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International

PR Firm Edelman Unsure of China Chief Whereabouts

EdelmanBeijingIt may turn out to be a false alarm. But for now, this dispatch by Beijing Reuters correspondent Megha Rajagopalan is rather alarming:

U.S. public relations firm Edelman said on Friday it did not know the whereabouts of its China chief, who has been helping Chinese authorities with an unspecified investigation.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter said Steven Cao had not been seen this week at either the Edelman office in Beijing or that of its subsidiary, Pegasus Public Relations Consulting. Cao is chief executive of Edelman’s China arm and also runs Pegasus.

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Filmmaker Prefers to Ignore ‘Lesbian Lena Dunham’ Label

From Down Under comes a fun interview with Desiree Akhavan, an Iranian-born actor-director who made waves this year at Sundance with her comedy Appropriate Behavior, in which she stars as Brooklyn bisexual Shirin.

Gay News Network Australia editor Rachel Cook asked Akhavan what it’s like to be saddled with the media label of being the “new lesbian Lena Dunham” (as opposed to the old?!). Here’s Akhavan’s answer:

“If I took that shit seriously I would spend the bulk of my time in the fetal position at the foot of my bed.”

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Mayor de Blasio: ‘I Stand by the Knife and Fork’

GinoSorbilloLogoMichael Howard Saul, who covers New York City Hall for the Wall Street Journal, is toughing it this week in Italy. On the trail of Mayor de Blasio, he has filed – together with Milan-based colleague Manuela Mesco – a feature interview piece at the tail-end of de Blasio’s eight-day Italian vacation.

A highlight for de Blasio was dining on Wednesday night in Naples with that city’s mayor at a restaurant his grandfather used to frequent. In Napoli, there was also time for pizza:

Their 16-year-old son, Dante, was craving pizza, and mom and dad obliged when the family reached Naples on Wednesday. The family enjoyed pizza at Sorbillo, a well-known place on the water.

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Nobel Prize Winner’s Wise Words Frame NYT Op-Ed

On December 7, 1995, Irish playwright and poet Seamus Heaney accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature. The speech he gave that day in Sweden was later published under the title Crediting Poetry. Today, from that speech, a key passage anchors the headline and first paragraph of New York Times op-ed columnist Roger Cohen‘s piece about the current Middle East turmoil:

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A Missed Marilyn Monroe Headline Opportunity

ShutterstockMonroeModelThis giant statue of Marilyn Monroe‘s most famous film pose was erected in Guigang, China in late December 2013. And subsequently, virally consigned to the Chinese scrap heap in June, 2014.

By our count, that’s seven months. And yet… This morning, there is a shocking paucity of “China Scratches Seven Month Itch”-style headlines. Even though the statue and mimicked over-an-NYC-subway-sidewalk-grate scene is from a film titled The Seven Year Itch.

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Stones Reviewer Connects ‘Start Me Up’ to Startups

American-Israeli serial entrepreneur Bob Rosenschein knows his way around an elevator pitch. The MIT grad has been involved with a number of such rides, from Answers.com to content curation App Curiyo.

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Via Twitter, he recently shared a great piece by his friend Alan Weinkrantz, a PR advisor to startups. After attending the Rolling Stones show in Tel Aviv, Weinkrantz cranked out a unique review of the group’s restarted “14 On Fire” tour. We’re big fans of non-traditional critiques of films and live performance; on the Stones trail this year, this take is going to be hard to beat.

Weinkrantz’s blog post for the The Times of Israel is titled “10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From The Rolling Stones.” One of our favorites is Lesson #6:

Collaborate with co-founders, even when they leave or go other ways.

It was nice to see Mick Taylor join the band tonight for a bit. You may part ways with early founders. Don’t forget your roots and your family.

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Photographer Recalls Tiananmen Square ‘Tank Man’ Moment

StuartFranklinPicWhen Stuart Franklin (pictured), from a distance, started snapping on June 5, 1989 pictures of a man standing in protest in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square, he had no idea the image would become so iconic. In his Guardian remembrance of that moment, he suggests that TV coverage of the overall events and that individual’s slow boil were equally responsible for the image’s impact.

In the Franklin essay, there is also an important lesson for all current and future international-conflict stringers and journalists: ignore those First World stomach pangs! Unlike many colleagues, Franklin – on assignment for Time magazine via agency Magnum Photos – and his Newsweek cohort Charlie Cole had stayed put at a nearby hotel. Even though they were confined to the structure on June 5 by Chinese military, they were still able to make photojournalism history from a room balcony:

The majority of journalists were not there to witness the scene; lots had moved to another hotel and missed the ‘tank man’ moment. Most of them started at the Beijing Hotel, but the food wasn’t great. Another place nearer the airport did hamburgers, so they had decamped and got stuck outside the city by blockades at the point of the crackdown.

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Pakistani Series Burka Avenger Claims Another U.S. Media Award

51f606f95d3be.JPGMaking Time‘s list of “The 11 Most Influential Fictional Characters of 2013” – alongside the likes of Ron Burgundy, Carlos Danger and Walter White – was sweet. But this week, following a 20-hour flight into New York, musician and producer Haroon got to accept something much sweeter on behalf of his 3D female-empowerment animated program: a Peabody award.

From a report on Pakistan Today:

“It’s an incredible honor,” said Haroon during an interview immediately after the Peabody presentation. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized.”

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Actually, Starbucks DOES Know How to Spell Colombia

ColombiaFacebookPicFor today’s example of a journalist linking to an article without fully reading that article, we turn to Boston-based GlobalPost blogger Timothy McGrath. Halfway down McGrath’s dishonor roll of celebrities, companies and media outlets that have recently and erroneously trumpeted the country of Colombia as “Columbia,” he calls out Starbucks.

However, had McGrath properly read Wall Street Journal Bogota-based reporter Dan Molinski‘s piece about the social media movement spearheaded in February 2013 by Colombian digital media executive Carlos Pardo, he would have realized that Starbucks is in this case not to blame:

The movement can take its nagging too far. When a television show about plans Starbucks has to come to Colombia [in 2014] misspelled the country, many here quickly blamed Starbucks itself. Hundreds of Colombians, with national pride on display, used it as a rallying cry to urge the company to stay away.

Starbucks said it wasn’t to blame. “Our 42-year heritage with Colombian coffee farmers dates back to Starbucks’ 1971 founding. We definitely know the difference between Colombia and Columbia,” the Seattle company said in a statement.

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A Google Search Tells the Female Foreign Correspondent Story

FridaGhitisTwitterProfilePicFascinating. At one point in this CNN.com opinion piece about the death of Afghanistan-stationed AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus and the importance of women on the front lines of journalism, Miami Herald world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis (pictured) very effectively proves her point:

Now that the US is about to leave Afghanistan, the prospect that hard-won gains will be reversed creates enormous fears for Afghan women. To see how this is covered, I Googled three words: “Afghan Women Fear.” The first six news stories on the subject were all written by women.

Ghitis includes links to all of those stories. They were written by Margherita Stancati (WSJ), Emma Graham-Harrison/Mokhtar Amiri (The Guardian), Sharon Behn (Voice of America), Cid Standifer (Stars and Stripes), Alice Speri (Vice News) and Homa Khaleeli (The Guardian).

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