A presidential official who admits lying. A dad who admits he manufactured his dustup with CNN over scripted questions. And an admitted "Star Wars" superfan who wanted the Force with him until the very end.
Here are the stories you need to know — or just want to know — this morning:
HOLDING GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE: Why The Seattle Times, for the first time in 110 years, put an editorial on Page One. The reason: It is urging Washington’s governor to veto a measure that could deny public access to lawmakers’ records.
THE TRUMP JOB REQUIRES ME TO LIE: That was White House Communication Director Hope Hicks, before Congressional investigators on Tuesday. She said occasional white lies came with working for President Trump, who has a reputation for exaggeration and outright falsehoods.
FOLLOWUP: After a big debate over whether CNN altered or “scripted” questions of students for its riveting Town Hall with Parkland survivors and officials last week, it turns out that the father of one student actually doctored the email he had sent media outlets accusing CNN. He said it was an accident.
APPROPRIATE — AND JUST THE START: Of course, Ivanka Trump should be questioned about her employer/dad’s alleged sexual abuse, writes the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan. “There are opportunities” to ask important questions, Sullivan writes. “Journalists need to do a better job of finding them.” Of course, Ivanka Trump now has bigger troubles at home.
SIGNING UP (OR NOT): Do you fit into one of these nine groups identified as a potential news subscriber? Hit the paywall and want more? Love to death a certain topic? Feel patriotically that a free press should survive — and you should do your part? This Media Insight Project study follows those tracks, but …
NOT EVERY PLACE WILL BE HAPPY: Subscribers won’t fall out of the trees to support every news publication, reports Lucia Moses of Digiday. Vivian Schiller, a former NYT and NPR executive, is even blunter: “I’m afraid for most news publishers, it’s going to end in tears.”
THE FIRST NEWSPAPER PAC: The News Media Alliance, a trade group of 2,000 U.S. newspapers, is forming a political action committee to take on Facebook and Google. The PAC will seek two things at the outset, reports Sara Fischer of Axios: Stopping Canadian newsprint tariffs and a “safe harbor” exemption to compete against Google and Facebook.
KEEPING REPORTERS AWAY: A Utah House of Representatives committee voted to keep reporters off the House floor before lawmakers meet, reports the AP’s Michelle L. Price. The move, which requires a full house vote, would fly “in the face of transparency and accountability," says Utah’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
NOT TRUSTED: A Knight Foundation study found that social media subcultures — Black Twitter, Feminist Twitter and Asian American Twitter — have low levels of trust toward mainstream media, and accuse the news outlets of “harmful framing.” ??
THE NYT FIRED, UM, ME? Quinn Norton, hired as a New York Times editorial writer and fired within hours after an internet firestorm, argues that social media created a cartoon version of her that it then tore down. “It is strange to see such a version of yourself invented and destroyed by networked rage,’’ she writes for The Atlantic. “A digital effigy of me was built and burned.”
PREVENTING GUN VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS: Journalist’s Resource broke down nine recent studies on effects and strategies here. The Student Press Law Center also offers these tips on covering student walkouts, teach-ins, marches and other protests as the #NeverAgain movement builds momentum.
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE: We know February is ending today, but Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark has these 24 books you still should read, Black History Month or not. Among them: James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”; Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” and the graphic novel trilogy “March,” by Rep. John Lewis, with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell.
PROMOTED: Kristin Roberts, executive editor of McClatchy’s Washington operations, to the chain’s East Regional editor. That region includes the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Bradenton Herald, the Macon (Ga,) Telegraph, the Biloxi Sun Herald in Mississippi, the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky and the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania.
AND FINALLY … THE FORCE WAS WITH HIM: A Star Wars superfan wanted Jedi Stormtroopers to lead the way for his hearse at his funeral. His sister made it happen.
New on poynter.org
This journalist didn’t see herself or other Black Chicago millennials in major media outlets there. So she started her own website to cover their stories and culture.
Facebook is spending $3 million to help local newspapers build digital subscriptions.
Journalists could learn a lot from the way Parkland teens are questioning authority, writes our ethics chair, Indira Lakshmanan.
Coming up at Poynter
Today is the deadline to register for our popular webinar, Sweat This, Not That: Real Rules vs. Grammar Myths. It’s scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST) on Thursday.
The deadline is Friday to apply for Essential Skills for Rising Newsroom Leaders. The seminar is scheduled April 8-13 here at the Institute.