Good Friday morning. We’ve made it through an incredibly busy week in the media. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to dominate the news, and we also had President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a story that changes by the hour, but it does appear to be getting worse and worse for the people of Ukraine. Russia seemingly is ramping up its savage attacks. So continue to check your trusted news source on that. I highly recommend CNN’s coverage, as well as that of The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Today’s Poynter Report is an abbreviated version with links to journalism you should check out over the weekend. But, before I get to that, here are a few nuggets of media news you should know about …
RT America ceases productions
CNN’s Oliver Darcy reported Thursday that the production company behind the American version of the Russian state-funded network RT laid off most of its staff. And Misha Solodovnikov — the general manager of the production company, T&R Productions — told staff that it will be “ceasing production.”
Darcy wrote, “The layoffs would mean an effective end to RT America. The network, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main mouthpieces in the US, was dropped earlier this week by DirecTV. The satellite carrier was one of the two major television providers in the US to carry the network.”
Staffers were told in a meeting that production was ceasing and they would receive two months severance pay. A source in the meeting told Darcy that it lasted all of two minutes.
Darcy wrote, “RT, which operates multiple networks across the world, has seen its reach significantly diminish in recent days as technology companies and television providers have moved to sever ties with it as a result of Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine.”
‘The Daily’ adds another host
The New York Times’ highly successful podcast “The Daily” is adding another host. Sabrina Tavernise will become the second host, sharing hosting duties with Michael Barbaro. Each episode will continue to have just one host, meaning Tavernise and Barbaro won’t be on the same episodes. Barbaro has been the main host since the podcast debuted in February 2017.
In its announcement, Times management said, “Having a second host will make ‘The Daily’ even stronger. It will allow both Michael and Sabrina to dig deeper into stories and share responsibility for The Times’s flagship show, which — as Michael himself has told us — has grown too big for one person.”
Tavernise has been with the Times since 2000. She is a national correspondent and also has been a foreign correspondent. Of late, she has reported extensively on Ukraine and has worked on several audio projects for the Times.
In a statement, Tavernise said, “I fell in love with audio when I first worked with ‘The Daily’ and its brilliant creators a few years ago. The emotional power of hearing people’s voices — and the music and the drums — took storytelling to a whole new level. I felt like I was suddenly seeing colors, after a lifetime in black and white. I am so excited at the thought of joining this incredible team.”
Let the games begin
The Paralympics get underway today in Beijing. The International Paralympic Committee changed an earlier decision and now will not allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate. The New York Times’ David Waldstein and Amy Chang Chien have the details: “In Reversal, Paralympics Bars Athletes From Russia and Belarus.”
Meanwhile, NBCUniversal has the games — here’s its homepage with events and TV schedules.
Also, check out NPR’s Emily Feng with “China is a Paralympics star, but its people with disabilities face high hurdles.”
And now to some journalism I recommend for your weekend…
- New York Times tech reporters Stuart A. Thompson and Davey Alba with “Fact and Mythmaking Blend in Ukraine’s Information War.”
- Distinguished work from The Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent and photographer Marcus Yam: “On the ground amid war in Ukraine: a photojournalist’s perspective.”
- For the latest “The Press Box” podcast for The Ringer, Bryan Curtis talks with CBS News’ Margaret Brennan about covering Ukraine and moderating “Face the Nation.”
- The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake with “The heated Jan. 6 email exchange between Trump’s and Pence’s lawyers, annotated.”
- Kara Swisher’s latest “Sway” podcast for The New York Times: “Jon Stewart on Why The Right Would ‘Rather Do a Deal with Putin Than Pelosi.’”
- On the eve of legendary college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final home game as the Duke coach, it’s the always exceptional Wright Thompson for ESPN with “The Final March of Coach K.”
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was about to give a press conference in front of high school students in Tampa, Florida, when he saw several students wearing masks. In a now-viral video, DeSantis reacted angrily and asked the students to take the masks off, adding, “So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.” Well, good hustle by Justin Schecker of WFLA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Tampa. He tracked down some of the students and their parents, including one student who refused to take off his mask despite pressure from the governor. Here’s Schecker’s story.
- Washington Post senior critic-at-large Robin Givhan with “President as Everyman: Zelensky’s mastery of the direct appeal.”
- In case you missed this from last week. For The New York Times Magazine, Mark Binelli with “The Waco Biker Shootout Left Nine Dead. Why Was No One Convicted?”
- The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood (with photos from Lynsey Addario): “Absolute Power. Asked about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammed bin Salman said, ‘If that’s the way we did things, Khashoggi would not even be among the top 1,000 people on the list.’”
- I have issues with some of those left off this list, but still, it’s a pretty fun list and a talker, which is the whole point. It’s the staff of The Ringer with “The 25 Best Batman Villains, Ranked.”
And, finally, today, this free article from The Washington Post’s John Woodrow Cox, Ian Shapira and Omari Daniels: “Here’s how Americans can donate to help people in Ukraine.”
Have a good weekend, everyone. See you again on Monday.
Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at email@example.com.
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