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Morning Media Newsfeed: Third AP Employee Fired | Globe Sale Halted | More Reuters Staff Bolt


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AP Fires Third Employee Over Terry McAuliffe Mistake, Guild ‘Alarmed’ (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The guild that represents employees of The Associated Press responded Tuesday to the recent firing of journalists involved in a retracted story about Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, saying the employees’ rights were violated. “The firings have alarmed AP employees nationwide, and the News Media Guild will vigorously enforce the contractual rights of the employees it represents,” Guild president Martha Waggoner told The Huffington Post in a statement. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Norman Gomlak, an editor in The Associated Press’ Atlanta bureau, was among those fired in the wake of an erroneous report about Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, Politico has learned. Gomlak was involved in editing Bob Lewis’ report on McAuliffe on the night of Oct. 9 along with Lewis’ editor, Dena Potter. Lewis, Potter and Gomlak were fired on Monday. The Washington Post Lewis makes no excuses about the mess-up. But, he said Tuesday, he feels “stunned and hurt” by his firing after 28 years of “unblemished” service to the AP. “I still can’t really wrap my head around it,” he said by phone from Richmond. “The only blessing out of this has been the expressions of support” from friends, colleagues and many of the officials he has covered over his career, including Virginia’s two senators and former governors, Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Mark R. Warner (D), and the state’s current governor, Robert F. McDonnell (R). JimRomenesko.com News Media Guild members are asking colleagues to sign a petition protesting the dismissals of Associated Press journalists who were involved in the retracted story about McAuliffe. Poynter / Regret The Error Based on close to a decade of tracking media errors, my (admittedly anecdotal) view is that you’re more likely to keep your job after an error if: The mistake in question was not a willful attempt to mislead, a significant conflict of interest that was deliberately concealed, or a breach of ethical standards related to plagiarism and fabrication. The reporter has been with the organization for a long time, is not a contractor, and previously avoided other major mistakes. The reporter is well respected by colleagues internally and externally. The organization is not sued as a result of the error. The error doesn’t get too much media attention. By my count, Lewis ticks every box except for the last one: This error got a lot of attention.

Judge Stalls Sale of Boston Globe to Red Sox Owner John Henry (Reuters)
A Massachusetts judge has temporarily blocked the sale of The Boston Globe and Telegram & Gazette to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry because it could complicate a pending class action lawsuit, according to court documents. The New York Times Co had been due to seal the reported $70 million deal for the papers and related businesses with Henry on Friday, nearly three months after it was first announced. Worcester Telegram & Gazette “The defendant… is hereby enjoined and restrained from transferring ownership or interest in any of its assets… until further order of this court,” Judge Frison wrote. FishbowlNY So what next, besides the World Series home opener Wednesday at Fenway? Well, according to Nicodemus, Wednesday is also when Judge Frison will render a further decision about the restraining order.

Four More Reuters.com Employees Depart in The Wake of Reuters Next Debacle (Capital New York)
At least four Reuters employees have decided to leave the company following the dissolution of Reuters Next, an expensive and ambitious consumer-facing Web reboot that was killed in September. “It is with more than a tinge of sorrow that I want to give details of changes coming our way at reuters.com associated with the discontinuation of the Reuters Next project,” wrote U.S. managing editor Brian Tracey Tuesday in a memo obtained by Capital. “Megan McCarthy, Colin McDonald, John Peabody and Chad Matlin (from the Opinion team) have decided to part ways with the company beginning [in November].”

The New York Times Is Shutting Down Its Car Blog (Jalopnik)
The New York Times is shutting down its Wheels car blog, edited by Jalopnik alum/Italian suit model Ben Preston, and will replace it with more in-depth car features and stories according to an internal memo. “The final Wheels post is scheduled to go up Friday, Oct. 25,” the memo read.

Why Is Gawker Going After Shepard Smith? (Slate / Outward)
On Tuesday, Gawker published a gossipy piece by J.K. Trotter about Shep Smith’s bad behavior at a Chelsea bar last March, which culminated in Smith screeching for a waitress to “get my f*cking drink!” (He never got the drink.) It’s an amusing but thoroughly lightweight story, making Gawker’s decision to promote it on their front page slightly puzzling — until Trotter reveals the true lede about halfway through.

New York Times Closes R&D (Capital New York)
The New York Times Company has shuttered R&D Ventures, a spinoff of its in-house technology think tank, the R&D Lab, Capital has learned. R&D Ventures was conceived in early 2012 as a vehicle for commercializing innovations spawned by the R&D Lab, such as a digital-marketing technology called Ricochet that was introduced last April.

