The New York Times

Career Beat: Joe Germuska named Knight Lab interim director

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

  • Joe Germuska will be interim director at the Knight Lab. Previously, he was director of software engineering there. (Knight Lab)
  • Millie Tran is now a writer for BuzzFeed’s news apps team. Previously, she was editorial coordinator at the American Press Institute. (Email)
  • Noah Kotch is senior editor and director of video at The Washington Post. Previously, he was chief content officer at Vocativ. (Washington Post)
  • Suzette Moyer will be a senior designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was creative director of Bay magazine at the Tampa Bay Times. Carey Jordan will be a designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was art director at Washington City Paper. (Washington Post)
  • Josef Reyes will be creative director at Foreign Policy. Currently, he is art director at Wired. Sean Naylor is now a senior reporter at Foreign Policy.
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Justice Department won’t ask James Risen to testify

New York Times | The Washington Post

New York Times reporter James Risen, who has waged a protracted and public battle with the Justice Department over the identity of a confidential source, will not be compelled to testify in a leak trial, Matt Apuzzo reported for The New York Times Monday.

The news effectively ends “a seven-year legal fight” between Risen and prosecutors, who first called Risen to testify in 2008 in the case of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, The Times reports. Sterling is accused of feeding Risen information about a botched U.S. attempt to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program for his book “State of War,” according to The Washington Post.

During the tumult of Risen’s legal battle, the embattled reporter publicly decried the Obama administration, calling it “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” In December, The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Eric Holder would not compel Risen to reveal his source. Read more

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Most of The New York Times’ most popular items last year weren’t news stories

The New York Times

Last year’s most popular item in The New York Times was this interactive, an image gallery of sorts that showed the photographic evolution of four sisters over 40 years.

That interactive, which appeared in The New York Times Magazine section of nytimes.com, was more popular than the paper’s coverage of marquee news events, including the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, the shooting of teenager Michael Brown and a suicide bombing in Iraq.

Many of the most popular items from 2014 aren’t conventional news stories at all — they’re contributed content (Dylan Farrow’s open letter about Woody Allen), quizzes (2013′s “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk was on the list for two years straight), and question-and-answer sessions (The Times’ Q and A on the Ebola crisis made the list).

Compare that to 2013′s most popular list, which was peppered with news stories — Pope Francis’ selection, coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, and an in-depth on homelessness in New York City. Read more

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Elizabeth Jensen will be NPR’s new ombudsman

Elizabeth Jensen, who has covered public media for Current and The New York Times, has been named ombudsman/public editor at NPR.

Elizabeth Jensen, who has covered public media for Current and The New York Times, has been named ombudsman/public editor at NPR. Credit: James Wrona.

NPR announced Monday Elizabeth Jensen will be its new public editor and ombudsman, replacing Edward Schumacher-Matos.

Jensen, a longtime reporter who has covered public media for The New York Times, Current and Columbia Journalism Review, says her career has positioned her well for the ombudsman role.

“My focus will definitely be narrower, but I’ve covered journalism ethics and decision-making for most of my career,” Jensen told Poynter. “So it seems to me to be a continuation of that — it doesn’t seem to be that much of a diversion.”

Jensen recently covered the sunset of Bill Moyers’ weekly series, “Moyers & Company” and Off-Broadway shows coming to a New York public television station.

Jensen will be active on social media and intends to contribute regularly to NPR’s ombudsman blog in much the same way as her predecessor. Read more

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Career Beat: HuffPost adds three from The New Republic

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

  • Tiffani Lupenski is now news director for KGTV in San Diego. Previously, she was news director for KATU in Portland, Oregon. (Rick Gevers)
  • Greg Veis has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was an executive editor at The New Republic. Rachel Morris has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, she was an executive editor at The New Republic. Jonathan Cohn has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was a writer for The New Republic. (The New York Times)
  • Kevin Uhrmacher has joined The Washington Post’s graphics team. Previously, he was an intern at The Washington Post. John Muyskens will join the graphics team at The Washington Post. He is a graduate of Calvin College. (Washington Post)
  • Lee Glendinning is now head of news for Guardian U.S. He is deputy editor there. (Capital New York)
  • Susan Svrluga will anchor “grade point,” a higher education blog from The Washington Post.
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Why editors shouldn’t call readers a**holes

New York Times Editor Dean Baquet called a college professor an asshole on Facebook and some people cheered.

