Washington Post

Career Beat: Alexander Burns joins The New York Times

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

  • Alexander Burns is now a metro political correspondent at The New York Times. Previously, he was a senior political reporter for Politico. (Washington Post)
  • Zanny Minton Beddoes will be editor at The Economist. Previously, she was business affairs editor there. (Poynter)
  • Gene Ramírez will be a morning anchor for WFLA in Tampa. Previously, he was a general assignment reporter for WSVN. (Media Moves)

Job of the day: The Wall Street Journal is looking for an economics reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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


Washington Post launches energy and environment section

The Washington Post’s long-anticipated energy and environment section anchored by former Mother Jones correspondent Chris Mooney launched Thursday.

In the section’s inaugural post, Mooney laid out his ambitions, noting that coverage of environmental issues has “never mattered more.” The Post will aim its coverage at “consumers, policymakers, executives and scientists” and turn its eye toward both international and domestic news.

We are now upping our environmental focus and launching this new coverage to bridge the gap between the urgency of environmental and energy problems and a public that too often finds them mystifying, off-putting, daunting and dizzying.

When The Post announced Mooney’s hire in October, the paper forecasted the rollout of “a standalone blog” that would feature work from environment and energy writers across the newsroom.

The Post’s investment in environmental coverage mirrors a similar move made late last year at The New York Times. In September, Adam Bryant told Poynter he had been appointed environment editor for the paper, and that The Times was adding more reporters to cover the topic. Read more


Michel du Cille’s last assignment

Michel du Cille, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for The Washington Post, died late last year in the middle of a project documenting the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Before he died, du Cille sent Poynter’s Kenny Irby his most recent batch of photos from the region and discussed his ambitions for the project. In honor of du Cille’s memorial Friday, Poynter is publishing those photos, along with a conversation with Irby, who was one of du Cille’s close friends:

Read more


Iran’s Revolutionary Court will review case of detained Post reporter

Washington Post | al Arabiya English

The case of detained Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian will be handled by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, a move that sets the stage for further review, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The Revolutionary Court, which “handles the country’s most sensitive cases” has the power to subject Rezaian’s case to further scrutiny before scheduling a trial, according to The Washington Post.

Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, told al Arabiya English Wednesday that Rezaian’s case was “a judicial matter,” and that the government was “doing its best” to intervene on his behalf.

Rezaian, who was arrested with his wife in July, was formally charged in December, although the court has not made the charges public. He has not been told what he’s charged with, but the accusations relate to “activities outside the bounds of journalism,” according to The Washington Post.

Renizan was arrested with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, along with another photojournalist and her husbamd. Salehi was freed in October, more than a month after the photojournalist and her husband.

In a statement Wednesday, Post editor Martin Baron called the update in Renizan’s case “a step forward” toward his prompt release:

We still do not know what charges the Iranian authorities have brought against our correspondent Jason Rezaian, but we hope the referral of his case to a Revolutionary Court represents a step forward toward Jason’s prompt release. This step gives Iran’s judiciary an opportunity to demonstrate its fairness and independence by determining that the charges are baseless. We call on Iran to make these charges public, to allow Jason access to a lawyer and to bring a swift and just resolution of a six-month-long nightmare that has been extremely difficult for Jason and his family.

Thirty-three journalists were jailed in Iran during 2014, the second-most of any country worldwide, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Read more


Justice Department won’t ask James Risen to testify

New York Times | The Washington Post

New York Times reporter James Risen, who has waged a protracted and public battle with the Justice Department over the identity of a confidential source, will not be compelled to testify in a leak trial, Matt Apuzzo reported for The New York Times Monday.

The news effectively ends “a seven-year legal fight” between Risen and prosecutors, who first called Risen to testify in 2008 in the case of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, The Times reports. Sterling is accused of feeding Risen information about a botched U.S. attempt to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program for his book “State of War,” according to The Washington Post.

During the tumult of Risen’s legal battle, the embattled reporter publicly decried the Obama administration, calling it “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” In December, The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Eric Holder would not compel Risen to reveal his source.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a request made by Risen and other news organizations to grant journalists legal protection when asked to reveal confidential sources. After the court’s decision, Risen told Poynter in a statement he wasn’t giving up.

