Articles about "Jeff Bezos"


Men’s Health demonstrates how not to talk about sports with anyone

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. CNN will cut 300 jobs: About 130 people have taken buyouts, and 170 more will be laid off, Brian Stelter reports. Parent Turner Broadcasting plans to lay off 1,475 people. (CNN) | “Turner said it was adding 150 employees in growth areas.” (NYT)
  2. How not to talk about sports with anyone: Men’s Health tweeted an image of a woman holding a foam finger under the legend “How to Talk about Sports with Women.” The link led to a slight Teresa Sabga story called “The Secret to Talking Sports with Any Woman.” The mag apologized on Twitter: “It missed the mark and the negative feedback is justified. We’ve deleted it.” (@MensHealthMag) | A brief selection of reactions: “is this a joke?” (@AishaS) | “hi @MensHealthMag, you don’t know me, but i run @ESPNMag’s annual analytics issue. also, i have a vagina!” (@megreenwell) | “The article (article?) itself is 100 words of non-advice.” (The Daily Dot)
  3. College rescinds George Will’s speaking engagement: Scripps College uninvited Will from speaking at the all-women school. Will wrote a stupid column about sexual assault earlier this year. “They didn’t say that the column was the reason, but it was the reason,” Will told Brad Richardson. He was due to speak at the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program, which aims to “bring speakers to campus whose political views differ from the majority of students.” (The Claremont Independent) | The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dumped Will’s column last June. “The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it,” Tony Messenger wrote. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) | An all-male cast of editors handled the column. (WP)
  4. L.A. Times says Aaron Kushner owes it millions: It stopped delivering the Orange County Register (and the now-shuttered Los Angeles Register) in L.A., telling Gustavo Arellano the Register “has, for more than a year and a half, been consistently late in paying money it owes The Times for services rendered.” (OC Weekly) | “The shame about the U.S. economy in the 2000s is that it’s been marked by a dearth of Aaron Kushners.” (Forbes)
  5. Scammers target Denver Post subscribers: “The notices offer one-year renewals to The Denver Post for the low, low price of only $489.95, which equates to 410 percent more than the actual current amount for The Post’s All Access Plus digital replica subscription and about 71 percent more than a new seven-day print subscription.” (The Denver Post) | Subscribers of several McClatchy papers, including The Sacramento Bee and the Charlotte Observer, have also been hit. (Sac Bee) | OOF: “Criminals should get -30- to life.” (@jfdulac)
  6. Amazon will help spread Washington Post content: A Kindle app, free for those who buy a certain model and paid for those who buy others, “will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the daily newspaper in a magazine-style, tablet-friendly format.” (Bloomberg Businessweek) | “[I]f it increases the Post‘s reach (either for readers or advertisers, or both) and it doesn’t cost Amazon or Bezos too much, then it is a slam-dunk.” (Gigaom) | “Honest question: How many of you are listening to U2’s new album because Apple forced it into your iTunes library?” (@dylanbyers) | (Honest answer: I gave it many chances but still can’t recall most of the songs.) | Marginally related: Margaret Sullivan looked at whether NYT has covered Amazon v. Hachette fairly. (NYT) | FLASHBACK: Times reporter David Streitfeld on Amazon: “They don’t care if they’re liked, or even if they’re understood. That makes them challenging to write about.” (Poynter)
  7. Lessons from The New Yorker’s Web redesign: “Right on down to the font choice and page breaks, every decision we made, we first asked ourselves, ‘How will this affect whether or not people will read a story from beginning to the end?’” NewYorker.com Editor Nicholas Thompson tells John Brownlee. (Fast Company)
  8. A meh-moir: An oral history of the NYT’s Meh List. “[N]o one lived it like Mark Leibovich, who developed a sixth sense for meh.” By Samantha Henig, with additional reporting and user experience by Jon Kelly. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times greets autumn, beautifully. (Courtesy the Newseum.)

