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Julie Drizin will be executive director of Current

American University | Current

The American University School of Communication announced Friday that Julie Drizin will be the first executive director of Current, the news organization devoted to covering non-profit media in America.

Drizin is the director of the Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland, which announced earlier this year it would close due to lack of financial support.

Current is seeking to expand its coverage, according to a release from American University. It currently has a team of five editors and reporters, along with “a corps of freelance contributors.”

Here’s the release:

The American University School of Communication has hired public media journalist, producer, and critic Julie Drizin for the new position of Executive Director of Current, as the newspaper and website seeks to expand its coverage and impact in U.S. public and nonprofit media spaces.

“I am thrilled to be coming home to public media as the Executive Director of Current,” says Drizin.

Read more

Guardian: NYT makes ‘big move’ into London

The Guardian

The New York Times will move “up to 100″ staff to a new digital center in London, The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade reported Friday.

Greenslade writes that the new outpost, which will be based in the Bloomsbury borough of England’s capital city, will “become the newspaper’s European digital hub and centre for the paper’s international issues.”

There is no question of the Paris office itself – home for so long to the iconic International Herald Tribune – being closed. It is simply believed that London is a more appropriate place from which to cover the European continent.

According to a Property Week article, the paper’s owners have signed a deal for the entire 9,000 sq ft building at close to the asking rental fee of £50 a sq ft.

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Tips from a fact-checker: ‘Ultimately it’s about the care that you take with a piece’


Fact-checking is about both the big and the small, the grit of details and the arc of story.

“What checking does is similar to so many other types of editing,” says Yvonne Rolzhausen, head of the fact-checking department at The Atlantic. “Ultimately it’s about the care that you take with a piece.”

Rolzhausen first interned at The Atlantic during her senior year of college and started as a proofreader there in 1993. Early in her career, she had to head to the Boston Public Library to go through microfiche for her work.

“It wasn’t pre-Internet, but it wasn’t too far off,” she said.

We spoke about the work of fact-checkers and lessons the rest of us can learn from them.

1. It’s about the details.

The only way you can look at any piece, whether it’s a paragraph or a 20,000-word story, is in detail — every word, every phrase, every connection. Read more


Washington Post commenter speaks gibberish

A commenter Friday began deciphering the gobbledygook posted underneath a Washington Post story that was published in error.


The story, which was labeled “Test — delete this,” consisted of a series of random keystrokes with no apparent meaning.

But that didn’t stop a commenter named “Rob_” from parsing the bogus copy for deeper truths:

The first two instances of “asdf” are easily attributable to the four left hand home letters on the QWERTY keyboard. But in the third instance, the letters are transposed to “sdaf.” Exactly what the author intends by this is unknowable, but it cannot be denied that it evidences a narrative arc, a challenge to our preconceptions. In spite of the passage’s minimalism — perhaps because of the passage’s minimalism — the author establishes himself as a modernist force to be reckoned with.

Perhaps worried that his or her opus wasn’t yet ready for the public, the modernist recluse promptly deleted the post, then replaced it with an editor’s note posted in 2010 in the National section explaining the error. Read more


Gawker’s New Year’s resolution: Make some sub-blogs


On Friday, Gawker’s Editor-in-Chief Max Read posted a memo about his plans for 2015 at Gawker. The way Gawker’s homepage is set up has been frustrating, Read wrote. And so they’re going diagonal.

The basic structure is simple. Rather than publish everything directly to the home page, we’ll publish our stories to a set of beat-focused sub-blogs, some of which already exist and some of which will be launched in January. From those “diagonals”, the best and most representative work—original stories, reported news, personal writing, smart arguments, breakout viral, breaking news—will be shared to the front page, which will update at a somewhat slower rate than it currently does. Everything will be pushed to Facebook and Twitter, as well as to a comprehensive Gawker “news feed.”

The sub-blogs include and will include Valleywag, Defamer, and ones on the Internet, media and justice. Those larger topics could be spun off into more specific ones, Read wrote. Read more


Company takes out ad for departing New York Times reporter

On page B11 of Friday’s New York Times, you’ll find a full-page ad, taken out by Interpublic Group in honor of advertising reporter Stuart Elliott, who took a buyout from The Times. It reads:

For more than two decades, you’ve asked the tough questions — often twenty at a time. Through it all, no one explained our fast-changing industry with more enthusiasm and insight. Or captured as clearly just how much fun it can be to work in advertising.