“I will continue to fight,” he said. Read more


Career Beat: Kimberly Wyatt is news director for WEAR-TV

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

  • Kimberly Wyatt is now a news director at WEAR in Pensacola, Florida. Previously, she was news director for KGBT in Harlingen, Texas. (Rick Gevers)
  • Thomas Ghareeb is now vice president and controller of Hearst Magazines. Previously, he was assistant controller of budget and forecasting there. (Fishbowl NY)
  • Laura McGann is now political editor at Vox Media. Previously, she was deputy managing editor at Politico. (Fishbowl DC)
  • Sam Kirkland is joining BuzzFeed’s news apps team. Previously, he was a digital media fellow at Poynter (‏@samkirkla)
  • Perry Stein will be a local blogger for The Washington Post. She’s a staff writer and blogger for Washington City Paper. Sarah Pulliam Bailey will be a religion blogger and writer for The Washington Post. She is a national correspondent for Religion News Service in New York. (Washington Post)

Job of the day: BuzzFeed is looking for a humor writer. Get your résumés in! (Gary’s Guide)

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


Career Beat: Andy Wiedlin leaves BuzzFeed

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

  • Andy Wiedlin will be an entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz. He’s currently chief revenue officer at BuzzFeed. (Re/Code)
  • Salvador Rodríguez is a Silicon Valley correspondent for International Business Times. Previously, he was a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. (Media Moves)
  • Peter Bale will be CEO at the Center for Public Integrity. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of digital operations at CNN International. (Center for Public Integrity)
  • Jed Hartman will be chief revenue officer at The Washington Post. Previously, he was group publisher for Time, time.com, Fortune, fortune.com, Money, and money.com. (Washington Post)

Job of the day: The San Antonio Express-News is looking for an online producer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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


Career Beat: Cara Buckley is an Oscars blogger at The New York Times

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

  • Cara Buckley is now an Oscars blogger for The New York Times. Previously, she was a culture reporter there. (New York Times)
  • Adam Kushner will be editor of the Outlook section at The Washington Post. Previously, he was the editor of PostEverything there. (Email)
  • Michelle Nicolosi is now director of digital operations at The Oregonian and OregonLive. She was the managing editor of the Los Angeles Register. Benjamin Sherman is now director of sports and multimedia at The Oregonian and OregonLive. Previously, he was director of digital operations there. Fedor Zarkhin is now a data reporter at The Oregonian and OregonLive. Previously, he was a reporter at the Palm Beach Post. Carli Brousseau is now a data reporter at The Oregonian and OregonLive. She previously worked at the Arizona Daily Star. Tony Hernandez now covers Multnomah County government for The Oregonian and OregonLive. Previously, he worked at the Knoxville (Tennessee) News Sentinel. Kristyna Wentz-Graff is now a photographer at The Oregonian and OregonLive. She previously worked at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Jessica Greif is now a broadcast reporter at The Oregonian and OregonLive. Previously, she was the weekend anchor at KEZI 9 News in Eugene, Oregon. (Poynter)
  • Daniel Kibblesmith is now a staff writer at BuzzFeed. Previously, he was an associate editor at Clickhole. (Poynter)
  • Jackie Kucinich will be senior politics editor at The Daily Beast. She is a politics reporter for The Washington Post. (@JFKucinich)

Job of the day: The Granite Falls Advocate Tribune is looking for a reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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


The Washington Post adds depth and reach to features coverage

It’s been widely reported that The Washington Post is on a hiring spree. As David Carr noted in his Oct. 5 column, The Post has added more than 100 staffers this year with runway provided by new owner Jeff Bezos.

Several of those hires were made for The Post’s features desk, which is striking out into new beats and growing its existing coverage in print and online. So far in 2014, the features department has added at least eight staffers, including a national arts reporter, an Internet culture blogger and a fashion critic:

  • Geoff Edgers, formerly of The Boston Globe, joined The Post as a national arts reporter.
  • Peggy McGlone, previously a features writer at the (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, now covers local arts — including the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center — for The Post.
  • Caitlin Dewey joined the features staff as an Internet culture blogger in February.
  • Robin Givhan rejoined The Post as a fashion critic after leaving for The Daily Beast in 2012.
  • Karen Heller joined The Post as a general assignment features reporter. She was previously a metro columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Jessica Contrera and Sarah Kaplan, who both started as summer interns, now work on the features desk. Contrera is a full-time general assignment reporter and Kaplan divides her time between general assignment duties and Kids Post.
  • Nora Krug joined The Post in June as Book World Editor.