    asheville-10072014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: David Gillen is now executive editor of news enterprise at Bloomberg News. Previously, he was deputy business editor of enterprise at The New York Times. (Politico) | Loren Mayor is now chief operating officer for NPR. Previously, she was senior vice president of strategy there. (Poynter) | Mike Grunwald will be a senior staff writer at Politico magazine. He is a senior national correspondent for Time magazine. (Playbook) | Weston Phippen is now a reporter for the National Journal. Previously, he was a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times. Lauren Fox will be a Congress reporter at the National Journal. Previously, she was a political reporter at U.S. News and World Report. (Email) | Mark Brackenbury has been named executive editor for the Connecticut Group at Digital First Media. He is managing editor for the New Haven Register. (New Haven Register) | Colleen Noonan has been named vice president of marketing and creative service for the New York Daily News. Previously, she was a digital media and marketing consultant at Pitney Bowes. Melanie Schnuriger is now vice president of product development for the New York Daily News. Previously, she was general manager of fashion and beauty for Hearst Digital Media. Kristen Lee is director of digital development for the New York Daily News. Previously, she was digital integration editor there. Brad Gerick is now director of social media for the New York Daily News. He has been social media manager and regional editor for Patch.com. Zach Haberman is now deputy managing editor for digital at the New York Daily News. Previously, he was digital news editor there. Cristina Everett is now deputy managing editor for digital entertainment at the New York Daily News. Previously, she was senior digital entertainment editor there. Andy Clayton is now deputy managing editor for digital sports at the New York Daily News. Previously, he was senior online sports editor there. Christine Roberts is mobile and emerging products editor at the New York Daily News. Previously, she was an associate homepage editor there. (Email) | Job of the day: BuzzFeed is looking for a National LGBT Reporter. Get your résumés in! (BuzzFeed) | 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.
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Jason Rezaian, Yeganeh Salehi

Iran frees one journalist

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Iran frees one journalist: Yeganeh Salehi is out of jail, but her husband, Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian, remains in custody. They were arrested July 22. (WP)
  2. NBC News freelancer arrives in U.S. for Ebola treatment: Ashoka Mukpo is on his way to Omaha. (NBC News)
  3. Another view of The Washington Post under Jeff Bezos: “Only a nitwit would root against the health of the daily newspaper in the nation’s capital,” writes David Carr, who says that Executive Editor Marty Baron‘s paper “is in the middle of a great run, turning out the kind of reporting that journalists — and readers — live for.” (NYT) | The Post set a traffic record in September. (Capital) | Last week Politico wrote that the Post’s new regime had produced “no major digital innovation, no radical new product launch, no change to delivery or presentation, and no promise of any specific plans for the future.” (Politico)
  4. Turkish police fire tear gas at BBC crew: “It had been fired from no more than 10 feet away and could easily have killed anyone it hit.” (BBC News)
  5. Welcome, Bloomberg Politics: The new publication launched Sunday. Its TV show, “With All Due Respect,” bows tonight. | “On the landing page featured pieces are distinctly numbered from one to seven” — hey, wait a minute! (Politico)
  6. FCC slows review of Comcast-Time Warner merger: The agency “cites recent filings submitted by Comcast stating that its acquisition of NBCUniversal has not led to higher prices for NBC national networks and local TV stations, an outcome that runs counter to the FCC’s own analysis.” (Forbes) | “Comcast says that this pause is not necessarily a sign of trouble and that it tends to occur in large transactions.” (The Verge)
  7. British police used anti-terror laws to get newspaper’s call records: The Crown Prosecution Service asked Mail on Sunday for records about its sources for a story about Chris Huhne, a cabinet minister who tried to get out of a speeding ticket. When it refused, police used the country’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and “trawled through thousands of confidential numbers called by journalists from a landline at the busy newsdesk going back an entire year, covering hundreds of stories unrelated to the Huhne case. (Mail on Sunday)
  8. Gary Hart revisited, revisited: Boston University j-school honcho and former Miami Herald Executive Editor Tom Fiedler pushes back against a Matt Bai story that showed the Herald’s hunt for evidence of Sen. Gary Hart‘s infidelity couldn’t have been inspired by his now-famous challenge to the press. A week before the Herald article, Fiedler writes, Hart told him, “I’ve been in public life for 15 years and I think that if there was anything about my background that anybody had any information on, they would bring it forward. But they haven’t.” He also writes: “To me, the question that Bai and others raise shouldn’t be why the news media reported on Hart’s activities, but why it failed to report on FDR, JFK and LBJ.” (Politico)
  9. Matthew Rosenberg can return to Afghanistan: New Afghan president Ashraf Ghani reversed the NYT reporter’s expulsion Sunday. (NYT)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Dave Cohn will take a job at a broadcast network. Previously, he was chief content officer for Circa. (Poynter) | Chris Mooney will start an environmental blog at The Washington Post. Previously, he was a correspondent for Mother Jones. (Washington Post) | Dodai Stewart will be director of culture coverage at Fusion. Previously, she was deputy editor at Jezebel. (Jezebel) | Taffy Brodesser-Akner is now a correspondent for GQ. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, New York magazine and Playboy. (Email) | Jonathan Shorman will be a statehouse reporter at the Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal. Previously, he was a reporter for the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader. (News-Leader) | David la Spina is now a photo editor for The New York Times Magazine. He has taught photography at Simon’s Rock College. Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a contributor at The New York Times Magazine. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, New York magazine and Playboy. Gideon Lewis-Kraus is a contributor at The New York Times Magazine. He has written for Harper’s, Wired and GQ. (New York Times Magazine) | Peter Canellos is now executive editor at Politico. Previously, he had been editorial page editor at The Boston Globe. (Politico) | Renee Rupcich is design director for Nylon and NylonGuys. Previously, she was senior art director of the Condé Nast Media Group. (Email) | Vice Media is looking for a news video editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Why did the CDC try to embargo Ebola news?

