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Associated Press Fires Journalists Over Erroneous Terry McAuliffe Report (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The Associated Press has fired a reporter and editor over an erroneous Oct. 9 report that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lied to an investigator in a federal fraud case, according to sources familiar with the matter. The AP retracted the article in question roughly an hour and a half after publication, and last week, suspended its author, veteran political reporter Bob Lewis. According to sources, Lewis has since been fired. The AP has also fired Dena Potter, a Richmond-based news editor for Virginia and West Virginia. Politico The move, according to sources familiar with the AP’s thinking, was meant to send a clear signal that such mistakes could not be tolerated by an international news organization that prides itself on accuracy. But for those who had worked with Lewis, a highly respected veteran on the Richmond political scene, the AP’s decision was seen as an overreaction. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple The excruciating question faced here by managers at the AP relates to how much immunity a long record of achievement affords a reporter who commits a monstrous mistake. In this case, not enough to save Lewis’ job. That’s a tough call, but also a highly defensible one for a wire service whose entire purpose hinges on nailing high-pressure reporting, every single time. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer “We’ve consistently said this story is water under the bridge and did not ask for any actions to be taken against those involved,” said the McAuliffe campaign in a statement.
Netflix Hits Milestone And Raises Its Sights (NYT)
Content is the new black. At least that is the message from the latest results of Netflix, which on Monday announced a new subscriber milestone — 40 million worldwide — on the strength of exclusive TV shows like Orange Is the New Black. But with each record, Netflix faces the same, pressing question: Can it go on adding subscribers by the millions to keep shareholders happy? Quartz Netflix just reported that its streaming video service had 29.93 million paying subscribers in the United States at the end of September. That surpasses, for the first time, HBO’s paid subscriber base of 28.96 million in the U.S. TechCrunch For the third quarter, Netflix reported earnings of 52 cents per share on revenues of $1.1 billion. That compared to earnings of 13 cents per share on sales of $905 million in the year-ago quarter. GigaOM When will Netflix send out its last red envelope? The company is clearly focused on streaming, but executives have long maintained that DVDs, while declining, are going to be a part of its business for years to come. Still, there are some good reasons why Netflix might get out of the DVD business sooner rather than later.
David Pogue Leaves The New York Times for Yahoo! (NY Observer)
Times tech writer David Pogue is leaving The New York Times for Yahoo!, he announced Monday on his Tumblr. Pogue was swayed by what he called CEO Marissa Mayer’s “’try stuff’ atmosphere” at what she calls “the world’s biggest startup.” “It’s true: After 13 years at The New York Times, I’ve accepted a new job,” Pogue wrote. Sure, it’s hard to leave the Times. But Yahoo!? Tumblr / David Pogue Thirteen years is a long time to stay in one place; we all thrive on new experiences. So I was intrigued when Yahoo! invited me to help build a new consumer-tech site. Actually, “site” doesn’t even cover it. I’ll be writing columns and blog posts each week, of course, and making my goofy videos. But my team and I have much bigger plans, too, for all kinds of online and real-world creations. GalleyCat The new position begins “in a few weeks,” but Pogue reminded readers that he will continue his Missing Manual series. He will continue to work with PBS’ NOVA, CBS Sunday Morning and Scientific American.
Obama: ‘The Affordable Care Act Is Not Just A Website’ (TVNewser)
The president appeared in the Rose Garden Monday morning to discuss what’s working and what’s not working with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. “Let me remind everybody that the Affordable Care Act is not just a website. It’s much more,” said the president at the start of his remarks. In addition to cable news network coverage, Matt Lauer anchored a special report for NBC and Jamie Colby anchored for FOX stations. ABC and CBS left coverage to their websites. The Washington Post Days before the launch of President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, government officials and contractors tested a key part of the website to see whether it could handle tens of thousands of consumers at the same time. It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously. Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead. The New Yorker / Elements Healthcare.gov is not so much a website as an interface for accessing a collection of databases and information systems. Behind the nicely designed Web forms are systems to create accounts, manage user logins, and collect insurance-application data. There’s a part that determines subsidy eligibility, a part that sends applications to the right insurance company and other parts that glue these things together. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Sean Hannity put a call into the Obamacare website helpline during his radio program on Monday, highlighting the problems that have beset the website since its launch.
BuzzFeed Hires Pulitzer Winner to Head Investigative Unit (NYT)
BuzzFeed, the media website focused on viral content, announced on Monday that it was again expanding its reporting staff, this time to introduce an investigative unit. A new team of about half a dozen reporters will be led by Mark Schoofs, who was hired away from the nonprofit investigative service ProPublica. Capital New York “We plan to mix BuzzFeed’s energy, ambition and grasp of the social Web with the best traditions of American investigative reporting to expose wrongdoing, hold people accountable and tell stories that need to be told,” Schoofs said in a written statement. FishbowlNY Schoofs had been with ProPublica since 2011. Prior to that he was an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal. In 2000, while Schoofs worked at The Village Voice, he won a Pulitzer for international reporting.
