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Morning Media Newsfeed: Al Jazeera Journos Sentenced | Post-Dispatch Defends Decision

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Jailed Al Jazeera Journalists Convicted in Egypt (CNN)
Three Al Jazeera English journalists were convicted Monday of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in a ruling that immediately outraged journalists and activists around the world. The Guardian Former BBC correspondent Peter Greste, from Australia, ex-CNN journalist Mohamed Fahmy and local producer Baher Mohammed were jailed for seven, seven and 10 years, respectively. Four students and activists indicted in the case were sentenced to seven years. NYT Prosecutors accused the three journalists of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports of civil strife in order to bring down Egypt’s military-backed government. But the prosecutors have not publicly disclosed any evidence that the journalists either conspired with the Brotherhood or broadcast false news. HuffPost / AP “I swear they will pay for this,” Fahmy, who was Al Jazeera English’s acting Cairo bureau chief, shouted angrily from the defendants’ cage after the sentences were announced in the Cairo court Monday. Greste, a correspondent, raised his fists in the air. “They just ruined a family,” said Fahmy’s brother Adel, who was attending the session. He said they would appeal the verdict but added that he had little faith in the system. “Everything is corrupt,” he said. Al Jazeera Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said the verdicts defied “logic, sense and any semblance of justice,” adding, “[Monday] three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue to be kept behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. ‘Guilty’ of covering stories with great skill and integrity. ‘Guilty’ of defending people’s right to know what is going on in their world.” The Washington Post The verdict was delivered in a brief session at a courtroom in the Tora prison complex, where the detainees have been imprisoned for nearly six months.

Post-Dispatch Op-Ed Editor: Readers Horrified by George Will’s Column (HuffPost)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch op-ed editor Tony Messenger spoke out Sunday about George Will’s incendiary piece on sexual assault and the newspaper’s subsequent decision to drop Will’s column. ThinkProgress Will takes issue with the Obama administration’s recent report on the scope of the campus rape crisis, which cites data from the Department of Justice to conclude that one in five college women are the victim of sexual assault. He claims that statistic is much too high and doesn’t line up with the other data about sexual assault reports. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Will continued to stand by his controversial op-ed column on sexual assault Friday, even after the Post-Dispatch decided to drop the columnist from its pages in protest. In an interview with CSPAN, Will said the Post-Dispatch‘s decision simply reflected the paper’s desire to keep the uproar over his op-ed going. “They know how to perpetuate the rabble,” the columnist said. The Wrap Will’s column about rape trivialized sexual assault victims, Messenger said Sunday, and that’s why the newspaper dropped his column. In an interview Sunday with CNN’s Brian Stelter during Reliable Sources, Messenger said that the paper had considered dropping Will even before that column. “We had a lot of readers very angry and very hurt,” Messenger said. “It caused us to go back and take a look at it, and it reinforced our previous decision that he had lost a little bit of speed off his fastball, and it caused us to make the decision a little bit more quickly than we would have otherwise.” CNN By now you’ve either heard about or read Will’s controversial column on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. Will’s take is that the numbers are “preposterous” and using “simple arithmetic” he can prove the “supposed campus epidemic of rape” just ain’t so. Worse, Will believes that progressivism, the Obama administration, a college hook-up culture and shady math are turning survivors of sexual assault into a “coveted status that confers privilege.” He goes on to claim that efforts to address the issue on campuses is “making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations.” I’d no more want to have a conversation with Will about sexual assault on college campuses than I wish to discuss racism with Donald Sterling. Both men are shockingly out of touch with reality.

