April 16, 2018

What journalism can do: A day to celebrate the power of a watchdog

Here at Poynter, today is our Super Bowl, the day when journalism nerds nationwide flock to our site in anticipation of the 3 p.m. (eastern) awarding of the Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and the arts. New Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy says this year's winners will show the strength of American journalism during increased physical attacks, business challenges and a barrage of presidential criticism.

Just so that you’re prepared, we’ve got this.

A Pulitzer Day reader:

Pulitzer trivia:

RTDNA: More journalists are in local TV news than in local newspapers, survey says

For the first time in more than 20 years of research, the Radio Television Digital News Association/Hofstra University Survey found the total population of TV newsrooms has surpassed that of newspapers. In the study, out Monday, the average local TV newsroom employment remains just below its all-time high — and nearly 90 percent of news directors expect their staffing to increase or remain the same in the coming year.

Of the newsrooms that were hiring last year, nearly 20 percent of the newly created positions were digital-focused: web, social media or other digital media positions. That’s the highest proportion of new jobs.

The average size of a TV newsroom has been bigger than the average paper’s newsroom for several years, but this was a first in the study for overall numbers of TV news personnel over newspapers. The study hired news consultant Ken Doctor for the newspaper figures, since the American Society of Newspaper Editors stopped counting newspaper jobs in 2016. Here’s the chart of the two categories over time:

Source: RTDNA

Quick Hits

COMEY: “A whole lot of me was thinking, ‘Oh my God!’” That’s James Comey, to George Stephanopoulos, when asked if he wondered that his moves helped make Donald Trump president. The hour-long interview Sunday night covered the material in his new book. “I never thought these words would come out of my mouth,’’ but “it’s possible” the grossest parts of the Steele dossier could have happened, he told Stephanopoulos.

SHORTY AWARDS: White House correspondent April D. Ryan, who received death threats last week after asking a Trump spokesperson a question, was named “journalist of the year” Sunday evening in New York by the Shorty Awards, which generally focuses on social media. An award, posthumously, was given to Erica Garner for best activism, for her efforts to keep attention on the New York police killing of her dad, Eric Garner. The Daily Show also took a prize for its skit on the “The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library” and HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky won for best live-stream. We also liked a finalist in education from Southern New Hampshire University, which featured a 94-year-old who just graduated. “She’s currently on her masters,” SNHU’s Libby May told me.

WHAT WILL CHANGE AT THE LOS ANGELES TIMES?: Well, other than the location, which new owner Patrick Soon-Shiong says will be moved from its downtown art deco headquarters to El Segundo, near the airport. Soon-Shiong says he’s looking for a big name as editor, and has approached Dean Baquet of the New York Times and Marty Baron of the Washington Post. Both formerly worked at the LAT.

CIVIL’S NEWEST CONTRIBUTION: The cryptocurrency-based journalism marketplace Civil and Jeff Jarvis’s News Integrity Initiative are helping fund a grant-maker to 10-15 European “emerging media organizations with proven user loyalty.” Here’s more.

BOUGHT: Veteran journalist Katherine A. Rowlands has acquired the regional news service Bay City News Inc. for an undisclosed sum, Marketwatch reported. It provides news feeds to about 100 radio stations, TV newsrooms and newspapers around the San Francisco Bay Area. “I believe that residents in this area and beyond are distressed by what they see as a growing gap in coverage and want to be able to do something about it,’’ she said.

SPIKED: The publisher of the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo., spiked this editorial about the hedge-fund managers who are squeezing the paper. But the editorial page editor, Dave Kreiger, went out and published it elsewhere. The move was applauded by the editor of the hedge fund’s papers in the Bay Area. The same company owns the Denver Post, which published editorials and columns last weekend asking the company to care about journalism — or sell to someone who does.

THE LAST GENERATION: Half of the population of the U.S. Marshall Islands is under 18. Rising seas may make the islands uninhabitable in their lifetimes. This joint project by FRONTLINE and the GroundTruth Project tells that story — in their voices.

What We’re Reading

BRAZIL’S ‘TRUMP’ CHARGED: Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right presidential candidate who has been running in second place in the polls, has been charged with inciting hatred and discrimination against blacks, indigenous communities, women and gays. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted, but the NYT’s Ernesto Londoño writes that there is a backlog in cases against public officials.

THE RISE OF CRANBERRIES: From roots in Wampanoag bogs and Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Thanksgiving celebration, the sour fruit has risen to worldwide exposure, shape-shifting in the 1990s to become a colorful rival to the raisin. But that could change as trade wars develop, writes Quartz’s Gwynn Guilford.

FORBIDDEN FREEZE: VICE’s Justin Fornal profiles the West Bank ice cream shop that is so good that, according to the manager, Israelis sneak over to eat there.

NOT FROM HERE: "Chekhov is one of us — so close to today’s world, to my mind, and very close to the South … He had the sense of fate overtaking a way of life, and his Russian humor seems to me kin to the humor of a Southerner." That’s from a classic Eudora Welty interview in the Paris Review. As the weather warms, do our Southern readers agree?

A CENTURY BEFORE GO-PROS: There were aerial photographs, of course. Some of them were taken by, and I’m not kidding, pigeons. The New Yorker’s Andrea DenHoed has this strange history — and photography.

New on Poynter.org

-After I lost my job, the best advice the smartest women in journalism gave me

-Daniel Funke on how not to fall for that viral study.

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