Reuters

Foley

Major news organizations to reveal new freelancer safety guidelines

Freelance journalist James Foley in 2011.  Photograph by Jonathan Pedneault

Freelance journalist James Foley in 2011. Photograph by Jonathan Pedneault

A coalition of prominent news outlets and journalism advocacy groups Thursday will release a set of guidelines at Columbia Journalism School for the protection of freelancers.

The recommendations, which will have the support of several prominent wire service organizations including The Associated Press and the Agence France-Presse, set forth best practices for both freelancers and the news organizations that employ them.

The new directives come amid a perilous time for freelance journalists, said Robert Mahoney, deputy director for the Committee to Protect Journalists. Widespread access to publishing tools has enabled terrorists to spread their messages widely without media organizations, making journalists more valuable to these groups as gruesome spectacles than bearers of witness. And financial setbacks have prompted many news organizations to shutter their foreign bureaus, leaving freelancers to pick up the slack in dangerous regions. Read more

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Career Beat: Jorge Mettey named vice president of news at Azteca América

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

  • Jorge Mettey is now vice president of news and community relations at Azteca América. Previously, he was senior vice president of news at MundoFox. (Media Moves)
  • Jeffrey Dastin is now U.S. airlines correspondent for Reuters. Previously, he was an intern there. (Email)
  • Melisa Goh will be senior home page editor at CNN. Previously, she was weekend editor at NPR.org. (Email)
  • Keith Connors is now news director for WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut. Previously, he was news director for WTHR in Indianapolis. Dave Ciliberti is now news director for WCMH in Columbus, Ohio. Previously, he was news director for WTEN/WXXA in Albany, New York. (Rick Gevers)

Job of the day: CBS Interactive is looking for an associate editor. Read more

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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. Read more

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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.
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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 latimes.com.

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

Screenshot from latimes.com

Screenshot from latimes.com

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”). Read more

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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.

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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.

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