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INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 23, 2017

Big Tobacco's anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay 

Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, addictive effects of smoking, more than 11 years after a judge ruled that the companies had misled the public about the dangers of cigarettes. But years of legal pushback by the industry over every detail means the ads will be less hard-hitting than what was proposed. Tobacco control experts say the campaign — built around network TV and newspapers — will not reach people when they are young and most likely to start smoking. "Their legal strategy is always obstruct, delay, create confusion and buy more time," said Ruth Malone, of the University of California, San Francisco, who has studied the industry for 20 years. "So by the time this was finally settled, newspapers have a much smaller readership, and nowadays, who watches network TV?"

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CBS suspends Rose, PBS halts his show following allegations 

Charlie Rose is the latest public figure to be felled by sexual misconduct allegations, with PBS halting distribution of his nightly interview show and CBS News suspending him Monday, Nov. 20, following a Washington Post report with the accusations of eight women. The women, who all worked for Rose or tried to work for him, accused the veteran newsman of groping them, walking naked in front of them and telling one that he dreamed about her swimming nude. Rose, 75, told the Post that he was "deeply embarrassed" and apologized for his behavior. "PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations," the public broadcasting service said in a statement. "We are immediately suspending distribution of 'Charlie Rose.'"

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Justice Dept. sues to stop AT&T's $85B Time Warner deal 

The Justice Department is suing AT&T to stop its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, setting the stage for an epic legal battle with the telecom giant. It could also create a new headache for President Donald Trump, whose public statements have raised suspicions that he might have interfered with the department's decision, potentially undermining its legal case. The White House and DOJ's antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, have both said that the president did not tell Delrahim what to do. In a press release, Delrahim said that a combined AT&T-Time Warner would "greatly harm American consumers" by hiking television bills and hampering innovation, particularly in online television service. The DOJ said AT&T would be able to charge rival distributors such as cable companies "hundreds of millions of dollars more per year" for Time Warner's programming — payments that would ultimately get passed down to consumers through their cable bills.

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Fox News 'Justice' host Jeanine Pirro clocked going 119 mph 

Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro has been issued a speeding ticket for driving 119 mph (192 kph) in a 65 mph (105 kph) zone in upstate New York. The Daily News reports the former Westchester County district attorney was stopped by a trooper on Sunday, Nov. 19, in Tioga County. A state police spokesman says he doesn't know what type of car Pirro was driving or whether she had any passengers. Pirro says in a statement through Fox News Channel she had been driving for hours to visit her ailing mother and didn't realize how fast she was going. She says she will "pay the consequences." The ticket is returnable Jan. 8. Pirro is host of the Fox News Channel show "Justice with Judge Jeanine."

New York Times reporter suspended in harassment probe 

The New York Times says it has suspended White House reporter Glenn Thrush while it investigates charges that he made unwanted advances on young women while he worked as a reporter at Politico and the Times. Laura McGann, a Politico colleague of Thrush's, wrote on Vox on Monday, Nov. 19, that Thrush kissed her and placed his hand on her thigh one night in a bar, after urging another person who had been sitting with them to leave. The Times, in a statement, said "the alleged behavior is very concerning" and not in keeping with the Times' standards. The newspaper said it supports Thrush's decision to enter a substance abuse program. Thrush didn't immediately return a message seeking comment, but told Vox that he apologized to any woman who felt uncomfortable in his presence.

Thrush worked at Politico from 2009 to 2016, when he joined the Times. His visibility is such that he was portrayed on "Saturday Night Live" during its skits earlier this year about White House news conferences.

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Suspect in Forbes' editor murder detained on Russian request 

Russia's Interior Ministry says Ukrainian authorities acting on its request have detained a man accused of involvement in the high-profile murder of an American journalist in Russia 13 years ago. Paul Klebnikov, the U.S.-born editor of Forbes magazine's Russian edition, was gunned down outside his Moscow office in July 2004. Ukraine's security agency said Saturday, Nov. 18, it has detained a Russian man wanted for Klebnikov's slaying. It did not name him, but the Russian Interior Ministry identified the suspect Monday, Nov. 19, as Magomed Dukuzov, according to the Interfax news agency. Russian prosecutors alleged that several Chechens killed Klebnikov on behalf of Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, a Chechen warlord who was the subject of Klebnikov's book "Conversations With a Barbarian." There were two Dukuzov brothers among the suspects.

St. Louis police issue special order reiterating rights of journalists 

St. Louis police officers will be required each month to read and acknowledge a special order reiterating the rights of journalists, according to Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole. It states that members of media must be provided, at a minimum, the same access that others are given, but that scene commanders can use their discretion to grant journalists select privileges, so long as the officers’ duties and the safety of other members of the public won’t be compromised. Officers are expected to read such orders and acknowledge they’ve read and understand them on a monthly basis, O’Toole said. Also, the department will send all officers an advisory asking them to allow journalists to do their jobs and increase officer training in dealing with journalists.

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Clinton jokes she's resigning from the 'Fox News presidency' 

Hillary Clinton is mocking Fox News for "always talking" about her as if she'd won the presidency. The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate is joking in an interview with the online news outlet NowThis that she is officially resigning as the conservative news channel’s president of the United States. She says the outlet is "always talking about the Clinton administration," despite the fact that she lost the election to Donald Trump.

Clinton says: "I want to take this opportunity, sitting here with you, to announce that I am resigning from the Fox News presidency." She adds: "I think that we should just leave that behind us and whoever they want to blame for anything, they're going to have to find somebody else."

NPR changes leadership as harassment issues linger 

National Public Radio elected new leadership on its board of directors on Thursday, Nov. 16, as the organizations deals with sex harassment issues that led to its top news executive recently being ousted. NPR said Paul Haaga, retired chairman of the Capital Research and Management Co., will be its new board chairman. He's a former acting CEO of NPR and has been active in the organization's management since 2011. Haaga replaces Roger LaMay, general manager of a public radio station in Philadelphia, who chose not to run for another term. Jo Anne Wallace, an executive at KQED in San Francisco, will be vice chairman. The changes to the oversight board come two weeks after Michael Oreskes, leader of NPR's newsroom, lost his job following complaints by women of uncomfortable conversations, and reports of unwanted advances toward women when he worked at The New York Times nearly two decades ago.

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FCC relaxes limits on owning newspapers, TV stations 

Federal regulators have weakened rules meant to support independent local media. Now, one company can own newspapers and broadcast stations in one market, undoing a ban in place since 1975. The decision Thursday, Nov. 16, by the Federal Communications Commission also makes it easier for one company to own two broadcast TV stations in one market and coordinate operations with stations owned by others. Although the changes won't affect AT&T's pending bid for Time Warner and its cable channels, they come as cable and phone companies have grown into industry giants through acquisitions. The newspaper and broadcasting industries say they need the changes to deal with growing competition from the web and cable companies. The Republican-dominated FCC approved the changes in a 3-2 vote along party lines. The two Democratic commissioners and other critics say that dumping these rules, by encouraging consolidation, hurts media diversity.

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Comcast talking to Fox about a deal, source says 

Comcast is in discussions with 21st Century Fox about buying its movie studio, some cable channels and its international arms, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. This person can't discuss the matter publicly. The conversations are at a very early stage, and there's no guarantee that a deal would be finalized, this person says. Comcast is interested in the same Fox assets that Disney reportedly showed interest in, the person says. Those would include European broadcaster Sky and Star India, the National Geographic and FX cable channels and the film studio. If such a deal took place, it would leave Fox with its Fox News channel, sports channels, the Fox broadcast network and several TV stations.

USC partners with media giants to expand diversity project 

The Walt Disney Company, NBC, Universal Music Group and others are helping the University of Southern California lead an expanded effort to drive diversity in the entertainment industry. The university's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced Thursday, Nov. 16, that is broadening the mission of its Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative to include the music world as well as television and movies and renaming the project the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. In addition to Disney, NBC and Universal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, HBO and talent agency WME are also joining the effort. The initiative releases an annual study on various issues surrounding diversity. Last year, it ranked media companies on their inclusion records.

Russia warns US media of possible foreign agent status 

Russia's Justice Ministry said Thursday, Nov. 16, it has warned several U.S. government-funded news outlets that they could be designated as foreign agents under a new bill which has yet to be fully approved. The bill, endorsed by Russia's lower house Wednesday, comes in response to the U.S. registration of Russian state-funded RT TV as a foreign agent. It needs to be approved by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law. Putin has harshly criticized the U.S. demand regarding RT as an attack on freedom of speech, and had warned that Russia would retaliate. The loosely phrased Russian bill says that any government- or private-funded foreign news outlets could be declared foreign agents, leaving it to the Justice Ministry to single them out.

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Fox News' Hannity decides not to pass judgment on Roy Moore 

Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity ultimately said Wednesday, Nov. 15, he couldn't be the judge of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. It was an odd conclusion to a televised ultimatum. Hannity, whose words carry weight among conservatives because of his large nightly audience, had given Moore 24 hours to explain "inconsistencies" in his response to allegations of child molestation or quit the Alabama race. Hannity read a letter from Moore, who said he never dated "underage girls." Moore questioned whether a 1977 yearbook inscription written by him to a girl who accused him of sexual assault was a forgery. The Fox host didn't say whether he found those answers convincing.

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Coffee maker smashings end, but Keurig's ad plans a mystery 

While Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity called on his supporters to stop smashing Keurig coffee makers to protest a decision to stop advertising on his show, it remains unclear whether Keurig will actually return as a sponsor. Hannity and a liberal lobbying group's effort to choke off his advertising are clearly making some corporations uncomfortable and loathe to be involved in a proxy political battle. After Keurig announced via Twitter that it would abandon Hannity's show because of how he reported on stories about Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, some of the Fox host's supporters began posting videos online smashing, blowing up or tossing coffee makers off a deck. Hannity called the action "hysterical" and showed some of the videos on his show.

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Congress urged to tighten rules on Chinese state media in US 

All staff of Chinese state-run media outlets in the United States should be required to register with the government as foreign agents as they may be supporting Chinese intelligence gathering and "information warfare," congressional advisers said Wednesday, Nov. 15. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said that Beijing has rapidly expanded its overseas media presence to promote a positive view of the rising Asian nation and the ruling communist party, even as it has tightened its control over media and online content at home, and increased restrictions on foreign journalists in China. The bipartisan commission recommends that Congress strengthen the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, which requires registration by people or companies disseminating information in the U.S. on behalf of foreign governments, political parties and other "foreign principals." The law is applied to foreign lobbying efforts, but the Justice Department has also required registration by media outlets funded by foreign governments.

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Fox News' Hannity demands answers from Moore 

Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity has put Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore on notice: explain "inconsistencies" in his response to allegations of child molestation or exit the Alabama race. Hannity, on his show the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 14, gave Moore 24 hours. "We deserve answers — consistent answers — and truth," he said. Hannity is generally among the most reliable and consistent media supporters of President Donald Trump and the conservative cause and his ratings — he had the most-watched show on cable television news last month — speak to his influence. Moore's only detailed interview about last week's Washington Post's story of his involvement with teenage girls when he was in his 30s was on Hannity's radio show.

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Russian lawmakers approve bill targeting foreign media 

Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday, Nov. 15, unanimously approved a bill allowing the government to register international media outlets as foreign agents, a swift retaliation to the U.S. demands made to a Russian TV channel. The bill comes days after the Russian state-funded RT registered with the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent following pressure from Washington. U.S. intelligence agencies allege that RT served as a Kremlin tool to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russia has denied any interference. Russian President Vladimir Putin harshly criticized the U.S. demand regarding RT as an attack on freedom of speech, and had warned that Russia would retaliate.

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Hungary accuses US of meddling by funding 'objective' media 

Hungary's foreign minister on Wednesday, Nov. 15, accused the United States government of meddling in his country's internal affairs and upcoming election campaign by offering to fund "objective media in Hungary." The U.S. has expressed concerns about "negative trends" for press freedom in Hungary, such as a dwindling number of independent news outlets and the increasing control people close to the government have in the media market.

The U.S. State Department last week called for grant applications from media outlets in Hungary based outside Budapest. One goal of the $700,000 program is to "improve the quality of local traditional and online media and increase the public's access to reliable and unbiased information." Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that the U.S. move was "shocking and unusual" among allies.

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Washington Post didn't pay Roy Moore accusers 

The Washington Post didn't offer money to women in exchange for accusing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of abusing them, despite a series of widely-shared articles on social media. The stories are based on posts from a Twitter user named Doug Lewis claiming "a family friend" of Lewis said she was offered $1,000 by a Washington Post reporter identified only as "Beth" to accuse Moore of wrongdoing. The articles also say the conversation between the reporter and the woman was recorded, but no recording is included with the article. The Twitter account in question no longer exists. Washington Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti says the allegations are "categorically false." She adds that the paper has "an explicit policy that prohibits paying sources."

EU lawmakers want Malta monitored following reporter's death 

European Union lawmakers are calling for a system to monitor Malta's handling of corruption and money-laundering in the wake of a car-bomb attack that killed a prominent Maltese journalist. The European Parliament approved a resolution on Wednesday urging the EU's executive Commission to "start a dialogue with the Maltese government on the functioning of the rule of law." The lawmakers want the commission to study whether Malta complies with EU money laundering and banking rules, and to determine if its government has been complacent about allowing people to buy EU citizenship. The lawmakers also called for the full involvement of the EU's police agency, Europol, in the investigation of investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia's assassination last month. The vote to adopt the resolution was 466-49, with 167 abstentions.

NBC News executive fired for 'inappropriate conduct' 

NBC News says it has fired Matt Zimmerman, its top talent booker, for "inappropriate conduct" with more than one woman at the network. Zimmerman used to be in charge of arranging guests for the "Today" show but in 2014 was promoted to vice president and led the behind-the-scenes unit responsible for such bookings at all NBC News programs. The network didn't give any details Tuesday, Nov.14, about Zimmerman's behavior, only that he violated company policy. The network acted in response to internal complaints. Messages sent to Zimmerman were not immediately returned Tuesday. NBC recently fired political contributor Mark Halperin, who had been accused of sexual harassment by several women dating to when he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago.

New internet TV service has $16 monthly tab and no sports 

The hook of the latest internet TV service is a low price and no sports channels. Analysts estimate that internet TV packages such as Sling TV, YouTube TV and DirecTV Now have so far signed up a few million customers. These services are meant to replace cable TV with a cheaper price and a smaller bundle of channels. Unlike the existing services, though, Philo doesn't offer many of the networks that are often considered must-have. It lacks sports and the dominant cable news networks and excludes broadcast networks like NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox. Instead, it focuses on music and comedy, scripted series and reality shows, with networks like AMC, Food Network, HGTV, MTV and Comedy Central. (The Spike channel, which is also included, does televise some mixed martial arts, a type of fighting.) The lack of expensive sports channels and other popular networks helps lower Philo's cost to just $16 a month for 37 channels.

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New book details decades of African investigative journalism 

Her first stories on the 1994 Rwandan genocide weren't published. Her editor couldn't believe them. No one could. A church filled with 1,300 bodies yet far from the killings in the capital, Kigali, reported by other news outlets? A mass grave with 500 dead and a few survivors crawling out? Yet Sheila Kawamara-Mishambi, a reporter for the New Vision newspaper in neighboring Uganda, was the first correspondent to expose the nationwide dimensions of the horror. Her work is a highlight of the new book "African Muckraking: 75 Years of Investigative Journalism from Africa." "She really persuaded her editor to send her back into Rwanda with a photographer," Anya Schiffrin, the Columbia University professor who edited the collection, said in an interview. "What was so interesting about researching this book was finding so many stories of investigative journalism from Africa."

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 16, 2017

Russia drafts legislation targeting foreign media 

Russian lawmakers say they have drafted legal amendments that would allow the government to register international media outlets as foreign agents. The measure comes as a quid pro quo response after the Russian state-funded TV channel RT registered with the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent after pressure from the U.S. government.

Deputy speaker of the lower house Pyotr Tolstoy said Tuesday, Nov. 14, the amendments will give the Justice Ministry the authority to register foreign media outlets or Russian media funded from abroad as foreign agents. Following the registration, they will face requirements that are currently applied to foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations. The U.S. intelligence agencies allege that RT served as a tool for the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russia has denied any interference.

College to name school for late journalist Gwen Ifill 

A college in Boston will name one of its schools after the late Gwen Ifill, a co-host of PBS' "NewsHour" and veteran journalist who moderated two vice presidential debates.

Simmons College announced Tuesday the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts and Humanities in honor of Ifill, who graduated from the private college with a communications degree in 1977. A former reporter for The New York Times and The Washington Post, Ifill switched to television in the 1990s and covered politics and Congress for NBC News. She moved to PBS in 1999 as host of "Washington Week" and also worked for the nightly "NewsHour" program. She and Judy Woodruff were named co-hosts in 2013. Ifill died of cancer last year at age 61. A formal launch of the school is planned for 2018.

