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Guardian: British spy agency kept journalists' emails

The Guardian has reported that British spy agency GCHQ saved emails from journalists at BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major news organizations.

The newspaper said its information was based on an analysis of documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

GCHQ is the Government Communications Headquarters.

The paper said the journalists' emails were among 70,000 emails gathered in less than ten minutes in November, 2008. It said the information was gleaned from a GCHQ tap on fiber optic cables used for Internet communications.

The newspaper said GCHQ also intercepted emails from Reuters, the Sun, NBC and the French newspaper Le Monde, and that the journalists' emails were available on the spy agency's intranet site. It did not say if the journalists were specifically targeted.

The Guardian said some emails included correspondence between editors and reporters discussing stories.

Tampa Bay Times selling headquarters to pay debt

The Tampa Bay Times has put its downtown headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, up for sale in an attempt to pay off a $28 million loan that comes due at the end of next year, the paper reported.

Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, in a letter to his staff, said selling the property would relieve the Times of the loan it took out in 2013 to pay off previous debts. The loan comes due in December 2016.

The potential sale is just the latest in a series of moves by the newspaper to liquidate assets and cut costs to pay debts.

The Times sold the historic Tramor Cafeteria building on Fourth Street South for $2.7 million in October.

Twitter accounts of New York Post and news agency UPI hacked

Some Twitter accounts of the New York Post and UPI, as well as the news agency's website, were briefly hacked recently.

Tweets with false economic and military news were posted and then deleted.

One tweet on United Press International's feed said that the Pope said World War III had begun. Another on the New York Post's business section Twitter feed said that Bank of America's CEO was calling for calm after a Federal Reserve decision.

The hack is being investigated, said Jenny Tartikoff, a spokeswoman for the Post. The New York newspaper is owned by News Corp.

In a statement posted to its website, UPI, based in Washington, said its Twitter account and website were hacked. Six fake headlines were posted to its Twitter account, and a "breaking news" banner with a fake story about the Federal Reserve was posted to its homepage until UPI's technology support team shut down access.

It's the latest hack of a high-profile social media account. The Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. military's Central Command were compromised by hackers claiming to support the Islamic State militant group, and Crayola apologized for a hack of its Facebook page that filled it with sex jokes and other off-color content.

Marietta (Georgia) Daily Journal parent buys Rome newspaper group

The parent company of the Marietta (Georgia) Daily Journal has purchased the Rome News Publishing Company at a bankruptcy auction.

Times-Journal Inc. bought the publisher of the Rome News-Tribune for $3.05 million during an open auction, beating out to competing bidders. The sale remains subject to approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Grace Deal, who has scheduled a hearing in late January.

Rome News Publishing Co. filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in January 2013.

San Francisco Chronicle celebrates 150 years

The San Francisco Chronicle published a note from the publisher, president, editor-in-chief and newsroom staff. It pointed out to readers that when the paper started publishing 150 years ago, a four-story building was considered a skyscraper in San Francisco, and the cable car system was still nearly a decade from operation.

During those first 75 years, San Francisco established itself as one of the world’s great cities. For citizens born in 1865, there was a chance of witnessing three world’s fairs, two world wars, the tragedy of the 1906 earthquake and the city’s glorious rebirth.

For the past 75 years, San Francisco became fertile ground for new ideas. A confident city turned from a blue-collar port town into a tech and business center, while frequently leading the way in civil rights and social change.

The Bay Area’s tragedies and triumphs have been recorded on these pages — an indelible record of where we have been that will help inform where our city goes from here. …

Just as it would have been impossible for Chronicle founders Charles and Michael H. de Young to imagine the current reality, it is next to impossible to imagine what San Francisco will look like in 2165. But we know from experience it will be a challenging, crazy and fun ride, and we wouldn’t want to share it with anyone else.




Defiant Charlie Hebdo fronts Muhammad, critiques church

Charlie Hebdo's defiant issue is in print, with a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover and a double-page spread claiming that more turned out on a Sunday to back the satirical weekly "than for Mass."

Twelve people died when two masked gunmen assaulted the newspaper's offices on Jan. 7, including much of the editorial staff and two police. It was the beginning of three days of terror around Paris that saw 17 people killed before the three Islamic extremist attackers were gunned down by security forces.

Charlie Hebdo had faced repeated threats for depictions of the prophet, and its editor and his police bodyguard were the first to die.

The cover shows a weeping Muhammad, holding a sign saying "I am Charlie" with the words "All is forgiven" above him. Zineb El Rhazoui, a journalist with the newspaper, described the cover as meaning that the journalists were forgiving the extremists for the killings.

Renald Luzier, the cartoonist who drew the cover image and who is known by his pen name "Luz," said it represents "just a little guy who's crying." Then he added, unapologetically, "Yes, it is Muhammad."

CNN gets federal OK to test-fly drones for news gathering

CNN announced that its executives have struck a deal with federal regulators to put drones in the sky for news-gathering purposes on a test basis.

"[We hope the agreement will] safely integrate unmanned news-gathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Michael Huerta, Newsmax reported. "Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities."

Other media groups have called on regulators and congressional members to speed through a plan to allow for drone flights for news-gathering purposes. Regulators worry about the potential for crashes and activists, lawmakers and privacy groups, about the fears of the sky-high surveillance.

CNN is currently conducting tests at the Georgia Tech Research institute in Atlanta to see how media organizations could conduct their missions in a safe and privacy-protective manner, Newsmax said.

Report: New Media completes $280 million purchase of Halifax

One of its newly acquired newspapers is reporting that New Media Investment Group Inc. has completed the purchase of the Halifax Media Group.

Kirk Davis is CEO of GateHouse Media LLC, a subsidiary of publicly traded New Media.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal ( ) reported that Davis visited the paper right after the $280 million purchase of Halifax, a Daytona Beach-based company that owned the Florida publication and 35 other newspapers across the country. The sale was first announced in November.

According to its website, New Media is "one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of daily publications." The company says it operates in more than 370 markets in 27 states, with a portfolio that includes 450 community publications and more than 370 related websites.

The Worcester, Massachusetts-based Telegram & Gazette, another publication previously owned by Halifax, also reported the completion of the sale.

Newspaper's immigrants headline criticized, building defaced

The Santa Barbara News-Press building was defaced with paint and graffiti after the paper referred to immigrants as "illegals" in a front-page headline.

Police were investigating the vandalism that occurred at the California paper.

In addition to apparent paintball splatters, the entrance to the building was spray-painted with graffiti that read: "Fight back" and "The border is illegal not the people who cross it." Cleaning crews went to the building to wash off the paint.

The paper had printed a story about a California law taking effect that allows people who are in the country illegally to apply for driver's licenses.

The page had a photo of people waiting in line at a Department of Motor Vehicles office with the headline: "Illegals Line Up for Driver's Licenses.”




Group hijacks US station's site, paper's Twitter feed

Hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group hijacked the website and Twitter feed of a news station, and the Twitter feed of a newspaper, according to the outlets and federal authorities.

Hackers calling themselves CyberCaliphate took over the website and Twitter feed of WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland, one morning before the station wrested back control of the website, which briefly displayed the extremist group's black-and-white flag and a message saying, "I love you, ISIS." But the station's Twitter feed remained under the hackers' control a day later.

Meanwhile, CyberCaliphate took over The Albuquerque Journal's Twitter feed. Someone replaced the newspaper's profile picture with an image that expressed support for Islamic militants. Numerous posts followed, including photos of driver's licenses belonging to New Mexico residents, inmate profiles and warnings to residents that their confidential information was at risk. The newspaper had regained control over the feed by midday.

That cyberattack marked the second time in less than two weeks the newspaper was targeted by hackers.

US official's threat to keep name out of print backfires

A local official in the state of Maryland might need to rethink his strategy for keeping his name out of print.

The name Kirby Delauter was published in newspapers, websites, news and opinion blogs and seemingly every corner of the Internet after he threatened to sue his local newspaper if it dared to publish his name without his permission.

Mocking messages filled Twitter with the hashtag #kirbydelauter, and the name was prominent in Google searches.

The trend began after the Republican Frederick County Councilman told a Frederick News-Post reporter in a Facebook post: "Use my name again unauthorized and you'll be paying for an attorney."

The paper responded by ridiculing his demand.

Delauter apologized the next day.

Judge apologizes for telling media testimony was off limits

A Maine judge who tried to tell reporters what they could and could not report on a criminal proceeding called the parties back to the courtroom to apologize.

Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz said that he made a mistake in trying to limit reporting during an earlier hearing in which a man was convicted of misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

"It's certainly very clear to me that this particular order was not lawful," he said.

The Portland Press Herald had defied the judge's order, reporting that the man’s former girlfriend testified she had been a victim of domestic abuse.

New York Times reporter questioned at hearing in CIA leak case

A New York Times reporter will be of little assistance to prosecutors as they put a former CIA officer on trial for allegedly leaking classified information about a botched operation in Iran.

Journalist James Risen testified at an unusual pretrial hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, where former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling goes on trial next week on charges that he illegally leaked national security information to Risen that the journalist used in his 2006 book, "State of War." A chapter in the book details an apparently botched plan to provide Iran with flawed nuclear blueprints through a Russian intermediary.

For years, Risen has been resisting prosecutors' efforts to compel his testimony, citing an obligation to protect the confidentiality of his sources. Ultimately, a federal appeals court ruled that Risen must testify and that he had no special privilege as a journalist to quash the subpoena.

At the hearing, Risen acknowledged he had written certain newspaper articles and "State of War," and that he had used unnamed sources.

