INDUSTRY NEWS 6-25-15
Dow Jones begins layoffs
Dow Jones, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, began a sweeping round of job cuts, including eliminating entire teams of reporters and closing international bureaus, The New York Times reported.
The Journal’s editor, Gerard Baker, said in a memo to the staff that the company was trying to transform to a more digital operation. “This process inevitably requires us to discontinue some of our activities as we invest more in others,” he said.
He listed challenges that the company faces and outlined its strategy in the memo, which had the subject line “The Next Steps.” Job cuts are mentioned for the first time in the ninth paragraph.
“We will be consolidating some areas of coverage,” he said, “merging some bureaus and teams, and discontinuing completely some of what we do.” That includes reducing the size of European bureaus, he said, and closing those in Prague and Helsinki. He said the company would reduce the number of blogs and eliminate the small-business group and the New York-based economics team.
Longtime newspaper executive is new Record-Eagle publisher
Longtime newspaper executive Paul Heidbreder has joined the Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle as its new publisher.
Heidbreder is a former advertising manager and publisher in Michigan, Maine, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.
Rossi Appointed CEO of Digital First Media
Steve Rossi, a veteran newspaper executive, has been appointed CEO of Digital First Media, the company that operates the Bay Area News Group and its digital and newspaper properties.
Rossi succeeds current CEO John Paton effective July 1. Paton is retiring.
Since January 2014, Rossi, who is based in San Jose, California, has served as president and chief operating officer of DFM, which manages more than 800 print and online products serving 67 million readers each month.
INDUSTRY NEWS 6-18-15
Sale of The Columbus Dispatch newspaper completed
The $47 million sale of the publishing operations of The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch to the New York-based New Media Investment Group has been completed.
New Media announced the completion of the sale of the newspaper, which has been owned by the Wolfe family for more than a century. The sale affects about 1,100 employees.
The newspaper's publisher, John F. Wolfe, has said the sale offers the best chance for the publication's future.
The deal between Dispatch Printing Co. and the New Media Investment Group includes the Dispatch, which has a circulation of more than 130,000 daily and 235,000 on Sundays; ThisWeek Newspapers, a group of 24 suburban weeklies; and seven magazines, including Columbus Monthly.
The Dispatch Printing Co. will retain nonprint assets, including broadcast operations and other enterprises.
Post Community Media to close Maryland papers, sell others
Post Community Media LLC, which is affiliated with The Washington Post, announced plans to close some suburban weekly newspapers in Maryland and sell others in that state and Virginia.
The company told employees that The Maryland Gazette will cease publishing its two editions in Montgomery and Prince George's counties June 18 after no buyer was found for the weekly papers. The company declined to disclose how many employees would be affected.
Post Community Media was part of the Washington Post Co. that was sold to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos in 2013.
Owner says 2 Alaska newspapers are for sale
Two Alaska daily newspapers will be offered for sale, a newspaper executive says.
The two publications being sold are the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and the Kodiak Daily Mirror, chief executive officer William Dean Singleton said in a letter to employees.
The family trusts of Singleton and his media partner, Richard Scudder, bought the News-Miner from C.W. Snedden in 1992. The News-Miner owns the Kodiak newspaper.
Singleton and Scudder formed MediaNews Group, which at its height owned dozens of newspapers across the nation. Scudder died in 2012, and Singleton retired a year later.
Guardian US to launch mobile innovation lab
Guardian US plans to create an open innovation lab focused on mobile technology with $2.6 million from The Knight Foundation, the two organizations announced.
The lab aims to help publishers navigate the mobile-centric future of news as traffic from those devices continues to climb.
With mobile audiences now accounting for over 50 percent of the Guardian’s daily traffic, the lab will aim to create new and more engaging ways for people to consume news on their mobile devices. Additionally, the lab will explore the challenges faced by journalists in the mobile age and experiment with new ways of bringing stories to life on smaller screens.
Ashland (Ohio) Times-Gazette names Andrew Dix as new publisher
The Ashland Times-Gazette in northeast Ohio has named Andrew Dix as its new publisher. He takes over from Troy Dix, who will continue working for the corporation.
The 42-year-old Dix also is publisher of The Daily Record of Wooster and The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge. The two men are cousins.
Dix Communications owns three other Ohio newspapers: the Kent-Ravenna Record Courier, the Crescent News in Defiance and the Review in Alliance. The company also owns radio stations in Ohio, Maryland and Florida.
Adams Publishing Group acquires papers, publications
Adams Publishing Group, based in Easton, Maryland, recently announced that it is acquiring The Post Community Media Group’s Southern Maryland Newspapers and Comprint Military Publications.
This acquisition includes 13 newspapers and their associated digital assets. The group includes three twice-weeklies, nine weeklies, and one bi-weekly publication covering Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties in Maryland, along with 12 military installations in Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia.
Prior to this acquisition, APG’s Maryland and Delaware properties consisted of two dailies, The Star Democrat (Easton, Maryland) and Cecil Whig (Elkton, Maryland) along with a number of weeklies, specialty magazines and websites.
Pioneer Press Sells Downtown Headquarters to Apartment Developer
The Pioneer Press sold its downtown St. Paul headquarters to a South Dakota real estate developer who plans to convert the building into an apartment complex.
The newspaper is planning to relocate to a newer, nearby facility in St. Paul and expects to release the details of that plan soon, according to a company statement. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. It had been listed at $4.2 million.
Apple to offer a new app for news
Apple will offer a new app for news, with a personalized feed based on your interests and choices.
The app pulls text, photos and video from a variety of sources.
Stories that use Apple's new News format will look best on the app.
Features include the ability to save articles to read later and to get suggestions on new publishers and topics by selecting "explore."
It's not immediately clear how Apple will handle news sources that require subscriptions. Apple says it has worked with leading organizations such as The New York Times and ESPN to bring stories to the app.
The app will initially be offered in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. It was unveiled at the technology giant's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
USA TODAY publisher Kramer retiring as Gannett board approves print spinoff
Gannett, owner of TV stations and 93 daily newspapers and their digital operations, said its board of directors has approved the planned spinoff of the publishing unit, and USA TODAY Publisher Larry Kramer will step down once the transaction is completed.
Kramer, who has headed Gannett's largest newspaper for about three years, will stay in his current job until June 29, when the new publishing company begins trading as a separate company. He will then become a member of the board of the publishing company, which will be headed by Robert Dickey, now the head of Gannett's U.S. community publishing division.
John Zidich, who was Arizona Republic publisher until he was promoted to Gannett's president of domestic publishing in late April, will succeed Kramer as USA TODAY publisher on an interim basis.
The company is based in McLean, Virginia.
Report: Women produce about a third of US news content
Men are behind more news stories than women by a nearly 2-to-1 margin across print and television platforms, though there was a slight increase in bylines and credits for women last year, a new study says.
The Washington-based Women's Media Center released its study as part of its fourth annual report on "The Status of Women in U.S. Media."
Overall, the study found that the percentage of bylines, on-camera appearances and producer credits for women had increased nominally from last year. In 2014, about 37 percent of news was generated by women, up from 36 percent in 2013.
Dickerson plan as 'Face the Nation' host: Stick to the news
John Dickerson says just-retired Bob Schieffer left him with one piece of advice about moderating CBS' "Face the Nation" — and he's going to follow it.
Dickerson ended his debut broadcast as permanent host of the public affairs program by repeating what Schieffer told him: "Stick to the news."
The CBS News political director says that's what Schieffer did and "that's what we'll do — inviting people on to help us understand the news" and trying to ask the questions that viewers want answered.
Schieffer stepped aside after 24 years as the show's moderator.
Las Vegas Review-Journal gets a new publisher
Nevada's largest newspaper has a new publisher. GateHouse Media announced that Jason Taylor will be president and publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Taylor arrives in Las Vegas nearly a year into his tenure as president and publisher of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, which is owned by Gannett Co. He was president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee for seven years, and senior vice president of sales and marketing for The Honolulu Advertiser.
Greenspun Media Group names new group publisher
Greenspun Media Group has a new group publisher.
The Las Vegas Sun, which is owned by Greenspun Media Group, reports (http://bit.ly/1IpEYTG ) that Gordon Prouty will oversee Las Vegas Magazine, The Sunday, Las Vegas Weekly and Vegas2Go starting later this month.
Brian Greenspun remains editor and publisher of the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, as well as owner and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group.
Prouty is president and publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle.
The former group publisher, Travis Keys, will stay with the company as vice president for business development.
Black journalists' convention planned for Detroit in 2018
The National Association of Black Journalists has selected Detroit to host its 2018 convention.
Felecia Henderson, president of the Detroit Association of Black Journalists and an assistant managing editor at The Detroit News, tells the newspaper (http://bit.ly/1GsGbq1 ) the convention traditionally attracts thousands and it was held in Detroit in 1982 and 1992.
National Association of Black Journalists says Detroit is "America's great comeback city." Detroit emerged in December from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
INDUSTRY NEWS 6-3-15
Maine newspapers' sale complete; most employees offered jobs
The sale of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel and weekly Coastal Journal newspapers by financier and philanthropist Donald Sussman to MTM Acquisition was completed on Monday. Media executive Reade Brower, who controls MTM Acquisition, said he aims to build on the MaineToday Media newspapers' success of watchdog and investigative reporting over the past three years, a period in which Sussman spent $13 million to hire reporters and editors, buy new equipment and make other improvements. Jobs were offered to 98 percent of employees at the same wages and benefits, and CEO Lisa DeSisto will stay in place and remain responsible for day-to-day operations, Brower said. Financial details were not released.
NBC approaching 4 months without Williams decision
As the four-month anniversary of Brian Williams' suspension for misrepresenting his experiences as a journalist nears, NBC News has remained mum on whether he will return as the network's top anchor, be cut loose or take on some other role for the news division. Lester Holt continues as Williams' substitute on "Nightly News," keeping NBC slightly ahead in a ratings competition with ABC's "World News Tonight" that Williams had dominated. NBC suspended Williams for six months on Feb. 10 after he admitted to falsely claiming that he had been in a helicopter hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War, when in fact his helicopter had not been hit. The network subsequently ordered an internal investigation into other instances where Williams allegedly embellished his experiences, most often in talk show appearances.
Gannett acquiring 4 Pennsylvania newspaper companies
Gannett Co. has announced it is acquiring four newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania, including the York Daily Record/Sunday News, the largest of the group. The McLean, Virginia-based company said Monday the deal is part of a larger purchase of newspapers from Digital First Media. It includes media properties in Texas and New Mexico. The other Pennsylvania papers joining Gannett are the Public Opinion in Chambersburg, the Lebanon Daily News and The Evening Sun in Hanover. Daily Record publisher Sara Glines told members of her staff that The York Dispatch is included in the acquisition. The Daily Record and the Dispatch have had a joint operating agreement since 1990 and operate as the York Newspaper Co. Both are now morning newspapers. The Daily Record said the two newsrooms will remain independent.
Gannett buys El Paso Times, 6 New Mexico papers
Gannett Co., Inc. has purchased 11 media organizations from Digital First Media 11, including the remaining majority interest in the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership, Gannett announced Monday. The McLean, Virginia-based media company said that Gannett now will own 100 percent of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership. That partnership includes the El Paso Times; Alamogordo Daily News; Carlsbad Current-Argus; The Daily Times in Farmington; Deming Headlight; Las Cruces Sun-News; and the Silver City Sun-News.
