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NY Court Rules Fox News Reporter Doesn’t Have to Reveal Sources [Updated]

It’s a good day for journalists. In a 4-3 decision, New York’s Court of Appeals has ruled that Jana Winter, a Fox News reporter, cannot be forced to reveal her sources for story on the Aurora, Colorado shooting.

After the tragedy, Winter had broke a story that the murderer —  James Holmes — had sent a notebook to a University of Colorado psychiatrist that was “full of details about how he was going to kill people.” Lawyers for Holmes wanted Winter to testify about her confidential sources because they said it violated a gag order on the case. Winter’s lawyers claimed that New York’s shield laws should prevent Winter from having to speak up. They were right.

“Confidential newsgathering is essential for investigative journalism to flourish, and the New York Court of Appeals has issued a broad decision protecting all New York-based journalists,” said Dori Ann Hanswirth, the lead lawyer on Winter’s team. “Today’s victory is as much for Jana Winter as it is for all journalists and the public, which has a right to receive news from confidential sources.”

Well said.

Update (12/11):
Below is a statement from Roger Ailes.

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Study: Majority of Female Journalists Face Intimidation, Threats, Abuse

According to a particularly sad report released by the International News Safety Institute and the International Women’s Media Foundation, a majority of female journalists — 64 percent — claim to have faced “intimidation, threats or abuse” while working. Not only that, but more than 50 percent of that abuse was brought by a boss or a colleague.

The report is based on responses from 875 women from all over the world. The survey took into account all forms of media; the majority of respondents worked for newspapers.

The most common form of intimidation, threats or abuse was “Abuse of power or authority,” cited by 25 percent of the respondents. Following closely behind that was “Verbal, written and/or physical intimidation including personal threats at 21 percent, and “Attempts or threats to damage reputation or honour,” at 18 percent.

Sexual harassment, which was its own category, was prevalent as well. The survey found that 46 percent of female journalists had been subject to that form of abuse.

[Image via Flickr]

Thrillist Media Group Celebrates Launch of New Site

Thrillist Media Group has a new name to their roster of websites: Supercompressor.com. This consumer-focused men’s lifestyle site celebrated its launch last week to much fanfare at the Classic Car Club in New York. The event was sponsored by Dewar’s Scotch and Microsoft Surface.

Supercompressor is dedicated to all things manly — with sections including “Gear,” “Tech,” “Rides” and “Vice.” The editors proclaim that their site “exclusively covers the coolest stuff that money can buy. We understand that your time and cash are precious, which is why we solemnly swear to never waste either.”

MediabistroTV toured the offices of Thrillist for our Cubes series. Check it out here:

‘Selfie’ is The Word of The Year

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 9.59.05 AM

Well, you’ve done it, Internet. The publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary have unanimously — unanimously — selected “selfie” as 2013′s word of the year. A selfie is a self portrait posted online or on a social network. Taking a selfie involves about 17 different levels of narcissism.

Selfie beat out other terrible words for the honor, such as “twerk” and “bitcoin.” Publishing a photo of yourself and having strangers fill the hole in your soul where self-esteem should be has escalated so much in the past year that Oxford had no choice. According to experts, use of the word “selfie” has jumped by 17,000 percent since 2012.

“The decision was unanimous this year, with little if any argument,” explained the dictionary’s editors. “This is a little unusual. Normally there will be some good-natured debate as one person might champion their particular choice over someone else’s. But this time, everyone seemed to be in agreement almost from the start.”

There you have it. Pat yourselves on the back, Internet nerds. Your constant need for approval has reshaped the dictionary.

See below for a list of other words that selfie beat.

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NYU Names First Marjorie Deane Professor of Financial Journalism

NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has named Stephen Solomon its first Marjorie Deane professor of financial journalism. Solomon, who was a writer at Fortune and has written for The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times Magazine and The New Republic, is also the founder and director of NYU’s masters program of business and economic reporting.

The gift from the Marjorie Deane Financial Journalism Foundation will help students who are pursuing a career in financial journalism pay for tuition and other costs of living. It’ll also provide a stipend for those students to spend one week per year at London’s City University.

“This generous gift from the Deane Foundation will be a tremendous asset in helping to prepare our students for careers in business journalism,” said Michael Laver, New York University’s dean for the social sciences, in a statement.

BuzzFeed Selects Gregory Johnsen as Inaugural Michael Hastings Fellow

BuzzFeedLogoBuzzFeed has selected Gregory Johnsen as the inaugural Michael Hastings National Security Reporting Fellow. During the year-long fellowship, Johnsen will focus on “US national security and its impact both domestically and around the world,” according to a release.

“Gregory Johnsen has already proven himself one of his generation’s wisest and most original voices on national security. He’s the right writer to carry on Michael’s legacy of fiercely intelligent and deeply compelling journalism about how America has shaped and been shaped by more than a decade of war,” said Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, in a statement.

Johnsen begins October 20.

Link Service Tracks Media Popularity

Bit.ly, a link shortening service, just released an interactive map that tracks media popularity. It’s a fun little item to explore on a Friday.

According to its numbers, The Guardian is the most popular newspaper site in New York. Sorry New York Times and WSJ!

The map also says that the most popular magazine site is Businessweek, the most popular TV/radio site is PBS, and the most popular online only publication is Slate.

Keep in mind that this only means these are the most popular sites according to bit.ly users. Still, it’s interesting. Or at least, more interesting than this.

Radar Online Scoops Up Whitey Bulger Prison Letter

At the Plymouth County House of Corrections in Plymouth, MA, Whitey Bulger is known as Inmate #1428AZ. A designation that also appears on the envelope of a letter sent out from prison and shared today by Radar Online.

The most intriguing portion of Bulger’s missive to an unnamed pal on the outside is the idea that this guy can still be shocked. The convicted Boston mob kingpin, who will be sentenced in November, writes that he had no idea until his trial about a certain double-double-cross aspect of the FBI informants he once relied on:

“These two [informants] were clever guys,” Bulger admitted. “Unknown to me, they faked a file to cover themselves in case (they were) seen in my company or loose lips on the phone that may compromise them.”

He said the files also got the crooked agents “bonuses, prestige and career enhancement.”

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Oxford Dictionary Adds ‘Jorts,’ ‘Twerk,’ ‘Selfie’ and More

The Oxford Dictionaries Online — the rad, sunglass-wearing bro of the Oxford English Dictionary — has added a bunch of words that are guaranteed to frustrate some people.

Here’s a brief look at some words that were added:

  • Twerk
  • Derp
  • Food Baby
  • Jorts
  • Squee
  • Buzzworthy
  • Bitcoin
  • Vom
  • Srsly
  • Emoji

Most of those are ridiculous and will likely be forgotten soon, so don’t get worked up about it. And hey, why not congratulate your uncle? You know, the one that lives in the van by the river? He’ll be happy that the jorts he’s been rocking since the late 80s are finally getting some recognition.

Catching Up to the New York Nun with a Gambling Problem

It takes a lot on the headline front for FishbowlNY to stop dead in its coffee-stained tracks. But this one from AP did the trick:

NY Nun with Gambling Problem Gets Jail for Theft

Holy Mother of Mary Anne Rapp, who will spend 90 days in jail for her casino sins. This headline has everything: blasphemy (a nun gambling); larceny ($128,000 filched from two Kendall, NY area parishes); infamy (her church may already be fielding calls from reality TV show producers)… Never mind that her last name would have also allowed for a “Rapp Sheet” headline. Or that ordering a nun to perform 100 hours of community service seems entirely redundant.

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