Asked whether he had confidentiality agreements with unnamed sources, he initially refused to answer. Eventually, after Risen consulted with his lawyers, he confirmed that he promised confidentiality to certain sources. He also reiterated to prosecutors that he would not under any circumstances testify about the identity of his sources or information they gave.

Gov. Rick Scott now says staff will follow public records law

After a year of arguing in court that the state is not required to turn over public records generated on private accounts, Gov. Rick Scott has decided to turn a new leaf as he transitions into a second term.

His office now will require former employees who use their private email accounts or private cellphones for public business to turn over the records when they leave, Scott’s office announced in an email.

The policy is already embedded into law as statute 119.021(4)(a). But, until now, the governor’s legal counsel has argued in court that the statute doesn’t apply to Scott’s administration because, they said, the custodian of the records is the employee, not the state.

It was a new legal argument, unprecedented in Florida law, and exposed the governor to violating the state’s open records act and a pending lawsuit.

Media groups: Open records in PPL utility’s storm fine case

News organizations asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider a lower-court ruling last month that denied public access to records about how PPL utility crews responded to an October 2011 snowstorm.

The Associated Press and other news organizations argued Commonwealth Court erred in how it applied the state Right-to-Know Law to records on the restoration of power after hundreds of thousands were left in the dark.

The news entities say the court decision, if allowed to remain in place, "will have a significant detrimental impact" on the public's ability to review records of Public Utility Commission investigations and settlements.

"PPL customers of this area involved have a right to know the details of how and why lower priority areas received priority over other higher priority areas in restoring power after one of the region's worst storms," the news groups argued.

PPL settled with the Public Utility Commission and paid a $60,000 fine.

The Morning Call of Allentown and the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre sought records that include a PPL employee's anonymous tip letter that claimed a crew was sent to a lower-priority area. The newspapers obtained a favorable ruling from the Office of Open Records, but it was reversed by Commonwealth Court.

The AP and other groups joined the legal effort to get access to the records: Calkins Media Inc., Lancaster Newspapers Inc., PA Media Group, Philadelphia Media Network LLC, Pocono Mountains Media Group, Reading Eagle Company and Times News LLC.

Adams Publishing acquires weekly newspaper

Minnesota-based Adams Publishing Group, LLC announced that it has acquired The Dundalk Eagle, the largest paid weekly newspaper in Baltimore County, Maryland, from Kimbel Publication, Inc., which founded the newspaper over 45 years ago.

The Adams Publishing Group is the parent company of the former Huckle Media properties.

The Dundalk Eagle is now part of APG Media of Chesapeake, which includes two dailies The Star Democrat (Easton, Maryland) and Cecil Whig (Elkton, Maryland) along with nine weekly newspapers, six monthly/specialty magazines, six websites, and five mobile apps. These products cover nine counties in Maryland and Delaware and each week nearly one million people read the content they produce.



INDUSTRY NEWS 12-18-2014

Times reporter's testimony sought in leak trial

A New York Times reporter will be subpoenaed to answer questions ahead of an upcoming trial of a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information, though a Tuesday hearing indicated there is much confusion about what the journalist may be asked to reveal.

Prosecutors say they will not ask James Risen if ex-CIA man Jeffrey Sterling was his anonymous source for part of the 2006 book "State Of War" that detailed a botched CIA effort to cripple Iran's nuclear program. However, they do want to know if the two had a prior, on-the-record source relationship. Risen's lawyer, Joel Kurtzberg, said at Tuesday's hearing that he is not sure whether his client is willing to answer the questions that prosecutors want to pose.

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Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away. The company's Spanish Google News page, normally full of aggregated news content, vanished and was replaced by a message saying Google was "incredibly sad" to announce the closure plus a lockout of Spanish publishers from its more than 70 other Google News sites around the world. Spain's law takes effect Jan. 1 and Google said it wasn't worth it to consider paying the publishers for linking their content because its popular news aggregator makes no money.

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Asheville newspaper sues over police recordings

A North Carolina newspaper is suing to make public dozens of police video recordings of political gatherings and demonstrations. The Citizen-Times of Asheville says in a lawsuit filed Monday that keeping the recordings secret will have a "chilling effect" on the First Amendment right of the public to demonstrate. The videos date from 1980 and range from anti-war rallies and immigration protests to the Mountain Moral Mondays rally in August. The lawsuit alleges the videos are covered by North Carolina's public records law. The paper also says police aren't using the records as part of ongoing criminal investigations. Civil libertarians have questioned the police recordings. Asheville police have given conflicting explanations for the practice, from saying the videos aid in training to saying they could be part of criminal investigations.

Weather porn? Storms take over evening news

The correspondent most frequently seen on either ABC, CBS or NBC's evening newscasts this year doesn't work out of the White House or some overseas trouble zone. It's Ginger Zee, ABC's chief meteorologist. Weather is a big element of local news, but a story about the elements once had to be extraordinary to warrant time on a national newscast. Now it's routine, and not everyone considers that a change for the better. Over the past five years, the newscasts have essentially doubled the amount of time spent on weather and natural disaster stories. The time has more than quadrupled since the early 1990s, said news consultant Andrew Tyndall, who monitors the content of the broadcasts.ABC's "World News Tonight" leads the way, particularly since David Muir took over as anchor in September.

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Hungary's leader wants drug tests for journalists

The Hungarian prime minister, who has vowed to remake his country into a "non-liberal" state as he moves closer to Moscow, called Friday for mandatory drug testing of journalists and politicians. Viktor Orban's plan alarmed critics, who called it an attack on civil liberties and a cynical attempt to combat his declining popularity. A member of his governing Fidesz party had recently suggested mandatory annual drug tests for 12- to 18-year-olds as well, but that plan has apparently been dropped.

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Juneau coaches attend media training seminar

Alaska’s Juneau School District has spent $11,000 to teach its coaches how to work professionally with the media. Coaches and staff were instructed during a two-day seminar on ways to use effective language in handling tough questions and ending uncomfortable interviews. They also were instructed on proper usage of social media and were encouraged to teach students how to properly use social media. Another topic discuss was whether coaches should "friend" students on their personal accounts. The Juneau Empire reports the training sessions held in early December by Anchorage-based Gonzalez Marketing weren't a result of a specific incident. The training came after several high-profile incidents, including allegations of hazing of athletes by upperclassmen and an assistant football coach who was accused of punching a player during an out-of-state camp.

Guardian editor-in-chief Rusbridger to step down

The editor-in-chief of The Guardian newspaper says he will step down after 20 years in the role. Alan Rusbridger said he would take over as chairman of The Scott Trust, which owns Guardian Media Group and was created to safeguard its journalistic freedom. Rusbridger's leadership saw the paper expand from a Britain-only newspaper to an international media organization with a strong web presence. Rusbridger made headlines last year when he defended the newspaper's publication of files leaked by ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, saying its coverage has prompted a debate about the extent of intelligence activities and exposed the limits of regulatory laws. The Guardian said Wednesday that Rusbridger will step down next summer. It did not announce a successor.

MSNBC launches Shift, new online news channel

MSNBC on Monday launched a new online service featuring Web-only fare.

The channel, christened "Shift," combines live news and short documentaries with original shows that focus on sports, economics, politics and other topics. One-hour programs include the Washington-oriented "The Briefing" with Luke Russert, "Krystal Clear," with Krystal Ball discussing women's issues and a look at the week in popular culture called "So Popular!"

The slate of programming runs Mondays through Fridays as a channel apart from the existing Besides its role as an additional information resource, Shift is designed as a site for developing new series that might make their way to the MSNBC cable channel.

Shift follows last month's introduction of CBSN, a digital streaming network that features live, anchored coverage by CBS News each weekday.

Nonprofit for visually impaired acquires station

The acquisition of a Wichita, Kansas, radio station by Envision is an example of how CEO Michael Monteferrante, almost two years into the job, is trying to expand the nonprofit's mission of providing services and support to people who are visually impaired. On Friday Envision closed on the purchase of KFTI, a 100,000-watt radio station at 92.3 on FM, from Journal Broadcast Group. Monteferrante said the radio acquisition allows Envision to provide a different source of employment for people who are blind and low vision, diversifies Envision's revenue sources, and creates a platform for the organization to spread awareness of what it does, The Wichita Eagle reports.

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NJ State trooper posed as media at Christie event

An internal investigation has found a New Jersey state trooper who was providing security for Gov. Chris Christie posed as a member of the media to photograph protesters during a town hall event in March. Acting Attorney General John Hoffman says the trooper assumed the role of a photographer to blend in at the event in South River in which about a dozen protesters criticized the way the Christie administration distributed Superstorm Sandy aid. Hoffman's spokesman Paul Loriquet tells ( ) the attorney general concluded posing as a member of the media is not an approved tactic for security details. The protesters were escorted out. The trooper was not disciplined.

Bill Cosby breaks silence on the media, his wife

Bill Cosby broke his silence amid a flood of rape accusations in a very brief interview with The New York Post's Page Six. "Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind," Cosby told the publication's Stacy Brown, who noted that she frequently writes for African-American publications. Cosby, 77, has stayed silent in light of the more than two dozen women who have come forward to accuse him of having drugged and sexually assaulted them. The alleged incidents go as far back as the 1960s.

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With crime coverage, paper 'challenging community'

At the start of every month, the same image of a pistol points from the same place on the front page of the New Pittsburgh Courier, above the same caption: Under Attack By Us! The only thing that changes is the number of the dead.  "75 of 91 homicides Black lives," read a recent headline in the renowned black newspaper's crusade against black-on-black violence. It was accompanied, as always, by a literal body count: The name, race and manner of death for every homicide in Pittsburgh in 2014 — with victims being overwhelmingly black, as the headline shows.

