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Reuters’ Jeff Mason Named White House Correspondents’ Association President

Thomson ReutersJeff Mason, a Reuters reporter, has been elected the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Mason beat out Fox News’ Wes Barrett by a landslide — 172 votes to 23 votes.

Mason has covered the White House for Reuters since 2009. He also served as the news agency’s lead correspondent for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.

Mason is the fifth Reuters correspondent to serve as president of the WHCA.

Study: Everyone Hates News Media

Americans might not be able to agree on the best condiment (ketchup); which way to vote (liberal); or what Outkast album was the best (Atliens), but we do apparently all concur on one thing: News media is mostly garbage. According to a new Gallup Poll, which measured confidence in the news media, Americans’ confidence “is at or tied with record lows.”

The survey of 1,027 adults found that the percentage of people who have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers or television news has dropped to 22 and 19 percent, respectively. That’s down from only 23 percent for each last year. People don’t like online news sources either. Confidence in Internet news media has remained flat — at about 18 percent — for several years.

Things are so bad that even Gallup couldn’t manage to find a silver lining amongst all the clouds. “How these platforms can restore confidence with the American public is not clear, especially as editorial standards change and most outlets lack the broad reach once available to major newspapers and broadcasters,” reported the site.

Prometheus Global Media to Acquire Mediabistro

mediasbistroSo, we’re in the news today. This morning, Mediabistro is announcing that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its editorial and e-commerce assets to PGM-MB Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prometheus Global Media. PrometheusGM owns and operates influential media brands Adweek, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, as well as the Clio Awards and Film Expo Group. The purchase price is $8 million in cash.

In the deal, Prometheus is acquiring mediabistro.com editorial properties including TVNewser, AgencySpy, GalleyCat, and our suite of social media sites, as well as the Mediabistro Job Board and Mediabistro education business.

This is expected to close, subject to stockholder approval, in late July. Current Mediabistro CEO Alan Meckler will keep the trade show business and related sites as part of a new company called Mecklermedia.

Bill de Blasio is Not a Fan of The Press

Our city’s relatively new Mayor is already a veteran at one specific move: Cutting himself off from the press. According to The Associated Press, Bill de Blasio has already barred the media from 53 events, and only allowed limited access to 30 other events. In total, over 20 percent of his listed events have been closed to the media.

For his part, de Blasio has blamed restricted access on where the events have been held; claiming that classrooms and factories don’t lend themselves to numerous journalists. Here’s a wild idea: Move some crap around! Take a desk out of the room, and replace that desk with a reporter!

De Blasio also admitted that things could be better. ”We believe there is a whole swath of information that needs to be available to the public and we need to continue to do a better job on that,” he said during a Tuesday press conference. “There is a lot of day-to-day government business that is appropriately disclosable that we need to be better at.”

A nice sentiment, but as the saying goes — actions speak louder than words.

[Image: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com]

Anthony Mazzola, Veteran Hearst Editor, Dead at 90

Anthony Mazzola, who dedicated more than 40 years of his life to editing and reshaping Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar, has died. He was 90 years old.

Mazzola joined Hearst in 1948 as an art director for Town & Country. He would hold that role for almost two decades before eventually becoming editor-in-chief in 1965. In 1972, Mazzola was appointed editor of Harper’s Bazaar. Mazzola was also the fine arts curator for Hearst.

“Anthony Mazzola was a dynamic member of the Hearst Magazines family for more than 65 years,” said Steven Swartz, Hearst’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Tony will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with him.”

Mazzola is survived by his three children and his wife, Michele Morgan Mazzola, who also worked with Anthony at Hearst for over 45 years. Mazzola is also survived by five grandchildren.

[Image: Hearst / Slim Aarons]

Many Consider Media Freedom on the Decline

According to a new Gallup poll, more people claim that the media freedom in their respective countries is on the decline.

The survey asked 1,000 people each in 132 countries across the globe “Do The Media in This Country have a lot of Freedom, or Not?” A median of 63 percent said “yes,” the lowest that number has been since 2010.

While the percentage of those claiming their media had “a lot” of freedom dropped, the percentage of those answering no, that their press didn’t have a lot of freedom, increased. From 2010 to 2013, those answering “no” to the Gallup poll question rose from 23 percent to 26 percent.

The five least free countries were The Republic of Congo, Chad, Gabon, Syria and Belarus. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Denmark and New Zealand had the highest perceived media freedom.

Harvard Announces Nieman Fellows

Nieman-logoHarvard University has announced the 77th class of Nieman Fellows. The fellowship seeks to “encourage innovation, experimentation with digital and social media and other collaborative ventures designed to transform and strengthen the news industry.” Each person will study at Harvard during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Below are the national fellows. Click through for the full list.

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan

APLogoAn attack in Eastern Afghanistan on Associated Press journalists left one dead and one wounded, but in stable in condition. Anja Niedringhaus, a photographer for the Associated Press, and Kathy Gannon, most recently an Afghanistan correspondent, were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery.

According to the AP, the pair were part of a convoy delivering ballots to areas outside Khost city. When the convoy stopped in what was described as a “heavily guarded district,” a unit commander who was part of the security team protecting the convoy, walked up to the vehicle carrying Niedringhaus and Gannon and fired at the backseat. He then surrendered to the other police.

“Anja and Kathy together have spent years in Afghanistan covering the conflict and the people there,” said the AP’s executive editor, Kathleen Carroll, in a statement. ”Anja was a vibrant, dynamic journalist well-loved for her insightful photographs, her warm heart and joy for life. We are heartbroken at her loss.”

A Crash Course in ‘Conscious Uncoupling’

Thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Goop post about her decision to break up with husband Chris Martin, we along with many others today are educating ourselves about the phrase used to frame the announcement – “conscious uncoupling.” It’s a real, clinical term; via The Guardian, we were led to this clip from Southern California radio show Cutting Edge Consciousness.

There’s lots of great advice in the hour-long conversation above guided by co-host Freeman Michaels. Psychotherapist and author Katherine Woodward Thomas says for example that the first big mistake made by people engaged in “unsconscious” uncoupling is to move from “soul mate to soul hate,” and feed that anger through their network of friends.

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Journalist Matthew Power Dies in Uganda

Matthew Power, who has contributed to pieces to numerous magazines, has died. Men’s Journal reported that Power was in Uganda working on a piece for the magazine that required him to walk the Nile river with the British explorer Levison Wood. Outside reported that it’s believed that Power died of heat stroke and exhaustion.

Power was a contributing editor at Harper’s. His work has appeared in publications such as Men’s Journal, Wired, BusinessweekOutside, GQ, Slate and more.

“Matt Power was a fearless and compassionate journalist who did terrific work for Outside, most recently from Costa Rica, where he reported an astounding story on the murder of a sea turtle activist,” said Outside, in a statement. “He wrote with grace and humor and was always curious. He was tough but treated his story subjects with the utmost respect. Journalism is worse off and our hearts are broken.”

Below is a snippet of Men’s Journal’s note on Power:

He was a true adventurer and a principled, ethical journalist who never failed to put the accuracy of the story and the fairness in his depiction of a person, place, or situation above what worked for him as a writer. Matt chose the hard way when it was the right way, yet somehow never failed to enjoy the journey. He was 39 years old and he will be greatly missed by us here at Men’s Journal and his many friends and colleagues around the world.

[Image: Jessica Benko/Men's Journal]

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