Katie Couric Marries John Molner (TVNewser)
Katie Couric is now Mrs. John Molner, as she proudly tweeted Saturday night. Couric, global news anchor for Yahoo News, married Molner at her East Hampton home Saturday during a ceremony attended by about 50 family members and close friends. Couric and Molner dated for about two years and were engaged in September. People Over the past couple of months, Couric wrapped up her talk show, embarked on her new role as a Yahoo News global anchor, released a documentary, Fed Up, and celebrated her daughter Carrie’s high school graduation. NYT She was the host of Katie, a syndicated daytime talk show that premiered in September 2012. She was also a special correspondent for ABC News, contributing to a number of programs including ABC World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20 and Good Morning America. E! Online This is the second marriage for Couric, whose first husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in 1998. USA Today The small family ceremony featured readings and music from Couric’s daughters, Ellie, 22, and Carrie, 18. Molner’s nieces and nephews served as flower girls and ring bearers. The Daily Beast Molner is an investment banker and, like Couric, has two children from a previous marriage.

Rian Johnson to Write, Direct Star Wars: Episode VIII (The Wrap)
Rian Johnson will write and direct the eighth Star Wars movie, inheriting the franchise from J.J. Abrams, according to two individuals with knowledge of the director’s plans. The Verge Johnson showed off his sci-fi chops in the time-travel drama Looper, but his other films have tackled different genres. His debut feature Brick was a high-school riff on classic film noir, while The Brothers Bloom was a madcap comedy that featured Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody. LA Times / Movies Now Given this pedigree, we can expect Johnson to try to push the second film of the trilogy in unexpected directions. Asked in the past to run down some of his favorite films, Johnson name-checked Terry Gilliam’s Brazil — a gonzo dystopian sci-fi film that’s hardly a popcorn flick. “My favorite sci-fi always uses its hook to amplify some bigger theme or idea — some emotional thrust,” he once said.

The Institute on Political Journalism’s 19th Annual Journalism Awards (FishbowlDC)
At Friday morning’s Institute on Political Journalism Awards at the National Press Club, reporters from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Bloomberg News received the top awards from The Fund for American Studies — a D.C.-based education nonprofit — for the second year in a row. Student reporters from The GW Hatchet and The Daily Pennsylvanian were recipients in the college category. The Fund for American Studies The 2014 Excellence in Economic Reporting Award will be presented to a team of reporters from Bloomberg News for a seven-part series on the brave new world of “Big Data” software services. The 2014 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting will be awarded to John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge from the Sentinel for their hard-hitting series “Backfire,” which uncovered deep flaws and a profound lack of government oversight in undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stings across the country.

Biz Stone on Twitter: ‘You Can Be Nice and Successful at the Same Time’ (The Guardian)
Biz Stone was one of four co-founders of Twitter, building, in his words, “a moral compass and righteous soul into the company.” The 40-year-old has previously worked at Google and helped to pioneer blogging and podcasting before being named GQ‘s “Nerd of the Year” and one of Time‘s most influential people in the world. He has written a book, Things a Little Bird Told Me, and is now CEO of a new venture, Jelly, a Q&A app that is “a complete reimagining of how we get answers to queries based on a more human approach.” AllTwitter In the Guardian‘s interview, Stone talks openly about the history of Twitter, the “backstabbing” that took place among all the Twitter founders in the early days of the company (as detailed in Hatching Twitter, Nick Bilton’s book), how he feels about Edward Snowden and what’s going on at Jelly. The Telegraph He said he had confidence in Twitter’s executive team, led by Dick Costolo, and that they would “figure it out” and “find the best path forward.” But asked if he had the ideas Twitter needs, Stone said: “I do. I’m happy to share them over drinks with Dick, if he wants to hear them.” He added: “Would I go back? Sure. Who knows?”

The Crash And Churn of Lawrence O’Donnell (The Daily Beast)
In an exclusive interview, the MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell reveals how he survived a head-on car crash, and why afterward he cut himself off from the negative litany of the news cycle. TVNewser During his recovery, O’Donnell said he couldn’t tolerate negative news: “I became one of those people who I’ve met from time to time who say they don’t watch the news. Too many bad stories,” he told The Daily Beast. “I never understood those people. Now I get them completely.”

