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Ryan Derousseau

Oprah Vents While Stars And Stripes Admits Porn Problem, Plus Other News of the Day

- Oprah Winfrey wasn’t pleased; wasn’t pleased at all to leave broadcast television. According to a report from Fortune magazine, Oprah talks about what took place when she negotiated a partnership with Discovery Communications to help build her own network OWN. Discovery CEO David Zaslav demanded more of Oprah’s time and on-air presence at OWN, if he was going to commit. She said she “wasn’t pleased,” according to Fortune. “I wasn’t pleased at all.” Well, it seems like she’s gotten over it.

- Stars and Stripes employees aren’t just reporting the war, according to an internal investigation. They’re also partaking in other activities provided on the Internet. “A Stars and Stripes internal investigation found that ‘a considerable number’ of the news organization’s Pacific employees have accessed gambling and pornography sites using government computers, officials confirmed this week,” writes Stars and Stripes Erik Slavin.  When will people learn that their computers are being watched at work? This seems to happen all the time now.

- Business journalists now have a stylebook. Really, it’s not the first. Most organizations have basic writing guide, but UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor Chris Roush decided to write a book for business journalists to reference, if needed. What’s Roush’s biggest issue with business journalism? “My biggest pet peeve when reading a business story is seeing a business term or phrase used incorrectly by the reporter and not corrected by the editor,” said Roush to Talking Biz News. “It’s apparent that someone who was interviewed for the story said the term or phrase in the interview, and the reporter thought it sounded important, so they decided to use it. But they don’t know what the term really means. I see this a lot with net income vs. operating income.” I hate that too.

- NPR has hired on two more investigative journalists, reports our sister blog FishbowlDC. Margot Williams comes from the New York Times and the Washington Post, where she uncovered jihadists online and worked on two “Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning teams,” according to NPR’s internal memo written by investigative head Susanne Reber. The other, Alicia Cypress, also comes from the Post offices, where she worked for the past 16 years. While there, she created the Post Tech podcast and the “Green” page, which focused on the environment.

Photo by christine zenino

Poynter Calls for Journalism Entrepreneurs

Poynter wants to hear new journalism ideas, and is willing to give a little money for the best ones. In a release, Poynter has called for people with a creative journalistic idea to send in a video. They will select the two best ideas, and the winners will receive up to $10,000 to help with the legal, accounting and other important, yet costly details of launching a new site. Not a bad way to start a new venture at all.

“Winners will spend up to two weeks this winter at Poynter in St. Petersburg, Fla., receiving guidance on their journalism — and business — idea,” wrote Jeremy Caplan in a post on Poynter’s site. “Then, over the next six months, we’ll continue to coach the venture.”

They are looking for ideas “whose progress might yield insights for other journalism startups around the country.” If you want consideration, you must send in a video by October 12. It must stay under 3 minutes, and explain, “the problem/opportunity you seek to address,” “your solution, or your idea” and  “your planned revenue streams,” among other basics.

Finalists will have to go through another round of questions, and the winners will be announced October 27. Opportunities like this helped motivate the technology sector, why not do it in journalism. You can check out the post on Poynter, if you would like to know more.

FT Tilt Details

Finally, some details emerge about the soon-to-launch site, FT Tilt. It’s the Financial Time‘s newest attempt to build a niche site, and it will focus on emerging markets.

“The name ‘Tilt’ was inspired by the recognition that global economic and financial power are tilting south and east,” said the publisher to paidContent. It will be headquartered in New York, but open bureaus across Latin America and Asia.

The FT has decided to make the site separate from the larger publication, and many of the minds behind FT Alphaville will lead Tilt.

“Like Alphaville, Tilt will include community elements which the FT says will provide a platform for thinkers and businessfolk to share views,” writes paidContent reporter Robert Andrews. “It’s not clear whether Tilt will operate on subscriptions; currently, Alphaville’s blog and community feature, though not its morning newsletter, are outside FT.com’s paywall.”

The idea seems to be taking shape, but still no word on the launch date other than “later this year,” or how many people the company plans to hire for the project. But here’s some talent the company needs, according to the FT Tilt website. “On the journalism side, we’re looking for editors and writers to work in a variety of locations. Successful candidates will be natural writers with a strong leaning towards finance. Ideally they will also have good language skills, along with excellent keyboard and web skills.”

So there are jobs available. That’s something.

