Fareed Zakaria

Why NYT journalists are essentially stuck in China

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Why New York Times journalists can’t leave China

    The country's visa backlog puts people currently stationed there "in an unenviable professional position: Should they leave their posts, they can be pretty sure at this point that their editor won’t be able to replace them." (WP) | "At a news conference in Beijing alongside President Obama, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, appeared to draw a link between unfavorable coverage and access for reporters, saying that the visa problems of news organizations were of their own making." (NYT) | NYT editorial: "A confident regime that considers itself a world leader should be able to handle truthful examination and criticism." (NYT)

  2. Washington Post appends multiple editor's notes to Zakaria columns

    David Folkenflik noticed they were up. (@davidfolkenflik). | Notes are on four of the six columns flagged by the mysterious media critics @blippoblappo and @crushingbort (1, 2, 3, 4). One didn't take a note. One article is archived. | Washington Post editorial page Editor Fred Hiatt says Zakaria "will remain on his op-ed roster." (The Daily Beast)

  3. Jeff Bezos, weaver of metaphors

    After he invested in Business Insider, the Amazon boss (and Washington Post owner) told Henry Blodget "you are just a little flame. And the flame has been kindled, and it’s in the palm of your hand, and all around you, these big winds are swirling. And if you’re not paying attention, they can snuff that flame out, immediately.” (Re/code)

  4. Chicago Tribune won't rush to replace Jane Hirt

    Its managing editor announced yesterday she would step down. (Chicago Tribune) | "No deadline has been set to name a successor." (Robert Feder)

  5. Morning shows are your home for political ads

    "The nation's marquee network morning shows — 'Good Morning America,' 'Today' and 'CBS This Morning' — attracted more U.S. Senate race-focused ads during the 2014 midterm elections than any other television programs." "GMA" showed "nearly 30,000 U.S. Senate-focused ads during the 2014 election cycle." (The Center for Public Integrity)

  6. Your Twitter experience is going to change

    The company is "exploring ways to surface relevant Tweets so the content that is interesting to you is easy to discover – whether you stay on Twitter all day or visit for a few minutes," VP of product Kevin Weil writes. (Twitter Blog) | "There’s a dilemma at the core of Twitter’s growth problem: The very features Twitter power users love about the platform — retweets, favorites and hashtags, its distinct vocabulary — are the ones that make the service so inscrutable to the newcomer." (Digiday) | Related: "Twitter said it could generate long term margins of 40 to 45 per cent – higher than the forecast for margins of 35 to 40 per cent it made during its initial public offering last year – partly because of a greater use of targeted advertising than it had predicted." (FT)

  7. Jian Ghomeshi showed the CBC a video of an injured woman

    The video, on the former CBC radio host's phone, "shows bruising to the woman’s body (she is partially covered in the video) and information provided to CBC that weekend, including text messages Ghomeshi had on his phone, refer to a 'cracked rib,'" Kevin Donovan reports. "A large bruise could be seen on the side of her body." (Toronto Star)

  8. A new job description

    "Journalism: a fancy word for the industry in which stock photos are resized." (Gawker)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Washington Post's Express illustrates the U.S.-China climate change deal. (Courtesy the Newseum)

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Alan English is now publisher of The (Shreveport, Louisiana) Times. Previously, he was general manager there. (Gannett) | James O'Byrne is now vice president of innovation for NOLA Media Group. Previously, he was director of state content there. Marcus Carmouche is now director of sports at NOLA Media Group. Previously, he was sports manager there. John Roach will be sports manager at NOLA Media Group. Previously, he was a sports managing producer there. Mark Lorando will direct state and metro content for NOLA.com. Previously, he was director of metro content there. (NOLA.com) | Meredith Artley is now editor-in-chief of CNN Digital. Previously, she was managing editor of CNN.com. Andrew Morse is now general manager of CNN Digital. He is senior vice president of CNN U.S. Alex Wellen is now chief product officer at CNN Digital. Previously, he was vice president of business, products, and strategy there. (Email) | Job of the day: Cox Media Group is looking for a digital content editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more


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 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. He also said BuzzFeed should have been more forthcoming about the deletion of old posts (a fact uncovered by Gawker, which said there were roughly 4,000 that disappeared from BuzzFeed’s site).

