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Journalists Who Broke NSA Story Receive George Polk Awards (The Guardian)
The three journalists who broke the National Security Agency revelations from Edward Snowden in The Guardian are among the recipients of the prestigious 2013 George Polk Awards in Journalism. Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras will receive the award for national security reporting, along with Barton Gellman of The Washington Post. Janine Gibson, Guardian U.S. editor-in-chief, said: “We’re honored by the recognition from the Polk awards and delighted for Ewen, Glenn, Laura, Barton and their colleagues that their work has been recognized. NYT In all, 30 reporters representing 15 news organizations were recognized in 13 categories. Reporters from The New York Times won three of the awards, as did reporters from the Post. “In the tradition of George Polk, many of the journalists we have recognized did more than report news,” said John Darnton, the curator of the Polk Awards, referring to the CBS News correspondent who was killed while covering the civil war in Greece in 1948. FoxNews.com The award for political reporting will go to Rosalind Helderman, Laura Vozzella and Carol Leonnig of the Post for reporting on the relationship between former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and a wealthy entrepreneur. Their stories spurred a federal investigation that resulted in a 14-count indictment of McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. Politico / AP Columnist, author and editor Pete Hamill will be honored with the George Polk Career Award, which is named in memory of Professor Robert D. Spector, chair of the George Polk Awards for 32 years until his death in 2009.
Did NBC Olympics Reporter Go Too Far With Bode Miller Interview? (TVNewser)
Christin Cooper, a former World Cup skier who is working for NBC Olympics covering alpine events, is getting criticism for her questions following Bode Miller‘s bronze medal-winning super-G. Cooper asked three different times, in various ways, about Miller’s brother who died last April of an apparent seizure. NYT NBC had already established Miller’s quest as an emotional story line, putting a microphone on his wife, Morgan, to hear her reactions to his races, and having the couple sit for an interview with Tom Brokaw. He was being humanized — as the changed man, the family man, the mature 36-year-old whose brother had died last year. This is the type of storytelling that lubricates NBC’s primetime Olympic engine. This time, the engine backfired. Gawker Cooper has drawn criticism for pressing Miller on his brother well after Miller became visibly uncomfortable. Even as Miller began to cry, she asked if his performance was for Chilly. When she asks whether he had been talking to his brother when he looked up at the sky before the Super G start, he fully breaks down.
Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Into Forbes.com (USA Today)
The Syrian Electronic Army, the cyber wing of Bashar al-Assad’s army, said it hacked Forbes.com Friday, claiming it compromised user data, defaced Web pages and posted a fake story to the site. A Forbes spokesperson Sunday confirmed that the site had been hacked and that some user data may have been compromised. Re/code Forbes admitted in a statement posted to its Facebook page and on Twitter on Friday night that the email addresses of its users may have been exposed, but it did not explicitly confirm that the data had been published online. The company said passwords were encrypted, but advised its users to change passwords on services and systems where they used the same passwords. Engadget The site has since returned to normal, but the company says it’s in contact with law enforcement to identify exactly what happened. Between this and the recent Kickstarter hack, it’s been a lousy few days for database administrators.
Bob Costas Returns to Sochi Olympics Coverage Monday (Deadline Hollywood)
Bob Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia Sunday to prepare to resume his primetime and late night hosting duties Monday night. Matt Lauer was back as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor for one more night before Costas returns to NBC’s air. Costas, who has battled an infection that began in his left eye and quickly spread to the right, soldiered on the first few days of the network’s Sochi coverage before calling Lauer in from the “bullpen.” TVNewser Costas‘ bad fortune resulted in history Friday night as Meredith Vieira became the first woman to anchor NBC’s Olympic primetime coverage.
WNET to Return $3.5 Million Grant for Pension Series (NYT)
WNET, the New York City public television broadcaster, said on Friday that it would return a $3.5 million grant it received to sponsor an ambitious project on public pensions in the face of charges that it solicited inappropriate underwriting for the series. In the absence of the funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the project, called “Pension Peril,” will go on hiatus, although WNET will continue to report on the topic. The series, which began in September, was examining the economic sustainability of public pensions. Earlier, after a critical report on Wednesday by David Sirota on the website PandoDaily, WNET officials said they were comfortable with the foundation’s funding. PBS / Ombudsman This is “[a] very positive development… [PandoDaily's story] shines a light, once again, on what seems to me to be ethical compromises in funding arrangements and lack of real transparency for viewers caused, in part, by the complicated funding demands needed to support public broadcasting, and in part by managers who make some questionable decisions.“
Reality TV Star Jamie Coots Dies From Snake Bite (Mashable)
The world of reality television took a tragic turn when well-known, snake-handling pastor and co-star of the show Snake Salvation Gregory Jamie Coots died from a snake bite on Saturday. According to reports, emergency workers in Middlesboro, Ky., received a call indicating that a person at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church had been bitten by a snake. However, when paramedics arrived at the church, Coots had already left for his home, where emergency workers later examined the snake bite on his hand. Coots reportedly refused treatment or transportation to a local hospital. About an hour later, authorities returned to Coots’ home and found that he had died.