Russian TV network registers as foreign agent in US 

Russian state-funded TV channel RT has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent after pressure from the U.S. government, documents released Monday, Nov. 13, show. The Justice Department announced the registration just hours after RT's chief editor said the company had complied with the U.S. demand that it register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The move doesn't restrict the channel's content, but the network is required to publicly disclose details about its funding and operations as well as mark certain content distributed in the U.S. with labels. \Many news outlets with ties to foreign governments are required to similarly register, but the pressure on RT has angered Russian officials who have said they will retaliate with unspecified restrictions on U.S. news outlets.

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US court hears case involving impersonation of AP journalist 

A federal appeals court heard arguments Monday, Nov. 13, in a case that developed after an FBI agent pretended to be an Associated Press journalist as part of an investigation into bomb threats at a high school in Washington state. When the ruse became public in 2014, the AP and a press freedom organization attempted to get government records about the case and any other times FBI agents have impersonated journalists. The lawsuit the appeals court heard Monday was related to whether the FBI looked hard enough for records requested by the organizations. A lower court ruled in favor of the government, saying the FBI had "conducted a good faith, reasonable search." The organizations appealed.

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Hannity' fans smash Keurig brewers over pulled ads 

A decision by Keurig to stop advertising on Sean Hannity's Fox News program has supporters of the conservative host destroying the company's coffee makers. Keurig announced Nov. 11 that it had pulled advertising from "Hannity" after several Twitter users questioned the company's support for the host, citing Hannity's coverage of allegations against Republican Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. Moore has been accused having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl 40 years ago. It's unclear when Keurig stopped advertising on "Hannity." The move has prompted several people to destroy Keurig products in protest and post videos to social media. Hannity reposted one of the videos on Twitter with the comment "love it." Fox News and Waterbury, Vermont-based Keurig didn't immediately return requests for comment Monday.

Formal charges against Danish sub inventor due in December 

Formal charges against a Danish inventor who admitted dismembering the body of a Swedish journalist aboard his submarine but denies killing her are likely to be laid in December, police in Denmark said Tuesday, Nov. 14. Copenhagen police said Peter Madsen has voluntarily accepted extending his pre-trial detention until Dec. 12.

Madsen, 46, currently faces preliminary charges of manslaughter, sexual assault and indecent handling of a corpse. He denies killing journalist Kim Wall, 30 — claiming she had died inside his submarine when he was on deck — but has admitted to throwing her body parts into the sea. The two had gone on a trip in Madsen's private submarine on Aug. 10. Wall, who was working on a story about Madsen, was last seen aboard the vessel as it left Copenhagen. The next day, Madsen — an entrepreneur who dreamed of launching a manned space mission — was rescued from the sinking submarine without Wall. Police believe he deliberately sank the vessel.

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Connecticut, other states scaling back government broadcasts 

While Connecticut and a handful of states are scaling back broadcasts of governmental proceedings to help cut costs, many others are pushing ahead with wide-ranging programming that can include everything from gavel-to-gavel coverage of legislative sessions to a documentary on managing wolves in Washington state. The Rhode Island General Assembly, which owns and operates the state-funded Capitol Television, has upgraded its operations. With a staff of 16 and a budget of $1.69 million, it can cover five legislative-related events at once using new, robotic cameras. The coverage is streamed online and appears on a public access TV channel and a 24-hour high-definition channel.

"Rhode Island is big on open government, transparency, so they actually invested in us a few years ago to update, so we could televise even more hearings," said Derek Hayes, the general manager of Capitol TV.

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A list of heartbreak: Newspaper tallies 33,293 dead migrants 

A German newspaper has published a list of 33,293 people it says died while trying to immigrate to Europe between 1993 and May of this year. The list, published by daily Der Tagesspiegel Thursday, Nov. 9, covered 46 pages and included names, ages and countries of origin, when available, as well as how the victims died and their date of death. Often, though, they never were identified. One entry said Iraqi migrant Talat Abdulhamid, 36, froze to death on Jan. 6 after walking for 48 hours through the mountains on the Turkish-Bulgarian border. Another, citing the United Nations refugee agency, was for a 15-year-old boy who drowned on Nov. 15, 2016 when a rubber dinghy he was on with 23 others sank while trying to get from Libya to Europe.

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Moore dismisses allegations in story, says lawsuit to come 

Amid pressure from within the Republican Party to step aside, GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore has called a newspaper report carrying allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl four decades ago "fake news" and said a lawsuit would be filed in response. Moore's condemnation Sunday, Nov. 12, of a Washington Post story during a campaign speech in Huntsville, Alabama, came hours after another fellow Republican, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, urged him to drop out of a special election for one of Alabama's Senate seats. Toomey said Moore's explanations had been inadequate and that Republicans should consider Sen. Luther Strange as a write-in candidate to run against Moore. Strange lost the Republican primary to Moore. Moore tried to raise money from the controversy, writing in a fundraising pitch sent about midafternoon that the "vicious and sleazy attacks against me are growing more vicious by the minute."

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Reporters concerned about press access on Trump's Asia trip 

The White House Correspondents' Association is voicing concerns about press access during President Donald Trump's trip to Asia. Reporters and photographers traveling with the president were barred from covering any of the events at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the coastal city of Danang, Vietnam, on Saturday. Nov. 11. And only one member of the traveling press corps — a video journalist — was allowed into a dinner the night before. Doug Mills, a White House photographer for The New York Times, tweeted a picture of a black box in protest that read: "This what our APEC Summit photo coverage looks today in Da Nang Vietnam. Blank. No coverage by the White House Travel Pool photographers traveling with @realDonaldTrump."

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Putin vows to retaliate for US actions against Russian media 

President Vladimir Putin is promising that Russia will retaliate for what he calls attacks on Russian media in the United States. Putin's comments at a news conference Saturday, Nov. 11, in Vietnam follow complaints by the Kremlin-funded RT satellite TV channel that the U.S. Justice Department has ordered it to register as a foreign agent by Monday. Putin says "attacking our media in the United States is an attack on freedom of speech, without any doubt," and promised to retaliate. RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said the station would register, since otherwise its American director could be arrested and its accounts frozen. She says "we categorically disagree with this requirement" and vowed to sue. She says "this requirement is discriminatory, it contradicts both the principles of democracy and freedom of speech."

Boston-area TV station breaks off newscast citing threat 

 A Boston-area television station was forced to break off its newscast because of a threat.

WFXT-TV posted a message to its Twitter account at 5:20 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, saying it "has been forced to stop our regular newscast due to a threat to our building." The station is located in Dedham, Massachusetts. Police said it remained an active scene. One of the station's reporters, Elysia Rodriguez tweeted out: "We had a threat to our building and told to evacuate. Everyone OK. Hope to be back on air soon." Another reporter Malini Basu described the situation as a "bomb threat" to the station. The station tweeted out that they "hope to be back on the air with our regular news& weather programming as soon as it's safe to do so."

Data firm CEO: Reached out to WikiLeaks about Clinton emails

A data firm that worked for President Donald Trump's campaign reached out to WikiLeaks during the campaign about obtaining emails related to Democrat Hillary Clinton, the company's CEO said. Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, said the approach was in "early June 2016" after WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange had publicly claimed he had Clinton emails and planned to publish them. Nix said his company asked a speaker's agency representing Assange whether WikiLeaks "might share that information," but Assange turned him down. Nix's comments Nov. 9 at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal, were his first acknowledgement that he had sought emails from WikiLeaks. Assange had previously told The Associated Press that WikiLeaks had rejected a "request for information" from Cambridge Analytica. The Wall Street Journal first reported Nix's comments.

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Publisher says Arizona lawmaker made offensive remarks 

The publisher of Arizona's largest newspaper has joined a growing list of women who say a top Republican state lawmaker subjected them to inappropriate sexual comments or actions. Arizona Republic Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish wrote in a column published online Friday, Nov. 10, that state Rep. Don Shooter made an inappropriate comment to her during a meeting last year in his statehouse office about legislation the newspaper opposed. Parrish wrote that Shooter told her he had done everything on his "bucket list" — except for "those Asian twins in Mexico." Parrish is Asian-American. Shooter is the subject of an Arizona House investigation launched this week after a lawmaker accused him of repeatedly making unwanted advances. He denies Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita's allegations, but other women have come forward with similar charges. His attorney says Shooter requested the probe and has no additional comment.

Judge: No subpoenas for neo-Nazi website publisher's family 

A federal judge has refused to give court-ordered permission for attorneys to question a neo-Nazi website publisher's relatives about the man's whereabouts. A Muslim-American radio host's lawyers have been searching in vain for The Daily Stormer's publisher, Andrew Anglin, since they filed a libel lawsuit against him in August. They want to ask Anglin's father and brother under oath if they know where he is living, so he can be served with a copy of the suit. U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers denied that request on Nov. 9 saying the "prejudice" to Anglin's relatives outweighs the need for such testimony. Deavers also refused to authorize subpoenas for services Anglin uses, such as web hosts, domain registrars, internet-service providers or banks.

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Fox's Smith avoids story covered heavily by colleagues 

While Fox News Channel has spent hours talking about Hillary Clinton and an Obama-era uranium deal in recent weeks, its news anchor Shepard Smith avoided the story entirely. Fresh evidence that Smith is an island unto himself at the news network came in research released Thursday, Nov. 9, by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America. During the three weeks starting Oct. 17, Fox News spent just under 12 hours talking about the Uranium One deal, with 29 percent of that time on opinion host Sean Hannity's prime-time show. Hannity calls it "the real Russian conspiracy," while Democrats suggest the story is used to distract from news about Robert Mueller's investigation into President Donald Trump and ties to Russia. Trump's favorite morning show, "Fox & Friends," spent an hour and nine minutes talking about the deal, second only to Hannity on Fox, Media Matters said. Smith's 3 p.m. weekday newscast didn't mention the story at all during the three weeks, except for two minutes on Oct. 27 — when Smith wasn't in and Trace Gallagher substituted for him.

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Ex-anchor whose girlfriend died in live TV shooting elected 

A former Virginia news anchor whose journalist girlfriend was fatally shot during a live broadcast in 2015 has defeated a Republican incumbent for a seat in the House of Delegates.

Chris Hurst beat Joseph Yost Nov. 7 in a high-profile race for the Blacksburg-area seat. Hurst was living with fellow journalist Alison Parker when she and a cameraman were killed by a former co-worker while reporting for WDBJ-TV. After the shooting, Hurst became the public face of the grieving Roanoke station, bringing national attention and a large social media following. The Pennsylvania native quit his TV job and moved to Blacksburg to run in the 12th District. The Democrat's campaign was backed by gun-control groups, but that wasn't his main campaign issue. Instead, he focused on education, health care and the environment.

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Sky threatens to shut UK news channel if it hinders Fox bid 

European pay TV giant Sky says it may shut down its British news operation if it is an impediment to 21st Century Fox's 11.7 billion ($15.4 billion) takeover offer, triggering claims the company is trying to blackmail regulators. The statement came as Britain's competition regulator continues an investigation into whether Fox's bid for the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own would give Rupert Murdoch and his family too much control over the country's news media. Sky said shareholders may force it to reconsider the future of Sky News if it is a hurdle to regulatory approval of the deal. "Sky would likely be prompted to review (the news operation) in the event that the continued provision of Sky News in its current form unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate opportunities available in relation to Sky's broader business," the company told the Competition and Markets Authority in a filing submitted Nov. 7.

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New York Times fires lawyer who worked with Weinstein 

The New York Times on fired lawyer David Boies' firm Nov. 7 after learning it tried to halt the newspaper's investigation into sexual harassment charges against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein while also representing the newspaper on other matters.Boies has disputed the Times' view that his work for Weinstein represented a conflict of interest. Still, he no longer works for Weinstein and said the task he completed for him was a mistake.

It represents the fallout from a New Yorker magazine article that reported Weinstein hired investigators to trail women who had accused him of mistreatment, including Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette. Journalists pursuing the story, including Jodi Kantor of the Times and Ronan Farrow, author of Tuesday's New Yorker piece, also were investigated. It was not immediately clear how much business the Times did with the law firm Boies Schiller and Flexner.

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Will it be AT&T vs the government in $85B Time Warner deal? 

AT&T's pending acquisition of Time Warner, an $85 billion media deal that could shake up how Americans watch TV, is being held up by the government. That's raising red flags for some who worry that the White House is trying to put pressure on CNN, the news network owned by Time Warner. The Justice Department told AT&T that it wanted the telecom company to sell its DirecTV satellite unit or Time Warner's Turner, which houses CNN, TBS and TNT, to get the deal approved, said a person familiar with the situation, who was not authorized to speak publicly. According to a Justice Department official, AT&T has offered to divest CNN. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the department rejected that offer as insufficient to resolve its concerns, which it did not specify.

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Venezuela assembly passes new law clamping down on media 

Venezuela's all-powerful constitutional assembly passed a wide-reaching law Nov. 8 that clamps down on social media and broadcasters alike by ordering prison sentences of up to 20 years for anyone who instigates hate. The law, passed by the pro-government assembly amid rousing applause and flag-waving on the chamber floor, prohibits Venezuelans from spreading any message through television, radio or social media that instigates violence or hate. Public and private media outlets are "obligated to broadcast messages aimed at promoting peace, tolerance, equality and respect," the law says.

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Statesman publisher to step down, join Idaho Power 

The president and publisher of the Idaho Statesman will step down Dec. 1 to take a job overseeing the communications department at Idaho Power. “I had a great opportunity to go to another company, and it lets me stay in Idaho long term, which is what my family and I want,” said Debra Leithauser, who is married and has two school-age children. “We came to Boise and just fell in love with the area. Staying here became a top priority for us.” McClatchy, the Sacramento, California, company that owns the Statesman, said it has launched a search for her successor. “Deb’s not only been our leader in Boise, she’s also been a thought leader at McClatchy,” said Mark Zieman, McClatchy’s vice president of operations. “We wish her all the best in her new role.” Leithauser joined the Statesman in October 2015.

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Disney ends LA Times ban after widespread backlash 

The Walt Disney Co. has lifted its ban of Los Angeles Times reporters and critics from its press screenings after a widespread backlash prompted several media outlets to announce their own boycotts of Disney movies. In a statement Nov. 7, Disney said it was restoring access to the newspaper after "productive discussions with the newly installed leadership" at the Los Angeles Times. Disney had barred the Times from its screenings after the paper published a two-part investigative series on the company's business dealings in Anaheim, California, where Disneyland is. The ban's withdrawal ended an unusual clash between Hollywood's arguably most powerful studio and the media outlets that regularly write about its movies. Disney's punitive measures against the Los Angeles Time led to many outlets refusing advance coverage of the studio's films, including The New York Times, the Boston Globe and The A.V. Club. Four prominent film critics groups announced Tuesday that they would bar Disney films from receiving awards consideration

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 10, 2017

Film critics bar Disney from awards over L.A. Times dispute 

Four prominent film critics groups say they will bar Walt Disney Co. films from receiving awards consideration over the company's decision to bar the Los Angeles Times from advance screenings of its films and access to its talent. Disney said last week the Times disregarded "basic journalistic standards" in a series of reports on the relationship between the city of Anaheim and Disneyland Resort. In a joint statement released early Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics denounced Disney's decision, saying it "should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included." The groups say Disney films won't be considered for awards until the blackout of the Times is lifted. A company spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Report: Apple revamped overseas ops to find new tax havens 

Apple revamped its overseas subsidiaries to take advantage of tax loopholes on the European island of Jersey after a crackdown on Ireland's loose rules began in 2013, according to The New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The news outlet and the nonprofit investigative organization cited confidential records that were obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and shared. The cache of 13 million secret documents came from Appleby, a Bermuda-based law firm that helps businesses and wealthy individuals find tax shelters. The moves came after a U.S. Senate subcommittee found in 2013 that Apple had avoided tens of billions of dollars in taxes by using overseas havens. The paper said Apple has $128 billion in offshore profits not taxed by the U.S.

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AP says it got 1 complaint filed by employee against Oreskes 

The Associated Press said Monday, Nov. 6, it had received one complaint of "unwelcome and inappropriate verbal communication" against former executive Michael Oreskes, who lost his job as National Public Radio newsroom chief following sexual-harassment reports.

AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton said the complaint did not involve sexual activity or unwelcome touching and was investigated and acted upon. The complaint was made by an employee while Oreskes worked at the AP and was the only one the news cooperative had received about him, Easton said. Oreskes was vice president and a senior managing editor at the AP from 2008 to 2015. "In my eight years at the AP I was on one occasion asked by HR about an exchange of email with a non-editorial staff member," Oreskes said on Monday. "The exchange was mutual and innocent. We discussed, among other things, my father's death and the colleges we attended."

