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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Website Goes Down | Grim Day for Journos | TWC Sued for CBS Blackout


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New York Times Website Returns After Hours Offline (NYT)
The Web site of The New York Times was offline for about two hours on Wednesday in what company officials say was a failure during regular maintenance of NYTimes.com and not the result of a cyberattack. “The outage occurred within seconds of a scheduled maintenance update being pushed out, and we believe that was the cause,” said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The New York Times Company. The site went down about 11:10 a.m. It returned around 1:15 p.m., but service was sporadic. The Verge As The New York Times struggled to get its site back online, the paper turned to often ephemeral social media to put out its stories. Unfortunately, while the outage wasn’t long, it was enough to threaten reporting of one of the week’s biggest stories: a violent clash in Egypt that left more than a hundred people — and possibly many more — dead. To get out news of the Cairo protests, the Times turned to a system that’s usually supplemental: posting updates on social media. The Guardian / Dan Gillmor But the venue the paper chose to post its material was ill-advised, for many reasons. Facebook may have been convenient, but it – not the Times – ultimately controls what appears on its service. Facebook is not hosting this material for the sake of the Times or for people who want quality journalism. Facebook itself is an increasingly threatening competitor to the journalism industry, and it serves its own needs first. Fox Business During the Times outage, parent company Dow Jones said on its Twitter account that it was making the Wall Street Journal’s website, WSJ.com, available for free. JimRomenesko.com Jill Abramson: “It’s been the stuff of bad dreams for us all — what would happen if our website went down — really went down — and email went down at the same time? All of you handled a difficult moment with patience, determination and even good humor. I am very grateful and proud of each of you for your unwavering devotion to our readers.” FishbowlDC The Washington and New York media worlds tipped over on their heads as the NYT shut down due to technical issues. So we mined Twitter for the best of and — let’s face it — endless and some terrible reactionary comments to the temporary interruption. Even crazy bearded Dave Hughes of DCRTV noticed something unusual was happening: “Journos in a f*ckin’ panic today with the NY Times’ website down. Sheesh…” he remarked. So who actually had something interesting to say?

Grim Day for Journalists: 3 Killed in Egypt, 1 Missing in Syria 365 Days Now (TheWrap / MediaAlley)
Three journalists were killed in Egypt on Wednesday as violence between ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and the police escalated. The deaths marked two grim milestones in journalistic freedom: They occurred on the one-year anniversary of freelancer reporter Austin Tice’s disappearance while on assignment in Syria — and they marked the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) 1,000th death in the line of duty since it began counting in 1992. TVNewser Longtime Sky News camera operator Mick Deane was shot and killed in Cairo Wednesday morning. He was there with his team covering the violence in the capital city, as Egyptian security forces cleared public squares of supporters of ousted president Morsi. As noted by former CNN executive Eason Jordan, Deane was a camera operator for CNN based in Rome back in the 1980s. HuffPost / The Backstory Also killed on Wednesday was Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, a reporter for Dubai’s XPRESS. The 26-year-old was not on assignment at the time, but texts messages she sent to her mother suggest she was trying to cover the events when fatally shot. CPJ has not yet determined if she was killed while reporting.

Time Warner Cable Slapped With Class Action Suit Over CBS Blackout (TheWrap)
The stakes in the standoff between CBS and Time Warner Cable have just been upped once again — and this time it’s angry viewers who are doing the upping. Time Warner Cable was hit with a class-action lawsuit by Southern California customers who want to be reimbursed for losing CBS and its sister cable channel Showtime during the two companies’ protracted retransmission dispute. THR / Hollywood, Esq. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by lead plaintiffs James Armstrong, Michael Pourtemour and Vatsana Bilavam, the southern California residents say they were enticed into subscribing to TWC service by the promise of CBS-owned channels CBS, Showtime, Movie Channel and Los Angeles station KCAL but have been unable to access them due to the two-week blackout. Deadline Hollywood Plaintiffs also argue that no notice was given on or before the Aug. 2 blackout and credits have not been offered by TWC since the blackout began. And because the company continued to sell subscriptions in recent months touting its full pre-blackout cable offerings, the suit alleges TWC is in violation of biz statutes forbidding “any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices” and that TWC’s treatment of its customers is “immoral, unethical, unscrupulous, oppressive, and substantially injurious.”

How Not to Launch A Site for Women: An Open Letter to Bustle.com Founder Bryan Goldberg (FlavorWire / Elizabeth Spiers)
On Tuesday, BleacherReport.com founder Bryan Goldberg announced that he had received $6.5 million in funding for a new women’s site called Bustle.com from a variety of investors including Social+Capital Partnership, Time Warner Investments, Google Ventures, 500 Startups, and Rothenberg Ventures. The announcement was made on PandoDaily (a site I like to think of as PanderDaily, given its seeming determination to be a mouthpiece for industry rather than a news organization that covers industry), and Goldberg’s announcement/press release began with the dubious assertion — now “edited” after much criticism — that there were no major companies going after the women’s market. Slate / XX Factor Where is the Gawker for women? The ESPN for women? The Awl for women? The Slate for women? The Onion for women? Perhaps when Google finally launches a search engine for women, we will be capable of locating the websites targeted at us, so that advertisers may sell us things. For now, we will read Bustle.

Martha Stewart Living‘s Pilar Guzman Headed to Condé Nast Traveler (Adweek)
Not long after a major shake-up on the publishing side, Condé Nast Traveler is overhauling its editorial leadership. Wednesday, Condé Nast announced that Martha Stewart Living editor-in-chief (and Condé alum) Pilar Guzman has been tapped to run Traveler, replacing current editor Klara Glowczewska.

