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Here’s why NBC News took Facebook’s Instant Articles deal

NBC News' launch story on "Instant Articles" includes tilt-to-view photos, autoplay videos and an interactive map of a California almond farm. (Image credit: NBC News)

NBC News’ launch story on Facebook’s Instant Articles includes tilt-to-view photos, autoplay videos and an interactive map of a California almond farm. (Image credit: NBC News)

After Facebook’s Instant Articles program went live Wednesday morning, many media commentators wrote about its potential drawbacks for publishers.

Over at Fortune, Mathew Ingram called the deal a “Faustian bargain,” saying it allowed the social networking giant to tighten its grip on news consumers; David Nield at Readwrite warned the program was symptomatic of the continued consolidation of the Internet; writing for The Awl, John Herrman observed that news outlets were likely to clash with Facebook by running afoul of its content standards.

But Julian March, the senior vice president of editorial and innovation at NBC News, isn’t wringing his hands over Facebook, or the deal it extended to his network. Read more

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Networks use drones to cover Nepal quake

(Screen shot from NBC's drone coverage of Nepal.)

(Screen shot from NBC’s drone coverage of Nepal.)

NBC News’ Miguel Almaguer used dramatic video captured by a drone in his reporting from Nepal this week.

The images soaring above the ruins of destroyed temples in Kathmandu are a demonstration of how valuable these drones can be in adding context and scale, even while they are currently banned for commercial use in the U.S. It is the third time in recent months, NBC News has used unmanned drones to report a story.

NBC included the images in NBC Nightly News and Today. It also included a version just for online. NBC also used the video to show the damage of some of Nepal’s towering historic temples.


“NBC has been interested in drones for some time so we brought the drone into Nepal and worked with local contacts there to be sure we stayed out of the way of authorities and rescue workers.” said NBC Senior Vice President Editorial Janelle Rodriguez. Read more

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Nancy Snyderman leaves NBC News

Nancy Snyderman is stepping down from her position as chief medical editor at NBC News, the network announced in a release Thursday.

Last year, Snyderman took a break from her job at the suggestion of her network after she “violated a self-imposed quarantine after being potentially exposed to Ebola in Liberia,” according to The New York Times. She subsequently apologized for breaking the quarantine. After she got back from reporting in Liberia, Snyderman and her crew “were spotted getting takeout food from a New Jersey restaurant,” according to The Huffington Post.

In the statement from the network, Snyderman attributed her departure partially to her experience covering the Ebola epidemic “and then becoming part of the story” when she got back from her assignment:

I stepped out of the OR a few years ago and it is now time for me to return to my roots, so I am stepping down from my position as Chief Medical Editor at NBC News.

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Career Beat: Randy Archibold named deputy sports editor at The New York Times

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

  • Randy Archibold will be deputy sports editor at The New York Times. Previously, he was Mexico bureau chief there. (Email)
  • Justin Green will manage social media and engagement at IJReview. Previously, he was online editor at the Washington Examiner (IJReview)
  • Andy Lack is now chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. Previously, he was CEO and director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. (Poynter)
  • Bryan Bender will be national security editor at Politico. He is a national security reporter at The Boston Globe. (Dan Kennedy)

Job of the day: Inside Higher Ed is looking for a higher education management and finance reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) Read more

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Brian Williams reportedly lobbied to succeed David Letterman

Good morning! Here are 10 media stories.

  1. More tales of tumult from inside NBC News

    Gabriel Sherman's much-anticipated longread about the turmoil surrounding Brian Williams' suspension from the anchor chair dropped Sunday. Among the juiciest tidbits: Williams asked CBS CEO Les Moonves to be considered as a replacement for David Letterman upon the comedian's retirement from "Late Show," according to "a high-level source"; Four NBC and NBCUniversal officials visited Williams at his apartment to notify him he was being taken off the air; Richard Esposito, the investigative producer at NBC News conducting a review of Williams, "delivered a 45-minute presentation at [NBCUniversal CEO Steve] Burke’s apartment" that unearthed "more issues" with Williams' disputed claims; Williams can't talk to the press under the terms of his suspension and "can’t wait until he can speak" publicly about the situation, according to "a close friend." (New York) | "If Brian Williams proposed to CBS that he take over when Letterman retires, that alone is reason he should not return" (@jayrosen_nyu) | "Last weekend, workers at NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters briefly wiped away promotional photos of Brian Williams." They went back up the next day.

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Brian Williams and the resistance of memory

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Career Beat: Audrey Cooper named EIC of San Francisco Chronicle

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

  • Audrey Cooper is now editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle. Previously, she was managing editor there. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Ann Curry will develop a media startup funded by NBC Universal. Previously, she was a national and international correspondent at NBC News. (New York Times)
  • Steven Komarow has been named news director for Roll Call. Previously, he was an editor at Bloomberg. (PR Newswire)
  • Jason Zengerle is now a political correspondent at GQ. Previously, he was a senior editor at The New Republic. (Email)
  • Jennifer Henrichsen is a technology fellow at Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. Previously, she was a research fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
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NBC backs off of bogus Charlie Hebdo report

CNN | Slate

Pete Williams and NBC Nightly news mistakenly reported Wednesday that the suspects from the massacre at the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo had been killed or arrested.

Both CNN and Slate pointed out that NBC Nightly News erroneously tweeted a report, attributed to “senior U.S. officials” that “1 suspect in the Paris attack has been killed and the remaining 2 are in custody.”

NBC News correspondent Pete Williams then discussed the report with Chris Matthews on MSNBC, before retracting it later that night, according to CNN:

At 8 pm, during MSNBC’s “All In” with Chris Hayes, Williams walked back the report saying, “we just don’t know what the situation is in France tonight.”

“We were told earlier this evening from two U.S.

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Career Beat: Matthew Kaminski named executive editor of Politico in Europe

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

  • Matthew Kaminski will be executive editor of Politico’s European operation. He’s a member of the editorial board at The Wall Street Journal. Bill Nichols will be a founding editor-at-large of Politico’s European operation. He’s an editor-at-large at Politico. Carrie Budoff Brown will be associate editor and senior policy reporter at Politico’s European operation. She’s a White House reporter at Politico. Florian Eder will be managing editor at Politico’s European operation. He is a correspondent at Die Welt. Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson will be managing director of Politico’s European operation. She is the owner and publisher of European Voice. (Poynter)
  • Matthew Winkler will be Editor in Chief Emeritus at Bloomberg News. Previously, he was editor-in-chief there.
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Janay Rice may have just helped Bill Simmons

Good morning. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Janay Rice as-told-to piece may reverberate for ESPN

    But not because the network let her approve the piece's content. Janay Rice says her husband, disgraced football player Ray Rice, told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell everything that happened in that now-famous elevator. Goodell later said he didn't know what happened. ESPN personality Bill Simmons called Goodell a liar in a podcast and ESPN suspended him. "Janay Rice’s first-person account makes that particular suspension look weak." (WP)

  2. U.S. Supreme Court will hear case about online threats today

    Good rundown about Elonis v. United States from Jeff John Roberts. (GigaOm) | Lyle Denniston's explainer. (SCOTUSblog) | The blog Racists Getting Fired connects people's work information to their online comments.

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