Eric Holder

The attorney general has released updated guidelines for investigating journalists

Reuters | Associated Press | Department of Justice

Changes in the Department of Justice’s guidelines for investigating journalists include approval in each case by the attorney general, Julia Edwards reported for Reuters. The changes were announced Wednesday.

The new guidelines dictate that the attorney general, not simply a member of the Justice Department staff, must authorize probes into all “newsgathering activities,” striking old language that applied only to “ordinary newsgathering activities,” a Justice Department official said.

News organizations objected to that language, Eric Tucker reported for the Associated Press.

The updated policy revises protocols announced last year amid outrage among news organizations over Obama administration tactics. It was released just as the Justice Department abandoned its yearslong efforts to compel a New York Times reporter to testify in the trial of a former CIA officer accused of disclosing classified information.

Here’s today’s press release:

WASHINGTON –Attorney General Eric Holder announced today expanded revisions to the Justice Department’s policy regarding obtaining information from, or records of, members of the news media.

The updated policy was announced via a memo by Attorney General Holder to all Justice Department employees.

“These revised guidelines strike an appropriate balance between law enforcement’s need to protect the American people, and the news media’s role in ensuring the free flow of information,” Attorney General Holder said. “This updated policy is in part the result of the good-faith dialogue the department has engaged in with news industry representatives over the last several months. These discussions have been very constructive and I am grateful to the members of the media who have worked with us throughout this process.”

Attorney General Holder first ordered a review of the department’s media guidelines in 2013. He then announced initial revisions to those guidelines in February of last year. The latest revisions arose following comments from federal prosecutors and other interested parties, including news media representatives. These meetings with news media representatives included the inaugural convening of the Attorney General’s News Media Dialogue Group in May 2014.

Among the new revisions announced today, the Attorney General has directed that the guidelines eliminate the use of the word “ordinary” when describing newsgathering activities affected by the policy. The revisions also serve to expand high-level review by the Attorney General for the use of certain law enforcement tools, such as subpoenas and applications for warrants, where the information sought from a member of the news media relates to newsgathering activities.

The updates announced today will revise existing department regulations, and the U.S. Attorney’s Manual will be updated to reflect the changes and provide further guidance to prosecutors as well.

A copy of the Attorney General’s memorandum accompanying the revised guidelines is attached.

Here’s the full memorandum. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press released a statement on Wednesday about the new guidelines. From that statement:

“While we have not yet seen the final regulations, we welcome these changes and appreciate the willingness of Attorney General Holder and DOJ officials to listen to the concerns of the news media when recalibrating their policies,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce D. Brown. Noting the Department’s decision this week not to call New York Times reporter James Risen as a witness at an upcoming federal trial, Brown added, “We hope that decision coupled with the new guidelines reflects that we’ve turned a corner with the DOJ.”

The Newspaper Association of America also released a statement on the changes, noting that they come after 10 months of work from NAA, RCFP, the AP and other news organizations with the Department of Justice.

“The new rules demonstrate a renewed commitment to freedom of the press that will protect the free flow of information to the American public,” said Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO. “We’re honored to have worked with the Department, and we congratulate Eric Holder and his team on crafting rules that will protect newsgathering for years to come.”

And from The Associated Press:

The guidelines, released by the Justice Department, revised steps announced last year in the wake of a public and media industry outcry over the secret seizure of AP phone records in May 2013.

“We are very pleased the Justice Department took our concerns seriously and implemented changes that will strengthen the protection of journalists for years to come,” said AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt.

Last year, Poynter’s Ellyn Angelotti Kamke wrote about what the previous round of changes meant. Read more


Reuters loses Tribune but is not quitting yet

General view of a Reuters building at Canary Wharf in London, Tuesday, May 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

General view of a Reuters building at Canary Wharf in London, Tuesday, May 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Reuters attempts to build a competitive wire service to the Associated Press suffered a major setback over the holidays when the Chicago Tribune and six sister papers ended a two-year relationship and switched back to the AP.

That was a double sting. Besides being Reuters’ biggest and most prominent client, Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern had spent several years helping build out the substitute service before it formally launched (as I recounted in a detailed story last summer),

But Steven Schwartz, global managing director of the Reuters news agency, told me in an e-mail interview that he is not throwing in the towel. He wrote:

We are grateful for all of the Tribune’s insight and input in the early days to help make the Reuters America service exceptionally strong and we expect they will be back as a customer sometime down the road.

Schwartz added that Reuters recently signed its 50th U.S. customer for the service and that 40 of those are daily newspapers.

