INDUSTRY NEWS 3-25-15
Women's media group honors photographer Heidi Levine
Photographer Heidi Levine, who has spent 30 years covering war zones and revolutions in the Middle East, Libya and Syria, was named Tuesday as the inaugural winner of an award for courage named for Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus.
The International Women's Media Foundation in Washington announced that Levine, an American based in Israel, will be awarded the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. Niedringhaus was killed last year on assignment in Afghanistan when an Afghan police commander walked up to the car she was in and opened fire.
The award jury, which includes accomplished photographers and photo editors, said Levine stands out for her courage and compassion in capturing images under dangerous circumstances.
"Her courage and commitment to the story in Gaza is unwavering," the jury wrote. "She documents tragic events under dire circumstances while displaying a depth of compassion for the people she encounters."
Levine said she worked with Niedringhaus in Israel, Gaza and Libya, and they had stayed in touch over the years, making it a bittersweet moment to accept the honor named for her friend.
"It's a completely different feeling," Levine said. "I'm not saying other awards aren't amazing, but I think this one is really, really special. I also feel like I have a responsibility to carry on her legacy."
Covering the war in Gaza last year, Levine witnessed some of the worst conditions she has observed after Israel's bombings, she said. The civilian death toll was stark. Drones flying overhead changed the situation for photographers on the ground and made it unsafe to travel in places where fighting broke out, she said.
Working as a journalist with drones overhead "definitely made you feel like you were always being watched," Levine said.
In Libya, after Tripoli fell in 2011, Levine was there documenting conditions on the ground. She came across a hospital that had been abandoned. Bodies were piled on the ground outside. She and her colleagues drove around, trying to find information, and a man took them to a shed where about 60 men had been burned alive.
"It was just outright atrocity," she said. "I had never seen something like that."
And yet she persists, even as technology makes it even more dangerous for journalists in combat zones as simple Internet searches can help enemies track their work.
"I think it's just so important to bear witness," Levine said. "I just feel compelled to continue."
The award will be presented to Levine at a ceremony June 25 in Berlin. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation provided funding for the $20,000 prize.
"It is encouraging to see Anja's legacy honored through the amazing and courageous work of Heidi Levine, this year's inaugural winner," said Santiago Lyon, director of photography for the AP. "Heidi thoroughly embodies Anja's spirit and courage."
Levine is originally from Boston and moved to Israel in 1983. She began her career with the AP and is now represented by the Sipa Press photo agency. Her photographs have appeared in publications around the world, often as cover stores.
Levine has made a career of working in conflict areas. Beyond covering the revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Syria, she has also captured the stories of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, Syria and Sweden. She has also worked in Afghanistan, Georgia and India.
Two additional photojournalists received honorable mentions from the jury. Photographer Anastasia Vlasova was recognized for her courage and dedication in covering the conflicts in Eastern Ukraine. Associated Press photographer Rebecca Blackwell also was recognized for her courage in working under difficult conditions in the Central African Republic.
The prize will be awarded annually to a woman photojournalist who reflects the courage and dedication of Niedringhaus.
Niedringhaus started her career as a freelance photographer when she was 16 in her native Germany and went on to cover the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. She joined the AP in 2002 and worked throughout the Middle East, as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was part of an AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of Iraq.
Videographer arrested covering Ferguson faces court hearing
One of about two dozen journalists arrested while covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown faced a court hearing Tuesday. St. Louis-based videographer Mary Moore said she wants her reputation, and her criminal record, cleared. She was charged with municipal violations after an arrest on Oct. 3. She says she was only shooting video but was among 13 people taken into custody during a demonstration outside Ferguson police headquarters. The August death of Brown, who was black and unarmed, by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, led to protests that are still going on. During the demonstrations, journalists from around the world were among the hundreds of people arrested.
Clinton jokes relationship with press is 'complicated'
Hillary Rodham Clinton is joking that her relationship with the media has been "complicated" as she pays tribute to the legacy of a late New York Times reporter. The potential Democratic presidential candidate says she is all about "new beginnings. A new grandchild. Another new hairstyle. A new email account. How about a new relationship with the press?" Clinton says when she was asked to speak at the event, she thought, "What could possibly go wrong?"
The former secretary of state spoke Monday at an awards ceremony honoring Robin Toner, the first woman to serve as national political correspondent for The Times. She says the country relies on journalists to "try to get us out of the echo chambers we all inhabit."
Body found in New Jersey river ID'd as missing reporter
A body found this week in a northern New Jersey river is that of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who had been missing for more than a year, authorities said Thursday, March 19. Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp announced that the body was positively identified as that of David Bird, who was 55 when he disappeared in January 2014 while taking a walk near his home in Long Hill Township, about 30 miles west of New York City. Knapp said in an email that two men canoeing Wednesday in the Passaic River between Long Hill and Bernards Township came across a red jacket. Police later found human remains, and a positive identification was made using dental records. An investigation into the cause and manner of death is underway.