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Maryland AG: Sinclair, Tribune TV merger is a 'bad deal' 

Maryland's attorney general opposes the proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcasting Group and rival TV station operator Tribune Media. Attorney General Brian E. Frosh filed comments Friday, Nov. 3, with the Federal Communications Commission, arguing that the merger would lead to fewer options for consumers and higher prices. Frosh also asked the FCC to delay its decision on the merger until a court decides how to calculate national audience reach. Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair is already the nation's largest local TV station operator with 173 stations. The Tribune deal, plus other pending acquisitions, would give it a total of 233 stations. Sinclair says the merger would make it more efficient and would help the survival of free, over-the-air TV. The attorneys general in Illinois, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have already voiced their opposition.

Guardian journalist has book coming on Trump and Russia 

A journalist who has reported on the so-called "Steele Dossier" compiled on Donald Trump has a book coming out Nov. 16. Vintage Books told The Associated Press on Monday, Nov. 6, that Luke Harding's "Collusion: Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win" will be a detailed narrative on Trump's connections with the Russians. Harding is a foreign correspondent for The Guardian. He met last year with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, whose dossier on Trump contains explosive allegations about the president and Russia. The book also investigates such Trump aides and family members as Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager who was indicted last week for money laundering and other charges. Harding said in a statement that the Trump-Russia story is one of "follow the money," a phrase dating back to the Watergate scandals.

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NYU journalism department cuts ties to NYU Abu Dhabi 

The journalism department at New York University told the school it was cutting its ties to NYU's Abu Dhabi campus over two professors being denied work visas by the United Arab Emirates, as well as the school's handling of the situation. The majority of senior faculty at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute sent a letter to NYU President Andrew Hamilton saying they were dismayed that journalism professor Mohamad Bazzi and Middle East politics professor Arang Keshavarzian had been denied visas. Bazzi wrote about his experience in The New York Times in September, saying officials in the U.A.E. haven't given a reason for his visa denial. The Nov. 2 letter said that while they "have the utmost respect for our faculty colleagues and students at NYU Abu Dhabi," that "since a member of our faculty has been prohibited from teaching at NYU Abu Dhabi, the Carter Journalism Institute is not prepared to continue its relationship with NYUAD."

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New Republic publisher resigns after harassment allegations 

The publisher of The New Republic, Hamilton Fish, resigned Friday, Nov. 3, amid allegations of sexual harassment. In a company memo shared with The Associated Press, magazine owner Win McCormack wrote that Fish's resignation was effective immediately and that an internal investigation would continue. Fish, who joined The New Republic in 2016, had been placed on leave of absence last week. He is a former publisher of The Nation. "As I understand it, some employees, to my deep dismay, complained this week that my presence had led them to feel uncomfortable at The New Republic," Fish wrote to McCormack in a memo Friday that was also shared with the AP. "Women have longstanding and profound concerns with respect to their treatment in the workplace. Many men have a lot to learn in this regard. I know I do, and I hope for and encourage that new direction."

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Disney bars LA Times film coverage after critical piece 

In response to a Los Angeles Times series about the relationship between the Walt Disney Co. and the city of Anaheim that Disney claims is "biased and inaccurate," the company is barring the paper from advance screenings of its films and access to its talent. The editors of the Times said Friday that Disney declined access to its slate of films for the paper's holiday film preview citing "unfair coverage" of its business ties with Anaheim. Upcoming Disney films include "Thor: Ragnarok," ''Coco" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." The paper ran a two-part series in late September looking into what it characterized as a complicated and increasingly tense relationship between the city and the Disneyland Resort. The Times says it will review and cover Disney films when they become available to the public.

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AP employees ask about any complaints against former news executive 

More than 100 employees of The Associated Press petitioned the company's management on Friday, Nov. 3, asking if any sexual harassment complaints had been made against former news executive Michael Oreskes while he was employed there. Oreskes, who worked at the AP from 2008 to 2015, was ousted this week as newsroom chief of National Public Radio following reports of improprieties when he worked at The New York Times in the 1990s and later at NPR. The AP has not said whether anyone has complained about Oreskes at the news agency. Jessica Bruce, senior vice president, said there have been "no written agreements, payments or settlements of any kind" made with anyone in connection with his behavior. The request by 116 members of the News Media Guild came as the AP's executive editor, Sally Buzbee, emailed a letter to staff members worldwide reminding them of steps they could take if they felt harassed or intimidated.

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Melody Brunson named publisher of Washington (Indiana) Times Herald

Melody Brunson, veteran editor of the Washington (Indiana) Times Herald, has been appointed publisher of the newspaper, effective immediately. Brunson will retain her editor title as well, said Robyn McCloskey, group publisher for the Times Herald’s parent company, Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. “As a lifetime resident of Daviess County, Melody has the market knowledge and experience to serve in both roles and move the Times Herald forward,” said McCloskey. “Her sense of community and understanding of content that readers want and need make her a good fit for the dual role.”

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Tina West named publisher of  Wabash, Indiana, Plain Dealer  
Tina West, a 40-year veteran of the Indiana news industry, was named publisher of the Wabash Plain Dealer by Paxton Media Group on Thursday, Nov. 2. “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tina West to publisher of the Wabash Plain Dealer,” said David Holgate, group president of Paxton Media Group in Indiana and Michigan. “Tina brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and will be an asset to the paper and community.” Readers may know West as publisher of the Peru Tribune and Huntington Herald Press. West has spent many years in the news business starting with the Anderson Herald Bulletin, where she worked in advertising. She later joined Paxton Media Group in 2006 at the New Castle Courier Times and is now publisher of three newspapers for the Central Indiana News Group (CING).

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Gary Adkisson named publisher at Bismarck (North Dakota) Tribune 

Gary Adkisson has been named publisher of the Bismarck (North Dakota) Tribune, a Lee Enterprises newspaper. The 60-year-old Adkisson was formerly publisher of The Sentinel in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He joined Lee Enterprises in 2014 after serving as general manager of The Paducah Sun in Paducah, Kentucky, for seven years. Before he moved to Kentucky, Adkisson was regional publisher of three daily newspapers and 13 weekly publications at Brown Publishing in Delaware, Ohio. He has been a publisher at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in Bluefield, West Virginia, the Weatherford Democrat in Weatherford, Texas, and Livermore Publishing in Mineral Wells, Texas. A native of southeast Missouri, Adkisson began his career in 1977 as a circulation district manager at The Tennessean and Nashville Banner in Nashville while still a student at Welch College.

Departing Twitter employee deactivates Trump's account 

A Twitter customer support worker who was on his or her last day on the job deactivated President Donald Trump's account for a few minutes Thursday evening, the social media company reported. Shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, social media reports surfaced that the president's personal account, @RealDonaldTrump, was unavailable, providing the error message that the user "does not exist." The account was restored by 7:03 p.m. Twitter took responsibility for the outage. In a tweeted statement, the company said Trump's account was "inadvertently deactivated due to human error" by one of its employees. The account was unreachable for 11 minutes. Twitter later said the deactivation "was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee's last day." "We are conducting a full internal review," the company said. A spokesperson for the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Popular news sites Gothamist, DNAinfo shut down abruptly 

Two popular New York City news sites and their satellites in Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere were shut down a week after their New York staffs voted to unionize. Joe Ricketts, the billionaire CEO of DNAinfo and founder and former chief executive of what is now TD Ameritrade, said in a post on the site Thursday, Nov. 2, that the decision was due to business reasons, although he has previously been outspoken against unions.

"Businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure," he said. "And while we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn't been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded."

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Laura Ingraham calling! Trump returns to favorite venue 

President Donald Trump returned to familiar territory by granting an interview Thursday. Nov. 2, to Laura Ingraham of Fox News Channel, by far his venue of choice when he chooses to answer questions one-on-one. That makes 20 interviews he's given to Fox as president, including three to the Fox Business Network and one to Fox Radio. It's more than double the number of interviews he's given to all other television networks combined, said Mark Knoller, CBS Radio White House correspondent, the press room's unofficial record-keeper. NBC News, with three, is the next closest network. CNN, a frequent target of the president's ire, has had none.

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Gannett beats 3Q profit expectations, misses on revenue 

Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI) on Thursday, Nov.2, reported third-quarter net income of $23 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the McLean, Virginia-based company said it had profit of 20 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were 16 cents per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 8 cents per share. The newspaper publisher posted revenue of $744.3 million in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $766.4 million. Gannett Co., Inc. expects full-year revenue in the range of $3.15 billion to $3.22 billion. Gannett Co., Inc. shares have declined 11 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 15 percent.

'Fake news' is Collins Dictionary's word of the year 2017 

After a U.S. presidential campaign dominated by charges of fake news, Collins Dictionary has designed the term the Collins Word of the Year 2017. The word — two words actually — will be added to the next print edition of the dictionary. Collins said Thursday the use of the term rose 365 percent last year. It is defined as "false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of newsreporting." The term has been picked up by U.S. President Donald Trump, who routinely characterizes critical reports as "fake news" in his tweets. Collins' head of language content Helen Newstead said the term "fake news" has been inescapable this year. She said it has contributed to "the undermining of society's trust in news reporting."

Under pressure, social media giants acknowledge meddling 

In three exhaustive hearings this week, executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google acknowledged that their platforms were used by Russia to try and create division over such disparate issues as immigration, gun control and politics. House investigators released a trove of Facebook and Twitter ads that showed just how extraordinary the cyber intrusion was. The companies' admissions and disclosures over the last several months have given congressional investigators one of their first real wins in the Russia probes. The committees have been frustrated by delays — and overshadowed by special counsel Robert Mueller — since they launched probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election earlier this year. Initially dismissive of Russia's threat, all three companies have pledged improvements since lawmakers ramped up pressure and called them to testify.

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Kentucky attorney general warns of advertising scam 

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a scam alert to warn  about fraudulent ads placed in the classified sections of newspapers and online. Beshear says people in several counties including Bath, Barren, Franklin and Jefferson have reported replying to classified ads for discounted tractors or pickup trucks that turned out to be a scam. Beshear says those reporting the scams reported the ads appeared normal at first and included a price for the item and a contact phone number. He says once an interested buyer places a call, they don't speak with anyone, but receive text messages or emails. The replies are from someone claiming to be selling the item at a deep discount because it belonged to her late husband, and she's leaving soon for a military deployment.

NPR chief placed on leave after sex harassment accusations 

The chief editor at National Public Radio, Michael Oreskes, was placed on leave Tuesday, Oct 31, after a published report that he abruptly kissed two women who were seeking jobs while he was Washington bureau chief at The New York Times in the 1990s. The women formally complained to NPR and told their stories to The Washington Post, speaking on condition of anonymity. Oreskes, vice president of news and editorial director at NPR, did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Oreskes was a vice president and senior managing editor at The Associated Press from 2008 until he joined NPR in 2015.

An NPR spokeswoman, Isabel Lara, said Oreskes had been placed on leave after the allegations from the 1990s appeared in the Post.

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Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity tops cable news rankings 

After the summer of Rachel Maddow, Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity ascended to the top of the cable news mountain. Hannity's move to the 9 p.m. timeslot paid immediate dividends for the network. President Donald Trump's biggest cable news backer averaged 3.2 million viewers in October, topping Maddow's 2.5 million, the Nielsen company said. Fox's Tucker Carlson, in an earlier time slot, had 2.8 million viewers. When Bill O'Reilly was working at Fox, there was no question for years who was the top person in cable television talk. His ouster in April following the revelation of sexual harassment settlements put that distinction up for grabs, and MSNBC's Maddow took the title in July, August and September.

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Facebook, Twitter, Google defend security measures 
As revelations emerged that Russian-linked accounts reached many more American voters than previously thought, Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google on Tuesday, Oct. 31, defended their security measures and promised a Senate subcommittee they would do more to stop the misuse of their platforms by a foreign nation. Just before top lawyers from the three companies began their testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., quoted President Donald Trump as saying that he had won based on Twitter. Graham also said the social media platforms were being used by people who "wish us harm and wish to undercut our way of life." Graham said the purpose of the hearing was for the government to "figure out how we can help" the tech companies. All three will also testify Wednesday before the House and Senate intelligence committees as part of congressional probes of Russian election interference.

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Austin's Statesman, 2 Florida newspapers offered for sale 

Cox Media Group is looking to sell the Austin American-Statesman and two Florida newspapers. The Statesman reported Tuesday, Oct. 31, that Atlanta-based Cox has put on the market the Statesman, which employs 200-plus people, its seven community newspapers and multiple websites. Also for sale are the Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Daily News. Cox Media Group President Kim Guthrie described the moves as "difficult but strategic." Cox will continue to operate newspapers in Atlanta and Ohio. Cox Enterprises, Cox Media Group's privately held parent company, offered the Statesman for sale in 2008 but took it off the market a year later. In 2015, it sold the Statesman's nearly 19-acre (7 hectare) Austin lakefront property to a Cox Enterprises-associated entity that has hired a real estate group to create a redevelopment plan

INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 2, 2017

NBC fires Mark Halperin after sexual harassment accusation

NBC News said Monday, Oct. 30, it has terminated its contract with Mark Halperin, the political journalist who was accused of sexual harassment by several women when he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago. Since the charges came to light last week, publisher Penguin Press canceled a planned book by Halperin and John Heilemann about the 2016 election and HBO pulled the plug on a miniseries that would have been based on the book. Showtime also said Halperin would not be brought back with co-hosts Heilemann and Mark McKinnon should the political series "The Circus" be renewed. At NBC News, Halperin was a contributor who was most visible as a regular panelist on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." The network had initially suspended him last week.

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Police: Danish inventor admits dismembering journalist 

She was a promising young journalist, tested in trouble spots throughout the world, reporting on a Danish inventor famed for building what was thought to be the world's largest private submarine. The story seemed to present little danger, but it cost Kim Wall her life. The Swedish journalist's dismembered, naked torso was found on a southern Copenhagen coast in late August and her head, legs and clothes were later discovered in plastic bags at sea. The bags also contained a knife, and heavy metal objects designed to take them to the ocean floor. Wall's arms are still missing. Inventor Peter Madsen — who is in custody — has offered a shifting variety of explanations for Wall's death. Police revealed Monday that Madsen now admits dismembering Wall's body and throwing the body parts into a bay southwest of Copenhagen, but steadfastly denies killing her.

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Russian journalist joins ranks of presidential hopefuls 

A Russian journalist has joined the ranks of those wanting to run in March's presidential election. The 37-year old Yekaterina Gordon declared her intention to run in a YouTube video Monday, saying she plans to focus on defending the rights of women and children. Gordon has hosted a slew of TV and radio shows during her media career, but she doesn't have the fame of celebrity TV host Ksenia Sobchak who announced her bid earlier this month. Self-nominated candidates need to gather 300,000 signatures to get registered for the race. President Vladimir Putin hasn't yet said whether he will seek re-election but he's widely expected to run. Veterans of past campaigns, including Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and liberal Grigory Yavlinsky have also voiced their intention to run.

Bobcat in bathroom of Oklahoma newspaper startles publisher 

A small-town Oklahoma newspaper publisher found a startling front-page story practically in his newsroom: There was a hissing bobcat in the bathroom. Sapulpa Herald publisher Darren Sumner says the wild animal jumped at him one recent morning as he was heading into the restroom at his office in Sapulpa, a Tulsa suburb. Sumner shut the door and trapped the adult male cat inside until police and a game warden arrived. Wildlife control workers captured the bobcat in a cage and released it in nearby Pawnee County. Neither Sumner nor the wild cat was injured in the confrontation. Sumner said the animal likely got into his building through an open door.

Russian journalist thanks supporters after stabbing attack 

A Russian journalist who was put into a temporary coma by a stabbing attack thanked supporters Monday in her first statement from the hospital, while Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to play down the attack. Tatyana Felgenhauer, a top host and deputy editor-in-chief at Ekho Moskvy, Russia's only independent news radio station, was stabbed in the throat last week. She underwent surgery and is still in the hospital. Investigators have identified the assailant as 48-year-old Boris Grits who holds Russian and Israeli citizenship. He is under arrest. The station says he attacked its security guard then went up to a higher floor to directly target Felgenhauer.

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New harassment claims against 'Game Change' journalist 

CNN is reporting that four more women are leveling allegations of sexual harassment against journalist Mark Halperin. The news channel said Friday, Oct. 27, that one woman is claiming Halperin masturbated in front of her. CNN said a second woman alleged that the "Game Change" co-author threw her against a restaurant window and threatened to derail her career after she rebuffed him. The four women, who were not identified in the CNN report, said the encounters took place between the late 1980s and 2006, during which time Halperin worked at ABC News. CNN said that Halperin denied that he masturbated in front of anyone or physically assaulted or threatened anyone. He issued a lengthy apology on Twitter, apologizing for causing pain and anguish to the women he said he mistreated.