Charlie Rose to get university's 2015 Walter Cronkite Award
Charlie Rose, anchor of "CBS This Morning" and host of a weekly interview show on PBS, will receive the 2015 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University's Cronkite School. The university announced Monday that Rose will receive the award during an Oct. 19 luncheon in Phoenix. Rose said in a statement released by the university that he treasures the award from the school located in downtown Phoenix partly because it honors Walter Cronkite, the late longtime CBS News anchor whom Rose said was "the constant connection to our world." A North Carolina native, Rose is a graduate of Duke University with a bachelor's degree in history. He also has a law degree from Duke.
It's a wrap for CBS' Bob Schieffer at 'Face the Nation'
Bob Schieffer has ended his long tenure as host of the CBS Sunday morning news show "Face the Nation." He moderated his final broadcast Sunday after 24 years, ending a journalism career that started at age 20 at a radio station in Fort Worth, Texas. During the show, the 78-year-old Schieffer said he tried to "remember that the news is not about the newscaster, it's about the people who make it and those who are affected by it. I'll be honest, I'm going to miss being in the middle of things." He said he would never forget the trust that he said viewers placed in him and "how nice you were to have me as a guest in your home over so many years."
Pa. newspaper: We 'bungled' letter calling for Obama's execution
A Pennsylvania newspaper has apologized for printing a Memorial Day letter to the editor that called for a "regime change" and the execution of President Obama. The letter, which appeared in the Daily Item of Sunbury, lamented the fall of Ramadi to ISIS militants in Iraq and criticized Obama's handling the situation.
Turkey revokes journalist's honor over Erdogan criticism
A Turkish city has canceled plans to bestow a rare honor on a former New York Times journalist because of an article in which he criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Stephen Kinzer was scheduled to be made an honorary citizen of the southern city of Gaziantep this week in recognition of his work that helped save Roman mosaics that were threatened by flooding from a dam. Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin confirmed on Twitter Thursday that her office decided not to honor Kinzer because of "unjust allegations against our president in his writings." The decision is the latest in a series of moves by Turkish authorities to crack down on free expression and punish critical voices. Dozens of people are on trial in Turkey for insulting Erdogan.
UN recognizes role of journalists in preventing conflict
The U.N. Security Council recognized the role journalists can play in preventing deadly crises in a resolution adopted unanimously Wednesday, May 27, that condemns escalating attacks on the media and demands that perpetrators face justice. The resolution expressed concern over growing threat to the safety of media professionals posed by terrorist groups and urged the immediate and unconditional release of all media members kidnapped or taken hostage during conflicts. The Lithuanian-drafted resolution also "affirms that the work of a free, independent and impartial media constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society." U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the council the issue is about "not giving in to threats and intimidation from those who advocate and practice violence and intolerance."
Letter to Obama discussed at Post reporter's trial in Iran
A letter a detained Washington Post journalist wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama and a trip he made to the U.S. Consulate in Dubai have become major topics of his espionage trial in Iran. Jason Rezaian, the Post's 39-year-old bureau chief in Tehran, is being tried in a Revolutionary Court on allegations of "espionage for the hostile government of the United States" and propaganda against the Islamic Republic, Iran's official IRNA news agency has reported. The Post has said he faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. The Post, U.S. diplomats and media rights organizations have criticized Rezaian's detention and the handling of the case. His trial also comes amid ongoing negotiations between Iran and world powers over its contested nuclear program.
San Diego newspaper lays off 1/3rd of workforce after sale
San Diego's dominant newspaper on Tuesday, May 26, announced the layoffs of nearly a third of its 600 employees after it was acquired last week for $85 million by Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing. The San Diego Union-Tribune said 178 employees — most in its printing and delivery divisions — would be laid off and their jobs done in Los Angeles.
"When the two companies announced that they were coming together, we said at the time there were going to be some synergies, and unfortunately for a lot of people today we're realizing those synergies," said Union-Tribune president and CEO Russ Newton.
Obama meets with family of reporter killed by Islamic State
President Barack Obama has met with the family of an American journalist who was killed last year by the Islamic State group. Steven Sotloff was a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines. He had vanished in Syria, and then last September, militants released a video showing Sotloff's beheading. The White House says that during a trip to Florida on Thursday, Obama met with the reporter's parents, Art and Shirley Sotloff, and sister Lauren. The White House says Obama appreciated hearing more about Sotloff's work as a journalist and that the family spoke of Sotloff's passion for reporting the stories of people who are suffering. Obama also recognized the foundation the family has formed in Sotloff's memory to support journalists reporting from conflict torn areas.
INDUSTRY NEWS 5-27-15
Iran begins trial of detained Washington Post reporter
An Iranian security court on Tuesday held the first hearing in the closed trial of an American-Iranian reporter for The Washington Post who has been detained for more than 10 months, the official IRNA news agency reported. It said Jason Rezaian is being tried in a Revolutionary Court on allegations of "espionage for the hostile government of the United States" and propaganda against the Islamic republic, charges that could send him to jail for up to six years. The report did not provide further details, but initial hearings in Iran usually see the prosecutor spell out charges.
Media CEOs are the highest-paid American executives
They're not Hollywood stars, they're not TV personalities and they don't play in a rock band, but their pay packages are in the same league. Six of the 10 highest-paid CEOs last year worked in the media industry, according to a study carried out by executive compensation data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. The best-paid chief executive of a large American company was David Zaslav, head of Discovery Communications, the pay-TV channel operator that is home to "Shark Week." His total compensation more than quadrupled to $156.1 million in 2014 after he extended his contract. Les Moonves, of CBS, held on to second place in the rankings, despite a drop in pay from a year earlier. His pay package totaled $54.4 million. The remaining four CEOs, from entertainment giants Viacom, Walt Disney, Comcast and Time Warner, have ranked among the nation's highest-paid executives for at least four years, according to the Equilar/AP pay study.
Journalism students aim to dispel myths about veterans
Wishing living U.S. military veterans a "Happy Memorial Day" might be well-intentioned but misses the mark on an occasion meant for remembering those who lost their lives. That and other timely reminders can be found in a new book researched and written by a Michigan State University journalism class with assistance from former servicemen and women. "100 Questions and Answers About Veterans" is aimed at clearing up myths and misunderstandings held by some civilians. "A day of mourning doesn't square with 'happy,'" instructor Joe Grimm said. "They're thinking, 'I'm still here. My day is coming in November (on) Veterans Day.'" The book, available in print and digital versions, is the eighth that Grimm's classes have published. Others have covered Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, East Asians and Muslim Americans.
Old copies of Pittsburgh Courier a trove of black history
One photograph shows a young Fidel Castro with boxer Joe Louis, standing next to men in shorts and beach shirts. Another shows six Tuskegee Airmen huddled outside a plane as they pore over a map sprawled on the ground. Young black men and women dance the Twist in another frame as a prominent minister watches from the side. John Brewer has thousands of the images. A part-time historian, he has been working to preserve nearly 50,000 photographs that were part of the Pittsburgh Courier's archives. He started the process more than seven years ago, having found 100 bound books of the Courier's editions that many thought had been lost.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8394422-74/courier-brewer-pittsburgh#ixzz3b9qkNHL3
New publisher named for the York (Nebraska) News-Times
Alex Skovgaard, vice-president of Berkshire Hathaway Media Midwest Group, announced on Friday, May 22, that Steven Baker, publisher of the Capital Journal in Pierre, South Dakota, a Wick Communications company, has been appointed publisher of the York (Nebraska) News-Times.
Baker will replace Greg Awtry, who assumed the position of publisher at the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, also a BH Media Group newspaper. Baker has held a number of positions in daily newspapers, including publisher, general manager, regional advertising director, marketing director, advertising director, circulation director and mailroom supervisor.
Hawaii pays off lawyers' fees for Honolulu newspaper
Hawaii Gov. David Ige has approved the state's last payment to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, bringing an end to a legal battle that began when the newspaper sued to force officials to disclose the names of judicial nominees. A payment of $45,000 is the state's last installment in the reimbursement of the paper's lawyers' fees, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1Q1JaIf ). The paper sued Gov. Neil Abercrombie when he refused to release the names of applicants for state judge positions, reversing the practices of his predecessors.
The lawsuit cost taxpayers $115,272.
Newspaper sting stops teen from traveling to Syria
A newspaper sting has prevented a 16-year-old girl from traveling to Syria to become a jihadi bride. Britain's Daily Mail reported Friday, May 22, the girl had been planning to travel to Syria via Turkey and Switzerland after completing her exams. The paper says a reporter posed as a teen wishing to travel with the 16-year-old. The girl's older sister reportedly left Britain earlier and allegedly is a recruiter for the so-called Islamic State group. Police have been stepping up efforts to stop the flow of radicalized young Britons to the Middle East. Detectives have been criticized for failing to prevent three 15- and 16-year-old London girls from making the journey this year.
House passes bill to reform US-funded broadcasts
A House committee unanimously approved a bill on Thursday to reform U.S.-funded broadcasting to counter what a California congressman dubs the "weaponization of information" from Russia and anti-American propaganda being aired by Iran and Islamic State militants.
"The Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency charged with leading the U.S. response effort, is crippled by an inefficient bureaucracy and incoherent leadership structure," said Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "We cannot allow these problems to fester any longer at an agency that is so important when the stakes are so high."
Former Palm Beach Post publisher retires
Doug Franklin, a former Palm Beach Post publisher, is retiring Aug. 1 from the company that owns The Post. Franklin, now Cox Enterprises vice president and chief financial officer, spent 38 years with the Atlanta-based company. “I’ve been fortunate to have had a fabulous run with a remarkable family company, and I’m proud to have played a small part in its history and future,” he said this week. Dallas Clement, 50, will succeed Franklin. Most recently, Clement served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Cox Automotive.
Newspaper seeks ruling to allow appeal of reporter subpoena
A northern Indiana newspaper fighting to keep one of its reporters off the witness stand in a murder trial has asked a court to allow it to file an appeal over a subpoena before a final judgment is issued in the case. A hearing was scheduled Thursday, May 21, on the request by The Elkhart Truth (http://bit.ly/1HhM1YI ) to prevent reporter Emily Pfund from being called as a rebuttal witness in the murder trial of Freddie Rhodes, who is charged in a September 2014 shooting. Pfund interviewed Rhodes from the Elkhart County Jail and spoke with his mother for an article about Rhodes' efforts to have statements he made the night of his arrest thrown out. Prosecutors issued a subpoena for her notes and recordings.
Anti-Muslim film back up on YouTube after court ruling
An anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors was reposted to YouTube on Tuesday, May 19, a day after a federal appeals court ruled the website should not have been forced to take it down. The roughly 14-minute trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" was reposted by a YouTube user. YouTube is owned by Google, which declined comment. Monday's court ruling by an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for YouTube to remove filters blocking users from posting the clip on its site. The panel said a previous decision by a smaller group of judges from the same court ordering Google to take the film down gave "short shrift" to the First Amendment and constituted prior restraint — a prohibition on free speech before it takes place.
Michael Burns named publisher of Wisconsin’s River Valley group
The Dunn County News announced a new publisher Tuesday, May 19. Michael Burns took over as publisher of Wisconsin’s River Valley Newspaper Group, which includes the La Crosse Tribune, Winona Daily News, Chippewa Herald and The Dunn County News. Burns, 47, has worked in the print news industry since 1994, most recently as publisher of the Press-Enterprise, a 120,000-circulation daily, and chief revenue officer for the Freedom News Group, a California-based company with assets including the Press-Enterprise and the 220,000-circulation Orange County Register. He has also served in leadership roles at The Gannett Co. and the Tribune Co.
