Articles about "Los Angeles Times"


Liberia West Africa Ebola

How journalists covering the Ebola outbreak try to stay safe

That tweet came from CNN international correspondent David McKenzie, who’s currently reporting on the Ebola outbreak from Sierra Leone. On Monday, McKenzie filed this story about how he and other journalists at CNN are staying safe while covering a story with worldwide health implications.

“This is more about just having some basic things, like chlorine and water and all of this, to protect yourself, but also just to calm yourself down in what can be a very emotional and scary reporting trip,” he said in the video.

I’ve started a Twitter list of journalists covering the Ebola outbreak from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and nearby countries. Who am I missing? Please email or tweet suggestions to me at khare@poynter.org or @kristenhare. Here’s what I heard from other news organizations:

Associated Press — West Africa correspondent Krista Larson is covering the story for the AP, “drawing on our network of reliable stringers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Read more

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Time.com’s bounce rate down 15 percentage points since adopting continuous scroll

Three major news website redesigns this year look very different but have an important feature in common: articles that seamlessly transition to new content, without requiring readers to click or tap headlines and then wait for new pages to load.

This “continuous scroll” strategy for news sites’ article pages is gaining momentum. It’s been adopted by Time.com, NBCNews.com and LATimes.com, reflecting the fact that direct homepage traffic is waning (see the New York Times innovation report), and traffic from social media (particularly Facebook) just keeps growing.

So as readers increasingly enter sites from “side doors” or article pages, media organizations are trying to figure out how to get them to stick around. Pew recently found that visitors from Facebook are far less engaged than direct visitors. Here’s how sites that relaunched in the first half of 2014 are addressing that problem by making use of the continuous scroll (aka infinite scroll) feature in their article pages:

Time.com

Since its March redesign, Time.com’s bounce rate — the percentage of visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page — has declined by 15 percentage points, according to managing editor Edward Felsenthal. Read more

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Former LAT Editor Russ Stanton joins PR firm

Los Angeles Times | LA Observed

Russ Stanton is joining the communications firm G.F. Bunting + Co., Abby Sewell reports in the Los Angeles Times. Stanton most recently oversaw the newsroom at KPCC, which he left in June. He was editor of the Los Angeles Times for four years. Read more

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L.A. Times corrects report of author’s porn habits, man’s “endowment”

The Los Angeles Times offered a book review correction that’s jam packed with porn and penis references:

“Big Little Man”: A review in the June 29 Arts & Books section of the book “Big Little Man” said that author Alex Tizon is in his 60s. He is 54. Also, the review described Tizon as an avid consumer of porn, but the book says the viewing was for research. It also described Tizon’s friend’s embarrassment about the size of his endowment, whereas the book states that “he liked being average.” 

Hat tip to Romenesko for spotting this. Read more

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A photo taken on board a helicopter shows a US State Department helicopter flying over the Iraqi capital Baghdad carrying US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday, June 23, 2014. Kerry pledged "intense" support for Iraq against the "existential threat" of a major militant offensive pushing toward Baghdad from the north and west. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

After shuttering bureaus, news organizations revisit Iraq

A photo taken on board a helicopter shows a US State Department helicopter flying over the Iraqi capital Baghdad carrying US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday, June 23, 2014. Kerry pledged "intense" support for Iraq against the "existential threat" of a major militant offensive pushing toward Baghdad from the north and west. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

When New York Times reporter Tim Arango arrived in Iraq in 2010, the eight-bedroom bureau was so crowded that he had to sleep on the couch.

But about two years later, he frequently found himself wandering the halls alone. Occasionally, journalists would come in and share the house, making Arango, by then the Times’ Baghdad bureau chief, feel “kind of like a bed and breakfast owner.”

When American troops left Iraq in 2011, many reporters went with them, he said. Some went back stateside, and some soon found themselves covering the Arab Spring uprising throughout the Middle East.

“I think there was a period where the reading public and the media moved on,” Arango said. He’s currently reporting from northern Iraq.

