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Why I Followed Andrew Sullivan to the Financial District

It’s sort of fitting that my last FBNY post should be about The Atlantic dinner/conversation I attended earlier this evening, which featured Michael Hirschorn and Andrew Sullivan, since this post was actually my first foray into this whole blogging thing (and remains my top Google result).

The talk — the dinner part included chili, cornbread, and brownies — was billed in the invite as “A Conversation on the Future of Media” and the crowd that packed Justin Smith‘s downtown apartment included a whole lot of very recognizable New York Media names who will no doubt be heavily involved in that very Future. Here’s a non-exhaustive list: Bonnie Fuller, Harry Smith, Richard Perez-Pena, Nick Denton, Tad Friend, Duff McDonald, Gabriel Snyder, Jeff Bercovici, Matt Haber, Danny Shea, Brian Stelter, Rachel Sklar, Jon Fine, Dylan Stableford, Laurel Touby, James Bennett…and also, strangely(?), (the very tall) Sigourney Weaver.

Alas, neither Sullivan nor Hirschorn appeared to have any definite ideas about what ‘Media’ might look in the future other than that it would probably be very different from what we currently have, but also that the New York Times is in a lot of trouble. For those of you keeping score Andrew Sullivan still reads the dead tree edition of the Times every morning and does not Twitter. @LaurelTouby, @BrianStelter, and @RachelSklar, however, all have nice tweets from the party. Now(!), before I sign off for good here’s a couple of other interesting things I read today:

‘After Deadline’ Or, If You Look Hard Enough You Will Find a Blog for All of Life’s Problems

after_deadline190sub.jpgIs everyone but us aware that the has a grammar and spelling advice column!? How have we missed this (when we are so clearly and often in need of advice on this front!)?

After Deadline is “adapted from a weekly newsroom critique overseen by Philip B. Corbett, the deputy news editor who is also in charge of the Times’s style manual. The goal is not to chastise, but to point out recurring problems and suggest solutions.” So a little bit like if Strunk&White had been re-written by Dear Abby (but only just a little bit). In today’s installment Corbett discusses “words we love too much.” Behold (actually, that could be one of our words):

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PEN World Voices Festival in NYC

2009_pwv_homepage.gifDon’t forget tickets are still available for the PEN World Voices Festival that starts in New York this weekend (#PWVFest), including the last-minute very special addition of Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio in conversation with the New Yorker‘s Adam Gopnik (this will be Mr. Le Clezio’s first major U.S. appearance since being awarded the Nobel for Literature.)

There’s a bunch of really, really, good other stuff here.

The Morning Media Menu, Swan Song Edition

mornmm.gifToday on the Menu (my last! Barring withdrawal symptoms that have me calling in under assumed names in the coming weeks) we’re joined by Dave Levinthal, reporter for The Dallas Morning News (in Dallas, where it is sunny and 75*).

Levinthal talks with us about the changing newspaper industry, how it has impacted him and the mood of the newsroom, as well as his City Hall blog at

“As soon as we had a presence on the Web, as soon as we found a home for all these news nuggets and a place for breaking news…people began to get really engaged with it…We knew there’s something to this here, this can work, and we just have to do the reporting.”

We also discuss yesterday’s Pulitzer Prize winners and (Debbie Downers that we are) why winning one can’t save you from the current media crisis, also the (in our opinion completely ridiculous) Senate newspaper hearing coming later this week. You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321. One note: we’re live all this week an hour later than usual, at 10amET.

(Un) Covering President Barack Obama

Are we the only ones worrying this is sort of inappropriate? (Now imagine someone deciding to run a similar cover of Michelle.)


Talking Social Media, Non-Profits, and New York Internet Week!

miltnerpanel.pngHard to believe but New York Internet Week is almost upon us again. And if the participation levels during February’s Social Media Week, and SXSWi are anything to go by it’s not hard to imagine that this year’s events will be bigger, and better, and dominated by…social media! (Also, Twitter…what a difference a year makes).

To wit: Kate Miltner (who can also advise you on a good tweet vs. a bad tweet) has put together a panel to talk about social media for non-profits featuring Charitini’s Rachel Sklar, the NYT‘s Soraya Darabi, Matthew Knell from SM4SC, and The Center’s Allison Palmer.

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Pulitzers Don’t Pay the Bills: NYT Co. Suffers Big Q1 Loss

pennies.jpgYesterday was a great day for the New York Times. After a harrowing year of cutbacks, leases, and criticism over their financial decisions (or lack thereof) the paper took home five Pulitzers (the second best ever year for the paper), seemingly reinforcing the idea that the newsroom should be supported at all costs.

Sadly, the $10,000 that accompanies the awards is not going to go a long way to solving the paper’s money problems, which have only gotten worse this quarter. Take a look at these numbers:

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The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

Pulitzers Announced!

pulitzersf.jpgNews is trickling out. This from David Carr‘s Twitter:

carr2n: Standing on floor four in nyt waiting for pulitzers. Keller just stepped up an said we won five. Big claps 2 minutes ago from TwitterBerry

Also from Twitter:

jenny8lee: @nytimes wins 5 #pulitzers+ 3 finalists. won for spitzer, holland cotter, afghan/pakstn, mil. messaging, obama fotos.

brianstelter: Bill Keller: “At a time when so many” can’t afford ambitious journalism, “this paper has decided it can’t afford not to.”

carney: Financial journalists shut out of Pulitzers during worst crisis since Great Depression.

And the official announcement! (full list after the jump and finalists here):

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Awl Together Now: Balk and Choire Launch a Website

header-logo.jpgRumors that former Gawker-ers (and RadarOnline-ers) Alex Balk and Choire Sicha had some sort of secret project in the works have been flying around for a while now. Turns out the rumors were true. The Awl went live today.

What if there were a website that zippily surveyed a wealth of resonant, weird, important, frightening, amusing bits of news and ideas? And what if it weren’t totally clogged with reality show linkbait?

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