Publishing, Broadcasting Revenues Down at Gannett (Poynter / MediaWire)
Revenues were down in most of Gannett’s segments in the third quarter of 2013, according to the company’s new earnings report. Advertising revenue at Gannett’s publishing properties fell 5.9 percent compared with the same period the year before. Circulation revenue was a little less than flat, down 0.6 percent from the third quarter of 2012. And broadcasting revenue was down 14.2 percent, a dip the company says “reflects the absence of Olympic and political spending partially offset by significant growth in retransmission revenue and digital revenue growth of 20.7 percent.” TVSpy Television revenues were $198.5 million, down from $233.0 million in the third quarter of 2012. Retransmission revenues were up 62.8 percent.
CNBC Considering Suing Producer Who Left for Social Media Company (BuzzFeed / Business)
Executives at business news cable network CNBC are threatening to file a breach of contract lawsuit against a producer who left to become chief executive of StockTwits, which describes itself as a real-time social network for investors and traders, according to two sources close to the situation. StockTwits two weeks ago hired John Melloy, a seven-year veteran of CNBC who produced the network’s Fast Money Halftime Report and Fast Money shows in addition to writing its Behind the Money blog, as its new CEO. And while Melloy told Business Insider that it was his decision to leave CNBC, he is apparently still under contract with the network, meaning that he wasn’t an at-will employee free to leave at any time, sources said.
The 4,567th And Final Comeback of Keith Olbermann (GQ)
Here we go again: Keith Olbermann’s stormed off or been kicked off pretty much every channel on the air, enraged whole voting blocs, insulted Al Gore, and become his own Worst Person in the World. But now, to the surprise of every detractor, every former employer, and, hell, Olbermann himself, he’s back on ESPN, the channel he made and that made him. TVNewser Olbermann — who says he would like to change his reputation for contentious exits — gets a shot in at one of his former employers while considering his identity.
UK PM Calls Facebook Irresponsible for Allowing Beheading Clips (The Guardian)
David Cameron has attacked Facebook as irresponsible for lifting a ban on videos of beheadings being posted on its site. The prime minister said the social network must explain its decision to allow images showing decapitations to worried parents. Facebook has said users should be free to view such videos and then condemn the content. Cameron wrote on Twitter: “It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.” The Guardian / Comment Is Free So now we know. In Facebook’s world, a beheading is OK but an exposed nipple is not. The social media behemoth has decided that a 13-year-old — for that is the permitted minimum age of a Facebook user — can watch a video of a decapitation, but must be protected from the potentially scarring effects of seeing a breastfeeding mother and child briefly pause for breath.
Wikipedia Editors, Locked in Battle With PR Firm, Delete 250 Accounts (Ars Technica)
Newspaper Editor Quits Via Twitter (Poynter / MediaWire)
“With the Hindu‘s owners deciding to revert to being a family run and edited newspaper, I am resigning from The Hindu with immediate effect,” Siddharth Varadarajan tweeted. And with that, the editor of India’s The Hindu newspaper appears to have quit Monday morning, or at least announced he was doing so to his 60,418 followers.
Should Journalism Schools Require Reporters to ‘Learn Code’? No (The Atlantic)
When I started journalism grad school in 2009, I couldn’t wait to finish so I could begin my reporting career. But this was the recession, and after I had read the hundredth news article documenting the travails of aspiring journalists walking dogs for cash or eating vitamin soup, I got a little discouraged. And after I had what felt like my hundredth freelance pitch rejected, I grew downright panicked. Then, toward the end of my first year, I had an idea I thought could turn my prospects around: I would learn to code, that thing everyone was always telling journalists to do, and thus ensure that I would be essential to any newsroom in America.
Fox News’ PR War Was Waged With Anonymous Commenters And an AOL Dial-Up Connection (Slate / The Slatest)
NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik’s 384-page look at Rupert Murdoch, Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires, officially hits bookstore shelves Tuesday, but Media Matters is already flagging a juicy Fox News nugget from an early copy of the book, namely how the conservative news outlet had its PR staff post “pro-Fox rants” in the comment section of negative, or even neutral, blog posts about the network. TVNewser In Salon’s excerpts of the book, Folkenflik describes how Murdoch and Roger Ailes worked to set Fox News apart from its competition from the early stages of the network’s development.
Magazines Are Dead, or Why There’s No Such Thing as A (Mere) Magazine Company Anymore (Ad Age / The Media Guy)
In the Oct. 21 issue of Advertising Age, you’ll find the closely watched annual Magazine A-List, which honors 10 glossies that are doing really, really well. I’m part of the editorial team that, each summer and fall, works on the list (which involves a lot of in-depth research and number-crunching) and decides which magazines are “hot.” For some reason, contemplating “hotness” this year sent me into something of a my-life-flashing-before-my-eyes-in-glossy-form reverie — a mix of nostalgia and mourning.
Grambling State Reportedly Punishes Student Journos Who Tweeted Mold Pics (Twitchy)
Football players at Grambling State University in Louisiana went public last week with complaints about unhealthy facilities and decrepit equipment. The team boycotted its most recent game against Jackson State in Florida. Student journalists tweeted photos of the yucky conditions the athletes face. Now, according to sports reporters on Twitter, the administration is punishing…the students.
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