“BuzzFeed, before I started, was more of a content lab … kind of curating the hot conversations from the web, using algorithms to find them,” Smith said. That resulted in “tons and tons of stuff that was in that era were lists of broken links and broken images and broken videos. And we kind of really sloppily said to editors, like ‘Hey we have all this old stuff. You can’t edit it anymore because we’ve changed our CMS, it’s a huge effort to fix it. … If there’s stuff you care about, we’ll save it. We’re gonna go ahead and get rid of everything else, because we don’t want to be serving pages that have broken links.’ ”

The mistake, Smith said, was “instead of thinking, ‘Won’t it be weird for readers when they pull up a page, and it vanished?’ we thought like ‘Oh, this is a convenient way to deal with all these old things,’ which was incredibly untransparent, and not very well thought through. Gawker noticed, and wrote a good story about it, and that’s good. I’m all for that. That’s how you learn.”

Smith told the class that BuzzFeed was in the process of writing an ethics manual. “As we’ve grown, and now that we have 250 editorial staffers, sometimes it’s helpful to have specific rules,” he said.

The policy “isn’t like a set of bright-line rules, because I think those can be very misleading, and if you have clear bright lines without real principles, people find ways to game them. But to have a sense of what’s appropriate around sourcing, to define plagiarism really clearly because we had one guy who seems not to have really understood that. Things like that.”

When I pressed for details, he declined to say much about manual, saying that “we’re still working on it. We want to kick it around internally a little bit more.”

@blippoblappo's icon

@blippoblappo’s icon

After Smith came our Google chat with the anonymous bloggers, an unusual way to talk with guest speakers. Blippo’s avatar was a fish swallowing a pill; Bort, who was going by the name Horton Atonto, had an avatar of a mean-looking robot. Here’s a lightly edited transcript. I’ve cleaned up typos and reordered a few responses when we talked over each other.

Hey Blippo and, uh, Horton? Thought we were getting Bort. Man, these pseudonyms throw me off.

Bort: Apologies!

Thanks for doing this. Here with me today are 30 students in my journalism ethics class. How about we start with you guys – gals? – telling us what you can about yourselves and why you’ve been spending so much time on this. It’s clear this takes a lot of research!

Blippo: I’ll take this one. So you’ve all read up on the BuzzFeed Benny saga.

In fact, our guest speaker last hour was Ben Smith.

Bort: Oh boy.

Blippo: That’s incredible…So, we’d been reading Benny’s “journalism” for a while. And, at some point, he started ridiculing another outlet for “plagiarizing” one of his posts on H.W. Bush’s socks. We thought it would be funny if Benny had ever plagiarized, because – well, boy, wouldn’t that be hubris if a serial plagiarist was calling out people for plagiarism? So over a big bowl of Chinese takeout I just started entering phrases from his articles into Google, and voila.

Good journalistic instincts. But you have said you’re not journalists, right?

Bort: We’re not, which is the funny thing about it. They were readily available on Google.

Blippo: It doesn’t take J-school education to read an article and know that BuzzFeed Benny doesn’t have offhand knowledge about North Korea’s cell phone manufacturing industry.

Why remain anonymous?

Bort: We’ve always said that we’re not the focus of the story, outside of a human interest.

Well, at least you’re confirming you are human.

Blippo: True – we are not, in fact, a drug-taking fish and a robot.

Bort: Our work is available to the public and independently verifiable. The reaction we’ve seen from some reporters is that absent our identities, someone’s plagiarism somehow doesn’t count or matter.

Do you feel like you are making yourselves a part of the story by remaining anonymous? Sort of like Batman?

Blippo: Exactly. At this point, our anonymity is a challenge to reporters – when you have a prima facie case of plagiarism, will you let the fact that it comes from the depths of Twitter prevent you from doing the right thing and calling it out?

Bort: I think for some reporters it’s easier to ask who we are then to step on some very big toes in the industry.

The reaction by Slate Group Editor-in-Chief Jacob Weisberg was particularly strong against you. What do you make of that? (He said their “bullying vigilantism is pure J. Edgar Hoover”)

Blippo: I made a name tag out of it. “J. Edgar Hoover” is about the best honorific one can get.

Weisberg’s point — shared to some extent by some in our class — was that you are too strict in your definition of plagiarism.

Bort: Weisberg is a former classmate of Zakaria’s and it seems as if he has some pretty strong personal feelings about it, but as was pointed out early on by Elon Green he was once very unforgiving towards plagiarism when it concerned his own work.

Blippo: Mmm, now that point about being “too strict” is an important one for us to address. Look, I think if you read up on “patch writing” and other “low-level” plagiarism charges, it kind of confuses the idea of why plagiarism is so bad. Plagiarism is theft — it’s stealing someone else’s hard work, even if that hard work is merely summarizing a report. How hard is it to use quotations and cite properly? All we’re asking is for a very, very baseline level of attribution — “Hey, I read this fact in Bloomberg.”

