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Posts Tagged ‘Felix Salmon’

Did The New York Times Hack Into a Goldman Sachs’ Email Account?

That’s a pretty serious accusation. But Felix Salmon questions the New York Timesstory about the court case against Goldman’s Fabrice Tourre (written by Louise Story and Gretchen Morgenson) for its dubious sourcing.

This is how they got the information: The story was sourced because a New York woman found emails in a laptop discarded in the garbage. Email messages for Tourre continued to stream in, but the woman ignored them until she heard Tourre’s name in the news for the SEC case. Then she gave the data to the Times.

That was the (heavily lawyered) explanation provided. But — even if that is the full truth — is it ethical? Even legal? Writes Salmon:

I understand that the computer was found in a garbage area, and that there’s a long tradition of investigative reporters using information found in the trash. But if Tourre left a key to his apartment in the trash, that wouldn’t give reporters the right to use that key to enter his apartment and snoop around. The laptop was essentially a key to Tourre’s email account — which held highly confidential correspondence between Tourre and his lawyers. An email account, these days, is arguably more private than an apartment, and breaking into a password-protected email account is clearly wrong.

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Old Media Is Less Likely to Link than New Media

The biggest culprit for not linking to sources, according to Anthony DeRosa at Reuters, is not blogs with all of their aggravating aggregating, but the Old Media.

Apparently the New York Post is a common offender. The Post has gone so far as to have allegedly admitted, by way of correspondence from one of their reporters, that they in fact have a policy to not credit blogs (or anyone else) if they can verify independently after they’ve been tipped off from the source they choose not to cite.

This strikes us as very bad manners. As a blogger, one learns pretty quickly that if you forget (or wrongfully deem it unnecessary) to include a link, the author of the source will notice, will tell you, and you will feel unprofessional/foolish when they do so. Best to avoid it altogether. The only ones who apparently get away with this are old media outlets. Writes DeRosa:

Even here at Reuters, links are rarely seen, if ever, in the context of the articles we post. Felix Salmon recently referred to the Wall Street Journal as “the kid in class with his arm around his homework” in reference to their refusal to link. The New York Times is just as stingy with their links…

We highly doubt these practices will last long. More and more we hear about original sources standing up for their right to be linked, and this relic of pre-digital reporting culture will change, and change rapidly.

Bill Keller Still After Huffington Post in Latest Piece for New York Times Magazine

So! Bill Keller has a new piece for the New York Times Magazine. He writes, “I don’t intend this occasional essay to become the Editor’s Pulpit,” which got us excited, naturally, because it meant that that was exactly what he was about to do. And when Keller goes in to Editor’s Pulpit mode, it generally means he is going to take on his nemesis du jour, the Huffington Post. Fun all around.

Keller’s actual subjects are the worthy issues of journalistic openness and transparency, and he begins by comparing James O’Keefe and Julian Assange. (As a side note, his comparison reminds us a lot of a post we read a few weeks ago for The Atlantic Wire by Erik Hayden.)

The interesting thing here is that Keller was criticized after his first take down of the Huffington Post for his reply to Arianna Huffington‘s rebuttal, where he (in the words of Felix Salmon):

[V]iolated the first rule of blogging, and failed to link to the argument he was engaging. So when he talked about “the reaction” to his column, or “clueless commentary”, the lack of any link was a CYA move, giving him the opportunity to say “oh no, I didn’t mean you“.

In this latest piece, Keller fails to link again. He writes:

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Arianna Huffington Fires Back at Bill Keller

To quote kids these days: Oh, it’s on now.

Earlier FishbowlNY told you about the scathing Bill Keller piece on aggregation that attacked The Huffington Post and Arianna Huffington. He fired first, and now Huffington has shot right back. She starts with slamming the New York Times’ web traffic as it compares to the Huff Post, and gets stronger from there:

I wonder what site he’s been looking at. Not ours, as even a casual look at HuffPost will show. Even before we merged with AOL, HuffPost had 148 full-time editors, writers, and reporters engaged in the serious, old-fashioned work of traditional journalism. As long ago as 2009, Frank Rich praised the work of our reporters in his column. Paul Krugman more recently singled out the work of our lead finance writer.Columbia Journalism Review has credited our work for advancing the public’s understanding of the national foreclosure crisis, and a pair of our Washington reporters recently received a major journalism prize. Matthew Yglesias, Felix SalmonCatherine Rampell, are among the many others who have cited the work of our reporters. Did Keller not notice that?

And on the subject that prompted her reply – Keller’s assertion that she copied something he once told a panel – Huffington nails him with specific quotes, showing that he was the one who was actually quoting her.

If anyone can take on Keller it’s Huffington, and we’re glad she did.

Redesign Costs Gawker Media a Whole Bunch of Readers

Gawker Media’s web traffic is down about 25% since the blog network launched a major redesign. Gawker founder Nick Denton revealed the significant dip in eyeballs yesterday during a Q&A session with Felix Salmon at the paidContent conference. But Denton added, “I’m pretty confident we’re gonna be coming back.”

