The New York Times, ‘PBS Newshour’ strike video-sharing agreement

The New York Times and “PBS NewsHour” have entered into an agreement to share video journalism, including news reports and longer documentaries, on a regular basis, the outlets announced Thursday.

The deal specifies that both news organizations will begin to offer each other footage for use on their websites and social channels.

This announcement formalizes an arrangement that manifested recently when “PBS NewsHour” aired a New York Times video about the film giant Kodak attempting to reinvent itself, according to the announcement. The program also broadcast two other videos from The New York Times, including an in-depth look at the life of Times Tehran Bureau Chief Thomas Erdbrink.

The agreement does not include a provision for sharing revenue, according to a spokesperson for The New York Times. Read more

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Career Beat: Arianna Huffington to get new chief of staff

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

  • Elise Hu will be NPR’s Asia correspondent in Seoul. She covers tech and culture at NPR. (Poynter)
  • Mitra Kalita is now executive editor-at-large for Quartz. Previously, she was ideas editor there. Paul Smalera will be Quartz’ new ideas editor. He is editor of The New York Times opinion app. (Poynter)
  • Donald Baer is now chairman of PBS’ board of directors. He is CEO of Burson-Marsteller. (PBS)
  • Jessica Coen is now a contributing editor at Marie Claire. She is an editor-at-large with Jezebel. (Fishbowl NY)
  • Stephen Lacy is now chairman of the Association of Magazine Media. He is CEO of the Meredith Corporation. (Email)
  • Dan Katz will be chief of staff to Arianna Huffington.
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PBS shouldn’t ‘get in the way of reporters or photographers covering news,’ ombudsman says

PBS | Current

A PBS staffer was “clearly wrong” to try to stop a reporter from photographing hotel security detain a protester at PBS’ annual meeting last week, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler writes. PBS distributes news programs, and “many people understandably view it as a news and public affairs network, and so PBS needs to continue doing that and not get in the way of reporters or photographers covering news,” he writes.

Dru Sefton, who reported on PBS’ interference for Current, tells Getler the staffer (whose identity Getler says he doesn’t know) “was frantically trying to contact Anne Bentley [PBS vice-president for communications] on her phone.” Sefton continues:

She was basically stating loudly over and over, STOP TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS.

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FILE - In this March 12, 2004 file photo, former New York Times reporter, Jayson Blair speaks to an audience in New York's Harlem neighborhood. After the plagiary scandal, Blair has been working as a life coach in northern Va. since 2007. The ex-New York Times reporter best known for fabricating and plagiarizing says his experience hitting the lows helps him relate to people, and the respected psychologist who hired him into his practice agrees: "Jayson is now using his talents for good." (AP Photo/Jennifer Szymaszek, File)

Washington Post was ambivalent about Jayson Blair story at first

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia writes that when he discovered New York Times reporter Jayson Blair had plagiarized from a San Antonio Express-News article, “I called the national desk at The Post and suggested we write about what appeared to be an egregious case of plagiarism.” He “didn’t relish the idea of doing a gotcha piece about another journalist. For years, I felt so conflicted about the events that took place on that reporting trip that I seldom mentioned my small, early role in what became a major scandal.”

Roig-Franzia says the Post’s first reaction was “Meh.” After he met with Macarena Hernandez, who wrote the Express-News story, he decided to try again:

I made another call, and this time my editor, Daniel LeDuc — who also felt strongly that The Post should write about the plagiarism — took printouts of the two stories directly to Leonard Downie Jr., the paper’s executive editor.

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Journalism education site hopes to become hub for ‘solutions journalism’


PBS’ MediaShift launched a site focused on journalism education Wednesday. EducationShift hopes to become “the central hub for journalism educators, students and professionals to find resources, tools and support for transforming their work,” University of Wisconsin professor Katy Culver writes in an introductory post. Culver, who has taught and written for Poynter, is EducationShift’s curator.

EducationShift went live with a collection of articles that suggest its focus will indeed be on “solutions journalism,” as Culver puts it: Sue Robinson on “Creating a Social Media Class Out of Nothing“; Erica Salkin on how student journalists can avoid legal scuffles; Irving Washington on how to win a challenge grant for journalism education. The effort is funded by Knight and its “charter sponsor” is Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. Read more


Gwen Ifill wrote Dec. 12 for PBS about the media’s coverage of Nelson Mandela’s funeral and a series of non-stories that, together, added up to missing the big picture.

The other non-story that overwhelmed coverage of a historic day was fun but excessive. I admit I shared the picture of the president posing for a “selfie” with the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Denmark on Twitter. It was cute. It was funny, especially because Michelle Obama seemed so unamused.
But never in a million years did I think it would consume (and obscure) so much of the Mandela coverage. Is it because we can’t resist a caption contest?”

Gwen Ifill

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PBS takes advantage of debate’s ‘Big Bird’ moment

Mashable | The Huffington Post | Chicago Sun-Times | USA Today
PBS bought the term “Big Bird” on Twitter, so anyone searching for the term would see an ad for an advocacy site it’s set up. “PBS could teach other brands a thing or two about how to turn a meme into a marketing opportunity,” Seth Fiegerman writes.

In Wednesday night’s debate, Mitt Romney said he would eliminate the federal subsidy for PBS. In an interview with CNN Thursday, PBS CEO Paula Kerger said, “The fact that we are in this debate at all to me is incomprehensible.” Read more


Survey: Fox most uncivil, PBS most civil news organization

Civility in America (PDF)
An online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in April found that 62 percent consider the media uncivil.

While this is considerably lower than last year’s incivility rating of 74%, it ranks among the top five most uncivil aspects of American life. A contributing reason to that perception may be that the vast majority of Americans agree that the media is more interested in controversy than facts (82%).

Cable channels were viewed as more uncivil than broadcast networks, and PBS was considered most civil.

“Americans tend to rate the civility levels of similar TV outlets alike — cable news channels such as Fox News, MSNBC and CNN are perceived similarly as are broadcast news networks such as NBC News, ABC News and CBS News,” says the report.
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Ombuds pick their notable corrections of 2011

At newspapers and other media organizations, it’s often the ombudsman — aka public editor, aka readers’ editor — who’s charged with the (mostly) thankless task of receiving error reports from the public and staff, and writing any resulting corrections.

This task occupies hours of their time each week, and sometimes daily. They read emails and take calls from readers, viewers and listeners pointing out errors. They track down the correct information. They follow up with editors and reporters. They respond to the public, and sometimes they also write columns or blog posts about the mistakes and the decisions they make regarding corrections.

As 2011 drew to a close, I wondered which of the corrections from the past year stood out for the people who think about them every day. Read more


Why Knight Foundation turned down ‘NewsHour’ funding request

The New York Times
In a story detailing challenges facing “PBS NewsHour,” Elizabeth Jensen writes that the program must find a replacement for Chevron’s $2 million sponsorship, which the company decided not to renew for 2012. NewsHour approached the Knight Foundation, which paid to revamp the “NewsHour” website in 2009, but Knight said no. Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at Knight, tells Jensen, “Our issue with it is that it’s what they usually do. We’re interested in new and different ways of doing things, because one thing you can say about the future of news is it’s not going to be the same. Folks who can be nimble and change are going to do better in the future than those who are slow to change.” || Related: PublicSource, a Pittsburgh-area investigative news site, launches with the help of a Knight Community Information Challenge grant Read more

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