Durst murder case: When should the media go to the police?
It was a filmmaker, not police, who uncovered a crucial piece of evidence in the murder case against Manhattan real estate millionaire Robert Durst. The sensational small-screen moments created by HBO's "The Jinx" confronted documentarian Andrew Jarecki with an ethical question that is likely to come up again, given the popularity of true-crime TV: Should a television sleuth's priority lie in making good entertainment or in seeing that justice is served?
INDUSTRY NEWS 3-18-15
Media turns detective with 'The Jinx,' other murder cases
Robert Durst was a rich man living free despite police efforts to link him to murder. Adnan Syed was a young man imprisoned for life for killing an ex-girlfriend. Media scrutiny changed their fortunes, pushing both back into the courts: Durst is facing trial on a murder charge, and Syed awaits an appeal of his conviction. Observers say it's what journalists, or others taking on the role of investigative reporters, can and should do — but not simply, or heedlessly, to play faux detective. "We are holding law enforcement accountable," said Kelly McBride, an expert on ethics for the Poynter Institute journalism think tank. "Our job is not to prove people innocent or guilty. But we very much are part of the checks and balances that ensure that democracy is working."
Young adults want news every day, survey shows
Young adults have a reputation for being connected to one another and disconnected from the news. But a survey has found that mobile devices and social networking are keeping them more engaged with the broader world than previously thought. They want news, they say, though they don't always aggressively seek it out — perhaps simply happening upon it on a friend's online feed. And they want it daily. The survey of Americans ages 18 to 34, sometimes called the millennial generation, found that two-thirds of respondents said they consume news online regularly, often on a social networking site. Of those, 40 percent do so several times a day, according to the poll, conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.
Lawyer in State Department leak case seeks release of client
A lawyer for a former State Department intelligence analyst is asking the Justice Department to support the immediate release of his client. In a letter to prosecutors, Abbe Lowell said the department displayed a "double standard" in demanding prison for his client, Stephen Kim, while recommending probation for former CIA Director David Petraeus. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend two years of probation when Petraeus is sentenced next month for disclosing classified materials to his biographer, with whom he had an affair. Kim was sentenced last April to 13 months in prison for passing classified information to a journalist. Lowell said prosecutors should agree to release him now to fix what he called "uneven and disparate treatment." A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington, D.C., declined to comment Monday.
Nevada newspaper where Mark Twain got start is revived
The historic Nevada newspaper where Mark Twain cut his journalistic teeth is back in publication for the first time in three decades, and its owners plan to uphold tradition by offering more than just real news. The Territorial Enterprise was revived as an online and monthly print publication last week by Capitol Publishing Group, the parent company of a weekly newspaper in Jefferson City, Missouri, that focuses on politics and government.
Samuel Clemens, Twain's real name, assumed his pen name and developed his penchant for western tall tales when he was a reporter from 1862 to 1864 at the feisty newspaper in Virginia City, about 20 miles southeast of Reno.
Burns elected new president of SC Press Association
Judi Mundy Burns, publisher of The Index-Journal of Greenwood, is the new president of the South Carolina Press Association. Burns was elected Saturday at the group's annual meeting in Myrtle Beach. She succeeds Morrey Thomas, who is publisher of the News and Press in Darlington. Mike Smith, executive editor of the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, was elected daily newspaper vice president and Ellen Priest, president and publisher of The Star in North Augusta and the Aiken Standard was again chosen as weekly newspaper vice president.
Proposal would require media to get permission to record
The Tennessee Supreme Court is considering requiring the news media to get permission from a judge before reporters can use a laptop, digital recorder or any other electronic device to cover a court proceeding. Currently, the news media have to ask for permission to use a still or video camera in the courtroom under a regulation known as Rule 30. But in a nod to the changing world of technology and a modern-day era where reporters use Twitter to cover murder trials and a cellphone can shoot video, take photos and record testimony, the court is considering changing its media rule.
NBC News medical editor Nancy Snyderman resigns
Dr. Nancy Snyderman said Thursday, March 12, that she's leaving her job as chief medical editor for NBC News, six months after unleashing public anger for failing to observe a quarantine after covering the Ebola epidemic last fall. Snyderman said that "becoming part of the story" after her trip to Liberia contributed to her decision to take a faculty job at a medical school. "Every moment has been an honor," said Snyderman, who has been at NBC for nine years after working previously at ABC News. Snyderman was asked to observe a voluntary 21-day quarantine in her New Jersey home following her return from Liberia, where she briefly worked with Ashoka Mukpo, a cameraman who caught the virus and recovered after coming back to the U.S. for treatment.
