Politico

Career Beat: The Economist gets 2 deputy editors

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

  • Tom Standage is now deputy editor at The Economist. Previously, he was digital editor there. Edward Carr is now deputy editor at The Economist. Previously, he was foreign editor there. (@tomstandage)
  • Ross Gagnon is now insights director at Forbes. Previously, he was a senior quantitative analyst for J.D. Power and Associates. (Email)
  • John Judis will be a senior writer at National Journal. Previously, he was a senior editor at The New Republic. (Email)
  • Brendan Banaszak is now director of collaborative news strategy at NPR. Previously, he was a producer there. Lynette Clemetson is now senior director of strategy and content initiatives at NPR. Previously, she was director of editorial initiatives there. John Stefany will be director of strategic projects at NPR. Previously, he was manager of new content projects there. (Poynter)
  • Melinda Henneberger is now a senior writer at Bloomberg Politics. Previously, she wrote about politics and culture for The Washington Post. Jennifer Epstein will be a correspondent for Bloomberg Politics. Previously, she was a White House reporter for Politico. (Capital New York)

Job of the day: The Tampa Bay Times is looking for a business reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Career Beat: Julia Ioffe joins The New York Times Magazine

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

  • Julia Ioffe will be a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. Previously, she was a senior editor of The New Republic. Jaime Fuller is joining New York magazine. She writes for The Fix blog at The Washington Post. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig will be a staff writer at The New Republic. She is a Ph.D. student at Brown University. (Politico)
  • Betsy Andrews will be editor-at-large at Organic Life. Previously, she was an executive editor of Saveur magazine. Karen Shimizu will be a deputy editor at Organic Life. Previously, she was a senior editor at Saveur magazine. (Fishbowl NY)
  • Eric Engleman is now technology editor at Politico Pro’s Pro Technology. Previously, he was deputy editor there. Tony Romm will be a senior technology reporter at Politico Pro’s Politico Pro Technology. Previously, he was a technology reporter there. (Email)

Job of the day: The Associated Press is looking for a photographer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Garrett Graff named editor of Politico Mag

Garrett Graff, the former editor-in-chief of Washingtonian magazine, will be editor of Politico Magazine, Politico editor Susan Glasser announced in a staff memo Thursday.

Graff, who succeeded Glasser as acting editor when she became editor in September, will expand the magazine by bringing “regular new voices” to its pages, Glasser writes.

Graff joined Politico Magazine as a senior staff writer in July. He was the top editor at Washingtonian for five years before that.

Politico has made several new appointments in addition to Graff’s, Glasser writes:

  • Marc Caputo, a political writer for The Miami Herald, will lead Politico’s Florida coverage.
  • Zachary Karabell will be a contributor to Politico Magazine. He is a former columnist for The Atlantic and Slate.
  • Matt Latimer, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, will be a contributor to Politico Magazine.
  • Bill Scher, co-host of “the DMZ,” will be a contributor to Politico Magazine.
  • Nancy Scola, formerly a correspondent for the Atlantic and the Washington Post, will be a contributor at Politico Magazine.
  • Emily Thorson, a professor at George Washington University, will be a columnist for Politico Magazine.

Here’s the memo:

All—some big news today about Politico’s expansion, both here in Washington and nationally. First, a major national move, the start of our growth plan into the states: Marc Caputo, The Miami Herald’s well-wired political writer, will join us next month to lead our Florida coverage. Marc grew up in Key West and has a contagious passion for chronicling the Sunshine State’s political intrigue along with its consequential policy experiments. He’ll be writing a daily Florida Playbook, as well as leveraging his unique knowledge and contacts to help us cover former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, and the politics of one of the country’s key swing states. A veteran of the Herald since 2003, Marc is known for his “Caputo Cam” videos from the state Capitol in Tallahassee and his strong reporting; he helped expose campaign-finance scandals that led to two federal convictions.

Here at Rosslyn Politico central, Garrett Graff will take over as editor of Politico Magazine. The former editor in chief of Washingtonian magazine, Garrett has stepped in as acting editor since Blake and I took on our new responsibilities – and the great news for Politico is that he’s been doing such a good job we’ve persuaded him to keep doing it. Garrett, who signed up as a senior staff writer for the magazine earlier this year after an excellent run at Washingtonian, is an accomplished writer and historian (his next book, on Cold War era security on the home front, has already been optioned by Hollywood), and he shares our big vision for the magazine as a home for ambitious long form reporting and writing about the people, ideas and institutions driving American politics. The magazine, which celebrated its first birthday in November, was just recognized as a National Magazine Award finalist for general excellence among general-interest magazines and for its website, and Garrett will be expanding it by bringing regular new voices onto its pages as well.

