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Thursday, Apr 18

Morning Media Newsfeed: 04.18.13

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CNN Blows It, Again (Politico)
The fast-moving news out of Boston on Wednesday snared some of the most respected reporters and news outlets in the country into offering false or conflicting information about whether a suspect had been arrested -- leaving CNN and the Associated Press, among others, scrambling to clean up their reports as the day went on. The flood of conflicting reports, confusion, and subsequent criticism reminded some of June 28, 2012, when many media outlets -- most notably CNN -- incorrectly reported the Supreme Court's Obamacare ruling. HuffPost Though it was not alone, CNN took the brunt of the blame for its faulty reporting. It was the first and most prominent outlet to tout its scoop. The network's John King, citing multiple sources, said that an arrest had been made. Fran Townsend, a contributor to the network, also said it had been made. The Boston Globe agreed. Fox News also reported an arrest. The Associated Press did so as well. Business Insider King sent in a report around 1 p.m. that a source "briefed" on the investigation had told him a positive identification had been made. CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist approved that report, according to the source. According to the source, who was reviewing internal email logs, Townsend was the first at the network to say that an arrest had been made. "As I think everyone knows, we really f---ed up. No way around it," the source said. TPM / TPM LiveWire After first reporting that a suspect in the investigation of the deadly Boston Marathon bombing had been arrested, and then walking back that report, CNN has explained the evolution in a statement to TPM: "CNN had three credible sources on both local and federal levels. Based on this information we reported our findings. As soon as our sources came to us with new information we adjusted our reporting." Salon CNN's Piers Morgan, not on air, acknowledged the error, while Townsend cited a "misunderstanding." FishbowlNY The complete abandonment of facts and subsequent bear hugging of rumors forced the FBI to issue a statement. / Inside Breaking News A day ago, we explained how we balance speed with rumor control at Breaking News. Then we were faced with a tough decision, challenging our convictions on a very big story. FishbowlNY King reported Wednesday that authorities had identified a suspect in a video from the Boston Marathon bombing, toting a black backpack believed to contain the explosives. And the network's unnamed source described him as a "dark-skinned male." That detail didn't sit easily with PBS' Gwen Ifill, the managing editor of Washington Week and a senior correspondent for PBS NewsHour. Mediaite MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton tore into King when he described a supposed suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing as a "dark-skinned male." Sharpton railed against King's "offensive, coded language." He said that, in that moment, King turned every minority in the city of Boston into a terror suspect. HuffPost The National Association of Black Journalists released a statement on the reference to the race and physical appearance of the Boston bombing suspect.

Explosion in Texas: 'Dad, I Can't Hear. Please Get Out of Here' (TVNewser)
A fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, about 80 miles south of Dallas, kept CNN live on the air into the Midnight hour. The news broke around 10:30 p.m. as cable news anchors were focused on the investigation into the Boston Marathon blasts. CNN's Anderson Cooper covered the news during the 10 p.m. hour and remained with the story through 11 p.m. with Erin Burnett, then Piers Morgan live at Midnight. Fox News and MSNBC aired cut-ins but remained with taped programming.

Aereo CEO Says Fox's Threat Would 'Disenfranchise' 54 Million People (Forbes / Mixed Media)
With the threat by News Corp. COO Chase Carey to pull the Fox network off the airwaves and turn it into a cable network, the case of American Broadcasting Companies et. al v. Aereo officially spilled over from the law courts into the court of public opinion. Ad Age / Digital Aereo has engendered unrelenting ire from broadcast channels, which are trying to sue the service out of existence. They argue that by carrying their signals without paying retransmission fees, Aereo is infringing on copyright. Several networks have even gone so far as threatening to pull their broadcast signals entirely if Aereo ultimately prevails in court. B&C Fox and other broadcasters have asked for en banc (full court) re-hearing by the Second Circuit federal appeals court of the decision by a three-judge panel of that court not to prevent Aereo from streaming TV station signals while a district court weighs the broadcasters' challenge to that service.

Fox News Skips Obama Gun Vote Statement; Host Apologizes (HuffPost)
Fox News chose to skip President Obama's statement on the background checks proposal that failed to pass in the Senate on Wednesday. Broadcast and cable networks interrupted regular programming to bring viewers Obama's remarks, except Fox News.

