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Gov’t Obtains Wide AP Phone Records in Probe (The Associated Press / The Big Story)
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news. The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. The Guardian The AP’s president and chief executive officer, Gary Pruitt, sent a letter of protest to the attorney-general, Eric Holder. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said. HuffPost / The Backstory Though the DOJ did not give the AP a specific reason for the seizure, the dates of the phone calls it targeted offered a clear tell. On May 7, 2012, AP reporters Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, citing anonymous sources, reported that the CIA had thwarted a plot by an al-Qaeda affiliate to “destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.” Politico Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren told Politico in an email that the DOJ’s seizure “sounds like a dragnet to intimidate the media,” not a criminal investigation. “What is stunning is the breadth of the seizure!” Van Susteren said. EFF While the government has not confirmed, the subpoenas appear to stem from an investigation into a government leak of information to the AP. This is not a sufficient excuse. Imagine if “Deep Throat,” the informant critical to Woodward and Bernstein’s investigation of the 1972 Watergate burglary, knew that his identity could be obtained through legal process. His career, and perhaps his life, would have been in serious jeopardy, and a cautious individual would have kept silent. TVNewser Former CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, now an intelligence and counterterrorism reporter for the AP, was one of the journalists who had their phone logs seized. Dozier was seriously injured in Iraq in 2006. She left CBS for the AP in 2010. FishbowlNY Sadly, the saying “If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention” never seems more relevant than now.
Considered by many, including myself, as one of the true geniuses of radio, Kaye refined the idea of flow as it pertains to the sound of a radio station. Bob Moore, who was managing adult-contemporary KHTZ (now KAMP, 97.1 FM) when Kaye was named to the programming position at new competitor KOST in the 1980s, said that Kaye likened the soft-rock station to a wave, moving up and down gently.
He says that Kaye is the reason KHTZ changed to classic rock in 1986 – he just couldn’t compete against Kaye’s programming prowess.
Tomorrow night’s Live Talks Los Angeles event featuring Burt Bacharach in conversation with Mitch Albom is notable for a couple of additional reasons. It will mark the three-year anniversary of the popular local series and is the first of several Live Talks events planned for Glendale’s Alex Theatre.
It all began May 14, 2010 with author Jane Smiley interviewing Dave Barry. Since then, series founder-producer Ted Habte-Gabr has staged more than 100 events, bringing together everyone from Steve Martin and Tina Fey to Fred Willard and Darrell Hammond to Sharon Waxman and Sir Michael Caine. In addition to the evening series, which focuses for the most part on arts and culture, Habte-Gabr curates a downtown daytime business-themed bracket, Live Talks Business.
“We have three events booked at the Alex,” Habte-Gabr tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “The first one is Burt Bacharach; the second one is Phil Jackson in conversation with John Salley on June 12; and the third one is Neil Gaiman in conversation with Geoff Boucher, June 27. Then the Alex shuts down for some major renovations and they open back up in November, at which point we’ll probably have one or two more events there before the end of the year.”
Remember that great scene in Annie Hall where kids in an elementary school classroom speak directly to the camera and indicate what they will become as adults? On Friday afternoon, a charming echo of that classic sequence unfolded at the offices of JibJab.
The company threw open its doors to celebrate the success of StoryBots, a content App aimed at families with children ages two to seven. A gaggle of kids in the target demo, mostly sons and daughters of JibJab employees, were running around the offices Friday trying out different aspects of the App, which is free to sample and costs $4.99 a month for a full interactive subscription.
At one point, a majority of those kids were seated around the JibJab boardroom table, raising their hands as co-founder Evan Spiridellis asked various questions and played animated shorts. Judging by this future career-achieving group’s response, StoryBots’ upcoming Animal Songs are going to be very popular.
But the good news is, per an article in Pacific Standard, the Alhambra Source website may still survive as USC communications professor Sandra Ball-Rokeach is currently trying to find new sources of support to replace the grants that are scheduled to go away.
The overhead for this community news experiment launched in 2006 is low. Ball-Rokeach, together with USC colleague Michael Parks, sought to address the changing demographics of Alhambra and a paucity of coverage by the LA Times and Pasadena Star-News. From Joel Smith‘s article:
The site’s commitment to using community contributors rather than professional reporters has produced some journalistically unorthodox but popular stories: first-person accounts of being a second-generation immigrant, for instance, and a piece by the Alhambra High student body president, who explored the question of why he was the only Latino in a leadership position in a school that was half Latino…
Given how the Dodgers 2013 season was truly in danger of going to the dogs this past weekend after a Friday night Marlins loss, FishbowlLA is a little surprised at the lack of bow-wow references by local sportswriters in their coverage of the first of two much needed weekend victories against the Florida visitors. Especially since the right-field All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion section on Saturday night was full of four-legged fans whose owners had paid an extra $30 to put pets in those seats.
