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Posts Tagged ‘David Folkenflik’

Jill Abramson’s Departure Is Bad News for The New York Times


Yesterday’s announcement that The New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson was leaving the Grey Lady to be replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet came as a big surprise to all who don’t work in the NYT newsroom. The politics behind the move have unraveled at a record pace since then.

Unfortunately, the more we learn about it, the more we can guarantee that the story won’t end well for the paper of record. The biggest reveal to date came courtesy of Ken Auletta at The New Yorker: seems that Abramson didn’t just make less money than the men who preceded her–she made less than her own deputy.

The issue: how did the Times so completely lose control of this story?

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Fox News PR Team Planted Fake Story to Discredit Journalist

No, not you...

This week’s story about members of the Fox News PR team posting “sockpuppet” comments in threads on various blogs (like our sister site TVNewser) was big, but this one is far worse: NPR reporter David Folkenflik‘s new book “Murdoch’s World” reports that the team schemed to send a journalist a fake tip in order to discredit him.

Here’s the deal: as Folkenflik tells The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple, the Fox PR team refuses to participate in any story that compares the channel to its competitors in tracking general cable news trends—they don’t even want to acknowledge the existence of CNN or MSNBC.

Crain’s New York Business reporter Matthew Flamm was trying to write a story about how CNN briefly beat Fox in the ratings game in February 2008 when he received this “tip” from an “inside source” at the network:

“FOX PR reps would never confirm this, at least not on the record. But [Bill] O’Reilly, not Brit Hume, will…anchor our texas and ohio primary coverage on Tuesday night. They want to copy the success that MSNBC has had with Olbermann and Matthews anchoring their coverage.”

It sounds like a big deal because, in order to confirm its “fair and balanced” status, Fox maintains a clear wall between “objective” reporters like Hume and opinionators like O’Reilly—and such a move would represent a breach of that wall.

But the story wasn’t true.

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#PRFail: FOX News Busted for ‘Sockpuppeting’ on Social Media

fox-sockpuppetSockpuppeting (v.) – The act of creating a false identity created by trolls and other nefarious ne’er-do-wells via the Internet designed to support posts, forums and PR stories shilling a client’s product or messaging. Typically caught by bad spelling, terrible grammar and tracked IP addresses (you dolts).

Although the definition is created with fun and yuks, the practice is not.

This is an unethical effort in flackdom established by malcontents and other PR professionals that suck at their job. These dunderheads prefer to be anonymous through bearding via Facebook, Twitter or even “Joe from Detroit” commenting online somewhere. And now, we can add FOX News to that austere list of dimwits.

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On the Podcast: NPR, SXSW Recap, Tiger Woods and More…

In this week’s PRNewser Podcast, we welcome special guest David Folkenflik, media correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR).


Folkenflik’s stories are broadcast on NPR’s newsmagazines, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Day to Day. He also appears regularly on the “Media Circus” segment on Talk of the Nation.

He gave us his take on the recently released “State of the News Media” report published by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism. One interesting statistic that stood out to him is that 82% of links on blogs link back to original reporting from so-called “mainstream” media outlets.

We also talked Tiger Woods, and media circus that will surround his appearance at The Masters tournament in April. Folkenflik cited CBS Sports President Sean McManus, who said it will be the second biggest media event of the last ten to fifteen years, after President Barack Obama’s inauguration. CBS will broadcast the tournament.

In regards to the television booking wars around the Woods, Folkenflik said ABC News went so far as to send a Swedish speaking booker to Sweden in an attempt to speak with his wife Elin Nordegren, and still came up with nothing.

Also discussed: a brief recap of brand marketing efforts at the SXSW Interactive Festival, a PR firm receiving more attention in its attempt to “run for congress,” and a research report that revealed more than half of newspaper stories surveyed over five days in Australia were driven by PR.