The Atlantic removes an editor over harassment claims 

The Atlantic magazine has removed contributing editor Leon Wieseltier from its masthead after allegations emerged this week that Wieseltier harassed numerous women during his years with The New Republic. In a staff memo issued Friday, Oct. 27, and shared with The Associated Press, Atlantic Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that the magazine has "zero tolerance" for workplace harassment. Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic from 1983-2014, has been accused by former colleagues of unwanted advances, abusive language and other forms of inappropriate behavior. He has apologized and vowed not to "waste this reckoning." Two other institutions have broken ties with Wieseltier, 65. The Emerson Collective, an organization run by Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, canceled a planned magazine that Wieseltier was supposed to edit. The Brookings Institution, where Wieseltier was a senior fellow, has suspended him without pay.

Facebook ads: Social media giant announces new transparency 

Under pressure in advance of hearings on Russian election interference, Facebook is moving to increase transparency for everyone who sees and buys political advertising on its site. Executives for the social media company said Friday, Oct. 27, they will verify political ad buyers in federal elections, requiring them to reveal correct names and locations. The site will also create new graphics where users can click on the ads and find out more about who's behind them. More broadly, Rob Goldman, Facebook's vice president in charge of ad products, said the company is building new transparency tools in which all advertisers — even those that aren't political — are associated with a page, and users can click on a link to see all of the ads any advertiser is running.

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Woman wins hearts with weird voice-to-text comment on site 

A Massachusetts woman is generating online buzz for accidentally sharing more than she intended on The New York Times' website. =Christine McMorrow says she was using her iPhone's voice-to-text function to leave a comment on a political story Thursday when she was interrupted by a friend's visit. She says the phone continued transcribing parts of their conversation and posted it online. It starts out, "Zero optimism that the Democrats can ever regain," before shifting to a rambling run-on sentence with references to hard-boiled eggs, a visit to Cape Cod and a knee that needed to be iced. The comment was shared thousands of times online, with New York Magazine calling it the "single best comment of the year."

McMorrow told The Boston Globe it was "embarrassing" and "very weird."

JFK files: British newspaper got mystery call before killing 

A British newspaper received an anonymous phone call about "big news" in the United States minutes before President John F. Kennedy was shot in 1963, newly released files on the assassination say. A batch of 2,800 declassified documents includes a Nov. 26, 1963 memo from the CIA to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover about a call received by the Cambridge News on Nov. 22, the day Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas. The memo from deputy CIA director James Angleton says the caller said "the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news, and then hung up."

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Ohio deputy who shot newspaper photographer back to work 

An Ohio sheriff's deputy has returned to work after being placed on paid administrative leave for shooting a newspaper photographer when he mistook a camera for a gun. The Springfield News-Sun reports 25-year-old Clark County deputy Jacob Shaw has been assigned to the county jail after the Sept. 4 shooting of New Carlisle Newsphotographer Andrew Grimm, who had stopped to take a photograph of a traffic stop. The shooting continues to be investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Footage from Shaw's body camera shows the deputy stopping a vehicle, returning to his cruiser and then opening his door and firing two shots. He's then seen running toward Grimm and can be heard apologizing when he realized who he'd shot. Grimm was released the next day after surgery.

NBC News takes Mark Halperin off air after harassment claims 

MSNBC says journalist Mark Halperin has been suspended from his role as network contributor following charges from five women who claimed he sexually harassed them while he was an ABC News executive. The network said Thursday, Oct. 26, it found Halperin's conduct as described in a CNN story "very troubling" and that the veteran political reporter will be off the air until questions about his past are fully understood. Later Thursday, Penguin Press canceled a planned book by Halperin and John Heilemann about the 2016 election and HBO called off a miniseries that would have been based on the book. Halperin and Heilemann had collaborated on two previous books, including "Game Change," a best-seller about the 2008 race that almost single-handedly revived the campaign book genre and was the basis for an award-winning HBO adaptation.

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Family business that owns The Newport Daily News to be sold 

The family-owned business that owns The Newport Daily News of Rhode Island is being sold. The Newport Daily News reports the Edward A. Sherman Publishing Company announced Thursday, Oct. 26, GateHouse Media Inc. will purchase the business. The Independent, Newport Life Magazine and multiple other publications will be included in the sale in addition to The Daily News. The sale is scheduled to be finalized Nov. 1. Albert Sherman Jr, retired publisher of The Daily News and president of Sherman Publishing's board of directors, described the sale as "one of the saddest days" of his life. Sherman Publishing was established in 1918 when Edward Sherman bought The Daily News. GateHouse publishes 125 daily newspapers including The Providence Journal. GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis says he respects the Sherman family and Rhode Island communities.

Professor quits over denied Dakota Access pipeline seminars 

A University of North Dakota journalism professor said Thursday, Oct. 26, he's quitting because the school would not let him conduct seminars on the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest. Mark Trahant said he was put in charge of a journalism lecture series and proposed two pipeline protest topics that were rejected. Last year he wanted to hear from reporters who covered the protests, and this year he suggested talking about how the protest played out on social media. Trahant didn't say specifically who turned down his requests, other than to say "it went up to both the provost's and president's office." He said he was "disappointed and disgusted" because he doesn't believe the Grand Forks college is an institutional leader in the state.

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Azcarraga leaving as head of Mexico's biggest TV network 

Mexico's largest television network announced Thursday, Oc t. 26, that Emilio Azcarraga Jean will step down as Televisa's chief executive officer, but remain as chairman of the board, ending three generations of direct management of the company by his family. Azcarraga Jean said in announcing his move that "our industry is undergoing a massive transformation," an apparent reference to competition broadcasters face from internet-based TV services. Two longtime Televisa executives, Bernardo Gomez and Alfonso de Angoitia, will take over as joint CEOs starting Jan. 1. Gomez, an executive vice president, has been with Televisa for almost 20 years. De Angoitia was formerly Televisa's chief financial officer and sits on the boards of several other major Mexican companies.

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Media groups condemn St. Louis protest arrests of reporters 

Several journalism organizations have signed off on a letter to St. Louis' mayor expressing concern about the arrests of reporters covering protests sparked by the September acquittal of a white former police officer in the 2011 killing of a black suspect. The Committee to Protect Journalists sent the letter Tuesday, Oct. 24, to Mayor Lyda Krewson pointing out that at least 10 journalists have been arrested while covering the protests and that six reported that police used excessive force, including pepper-spray to the face and two instances where reporters' faces were shoved into the ground. "Journalists should not have to fear for their physical well-being at the hands of law enforcement when they cover newsworthy events. We ask you to conduct a thorough examination of cases in which reporters were assaulted or arrested and discipline individual officers found to have behaved unacceptably," the letter states. It was signed by the leaders of 17 other media advocacy groups, including the American Society of News Editors, Associated Press Media Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Russian editor says newspaper plans to arm its journalists 

The editor of Russia's most prominent opposition newspaper says he intends to arm his staff with guns that fire rubber bullets amid growing concern about attacks on journalists. Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov discussed his plans two days after Tatiana Felgenhauer of Russia's only independent news radio station, Ekho Moskvy, was stabbed in her studio. Muratov told the station on Oct. 26, that the newspaper is buying "traumatic weapons" for its journalists, providing courses on how to use them and taking other unspecified security measures. "Traumatic weapons" usually refer to pistols that fire rubber bullets. Several Novaya Gazeta journalists have been killed or died under mysterious circumstances, including renowned Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya. She was shot in 2006. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Oct. 26 that citizens can take security measures they think are necessary.

12 hours v. 20 minutes: Fox's uneven sex harassment coverage 
Bill O'Reilly and Harvey Weinstein are the celebrity faces of sexual harassment in 2017. But on Fox News Channel, O'Reilly's former home, the Hollywood mogul's fall has gotten far more coverage. Fox has devoted more than 12½ hours of airtime to Weinstein since Oct. 5, when The New York Times broke the story about his misconduct, according to the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America. By contrast, Fox has spent 20 minutes, 46 seconds, on the accusations against O'Reilly since the Times revealed many of them in April, the group said. A news organization's instinct to downplay a story that reflects poorly on itself isn't unusual. But in this case, some are attributing the disparity to politics. Weinstein has long been a supporter of liberal causes, while O'Reilly is a hero to many on the right, for whom Fox is the network of choice.

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Comcast's cable customers tumble as cord-cutting picks up 

Comcast's video upswing could be sputtering out. The cable company added TV customers last year for the first time in a decade. But on Oct. 26 it posted its biggest quarterly cable-customer loss since 2014. Research firm Moffett Nathanson predicts that industrywide, traditional video subscriptions fell 3.4 percent in the third quarter. That would mean that people ditched their TV subscriptions at fastest rate since online streaming started eating into cable's business. Partly to blame in the July-September quarter were the hurricanes that struck Texas and Florida, damaging poles, wires and other infrastructure and interrupting service for millions. But Comcast and other cable and satellite TV companies also say competition from online sources of video is taking a toll.

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Cincinnati newspaper apologizes after front page criticized 

The Cincinnati Enquirer has apologized for a front page blasted by the NAACP as "racially insensitive." The newspaper on Oct. 24 led with a story about City Council candidates with back-tax issues that included photos of six candidates, all of whom are black. The story headlined "Tax Troubles Dog Council Candidates" continued on an inside page with photos of three more candidates, two of them white, who have had tax liens. The local branch of the civil rights organization called the story "a divisive hit piece." Interim Enquirer editor Michael Kilian wrote an apology in Thursday's editions, saying the newspaper accepts criticism from the NAACP and others and recognizes "we've caused pain to many readers." He writes that The Enquirer is reviewing internal procedures to "do better in the future. "

FCC plans vote over loosening limits on media ownership 

The Federal Communications Commission is planning to vote in November on proposals to roll back ownership rules that were meant to support diverse voices in local media. The newspaper and broadcasting industries have pushed for changes to the rules as they face growing online competition. Critics say dropping the rules will encourage media consolidation and hurt local voices and diversity. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Oct. 25, at a congressional hearing that he wants to eliminate rules that, among other things, bar a company from owning both newspapers and TV stations in one market. It's been in place since 1975 but exceptions have been allowed.

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Social media companies agree to third congressional hearing 

Facebook, Twitter and Google say they will send representatives to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Oct. 31 on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The hearing is the third scheduled with the social media companies as congressional investigators probe the spread of false news stories and propaganda online. The three companies are already scheduled to testify at Senate and House intelligence committee hearings on the same subject the next day, Nov. 1. The Senate intelligence committee announced on Wednesday, Oct. 25, that each company will send its general counsel to testify. That's Facebook's Colin Stretch, Twitter's Sean Edgett and Google's Kent Walker. The companies have confirmed their attendance at the other two hearings but have not yet said who will appear.

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CBS names Jeff Glor as evening news anchor 

CBS News has stayed within its ranks to name correspondent Jeff Glor as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," the flagship broadcast that was led by Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather in the past but is now a distant third in the television ratings. Glor replaces Scott Pelley, who was forced out awkwardly this spring after six years. Anthony Mason has been filling in since Pelley returned to "60 Minutes" full-time. Glor was a part of CBS' hurricane coverage in recent months and was stationed in Jackson, Wyoming, for CBS' coverage of the total solar eclipse. He has worked on several broadcasts in his decade at CBS, including weekend editions of the evening news, and was part of CBS' startup of its streaming service.

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O'Reilly scandal creates more headaches for Fox bid in UK 

Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment scandal is causing more headaches for 21st Century Fox's 11.3 billion pound ($14.8 billion) bid to take full control of U.K. cable network Sky Plc. Revelations that U.S.-based Fox News renewed O'Reilly's contract after he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $32 million came just a month after Britain's culture secretary asked competition regulators to review the takeover. Karen Bradley said one of the reasons for her decision was that Fox News' handling of a broader sexual harassment scandal raised concerns about corporate governance at Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Soon after the New York Times broke the story about O'Reilly's contract renewal, a senior member of the British opposition Labour Party said he planned to ask the regulator to reject the takeover.

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Conde Nast drops Terry Richardson after misconduct claims 

Conde Nast International says it is severing ties with Terry Richardson, the U.S. fashion photographer who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct. The company's magazines include Vogue, GQ, Glamour and Vanity Fair. In an email published by the Daily Telegraph, executive vice president and chief operating officer James Woolhouse told Conde Nast country presidents that the company "would like to no longer work with" Richardson. He said completed but unpublished work "should be killed and substituted with other material." Conde Nast confirmed the content of the email Tuesday but declined to comment further. Richardson's agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Richardson has previously denied mistreating models. Richardson has photographed stars including Beyonce, Rihanna and Lady Gaga and directed Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" video.

Virginia newspaper offering buyouts to workers 

The publisher of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk is offering buyouts to workers that could result in a nearly 10 percent reduction in the paper's workforce. The newspaper reports that employees with 25 years or more are receiving the buyout offer. Layoffs will follow if the buyout does not attract enough volunteers. Publisher Pat Richardson said 70 people qualify for the buyout, and the paper expects a reduction of less than 10 percent from its current workforce of 543. The paper is also considering outsourcing its news design work, and expects to implement earlier deadlines for the print edition. Newspaper executives say the cuts are required as print revenue continues to decline. Like many papers, the Pilot workforce has declined significantly. In 2008, it employed more than 1,250 workers.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 26, 2017

Lawyers seek to question neo-Nazi website publisher's family 

Lawyers suing a neo-Nazi website's publisher asked a federal judge Monday, Oct. 23, for court-ordered permission to question the man's relatives about his whereabouts. Private investigators believe The Daily Stormer's publisher, Andrew Anglin, is living in the Worthington, Ohio, area but couldn't find him there last month, according to attorneys for a Muslim-American radio host who sued Anglin in August. The lawyers want to question Anglin's father and brother under oath and ask if they know where he is living, so he can be served with a copy of the federal lawsuit filed in Columbus, Ohio.

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Moscow journalist in intensive care after stabbing attack 

A well-known Russian radio journalist who was stabbed in the throat by an attacker has been operated on and transferred to an intensive care unit, the Ekho Moskvy radio station said Tuesday, Sept. 24. Tatyana Felgenhauer, a top host and deputy editor-in-chief at Russia's only independent news radio station, was put into a medically induced coma on Monday after the attack at the station's studios in central Moscow. It was the latest in a wave of assaults on journalists and activists in recent years. Most have gone uninvestigated.

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US lifts restrictions on 2 Panama newspapers 

The United States has lifted restrictions on two Panama newspapers wrapped up in money laundering allegations against their owner. U.S. Ambassador John Feeley says in a statement that Abdul Waked transferred his shares in La Estrella de Panama and El Siglo to a foundation. La Estrella reported Monday, Oct. 23, that its majority stockholder had donated his shares and it had been "unblocked" by the United States. In May 2016, the U.S. government prohibited U.S. citizens or entities from doing business with dozens of Waked-related companies. The newspapers had to lay off staff and reduce circulation.

Waked has denied the allegations. His nephew, Nidal Waked, was arrested on a U.S. warrant in Colombia in May 2016. La Estrella is Panama's oldest newspaper.

Satirical 'Ask A Mexican' column to end after decade run 

The "Ask A Mexican" column, a satirical weekly installment about U.S. Latinos that once ran in more than three dozen alternative weekly newspapers across the country, is coming to an end. The column's founder, Gustavo Arellano, told The Associated Press on Monday that the final version of the humorous installment will appear online for Albuquerque's Weekly Alibi. The column will not appear in the OC Weekly of Fountain Valley, California, the publication where the column began, he said. The move comes after Arellano resigned from the OC Weekly this month after he refused a request by newspaper's owner, Duncan McIntosh, to layoff half of the publication's staff. Arellano says the OC Weekly owns the column and he has rejected an offer to continue it as a contractor.

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Kelly on O'Reilly: Abuse, shaming of women has to stop 

Megyn Kelly took on her former Fox News Channel colleague Bill O'Reilly in blunt terms on Monday, revealing she had gone to her bosses to complain about O'Reilly's behavior and saying the size of a newly revealed $32 million settlement of harassment charges made by a Fox analyst was "jaw-dropping." O'Reilly responded, in part, by posting a copy of a thank you note Kelly had sent to him for a gift given at a baby shower.

The New York Times reported that O'Reilly had agreed to the $32 million deal to set aside allegations that include a nonconsensual sexual relationship with former Fox analyst Lis Wiehl, bringing to six the number of harassment settlements involving him. The deal was reached a month before O'Reilly signed a contract extension and three months before O'Reilly was fired because of publicity about the cases against him. O'Reilly has said he's done nothing wrong.

