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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Erik Wemple’s Cautionary Professional View

ErikWempleSlugErik Wemple is one of the nation’s most widely read media critics. He works for a newspaper that, under new owner Jeff Bezos, stands a better chance than most of successfully figuring out the shifting print media horizon. His wife, Stephanie Mencimer, is a staff writer for Mother Jones magazine as well as a board member with the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

And yet… In a Q&A with the Daily Gazette, covering the Schenectady, NY region where Wemple grew up, the Washington Post columnist’s final answer speaks cheeky, realistic volumes. Asked by reporter Mark McGuire whether he plans to encourage the couple’s young son and daughter to pursue writing, Wemple replied:

“Let’s put it this way, I haven’t yet. …My wife is also a journalist. Neither one of us are counseling them to be a journalist. If they do that, it is all on them.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Digital First Mulls Sale | DirecTV to Launch Online Services

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Digital First Media, Second Biggest U.S. Newspaper Publisher, to Consider Sale (HuffPost / AP)
Newspaper company Digital First Media said Friday that it is exploring strategic options, which could include a sale of the company or parts of it. New York Post Chief executive John Paton said the publisher of the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, The New Haven Register and 73 other daily and Sunday papers is profitable and generates $1.2 billion of revenue. NYT Digital First has long suffered from the headwinds facing newspapers. One former division, The Journal Register Company, which includes papers like The New Haven Register and The Trentonian, filed for bankruptcy twice in the last five years. In April, the company announced that it was shutting down Project Thunderdome, a centralized newsroom that aimed to provide articles from around the nation and the world to the company’s 75 newsrooms. That closing resulted in layoffs for more than 50 people in the Project Thunderdome newsroom. Denver Post Digital First Media was formed in December 2013 with the merger of Denver-based MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co. It is the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, based on circulation, operating in 15 states, with 800 multi-platform news and information products, including 76 daily and Sunday newspapers and 160 weeklies. The company said it serves 75 million customers monthly. Poynter / MediaWire Ken Doctor reported in April that Digital First planned to sell its newspapers at the same time it shuttered Project Thunderdome. The company won’t set a deadline for the sale or report any developments “until the Board has determined whether it will proceed with one or several transaction(s), or otherwise concludes its review,” a news release said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalist Sotloff Beheaded by ISIS | WaPo Publisher Out

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American Journalist Steven Sotloff Reportedly Beheaded by ISIS (TVNewser)
Two weeks after James Foley was beheaded by ISIS, American journalist Steven Sotloff has reportedly been executed by the same group. FishbowlDC “This is something that the administration has obviously been watching very carefully since this threat against Mr. Sotloff’s life was originally made a few weeks ago,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest Tuesday afternoon. Earnest went on to say, “I’m not in a position to confirm the authenticity of that video or the reports at this point since I obviously just walked out here. If there is a video that has been released, it is something that will be analyzed very carefully by the U.S. government and our intelligence officials to determine its authenticity.” ABC News In a new video, which appeared online Tuesday, Sotloff addresses the camera, saying, “I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing.” Later the video then cuts to the militant who says, “I’m back, Obama. I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State [ISIS].” Politico Sotloff, 31, grew up in Florida and was a freelance journalist, having worked for publications like Time magazine and Foreign Policy. He was taken hostage while reporting in Syria last year. WSJ The Islamic State video also showed a man identified as Briton David Cawthorne Haines. He is kneeling and wearing an orange jumpsuit as the militant threatens to kill him next. A U.S. official said there is no reason to believe the video isn’t authentic. USA Today The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that a video appearing to show the beheading of Sotloff is genuine.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalist Freed in Syria | WaPo Editorials Stop Using ‘Redskins’

