Articles about "BuzzFeed"


NYT edges closer to layoffs

Good morning. Almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT may have layoffs, after all

    A memo from Janet Elder says the news org may not have enough buyout applications to forgo layoffs. "Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs." Also, if you take the buyout, MOMA will not let you in for free anymore. (Mother Jones) | Last month Keith J. Kelly reported that more than 300 people had filed buyout applications, but many were "just securing their rights and checking it out," Guild unit rep Grant Glickson said. (NY Post) | Floyd Norris is taking the buyout. (Talking Biz News) | More N.Y. Guild news: Eight Guild members who worked at Reuters' Insider video project are losing their jobs. (The Newspaper Guild of New York) | Time Inc. has declared it's at an "impasse" with the union and "can begin unilaterally imposing many of the terms, including the right to farm out up to 60 full-time jobs while slashing vacation and medical benefits and eliminating voluntary buyout provisions from future layoffs." The Guild has asked the NLRB to investigate.

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Uber’s plan to alienate the news media seems to be going well

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Uber’s plan to completely alienate the news media is going well

    The company says it is investigating why Uber New York GM Josh Mohrer tracked BuzzFeed reporter Johana Bhuiyan. It uses something called "God View" to track people. (BuzzFeed) | Ellen Cushing: "While I was reporting my recent cover story on Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick, several current and former Uber employees warned me that company higher-ups might access my rider logs." (San Francisco Magazine) | Uber once used its data to show where and when people took "Rides of Glory." (Uber blog) | Kalanick apologized for an executive's remarks that it would like to dig up dirt on reporters via "tweetstorm," a "series of thoughts that give the illusion of substance and circumspection because they are presented in a numerical order." (Valleywag) | "I'll let you in on a secret.

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Uber executive incorrectly thinks journalists are interesting

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Uber for public-relations disasters

    At a supervillains retreat in Manhattan, Uber executive Emil Michael floated a plan to hire opposition researchers to investigate journalists. They could look into “your personal lives, your families,” Michael wisely told a group that included BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith. (BuzzFeed) | Creepiness aside, what does Michael think he'd find on most of us? A Cayman Islands bank account? | Michael directed most of his anger toward PandoDaily Editor-in-Chief Sarah Lacy. After Smith's piece landed, he called her to apologize and hung up when she refused to speak off-the-record. (@sarahcuda) | He apologized on Twitter. (@emilmichael) | Lacy: "And lest you think this was just a rogue actor and not part of the company’s game plan, let me remind you [Uber CEO Travis] Kalanick telegraphed exactly this sort of thing when he sat on stage at the Code Conference last spring and said he was hiring political operatives whose job would be to “throw mud.” I naively thought he just meant Taxi companies." (PandoDaily) | Uber is looking for more funding and investors "might force Kalanick to step up and do something about Michael’s comments," Liz Gannes writes.

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WHO agrees to start working with BuzzFeed again

The World Health Organization has “never blocked or banned anyone from joining our media list,” its spokesperson Fadéla Chaib told Poynter.

The time element of that statement is a bit hard to square with what BuzzFeed foreign editor Miriam Elder told Poynter after I asked her for comment on it: “I spoke to WHO this morning and they’ve agreed to work with us again,” she wrote.

A little background: As Brian Ries reported for Mashable, WHO staffer Laura Bellinger said she didn’t reply to BuzzFeed reporter Tasneem Nashrulla’s request to get on WHO’s media list because “My understanding is that BuzzFeed is banned.”

Not so, said WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic in another email Ries obtained: BuzzFeed as a whole isn’t banned, just its reporter Jina Moore, who has been reporting on Ebola from West Africa. Moore “on two occasions reported inaccurately and when in Liberia she was trying to enter WHO/MoH meetings without permit.”

Jasarevic also says WHO communications director Christy Feig contacted Elder, to tell her WHO would no longer “deal” with Moore. Read more

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Ben Smith, @crushingbort and @blippoblappo talk about plagiarism

I teach a journalism ethics class at Duke University that focuses on issues of trust. I spend about half the semester exploring the pros and cons of anonymous sourcing, the other half on plagiarism and fabrication.