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Weinstein accuser Ashley Judd to be interviewed by ABC News 

ABC News says Ashley Judd will sit down with anchor Diane Sawyer for her first television interview since the actress-activist went public with allegations against movie executive Harvey Weinstein. The interview will air Thursday, Oct. 26, on ABC News platforms including "Good Morning America," ''World News Tonight with David Muir" and "Nightline." Judd, an early accuser of the now-disgraced Weinstein, has described an incident two decades ago in which she said he invited her to his hotel room, greeted her wearing a bathrobe and asked if she would watch him shower. In recent weeks, dozens of women have accused him of sexual assault and harassment. Weinstein has also been fired from the production company he founded with his brother.

G7 backs internet industry effort to detect, blunt extremism 

The Group of Seven industrialized nations threw their support behind a new technology industry alliance aimed at detecting and blunting online propaganda, saying Friday it had a “major role” to play in combatting extremism on the internet. G7 interior ministers meeting in Italy invited representatives from Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter to a session Friday, Sept. 20, dedicated to the fight against terrorism. In a final communique, the ministers pressed the industry as a whole to do more. "Internet companies will continue to take a proactive role and ensure decisive action in making their platforms more hostile to terrorism, and will support actions aimed at empowering civil society partners in the development of alternative narratives online," the statement said.

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Fox News duped by phony military hero, removes false story 

Fox News Channel has removed a false story from its website, saying it was duped by an artist the network highlighted as a Vietnam veteran, a member of the first U.S. Navy SEAL team and a much-decorated war hero. The report, which aired Oct. 8, focused on 72-year-old glass artist John Garofalo, who "despite health issues" emerged from semi-retirement to create a four-foot-high, 150-pound glass-and-bronze presidential seal he said he hoped to present to President Donald Trump. The report — captioned "Decorated War Hero Hopes to Honor Trump With Glass Presidential Seal" — included numerous details of Garofalo's alleged military past. "Unfortunately, all of Garofalo's claims turned out to be untrue," Fox News said in a statement issued Thursday, Oct. 19. "The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL. Even though he showed us medals, Garofalo was not awarded two Purple Hearts or any of the other nearly two dozen commendations he claimed to have received, except for the National Defense Service Medal."

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Senators push for more online transparency in elections 

Senators are moving to boost transparency for online political ads, unveiling on Thursday, Oct. 19, what could be the first of several pieces of legislation to try to lessen influence from Russia or other foreign actors on U.S. elections. The bill by Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would require social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to keep public files of election ads and meet the same disclaimer requirements as political broadcast and print advertising. Federal regulations now require television and radio stations to make publicly available the details of political ads they air. That includes who runs the ad, when it runs and how much it costs. The bill also would require companies to "make reasonable efforts" to ensure that election ads are not purchased directly or indirectly by a foreign national.

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Trump daughter-in-law is face of re-election effort with “Real News Update”

An image of an American flag waves and the graphic promises "Real News Update." The re-election campaign of President Donald Trump, already sprung to life two-and-a-half years before his name is back on the ballot, is pushing its own online news source to counteract what it believes is an oppositional media. And its face is a rising star in the president's orbit: his daughter-in-law Lara Trump. Lara Trump, married to Eric Trump, was viewed by many on the last campaign as a secret weapon after helping deliver her home state of North Carolina for her father-in-law, and she has become a central figure in a nascent re-election bid that already is fundraising, staging rallies and helping the president challenge the credibility of the news media.

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Fox's Wallace doesn't like colleagues echoing press attacks 

Sunday host Chris Wallace generally lives in peaceful co-existence with Fox News Channel's opinion folks, except when he hears some of them echo President Donald Trump's criticism of the news media. Fake news? He's fighting back. "It bothers me," Wallace said in an interview. "If they want to say they like Trump, or that they're upset with the Democrats, that's fine. That's opinion. That's what they do for a living. "I don't like them bashing the media, because oftentimes what they're bashing is stuff that we on the news side are doing. I don't think they recognize that they have a role at Fox News and we have a role at Fox News. I don't know what's in their head. I just think it's bad form." Wallace, who turned 70 last week, speaks from a position of strength. He just signed a contract extension that commits him to keep questioning politicians for Fox until well past the 2020 election.

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Public cut off from Central Oregon police scanner 

On July 27, the steady hum of static and central Oregon radio scanner chatter filling newsrooms fell largely silent. Reports from local fire agencies, the Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Transportation sounded occasionally, but the conversations from area law enforcement organizations about reported crimes, violent encounters and other police-related emergencies ceased. The silence came after all Deschutes County law enforcement agencies replaced their aging analog radio system with a digital system and then encrypted the conversations that once floated freely through the air. The change blocked personal scanners from hearing the information online, on phone apps or on hand-held or desktop receivers. Law enforcement agencies say their need for radio scanner secrecy is two-fold: Encrypted channels help them do their jobs to the best of their abilities and are safer for officers. But the practice also shuts out the public. For decades, the media has demonstrated a clear interest in hearing scanner traffic, as it alerts journalists to breaking news in real time.

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Pipeline protest charges dismissed against journalist 

Obstruction and disorderly conduct charges have been dismissed against a photo journalist covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protest last year. Sara Lafleur-Vetter was working for The Guardian, a London-based news outlet, when she was arrested Oct. 22 with 140 other people at the pipeline easement near state Highway 1806. Defense attorney Amanda Harris argued there was no evidence against Lafleur-Vetter and that photos show she had cameras and equipment and was working. Harris says Lafleur-Vetter identified herself as a journalist when she was arrested. Surrogate Judge Thomas Merrick dismissed the misdemeanor charges against Lafleur-Vetter Wednesday following testimony from several law enforcement officers who said they did not distinguish journalists from others during arrests. The Bismarck Tribune says four other defendants on trial with Lafleur-Vetter return to court Thursday.

Facebook knocks down Thai PM's claim of Zuckerberg meeting 

Facebook says its top executives aren't coming to Thailand, two days after the country's military ruler announced CEO Mark Zuckerberg would meet him this month. Facebook said in a one-sentence statement Thursday, Oct. 20, "There are no plans currently for any of our senior leaders to visit Thailand." Thailand and the social media giant have had a strained relationship this year. Facebook has irked the Thai government by being a platform for critics of the country's monarchy. In May, a Thai regulator threatened to block the popular site. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters Tuesday he was scheduled to meet with Zuckerberg on Oct. 30. "Please don't link our meeting to any other issues," Prayuth said. "To talk and exchange opinions would be better than for us to not meet at all." Thailand's military, which seized power in a 2014 coup, says safeguarding the monarchy is one of its top priorities. It has tried to stamp out criticism online, including on social media sites such as Facebook, and has aggressively enforced draconian lese majeste and computer crime laws.

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Newspaper lands easy scoop: Corvette crashes into its office 

A New Jersey newspaper has scored an easy scoop. A Corvette crashed into the newsroom of the Press of Atlantic City newspaper in Pleasantville. The newspaper reports the car's driver fell asleep Tuesday, Oct. 17, before driving through an intersection, jumping a curb, traveling about 75 feet (23 meters) and then slamming into the newspaper's office.

No one in the office was hurt. The crash shattered two first-floor windows and knocked over several filing cabinets. The female driver and a male passenger are being questioned by police.

Judge wants activist-journalist to testify about documents 

The judge presiding over the case of a Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder is seeking testimony from the journalist who was the first to write about the shooting of a black teenager. Officer Jason Van Dyke's attorney says Jamie Kalven obtained leaked documents about the shooting shortly after Laquan McDonald's death in 2014. Attorney Daniel Herbert wants to know if the documents contain information from statements officers were required to give during the investigation of the shooting. Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan on Tuesday noted the law protects reporters from having to testify about sources except in certain circumstances. However, he added he was intrigued by Herbert's characterization of the journalist's involvement and the possibility the leaks may have come from a police oversight agency. Kalven says he will appear in court when ordered but won't reveal his sources.

Trump: Drug czar nominee pulls his name from consideration 

Rep. Tom Marino, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the nation's drug czar, has withdrawn from consideration, following reports that he played a key role in weakening the federal government's authority to stop companies from distributing opioids. "He didn't want to have even the perception of a conflict of interest with drug companies or, frankly, insurance companies," Trump told Fox News Radio in an interview Tuesday, shortly after breaking the news on Twitter. The announcement follows reports by The Washington Post and CBS News, which detailed the Pennsylvania lawmaker's involvement in crafting a 2016 law, signed by President Barack Obama, that weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration's authority to curb opioid distribution.

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Sorg returns as publisher of Meadville (Pa.) Tribune 

Sharon Sorg, former publisher of The Meadville (Pa.) Tribune, has been appointed to rejoin the paper in that role again, effective immediately. She succeeds Jim Galantis, who has served as publisher for the last six years. Sorg will continue as publisher of the Sharon Herald, the New Castle News and the Allied News in Grove City in line with a management reorganization of the papers, which are owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. “We’re delighted to have Sharon Sorg’s wealth of newspaper experience expanded to include the Meadville Tribune,” said Robin L. Quillon, CNHI’s group publisher for Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland. “Her knowledge of the market will make this transition seamless.”

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CNN's Chris Cuomo starting HLN series on gritty topics 

CNN's Chris Cuomo is hearkening back to his newsmagazine days with a series for the sister network HLN that initially touches on hot-button issues like the opioid crisis, illegal immigration and the sex trade. The documentary series, "Inside with Chris Cuomo," debuts Friday, Oct.20,  at 9 p.m. and doesn't affect his day job as co-host of CNN's "New Day" morning show. HLN, the former Headline News network, is revamping to have a greater emphasis on crime and investigative programming. On Friday's first episode, "SOS New Hampshire," Cuomo looks at the drug problem in the state, focusing on addicts and people trying to save them. While the heroin epidemic has become a popular topic for news investigations, it's clear from the scope and growth of the problem that more focus is needed, Cuomo said.

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US worried about dwindling independent media in Hungary 

The top U.S. diplomat in Hungary raised concerns on Tuesday, Oct. 17, about the dwindling numbers of independent media outlets in Hungary and the growing influence of government allies in the media market. David Kostelancik, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy, said that while there is independent media in Hungary, the publications "face pressure and intimidation." "Government allies have steadily acquired control and influence over the media market without objection from the regulatory body designed to prevent monopolies," Kostelancik said in a speech at the Hungarian Association of Journalists. "Negative trends in the sphere of press freedom in Hungary ... are continuing." He also said that journalists at publications run by allies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban weren't able to publish articles critical of the government and mentioned how the government uses publicly-funded ads to support pro-government media while placing few ads in independent outlets.

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House, Senate intel committees receive briefing from Google 

Tech giant Google has briefed the House and Senate intelligence committees ahead of two Nov. 1 hearings that will examine Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections through social media. Officials from Google talked to investigators behind closed doors in recent weeks as part of the committees' probes into Russian meddling in last year's election, according to people familiar with the briefings. The people declined to be named because the meetings were private. The panels have recently focused on the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media and have pressured Google, along with Twitter and Facebook, to provide any evidence of Russian efforts to intervene on their platforms.

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Judge dismisses Russian billionaire's suit against AP 

A federal judge on Tuesday, Oct. 17, dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought against The Associated Press by a Russian billionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said in the 21-page ruling that aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, who sued over a March story about his business relationship with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, had "cherry-picked sentences" that he wrongly claimed were defamatory. She noted that Deripaska "does not dispute any material facts" presented by the news cooperative about his background and his role in advocating for Russian interests internationally. The judge also said Deripaska had failed to show the AP's story was published with actual malice or with reckless disregard for the truth, a legal standard he would have to meet for the case to move forward.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 19, 2017

US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe 

Silicon Valley is a uniquely American creation, the product of an entrepreneurial spirit and no-holds-barred capitalism that now drives many aspects of modern life. But the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are increasingly facing an uncomfortable truth: it is Europe's culture of tougher oversight of companies, not America's laissez-faire attitude, which could soon rule their industry as governments seek to combat fake news and prevent extremists from using the internet to fan the flames of hatred. While the U.S. has largely relied on market forces to regulate content in a country where free speech is revered, European officials have shown they are willing to act. Germany recently passed a law imposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($59 million) on websites that don't remove hate speech within 24 hours. British Prime Minister Theresa May wants companies to take down extremist material within two hours. And across the EU, Google has for years been obliged to remove search results if there is a legitimate complaint about the content's veracity or relevance.

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Any questions? Trump wants to talk. Again. 

Reporters were seated in the White House briefing room awaiting an appearance by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday, Oct. 16, when a call went out over a loudspeaker to head to the Rose Garden. There was no time to lose: President Donald Trump wanted to talk. Again. Chaos briefly ensued as the press corps quickly repositioned itself along a ropeline among the famous garden's fall mums and foliage in front of a podium marked by the presidential seal. While Trump rarely holds formal, stand-alone news conferences, his freewheeling, last-minute Rose Garden scrum was the latest example of his penchant for talking to journalists on the fly. For nearly 40 minutes, the president held forth on everything from tax policy to the Russia investigations to Hillary Clinton. Trump reveled in the wild rumpus, gesturing to specific journalists with a "hello" or a wink as they screamed and jumped to get his attention.

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Fact-checking fake news on Facebook works - just too slowly 

Facebook's effort to limit the spread of fake news using outside fact-checkers appears to be having an effect — although that finding comes with a major caveat. Once a story receives a false rating from a fact-checker, Facebook says, subsequent "impressions" can fall off by 80 percent. Impressions count the number of times Facebook users see a particular post.

But it routinely takes more than three days for a false story that appears on Facebook to be passed along to fact-checkers and given a false rating. And most impressions occur when the story first comes out, not three days later. That's the case with all news, both true and fake. The information was shared in an email from a Facebook manager sent to the company's fact-checking partners, including The Associated Press. Facebook gave an AP reporter access to the email.

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Bomb kills reporter who covered Malta's 'Panama Papers' link 

A Maltese investigative journalist who exposed the island nation's links to offshore tax havens through the leaked Panama Papers was killed Monday, Oct. 16, when a bomb exploded in her car, the prime minister said. Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a large town on Malta's main island, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle's wreckage spiraling over a wall and into a field, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said. Caruana Galizia's death resulted from a "barbaric attack" that also amounted to an assault on freedom of expression, Muscat said. He described her as "was one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level" as he denounced her slaying.

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4 women sue Detroit Free Press in pay discrimination lawsuit 

Four female photo journalists have filed a pay discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the Detroit Free Press. Former and current staff members allege in the Friday, Oct. 13, complaint that the newspaper underpaid them because they're women. The lawsuit follows a study this year by the newspaper's union analyzing pay data. It shows the median wage for men was higher than for women in almost every job category at the newspaper. For example, the lawsuit says male photographers make over $4 an hour more than female photographers. Free Press editor and vice president Peter Bhatia says the lawsuit has no merit and the newspaper has a "long-standing commitment" to supporting equal pay. A spokeswoman for newspaper parent company Gannett, also named in the lawsuit, didn't have further comment on Saturday.

Facebook's Sandberg favors release of Russia-linked ads 

A top Facebook executive says ads linked to Russia trying to influence the U.S. presidential election should “absolutely” be released to the public, along with information on whom the ads were targeting. Previously, Facebook declined to make the ads public. While Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, now favors the release, she didn't say Thursday when the company would do so. The company disclosed last month that it found ads linked to fake accounts — likely run from Russia — that sought to influence the election. Facebook says these ads focused on divisive political issues, such as immigration and gun rights, in an apparent attempt to sow discord among the U.S. population. The ads included promoted events and amplified posts that show up in users' news feeds.

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Ryan backs free speech amid Trump threat to yank NBC license 

House Speaker Paul Ryan affirms his support for the First Amendment amid the president's threats to yank NBC's broadcast license. Ryan told journalists Thursday, "I'm a constitutional conservative, I'm for the First Amendment." The First Amendment to the Constitution protects the freedom of the press. Ryan added, "I don't always agree and like what you guys write, but you have a right to do it, and I'm a constitutional conservative and I'm just going to leave it at that." Trump is threatening NBC's broadcast licenses because he's not happy with how its news division has covered him and calls it "fake news." But experts say his threats aren't likely to lead to any action. Pressed on Trump's view, Ryan said only, "This is how I see it," and moved on.

Trump threatens NBC but experts see no real risk to licenses 

President Donald Trump is threatening NBC's broadcast licenses because he's not happy with how its news division has covered him. But experts say his threats aren't likely to lead to any action. The network itself doesn't need a license to operate, but individual stations do. NBC owns several stations in major cities. Stations owned by other companies such as Tribune and Cox carry NBC's news shows and other programs elsewhere. Licenses come from the Federal Communications Commission, an independent government agency whose chairman is a Trump appointee. Trump tweeted Wednesday, Oct. 11, "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!" NBC spokeswoman Hilary Smith had no comment. The FCC did not respond to messages seeking comment.