Now, with an insurgency threatening the Iraqi government and 300 United States advisors committed to halting their advance, the country has seen a sudden infusion of reporters from American news organizations, many that closed their bureaus shortly before or after the war ended. Read more

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L.A. Times: Don’t use words like ‘biggest’ or ‘most’ without proof

The Los Angeles Times updated its newsroom ethics policy, and while some of its provisions reflect its geographic location — “The entertainment industry is a central area of our coverage, and staff members must take special care not to create the appearance of conflicts should they seek work in that industry” — they’re worth reading for anyone at any newsroom.

The guidelines also venture into the realm of word choice:

Superlatives such as “biggest,” “worst” and “most” should be employed only when the writer has proof. It is the responsibility of assigning editors and copy editors to challenge all questionable claims. The burden of proof rests with the writer; it is not the desk’s responsibility to prove the writer wrong.

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Social media roundup: Gawker, USA Today, LA Times open up with tips and insights

Automated tweets get less engagement than handcrafted ones, WhatsApp is making inroads at a USA Today sports site, and sometimes all you can do when a years-old piece takes off on Facebook is shrug.

It’s been a good week for gleaning insights from media outlets, which seem increasingly willing to share which social strategies are working for them. Here’s a rundown of recent social media news you might have missed:

Human tweets RSS tweets

Los Angeles Times social media editor Stacey Leasca shared some tips on Twitter’s media blog this week.

Among her insights was the fact that moving from RSS tweets improved engagement. It’s no surprise that a human touch makes a difference, but it’s interesting to see how much the change seems to have increased the rate at which the newspaper’s accounts are gaining new followers:

A perfect example of this is, again, @LANow. We moved @LANow off of an automated feed in the summer of 2013.

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Public usually has right to know names of officers who used deadly force, court rules

Los Angeles Times

“Vague safety concerns” don’t trump the public’s right to know the names of officers involved in shootings, the Supreme Court of California ruled Thursday. The justices were responding to a case that arose from the Los Angeles Times’ efforts to learn the names of officers in Long Beach, California, who shot Douglas Zerby, a 35-year-old man holding a garden hose nozzle, 12 times.

The Long Beach Police Officers Association argued that releasing the names “would endanger officers and their families because home addresses and telephone numbers can be obtained on the Internet,” Maura Dolan reports in the L.A. Times.

The ruling says that “if it is essential to protect an officer‘s anonymity for safety reasons or for reasons peculiar to the officer’s duties” — if the officer is undercover, perhaps — “then the public interest in disclosure of the officer‘s name may need to give way.” But that didn’t apply in the Zerby case, the court said. Read more

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New L.A. Times site: precooked tweets and a new flavor of infinite scroll

The Los Angeles Times introduced its new responsive website this morning, tackling major industry trends like responsive ad units, mobile-first design and “treating article pages as entry points as valuable as the homepage,” according to a press release. Here are three quick takeaways:

Precooked tweets: Just click and enjoy

They’re called “sharelines,” and an L.A. Times spokesperson told Poynter the ready-to-share tidbits won’t just be the responsibility of social media editors. Reporters will contribute them, too.

It’s a cool idea. Not only do these pre-written lines at the top of each story facilitate sharing, but they also serve as handy bullet points like those in the NYT Now app. You don’t have to tweet them to get something out of them.

As Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton writes, it’ll be interesting for the L.A. Times to track what makes some of these blurbs more attractive to readers than others.

So far, they’re not written quite like the stilted newspaper headlines shared when you use the Twitter button. Read more

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Henry Waxman asks Tribune CEO to reconsider newspaper spinoff

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman has sent a letter to Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori saying interviews with experts “raised serious concerns about the future of the Los Angeles Times” should the company go ahead with its plan to spin off its newspaper division.

Poynter’s Rick Edmonds is among the experts Waxman consulted.

Waxman is concerned about Tribune Co.’s plans to saddle the newspapers with debt and keep their real estate, but he also says the company’s plan to consolidate some newsgathering functions “raises concerns about the ability of the papers to continue putting resources into local coverage.” The plans, he says, “will place the long-term viability of the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune papers at risk.”

In a statement to Poynter, Los Angeles Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein said that, “From our ongoing discussions, Congressman Waxman should by now be fully aware that the structure of the spin-off of Tribune Publishing is based on sound financial principles and a deep commitment to providing Tribune’s newspapers with a strong, long-term future.” He continues:

The assertions of the academics consulted by the Congressman provide no new insight and in many cases are simply wrong.

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