It’s possible that those who recognize how hard it is to create great journalism every single day of the year were animated by the idea of the polite and prestigious editor of the country’s biggest newspaper swinging back in response to a cheap shot.

I wish he wouldn’t have.

Creating dialogue in the face of hostility is a challenge in social media – and in real life, too – but it can be done. And it should be done. And it’s in the best interest of journalism that the editor of the New York Times set that example.

Baquet’s comment under University of Southern California’s Marc Cooper’s Facebook post had 53 likes as of this morning.

Marc Cooper seems to reveling in the attention it brought.  He posted every article written about Baquet’s outburst, more than once pointing out to his followers, “I’m the asshole.” And he posted a lengthy response. Read more

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Career Beat: The New Republic adds 4 staffers

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

  • Jamil Smith will be a senior editor at The New Republic. He’s a producer at MSNBC. Elspeth Reeve will be a senior editor at The New Republic. Previously, she was a senior writer at Racket. Bijan Stephen will be an associate editor at The New Republic. Previously, he was an editorial assistant at Vanity Fair. Cathy Park Hong will be poetry editor at The New Republic. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. (Poynter)
  • Alex Pareene will be special projects editor at Gawker Media. Previously, he was executive editor of The Racket. (Poynter)
  • Gregory Gittrich is chief content officer at Vocativ. Previously, he was founding general manager and editor of NBC News Digital. (Poynter)
  • David Allan will be editorial director of Health and Wellness at CNN Digital. Previously, he was a managing editor at BBC.com.
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Larry Ingrassia named associate editor at the Los Angeles Times

Former New York Times deputy managing editor Larry Ingrassia will be an associate editor at the Los Angeles Times in charge of new ventures, the paper’s leadership announced Wednesday in a staff memo.

In the memo, included below in its entirety, Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner, Editor-in-Chief Davan Maharaj and assistant managing editor Marc Duvoisin explain Ingrassia will be responsible for helping the paper “attract digital readership and convert it into revenue.”

Here at the L.A. Times, Larry will focus on developing editorial products with potential to unlock the revenue in our online audience. These could include more special events, email newsletters and products for targeted audiences.

He will work closely with Davan and Marc and other members of the masthead to shape our strategy in print and online. He will also help with high-level newsroom recruiting, organizational planning and other areas where his experience will be invaluable.

Ingrassia announced he was leaving the New York Times in September, around the same time Executive Editor Dean Baquet announced a restructuring of the paper’s executive ranks. Read more

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NYT is looking for a good basketball team to cover, possibly ‘at your local Y’

The New York Times

The New York Times is crowdsourcing for a good basketball team for Knicks reporter Scott Cacciola to cover for a while.

He deserves to see the game played at a higher level. For the next month or so, we would like to point him to some good, quality basketball, wherever it might exist. Any suggestions?

They’ll take NBA teams (Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets are two of the suggestions in the comments,) or “maybe you know of a strong coed team at your local Y that Scott should write about.”

Here’s what those Y leagues can look forward to if they have a super awful night. From Cacciola’s Monday story:

For the Knicks, futility was the preferred replacement for fluidity, surfacing in plays defined by an almost inexplicable level of ineptitude. There was the instance when Hardaway, trapped along the sideline in a pick-and-roll gone wrong, flung the ball backward over his head as a pair of defenders closed in.

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NYT’s Amy O’Leary will be Upworthy’s editorial director

New York Times digital deputy editor Amy O’Leary will be the new editorial director for Upworthy, the viral news curator announced Tuesday.

In her new position, O’Leary will be the top editorial staffer, responsible for overseeing the creation and dissemination of Upworthy’s brand of shareable content. She replaces founding editorial director Sara Critchfield, who left in 2014 to work as a media strategist and consultant. O’Leary will report to Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley.

In a blog post accompanying the announcement, O’Leary said she’s leaving The New York Times because of Upworthy’s potential to harness the power of social media to shed light on important stories:

Today, I don’t think even the most talented journalist can be content to say that important stories are just ones people should read or view. Today we have to go farther. We have to be willing to get out there, into the street fight for human attention that is the Internet, and be willing to deploy our strengths as storytellers to make sure the most impactful ideas reach real people, where they’re at.

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