September 15, 2020

Good morning, everyone. Tom Jones is on vacation, but the team at Poynter is keeping tabs on the latest media news and analysis. Here’s what you need to know today.

NewsGuild-CWA endorsed the vote to strike by journalists at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The vote follows calls for editor Keith Burris to resign “after he sidelined and disciplined Black journalists who reported on protests following the killing of George Floyd,” the Guild says. Monday was also the first day for the newsroom’s new executive editor, Stan Wischnowski, who resigned from The Philadelphia Inquirer in June following “an insensitive headline over Inga Saffron’s column … that may have set the stage for Wischnowski’s departure. He joined the two other top editors in signing an apology to readers and staff, characterizing the headline, ‘Buildings Matter, Too,’ as ‘deeply offensive’ and apologizing for it,” according to the Inquirer. Burris, formerly the executive editor, will now serve as vice president and editorial director of Block Communications.

The city council in Hartford, Connecticut, voted last night to oppose hedge fund Alden Global Capital’s potential ownership of The Hartford Courant. The oft-maligned Alden owns a significant stake in the Courant’s parent company, Tribune Publishing, and has been expected to grow that stake, though some of its recent moves have been opaque. The Hartford Courant Guild is also pushing for new ownership. The Courant joins a growing list of organizations seeking to leave newspaper chain ownership. Founded before the U.S. declared independence, The Courant is “America’s oldest continuously published newspaper.”

Several journalism groups and organizations have issued statements decrying the arrest of a local reporter in California on Saturday. On Saturday, KPCC and LAist reporter Josie Huang was covering the shooting of two deputies in Compton when she was arrested. Huang later tweeted the details of her arrest, with video of her own and from fellow journalists to support her account of what happened. “That’s what surprises me the most is that once she was identified as a reporter that they transported her, that they cited her,” L.A. County Inspector General Max Huntsman told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday.

“The rights of journalists are protected by the First Amendment, and essential to an informed public and our Democracy,” said Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president of news, in a piece for NPR. The Asian American Journalists Association issued a statement in support of Huang. “Her arrest serves as a reminder of the risks that journalists face every day while reporting on the front lines during these uncertain times.” In an official statement, KPCC said, “These are challenging and stressful times for everyone, but Josie Huang was arrested while doing her job. The charges should be dropped.”


SciLine’s next media briefing, Voting in 2020: Logistics, Safety, and Ballot Integrity, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Experts will discuss the logistics of in-person voting during a pandemic; the potential impacts of a surge in mail-in ballots; and related auditing and ballot-integrity challenges. Journalists, register now!

CNN evening host Chris Cuomo has some explaining to do — at least according to Fox rival Tucker Carlson. Carlson obtained a tape (it is not so clear how) of Cuomo appearing to coach Trump fixer Michael Cohen in early 2018 when Cohen was facing tough media questions and possible legal jeopardy for hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple jumped on the tangled tale over the weekend — inviting a response from CNN, where catching journalism malpractice at Fox has been a daily staple. None has been forthcoming as of Monday afternoon. Plus Carlson is hinting that more goodies may be on the way from his stash of recordings.

(Courtesy: The Atlantic)

“The American Crisis,” a new book featuring three dozen writers from The Atlantic, is available today. The book is described as “a modern historical record of the shocking turbulence of the past four years and the factors that led to our present moment. … Ultimately, the collection undertakes a damage assessment: what we’ve already lost, and what we still may lose.” Writers include Ta-Nehisi Coates, Caitlin Flanagan, Emma Green and Ed Yong.

The latest in The Washington Post’s “How to be a Journalist” video series “lifts the curtain on the White House beat.” Host Libby Casey speaks to Post White House reporters Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Toluse Olorunnipa “about how they source, chase the facts, and write stories that end up on The Post’s front page.”

Reporters have found a lot of different ways to travel the country and tell people’s stories, from a propeller airplane to a trek around the world on foot. Now, a rural reporter at Mountain West News Bureau is cycling 900 miles “crisscrossing the continental divide in August and September, interviewing and listening to Americans ahead of the 2020 election.” You can follow reporter Nate Hegyi’s journey on Twitter, online and through a map that shows the route.

Today’s Poynter Report was written by Kristen Hare, Rick Edmonds and Ren LaForme.

Have feedback or a tip? Email us at

More resources for journalists

The Poynter Report is our daily media newsletter. To have it delivered to your inbox Monday-Friday, sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
A Poynter Staff byline indicates a variety of reporters contributed to an article, or that it represents the viewpoint of the overall staff. Where possible,…
Poynter Staff

More News

Back to News