Newspaper sues Ohio patrol over cruiser video of car chase
A newspaper is accusing the Ohio State Highway Patrol of violating the law by refusing to release cruiser-camera video of a car chase in southwest Ohio. The Cincinnati Enquirer this week filed a lawsuit asking the Ohio Supreme Court to force the Ohio Department of Public Safety to release a trooper's dash-camera video showing the January chase of a fleeing suspect. The department is the patrol's parent agency. The lawsuit says the department denied the newspaper's request for the video and said an unnamed prosecutor asked that it be withheld. The newspaper contends that withholding the video violates Ohio's open records law. Patrol spokesman Lt. Craig Cvetan said Thursday, March 12, that the video was properly withheld as part of a criminal investigation and that videos are released once criminal cases conclude.
Media watchdog unblocks banned websites in 11 countries
Media monitoring group Reporters Without Borders says it is providing access to websites banned in Russia, Iran and nine other countries in a bid to counter government pressure.
The group said Thursday that it created secured mirror sites, or copies of the original sites, and put them on hosting services provided by Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Governments could still block those services, but Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says that could have broad fallout. Among sites unblocked is Grani.ru, which is critical of the Russian government and was banned a year ago. Also accessible Thursday were Hablemos Press in Cuba and Gooya News in Iran. Access to two sites in China, The Tibet Post and Mingjing News, remained limited after the launch.
Las Vegas Sun sues rival Review-Journal over profit split
The owner of the Las Vegas Sun wants a Nevada judge to decide whether its cross-town rival and joint-operating partner, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, owes it millions of dollars under profit-sharing terms of a contract dating to 2005. The Sun contends in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, March 10, in Clark County District Court that the larger Review-Journal and its owner, Stephens Media, improperly deducted editorial costs from profit figures before paying a monthly one-12th profit share to Greenspun Media Group. The Sun argues the resulting shortage has added up over the past 10 years to at least $6 million. Sun owner Brian Greenspun, Sun attorney Leif Reid and Stephens Media general counsel Mark Hinueber each characterized the lawsuit Wednesday as a dispute that could be resolved.
Arizona House fails to pass bill to post public notices on online
The Arizona House has failed to pass a bill allowing businesses to post public notices on the Arizona Corporation Commission website rather than in newspapers. The proposal is part of an annual effort for the Legislature to end a requirement for governments to publish public notices in newspapers. Republican Rep. Darin Mitchell of Litchfield Park says his bill would create a central location for posting that benefits both businesses and residents. Mitchell says the bill would fix a loophole where businesses shop around for the cheapest newspapers to file their notices. Opponents say the bill would negatively impact residents without access to internet and hurt small newspapers that rely on the ad revenue. House Bill 2016 failed on a 26-33 vote Wednesday, but could still be revived in other legislation.
Journal Communications, Scripps get shareholder OK for deal
Shareholders have approved plans by Journal Communications Inc. of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati to combine their broadcasting operations while spinning off newspaper holdings into a separate entity. The transactions are expected to close early in the second quarter. Scripps and Journal Communications will merge their broadcast operations, creating an expanded Scripps. The newspaper operations will merge into a new, publicly traded company called Journal Media Group. The merged broadcast and digital media company will retain the E.W. Scripps Co. name. It will have about 4,000 employees in television, radio and digital media. Journal Media Group will be headquartered in Milwaukee and operate in 14 markets. It will combine Journal Communications' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, community publications and digital products with Scripps' daily newspapers plus community and digital products.
Kushner, Spitz give up exec duties at Freedom Communications
The co-owners of Freedom Communications Inc. and its flagship newspaper, the Orange County Register, resigned Tuesday, March 10, from all executive duties, more than two years after buying the firm and pushing through sweeping — but whiplash — changes. Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz announced their decision to employees, although Spitz will stay on as Freedom's chairman of the board, working with investors and the board of directors, the Register reported. Publisher Rich Mirman, a former casino marketing executive who has run day-to-day operations since last fall, assumed executive duties as Freedom's chief executive and president. He already was the Register's interim publisher and chief executive, taking over those posts from Kushner when he was hired.
INDUSTRY NEWS 3-12-15
Hackers attack US reporters for Ethiopian TV service
Hackers who attacked a U.S. employee of Ethiopian Satellite Television in 2013 have recently launched a new round of attacks against the broadcaster, an Internet watchdog group said in a report published Monday that links the spyware to the Ethiopian government. Citizen Lab, which is based at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, says the hackers used upgraded espionage software to send out booby-trapped emails in November and December. The broadcaster's executive director, Neamin Zeleke — one of those targeted by the malicious messages — says it didn't take a genius to figure out the same actors were at work. "They didn't even bother to change the email address," he said. Zeleke believes Ethiopia's authoritarian government — one of Africa's top jailers of journalists — is behind the hackers.
