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Morning Media Newsfeed: NPR Disputes Report | Dead Celebs Sell Mags | NYT Chair Sells Stock


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NPR Dismisses an Ombudsman Report (CJR / Behind The News)
This past Friday, NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos released an 80-page report reviewing an October 2011 Peabody-winning investigation into the South Dakota foster care system’s treatment of Native American children. The ombudsman’s review concluded that the investigation as aired violated NPR’s Code of Ethics. NPR management has vehemently disagreed with the ombudsman’s findings. In an “Editor’s Note” posted that same night as the report, chief content officer and executive vice president Kinsey Wilson and Margaret Low Smith, the senior vice president of news, stood by the substance of the reports. NPR The network stands by the thrust of NPR correspondent Laura Sullivan’s reporting. A number of media figures, such as former Wall Street Journal deputy managing editor William Grueskin, took to Twitter to comment that Schumacher-Matos’ approach was laudable and an unusual instance of rigor and transparency. Poynter / MediaWire Wilson and Smith write that they’ve “spent weeks with our team, re-examining the hundreds of interviews and documents that formed the basis of the series” and say “Overall, the process surrounding the ombudsman’s inquiry was unorthodox, the sourcing selective, the fact-gathering uneven and many of the conclusions, in our judgment, subjective or without foundation. For that reason, we’ve concluded there is little to be gained from a point-by-point response to his claims.”

Beyoncé, Dead Celebrities Top Newsstand Sales (WWD / Memo Pad)
George Lois was at his office recently when he saw the September issue of Vanity Fair, and the legendary magazine designer had a reaction that will seem familiar to a lot of people. “It is true when I opened the magazine I wondered what dead person was on the cover this month,” he said. It’s Princess Diana. The magazine pulls the dead person trick so frequently the latest cover was greeted with a chorus of derision from some corners of the Internet. Gawker called it out of touch. Unfortunately for Lois, Gawker, and anyone who scoffs at these periodic resurrections, they are not going to stop anytime soon. That’s because dead people on magazine covers is what America wants. Just look at the newsstand numbers. The Atlantic Wire Vanity Fair‘s best seller at 308,000 copies including digital replicas has been Audrey Hepburn, who beat similarly lithe but alive star Taylor Swift by nearly 100,000 copies. In the case of Town & Country, a cover with Lauren Hutton — remember her? — was the year’s best seller so far. That cover sold 44,343 copies — almost 7,000 more than a cover with Girls‘ Allison Williams.

Sulzberger Sells Tiny Slice of Times Stock (WSJ)
New York Times Co. chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sold 50,000 shares in the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in a deal just one day after the Ochs-Sulzberger family declared the company’s namesake newspaper was “not for sale.” Sulzberger sold the shares Aug. 8 at $12 a share, raising a total of $600,000, the filing said. The stock represented a tiny portion of his overall stake. NYT Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times Co., said that the 50,000 shares represented a small percentage of his holdings, which in addition to Class A shares include stock options and shares held in a family trust. “Personally, he is still very invested in Times Company stock,” Murphy said.

Racial Bias Claim Dismissed for Paula Deen (NYT)
A federal judge on Monday ruled that a white former employee had no standing to bring claims of racial discrimination in a lawsuit against Paula Deen, the celebrity chef who was the target of criticism this summer after she acknowledged using a racial epithet. The former employee, Lisa T. Jackson, who managed one of Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Ga., until 2010, had alleged that widespread discrimination against black workers created a difficult work environment for her. She also said such prejudices were “more personally offensive” to her because her nieces are biracial. USA Today The damage has been done. David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, a public relations and branding agency based in Suwanee, Ga., says the legal development is too little, too late. “The narrative has been set,” he says, with an unflattering chapter added less than a month ago, when The New York Times published a profile of Deen’s former cook and “soul sister,” now living in a trailer. The story only reinforced the idea that Deen is “not the sweet lady we thought she was.”

Politico‘s Getting Serious About Long-Form Journalism (HuffPost / The Backstory)
Politico announced Monday that Jason Zengerle, a contributing editor at GQ and New York magazine, is joining the publication as a senior staff writer, and Washington magazine’s Denise Kersten Wells will come aboard as a senior editor. In addition, Politico star reporter Glenn Thrush will join the relaunched Politico magazine as a senior staff writer. These latest moves signal how serious Politico is about ramping up long-form journalism at the Beltway publication. FishbowlDC In recent months Politico has been a steady procession of men out of leadership posts. With what looks to be a substantial overhaul of management, the winners are all women.