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Facebook exec meets with lawmakers amid Russia probe 

One of Facebook's top executives met Wednesday with House members investigating the company's Russia-linked ads and told them the social media giant is serious about dealing with the issue. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, told lawmakers behind closed doors that the company is working hard to ensure Americans "understand what the propaganda is that they may or may not be reading," said House Republican Rep. Mike Conaway, who is leading the House intelligence committee probe Wednesday's meetings are ahead of a Nov. 1 House Intelligence Committee hearing at which Facebook, Twitter and Google are expected to testify. Investigators have recently focused on the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media and have pressured Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, to release any Russia-linked ads.

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NBC News president defends losing Weinstein story 

NBC News defended itself Wednesday after questions were raised about whether it had fumbled an explosive story about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults that network contributor Ronan Farrow broke instead in The New Yorker magazine. It was the same day NBC came under withering attack from President Donald Trump for a story the network did report, about whether the president sought in a summer meeting to greatly increase the nation's nuclear stockpile. Farrow's story, released by the magazine Tuesday, Oct. 10, offered new details about Weinstein's alleged behavior with women that followed an investigation published last week in The New York Times. The Times' story led to Weinstein's firing from the film company that bears his name.

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Atlanta TV anchor running to oust new Republican Rep. Handel 

An Atlanta TV news anchor says he's quit his job at the CBS News affiliate to run for Congress against Republican Rep. Karen Handel, whose election this summer capped the most expensive U.S. House race in history. Bobby Kaple said Wednesday, Oct. 11, that he can succeed where fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff fell short in the June special election for Georgia's 6th District. Handel kept the seat in GOP hands by winning a June 20 special election after Republican Rep. Tom Price stepped down to join President Donald Trump's administration. More than $50 million was spent on the race. Handel must seek re-election to a full term next year. Kaple says he left his job at WGCL-TV to enter the 2018 campaign because he can't stand to "simply report on this mess."

Danish police say submarine inventor won't talk anymore 

Danish submarine inventor Peter Madsen, suspected in the death of a Swedish journalist whose torso, decapitated head, legs and clothes were found in the sea off Copenhagen, won't talk with investigators anymore, police said Wednesday, Oct.11. Investigator Jens Moeller Jensen told The Associated Press that Madsen "doesn't want to talk now." Moeller Jensen said that Madsen, who is in pre-trial detention, isn't obliged to talk, adding that his lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, had informed them about it. She wasn't immediately available to comment. Kim Wall's headless torso with 15 stab wounds was found on Aug. 21. Before the other body parts were found last week, Madsen was willing to talk to investigators. Her arms are still missing.

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Saw found in Denmark could be linked to submarine case 

Danish police say divers have recovered a saw from the sea off Copenhagen and forensic investigators are checking whether it was used to dismember the body of a Swedish journalist. Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen said Thursday they were still searching for the arms of 30-year-old Kim Wall. Wall's torso was found on a southern Copenhagen coast Aug. 21, and her decapitated head, legs and clothes were found at sea last week. Wall was last seen on a home-made submarine with inventor Peter Madsen, who is being held in custody. He has said she died after being accidentally hit by a heavy hatch in the submarine's tower. Police have found no fractures to Wall's skull.

Late journalist, professor to be honored at George Mason 

George Mason is honoring one of its former professors whose career stretched beyond academia into journalism and civil rights. The school is dedicating a plaza Thursday in the Johnson Center on its flagship Fairfax campus to Roger Wilkins, who died earlier this year at age 85. Wilkins won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 along with Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and cartoonist Herbert Block for coverage of the Watergate scandal. Wilkins was working as an editorial writer at the time. He championed civil rights as an assistant attorney general in the Lyndon Johnson administration. Wilkins served as a professor of history and American culture at Mason from 1986 until his retirement in 2007.

Philadelphia papers offer buyouts and some new jobs 

The owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, its sister paper the Philadelphia Daily News and their joint website is seeking to eliminate 30 to 35 newsroom positions through buyouts.

The Philadelphia Media Network also announced Monday, Oct. 9, it's hiring 10 people for new digital-related jobs. Publisher Terrance Egger says "the economics are not getting any better" for the business. He says the company needs to cut costs but is also investing to modernize its news operation and expand its audience on The combined personnel moves represent about a 10 percent reduction in the 210-member union staff.

Union employees at the company since October 2010 are eligible for 28 week' severance pay. They also can get lump sums of $2,500 to $15,000 based on seniority.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 12, 2017

Fake news is still here, despite efforts by Google, Facebook 

Nearly a year after Facebook and Google launched offensives against fake news, they're still inadvertently promoting it — often at the worst possible times. Online services designed to engross users aren't so easily retooled to promote greater accuracy, it turns out. Especially with online trolls, pranksters and more malicious types scheming to evade new controls as they're rolled out. In the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Facebook's "Crisis Response" page for the attack featured a false article misidentifying the gunman and claiming he was a "far left loon." Google promoted a similarly erroneous item from the anonymous prankster site 4chan in its "Top Stories" results.

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Danish police find severed head in Kim Wall submarine case 

Danish divers found the decapitated head, legs and clothes of a Swedish journalist who was killed after going on a trip with an inventor on his submarine, police said Saturday.

The body parts and clothing were found Friday in plastic bags with a knife and "heavy metal pieces" to make them sink near where 30-year-old Kim Wall's naked, headless torso was found in August, Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen said. Moeller Jensen said there were no fractures to Wall's skull and he declined to comment on the discovery of the knife. Peter Madsen, the 46-year-old Danish inventor who is in pre-trial detention on preliminary manslaughter charges, has said Wall died after being accidentally hit by a 70-kilogram (155-pound) hatch on the UC3 Nautilus submarine, after which he "buried" her at sea.

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Murdoch's UK firm pays damages to ex-spy in hacking scandal 

Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper company has agreed to pay damages to a former intelligence officer whose computer was hacked by detectives working for Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid, lawyers said Friday, Oct. 6. Ian Hurst, who ran agents inside the IRA in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, sued Murdoch's News Group Newspapers after learning from a BBC news report in 2011 that his emails had been hacked. Hurst's lawyer, Jeremy Reed, said at the High Court in London that News Group acknowledged the agent's emails had been intercepted "routinely and intensively" over several months in 2006. Reed said when he found out, Hurst "feared for the safety of many of the people with whom he had been in contact," who included people in the witness protection program.

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Treasury's IG probing illegal surveillance allegations 

The Treasury Department's inspector general said Friday, Oct. 6, it is looking into allegations that a Treasury Department agency has been illegally looking at the private financial records of U.S. citizens. BuzzFeed, a news website, is quoting unnamed government sources as saying that Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis has "repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of U.S. citizens and companies." Asked about the report, Rich Delmar, counsel to Treasury's Inspector General, said, "The issues referred to in the article are currently being reviewed as part of a Treasury OIG audit."

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Adams Publishing acquiring Pioneer News media division 

Family-owned Adams Publishing Group is acquiring the media division assets of the Pioneer News Group Co. in a deal that includes 22 daily and weekly newspapers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah. Terms of the sale that's expected to close Nov. 1 were not disclosed. Minneapolis-based Adams Publishing says the acquisition also includes a newspaper and commercial printing facility, various shoppers and websites. The Seattle-based Pioneer News Group is a media business owned by members of the Scripps family. Pioneer Newspapers was formed by James G. Scripps in 1986.Adams Publishing Group owns and operates 100 community newspapers in 11 states. The Adams family also owns radio stations, outdoor advertising companies, a wine distribution business, label printing companies and a large interest in Camping World Holdings.

Kremlin warns US against restrictions on Russian media 

The Kremlin is warning that Moscow could respond quid pro quo if Washington restricts operations of Russian news outlets in the United States. Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Friday that Russian state-funded RT television network and Sputnik news agency had come under "unprecedented pressure" in the U.S. RT said it faces a U.S. demand to register as a foreign agent and provide detailed personal data for its staff, the request it said amounts to an attempt to push it out of the U.S. media market. Peskov warned that if the U.S. hampers the Russian news outlets' operation in violation of media freedom, "actions on the basis of the principle of reciprocity can't be excluded." He added that Russia respects press freedom and treats foreign media equally.

Open government group honors AP reporter, media executive 

An organization dedicated to open government will honor an Associated Press reporter and a former newspaper executive. The Iowa Freedom of Information Council will present its annual Friend of the First Amendment award to AP reporter Ryan J. Foley and Michael Gartner, who has held numerous leadership roles at newspapers and broadcasters and now is principal owner of the Iowa Cubs baseball team. Foley is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was editor of The Daily Iowan. He joined the AP in 2004 and worked in Des Moines and Madison, Wisconsin, before being named Iowa City correspondent in 2010. Throughout his AP career, Foley has been recognized for his ability as an investigative reporter and skilled use of public records.

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No snark allowed: PBS' 'Washington Week' stays true to form 

For 50 years, PBS' "Washington Week" has gathered a rotating group of reporters to share and discuss information about the nation's most pressing issues. It's an approach that's satisfyingly wonkish and, amid a TV sea of partisan megaphones and questions about journalism's role, especially important. An "oasis" is how Robert Costa, The Washington Post reporter who was named the show's moderator last April after the loss of much-admired Gwen Ifill to cancer in November 2016, describes it. "We don't have polemicists on. We don't have people who are columnists. We have reporters," he said. "No snark, no apocalyptic ventilating about the news, no snide opinions, no praise. Analysis. It's not complicated." Costa said that's what draws respected print and broadcast journalists to the program that airs Friday nights (check local listings for times). They include Washington Post veteran Dan Balz; Peter Baker of The New York Times; Jeanne Cummings of The Wall Street Journal; Erica Werner of The Associated Press; and Nancy Cordes of CBS.

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Alabama media firm acquires West Georgia-based newspaper 

An Alabama media company has purchased a daily newspaper based in west Georgia.

A subsidiary of Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa purchased The Valley Times-News from Valley Newspapers Inc. and its owner, Nell Dunn Walls. The publication, based in West Point, Georgia, serves readers in the West Point area and also the Alabama communities of Lanett and Valley. Boone Newspapers manages newspapers in similar-sized communities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The Times-News reports that its office and staff will remain in West Point. The new publisher of The Valley Times-News is Baker Ellis, who also is publisher of the Times-News' now-affiliated publication, The LaGrange Daily News in LaGrange, Georgia. The deal was finalized Oct. 1.

Russian lawmakers weigh restrictions against US media 

Russian lawmakers are warning that Moscow could retaliate if the U.S. moves to impose restrictions on Russia's state-funded news outlets. Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-funded RT television network, said it faces a U.S. demand to register as a foreign agent and provide detailed personal information about its staff, among other things. She has said that the request effectively amounts to an attempt to push RT out of the U.S. media market. Speaking after Thursday's meeting of a parliamentary panel investigating alleged foreign interference in Russian affairs, its head Igor Klimov said that Russian government agencies will consider possible retaliatory moves against the U.S. media broadcasting in Russia in response to the U.S. action regarding RT and state-funded Sputnik news agency.

Stolen baby photos, albums returned to mom by newspaper years later 

Candace Brooke Murray feared her precious memories were lost when her Florida home was burglarized and her children's baby photos were stolen more than a decade ago.

Everything in the home was stolen or destroyed. Three years later, a woman mysteriously left a box of baby photos, including ultrasounds, at the front desk of The News Herald of Panama City. The staff tried, but social media wasn't what it is now and the trail grew cold and was forgotten until a reporter recently stumbled upon it while cleaning. The box was filled with clues including the mother's hospital band. They quickly found her on Facebook and reached out to her. A dumbfounded Murray said her daughter graduated from high school last year, and the family had a difficult time finding photos. But she rejoiced that the photos will be there when her 15-year-old son graduates.

Basketball ref sues Kentucky media company over harassment

A college basketball referee filed a federal lawsuit against a Kentucky media company on Tuesday, Oct. 3, accusing it of creating conditions that led to the harassment of him and his family after he worked an NCAA Tournament game between Kentucky and North Carolina in March. In his suit, John Higgins blamed Kentucky Sports Radio for helping incite death threats that frightened him and his family and defamatory messages on social media and in phone messages that disrupted his roofing business in suburban Omaha. Kentucky coach John Calipari was critical of the officiating in his postgame comments, a theme that was picked up on by commentators for Kentucky Sports Radio after the game.

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Arizona State journalism school, Facebook fight fake news 

Arizona State University's journalism school has partnered with Facebook on a project to increase news literacy and combat false news. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication launched a news laboratory Tuesday, Oct. 3, that will work with news organizations to fight the proliferation of misinformation. The project is funded by Facebook, which has come under criticism for its handling of fake articles that circulated widely on many social media platforms during the presidential election last year. Facebook recently launched a notification on its site that helps users spot false news.

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False news of the Vegas attack spread on Google, Facebook 

False news that erroneously named a suspect in the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting on Sunday spread on Google and Facebook before the services removed the posts in question, the two companies acknowledged Monday, Oct. 3. Erroneous posts on both services — one highlighted by Google's "Top Stories" search results, the other circulated by Facebook users — falsely identified the shooter as an apparently uninvolved person.

A a story by the pro-Trump political website "The Gateway Pundit" named a different person as the shooter, citing a Facebook page to claim the individual was "a far left loon" and "a Democrat who liked (MSNBC host) Rachel Maddow." Posters on the anonymous, anarchic forum likewise trumpeted supposed findings that the same individual was both the shooter and a "social democrat." BuzzFeed saved screenshots of the stories, which no longer turn up on either Gateway Pundit or 4chan.

CBS fires lawyer for social media comment on Las Vegas 

CBS has fired a corporate lawyer who said on social media about the Las Vegas mass shooting that she wasn't sympathetic because "country music fans often are Republican gun-toters." The network said Oct. 3 that Hayley Geftman-Gold had violated the company's standards by expressing deeply unacceptable views. Geftman-Gold was a vice president and senior legal counsel at CBS in New York and had worked there for a year.

Geftman-Gold made the comments on Facebook in connection with a discussion on gun control. She said she had no hope that Republicans would take action if they didn't do anything when children were murdered, an apparent reference to the Sandy Hook massacre. At least 58 people were killed in Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in the nation's history.

Google spikes free-article requirements on publishers 

Google is ending a decade-old policy that required publishers to provide some free stories to Google users —though it's not clear how many readers will even notice, at least for the moment. Publishers had been required to provide at least three free stories a day under the search engine's previous policy, called "first click free." Now they have the power to choose how many free articles they want to offer readers via Google before charging a fee, Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google Inc., wrote Monday in a company blog post. The goal is to help publishers build up digital subscriptions, an imperative for many media outlets that pay large sums for news production but are starved for advertising revenue.

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Maria television reporting raises echoes of Katrina coverage 

As the days pass since Hurricane Maria ripped across Puerto Rico, television reports increasingly echo those after Katrina a dozen years ago in sounding the alarm for a desperate population frustrated by the pace of relief efforts. The question is: how many people are listening this time? The words were blunt by the usually easygoing Bill Weir on CNN: "This is a humanitarian crisis the likes of which we have not seen for a long time." His report, though, came 20 minutes into a Jake Tapper newscast that was led by political developments in the United States. The story has struggled to get the attention of predecessor hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which struck the U.S. mainland. The emotional plea of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on Friday, Sept. 29, felt like a turning point, although it was overshadowed in the news by the resignation of President Donald Trump's health secretary, Tom Price.

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Playboy's interviews were models of the art form 

When Jann Wenner was preparing to launch Rolling Stone in 1967, he had some ideas about how to make the magazine's interviews stand out. "The Rolling Stone interview was modeled in part on the Playboy interview," Wenner told The Associated Press this week, discussing the impact of the publication started by Hugh Hefner, who died Wednesday, Sept. 27, at age 91. Wenner, whose magazine's many notable interviews include conversations with John Lennon, Keith Richards and Elton John, explained that he wanted to combine The Paris Review's respect for the artist's craft with Playboy's range and outlook. Hefner is known most as an instigator of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s, but Playboy's influence extended well beyond its centerfolds, whether by publishing such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Kurt Vonnegut, sponsoring comedians and jazz musicians or through its mastery of the art of the interview.

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Newspaper publisher partners with ZipRecruiter 

Bucks, Montgomery and Burlington County businesses and job seekers will have access to a powerful online tool to help them connect, starting Monday, Oct. 2. New Media Investment Group and GateHouse Media, the parent of The Intelligencer, Bucks County Courier Times and the Burlington County Times, on Monday begins its new partnership with Santa Monica, California-based ZipRecruiter, one of the fastest growing online marketplaces. Under the agreement, ZipRecruiter will be the exclusive advertising partner for GateHouse's recruitment pages, both online and in print, for the company's 130 daily newspapers, more than 300 weekly newspapers and 555 local websites that reach more than 21 million readers each week.

