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International

UK Journo: NYT Op-Ed Errors, Ironies ‘Too Numerous to Detail’

The March 8 New York Times op-ed, headlined “London’s Laundry Business,” was contributed by Ben Judah, author of last year’s Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love With Vladimir Putin. The piece did not sit well with another author, Sean Thomas, who writes thrillers under the pseudonym Tom Knox and is currently working on a memoir.

LondonShardThomas, responding over the weekend in London’s Daily Telegraph, has some laundry business of his own to share – namely, a laundry list of Judah mistakes and false arguments. Right from the NYT opening paragraph:

The essay begins with a series of bizarre inaccuracies and insults – “London’s buses are still dirty” (no they aren’t), “Londoners are passive-aggressive” (no they’re not), “London’s planning regulations have been scrapped,” (no they haven’t). Then we get to the nub of Judah’s argument. He’s hacked off that we aren’t supporting America’s vigorous stance against Putin.

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Uprooted New York Family Editor Gradually Adapting to Londontown

Eighteen years in Canada; eighteen years in New York City. Who knows how long in London?

MeiraDrazinPicFor the Jewish Chronicle, former New York Family editor Meira Drazin has written an engaging account of her first months living in northwest London. The mother of three, with very mixed feelings, recently moved to the UK because of her husband’s exciting, faraway new job.

At various points, the UK GPS lady has been Drazin’s enemy and her kids’ reassuring friend. Drazin also makes a good point about how facile and uninformed all those “great adventure” well-wishers on Facebook and elsewhere have proven to be:

I felt like the people who said they were jealous failed to acknowledge the difficulties: the massive production of shifting a family of five across the ocean, finding somewhere to live and setting up a home, getting places for the children in schools, dealing with their emotional adjustment, even grocery shop. We are certainly not the first family to move a great distance, but I resented what I saw as a blindness to the fact that while my husband would go off to work every day, I would be left by myself to—literally—navigate my family’s new life.

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BuzzFeed’s Next Bureau Will Be in Berlin

BuzzFeedLogoAs tipped by Jonah Peretti via Medium and more specifically confirmed this afternoon by New York Business Journal reporter Ben Fischer, the next BuzzFeed bureau will be in Berlin. This will be the ninth such outpost for the website, including NYC headquarters.

There have been some domestic pleas on Twitter today in reaction to the Peretti memo for more presence in U.S. cities like Houston and New Orleans. But the truth is, while BuzzFeed may not have bureau-boots on the ground there and elsewhere, its contributors and writers cover a geographical web that stretches far beyond the company’s official bricks-and-mortar locations.

Peretti added in his memo that Tokyo, Mexico City and Mumbai will follow Berlin in some order. Fischer notes that these are, respectively, the world’s first, third and fifth largest metropolitan areas.

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Australia Reacts to NYT ‘Hipster Heaven’ Designation

The most popular Yankee in Perth, Australia today is City University of New York associate professor Baz Dreisinger. And that popularity is only going to increase through the weekend as her NYT travel article, online under the headline “Catching Perth’s Wave in Western Australia,” winds its way to Sunday’s print editions beneath the alternate page TR6 moniker “Perth Finds a Place in the Sun.”

NYTPerthAUMapDreisinger’s piece is the kind that makes you want to surf to an airfare finder website right now. It’s also the kind of travel article that generates its own press, including a proud proclamation in The Australian newspaper that “New York Knows WA is ‘Hipster Heaven’“:

Writer Dreisinger waxes lyrical about the city’s assets, from the “futuristic” Perth Arena to its endless stretch of blue sky days in summer and “hipster” urban villages such as Northbridge and Mt Lawley.

Dreisinger declares the city to be “hipster heaven” – insisting Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg “pales beside Perth.”

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Kimmel Follows Fiery Twerk with Sochi Wolf

Score one for Inside Edition. The syndicated news magazine is being credited with spoiling, by a few hours, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel‘s newest fake-viral-video prank.

From a write-up by Kansas City Star reporter Lisa Gutierrez:

Inside Edition reports that a video shot by American luger Kate Hansen of a “wolf” prowling the halls outside of her Sochi bedroom was a prank.