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Why did the CDC place an embargo on Ebola news? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first case of Ebola in the U.S. Tuesday. (CDC) | The rollout didn’t follow the CDC’s schedule, though. As AP put it, “The CDC initially embargoed the announcement of the diagnosis until 4:30 p.m. CDT, but then lifted the embargo after several news organizations broke that restriction.” | NBC’s story, for instance, was first published at 4:52 p.m. ET. “Which means, by the way, unless NBC’s standards have changed dramatically recently, which I doubt, that someone at the CDC went on the record about this before the ‘embargo’ lifted,” Ivan Oransky writes. He also notes another problem with the press release: “When you put ‘For Immediate Release’ and ‘Embargoed’ on the same press release about @#$% Ebola, you get the blame for the broken embargo.” (Embargo Watch) | In 2007, Washington Post reporter Craig Timberg got a scoop based on info he got independently and other news orgs had agreed to embargo. (Slate)
  2. Gary Shelton leaves the Tampa Bay Times: The longtime sports columnist “has been the Times’ voice throughout Tampa Bay’s greatest Sports generation.” (Tampa Bay Times) | Peter Schorsch has other names of people who he says are taking buyouts at the newspaper, which Poynter owns. (SaintPetersBlog) | The newspaper announced a cut in staff pay and hinted that layoffs may follow a round of planned buyouts. (Poynter)
  3. Feds settle with Washington Times: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will reimburse the newspaper and former Times reporter Audrey Hudson for some of their legal costs after an agent from the Coast Guard Investigative Service seized her notes while searching her house for “registered firearms and a potato launcher supposedly belonging to Ms. Hudson’s husband.” (The Washington Times) | Alex Pappas wrote about the raid last year. (The Daily Caller)
  4. Graham era officially ends at Washington Post: Katharine Weymouth‘s last day as Post publisher was yesterday. (WP) | Her last masthead. (@jfdulac) | Welcome to work, Fred Ryan! Here’s an article in the publication you used to run that says Jeff Bezos has no discernible plan for the paper. Also, Jack Shafer calls you a “Washington spearchucker who will throw the spears Bezos hands him.” (Politico)
  5. Chinese censors can’t keep up with pro-democracy gestures online: But “Most analysts agree that China’s government will most likely succeed in keeping most of its citizens in the dark, and early signs suggest there will be little tolerance for those who defy the censors.” (NYT)
  6. St. Louis indie journalist’s car robbed after his arrest: When cops arrested Bassem Masri for traffic warrants, they didn’t lock his car. “[M]y clothes, my iPad, my equipment, everything got stolen,” Masri tells Ray Downs. He used the equipment to live-stream from Ferguson protests and is trying to raise money to replace his stuff. (Riverfront Times)
  7. Back when racism was OK in sportswriting: Richard Horgan digs up a lede from a 1954 Daily News World Series gamer by Dick Young about a “Chinese homer.” Ugh: “Ming Toy Rhodes, sometimes called Dusty by his Occidental friends, was the honorable person who, as pinch hitter, delivered a miserable bundle of wet wash to the first row in right field in Polo Grounds some 258 1/2 feet down the block from the laundry.” (FishbowlNY)
  8. Does freelancers’ insurance have a place in a post-Obamacare world?: Sarah Laskow looks at how New York’s Freelancers Union has evolved, from a source of health insurance, to its own insurance company, to the proprietor of clinics. (Capital)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: Berlin’s Die Tageszeitung fronts a poignant illustration about the Hong Kong protests. (Courtesy the Newseum.)