Bort: We were alerted to some quotes Zakaria gave in 2012 concerning his first scandal and he said he didn’t think it was important to cite quotes others had gotten because it would “interrupt the flow for the reader” and because his book wasn’t an “academic work.” That ends up giving readers the idea that Zakaria did the work here, or that somehow giving credit is something best left in medical journals and the like.

Blippo: But if you still don’t agree with all of our examples — with regards to Zakaria — you have to look at the broader picture — out of the dozens and dozens of examples, does it add up to someone with a serious pattern of misattribution? To wit – this isn’t a case of someone having a good-faith effort at attribution.

The consensus here in the class is that there are definitely some instances of Zakaria lifting things word for word. But several students asked if you hurt your case by adding examples that are not so solid.

Blippo: If I had to do it again, I would have spent 3 months researching all of Zakaria’s work and then released the strongest examples all at once, alongside the less-obvious ones. But we’re not professional journalists – we’re two people who do this in our free time. The real question shouldn’t be, “Why didn’t these two random Twitter people do a better job policing Zakaria.” It should be, “Why didn’t an editor catch ANY of these examples ever?”

Bort: Even we differed on which ones were slam dunks and which ones were so-so, but the examples that weren’t as convincing as others shouldn’t mitigate the biggest offenses.

Blippo: Exactly. And even the “so-so” cases should have sent a flag up for editors. At the very least.

Bort: If Zakaria stole two Ferraris and five tricycles, he wouldn’t get easier charges on account of the latter.

Blippo: Hahaha nice.

Okay, good point. How much do you think editors are responsible to catch mistakes and plagiarism?

Blippo: We can’t expect editors to spend hours and hours doing what we do to every article that comes across their desk. We know how time consuming it is, and considering how few resources editors have, it’s simply not a reasonable request. So what we need is a journalism that gets the incentives correct through strong collective consequences for those who DO plagiarize. For example, if Zakaria can get away with impunity, what will make the next Zakaria any more likely to not lift improperly? If editors want to save themselves hassle in the future, they should enforce tough standards to bad actors now.

Bort: I think editors inherently have some responsibility when it comes to catching mistakes, like when FZ got annual trade between the US and Mexico wrong because he was lifting from a year-old article. Or confirming that interviews actually took place with the sources being quoted.

It seems that the reporters who cover the media haven’t been doing much original reporting on this; they are relying on you. What do you make of that?

Blippo: It’s frustrating.

Bort: They’re playing it safe.

Blippo: This ties back into the earlier comment about us presenting “so-so” examples: we wouldn’t have to be throwing the sink at Zakaria if a real journalist was picking up the slack here. That being said, hat tip to Dylan Byers and the folks at Poynter (who have been covering it).

Today’s post on the changes in Zakaria’s Wikipedia page was smart journalism. But I wondered if there was enough evidence to say it was “apparently Zakaria.”

Blippo: A few things. First, who else on earth besides a woman’s son would fix a misspelling of their mother’s name on a Wikipedia entry?

Bort: That was really the clincher. Fareed Zakaria hasn’t had very many defenders who didn’t employ him.

Blippo: I think we really tried to hedge here by not saying “it was Zakaria.” But considering how few reporters are aggressively covering this story, I think it merits a fun, push-the-envelope story. Again, the evidence is there for people to judge themselves. It’s not like we’re relying on sources that can’t be independently verified.

Yes, that one was fun. One last question: Where do you go from here? What is your goal?

Blippo Bort will give an answer here. But I would love to know what your class thinks we should do.

Bort: We started this for fun and it ended up becoming way bigger than we thought. One of the funnier things we’ve noticed is that we’ve mentioned several times that we’ve found other instances (that) could kindly be called questionable attribution, yet no reporters have pushed for more information. We get the impression that people are afraid their outlet is next.

Blippo: Yeah, we’ve literally teased our other stories to no end and no one has reached out.

Okay, I’ll ask: What other outlets? Which writers?

Blippo: Walked into that one. Uh…wait, what were those interesting ideas from the class?

Bort: We’re deciding at the moment whether or not to send that information to the outlet in question. Because we’re curious to find out what happens if there’s no public calling out.

(Now responding to Blippo’s question about what the students think they should do next) Some interesting ideas from the class: 1. Keep going as the anonymous posse of plagiarism; 2. Write your own interpretation of plagiarism; 3. Broaden Our Bad Media to crowdsourcing; 4. Expand to other ethical areas such as anon. sources.

Bort: I like those ideas, particularly the use of anonymous sources

Blippo: Yeah, the anonymous sources one is really compelling

Thanks for doing this — even though you ducked the question about other news outlets!

Bort: We want to make sure (the evidence) is all in order!

Blippo: We’re really in the 22nd century now, huh. And yeah, thanks for having us. … Feel free to tweet at us, students, we will make fun of your avi’s.