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Kidnapped U.S. Journalist Freed in Syria (Al Jazeera)
An American journalist kidnapped nearly two years ago has been freed in Syria following Qatari mediation and handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights. TVNewser Peter Theo Curtis, an author and freelance journalist from Massachusetts, had been held by Jabhat Al-Nusrah, an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. He was captured shortly after crossing into Syria in October 2012. Mashable Curtis writes under the name Theo Padnos, and had published two books, including Undercover Muslim: A Journey Into Yemen. Curtis was originally based in Boston and Vermont, and later worked as a journalist in Yemen, where he became interested in the stories of young Muslim men moving to the U.S. to study Islam. WSJ His family said while it didn’t know the exact terms of their son’s release, they were assured by Qatari officials “that they were mediating for Theo’s release on a humanitarian basis,” without paying ransom. Mediaite Video of Curtis was disseminated in late June, showing the journalist disheveled but otherwise in good health. Curtis’ release comes just days after ISIS posted video showing the execution of captured American journalist James Foley.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gregory Out, Todd in at MTP | Journalists Face Backlash in MO

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It’s Official: Chuck Todd Named Host of Meet The Press (TVNewser)
As expected, NBC News has announced that Chuck Todd will be the next moderator of Meet The Press. CNNMoney The announcement confirmed widespread speculation that David Gregory, the moderator of the Sunday morning public affairs program for the past six years, would be replaced by Todd, the NBC News political director. FishbowlDC Turness also confirmed that after 20 years with NBC News, Gregory bids farewell, which he announced earlier in the day on Twitter. Todd will take reigns of the program on Sept. 7. Andrea Mitchell will moderate this weekend. FishbowlDC Gregory tweeted, “I leave NBC as I came – humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is.” TVNewser Gregory, who joined NBC News in 1995, has hosted Meet The Press for six years, since the death of Tim Russert in 2008. During Gregory’s tenure, the show slipped in the ratings, first losing ground to CBS’ Face The Nation, and, more recently, frequently placing third behind FTN and ABC’s This Week. No word yet on what is next for Gregory, who was recently spotted meeting with CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Journalist Killed in Gaza | Williams 20/20 Special Draws 7.2 Million

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AP Video Journalist, Freelance Translator Killed in Gaza (FishbowlNY)
Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash — an Associated Press video journalist and a freelance translator, respectively — were killed in Gaza Wednesday while covering the conflict there. TVNewser Camilli, an Italian national, and Abu Afash, his Palestinian translator, were killed after ordnance left over from fighting in Gaza exploded. Following the news, AP president Gary Pruitt sent a note to the AP’s global staff about the dangers of their work. Associated Press / The Big Story Police said three police engineers also were killed. Four people, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa, were badly injured. Moussa told a colleague that they were filming the scene when an initial explosion went off. He said he was hit by shrapnel and began to run when there was a second blast, which knocked him out. He woke up in a hospital and later underwent surgery. NYT Camilli, 35, a video journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, who started as an intern at The AP in 2005, was the first international journalist killed in the latest Gaza conflict. Abu Afash, 36, helped train local journalists through the Doha Center for Media Freedom and worked regularly with visiting foreign correspondents. BBC News The incident happened in the town of Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Gaza Strip. It came hours before a three-day ceasefire agreed between Israel and the Palestinians was due to expire. Some 2,000 people have died since the fighting in Gaza began on July 8. Those killed include more than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to the UN.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Fox, Time Warner Issue Earnings | Coulson Charged With Perjury

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ShutterstockRupertMurdoch

Fox, Time Warner Deliver Dueling Earnings Reports, Both Positive (NYT)
How dead is the Fox-Time Warner deal? So dead that Rupert Murdoch hopped on his company’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday to drive home the point that his giant media company, 21st Century Fox, really is walking away. The collapse of the deal, which would have been the biggest media merger in a decade, set the stage for a day of dueling earnings reports and analyst conference calls on Wednesday, as both Fox and Time Warner sought to reassure investors that they were going to be just fine without each other. Capital New York “This is our resolute decision, which is why we formally withdrew our acquisition offer,” Murdoch said, citing Time Warner’s decision not to negotiate, the response from Fox’s board of directors, along with Fox’s stock price, which Murdoch said is “severely undervalued.” Variety Film and cable programming gains powered 21st Century Fox to strong earnings and revenue gains in the fiscal fourth quarter, despite a big decline at the Fox network from the collapse of American Idol. Fox reported revenue of $8.42 billion, a 17 percent gain over the year-ago quarter powered by stronger contributions from the film division. Operating income climbed 17 percent to $1.77 billion. THR During the regular session Wednesday, shares of 21st Century Fox rose 3 percent and another 4 percent after the closing bell. Shares of Time Warner, meantime, were crushed because of the failed merger attempt, falling 13 percent in regular trading Wednesday. HuffPost / AP Time Warner Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income rose 10 percent on strong results from its HBO and Turner properties. New York-based Time Warner, which owns TV channels like HBO and TBS as well as Warner Bros. studios, said profit increased to $850 million, or 95 cents per share, from $771 million, or 81 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Murdoch Withdraws Time Warner Bid | New Leaker Emerges

