September 2, 2022

Good morning. A quick note: there will be no Poynter Report on Monday because of Labor Day. We will return on Tuesday.

Anyone who has ever used Twitter has had something like this happen: You think of something you want to tweet. You say it in your head. You carefully type it out. You read it. Read it again. Tinker with it. Read it again. You’re content, maybe even proud of just how profound or funny or insightful you can be in 280 characters. You read it again. Then you hit send.

Then, dang it!

You left out a word. Or misspelled a name. Or thought of something that might be just slightly better. But, unlike Facebook, if you made a mistake, you couldn’t fix it by simply editing the tweet. You either had to remove it, fix it from scratch and then repost it, or leave it as is. Or delete it entirely. But you couldn’t just edit it.

Until now. For some. (More on that in a second.)

But here’s the big news: Twitter has an edit button. Finally.

As The New York Times’ Kate Conger wrote, “On Thursday, after countless pleas from many of its more than 237 million users, some people will start being able to click a button on the social media service to edit a tweet after they have posted it. It has been only about 15 years, nine months and 22 days since they started asking for that ability.”

Not just anyone has the ability to edit their tweets at this time. Twitter announced Thursday that, to start, the new feature is being tested internally at Twitter. Eventually, it will be rolled out to Twitter Blue subscribers in New Zealand, with Australia, Canada and the U.S. to follow.

But not everyone is thrilled about being able to edit tweets after they’ve been posted. CNN’s Clare Duffy wrote, “Safety experts asked, for example: What if a harmless tweet went viral and then was edited to include harassment or misinformation, increasing the reach of a tweet that might otherwise not have spread?”

Because of that possibility, there will be restrictions.

Conger writes, “To prevent the edit button from becoming a favorite among disinformation spreaders, Twitter has added safeguards. Users will be allowed to make changes for only 30 minutes after their original tweet is posted. After an edit, the tweet will bear a label to show it has been modified. Clicking the label will let viewers see the history of the edits.”

Users have pleaded with Twitter for an edit button for years. After Elon Musk, an advocate of the edit feature, joined the board, Twitter announced it was working on an edit button. (Musk is no longer on the board — and he is currently embroiled in a legal case about whether he is buying the company. And, Twitter appeared to have been seriously mulling over an edit feature before Musk came along.)

Twitter long resisted the idea of an edit button, but now appears to be giving in to the wishes of its users.

In a statement, Twitter said, “We’re hoping that, with the availability of Edit Tweet, Tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful. You should be able to participate in the conversation in a way that makes sense to you, and we’ll keep working on ways that make it feel effortless to do just that.”

How much?!

Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw writes a story with this double-take headline: “Comcast Looks to Cut Up to $1 Billion From Budgets at Its TV Networks.”

Shaw writes, “NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell has asked his top deputies to find savings at its legacy cable and broadcast TV networks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been finalized. Executives have explored many ways of cutting costs — including layoffs, trimming budgets for the development of new programs and changing the mix of programs on TV to produce more low-cost shows.”

Something to keep an eye on.

Watch this

Interesting stuff from New York University’s Center for Social Media and Politics. A study shows YouTube is more likely to direct election-fraud videos to users who are already skeptical about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

James Bisbee — who is now at Vanderbilt, but led the study as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Social Media and Politics — told the NYU website, “Our findings uncover the detrimental consequences of recommendation algorithms and cast doubt on the view that online information environments are solely determined by user choice.”

The NYU news release said, “While the overall prevalence of these types of videos was low, the findings expose the consequences of a recommendation system that provides users with the content they want. For those most concerned about possible election fraud, showing them related content provided a mechanism by which misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracies can find their way to those most likely to believe them, observe the authors of the study. Importantly, these patterns reflect the independent influence of the algorithm on what real users are shown while using the platform.”

Go here for more.

Dud games?

Peyton Manning, left, and his brother, Eli, in 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Last NFL season, ESPN struck gold when it partnered with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions for the ManningCast. Peyton and his brother, Eli, would watch “Monday Night Football” games from their homes and comment on the games while interviewing celebrity guests. It was laid-back, humorous, informative and entertaining, especially for those who didn’t need all the nuts and bolts of a traditional football broadcast. And it was a hit with fans, drawing in a decent average of 1.5 million viewers.

But the Mannings didn’t do every Monday night game and they won’t do every one this season. The ManningCast’s schedule for 2022 was announced this week and the majority of the games look like they could be stinkers — or, at the most, mediocre.

Now, to be fair, it’s impossible to know for certain now just how good or bad a game might be in the future. Injuries, teams playing above or below expectations, weather, playoff implications and so much more can impact the quality of a game. A game that looks iffy today could very well turn out to be a must-watch game come November. Still, other than a week 15 matchup between the defending-champion Los Angeles Rams and the always-good Green Bay Packers, the ManningCast schedule looks shaky.

But maybe that’s not a bad thing?

As The Big Lead’s Liam McKeone writes, “If it all goes as bad as it could and most of these games end up either boring, blowouts, or both, then it’s a blessing for ESPN that they have the Mannings. Watching two mediocre teams face off is the perfect medium for fans to enjoy everything the ManningCast has to offer. It’s when the game matters that fans tend to shift to a more traditional broadcast experience.”

Kang’s announcement

Jay Caspian Kang announced he’s giving up his New York Times opinion newsletter after one year. In a thoughtful piece, Kang wrote, “This decision was mine, and it was a difficult one to make because I’ve enjoyed the interactions I’ve had with you, my readers. Your emails and messages have made this, without question, the most enjoyable and satisfying writing gig of my career.”

Kang goes into detail about what he has learned about politics while writing this twice-a-week newsletter. He wrote, “Almost all of today’s politics, whether the actual policies enacted by local, state and federal government or the intensely polarized culture wars, come out of four events.”

Those four events are the 2008 financial crash, the 2016 election of Donald Trump, a near-decade-long Black Lives Matter movement (which culminated in the 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd) and  the 1965 Immigration Act.

Kang wrote, “The base narrative of American politics — especially as told by progressive lawmakers and the media machine that supports them — has not really acknowledged the profound demographic change in the country. The American public still doesn’t know all that much about the millions of immigrants that have come into the country since 1965, nor do they fully appreciate how the inroads made by these populations have come in a short period of time, not just in terms of economic mobility but also in terms of geography.”

There was much more to his farewell newsletter, but suffice to say, his voice in that newsletter will be missed.

A new 30 for 30

Speaking of Jay Caspian Kang, ESPN announced Thursday that production has been completed on a “30 for 30” documentary about former tennis player Michael Chang. What does this have to do with Kang? He’s making his directorial debut.

The doc will be called “American Son” and will tell the story of Chang’s rise to one of the top tennis players in the world, as well as his family’s immigration to the U.S. One of the biggest moments in Chang’s career, which will be featured in the documentary, was winning the 1989 French Open when he was only 17. That tournament included an upset of the world’s top player, Ivan Lendl, which came in the shadow of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China.

Aside from his work at The New York Times, Kang has been a podcaster and TV correspondent, working at both Grantland and “Vice News Tonight,” among other outlets.

More changes at SNL

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Alex Moffat in 2019. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

We already knew that “Saturday Night Live” was losing cast members Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney before the upcoming season. But there’s more.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Rick Porter reports that regular cast members Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor and featured player Aristotle Athari will not be back for the show’s 48th season.

Moffat and Villaseñor joined “SNL” in 2016, while Athari joined just last season.

Porter writes, “Assuming there are no more departures, the returning cast for season 48 will be Michael Che, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, (Sarah) Sherman, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang.”

Journalism you should check out over the weekend

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
Tom Jones

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