Hard to beat a fish eating a pill, though.

Bill Adair is the Knight Professor for the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University. Read more


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. Louis County police on behalf of Bilgin Şaşmaz, a Turkish journalist arrested in Ferguson in August. "The suit says that Şaşmaz repeatedly said “Press, Press” to identify himself. Caucasian reporters and photographers who were also documenting the incident were not arrested, it says." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) | Read the suit: (ACLU of Missouri) | Related: AP CEO Gary Pruitt wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey demanding answers about the FBI's impersonation of an AP reporter and seeking "assurances that this won’t happen again." (AP) | Jack Shafer: "Any blurring of the line between government and press can only benefit the government at the expense of the press and the dilution of the best law the country has, the First Amendment." (Reuters) | Also in journalists and courts: Ben Seibert sues Nancy Grace, who incorrectly reported he "invaded a woman's home and snapped a photo of himself on her phone, which she described as a 'textbook serial killer's calling card.'" (AP)

  3. Russia annexes media

    The Kremlin's new Sputnik service "aims to offer an alternative for people who are 'tired of aggressive propaganda promoting a unipolar world and want a different perspective,' according to its press release." (Moscow Times) | For instance, did you know that Miami was on the brink of secession? (BuzzFeed) | "The editor-in-chief of business daily Kommersant has resigned, triggering speculation Monday that he was forced out over a recent article in the newspaper about oil giant Rosneft." (Moscow Times) | CNN will no longer be broadcast in Russia after the end of the year; it ended distribution deals "following the passage of new media laws in Russia." (Mashable)

  4. Washington Post says Zakaria stories are problematic

    Five of the Post articles ID'd as unoriginal by the mysterious media critics @blippoblappo and @crushingbort are "problematic," editorial page Editor Fred Hiatt said. (Poynter) | Slate corrected a 1998 article he wrote. "I have to distinguish my own view here from Slate’s editorial decision, which I respect but don’t agree with," Slate Group boss Jacob Weisberg tells Dylan Byers. (Politico) | The next thing? "Someone from NYC is editing Zakaria's Wikipedia page to remove notes about his plagiarism and fix his mom's name." (@blippoblappo)

  5. NPR's ombudsman search is taking a while

    Edward Schumacher-Matos' last day keeps getting postponed. (Media Moves)

  6. The New Yorker paywall returns

    "We are quite reliably told that" on Tuesday "the Web site of the New Yorker, the last magazine in the world, will no longer offer the entirety of its archives, going back to 2007, for free." (The Awl)

  7. Is it time to forgive Stephen Glass?

    Hanna Rosin visits her former New Republic colleague, who has reassembled his life as a paralegal in California. "When clients come in, Steve helps the firm get them ready for trial. The first thing he does is tell them who he is. He says he worked at a magazine and he lied and made up stories and covered them up. He says he got caught, that Hollywood made a movie about it and that there are many people 'who dislike me and rightly so.'" (The New Republic)

  8. Meanwhile, in Australia

    Reporter drinks camel's milk for a month. (The Advertiser)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    A chiseled salute to veterans on the Arizona Republic. (Courtesy the Newseum)


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Greg Jaffe will cover the White House for The Washington Post. Previously, he covered the Pentagon there. Steve Mufson will cover the White House for The Washington Post. He covers the energy industry there. (Washington Post) | Herman Wong has joined the Washington Post's social media team. Previously, he was on the social media team at Quartz. (Washington Post) | Peter Holley is now a reporter on the general assignment desk at The Washington Post. Previously, he was an associate editor at Houstonia magazine. (Washington Post) | Joyce MacDonald is now vice president of journalism at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was interim president and CEO at National Public Media. (Poynter) | Job of the day: The Center (Texas) Light and Champion is looking for a reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more

Fareed Zakaria

5 Zakaria articles are ‘problematic,’ Washington Post says

Our Bad Media | Newsweek

Washington Post editorial page Editor Fred Hiatt said five Fareed Zakaria articles “strike me as problematic in their absence of full attribution.”

Those five were part of six identified as unoriginal by the anonymous media critics @blippoblappo and @crushingbort in a post Monday. The posts contained plagiarism, patchwriting or material repurposed from press releases, they wrote.

In one instance, a Zakaria piece from August 2011 contains a passage identical to one in a Foreign Policy article. In another, lines in a 2012 column echo passages from a White House press release.

The five “problematic” articles, Hiatt told Poynter in an email, are “unfair to readers and to the original sources. We will take a fuller look over the next day or two, but we probably will attach messages to the archived editions of the five columns.”