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New publisher announced at The Paris (Texas) News 

Interim publisher and longtime business manager Relan Walker has assumed the role of publisher of The Paris (Texas) News, Dolph Tillotson, president of Southern Newspapers Inc., announced Sunday, Oct. 1. “Walker is a great asset for our company,” Tillotson said. “I’m very happy to announce her promotion to the role of publisher on a permanent basis. She’s a good newspaper woman and a good citizen, and I don’t know of anyone who has more universal support from her staff.”

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Senator: Twitter's actions on Russia-linked accounts lacking 

Social media giant Twitter told congressional investigators Thursday, Sept. 28, it has suspended at least two dozen accounts that may have been tied to Russia, but the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee was anything but satisfied. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said Twitter's explanations of its actions against Russia-linked accounts were "deeply disappointing," and he suggested the company doesn't understand the seriousness of Congress' investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Warner made the comments after company executives met behind closed doors with staff members of both the Senate and House intelligence committees for several hours.

Warner said the information Twitter shared "was frankly inadequate on almost every level."

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Rutland Herald newspaper buildings to be sold 

The buildings that housed the Rutland Herald newspaper in Vermont will be sold at an auction next month. The Rutland Herald reports the Herald Association Inc. has agreed to sell three of its properties through an agreement with the Manchester-based firm Nathan Auction & Real Estate Inc. The Herald building, its rear warehouse and an adjacent parking lot will all be sold. The properties had previously been put on the market unsuccessfully. They are currently listed for sale for $895,000. The Herald Association sold the Rutland Herald and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus newspapers last year to Vermont Community Media LLC. Vermont Community Media plans to move operations at the Rutland Herald to the old Central Vermont Public Service building in November. The auction has been scheduled for Oct. 27.

New Mexico Supreme Court strikes down judge's gag order 

The New Mexico Supreme Court overturned a judge's order barring a newspaper reporter and other people from disclosing information the judge deemed confidential at the trial of a business lawsuit. The Albuquerque Journal and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government brought the issue before the state Supreme Court and presented oral arguments on Wednesday, Sept. 27. At the start of the trial in April, Judge Alan Malott warned the audience, which included a reporter from the Albuquerque newspaper, that he would jail those who shared court discussion of financial information involving the Abruzzo family-owned Alvarado Realty. Lawyers representing the family of Mary Pat Abruzzo had asked that some sensitive financial information be kept private.

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House, Senate inviting social media giants to testify 

The House and Senate intelligence committees are inviting tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet — the parent company of Google — to appear for public hearings as part of their investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, The Associated Press has learned. The House intelligence committee is planning to hold a hearing in October and the Senate intelligence committee has invited witnesses to appear Nov. 1. The announcements of public hearings come the day before Twitter is scheduled to hold closed-door staff briefings with both panels. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, confirmed the House hearing in an interview with the AP, though he noted a date had not yet been set.

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Charges: Man stole from dementia patient, funded newspaper 

Federal prosecutors say a former Pennsylvania attorney stole nearly $624,000 from a client with dementia and pumped about $110,000 of it into a newspaper he bought with other businessmen last year. Mail fraud charges were announced Tuesday, Sept. 27, against Keith Bassi, of Charleroi. The charges allege Bassi used a power of attorney to steal the money from the dementia patient's estate from November 2013 to October 2016 and spent some of it on his stake in Mid Mon Valley Publishing. The company was formed to buy the assets of the former Valley Independent newspaper from Trib Total Media. The new company publishes the paper under the name Mon Valley Independent. Bassi's attorney didn't immediately comment. The paper's general manager, Jeff Oliver, says the charges shouldn't affect the paper's operation.

Recovering Congressman Steve Scalise talks to CBS 

CBS says "60 Minutes" has landed the first television interview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise since he was shot at a congressional baseball team practice in June.

The network said Wednesday, Sept. 27, that Scalise will speak to Norah O'Donnell for the newsmagazine's Sunday episode. He'll recount the attack from his vantage point and will talk about what his medical ordeal has been since then. Four Republicans were shot in the June 14 attack by an Illinois man, James Hodgkinson. He was killed in a shootout with police.

Bill O'Reilly returns to Fox as Hannity's guest 

It felt like a flashback on Fox News Channel Tuesday, Sept. 26, with Bill O'Reilly looking into the camera and declaring "the spin stops here." Six months after he was fired from Fox when it was revealed the network paid $13 million in settlements to five women alleging bad behavior on his part, O'Reilly returned as a guest on former colleague Sean Hannity's show. "I'm fine," O'Reilly said. "I'm teed off." O'Reilly was promoting his new book, "Killing England," which got cursory mention as the two men traded complaints about how the media had treated them and President Donald Trump. They loudly backed Trump on his campaign against NFL players protesting police brutality by not standing for the national anthem.

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Famous fake news writer found dead in Phoenix 

A brother of a purveyor of fake news who became famous for influencing the 2016 presidential election has died. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Casey says 38-year-old Paul Horner died in Phoenix on Sept. 18. Authorities discovered Horner dead in bed. County spokesman Fields Moseley says the cause and manner of Horner's death aren't yet determined. Moseley says the Maricopa County medical examiner is awaiting test results. Casey says Horner's family has indicated he used and abused prescription drugs. Horner was known for his false stories that often went viral and misled people. In 2016, Horner posted a fake story to several of his sites claiming a former Secret Service agent outed President Barack Obama as a gay man and a radical Muslim.

AP to enhance its fact-checking with Knight Foundation grant

The Associated Press announced Sept. 27 an effort to enhance its fact-checking and ability to debunk misinformation with $245,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. With the funding, AP will add additional full-time journalists dedicated to fact-checking and integrate local news fact checks into and the AP News app. The local news fact checks will be distributed to AP's member news organizations and customers. AP will also experiment with new ways to present fact checks for social media and mobile platforms, as well as use data and automation to better analyze and understand how consumers make decisions about what kinds of news and information to trust. Working closely with Associated Press Media Editors, AP will offer training, best practices and support for local or regional fact-checkers aiming to build trust at the local level.

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Black journalists group selects executive director 

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) President Sarah Glover announced Sept. 26 the organization has named Sharon Toomer as its new executive director. The announcement comes after an intense selection process and extensive national search facilitated by Harris Rand Lusk. “We are excited that Sharon will be joining us at this critical time in NABJ’s history,” Glover said. “NABJ is so very fortunate to have Sharon onboard.” Citing Toomer’s vast experience in public affairs, communications, journalism and new media, as well as her professional and organizational skills, Glover said the Spelman College graduate was very impressive throughout the process and exhibited several traits that will serve NABJ well.

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ABC's 'World News' breaks a 21-year streak 

ABC’s “World News Tonight” with David Muir has dethroned NBC and finished the television season as the year’s most-watched evening newscast for the first time in 21 years, since the late Peter Jennings was anchor. While network evening newscasts have diminished in influence over the years and morning shows make more money, they still collectively reach 23 million viewers each weeknight and are considered the flagship broadcasts of news divisions. Bragging rights are eagerly sought. "One has to recognize the breaking of one of the great streaks in television," said James Goldston, ABC News president . Muir and his team "worked immensely hard to do that, and they've done it in an extraordinary period of news."

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'Mark Felt' film prompts questions of Deep Throat's role 

More than four decades after Hal Holbrook stood smoking in a darkened parking lot, urging Robert Redford's Bob Woodward to "follow the money," the famed Watergate source "Deep Throat" is, in cinematic terms, finally stepping out of the shadows. "Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House" is a kind of bookend to Alan J. Pakula 1976 masterpiece "All the President's Men" that gives a belated big-screen close-up to the man who was — until he revealed himself in 2005 as the Washington Post's famous source — shrouded in mystery. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the famed journalists whose reporting earned the Washington Post a Pulitzer Prize, say Peter Landesman's film overstates the importance of Felt in untangling Watergate, portraying him as a puppet master pulling the strings that would, as the subtitle asserts, topple Richard Nixon.

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Judge: Independent SC journalist can keep sources secret 

An independent online South Carolina journalist has avoided jail time for refusing to name sources who gave him information related to a legislative corruption probe. A judge ruled Monday, Sept. 25, that he won't hold Will Folks of in contempt for rejecting demands that he reveal who gave him information and may defend himself as a journalist. Former House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham sued the writer for defamation after Folks wrote a piece saying sources told him indictments against Bingham were imminent. Judge William Keesley ruled he is considering Folks a member of the press for purposes of his ruling. The South Carolina Press Association supported Folks' claim, saying the case could set a dangerous precedent for journalists to be prosecuted civilly if Folks were forced to name his sources.

WhatsApp service disrupted in China as censorship tightens 

The encrypted messaging service WhatsApp suffered intermittent disruptions in China on Tuesday as communist authorities tightened censorship ahead of a major ruling party meeting. Attempts to set up new WhatsApp accounts on some cellphones were met with network error messages. Others reported difficulty sending images and video on the service, which is owned by Facebook and offers more privacy than government-monitored Chinese social media. Chinese authorities are tightening controls on social media ahead of the party congress next month at which President Xi Jinping is due to be appointed to a second five-year term as leader.

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Raycom Media, Community Newspaper Holdings announce merger 

Two media organizations that own dozens of newspapers and television stations across the nation are announcing a merger. Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. and Raycom Media Inc. have agreed to merge into a new, privately owned media group, CNHI said in a statement Monday, Sept. 25. Both companies are based in Montgomery, Alabama, and are financed by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which manages pension funds for state employees. CNHI owns more than 110 newspapers, websites and publications in 22 states. Raycom Media owns or operates 65 television and two radio stations in 20 states. Under the merger agreement, CNHI will operate as a Raycom Media subsidiary. The merger is expected to be completed Sept 29.

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Accused leaker asking again for pre-trial release from jail 

Attorneys for a woman accused of leaking a classified U.S. report want a judge to free her from jail pending trial, arguing prosecutors have added no new charges months after they warned the woman may have stolen additional secrets. Reality Winner, a former Air Force linguist with a top secret security clearance, worked as a government contractor in Augusta until June, when she was charged with copying a classified report and mailing it to an online news organization. U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps has scheduled a hearing Friday, Sept. 29, to reconsider releasing 25-year-old Winner on bond. He ordered her jailed in June after prosecutors said Winner may have taken more than a single classified report.

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Hannity boycott call fizzling, at least publicly 

More than a month after a liberal advocacy group publicly called on advertisers to boycott Sean Hannity's show on Fox News Channel, luxury carmaker Cadillac has been the only new company to publicly back away from the program. While Hannity has appeared largely impervious to the efforts against him, opponents say they're not giving up. Meanwhile, Hannity is ascendant at Fox. His show, which averaged nearly 2.7 million viewers in August, was the second most-popular program in cable news behind MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, according to the Nielsen company. Starting Monday, Hannity moves back to the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot he previously occupied, taking Maddow on directly. Fox wouldn't discuss his advertising.

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Senate bill would make online political ads more transparent 

Legislation floated by two Democratic senators would enhance transparency for online political ads, requiring social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to keep a public file of election ads and communications. The bill by Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would try to fill what they call a "major gap" in election advertising transparency. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, the two say the legislation would also require companies to "make reasonable efforts" to ensure that election ads are not purchased directly or indirectly by a foreign national. The letter was sent Thursday, the same day that Facebook said it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators and make political advertising on its platform more transparent.

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Deseret News newspaper names new president, publisher 

The Deseret News newspaper in Salt Lake City has a new president and publisher.

The newspaper reports Chairman of the Deseret News Publishing Co. Board of Directors Keith B. McMullin announced Thursday, Sept6. 22, media executive Jeff Simpson would be taking over the company. In a release, McMullin says Simpson's appointment builds on the foundation laid by the naming of Deseret News editor and head content officer Doug Wilks in November, and head digital officer Burke Olsen in December. Simpson, a Deseret News board member and president of Deseret Book, began his career at Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Television. He then built Excel Entertainment Group, which became a successful independent mediadistributor that was later acquired by Deseret Book. He then served as president and CEO of Bonneville International.

Megyn Kelly hopes for a Trump-free zone with new show 

Megyn Kelly says she left Fox News Channel to bring more joy to her life. NBC hopes that starting Monday, Sept. 25, she can spread some to the network and its viewers. The former Fox News Channel star and Donald Trump foil debuts her talk show at 9 a.m. EDT, nestled into the four-hour "Today" show block and competing in most of the country with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest's "Live!" Kelly hosted a Sunday-night newsmagazine this summer to middling ratings, and it returns next spring. It's the daily talk show, in the lucrative morning market, that will ultimately determine the wisdom of NBC News' decision to hire her.

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Facebook to release Russia ads to Congress amid pressure 

Facebook will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators, bowing to pressure that it be more forthcoming with information that could shed light on possible interference in the 2016 presidential election. The social media giant also said it will make political advertising on its platform more "transparent." It will require ads to disclose who paid for them and what other ads they are running at the same time. That's key, because political ads on social media may look different depending on who they're targeted at, a tactic designed to improve their effectiveness. The moves Thursday, Sept. 21, come amid growing pressure on the social network from members of Congress, who pushed Facebook to release the ads. Facebook has already handed over the ads to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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New owners lay off employees at Alaska's largest newspaper 

Reporters, editors and other employees at Alaska's largest newspaper have been laid off as the new owners attempt to stop the financial hemorrhaging that saw the paper losing $125,000 a week. Alaska Dispatch News co-Publisher Ryan Binkley wouldn't disclose how many of the newspaper's 212 employees have been laid off since the Binkley Co. was given the go-ahead from a bankruptcy judge to buy the Alaska Dispatch News on Sept. 11 for $1 million. However, he indicated this reflects a marked change ahead for the newspaper, formerly known as the Anchorage Daily News.

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Reporter honored for stories on solitary confinement

Morgan State University has honored a Philadelphia journalist for his reporting on a black inmate who spent 37 years in solitary confinement. The historically black school in Baltimore said Thursday, Sept. 21, in a statement that reporter Mensah M. Dean humanized convicted killer Arthur Johnson while exposing injustices in the prison system. Dean is a reporter for the Philadelphia Media Network. His stories appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and on Dean was awarded the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence on Thursday. He also received a check for $10,000. Dean is a native of Washington, D.C. He graduated from Bowie State University, a historically black school in Maryland. Jarrett was a black journalist and broadcaster who became a prominent commentator on race relations. He died in 2004.

Leaders to tech firms at UN: Remove terror posts in 2 hours 

The leaders of Britain, France and Italy are setting an ambitious goal for tech companies to tackle online posts that promote terrorism: Take them down within an hour or two.

Convening world and tech leaders Wednesday at the United Nations, British Prime Minister Theresa May said internet companies are making progress but need to go "further and faster" to keep violent extremist material from spreading online. The average lifetime of Islamic State extremists' online propaganda shrank from six days to 36 hours in the first six months of this year, May said. "That is still 36 hours too long," she said.

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UK leader to press tech companies to block extremists 

British Prime Minister Theresa May is urging internet companies to block the spread of extremist material, calling on social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google to develop technologies that will prevent content from being posted in the first place. Britain's leader will focus on the fight against extremist content during a meeting with internet companies Wednesday at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. May says that while social media platforms have made progress in fighting extremist propaganda, they need to ensure content is removed in less than two hours. She will say that "industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content" because extremists "are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead" of surveillance.

Senate intelligence chairman: Facebook should testify 

The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee says Facebook should testify as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, and that the social media giant "seems to have been less than forthcoming" with Congress. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said Tuesday, Sept. 19, that committee members agreed the panel should hold a public hearing after it was revealed earlier this month that hundreds of phony Facebook accounts, likely run from Russia, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues such as gun control and race relations during the 2016 campaign. The panel is one of several in Congress probing Russian interference and any connections to President Donald Trump's campaign. "Facebook seems to have been less than forthcoming on potentially how they were used," Burr said, adding that it's "just a question of when, and potentially the scope of what that hearing would be."

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Portland schools face audit after suing records requesters 

Oregon's secretary of state said his office will audit spending by Portland Public Schools, in part because of the district's decision to sue people who requested public records. The Associated Press featured the district in a story over the weekend about government agencies across the country filing lawsuits against people who seek documents. Secretary of State Dennis Richardson told the Oregonian/Oregon Live ( ) on Monday, Sept. 18, that Portland residents have complained to him about the district's problems and that the public records lawsuit is one reason why it deserves an audit.

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O'Reilly says his ouster was hit job and business decision 

Bill O'Reilly said Tuesday, Sept. 19, that his firing from Fox News Channel in April was a "political hit job" and that his network's parent company made a business decision to get rid of him. The deposed king of cable television news had a contentious interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show, where he said his conscience was clear about how he dealt with women in the working world. O'Reilly was dismissed by 21st Century Fox following a review prompted by a report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with the Fox host.

