What makes a tweet likely to be retweeted? Plus, mobile ad revenue to surpass newspapers

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day, and from Kristen Hare, a world roundup):

— What makes a tweet likely to be retweeted? An algorithm developed at Cornell thinks it knows, and you can test your predictive powers against it in an interactive quiz at The New York Times by Mike Bostock, Josh Katz and Nilkanth Patel.

— According to eMarketer, revenue from smartphone and tablet ads will surpass revenue from radio, magazine and newspaper ads for the first time this year, Robert Hof writes at Forbes. Mobile will still trail television and desktop/laptop ad revenue, though.

— Mashable’s Brian Ries has a roundup of fascinating Twitter data from yesterday’s U.S.-Belgium World Cup match.

— SCOTUSblog got 20,000 new Twitter followers on Monday after engaging with users who thought the Supreme Court blog’s account was an official Supreme Court account. American Journalism Review’s Cory Blair has a Q&A with SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein.

— Facebook did its icky emotion-manipulation study for the benefit of you, the customer, Megan Garber of The Atlantic reports from the Aspen Ideas Festival. Said Monika Bickert, head of global policy management: “Most of the research that is done on Facebook—if you walk around campus and you listen to the engineers talking—is all about … ‘How do we better suit the needs of the population using this product, and how do we show them more of what they want to see, and less of what they don’t want to see?’”

— Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read wants internal staff chats to be less of a “time waste,” so he’s making them public. Caroline O’Donovan explores Gawker’s new Disputations vertical at Nieman Lab.

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Bloomberg publications await launch dates, alt-weeklies get together on a story

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Where are Bloomberg’s new verticals? Its politics site will launch in October, “30 days before the 2014 Midterms,” Joe Pompeo reports. Bloomberg Business, Bloomberg Markets and Bloomberg Pursuits have “no hard launch dates,” Pompeo writes. “‘It’s still mostly chatter about strategy with no product being delivered,’ said one executive who was not authorized to speak on the record. ‘People want to see something on the table, basically.’” (Capital)
  2. Pulitzers have a new boss: Former Concord Monitor Editor Mike Pride will become the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes this September. (NYT) | Pride talks with Kristen Hare: “What the Pulitzers really have to do, like every other institution associated with journalism, they have to change with the times and the times are changing very quickly.” (Poynter)
  3. Brown Moses is launching a site for crowdsourced reporting: Bellingcat will give citizen journalists “a chance to learn what I’ve learnt over the last two years by trial and error,” Eliot Higgins, a.k.a. Brown Moses, tells Mathew Ingram. (Gigaom) | Previously: “How an unemployed blogger confirmed that Syria had used chemical weapons.” (The New Yorker)
  4. RIP Jeffrey Ressner: The former writer for Politico, Time, Rolling Stone, L.A. Weekly and others was 56. (Billboard, LA Observed)
  5. Google Reader has been dead for a year: How do you use RSS, if you still do? (Mashable) | For what it’s worth, I really like Digg Reader.
  6. It’s time to credential SCOTUSblog: “According to the site’s internal data, Scotusblog’s single biggest user is the Supreme Court itself.” (NYT) | SCOTUSblog Publisher Tom Goldstein talks about the sassy replies he sent to Twitter users who confused his blog with the court. The message? “Just to take a minute and be more civil and think about what you are doing rather than blasting off.” (AJR)
  7. Alt-weeklies bash politicians: A bunch of AAN member papers will publish an “unabashedly irreverent” 15,000-word piece about the country’s worst politicians this week. (AAN) | Did they Snowfall it? They Snowfalled it! (America’s Worst Politicians)
  8. Sources at powerful institutions usually fit into five categories: “The scorned lover,” “The only guy with half a brain,” “The charmer,” “The suicide bomber,” “The archivist.” More tips from New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo. (Jim Romenesko)
  9. Plagiarism: The T-shirt: Only $6.99. (LOL Shirts)
  10. Job stuff: Jane Spencer is Fusion’s new digital editor-in-chief. She had been The Wall Street Journal’s editor of digital projects and innovation. (Politico) | Mark Katches is The Oregonian’s new editor. He had been at the Center for Investigative Reporting. (Willamette Week) | Stan Wischnowski is the new vice president for news operations at The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and He had been the Inquirer’s executive editor. (The Philadelphia Inquirer) | Carol Loomis is retiring from Fortune: “this year marks her 60th as an employee of Fortune and Time Inc., a record surely never to be broken,” Managing Editor Andy Serwer writes. (Fortune)

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: Read more

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NYT tweeted Hobby Lobby ruling 41 minutes after SCOTUSblog

In a remarkable display of caution lasting eons in Twitter time, The New York Times waited about 40 minutes after the news broke to post the Supreme Court’s ruling [PDF] on whether some companies can be required to pay for contraception.