Newsweek on Friday removed the editor’s note it had placed over Zakaria’s archives for that publication, placing individual corrections on “articles that Newsweek staffers felt warranted them.” (One such note says Zakaria’s work “borrows extensively from June 1, 2004 remarks by John Kerry without proper attribution.”)

Slate on Monday put an editor’s note on a 1998 Zakaria column that “failed to properly attribute quotations and information” from another piece. @blippoblappo and @crushingbort torched that column in September. Slate Group Editor-in-Chief Jacob Weisberg told Politico’s Dylan Byers “I respect but don’t agree with” the decision. “Getting too much information from a credited source may be lazy,” Weisberg said. “It may even be bad manners. But it is not, in my opinion, an ethical infraction.”

The Post reviewed Zakaria’s work in August 2012, after he apologized for lifting words from The New Yorker in a column for Time.

In his email to Poynter, Hiatt noted all the Washington Post examples @crushingbort and @blippoblappo identified predated that incident, “when Fareed acknowledged similar problems in a column for Time magazine. At that time he said that he was overextended and that he would simplify his schedule to put more priority on his column and to make sure no such problems recurred,” Hiatt said. Read more


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. (WP)

  2. Facebook, BuzzFeed, ABC News team up on political data

    Facebook's "sentiment analysis" data "isn’t a substitute for polling, in part because the huge sample of Americans on Facebook still isn’t co-extensive with the electorate, but the sentiment data has the potential to be an important and telling complement to it," BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith writes. (BuzzFeed) | BuzzFeed looked to certain Twitter conversations to help it call races during the midterms. | Related: NBC News is teaming up with Facebook on a series of 24 stories in 24 hours about fighting Ebola. "Starting Monday, people on Facebook will see a message at the top of their News Feed with an option to share stories and donate to three charities International Medical Corps, the Red Cross and Save the Children," NBC News says in a release. (NBC News)

  3. Newsweek removes editor's note from Zakaria archives

    In late September the magazine placed a note on Fareed Zakaria's author page asking "readers with information about articles by Mr. Zakaria that may purportedly lack proper attribution" to get in touch after anonymous media critics @blippoblappo and @crushingbort started torching Zakaria's work. On Friday the magazine said "the only submissions we received were from the same two self-styled watchdogs," and placed corrections on "articles that Newsweek staffers felt warranted them." Newsweek also interviewed Mr. Blappo and Mr. Bort, who say they've found others who may warrant their attention: "it would probably be a good idea for major newspapers to revisit standard practices when it comes to sourcing," @crushingbort says. (Newsweek) | They're not light corrections. For instance, this one: "Note: Newsweek has established that this article does not meet editorial standards. It borrows extensively from 'Osama bin Laden's growing anxiety' by Fawaz Gerges without proper attribution. Newsweek acknowledges the error." (Newsweek)

  4. Vice goes to Guantanamo

    Its series "about prisons and the people inside them" launches with a collection of stories about Gitmo. (Vice)

  5. News literacy in 2014

    What Jay Rosen expects his students to know by the end of term. (PressThink)

  6. Bloomberg TV's going over the top

    Its online video viewing numbers jumped in September, Tom Cheredar writes. It doesn't require you to "authenticate that you’re already paying for Bloomberg via cable or satellite TV monthly service" and has launched "a group dedicated to OTT ad sales and partnerships, with the sole purpose of translating the OTT side to the rest of the company’s business strategy." (VentureBeat) | A year ago Peter Lauria wrote about Bloomberg TV, which he said was prized internally "behind the almighty terminal and the news unit." (BuzzFeed)

  7. Life as a pot critic

    Denver Post freelancer Jake Browne is a "supertaster" whose reviews emphasize sensation but avoid pretentiousness, Jessica Bennett writes. And, no, he doesn't get to expense his weed. (NYT)

  8. Breitbart botches hit piece on Obama's AG nominee

    The news site said Loretta Lynch had a Whitewater connection in two posts -- apparently confused by a California attorney with the same name. (Media Matters) | One post is gone, the other sports a correction.

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Washington Post's "N-word project" lands on the front page with a big, ugly, stippled "N." (Courtesy the Newseum)

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Jonathan Salant is now Washington correspondent for NJ Advance Media. Previously, he was a political reporter for Bloomberg. (Email) | Meredith Homet is now executive director of retail at GQ. Previously, she was advertising director of W. (Email) | Serge Kovaleski is now an investigative reporter for The New York Times' culture department. Previously, he was a national correspondent there. (Romenesko) | Stephen Gibson is now chief financial officer at The Washington Post. Previously, he was chief financial officer for Allbritton Communications. Beth Diaz is now vice president of audience development and analytics at The Washington Post. Previously, she was director of research and analytics there. Kristine Coratti is now vice president of communications at The Washington Post. Previously, she was director of communications there. (Washington Post) | Ed Kosowski is now news director at KCTV in Kansas City. Previously, he was news director for KWGN in Denver. Michelle Palmer is assistant news director for WSMV in Nashville, Tennessee. Previously, she was an executive producer there. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day: Dow Jones is looking for a bureau chief. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Tips? Corrections? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more


Newsweek boss: ‘clearly enough’ examples to put editor’s note on Zakaria archive

On Monday Newsweek placed an editor’s note on Fareed Zakaria’s entire archive for the magazine. It says, “some of his articles have been the subject of complaints claiming that they contain material that should have been attributed to others.”