Thank you for your encyclopedic knowledge, your fair-minded skepticism, and some memorable headlines along the way. Not bad for a guy from Brooklyn.

All of us at IPG wish you the very best, Stuart.

Here’s the ad:


IPG wished Elliott good luck on Twitter, too:

I would be remiss if I didn’t note that that ad doesn’t strictly follow AP style (Oxford comma, 20 spelled out), but I’m sure Elliott won’t mind. Read more

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Turkish journalist on arrest of colleagues: ‘After awhile it starts to feel like a Kafka novel’

Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper, waves to his staff and readers as he is taken for interrogation. (Credit: Selahattin Sevi, Zaman)

Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of Zaman, waves to staff and readers as he’s taken for interrogation. (Photo by Selahattin Sevi, Zaman)

After days of detainment, Ekrem Dumanli, editor of the Turkish newspaper Zaman, was released from prison today for lack of evidence. Dumanli was held under custody for an article that was published in his paper. However another detainee, Samanyolu TV General Manager Hidayet Karaca, was arrested on charges of forming and leading an armed terrorist organization. Alleged weapons of crime? Broadcasting a soap opera. In a highly politically motivated trial, Turkish journalists are paying a heavy price.

As a technology journalist, following the industry beat the whole week keeps me quite busy. That is why I do my best to keep Sundays only for my family. But on Dec. 14, my whole plan changed. I woke up to the news that my newspaper — Today’s Zaman — was raided, and I rushed into my office. Read more


Buy the journalist in your life a drone. Or a selfie stick

Good morning. Thanks for hanging in there with me this week. We’re taking a newsletter break for the holidays but will return on Monday, Jan. 5, brimming with news and probably an extra five pounds from all that day drinking. In the meantime, Poynter has a lot of great stories lined up for your holiday reading pleasure. For now, here are 10 media stories.

  1. What to buy your journalist friends, because they’re probably not getting a bonus this year

    How about an "Is it plagiarism?" pillow? Or a cassette recorder for when digital devices fail us? (Poynter) | A bandolier for your iPhone? A picture-taking aerial robot that's not really a drone? (Mashable) | Buzz Bissinger's Gucci schwag? (New York) | Grammar dessert plates? A Superman lunchbox? (AJR) | A studded USB necklace? (TechCrunch)

  2. Now Cuba needs to take care of its journalists

    Cuba is 10 countries away from the bottom of Reporters Without Borders' 2014 Press Freedom Index, and on Thursday, RWB called for the release of jailed Cuban journalists and bloggers.

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Career Beat: Joel Lovell joins ‘This American Life,’ The Atavist

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

  • Joel Lovell will join “This American Life” and The Atavist. He was editing special projects for The New York Times. (Huffington Post)
  • Hernán Rozemberg will be editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current. He is metro editor for the Lafayette Journal and Courier. (Media Moves)
  • Mike Wilson will be editor of The Dallas Morning News. He’s the managing editor of FiveThirtyEight. (Poynter)
  • Byron Pitts has been named co-anchor of “Nightline.” Pitts is chief national correspondent at ABC News. (Huffington Post)
  • Ben Pershing will be editor at National Journal Daily. He’s the Washington editor at National Journal. Tim Alberta is now a senior political correspondent at National Journal. Previously, he was senior editor of National Journal Hotline. Shane Goldmacher is a senior political correspondent for National Journal. Previously, he was a congressional correspondent there.
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Today in Media History: First successful PC goes on sale in ’74 and helps launch Microsoft

On December 19, 1974, the first successful personal computer went on sale. They called it the Altair 8800.

Popular Electronics magazine profiled the new PC in their January 1975 issue. Readers learned that for $395 you could order a kit to build the Altair yourself or buy it assembled for $495. The Altair 8800 came with 256 bytes of computer memory and Intel’s 8080 processor.

“For many years, we’ve been reading and hearing about how computers will one day be a household item. Therefore, we’re especially proud to present in this issue the first commercial type of minicomputer project ever published that’s priced within reach of many households — the Altair 8800….”

Ed Roberts, the creator of the Altair, worked with Bill Gates and Paul Allen to develop the PC’s first programming language.