Those numbers, however, indicate that Reuters has a long hill to climb to challenge AP, which claims 1,400 newspapers clients (also owners of the non-profit cooperative). So two years in, Reuters has less than a 3 percent market share.

The change, first reported by Jim Romenesko, has been confirmed but not formally announced to readers of the seven newspapers as final deal points are being settled. Chicago-based Romenesko noted a January 2 story in the Tribune with an AP credit line.

None of the parties is offering an explanation of the change.  Tribune Publishing corporate provided this anodyne comment:

The AP delivers premium content that our readers across all platforms expect. We made our recent news service choice based on a number of key criteria, including: meeting our readers’ content expectations, achieving the balance of cost and value, and a desire to secure one primary news service for all Tribune Publishing business units.

(The Los Angeles Times had stayed with AP when the seven other Tribune papers switched to Reuters at the beginning of 2013).

The reversal roughly coincides with Tribune Publishing’s spinoff as a separate company from Tribune’s TV and digital businesses.  It is probably a fair assumption that the reconsideration came from new corporate leadership.  Kern, while avoiding any criticism of AP, had told me in July that he and other editors were satisfied with Reuters.

AP is heavily invested in sports and election coverage, so another factor may have been that the 2014 mid-terms highlighted its strengths compared to more rudimentary Reuters coverage.

Reuters main attraction to potential clients is much lower prices at a time when regional newspapers continue to look for ways to control expenses. Most devote much less effort and space to national and international news than they used to.

But AP has countered with improvements to its state reports (which Reuters does not try to duplicate) and more flexibility in levels of service and prices offered.

Huff Post founder Arianna Huffington told staff in a year-end memo that she plans to drop AP when the contract expires at the end of 2015.  But that leaves the service a year to negotiate and many who give notice decide to stay in the end.

Reuters has some history of starting, stopping and reorganizing initiatives. It is planning a customizable Live TV video service in 2015, and I asked Schwartz whether that project might divert attention and resources from the national wire.  He said not:

Reuters America is but one of the many initiatives we have launched around the world in recent years as we continue to innovate and adapt to the changing economics of news and shifting needs of our global media customer base. Whether it is providing a market alternative as we have with Reuters America, expanding our bespoke TV programming efforts around the world or investing in state of the art multimedia news delivery Reuters will continue to innovate and help its media customers engage their audiences wherever and whenever news breaks.

While I don’t doubt Schwartz’s commitment, priorities change, and Reuters’ national wire probably needs to pick up momentum quickly to be a survivor.  Clayton Christensen notwithstanding, disruptive, “good enough” challengers do not always prevail.  This could be a faceoff in which Goliath AP proves the winner.



  Read more


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)

Send Ben your job moves: Read more


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!

Read more

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)

Send Ben your job moves: Read more

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 3.22.13 PM

Facing a flood of incivility, news sites make reader comments harder to find

When the Los Angeles Times redesigned its website earlier this year, it became harder to find the opinions of people like iamstun1, jumped2, and Shootist.

Those are the screen names of some Times readers who are among the most prolific authors of online comments. Their writings, like the rest of the reader comments, no longer appear at the bottom of stories on

Instead, comments for each article remain hidden unless users click on an icon along the right side of the screen.

Screenshot from

Screenshot from

That opens a separate page where readers can peruse the thoughts of iamstun1 on the federal budget bill (“Republicans really are scums”), jumped2 on the Senate torture investigation (“EVERYONE involved in releasing the CIA report and harming our Military should be tried for TREASON and HUNG”), and Shootist on a flash flood that damaged homes and forced evacuations throughout Southern California (“couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of pantywaists”).

The change, part of a major overhaul of in May, reflects a trend among news websites. Many are moving reader comments onto separate pages, or – in a few cases – eliminating them entirely, often because of concerns about their acerbic content.

“Everyone in the industry has struggled with how to handle comments,” said Times Deputy Managing Editor Megan Garvey. In a phone interview, she said the change was designed to create a “more discrete reading experience.”

“If you want to participate with the comments, you can open them up and you can spend your time there,” Garvey said. “But if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t read comments, you can just read the story in peace.”

Politico, The New York Times, and USA Today also have de-emphasized reader comments in their most recent site redesigns. Each site now requires readers to click a small “speech balloon” icon to see comments from other readers or add their own.

“They’re saying if you really want to read the comments, you’ll have to go a little bit out of your way,” said University of Houston Communications Professor Arthur Santana, who studies the evolution of website comment forums. “They really are worried that (comments) are bringing down the brand identity of the news organization.”