The anonymous critics @blippoblappo and @crushingbort published a post Aug. 22 outlining what they said were instances of plagiarism in Zakaria’s 2008 book “The Post-American World” and in Newsweek and Foreign Affairs.

Reached by phone, Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Jim Impoco said simply, “The examples I saw were clearly enough for me to append a note.”

Impoco also took issue with the now-kind-of-bruited claim that he hadn’t answered a previous request for comment from Poynter about Zakaria articles that Newsweek published before he was editor and when a different company owned the magazine.

On Aug. 22, I contacted Foreign Affairs and W.W. Norton, which published “The Post-American World.” My coworker Ben Mullin emailed The Atlantic, where Zakaria was recently named a contributing editor, and Kate Gardiner, IBT’s director of social media and audience engagement, to ask if she’d pass on a message to Impoco that Poynter wanted comment. Gardiner confirms she forwarded him that message, but Impoco said he had expected to see a followup message from Poynter after that.

So just an update for those keeping score on this game of inside baseball: Newsweek and Poynter have now talked after Poynter first launched that star-crossed search for comment. No reply from Norton or Foreign Affairs yet. Poynter has been in touch with Atlantic Media, but it hasn’t yet offered any comment. Read more


Star Tribune runs ad bashing transgender kids

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. News Corp buys online real estate business: Move, Inc., owns Realtor.com, Move.com and ListHub. News Corp will “turbo-charge traffic growth” to Move’s properties, and it will “benefit from the high-quality geographic data generated by real estate searches,” CEO Robert Thomson says. (BusinessWire) | Last year Move “reported $600,000 in profit atop $227 million in revenue.” (NYT)
  2. Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an ad bashing transgender kids: The Minnesota Child Protection League ran a full-page ad Sunday in an attempt to influence the Minnesota State High School League, which may “approve a new policy that would allow transgender students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity.” Strib VP Steve Yaeger tells Aaron Rupar: “The ad in question met all the requirements of our ad policy.” (Minneapolis City Pages) | Earlier this year the Strib took some heat for how it reported on a transgender person. (Minneapolis City Pages)
  3. Esquire botches attack on ESPN: There was no all-male domestic violence panel planned, ESPN said Monday. (Deadspin) | Esquire apologized for that and for “saying that ESPN is not in the business of journalism,” Hearst Digital editorial director Kate Lewis writes in a note on the piece. Esquire is owned by Hearst, which has a 20 percent stake in ESPN, Jeremy Barr reports. “A Hearst spokesperson did not respond directly to a Capital inquiry about whether the company’s investment in ESPN played a role in the apology.” (Capital) | Despite the apology, Esquire kept a sentence that said “ESPN is not a company in the business of journalism” in the story until later that evening. (WP) | Craig Silverman finds articles with the erroneous information were shared far more widely than articles that corrected it. (Emergent)
  4. Roxane Gay will edit cultural criticism site: The Toast has hired the bestselling author to head up a new site called The Butter. (Capital) | Not at all related but this was the only item I could wedge it into: Piers Morgan will write commentary for Daily Mail Online. (Politico)
  5. Newsweek places editor’s note over Zakaria archives: “Fareed Zakaria worked for Newsweek when it was under previous ownership,” the note, which also rides along on Zakaria’s archived articles, says. “Readers are advised that some of his articles have been the subject of complaints claiming that they contain material that should have been attributed to others.” (Poynter) | “New Fun Trawling Through Fareed Zakaria’s @Newsweek Archives, Part 1″ (@blippoblappo)
  6. Will Bill Simmons stay at ESPN? He “did not think that what he said or how he said it was worthy of one of the harshest suspensions in ESPN history,” John Ourand reported Friday in a tick-tock of how ESPN decided to put its star on ice. Simmons’ contract will be up next year, Ourand writes, and “it will be interesting to see whether this suspension derails those talks.” (SportsBusiness Daily) | The clash reflects a generational conflict at ESPN, Jason McIntyre reported Friday. “The old guard has its fingers crossed they can pester and annoy Simmons to the point that he pulls the trigger on a plan they claim he’s been mulling after spending so much time in Hollywood: decamp from ESPN to a venture capital-backed solo operation with contributions from his West Coast buddies Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla.” (The Big Lead) | Erik Wemple: Suspensions “are effective primarily in forgetting and neglecting the root causes of the stupidity that materializes on air.” (WP)
  7. Chartbeat can now measure readers’ attention: The Media Ratings Council has approved Chartbeat’s bid to measure attention rather than pageviews or unique visitors. (Gigaom) | “If you’re dealing with something where you can prove attention better, you can charge more,” Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile tells Andrew Nusca. (Fortune) | Haile noted in February that there is “effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” (The Verge) | Rick Edmonds in March: “Time to ditch uniques and page views for engagement in measuring digital audiences” (Poynter)
  8. RIP Joe Nawrozki: The investigative reporter worked for three Baltimore newspapers, dug up political corruption among pols, and “taught martial arts for more than 40 years.” He died Saturday. He was 70. (The Baltimore Sun)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: Taiwan’s Apple Daily fronts the Hong Kong protests. (Courtesy Newseum)


