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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Sullivan’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

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Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

NY Times Public Editor Starts Tracking Anonymous Quotes

MargaretSullivanHeadshotMargaret Sullivan, The New York Times’ public editor, has had it with the Times’ use of unnecessary anonymous quotes. To point out the practice, Sullivan has launched something she’s calling “AnonyWatch.” Sullivan described it as “an effort to point out some of the more regrettable examples of anonymous quotations in the Times.”

The first incident featured on AnonyWatch includes an article that allowed a “Democratic insider” to claim that “Andrew Cuomo doesn’t really have friends.” As Sullivan noted, this goes against the Times’ policy of not allowing anonymous sources to slander people.

Another article Sullivan called out was even worse. In a piece on the Malaysian Airlines plane, an anonymous quote was issued on an anonymously sourced theory that someone on the plane made abrupt shifts in altitude to “depressurize the cabin and render the passengers and crew unconscious.”

When Sullivan asked the Times’ managing editor Dean Baquet for comment on the articles, he said they were both mistakes. We look forward to AnonyWatch locating more of those errors.

China Bloomberg Reporter Crosses Over to New York Times

MichaelForsytheBookCoverThis is pretty interesting. Michael Forsythe, a Hong-Kong based reporter who exited Bloomberg News in November after a controversial suspension and some article spiking, has moved over to the other major U.S. publication making recent headlines with matters pertaining to foreign-journalist visas in China.

From Christine Haughney‘s brief item:

After Bloomberg News published an article in June 2012 on the family wealth of Xi Jinping, at that time the incoming Communist Party chief, sales of Bloomberg terminals in China slowed, as officials ordered state enterprises not to subscribe. Officials also blocked Bloomberg’s website on Chinese servers, and the company has been unable to get residency visas for new journalists.

Mr. Forsythe was a lead reporter on the article about the Xi family and other articles in the 2012 “Revolution to Riches” series, which received a George Polk Award and awards from the Asia Society, the Overseas Press Club and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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NYT Public Editor Makes News in Buffalo

MargaretSullivanHeadshotThere’s some nice history coursing through this report about a talk Margaret Sullivan gave last night in Buffalo. The locale of the event, the Larkin Filling Station, was built in 1930 as part of the first-ever chain of service gas stations. And the article about what transpired appears in The Spectrum, a University of Buffalo student paper launched in 1950.

Managing editor Sara Dinatale notes that this was Sullivan’s first public return to the “Queen City” since leaving the post of executive editor of the Buffalo News for the New York Times. She retraces, briefly, a remarkable local ascension and then gets to various bits of nitty gritty:

Sullivan recalled something one of the The Times’ managing editors told her about “imposter syndrome.” It’s the idea that no one at the Times feels like they deserve to work there, so they all work hard to prove they’re worthy of their positions. It creates a competitive environment…

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Veteran Journalist Objects to NYT Nairobi Photos

MichaelDiebertTwitterProfilePicMichael Deibert (pictured) is currently based in Miami. But for much of the time in recent years, he has covered conflict in Congo and the troubles in Haiti.

In response to the New York Timespublication over the weekend of a series of photos taken of the Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall massacre by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Tyler Hicks and Hicks’ wife, who found themselves by chance in the vicinity when the violence erupted, Deibert took to his personal blog. In an open letter to the paper’s public editor Margaret Sullivan, Deibert objects to the fact that the paper displayed in several of the pictures the faces of victims:

Quite honestly, as a journalist who has reported on conflict for going on quite a number of years, I was shocked and dismayed by this. Would the New York Times run photos of blood-soaked dead white Americans after one of the many mass shootings that occur in the United States? I doubt it. That they did so after the mass killings in Nairobi yesterday is very troubling, not just to me, but also to many other journalists, academics and analysts who focus on Africa.

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Vladimir Putin: Unpaid Journalist

Everyone is talking about Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in The New York Timesso we’re glad that the paper has disclosed how it went down. According to Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor, it wasn’t exactly the most exciting collection of events:

The Times editorial department was approached Wednesday by an American public relations firm that represents Mr. Putin, offering the piece. Also on Wednesday, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, in the course of an interview about Syria, mentioned to The Times’s Moscow bureau chief Steven Lee Myers that an article was in the works.

Huh. For a guy that drives Formula One cars, dives for archeological treasures, takes Judo classes and more, this is pretty boring stuff. In fact, the most notable item about how Putin ended up in the Times was that he won’t be paid. We like to imagine the Andrew Rosenthal, the Times’ op-ed editor, sent Putin’s team an email promising Putin exposure via a byline, but no payment.

Poor Putin. Maybe he could start a blog?

Nate Silver Made Enemies at The NY Times

By now you know that Nate Silver is leaving The New York Times for ESPN. And you’ve probably read 73 articles about why he left. Well, courtesy of Margaret Sullivan, the Times public editor, we have more information on his departure. Apparently, quite a few people at the Times didn’t like ol’ Nate.

In a column, Sullivan writes that Silver’s method of covering politics — an emphasis on numbers, not blabbering — rubbed some staffers the wrong way:

A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work. The first time I wrote about him I suggested that print readers should have the same access to his writing that online readers were getting. I was surprised to quickly hear by e-mail from three high-profile Times political journalists, criticizing him and his work.

Not only that, but when Silver’s status began to rise, several Times staffers became jealous teens:

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New York Times Says Fashion Photos Can Be Altered

Some drama occurred recently when Deborah Needleman, editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, said she considered adding some fat to a cover model she thought was too thin. Naturally some people were outraged, because they apparently have never picked up a magazine. Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor, followed up on the situation, and found that the Times holds fashion photos to a different standard than news photos.

Michele McNally, the Times’ assistant managing editor for photography, explained, “Fashion is fantasy. Readers understand this. It’s totally manipulated, with everything done for aesthetics.” Philip Corbett, associate managing editor for standards, added, “This is a different genre of photography [than news]. It has different goals, different tools and techniques, and there is a different expectation on the part of the reader.”

In other words: Don’t be an idiot. Of course fashion photos are altered. If you’re upset by this, consider taking photos meant to sell material goods a little less seriously.

Group Plans Protest of New York Times for Use of ‘Illegal Immigrant’

The tide against the use of “illegal immigrant” has been swelling for weeks. Now, a giant wave of protest is about to come crashing down on the New York Times. Tomorrow at 12:00 pm, a group of activists led by Fernando Chavez and Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, will protest in front of the Times building, demanding that the paper stop using “illegal immigrant.”

The group will have with it a petition from the Applied Research Center’s “Drop the I-Word” campaign featuring over 70,000 signatures that support the mission.

After the Associated Press announced it would no longer use “illegal immigrant,” the Times’ public editor wrote that the paper was considering dropping the phrase. Maybe this protest will make them act a little faster.

Everyone Loves Margaret Sullivan

We think Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times’ public editor, is great. In The Nation’s new profile of her, that sentiment gets echoed. Over and over again. In fact, Sullivan might be the most beloved person in media right now. Think we’re crazy? Maybe we are. Or maybe we’re so sane we just blew your mind. See below for some Sullivan love from The Nation’s piece.

Greg Mitchell, author of the profile:

Sullivan, on the other hand [compared to previous public editors], is able to cover so much, so often, because unlike her predecessors, she has used her blog at the paper’s main website regularly—making good on one of her first promises to readers after taking the job.

Jay Rosen:

What strikes me is that she’s determined to participate in the online conversation about the Times and its brand of journalism. The previous public editors did not see this as important. One result: she is on top of things a lot more quickly.

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