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CNN Digital Restructure Underway

cnndigitalOn Wednesday, CNN informed more than a dozen DC-based politics reporters that their positions would soon be eliminated. Fifteen politically-focused digital positions in Washington have also been posted on its careers page, and those as part of the layoff were encouraged to apply. Capital New York reports that, “the number of new positions added will be greater than the number of positions eliminated.”

“The reorganization of CNN Politics is a recognition of the shifting landscape of media, and positions CNN to disrupt rather than be disrupted,” said CNN spokesman Matt Dornic.

The network emphasized that the reorg was not about cost-cutting or downsizing, but rather, about evolving, in its effort to create “a brand new re-imagined digital politics product.”

In June, CNN announced plans to drastically grow its digital political coverage, shortly after hiring NowThis News’ Ed O’Keefe in May as VP of CNNMoney and Politics for CNN Digital.

“What we really need to do now and plan to do in 2016 is hyper-focus on the audience we want to reach…We want the names and the reporting that [are] absolutely essential for the influence makers in Washington,” said O’Keefe in a piece by Erik Wemple for The Washington Post in early June.

Grammy-nominee Akon Joins POLITICO’s ‘Open Mike’

In the latest installment of POLITICO’s “Open Mike” series, Chief White House correspondent Mike Allen sat down with hip hop artist Akon, in town for the US-Africa Business Forum this week to promote Akon Lighting Africa.

The two, who many would expect be polar opposites, prove not in the highlight reel below.

“I think the United States probably may take the value of Africa just a little bit for granted,” said the Grammy-nominated Akon. “I think with the right partners, the right neighboring allies and the right support, Africa could be dominating. Because it has all the natural resources you can imagine, and if all the other countries actually got together and created unity, the dollar would be humongous.”

WATCH:

The Daily Caller Answers ‘How Likely Are You To Catch Ebola?’

With just one infographic, The Daily Caller answers, “How Likely Are You To Catch Ebola?”

Find out, here.

Bloomberg Hosts Reception Following Tuesday’s US-Africa Business Forum

20140805_204621Following yesterday’s US-Africa Business Forum in Washington, attendees not at the White House Dinner – hosted by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama – gathered at Carnegie Library for a reception by Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Government. Guests walked a red carpet past a tall statue in the shape of the African continent and enjoyed dinner, drinks, conversation and Top 40 music.

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Michelle Obama Pens Letter to American Girls on Value of Education

Michelle_Obama_Beautiful_051809_mIn an open letter for Seventeen magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama tells American girls: “you can do better – for yourself, your family and your country.”

“I know that your school might not be as good as it should be, or you might be facing challenges in your family that make it hard for you to focus in class,” writes Obama. “But if girls across the globe can walk hours each day from their villages to attend school, or work two or three jobs to pay their school fees, or even risk their lives to attend school, then I know you can overcome any obstacles you face.”

Read the full piece, here.

July 2014 Marks Highest Trafficked Month for WashingtonPost.com

The month of July 2014 marked the highest trafficked month ever for WashingtonPost.com, surpassing October 2013 when the Post reported on the government shutdown as the previous high.

An announcement from executive editor Martin Baron, managing editor Kevin Merida and managing editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz sang praises “in every corner of the newsroom and with our partners in engineering.”

“We delivered deep, insightful coverage of the shootdown of MA 17 and the war in Gaza,” Baron, Merida, and Garcia-Ruiz said in the announcement. “We delighted readers with accounts from the middle stages of the World Cup and covered every angle of the Silver Line opening and the McDonnell run-up and trial. We offered readers authoritative ledealls when those stories warranted them, fast-paced live blogs and a stream of videos, graphics, photos, and standalone posts for each. We broke news on everything from the NSA to a local teen sexting case.”

For more, click here.

The Washington Times Debuts Online Redesign

The Washington Times over the weekend launched a new website designed with mobile readers and social media users in mind.

The new features are in response to reader recommendations and include a less crowded format better suited for different sized devices and easier sharing methods.

“With this ground-breaking redesign, we’ve launched a new era in the storied history of The Washington Times,” said Times president and CEP Larry Beasley. “Our readers have told us they wanted more social media opportunities, more visual engagement, more news video content and the ability to personalize their news experience. We have done our best to provide all of those things.”

John Solomon, editor and VP for content and business development added, “The Web site responds to many requests from readers and advertisers who wanted more options online…We’re confident readers will see lots of value in our new site and would love to hear directly from them how we can continue to improve and expand in the months ahead. For that reason, there’s a feedback button on each webpage.”

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Fareed Zakaria to Join Atlantic Media as Contributing Editor

fzakaria-1Atlantic Media today announced that Fareed Zakaria will join The Atlantic and Quartz as a contributing editor in September. In this role, he will write for The Atlantic and participate in AtlanticLIVE and Quartz events.

Zakaria is the host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and an opinion writer for The Washington Post. His first Atlantic Media event will be Quartz’s The Next Billion: A Connected World November conference in New York.

Zakaria’s contributions will focus on worldwide current events. TheAtlantic.com’s ‘Global Channel’ and Quartz both have large digital audiences outside the US, 30 and 40 percent respectively.

Memo From BuzzFeed EiC Ben Smith – ‘We’ve decided to let Benny Johnson go’

BuzzFeedLogoA note to editorial staff sent Friday evening from BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith announced that the website has parted ways with Benny Johnson – a viral politics editor – after identifying “40 instances of sentences or phrases copied, word for word, from other sites, many of them inappropriate sources in the first place.”

On Thursday, a WordPress titled “Our Bad Media” highlighted several accusations, later reported by Gawker. On Friday, several more instances were raised on the WordPress, prompting Smith to tell Poynter that BuzzFeed was currently reviewing Johnson’s work.

The below memo was shared with Fishbowl by BuzzFeed publicist Ashley McCollum.

Also, “Editor’s Note: An Apology To Our Readers,” from Smith.

Read more

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith Reviewing Editor’s Work Amid Plagiarism Accusations

BuzzFeedLogoOn Thursday, Washington and national media hit the ground running amid accusations that BuzzFeed viral politics editor Benny Johnson plagiarized writings.

Gawker report was based on a WordPress dedicated to the accusations titled “Our Bad Media” and included an email from BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith to Gawker defending Johnson’s work.

In the email, Smith said, “We’re grateful to @blippoblappo and @crushingbort for pointing out these serious failures to properly attribute two quotations and to credit a source in a third post. We’ve corrected the posts…Benny Johnson is one of the web’s deeply original writers, as is clear from his body of work.”

Since yesterday’s initial post to “Our Bad Media,” several more instances were raised on the site. Smith today told Poynter that BuzzFeed is currently reviewing the viral editor’s work, describing a post with “three serious instances of plagiarism.”

For more, click here.

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