Doug Olsson named Times Leader publisher
Doug Olsson, a long-time news executive with experience fighting newspaper wars in Pennsylvania, has been named publisher of the Times Leader Media Group. Olsson most recently was a senior group publisher for GateHouse Media properties in Missouri. There, he led a group of three daily newspapers, three weeklies, two shoppers and seven magazines.
“I'm excited to be joining such a dedicated group of professionals at the Times Leader, and I look forward to leading our efforts in providing our readers, advertisers and the community at large with an engaging and thought-provoking newspaper,” Olsson said. He said his goal is to “provide Northeastern Pennsylvania with a world-class newspaper that everyone can call their own.” Olsson succeeds Walt Lafferty, who has been promoted to senior vice president of finance and administration for Civitas Media, the Times Leader's parent company.
INDUSTRY NEWS 5-20-15
Trial of Washington Post reporter in Iran to start next week
The trial of a Washington Post reporter detained in Iran for nearly 10 months will begin next week, a defense lawyer representing the Iranian-American journalist said Tuesday. State TV and other news outlets quoted an unnamed judiciary official as saying the first session of the trial of Jason Rezaian, 39, will be held next Tuesday. The official did not say whether the hearing would be open to the public. It said two other suspects who were detained alongside Rezaian will also be tried. Rezaian's defense lawyer, Leila Ahsan, confirmed the report. She told The Associated Press that she learned of the hearing from news outlets but confirmed the news with the court. Ahsan said Rezaian will go on trial alongside his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who is a reporter for The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, and a freelance photographer who worked for foreign media. The photographer's name has not been made public.
Mother of US reporter missing in Syria pleads for answers
The mother of an American journalist missing in Syria for nearly three years has pleaded for information about him. Marking 1,000 days since his disappearance, Debra Tice made a statement in Beirut on Tuesday saying she believes her son, Austin, is still alive. She says her son is not being held by members of the Syrian opposition. The family has previously said it does not believe he is being held by the Islamic State group or the Syrian government. Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria's civil war. His mother said: "I long to hold my son in my arms. I want my family to be whole again."
Appellate judges side with Google in anti-Muslim film case
In a victory for free speech advocates, appellate judges have ruled that YouTube should not have forced to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors. The 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal sided with Google, which owns YouTube, in its ruling Monday saying the previous decision by a three-member panel of the same court gave "short shrift" to the First Amendment and constituted prior restraint — a prohibition on free speech before it takes place. "The mandatory injunction censored and suppressed a politically significant film — based upon a dubious and unprecedented theory of copyright," Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote in an opinion joined by nine other judges.
UConn program seeks to boost state's digital media industry
A University of Connecticut program set to begin this summer is intended to boost the state's digital media industry. Digital Media CT seeks to attract individuals with a demonstrated interest in digital media and want to develop the basic skills for entry-level work. Candidates who are encouraged to apply include high school seniors, college students and graduates with majors in communications, film or television. The monthlong program, which is available at UConn's Stamford campus, will offer four tracks of study, including 3D animation in cinema4D, game design, motion graphics design and web design. George Norfleet, director of the Office of Film, Television and Digital Media at the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said the training program provides another incentive for industry players establishing, expanding or relocating in Connecticut.
Newspaper publisher Digital First Media won't sell itself
Digital First Media, one of the largest U.S. newspaper publishers, says the company won't be sold and that CEO John Paton will step down. In a memo that was sent to employees on Thursday, May 14, Digital First Media, which owns the Denver Post and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, said it has decided that a sale of the entire company isn't in the best interest of its shareholders. The privately-held company said in September that it was exploring strategic options, including a sale of the company or some of its operations. The company said Friday that the review is not complete, as it is still having talks about some of its assets and is considering possible acquisitions.
ABC faces credibility crisis over Stephanopoulos donations
George Stephanopoulos apologized to viewers Friday, May 15, for donating $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and failing to disclose it earlier, as ABC News now finds its chief anchor in a credibility crisis on the eve of a presidential campaign. Stephanopoulos said on "Good Morning America" that the donations, made in three increments to the foundation started by his one-time boss, former President Bill Clinton, were a mistake. Stephanopoulos rose to the top ranks at ABC over 18 years and worked to establish himself as an independent journalist despite skepticism by some in politics because of his background as a top aide to Clinton's 1992 campaign and later in the White House. The donations brought that issue back to the fore just as Hillary Rodham Clinton is launching her presidential campaign.
Verizon barges into online video, buying AOL for $4.4B
Verizon is buying AOL for about $4.4 billion, advancing the telecom's push in both mobile and advertising fields. The acquisition gives Verizon an entry into increasingly competitive online and mobile video. The New York company is the country's largest wireless carrier as well as an Internet and TV provider — and wireless video and targeted advertising is seen as the next battleground for customers. The move comes as the media landscape is increasingly being disrupted on several fronts as more TV watchers stream shows online and through their smartphones and tablets. AOL offers an advertising sales and display network that made it an acquisition target.
INDUSTRY NEWS 5-13-15
Former CIA officer sentenced to 3½ years in Iran leaks case
A former CIA officer was sentenced Monday to 3 ½ years in prison for leaking details of a secret mission to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, a sentence that was received with a measure of relief from his legal team and paled in comparison to the decades-long term that had been on the table. Jeffrey Sterling, 47, of O'Fallon, Missouri, had faced federal sentencing guidelines calling for 20 years or more, as well as a push by prosecutors urging a severe sentence for a leak they said hit the nation's security apparatus at its core. A jury convicted him in January of telling New York Times journalist James Risen about a classified plan to trick the Iranian government by slipping flawed nuclear blueprints through a Russian intermediary.
Canadian Cops posing as journalists breach rights, media groups argue
Undercover police officers who pose as journalists for investigative purposes are violating the Constitution by having a chilling effect on freedom of the press, an Ontario court heard Monday. In their application to Superior Court in Toronto, three media organizations argue the deceptive practice could put working journalists at risk, especially in high-stress environments, by raising suspicion about who they are. The practice can also make it harder to win the trust of important sources and therefore get key information that is in the public interest, they say.
"This is very destructive of everything our clients do," media lawyer Philip Tunley told the court. "This chill is a real and substantial one." The media organizations — the CBC, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and RTDNA Canada — want the court to declare impersonation of journalists by Ontario Provincial Police a charter violation that can't be justified.
Journalist Mohammed Fahmy files lawsuit against Al-Jazeera
Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohammed Fahmy says he has filed a lawsuit against the Al-Jazeera network in Canada. At a press conference Monday, Al-Jazeera English's acting bureau chief in Egypt Mohammed Fahmy, who is facing terrorism-related charges in Egypt, accused the Qatari network of endangering him and his colleagues. His lawyer Joanna Gialason told reporters that the lawsuit filed at the British Columbia Supreme Court seeks $100 million in punitive and remedial damages and accuses Al-Jazeera of negligence, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract. A spokesman for Al-Jazeera says the network is preparing a statement to respond. Fahmy is being tried along with Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed on charges accusing them of being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage. The journalists insist they were just doing their job.
Ohio mayor resigning; blames newspaper, councilman feud
The longtime mayor of one of Ohio's biggest cities says he'll resign May 31 over a dispute with a City Council member and a local newspaper. Democrat Don Plusquellic has been mayor of Akron since 1987. The 65-year-old mayor says council President Garry Moneypenny will succeed him. His resignation letter criticizes the Akron Beacon Journal's publisher for not accepting his offer to discuss his dispute with Councilman Bob Hoch.. A statement Friday, May 8, from the newspaper says Plusquellic's offer came after publication of a "complete" story that reported both sides of the dispute. Hoch and Moneypenny say they're surprised by the mayor's resignation. Moneypenny says he's on good terms with Hoch and the newspaper and plans to run for election as mayor this fall.
Los Angeles Times publisher to buy San Diego newspaper
The publisher of the Los Angeles Times has agreed to buy San Diego's dominant newspaper for $85 million, U-T San Diego reported Thursday, May 7. It said Tribune Publishing will keep the San Diego newspaper as a separate brand while sharing stories, photos and other content with the Los Angeles Times. Douglas Manchester, who bought the U-T San Diego newspaper in 2011 for about $110 million, will remain owner of the U-T's headquarters in the city's Mission Valley area. He is seeking permission to build 200 luxury apartments there. U-T San Diego says the deal is expected to be completed before June 30.
Drone use poised to expand to newsrooms despite US limits
Newsgathering by drone is gaining traction as an industry practice, but how the technology can actually be used to cover the news of the day is murky given its legal limitations. The emerging technology has been used in wars, to deliver packages and, occasionally, for causing a ruckus, but the Federal Aviation Administration has also approved more than 200 commercial uses since September for movies, real estate and infrastructure. Among those approvals, two companies identified newsgathering as their primary mission, according to the FAA website. Las Vegas-based ArrowData said it's looking to franchise its drone ability to news organizations. The company wants to sell the drones to newsrooms and then train journalists to carry out an operation. It doesn't have any contracts yet but said it is seeking out broadcast and newspaper outlets.
Al Jazeera America ousts top executive amid defections
The troubled Al Jazeera America network ousted its chief executive on Wednesday, May 6, following a week of management defections and a lawsuit charging an employee with anti-Semitism. The little-watched news network is replacing its CEO, Ehab Al Shihabi, with veteran news executive Al Anstey. Al Shihabi has run Al Jazeera America since it started two years ago, and Anstey has been the managing director of Al Jazeera English. Both networks are offshoots of the Al Jazeera cable news network, run out of Qatar. Al Shihabi sent an email to the staff welcoming Anstey and saying he would remain as chief operating officer. Al Jazeera's former senior vice president of newsgathering, Marcy McGinnis, quit this week and told The New York Times that Al Shihabi managed with a culture of fear.
Charlie Hebdo receives PEN award at literary gala in NYC
Under armed security and a cloud of conflicted opinions and emotions, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was presented a freedom of expression award Tuesday, May 5, from the PEN American Center. Editor-in-chief Gerard Biard and critic-essayist Jean-Baptiste Thore accepted the Freedom of Expression Courage Award to a standing ovation following a weeklong debate — alternately thoughtful and divisive — over whether the honor was deserved. Salman Rushdie and Neil Gaiman were among hundreds of writers, editors and others from the publishing world cheering for Hebdo at the literary and human rights organization's gala at the American Museum of Natural History, where awards also were given to playwright Tom Stoppard, Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova and Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle. Just as notable were those who would not, and could not, be there. Michael Ondaatje, Peter Carey and four other writers scheduled to be table hosts withdrew because of objections to what they considered the magazine's offensive cartoons of Muslims.
Harris Faulkner considered rising star at Fox
Harris Faulkner's hobby may sound like a patriotic put-on, but the Fox News Channel anchor insists it's legit. "The thing that I really love to do, that I now only do in the shower, is to sing the national anthem," said Faulkner, a regular on Fox's daytime show "Outnumbered." While you clear that image of a shower gel bottle doubling as a hand-held mic, know that Faulkner belted out "The Star Spangled Banner" in public before Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota TimberWolves games. She sang it so much in the newsroom at a Kansas City television station that a colleague secretly arranged her public debut. Faulkner, 49, is considered a rising star at Fox News after a decade there. Besides "Outnumbered," which just celebrated its first full year on the air, she regularly works six-day weeks by anchoring a Sunday evening newscast.