Egypt postpones retrial of 2 Al-Jazeera English journalists
The retrial of two Al-Jazeera English journalists who face terror-related charges in Egypt was postponed to March 19 after a brief hearing on Sunday. Acting bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, who has Canadian citizenship, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were freed last month awaiting trial, though they've had to check in with police daily. Their first hearing on Feb. 23 also was postponed. Al-Jazeera criticized the postponement in a statement, saying it has urged a swift retrial and that "wasted opportunities like today and the last hearing do not help towards that end."
CBS' Plante returns to Selma 50 years later
Fifty years after covering the civil rights marches in Selma for CBS News, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante is returning to Alabama for this weekend's commemorations still working for the same news organization. As one mark of how things have changed in five decades, Plante will be interviewing a black man who is president of the United States on Saturday. President Barack Obama will also be in Alabama to mark the occasion. Plante was a 27-year-old reporter in 1965 who bore witness to police tear-gassing and beating demonstrators on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Later, he interviewed the Rev. Martin Luther King as he crossed the bridge in a separate march to the state capital in Montgomery.
NBC brings back former news president
NBC has changed the leadership of its troubled news division by bringing back the executive who led the network out of a dark period two decades ago. The hiring of Andy Lack as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC was announced Friday in a memo to staff from NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke. Lack, who was NBC News president from 1993 to 2001, subsequently ran Sony Music Entertainment, worked at Bloomberg Media and most recently has been head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a federal agency. Among Lack's first duties will be deciding the future of Brian Williams, who is serving an unpaid six-month suspension for misrepresenting his role covering the Iraq War in 2003 and is the subject of an ongoing internal investigation into other alleged misstatements. Lack ran NBC News when Williams was positioned as the expected successor to Tom Brokaw as "Nightly News" anchor.
San Quentin inmate-run media earn acclaim for look at prison life
Over the past two years, Bay Area public-radio listeners have been able to get an unvarnished look into life at the state's most famous prison: An inmate living with HIV. A foreigner whose introduction to America came within prison walls. The nuance of a jail-yard handshake. The depth of the material suggests the reporter had to be embedded in the prison to get such detail, emotion and candor. In the case of the San Quentin Prison Report, "embedded" means "incarcerated." The radio program and a partner newspaper, the San Quentin News, represent a burgeoning media enterprise produced by inmates in the home of California's Death Row.
Ohio newspaper settles federal suit after staffers detained
The federal government has settled a lawsuit filed by an Ohio newspaper after a reporter and a photographer were detained and had cameras confiscated outside a military tank plant. Court documents filed Thursday, March 5, say the settlement calls for the government to pay $18,000 to The Blade newspaper in Toledo. The government did not acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement. The lawsuit was filed last April in Toledo by the newspaper and two staffers. It says the journalists were detained by military police for about an hour in Lima and their constitutional rights were violated. Military police told the journalists that photography of the tank plant was prohibited. As part of the settlement, the newspaper agreed not to publish photos of the plant taken the day the journalists were detained.
CBS sponsoring Vietnam exhibit at Newseum to honor Bob Simon
CBS will sponsor an upcoming exhibit about the Vietnam war at the Newseum in Washington to honor "60 Minutes" correspondent Bob Simon and his five decades of war reporting. "Reporting Vietnam" will open May 22 at the museum, recalling how journalists reported the war in the television era. The exhibit announced Thursday, March 5, will feature Simon, Walter Cronkite and others. Curators say it will pose the question: "Did the press lose the war?" Simon was one of the last journalists to leave Vietnam following the fall of Saigon in 1975. He reported on conflicts worldwide. Simon died Feb. 11 after a nearly 50-year career at CBS. In a statement, CBS News President David Rhodes says Simon's reporting from Vietnam in the 1970s cemented his role as the pre-eminent war correspondent.
Court rules journalist can publish diary in James Brown case
The South Carolina Supreme Court says a freelance journalist can publish a diary that she says is from James Brown's widow. The justices ruled Wednesday, March 4, that preventing Sue Summer from publishing Tommie Rae Brown's writings would violate her First Amendment free press rights. The writings from Tommie Rae Brown's diary were put under seal by a judge hearing challenges to James Brown's estate. Summer was mailed the diary with no return address and posted the contents on Facebook. The writings show Tommie Rae Brown questioned whether she and the soul singer were legally married before he died in 2006. A lawyer for Tommie Rae Brown said Summer was publishing something a judge said should not be public. The attorney also asked that Summer be forced to reveal her source.