The plagiarism by Benny Johnson at BuzzFeed has not only prompted a new round of discussion about copying and pasting in the digital age, it involves an anonymous posse — two bloggers who call themselves @blippoblappo and @crushingbort. After BuzzFeed fired Johnson for 41 incidents of plagiarism, Blippo and Bort have been on a relentless crusade against columnist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria.

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, Blippo and Bort spoke with my class in two separate conversations. Smith spoke first by Skype; Blippo and Bort opted for a Google chat to protect their identities.

Smith

Smith

Smith was forthright about the firing of Johnson, saying it was clearly plagiarism. “Presenting someone else’s words as your own is such a basic form of dishonesty,” he said. Read more

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Career Beat: The New York Times adds a growth editor

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

  • Simone Oliver is now growth editor at The New York Times. Previously, she was online fashion editor there. (The New York Times)
  • Tessa Gould will be vice president of ad innovation and monetization at BuzzFeed. Previously, she was director of native advertising at The Huffington Post. (Adweek)
  • Susan Ellerbach is now executive editor at The Tulsa World. Previously, she was managing editor there. Mike Strain will be managing editor at The Tulsa World. Previously, he was news editor there. (Tulsa World)
  • Henri Cauvin is now city editor at The New York Times. Previously, he was assistant metro editor there. (@FrancesRobles)
  • Gerry Smith will be a media reporter at Bloomberg. Previously, he was a technology reporter at The Huffington Post. (‏@srabil)
  • Chael Sonnen is now a UFC analyst at ESPN. Previously, he was a UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender.
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How newsletters became one of BuzzFeed’s top sources of traffic

Last summer, Dan Oshinsky put a two-word subject line on a BuzzFeed newsletter about people who failed spectacularly at work: “You’re Fired.”

Lots of people opened that email. It also upset many of them. Readers — including Oshinsky’s colleagues — replied, saying the newsletter made them think they’d been fired. The email’s open rate, one of the ways news organizations measure the success of a newsletter, made it look like a hit. But feedback from the people who received it was starkly different.

“We want to delight our readers every single time they read a BuzzFeed newsletter — from the subject line to the content — and with an email like ‘You’re Fired,’ we missed the mark,” Oshinsky, who edits BuzzFeed’s newsletters, said in an email to Poynter. “In 2014, it’s been a point of emphasis for our team to try to be direct, honest, and funny with our subject lines.”

BuzzFeed now de-emphasizes open rate as a “silver bullet” metric: It looks instead at click rate, the number of links readers click and how long each reader spends with the email. Read more

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Politico, AJC launch redesigns

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Politico, AJC launch redesigns

    Politico's new presentation aims to give readers a "cleaner, more organized design that seeks to crowd out some of the noise of our information overload moment," Editor Susan Glasser writes in a welcome note. (Politico) | "Today is the formal beginning of the biggest transformation of [Politico] in eight years," CEO Jim Vandehei writes in a memo to staffers. The publication's visual retooling echoes expansion plans "into Europe and other states," but VandeHei says "Washington will always be the central nervous system of [Politico]." | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also has a new design, a "bold new look" that will spread to other Cox Media Group free newspaper sites, CMG says in a release. Take a tour: (AJC) | From June: "AJC reorganizes newsroom for digital with topic teams inspired by Quartz’s ‘obsessions’" (Poynter) Somewhat related to the Politico stuff: The Washington Post, whose publisher used to be president and COO of Politico, plans to get its journalists on TV more.

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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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BuzzFeed: Instead of clickbait, try to ‘blow away the curiosity gap’

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith Thursday explained the media company’s philosophy behind writing good headlines. Luring the reader in with clickbait doesn’t work because “you can trick someone to click, but you can’t trick someone to share,” Smith wrote.

Rather, BuzzFeed’s writers try to “blow away the curiosity gap,” to create a headline that describes promising content and delivers on that promise:

If your goal — as is ours at BuzzFeed — is to deliver the reader something so new, funny, revelatory, or delightful that they feel compelled to share it, you have to do work that delivers on the headline’s promise, and more. This is a very high bar.

The worst thing news organizations looking to get social lift from their content can do is put their audiences off with cheap headlines that deceive them about what they’re about to read, Smith writes.

My colleague Kristen Hare has written that good headlines aren’t confined to the buzzy lists of digital media startups. Read more

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