CBS' Bob Schieffer leaving 'Face the Nation' this month
Bob Schieffer's last Sunday as host of CBS' "Face the Nation" will be on May 31. The veteran newsman, who announced his retirement last month, had said only that he would be leaving this summer. But summer's coming early for Schieffer, who wants to relax for the warm weather months while CBS gives his successor, John Dickerson, the chance to settle in before the presidential campaign begins in earnest. Schieffer, who is 78, hasn't said what he will be doing after leaving as the network's chief Washington correspondent. But if he does appear on television again, one thing's for sure. He said, "I'll never work any place other than CBS."
UT declines to release emails to newspaper
The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has declined a newspaper's request to release emails between administrators that contain the names of current and former student-athletes who may have been disciplined for alleged sex assaults. The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1E8EmLq) reports the records could provide details on how the school deals with sex assault allegations against athletes. UT general counsel Matthew Scoggins said in a letter to the newspaper that the school is legally barred from releasing the information by the Tennessee Public Records Act and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The latter outlines protections for students' educational records. Robb Harvey, an attorney for The Tennessean, said the emails aren't education records and state law allows for their release.
The newspaper says it will continue to seek the records.
Reporter may need to testify, interview notes remain private
A northern Indiana judge has ruled a newspaper reporter does not have to turn over notes and recordings from an interview she conducted with a man accused of murder and the suspect's mother. But Elkhart County Circuit Judge Terry Shewmaker said she does have to be available to testify as a rebuttal witness. Shewmaker issued a ruling Tuesday, May 5, granting part of a motion by The Elkhart Truth and reporter Emily Pfund to quash a subpoena by Prosecutor Curtis Hill Jr. for her notes and recording. However, he ordered her to be available to testify Wednesday. He said if there is no conflicting testimony she may not need to testify. Pfund interviewed 19-year-old Freddie Rhodes, who is charged with murder in the September shooting death of 18-year-old Dre Tarrious Rodgers.
News Corp. misses Street 3Q forecasts
News Corp. (NWSA) on Tuesday, May 5, reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $23 million.
On a per-share basis, the New York-based company said it had profit of 4 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 5 cents per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 7 cents per share. The publishing company whose flagship is The Wall Street Journal posted revenue of $2.06 billion in the period, also missing Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.12 billion. News Corp. shares have increased 2 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 1.5 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $16.02, a decrease of almost 8 percent in the last 12 months.
Oregonian Media Group chairman leaving for Eugene newspaper
The chairman of The Oregonian Media Group is moving south to take over as editor and publisher of The (Eugene) Register-Guard. N. Christian Anderson III replaces Tony Baker, who has been The Register-Guard's editor and publisher for nearly three decades. Anderson, 64, is chairman of the Oregonian Media Group, which comprises The Oregonian newspaper and other media ventures. Anderson led The Oregonian through a transition to a digital-first news organization. The announcement of his departure comes a month after Steve Moss joined Oregonian Media Group as president. The Oregonian reports there are no plans to fill the chairman position being vacated by Anderson.
INDUSTRY NEWS 5-6-15
Fox anchor: Report of police shooting was in error
Fox News Channel mistakenly reported that a man was shot while being pursued by police in Baltimore, Maryland, Fox anchorman Shepard Smith said. Smith told viewers that reporter Mike Tobin's mistake came during a chaotic situation Monday afternoon and was an "honest and straightforward" error and one that was corrected promptly. Tobin had reported the shooting on Fox's "The Real Story," telling host Gretchen Carlson that he saw police officers chase a fleeing man and that an officer had fired and hit the man.
Al-Jazeera America loses top executive
The Al-Jazeera America news network, sued by a former employee who said he was fired for complaining about a colleague's anti-Semitic and sexist behavior, is losing one of its top U.S. news executives. Marcy McGinnis, a former CBS News executive, told Al Jazeera on Monday that she was leaving the company, said Kate O'Brian, network president. McGinnis had been Al-Jazeera America's senior vice president of news gathering, but was recently removed and given the job of senior vice president of corporate outreach. Her transfer had been mentioned as part of a lawsuit filed last week in New York State Supreme Court by Matthew Luke. The former Al-Jazeera America employee alleged that a colleague said that "whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell."
Wall Street Journal's Gigot to head Pulitzer Prize Board
Paul Gigot of The Wall Street Journal has been elected chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Columbia University made the announcement Monday. Gigot first joined the Journal in 1980 and has been editorial page editor since 2001. He is responsible for the newspaper's editorials, op-ed articles, arts criticism and book reviews. He also directs the editorial pages of The Journal's Asian and European editions and OpinionJournal.com. Gigot succeeds Danielle Allen as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board. Allen is a scholar and author who is the incoming director of the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. The Pulitzer Board chairmanship is a one-year appointment. Board members serve a maximum of nine years.
Gaiman, Bechdel among new table hosts at PEN gala
Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman and Alison Bechdel are among the writers who have agreed to be table hosts at next week's PEN American Center gala after six authors withdrew in protest of an award being given to the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. The literary and human rights organization told The Associated Press this weekend that the other new hosts are George Packer, Azar Mafisi and Alain Mabanckou, a Congolese-born French author who will present the award to Hebdo's editor in chief Gerard Biard and critic and essayist Jean-Baptiste Thore. PEN is giving the magazine a Freedom of Expression Courage award, a decision that has been fiercely defended and criticized.
Court to weigh law barring false statements in campaigns
When state Rep. Brian Mannal noticed flyers accusing him of putting the interests of sex offenders over families last year, the Barnstable Democrat saw more than just the rough and tumble of Massachusetts politics. The flyers, Mannal said, broke the law. Just weeks before Election Day, Mannal sought a criminal complaint against the treasurer of the political action committee responsible for the flyer — Melissa Lucas — citing a 1946 state law barring the publishing of false statements about candidates designed to affect their election chances.
On Thursday May 7, the state's highest court will hear arguments about whether the law violates the First Amendment right to free speech. The case is galvanizing a range of groups — from the libertarian Cato Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union to local newspaper publishers — each of which filed briefs with the Supreme Judicial Court, urging it to rule the law unconstitutional because they say it restricts free speech.
Obama salutes journalists working in repressive environments
President Barack Obama is saluting journalists working in countries that repress freedom, saying a free press is under attack in many places because governments want to avoid the truth. Obama invited three foreign journalists to the White House Friday to discuss their experiences in observance of Sunday's World Press Freedom Day. The three journalists, from Russia, Vietnam and Ethiopia, have been harassed, detained, tortured or imprisoned for their work. Obama said it's important for the U.S. to speak out for freedom of expression in other countries. Obama recalled journalists killed by terrorists, including Steven Sotloff, James Foley and Luke Somers. He pledged to seek the release of journalists such as Jason Rezaian of The Washington Post, who is imprisoned in Iran.
Former journalist, Obama adviser nominated to run aid agency
President Barack Obama tapped White House adviser Gayle Smith on Thursday, April 30, to run the U.S. Agency for International Development, putting a former journalist and longtime Africa expert in charge of his global development agenda for the final years of his presidency.
Smith, the senior director for development and democracy at the White House's National Security Council, has had a diverse career working on humanitarian efforts in and out of government, including a former stint at USAID. Smith, who worked for nearly two decades in Africa for news organizations including The Associated Press and BBC, joins a small cohort of former journalists who have risen to senior ranks of foreign policy and national security in the Obama administration.
Watchdog group issues dismal report on global press freedom
Terrorists are targeting journalists, authoritarian governments are jailing them and some countries are tightening media controls, developments that help explain why global press freedom in 2014 fell to the lowest point in more than 10 years, a democracy watchdog group said Wednesday, April 29. Only 1 in 7 people live in countries where coverage of political news is strong, state meddling in media matters is minor, and legal or economic pressures on the press are slight, according to the Freedom House report. The group analyzed 199 countries and territories. The worst offenders were Belarus, Crimea, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Ranked highest were Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands. The United States was 34th on the list, just above France.
State of the news media in 2015: Facebook and mobile rule
A new report on the state of the media has some simple terms for how we learn about the world: mobile and social media. More visitors to Yahoo, NBC and other top Internet sites are getting their news from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to "State of the News Media 2015," published Wednesday, April 29, by the Pew Research Center's Journalism Project. Pew also found that nearly half of Web users learn about politics and government from Facebook, roughly the same percentage as those who seek the news through local television and double those who visit Yahoo or Google News.
Maine newspapers to be sold by wealthy financier Sussman
A wealthy hedge fund manager who rescued the Portland Press Herald and two other Maine daily newspapers, investing $13 million over the past three years, is selling them to a newspaper executive. Donald Sussman's Maine Values LLC is selling the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel, along with the Coastal Journal in Bath, to a company controlled by Reade Brower, a newspaper owner from Rockland, said Lisa DeSisto, publisher of MaineToday Media. The deal, announced Tuesday, is to close on June 1. The goal of Sussman, husband of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, was never to own the newspapers over the long haul but to ensure the newspapers' survival, DeSisto said.
Wichita Eagle publisher to become McClatchy vice president
Kim Nussbaum, president and publisher of The Wichita Eagle for nearly four years, will become advertising vice president for McClatchy Co., parent company of The Eagle.
Her last day in Wichita will be May 29. The company said Nussbaum's appointment is part of a reorganization to strengthen McClatchy's sales and marketing and accelerate its digital revenue growth. Nussbaum will be based in Sacramento, California. The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/1HUvPC6 ) Nussbaum came to McClatchy and The Eagle in August 2011 from the Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, where she was president and publisher. She worked in newspapers for more than 30 years, primarily in advertising and marketing, before going to Abilene in 2007. McClatchy also announced Monday, April 27, that Don Burk, vice president for advertising at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, will be corporate sales director.
INDUSTRY NEWS 4-29-15
AP posts first revenue gain in six years
The Associated Press boosted its revenue for the first time in six years in 2014, benefiting from special events and improved licensing of photo and video content, and the news cooperative said Wednesday that its profit soared. Revenue grew 1 percent to $604.0 million, up from $595.7 million the previous year. Profit rose to $140.9 million, its highest level since 2009, up sharply from $3.3 million a year earlier. The bump came largely from the sale of its 50 percent stake in sports data company Stats LLC, which brought in $128.3 million for AP, the company said in its annual report. Video revenue last year was bolstered by sales of content and services around the World Cup, Winter Olympics and U.S. mid-term elections, along with new video contracts with existing client CBS in the U.S. and with RTL in Luxembourg. The gains were offset somewhat by a drop in text revenue that was mainly due to Google's decision to stop licensing content.
Google pledges $162M for European digital journalism fund
Google says it will give European publishers 150 million euros ($162.33 million) to help them adapt to the challenge of selling news online. The Internet giant has had a rocky relationship with the European publishing industry, which accuses Google of profiting from its content without sharing the revenue. Google said in a statement Tuesday it is establishing the Digital News Initiative together with eight leading publishers, including the Financial Times and the Guardian. The fund is open to other publishers and will focus on developing new distribution channels, ways to make consumers pay for news, and training for journalists. Last year, Google blocked Spanish publishers' reports from more than 70 Google News international editions due to a new Spanish law requiring aggregators to pay to link content.