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Ann Shoket will be a consultant for Hearst. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine. (Capital) | Kal Penn will be a special correspondent for Fusion. Previously, he was associate director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement. (Politico) | Richard Tomko is now publisher of amNewYork. Previously, he was a consultant at Boost Digital. (Email) | Tony Brancato is now executive director of Web products and audience development at The New York Times. Previously, he was head of product for the Web there. (The New York Times) | Sandy Johnson is now president and chief operating officer at The National Press Foundation. Previously, she was the excecutive editor at Stateline.org. (National Press Foundation) | Jeff Simon will be a video producer at CNN. He’s a producer for The Washington Post. (@jjsimonWP) | Cynthia Littleton will be Variety’s managing editor for television. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of television. Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein are now co-editors-in-chief at Variety. Eller was editor-in-chief of film at Variety. Wallenstein was editor-in-chief of digital there. (Variety) | Sonya Thompson will be director of news projects for Tribune Media Group. She was news director for WJW in Cleveland. Mitch Jacob will be news director at WJLA. He was news director for WSYX in Columbus. Jamie Justice will be news director at WSYX in Columbus. Previously, she was assistant news director there. Rob Cartwright is now news director for KEYE in Austin. Previously, he was news director for WSYR in Syracuse. Jeff Houston is now news director for WBMA in Birmingham. Previously, he was an assistant news director there. (Rick Gevers) | James VanOsdol has been named newsroom program manager at Rivet News Radio. He is an anchor at HearHere Radio LLC. (Robert Feder) | Job of the day: Politico is looking for a tax reporter. 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. Read more


Newsweek places editor’s note over Zakaria archives

This editor’s note now sits on Newsweek’s author page for Fareed Zakaria:

Fareed Zakaria worked for Newsweek when it was under previous ownership. Readers are advised that some of his articles have been the subject of complaints claiming that they contain material that should have been attributed to others. In addition, readers with information about articles by Mr. Zakaria that may purportedly lack proper attribution are asked to e-mail Newsweek at corrections@newsweek.com

Zakaria’s last story for Newsweek was published in September 2010, according to the archive. (The note is on that story, and others in the archive, as well.) IAC/Interactive sold Newsweek to the owners of the International Business Times last year.

Two anonymous online critics, @blippoblappo and @crushingbort, have peppered Zakaria with plagiarism charges, including some regarding his time at Newsweek. Read more


