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Morning Media Newsfeed 12.24.12

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Newsweek's Last Print Issue Cover Released (HuffPost)
Newsweek released the cover for its last-ever print issue on Sunday. The cover features a vintage picture of the old Newsweek offices in New York, accompanied by the headline "#LASTPRINTISSUE." Ironically, the issue will be available on tablets before readers can buy it on the newsstands. The Daily Beast / Newsweek At its best, Newsweek has always been about "the team game": a bygone form of group journalism that's less concerned with big-name bylines than with big, cooperative storytelling; a collective endeavor that aspires to serve the readers, not the egos of the journalists they're paying to read. FishbowlNY This is it. The final cover of the final issue of Newsweek, which hits newsstands Monday. We're not sure if it's ironic or fitting that the cover features a hashtag, but it is definitely humorous, in a sad sort of way. Gawker This is not a cool or self aware cover, this is lazy design. Resting on the hashtag as a symbol of "digital is what took this thing down" is only kind of right. By employing a hashtag, Twitter's currency, as the central focus of the design, they're implying that Twitter was the Newsweek killer and its inevitable replacement. New York / Daily Intel We're choosing to read it as a dark joke. Mashable The poetic final nod to social media is fitting as it -- in a bigger way -- was part of the path that led to this last issue. The Verge While it's eye-catching and pretty timeless, Newsweek couldn't seem to resist topping the whole thing off with a hashtag, apparently either hoping people will take to Twitter to post about the #LASTPRINTISSUE or just unable to resist a bid for relevancy. Adweek Editor Tina Brown enlisted such big-name contributors as former editor Jon Meacham, Michael Isikoff, Eleanor Clift and Daniel Klaidman to write for the final issue.

NRA Chief on NBC: Media Are Protected By Armed Guards. Really? (Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre appeared Sunday morning on NBC's Meet the Press to continue pressing for his organization's insistence that armed guards are the most effective way to protect schools across the country. Picking up on a talking point from his Friday news conference, LaPierre said that armed protection is a critical factor in protecting all kinds of folks, including the media: "Most of the media, when I go around this country, they're protected by armed guards," said LaPierre to David Gregory. HuffPost Wayne LaPierre has made media criticism a central point of his response to the massacre in Newtown. During his much maligned press conference on Friday, he partially blamed the press for what he said was its false and inflammatory coverage of the gun debate. That contention predictably fell flat with journalists. Entertainment Weekly / Ken Tucker's TV Yeah, sure, that's true: In peaceful moments, I ask my armed guard to DVR any shows I might miss before we go out together to buy coffee. More seriously, David Gregory asked LaPierre, "Is there no new gun regulation you would support?" and the NRA prez refused to answer. An exasperated Gregory characterized LaPierre's responses as "a complete dodge." Gothamist There were a lot of heated moments during the interview between LaPierre and host David Gregory. Early on, Gregory gave him some perspective on his polarizing speech, and pushed him over his refusal to acknowledge guns had any role in the shooting: "I know there's a media machine in this country that wants to blame guns every time something happens, I know there's an anti-Second Amendment industry in this country," LaPierre responded. "I'm telling you what I think will make people safe."

British Newspaper Sues Lance Armstrong (UPI)
Disgraced former American cycling champion Lance Armstrong has been hit with suit from a British newspaper for damages he had won in a libel settlement. Armstrong, who this year was slapped with a lifetime ban and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping violations, has been named in a $1.6 million suit brought by The Sunday Times of London, the BBC reported Sunday. HuffPost / AP The Sunday Times paid Armstrong 300,000 pounds (now about $485,000) in 2006 to settle a case after it reprinted claims from a book in 2004 that he took performance-enhancing drugs. Business Insider / Agence France Presse But the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) subsequently found that he had led the "most sophisticated" doping program in sporting history, leading to a life ban for the Texan, who was also stripped of his seven Tour de France wins. The Sunday Times is reportedly demanding the return of the original settlement payment, along with interest and legal costs. Yahoo! Sports / Reuters "It is clear that the proceedings were baseless and fraudulent. Your representations that you had never taken performance enhancing drugs were deliberately false," read the letter to Armstrong's lawyers in the Sunday Times.

Acting CIA Chief Shoots Down Osama bin Laden Film, Zero Dark Thirty, as "Not a Realistic Portrayal of the Facts" (New York Daily News)
Zero Dark Thirty isn't getting five stars from the CIA. The acting head of the agency shot down the highly-anticipated movie that chronicles the hunt for Osama bin Laden in a rare letter to employees, adding to the controversy already brewing over the flick's factuality. The Telegraph Michael Morell wrote to all the agency's employees to tell them the film "takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate." The film, made by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, shows US personnel using techniques like water-boarding to force captives to speak, and suggests the information obtained was crucial in piecing together the trail that eventually led to bin Laden. LA Times / Company Town The backlash in Washington over Zero Dark Thirty didn't reach the box office, as Kathryn Bigelow's CIA thriller got off to an excellent start in limited release. Playing in five theaters, the film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden grossed $410,000 over the weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Sony Pictures.

