The Washington Post

Career Beat: Joe Germuska named Knight Lab interim director

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

  • Joe Germuska will be interim director at the Knight Lab. Previously, he was director of software engineering there. (Knight Lab)
  • Millie Tran is now a writer for BuzzFeed’s news apps team. Previously, she was editorial coordinator at the American Press Institute. (Email)
  • Noah Kotch is senior editor and director of video at The Washington Post. Previously, he was chief content officer at Vocativ. (Washington Post)
  • Suzette Moyer will be a senior designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was creative director of Bay magazine at the Tampa Bay Times. Carey Jordan will be a designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was art director at Washington City Paper. (Washington Post)
  • Josef Reyes will be creative director at Foreign Policy. Currently, he is art director at Wired. Sean Naylor is now a senior reporter at Foreign Policy.
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Career Beat: HuffPost adds three from The New Republic

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

  • Tiffani Lupenski is now news director for KGTV in San Diego. Previously, she was news director for KATU in Portland, Oregon. (Rick Gevers)
  • Greg Veis has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was an executive editor at The New Republic. Rachel Morris has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, she was an executive editor at The New Republic. Jonathan Cohn has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was a writer for The New Republic. (The New York Times)
  • Kevin Uhrmacher has joined The Washington Post’s graphics team. Previously, he was an intern at The Washington Post. John Muyskens will join the graphics team at The Washington Post. He is a graduate of Calvin College. (Washington Post)
  • Lee Glendinning is now head of news for Guardian U.S. He is deputy editor there. (Capital New York)
  • Susan Svrluga will anchor “grade point,” a higher education blog from The Washington Post.
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Politico events editor joins Washington Post

Lois Romano, the events editor for Politico, will be editor of Washington Post Live, executive editor Martin Baron announced in a memo to staff Tuesday.

Washington Post Live, which puts on events with Washington Post journalists and newsmakers, has been growing leading up to Romano’s appointment, according to the announcement:

Above all, she understands that our growing events business is an extension of our journalism. That means you’ll find her reaching out to everyone in the newsroom, seeking your help, advice, and participation.

Romano replaces Mary Jordan, who was editor for five years. She joins The Post’s national politics team, which is preparing for the 2016 election.

Romano previously spent two decades at The Post as a writer for the style section, an education reporter and Southwest correspondent, according to the announcement. She has also been a senior writer at Newsweek and a senior political reporter, according to her LinkedIn profile. Read more

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Secrets of Prize-Winning Journalism: An Interview with The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow

Eli Salsow

Eli Salsow

The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow is known for moving into his characters’ lives and writing about them with intimacy and empathy. A former sportswriter, Saslow depends on close observation, a sharp ear for dialogue, and writing that is powerful for its quiet eloquence and clarity.

His six-part series about lives affected by the national food stamp program shows off all those skills. The series won the George Polk Award for National Reporting, the American Society of News Editors’ award for non-deadline writing, and a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

In these stories, Saslow, a reporter on the Post’s national enterprise team, digs beneath stereotypes and shuns easy answers to illuminate the lives of ordinary people – and one politician – for whom food stamps are a bruising, and sometimes infuriating, reality.

The series included pieces on a Rhode Island town that is transformed on the first of the month (when one-third of its residents get their food-stamp funds) and a Washington family that has subsisted on food stamps for four decades. Read more

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Most memorable stories of 2014

S. Mitra Kalita is the executive editor of Quartz, on Poynter’s adjunct faculty, and a Spencer Fellow at Columbia University. She tweets @mitrakalita.

A friend of mine recently pondered the role of memory in journalism, saying an information overload has robbed his recall. Sometimes it feels like stories aren’t read as much as Facebooked, tweeted, toggled all day long. What actually gets absorbed, retained, understood?

This was my dilemma as Poynter asked me to compile the top 10 stories of 2014. Insecure about whether the best journalism had actually reached me, my inclination was to crowdsource the list. That felt dishonest. Key takeaway of my transition to digital media: only authenticity wins the internet.

