Yesterday FishbowlNY told you about the fascinating revelation by Jose Antonio Vargas that he was an illegal immigrant. We also mentioned that a piece by Vargas would be published in the upcoming New York Times Magazine, and as the day went on, we found out that The Washington Post had passed on the story.
It was a puzzling decision, especially since it’s such an interesting tale and Vargas had won a Pulitzer for his work at the Post. Today, we get some insight into why, exactly, the paper let Vargas’ story go to another outlet. Apparently the piece was all set to run in the Post’s Outlook section, when concerns over some facts in Vargas’ article arose:
Mike McPhate is leaving his position as Entertainment & Lifestyle Web Editor for The Washington Post to join The New York Times. According to a memo obtained by our friends at FishbowlDC, McPhate will be working on the homepage for the Times’ website.
The Apple iPad news reader app Zite has been making some powerful enemies.
Kara Swisherreports that a round-up of scary media giants including The Washington Post, AP, Gannett, Getty Images, Time, Dow Jones, and many other organizations issued a cease-and-desist letter today to Zite, a content aggregator, citing a ton of copyright violations.
“The Zite application is plainly unlawful,” said the letter to Zite CEO Ali Davar.
“It’s a bummer that they did this, but we expected it,” Davar told Swisher, sounding less terrified than we would have thought. Yeah, it does seem like sort of a bummer.
Davar said Zite, which aggregates personalized content by getting cues from user interest, would comply with the cease-and-desist letter by shifting the content from its “reading” mode to a Web one, which actually points to publisher sites.
Recently, Jennifer Steinhauer of the Times wrote an article about covering the many restaurants around Capitol Hill that are serving crappy food. Apparently that was the last straw with Tim Carman of The Washington Post. Yesterday he wrote a sarcastic piece detailing how often the New York Times bashes Washington (read: a lot). Here’s a sample of Carman’s completely over-the-top tone:
Allow me to apply some ointment to our many probe marks and ask a small favor from the Gray Lady’s staff: Could you please stop rubbing our noses in our inferiority? We understand by now. You’re better than we are. Your fashion is better than ours, your art is better and, of course, your restaurants are better. Washingtonians will forever cower in the long shadow cast by Gotham, nervously picking our nails and hoping you will like us one day.
What Carman doesn’t seem to grasp is that the tongue-in-cheek approach is worthless when talking about this city. At one point Carman hypothetically asks, “Do you get tired of being right all the time?” and every New Yorker from Midtown to East New York would resoundingly answer “No.” Carman sarcastically saying how superior this city is when attacking the Times and Steinhauer’s piece doesn’t work because all we do is sit back and nod in agreement. There’s a reason New Yorkers act like it’s the best city in the world: because it is.
Krim’s tenure with the post has lasted for almost 10 years, as he’s moved from a staff reporter on the tech beat to managing editor and director of strategic initiatives. Krim also directed and edited two Pultizer Prize-winning series while working at the San Jose Mercury News.
Read the memo from WSJ.Com managing editor Kevin Delaney after the jump.
Save the date: Tomorrow night join Mediabistro.com for a cocktail party to bring awareness to WhyHunger, a 35-year old non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty and hunger both in the United States and world-round.
The event, which teams up with WhyHunger to raise the profile of its annual Harry Chapin Media Awards Ceremony begins at 6:30 and runs till 8:30 at the Trattoria Cinque. According to the site, the Harry Chapin Media Awards were founded in 1982, to “bring exposure and prestige to journalists who tell the stories of hunger and poverty.” Last year’s winners include Debbie Cenziper and Sarah Cohen of The Washington Post for “Forced Out,” an investigation into the D.C. real estate boom and its effects on the housing projects, and Aliya Sternstein for her CQ Weekly piece “Hunger Hits Home.”
The winners and finalists will be honored during a ceremony at the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe in September 2010.
The event is open to the media and RSVP only. Reserve your space here!
Now executive editor at The Washington Post, it’s always been a closely-guarded secret how much Brauchli got to walk away from his position, but the new book on the Murdoch/Bancroft saga by Sarah Ellison has finally revealed the number to be $6.4 million.
Former presidential candidate John Edwards has been all over the news this week, due to his (not surprising) admission of paternity of his admitted mistress’s baby, possibly spurred by the best selling book Game Changedebuting this week, which features in-depth descriptions of Edwards’ actions during the 2008 campaign, including his denial of the affair.
Now the publication that broke the story, supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer plans to submit its work for a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism. As Game Change explains, when the paper broke the story in 2007, the mainstream media brushed it off as sensational storytelling and mainly ignored it. But executive editor Barry Levine told The Washington Post‘s media reporter Howard Kurtz that this week’s admissions have resulted in “vindication” for the tab.
“It’s clear we should be a contender for this,” Levine told Kurtz of the Pulitzer, referring to his paper’s revelations about the affair and Edwards’ paternity of Frances Quinn Hunter. “The National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid, was able to publish this reporting.”
Although a Pulitzer for the Enquirer would set these awards on its head, we may not get to see such a thing this year; Kurtz points out that the tabloid’s best work on the Edwards story was done in 2007 and 2008, and this year’s prizes will honor work for 2009. Still, for a prize that has never even gone to an online news outlet, any shake up in the Pulitzer world would hint that the respected award recognizes the changing landscape of the media today. In reality, a nomination or award for The National Enquirer or TMZ might not be that far off, as long as they keep producing solid investigative journalism and breaking important news — assuming the Pulitzer committee can separate that work from the sensational things that are published by those sources.
In December 2009, the Huffington Post saw unique visitors climb more than 150 percent from the year before, and without the help of an election to drive readers to the site as well known for its political bloggers as for its broad aggregation.
According to ComScore data released last week, HuffPo had 9.8 million unique visitors last month, compared to 3.8 million in December 2008. This increase could be attributed in part to the site’s launch of a number of new verticals, including HuffPost Sports, which debuted in November. (That month drew 7.9 million unique visitors.)
With numbers like this, the site is quickly climbing past other newspapers’ sites.”It simply validates what we do and reaffirms our goal to become America’s online newspaper,” the Huffington Post’s president Greg Coleman told FishbowlNY.
Coleman, who took over the newly created post in September, said reaction to the numbers internally and among advertisers and marketers has been “through the roof.”