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Sochi Drag Queen Manhandles Ball State Student

On Poynter this week, Kristen Hare had an interesting article about a team of Ball State journalism students who paid their own way via Amsterdam to Sochi to cover the Olympic Games. Embedded in her report was a link to an even more fascinating blog item by team member Matt Amaro, a photography major.

ClubMayakPoster

Titled “The Best Little Gay Bar in Sochi,” the item relates the experiences of Amaro, teacher Ryan Sparrow and fellow student/reporter Ryan Howe when the trio visited Cabaret Mayak, a place where drag queens perform. Howe is openly gay and, as Hare notes, wrote ahead of departure for The Advocate about his fears regarding visiting Sochi. From Amaro’s blog item:

After the first drag queen performed, she started talking with and reading people in Russian. “Because reading is what?! FUN-DE-MENTAL!” She walks over to where I am knelt on the side of the stage. She tells the bar that I am one of her friends.

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Meredith Vieira Wonders: When Was Last Time Russian Police Choir ‘Got Lucky’

This morning’s Today show reprise of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs choir covering Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” looked and sounded even better than the group’s smash-hit performance during Sochi’s opening night. With the added, sideline benefit of a dancing Al Roker and other NBC show personalities, crew.

TODAYShowRussianPoliceChoir

During an interview with choir conductor General Victor Eliseyev (translated by NBC News Moscow bureau chief Albina Kovalyova), Savannah Guthrie suggested that it won’t be long before some enterprising booking agent brings the group stateside. The choir performs around 200 dates every year:

“When we first made the collective, I had a dream to perform in Japan, France and the U.S.A.,” explained the general. “We’ve performed in Japan and France, and we’ve still not been in the U.S. And it’s my greatest dream.”

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CUNY, Brooklyn College Grad Set to Launch Nigerian Newspaper

EkreteUdohPicEkerete Udoh (pictured) is, instantly, our favorite new person of the week.

Per an item on iafrica.com, he has decided to extend his media empire from NYC to his native land of Nigeria. FishbowlNY would like to: a) wish him all the best with this brave new venture; and b) request that he send us a copy of the first issue. Even though we don’t read Nigerian, we’d still love to see what the paper looks like.* From the article:

Udoh holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and a Master’s degree in international relations and comparative politics from Brooklyn College. At City University of New York, he was the best graduating student.

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Michael Bloomberg Funds African Media Initiative

BloombergC40JohannesburgIt’s called The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa. It’s set to run at least three years and, per a report by SouthAfrica.info, the intent of the $10 million program is to underwrite financial journalism across the continent and advance transparency, accountability and governance within that discpline.

Michael Bloomberg announced the initiative Monday in Johannesburg at the C40 Cities Committee annual conference:

The initiative will provide cross-disciplinary education programs and mid-career fellowships to increase the number of highly trained business and financial journalists, convene pan-African forums to examine worldwide media best practices and support research to stimulate media innovations.

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BuzzFeed Australia Launches

SimonCrerarPicWhen BuzzFeed first formalized its plans to expand past the UK and into the glorious Down Under, EIC Ben Smith suggested that “Australia — with its humor and beauty and sense of the absurd and love of the social web — is basically BuzzFeed Nation already.” Probably true; and now that January 31 has rolled around over the distant international horizon, we can all start determining if Smith was correct with his optimistic assessment.

At the helm of BuzzFeed Australia is Simon Crerar (pictured), formerly visual story director for News Corp Australia. Together with staff writer Jenna Guillaume, he curates the site’s Twitter feed – @BuzzFeedOz - and the pair have been teasing some early looks at content.

On the cheeky media coverage front, one BuzzFeed AU item has seven suggestions as to how national TV network ABC can become more favorably aligned with the country that it serves. Another article runs down “21 Reasons Karl Stefanovic is the Greatest Australian Journalist of All Time.” Reasons include:

Incredible rapport with his [Nine Network Today show] co-anchors…

No matter how challenging, his coverage is always rousing…

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