So here are my picks, based solely on the top stories I remember from 2014. I whittled it down to the 11 that stayed with me long beyond the last line or my share. Note that I wrote this before newspapers began trotting out ambitious, investigative packages to make the Pulitzer deadline. Read more

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Washington Post commenter speaks gibberish

A commenter Friday began deciphering the gobbledygook posted underneath a Washington Post story that was published in error.

WashingtonPost

The story, which was labeled “Test — delete this,” consisted of a series of random keystrokes with no apparent meaning.

But that didn’t stop a commenter named “Rob_” from parsing the bogus copy for deeper truths:

The first two instances of “asdf” are easily attributable to the four left hand home letters on the QWERTY keyboard. But in the third instance, the letters are transposed to “sdaf.” Exactly what the author intends by this is unknowable, but it cannot be denied that it evidences a narrative arc, a challenge to our preconceptions. In spite of the passage’s minimalism — perhaps because of the passage’s minimalism — the author establishes himself as a modernist force to be reckoned with.

Perhaps worried that his or her opus wasn’t yet ready for the public, the modernist recluse promptly deleted the post, then replaced it with an editor’s note posted in 2010 in the National section explaining the error. Read more

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Washington Post, Texas Tribune will be publishing partners

The Washington Post | The Texas Tribune

The Washington Post and The Texas Tribune announced Thursday they will begin a partnership that includes “shared editorial content, collaboration on events and more.”

The Texas Tribune, a non-profit newsroom based in Austin, Texas, will give The Post “exclusive outside-of-Texas access” to its stories, writes Post Executive Editor Martin Baron. Tribune reporters will also contribute to a broad swath of sections on The Post’s website, including The Fix, Post Politics, GovBeat and PostTV.

Together we’ll pursue a presidential debate in Texas while also co-sponsoring events. The first event, a half-day symposium titled “Texas on the Potomac,” is scheduled for January 29 in Washington.

We and The Texas Tribune have worked together on many occasions in the past in the realm of events, videos, and print and online stories. We’re now forging a closer relationship that offers exceptional opportunities to both of us.

In return, the Tribune will get “early budget lines on Texas-specific journalism” from The Post and permission to cross-post that content, Baron writes. Read more

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Career Beat: Russell Contreras named president of UNITY

  • Russell Contreras will be president of UNITY. He is a reporter at The Associated Press (NAJA)
  • Sam Figler is now head of global business development at BuzzFeed. Previously, he was vice president of global business development at Yahoo. (Capital)
  • Wendy Carrillo is now an anchor and producer at Reported.ly. Previously, she was a writer and digital producer for NuvoTV. (MediaMoves)
  • Will Hobson will be a sports news reporter at The Washington Post. Previously, he was a cops and courts reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. (Washington Post)
  • Ryan O’Hara will be CEO of Move, Inc. Previously, he was president at the Madison Square Garden Company. (News Corp)
  • Katy McColl is now senior executive editor at Southern Living. Previously, she was an editorial consultant. Whitney Wright is now general manager at Southern Living. Previously, she was deputy food director there. (Time Inc.
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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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Yes, journalists at W. Va. paper also work at a hotel. But they get free coffee

The Washington Post

On a recent reporting trip to West Virginia, The Washington Post’s Lee Powell made a stop by Sistersville to meet the staff of The INNformer, a hotel/newspaper run by staff/journalists.

While reporters fret over getting facts right and making deadlines, the staff at The INNformer has to worry about keys and keeping guests happy, too.

For U.S. print journalists, in an industry riven by layoffs and all manner of indignities (no pay during a furlough week! No more free newsroom coffee!), this may seem like a new low.

Instead, it is a bi-monthly miracle.

Powell reports how The INNformer came to be, and why, if you think about it, it’s a pretty good spot for journalists.

“When we’re here at the desk, we get to see everybody in town and everybody has got a story,” (Lea Ann) Butcher says. “They’re all saying, ‘Oh, I want you to write about this.’ ”

Staff also get food from the hotel’s kitchen and free coffee, Powell reports. Read more

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