SCOTUSblog, which doesn’t have a press credential despite attracting 50,000 viewers to its live blog today, tweeted the ruling at 10:16 a.m.

Within five minutes, the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal had also tweeted the news, but the Times would say only that the court had ruled on the case without going into specifics:

That bit of non-news included a disclaimer explaining why the Times wasn’t yet telling readers what everyone else was telling them:


Earlier, the Times told readers of The Caucus blog to expect delays as reporters and editors ensure they fully understand the decision. The explanation alluded to the embarrassment some news organizations felt two years ago when they jumped the gun and misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s ruling on the health care law (the Times got it right in 2012, tweeting the news 10 minutes after SCOTUSblog did):

We realize that people will be eager to know what the ruling means as soon as it is released (and you can read the decision yourself when it is posted on the court’s website). But we also want to point out that the immediate descriptions of any ruling may not be very meaningful, because the ruling could be complicated, as it was with last year’s ruling on same-sex marriage, and on health care the year before, and not amenable to instant summarizing.

The moment that we feel comfortable reporting a ruling’s basic meaning, which could be almost immediately, we plan to explain the decision.

Apparently that moment came about 40 minutes after SCOTUSblog was comfortable posting the news — and more than 35 minutes after AP and The Wall Street Journal were.

The only potential inaccuracy in the Times’s tweet, as far as I can see: the claim that the news was truly “breaking” anymore.

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SCOTUSblog’s appeal fails; can’t get Senate press credential

If you spent any part of Monday checking SCOTUSblog for the Supreme Court orders, you’re not alone — about 10,000 people were on its live blog around 10 a.m., Editor Amy Howe wrote.

But SCOTUSblog’s indispensibility has not yet translated into a credential to cover the court. The Senate Press Gallery granted it a credential — usually a prerequisite for Supreme Court credentials — but it later revoked the credential. SCOTUSblog’s appeal has failed:

Earlier Monday, SCOTUSblog Publisher Tom Goldstein said he hadn’t had a chance yet to read the decision: “Ironically, we’re covering orders and opinions from the Court,” he wrote in an email to Poynter. Since then he was able to spend some time with it: The problem, he writes, was not SCOTUSblog’s journalism but his dual role as publisher and proprietor of a law firm that argues before the court.

“The members of the Standing Committee are traditional journalists who come from a proud and treasured tradition of complete independence from anything other than their craft,” he writes. “That is a fantastic model for journalism. But it is not the only one.”

SCOTUSblog will appeal the decision to the Senate Rules Committee, Goldstein writes.

Related: Siobhan Hughes: “while the media are ever evolving and changing, the need to guard against conflicts of interest remains.” (Senate Press Gallery) | SCOTUSblog can’t get credentialed, but news agencies owned by foreign states can Read more

Tom Goldstein

SCOTUSblog can’t get credentialed, but news agencies owned by foreign states can

SCOTUSblog | The New York Times | Digital Media Law Project | Nieman

SCOTUSblog Editor Amy Howe was at a “genuine disadvantage” when covering a recent U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, SCOTUSblog Publisher Tom Goldstein writes. That’s because the U.S. Senate revoked the news organization’s press pass in April.

Neither the Senate nor the Supreme Court “has explained what is going on,” Adam Liptak writes for The New York Times, “though everybody knows what concerns them: Thomas C. Goldstein, the blog’s publisher, also argues before the Supreme Court.”

Goldstein vowed to appeal that decision not, least because a Senate press pass should pave the way for SCOTUSblog to get a credential to cover the Supreme Court. And some of the organizations the Senate has credentialed, he notes, are owned outright by foreign governments including China’s Xinhua News Agency and the Saudi Press Agency, and both countries lobby Congress as well.