Times Record publisher retiring
Larry Hubner, publisher and advertising director of the Times Record, of Brunswick, Maine, has announced his retirement. Hubner, 60, has served in the position since November of 2012. Sample Media, owner of The Times Record, is conducting a national search for a replacement. April 10 will be Hubner's last day as publisher. "My wife and I have some exciting plans afoot, and I'll announce those in a column next month, once the company decides on a replacement," Hubner said this week. Hubner has served in the newspaper industry since he was a news carrier at age 13. He most recently was publisher and advertising director for the Sentinel and Enterprise in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and was regional publisher for MediaNews in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Winner of prestigious World Press Photo award disqualified
Organizers of the prestigious World Press Photo contest have disqualified one of their winners after he told them one of the pictures in a series of images about the Belgian city of Charleroi was actually taken somewhere else. A series of atmospheric photos by Italian Giovanni Troilo portraying scenes of life in gritty, post-industrial Charleroi, east of Brussels, won first prize last month in the contest's Contemporary Issues Story category. The images triggered heated online debate among photojournalists and a complaint from Charleroi's mayor that his city had been misrepresented. World Press Photo launched an investigation that cleared Troilo of staging photos. However, late Wednesday, March 4, his award was revoked because one photo was taken not in Charleroi, but in nearby Brussels. Troilo could not immediately be reached for comment.
INDUSTRY NEWS 3-5-15
Arizona House gives initial approval to post public notices online
The Arizona House has taken steps to pass a bill that would allow businesses to post public notices on the Arizona Corporation Commission website rather than in newspapers. The proposal that received initial approval Monday is part of an annual effort for the Legislature to end a requirement for governments to publish public notices in newspapers. Republican Rep. Darin Mitchell of Litchfield Park says his bill would create a central location for posting that benefits both businesses and residents. Mitchell says the bill would fix a loophole where businesses shop around for the cheapest newspapers to file their notices. Opponents say the bill would negatively impact residents without access to internet and hurt small newspapers that rely on the ad revenue. House Bill 2016 awaits a formal vote.
Texas journalists back bill seeking more libel protection
Texas journalists asked legislators Monday to cement into law guarantees that they will be shielded from libel lawsuits if they accurately report a whistleblower's allegations that turn out to be false. They say that's been common practice in Texas for years, but that they want to see legislation passed particularly after a 2014 Texas Supreme Court ruling left state libel law unclear. Republican Sen. Joan Huffman said media groups asked her to push the bill, which she presented Monday to the Senate State Affairs Committee. Opponents say the measure is not necessary and that journalists in the state already have many protections. The bill would shield journalists from litigation when they report on allegations brought by a whistleblower, if the accusations were made and were accurately reported.
Reporter jailed in Iran gets lawyer after more than 7 months
After more than seven months behind bars in an Iranian prison, detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has for the first time been allowed to hire a defense lawyer, according to his family. It's just not the attorney Rezaian's family had hoped for. The Iranian-American journalist's family had been seeking to hire lawyer Masoud Shafiei, who has had experience dealing with sensitive cases involving foreigners and previously represented three American hikers arrested by Iran in 2009. Ali Rezaian, the reporter's brother, told The Associated Press in an interview last month that Shafiei had been prevented from dropping off paperwork that Rezaian must sign to enlist his services — effectively making him unable to formally defend him. The judge overseeing the case set a Monday deadline to present a defense attorney, giving the family little choice but to hire someone new.
Icahn settles with Gannett, withdraws his board nominees
Activist investor Carl Icahn has withdrawn his nominees to Gannett's board, ending a proxy fight with the USA Today publisher ahead of its planned split of its print and broadcast divisions. Icahn, who owns a 6.6 percent stake in Gannett Co., said in January he was concerned that the separated companies might become targets of a takeover attempt. He said he wanted to make sure shareholders would be able to evaluate any offer. However, in a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Icahn said he had reached an agreement with Gannett over corporate governance rules and had withdrawn his nominees.
Icahn said he is "very pleased with the agreement we entered into with Gannett yesterday, which we believe yielded a great result for Gannett shareholders."
Vega, Llamas to be weekend anchors for ABC
Cecilia Vega and Tom Llamas are the new weekend anchors for ABC's "World News Tonight" broadcasts. The network said Monday that Vega, who has worked for ABC since 2011 after working in local news in San Francisco, will work on Saturdays. Llamas, who came to ABC from NBC's New York affiliate, will work Sunday night. They've been doing fill-in duty on the broadcasts since the previous weekend anchor, David Muir, took over on weekdays last September. ABC News President James Goldston also said Monday that Vega and Llamas will be part of ABC News' political team heading into the 2016 elections.
Prosecutors' website scandal revived in official's appeal
An online-posting scandal that led to the resignation of a once-popular U.S. attorney will be revived Tuesday in the appeal of a former Louisiana official serving prison time for bribery and payroll fraud. Aaron Broussard is the former president of Jefferson Parish, which borders New Orleans. He pleaded guilty to two criminal counts in 2012 and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison. In an appeal set for a hearing at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Broussard's defense claims he was denied effective counsel because his lawyer at the time was kept in the dark about the extent of prosecutors' misconduct. That misconduct included alleged leaks and anonymous comments prosecutors made about various cases — including Broussard's — on Nola.com, the site of The Times-Picayune.