E! Online Deletes Ellen Page Article That Described Her as A ‘Massive Man’ (Slate / Outward)
In her moving coming out speech on Friday, actress Ellen Page talked about how “sometimes it’s the little, insignificant stuff that can tear you down.” She continued: “I try not to read gossip as a rule, but the other day a website ran an article with a picture of me wearing sweatpants on the way to the gym. And the writer asked, ‘Why does [this] petite beauty insist upon dressing like a massive man’” Page’s response: “Because I like to be comfortable.” She followed that unimpeachable sentiment by adding, “There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we’re all supposed to act, dress and speak. And they serve no one.” The article Page was referring to appeared on the E! Online website. The headline: “Hot Mess Alert Again! Ellen Page Rolls Her Hobo Style Into 2014.” An excerpt archived by IMDb links to the full article, but that page on the E! Online website is now blank. The story is also absent from E! Online’s archive of “Hot Mess Alerts.”
Meet The Press Shows Exactly How Not to Cover Climate Change (HuffPost)
On Friday, Meet the Press host David Gregory sent out this tweet: “Plus – only on #MTP: Debating Climate change w/ Bill Nye @TheScienceGuy and Vice Chair of Energy & Commerce Cmte @MarshaBlackburn” This, to put it mildly, is not the way to do things. National Journal After excoriating Meet The Press in advance for its planned climate change “debate,” environmentalists came away with a mixed bag. They feared the “debate” format would cast undue doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming, and hand Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn a forum to make assertions at odds with the prevailing science. But host David Gregory sought repeatedly to inoculate the segment against the false-balance charges before and during debate between Blackburn, a climate skeptic, and Nye.
House of Cards Viewing Soars on First Day of Season 2 (Variety)
House of Cards is back, and it’s bigger than ever. The drama series’ second season that Netflix made available early Friday is getting far more sampling than its first season did, according to data provided by broadband technology firm Procera Networks. A whopping 15 percent of Netflix subscribers on one particular Internet service supplied by an unspecified U.S. cable operator (Procera can’t identify its clients) watched the first episode during a six to eight hour period monitored Friday. NYT If there is a rivalry between HBO and Netflix, it is by many measures a mismatch — certainly in terms of creative achievement (HBO has won 463 Emmys, to three for Netflix). But that hasn’t stopped Wall Street and the entertainment media from salivating at the story line: Netflix, the brash Silicon Valley interloper, driven by metrics and technology, not to mention a checkbook that makes seasoned Hollywood players blush like teenagers, taking on HBO, the East Coast establishment player, in the rarefied and profitable world of quality television.
Breitbart News Network Plans Global Expansion (NYT)
It has been nearly two years since the conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart died, but the online news organization that carries his name is not only continuing to wage his political battles, it is taking the war global. Breitbart News Network, a group of activist, conservative news sites — including Big Government, Big Hollywood and Big Journalism — said on Sunday evening that it was adding at least a dozen staff members as it opens operations based in Texas and London.
Levo League’s New Model for Millennial Media (Bloomberg Businessweek)
With so many companies chasing Gen Y women, why is Levo League getting so much buzz? Sure, Levo CEO Caroline Ghosn is the daughter of Carlos Ghosn, who runs both Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA. Ghosn and her co-founder, Amanda Pouchot, are both millennials themselves. And it helps to have support and $1.25 million of seed money from investors like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and AOL’s Susan Lyne. Scoring interviews with folks like Warren Buffett will also put you on the map. But Levo has built an audience of 8 million since 2012 by filling a need, not attracting big names.
You Can’t Buy De La Soul’s Music on The Web, So How Did The Band Give it Away? (Re/code)
De La Soul gave its fans a pretty great Valentine’s Day present on Friday. Via a website, the pioneering hip-hop group gave away its entire six-album catalog, asking only for downloaders’ email addresses in return. Free download promotions aren’t groundbreaking these days, but they’re still pretty cool. And De La Soul’s move was extra cool, because they were giving away something you couldn’t get — legally, at least — any other way: Almost all of the band’s music has been AWOL from download stores like iTunes and subscription services like Spotify, due to an odd licensing tangle involving Warner Music Group, the band’s old label. So how did De La Soul get the rights to give away music you can’t buy anywhere on the Web?
You’re Not Going to Read This But You’ll Probably Share it Anyway (The Verge)
In the midst of a Twitter argument, Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, which measures real-time traffic for sites like Upworthy, dropped a bomb: “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading,” he wrote. If you work in media, or have a blog, or are the sort of person who pays any attention to things like how many tweets an article has, this statement probably comes as a surprise.
Why MSNBC’s Political Scandal Coverage Is More Powerful Than Fox News’ (The Week)
We all know why Chris Christie has been sinking: lingering suspicions over his role in Bridgegate, much of which has been fueled by MSNBC’s relentless coverage. A month ago, much of the pundit class was praising Christie’s epic press conference for supposedly putting those suspicions to rest. Then MSNBC, led by former New Jersey political reporter Steve Kornacki, sought to highlight the many legitimate questions that have not been answered, overwhelming Christie’s attempt to skirt media scrutiny. But why hasn’t Hillary Clinton suffered similarly in the past several weeks?
New Fox Business Anchor Bartiromo Lining up Big Interviews (NY Post)
Business anchor Maria Bartiromo is working the phones to line up some big interviews when she arrives at her new berth at Fox Business Network on Feb. 24. Bartiromo celebrated her new job a few days ago at the home of friend and media consultant Michael J. Wolf. Bartiromo told guests she highly recommends a career change for all — after spending 20 years as the face of CNBC. Guests included New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who chatted pleasantly with former AIG boss Hank Greenberg; Third Point hedge-fund boss Dan Loeb looked relaxed in jeans while he chatted about what news channels he favors.
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