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Kansas newspaper in open records fight with state

Kansas can avoid litigation if the governor's office follows the state's open records laws and releases the name of candidates seeking one of two new seats on the Saline County Commission, a newspaper publisher said this week. The Salina Journal twice has requested the names of 13 applicants for one of the two seats, which were added Nov. 4 by voters who approved expansion of the county commission from three to five members. Both requests — one verbal and the other in writing — were denied, with a spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback saying it was a personnel issue.

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Prison Legal News prepares for trial over Florida ban

The publishers of a journal that reports on inmate rights is preparing for trial over Florida's ban on the publication in state prisons. The state's prison system is the only one in the U.S. to ban Prison Legal News, said Paul Wright, editor and founder of the Lake Worth-based journal.

The publishers have sued Florida's Department of Corrections over inmates' access to the monthly journal. Trial is scheduled for January. The agency declined comment on the lawsuit to The Palm Beach Post.

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FBI leaves door open on media impersonation

FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday left open the possibility that an agent might again pose as a journalist as part of an investigation, though he said such a tactic ought to be rare and "done carefully with significant supervision, if it's going to be done." Comey told reporters at a roundtable discussion that he was "not willing to say never" when asked if the FBI would swear off future use of the tactic in response to an Associated Press demand made last month. The AP sought assurances from the Justice Department and the FBI that impersonation would not be used again following revelations that an agent in Seattle posed as an AP journalist in 2007 during an investigation into bomb threats at a high school.

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Report: Anschutz explores resurrecting Rocky Mountain News

Billionaire investor Philip Anschutz is exploring the possibility of resurrecting the Rocky Mountain News after the daily newspaper in Denver was shuttered five years ago. The Denver Business Journal was the first to report Tuesday that Anschutz's Clarity Media Group has posted a prototype newspaper online and is researching the feasibility of publishing the Rocky once again. E.W. Scripps Co. closed the newspaper in 2009 after nearly 150 years in operation, citing losses that reached $16 million the previous year. Clarity President and CEO Ryan McKibben tells the Denver Business Journal that readers can comment on the prototype, but no decision has been made to republish the Rocky. He says Anschutz owns the rights to use the newspaper's nameplate, its Internet address and other intellectual property.

Bloomberg editor Winkler to shift roles

The founding editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News is taking a new role at the financial data and news company and will be replaced by Economist Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait. Matthew Winkler, 59, will work directly with Michael Bloomberg in a new role as editor-in-chief emeritus when the former New York mayor returns to lead the company in 2015. Michael Bloomberg said in September he would return at the end of the year to lead Bloomberg LP, which he founded in 1981, after three terms as mayor. In his new role, Winkler will work with Bloomberg on "strategic initiatives" and the most high-profile Bloomberg stories. He helped found Bloomberg News in 1990 and has been editor-in-chief since then. Micklethwait will begin at Bloomberg's New York headquarters at the beginning of 2015.

Pulitzer Prizes expand eligibility in 2 categories

The Pulitzer Prizes have expanded eligibility for two categories. The board overseeing the journalism awards announced Monday that the Investigative Reporting and Feature Writing categories will now include many online and print magazines. The board has also amended its rules regarding partnerships. Eligible news organizations will now be allowed to nominate journalists employed by partnering organizations even if those organizations are themselves ineligible to compete for Pulitzer Prizes. Danielle Allen, chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, says great journalism is reaching American audiences "in new formats and new channels" that the panel supports "cross-media partnerships, new platforms and new tools to strengthen the cause of journalism."

Complaints about free newspaper litter in Salem, Ore.

The Salem City Council is reviewing a proposed ordinance Monday to restrict how free community newspapers are delivered. In response to complaints about neighborhood litter, the ordinance would require that unsolicited written materials be placed on a porch or near the front door. Distributors also would be required to honor requests not to deliver unsolicited materials. The Statesman Journal reports the media company is working to reduce complaints so a new ordinance won't be necessary.

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Senate updates Freedom of Information Act

The Senate has passed a bill to update the Freedom of Information Act. By voice vote on Monday, lawmakers endorsed a bill by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas that the sponsors said would require federal agencies to have a presumption of openness. Under the bill, exemptions to withhold information would be reduced and agencies operating under the act would have to make records available for public inspection in an electronic format.

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Obama says Somers' life was in imminent danger

President Barack Obama said Saturday he authorized the attempt to rescue American Luke Somers in Yemen because the U.S. had information that the photojournalist's life was in imminent danger. Shortly before the White House statement, Yemen's national security chief said militants had planned to kill Somers on Saturday. On Thursday, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula posted a video online threatening to kill Somers. Authorities said Somers, who was kidnapped in September 2013, and a South African teacher, Pierre Korkie, died in the rescue operation that Obama said was conducted by U.S. forces in partnership with Yemen's government.

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American killed in Yemen had 'wanderlust'

Luke Somers, an American who was killed during a rescue attempt against his al-Qaida captors in Yemen, had been working as a freelance photographer and editor in that country, and those who knew him say he had "wanderlust" and was drawn to new experiences. Lucy Somers told The Associated Press on Saturday that that she learned of her 33-year-old brother's death from FBI agents. He had been kidnapped in September 2013 in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. President Barack Obama said Saturday that he authorized the rescue attempt because the U.S. had information that Somers' life was in "imminent danger."

U.S. special forces had tried to rescue Somers last month.

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Photojournalist and teacher killed during Yemen hostage rescue attempt

An American photojournalist and a South African teacher were killed Saturday during a high-risk, U.S.-led raid to free them from al-Qaida-affiliated militants in Yemen, a turbulent Arab country that is a centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the region. The predawn raid was the second rescue attempt in as many weeks to free Luke Somers, a 33-year-old freelance photographer and editor kidnapped just over a year ago in Yemen's capital. South African Pierre Korkie, abducted 18 months ago with his wife in the city of Tazi, also was killed by militants as U.S. forces descended upon the militants' compound in southern Yemen. A South African aid group trying to negotiate Korkie's release said he was a day from freedom after a deal late last month that included a "facilitation fee" to the kidnappers. The relief organization had told Korkie's wife that "the wait is almost over."

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CBS, Dish Network reach deal to end brief blackout

CBS Corp. and TV provider Dish Network Corp. have reached an agreement that ends a contract dispute that led to a short programming blackout in local markets around the country, the companies announced Saturday, Dec. 6. CBS had blocked Dish from carrying the local channels of CBS-owned TV stations for about 12 hours starting around 7 p.m. Eastern time Friday. The 18 markets affected included New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston and Miami.In a joint statement Saturday, the companies said they had reached a multiyear deal that will allow Dish to carry CBS-owned TV stations nationwide as well as various cable channels, including the CBS Sports Network, the Smithsonian Channel and Showtime. Dish has about 14 million subscribers.

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Connecticut high court taking up press-freedom case

A dispute over whether a newspaper should be prohibited from publishing a story about a child custody case is headed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, which has issued several rulings in recent years against media organizations and advocates for open government records. New Britain Superior Court Judge Stephen Frazzini ordered an injunction Nov. 24 barring the Connecticut Law Tribune from publishing the story, saying protecting the three children from the harm that would be caused by the story outweighed the newspaper's First Amendment rights. But Frazzini rescinded that ruling on Monday amid criticism by media organizations and civil liberties advocates, who called the order an extraordinary violation of free-press rights. The judge didn't admit making a mistake, saying instead that the injunction was no longer necessary because a court document describing the case was published on two newspapers' websites and widely available to the public.

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UK lawmakers: Spy law needs stronger scrutiny

British police have been misusing surveillance laws to access journalists' communications records, a panel of lawmakers said Saturday, Dec. 6. Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee said it was unacceptable that police have seized reporters' phone and email data to try to determine sources of leaked information. Committee chairman Keith Vaz said that using surveillance legislation "to access telephone records of journalists is wrong" and would deter whistleblowers from speaking to reporters. The committee said in a report that a key piece of surveillance legislation, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act or RIPA, was being used in a "secretive and disorganized" way that allowed it to be abused.

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Media seeks more access to Oklahoma executions

Restricting the media from witnessing an execution cuts off the public's ability to have a fair and uncensored look at the state exercising its most awesome power, an attorney for two newspapers argued Thursday, Dec. 4, before a federal judge in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Observer and Guardian US newspapers, along with two journalists who work for the papers, sued the state following a problematic lethal injection in the spring, arguing the media should have greater access to witnessing an execution. They also are opposed to new execution protocols that reduce the number of media witnesses and give the prisons' director the ability to limit what they see and hear. "That effectively functions as a censorship tool," attorney Lee Rowland told U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton.

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AP’s Kathy Gannon says Afghan who shot her should be spared death penalty

She may not be ready to forgive, but Kathy Gannon says she doesn't want the Afghan gunman who severely wounded her and murdered her photographer put to death.

Gannon, the longtime Associated Press journalist who was born in Timmins, Ont., says she doesn't believe in the death penalty, but wants the rogue police officer responsible for the shooting to remain in prison for the rest of his life. Anja Niedringhaus, an award-winning photographer, died instantly in the April 4 attack that took place near the eastern city of Khost.

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Newspaper loses appeal in jail case gag order

The Michigan appeals court has turned down an appeal from a Detroit newspaper in a challenge to a judge's gag order. Wayne County Judge Vonda Evans is overseeing a criminal case tied to a failed jail project. She's barred all parties from talking to reporters. The appeals court says the gag order puts no "direct restraint" on the Detroit Free Press. In a brief order Thursday, Dec. 4, the court says the newspaper hasn't identified a speaker who feels retrained by the judge's order. Ex-county officials Carla Sledge and Steven Collins are charged with giving false or misleading information about the cost of a new jail. Construction stopped months ago because the project near Ford Field was wildly over budget. A contractor has been charged with a misdemeanor.