Self-Publishing Offers an Array of Choices for Authors (The Spokesman-Review)
You can hardly swing a Kindle these days without hitting a published author. Novels, how-to guides, treatises, survival stories, childhood memories, community histories, personal memoirs -- all are welcome in the wide world of self-publishing, and writers are accepting the invitation. The Canadian Agora Cosmopolitan Earlier, people used to regard book self-publishing as "vanity press" and the phrase itself spoke volumes about the way self publishing authors were viewed. Such writers were considered "not good enough" to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. However, such assumptions have become things of the past as the advent of technology has revolutionized the world of book publishing. Good E-Reader Traditional authors that publish eBooks and printed variants via an established publishing company often enjoy plenty of perks. You normally have dedicated access to a publicist that will try and promote the book and organize book tours. There is also a dedicated editor to help you refine the body of work into a cohesive whole. You may get an advance on the book if you have a track-record of success, pay the publisher to sell the book for you, or just collect royalties. But if your publisher goes bankrupt, what are you going to do? Everything from getting the rights to your book and collecting outstanding revenue are challenges many people sometimes face.

Investors Discover Their Animal Spirits for Cable Networks (WSJ)
Ask anyone who follows cable networks what is the most lucrative content for advertisers, and the answer will almost always be: sports. Yet, one of the top-performing media companies over the past year has almost no sports -- unless you count gold mining in Alaska and crab fishing in the Bering Sea.

Media Finds Fiscal Cliff a Steep Climb (Politico)
The fiscal cliff could very well send some in the media over the edge. For journalists and pundits, the fiscal cliff has been a nearly all-encompassing political story in D.C.'s post-election media landscape. The battles, issues, personalities and each forward and backward (Exhibit A: Speaker Boehner's Plan B fiasco) related to fiscal and tax policy have been parsed, debated and chewed over by politicians, commentators and the press.

The O'Reilly Factory (NYT)
No one could accuse Bill O'Reilly, 63, of playing down his own appeal -- and perhaps justifiably so. He anchors the highest-rated news program on cable, his political and personal writings like A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity (2008) and Pinheads and Patriots (2010) have been huge sellers, and now, in his latest franchise, he has become arguably the most popular history author in America.

Sawyer: Newtown Media Coverage Both Responsible, Excessive (The Pantagraph / Gary Sawyer)
A couple of editorial cartoons that arrived in my inbox this week caused me to stop and think. The first showed vultures -- identified as ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX and MSNBC -- circling the town of Newtown, Conn., and Sandy Hook Elementary School. The second was a crowd of reporters shouting inane and insensitive questions to two obviously grieving parents. I'm sure that's the way the media appeared to a lot of folks as the tragedy in Newtown unfolded last week. And the impressions are somewhat justified.

Big Magazine Reads for the Small Screen (The Guardian)
In a recent essay, writer and designer Craig Mod outlined what he termed Subcompact Publishing -- simple, small-scale publications suited to the Internet and digital reading. In particular, he praised two new subscription-based magazines, both available on the web and as apps or eBooks.

Princeton Exhibit Takes on What Passes for Journalism in Today's World (NJ.com)
While some Bernstein Gallery exhibitions have sparked deep controversy -- what gallery director Kate Somers calls "near-catastrophes," often dealing, of course, with the Middle East -- "News/Not News" isn't likely to do that. And not because of any flaw in Annenberg's work. The chief theme of "News/Not News," the draining away of authority and seriousness from contemporary American journalism, is something everybody agrees about.

Dave Briggs Leaving Fox News (TVNewser)
Dave Briggs, a co-anchor of Fox and Friends weekend, is leaving the network. Briggs, who will be leaving Fox later this week, said his goodbyes on the air Saturday morning. "I'm not going away! Just going somewhere else in the New Year," said Briggs, who joined Fox News in 2008 as weekend co-anchor.

Small Wonders: Comedy, Off the Radar (The New Yorker)
Over the decades, comedy remained a release valve for radical sensibilities, but its conventions congealed: there's a formula to Saturday Night Live, and network talk shows are even more aggressively conventional. Whenever Letterman hints that he'll retire, I roll my eyes. They'll just pick another white guy. Perhaps it'll be a Conan-like ironist, or someone boyish, like Jimmy Fallon, but it will be a distinction without a difference. Luckily, it's become easier each year to escape that world, by fleeing to a constellation of smaller channels and to the Internet, where idiosyncrasy reigns.

Buzzmedia Folds Spin (FishbowlNY)
The print version of Spin is done. We knew it was coming as soon as Buzzmedia bought it, but it still sucks to get the official word. The September/October issue will now forever be known as the title's last issue ever.

Anti-Donald Trump Billboard Circling Macy's Headquarters (THR)
An online campaign urging Macy's to fire Donald Trump is hitting the streets. On Saturday, a mobile billboard attached to a truck began circling Macy's corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as a nearby department store. In New York, another mobile billboard began circling the company's flagship store in Herald Square. The mobile billboards are the latest gambit of Dump Trump, a petition from the liberal group MoveOn.org, which has gained nearly 680,000 signatures since launching last month.

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