The Dodgers are the latest team to participate in an ongoing 2013 season MLB promotion that allows dog owners to bring their pets to the park. There will be another “Bark in the Park” opportunity at Chavez Ravine on September 28. The other SoCal event of this MLB type takes place August 25 at a Giants game (the Angels are not participating).
At press time, the only canine coverage we can find is a pre-event teaser on the CBS LA website and a couple of AP shots (#6, #10) in a post-game gallery shared by the Miami Herald. There’s also the above YouTube video, showing owners and their dogs walking the warning track before the game.
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Bloomberg Admits Terminal Snooping (NYT)
Reporters at Bloomberg News were trained to use a function on the company’s financial data terminals that allowed them to view subscribers’ contact information and, in some cases, monitor login activity in order to advance news coverage, more than half a dozen former employees said. Bloomberg / Matthew Winkler Our reporters should not have access to any data considered proprietary. I am sorry they did. The error is inexcusable. Last month, we immediately changed our policy so that reporters now have no greater access to information than our customers have. Removing this access will have no effect on Bloomberg news-gathering. At no time did reporters have access to trading, portfolio, monitor, blotter or other related systems. Nor did they have access to clients’ messages to one another. BuzzFeed Executives at Bloomberg have known about journalists using the company’s terminals to spy on clients at least since September 2011 — more than a year before the practice turned into a scandal that threatens the company’s relationships with its clients. That month, Erik Schatzker, an anchor at Bloomberg TV and host of Market Makers, was reprimanded for making on-air comments about using terminal data to track the activities of at least one story subject, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. TVNewser CNBC talked with a former Bloomberg employee who says he accessed usage information of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and former U.S. Treasury secretary Tim Geithner. He said he did it “just for fun” and as a way “to show how powerful” the Bloomberg terminals were. CNBC In response to queries that Bloomberg journalists had access to officials data usage, a Bloomberg spokesman said, “What you are reporting is untrue” but declined to respond when asked what specifically was inaccurate. He also would not say whether the company had investigated journalists’ access to this information.
And who better to report about this Saturday May 11 cattle call than San Diego ABC affiliate Channel 10, one of the places where the alleged loose inspiration for Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy character – Harold Greene (also of KCBS fame) – once worked?
The non-union open casting for Anchorman: The Legend Continues is happening today from noon to 4 p.m. at a Mission Valley area DoubleTree Hotel in San Diego, for a local shoot later this month. From the 10news.com report:
Tammy Sandler of the Los Angeles-based company Facetime Media told 10News, “All I can really say is it is a scene with Will Ferrell being shot at SeaWorld…”
Hindsight is admittedly 20/20. But looking back on the evolution of AOL’s Patch, it’s hard not to wonder where the network might be today if the original focus had been on rolling out around 80 nationwide hubs rather than shooting for a ridiculous, illogical 2010 year-end target of 800+.
The fallout from that misguided tactic remains clear and present across the hyper-local news network to this day. It also framed a May 8 earnings conference call with AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong. As reported by streetfightmag.com deputy editor Steven Jacobs, Patch is going to take “all means possible” and consider “other revenue products” to make the operation profitable by the fourth quarter of 2013.
As is now standard for any such Patch-related news article, the reader comments include a smattering from former company employees that paint a hyper-dreadful picture. Here in SoCal, the rollout of the new Patch beta site design is just about to start. This morning for example, San Juan Capistrano Patch let readers know the new look will be turned on there next week.
Some epic Internet math was laid out last night at YouTube’s Space LA by The Young Turks COO Steve Oh. Speaking to a snazzily-dressed crowd of fellow TYT Network personnel, show fans and supporters, he tried to frame just how staggering one billion YouTube views for the show – reached April 19 – is.
Assuming each view counts for an averaged-out minute, Oh said, that’s a billion minutes. Or… 2,000 years. In other words, the online show that began in an east coast basement is now on par with one of Mel Brooks‘ most famous characters. Too bad they couldn’t wrangle Brooks for the April 19 broadcast.
Another funny remark by Oh, who spoke from the lobby stage ahead of his New Jersey high school pal Cenk Uygur, was a remark that touched on the fact that many Young Turks personnel work for below-market-rate salaries. After noting that one producer had turned down another opportunity that paid three times his TYT salary, Oh joked that he still had to fire that person “for being so stupid.”