Bill O'Reilly's partisan critics stepping up attack
Following several stories questioning Bill O'Reilly's past reporting, a liberal media watchdog has ordered its researchers to comb through years of the Fox News Channel host's writings, radio and television shows and public appearances to find examples of inconsistencies.
O'Reilly is squarely in the crosshairs of Media Matters for America, an illustration of how the media is subject to the same political campaigns as politicians. Fox is standing behind O'Reilly, but the extent to which cable news' most popular personality is damaged may depend on how many more stories come out.
"It's a moving target," said Bradley Beychok, Media Matters president, on Friday. "It's too early to tell what the end of this is."
Tennessee public television stations to air legislative show
Tennessee public television stations are airing a new show about the happenings in the state Legislature. The first of four 30-minute episodes of the "Tennessee Capitol Report" are scheduled to air Sunday morning, March 1, on public TV stations in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Lexington-Jackson and Cookeville. The next episodes are scheduled to air on March 29, April 26 and May 31. The program is hosted Chip Hoback and produced by Tim Weeks. The first episode features interviews with Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell.Topics include the failure of Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal and the winter weather that has wreaked havoc across the state. Weeks says the aim of the program is to offer in-depth looks at the personalities shaping the issues at the Capitol.
Parents of slain journalist: Next 'Jihadi John' is on way
The parents of an American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State group say they are surprised a college-educated, London-raised man is the masked militant known as "Jihadi John" from the video of their son's slaying but also realize stopping him won't end the bloodshed. "The point is if we capture him and bring him to justice, what does that do? ISIS is still doing its thing. It's a very narrow approach. We will be happy when ISIS is defeated," John Foley, father of slain freelance journalist James Foley, said during an interview with reporters Thursday in Tucson, Arizona. "The next 'Jihadi John' is on the way." The Foleys spoke about the front man for IS murder videos with reporters before they participated in a forum at the University of Arizona on the growing dangers journalists face in conflict areas. James Foley was captured by the Islamic State group in November 2012 and killed last August.
Providence Journal names Janet Hasson its new publisher
A veteran newspaper executive credited with increasing online readership and digital advertising has been named publisher of The Providence Journal. Janet Hasson will be the second female publisher in the 185-year history of Rhode Island's largest newspaper. Hasson has been serving as the president and publisher of the Gannett-owned Journal News Media Group in White Plains, New York, since June 2011. She replaces Bernie Szachara, who was named interim publisher when the paper was purchased by Gatehouse Media and longtime publisher Howard Sutton retired after 15 years at the helm. The 55-year-old Hasson was previously senior vice president of audience development at the Detroit Media Partnership.
Lawyer for Al-Jazeera journalist blasts Canadian government
The lawyer for a Canadian Al-Jazeera journalist criticized the Canadian government Thursday, Feb. 26, for not doing enough to secure his release from Egypt. Mohamed Fahmy is out on bail awaiting retrial after more than a year behind bars in Egypt on terrorism-related charges. Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen, was asked to give up his Egyptian nationality in order to qualify for deportation. He complied with the demand but Egyptian authorities are not deporting him for reasons that remain unclear.
New York Daily News, tabloid NYC paper, may be up for sale
The New York Daily News may be up for sale. Mort Zuckerman, the owner and publisher of the New York City tabloid newspaper, sent a memo to employees on Thursday that said he was approached about a potential sale a few weeks ago. The memo was sent to The Associated Press. "Although there were no immediate plans to consider a sale, we thought it would be prudent to explore the possibility and talk to potential buyers and/or investors," Zuckerman wrote in the memo. He has hired the financial advisory firm Lazard to help with the process.
ABC's Sawyer does prime-time prison special
For her first big assignment after leaving as ABC "World News Tonight" anchor, Diane Sawyer went behind bars. The veteran journalist traveled to four prisons across the country for a special, "A Nation of Women Behind Bars," that will air on ABC on Friday, Feb. 27. Sawyer examines mental health in a prison system where so many prisoners are ill, how prisoners acquire contraband and issues involving sentencing. She visited prisons in Tennessee, Maryland, Florida and Washington over eight months for the show. Prison life is a story she has returned to for ABC, spending two nights in an Atlanta prison in 2004 for a first-person look and doing a 1996 show on life inside a maximum security prison. The veteran journalist gave up her nightly role in the evening news last summer to David Muir.