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NBC News' Snyderman to return to air

NBC News medical reporter Nancy Snyderman will be back on the network after being shelved for more than a month following a violation of her quarantine for possible Ebola exposure. A network executive who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a personnel matter said  that Snyderman will report on a medical issue for the "Today" show and NBC's "Nightly News." The story won't be about Ebola.

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Judge rejects media groups' transcript request

A federal bankruptcy judge in Billings, Montana, has turned down a request from media organizations to make public the details of a debtor's examination undergone by Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher closed the Nov. 3 exam at Blixseth's request after an Associated Press reporter and attorneys from the state Department of Revenue sought to attend. The AP and Bozeman Daily Chronicle intervened in the case requesting a transcript of the examination. But Kirscher said in a recent order that the examination was not a public proceeding. He said the transcripts were not judicial records subject to public review. During the examination in Butte, creditors' attorneys questioned Blixseth about his assets. They're seeking to collect on civil fraud judgments against Blixseth stemming from the Yellowstone Club's 2008 bankruptcy.

Emergency hearing held in newspaper restraint case

Attorneys for a Connecticut mother and her three children pleaded with a judge Monday not to rescind a rare order prohibiting a newspaper from publishing a story about their custody dispute — a ruling criticized by free speech advocates as an extraordinary violation of the First Amendment. State Superior Court Judge Stephen Frazzini in New Britain, Conn., called the hearing to consider whether he should lift his Nov. 24 injunction against the Connecticut Law Tribune. The judge said he decided to revisit his ruling after learning a key document in the court case had been published on the websites of at least two other newspapers. A lawyer for the mother had requested the injunction, saying that the children's identities should be shielded from public view for their protection and that all child protection cases are confidential under state law.

ABC's Muir to do brief Facebook newscast

ABC's "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir will do a one-minute newscast each weekday for Facebook, touching on the day's top stories and trending topics online. The "Facecast" will usually be posted in the early afternoon, and was set to start Monday. ABC said Facebook users will see the report in their news stream if they have "liked" ''World News Tonight," or else will be able to find it on the newscast's Facebook page. ABC said it was the first newscast created specifically for social media by an evening news anchor. Called "Facecast: The One Thing," the brief newscast will feature video and updates on breaking news, the economy, politics and sports.

Media challenges gag order in ex-coal CEO's case

News organizations have challenged a judge's gag order in the high-profile criminal case in Charleston, W.Va., of a former West Virginia coal executive. On Monday, media members filed a motion asking Judge Irene C. Berger to drop or modify her restrictions in ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's case. The judge is prohibiting all parties and victims from discussing the case with the media or releasing court documents.

The Associated Press, The Charleston Gazette, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and West Virginia Public Broadcasting filed the motion to intervene in U.S. District Court in Beckley.

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Supreme Court considers Facebook threats case

Supreme Court justices are vigorously debating the Digital Age question of where the line should be drawn between free speech and illegal threats. The case argued Monday involves a Pennsylvania man convicted of making violent threats after he posted Facebook rants about killing his estranged wife, harming law enforcement officials and shooting up a school. Lawyers for Anthony Elonis say he didn't mean to threaten anyone. They contend the government must prove he actually intended his comments as actual threats to others. The government argues the real test is whether his words would make a reasonable person feel threatened. Several justices seemed concerned that the government's position is too broad and risks sweeping up language that is protected by the First Amendment.

EU piling pressure on Google to change ways

European Union institutions are piling pressure on Google to change the way it operates its business and applies EU rules.  The European parliament on Thursday, Nov. 27, approved a non-binding resolution that calls for the unbundling of search engines from other services that internet companies offer, a practice that could in theory lead to the break-up of giant internet companies like Google. The resolution is a largely symbolic protest vote without immediate impact. But it was approved with a large majority — 384 votes to 174, with 56 abstentions — showing widespread political backing.

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Montana editor arrested at crash wants charges dropped

A northwestern Montana newspaper editor who was arrested at the scene of a highway accident says he was covering the news and is asking a court to dismiss charges that he interfered with a crash investigation and resisted arrest. Vincent Lovato Jr., editor of the weekly Lake County Leader, argues he should have been allowed to stay at the scene because he is a reporter and was doing his job. He has pleaded not guilty to obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

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UALR J-School receives $1.4 million bequest

The names of two Arkansas radio pioneers will be on a new scholarship set up at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's School of Mass Communication. The school said Tuesday, Nov. 25, it received a $1.4 million bequest from the Johnnie A. Winn Revocable Trust. The gift sets up the Dan and Johnnie Winn Memorial Scholarship. Preference will be given to students in journalism or radio. Johnnie Winn died last year at age 100. The school said she was the first licensed amateur radio operator in Arkansas. Her husband Dan died in 1998 at age 86. He helped put 30 radio stations on the air and was a past chairman of the Arkansas Emergency Broadcast System. School Director Olaf Hoerschelmann said the endowment will help attract high-quality students to the program.

Media groups seek transcript from debtor's exam

Details of a debtor's examination of Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth should be made public despite a federal judge's decision to close the proceedings, media organizations in Montana argued Monday, Nov. 24. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher closed the Nov. 3 exam in Butte at Blixseth's request after an Associated Press reporter and attorneys from the state Department of Revenue sought to attend. That prompted The AP, Bozeman Daily Chronicle and Montana Newspapers Association to intervene in the case.

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News Corp. invests in India real estate website

News Corp. says it has invested in a real estate website in India as it tries to grow its digital business. The New York-based media company, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, owns the Wall Street Journal newspaper and HarperCollins book publisher and runs the real estate website News Corp. said Monday, Nov. 24,  that it paid $30 million for a 25 percent stake in Elara Technologies Pte Ltd., which owns the Indian website, A News Corp. executive will join Elara's Singapore-based board. Last year, News Corp. split its newspaper and publishing business from its more-profitable broadcast and entertainment operations, now called 21st Century Fox Inc.

UK police spied on reporters for years, docs show

Freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson returned home to England from vacation this year to find a brown paper envelope in his mailbox. He opened it to find nine years of his life laid out in shocking detail. Twelve pages of police intelligence logs noted which protests he covered, who he spoke to and what he wore — all the way down to the color of his boots. It was, he said, proof of something he'd long suspected: The police were watching him.

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Bend (Oregon) Bulletin Publisher Gordon Black to retire

Bend (Oregon) Bulletin Publisher Gordon Black plans to retire after the first of the year.

He's led the newspaper for two decades. He's also president of its parent company, Western Communications Inc. The newspaper reports that Editor-in-Chief John Costa will succeed Black in the positions.

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Bin Laden documentary is tops for Fox

Fox News Channel's two-part documentary on the former Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden is the network's most popular documentary ever.

Reporter Peter Doocy's interview with Robert O'Neill averaged just over three million viewers last Tuesday and Wednesday, the Nielsen company said. The second part had 3.37 million viewers, effectively tying with an edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" to be Fox's most-watched show of the week. There's still some confusion about the 2011 raid; Pentagon officials say that it is not clear who fired the shot that killed the al-Qaida leader.

Eldridge named publisher at Richmond Register

Longtime newspaper executive David Eldridge has been named publisher of the Richmond Register. The newspaper, which is owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., reported on Monday that David Eldridge was appointed to the position. Eldridge was most recently publisher at The Perry County News in Tell City, Indiana. He also served as a regional manager for Landmark Community Newspapers Inc. and had held management positons at The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the Henry County Local, three newspapers in central Kentucky. Before moving into management roles, Eldridge served as an advertising manager and a circulation manager. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, he has 35 years of experience in the newspaper business.

South Dakota digitizes historic newspapers

The South Dakota State Historical Society is digitizing archival newspapers to preserve state history and give researchers online access. The society is using a nearly $300,000 two-year federal grant to work with the Minnesota Historical Society to modernize the records, The Daily Republic of Mitchell reported. The society will digitize 100 rolls of microfilm from newspapers that stopped publication in 1922 or earlier. "We have to select newspapers that have an end date of 1922, so it'll be earlier newspapers that qualify," said Chelle Somsen, a state archivist who's overseeing the project. "A committee is going to meet and decide which title to start with, so no decisions have been made yet."

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Obama urges Asia free press, defends US approach

President Barack Obama pressed for greater freedoms Friday, Nov. 14, for reporters in Myanmar and China while defending the balance he said the U.S. seeks to strike at home. Although he said he couldn't discuss the case of a U.S. journalist under pressure by prosecutors, he echoed comments from his attorney general that journalists won't be jailed for doing their job. Speaking after meetings with leaders in China and Myanmar, Obama said he has been "pretty blunt and pretty frank" in both countries that societies that repress journalists ultimately oppress their people as well. "When governments censor or control information, that ultimately undermines not only the society but it leads to eventual encroachments on individual rights as well," Obama said during a news conference in Yangon, Myanmar, with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Victim's family doesn't want CBS to air segment

The family of a woman murdered while vacationing in Mexico wants CBS not to air a prison diary made by the man accused of the crime for fear it will make him a sympathetic figure. But CBS said Wednesday, Nov. 12, it is going ahead and insists that its "48 Hours" episode Saturday on the case of former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman is balanced.

Beresford-Redman is on trial for murder in the 2010 death of his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman, while the California couple was vacationing in Cancun, Mexico, with their two children. Her naked body was found in the sewer of the resort where they were staying.