Ousted; WSJ Reporter Gets the Boot Shortly After Arguing With Steve Jobs

Journalists are supposed to be critics, right? They question assumptions and ask for clarification. It’s part of the job title, but apparently you better watch your words at the Wall Street Journal, particularly when talking to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Valleywag reports that Gordon McLeod, a four-year veteran at the paper, is leaving, and it’s not by coincidence that his departure comes three months after he argued with Jobs at a News Corp. retreat.

Here’s the rundown of what happened from Valleywag’s Ryan Tate:

“In a Q&A session with the assembled executives and managers, including Journal editors, Jobs railed against the apps newspapers like the Journal have created for his iPad. Their interfaces are terrible, he said, and their content is all too often limited . That the Journal’s archrival the New York Times was among those singled out for criticism — Jobs hates the limited NYT Editors’ Choice app — must have helped take the sting off. And Jobs did praise the WSJ’s iPad app as very attractive. But the CEO also said the app was too slow, essentially calling it a clunky reading experience.

“It was on this point that McLeod, who wouldn’t comment for this post, is said to have engaged with Jobs. As president of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, McLeod was at least a player on the paper’s iPad strategy as well as a spokesman for it. It’s not clear whether the Time Inc veteran got into it with Jobs during the more public Q&A or in a more private meeting afterward, but there was definitely a back and forth between the two men in front of other News Corp. hands: Word of McLeod’s purportedly impertinent comments challenging Jobs ricocheted around the company almost instantly.”

Tate reports that the argument led, in part, to McLeod’s departure because News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch has quite the admiration for Jobs. But staffers also admitted that McLeod wasn’t the best fit for WSJ. Wow, Jobs really is changing the face of journalism.

Tennis Magazine Cuts Edit Staff | Associated Press to Name Buzbee as DC Bureau Chief | And Other Stuff That Happened Yesterday

Bartenders Start Tweeting While New York Times Magazine Finds its New Editor, Plus Other News of the Day

- Well it’s over, and it only seems like yesterday when we first began talking about the potential suitors for Newsweek. Actually, scratch that. Finally, the transition is over! The Washington Post Co. officially handed Sidney Harman the keys to Newsweek today. But the company didn’t announce how much it received for the magazine. Now we will start to see the real changes as rumors of a Daily Beast partnership continue to circle the troubled weekly.

- New York Times magazine finally got its next top editor. But it’s not who most people expected. They brought on Bloomberg Businessweek‘s executive editor Hugo Lindgren, who has spent time at the Times Magazine, as well as New York magazine. But check out this internal memo from NYT executive editor Bill Keller. He actually uses a non-attributed quote to say why they hired Lindgren. “‘He’s very smart, wildly creative and charismatic,’” says one editor who has worked closely with him. ‘People like him and want to do their best work for him. He just has a great magazine head.’” What? They couldn’t get anyone on record?

- All right, enough already, National Journal. We get it, you want to hire top talent, but does it have to be everyday? Now they brought on Newsweek senior editor Adam Kushner to take over as deputy magazine editor. “Adam will inject rigor and discipline to our analyses, ensuring that our reporters seize the heart of every story and not its capillaries,” said National Journal Group Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier in a press release. “Under his guidance, National Journal readers won’t be left asking, ‘So what? Why does this matter?’ They’ll know what happened in Washington and why it’s relevant to their lives and work.” OK, are you all done already?

- It seems everyone needs to know social media these days, and if you’re in Chicago that includes bartenders. The Awl found this job listing for a bartender in Chicago that is an “established networker both in person and through social media.” Really, they need a bartender with a thousand Twitter followers? I’m not sure I want my bartender tweeting, but I guess that could just be me.

Union Dispute Threatens Philadelphia Papers

The Philadelphia Newspapers sale doesn’t seem to have an end. Now the creditors who won the rights to the company, which owns The Inquirer and the Daily News, last week are threatening to shutdown the papers, if the new union contracts aren’t agreed upon soon.

According to Philly.com (which is also in the sale), first reported the new developments as the creditors and unions try to settle their disputes. Christopher K. Hepp writes:

The prospective new owners of the media company said the union that represents the 306 employees who bundle the papers for delivery had rejected a new contract, despite having previously voted to ratify a “substantially similar” offer. The situation brought warnings of dire consequences from the new owners, including shutdown of the papers.

The lawyer for the union, which represents workers called mailers, said the new owners’ assertion that his clients had rejected a new contract was “patently false.” The attorney, Michael Katz, said there were language issues in the contract that were resolvable. He blamed the new owners for exacerbating the situation, saying they have refused to give the mailers time to address their concerns.