RadioShack Says HD Antenna Sales Jump Amid CBS Blackout (Ad Age / Media News)
After two weeks without CBS on Time Warner Cable in certain markets, some Time Warner Cable customers seem to be taking matters into their own hands. The blackout, which is affecting 3.2 million customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, has created a double-digit spike in high-definition antennas in those markets at RadioShack, a spokeswoman for the electronics retailer said Monday.

Ambivalent Coverage of Climate Change’s ‘New Normal’ (CJR / The Observatory)
On Tuesday, the American Meteorological Society released its annual “State of the Climate” report, a hefty, 258-page document chronicling changes in global warming data. Compiled by members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with 384 scientists from 52 countries, the report is used to set and influence domestic climate policy and distributes statistics that form the baseline for discussions of climate change. This year’s report holds a wide roster of data — ranging from interesting to doomsday — and most major newspapers and wire serves at least ran something based on the report press release. But considering the importance, and acute detail, of the information contained in the release, the mainstream press provided a surprisingly limited amount of analysis.

Al Jazeera America in Discussions With Time Warner Cable (HuffPost / The Backstory)
When Al Jazeera America premieres next Tuesday, Time Warner Cable will not be carrying the U.S.-based cable news channel. Time Warner Cable dropped Current TV immediately after it was sold in January to Al Jazeera, which announced plans to use the cable slot for a future American news channel. The cable company, however, said it would keep an open mind as Al Jazeera America developed. TVNewser There is no sure thing, but it certainly sounds as though AJAM may at some point return to the channel space it lost when Current was acquired.

Toronto Star Puts Up A Paywall (The Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-selling daily newspaper, has erected a paywall. Subscribers are initially being asked to pay 99 cents for a month’s full digital access. After that, they must pay $9.99 every month. Readers will be able to access only 10 free articles on the website before being required to pay a subscription.

The Government Wants The Media to Stop Covering Barrett Brown (Vice)
Barrett Brown has been sitting in prison, without trial, for almost a year. In case you haven’t followed his case, the 31-year-old journalist is facing a century of prison time for sharing a link that contained — within an archive of 5 million emails — credit-card information stolen from a hack of a security company called Stratfor (Jeremy Hammond, the actual hacker, is going to prison for 10 years), threatening the family of an FBI officer who raided his mother’s home, and trying to hide his laptops from the Feds.

Hypocrisy for Sale: Craigslist Founder Invests in Journalism Ethics Book (New Republic)
Ethics for journalists! How wonderful. Are those ethics different than the ones that allow one to make $36 million per year on prostitution ads, thereby making it easier to give away for free the classified listings that were a major source of newspaper revenue? Just checking.

Whitey Bulger Is Going Away for A Long Time And The Daily Caller Celebrates With A Slideshow of White Women? (Village Voice / Runnin’ Scared)
Whitey Bulger was found guilty on 31 of 32 counts Monday. The mobster’s sprawling criminal enterprise in 1970s and 80s landed Bulger in front of a jury for racketeering, conspiracy and 19 murders (he was convicted of 11 of them). The verdict puts a coda on a story that saw Bulger evade capture and punishment for crimes for more than 16 years. The Daily Caller decided to accompany its coverage of the trial with the front page slideshow, “11 Whiteys Who Give Us Bulgers.”

Daily Mail Caught Plagiarizing an Entire Article (The Next Web)
When you’re running a site that publishes as many articles as The Daily Mail does, it’s perhaps somewhat understandable that mistakes slip through the cracks. But when it happens, it deserves to be addressed and corrected, particularly when it’s as blatant as this.

Is Megyn Kelly Pushing Sean Hannity Out of Fox News Primetime? (Daily Beast)
It’s a television truism: as certain as the centrality of the pretty blonde in Roger Ailes’ aesthetic cosmology, so is the primacy of Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends. But Megyn Kelly’s reported rise to the Fox News Channel’s coveted 9 p.m. time slot, by most accounts evicting Sean Hannity after 17 years in primetime, is more likely about something else — the Darwinian dynamics of demographics and ratings.

The Getty Launches ‘Open Content’ Program, Lifting Restrictions on Use of Digital Images (Unbeige)
Among the most well-known images in the history of photography is “The Open Door,” in which William Henry Fox Talbot used his pioneering calotype process to preserve forever the scene of a broom leaning at a jaunty angle on the threshold of Lacock Abbey. Talbot’s 1844 tableau is among the approximately 4,600 high-resolution digital images from the J. Paul Getty Museum that are now free use, modify, and publish for any purpose thanks to an open door policy announced Monday by The Getty.

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