The partnership between Gates and Allen marked the beginning of the Microsoft company, which officially started on April 4, 1975. Read more

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5 holiday gift ideas for the journalist in your life

Journalism is great, but doing Christmas shopping for my colleagues often feels like a back-to-school trip to Office Depot.

If you, like me, think Christmas calls for more than paperclips and Post-It notes, try out the following gift ideas this year:

  1. Selfie stick
    These telescoping vanity poles get a lot of bad press, and with good reason. If you’re not familiar, selfie sticks allow you to increase the distance between the camera and your duck face, making it easy to contort your body into appealing shapes.

    But unlike the average citizen, who would use this gift to snap thousands of pictures of their food, or their face, or their food entering their face, journalists have an actual professional justification for owning these remote-controlled narcissism rods. He or she can use it as a monopod, which come in handy to take pictures of a march or protest, or as a video stabilizer.

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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

National Press Photographers Association moving to Grady College


The University of Georgia

The National Press Photographers Association will move its headquarters to Grady College at The University of Georgia, the university announced Thursday.

The NPPA, which is currently based in Durham, North Carolina, will offer Grady College students access to “visiting professionals, participation in workshops taught by NPPA staff and members, and employment opportunities,” according to the release.

NPPA and Grady College also plan to embark on joint fundraising campaigns and apply for grants for visual journalism projects, according to the release.

Here’s the announcement:

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced that the National Press Photographers Association will relocate its headquarters to the Athens, Georgia, campus in early 2015.

NPPA is the voice of visual journalists, representing photographers, videographers, multimedia journalists, editors, designers, visual managers and academics, with nearly 6,000 members nationwide and around the world.

“UGA’s Grady College and NPPA share a deep commitment to excellence in journalism,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

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Goodbye, Stephen Colbert, love, NYT

The New York Times

“I think it’s gonna leave a hole in my night,” The New York Times’ David Carr says in this farewell video the Times published Thursday. “I really liked getting tucked in by Stephen Colbert.”

In the video, the Times’ Bill Carter, Nicholas Confessore, William Rhoden, Mark Leibovich, and Carr all talk about Colbert’s show.

More goodbyes:

Mashable has a walking goodbye with Google Map Street View studio tour.

Vulture has lots of famous people saying goodbye.

And Time has four enemies of Colbert’s saying goodbye, including Suey Park. Read more

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The winners and losers of Serial’s first season (Ira Glass is on both lists)

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Spoiler alert: If you haven’t listened to all 12 episodes of Serial, there are many spoilers below.

As the debate rages on Reddit and Twitter about whether Serial ended with a whimper or a wallop, perhaps we can find more agreement about the winners and losers of the remarkably successful podcast.

Here are my picks:


Adnan Syed — Even though host Sarah Koenig stopped short of saying she believes Syed is innocent of killing Hae Min Lee, Koenig said she would have voted to acquit Syed. His hopes for an appeal clearly got a boost from the series.

To many of us, Syed came across as humble and appealing. He’s not even bitter about his defense attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, who clearly fumbled his case. If his appeal goes forward, his good demeanor can only help.

Mail Chimp — Whatever the company paid for the sponsorship, it was a bargain. The catchy “Mail Chimp-Mail Chimp-Mail…Kimp” at the start of every show elevated the ad campaign to “Got Milk?” status. Read more


Mike Wilson named editor of The Dallas Morning News

Mike Wilson, managing editor of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight, will be the next editor of The Dallas Morning News, the paper announced Thursday in a staff memo.

Wilson, who visited the Morning News for an interview earlier this month, will replace Bob Mong, who has been editor of the paper since 2001.

Before he joined FiveThirtyEight, Wilson was managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times. Before that, he was a newsfeatures editor at The Tampa Bay Times. During his stint at the paper, he was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.

Prior to arriving at The Times, Wilson was a longtime writer and editor at the Miami Herald.

Mong announced in August he would step aside sometime in 2015, after nearly 35 years at the Morning News. After Wilson begins at The News in February, Mong will become Editor Emeritus to assist in the transition.

Here’s the memo:


To: One and All

From: Jim and Bob

Re: Mike Wilson to become editor of The Dallas Morning News

We are pleased to announce that Mike Wilson will become the new editor of The Dallas

Morning News and will assume his new duties on Feb.

Read more