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Career Beat: Joe Germuska named Knight Lab interim director

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

  • Joe Germuska will be interim director at the Knight Lab. Previously, he was director of software engineering there. (Knight Lab)
  • Millie Tran is now a writer for BuzzFeed’s news apps team. Previously, she was editorial coordinator at the American Press Institute. (Email)
  • Noah Kotch is senior editor and director of video at The Washington Post. Previously, he was chief content officer at Vocativ. (Washington Post)
  • Suzette Moyer will be a senior designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was creative director of Bay magazine at the Tampa Bay Times. Carey Jordan will be a designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was art director at Washington City Paper. (Washington Post)
  • Josef Reyes will be creative director at Foreign Policy.
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Why NPR didn’t publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons

NPR | The Two-Way

NPR decided not to publish controversial cartoons from satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo because “posting just a few of the cover images” of the Prophet Muhammad “could be misleading,” standards editor Mark Memmott wrote Monday.

Publishing a few magazine covers, Memmott writes, might give readers the impression the magazine is “only a bit edgier” than similar publications. But a more thorough examination of the cartoons would violate “most news organizations’ standards regarding offensive material.”

At NPR, the policy on “potentially offensive language” applies to the images posted online as well. It begins by stating that “as a responsible broadcaster, NPR has always set a high bar on use of language that may be offensive to our audience.

In the aftermath of the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, news organizations have been divided over whether to publish cartoons from the magazines depicting Muhammad, whose likeness is sacrosanct among Muslims. Read more

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Career Beat: HuffPost adds three from The New Republic

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

  • Tiffani Lupenski is now news director for KGTV in San Diego. Previously, she was news director for KATU in Portland, Oregon. (Rick Gevers)
  • Greg Veis has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was an executive editor at The New Republic. Rachel Morris has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, she was an executive editor at The New Republic. Jonathan Cohn has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was a writer for The New Republic. (The New York Times)
  • Kevin Uhrmacher has joined The Washington Post’s graphics team. Previously, he was an intern at The Washington Post. John Muyskens will join the graphics team at The Washington Post. He is a graduate of Calvin College.
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How BuzzFeed added emojis to its CMS

In early November, BuzzFeed’s product team got a message from founding CEO Jonah Peretti. He had a request: Could the team add emojis — those ubiquitous little icons used to convey emotions — to the company’s content management system?

If the product team accomplished the task, it would mean staffers could use their computers’ built-in emoji keyboards to insert the cute symbols, offering a shortcut through the tedium of copying and pasting every time they wanted to use a smiley-face.

There was one problem. Tackling the project would require the team to have access to a full set of open-source icons, and the most common ones were proprietary — owned by companies like Apple, Android and Google. Peretti suggested the team use Twitter’s emoji set, and the next day Twitter announced it was open-sourcing its emojis. Read more

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William Shatner’s cool with a BuzzFeed reporter using their conversation on a hoodie

I’m just going to get out of the way here.

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Melissa Segura named BuzzFeed’s first investigative fellow

BuzzFeed News announced Tuesday that Melissa Segura will be its first investigative fellow. Segura has reported at Sports Illustrated and SI.com since 2001, when she was a college intern.

“Melissa reports deeply and writes beautifully, and she produced magnificent stories for Sports Illustrated,” said Mark Schoofs, investigations and projects editor at BuzzFeed News, via email. “Now, she will get the chance to deploy her tremendous investigative talents into other subject areas. We can’t wait to share with our readers her new work.”

Melissa Segura, submitted photo

Melissa Segura, submitted photo

In October, BuzzFeed announced the one-year fellowship along with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with the intention of bringing a more diverse pool of journalists into the investigative field. In an email, Segura wrote that she’s grateful to BuzzFeed News and Columbia for making a commitment to investigative journalism. Read more

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Career Beat: Kimberly Wyatt is news director for WEAR-TV

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

  • Kimberly Wyatt is now a news director at WEAR in Pensacola, Florida. Previously, she was news director for KGBT in Harlingen, Texas. (Rick Gevers)
  • Thomas Ghareeb is now vice president and controller of Hearst Magazines. Previously, he was assistant controller of budget and forecasting there. (Fishbowl NY)
  • Laura McGann is now political editor at Vox Media. Previously, she was deputy managing editor at Politico. (Fishbowl DC)
  • Sam Kirkland is joining BuzzFeed’s news apps team. Previously, he was a digital media fellow at Poynter (‏@samkirkla)
  • Perry Stein will be a local blogger for The Washington Post. She’s a staff writer and blogger for Washington City Paper. Sarah Pulliam Bailey will be a religion blogger and writer for The Washington Post.
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Career Beat: Russell Contreras named president of UNITY

  • Russell Contreras will be president of UNITY. He is a reporter at The Associated Press (NAJA)
  • Sam Figler is now head of global business development at BuzzFeed. Previously, he was vice president of global business development at Yahoo. (Capital)
  • Wendy Carrillo is now an anchor and producer at Reported.ly. Previously, she was a writer and digital producer for NuvoTV. (MediaMoves)
  • Will Hobson will be a sports news reporter at The Washington Post. Previously, he was a cops and courts reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. (Washington Post)
  • Ryan O’Hara will be CEO of Move, Inc. Previously, he was president at the Madison Square Garden Company. (News Corp)
  • Katy McColl is now senior executive editor at Southern Living.
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The ethics of hacked email and otherwise ill-gotten information

Sony and Aaron Sorkin both got it wrong. There are journalism ethics to mining emails hacked by someone else. But the question is not whether or not to mine them, but rather how.

Journalists generally agree that it’s appropriate to use ill-gotten information in the public interest, whether it’s the Pentagon Papers or a massive email hack.

But good intentions and execution are two different things. The latter involves a solid process rooted in journalistic values — because public interest is a moving target. Some newsrooms claim public interest when information is merely interesting, funny or salacious. The article about Channing Tatum’s goofy email might fall into that category.

BuzzFeed’s look at Maureen Dowd’s practice of allowing prior review, which Dowd denied, could be in the public interest because Dowd is a powerful columnist at a powerful newspaper that influences public opinion. Read more

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NYT corrects: Pope didn’t open heaven to pets

A New York Times story by Rick Gladstone carries a hefty correction explaining that pooches are still barred from everlasting paradise:

An earlier version of this article misstated the circumstances of Pope Francis’ remarks. He made them in a general audience at the Vatican, not in consoling a distraught boy whose dog had died. The article also misstated what Francis is known to have said. According to Vatican Radio, Francis said: “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us,” which was interpreted to mean he believes animals go to heaven. Francis is not known to have said: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.’’ (Those remarks were once made by Pope Paul VI to a distraught child, and were cited in a Corriere della Sera article that concluded Francis believes animals go to heaven.) An earlier version also referred incompletely to the largest animal protection group in the United States.

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