“The worst of humankind”

Santana, a former writer and editor at The Washington Post and San Antonio Express-News, bemoans what comment sections have become at many news websites – forums for name calling, hate speech, and off-topic political rants.

In a study planned for publication this spring in the Newspaper Research Journal, he examined comments about Arizona’s 2010 immigration law on, as well as the websites of The Arizona Republic and Houston Chronicle. He found that just over half included threats, attacks, slurs, or vulgarities.

“These commenting forums are very much a cesspool of incivility, racism, and sexism,” Santana said in a phone interview. “It’s just the worst of humankind.”

That nastiness has led a handful of news websites to eliminate comments entirely. The Chicago Sun-Times temporarily discontinued comments in April, lamenting that they had devolved into “an embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing.” (Comments have since returned to some Sun-Times articles, hidden behind a speech-balloon icon.) Popular Science killed comments last September, and Reuters eliminated them a few weeks ago on all stories except opinion columns.

“It didn’t feel like it was such a fit anymore,” said Reuters Digital Executive Editor Dan Colarusso, who directed readers instead to take their comments to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

“Our site is about the biggest stories in the world being presented in a rational way,” he said in a phone interview.

At the L.A. Times, Garvey said vitriol infiltrated reader forums not only on controversial stories, but sometimes on features and even obituaries. In addition to segregating the comments onto separate pages, she said the Times is moderating them on certain stories, while choosing to not open comment forums on others.

Still, Garvey said the Times isn’t planning to get rid of reader comments.

“We have certain very heavy users who spend a lot of time commenting,” she said. “The question is do you want to alienate people who spend a lot of time on our site …. These are people who are paying to read us.”

A continuing evolution

The Times said it heard little reaction from readers about the change once their initial confusion about the site redesign wore off. Reuters, which allowed reader comments on its decision to eliminate comments, got a mixed reaction. It ranged from a complaint that the news agency is trying to “silence the people” to a reader who agreed with the decision and asked, “Why maintain a trash heap?”

Santana, the Houston professor, sees the latest changes as part of a continuing evolution of online reader forums, which date back to the early days of the web.

“Newspapers allowed commenting forums, and almost immediately regretted it,” he said.

Santana said about half the nation’s largest 137 newspapers have banned anonymous comments, a strategy that can greatly reduce incivility, according to his research. Some sites also screen each message prior to publication or provide tools that encourage the online community to police itself.

Yet despite the angst comments cause and the resources they require, most editors are hesitant to eliminate them. (Santana found fewer than ten percent of large newspapers lack online forums.) They attract users, remain an important tool for reader engagement, and – in between the bile – still feature some productive conversations.

“A lot of people may not like them, but are comforted by the fact that they exist,” Santana said. “The idea of silencing the community by killing the forum might turn off the reader.

“Nobody quite has figured it out yet. It’s an imperfect system all the way around.”

  Read more


NYT edges closer to layoffs

Good morning. Almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT may have layoffs, after all

    A memo from Janet Elder says the news org may not have enough buyout applications to forgo layoffs. "Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs." Also, if you take the buyout, MOMA will not let you in for free anymore. (Mother Jones) | Last month Keith J. Kelly reported that more than 300 people had filed buyout applications, but many were "just securing their rights and checking it out," Guild unit rep Grant Glickson said. (NY Post) | Floyd Norris is taking the buyout. (Talking Biz News) | More N.Y. Guild news: Eight Guild members who worked at Reuters' Insider video project are losing their jobs. (The Newspaper Guild of New York) | Time Inc. has declared it's at an "impasse" with the union and "can begin unilaterally imposing many of the terms, including the right to farm out up to 60 full-time jobs while slashing vacation and medical benefits and eliminating voluntary buyout provisions from future layoffs." The Guild has asked the NLRB to investigate. (NY Post)

  2. Aereo files for bankruptcy

    The "challenges have proven too difficult to overcome," the company says. (Aereo) | "Aereo's CEO told early VCs: This either will be the best investment of your career, or it will be a total loss. There is no in between." (@danprimack)

  3. Networks on Obama's immigration reform speech:


    ABC, NBC and CBS gave it a "collective shrug," Erik Wemple reports. "Asked whether the White House formally requested coverage, the White House wouldn’t even provide the Erik Wemple Blog an on-the-record response." (WP) | New York Post front: "Bamnesty" | "Sí se pudo": How La Opinión and El Diario La Prensa covered the speech. (WP)