The ‘One-Page Magazine’ is toast

mediawiremorningGood morning from Chicago, where the Poynter dot org crew is attending the 2014 Online News Association Conference. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ESPN benches Bill Simmons: The talking head and Grantland boss said on a podcast that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was a “liar” and “has no integrity whatsoever.” ESPN has removed the podcast. (NYT) | Richard Deitsch: “ESPN management is looking to become more decisive with suspensions when its employees go off the rails.” (SI)
  2. Forbes zaps contributor after stupid article: Bill Frezza‘s article “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat To Fraternities” “was removed from Forbes.com almost immediately after he published it,” a Forbes spox tells Philip Caulfield. “Mr. Frezza is no longer a contributor to Forbes.com.” Frezza: “I stand by every word I wrote.” (NYDN) | Jessica Roy: “Only when we tackle the menace of drunk girls, who are absolutely getting themselves drunk while the sober brothers lock themselves in their rooms and study, can the fraternity system be restored to its rightful glory.” (NY Mag)
  3. NPR kills Robert Krulwich’s blog: “I can’t pretend. I’m sorry to have to move on.” (NPR) | NPR’s statement to Poynter’s Ben Mullin: “As [Radiolab] has grown, it has consumed a larger share of [Krulwich's] time. … Robert expects to continue his signature work for WNYC, including hosting Radiolab which is heard by millions on public radio stations across the country.”
  4. What went wrong at The Wire? Former editor Gabriel Snyder says he “always considered The Wire a great success story,” Justin Ellis reports. “I’m sorry to see the leadership of The Atlantic didn’t see it that way.” (Nieman)
  5. The Ethicist abides: But the “One-Page Magazine” and “Who Made That” are toast as new New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein cleans “up the book in anticipation of the redesign,” Joe Pompeo reports. (Capital)
  6. Weisberg v. Blappo: Slate Group honcho Jacob Weisberg called @blippoblappo and @crushingbort‘s most recent docket of charges against Fareed Zakaria “silly.” In response, they put a 1998 Zakaria column for Slate under their microscope. (Our Bad Media) | Weisberg retweeted Jesse Eisinger: “.@jacobwe is right & @blippoblappo is wrong on this new Fareed Zakaria plagiarism accusation. Also: it’s trivial.” (@eisingerj) | A little further down in Eisinger’s responses: “Generally, I think plagiarism is a low order journalism crime.”
  7. After Stanley/Rhimes affair, reflections: “Are critics – some of whom are big-name stars – subject to rigorous and questioning editing, or is there a hands-off approach?” NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan writes. Executive Editor Dean Baquet tells her diversity is “an issue and we need to work on it.” (NYT) | Baquet reorged the Times’ masthead yesterday, eliminating the position of managing editor and elevating four people to “deputy executive editor.” (NYT) | Baquet’s memo to staff. (Poynter)
  8. It’s not too late to vote for salvo! Poynter dot org yesterday settled on a list of words that are often written, never spoken. Please vote for one to ban forever. Ballyhoo is currently winning; results later today. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: Via David Shedden‘s media-history post this morning, the Sept. 25, 1690, front of Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick.


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Susan Chira is now a deputy executive editor at The New York Times. Previously, she was an assistant managing editor there. Janet Elder is now a deputy executive editor at The New York Times. Previously, she was a deputy managing editor there. Matt Purdy is now a deputy executive editor at The New York Times. He was an assistant managing editor there. Ian Fisher is now a deputy executive editor at The New York Times. Previously, he was an assistant managing editor there. Steve Duenes is now an assistant editor at the New York Times. Previously, he was graphics director there. Clifford Levy is an associate editor at the New York Times. He is the head of NYT Now. Alexandra MacCallum is now an assistant editor at The New York Times. Previously, she was an assistant managing editor there. Tom Bodkin is now creative director at The New York Times. Previously, he was a deputy managing editor there. Joe Kahn will be assistant editor for international at The New York Times. Previously, he was foreign editor there. (The New York Times) | Bill Mulvihill is now associate publisher at The Atlantic. Previously, he was national advertising director for Vanity Fair. (Email) | Roxanna Sherwood is now executive producer of “Nightline.” Previously, she was a senior producer on “20/20.” (TV Newser) | Job of the day:The Charleston Daily Mail is looking for a statehouse reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Hey hey, ONA: Gimme a shout if you’re here! @abeaujon/abeaujon@poynter.org/703-594-1103.

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


Why couldn’t any other media reporters bust Zakaria?


Enigmatic plagiarism sleuths @blippoblappo and @crushingbort discussed their crusade against CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in Esquire Monday, highlighting the limp reaction their accusations have elicited from brass at CNN and elsewhere:

So why did we do it? Why didn’t anyone else? In the month that’s passed since our first post, no actual journalist has publicly followed up with further examples. And despite the scale and continuation of the plagiarism, the response from Zakaria and his bosses have been striking in their lack of honesty or any sense of obligation to viewers and readers. CNN, TIME, and the Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt were quick to give Zakaria their wholehearted support, while Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic Media and publisher W.W. Norton have not even replied to requests by Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon for comment.

The bloggers also defended their decision to withhold their identities, saying their accusations were transparently sourced:

Nothing about who we are will give readers a deeper insight into the wide span of plagiarism committed by Fareed Zakaria, and nothing about them gives his massive theft a pass. Our names would be an issue if our work couldn’t be checked. But everything we’ve posted is publically available information that can be verified independently by anyone with an Internet connection. There were no inside sources, disgruntled employees, or discarded scripts recovered from garbage cans.

The Esquire piece comes after a series of four posts by the duo highlighting similarities between Zakaria’s work and sources he did not credit. The pair also says they have “more examples of Zakaria’s plagiarism.”

RELATED: Is it original? An editor’s guide to identifying plagiarism Read more


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