Publicis CEO Won’t Seek to Extend Mandate (WSJ)
Publicis Groupe SA head Maurice Lévy said Friday that he won’t seek to stay on as CEO after next year, his first indication that he is ready to step aside after more than three decades at the helm of the French advertising company. Publicis, owner of ad agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and digital shop Razorfish, has had only two chief executives in its history. WSJ / CMO Today Lévy’s shoes are big ones to fill. He joined Publicis as a young computer technician more than 40 years ago and famously ran into Publicis’ office during a fire to save the magnetic tapes on which the company’s records were stored. The board extended Lévy’s CEO mandate in 2010 and asked him to stay in the top post until a successor was found.

Blue-Chip Advertisers’ Spending Hits Record High (Ad Age)
Total spending among the 100 Leading National Advertisers reached a record $108.6 billion in 2013, passing the previous spending peak set in pre-recession 2007. Still, this group remained careful with its dollars. Spending increased 4.4 percent last year and an average of 4.0 percent over the past three years. Overall U.S. ad spending last year edged up just 2.7 percent and is on track to grow 4.6 percent in 2014, according to the average of the most recent forecasts from WPP’s GroupM, Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Magna Global and Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia. Overall U.S. ad spending won’t break its 2007 record until 2015, according to ZenithOptimedia’s June 2014 forecast.

Melissa Ventosa Martin Joins Self (FishbowlNY)
Melissa Ventosa Martin has been named Self’s new fashion director. She comes to the magazine from Glamour, where she served as style director since 2010. Previously, Ventosa Martin served as fashion market director and fashion editor of T, The New York Times Style Magazine. Fashion Times Self is the latest Condé Nast title to undergo an Anna Wintour-approved makeover. Since she took the helm of Self, editor-in-chief Joyce Chang has made a number of other hires. She tapped Barbara Reyes, formerly of O, The Oprah Magazine, to be the magazine’s new art director, and hired People StyleWatch executive editor Suzanne D’Amato as its executive editor and Glamour‘s Rebecca Sinn as its entertainment director.

Good Housekeeping Hires Four, Fires More (FishbowlNY)
Last week, Good Housekeeping sent out a press release announcing four hires and a promotion. However, this is only a third of the HR story. Per a well-placed tipster who wishes to remain anonymous, a larger number of Good Housekeeping staffers were recently dismissed — by our count, nine.

SI.com Gets a Big-League Redesign (Adweek)
Following Time Inc.’s overhaul in recent months of the Time, Fortune and Money websites, now it’s Sports Illustrated’s turn. This week, SI rolls out a radically redesigned site plus a fantasy-gaming app. On deck for later this summer is a live-video network, 120 Sports. “About two years ago when I started, SI Digital was just a website, and not a very cutting-edge website,” said VP and GM of digital Jim DeLorenzo. “This is the last step of a multiyear process we’ve undertaken to remake that.”

Facebook Live to Feature Hillary Clinton, Walter Isaacson June 30 (AllFacebook)
Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton will join Aspen Institute president and CEO Walter Isaacson for a conversation at the Aspen Ideas Festival June 30 and it will be live-streamed on Facebook. Inside Facebook The event will be streamed exclusively on Facebook Live. Clinton will answer questions submitted on Facebook. The interview will be available exclusively on Facebook in an effort to reach and engage the broadest possible global audience.

Yahoo Wants You to Linger (on the Ads, Too) (NYT)
Four editors were deep in debate at Yahoo Food’s offices in Manhattan: Would Yahoo visitors click on a feature about foods of the ancient Silk Road, or would they prefer a guide to cheese fries and other snacks that go well with ranch dressing for the Final Four basketball games? Such choices — ranch dressing versus food history — are the stuff on which Yahoo’s future now depends. The Internet pioneer still attracts a huge audience, but advertising, its prime source of revenue, is steadily declining.

Politico Promotes Rachel Van Dongen to Deputy Managing Editor (FishbowlDC)
An internal memo from Politico managing editor Rachel Smolkin Friday morning announced Rachel Van Dongen’s promotion to deputy managing editor. Van Dongen was most recently Congress editor and deputy politics editor. In her new role, she will work closely with Smolkin and alongside deputy managing editor Laura McGann. Politico’s Gregg Birnbaum, Dianna Heitz, Laura McGann and Nirvi Shah also serve in the role of deputy managing editor.

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