No interviews at premiere for ‘The Interview’

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. No interviews at premiere of ‘The Interview’

    "Sony Pictures said Wednesday that no broadcast media will be invited to cover the film's red carpet Thursday in Los Angeles and no interviews will be granted to print reporters at the screening." (AP)

  2. The Washington Post found more people Rolling Stone didn't interview

    T. Rees Shapiro spoke with three friends of Jackie's that Rolling Stone apparently wrote about but never actually spoke to. (The Washington Post) | Here's a succinct roundup of everything that's happened up to now. (Huffington Post) | UVA's Cavalier Daily originally published something no one else had, Ben Mullin reports -- a letter from Jackie's roommate. (Poynter) | | Related: Geneva Overholser says the news media convention of not naming sexual assault victims "is a particular slice of silence that I believe has consistently undermined society’s attempts to deal effectively with rape." (Geneva Overholser) | Related: Alexander Zaitchik, who wrote a 2013 Rolling Stone story about Barrett Brown, says he wasn't present for a scene he described in detail. (WP)

  3. Al Jazeera reporter killed in Syria

    Mahran Al Deeri "died on Wednesday while taking cover from government fire as his car hit the vehicle of rebel fighters." (Al Jazeera) | Orient TV journalists Youssef Mahmoud El-Dous, Rami Adel Al-Asmi and Salem Abdul-Rahman Khalil were all killed in a missile attack in Syria on Monday. (RWB)

  4. pulls story about Chinese-food professor

    It published a story that purported to show a racist email from Ben Edelman, the Harvard professor who very strongly disputed a $4 charge on a Chinese food order. "We cannot verify that Edelman, in fact, sent the email," an editor's note reads. "We have taken the story down." ( | Edelman apologized for the incident that led to his Internet fame. (Ben Edelman) | Some 2010 emails from Edelman over a Groupon gone wrong. (

  5. Excellent headline alert

    "N.M. high school teacher resigns after student’s story about Jesus giving out marijuana stirs controversy" (SPLC)

  6. The week everyone stepped down

    Alan Rusbridger steps down as The Guardian's editor. (The Guardian) | Joe Pompeo has a rundown of who may succeed Rusbridger. (Capital) | Gawker honcho Nick Denton names Heather Dietrick president, will remain CEO. (Also, and this is quite important: Tommy Craggs is Gawker Media's new executive editor.) (New York Observer) | Bloomberg News EIC Matthew Winkler stepped down this week, and Matthew Zeitlin reports the company passed over Executive Editor Laurie Hays when replacing him. (BuzzFeed)

  7. Maybe media companies aren't such bad places to work

    NBC Universal, ESPN and LinkedIn (hey, it publishes stuff) are among Glassdoor's "best places to work" list. (MediaJobsDaily) | This business has been on the upswing since CareerCast ranked "reporter" 199 on its Top 200 jobs list, one slot higher than "lumberjack." (Poynter)

  8. There's something called a Google Tax

    Google announced it's shutting down Google News in Spain before a Jan. 1 intellectual property tax begins. That tax is nicknamed "Google Tax." (Associated Press)

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

    Burlington Free Press leads with a winter wonderland wallop. (Courtesy the Newseum)


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Tommy Craggs has been named executive editor at Gawker Media. Previously, he was editor of Deadspin. Heather Dietrick has been named president of Gawker Media. Previously, she was general counsel there. Andrew Gorenstein has been named president of advertising and partnerships at Gawker Media. Previously, he was chief revenue officer there. Scott Kidder has been named chief operating officer at Gawker Media. Previously, he was vice president of operations there. Erin Pettigrew has been named chief strategy officer at Gawker Media. Previously, she was vice president of business development there. Nick Denton has been named CEO of Gawker Media. Previously, he was publisher there. (New York Observer) | Alan Rusbridger will become chair of the Scott Trust. He is editor-in-chief of The Guardian. (Poynter) | Greg Ip will be chief economics commentator at The Wall Street Journal. He covered economics and policy for The Economist. (Wall Street Journal) | Tom Gara is now business editor at BuzzFeed. Previously, he was deputy business editor there. (Romenesko) | Giovanna Gray Lockhart is now a contributing editor at Glamour. Previously, she was a senior advisor to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: The Center for Public Integrity is looking for an engagement editor. Get your résumés in! (Center for Public Integrity) | Send Ben your job moves:

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here.

Correction: Yesterday's newsletter referred to Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson as a "he." She is, of course, the correct pronoun. Thanks to the newsletter readers who alerted me to the error. Read more

1 Comment

Photo Sphere, a free and simple tool, gives interactivity and depth to stories

I have tried many programs and apps over the years to capture 360-degree interactive photographs. None has been as easy to use as Google’s Photo Sphere Camera app. Android users have had this at their fingertips for more than a year but the iPhone app is fairly new.