While Denton is famously mum on exactly how much money Gawker is raking in, he did talk about overall financial projections. From Yahoo! News:

“We set the targets flat on last year so the sales people wouldn’t be demoralized by the inevitable disruption,” he said. “We knew this was going to be traumatic.” Nevertheless, he notes that “our overlying business is pretty strong.”

We’re still reading Jezebel. But we miss the traditional blog layout.

Critics Respond To Times‘ Pay Wall Plans

425825719_3bf95d6e86.jpgHow long have we been living under the looming shadow that is the threat of a New York Times‘ pay wall? The answer most likely is since TimesSelect’s fall in 2007, after the paper’s first attempt at getting online readers to pay for content.

Since then, publisher Arthur Sulzberger has made vague promises, culminating in today’s announcement of a plan to launch a metered pay model on NYTimes.com next year. It makes sense: last year saw the Times‘ hemorrhaging money (losing $35 million in the third quarter alone), and speculation that the paper wouldn’t make it to 2010.

Thankfully, Carlos Slim stepped in last year, but it still remains to be seen how the Grey Lady will make it back into the black. While alienating some readers, the metered system of content-charging that Sulzberger is planning may actually be the best compromise between giving away your product for free and going on almost total lock-down mode like the The Wall Street Journal. Under this plan, The New York Times will eventually allow you to read only a certain number of articles per month before asking you to subscribe, much like Variety or The Financial Times (although some have pointed out that the FT‘s model is looking more and more like the Journal‘s).

But even before today’s not completely unexpected announcement, media critics were chomping at the bit to react to the Times‘ possible pay plans. After the jump, a look at what some of them are saying.

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NBC Seeks Buyouts|MPA Sees Upside To ABC Numbers|Bloomberg Eyes BusinessWeek|Reuters’ Felix Salmon|Tim Gunn On Fashion Week

TVNewser NBC is looking for an unspecified number of employees to take voluntary buyouts, and execs reported delivered the news to the “NBC Nightly News” staff on September 11. Ugh.

Folio: The MPA has put out a white paper highlighting some positive takeaways from the ABC’s recent circulation report. Newsstand sales may be down, but subscriptions are up and unit sales and revenues climbed in May and June. Says Folio: “The report suggested that these ‘positive indicators’ may signal a shift in momentum for newsstand sales.”

New York Post: Bloomberg LP has emerged as the frontrunner in the bidding for BusinessWeek and “they are already talking integration” between the financial newswire and the business magazine, one source told Keith Kelly.

Big Money: An in-depth interview with Reuters‘ finance blogger Felix Salmon.

Guest of a Guest: Rachelle Hruska interviews Tim Gunn of “Project Runway” fame during New York Fashion Week. (See video)

Ling Says Sister Did Enter N Korea|Austin American-Statesman No Longer For Sale|Ben Stein Out At NYT|Unions Dispute Tribune’s Bonus Requests|NBC Lays Off Local Stations’ Creative Services Teams

TVNewser: Former “View” host Lisa Ling told CNN‘s Erica Hill that her sister, Laura, admitted that she and Euna Lee did cross into North Korean territory “very, very briefly.” “And she definitely wants to divulge exactly what happened,” Ling went on. “And I think she’s going to write an editorial very, very soon.”

Reuters: Cox Enterprises has taken the Austin American-Statesman off the market. “This is a profitable company, and it just did not make sense to sell it for the prices offered,” publisher Michael Vivio said.

Editor & Publisher: The New York Times has axed actor and business columnist Ben Stein because of this Freescore.com ad. Reuter’s Felix Salmon may be a little too gleeful about this.

Broadcast Union News: The unions are protesting bankrupt Tribune Co.‘s request to pay almost $70 million in bonuses to executives. A bankruptcy court judge will hold a hearing on the matter next week.

Gawker: There are reports that NBC is laying off its creative services promotional teams at local stations around the country.

Gawker Media Revenues/Pageviews Up, Bitter/Sweet

gawker22.jpgFelix Salmon at Reuters reports:

Nick Denton says that Gawker Media’s revenues were 45% higher in the first two quarters of 2009 than they were in the same period last year; he also tells me that pageviews are up 40% June-on-June. Judging by his chart, profits (revenues less expenses) hit an all-time high this quarter, which explains why he’s started hiring again. (He passed, however, on hiring Bonnie Fuller.)

Since they slashed jobs and blogs and folded Defamer into the main site, these numbers seem…generous. But they’re hiring. So there’s good…news.

Previously on FBLA:

  • Gawker Media Lays Off/Hires People
  • Layoffs at Gawker, Gizmodo and Jezebel

  • Newspapers, Bloat Behind Portfolio‘s Demise?

    portfoliocover427a.jpg

    Rumors of problems at Portfolio began long before the Conde Nast business magazine folded Monday. Media watchers have been obsessively analyzing Portfolio’s every move since the title launched in April 2007 and much of the criticism has focused on editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman. Observers say Lipman, who came to Portfolio by way of the Wall Street Journal had a troubled relationship with her staff, spent too much money, and didn’t get the Internet. According to others inside the embattled business book, Portfolio’s demise may have also stemmed from poor planning and organization, a missed opportunity with its critically-lauded Web site, and falling newspaper revenues at Conde Nast parent company Advance Publications.

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