The Post, which former publisher Katharine Weymouth once wrote should be “for, and about Washington” seems to have grown beyond that mandate, at least in its features coverage. With the addition of Edgers to cover the national arts beat and an emphasis on covering pop culture, The Post appears to be reaching out to readers within and beyond the D.C. Metropolitan area.

The features strategy aligns with the paper’s broader ambitions to reach outside The Beltway with its journalism. When The Post debuted its new Kindle app last month, executive editor Marty Baron told Ravi Somaiya he’d hired many national reporters with an eye toward serving up content for the app. Baron also said Bezos had prescribed a “broad strategy shift toward” expanding The Post’s “national and international audience.”

Liz Seymour, executive features editor at The Post, tells Poynter in an email that the paper is bolstering an already strong tradition of quality local and national culture writing.

“What we are doing now is beefing up our arts reporters to collaborate with our critics and strengthen our arts journalism even more,” Seymour wrote.

The hires have coincided with a reorganization of The Post’s features desk, Seymour said. Rather than being organized around a single print section, reporters are now assigned teams based on broad areas of coverage, including pop culture or general assignment. This enables reporters covering similar topics to communicate and coordinate their coverage better, she said.

Although she didn’t make specific numbers available, Seymour says The Post’s features coverage has garnered “massive” month-over-month growth in both pageviews and unique visitors. The traffic growth has not been confined to one area of features coverage, she said.

When top Post editors lauded the paper’s record traffic month in September, they cited several features desk initiatives, including The Intersect, the Style Blog and On Parenting.

The Post has also expanded its features coverage in print by merging Sunday Arts and Sunday Style into a larger section for fine arts and pop culture, Seymour said. The Post also redesigned and grew the Sunday Washington Post Magazine for its April debut and added two pages to its weekly Food section.

The uptick in pages, traffic, and staffers has lifted spirits on the features staff, Seymour wrote in an email to Poynter.

“We’re all energized and enthusiastic about the added investment in staff,” Seymour wrote. “Who wouldn’t be? And it’s great to see, through metrics, our readership grow and grow.” Read more


How David Beard plans to promote PRI.org’s ‘journalistic city states’

David Beard’s first task as executive editor of PRI.org will be to promote the public media organization’s “journalistic city states,” he said in an interview.

That won’t be a small task. PRI is a Minnesota-based digital media company perhaps best known for “The World,” a show put together in Boston. Its newsroom operates out of WGBH, a PBS affiliate. It has partnerships with “Frontline,” “Nova,” GlobalPost and Global Voices. Beard will be its first executive editor.

Beard told Poynter his primary goal is to grow PRI’s reach by making potential audience members aware of the “treasures” the company has to offer, including Radio Ambulante host Daniel Alarcón, “Studio 360″ and “The Takeaway with John Hockenberry”.

“I think its audience, like so much of journalism, is just a tiny fraction in the universe of people who want to see and hear it,” Beard said. “My job will be to make that a bigger fraction.”

Over the summer, PRI’s website attracted an average of 1 million unique visitors, compared to 390,000 over the same period the previous year, said Michael Skoler, general manager of PRI. Most of the traffic came through social media; more than half of it was from mobile users. And the audience is young. 66 percent of users are under the age of 45 and 50 percent are under 35.

Beard said growing PRI’s audience will likely mean thinking up new traffic drivers rather than rely on “hour-by-hour obeisance to Facebook.” He wants to embark on a listening tour of the newsroom before finalizing his plan, but says it will likely involve tweaking the existing newsletter strategy and coming up with new ways to interact with PRI’s audience.

Beard will work out of PRI’s “The World” newsroom at WGBH in Boston, where he’ll supervise a staff of 10 editors, producers and social media managers.

It won’t be Beard’s first job in Boston. He was previously the editor of Boston.com and assistant managing editor of The Boston Globe. He also did a hitch as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press in the Caribbean and Latin America, which Skoler said makes him a good fit for the internationally focused PRI.

“David is pretty darn close to what our ideal was,” Skoler said.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the relationship between PRI and “The World”. The two are not separate organizations. The story also misidentified the “treasures” incoming executive editor David Beard plans to highlight. They include “Studio 360″ and “The Takeaway with John Hockenberry”. Read more


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