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Wednesday, Oct 03

Morning Media Newsfeed 10.03.12

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Media Owe Voters a Discussion of Real Issues During Debates (US News & World Report)
As we count down to the first of three presidential debates between President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney on Wednesday in Colorado, the Beltway media is ramping up its already obsessive horse-race approach to campaign coverage. HuffPost There's been no let-up in the pressure and criticism directed at the Commission on Presidential Debates, the group in charge of the showdowns between Romney and Obama. From the lack of racial diversity to the questions being asked, every part of the debate set-up is being scrutinized. The Washington Post / Election 2012 Blog Social networking sites are announcing their plans for the first presidential debate between Romney and Obama on Wednesday night. The official Twitter hashtag is #debates. Facebook is hosting a series of interviews and panels on the University of Denver campus, where the debate will be held, starting at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday. They will broadcast them all on Facebook Politics Live. ABC News GIFs -- animated photographs -- have taken over the Internet and they're about to take over the presidential debate coverage. Well, at least on Tumblr. CNN On Wednesday night, an estimated 50 million Americans will watch the first presidential debate live, as President Obama and GOP nominee Romney face off for 90 minutes in Denver. The odds are that many of those watching will have more than their TVs on as they do so: Millions are also likely to be glancing at their laptops or mobile phones, scanning the live conversation about the debates that will unfold over social networks and chiming in with their own comments. Variety The coverage will be markedly different even from that of 2008, when Twitter had yet to take hold, second-screen multitasking was still a novelty and the big news innovations seemed to be about the user-generated experience on YouTube.

Who Is the Next Steve Jobs (and Is There One)? (CNN)
It's a loaded question, one with no clear answer. But in the year since Apple's co-founder and visionary CEO died, it's been asked in tech circles over and over: Who is the next Steve Jobs? There's one easy response. It's safe to say that no figure in the tech industry will perfectly duplicate the unique blend of vision, salesmanship, mystique and eye for detail possessed by Jobs, who died one year ago Friday. Forbes / Technicalities We know a lot about Steve Jobs, thanks to his willingness in the last years of his life to share stories with his biographer about what drove him to co-found Apple Inc. and reinvent the PC, music players, phones and tablets. But there are plenty of "Steve" stories that you haven't heard around, and a year after Jobs' death on Oct. 5 at the age of 56, a few friends and colleagues shared their memories of the technology industry's most notable luminary. Forbes / The Street I observe Apple fanboys and fangirls with pity as they defend Tim Cook. He is the kind of guy Jobs would have fired. And, yes, I know that Jobs hired him. CNET / Technically Incorrect One of the reasons people now yearn to wonder what Jobs would have done is that they fear that an era is over and that the next one isn't terribly exciting. Tech might be the new rock 'n' roll, but the current artists seem as riveting as the members of Genesis. ZDNet Listen to Jobs' 1983 speech at the International Design Conference in Aspen, now posted in its full glory. Did he predict the iPad almost 30 years ago?

NYT's New iPad Website Could Mean End of Apple App (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times has launched an HTML5 Web app ( for the iPad. The app is available to subscribers and organizes content in four ways: Times Wire, a live feed of the latest news and media; All Sections, which is pretty self-explanatory; Trending, a collection of the hottest Times articles on Twitter; and Today's Paper, an assortment of the day's offerings, just like they appear in print. New York Observer But perhaps the best feature for the newspaper is that the app is accessed and downloaded directly from Safari rather than through Apple Newsstand. This handily avoids giving Apple the 30 percent fee that it charges for native iPad apps. paidContent The limited nature of the Web app suggests it is just a way for the Times to test the waters of HTML5 as it continues to develop its native apps. CNET Non-subscribers can try out the digital access and the new Web app via an introductory deal that costs just 99 cents for the first four weeks. People who decide to keep the subscription then pay either $5 or $8.75 a week depending on the level of access. Nieman Journalism Lab And, as is the case whenever The New York Times does anything, lots of news organizations will likely watch its moves and, six months later, follow in step. So what does it mean for the Times to build an app-like experience -- and, it should be said, a pretty darned good app-like experience -- on the Web?

NBC News Digital Names Editors for, (TVNewser)
Now that NBC News Digital has two different news websites to work with, the company is solidifying the leadership at the sites. Seattle Times / Brier Dudley's Blog NBC also opted to centralize management in New York. Tuesday it announced that Gregory Gittrich will oversee as vice president and executive editor. Gittrich was formerly vice president of digital media and editor-in-chief of NBC Local Integrated Media, the company's group of owned TV stations. B&C In addition, Richard Wolffe will become VP and executive editor of, which will launch in 2013 as the online site for the MSNBC cable news channel. Along with the new appointments, NBC has confirmed that Charlie Tillinghast, who was general manager of the joint venture, will be leaving the company. Adweek Former digital media director Ryan Osborn will also get a new title and increased responsibility as the new VP of digital innovation for NBC News -- a newly created position that would seem to prove that the news network is committed to long-term social strategy. NBC's chief digital officer Vivian Schiller, who was mum on this announcement during the network's Advertising Week leadership breakfast on Tuesday, will continue to oversee and manage all digital operations.