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Slain journalist receives First Amendment award

A New Hampshire journalist murdered by Islamic State extremists in Syria has been honored with the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications First Amendment Award. The award was established to honor New Hampshire people or organizations who protect or exemplify the liberties granted in the First Amendment. James Foley is the 12th recipient of the award. His parents accepted it on his behalf Wednesday. His mother, Diane Foley, said Jim was very passionate about freedom of the press, which is why he risked his life to be in Syria. She said he wanted the world to know about the suffering in Syria. Foley was in Syria in 2012 when he was captured. Members of the Islamic State militant group said they killed him because of U.S. intervention in the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

Ex-SPJ treasurer gets 10-year deferred sentence

The ex-treasurer of Oklahoma’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists chapter has received a 10-year deferred sentence for embezzling more than $43,000 from the nonprofit. Norman resident Scott Cooper was also ordered Thursday, Nov. 13, to spend four consecutive weekends in county jail and perform community service, among other stipulations. In his resignation letter to SPJ board members, Cooper said he stole the funds because he had a gambling problem. The Indianapolis-based journalism organization said Friday that Cooper's actions hurt the credibility of local SPJ officers, board members and volunteers. National president Dana Neuts says her organization is developing measures to prevent such an incident from happening again. Neuts also says SPJ is reassuring volunteers that what happened in Oklahoma was an isolated incident.


INDUSTRY NEWS 11-13-2014

AP demands FBI never again impersonate journalist

The Associated Press on Monday demanded assurances from the Justice Department that the FBI will never again impersonate a member of the news media, following revelations that an agent in Seattle portrayed himself as an AP journalist during a criminal investigation. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey, the president and CEO of the news cooperative, Gary Pruitt, also demanded to know who authorized the 2007 impersonation, what process was followed for its approval, how the requirements to impersonate the media are different from seven years ago and whether such operations are still being carried out. "Most importantly, we want assurances that this won't happen again," Pruitt wrote. Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon confirmed Monday that the letter had been received, but declined to comment further.

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143-year-old family owned newspaper to be sold

A 143-year-old family owned New Hampshire newspaper will be sold to a neighboring newspaper group by the end of the year. Patty Foster, president and publisher of Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover, announced the paper's sale to Portsmouth-based Seacoast Media Group in a letter to employees Wednesday. The assets of Geo. J. Foster & Co., Inc., and Eastern Marketing Services will be sold to the publisher of the Portsmouth Herald, The Exeter Newsletter, and the York County Coast Star. Seacoast is a subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc. The letter says ( Seacoast "will continue to publish under the Foster's Daily Democrat banner, hopefully for a long time."

Foster said the sale offers "a solid and sure way forward." She said everyone will be offered a position.

Student journalists use crowdsourcing for debts

Boston University's student-run newspaper is using financial crowdsourcing to raise money to cover its debts. The Daily Free Press says it will have to stop publishing its weekly print edition by December 31 if it can't raise enough money to pay back much of its nearly $70,000 in debt. The Boston Globe reports that the independent student newspaper began seeking donations this week through the crowdfunding website About $15,000 had been raised by late Tuesday. Editor-in-chief Kyle Plantz says the staff is getting support from family, friends, alumni and "people who haven't heard of us or read us." The newspaper also has an online site for daily content. It accumulated the debt over the past several years.

Obama steps into divisive debate on net neutrality

Let's say President Barack Obama gets his way and high-speed Internet service providers are governed by the same U.S. regulations imposed on telephone companies 80 years ago. Depending on whom you listen to, the rules could unleash future innovation and create jobs — or stifle innovation and kill jobs. The divisive and often confusing debate has intensified now that Obama has entered the fray. Obama's stance is meant to protect "net neutrality," the concept that everyone with an Internet connection should have equal access to all legal content online. The idea served as one of the Internet's building blocks, but its fate has been in limbo since January, when a court ruling invalidated Federal Communications Commission guidelines designed to treat all online traffic equally.

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CNN to end broadcasting in Russia

The international news channel CNN says it will halt broadcasting in Russia due to recent changes in media legislation. Turner International, which operates CNN, announced the move in a statement Tuesday. It didn't elaborate on the background to the decision, but appeared to refer to a law passed in October that limits foreign media ownership in Russia to 20 percent.

The chairman of the Kremlin's human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying the decision would "seriously impoverish" Russia's information sphere. Concerns are strong about media freedom in Russia as the government has taken control of all major domestic television stations and the independent-minded Echo of Moscow radio station has come under pressure.

CBS' Logan quarantined after Ebola report

Lara Logan of CBS News is being quarantined in a South Africa hotel for three weeks as a precaution after visiting an American-run hospital treating Ebola patients in Liberia for a "60 Minutes" report that aired Sunday. CBS said Monday that Logan's 21-day self-quarantine will end this Friday. Neither Logan nor the four other CBS employees in South Africa have shown any sign that they are infected with the virus. Logan, speaking in a "60 Minutes Overtime" web interview from the room where the CBS crew put its report together, admitted to some cabin fever as she waits out her stay. She said the South African government had given the crew permission to work at the hotel.

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Turkish journalist sues police over protest arrest

A Turkish journalist is suing the St. Louis County Police Department over his arrest at the Ferguson police shooting protests. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed a federal lawsuit Monday in St. Louis on behalf of Bilgin Sasmaz, a New York-based journalist for the Turkish Anadolu Agency. The suit claims Sasmaz was thrown to the ground by an unidentified county officer and arrested for "refusing to disperse" after photographing a St. Ann police officer who was pointing his rifle at protesters. Sasmaz said he first identified himself as a journalist. Lt. Ray Albers subsequently resigned after cellphone video emerged that showed him pointing his rifle at demonstrators while threatening at least one. A St. Louis County police sergeant forced Albers to lower the weapon and escorted him away.

Kremlin launches int'l news portal, stations

The Kremlin-funded Russia Today media group has launched an international news service that it claims will fight the "propaganda" of other news media. The service started Monday, called Sputnik, will have bureaus in more than 30 countries and send its news to local audiences by radio stations, websites and social media. The launch underlines Russia's consistent complaints that world news media are biased against the country. In a major speech last month, President Vladimir Putin bemoaned what he called "total control of global media (that) has made it possible to when desired to portray white as black." Russia Today chief Dmitry Kiselyov says "we are against aggressive propaganda ... this can only result in bloodshed." Russia Today also includes the RIA-Novosti news agency and the satellite TV channel RT.

Test-cheating trial judge lifts ban on news story

The judge presiding over the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial has lifted an order barring media outlets from reporting a specific story related to the case. Media reports said Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter on Friday signed an order that prohibited the media, particularly television station Fox 5 Atlanta, from airing "a certain news story." Baxter lifted the order during a hearing Monday before media lawyers got a chance to make arguments. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday after the order was lifted that the story in question is about a trial witness receiving an anonymous threat because of his testimony. Before testimony in the trial began Monday, Baxter reminded the jury not to listen to any outside discussion of the story either from acquaintances or media.

Reporters' group backs lawsuit over court records

An association of reporters and editors threw its support Friday, Nov. 7, behind a lawsuit over civil court records in Ventura County, Clif., saying the First Amendment gives reporters the right to access lawsuits and other civil complaints as soon as they are filed. In a brief filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press warned that a lower court ruling dismissing the suit by Pasadena, California-based Courthouse News Service risked preventing reporters from seeing lawsuits and other civil complaints for months.

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Verne Edwards, Journalism professor at Ohio Wesleyan, dies at 90

Verne Edwards, a retired chairman of Ohio Wesleyan University’s journalism department whose students long remembered his high standards wherever they made their careers, died Tuesday, Nov. 4, in Willow Brook Christian Village, a retirement community. He was 90. His health declined after he suffered a broken a hip in mid-September, his daughter Nancy said. He retired from Ohio Wesleyan in 1986 and for the next 12 years was assistant to the publisher of the Delaware Gazette. In 1970, he wrote the textbook, Journalism in a Free Society, that was used by 100 colleges.

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UN resolution aims to improve journalists' safety

Nearly 50 countries are co-sponsoring a U.N. resolution that condemns attacks against journalists and the failure to punish those responsible for killing, torturing, kidnapping and arbitrarily arresting media workers. The draft General Assembly resolution circulated Friday urges the 193 U.N. member states "to do their utmost to prevent violence, threats and attacks" against the media. It calls for speedy and independent investigations of alleged attacks and prosecution of alleged perpetrators and those who aid them or cover up their crimes. The draft also urges the immediate release of members of the media who have been taken hostage and are victims of "enforced disappearances."

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Schieffer's 'Face' reaches the 60-year milestone

The Sunday-morning public affairs show "Face the Nation" celebrates 60 years of broadcasts this week, making it the second longest-running television program on the air. The reason this doesn't attract a lot of notice outside of CBS offices is because "Face the Nation" was created to compete with the longest-running show, NBC's "Meet the Press," which marks 67 years on the air this week. But host Bob Schieffer and his colleagues have special reason to enjoy this milestone now, since "Face" is hot and "Meet" is not. Friday is the exact anniversary, 60 years to the day after the anti-communist crusading Sen. Joseph McCarthy came on to talk about Senate efforts to censure him.

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US pressure urged over jailed Myanmar journalists

Myanmar's transformation from pariah state to aspiring democracy has been kind to blogger Nay Phone Latt. He was freed from a 20-year prison term imposed for his coverage of anti-junta protests. He now has a weekly program on U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia and runs an internationally praised campaign against sectarian hate speech. But he has a sobering message for U.S. officials he'll meet in Washington on Friday. While the nation's media have more freedom than in decades, the powerful military is still "untouchable." President Barack Obama visits Myanmar next week, and Nay Phone Latt and fellow dissident writer Ma Thida say he should call for the release of a mounting number of journalists facing stiff jail terms — one of the troubling signs that the political reforms in Myanmar, championed by the Obama administration, have stalled.