Report: Journalists face deadliest time 'in recent history'
Extremist groups and the governments that restrict liberties to combat those militants have created "the most deadly and dangerous period for journalists in recent history," according to a new report released Monday. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists' annual report on press freedom is a collection of essays that spotlight Syria's deadly reporting landscape, censorship during the Ebola outbreak, the jailing of journalists in Egypt and Ethiopia, and even how journalists last year were used in extremists' propaganda films.
"These organizations are not merely producing videos," the report warns of groups like the Islamic State. "They are acting as competing media outlets." The report also points out the inherent dangers as a rising number of freelance journalists cover wars with little protection or pay.
Writers withdraw from PEN gala, cite honor for Charlie Hebdo
Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose and at least four other writers have withdrawn from next month's PEN American Center gala, citing objections to the literary and human rights organization's honoring the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. PEN announced Sunday that the writers were upset by Charlie Hebdo's portrayals of Muslims and "the disenfranchised generally." The Paris-based magazine, where 12 people were killed in a January attack at its offices, is to receive a Freedom of Expression Courage Award at the May 5 event in Manhattan. Much of the literary community rallied behind Charlie Hebdo after the shootings, but some have expressed unhappiness with its scathing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and other Muslims.
Winding up, Obama tosses zingers at press, political foes
President Barack Obama says he's bringing a new attitude to the final quarter of his presidency: Bucket! "After the midterm elections, my advisers asked me, 'Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?'" he told those attending the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association. "And I said, well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list ..." "Take executive action on immigration? Bucket! New climate regulations? Bucket!"
The correspondents' association dinner is the night the president does stand-up comedy to raise money for scholarships for young journalists — and provides tongue-in-cheek payback for those already on the job as well as political opponents. A few of the presidential zingers tossed out Saturday night:
'Saigon has fallen' _ a reporter's view of Vietnam War's end
More than two decades of war in Vietnam, first involving the French and then the Americans, ended with the last days of April 1975. Peter Arnett, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of combat for The Associated Press and later gained fame as a CNN correspondent, has written a new memoir, "Saigon Has Fallen," about his dozen-plus years reporting on Vietnam. Arnett has recounted this period before but approaches it with a fresh perspective for the 40th anniversary of the war's end. The book is published by RosettaBooks in partnership with The Associated Press (www.ap.org/books).
Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview
Former Olympian Bruce Jenner reached an audience of just under 17 million people for his declaration in an ABC News interview that he identifies as a woman. The Nielsen company said Saturday 16.9 million viewers watched the interview on ABC's "20/20" newscast Friday night. The audience was the biggest for a non-sports show on a Friday night since 2003, which would exclude Olympics broadcasts. Friday is generally a light night for television viewing because so many people have plans outside the house. It was also the biggest audience for ABC's "20/20" newscast on a Friday night in 15 years. Nielsen said viewership peaked just after 10 p.m. with 17.2 million viewers. Nielsen Social also estimated that there were 972,000 tweets sent Friday night about the Jenner interview.
$35K grant to UNR for Latino journalism project
The University of Nevada's journalism school is teaming up with the Reno Gazette-Journal and KNPB public broadcasting to develop bilingual news coverage serving northern Nevada's Latino community ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Reynolds School of Journalism announced Friday it has received a $35,000 grant from the Online News Association to help finance the project, one of 11 grants awarded nationally. Vanessa Vancour, coordinator of the school's Nevada Media Alliance, says there's currently very limited Spanish language news available in Reno and Washoe County despite a population that is more than 23 percent Latino. RGJ Executive Editor Kelly Ann Scott says the partnership will help give citizens knowledge to make informed decisions at the ballot box.
Bill would weaken Nevada rules against defamation lawsuits
Nevada Assembly members are considering a bill that would weaken so-called "anti-SLAPP" laws aimed at deterring frivolous lawsuits that discourage people from practicing their First Amendment rights. The Assembly Judiciary Committee held a hearing Friday on SB444, which would lower the burden of proof a plaintiff needs to proceed with a defamation lawsuit. The bill unanimously passed the Senate earlier this month, but some have called that an oversight, and significant opposition has emerged since then. "SB444 will chill speech on matters of interest and importance to the public," the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said in written testimony. "The mere threat of a costly, extended lawsuit can bully speakers into silence, or even into retracting their statements."
Comcast deal may be dead, but cable consolidation will go on
Even though Comcast's $45.2 billion bid for Time Warner Cable is dead, consolidation among the companies that pipe in our TV, phone and Internet will carry on. Combining the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. cable companies would have put nearly 30 percent of TV and about 55 percent of broadband subscribers under one roof, along with NBCUniversal. That appeared to be too much concentration for regulators. Comcast and Time Warner Cable said Friday morning that they would drop the deal in the face of opposition from regulators. But cable companies are likely to keep merging as online video options proliferate, the number of cable and satellite TV subscribers slips and costs rise for the shows, sports and movies piped to subscribers.
Portugal media angered over proposed election coverage rules
Portugal's leading media companies are in uproar over proposals by political parties that would require journalists to submit their election coverage plans to a central committee for approval. The country's three main parties are working on a new law that aims to ensure fairness and impartiality in election coverage. A draft of the law, disclosed Friday, includes a proposal for coverage plans to be presented to a committee including officials from the National Electoral Commission and the Media Regulatory Body. Failure to do so would bring a fine of up to 50,000 euros ($54,000). The Journalists' Union called the proposal "absurd."
Officials working on the draft say it is still open to discussion. A delegation from main media organizations is due to present its objections to Portugal's president next week.
Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after gov't pushback
What killed Comcast's $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable? Regulators' desire to protect the Internet video industry that is reshaping TV. A combination of the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. cable companies would have put nearly 30 percent of TV and about 55 percent of broadband subscribers under one roof, along with NBC Universal, giving the resulting behemoth unprecedented power over what Americans watch and download. Competitors, consumer groups, and politicians have criticized the deal, saying it would lead to higher prices and less choice. "The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation, including to the ability of online video providers to reach and serve consumers," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a written statement.
Feds to review Tampa Police bicycle laws
The U.S. Department of Justice will review the Tampa Police Department's enforcement of bicycle laws after a newspaper investigation found 79 percent of the agency's bike tickets go to black residents. The Tampa Bay Times investigation published showed that Tampa police issue more bicycle tickets than any other agency in Florida, including those in Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined. The paper reports that Mayor Bob Buckhorn issued a statement Wednesday announcing that he and Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor have asked federal officials to review the program.
Gannett dubs its digital, broadcasting spinoff TEGNA
Gannett Co., Inc.'s plans to spin off its digital and broadcasting businesses have taken a step forward with a new name for the spinoff: TEGNA. Gracia Martore, Gannett's president and CEO, said in a statement Tuesday that the name, a rearrangement of the letters in Gannett, is a nod to the company's more than 100 year-old history. McLean-based Gannett, publisher of USA Today and dozens of other daily newspapers, announced the spinoff plans last year. TEGNA, spelled in capital letters, will be home to 46 television stations across the country. It will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TGNA. The digital business includes websites like cars.com and CareerBuilder. Newspapers will remain under the Gannett banner. The company said the split remains on track for mid-2015.
Newspaper lawsuit against Palin stalled over confidentiality
A potential settlement between former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and a New Jersey newspaper over the use of a famous Sept. 11 photograph is stalled over confidentiality issues, court filings show. North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record newspaper and other publications, sued Palin in 2013, saying the former Republican vice presidential candidate's political action committee website was illegally using a photo taken by a Record photographer at the World Trade Center. The lawsuit sought unspecified damages and for Palin to stop using the photo.
Piers Morgan quizzed by police over tabloid phone hacking
Former CNN host Piers Morgan was questioned for a second time by British police Tuesday, April 21, about tabloid phone hacking. Morgan, who edited Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper between 1995 and 2004, said he attended a voluntary interview with detectives. "As this is an ongoing investigation, I am unable to comment further until its conclusion," he said in a statement. London's Metropolitan Police said "a 50-year-old man was interviewed under caution ... in connection with suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails."
Dayton backs new camera ban for media interviews in prisons
Gov. Mark Dayton says he stands behind a new policy instituted by the Department of Corrections that bans the use of media cameras for interviews of inmates conducted in Minnesota prisons. Dayton said Tuesday, April 21, he trusts the judgment of his agency commissioner and steps he's taking to assure security in state prisons. Dayton said he wasn't notified in advance of the media policy quietly adopted in February, which was disclosed Sunday in a Star Tribune story. He plans to urge Commissioner Tom Roy to publicly discuss his reasoning. Previously, news crews could photograph and videotape interviews of inmates as long as the inmate consented and prison officials granted prior approval.The new policy still permits reporters to bring some audio recording devices and writing instruments if the Corrections Department approves.
Reds' Bryan Price apologizes for language, not message
Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price apologized on Tuesday, April 21, for using profanity during a pregame meeting with reporters, but says he stands by his message that media shouldn't report developments he feels would put his team at a competitive disadvantage.
Price had a profanity-filled monologue before a 6-1 win over the Brewers on Monday night. The struggling Reds had just been swept in St. Louis, dropping them below .500. Through the team's Twitter account on Tuesday, Price apologized for his choice of words. "In my pre-game conversation with reporters yesterday, I used wholly inappropriate language to describe the media coverage of our team," Price said, according to the team's tweet. "While I stand by the content of my message, I am sorry for the choice of words."
2015 Jefferson Muzzles released, take aim at censorship
In a year with many high-profile attacks on free speech, the people who award the anti-censorship Jefferson Muzzles strived to find lesser-known offenders:
—A Pennsylvania prosecutor who went after a teenager who posted a photo of his crotch near a religious statue. —An Illinois university that yanked a job offer from a prospective professor because of what were deemed his politically offensive comments on social media.
—An Alabama judge who jailed a blogger for five months for refusing to remove what the judge called defamatory comments on his website. The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Monday, April 20, released its annual rogue's gallery of those who sought to snuff speech over the past year. The center said many violent attempts to still speech happened on the global stage, including the bloody attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and violent threats against the opening of the movie parody "The Interview."
INDUSTRY NEWS 4-22-15
Berkshire Hathaway buys group of small Oklahoma newspapers
Warren Buffett's company is adding a group of small Oklahoma newspapers near Tulsa to its growing group of more than two dozen small and medium-sized newspapers.
Berkshire Hathaway Media Group said it had acquired six weekly newspapers and the daily Tulsa Business and Legal News from Community Publishers Inc.
Berkshire Hathaway Media CEO Terry Kroeger says the new papers should complement the company's existing publications, which include the Tulsa World.
Terms of the deal — which includes The Broken Arrow Ledger, The Sand Springs Leader, The Coweta American, The Wagoner Tribune, The Owasso Reporter and the Skiatook Journal — weren't disclosed.
Tampa Tribune owners 'exploring sale' of downtown headquarters
The downtown riverfront headquarters of the Tampa Tribune is up for sale, according to an article posted on the newspaper's website.
Owners of the paper are "exploring a sale" of the 4.4-acre property, the story said, quoting Robert Loring, founder and managing partner of Revolution Capital Group. The private investment firm bought the paper and its assets from Media General Inc. for $9.5 million in 2012.
Loring said interest in property on the Hillsborough River has ramped up recently and that "any potential deal" would require a provision for the newspaper to lease back space in the building, which houses its newsroom and printing presses.