New York Daily News Doctored Front-Page Photo From Boston Bombing (Capital New York)
On Tuesday's cover wrap, the Daily News ran a photo taken by John Tlumacki of the Boston Globe showing an injured woman lying in a pool of blood while being tended to by a civilian. But the version published by the Daily News seemed to erase a gory wound to the woman's leg that was visible in other publications that used the photo.

Al Jazeera's Current Fix: Slow Going (NY Post)
More than three months after buying Al Gore's Current TV with a grand vision of launching a US-focused network, Al Jazeera's plans are still not ready for prime time. TVNewser The launch of Al Jazeera America may not happen until late summer, the New York Post reports. The channel, which will take over Current TV, had hoped to be on the air in June but a source tells the Post: "June is not going to happen. The best guess is August or September."

The Remarkable Decline in The Wall Street Journal's Long-Form Journalism (The Atlantic)
I do not have any particular expertise in the inner workings of the Wall Street Journal newsroom, but this chart speaks for itself. It shows the number of stories the Journal published that were more than 2,500 words from 2002 to 2011.

The Dish's Progress, So Far (CJR / The Kicker)
Andrew Sullivan announced in January that he was taking his blog, The Dish, from its home at The Daily Beast and striking out on his own, using a metered content model to encourage regular readers to support his efforts. At the paidContent Live conference on Wednesday, he updated attendees on his efforts to attract more donations. So far, Sullivan said, he's raised about $672,000 of his $900,000 goal, which he says is enough to support the site's staff through next February, though he is not currently drawing a salary from his efforts.

Medium Buys Science Journalism Site Matter (Poynter / MediaWire)
Medium, a platform for long-form content founded by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, has acquired the online science journalism magazine Matter.

Diller: Death Will Come for 'Irrelevant Media' (NetNewsCheck)
Barry Diller has good news and bad news for newspapers, and local TV should listen, too. First the bad news: Their name. "The problem is calling them newspapers," Diller told attendees of the Newspaper Association of America's mediaXchange on Tuesday, suggesting that the "paper" side may have gone past its expiration date.

New York Times Considering Cheaper Subscription Option (
The New York Times is considering new paid-for products as it heads into the third year of having a metered paywall. Paul Smurl, vice-president of paid products, told the Digital Media Europe conference taking place in London that one of the goals is to convert more of the 40 million global readers into paying subscribers by offering a new, cheaper product.

Catching Up With Dave Zinczenko (WWD / Memo Pad)
In February, Zinczenko joined American Media to reinvigorate the longtime Men's Health rival and help the company's other titles spawn the kind of brand extensions -- books, licenses and apps -- he'd been so crafty at spinning off while he was at Rodale. He said for the past five weeks he's been consumed with Men's Fitness, "reimagining the magazine cover to cover."

Who Can Save The Today Show? (NYT)
One Wednesday last month, Ann Curry, camouflaged in a hat and trench coat, trudged into the art-deco lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It had been nine months since she was pushed out as co-host of the Today show. Curry was now NBC's "national and international correspondent" and the anchor-at-large for Today but these titles seemed honorary.

65 Percent of BuzzFeed's Traffic Now Comes From Mobile Devices (paidContent)
BuzzFeed now sees 65 percent of its traffic coming from mobile devices, according to Kenneth Lerer, chairman of BuzzFeed and Betaworks. "Everything is going to the phone," Lerer said at GigaOM's paidContent Live 2013 conference in New York Wednesday. FishbowlDC With the White House Correspondents Dinner a little over a week away, most news outlets have made their plans. They've invited guests, scored party invites and rented tuxes. One outlet that won't be representing at the annual nerd prom is BuzzFeed.

Tumblr's David Karp on The Closing of Storyboard: It 'Didn't Work' (Capital New York)
Tumblr founder David Karp elaborated Wednesday morning on his recent decision to shut down Storyboard, the blogging behemoth's in-house editorial operation. "We gave it a year, and after evaluating it, we decided it wasn't really the right tool in our toolbox," said Karp, speaking at a conference hosted by paidContent.

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