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Ex-tabloid news editor jailed in Britain for hacking

As fallout continues from Britain's tabloid phone-hacking scandal, former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson was sentenced Friday,  Nov. 7, to eight months in prison for conspiring to hack the phones of celebrities, politicians and royals. Another former reporter from the tabloid has been found guilty of paying a prison official for information, the first conviction of a journalist after a police investigation into official corruption triggered by the hacking scandal. Edmondson is the eighth journalist from the now-defunct Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World to be convicted over illegal eavesdropping.

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Newseum CEO departs amid fundraising struggles

The chief executive of the Newseum and its parent organization the Freedom Forum is resigning from the museum of journalism and the First Amendment after three years at the helm of an institution struggling to cover its costs. On Tuesday, James Duff announced plans to return to his previous post as chief administrative officer of the U.S. Courts under an appointment by Chief Justice John Roberts. When the chief justice calls, "it's hard to say no," he said. Duff had led the Newseum since 2011. He will stay on as a consultant through the end of 2014 to help raise funds for programs.

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Klamath Falls newspaper getting new publisher

The advertising director of a Washington state newspaper has been named the president and publisher of the Klamath Falls Herald and News in Southern Oregon. Pioneer News Group said Tuesday that 49-year-old Mark Dobie is replacing Heidi Wright, who had been publisher since 2004. Dobie had been at the Skagit Valley Herald in Mount Vernon since 2010. Pioneer owns both papers, among 23 dailies and weeklies in a five-state Northwest region.

The newspaper is part of Klamath Publishing LLC, which also has a weekly shopper, the weekly Lake County Examiner, websites and commercial print operations.

TV news is the bloodsucker of the moment at movies

Not since Paddy Chayefsky's "Network" have characters been chewed and spit out by TV news quite like they have been of late at the movies. "Nightcrawler" and "Gone Girl" both present portraits of a preying, narrative-distorting media, whether staked out on the lawn or hunting down a homicide for the 11 o'clock news. While the films differ greatly and have other thoughts in their heads, both show the behind-the-scenes pursuit of that old mantra: "If it bleeds, it leads." "Gone Girl" and "Nightcrawler" join a rich tradition of films that have found drama in the not-always-altruistic machinations of the news.

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White House: Ferguson no-fly didn't restrict press

The White House said Monday a no-fly zone the U.S. government imposed over Ferguson, Missouri, for nearly two weeks in August should not have restricted helicopters for news organizations that wanted to operate in the area to cover violent protests there. Audio recordings obtained by The Associated Press showed the Federal Aviation Administration working with local authorities to define a 37-square-mile flight restriction so that only police helicopters and commercial flights could fly through the area, following demonstrations over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

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Prosecutors: No deal with reporter in US leak case

Federal prosecutors said Monday they have no deal in place with a New York Times reporter whose testimony they want as they prosecute a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, prosecutors say attorneys for journalist James Risen have told them that, even if subpoenaed, Risen will refuse to provide any substantive testimony at the pending trial of former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling.

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Williams: Seidel didn't relieve himself in snow

It's a story important enough for NBC's "Nightly News": Weather forecaster Mike Seidel did not relieve himself in the snow. NBC's Brian Williams said on Monday's broadcast that Seidel "was the victim of some wild misinformation" that floated after his aborted live report on a snowstorm in North Carolina on Saturday's edition of the network's national newscast.

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Ohio newspaper asks for candidate’s ad to be pulled

An Ohio newspaper has filed a complaint with the state elections commission to try to get a congressional candidate to stop using a faked front page in a TV commercial. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that it filed a complaint this week to try to force Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson from using the image of a Beacon Journal front page that replaces real headlines and photos with fakes ones attacking his opponent and her party. The ad has been removed from the campaign website and YouTube, but an attorney for the campaign told the newspaper's attorney that the ad likely will still air on television. A campaign spokeswoman said in an email that the TV ad accurately quoted the newspaper.

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Sun-Times owner sells suburban papers to Tribune

The parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times announced Friday it has sold six daily newspapers and 32 weeklies in the Chicago suburbs to Tribune Publishing Co., casting the sale as an effort to more forcefully move into digital media. Sun-Times owner Wrapports LLC said the deal will allow it to focus on its new Sun-Times Network, which launched Friday and centers on a mobile news app tailored to local audiences in 70 U.S. cities. The sale also will financially strengthen the Chicago Sun-Times, the company said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Massachusetts-based publisher wins national award

Editor & Publisher, a journal that has chronicled the newspaper business for about 130 years, has named a Massachusetts-based media executive as the nation's publisher of the year. Karen Andreas is publisher of eight daily and weekly newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that are part of the North of Boston Media Group based in North Andover. The group is the regional arm of Montgomery, Alabama-based Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. Editor & Publisher reports that the 48-year-old Andreas said she was "stunned and overwhelmed" after she was named the 2014 Publisher of the Year. Andreas has worked as a reporter for various publications before she moved to management. She was named sole publisher of her media group in March 2013 after a reorganization that eliminated publisher position for individual newspapers.

Arias judge bars public from witness' testimony

The judge in the Jodi Arias trial in Phoenix, Ariz., took the highly unusual step Thursday of barring the public from watching the first witness called by the convicted murderer's legal team as she fights to be spared the death penalty. The day began with dramatic statements from the victim's family members about the emotional and physical trauma they have suffered since Travis Alexander was murdered by Arias in 2008. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens and lawyers then met behind closed doors about the start of Arias' case. They made a decision to keep the public out of the courtroom because a skittish defense witness wanted to testify in private. An attorney for the Arizona Republic objected, but the judge closed the courtroom anyway.

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The View' now under ABC News as further revamping

ABC's daytime chat show "The View," which has failed to catch fire following an overhaul this fall, is switching to the network's news side after being part of ABC's entertainment operation for 18 years. ABC News President James Goldston on Thursday assigned Tom Cibrowski, the producer responsible for the "Good Morning America" rise to the top of the ratings, and colleagues Barbara Fedida and David Sloan to work on "The View." Following the retirement of Barbara Walters from an on-air role at the show she started, ABC brought in Rosie O'Donnell, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez to join holdover Whoopi Goldberg. A new production team was named led by Bill Wolff, Rachel Maddow's former producer.

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The New York Times shares decline on ad outlook

Shares of The New York Times Co. slid Thursday after the newspaper publisher predicted that advertising revenue would drop in the current quarter. The New York-based company expects that ad sales will drop by a "mid-single" digit percentage in the October-December period. In the July-September quarter, ad revenue fell just 0.1 percent. The New York Times' print advertising revenue continues to decline, like it is at most other newspapers, as readers and advertisers migrate online. The company touted its online strength in the third quarter. Digital advertising revenue increased 16.5 percent, as print advertising revenue fell 5.3 percent.

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Spain OKs 'Google Tax' demanded by news publishers

Spain's parliament has approved new intellectual property laws that allow news publishers to charge aggregators each time they display news content in search results. The law goes into effect Jan. 1 but does not specify how much aggregators like Google News could be charged. Spain's AEDE group of news publishers had lobbied for what is known as the "Google Tax" but has not provided specifics. Google Inc.'s Spanish division said Thursday it was disappointed with the outcome and will work with Spanish news publishers to help them increase income. Google last year agreed to help French news organizations increase online advertising revenue and fund digital publishing innovations to settle a dispute there over whether it should pay for news content in its search results.

Reporter's family urges Iran to release him

The family of an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post who has been jailed in Iran since July is urging authorities to release him, saying on Thursday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that his continued incarceration without charge is a "farce." The mother and brother of reporter Jason Rezaian made the plea in a statement to mark his 100 days in custody. They said the Iranian government has failed to produce evidence of wrongdoing against the journalist, who they say has been denied access to a lawyer since he was detained.

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Civil Rights Museum to honor Tom Brokaw

Former broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw will receive a Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award for Journalism from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn. Themed "Breaking Barriers, Advancing Freedom," The Freedom Award, National Civil Rights Museum's annual fundraiser will be held Dec. 2. Brokaw is a television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. Brokaw also produced specials for NBC, including 2001's "The Greatest Generation Speaks," based on Brokaw's best-selling 1998 book, The Greatest Generation. Early in his career (1965), he moved to Atlanta to cover the Civil Rights Movement and was able to cover stories on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friends remember Ben Bradlee as lion of journalism

Ben Bradlee, the longtime executive editor of The Washington Post during some of its proudest moments, was remembered as a "journalistic warrior" Wednesday, Oct. 29, during his funeral at Washington National Cathedral. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and many government officials and journalists were among hundreds who filled the massive church. Few cities could honor a gruff, profane and aggressive journalist quite like Washington. Bradlee died last week at 93 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease in recent years. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were among eight men who paid tribute to the man who led the Post newsroom from 1968 to 1991 — through the coverage of the Watergate scandal that toppled the presidency of Richard Nixon and elevated the newspaper to new heights.

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INDUSTRY NEWS 10-30-2014

FBI says it faked AP story to catch bomb suspect

The FBI confirmed Tuesday it faked an Associated Press story to catch a bomb threat suspect in 2007, but now says it did not spoof a Seattle Times Web page as part of the investigation. Police in Lacey, near Olympia, sought the FBI's help as repeated bomb threats prompted a week of evacuations at Timberline High School in June 2007. After police interviews of potential suspects came up empty, the agency obtained a warrant from a federal magistrate judge to send a "communication" to a social media account associated with the bomb threats, with the idea of tricking the suspect into revealing his location, according to documents obtained by the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Video: Islamic State hostage 'reports' for captors

A captive British photojournalist has been used by the Islamic State group to take on the role of a war correspondent in the extremists' latest propaganda video. In the video, made public on Monday, Oct. 27, John Cantlie calmly stands before a camera in what he identifies as the embattled Syrian town of Kobani. He asserts in the video that Islamic State group fighters have pushed deep into the town despite airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition and that they are winning the battle against Kurdish forces. The strange spectacle of a prisoner who has admitted to being afraid for his life being used as a spokesman is the latest of example of the IS's attention-getting approach to propagating its message and its threats.