    DieTageszeitung_10012014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Tamar Adler is now a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Previously, she was an editor at Harper’s. (The New York Times) | Joanna Coles is now editorial director of Seventeen magazine. She is editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. (AdWeek) | Kris Van Cleave is now a correspondent for CBS Newspath. Previously, he was a reporter and anchor at WJLA. (CBS News) | Chris Cristi is now an evening helicopter reporter at KNBC in Los Angeles. Previously, he was a freelance helicopter reporter for KCB. (TV Spy) | Nerina Rammairone is now deputy editor at TV Guide Magazine. Previously, she was a senior editor there. (Mediabistro) | Michael Fabiano will be director of local broadcast markets for The Associated Press. Previously, he was chief operating officer at Locate Real Estate. (Associated Press) | Job of the day: Gawker is hiring a “Growth Hacker.” Get your résumés in! (Gawker) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Earns Gannett

Gannett spins off, Murdoch and Time Warner square off

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Gannett will split publishing, broadcast assets: Its acquistion of broadcast companies and the 73 percent of Cars.com it didn’t own make this “the right time for a separation,” CEO Gracia Martore says in a statement. Robert J. Dickey will run the publishing company, which be called Gannett and will hold USA Today and 81 dailies, plus the U.K.’s Newsquest. (Poynter) | Just yesterday, Ken Doctor asked whether Gannett would be the next big media company to split its assets. (Nieman) | Rick Edmonds explained the rash of splits last week. Newspaper groups can “theoretically do better with management whose exclusive focus is on the particular challenges of that industry,” he wrote. (Poynter)
  2. Let us now observe Rupert Murdoch’s mating dance: Time Warner’s “unyielding stance has at least some analysts wondering if an acquisition really is inevitable,” Jonathan Mahler writes. The company is “trying to stir up doubts about the prospects of a combined entity, underscoring the potential for regulatory concerns and playing up the possibility of a culture clash between the generally liberal, purely public Time Warner, and the conservative, essentially family-run Fox.” (NYT) | Both companies announce earnings tomorrow. | Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox “is expected to make an aggressive case for merging with Time Warner Inc during its quarterly earnings call,” Jennifer Saba writes. Time Warner “will be on the hook to explain why it is better off going solo.” (Reuters) | Viacom, CBS and Disney also announce earnings this week. “All major media companies reporting this week are expected to show some weakness in their advertising business,” Amol Sharma writes. (WSJ)
  3. Mobile traffic dropped 8.5 percent during Facebook outage: And desktop traffic increased 3.5 percent. “While we certainly can’t claim that the outage was the cause of that uptick in desktop traffic, the timing is certainly notable,” Josh Schwartz writes, saying there was a “9% increase in homepage direct traffic on sites with loyal homepage followings.” (Chartbeat) | “Four takeaways from Facebook’s outage for publishers” (The Media Briefing) | Vaguely related: Google News launches a center for publishers. Here’s how it says to get the most out of it. (Google)
  4. The newspaper in the “middle” of the Gaza war: Haaretz “has the most potential for bridging across biases and political barriers” in coverage of the conflict, Gilad Lotan writes. (Medium) | “Unfortunately, Ha’aretz is struggling, squeezed both by the general decline of print newspapers and the growing rightward tilt of Israeli opinion.” (Quartz)
  5. Journalism Diversity Project relaunches: A list of journalists for bosses who say they can’t find qualified minority applicants. “Who makes the list? People of color, committing acts of journalism, and pushing the craft forward in the digital age.” (Journalism Diversity Project) | BACK IN 2011: “How a Twitter chat led to an online minority talent bank” (Poynter)
  6. The Washington Post announced its sale to Jeff Bezos a year ago today: Former owner Don Graham “has had a big burden lifted off him and he is very focused on looking forward and not back,” Slate chairman Jacob Weisberg tells Christine Haughney. (NYT) | FLASHBACK: Here’s audio of Graham’s announcement to Post staffers. (Poynter)
  7. Anchor faces charges: KTXL anchor Sabrina Rodriguez was charged with stealing wallets at a Coach store in Folsom, California. (Sacramento Bee) | “Her fiancé is behind bars on drug and arson charges.” (CBS Sacramento) | Rodriguez has taken leave. (KTXL)
  8. Leave James Risen alone: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Committee to Protect Journalists back a petition supporting the New York Times reporter. (CJR)
  9. “Selfie” and “bromance” will get the headlines: But true Scrabble players know the real news is that the Scrabble dictionary now has four new two-letter words. (AP)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Hatzel Vela will be a reporter for WPLG in Miami. Formerly, he was a reporter with WJLA in the Washington, D.C. area. Nina Judar will be beauty director for More magazine. Formerly, she was beauty director for Good Housekeeping. (Meredith Corporation) | Jessica Torres will be deputy editor of Siempre Mujer. Formerly, she was lifestyle editor there. (Meredith Corporation) | Eric Ulken will be executive director for digital strategy for Interstate General Media. Currently, he is product director at Seattletimes.com. (Philly.com) | Jeff Bergin has been named vice president of vertical strategy at Hearst Newspapers. Previously, he was senior vice president of advertising sales at the San Francisco Chronicle. (Hearst.com) | Mark Ellis has been named senior vice president of corporate sales for Time Inc. Previously, he was vice president of North American sales at Yahoo. (Time Inc.) | Kelly Cobiella has been named London correspondent for NBC News. Previously, she’d been a correspondent for both ABC News and CBS News. (TV Newser) | Job of the day: Mozilla is looking for freelance tech reporters for Mozilla Voices. 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.

Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Jessica Torres will be deputy beauty director of Siempre Mujer. In fact, she will be deputy editor. Read more

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Former Washington Post owner offers art collection to employees

The Washington Post

Graham Holdings Company will sell its art collection at reduced prices to Washington Post employees, Philip Kennicott reports. Graham Holdings is the new name of the company that sold the Post to Jeff Bezos last year.

Proceeds from the sale will go to TheDream.US, “a scholarship fund founded by Donald Graham to help undocumented students,” Kennicott writes.

Graham Holdings is moving out of the Washington Post building next month to a space with “very few walls,” GraHoCo spokesperson Rima Calderon tells Kennicott.

The collection “is much like the family: Unflashy and deeply local in its focus,” Kennicott writes.

Artists associated with the Washington Color school—Sam Gilliam, Jacob Kainen, Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, among others—are well represented, as are national figures such as Alex Katz, whose work was originally in the Newsweek corporate collection in New York. When the Washington Post sold Newsweek in 2010 (for $1), the art was not included in the sale. Now those pieces are some of the most valuable on offer.

Graham Holdings recently moved deeper into the home-healthcare and hospice business with its acquisition of a majority share in Residential Healthcare Group. It owns Celtic Healthcare, which also provides homecare and hospice services. And it still owns some media properties, including Slate and Foreign Policy. Read more

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The Day in Digital: Inside the New York Times CMS and the impending Amazon phone

Content management systems are so in this season. Luke Vnenchak has a fascinating look inside Scoop, The New York Times’s “homegrown digital and (soon-to-be) print CMS.”

Jeff Bezos is expected to announce an Amazon smartphone today. How can the company compete with Apple, Android and Samsung? Quartz’s Dan Frommer has some thoughts on the strategy.

The Atlantic’s in good shape, for lots of reasons. Here’s another one, from a Jeff Sonderman tweet during American Press Institute’s summit on video:

Media critics weren’t critical enough of Aaron Kushner’s print-centric strategy at the Orange County Register, Clay Shirky writes, helping to poison the minds of young people who need to understand that print is in a death spiral from which it can’t recover.

“Do you really need another app for sharing photos and videos with your friends?” Ina Fried asks at Re/code as Facebook releases its new Snapchat competitor, Slingshot.

At PBS MediaShift, Dorian Benkoil explores efforts by Chartbeat, Upworthy, the Financial Times and more to measure “what advertisers and publishers really want — people actually paying attention.”

Yahoo revealed its worldwide workplace diversity. Employees are overwhelmingly white and Asian, and 62 percent male.


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streitfeld-very-small

David Streitfeld on Amazon: ‘They don’t care if they’re liked’

Around 1998, David Streitfeld gave Jeff Bezos a quick tour of The Washington Post. It really wasn’t a big deal.

“It was a newspaper,” Streitfeld told Poynter. “There wasn’t much to see.”

David Streitfeld looks through books in his basement. (Submitted photo.)

After he ushered Bezos around the newsroom, the two attended a lunch with editors of the Post.

“The editors there thought Amazon was cute, interesting, a frill — not something transformative,” Streitfeld said. “The notion that the Post would one day be owned by the guy with the goofy laugh sitting in front of them was literally inconceivable.”

Streitfeld, though, already knew that Amazon had that potential to be transformative, at least for the publishing industry. He covered the book beat for the Post at the time (in that role, he identified Joe Klein as the author of “Primary Colors”) and discovered Amazon early in his reporting. Then, Streitfeld, who is now a New York Times technology reporter as well as a book lover and collector, saw possibility in a company taking the selling of books into a digital space.