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After Pushback, Murdoch Abandons Fox’s Pursuit of Time Warner (NYT / DealBook)
At 4:07 p.m. Tuesday, the chief executive of Time Warner Inc., Jeffrey L. Bewkes, received an unexpected email. “On behalf of our board and senior management team, I am writing to inform you that we are withdrawing our offer to acquire Time Warner, effective immediately. Sincerely, Rupert Murdoch.” A hand-delivered letter bearing the same message arrived soon after. TVNewser In short, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox withdrew its bid for Time Warner, CNN’s parent company. FishbowlNY Early last month, word leaked that Murdoch’s bid of $80 billion was rejected, which raised speculation that he’d try everything in his power to make it happen. Instead, the opposite has occurred. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Subsequent reports speculated that Murdoch, dogged in his pursuit of an acquisition, would consider upping the offer by as much as $13.5 billion. Had such a deal gone through, it would have merged the country’s top-two cable providers, giving Murdoch control of several top-rated cable networks, including TNT, Fox News, TBS and Cartoon Network. WSJ Fox cited both Time Warner’s unwillingness to “engage with us” and a sharp drop in Fox’s stock price which made a deal “unattractive to Fox shareholders.” Fox’s stock had fallen about 11 percent since news broke last month that it had made a takeover offer for Time Warner, valued at $85 a share.

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VICE Chats with an Atypical Crack Reporter

RubenCastenedaCoverWe thoroughly enjoyed this week’s interview by VICE staff writer Matt Taylor with Ruben Castaneda, the Washington Post alum who once upon a time covered the crack beat while also, himself, regularly getting high on crack.

Castaneda’s book about this incredible and dangerous odyssey, Street Rising, was published at the beginning of the month. Here’s what Castaneda, who before the Post was with the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, he told Taylor when asked about the first time he tried the addictive drug:

“I was on a reporting assignment on the western edge of downtown LA in a pretty tough neighborhood. This very, very attractive young woman caught my eye. She gestured for me to come over, so I put the reporting aside for a moment and went over to flirt with her. Now, I was already, at this time, drinking heavily. In fact, I had already gotten pretty toasted that afternoon at Corky’s — a dive bar — so I was pretty impaired in judgment.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Amends Article | Two More Charged With Hacking

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New York Times Amends Carol Vogel Article (FishbowlNY)
The first paragraph of Carol Vogel’s July 25 New York Times article no longer reads as it did. The text has been amended and an editors’ note has been added at the bottom. New York Post / Media Ink Vogel is accused of lifting a Wikipedia passage — with a few minor word changes — on the artist’s eccentricities for her lede on a July 24 item, “A Renaissance Master Finally Gets A Showcase.” NYT The Times’ editors’ note, which followed an investigation into Vogel’s work by senior editors, said that the passage “improperly used specific language and details from a Wikipedia article without attribution” and should not have been published in that form. HuffPost The Times’ public editor Margaret Sullivan acknowledged the matter Wednesday, writing that there was “little dispute” that the two paragraphs look very much alike. A spokesperson for the Times said that editors are “not aware of any other problems like this,” adding that, “editors have dealt with Carol on the issue.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media It’s the second big plagiarism case in the last week. Over the weekend, BuzzFeed fired Benny Johnson after finding more than 40 instances of plagiarism in his work.

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