This is PhotoSphere’s instructional video. It really is as easy as it looks.

Photo Sphere tells me to aim my iPhone camera at an orange dot (the dot is blue on Android phones) on the screen. When I get it aligned, the camera snaps, and I do this over and over as I turn in a 360-degree motion. Once I get all the way around, I tilt up to capture the ceiling and down to capture the floor. In all, I captured a 18 images. I knew I was done when there were no white spaces left on my screen to fill with a photo. The photos will overlap, but not to worry. When I am done capturing I touch the check mark on the screen and the photos are stitched together. A minute or so later, the image is ready to be emailed, shared or sent to a web page editor to embed.

I am working in Chicago this week, so I stood in the lobby of the beautiful Palmer Hotel to give Photo Sphere a try. This is my first creation. Click on the photo and drag around to get a 360-degree look at the lobby.

Nice ceiling, right? I did the project a couple of more times waiting for crowds to clear out before I captured the 360-degree panoramic image. One issue to be aware of is when the image has a lot of motion in it, you can get blurs.

I got hooked on 360-degree imaging years ago when saw a Washington Post 360 of a fireworks display. That project included an audio track of the crowd yelling and clapping for each explosion. But the process of creating them was too time consuming for me. I wanted to be able to capture images quickly, sew them together and turn the photos into a panorama in minutes, not hours. Then came along some auto-stitching software that would match sections of the frame for me.

My first try was with and it was surprisingly good, but it is not free. Here is a long list of panoramic stitching applications, some free and some not. As you can see a lot of them have free versions, but the images are watermarked.

Microsoft’s Photosynth is another great tool for 360s. The Microsoft tool has been around for years and now has a “synthing” algorithm that also allows the user to construct a three-dimensional model using photos sometimes from different directions. Microsoft says its program can meld 200 photos into one interactive in no more than 10 minutes, usually. Here is a demonstration of how to use Photosynth on a phone.

Microsoft’s Photosynth also allows large gigabyte-sized panoramic photos, which preserves details in high-resolution quality.

The software and hardware you use may depend on what you need.

There are lots of kinds of panoramic photos from a partial pano, which I often capture on my iPhone using the pano setting. I like this because it gives a sense of size and proportion to an event.


The Cylindrical pano is a full 360-degree shot but it does not include what is above and below the photographer which Photo Sphere now makes easy.

The spherical panorama like Photo Sphere provides is what really captures my attention. I love being able to zoom in and out on any part of the image around, above or below me.

If you really want to step up the quality of your panos, try using a DSLR camera and a pano tripod head.

This is how pros would capture an image like that using a 360-tripod head and a camera with a fisheye lens.

Real pano pros use motorized tripod heads they control with their computer or laptop.

Is there an ethical concern involved with stitching photos together for a news story? I could see the argument that we are taking several images, separated by several seconds or even longer and turning them into a single image that may not have existed that way in reality. For example, this image of Paris is certainly a collection of many images Photo Sphere stitched together.



The bird would have certainly moved and so would the people. So the bird and the people would not have existed in exactly the position that was captured. A key here is to explain your technique to the public and point out the image is a composite of many images captured over, for example, a minute. If you wanted to, you could even make the individual images available in a slideshow.

From an online point of view, it puts the user in charge of what he or she wants to see and obviously the interactivity increases the time the user spends on the site, which is a key metric these days.

Whatever tool you choose for putting panoramic photos into your storytelling tool bag. The old problems of cost and difficulty shouldn’t stop you anymore. Read more

1 Comment

Poynter offers free training from Google

News University

The Poynter Institute Tuesday is offering a day of training on tools from Google, taught by the company’s own experts.

The training, which will be offered for free courtesy the Google for Media team, consists of six 60-minute presentations on tools including search, mapping, data and Hangouts. The sessions are designed for journalists from varied backgrounds, including video and photojournalists, writers, bloggers and producers.

Here’s the schedule:

  • 9 a.m. Google research tools (search, trends, correlate and Public Data Explorer)
  • 10:15 a.m. General mapping overview (Google Maps Engine, Maps API, Google Fusion Tables)
  • 11:15 a.m. Customs maps training (More with Google Maps Engine and Fusion Tables)
  • 1:15 p.m. Learn how to use Google Earth to supplement stories on newscasts or websites
  • 2:15 p.m. Discover how to use Google+ and Hangouts on Air to interact with audiences and create live video broadcasts
  • 3:30 p.m. Learn about best practices for using YouTube

If you’re interested, you can sign up here. Read more


Google forced by European law to remove positive article

Worcester News | The Guardian

Google has been forced by Europe’s “Right to Be Forgotten” law to remove an article about an artist named Dan Roach from its search results. The article ran in the U.K.’s Worcester News in 2009, and unlike many of the articles memory-holed by the law, was positive.