  4. Gatehouse parent co. buys Halifax newspapers

    New Media Investment Group will pay $280 million for Halifax's 36 newspapers, which include 24 dailies. (NMIG) | NMIG will be the Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette's third owner in 16 months. (T&G)

  5. Phone hacking scandal principals move on

    Rebekah Brooks may be named editor of the New York Post, Leela de Kretser writes in a kicky inaugural column for Capital. She and her family are "ensconced in an Upper East Side pad." (Capital) | Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson got out of jail early. (The Guardian)

  6. Your daily BuzzFeed links

    Should BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith have disclosed that some of his publication's backers have invested in Uber competitors? It's "easy to see this sort of thing creating an endless rabbit hole," Peter Kafka writes. (Re/code) | BuzzFeed has discovered that "social URLs" -- think back to the punny headlines you may have written before Google ruined all your fun -- can "act like a rocket booster for a post," Lucia Moses reports. Note the URL on the story. (Digiday)

  7. #Pointergate: The timeline

    Corey Hutchins writes a fabulous tick-tock of KSTP's ludicrous non-story and its risible attempts to defend it. Owner Stanley Hubbard confirms the station's initial tip came from "the police federation guy" and says the station polled viewers after it became a national laughingstock for running it: "We just did a major study—we wanted to find out the public reaction—I haven’t got the number exactly, but it’s something like 65 or 70 percent of the people don’t care one way or the other. But interestingly, of those who are aware of the story, 52 percent of black people say, ‘Good for you, right on.’” (CJR) | The Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists calls the story "fundamentally flawed." (MNSPJ) | A big takeaway from all this from David Brauer: "Primarily, we should be vigilant about civilian control of police." (Southwest Journal) | Hubbard called a sponsor's decision to pull advertising from KSTP "unbelievable." Finally, something KSTP finds hard to believe. (MPR News)

  8. HuffPost may host Jill Abramson-Steven Brill startup

    A "decision on a deal is likely to be made soon," David Carr and Ravi Somaiya report. (NYT)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Washington Post goes big on Obama's immigration action. (Courtesy the Newseum)

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Dan Lyons is now editor-in-chief at Valleywag. Previously, he was a marketing fellow at HubSpot. (Re/code) | Rachel Racusen will be vice president of communications at MSNBC. Previously, she was associate communications director for the White House. (Playbook) | Jeff Fager will be an executive producer at "60 Minutes". Previously, he was chairman of CBS News. (Politico) | Nitasha Tiku is now a west coast senior writer at The Verge. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Valleywag. (Business Insider) | Jason Kravarik is now a producer at CNN. Previously, he was assistant news director at KOIN in Portland, Oregon. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: The Rockford (Illinois) Register Star is looking for an editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more


Jack Shafer says Reuters let him go

BuzzFeed | The Washington Post

Reuters media critic Jack Shafer tells Poynter Reuters let him go.

“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.”

He announced his departure on Twitter.

Matthew Zeitlin reported in BuzzFeed Wednesday that Reuters planned to lay off as 55 people.

Shafer said he wasn’t conversant with HR terminology and that Reuters removed him in a “very respectful and professional manner.”

As for his future plans, Shafer says he plans to “get Fugazi back together as my next trick.”

Shafer’s departure signals a shift from the current Web strategy at Reuters, Erik Wemple writes:

Despite all its scoops on business and finance, it has had trouble figuring out how to adapt key business products — subscriptions and financial information terminals — to the digital age.

Shafer was Slate’s media columnist but was laid off from that job in 2011. “Everybody in our business has to see this coming,” he said at the time, adding that journalists should look “both ways when they cross the street.” Read more

Mashable headquarters. (Image courtesy Mashable)

Mashable, too, heads to Europe

Mashable headquarters. (Image courtesy Mashable)

Mashable headquarters. (Image courtesy Mashable)

Ask Mashable Executive Editor Jim Roberts about his plans for the future and he says — with tongue planted firmly in cheek — that he’s looking to achieve “global domination.”

That may seem ambitious for the top editor of a news organization that until this year had not expanded outside the U.S, but Roberts is serious when it comes to growing the site’s international audience.

On Tuesday, the company announced it would open a London office in October, naming former editorial director Blathnaid Healy its U.K. editor.

“I think we’ve only scratched the surface of what we can hope to see in terms of building a global audience,” Roberts said in a phone interview. “The subjects that we focus on really do have global appeal, whether it’s climate coverage or technology news or the latest in digital culture, viral content, memes — these are things that don’t necessarily adhere to geographic and physical boundaries.”