Keith Olbermann Defaces A-Rod; Reveals Apologies, Drama Behind ESPN Return (THR)
He once “napalmed” his former network. Now he’s back, helming a new late-night show, and divulging the full back story of how he said sorry, to whom and his true feelings for Al Gore. “When you’re working for somebody whom you admired politically, who turns out to be a clod,” says Olbermann, referring to Gore, “the scales fall from your eyes. Sorry. Al underdelivered. I mean that’s just simply the case. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it’s true.” TVNewser THR‘s Marisa Guthrie also reveals that ESPN was talking to NBC’s Seth Meyers about hosting a late-night show, until he inked the Late Night gig at NBC, and that Olbermann met with ABC News president Ben Sherwood as his time at Current neared a close.

Sorry, Craig: Study Finds Craigslist Took $5 Billion From Newspapers (Forbes / Mixed Media)
For years, newspaper publishers have been saying Craigslist cut the legs out from under their industry by offering a cheap, easy online alternative to their classified advertising pages. For years, Craigslist’s creator, Craig Newmark, has been refusing to shoulder the blame. Well, Craig, you can stop waiting. A new study by two business school professors examined the issue and concluded that, indeed, Craigslist took a giant bite out of newspapers’ revenues — some $5 billion between the years 2000 and 2007. GigaOM Craigslist is once again being blamed by some for the decline of the newspaper industry, since it allegedly siphoned off billions in advertising revenue — but this ignores all of the other factors that combined to disrupt the newspaper business. FishbowlNY The duo’s report also found that as a result of Craigslist, papers that relied on classifieds were unable to charge as much as they could before, and therefore saw a 20 percent drop in ad rates.

Dallas Morning News Will Get Rid of Its Paywall And Debut New Premium Site in September (D Magazine / FrontBurner)
I asked some head honchos Wednesday about what newsroom sources have been telling me for weeks: The Dallas Morning News is switching to a “premium” site for subscribers and will do away with its paywall in September. Other newspapers are doing this. Said honchos have yet to get back to me. Which I was fine with, until a newsroom buddy told me, “So I think they’re working on that story now that you’ve asked questions.”

Manning, Facing Prison for Leaks, Apologizes at Court-Martial Trial (NYT)
Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing up to 90 years in prison for leaking 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, apologized on Wednesday for the “unintended consequences of my actions.” He told the judge at his court-martial trial that while he “believed it was going to help people, not hurt people,” he now realized that what he did was wrong. “I’m sorry that my actions hurt people,” he said. “I’m sorry that they hurt the United States. At the time of my decision, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues, issues that are ongoing and continue to affect me” — a reference to matters like his crisis over his gender identity, which he was confronting while on a military deployment in a combat zone.

Journalist Jobs Are Picking Up (CNNMoney)
Jobs for journalists are on the upswing. That’s good news for an industry in upheaval. A new survey from the University of Georgia shows that the tide may be turning for journalism graduates. About 66 percent of 2012 journalism graduates landed a full-time job roughly six to eight months after graduation, up from 62 percent in 2011. It was a also a big jump from 56 percent in 2009, during the depths of the recession, when the number of graduates that landed a job was at the lowest point in two decades .

Publishers Launch Sponsored Content Factories, But Ethics Are Unclear (WAN-IFRA / World News Publishing Focus)
A number of news organizations, including The Huffington Post and Wired, have recently launched in-house creative agencies to amp up lucrative sponsored content offerings. But the ethics in this new territory are unclear, with some journalists even relaying between editorial departments and these sponsored content generators. WAN-IFRA takes a look at several of these initiatives and explores their ethical backbones.

When Tycoons Own The Media (CJR / Behind The News)
In 2010, the German media conglomerate WAZ sold its Bulgarian Media Group to two millionaire tycoons: Ognian I. Bonev, chairman and executive director of Bulgaria’s biggest pharmaceutical company, and Lyubomir Pavlov, a former banker. Included in the purchase were two mass dailies, 24 Chassa and Trud. The latter’s longtime editor, Tosho Toshev, was promptly fired. Although Bulgaria is an extreme example, it isn’t the only European country in which tycoons have been buying up media outlets and appearing to exert editorial control. It has become common practice in Europe long before Amazon’s Jeff Bezos decided to buy The Washington Post.

CNN Aims to Get More Social With Redesigned Site (LostRemote)
CNN is planning a major site relaunch for this fall, and it is putting social sharing at the heart of the new experience. CNN senior VP of digital KC Estenson acknowledged that while CNN has more traffic than many other news sites, its social sharing is much lower than outlets like The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. The new site is designed to change that: “There will be much heavier calls to action to engage with the content,” Estenson says, adding that the relationship goes both ways. “Social is informing editorial.” TVNewser There are a number of changes that will be obvious to users. The focus will be on photos and video (including photos and videos that are “full bleed” and take up most of the screen), and there will be much more color. In fact, the colors of the site will change throughout the day based on the news. In the morning CNN.com will have softer colors, shifting to blues and grays during the day. If there is urgent breaking news–such as a bombing–the entire color scheme for the site will shift to red.

MSNBC Map Puts Every City in The Wrong Spot (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
There are four cities on this map of President Obama’s upcoming bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania, which was shown on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Tuesday afternoon. And all four cities are in the wrong place. They’re not even close! TVNewser Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton were moved away from their actual locations in western and central New York, and placed near the borders of Massachusetts and Vermont. Pennsylvanians can take solace knowing that Scranton was located somewhat closer to its actual location, although it was still off by around 40 miles or so.

Sheryl Sandberg’s Unpaid Intern Disgrace (ValleyWag)
We’ve found a copy of an unpaid job listing Lean In Foundation’s editor-at-large tried to delete. If Facebook’s celeb COO Sheryl Sandberg just made $91 million last week (and God only knows how much from her book), why can’t she pay her interns a cent?

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