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Facebook's advertising revenue soars in 3Q

Facebook grew its advertising revenue by 64 percent in the third quarter, helped by a boost in mobile ads that are becoming an increasingly large chunk of the social networking giant's overall advertising business. The steady increase indicates that Facebook has succeeded in steering advertisers to its mobile platform at a time when most of its users are using Facebook on phones and tablets. Investors were initially worried about the desktop Web era-born company's ability to succeed in mobile advertising, but those concerns are long gone. Advertising revenue at the company totaled $2.96 billion. Mobile ad revenue, a closely watched figure, was $1.95 billion, or 66 percent of Facebook's total advertising revenue for the quarter.

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Buffett's newspaper unit selling marketing firm

Berkshire Hathaway's media unit is selling its marketing company to a Wisconsin group, so it can focus more on its newspapers. Warren Buffett's company announced the sale of World Marketing Inc. to businessman Robert M. Kraft on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed. Terry Kroeger, who leads BH Media, says the direct mail business that handles more 1 billion pieces of mail annually is no longer a core part of the business that now includes more than 30 newspapers. World Marketing's clients have included American Airlines, Kraft Foods and Blue Cross Blue Shield. World Marketing's headquarters will move to Wisconsin, but most of the 450 employees will stay where they are. The company has production facilities in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Saint Louis.

Sun-Times owners to launch mobile news app

The parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times has announced the creation of a mobile news app tailored to local audiences in 70 U.S. cities. Wrapports LLC said Tuesday the new Sun-Times Network will present news and other content in a format similar to Buzzfeed and Deadspin. It launches Friday. In each city, users will have access to national entertainment, sports and political coverage from the Sun-Times. They'll also see content aggregated from other news outlets and sources in each local market.

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Idaho newspaper's front window shot

South-central Idaho police officers say they are investigating after someone shot at the front entrance of a newspaper building. The Times-News reports that someone shot the front window at their Twin Falls building on Oct. 25. Police stopped by two days later to take pictures of the damage and interview reporters who were in the building over the weekend.

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News outlets sue for lethal injection information

Several news outlets are suing to gain information on the procedures and sources of drugs used to carry out lethal injections for death row inmates, The Arizona Republic reported Saturday, Oct. 25. The newspaper has joined other news organizations in a federal lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Corrections and Attorney General Tom Horne. Other media organizations acting as plaintiffs include Guardian News and Media and the Arizona Daily Star.

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Hartford Courant celebrates 250th anniversary

At a time when many newspapers are just trying to survive, it is hard to think of them lasting another century. But The Hartford Courant, which published its first issue on Oct. 29, 1764, will celebrate its 250th anniversary this week. Thomas Green, the paper’s founder, started printing a one-page edition of what then was called The Connecticut Courant. According to a history reported by The Courant’s staff, much of the early paper included news from outside Hartford, including the growing dissatisfaction with British rule, and notices about slave and liquor auctions as well as lost livestock.

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US journalist says body was 'at war' with Ebola

Ashoka Mukpo knew he really was in trouble when he saw the people treating him in full protective suits and hoods. The American video journalist is home now after recovering from Ebola he contracted while working in the virus-ravaged West African country of Liberia. In an interview with The Associated Press, he described the fear he felt when medical workers appeared at his bedside in the heavy duty gear needed to prevent the spread of the deadly infection.

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News outlets seek access in football hazing case

The Associated Press has joined other media organizations requesting access to juvenile court hearings for seven high school students charged in a football hazing investigation.

The AP joined with NJ Advance Media, Gannett New Jersey Newspapers and ABC Inc. in a motion filed Friday, Oct. 24. Seven members of the Sayreville War Memorial High School team were charged Oct. 10 with crimes ranging from hazing to aggravated sexual assault. The teenagers are charged as juveniles, and proceedings are being held in Family Court.

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Gag order issued in case of publisher's death

An Oklahoma judge has issued a gag order restricting what officials can say about the slayings of a newspaper publisher and his family. Stephens County Special Judge Jerry Herberger issued the order Thursday, Oct. 23, for prosecutors, defense attorneys, police and investigators in an effort to ensure a fair trial for 19-year-old Alan Hruby, The Oklahoman reported. The district attorney and a court-appointed defense attorney requested the order.

Hruby is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 50-year-old John Hruby, 48-year-old Tinker Hruby and 17-year-old Katherine Hruby.

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Binoche explores risks, passion of war photography

Actress Juliette Binoche has long been fascinated by war photography, she says, and often wonders about the people who risk their lives to capture such photos. Who are they, and what are they like? She got a crash course when preparing for her new movie, "1,000 Times Good Night," in which she plays a photojournalist and mother whose personal risks wreak havoc on her family. Known for her intensive preparation for films — for "The Lovers on the Bridge," for example, she slept in the streets of Paris to experience life as a homeless person, angering her own mother — Binoche interviewed war photojournalists to get a sense of what drives them. "The passion they have for their work can become an obsession," she says. "You want to have a family, and yet you can't live without your passion. How is it possible to live with both?"

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Cuomo's office tightly controls public records

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office four years ago promising the most transparent administration in history, but journalists and advocacy groups say his office tightly controls requests for public records on anything controversial and routinely delays or denies their release. For decades, responding to requests under New York's Freedom of Information Law was the responsibility of individual state agencies. Current and former state officials say that began to change a year into Cuomo's administration, and now such requests are often routed through the governor's legal counsel.

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Frank Mankiewicz, aide to Robert Kennedy, dies

Frank Mankiewicz, the press secretary who went before television cameras to announce the death of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and later served as political director for presidential candidate George McGovern, died Thursday, Oct. 23. He was 90. Mankiewicz died of a heart attack at George Washington University Hospital, said a family friend, journalist Adam Clymer.

Mankiewicz was a longtime Democratic political operative as well as a lawyer, journalist and author. McGovern once recalled his former campaign aide as a perceptive, straightforward political adviser.

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Iowa Senate candidate cancels on newspaper editors

Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has canceled a meeting with The Des Moines Register's editorial board, saying her time was better spent campaigning in Iowa. Editors at the newspaper said Ernst's campaign notified them Wednesday night that she wouldn't attend the Thursday meeting. Publisher Rick Green said he was disappointed. Ernst, a state lawmaker and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, is locked in a tight race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley. She said she was focused on talking to voters.

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Marietta firm proposes purchase of Georgia newspapers

Marietta-based Times-Journal Inc. is offering to purchase the Rome News-Tribune and its affiliated weekly newspapers. The Rome News-Tribune reports that the proposed $1.1 million deal includes News Publishing Co. and all of its assets — the Rome News-Tribune, Calhoun Times, Walker County Messenger, The Catoosa County News and The Polk County Standard Journal. It also includes Cherokee Publishing Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of News Publishing Co. that publishes the Cherokee County Herald in Centre, Alabama.

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INDUSTRY NEWS 10-23-2014

Bradlee recalled as a genius, great journalist

Ben Bradlee, the former Washington Post editor who died Tuesday, was remembered as one of the great U.S. journalists and a courageous and charismatic friend and colleague:


"For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession — it was a public good vital to our democracy. A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country's finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told — stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better. The standard he set — a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting — encouraged so many others to enter the profession." — President Barack Obama.

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IAPA: Press freedom deteriorating in the Americas

Freedom of expression and the press have sharply deteriorated in the Americas over the last six months due to an increase in censorship and physical attacks on journalists, the Inter American Press Association said Tuesday.

Eleven journalists were killed in attacks "carried out by organized crime, drug traffic hit men and police-style groups on the orders of several governments of the region," the group said in a statement at the end of its 70th General Assembly.

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US journalist recovers; Ebola 'czar' gets to work

A TV news cameraman treated for Ebola was ready to go home Wednesday, the fifth patient transported from West Africa to recover at a U.S. hospital, as President Barack Obama brought together top aides and his new Ebola "czar" to coordinate a national response to the deadly disease. Two nurses remain hospitalized after catching the virus from a Liberian man who came down with Ebola symptoms after arriving in the U.S. and died at a Dallas hospital. Because of their cases, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued more stringent safety guidelines this week and is working with states to spread them to health care workers across the country.

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Order to remove student newspaper copies reversed

A Colorado county clerk has reversed her order that a university remove copies of its student newspaper from boxes outside its student union Tuesday because the front page had coverage of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall's visit to campus. Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers, a Republican, said the front-page photo and story about Udall's Monday visit to Colorado State University was improper electioneering and should not be allowed near a polling place. The student center contains a drop-off box for ballots.

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Times-Picayune to be printed in Mobile, Alabama / The Times-Picayune  reports that the Times-Picayune pressroom will close in late 2015 or early 2016, and the newspaper will be printed in Mobile, Alabama. ACS Louisiana General Manager Ray Masset says the move will eliminate 100 jobs at his company, which prints and packages the newspaper. NOLA Media Group, which operates the website and publishes the newspaper, says news and ad sales staffs will remain the same.