New contributing editors to the magazine we’re announcing today include: Zachary Karabell, an economist and historian who’s written a dozen books, including most recently, “The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World,” and is a former columnist for The Atlantic and Slate; Matt Latimer, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and the author of the bestselling memoir, “Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor,” who is currently a partner at the DC media consultancy, Javelin; Bill Scher, a veteran Washington writer at the Campaign for America’s Future and co-host of the Bloggingheads.tv show “The DMZ”; Nancy Scola, a former tech and politics correspondent for the Atlantic and the Washington Post, and the former editor of techPresident; and Emily Thorson, an assistant professor at George Washington University who will be launching a new column to explore groundbreaking political science research and why voters react the way they do.

Please join us in congratulating Marc and Garrett — and welcoming these great new voices to Politico.

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Rick Perry

How Vox is rethinking presidential election coverage

When Vox launched in April, it was led by an article from co-founder Ezra Klein that seemed to lay out his ambitions for the new site.

Titled “How politics makes us stupid,” it explained that debates are often intractable because of confirmation bias, the idea that people use new information to reinforce their prejudices. Klein suggested that informed policy discussions — the kind that Vox strives to spark — might help America find its way out of blue-in-the-face shouting matches.

Now, with the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, Vox is placing bets on political coverage that aims to break free from the echo chamber that Klein described. The site recently hired Politico deputy managing editor Laura McGann as its first politics editor, charged with bringing Vox’s trademark policy journalism to the presidential race. And it plans to add political reporters and policy experts to its ranks in advance of the election.

“The 2016 presidential election is about to be the dominant news story in America,” McGann said. “And Vox really wants to do that story justice, and cover it well and write about it in a way that is meaningful and impactful.”

The big idea, McGann says, is to create policy-driven campaign coverage by reimagining what a traditional political reporting team looks like. At most news outlets, journalists who cover big policy issues like healthcare and education are kept separate from reporters who tag along with candidates on the campaign trail.

But at Vox, those two teams will be one. If a presidential hopeful is preparing to give a candidacy-defining speech on tax reform, Vox might send a policy reporter to cover the speech, or pair a politics reporter with a policy reporter for maximum context. The ultimate goal is to bring Vox’s interdisciplinary approach to the news — where designers, reporters and developers work closely with one another — to political coverage.

“Politics is the game that’s wrapped around the substance of what happens in governing, and we want to have less of a distinction between the two categories,” McGann said. “We want to talk about both things at once.”

McGann is also in the middle of rethinking how certain staples of presidential races might be covered with a policy bent. How, for example, to cover debates without pugilistic spin declaring who “won” and who “lost?” What does election night coverage look like? And how can Vox report on the campaign’s inevitable gaffes with greater depth? McGann is still working on the first two questions, but she some ideas about the third.

Covering gaffes might be a matter of treating them as moments of clarity and candor from candidates rather than simple slip-ups, McGann said. When a candidate falls off-message, he or she might actually be getting at larger policy issues worthy of further analysis.

By way of explanation, McGann cited two big gaffes from the last presidential campaign: Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” flub, which could have been a jumping-off point for a discussion about gender disparities in government jobs, and Rick Perry’s “oops” moment, which might have catalyzed a genuine debate about the implications of eliminating branches of the federal government.

“There wasn’t much reaction from the rest of the Republican field about how extreme this position is,” McGann said. “Why not? Those are huge questions that pretty much weren’t answered at the perfect moment to engage an audience.”

One of the biggest obstacles facing Vox is the fierce competition for talented political journalists, McGann said. As presidential hopefuls begin courting the American people in advance of the 2016 election, a similar game is being played among news outlets. Prominent political journalists are being wooed and won by various organizations as they staff up to cover the impending race.

