weeks, Marshall Project editor-in-chief Bill Keller confirmed Tuesday.

Armstrong, who has worked at The Seattle Times for about 11 years, said he made the move partly because The Marshall Project will give him an opportunity to tell stories in a variety of different ways. He’s already pitched stories for radio, magazine stories and “classic long-term investigations,” he said.

Armstrong began talking with Keller about the possibility of working full-time for The Marshall Project after submitting a freelance pitch for the site in March, Keller said. He assigned the pitch, and Armstrong followed up with a list of stories he’d like to cover.… Read more

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webat25-100

8 digital media lessons from Poynter’s ‘Journalism and the Web@25′ panel

Journalists shared personal stories about a “Goosebumps” fan site, a three-year-old riding an elevator, and dropping computer science classes in college to illustrate how journalism has changed since 1989 — and needs to change more quickly today — at Poynter’s “Journalism and the Web@25″ event Tuesday night.

The panelists at the Ford Foundation in New York represented both new and old media, and television, print, and mobile:

  • Rob King, ESPN‘s senior vice president, SportsCenter and News
  • Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and senior media correspondent for CNN Worldwide
  • Melissa Bell, co-founder, senior product manager and executive editor at Vox.com
  • Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press
  • Jeff Jarvis, founder of BuzzMachine.com and professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism

Here’s a replay of the lively discussion (the event begins around the 8:50 mark) and some digital journalism lessons shared by panelists as they reflected on the past 25 years of the Web:

The time for urgency was then — and now

When it comes to digital transformation, “I think we probably all wish we had been faster, sooner,” said the AP’s Carroll.… Read more

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David Frum apologizes for tweets on Gaza images

The Atlantic

David Frum wrote an apology Wednesday about tweets he sent out last week calling photos taken in a Gaza hospital fake.

The mistake involves a series of photos from Khan Younis hospital in Gaza. AP, Reuters, and The New York Times posted images of two blood-covered men. The men were identified as brothers who had just seen their father killed in an Israeli strike. In three tweets, I expressed disbelief in the authenticity of the images. Michael Shaw at the Bag News blog painstakingly argues that I was wrong to do so.

On review, I agree that Shaw is right and that I was wrong. These images do appear authentic, and I should not have cast doubt on them. I apologize especially to Sergey Ponomarev of The New York Times, whose work I impugned.

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AP is reviewing its procedures after third revised tweet in a week

What’s going on with the AP Twitter account lately? After this masterpiece Wednesday:

The AP revised. … Read more

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Sam Sifton named NYT food editor

Sam Sifton is The New York Times’ new food editor. The paper will also rename its Dining section Food.

Memo to staff from Executive Editor Dean Baquet:… Read more

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ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith, did Benny Johnson actually commit plagiarism?

Good morning. Here are 10 (OK, OK, it’s more than 10) media stories.

  1. ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith: “We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps,” ESPN President John Skipper says in a memo obtained by Richard Deitsch. “Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company.” (SI) | ESPN’s statement “very specifically does not mention the word ‘suspension.’” (Deadspin) | Richard Sandomir: “Smith’s weeklong suspension is less severe than the 30 days imposed on Max Bretos, an ESPN anchor who used the term ‘chink in the armor’ in reference to Jeremy Lin in 2012. In 2010, Tony Kornheiser was suspended two weeks for comments he made on radio about an outfit worn by Hannah Storm, a ‘SportsCenter’ anchor.” (NYT)
  2. Benny Johnson isn’t a plagiarist, because what he was doing wasn’t journalism: That’s the argument advanced by Gene Weingarten: “Reading a listicle in Buzzfeed, just what level of diligence does a reader expect?” (The Washington Post) | Weingarten’s fart joke in the piece is not original.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tribune wants to buy more newspapers

Crain’s Chicago Business

Tribune Publishing CEO Jack Griffin wants to buy “smaller newspapers in or near his existing markets,” Lynne Marek reports.

“We think there are more of these opportunities around the country that are geographically adjacent to where we run big papers and big brands, and that over time we can achieve similar kinds of consolidation and acquisition opportunities that are going to add meaningfully to our footprint and our revenue and our profit,” Griffin told Marek.

In the past year, Tribune’s Baltimore Sun Media Group has purchased Baltimore City Paper and two smaller Maryland papers, The Capital in Annapolis and the Carroll County Times.

Griffin also told Marek that cutting costs to adapt to lower revenue is “an absolute requirement of the business.” Tribune Publishing’s spinoff from Tribune Co.… Read more

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