INDUSTRY NEWS 4-16-15
CBS political director John Dickerson new Sunday show host
CBS News moved swiftly Sunday after Bob Schieffer's retirement announcement to name the network's political director, John Dickerson, as the new moderator of "Face the Nation." Dickerson, a former Time magazine and Slate writer who has been with CBS since 2009, will begin his new role early this summer. Schieffer, who made the announcement on Sunday's show, noted that Dickerson "sure has the right bloodlines" for the assignment. Dickerson's mother, Nancy, was the first female correspondent in the CBS News Washington bureau. Schieffer, the 78-year-old chief Washington correspondent of CBS News, announced last week that he would be leaving the job early this summer. Schieffer has been with CBS News since 1969 and "Face the Nation" moderator since 1991.
Report: US reporter held in Iran facing 'espionage' charges
A Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for over eight months is accused of "espionage" and "acting against national security," the semiofficial Fars news agency reported Sunday. The report did not elaborate on the source of the information, but the agency is regarded as close to Iran's hard-liners. Iranian officials have previously said Jason Rezaian is facing "security" charges and that he will stand trial before the Revolutionary Court — which mainly hears sensitive cases involving national security.Rezaian's lawyer, Leila Ahsan, declined to comment on the specific charges against her client, but told The Associated Press she had finished studying the text of the indictment and would brief Rezaian's family in the coming days. Ahsan added that she visited Rezaian in prison last month.
Reporters in Tennessee may need permission to use laptop, phone in court
Reporters in Tennessee may soon have to get permission from a judge any time they want to bring a cellphone, laptop or other digital device inside a courtroom. Those are among the new requirements under proposed changes to a Tennessee Supreme Court rule that regulates media coverage in the courtroom. The rule currently regulates when media can use still or video cameras to cover court proceedings. But in a nod to a rapidly changing digital landscape, where reporters can live Tweet murder trials and use their cellphones to photograph, video, and stream courtroom proceedings, The Tennessee Supreme Court is revamping its regulation known as Rule 30.
Reporter subpoenaed to testify, give notes in murder case
A reporter for a northern Indiana newspaper has been subpoenaed to testify and turn over interview notes and recordings as part of story she wrote about a homicide investigation. The Elkhart Truth (http://bit.ly/1yiCzqe ) reports that its crime and courts reporter Emily Pfund was issued a subpoena Wednesday, April 8, from the chief deputy prosecutor in Elkhart County.
The order is tied to a story about 19-year-old Freddie Rhodes, who's charged with murder and was interviewed by Pfund. He's charged in the shooting death of 18-year-old Dre Tarrious Rodgers after an alleged attempted drug robbery, but authorities aren't accusing him of pulling the trigger.
Canadian media giant Bell Media president leaving
The president of Canada's largest media group is leaving his position at Bell Media two weeks after apologizing for interfering in editorial coverage at CTV News. Kevin Crull apologized in late March for telling CTV News not to conduct or air interviews with the chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. CTV was covering a decision by the regulator requiring broadcasters to offer low-cost packages to cable subscribers. Parent company BCE said in a statement Thursday that Crull was leaving his position immediately but did not indicate why he was leaving. George Cope, president and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE Inc., did say in the statement that the independence of Bell Media's news operations is paramount to the company and to all Canadians.
French network's broadcasts hacked by group claiming IS ties
Hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group simultaneously blacked out 11 channels of a French global TV network and took over its website and social media accounts on Thursday, April 9, in what appeared to be the most ambitious media attack so far by the extremist group. Anti-terror prosecutors opened an investigation into the attack that began late Wednesday and blocked TV5 Monde from functioning part of the day Thursday. Operations were fully re-established Thursday evening. France's interior minister, while counseling caution until investigators find hard evidence, said the attack was likely a terrorist act. "Numerous elements converge to suggest the cause of this attack is, indeed, a terrorist act," Bernard Cazeneuve said at a news conference.
TV station must take stand or banned from Hernandez trial
A Boston TV station says it didn't approach or take pictures of any juror deliberating in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, and it's working with the court after a judge said two jurors reported that they were followed by one of the station's workers. WHDH-TV issued the statement Thursday, April 9, after Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh said someone from the station must take the stand and testify under oath about what happened. She said if that doesn't happen, the station will be banned from the courthouse. Two jurors reported that they were followed Wednesday after their second day of deliberations. Meanwhile, the 12 jurors resumed deliberations Thursday. Hernandez is charged with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancee's sister.
CBS newsman Schieffer: Important to leave while still ahead
Soon-to-retire Bob Schieffer said Thursday, April 9, it was important for him to be able to walk away from "Face the Nation" while he could still do the job well. Schieffer, the 78-year-old chief Washington correspondent of CBS News, announced Wednesday at TCU's Bob Schieffer College of Communication that he'll be leaving the job early this summer. Schieffer , who covered the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination while a young reporter, has been with CBS News since 1969. "I just thought I want to leave this job while I can still do it," Schieffer said. "'Face' is doing really well, CBS is doing well. I see so many guys up on Capitol Hill where staff has to lead them by the hand. They just don't know when to go."
Veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer to retire this summer
In a memo to staff Wednesday, April 8, CBS News President David Rhodes said that the chief Washington correspondent and anchor of "Face the Nation" will retire this summer. Rhodes said that the 78-year-old Schieffer made the announcement Wednesday night in Fort Worth, Texas, at TCU's Schieffer College of Communication. Scheiffer graduated from the school and started his career in Texas, at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He joined CBS in 1969 and has been chief Washington correspondent since 1982 and host of "Face the Nation" since 1991.
In his memo, CBS News head Rhodes called Schieffer an inspiration and mentor for many of his colleagues. Plans for "Face the Nation" and for the Washington bureau will be reported soon, Rhodes said.
AP opens exhibit of Vietnam photos in London
As the fall of Saigon on April 30 approaches, The Associated Press is recognizing the significance of the Vietnam War with an extraordinary photo exhibit in London. “Vietnam: The Real War, A Photographic History by The Associated Press” opened April 8 at the Guardian News and Media’s gallery at its Kings Cross headquarters. To cover the Vietnam War, AP gathered a group of superb photojournalists in its Saigon bureau, creating one of the greatest photographic legacies of the 20th century. From Malcolm Browne’s photograph of the burning monk to Nick Ut’s famous picture of a nine-year-old running from a Napalm attack, these photographs capture the experience and tragedy of people caught in a war of insurgency in which everyone was suspect.
First Amendment lawyer named co-director of Yale clinic
First Amendment lawyer David Schulz has been named co-director of Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic. The school said Wednesday, April 7, that hiring Schulz for the full-time position will enable the clinic to pursue cases more aggressively with the goal of protecting the rights of investigative reporters. Schulz has supervised students in the MFIA Clinic since it opened in 2009 while working in New York for a law firm that represents media outlets on issues including defamation and First Amendment matters. He has represented journalists and news organizations for more than three decades. The school says the appointment takes effect in July and was made possible through support from the Stanton Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
University of Colorado hires Marquette educator for new media program
The University of Colorado says it is bringing in the dean of Marquette's communications school to head a new media program on its Boulder campus. In a statement Wednesday, April 7, CU said Lori Bergen begins work July 20. Last June, the CU Board of Regents approved formation of the College of Media, Communication and Information, which includes such departments as advertising, journalism and information science. Bergen has been dean of Marquette's J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication since 2009 and has held administrative and teaching positions in journalism and communications departments at Kansas State, where she earned a master's in journalism; Texas State; Southwest Texas State; and Wichita State.
Official: Iran court to hear Post reporter's case 'on turn'
A senior official in Iran's judiciary says a court will hear the case of a detained Washington Post correspondent when it's his turn. Gholamhossein Esmaeili, the head of Tehran's justice administration, is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying Wednesday, April 7: "Jason Rezaian's case will be heard on turn." Esmaeili did not elaborate. Rezaian has been the Post's correspondent in Tehran since 2012. He was born and spent most of his life in the United States, and holds Iranian and American citizenship. Iran doesn't recognize dual nationalities for its citizens. Rezaian faces unspecified charges in Iran's Revolutionary Court, which mostly hears cases involving security offenses. He's been held since July 22. Rezaian's family, the Post and the U.S. State Department repeatedly have called for the journalist's immediate release.
ABC breaks NBC's winning streak in evening news
NBC's "Nightly News" lost the weekly ratings competition for the first time since 2009 — and for the first time since anchor Brian Williams was suspended in February for telling a false story about his reporting from the Iraq War. ABC's "World News Tonight" with David Muir averaged 8 million viewers last week, or 84,000 more than NBC's newscast, with Lester Holt as the substitute anchor. NBC had won 288 consecutive weeks in the ratings. NBC's defeat came in Holt's seventh week filling in for Williams, who was suspended for six months, with NBC learning about it the same day its executives read a dispiriting Vanity Fair article about problems at the news division over the past two years. NBC is conducting an internal investigation into other potentially false statements by Williams and there's been no word on when, or if, the network's report will be publicly released.
US court OKs Larry Flynt's push for Missouri execution info
A federal appeals court on Tuesday, April 7, signed off on allowing porn publisher Larry Flynt to join a lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to disclose more details of its execution methods, reversing a lower court's ruling that the Hustler magazine founder lacked standing to intervene. =A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis found that a federal district judge applied the incorrect legal standard in ruling that Flynt's "generalized interest" in the lawsuit, originally filed by death row inmates, did not justify his being part of the case. A coalition of more than a dozen news organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, pressed the 8th Circuit in January to let Flynt join the lawsuit, although those media organizations aren't a part of it.
INDUSTRY NEWS 4-8-15
Retracted Rolling Stone story is rare demerit for its writer
The retracted Rolling Stone article about an apparently fictional gang rape at the University of Virginia is a blemish on an otherwise illustrious career for the journalist who wrote it. Freelance writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely has made a living out of long, provocative articles, but none as contentious as the piece in November that turned a national conversation about campus sexual assault into a louder debate. Other journalists quickly found inconsistencies in the story titled "A Rape on Campus," and on Sunday, Rolling Stone published a review that it had asked the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism to undertake.
Discredited rape story a test for Wenner, Rolling Stone
Through decades of digging into the private lives of rock stars and providing a forum for colorful writers like Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke, Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner has never been afraid to push boundaries. Now Wenner, who founded the magazine as a 20-year-old college dropout, is weathering the stiffest test of Rolling Stone's credibility that the magazine has faced in its 48-year history. On Sunday, the magazine retracted last November's story on sexual assault at the University of Virginia in advance of the release of a damning Columbia University report about its reporting and editing, and on Monday, a fraternity named in the story threatened a lawsuit.
Columbia Dean: Rolling Stone story rife with bad journalism
Rolling Stone's "shock narrative" about a culture of sex assaults at the University of Virginia was rife with bad journalistic practice, and "Jackie," the student at the center of the story, is not to blame for the magazine's failures, Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll said Monday. The magazine pledged to review its practices and removed the discredited article from its website, but publisher Jann S. Wenner said he won't fire anyone despite the leading journalism school's blistering critique of his magazine's reporting and editing failures. Wenner said any failures were isolated and described Jackie as "a really expert fabulist storyteller" who managed to manipulate the magazine's journalism process.
Fraternity pursuing legal action against Rolling Stone
The fraternity at the center of a retracted Rolling Stone article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia said Monday that it plans to "pursue all available legal action against the magazine." The U.Va. chapter of Phi Kappa Psi released a statement Monday after the release of a damning report outlining a series of journalistic lapses in the magazine's reporting, which relied heavily on a young woman who told a horrific story about being raped at the fraternity's house in 2012. Since the story's publication in November, Charlottesville police said they have found no evidence to substantiate the woman's account.