Maggie Haberman, a senior Politico reporter, was recently snapped up by The New York Times to cover campaign news. Gregg Birnbaum, formerly deputy managing editor at Politico, was hired away by the New York Daily News to serve as head of political content. And Dianna Heitz, also deputy managing editor at Politico, was recently tapped to be senior multi-platform editor at CNN Politics Digital. Politico, for its part, recently hired a talent recruiter, presumably to offset the churn.

The politics staff at Vox currently consists of six reporters, but the newsroom will assign its more versatile policy writers to political coverage in the coming months, McGann said. The number of new hires depends largely on how many talented prospects she’s able to find.

“If I had 10 incredible candidates and I felt like I could put them in front of Ezra Klein and make a case to hire all of them, I would do that,” McGann said. “But I’m more concerned with finding the right people than a certain number.”

Vox co-founder Melissa Bell says Vox’s politics content has seen increased readership in recent months. In December, its coverage drew a larger audience than competitors including HuffPost Politics, Fox News Politics and CNN Politics, according to Comscore data. That was the same month the site experimented with refreshing and re-promoting content that had previously appeared on the site.

Bell says she sees Vox’s brand of analysis-driven campaign coverage as an accompaniment to traditional breaking news reports that might come from other outlets, such as The Associated Press or Politico.

“That’s a great news service,” Bell said. “It’s just that there’s a lot of news organizations that are doing that, and we’d like to provide something else.” Read more

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Why NPR didn’t publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons

NPR | The Two-Way

NPR decided not to publish controversial cartoons from satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo because “posting just a few of the cover images” of the Prophet Muhammad “could be misleading,” standards editor Mark Memmott wrote Monday.

Publishing a few magazine covers, Memmott writes, might give readers the impression the magazine is “only a bit edgier” than similar publications. But a more thorough examination of the cartoons would violate “most news organizations’ standards regarding offensive material.”

At NPR, the policy on “potentially offensive language” applies to the images posted online as well. It begins by stating that “as a responsible broadcaster, NPR has always set a high bar on use of language that may be offensive to our audience.

In the aftermath of the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, news organizations have been divided over whether to publish cartoons from the magazines depicting Muhammad, whose likeness is sacrosanct among Muslims. BuzzFeed reported that several news organizations, including The Telegraph, The Associated Press and The New York Daily News, decided to censor the images in some way. Politico noted that the decision seemed to be split along the lines of old and new media, and Poynter’s Kristen Hare talked to news organizations that chose to publish the images. Read more

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Career Beat: Conn Carroll named White House correspondent for Townhall

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

  • Conn Carroll will be White House correspondent for Townhall. He has previously worked at National Journal. (Politico)
  • Jack Shafer will be a columnist and reporter for Politico. Previously, he was press critic for Reuters. (Poynter)
  • Hugo Sánchez will be a soccer analyst for ESPN Deportes. Previously, he was a guest analyst there. (Media Moves)
  • Erika Maldonado will be an anchor at Univision Chicago. Previously, she was a general assignment reporter there. (Robert Feder)
  • Laura Zelenko will be interim senior executive editor for beat reporting at Bloomberg News. Previously, she was executive editor for markets there. (Poynter)
  • Susan Montoya Bryan will be New Mexico correspondent for The Associated Press. Previously, she was a reporter in the AP’s New Mexico bureau. (AP)
  • Maria Sanminiatelli will be evening global news manager for The Associated Press. She’s currently North America editor there. (AP)
  • Gwin Grimes is now editor and publisher of the Alpine (Texas) Avalanche. Previously, she was an assistant city editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. (Email)
  • Sue Callaway has been named senior automotive editor for Time Inc. Previously, she was founder of The Auto 100. (Email)

Job of the day: The Helena (Montana) Independent Record is looking for a sports reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Press critic Jack Shafer to join Politico

The Huffington Post

Jack Shafer, formerly a media critic for Slate and Reuters, will join Politico, according to a staff memo from Politico editor Susan Glasser.

At Politico, Shafer’s duties will include writing a regular column and reporting out longer pieces, according to the memo.

As we begin the quadrennial follies of a presidential election amid a wave of media disruption, Jack promises to be the indispensable guide to the political tumult, who always calls it like he sees it and whose sharp insights and razor observations come accompanied not only by deeply informed reporting – but also by a requisite sense of the long history underpinning all this narrative of American political journalism.

Shafer was most recently a media critic for Reuters, a job he was let go from in November. Upon his departure, Shafer told Poynter he wasn’t taking the news hard.