Ex-governor's fiancée sues newspaper to block email release
Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, has launched a legal fight to keep her private emails out of the public eye. Hayes filed a lawsuit against The Oregonian on Thursday, Feb. 26, asking a judge to rule that she is not required to turn over her emails to the newspaper. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum found earlier this month that emails on Hayes' private accounts that concern state business must be provided to The Oregonian under the state's public records law. Hayes is at the center of an ethics scandal that led to Kitzhaber's resignation last week. Her lawyer says in the lawsuit that releasing the emails would violate her privacy and her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Journalist to face court after Paris drone incident
An Al-Jazeera journalist will face court for illegally flying a drone in Paris, amid a spate of drone flyovers that have confounded French authorities amid heightened security concerns.
The Paris prosecutor's office says three journalists for Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera were released Thursday, Feb. 26, a day after they were detained. Al-Jazeera said the reporters for the network's English channel were filming a report on the recent, unexplained sightings of drones over the city.
Gannett Louisiana appoints New Jersey newsman top editor
Gannett Louisiana has named a longtime New Jersey newsman as its vice president of news and the executive editor of the Daily Advertiser. James Flachsenhaar's appointment was announced on Wednesday, Feb. 25, (http://bit.ly/1GxH3Zz). He now serves as director of consumer engagement for Gannett New Jersey. Judi Terzotis, president and publisher of The Daily Advertiser and president of Gannett Louisiana, says Flachsenhaar understands the vital role of community journalism and will be critical to the news organization's transformation.
Gannett Louisiana's sites include The Daily Advertiser, Opelousas Daily World, Monroe News-Star, Alexandria Town Talk and the Shreveport Times. He previously served as managing director for content and audience development for Gannett New Jersey, executive editor of The Daily Record and executive editor of the Bridgewater News.
Former NYT executive editor Jill Abramson has book deal
Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has a book deal for a work on the "creative disruption" caused by the rise of digital media. Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that Abramson will write about the struggles of "legacy" companies as they compete with "net-native" organizations. The book is currently untitled and has no release date. It's Abramson's first book since she was fired last May by the Times, where she had been the paper's first female executive editor. Asked if she would write about her departure, Simon & Schuster spokesman Cary Goldstein said the book was not a "memoir," but a "reported look" at the "evolving media landscape." Abramson's previous books include "The Puppy Diaries" and, with Jane Mayer, "Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas."
Williams and O'Reilly cases diverge
Two prominent television personalities are accused within weeks of each other of misrepresenting their wartime reporting experiences in ways that made those experiences seem more dangerous than they actually were. That's what Brian Williams and Bill O'Reilly have in common as each man is besieged with questions about his credibility. Most everything else about their episodes diverge, from the responses to the consequences. NBC News suspended Williams for incorrectly saying he rode in a helicopter hit by an enemy grenade while reporting in Iraq in 2003. O'Reilly, Fox News Channel's prime-time star, is accused of claiming he had reported in a combat zone for CBS News during the 1982 Falklands War when he was more than a thousand miles from the front.
CBS News releases video referenced in O'Reilly dispute
CBS News on Monday, Feb. 23, released video from four stories it aired about the Falklands War in 1982, all part of a dispute involving Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly and his subsequent statements about covering the war. None of the stories mentions O'Reilly, then a young CBS reporter, or makes any specific reference to a CBS crew member being hurt. The television time travel was prompted by a Mother Jones article last week calling into question O'Reilly's claims he reported in a "war zone" or "combat zone" during the brief conflict between Britain and Argentina. Few reporters made it to the front of the war, some 1,000 miles from the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
INDUSTRY NEWS 2-26-15
Battle Born Media acquires Sparks Tribune
A Nevada-based newspaper chain that owns publications in Ely and Mesquite has acquired the Sparks Tribune. Officials for Battle Born Media announced Monday they have purchased the more than century-old newspaper from Sparks Tribune LLC. Battle Born Media is owned by Sherman Frederick, the former president of Stephens Media and ex-publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal; and Tim Dahlberg, a national sports writer for The Associated Press based in Las Vegas. The company also owns and operates The Ely Times, Mineral County Independent-News, Lincoln County Record, Eureka Sentinel and Mesquite Local News.
Read more: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/23/3710497_battle-born-media-acquires-sparks.html?rh=1
Egypt postpones retrial of 2 Al-Jazeera English journalists to March 8
The retrial of two Al-Jazeera English journalists arrested in December 2013 in Egypt has been postponed two weeks. The decision Monday comes after a brief hearing in Cairo for acting bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed. Both have been out on bail since earlier this month.The two face charges accusing them of being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage intended to damage Egyptian national security. Their cases have been globally criticized. Their colleague Peter Greste, an Australian, was deported to Australia on Feb. 1 under a new law allowing foreigners accused of crimes to be deported. Fahmy, a dual Egyptian-Canadian national, dropped his Egyptian citizenship after Egyptian security officials who told him it was the only way he would benefit from the new law.