At Rolling Stone's request, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism conducted an independent review of the story and concluded it was a "story of journalistic failure that was avoidable."
Key players in Rolling Stone magazine's U.Va. rape story
The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism identified several key players involved in Rolling Stone magazine's discredited article, "A Rape on Campus," about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity. Its report presented a broad indictment of the magazine's handling of a story that had horrified readers, unleashed protests at the university's Charlottesville campus and sparked a national discussion about sexual assaults on college campuses. Here's what it said about each:
AP WAS THERE: 150 years ago, Lee surrenders to Grant
When the American Civil War ended with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendering to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in a farmhouse parlor in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865, standing with other war correspondents in the front yard was William Downs MacGregor of The Associated Press. The names of many AP Civil War correspondents, along with their original manuscript reports, have been lost. But those like MacGregor, whose names were occasionally printed beneath their dispatches, are remembered for delivering disciplined and restrained accounts in an era when reporting was often laced with shrill and sectarian opinion. During the war, the AP and most big city papers utilized the thousands of miles of ever-expanding telegraph lines to revolutionize war reporting. For the first time, battlefield victories and defeats could be transmitted and even printed within a day.
University of Missouri names new journalism dean
A Louisiana State University professor will become dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Missouri officials announced Thursday, April 2, that David Kurpius, professor of mass communication and an associate vice chancellor at LSU, will become the new dean on July 1. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1BVAI5u ) Kurpius' annual salary will be $240,000. He will replace Dean Mills, who is retiring after 25 years of leading the journalism school. He is working part-time as the director of the Reynolds Fellows program at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Kurpius has worked for LSU's mass communication school since 1997. He was the associate dean of undergraduate studies and administration from 2005 to 2010 and taught advanced newsgathering classes, public affairs reporting and courses on minorities in journalism.
Berkshire Hathaway buys 2 small Virginia newspapers
Warren Buffett's company has added two small Virginia newspapers to its collection of more than two dozen small- and medium-sized newspapers. Berkshire Hathaway Media Group said Tuesday, March 31, that it had acquired The Martinsville Bulletin in Martinsville and the Franklin News-Post in Rocky Mount from Haskell Newspapers. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Berkshire Hathaway owns 31 daily newspapers and dozens of weeklies in 10 states, including several in Virginia such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Roanoke Times.
Al-Jazeera journalist says Canada not issuing him passport
Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who remains in Egypt on bail while awaiting trial on terror charges, said Wednesday, April 1, Canada is refusing to issue him a new passport. Fahmy, who was born in Egypt and is a naturalized Canadian citizen, was freed from jail in February. He renounced his Egyptian citizenship last year as a condition of any future release from Egypt. Fahmy and two other journalists were charged with being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage. They deny the charges. Fahmy said his Canadian passport was confiscated when he was arrested in 2013. He said needs the passport to get married and has run into problems at security checkpoints in Cairo.
INDUSTRY NEWS 4-1-15
Afghan court sentences AP journalist's killer to 20 years
Afghanistan's highest court has ruled that the police officer convicted of murdering Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding AP correspondent Kathy Gannon almost one year ago should serve 20 years in prison, according to documents sent to the country's attorney general on Saturday. The final sentence for former Afghan police unit commander Naqibullah was reduced from the death penalty recommended by a primary court last year. Twenty years in prison is the maximum jail sentence in Afghanistan, said Zahid Safi, a lawyer for The Associated Press who had been briefed on the decision by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruling upholds an intermediate court's decision, which was opposed by the Military Attorney General's office.
4 journalists arrested during Ferguson protests sue police
Four journalists arrested during last summer's Ferguson protests over the shooting death of Michael Brown filed a federal lawsuit Monday against St. Louis County police and 20 of its officers, accusing them of violating the reporters' civil rights and unjustifiably detaining them.
The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis, alleges the arrests for the journalists' failure to disperse as demanded by police on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19 were "undertaken with the intention of obstructing, chilling, deterring, and retaliating against (the) plaintiffs for engaging in constitutionally protected speech, newsgathering and recording of police activities." The plaintiffs include Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept online investigative publication, as well as Ansgar Graw — a correspondent with the conservative German daily Die Welt — and reporter Frank Herrmann, who writes for German regional papers. The other plaintiff is freelance journalist Lukas Hermsmeier.
Trevor Noah set to replace Jon Stewart on 'Daily Show'
Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa who has contributed to "The Daily Show" a handful of times during the past year, will become Jon Stewart's replacement as host, Comedy Central announced Monday. Noah was chosen a little more than a month after Stewart unexpectedly announced he was leaving "The Daily Show" following 16 years as the show's principal voice. The New Jersey-born Stewart is being replaced by the son of a black South African mother and white European father. Noah has an international presence, and hosted a late-night talk show in South Africa, "Tonight with Trevor Noah." Stewart has been a part of the cultural landscape with a bitingly comic look at the news and how it is covered in the media. He has not set a date for his exit from "The Daily Show" and, as a result, Comedy Central said nothing on Monday about when Noah would take over.
NBC News' boss faces challenge fixing MSNBC
As he returns to run the NBC News Group, Andy Lack faces one of the same puzzles he tried to solve a decade and a half ago: how to make MSNBC work. While he was gone, MSNBC changed from traditional news to a political network with a liberal lens. Now that it is mired in a ratings slump, Lack's mandate as chairman will be figuring out if MSNBC needs a complete overhaul or a sharpening of its mission. The current picture is seriously ugly. Through early March, Chris Hayes' viewership at 8 p.m. on weekdays was down 23 percent from last year, Rachel Maddow was off 24 percent and Lawrence O'Donnell down 26 percent. Among the 25-to-54-year-old demographic that is the basis for advertising sales, the prime-time lineup lost nearly half its audience. Daytime isn't much better.
Rhode Island governor withdraws budget proposal affecting newspapers
Gov. Gina Raimondo no longer wants Rhode Island to post legal notices and advertisements online instead of in newspapers. The proposal was in the budget Raimondo submitted to the General Assembly on March 12. She asked to withdraw it Thursday, March 27. Raimondo Press Secretary Marie Aberger says it's the only budget proposal the governor has asked to change. House fiscal staff said the measure would have saved $100,000, and forgoing the savings doesn't put the budget out of balance. Newspapers have opposed changes to legal notice requirements, worrying about the loss of revenue. Aberger says Raimondo changed her position in light of both feedback from newspapers and the relatively small savings that would have been generated.
Charlie Hebdo to receive PEN award
Charlie Hebdo, the Parisian satirical magazine that was a target of a deadly shooting in January, will be honored at this spring's PEN American Center gala. The literary and human rights organization announced Wednesday, March 25, that Charlie Hebdo will receive the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award. Jean-Baptiste Thoret, a film critic who arrived at the Hebdo offices after eight of his colleagues had been killed, will accept the award on behalf of the magazine. Also at the May 5 gala in Manhattan, playwright Tom Stoppard will be given the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, and Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle will be cited for "his leadership role in the global literary community."
Previous PEN honorees include authors Toni Morrison, Philip Roth and Salman Rushdie.
Arizona newspaper asks governor to veto bill shielding police
Arizona's largest newspaper is behind a letter asking Gov. Doug Ducey to veto a bill allowing police to keep the names of officers involved in shootings secret for two months. A legal firm representing the Arizona Republic and KPNX-TV Channel 12 wrote to Ducey Wednesday, March 25, urging him to veto the bill over issues of public transparency. The letters says the bill takes discretion away from police departments and undercuts the public's right to monitor law enforcement. Senate Bill 1445 requires police departments to get an officer's permission to release the name sooner unless they are arrested. Supporters say the bill protects officers who may face retribution after a shooting. The bill was prompted by police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York that brought scrutiny to the officers involved.
US students make bracelets to help jailed journalists
University of Maryland journalism students are raising money to launch a line of bracelets emblazoned with the names of journalists imprisoned around the world to raise money for the cause, and awareness of their plight. Under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter and journalism professor Dana Priest, a group of University of Maryland Journalism School students are fundraising to launch Press Uncuffed. The line includes nine different bracelets, each with the name of a jailed journalist on it. The students are raising money to produce at least 10,000 bracelets. Rosemary Ostmann, a University of Maryland alumna and spokeswoman for the project, said 100 percent of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
CBC News slashing 144 positions from local services, Radio-Canada cuts 100
CBC is slashing 244 jobs from local news services across Canada as it plans to shift some of its limited resources to its digital operations. The cuts include 144 positions from English-language services and 100 jobs on the French side, which include 20 vacant positions and retirements. Meanwhile, the public broadcaster is adding 80 new digital jobs as it works toward offering a continuous news stream for mobile users. Jennifer McGuire, Editor-in-Chief of CBC News, announced the English layoffs in a note to staff, which stressed that no stations would close and all local radio programming would be maintained. The job losses include 37 positions in Alberta, 30 in Ontario and 25 in British Columbia.
US 'troubled' by Thai leader's threat to execute journalists
The U.S. says it hopes that Thailand's leader, who took power in a military coup last year, wasn't serious when he made a threat to execute journalists. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha made the apparently sarcastic comment to reporters in Bangkok Wednesday, March 25. He said that any media that cause "division" should be punished. He singled out several reporters and publications for insults. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Thursday that the U.S. was troubled by Prayuth's threat to journalists who do not report the "truth." He said such statements, even if not serious, contribute to an atmosphere in which freedoms could be suppressed. The coup and the Thai junta's crackdown on dissent has strained traditionally strong ties with the U.S. Washington has suspended $4.7 million in military aid.
Vice to start daily newscast on HBO
HBO and Vice Media announced an expansion of their partnership on Thursday, including the launch of a daily Vice newscast on the pay cable outlet. Vice already airs a weekly news show on HBO, a more personal-style look at the world's hot spots than traditional news outlets. That Friday night program, which currently airs 14 times a year, will expand to 35 episodes a year over the course of the new four-year agreement. HBO and Vice offered few details about the daily newscast, other than to say that it will draw on 30 global bureaus and "feature the original on-the-ground reporting viewers expect from Vice." It will begin sometime this fall and be shown on the main HBO network, but Vice spokesman Jake Goldman said a time slot had not been set yet.
Newspaper received email claiming to be from woman's captors
The San Francisco Chronicle says it received an email from an anonymous person claiming to be holding a California woman who was found safe Wednesday, March 24. The Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1NgIYmV) it received the email Tuesday. The person wrote that 29-year-old Denise Huskins would be returned safely Wednesday and would be "in good health and safe." The email also warned any attempt to find the people holding Huskins would "create a dangerous situation" for her. Huskins' boyfriend on Monday reported to police that she'd been abducted from their Vallejo home. She was found 400 miles away in Huntington Beach. Her father says she was dropped off at her mother's home, then walked to his home 12 blocks away.
New publisher named for 2 southern New Jersey newspapers
Two newspapers in southern New Jersey have named a new publisher. Joseph Calchi has been named president and publisher of the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill and the Daily Journal in Vineland (http://on.cpsj.com/1BLaMJI). The appointment was announced Tuesday, March 24, by Gannett Co., Inc. The 52-year-old Calchi has worked for 30 years at The Daily Journal and previously served as its general manager and advertising director. Calchi is a graduate of Cumberland County College and is married with one daughter. The two newspapers publish separately and have separate websites. Former Courier-Post General Manager and Advertising Director William Janus was named Tuesday as president and publisher of The Daily Times in Salisbury, Maryland.