The Senate’s Standing Committee for press credentials was not receptive to the appeal, Goldstein writes: Read more


The Supreme Court Building is seen, Thursday, March 5, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

SCOTUSblog will appeal Senate’s denial of press pass


The U.S. Senate Press Gallery denied SCOTUSblog’s request for a press pass last week. “We were disappointed in that decision,” SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein writes in a blog post. The publication plans to appeal:

We do not have a written list of the reasons for the denial, which makes the process more difficult. Our impression is also that the appeal may go to the same group that denied the application in the first place. If the appeal is denied, then we expect to litigate the issue. We’re now coordinating all those efforts with other groups that kindly have offered to support us.

A Senate Press Gallery credential is usually a prerequisite for a Supreme Court press pass, which SCOTUSblog still, somewhat inexplicably, lacks. The Senate granted the publication a press pass last April. “We then presented that credential to the Supreme Court, thinking that the issue was resolved,” Goldstein writes, but the court declined to recognize it. “We are in the process of reviewing our credentialing procedures and are not issuing new credentials until that process is complete,” court public information officer Kathleen Arberg told Poynter last fall.

A reporter snapped this photo on the wall of the Supreme Court press room last October; it shows who has permanent credentials (click to view bigger). Read more


SCOTUSblog still lacks Supreme Court credentials

SCOTUSblog still lacks its own press credentials to cover the Supreme Court, whose new term began Monday. Reached by email, SCOTUSblog Publisher Tom Goldstein said that after his organization in April received a credential to cover the U.S. Senate, which the court had suggested, “they were going to reevaluate their credentialing policy.” That reevaluation is apparently taking a while: “They say they have no expectations of when that will be done,” Goldstein writes.

The Supreme Court’s public information office is operating during the government shutdown, a representative told Poynter in a phone call Monday. In an email, court public information officer Kathleen Arberg said, “We are in the process of reviewing our credentialing procedures and are not issuing new credentials until that process is complete.” Read more

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Stein en route on Monday (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Why SCOTUSblog’s intern was running toward MSNBC

Dan Stein’s monster hustle getting opinions from the Supreme Court pressroom to TV crews this week has become the toast of the Internet:

BuzzFeed’s Benny Johnson saluted Stein’s “masterful technique” and wrote that his “fluttering tie truly makes this a special moment.” Slate led its story about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act Tuesday with a picture of Stein’s black dress shoes hovering over the court steps, his face exuding determination. Read more

Supreme Court Building

NBC News supplements Supreme Court coverage with one-glance site

As the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Wednesday morning and declined to rule on a case involving California’s Prop 8, NBC News supplemented its usual coverage with a single-serving site called

Ryan Osborn, NBC News’ vice president for digital innovations, says his team threw together the one-glancer in four hours this past Sunday and “we’ve seen a nice little reaction.” It was inspired, he said, by sites like and the Guardian’s Is There White Smoke site during March’s papal conclave. Read more


SCOTUSblog gets a Peabody Award

Peabody Awards | SCOTUSblog

SCOTUSblog is among the winners of the 72nd-annual Peabody Awards, announced Wednesday. It’s the first blog to receive a Peabody, Amy Howe writes in an announcement on the site. “[T]he website provides everything you ever wanted to know about the U.S. Supreme Court and its cases but didn’t know where to look,” the awards announcement reads. SCOTUSblog joins ABC’s Hurricane Sandy coverage, WVIT-TV’s coverage of the Sandy Hook massacre and Kelly McEvers and Deborah Amos’ coverage of Syria on NPR in the winner’s circle.

Local TV stations picked up a good amount of hardware: WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, KMGH-TV in Denver and KNXV-TV in Phoenix all received Peabodys. The awards are scheduled to be presented on May 20.

Here’s a list of all the winners.

Previously: SCOTUSblog tries again to get credentialed to cover the Supreme Court | Why it’s so hard for SCOTUSblog to get Supreme Court press credentials | SCOTUSblog details in 7,000 words how CNN, Fox got Health Care ruling wrong | Who was first with healthcare ruling depends on where you were looking Read more


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