U.S. tried to rescue James Foley

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. The U.S. tried to rescue James Foley, and it declined to pay ransom: Islamic State “pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release,” Rukmini Callimachi reports. Unlike many European countries, the U.S. and Britain will not pay ransoms for hostages. The terror group holds other Americans, including Time freelancer Steven J. Sotloff. (NYT) | David Rohde: “The divergent U.S. and European approach to abductions fails to deter captors or consistently safeguard victims.” (Reuters) | Administration officials yesterday confirmed that U.S. Special Operations forces tried to rescue Foley, but the op “was not ultimately successful because the hostages were not present . . . at the site of the operation.” (WP) | Media blackouts “don’t necessarily end with the release of hostages,” James Harkin writes. “There are arguments for and against such blackouts, and there have been lively debates among the families of the missing about their strategic value, but in principle they seem inimical to the spirit of journalism—and potentially counterproductive.” (Vanity Fair) | “Many of those taken captive have been freelance journalists hoping to carve out careers by reporting where others had feared to tread,” Ravi Somaiya and Christine Haughney report. Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron “said that The Post now uses only contracted freelancers, so it can provide them the same equipment, security and communications technology that staff reporters get.” (NYT) | French journalist Nicolas Henin, who was held with Foley but released “said Foley had faced particular abuse from their jailers because he was American and his brother is in the US air force.” (AFP)
  2. How to handle the images of Foley’s death? Jack Shafer: “More likely, the videos, which our Western eyes tell us are staged for our benefit, are really aimed at the video-makers’ constituents to attract maximum attention, showcase the groups’ power, attract recruits, and build cadres – all things that the video may actually do.” (Reuters) | James Ball: “To see an outcry for Foley’s video and not for others is to wonder whether we are disproportionately concerned over showing graphic deaths of white westerners – maybe even white journalists – and not others.” (The Guardian) | Mathew Ingram: “A number of people had their [Twitter] accounts suspended after they shared the images, including Zaid Benjamin of Radio Sawa, but media outlets that posted photos did not.” (Gigaom)
  3. The guns of Ferguson: Police officer suspended for aiming gun at protesters, telling them he’d kill them. (WP) | Watch the video of #OfficerGoFuckYourself (The Wire) | NPPA filed a formal complaint with three Missouri police forces, asking for a formal investigation into an incident where photojournalist Raffe Lazarian asked a policeman “which way do I need to go in order to get to the media area?” In reply, NPPA General Counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher writes, “the officer drew his weapon and pointed it at Mr. Lazarian in a threatening manner and then used it to gesture in the direction he wanted him to go.” (Scribd) | “In a life-and-death situation, like when armed rioters are firing at police from the apartments behind the emblematic, burned-out QuikTrip in Ferguson, how can police tell once and for all who is a journalist and who isn’t?” (Riverfront Times) || MUSICIANS GET INVOLVED: Nelly spoke with Eric Holder. (NBC News) | Killer Mike and Talib Kweli talked about Ferguson on TV. (BuzzFeed) || Bloomberg Businessweek cover: “Race, Class, and The Future of Ferguson.” (@BW) | Time cover: “The Tragedy of Ferguson” (@neetzan)
  4. Poynter’s Kristen Hare is in Ferguson again today: She filed vignettes yesterday (longer piece TK) on the Post-Dispatch’s morning meeting, St. Louis Public Radio, Boston Globe reporter Akilah Johnson and local videojournalist John Miller. | Follow her on Twitter, and you’ll see plenty of pics of her turning the camera around on the media, like this photo of Wesley Lowery, Ryan Reilly and Alex Altman working in the Ferguson McDonald’s.
  5. Huffington Post will keep covering Ferguson after the circus leaves town: “With reader support, we’ll hire a local citizen journalist who’s been covering the turmoil and train her to become a professional journalist,” Ryan Grim writes. (HuffPost)
  6. How cable news covered Ferguson: “MSNBC devoted far more time to the story than its top competitors Fox News and CNN. … Our previous analysis of the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, another news story with strong racial undertones involving the shooting death of a black teen in Florida, found similar treatment by the three cable channels.” (Pew)
  7. Gatehouse parent company’s stock rises: Rise follows a Seeking Alpha post by VJ Shil that “rattled off a bunch of promising attributes: a nice dividend, an appealing acquisition pipeline, strong loyalty to local newspapers among small-town residents, the shedding of GateHouse’s massive mountain of debt through a recent bankruptcy.” (Boston Business Journal)
  8. Could Vox’s Chorus become a platform? Lockhart Steele: “perhaps Chorus should become a tool for more than just those of us employed at Vox Media, and a platform that transcends words in the ways that Vox Media has long since transcended just being a collection of websites? | FREEKY FLASHBACK: A pre-post-text Felix Salmon sang Chorus’ praises last year. (Reuters) | “Platisher”-coiner Jonathan Glick: “Not going to say it.” (@jonathanglick)
  9. Chicago Tribune cartoonist “doesn’t mind confounding readers”: “When a cartoonist chooses sides ‘you’re not engaging anyone,” Joe Fournier tells Michael Miner. “You’re just appeasing the side you’re committed to. It confuses the hell out of people when I don’t choose a side.” (Chicago Reader)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Cassie Heiter is a meteorologist at KWTV in Oklahoma City. Previously, she was a meteorologist at WQAD in Moline, Illinois. (Lacey Swope) | Matt Brickman and Kim Johnson will join WCCO 4 News This Morning in Minneapolis. Brickman currently gives weather forecasts on Saturday mornings. Johnson is currently an anchor on Saturday mornings. (CBS Minnesota) | Dan Wilson will be news director for WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida. Previously, he was interim news director there. (FTV Live) | Shellene Cockrell is now a morning anchor for KOAA in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Previously, she was a reporter for KWGN in Denver. (Colorado Springs Gazette) | Craig Melvin will be a national correspondent for the “Today Show”. Previously, he had been anchoring for MSNBC on the weekends. (TV Newser) | Job of the day: The Hill is looking for technology and cyber security reporters. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org.

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