Associated Press

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It’s ‘Bah! Humbug!’ and other holiday style advice from the AP

British actor Albert Finney waves his cane while playing the title role in “Scrooge,” at Shepperton Studios, near London, Jan. 15, 1970. (AP Photo/R. Dear)

British actor Albert Finney waves his cane while playing the title role in “Scrooge,” at Shepperton Studios, near London, Jan. 15, 1970. (AP Photo/R. Dear)

The Associated Press held a style chat Tuesday on holiday terms with lifestyles editor Julie Rubin. Taken in their parts or as a whole, these style chats always feel useful and a bit funny: “Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus would also be known as the Clauses.”

Here are some tweets from the holiday style chat.

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Fergus Bell leaves AP for startup that helps newsrooms verify content

Fergus Bell, who helped the Associated Press develop standards for verifying user-generated content, will become the head of newsroom partnerships and innovation at Social Asset Management Inc. SAM sells software to newsrooms that helps them build verification of UGC into their workflows.

“Moving to a startup was something that was pretty difficult, but I think it was a natural extension of the work I’ve been doing,” Bell said in a phone call. He’s SAM’s first employee with a news background and will visit newsrooms considering its product, as well as help his coworkers figure out what newsrooms need.

Bell will remain in London. He said SAM’s small size (he’ll be its sixth employee) was a major enticement to move from AP, where he was international social media and UGC editor — “I’m really excited to be a part of a team where an idea can come up in the morning and be executed in the afternoon,” he said. Read more

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BUTTERBALL TURKEY FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER

Here’s why food editors don’t mess with Thanksgiving (but some would like to)

You can always call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, which is still a thing, at 1-800-BUTTERBALL.  (PRNewsFoto/Butterball Turkey Company)

You can always call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line(TM) at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. (PRNewsFoto/Butterball Turkey Company)

It was around the Jewish High Holy Days, actually, when Sheryl Julian learned not to mess with people’s recipes. The menu was pretty much the same for the Jewish community in Boston, Julian said, who were then largely Ashkenazi.

“One year I found a Sephardic Jewish woman raised in north Africa and she gave me this wonderful menu,” said Julian, food editor for The Boston Globe.

About a month later, a woman stopped Julian after she gave a talk “and she said, ‘I have a bone to pick with you. What where you doing printing that recipe on the High Holy Day? That’s not what the Jews in Boston make.’”

Yes, Julian replied, but wasn’t it interesting? Read more

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Washington Post looks toward national audience with Kindle Fire app

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Washington Post looks toward national audience with new Kindle Fire app

    This is important: It will not provide local news. Updates every day at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. Free for six months, a buck for the next six months. (WP) | Post people said owner Jeff Bezos "had made it clear, through meetings with executives and through feedback on ideas and proposals, that The Post’s broad strategy should shift toward growing its national and international audience — in direct contrast to its previous mission of narrowing its focus to local news." (NYT) | The Post also launched "BrandConnect Perspective" Thursday, a native advertising initiative for opinion pieces. First up is Bayer, with "Modern Agriculture is Based on Sound Science." (WP) | Related: Former Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli's North Base Media is an investor in Inkl, a "Spotify for media content." (StartupSmart)

  2. Bill Cosby and the media

    "I think if you want to consider yourself to be serious, it will not appear anywhere," he warns Brett Zongker after declining to comment on rape allegations.

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NYT corrected Gary Hart story after source’s recollection changed

Good morning. Thanks, veterans. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT corrects Gary Hart story

    Former Miami Herald reporter Tom Fiedler disputes the chronology he gave Matt Bai about when he saw Gary Hart's challenge to prove his infidelity. "Therefore, it is likely that the original version of this article, based in large part on Fiedler’s account, referred incorrectly to the point at which any of the Herald journalists first saw the Times article quoting Hart as saying, 'Follow me around,'" the correction reads. "The text has been adjusted accordingly." (NYT) | Bai: "I find it particularly disturbing that Fiedler, someone I'd very much admired, has now invented a new version of events after repeatedly and recently reconfirming his own longstanding account, which is something we as journalists often condemn in the people we cover." (HuffPost)

  2. Journalists and lawyers: A special legal mini-roundup

    ACLU sues St.

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FBI impersonated an AP reporter

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. FBI impersonated AP reporter

    FBI director James B. Comey wrote a letter to The New York Times saying an undercover officer investigating some bomb threats "portrayed himself as an employee of The Associated Press, and asked if the suspect would be willing to review a draft article about the threats and attacks, to be sure that the anonymous suspect was portrayed fairly." (NYT) | Statement from AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll: "This latest revelation of how the FBI misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press doubles our concern and outrage, expressed earlier to Attorney General Eric Holder, about how the agency's unacceptable tactics undermine AP and the vital distinction between the government and the press." (AP) | Previously, we learned the FBI "created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect." (The Seattle Times) | Comey says the operation "was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and F.B.I.

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AP Stylebook: Holiday eating edition

On Tuesday, while you were likely out voting or covering people out voting, the Associated Press had a style chat on Twitter, and it was about food. AP’s food editor, J.M. Hirsch, joined the chat, which was useful from both a journalism and holiday eater perspective. I’ve added in links to some AP holiday recipes, too, found thanks to Hirsch’s Twitter feed.

Let’s start with the drinking:

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BuzzFeed will look to Twitter users to help call elections tonight

BuzzFeed

The “decision desks” assembled by the Associated Press, TV networks and other mainstream news organizations have been “outcompeted in the marketplace of fast, accurate, sophisticated, and transparent information,” BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith writes.

So tonight as it covers returns, he says, BuzzFeed “will be looking first to the players in the vibrant, transparent twitter conversation to make our own calls and to power our election night graphic, and to make our own election night calls.”

AP and the nets will be among the participants in that conversation, but so will Nate Silver, Daily Kos and the Ace of Spades HQ Decision Desk, whose honcho, Brandon Finnigan, Smith profiled in September. (Finnigan will work from BuzzFeed’s L.A. office Tuesday night.)

In 2012 Brian Stelter wrote about how news organizations planned caution when making election-night calls — CNN and Fox’s goofs when reporting the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision, NBC News’ star-crossed George Zimmerman 911 call still loomed large. Read more

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AP: Don’t use ‘horse race’ and other election cliches

Associated Press

The Associated Press published a mid-term election style guide on Friday, and it includes a list of election cliches with suggested alternatives.

For instance, instead of messaging, use “candidate’s pitch to voters.” Instead of horse race, use “a closely contested political contest.” And instead of war chest or coffers use “campaign bank account or stockpile of money.”

There are more cliches to avoid, plus style tips on common terms you may be using next week. Conservative and liberal, for instance, don’t get capped unless you’re talking about a formal name.

Here are a few things we’ve done on cliches at Poynter:

Why newspaper photo cliches make for great Tumblrs

And now for some really bad ledes

Avoid Cliches Like the Plague Read more

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Former AP editor sues over dismissal that followed retracted story

Style Weekly

Dena Potter has filed suit against the Associated Press, saying “she was unjustly fired for an error in a story edited by another staffer,” Ned Oliver reports for Style Weekly.

Potter was Bob Lewis’ editor in Richmond, Virginia, but says in the suit she did not work on the story that led to his dismissal, which claimed that then gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lied during a federal investigation.

AP retracted the story. AP fired Potter, Lewis and another editor, Norm Gomlak.

Potter’s suit says Gomlak and Lewis worked on the story, and that she was “busy working with a reporter on another story, a shooting at a courthouse in West Virginia,” Oliver reports. She is seeking damages of $950,000 plus court costs, he writes. Read more

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