Lena Dunham Shopping a Book Proposal (GalleyCat)
Actor, director and Girls creator Lena Dunham is shopping a book proposal. Slate's Brow Beat culture blog broke the news, giving us a glimpse at the Not That Kind of Girl: Advice by Lena Dunham book proposal that reportedly set a million dollar start for the publishing auction. Entertainment Weekly / Shelf Life According to Slate, the actress has written a detailed book proposal outlining the general content of the book, which will reportedly be in the format of essays. Some sample topics include Dunham's first experience with sex, her attempts to eat healthily (including a diet journal) and her obsession with death. Overall, however, she hopes to help people avoid the mistakes she's made in her life. HuffPost Here's hoping that the pieces in Dunham's book are as beautifully written as her New Yorker tribute to Nora Ephron. Would we take advice from the Girls star/producer/director/scribe? Probably -- as long as she doesn't suggest we stop wearing pants.

Facebook's Help Center Is New and Improved (AllFacebook)
Facebook wants to help you. The site recently redesigned its help center in an effort to get answers quicker to the people who need them. Through the help center, users can get quick answers to questions regarding privacy, timeline, pages, and several other topics. The Washington Post / AP Though it's only fully accessible on Facebook's website, the new help center is designed to look and feel more like a mobile app, said Terry Guo, product manager at the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media company. Wired The change should be a welcome one for users who have been whipsawed by various privacy changes, many intended to get them to share more information publicly. Facebook has long been torn between its responsibility as a trusted social broker to be sensitive and its mandate as an Internet startup to grow and improve relentlessly.

B&N Removing Marshall Title (Publishers Weekly)
Barnes & Noble has told any of its stores that have stocked Penny Marshall's My Mother Was Nuts to remove the book from shelves. B&N has a corporate policy to not carry physical copies of books acquired by Amazon Publishing in its stores, but as pointed out on Melville House's blog Monday, some copies of the title had been turning up in B&N outlets. paidContent Without further clarification from Barnes & Noble (though I've asked the company for it), it appears that local Barnes & Noble branches ordered and stocked copies of Marshall's My Mother Was Nuts and Jessica Valenti's Why Have Kids?, possibly because the company hadn't stated its policy clearly enough to the stores and because local branches have always had a fair amount of latitude in choosing the titles they want to stock. Forbes / The Point of Purchase Where will it all end? If this trend of retailers refusing to sell Amazon products continues, it can only lead to Amazon cornering the market on both price and selection.

Online Channel TakePart TV: Relevant, Entertaining (Yahoo! News / AP)
TakePart TV, which launched Tuesday, is a digital home for what the network has termed "clever, eye-opening and optimistic content around big issues that face our planet." The target audience is millennials ranging from teenage to 30. Part of YouTube's new 100-channel portfolio, TakePart TV will deliver original programming that consists of news, short-form comedy, animation and nonfiction series featuring such names as Henry Rollins, Dan Savage and Kobe Bryant.

Inky Forcing Out the Over-50 Crowd to Hire Younger, Cheaper Reporters? (The Philly Post / The Scoop)
Late Tuesday, longtime Philadelphia Inquirer theater critic Howard Shapiro found out that he's been reassigned... to South Jersey. The 64-year-old Wyncote resident isn't the only Inquirer staffer to get a new job.

Sheryl Sandberg Doubles Down on Facebook's Branding Prowess (Adweek)
Just in case you're an Internet marketer who went into a coma in 2007 and just woke up Monday to hear Facebook taking such a full-throated stance that its digital ads work like TV spots, don't worry, you're going to be fine. That was 100 percent real.

TV Studios Too Strong for Apple Disruption (Variety)
The economics of Hollywood's TV studios have been strengthened so much by new windows that even Apple won't be able to disrupt their business, according to a new research report.

LinkedIn's Influencer Program Lets You Follow Thought Leaders Without Sending a Request (SocialTimes)
For years, LinkedIn has been an exclusive club where only people who are colleagues in real life (or who are open to requests from strangers) can connect in a professional setting. Tuesday, LinkedIn announced a new program that gives users access to news and updates from 150 top professionals, including LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, President Barack Obama, and Governor Mitt Romney, to name a few.

Taploid Turns Your Social Feeds into A Personal Gossip Magazine (TechCrunch)
Everyday your friends are getting married, breaking up, and getting drunk, but it can be hard to follow along. So Tuesday The Taploid launched its Web app that runs natural language processing on your Facebook feed to produce a gossip magazine of subtle trends and juicy tales.

Talking Points Memo Launches Membership-Only Program, Wades into Longform (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Not everyone is going to pay for a subscription. And founding publisher/editor Josh Marshall didn't want to put TPM behind a paywall anyway. What he wanted was to find people who would be willing to spend money on TPM so that it could expand in ways tailored to serve those paying customers. Enter TPM Prime, a membership/subscription service that launches on Oct. 15.

YouTube Goes Legit in Turkey, Bringing More Sales and More Censorship (paidContent)
Google's video site is already the No. 5 Web service in Turkey. Now it will have to work under the fast-growing country's laws. But that could mean a big growth opportunity for the service.

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