Roach objected to the piece, however, because it showed work that “bears little resemblance to the paintings I’m now making,” he told the News. He added: “The decision to ask for the link to be removed from Google was based on no more than a wish to highlight my new work, rather than the old.”

The new Worcester News article helpfully reproduces the photo from the 2009 article.

The ruling has caused the search giant to vanish articles subjects find objectionable: The Guardian, for instance, lost links to articles about Dougie McDonald, a Scottish soccer referee who retired after a report said he lied about why he reversed a penalty.

The ruling stemmed from the case brought by a Spaniard named Mario Costeja González who wanted Google to remove “an announcement for a real-estate auction organised following attachment proceedings for the recovery of social security debts owed by Mr Costeja González” published by the newspaper La Vanguardia in the late ’90s. Read more


Career Beat: Former NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth joins HuffPost

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

  • Michael Bloomberg will replace Daniel Doctoroff as chief executive officer of Bloomberg LP. Previously, Bloomberg was mayor of New York City. (New York Times)
  • Gina Sanders is now president of Condé Nast Global Development. She was president and CEO of Fairchild Fashion Media. (Condé Nast)
  • Brian Olsavsky will be chief financial officer for, Inc. He is the company’s vice president of finance. (Amazon)
  • Donte Stallworth is a politics fellow at The Huffington Post. Previously, he was a coaching intern with the Baltimore Ravens. Before that, he was an NFL wide receiver. (HuffPost Politics)
  • Chris Meighan is now design director of The Washington Post’s mobile initiative. Previously, he was The Post’s deputy design director. (The Washington Post)
  • Doris Truong will be weekend editor for The Washington Post’s universal desk. She is the homepage editor for The Post. (The Washington Post)
  • Joe Vardon will cover LeBron James for the Northeast Ohio Media Group. He was a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch. (Romenesko)
  • Tom Gara will be deputy editor for BuzzFeed Business. He is the corporate news editor for The Wall Street Journal. (Recode)
  • David Gehring will be vice president of partnerships for Guardian News & Media. He was the head of global alliances and strategic partnerships for Google. (Release)

Job of the day: The Dallas Morning News is looking for a photographer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: Read more


Jill Abramson doesn’t return NYT’s email

mediawiremorningGood morning. Almost there. Let’s go. Read more

1 Comment

World Cup was most talked-about sporting event in Facebook history

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day):

— At, Abigail Edge rounds up seven tips from Google’s Dan Russell on how to use search more effectively in your newsgathering — including how to use Google Trends, and when it makes sense to search by color.

— AllFacebook’s David Cohen reports that “350 million Facebook users generated 3 billion interactions” during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, “making it the most-talked-about sporting event in the social network’s history.”

— Nieman Lab’s Joseph Lichterman explains how some news organizations “are stashing staff around the world to keep content fresh.” The rise of mobile means “readers are demanding news content earlier and earlier, and that doesn’t line up with how most newsroom schedules have traditionally been structured.” Read more

