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Journalism

While Bill Cosby’s Lawyer Blames CNN, We Might Blame the System

cnn don lemon bill cosby

More than 20 women have come forward to accuse the Cos of sexual assault. Countless interviews have been requested and all have been denied. The first time Bill Cosby came forward to say anything was when he thanked Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott via Twitter.

Much to Cosby’s chagrin, professionals at certain national networks who allegedly do “news” for a living have been talking about it.

The comedian’s lawyer is a little miffed that the news cycle keeps on rolling past his brownstone, which is why he sent CNN President Jeff Zucker a letter accusing the network of setting out to tarnish his client’s reputation.

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

The Wall Street Journal Perfectly Illustrates the Challenges Faced by Women in Tech/Finance

We like The Wall Street Journal Digits blog. We know that the journalists who work there are consummate professionals, and we don’t think the editorial team made a decision to cut “the woman” out of a business team’s glamour shot.

But this comparison of images on rival blogs illustrates the struggles faced by female managers/executives in the tech and finance worlds very well:

FWIW, the WSJ quickly responded to that tweet from Google vet/venture capital celebrity Chris Sacca, fixing the image and explaining its mistake:

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Rolling Stone Revises Apology as Backlash Against its Handling of Rape Story Grows

A Note to Our Readers | Rolling StoneIn order to change the current culture and systems that allow colleges and universities to systematically fail victims of sexual assault in the name of self-preservation and rosier PR, many things must take place — not the least of which is the spreading of awareness of such egregious failures through deep-digging, responsible journalism. It’s for this reason that Rolling Stone‘s recent article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” was so explosive; it’s also the reason that the magazine’s bad-to-worse handling of the story has caused such a massive firestorm.

A few weeks after the magazine published its account of “Jackie’s” brutal assault by seven members of a UVA fraternity, some discrepancies in the details of the student’s story began to surface. In response, Rolling Stone posted a statement on Friday, signed by managing editor Will Dana, which admitted, “there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account,” and then added, “We have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”

This “apology” didn’t sit well with many readers, as it seemed, rather than taking responsibility for its own failure to fact-check, the magazine was effectively placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of a possible trauma victim. The backlash was swift, and many took to Twitter, using the hashtag #IStandWithJackie to call out the magazine, pointing out that trauma victims often misremember details, and that this didn’t necessarily mean her story was fundamentally untrue.


Rather than further apologizing for its tone-deaf apology, the magazine responded by quietly deleting its statement and publishing an updated version the next day. The new version explains the editorial choices in greater detail and puts the responsibility of fact-checking and well-rounded research back on its own plate. The statement reads in part: Read more

GOP Comms Director Resigns After Rant About Obama Daughters Goes Viral

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Photo Credit: AP

Hell has finally frozen over as our fractious political parties have figured out something to agree upon: don’t mess with another man’s kids.

An unwritten rule in Washington has long held that journalists and political opponents alike do not report negative news about the children of our elected officials.

Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), broke that rule all over Facebook last week…and this morning we learned that she paid for her mistake with her job.

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Obama Promotes Press Freedom Abroad, Has Media Relations Problems at Home

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers an address to the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative in YangonThe American President is no stranger to dust-ups with the leering media.

This is a man who inspired high-fives  in newsrooms across this great land of ours when he declared that he would have the “most transparent administration in U.S. history.” Regretfully, that promise lasted all of a few weeks.

Journalism groups have scolded him and his response has been a questionable finger pointed in their direction because they “spread cynicism.” Now the president, while traveling in China and Myanmar, says that the  the media should have greater access to do their job in those lands.

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UPDATE: MSNBC Is Ready for a Rebranding

MSNBC Opinions

It was October 2010 when MSNBC pushed all of its chips to the left side of the aisle with the ad campaign “Lean Forward.

Minneapolis ad agency Mono even procured the talents of Spike Lee to direct the commercial spots announcing the change. A big campaign. A big name. A big change for American network news. It was a gamble that network execs believed would pay off. From Rachel Maddow to Chris Matthews, the network was set to become the antithesis to FOX News.

And then the bloodletting of 2014 happened, causing the network’s president Phil Griffin to reconsider its position. Our sister site TVNewser broke the story yesterday via an internal memo.

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Even Tom Brokaw Has Cell Phone Issues (on Live TV)

brokaw news centerJournalists and PR practitioners alike should be able to name a “Mount Rushmore” of TV anchors.

Names that would adorn the rocks above could include the likes of Murrow, Jennings, Cronkite, Brinkley, Schieffer. One of the heads being engraved would almost certainly be that of Tom Brokaw.

The man epitomizes what it means to not get caught up in the pomp and circumstance of holograms, 36-headed pundit desks, 140-inch monitors, and sweet pyrotechnics.

(In other words, CNN would never hire the guy.)

Yet, the iconic anchorman may need a refresher course on how those newfangled cell phones work. In the below clip from MSNBC’s election coverage, the alarm going off is Mr. Brokaw’s grocery store alert.

#PRFails even happen to the great ones. Buck up, folks who forget to silence that stupid phone during new business pitches…you’re in good company!

If Donald Trump Hates the Media, Why Is He Doing This?

trump_hairThere are many proud organizations that focus on the ethics of journalism (e.g., National Press Club, Society for Professional Journalists, local Press Clubs…like the one in Dallas/Fort Worth, my fare burg) and others designed to foster better relationships with those journalists (e.g., PRSA, IABC).

In those prestigious institutions, one might find a dart board bearing the universally mock-able face and hairdo of Mr. Donald J. Trump.

The Don’s journalistic interests usually range from suing a journalist for cockamamie reasons to blasting the general practice for doing the job it’s supposed to do (just not to his liking). Yes, he’s an avowed media troll. Yet some journalists will do anything for eyeballs and affection, which is why Trump is keynoting a First Amendment event later this month.

That makes sense (or is it cents?)…  Read more

White House Charging Reporters $60K to Do Their Jobs

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(Photo Credits: FOXNews.com, AP)

In the PRNewserverse, we heart our journalist friends.

We appreciate their dedication to the craft of sharing stories and the sacrifices they make to do so. Consider the White House Press Corps. Their behavioral patterns follow the ebbs and flows of whatever the administration occupies the position at the time.

One small problem: President Obama isn’t that crazy about them. He has tried ignoring them, to the point of being given a petition. He has done a “Statue of Liberty” flag football move to avoid them en route to a fundraiser. He has even pointed his finger in their faces and accused them of spreading cynicism.

Now, the administration has effectively instituted a cover charge for reporters to get in the club to which they already belong.  Read more

Time Magazine Has Us ‘Hot for Teacher’ in a Bad Way

screaming-teacherOn Nov. 3, Time magazine will publish an article that has a few people in charge of educating our future a little steamed.

The focus is America’s teachers. The story is “Rotten Apples.” The premise gets even worse – it’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.

The story is all about how this is a travesty in American education plaguing today’s classrooms — and how some tech millionaires with way too much time on their hands may have found a way to change that.

Oh, there’s also a petition demanding an apology from TimeRead more

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