Al-Jazeera reporter in Egypt cites employer's 'negligence'
Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who is out awaiting retrial after more than a year behind bars in Egypt on terrorism-related charges, said his Qatar-funded employer is partially to blame for his grinding ordeal. Fahmy said it would be "naive" and "misleading" to see the case purely as a crackdown on press freedom, because it was complicated by Al-Jazeera's "negligence" and Qatar's use of the outlet to "wage a media war" against Cairo.
"I am not losing sight of who put me in prison," he said, referring to the Egyptian prosecutors, who failed to present any evidence related to the terror charges in a trial widely condemned by rights groups and major media outlets. "However, Al-Jazeera's epic negligence has made our situation harder, more difficult, and gave our captor more firepower," Fahmy said in an interview at his family home in a Cairo suburb.
Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/02/19/al-jazeera-reporter-in-egypt-cites-employers-negligence
O'Reilly contests 'Mother Jones' article about his reporting
Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly is contesting allegations that he embellished his past as a war correspondent. An article in Mother Jones magazine questions his accounts of his experiences as a CBS correspondent covering the 1982 Falklands War. The story compares O'Reilly to NBC's Brian Williams, who was suspended for six months for misrepresenting his experiences in Iraq. O'Reilly says the magazine is trying to "divert attention from the Williams situation." The article focuses on O'Reilly's use of the word "war zone" -- citing a passage from a book he wrote in which he said, "I've reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands."
Read more: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/media_marketing/2015/02/oreilly_blasts_mother_jones_article_about_his_reporting
Company that owns Las Vegas Review-Journal sold to New Media
New York-based New Media Investment Group Inc. says it has reached an agreement to purchase the company that owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal and daily newspapers in six other states. New Media President and CEO Michael E. Reed said in a statement Thursday that they will purchase Stephens Media LLC's assets for $102.5 million cash. New Media operates in more than 370 markets across 27 states, publishing 450 community publications.
Reed expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2015. He says Stephens' publications have a strong community focus, solid readership base and stable advertisers,' with daily papers in Arkansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. In Nevada, Stephens also owns the Pahrump Valley Times, Tonopah Times-Bonanza and Boulder City Review.
Yahoo seeking to harvest ad revenue from other mobile apps
Yahoo is giving away a toolkit for managing mobile apps in a move aimed at reaping more revenue from smartphones and tablets as CEO Marissa Mayer scrambles to catch up to the Internet company's rivals. The strategy will enable Yahoo Inc. to distribute ads in other mobile apps besides its own. Besides that, Yahoo also is trying to plant its search engine inside other apps so it can display ads alongside the results. Although the technology is free, Yahoo would keep 40 percent of all ad sales made in other apps. Yahoo announced the expansion Thursday at its first conference for the makers of mobile applications.
Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/business/national-and-international/yahoo-seeking-to-harvest-ad-revenue-from-other-mobile-apps/article_abc5c903-be2c-51c6-922e-080b55afffcf.html
Political journalist Jon Ralston returning to television
Nevada political pundit Jon Ralston is returning to statewide television. "Ralston Live" will begin airing on March 2 and will feature Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval as its first guest. The program is scheduled to air at 5:30 p.m. on weeknights on Vegas PBS and KNPB in Reno. The longtime political journalist said the new show will feature interviews, commentary and analysis similar to his previous television program, "Ralston Reports." Ralston's former show was canceled in December after 14 years on the air. Ralston previously wrote columns for the Las Vegas Sun and reported for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He currently contributes to Politico Magazine and the Reno Gazette-Journal in addition to maintaining a blog on Nevada politics.
NBC weatherman Al Roker to lead workshop on meteorology
NBC "Today Show" weatherman Al Roker plans to lead a free community workshop in New York on weather forecasting. The Saturday event is the second in the "Think Possible" workshop series inspired by the Don't Steal Possible movement, a grassroots effort on ending the education crisis that traps children in failing schools. Roker says New York's youth should have the right to a great education. Hip-hop photographer Jonathan Mannion kicked off the series with a workshop titled "How to Create a Photo Essay." For more information on the workshop series you can access their website at www.dontstealpossible.org
Horton new president of Brookhaven Newsmedia
Luke Horton has been named president of Brookhaven (Mississippi) Newsmedia — the Boone Newspapers Inc. affiliate in Brookhaven — and publisher of The Daily Leader, The Prentiss Headlight and affiliated publications. The announcement (http://bit.ly/1yXFxty ) was made over the weekend by Kevin Cooper, vice president of Boone Newspapers. A native of Newton County, Horton most recently worked as publisher of The Newton County Appeal newspaper in his hometown. Cooper says Horton will begin his duties in Brookhaven in the coming weeks. Horton graduated from Mississippi State University and began his newspaper career at a weekly publication in Kosciusko soon after. He has served as news editor, editor and publisher at several newspapers in Mississippi and North Carolina. Horton and his wife, Lauren, have five children.