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Rezaian is likely the victim of internal Iranian politics

FILE - In this April 11, 2013 file photo, Jason Rezaian, right, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper, The National, attend a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran. Rezaian was detained in Tehran on July 22, 2014 along with Salehi, and two photojournalists. Rezaian, who was born and spent most of his life in the United States, is the only one of the four still behind bars. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

2013 file photo: Jason Rezaian, right, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper, The National. Rezaian was detained in Tehran on July 22, 2014 along with Salehi, and two photojournalists. Rezaian, who was born and spent most of his life in the United States, is the only one of the four still behind bars. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter stuck in an Iran prison for nine months on suspicions of espionage, is likely a victim of tricky internal politics that stem from his own dual citizenship, according to one expert.

Rezaian is California-born but the son of an Iranian father, a fact that may partly explain why many observers believe the charges brought against him are dubious. Read more

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Judith Miller talks smack in new book

The Washington Post

Erik Wemple, The Washington Post’s media blogger, reports a few of the dishier details to be found in former New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s new book, “The Story: A Reporter’s Journey.” Miller, Wemple writes, details how she threatened a nervous, pacing Bill Keller over the first draft of an editor’s note apologizing for sloppy reporting in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, specifically citing many of her stories. “You’ll also have to explain why I’ll be denouncing my own paper on CNN,” Miller claims she told him. Miller also sticks it to former Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz and Howard Gardner, a Harvard professor who once cited Miller as an example of how not to act responsibly in the workplace — but didn’t mention her Pulitzer Prize. Read more

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U.Va fraternity chapter will hit Rolling Stone with ‘all available legal action’

CNN Money | The Washington Post

According to CNN Money, the University of Virginia chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, whose members were accused of gang-raping a female student in a now-discredited Rolling Stone story, plans to pursue “all available legal action” against the magazine.

The fraternity issued a statement denouncing the “reckless reporting by Rolling Stone magazine,” but has not yet determined when any such legal action will be filed in court.

On Sunday, Rolling Stone released a review, conducted by a team from the Columbia Journalism School, of how writer Sabrina Erdely and the magazine’s editors could have failed to notice discrepancies in the account of “Jackie,” the student who claimed to have been raped in 2012. The report concluded that Erdely and her editors did not adequately contact the members of the fraternity and ask them to review the claims made against them. Read more

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What critics said as Rolling Stone’s ‘A Rape on Campus’ began to unravel

The Washington Post | Shots in the Dark | Slate | The Intercept | The Washington Post | The Pennsylvania Gazette

In November, when Rolling Stone contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely reported the story of “Jackie,” an undergraduate at the University of Virginia who claimed that she had been gang-raped at the school’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house, the story was so sensational that it prompted the university to suspend all campus fraternities.

In the coming days, Erdely’s peers examined her story more closely and within weeks concluded that Jackie’s accusations were inconsistent, that Erdely never contacted the fraternity members accused of the rape and that even Jackie’s friends came to doubt her story.

Skepticism of Erdely’s story may have first arisen when Richard Bradley, who as an editor at George magazine edited stories by the notorious fabricator Stephen Glass, warned in his blog Shots in the Dark that the Rolling Stone piece might have been too good to be true:

One must be most critical about stories that play into existing biases.

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Washington Post to cut some non-newsroom staff

The Washington Post

The Washington Post has “decided to internally transfer or eliminate certain non-Newsroom positions,” publisher Fred Ryan said in a memo to staffers Monday.

Ryan did not specify how many positions will be eliminated, but said the cuts come after “much careful deliberation” for the employees affected. Staffers who will be laid off have already been notified, he wrote.

As of October 2014, The Washington Post had added about 100 employees since the paper was purchased by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Erik Wemple reported.

Earlier in 2015, Washingtonian’s Andrew Beaujon reported that The Washington Post was taking steps to trim staff. A Post spokesperson told Washingtonian that net editorial staff would continue to grow in 2015.