The mailers’ decision to reject the contract means now two unions have declined to sign on to new union contracts. The truckers, which deliver the paper, voted against a proposed deal a couple weeks ago, which led to the Phildelphia Newspapers being placed back onto the auction block.

“There is now a significant risk of a strike or other job action which would irreparably harm the business,” said the new owners in a statement released to Philly.com. The statement continued, adding if that happened, the new owners would “permanently shut down the business.”

While the new owners continue to pursue other options, they have asked the current management team to warn employees of possible layoffs.

So much for that celebratory drink one has after buying a new business. Hopefully, this is just a power play to force the unions into signing the new labor contract. After all, why would the new owners, which just pennied up $105 million for the company, want to shut it down?

Andrew Ross Sorkin Talks About His Rise Up the NYT Ladder

Andrew Ross Sorkin, the young New York Times columnist and creator of Dealbook, has had precipitous rise up the ranks of the NYT. While his story is rare, it’s interesting to hear for any budding journalists out there.

Speaking to Benzinga, Sorkin talked about his early start at the newspaper. It turns out his first assignment was a mistake.

I started here when I was 18 years old as an intern if you will, and I used to Xerox and staple. I had no intention of putting two words together, let alone a sentence. I got lucky very early on; an editor who didn’t know how old I was assigned me a story to write, and didn’t realize I was still in high school.

Not everyone can be that lucky, but Sorkin ran with it and even parlayed the internship into a job after he graduated college, working in London with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. In 2001, he moved back to the U.S. and soon after started an email list which eventually turned into the Dealbook website. Here’s his experience in creating that list, and why he chose to do so.

Two things happened, and it really goes back to the email. When we started the email it was really about “how can we get in front of this community?” We had this newspaper that got in front of a lot of people, but we wanted to truly get in front of them, and make sure people were reading everything. I was also spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet every day finding stories. I figured if we could aggregate stories that would be a really great service, and at the same time show off what we felt was our great competitive content.

The big issue was how do we take this audience, that is really only having that touch point with us once a day, how can we migrate this and have a tighter relationship with this community, and that’s where the website came in.

Be bold and take every opportunity, that seems to be the moral of that story.

(h/t Talking Biz News)

Patch Admits it Lifted Photo From Local Blogger

AOL Patch has admitted it was wrong in lifting a photo off a local blog in New Rochelle, NY. In an email to Talk of the Sound blogger Robert Cox, Patch.com editor-in-chief Brian Farnham admitted the New Rochelle Patch local editor Allison Esposito misled her editors when questioned about the photo, and in fact lifted the picture.

This is even worse, considering the Hudson Valley regional editor for Patch Kathleen Ryan O’Connor wrote to MJD on Tuesday to say “Allison Esposito, did not plagiarize anything from Mr. Cox’s blog in any form.” She then added, “The objects in question — police generated mug shots — are publicly available and any similarity to Mr. Cox’s presentation of those public images is purely coincidental.”

That prompted Cox to respond via his blog, outlining all the steps he took when altering the pictures in photoshop. Farnham has now apologized to Cox and to clarify that O’Connor was misled. “The image she [Esposito] posted was, in fact, a download of the composite image you made from the police mug shots,” wrote Farnham in an email to Cox. “I sincerely apologize for this unattributed and unauthorized use of your image. We have extremely high standards of journalism here at Patch, and Allison did not live up to them. Her behavior was unacceptable and we are taking immediate disciplinary action. The image has already been removed from our story.”

“As this is all I had asked — remove it or give me credit — I consider the matter closed,” said Cox in an email to MJD.

You can read Mr. Farnham’s entire email to Cox after the jump.

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Initial Jobless Claims Drops by 16,000

In the roller coaster ride that’s the initial unemployment claims in the U.S., the Labor Department saw a decrease of 16,000 claims last week. That’s coming off of last week’s report that had an increase of 16,000 initial claims.

While the number of initial claims keeps jumping up and down, the result has been stagnation in claims around the 450,000 to 460,000 range. The drop to 453,000 this week beat expectations as economists expected claims to fall by 5,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. A less volatile measure of the number of unemployment claims, the four-week moving average also fell by more than 6,000 to 458,000.

Continuing jobless claims, or those who continue to collect unemployment after the initial claim, dropped by 83,000 to 4,457,000 for the week ending September 18, 2010.

“Employers are still kind of cautious,” said senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. Russell Price to Bloomberg. “We need to regain that broader momentum in the economy, and something like that is just slow to develop.”

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