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Morning Media Newsfeed: News Crews Witness Airstrike | Time Warner Stock Surges

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NBC News Crew Witnesses Gaza Airstrike (TVNewser)
NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin and his crew witnessed an Israeli airstrike that killed four children at a port in Gaza Wednesday. Mohyeldin, who was also caught in the crossfire as Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets on crowds in East Jerusalem earlier this month, called in to the West Coast edition of Today to describe what he saw, saying it was “a chaotic scene.” TVNewser Hours later, it was chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel who reported the story for Nightly News. FishbowlDC On Wednesday afternoon’s The Lead With Jake Tapper, the CNN host spoke over the phone with the Wall Street Journal’s Middle East correspondent Nick Casey for what proved to be a very intense interview. Casey was located near where the strike took place. Mashable The four children were killed by Israeli airstrikes that hit in close proximity to al-Deira Hotel, a Gaza City hotel full of foreign journalists. The attack came at around 4 p.m. local time and appeared to be the result of a naval shell. At least two additional children were injured, according to local reports. THR The BBC has defended its coverage of the latest Israeli air strikes in Gaza among accusations that the British public broadcaster is too pro-Israeli in its reporting on the region’s escalating conflict. The conflict has been the subject of extensive BBC news coverage, but a prominent pro-Palestine group claims the broadcaster’s programs have been systematically “entirely devoid of context or background.” The Palestine Solidarity Campaign posted an online open letter to BBC director general Tony Hall criticizing the broadcaster for not illustrating what it considers key aspects of the conflict.

Time Warner Stock Up 17 Percent on News of Murdoch Bid (USA Today)
Shares of Time Warner soared 17.1 percent to end the day at $83.13 after an initial report by The New York Times that Rupert Murdoch of 21st Century Fox had approached Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes. Capital New York Bewkes also told staff Wednesday morning that the board of directors has no intention of selling after 21st Century Fox made public its recent thwarted attempt to acquire the company. Deadline Hollywood Fox said it would pay $32.42 in cash plus 1.531 of its own non-voting shares for each Time Warner share. Directors don’t like the plan, in part because it involves “significant risk and uncertainty as to the valuation of 21st Century Fox’s non-voting stock and 21st Century Fox’s ability to govern and manage a combination of the size and scale of 21st Century Fox and Time Warner.” The board also notes that there would be “considerable strategic, operational and regulatory risks” to a deal. FishbowlNY As part of the offer, 21st Century Fox said it would sell CNN to alleviate any antitrust concerns that arose because Fox News competes with CNN. Reuters If Murdoch succeeds in buying Time Warner Inc and CNN is put up for sale, the 24-hour cable news network could be worth $5 billion, according to one analyst’s estimate. Gabelli & Co’s Brett Harriss said CNN is worth about 11 times annual estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $450 million.

Amazon May Have eBook Subscription Service in The Works (GalleyCat)
Amazon may be joining the likes of Scribd and Oyster to offer readers unlimited access to eBooks in exchange for a monthly subscription fee, in the same way that Netflix offers access to movies for paying members. Time The so-called “Kindle Unlimited” plan would reportedly cost $9.99 per month. It was first noticed by users on a Kindle forum. Amazon has since wiped most the evidence from its site, but you can still see some of the test pages on Amazon’s site and on Google Cache. GigaOM The service would offer “unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device.” One page, titled “KU Test,” shows 638,416 available titles, and you can browse through them. Among them are many books from Amazon’s publishing imprints, and many books that were already available through Amazon’s Kindle Owners Lending Library, which allows Prime members who own a Kindle to borrow one free eBook per month. That includes the Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter series. USA Today There is no word from Amazon about when the service will launch or even if it will launch at all. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Washington City Paper Offers to Pay Your $25 Marijuana Fine (FishbowlDC)
Thursday at midnight, marijuana possession of less than an ounce in Washington, D.C. was decriminalized. Days in which being caught with the same amount could mean six months in prison and a $1,000 fine will soon be in the past, to be replaced with a $25 ticket. Washington City Paper / City Desk The Washington City Paper believes the new law is a big improvement, claiming that the vast majority of people arrested for possession of marijuana in D.C. are black and that the racial disparity in pot arrests is getting worse. Poynter / MediaWire The paper is offering to pay the fines of anyone who gets a citation for possessing marijuana in D.C. after midnight Thursday. There are some conditions: You’ve got to send a photo of your citation and you have to let the paper know who you are. It won’t publish your name if you don’t want it out there, though.

Study: Political Journalists Opt for Stenography Over Fact Checking During Presidential Debates (Poynter)
During the 2012 U.S. presidential debates, political journalists on Twitter primarily repeated candidate claims without providing fact checks or other context, according to new research published in The International Journal of Press/Politics. TVNewser The findings combed through 430 journalists’ tweets during presidential debates, examining whether they merely repeated candidates’ claims or fact-checked them. HuffPost Just 15 percent of the tweets tried to check or challenge the candidates’ claims. The study also found that journalists who described themselves as a “commentator” or “analyst” in their Twitter bios were more likely to engage in fact checking in their tweets, instead of just reporting them. Some news organizations did try to fact check the candidates’ statements in real-time and provided more analysis once debates were over. The New York Times, for example, prepared pre-written fact-checking reports for the debates.