1 Comment

Glenn Greenwald returns, Daily Mail removes Clooney story

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. U.S. officials warned Muslims about Greenwald story: Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain reported in a piece published early Wednesday that the FBI and NSA have “covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans.” Prior to publication, they write, Justice Department officials “were reaching out to Muslim-American leaders across the country to warn them that the piece would contain errors and misrepresentations, even though it had not yet been written.” (The Intercept) | The authors will discuss the story on Reddit. (@ggreenwald)
  2. New Yorker plans changes to paywall: All articles will be available free for three months starting July 21, then it plans to charge “its most avid readers through a subscription plan.” (NYT)
  3. BuzzFeed reporter “would suck” at clickbait: BuzzFeed “hired me because they want me to do what I’ve done before: big investigative projects,” Chris Hamby writes in an AMA. “BuzzFeed has a tremendous amount of content, including news articles, so I’m not expected to feed the beast.” (Reddit) | From April: “Chris Hamby joins Buzzfeed, Pulitzer in hand” (Capital)
  4. Daily Mail story untrue, “dangerous,” says George Clooney: The actor writes about a “negligent and more appropriately dangerous” Mail Online story about supposed religious differences in his wife’s family. “[W]hen they put my family and my friends in harm’s way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence.” (USA Today) | Mail Online has removed the story (Poynter)
  5. Glenn Beck moves closer to Orson Welles: The Blaze’s new NYC HQ “was once the home of the Mercury Theatre, the repertory founded by Beck’s hero, Orson Welles.” (Capital)
  6. NPR warns staffers about social media: “Also, despite what many say, retweets should be viewed AS endorsements.” (Jim Romenesko) | Previously: NPR’s new guidelines for using social networks: ‘Respect their cultures’ (Poynter) | How to create effective social-media guidelines (Poynter)
  7. How Alex Seitz-Wald may have predicted the future: The National Journal reporter floated the idea in November 2012 (when he was with Salon) that The Daily Caller’s Sen. Menendez “scoop” may have been planted by Cuban intelligence. (The Washington Post)
  8. Music site censors album cover artwork after Google warning: Drowned in Sound alters album covers by Lambchop and Sigur Rós after search giant notifies it about changes to AdWords program. (The Independent)
  9. What viewers does Al Jazeera America hope to attract? “Al Jazeera America is pursuing a class of viewers that’s headed for extinction,” Jack Shafer writes. (Reuters)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Peter Leonard is the Ukraine correspondent for the Associated Press. Leonard had been covering the country for the AP as a freelancer. (AP) | Jane Martinson will be The Guardian’s new head of media. Martinson had been the paper’s women’s editor. (The Guardian) | Michael Provus is now the publisher of Rolling Stone, replacing Chris McLoughlin. Provus had been an associate publisher at Rolling Stone. (Fishbowl NY) | Gabriel Stricker is the chief communications officer at Twitter. Stricker, the former vice president of communications for Twitter, replaces Ali Rowghani. Katie Stanton is now Twitter’s vice president of global media, replacing Chloe Sladden (Re/Code, Variety) | Alexis Madrigal will be deputy editor for He had been a senior editor at the magazine. Julie Beck will be the editor of the’s health channel. She had been a senior associate editor. Kathy Gilsinan will be an associate editor. She had been a senior editor at World Politics Review. (Fishbowl NY) | Brian Sweany will be the new editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly. Sweany had been an executive editor for Texas Monthly. (Politico) | The New York Times is hiring deputy digital editors. Get your résumés in! Send Ben your job moves:

Suggestions? Corrections? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: Read more


Google removes Guardian, BBC search results; Facebook drives 25% of Hearst’s traffic

— Google has notified The Guardian and BBC that certain articles will no longer appear in European searches, Mark Scott writes at The New York Times Bits blog. A European court ruling allows people “to ask for links to information about themselves to be removed from search results.”

— As news organizations fail to take advantage of the surge in mobile ad spending, Poynter’s Rick Edmonds says his hunch “is that getting video right and getting stronger mobile ad performance will go hand in hand for news sites.”

— Facebook drives 25 percent of traffic to Hearst magazines, up from 4 percent last year. Lucia Moses explains the publisher’s new focus on Facebook at Digiday.

— Vice Media will move to a larger Brooklyn headquarters, Laura Kusisto reports in The Wall Street Journal. The company’s $6.5 million in state tax credits will be tied to the creation of 525 new jobs in the next five years.

— Slate’s Will Oremus takes Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to task for a “non-apology apology” that’s “as incoherent as it is disingenuous.” Sandberg said the company’s emotion-manipulation study was “poorly communicated.”

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more


‘Right to be forgotten’ vanishes Guardian articles

The Guardian users no longer see key Guardian articles if they search for information about Dougie McDonald, a referee who retired after a report said he lied about why he reversed a penalty.

“No one has suggested the stories weren’t true, fair or accurate,” James Ball writes. “But still they are made hard for anyone to find.” The Guardian got “an automated notification that six Guardian articles have been scrubbed from search results,” Ball writes.

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in May that Google must remove links to articles that are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.” Individuals may petition for the removal of results.

Anyone in the U.S. searching “Dougie McDonald Guardian” would see the Guardian articles, Ball writes. (While researching this post, I also found some interesting edits to his Wikipedia page: For example, a user named “Realreffacts” changed the page to read McDonald retired “as media pressure on him became unwarranted.”)

Ball didn’t ask McDonald whether he asked for his results to be changed. I left a message Wednesday at his office in Glasgow, Scotland, which told me he’d left for the day.

Google has given European users a workaround, Ball writes: “If you go to the Google homepage, and look in the bottom right-hand corner, you’ll see a link saying ‘Use’. Do that – or switch to another search engine, such as DuckDuckGo, which has no EU footprint and also doesn’t track cookies – and for now, you’ll see the full unfiltered results.” Read more


Get the latest media news delivered to your inbox.

Select the newsletter(s) you'd like to receive:
Page 1 of 1412345678910...Last »