Posts Tagged ‘seth mnookin’
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Today’s Mirror Awards luncheon at the Harmonie Club uptown was swarmed by all manner of media types. Media critics who were nominated for Mirrors like Vanity Fair‘s Michael Wolff, Rachel Sklar of Abrams Research (nominated twice for her work for the Huffington Post) and The New York Times‘ David Carr (who won for best commentary in traditional media) mingled with colleagues and big name presenters, including Howard Dean and Nora Ephron.
The awards, which honor excellence in media reporting, were presented for the third year by Syracuse Universityâ€™s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. MSNBC anchor and Newhouse alum Contessa Brewer guided the festivities as emcee, and Chris Ahearn, president of Reuters Media, and Bloomberg political columnist Margaret Carlson presented awards.
Vanity Fair and The New York Times both took home two of the six prizes awarded by a jury of journalists and journalism educators. In addition to Carr, the Times‘ David Barstow won for best in-depth piece in traditional media. VF‘s Seth Mnookin and David Kamp each snagged an award for best single article, for traditional and digital media, respectively.
Rounding out the winners were Ian Parker for best profile, traditional media, for his profile of Times columnist Thomas Freidman for the New Yorker and Clive Thompson for Wired.com took home the award for best commentary in digital media.
Media Reporters’ Online News Hindsight: ‘It Was Stupid For Newspapers To Give Away Their Sh*t For Free’
Portfolio.com’s Jeff Bercovici spoke about the challenges of covering the media world at last night’s Gelf Magazine Media Circus event in Brooklyn.
Last night was Gelf Magazine‘s inaugural Media Circus speaking series event, and we headed to Brooklyn’s JLA Studios to hear a trio of media reporters — Portfolio.com media blogger Jeff Bercovici, author and Vanity Fair contributing editor Seth Mnookin, and Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan — gab about the craft. Despite its rather, ahem, familiar name, the event did what it promised to, which was examine how the media industry “covers and consumes itself,” particularly in a down economy, according to organizer and Gelf staffer Michael Gluckstadt.
Bercovici was first to step up to the mic, discussing some of the reporting challenges specific to the media beat. The media world is a small one, he pointed out, populated by peers who know the full range of a reporter’s tricks. “The people you write about are other journalists,” Bercovici said. “They’re extremely media-savvy. They will actually give me quotes in the third person, like ‘he said.’” Finding another journalism job after holding one in which you cover media can be daunting, according to Bercovici. “You’re also often writing [about] people you could potentially write for, or you used to,” he said. “It raises the conflict of interest possibility to a whole new level.” The toughest part of Bercovici’s job, he opined, is that he covers a shrinking sector, which can be demoralizing. “With every passing week, there is less industry to cover,” he said. “It’s just getting depressing. Reading these stories and writing these stories — it just affects your view.” In these challenging times for the media business, Bercovici emphasized that the balance between sensitivity and objectivity is crucial. “You have to be careful to control your tone,” he said. “You have to restrain yourself from sounding gleeful. We have a tendency to do a dance because we got the scoop — especially for bloggers — but these are our friends and colleagues losing their jobs.”
Vanity Fair contributing editor and Red Sox obsessive Seth Mnookin (whom we interviewed in a previous incarnation), recently spoke to Masslive.com about the Sox. But what caught our eye was his take on how ESPN plays the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry for ratings:
“ESPN does get rapped for being too Red Sox-Yankees-centric, and people complain about how suffocating the media is in Boston… The only reason that is happening is because that’s what the audience wants. It’s not like the people who are running ESPN are all huge Red Sox fans. They’re in a business, and they want to do whatever is going to get the most ratings, and the Red Sox and the Yankees are going to get them the most ratings. It’s the same in Boston. If every time there was four hours straight on WEEI about the Red Sox, they lost 50 percent of their listeners, and those listeners came back when they were talking about the statehouse or the Bruins, then you’d get four hours of the statehouse and the Bruins. I understand why it can be frustrating if you’re living in Cleveland or Seattle or you’re a really rabid Astros fan, or something, but it’s the reality of the marketplace. Maybe it’s naive of me, but sports is entertainment. ESPN is an entertainment channel. Game stories, sports talk radio… all of that is essentially entertainment. It’s not the same as decisions that go into resources for a newspaper’s news hole, or what is going to get coverage on CNN, or whatever, even though it’s the same market pressures that affect what is going on there.”
Which we can understand. Given the traditional media markets of both teams (and, seriously: click on that link. it’s good), the total number of combined fans easily approaches 10% of the national population. Besides, Dodgers vs. Padres and Phillies vs. Pirates rivalries just don’t have the same drama.
— Neal Ungerleider