The Atlantic

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5 lessons from The Atlantic’s redesign

Screenshot, The Atlantic.

Screenshot, The Atlantic.

The Atlantic unveiled a redesign on Tuesday, and I spoke with Libby Bawcombe, The Atlantic’s digital design director, via email about the redesign, what worked, what didn’t and if they had any surprises. Here’s what she said:

A/B testing helped with choices before the redesign:

“We continually measure how readers use our site,” Bawcombe said. “We wanted to pressure test a lot of ideas before we officially kicked off the redesign. We started deploying regular rounds of A/B tests to try out new ideas and see what would stick with readers. This freed us from anxiety about predicting if we were making the single right choice. We often said, ‘Let’s just A/B test it.’ We created a list of A/B tests to perform post-launch and continue to make tests a regular part of our workflow.”

A weekly cycle schedule was ‘demanding but productive:’

“We did the project in-house and built a small working group comprising staff from the editorial and product teams, including the website’s editor, deputy editor, product director, a lead developer, the digital design director and the analytics director,” Bawcombe said. Read more

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Career Beat: Javier Zarracina is graphics editor at Vox

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

  • Alexandra Manzano is now deputy social media editor for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she was social media editor at The Oregonian. (@AliManzano)
  • Javier Zarracina is now graphics editor at Vox. Previously, he was graphics and data editor at the Los Angeles Times. (Email)
  • Raúl Martinez is now corporate creative director at Condé Nast. Previously, he was design director at Vogue. (Media Moves)
  • Sarykarmen Rivera is now news anchor at WVEA-62 in Tampa. Previously, she was interim news anchor there. (Media Moves)
  • Kathy Kiely is now Washington news director at Bloomberg Politics. Previously, she was managing editor at the Sunlight Foundation. (Politico)
  • Chris Bodenner will be a senior editor at The Atlantic.
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James Fallows’ adventures with sponsored content

The Atlantic

James Fallows, a national correspondent with The Atlantic, was getting tired of being inundated with pitches from advertisers to put a “sponsored content” article on the magazine’s website. But he was also getting a little intrigued by how such a deal would be structured. So he replied to one such pitch and pretended to be interested.

The advertiser represented an online gambling company that offered to pay to have an “article” placed on The Atlantic’s site for 12 months. The story could not be labeled as sponsored or give any indication that it was, in fact, an ad. The story would be about industry news relating to the company, particularly how the company was shifting its focus to female customers. If possible, the story’s links should be set at “dofollow” — HTML-speak for a tag that boosts the site’s search result rankings. Read more

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James Warren will be Poynter’s chief media correspondent

James Warren (New York Daily News photo)

James Warren (New York Daily News photo)

James Warren will join Poynter’s digital team as chief media correspondent starting in April. Warren is currently the Washington bureau chief for the New York Daily News and a former managing editor and Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune.

Warren was also a media columnist for the Tribune and a television analyst on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and Al Jazeera America.

“Jim Warren will add personality and perspective to our already outstanding digital team,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “He brings with him a reporting background and contacts in three of the nation’s largest media markets — Washington, Chicago and New York — and he’s worked across media platforms in print, television and digital. Jim is someone who understands how the media business works, and he has the ability to bring original, unique insight to our coverage of the industry.”

In his new role, Warren will be the lead media news reporter for Poynter covering breaking news and writing in-depth stories on major issues. Read more

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Bill O’Reilly to NYT reporter: ‘I am coming after you with everything I have’

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Bill O’Reilly threatens jounalist

    In an interview with The New York Times Monday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly warned reporter Emily Steel there could be consequences for inappropriate coverage surrounding disputed claims about his reportage of the Falklands War. “I am coming after you with everything I have,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “You can take it as a threat.” (The New York Times) | Politico's Dylan Byers followed up with Steel, who told him "the story speaks for itself." (Politico) | Here's Steel's tweet. (@emilysteel) | O'Reilly continued defending his coverage Monday and sought to end the controversy. (CNN Money) | Meanwhile, the author of a New York Times story that O'Reilly cited in his defense said the anchor "cut out an important phrase" while reading it on air.

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Career Beat: Steve Korioth named news director at WVVA-TV

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

  • Steve Korioth is now news director at WVVA in Bluefield, West Virginia. Previously, he was interim news director there. (Rick Gevers)
  • Theodore Ross is now features director at The New Republic. Previously, he was a freelance writer for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic and Vice. (Poynter)
  • Kim Komenich is now an assistant professor of photojournalism at San Francisco State University. Previously, he was an assistant professor of new media studies at San Jose State University. (NPPA)

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

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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Here’s where all those New Republic staffers are going

The messy and public firing of New Republic editor Franklin Foer in December prompted a wave of resignations from staffers at the magazine who foreswore the leadership of incoming editor Gabriel Snyder.

A running tally of journalists who resigned in protest compiled by New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza included many from the upper ranks of the magazine. In Lizza’s in-depth documenting TNR’s implosion, it was clear that a tug-of-war over the company’s digital strategy between new management and the old guard was a source of much friction. Vidra wanted to build a “vertically integrated digital media company,” and staffers were worried that journalism would receive short shrift. Here’s an anonymous source in Lizza’s story:

The editors were hardly opposed to giving greater attention to digital media, but they came to believe that Hughes was losing interest in the actual content of T.N.R.’s journalism and cultural criticism.

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‘Humor makes you free’: Atlantic contributors draw in honor of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists

The Atlantic

On Friday, The Atlantic published “Art Is Free: Responses to Charlie Hebdo.”

We reached out to some of our contributors and asked them to articulate their reactions to this assault the best way they know how: through illustration. This gallery is dedicated to the people who lost their lives this week.

Here are a few of them:

From Mike McQuade:

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From Johnny Selman:

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From Serge Bloch:

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Related: Our growing collection of political cartoons created after the shooting in Paris. 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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Leon Wieseltier joins The Atlantic

Leon Wieseltier, the former New Republic literary editor in charge of the magazine’s books and arts coverage, has joined The Atlantic as a contributing editor and critic, the magazine announced Monday.

Wieseltier, a longtime New Republic editor, was among the first to announce his departure from the magazine during a shakeup that included the ousting of then-editor Franklin Foer.

At The Atlantic, Wieseltier will “write for the magazine and the Web site, across his customary wide range of subjects,” according to a press release from The Atlantic.

Here’s the full release:

Washington, D.C. (January 5, 2015)— The veteran writer and literary editor Leon Wieseltier is joining The Atlantic as contributing editor and critic, James Bennet, president and editor in chief of The Atlantic, announced today. In his new role, Wieseltier will write for the magazine and the Web site, across his customary wide range of subjects.

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