Good morning. First, a newsletter update. There will be no Poynter Report on Friday, and I will be off next week. However, my Poynter colleagues will take over the newsletter all next week, bringing you their thoughts and analysis and news from the media world.
Today, a few media tidbits, as well as some journalism recommendations. I start with more personnel news from CNN.
CNN changes continue
It was only last month when CNN shook the media world by canceling its longest-running show, “Reliable Sources,” and pushing out the show’s host and lead media reporter Brian Stelter. It was believed to be part of a purge, which also included Jeffrey Toobin and John Harwood, to help shift the network to a more so-called centrist (or down the middle) approach.
Along with canceling “Reliable Sources,” which focused on the media, CNN also put its “Reliable Sources” newsletter on hiatus. Word came out Tuesday that a reimagined “Reliable Sources” newsletter will return next week with Oliver Darcy, who used to co-write the original newsletter, as the lead writer.
But just as the new newsletter is about to launch, more changes are happening at CNN involving, in part, its media coverage.
An Phung, who was senior editor of CNN’s media team, tweeted Wednesday that she is leaving the network. Soon after, Alex Koppelman — managing editor for CNN Business and head of CNN’s coverage of tech, media, consumer and transportation, as well as the site’s features — tweeted he was leaving, too.
Koppelman wrote that it was a “privilege to manage an amazing group of editors and reporters, and get to work with even more—so many I can’t possibly name or thank them individually.”
Phung tweeted, “There isn’t enough room here to praise all the people who made it a great place to work. And there are so many people to thank for helping me tell good and important stories about the threats against journalism and democracy.”
She added, “My five and a half years on the media desk with @AlexKoppelman, @oliverdarcy and @brianstelter are ones that I will never forget. They made me a stronger editor, a more engaged journalist and a more astute observer of the rhythms of our ever-changing and troubled industry.”
She closed by writing, “For a kid born on a refugee boat, a prestigious job at CNN was never a given. Then to be able to work with some of the most brilliant journalists in the industry—this job has just exceeded my biggest and boldest childhood dreams. I am living proof of what is possible.”
Amazing work from The Washington Post
The Washington Post, on Wednesday, had an elite piece of journalism with deep reporting, stunning graphics and impressive videos/photos. Actually, it also had another well-done piece, which I will mention in a moment.
The first — from Dave Sheinin, Michael Lee, Emily Giambalvo, Artur Galocha and Clara Ence Morse — was beyond impressive: “How the NFL Blocks Black Coaches.” I cannot recommend this enough.
The graphics are tremendous and the topic is critically important as the Post goes behind the details of how, as the Post describes it, “teams’ hiring and firing practices still disadvantage Black coaches at every turn — and it’s getting worse.”
The jarring numbers, according to the Post’s research: 58% of the players in the NFL are Black and a quarter are white. But just 11% of full-time head coaches since 1990 have been Black. During that time, 154 white men have served as an NFL head coach, compared to only 20 Black men.
The Post wrote, “The Post analyzed three decades’ worth of data on the hiring, performance, retention and professional networks of NFL head coaches. Post reporters also interviewed 16 of the 24 living Black men who have served as NFL head coaches, as well as former players, assistants, executives, agents and others.”
This is just the beginning of a series that has been months in the making and will run throughout the NFL season. Wednesday’s package also included:
- Video interviews with 16 Black coaches who became NFL head coaches.
- Perspective from Post sports columnist Jerry Brewer: “A legacy of exclusion.”
- “Key findings from ‘Black Out,’ The Post’s series on Black NFL coaches.”
- And “How The Post gathered and analyzed data for its series on Black NFL coaches.”
This is prize-worthy journalism that is as interesting and well done as it is important. Read it. Read it as soon as possible.
The other piece I wanted to mention was this one from Kevin Schaul and Hamza Shaban: “The housing market is cooling. What’s it like in your area?” I recommend it because the graphics are incredible.
- On this Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” correspondent Bill Whitaker will speak with former Virginia Republican congressman and senior staffer inside the Jan. 6 committee, Denver Riggleman — who has a new book coming out called “The Breach.” Riggleman was in charge of analyzing the call records, texts and online activities of hundreds of people suspected of playing a role in the attack on the Capitol. He tells Whitaker, “I’ve left some things out because the committee is still doing their investigation on some of these things, right? But I wanted the American people to see that we can build facts as a narrative, as effective as building narrative out of fantasy.”
- The Wall Street Journal’s Jeff Horwitz, Salvador Rodriguez and Miles Kruppa with “Meta and Google Are Cutting Staff. Just Don’t Mention Layoffs.”
- In the New York Times, Todd S. Purdum with “Allan M. Siegal, Influential Watchdog Inside The Times, Dies at 82.” Purdum said Siegal “left a deep imprint on the newspaper’s policies and practices as its exacting and unquestioned arbiter of language, taste, tone and ethics for 30 years.”
- The New York Times’ Katie Robertson with “Axel Springer Accused of Failing to Stop Sexual Harassment.”
- My Poynter colleagues Amaris Castillo and Angela Fu with “Here’s how 2 local reporters in battleground states are tackling the midterms.”
And finally today, some recommended reading …
- For Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein and Mark Gray with “Five Years Since the Route 91 Massacre No One Knows a Damn Thing.”
- Good digging here from The Associated Press’ Brian Slodysko and James Laporta: “Ohio GOP House candidate has misrepresented military service.”
- Daily Beast researcher William Bredderman with “Inside Shaun King’s Shadowy $6.7 Million Nonprofit.”
- An excellent video opinion piece from The New York Times: “Inside the Completely Legal G.O.P. Plot to Destroy American Democracy.”
- The Washington Post’s Marisa Iati and Daniel Wolfe with “Hurricane Fiona’s destruction of Puerto Rico, in maps and photos.”
- Perla Trevizo of ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, and Mike Hixenbaugh of NBC News with “A Shut-Off Switch Was Supposed to Prevent 99% of Generator-Related Deaths. It Failed a Family of Three.”
- New York Attorney General Letitia James sued former President Donald Trump and his company for fraud on Wednesday. Slate’s Christina Cauterucci with “Letitia James Beat Trump at His Own Game.” And Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin with “New York’s lawsuit against Trump is yet further proof that he’s a loser.”
- The Wall Street Journal’s Joshua Robinson and Andrew Beaton with “The Question Behind the Magnus Carlsen-Hans Niemann Drama: How to Cheat at Chess?”
Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarification: This story has been updated to say at An Phung was senior editor of CNN’s media team.
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