INDUSTRY NEWS 3-25-15
Women's media group honors photographer Heidi Levine
Photographer Heidi Levine, who has spent 30 years covering war zones and revolutions in the Middle East, Libya and Syria, was named Tuesday as the inaugural winner of an award for courage named for Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus.
The International Women's Media Foundation in Washington announced that Levine, an American based in Israel, will be awarded the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. Niedringhaus was killed last year on assignment in Afghanistan when an Afghan police commander walked up to the car she was in and opened fire.
The award jury, which includes accomplished photographers and photo editors, said Levine stands out for her courage and compassion in capturing images under dangerous circumstances.
"Her courage and commitment to the story in Gaza is unwavering," the jury wrote. "She documents tragic events under dire circumstances while displaying a depth of compassion for the people she encounters."
Levine said she worked with Niedringhaus in Israel, Gaza and Libya, and they had stayed in touch over the years, making it a bittersweet moment to accept the honor named for her friend.
"It's a completely different feeling," Levine said. "I'm not saying other awards aren't amazing, but I think this one is really, really special. I also feel like I have a responsibility to carry on her legacy."
Covering the war in Gaza last year, Levine witnessed some of the worst conditions she has observed after Israel's bombings, she said. The civilian death toll was stark. Drones flying overhead changed the situation for photographers on the ground and made it unsafe to travel in places where fighting broke out, she said.
Working as a journalist with drones overhead "definitely made you feel like you were always being watched," Levine said.
In Libya, after Tripoli fell in 2011, Levine was there documenting conditions on the ground. She came across a hospital that had been abandoned. Bodies were piled on the ground outside. She and her colleagues drove around, trying to find information, and a man took them to a shed where about 60 men had been burned alive.
"It was just outright atrocity," she said. "I had never seen something like that."
And yet she persists, even as technology makes it even more dangerous for journalists in combat zones as simple Internet searches can help enemies track their work.
"I think it's just so important to bear witness," Levine said. "I just feel compelled to continue."
The award will be presented to Levine at a ceremony June 25 in Berlin. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation provided funding for the $20,000 prize.
"It is encouraging to see Anja's legacy honored through the amazing and courageous work of Heidi Levine, this year's inaugural winner," said Santiago Lyon, director of photography for the AP. "Heidi thoroughly embodies Anja's spirit and courage."
Levine is originally from Boston and moved to Israel in 1983. She began her career with the AP and is now represented by the Sipa Press photo agency. Her photographs have appeared in publications around the world, often as cover stores.
Levine has made a career of working in conflict areas. Beyond covering the revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Syria, she has also captured the stories of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, Syria and Sweden. She has also worked in Afghanistan, Georgia and India.
Two additional photojournalists received honorable mentions from the jury. Photographer Anastasia Vlasova was recognized for her courage and dedication in covering the conflicts in Eastern Ukraine. Associated Press photographer Rebecca Blackwell also was recognized for her courage in working under difficult conditions in the Central African Republic.
The prize will be awarded annually to a woman photojournalist who reflects the courage and dedication of Niedringhaus.
Niedringhaus started her career as a freelance photographer when she was 16 in her native Germany and went on to cover the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. She joined the AP in 2002 and worked throughout the Middle East, as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was part of an AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of Iraq.
Videographer arrested covering Ferguson faces court hearing
One of about two dozen journalists arrested while covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown faced a court hearing Tuesday. St. Louis-based videographer Mary Moore said she wants her reputation, and her criminal record, cleared. She was charged with municipal violations after an arrest on Oct. 3. She says she was only shooting video but was among 13 people taken into custody during a demonstration outside Ferguson police headquarters. The August death of Brown, who was black and unarmed, by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, led to protests that are still going on. During the demonstrations, journalists from around the world were among the hundreds of people arrested.
Clinton jokes relationship with press is 'complicated'
Hillary Rodham Clinton is joking that her relationship with the media has been "complicated" as she pays tribute to the legacy of a late New York Times reporter. The potential Democratic presidential candidate says she is all about "new beginnings. A new grandchild. Another new hairstyle. A new email account. How about a new relationship with the press?" Clinton says when she was asked to speak at the event, she thought, "What could possibly go wrong?"
The former secretary of state spoke Monday at an awards ceremony honoring Robin Toner, the first woman to serve as national political correspondent for The Times. She says the country relies on journalists to "try to get us out of the echo chambers we all inhabit."
Body found in New Jersey river ID'd as missing reporter
A body found this week in a northern New Jersey river is that of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who had been missing for more than a year, authorities said Thursday, March 19. Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp announced that the body was positively identified as that of David Bird, who was 55 when he disappeared in January 2014 while taking a walk near his home in Long Hill Township, about 30 miles west of New York City. Knapp said in an email that two men canoeing Wednesday in the Passaic River between Long Hill and Bernards Township came across a red jacket. Police later found human remains, and a positive identification was made using dental records. An investigation into the cause and manner of death is underway.
Durst murder case: When should the media go to the police?
It was a filmmaker, not police, who uncovered a crucial piece of evidence in the murder case against Manhattan real estate millionaire Robert Durst. The sensational small-screen moments created by HBO's "The Jinx" confronted documentarian Andrew Jarecki with an ethical question that is likely to come up again, given the popularity of true-crime TV: Should a television sleuth's priority lie in making good entertainment or in seeing that justice is served?
INDUSTRY NEWS 3-18-15
Media turns detective with 'The Jinx,' other murder cases
Robert Durst was a rich man living free despite police efforts to link him to murder. Adnan Syed was a young man imprisoned for life for killing an ex-girlfriend. Media scrutiny changed their fortunes, pushing both back into the courts: Durst is facing trial on a murder charge, and Syed awaits an appeal of his conviction. Observers say it's what journalists, or others taking on the role of investigative reporters, can and should do — but not simply, or heedlessly, to play faux detective. "We are holding law enforcement accountable," said Kelly McBride, an expert on ethics for the Poynter Institute journalism think tank. "Our job is not to prove people innocent or guilty. But we very much are part of the checks and balances that ensure that democracy is working."
Young adults want news every day, survey shows
Young adults have a reputation for being connected to one another and disconnected from the news. But a survey has found that mobile devices and social networking are keeping them more engaged with the broader world than previously thought. They want news, they say, though they don't always aggressively seek it out — perhaps simply happening upon it on a friend's online feed. And they want it daily. The survey of Americans ages 18 to 34, sometimes called the millennial generation, found that two-thirds of respondents said they consume news online regularly, often on a social networking site. Of those, 40 percent do so several times a day, according to the poll, conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.
Lawyer in State Department leak case seeks release of client
A lawyer for a former State Department intelligence analyst is asking the Justice Department to support the immediate release of his client. In a letter to prosecutors, Abbe Lowell said the department displayed a "double standard" in demanding prison for his client, Stephen Kim, while recommending probation for former CIA Director David Petraeus. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend two years of probation when Petraeus is sentenced next month for disclosing classified materials to his biographer, with whom he had an affair. Kim was sentenced last April to 13 months in prison for passing classified information to a journalist. Lowell said prosecutors should agree to release him now to fix what he called "uneven and disparate treatment." A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington, D.C., declined to comment Monday.
Nevada newspaper where Mark Twain got start is revived
The historic Nevada newspaper where Mark Twain cut his journalistic teeth is back in publication for the first time in three decades, and its owners plan to uphold tradition by offering more than just real news. The Territorial Enterprise was revived as an online and monthly print publication last week by Capitol Publishing Group, the parent company of a weekly newspaper in Jefferson City, Missouri, that focuses on politics and government.
Samuel Clemens, Twain's real name, assumed his pen name and developed his penchant for western tall tales when he was a reporter from 1862 to 1864 at the feisty newspaper in Virginia City, about 20 miles southeast of Reno.
Burns elected new president of SC Press Association
Judi Mundy Burns, publisher of The Index-Journal of Greenwood, is the new president of the South Carolina Press Association. Burns was elected Saturday at the group's annual meeting in Myrtle Beach. She succeeds Morrey Thomas, who is publisher of the News and Press in Darlington. Mike Smith, executive editor of the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, was elected daily newspaper vice president and Ellen Priest, president and publisher of The Star in North Augusta and the Aiken Standard was again chosen as weekly newspaper vice president.
Proposal would require media to get permission to record
The Tennessee Supreme Court is considering requiring the news media to get permission from a judge before reporters can use a laptop, digital recorder or any other electronic device to cover a court proceeding. Currently, the news media have to ask for permission to use a still or video camera in the courtroom under a regulation known as Rule 30. But in a nod to the changing world of technology and a modern-day era where reporters use Twitter to cover murder trials and a cellphone can shoot video, take photos and record testimony, the court is considering changing its media rule.
NBC News medical editor Nancy Snyderman resigns
Dr. Nancy Snyderman said Thursday, March 12, that she's leaving her job as chief medical editor for NBC News, six months after unleashing public anger for failing to observe a quarantine after covering the Ebola epidemic last fall. Snyderman said that "becoming part of the story" after her trip to Liberia contributed to her decision to take a faculty job at a medical school. "Every moment has been an honor," said Snyderman, who has been at NBC for nine years after working previously at ABC News. Snyderman was asked to observe a voluntary 21-day quarantine in her New Jersey home following her return from Liberia, where she briefly worked with Ashoka Mukpo, a cameraman who caught the virus and recovered after coming back to the U.S. for treatment.
Newspaper sues Ohio patrol over cruiser video of car chase
A newspaper is accusing the Ohio State Highway Patrol of violating the law by refusing to release cruiser-camera video of a car chase in southwest Ohio. The Cincinnati Enquirer this week filed a lawsuit asking the Ohio Supreme Court to force the Ohio Department of Public Safety to release a trooper's dash-camera video showing the January chase of a fleeing suspect. The department is the patrol's parent agency. The lawsuit says the department denied the newspaper's request for the video and said an unnamed prosecutor asked that it be withheld. The newspaper contends that withholding the video violates Ohio's open records law. Patrol spokesman Lt. Craig Cvetan said Thursday, March 12, that the video was properly withheld as part of a criminal investigation and that videos are released once criminal cases conclude.
Media watchdog unblocks banned websites in 11 countries
Media monitoring group Reporters Without Borders says it is providing access to websites banned in Russia, Iran and nine other countries in a bid to counter government pressure.
The group said Thursday that it created secured mirror sites, or copies of the original sites, and put them on hosting services provided by Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Governments could still block those services, but Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says that could have broad fallout. Among sites unblocked is Grani.ru, which is critical of the Russian government and was banned a year ago. Also accessible Thursday were Hablemos Press in Cuba and Gooya News in Iran. Access to two sites in China, The Tibet Post and Mingjing News, remained limited after the launch.
Las Vegas Sun sues rival Review-Journal over profit split
The owner of the Las Vegas Sun wants a Nevada judge to decide whether its cross-town rival and joint-operating partner, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, owes it millions of dollars under profit-sharing terms of a contract dating to 2005. The Sun contends in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, March 10, in Clark County District Court that the larger Review-Journal and its owner, Stephens Media, improperly deducted editorial costs from profit figures before paying a monthly one-12th profit share to Greenspun Media Group. The Sun argues the resulting shortage has added up over the past 10 years to at least $6 million. Sun owner Brian Greenspun, Sun attorney Leif Reid and Stephens Media general counsel Mark Hinueber each characterized the lawsuit Wednesday as a dispute that could be resolved.