Lauren Skowronski Leaving MSNBC for NBC VP Corporate Communications Post (TVNewser)
MSNBC’s VP of media relations Lauren Skowronski is leaving the network to become VP of corporate communications at NBC Universal. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Skowronski will step down from her role as VP of media relations for MSNBC and move up to the network’s parent company. She’s been MSNBC’s PR chief since 2012, overseeing the network’s more open embrace of a liberal stance and running defense on some of the network’s most notable controversies, including those that led to the resignations of Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin. MSNBC has yet to announce a replacement. TheWrap Skowronski will begin her new role on Aug. 11, when she’ll report to Cameron Blanchard, senior vice president, corporate communications. In the new job, Skowronski will oversee media and communications for NBCUniversal’s strategy and business insights to support broadcast initiatives, technology and other new capabilities to address the company’s business needs.

Jose Antonio Vargas to CNN: My Airport Detention Wasn’t A ‘Stunt’ (Mediaite)
When reporter Jose Antonio Vargas announced on Twitter Tuesday that he would be attempting to go through security at McAllen Airport with only his Philippine passport and was subsequently detained by authorities there, many assumed that he was engaging in some sort of political “stunt” or at least trying to make a point about life as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Not quite, Vargas said Wednesday morning on the CNN program New Day. “Is it a stunt to get on a plane… to try to get out of south Texas?” asked the 33-year-old Vargas, whose detention occurred when he was trying to hop on a flight to Los Angeles. Pressed by host Chris Cuomo on how he, an immigration activist, could possibly be ignorant of the interior check, Vargas responded, “I did not anticipate it… I’d never been to the Texas border,” said Vargas, noting that he hadn’t realized that the area was essentially a “militarized zone.”

White, Male Guests Dominate Cable News (TVNewser)
A new survey by Fair finds cable news guests are overwhelmingly white and male in the evening hours. Fair surveyed six cable news shows – The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity on Fox News, All In With Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and OutFront With Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN — over five weeks for the study. HuffPost Eighty-four percent of all the guests included in the study were white. Maddow’s show was the biggest offender, with only 6 percent of nonwhite guests (though Maddow also had the least amount of guests than any other show). None of these guests were women. All In With Chris Hayes, on the other hand, was the most diverse. Twenty-seven percent of Hayes’ guests were people of color.

Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein on 40th Anniversary of Nixon’s Resignation (FishbowlDC)
Days before the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation, The Washington Post will bring together Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, author of Washington Journal Elizabeth Drew, author of Chasing Shadows Ken Hughes and WaPo columnist Ruth Marcus as moderator for an in-depth discussion on the fall of a president and a look at declassified White House tapes that offer new perspectives on how one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history came to be. The Washington Post The event will be held July 30. Admission is free but an RSVP is required.

Six Former News of The World Journalists Not Charged With Phone Hacking (HuffPost / AP)
British prosecutors say they will not charge six former News of The World journalists over alleged phone hacking by staff of the tabloid’s features desk. The six were arrested in February 2013 on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept telephone communications. The Crown Prosecution Service said Wednesday that it had decided there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”

Newsday Hires Cartoonist Matt Davies (FishbowlNY)
Newsday has hired Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Matt Davies. Davies’ work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Mad Magazine, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Newsweek and Time. Davies — whose career began at the The Journal News in Westchester — won the Pulitzer for editorial cartoons in 2004 and was a finalist in 2011.

CNN Testing New Show With Camerota, Cuomo, Lemon (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
CNN is testing out a new show with Alisyn Camerota, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon. On Wednesday, the three anchors taped a pilot dubbed The 10 O’Clock Show, based out of New York, network sources said. It’s not clear whether it would be a potential primetime 10 p.m. show. Segments included one on the border crisis with Crossfire host S.E. Cupp and Democratic consultant Fernando Amandi and one called “Mean Tweets,” where the three anchors read mean tweets about themselves.

The Media Mob Featuring Bob Barnett And Jack Kliger (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
If you were to find the appropriate food metaphor for a Wednesdays at Michael’s, I’d say it was a tasty stew served hot with a number of surprise ingredients that can spice things up at a moment’s notice. That’s precisely what happened when I was joined by passionate foodie and patron saint of farmers everywhere Tessa Edick, founder of FarmOn!, a 501 (c)3 organization, which she launched in 2011 and was recently featured on Forbes.com.

The Daily Beast Hires Former Reuters Pakistan Chief (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Former Reuters Pakistan bureau chief Chris Allbritton has been named The Daily Beast’s senior editor for the weekends, executive editor Noah Shachtman said Wednesday. Allbritton will develop feature stories for The Daily Beast and lead its breaking news coverage over the weekends. The former Time magazine and AP correspondent became well-known in the early 2000s for his reader-funded blog back-to-iraq.com.

Marie Claire Names Nancy Gillen Managing Editor (FishbowlNY)
Marie Claire has named Nancy Gillen its new managing editor. Gillen most recently held the same role at Glamour. She had been with Glamour since 2011. The move marks a return to Hearst for Gillen, who served as Harper’s Bazaar’s managing editor from 2006 to 2011.

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