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Archives: March 2011

The Skinny | Whine Win | Block Shop

  • FishbowlLA: The media is shocked to find out model Candice Swanepoel is skinny. Someone should also tell those outlets that ALF wasn’t real. It’s sad, but true.
  • AllTwitter: Twitter gets it right and removes that annoying Trending Topics bar that was recently added to their iPhone app. Hooray for complaining!
  • eBookNewser: Sesame Street has launched a bookstore for the iPad. It’s not all good news though. Early reports are that Oscar has declined to participate in any of the publications.
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HBO Claims an Astonishing Seven Peabody Awards

For a long time now, HBO has dominated the Cable Ace and Primetime Emmy Awards. This year, you can add the prestigious Peabody Awards to the pay cabler’s premium recognition parade.

The network claimed seven of 39 2010 Peabody Awards announced by the University of Georgia, more than any other news or TV outlet. Along with the Tom Hanks produced miniseries The Pacific and Spike Lee‘s follow-up New Orleans documentary If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise, the HBO nods also encompass a pair of more unusual Peabody players:

Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals: Not your average sports biography by a long jump shot, it examines the different cultures from whence these NBA legends sprang, their unusually long rivalry and their unlikely friendship.

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Nick Kristof Discusses Ethics of Reporting

Nick Kristof recently participated in an online workshop aimed at helping educators who wanted to teach the documentary Reporter in the classroom. The film, which follows Kristof through the Congo, details the techniques used by the columnist to get people to care about his reporting.

Kristof tackles some pretty tough issues in the Q & A, below are a few of the highlights.

On not letting passion interfere with fact:

The challenge is to feel passion and outrage without losing your skepticism. Over the years, for example, I’ve learned that victims of human rights abuses lie and exaggerate as much as perpetrators do. It’s very easy if you’re passionate and outraged to listen to victims and not double-check and triple-check and listen to the other side – or to get defensive when you’ve taken the victims’ side and not investigate charges that you’ve gone too far.

On how he chooses the topics of his columns:

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Arianna Huffington and Joan Didion Raised Almost $100K for College Newspaper

The Columbia Daily Spectator was able to raise a record-breaking sum of $95,921 at their annual Blue Pencil dinner, with a little help from media mogul Arianna Huffington and celebrated author Joan Didion.

According to the New York Observer, the dinner was $250 a plate, so the near $100,000 total was aided by some truly generous gifts, including $45,000 in gifts from former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum and Navigant manager Ernest Brod, both alums of the college paper.

Publisher of the Columbia Daily Spectator Aditya Mukerjee announced the results in an alumni newsletter, saying that the dinner was a “watershed moment” it was their first dinner to feature a speaker from new media.

Times are changing! We’re glad to hear Arianna is helping to spread the wealth.

Meteorologist John Marshall ‘Wasn’t Shocked’ by Losing Weekend Shifts at WCBS-TV

If you wake up early on the weekend, then you are probably aware of the John Marshall body of work. He had more than a dozen years under his belt at WNBC when they went in another direction last summer.

But as fate would have it, the timing worked perfectly for Marshall. In August, Megan Glaros left her weekend morning weather anchoring at WCBS-TV for Chicago. That same month, Marshall joined Channel 2 as a per diem employee.

Unlike at WNBC, Marshall, who grew up in New Jersey, was unable to get full-time status at WCBS. On Sunday, he did his final shift for the station. As we reported last week, Katie Fehlinger has been hired to take those shifts. Like Glaros before her (along with the same hair color), Fehlinger also handles weeknight feature reporting.

Marshall says news director David Friend had an open-door policy with him.

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Dana Harris Keeping Busy as indieWIRE Editor-in-Chief

It’s been a few months now since former Variety staffer Dana Harris set up shop from a home office in Highland Park as editor-in-chief of indieWIRE. Just back from SXSW and one of her monthly sojourns at the Snag Films parented website’s New York headquarters, she took time to chat via telephone with FishbowlLA about what lies ahead for the rest of 2011.

On the heels of The Playlist and Ted Hope, Harris says the company will be announcing another addition to the indieWIRE blog network in April. In terms of evaluating potential partners who retain ownership of their blog and split advertising and other revenues, she says it’s not as simple as finding sites with a particular monthly traffic threshold.

“Blog network partners are programmed into a specific infrastructure,” Harris explains. “This represents a significant investment on our part, so it’s a real balancing act to find a partner like The Playlist that hits that sweet spot.”

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NPR Wins Three Peabody Awards

Finally, some good news for NPR!

Hopefully breaking its streak of bad luck and dismal PR, NPR announced by press release that it is receiving three 70th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards, which “recognize the most outstanding achievements in electronic media, including radio, television and cable.”

Among those awarded are NPR Islamabad correspondent Julie McCarthy for her coverage of Pakistan, the NPR News Investigation “Behind the Bail Bond System,” reported by correspondent Laura Sullivan, and the NPR News Investigation “Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes,” reported by correspondent Joseph Shapiro in collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity.

For those who are counting (who isn’t?), this gets NPR and NPR programming’s tally of total Peabody Awards up to 56. Well done, NPR. It’s time people started remembering you’re a news organization first.

Steven R. Swartz Named COO of Hearst

Steven R. Swartz has been named Chief Operating Officer of Hearst Corporation. Swartz previously worked as President of Hearst Newspapers, a position Mike Aldam will now overtake.

Frank A. Bennack Jr., CEO of Hearst, had this to say about Swartz:

Steve will be an excellent chief operating officer for Hearst, just as he has distinguished himself in every role he has had across our company since 1991. His experience with newspapers, magazines and digital media will enable him to play a key role in developing Hearst’s future growth strategy as we continue to focus on new revenue streams and expanding current brands across multiple platforms. Steve is a talented business executive and leader, and I welcome him to this new role.

Self Launches iPad App

Self magazine has launched its iPad app, available for download in the iTunes store. Each month, in addition to content from the print version, the app will feature exclusive content.

For April, users can view video of Kim Kardashian – Self’s cover girl this monthboxing (Pacquiao’s got nothing on her right hook) and voice-guided meditation. Another feature of note is a live newsfeed updated by Self’s editors that posts breaking health news.

Book Review Startup IndieReader Looks for the ‘Cream-of-the-Indie Crop’

Put the word “independent” in front of anything and its coolness factor doubles. Cheaply made films and music albums can pass for high art with the right amount of vision. But put the word “self-published” in front of a novel, and readers instantly think “inspirational poetry that hasn’t been proofread.”   IndieReader, based in New Jersey, is an online resource for lovers of independent books and the people who write them.  IndieReader might not be the first publication to review self-published books, but it is bold in its similarity to the “critically-acclaimed independent films” category on Netflix.

Indie Reader founder Amy Edelman created the site for “literate people who are looking for something other than the latest James Patterson novel,” she said, adding, “not that there’s anything wrong with James Patterson.”  IndieReader reviews and rates self-published books to help readers find the ones that are worth reading.  After a year and a half of Beta testing, the site was relaunched last month to include news, commentary, interviews, and IndieReader Selects, a special page for indie bookstores to find local authors.

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