Here’s Ryan’s memo to employees:

Washington Post Publisher Frederick J.

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Minimum wage worker fired after talking to The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Shanna Tippen, a Days Inn employee who was featured prominently in a Washington Post story about an increase of the minimum wage, was fired from her job by the hotel manager soon after the story ran. Chico Harlan, the author of the original story and a follow-up, explains:

Tippen says she was fired by her boss, hotel manager Herry Patel. Earlier that day, Patel had called the Post to express frustration that he had been quoted giving his opinion about the minimum wage hike. (He objected to it.) It was soon after, Tippen says, that Patel found her in the lobby and fired her.

Tippen’s boss berated her for talking to The Washington Post, calling the decision “stupid and dumb,” and asked why Harlan decided to write the story. Read more

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“If Earth spun this fast, it’d be next week already,” and other winning headlines from ACES

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American Copy Editors Society

At its annual conference in Pittsburgh today, the American Copy Editors Society announced the winners of its 2014 National Headline Contest. Below is a partial list of the first-place winners, as well as a sample of some of their winning headlines.

  • Individual, circulation of more than 200,000: Steve Eames of The Los Angeles Times. “A Ripening on Vine St.,” “Duplicating ‘Lego’ success is no snap,” “Mosquito dragnet is cast.”
  • Individual, circulation of between 100,000 and 200,000: Cameron Carlow of the Omaha World-Herald. “Kyle Kinman only starts with K’s,” “Lefty’s game not quite right,” “Spieth still a little green for jacket.”
  • Individual, online: Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, NBCUniversal. “Here’s the kicker: This homecoming queen also stars on her school’s football team,” “Love is in the air: Heart-shaped cloud forms above bridal couple,” “Walken?
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Reporters use Yik Yak to get instant audience take on Ted Cruz’s big campaign speech

Vox Bloomberg Politics The Washington Post

Earlier this morning, Senator Ted Cruz declared his candidacy for President of the United States before a packed auditorium at Liberty University. But while most reporters dutifully wrote down his promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act and get rid of the IRS, a strikingly large number of scribes turned to a new resource to get a fresh take on an otherwise by-the-numbers story: Yik Yak.

Yik Yak, the location-based social media app that allows users to chat anonymously with other people within a ten-mile radius, is particularly popular among colleges students. While thousands of Liberty University students cheered Cruz’s speech, a few took to Yik Yak to share some less enthusiastic sentiments. And some members of the media perked up, took notice, and suggested that the Yik Yak chatter, not the applause, was a better sampling of how these students really felt. Read more

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President calls on Iran to release Jason Rezaian

Obama

Obama.


The Wall Street Journal | Associated Press

President Barack Obama on Friday called for the release of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been imprisoned there on unspecified charges since July.

In addition to Rezaian’s release, Obama also asked the Iranian government to free two other Americans and help locate former FBI agent Robert Levinson. Reid J. Epstein reports:

“At this time of renewal, compassion, and understanding, I reiterate my commitment to bringing our citizens home and call on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian and to work cooperatively with us to find Robert Levinson so that they all can be safely reunited with their families as soon as possible,” Mr. Obama said.

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Washington Post appoints Wesley Lowery to new law enforcement beat

The Washington Post

The Washington Post announced Friday the creation of a new beat focused on “the interactions between law enforcement officials and their communities,” a topic that will be covered by national politics reporter Wesley Lowery.

The announcement, which was made in conjunction with a series of job moves at The Post, comes months after Lowery was assigned to cover the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown. During his coverage of the story in August, Lowery was arrested along with The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly.

According to the announcement, Lowery’s new assignment is a result of “the reporting skill and digital relentlessness he displayed in covering Ferguson.” He will “delve deeply into the reasons behind the tensions that exist between minority communities and police” and work on an as-yet unannounced digital project with The Post’s local desk. Read more

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