May 12, 2021

Poynter Report author Tom Jones is on vacation this week and will return next Monday. Today’s Poynter Report was compiled by Barbara Allen, Amaris Castillo, Kristen Hare and Ren LaForme.

A spokeswoman for Oklahoma’s governor refused to respond to questions from a reporter at The Black Wall Street Times, a Black-owned and Black-serving media outlet in Oklahoma, calling her an activist “pretending to be a reporter.”

The denial comes just a few weeks away from the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which at least 36 citizens were killed and the entire Black community of Greenwood — also known as Black Wall Street — was burned, looted and destroyed.

Sarah Gray is listed on The Black Wall Street Times’ website as a political correspondent/senior writer. According to this editorial, Gray was seeking comment from Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt when she was rebuffed by his staff.

Carly Atchison, Stitt’s director of communications, wrote, “Hi Sarah, thanks for reaching out but our policy is to respond to journalists, not activists pretending to be reporters.”

(The Black Wall Street Times)

Gray was inquiring about Stitt’s involvement in a Monday night meeting of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, after Stitt had signed into law Oklahoma House Bill 1775 on Friday. The Oklahoman reported that the bill “would prohibit instructors from teaching that ‘one race or sex is inherently superior to another,’ and that ‘an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive.’”

The commission had previously urged Stitt, who is an honorary member, to veto it. Instead, he signed it into law and issued a video response in which he quoted Martin Luther King Jr.

The commission issued a statement following the action on Friday that read in part, “The intention of the bill clearly aims to limit teaching the racial implications of America’s history. The bill serves no purpose than to fuel the racism and denial that afflicts our communities and our nation.”

According to a Black Wall Street Times editorial, Gray had reached out to Stitt to find out if he attended the meeting on Monday night. The Times later tweeted the screenshot of Atchison’s response and used it as a visual in their editorial.

Part of the editorial read, “BWST is a Black-owned, Black-managed and Black experience-centered media outlet based out of Tulsa, Okla. – home of the original Black Wall Street. If Fox News has access to the governor, BWST readers deserve access, too.”

Atchison doubled down on Twitter.

Things in Tulsa are tense with this approaching anniversary. Regardless of whether Gray is more activist than journalist, a press secretary should never resort to this kind of tactless and unprofessional response — especially around an issue that is so incredibly painful to so many Oklahomans.

New Washington Post top editor

Sally Buzbee, senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press, poses for a photo Dec. 13, 2018, in New York. Buzbee was named Tuesday, May 11, 2021, as executive editor of The Washington Post, succeeding the recently retired Marty Baron. (AP Photo/Chuck Zoeller)

Sally Buzbee was named executive editor of The Washington Post on Tuesday. Buzbee comes from The Associated Press, where she has been senior vice president and executive editor since 2017.

Buzbee will be the first woman to lead the Post since it began publishing in 1877. As CNN’s Elana Zak points out on Twitter, Buzbee’s hiring means women now lead newsrooms at ABC News, CBS News, CNN Digital, The Economist, Financial Times, The Guardian, MSNBC, NPR, Reuters, USA Today and The Washington Post.

Amaris Castillo has more on Buzbee, Rick Edmonds writes “Why Sally Buzbee was the right woman for the top editing job at The Washington Post” and Angela Fu is tracking the many leadership changes in America’s top newsrooms.

Good question, rough answers

Bravo to The New York Times for gauging how well New York’s mayoral candidates understand the cost of living in the city.

The Times editorial board met with eight candidates running in the Democratic mayoral primary and asked them all if they knew the median sale price for a home in Brooklyn. It … did not go well for some candidates. Here’s the answer from longtime investment banker and former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire:

(Times editorial writer) Mara Gay: Thanks. And just answer this to the best of your ability, obviously. What is the median sales price for a home or apartment in Brooklyn?

In Brooklyn, that number has gone up now. It depends on where in Brooklyn.

Mara Gay: Just average for the borough, the median.

It’s got to be somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range, if not higher.

Mara Gay: The median sales price for a home in Brooklyn is $900,000.

Nine hundred. I ——

Mara Gay: What ——

I’m sorry.

Other candidates fared better, some not by much. The Times endorsed civil servant Kathryn Garcia, who was pretty close in her guess.

Marie Claire sold

Hearst Magazines has sold the United States edition of Marie Claire to Future, a British publisher, according to The New York Times. In its own announcement Tuesday, Future — which describes itself as a global platform for specialist media — said the acquisition is part of a brand expansion in North America. Future publishes a variety of magazines, including Marie Claire U.K.

“With nearly 17.5 million visitors a month, this is a flagship women’s lifestyle brand and I’m delighted that we are adding it to our already strong Women’s Lifestyle Vertical,” Future CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne said in a written statement. “Our continued growth and success is proof of our strategy in action. We’ve had fantastic results expanding the Marie Claire UK brand and we believe that with our expertise in terms of audience, ecommerce and platform, we can develop the offering to grow the Marie Claire US audience significantly.”

According to the Times, Marie Claire U.S. had been part of Hearst since 1994 as part of a joint venture with French company Marie Claire Album. The magazine was first published in France in 1937. Its mission says it is “for a woman of the world — the femme du monde — who is rewriting the rules.”

We reported yesterday that Hearst Magazines had begun offering buyouts on the business side.

Do you speak conspiracy?

Nafees Hamid, a cognitive scientist, wrote about “how to talk to insurrectionists and conspiracy theorists” in an opinion piece for CNN. “Our findings point to one thing that ordinary people can do if they feel that someone they know might be getting radicalized: Stay connected.”

Speaking of misinformation, Wired reported on an emerging video platform, Rumble, that’s basically all the really bad and wrong stuff on YouTube.

“Rumble claims that it does not promote misinformation or conspiracy theories but simply has a free-speech approach to regulation. However, our research reveals that Rumble has not only allowed misinformation to thrive on its platform, it has also actively recommended it.”

‘Unscripted’ chats between Cuomo and Lemon to become a podcast

CNN’s Chris Cuomo, left, and Don Lemon (Photos by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP and Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon — two of CNN’s biggest stars — are teaming up to host a new weekly podcast titled “The Handoff,” The Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday.

“If you want unscripted, honest conversations about what matters, what you’re talking about, the way you talk about it — then listen to this podcast,” Lemon told the outlet. “If you’re not easily offended, then this is the podcast for you. If you are easily offended, then this is definitely the podcast for you. We’re going to toughen you up.”

The podcast will be produced by CNN and is expected to feature the “handoff” conversations between Cuomo and Lemon at the end of Cuomo’s 9 p.m. program “Cuomo Prime Time,” leading into Lemon’s 10 p.m. show “CNN Tonight,” according to THR. It is the latest in a series of new podcasts launched by CNN.

Cuomo said this podcast is the answer to the question of why the chats between himself and Lemon have become “must-see TV.”

“It is all real thoughts and questions and disagreements that are often glossed over in the media,” he said.

Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at tjones@poynter.org.

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