Roberts’ claims aren’t just talk. Over the past 18 months, Mashable — helped along by a $14 million infusion of capital — has doubled in size, adding 70 employees to its staff of 70. In June, the company announced its first international expansion, appointing former multimedia editor Jenni Ryall Australian editor. In March, the company opened a Los Angeles office to better cover the entertainment industry. Earlier this month, Mashable moved to larger offices in New York City’s Flatiron district to accommodate its growing staff.

Mashable chose London because it’s a prime market for advertising, with a ready-made audience, said Seth Rogin, the company’s chief revenue officer.

“Mashable views the world from the lens of the Web and London is a supremely savvy and cultured place,” Rogin said in a phone interview. “It makes sense for us to be there.”

Staffers at the London office will have a threefold mandate, Roberts said. They will be charged with creating content relevant to the UK as well as Mashable’s general audience. They will report on regional stories of international import, such as the recent Scottish independence referendum. And they will also be a part of the company’s global editing team, charged with pushing out news 24/7.

Ultimately, the plan is to create a bureau that provides news, features, entertainment to a growing audience without losing sight of Mashable’s trademark tech coverage, Roberts said.

The online news organization’s dramatic growth roughly coincided with a couple of hires from legacy companies. Roberts, formerly executive editor of Reuters digital, was brought aboard in October. Rogin, formerly vice president of advertising at The New York Times, was hired in June 2013.

When he arrived at Mashable, Roberts says he brought with him a desire to cover stories of international import, including the turmoil in Ukraine, the rise of the Islamic State group and the turbulance in Gaza.

“One of my goals was to try to put us on a sound footing for stories people were paying attention to,” Roberts said.

He isn’t alone in this regard. With its expansions abroad, Mashable joins a growing list of other Web-focused news organizations with international ambitions:

  • In August, BuzzFeed announced it was expanding to Berlin, Mexico City, Mumbai and Tokyo.
  • Earlier this month, Politico announced a joint venture in Europe with Berlin-based media company Axel Springer.
  • Vice Media, fresh from a $500 million investment round from A+E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures, is also increasing its footprint abroad with an expansion into India.
  • Business Insider is planning to launch Business Insider Europe, which will serve up “social-friendly content with a localized twist,” Ricardo Bilton writes for DigiDay.

But Roberts says he’s prepared to vie for international audiences despite the crowded field — not just with transplants from the U.S., but with any organization that draws eyeballs away from Mashable, including TV and radio.

“I think that I tend to view everybody as our competition,” Roberts said. “Anything that competes for somebody’s attention is our competition.” Read more

1 Comment

Career Beat: Naomi Zeichner named editor-in-chief of The Fader

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

  • Missy Ryan will be a Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post. Previously, she was a reporter at Reuters. (The Washington Post)
  • Yumiko Ono is now Asia audience engagement editor at The Wall Street Journal. Previously, she was managing editor of Wall Street Journal Japan. (@raju)
  • Trip Gabriel is now a political correspondent for The New York Times. He was a national correspondent there. Jennifer Steinhauer is now mid-atlantic bureau chief for The New York Times. Previously, she was a congressional reporter there. (Politico)
  • Amy Keller Laird is now editor-in-chief of Women’s Health. Previously, she was executive editor there. (Women’s Wear Daily)
  • Naomi Zeichner is now editor-in-chief of The Fader. Previously, she was music editor at BuzzFeed. (@nomizeichner)
  • Megan Sowder-Staley is now vice president for product strategy at Roll Call. Previously, she was director of product strategy there. Todd Ruger is a legal affairs staff writer for Roll Call. Previously, he covered legal issues for the National Law Journal. Rachel Oswald is a defense reporter for Roll Call. Previously, she was a reporter for Global Security Newswire. Connor O’Brien is a defense policy reporter for Roll Call. Previously, he was a congressional news reporter there. Gillian Roberts is now breaking news editor at Roll Call. Previously, she was a White House stringer at Bloomberg. Jamisha Ford is now special products editor at CQ Now. Previously, she was deputy editor at CQ Now. Bridget Bowman will cover the Capitol for Roll Call’s Hill Blotter blog. She was an intern there. Chris Williams is a multimedia and online developer for Roll Call. Previously, he was web director for Personal Selling Power. (Roll Call)

Job of the Day: Eagle-Tribune Publishing is looking for page designers. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: Read more


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