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Republican governors get into the 'news' business 

Republican governors are getting into the "news" business. The Republican Governors Association has quietly launched an online publication that looks like a media outlet and is branded as such on social media. The Free Telegraph blares headlines about the virtues of GOP governors, while framing Democrats negatively. It asks readers to sign up for breaking news alerts. It launched in the summer bearing no acknowledgement that it was a product of an official party committee whose sole purpose is to get more Republicans elected. Only after The Associated Press inquired about the site last week was a disclosure added to The Free Telegraph's pages identifying the publication's partisan source.

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Facebook may be facing an 'era of accountability' 

The problems keep piling up for Facebook, and it's unclear how long the internet giant will be able to brush them aside as it barrels toward acquiring its next billion users. The world's biggest social network has unwittingly allowed groups backed by the Russian government to target users with ads. That's after it took months to acknowledge its outsized role in influencing the U.S. election by allowing the spread of fake news — though before news emerged that it let advertisers target messages to "Jew-haters." Now Facebook is under siege, facing questions from lawmakers and others seeking to rein in its enormous power. The company has turned over information on the Russia-backed ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

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University of Louisville to end funding for campus newspaper 

The University of Louisville is planning to cease funding for the campus newspaper amid the school's $48 million budget shortfall. The Courier-Journal reports that school officials told the student journalism staff that funding for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper would cease by the end of the 2018 spring semester. Jenni Laidman, chair of the Louisville Cardinal board of directors, says the newspaper is "caught in the middle of the university's financial problems." Laidman says it could "mean the end of the Cardinal." Since becoming an independent student newspaper in the 1970s, the Cardinal received $40,000 to $60,000 from the president's and provost's office for advertising. In 2016, the university decreased its funding commitment by $20,000. Now with no future university funding, Laidman says they're forced to search for other options.

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Photographer who died in Vietnam named honorary Marine 

The photographer believed to be the first female American journalist killed in a war has become an honorary Marine. Wisconsin native Dickey Chapelle was 47 when she was killed by shrapnel from an exploding land mine while covering the Vietnam War in 1965. She also covered the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa during World War II.

Her connection to the Marines began when she first visited the front lines on Iwo Jima. She bonded with the Marines by digging her own foxhole and eating the same food they ate.

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Laura Ingraham joins Fox News evening lineup 

Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham is joining Fox News Channel's prime-time lineup with a program that pushes Sean Hannity into a direct competition with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Her show, "The Ingraham Angle," will air weekdays at 10 p.m. ET starting Oct. 30. The radio talk show host is no stranger to Fox viewers since she's been a commentator on the network for a decade, and her ascension to a regular show has been an open secret since earlier this summer. Fox said her show would "focus on every day, hard-working Americans who serve as the backbone of the nation" and highlight the importance of faith. Ingraham did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Monday.

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NBC's Carson Daly announces death of mom Pattie Daly Caruso 

Carson Daly's mother has died. The "Today" show correspondent and "The Voice" host announced the death of Pattie Daly Caruso in a statement read by his "Today" colleague Matt Lauer on the NBC program Monday. The statement said Caruso died Sunday. No cause of death was given, but the Desert Sun newspaper of Palm Springs, California, reports a family spokesman said Caruso died of a heart attack. Caruso was a well-known personality on local TV in California, where she hosted her talk show "Valley Views" for 25 years. She appeared with her son at times on the red carpet and on "The Voice."

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Rolling Stone magazine to be sold 

Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner plans to sell his company's controlling stake in the legendary magazine that chronicled the music and politics of the counterculture movement and changed music journalism forever. The New York Times reported Sunday that Wenner and his 27-year-old son, Gus, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, hope to stay on at the magazine, but it's a decision for the buyer. Gus Wenner said in an interview last week that "publishing is a completely different industry than what it was." No potential buyers have been named. The company's other magazines, Us Weekly and Men's Journal, were sold recently to American Media Inc., helmed by publisher David J. Pecker. The elder Wenner says he hopes to find a buyer that understands Rolling Stone's mission.

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University of Missouri journalism school gets $21.6M gift 

The University of Missouri has received $21.6 million from a 1974 graduate. The university announced David Novak's donation at a ceremony Friday, Sept. 15, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The funds will be used to create the Novak Leadership Institute in the School of Journalism. The institute will offer undergraduate training, graduate courses including an online master's degree, certificates and seminars on leadership. The courses will be based on a leadership program Novak created. "This is going to set the standard for how leadership is taught in the world," Novak said. "We are going to break new ground on leadership."

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Grant aids Arizona project to digitize historic newspapers 

Federal funding is helping preserve and provide ready access to decades of Arizona history in the form of newspapers. The state received a $279,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize approximately 100,000 pages of historic newspapers. That material will be addition to approximately 380,000 pages of newspapers already digitized by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records since 2008. The National Endowment grant is the fourth for the project. Previous digitization covered 68 historic titles published between 1859 and 1922 — a time period that included Arizona's territorial years and statehood. The material is available digitally on both the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" site and on the Arizona Digital Historic Newspapers platform.

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Winfrey joins '60 Minutes' for 50th anniversary year 

CBS' "60 Minutes," the newsmagazine that can credit consistency for much of its success as it enters its 50th anniversary year, is about to see a major change with the addition of Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey will debut Sept. 24, reporting on a story about America's political divisions. It's a testament to the power of the Sunday-night newsmagazine that it seeks to absorb one of television's biggest stars into its fabric instead of the other way around. One of the medium's best-known celebrity interviewers will do some, but will largely work against type in reporting stories, said Jeff Fager, the show's executive producer. "She wants to do stories with impact," he said. "She's driven by that and so are we. That's part of why this is such a good fit for her."

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Hudson Valley daily newspaper gets new publisher 

Kevin Corrado, publisher of the New Haven Register in Connecticut for the past three years, has been named publisher of the Daily Freeman in Kingston. The Hudson Valley newspaper reports ( ) that Corrado also will oversee operations at the Denver-based Digital First Media's other New York properties, including the Oneida Daily Dispatch; The Saratogian, of Saratoga Springs, and The Record, of Troy. He'll also have management duties for the company's newspapers in Massachusetts, including The Lowell Sun and the Sentinel & Enterprise, of Fitchburg. The move comes after Digital First Media recently decided to consolidate management structure in the two states. In addition to his stint with in New Haven, Corrado also led operations at several of the company's other Connecticut publications. He has also served as publisher at newspapers in Vermont, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

TMZ's Levin visits celebs in their homes for new series 

Harvey Levin likes to keep a secret — at least when it involves him — so you'll have to watch his new Fox News Channel series to find out which celebrity keeps a rock as a precious memento. The founder of the TMZ celebrity website is the creator and host of "Objectified," which premieres on Fox Sunday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. Eastern. The program features celebrities showing off personal memorabilia in their homes, starting this weekend with "Judge Judy" Sheindlin. Levin tested the idea last year with Donald Trump in Trump Tower, and that special reached more than 4 million viewers, a big hit in the cable world. The initial idea was to do separate episodes with Trump and Hillary Clinton, but since Clinton declined, the Trump episode was held until a couple of weeks after the election.

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New leadership, new home for Mid-America Press Institute

The Mid-America Press Institute, a newsroom training association approaching its fifth decade, has relocated to Champaign, Illinois, and is now under new management.

The move was finalized August 1. The Mid-America Press Institute, a nonprofit offering low-cost training to mid-career journalists, built its membership from newspapers across the Midwest and had been located at Eastern Illinois University since 1994. Management of MPI is overseen by part-time co-directors, Brant Houston, the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois, and Pam Dempsey, the executive director of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, an online, nonprofit newsroom covering agribusiness and related issues.

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Trump nominee for FEMA post withdraws over travel audit 

President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the No. 2 official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency has withdrawn from consideration following questions about a 2011 federal investigation. NBC News reports that Daniel A. Craig withdrew after a reporter asked him about an inspector general's investigation that concluded he falsified government travel and timekeeping records while serving at FEMA during the Bush administration. Craig has denied wrongdoing. He didn't respond to phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

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Police: Man accidentally shot through reporter's window 

Police in the Vermont city of Winooski say a bullet that went through the apartment of a regional television reporter was fired accidentally. The Burlington Free Press reports Winooski Police identified 21-year-old Tyler LaValley as the person who fired the gun. Police say LaValley considering buying the gun and accidentally discharged the weapon when he was handling it. New England Cable News reporter Jack Thurston says he was getting ready for bed when he heard the sound and immediately knew it was a gunshot. Thurston says he later he found a hole in a window and the bullet lodged in a storage box. LaValley has been ordered to complete a community justice program. Police say LaValley will also take lessons in how to handle firearms

In blow to Murdoch, UK refers Fox bid for Sky to regulator 

The British government will refer Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.’s bid for satellite broadcaster Sky to the country’s competition regulator for further examination, in a blow to Rupert Murdoch’s takeover plans. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told lawmakers Tuesday that she intended to refer the takeover to the Competition and Markets Authority because of concerns that the deal might concentrate too much power in one company's hands. Murdoch already owns British newspapers including the Sun and The Times of London. And, in a change of view, she said she was also "minded" to refer it out of concerns about broadcasting standards. Bradley said there is a risk, "which is not purely fanciful," that the merger would not be in the public interest.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Sept. 14, 2017

Judge approves sale of Alaska's largest newspaper 

A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday, Sept. 12, approved the sale of Alaska’s largest newspaper for $1 million, saving the paper from folding. Judge Gary Spraker made his decision after hearing hours of testimony over the financial liabilities of the Alaska Dispatch News. In approving the sale, Spraker said it was the best option available — better than liquidation — despite his concerns over the fast pace of the process. The new owner of the Anchorage newspaper is the Binkley Co., a family owned firm in Fairbanks. Ryan Binkley and Alaska Media's Jason Evans are currently co-publishers of the newspaper and intend to keep it going.

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TV correspondents face danger they told others to avoid 

It's a paradox of hurricane coverage: people on television spend days warning the public to get out of harm's way, then station their correspondents squarely in the middle of howling wind and rain and hope they don't get hurt. That was the case throughout Sunday's gripping coverage of Hurricane Irma's assault on Florida. Journalists were the shock troops allowing the nation to experience the storm from the comfort of their living rooms. Networks all brought their top teams in on the weekend for special coverage, non-stop on the newschannels. Network executives were one flying projectile away from a tragedy that would have them facing hard questions about whether they were placing a quest for exciting TV and ratings above common sense and public safety.

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Fox News host Eric Bolling out; had been under suspension 

Fox News Channel said Friday, Sept. 8, it has parted ways with host Eric Bolling, who had been suspended last month following allegations that he sent lewd photos to female co-workers. Fox is also cancelling the program Bolling hosted, "The Specialists." Meanwhile, Fox Business Network is reinstating Charles Payne, a host who had been suspended while the network had investigated charges of sexual misconduct. Bolling had been working at Fox for 10 years and had been considered a rising star, one of its more vociferous supporters of President Donald Trump. He had the lead role on "The Specialists," which aired at 5 p.m. ET.

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Company seeks $4M arbitration award from Charleston paper 

A media company has asked a federal court to order the Charleston newspaper to pay almost $4 million after an arbitrator upheld its claims under their partnership to operate two newspapers in West Virginia's capital. MediaNews Group, which owned the Daily Mail, says the Daily Gazette Co. failed to pay $495,000 in past management fees, $1.8 million in future fees through 2024 and $1.5 million from selling the Daily Mail's internet locator,, to a British paper. The Gazette Co., which in 2015 combined the newspapers into the Charleston Gazette-Mail, said it had the right to sell the website to pay down debts and Denver-based MediaNews didn't earn fees. Arbitrator Edward McDevitt rejected those defenses, awarding MediaNews $3.795 million. The newspaper's lawyer is asking the court to vacate the arbitration.

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Longtime Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter leaving magazine 

Vanity Fair says its longtime editor Graydon Carter is leaving the magazine at the end of the year after 25 years at the helm. Carter became editor of the magazine, known for its coverage of celebrities, Hollywood, media and politics, in 1992. It's famous for its star-studded annual Oscars party. Vanity Fair spokeswoman Beth Kseniak did not immediately answer questions Thursday about who would replace him. Carter says in a statement that he is "eager to try out this 'third act' thing" but did not specify his plans for the future.

Carter, a well-known figure in New York, is a book author, film and theater producer and restaurant owner.

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Israel PM bars Al-Jazeera journalist from free press seminar 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally intervened to bar an Al-Jazeera journalist from a government conference on press freedoms that uses the pan-Arab broadcaster as a case study. Bureau chief Walid Omary's exclusion from attending a seminar titled "Limits of free expression: the dilemma between national security and freedom of the press — Al Jazeera as a case study," comes a month after Netanyahu threatened to shut the Qatar-based outlet's Israel offices. The Government Press Office said Thursday that the prime minister is still pushing to strip Al-Jazeera reporters of their credentials and close their offices, but the move faces legal hurdles. Last month the office threatened to revoke an Al-Jazeera reporter's credentials after a 2016 interview surfaced in which he expressed support for Palestinian "resistance."

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Entertainment series 'Objectified' joins Fox News schedule 

Fox News Channel is making space for entertainment on its schedule. The channel said Wednesday, Sept. 6, the series "Objectified" with host Harvey Levin will debut at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 17. Each episode of "Objectified" will feature Levin interviewing a newsmaker or celebrity, with their valued objects helping to reveal what shaped them.

In the debut hour, Judy Sheindlin, TV's "Judge Judy," discusses the prized keepsakes in her Greenwich, Connecticut, home.

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Charge dismissed against arrested West Virginia journalist 

A West Virginia journalist who was arrested after repeatedly questioning U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price broke no law and isn’t being charged, a prosecutor said Wednesday, Sept. 6. A joint press release from the independent Public News Service and the Kanawha County prosecutor's office said a review cleared Daniel Ralph Heyman of any lawbreaking. "The State has determined, after a careful review of the facts, that Mr. Heyman's conduct, while it may have been aggressive journalism, was not unlawful and did not violate the law," the joint statement said. The Charleston-based reporter for Public News Service was initially charged with willful disruption of governmental processes at the state Capitol in Charleston during Price’s May 9 visit. Heyman had wanted to ask Price whether domestic violence is a pre-existing condition under the Republican health care proposal.

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Utah media oppose closing former county official's hearing 

Utah journalists are opposing a motion to close a court hearing on the guardianship of incapacitated former Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott. Several media organizations filed a motion together to prevent the 3rd District Court hearing from closing Wednesday, Sept. 6. The motion cites questions about the impact of Ott's condition on his elected office. A lawyer for the family previously declined to discuss his medical condition, but court documents say he has "mental incapacity that is not temporary in nature." Ott's appointed attorney Dara Cohen tells the Deseret News that she filed the motion to close the hearing because "private matters will be discussed." Ott's family and his girlfriend Karmen Sanone are embroiled in a legal battle over guardianship of the 66-year-old. Ott resigned from office last month.

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Deal resolves lawsuit over inmate's emails with reporter 

A settlement agreement on Tuesday, Sept. 5, resolves a lawsuit that accused Louisiana prison officials of retaliating against an inmate for exchanging emails with a reporter whose newspaper published a series of stories critical of the state's corrections department. The agreement requires prison officials to rescind a disciplinary action against William Kissinger, restore his trusty status at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and give him a job that pays 16 cents an hour. January's lawsuit said Kissinger was transferred from Angola last year and placed in solitary confinement at another prison after communicating with an Advocate reporter about an alleged "culture of greed and corruption" in Louisiana's prison system. Burl Cain, Angola's longtime warden, resigned in January 2016 following a string of Advocate reports about his private real estate dealings.

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Police chief urges newspaper not to publish arrest logs 

A Rhode Island police chief says he has tried to keep crimes out of the local newspaper because it embarrasses people. The Providence Journal reports that Block Island Chief Vincent Carlone was quoted in a column in The Day newspaper in Connecticut as saying he lobbied The Block Island Times to stop publishing information on minor crimes. Carlone backed up his statement Tuesday, Sept. 5, saying the columnist was "trying to make the island look bad." David Collins wrote the column and says the absence of police logs in the newspaper creates a "blind spot" for residents. The editor of The Block Island Times did not respond to requests for comment. Carlone says it's the newspaper's right to publish whatever they please. He says he does send a notification of major crimes.

Inventor kept in custody over journalist's death 

A Danish judge has extended the detention of Peter Madsen, the inventor suspected in the death of a Swedish woman aboard his home-made submarine. In the first public hearing since Madsen was arrested on Aug. 11, the 46-year-old claimed freelance journalist Kim Wall died after she was accidentally hit by a hatch in the submarine's tower, and denied all accusations of sexual assault. Madsen is being held on preliminary charges of manslaughter and indecent handling of a corpse. He told the court he slipped when in the tower and tried to hold the hatch, but it fell down. The journalist, who was on her way up the tower, was hit in the head by the 70-kilogram (155-pound) hatch and bled from an open skull fracture, he said.

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