White House Official Fired for Tweeting Under Fake Name (Daily Beast / Washington Bureau)
A White House national security official was fired last week after being caught as the mystery Tweeter who has been tormenting the foreign policy community with insulting comments and revealing internal Obama administration information for more than two years. Jofi Joseph, a director in the non-proliferation section of the National Security Staff at the White House, has been surreptitiously tweeting under the moniker @natsecwonk, a Twitter feed famous inside Washington policy circles since it began in February 2011 until it was shut down last week.

Layoffs at Sinclair Stations in Seattle, Portland (TVSpy)
Sinclair Broadcast Group has handed down a round of layoffs at its newly-acquired stations in Seattle and Portland, TVSpy has learned. A source at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO tells TVSpy that there were 10 layoffs in the station’s newsroom and close to 20 across all Sinclair’s properties in Seattle. They include satellite truck operators, editors, producers and radio reporters and editors.

Outbrain Adds $35 Million in Latest Fundraising (Adweek)
Outbrain just picked up $35 million to keep churning out its signature viral advertising links. The company, known for sponsoring the links that appear on websites like ESPN, Slate and other big media properties online, announced its latest fundraising round Tuesday, bringing its total venture capital haul to almost $100 million since its founding in 2006.

Tasty Magazine Deal in Store for Sandra Lee (NY Post / Media Ink)
TV celebrity chef Sandra Lee is close to wrapping up a deal to continue to publish her foodie magazine through the newly formed OpenGate Media Group. “Everything we wanted to do is done,” said Jack Kliger of the talks with Lee. “It will be at least a two-year deal.” Kliger on Tuesday was formally appointed to the CEO job of TV Guide magazine, which is being rolled into the new OpenGate Media Group.

The Atlantic: Can We Stop Talking About The Scientology Thing? (Digiday)
The Atlantic wants you to stop talking about its Scientology native ad imbroglio. Like, really, get over it. “It’s been 10 months now, and it’s still being brought up,” Scott Havens, president of the Atlantic, said at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Miami this week. He has grown weary of being “the poster child of what not to do.”

This Brutal Takedown of BuzzFeed Lists Gets One Point Wrong (The Atlantic Wire)
Maddox, the man behind “The Best Page in the Universe,” hates BuzzFeed. We know this because of his new post, “I Hate BuzzFeed,” and its accompanying video, titled, “I Hate BuzzFeed.” It’s an unrelenting attack — but he gets one point wrong. It seems as though Maddox doesn’t specifically hate BuzzFeed so much as the site’s signature listicle format. He runs through a litany of critiques of those lists, some of which we’ve pointed out previously: The subtle or non-existent sourcing for images. Taking story ideas and whole text from other places. Offering conflicting or hyper-specific points of view on banal places or objects. Pictures accompanied by fairly uncomplicated captions. Here’s where we’d disagree with Maddox.

At Grambling, Even The Newspaper Is News (CJR / Behind The News)
As Louisiana’s Grambling State University made national news the past couple weeks for student protests over deteriorating facilities and a shortage of qualified professors, a related battle with administrators is unfolding over how student newspaper editors are covering the issue, or not covering it. Reeling from heightened media attention, angry alumni, protesting students and scrutiny from press freedom groups, officials at the historically black university backtracked Monday from an initial decision to punish two student journalists for allegedly breaking the ethics code of the school paper, The Gramblinite. Poynter / MediaWire The story of a student journalist getting fired for tweeting photos and statements from anonymous sources about conditions at Grambling State University in Louisiana has gotten national attention, but it’s wrong. At least in part.

NYT‘s Risen Appeals to Supreme Court (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
A showdown over the right many journalists claim not to testify about their sources in criminal cases is headed for the Supreme Court after a New York Times reporter asked a federal appeals court to put its ruling denying such a privilege on hold while he asks the justices to take up the issue, our colleague Josh Gerstein reports.

Inter American Press Association Condemns Press Freedom Violations in U.S., Latin America (HuffPost / AP)
A group representing journalists from across the Americas is condemning violations of press freedoms in both Latin America and the United States. The Inter American Press Association on Tuesday cited the killings of 14 journalists as well as government acquisition of media outlets in Latin America, the secret seizure of Associated Press phone records, a new censorship law in Ecuador and advertising restrictions in Argentina as among the worst of the offenses.

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