“I was so immersed in that world I saw larger consequences,” he said.

Sixteen years later, Streitfeld broke news about that once-cute company and its negotiation tactics on a major publisher, its authors and their books. Read more

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nyt_AP060123029765

Want to break your own media news? Don’t tell anyone in the newsroom anything!

The news that Jill Abramson was being replaced as New York Times executive editor “was tightly held within the gossipy confines of the Times newsroom,” Erik Wemple reports in The Washington Post. “It was only after the meeting among top editors had convened that the New York Times communications department informed the paper’s own reporters that a management change was underway, according to a source at the paper. That was about a half-hour before the official announcement.”

Nevertheless, news of Abramson’s ouster hit Politico with the same timestamp as the Times Co. email announcing the change.

Dylan Byers, the Politico reporter who reported the Abramson news, didn’t want to disclose his sources when reached by email. But the Times kept an admirably deathlike grip on the news, considering its large population of individuals who are among the least likely people on this planet to sit on juicy gossip: journalists.

When The Washington Post planned to break the news that Jeff Bezos had bought the newspaper, Executive Editor Marty Baron swore Paul Farhi to secrecy before he asked him to write a story about the change.

No one else in the newsroom was officially informed,” Baron told Poynter.

Farhi talked with Poynter about knowing the news and not being able to tell his colleagues:

Farhi … began to “walk around the newsroom,” he said, feeling a bit like he was in a dream where he knew some major event was coming — “oh, by the way, did you know the Germans are going to invade Poland,” he said by way of an example — but was unable to share the information.

I make my living in part by getting leaks from newsrooms, but in the interest of transparency, these cases make a compelling argument for one particular management lesson: If you have big news about your media organization, and you want to get it out first, under no circumstances should you let anyone in your newsroom know. Read more

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That time Jeff Bezos did a Taco Bell commercial

Jeff Bezos was interested in mobile technology long before he owned The Washington Post, according to a 2001 Taco Bell commercial zipping around social media Thursday.

“PDAs, handhelds, I’ve seen these — what do we have that’s new?” the Amazon founder asks during a “meeting,” before he’s introduced to the new Taco Bell Chicken Quesadilla. “Interesting!” Bezos says. “Can I get a demo?”

The fun begins at the 6:41 mark:

(Via Margarita Noriega) Read more

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Local reporting is suffering from a ‘gradual erosion’

The Washington Post | Association of Alternative Newsmedia

Local reporting is suffering from a “gradual erosion,” Paul Farhi writes in a piece bouncing off Pew’s new State of the News Media report. The economics of digital publishing are especially brutal to local news, Farhi writes:

In drawing readers and viewers from a relatively small pond, local news outlets struggle to attract enough traffic to generate ad dollars sufficient to support the cost of gathering the news in the first place. Conversely, sites that report and comment on national and international events draw from a worldwide audience, making it relatively easier to aggregate a large audience and the ad dollars that come with it.

Publishers that cover national and international news account for 60 percent of new jobs in digital publishing, Farhi writes, while newspapers continue to cut jobs, usually from their local staffs. Small operations and nonprofits can fill the gap — Scott Brodbeck’s Local News Now in the Washington, D.C., area, employs three journalists and sales director and is profitable — but many are “financially precarious.” And, of course, there’s the Patch saga.

But you don’t have to go back to Watergate, or even 2012, to find examples of local stories piercing the veil that separates them from national news. The Bergen Record pushed “Bridgegate” into the lights after a traffic reporter, John Cichowski, and a reporter who covers the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Shawn Boburg, connected the dots on an epic traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J. Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia was touted as a possible 2016 presidential candidate (and reportedly made Mitt Romney’s shortlist for veep) before Washington Post reporters unreeled the story of his ties to a wealthy donor. And West Virginia reporters rode point on the story of a chemical spill that affected 300,000 people’s drinking water.

Unfortunately, local news lacks the cachet of long-form or investigative journalism, both of which successful digital operations like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post have been able to subsidize as part of their overall bundles. The latter has “always been high-cost content that produced a very low — if any — return in increased circulation and advertising revenue,” Jack Shafer wrote in February in a column about the “new Medicis” funding journalism as a public good — Pierre Omidyar, Farhi’s boss Jeff Bezos, Neil Barsky of the Marshall Project (which just announced the hire of The Guardian’s Gabriel Dance). Read more

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