“I’m fine,” Shafer told Poynter. “My philosophy is that the job belongs to the employer,” he said. “When they want to do something else with the money, that’s their prerogative.”

Before Shafer joined Reuters, he was a longtime press critic for Slate. Before that he was editor of Washington City Paper and San Francisco Weekly.

Shafer will start on Tuesday, according to the memo:

All – The incomparable Jack Shafer is joining us! Jack is the premier press critic of our time, and we can’t wait to welcome him to POLITICO. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long; he’ll start here on Tuesday, launching a regular new column for us and doing more longform reporting and feature-length articles. As we begin the quadrennial follies of a presidential election amid a wave of media disruption, Jack promises to be the indispensable guide to the political tumult, who always calls it like he sees it and whose sharp insights and razor observations come accompanied not only by deeply informed reporting – but also by a requisite sense of the long history underpinning all this narrative of American political journalism. Jack’s resume is of course the perfect one to enable him to play the referee: he’s tried just about every kind of journalistic reinvention himself. Until recently, he wrote a column about the press and politics for Reuters; for 15 years before that he worked at Slate, first as deputy editor and then as the site’s Press Box columnist. Prior to Slate he spent 11 years editing two alternative weeklies—San Francisco Weekly and Washington City Paper. And before that he was managing editor of a now-defunct political magazine called Inquiry.

Please join us in welcoming Jack!

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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. (Poynter)
  • Larry Ingrassia will be associate editor at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was a deputy managing editor at The New York Times. (Poynter)
  • Tim Cavanaugh will be news editor at the Washington Examiner. Previously, he was news editor for National Review. Paige Winfield Cunningham will be a health care reporter for the Washington Examiner. Previously, she covered health care for Politico. Tara Copp will cover defense for the Washington Examiner. Previously, she was a defense analyst for the Government Accountability Office. (Fishbowl DC)

Job of the day: The Odessa (Texas) American is looking for a police reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Career Beat: Marilyn Thompson will be deputy editor at Politico

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

  • Leon Wieseltier will be a contributing editor and critic at The Atlantic. Previously, he was literary editor at The New Republic. (Poynter)
  • George Rodrigue will be editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Previously, he was assistant news director for WFAA. (Poynter)
  • Marilyn Thompson will be deputy editor at Politico. She’s currently Washington bureau chief for Reuters. Maura Reynolds is now White House editor at Politico. Previously, she was an editor at Bloomberg. (Email)
  • Peter Jamison is now a metro reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was a reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. Nigel Duara is now a southwest correspondent at the Los Angeles Times. He was a reporter at The Associated Press. Noah Bierman will cover the California congressional delegation for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was a congressional reporter for The Boston Globe. (Email)
  • Aaron LaBerge is now chief technology officer at ESPN. Previously, he was senior vice presidet of technology and product development there. (ESPN)
  • Dianna Heitz will be senior multi-platform editor at CNN Politics Digital. She is a deputy managing editor at Politico. (Email)
  • Chris Montgomery is now a Web developer at Billy Penn. Previously, he was a Web developer for Temple University’s School of Media and Communication. (Billy Penn)
  • Jim Rainey is now a senior film reporter at Variety. Previously, he was a reporter at The Los Angeles Times. (Variety)
  • Bill Siegel will be director of news strategy for The E.W. Scripps Company. He is news director for WWL. (The E.W. Scripps Company)
  • Fred Poust will be senior vice president of conferences and business development at Forbes. Previously, he was chief marketing officer for the Clinton Global Initiative. (Fishbowl NY)

Job of the day: The Virginian-Pilot is looking for an urban reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Sharyl Attkisson is suing the government

Politico | Fox News

Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Justice for illegal surveillance allegedly conducted while she was reporting on the government, multiple sources reported Monday.

Attkisson told Fox News’ Howard Kurtz she and her attorneys have evidence tying the government to various surveillance attempts including monitoring the audio on her Skype account and refreshing “software to steal data and obtain passwords on her home and work computers.”

Attkisson previously detailed the accusations of government surveillance in her book, “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington,” which was published in November. Among other things, the book mentions a suspicious cable that was attached to her Verizon FiOS box. She also published a video that purported to show an outside entity hacking her word processor. Max Fisher of Vox.com analyzed the video and says it shows a stuck backspace key. Read more

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