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NBC's Snyderman faces credibility issues

The quarantine against possible Ebola exposure ends this week for Dr. Nancy Snyderman, but the troubles clearly aren't over for NBC News' chief medical editor. An admitted lapse in the quarantine, combined with a curiously imprecise explanation, unleashed a furious response. NBC must now decide whether Snyderman's credibility is too damaged for her to continue reporting on Ebola or other medical issues and, if so, for how long. The network would not comment.

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Slain journalist Foley 'tried to see the good”

James Foley was a compassionate and capable journalist who tried to see the good in people, friends said Saturday at a memorial for the New Hampshire man beheaded by Islamic State group extremists. Hundreds of people filled Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Rochester, N.H., during a Mass to celebrate his life on what would have been his 41st birthday. Afterward, friends and family paid poignant tribute to Foley.

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Two get Maine Press Association inductions

A long-time Associated Press State House correspondent and a retired St. Louis Post Dispatch correspondent have joined the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame.

Richard Dudman and the late Robert Crocker were formally inducted Saturday during the Maine Press Association's fall conference. Dudman was captured in Cambodia while covering the Vietnam War for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and wrote an account that later became a book, "40 Days with the Enemy." He also covered Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Watergate scandal. Later, he served as an editorial writer for the Bangor Daily News. Crocker was a prolific writer, filing several thousand stories each legislative session. He also was active as a member of the Wire Service Guild, serving as its president.

Va. newspaper announces 32 layoffs by end of '14

The Virginian-Pilot will lay off 32 workers by the end of the year.

The Norfolk newspaper said the layoffs represent nearly 4 percent of its 841-person workforce. President and publisher David Mele said the layoffs will primarily be in The Pilot's operations and circulation departments. Mele said The Pilot has seen advertising declines that have not been offset by growth in digital revenue. The Pilot is privately owned by Landmark Media Enterprises LLC of Norfolk. Employees were informed of the layoffs on Wednesday.

Tim Russert office exhibit opens at Buffalo museum

An exhibit honoring the late Tim Russert is opening in the hometown of the long-time moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press." The exhibit titled, "Inside Tim Russert's Office," opens Friday at the Buffalo History Museum. It shows Russert's Washington, D.C., bureau office much as it did on June 13, 2008, the day he died of a heart attack at age 58 while recording voiceovers for his next show. Russert's office went on display at the Newseum in Washington in late 2009 and was on view through last June 15.

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2 US journalists detained over Russia workshop

Two American journalists were briefly detained in Russia and taken to court Thursday for teaching an investigative journalism workshop. Both were found guilty of violating visa regulations, authorities said. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting said that its co-founder, Joe Bergantino, and University of South Carolina professor Randy Covington, were detained for several hours by immigration authorities as they began teaching their first workshop in St. Petersburg.

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Inquirer, Daily News sites merging with

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News will shutter their individual websites and refocus attention on their joint portal. Company officials say the fee-based newspaper sites will close in December, less than two years after they launched. will remain free for now. However, newsroom leaders say that could change once they address the site's content. In a letter to staff Thursday, the company says the Inquirer and Daily News replica edition apps will remain premium products for subscribers. Staff members have endured a quick succession of owners, a prolonged bankruptcy and the plane crash death of co-owner Lewis Katz in just the past few years. The company, Interstate General Media, is now owned by Katz's investment partner, philanthropist H. F. "Gerry" Lenfest.




Wounded AP reporter vows to return to Afghanistan

Over and over, Kathy Gannon has re-lived the decisions that led to her close friend's death — and almost her own — in Afghanistan. Gannon, a veteran Associated Press correspondent, and Anja Niedringhaus, an award-winning AP photographer from Germany, had negotiated through many stories and many dangers together for five years. But on April 4, as they prepared to cover the presidential election in Afghanistan the next day, an Afghan police commander ripped into them with gunfire. She keeps asking herself if she could have prevented the tragedy. And the answer is always "No.”

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CNN cuts end Mitchell's show on HLN

Jane Velez-Mitchell and her staff have been laid off due to budget cuts at CNN, ending her nightly program on the HLN network. Her program, which aired for six years at 7 p.m. Eastern on the CNN sister network, ended Monday. Mitchell was told of the layoff on Tuesday, said executives at CNN who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters. Twelve people, including Mitchell, were let go with this cut. The show will be replaced temporarily by reruns of "Forensic Files." Meanwhile, CNN has disbanded its Los Angeles-based unit that covers entertainment and will be ending three specialty shows because of the layoffs.

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LA Times sues OC Register over delivery fees

The Los Angeles Times filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Orange County Register over what the Times says is breach of contract and failure to pay more than $2 million in delivery fees.

The lawsuit alleges that the Register breached a contract that called for the Times to deliver the Orange County Register and the now-defunct Los Angeles Register. The Register owes the Times at least $2.464 million, the lawsuit said, and total damages could exceed $4 million. The Times said the Register has been late on payments since falling behind in April 2013, and the Times informed the Register last month that it was in default and had 30 days to pay.

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3 dead believed to be newspaper publisher, family

Three people found dead in an Oklahoma home are believed to be a newspaper publisher, his wife and daughter, police said Tuesday. Police Chief Danny Ford said autopsy results are pending but that as far as investigators can tell, the bodies are those of John and Tinker Hruby and daughter Katherine. "We are treating this as a triple homicide," Ford said. "We have a lot of evidence, but as far as looking at anybody, we have no suspects."

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Ga. educators grapple with Internet censorship

Georgia educators are grappling with questions over how much of the Internet should be accessible to students as they distribute tablets and laptops to supplement classroom learning. "It's a balance between arming our kids with the ability to make really smart choices and making those choices for them in a filtering environment," said Scott Muri, Fulton deputy superintendent for academics told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Candles to honor slain New Hampshire journalist

The friends of a New Hampshire journalist murdered by Islamic extremists want the public to put a white, electric candle in the most visible window of their homes and offices in his honor.

James Foley was abducted in Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012 and hadn't been heard from since until a video showing his killing was posted on the Internet. Members of the Islamic State militant group said they killed him and other foreigners because of U.S. intervention in the conflict in Iraq and Syria. At his parents' home in Rochester, N.Y., the day his death was confirmed, a white electric candle burned in an upstairs window. A memorial service is set for Oct. 18. That would have been Foley's 41st birthday.

New documentary is witness to Snowden leak

With an uncommon view of history in action, a new documentary captures Edward Snowden's leak of National Security Agency documents as it unfolded in a Hong Kong hotel room. Laura Poitras' highly anticipated documentary "Citizenfour" premiered Friday night at the New York Film Festival. The film presents a remarkably intimate portrait of Snowden, including his first meetings with the journalists with whom he shared thousands of documents revealing the collection of Americans' phone and email records.

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Newspaper corrects bear attack error made in 1852

A New Jersey newspaper has issued a correction for a story it published in 1852 about a bear mauling a teenage boy to death. The story didn't list a location of the bear attack, making it appear it happened in New Jersey. The New Jersey Herald wrote in Thursday's correction it actually happened in Arkansas. Herald Executive Editor Bruce Tomlinson said a reader pointed out the error when the newspaper re-published the story this week. The newspaper then discovered that the original story was first published in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Nielsen admits to errors in TV measurement

The Nielsen company on Friday admitted to errors dating back to March in its measurement of television viewing, statistics that serve as the foundation for billions of dollars in advertising spending for the entire broadcast industry.  The company blamed a software glitch for errors that, industry officials said, mistakenly credited ABC for viewing that was in reality spread across all of the broadcast networks. Nielsen described the errors as minuscule, but the extent will become better known next week when the company issues corrected ratings for the first week of the television season. Nielsen executives said the errors only became apparent in the past few weeks when the beginning of a new television season meant more people were tuning in.

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New DOJ media leak guidelines at play in Risen case

A federal prosecutor says officials are working to comply with new Justice Department guidelines for media leak investigations in a case where they have said they want New York Times reporter James Risen to testify. The Washington Post reports prosecutor James Trump said during a hearing Friday in federal court in Alexandria that prosecutors are working to comply with the guidelines, which were issued in February. Trump estimated finishing the work will take a few weeks.

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Rick Daniels named new Hartford Courant publisher

The Tribune Publishing Company has named Rick Daniels as the publisher and CEO of the Hartford Courant Media Group. Daniels replaces Nancy Meyer, who is leaving to become publisher and CEO of the Orlando Sentinel Media Group. The appointments were announced on Friday and take effect early next month.

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Indiana University adds statue of journalist Pyle

A statue of famed World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle has been installed at Indiana University. Sculptor Tuck Langland was on campus Thursday to help install the slightly larger-than-life statue outside Franklin Hall, the future home of the Indiana University Media School in Bloomington. Pyle was an IU student in the 1920s.The statue depicts Pyle sitting on an ammunition box with his typewriter, notes and a coffee cup on a table.

Man sends newspaper check years after rack thefts

Some 54 years after stealing several newspaper racks, a U.S. Navy veteran has sent a letter of apology and a check for $200 to The Ledger of Lakeland.Fla. Bernard Schermerhorn says he's followed the rules for most of his 73 years, but caved to peer pressure as a teenager and went along with a friend's scheme to steal several racks from The Ledger. In a Sept. 30 letter to the newspaper, Schermerhorn says they took a handful of change and then dumped the racks.

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Customers can buy homeless newspaper with phones

Patrons of the Nashville, Tenn., homeless-issues newspaper The Contributor will now be able to buy it with their smartphones. According to a news release from the paper, more than 40 of The Contributor's 300 homeless and formerly homeless vendors are participating in the program. They will be wearing lanyard badges with a QR Code on them. Patrons who download the Contributor Quick Pay app can use their phones to scan the QR Code, and their payments will automatically go into the vendors' bank accounts. The secure transaction should take about 10 seconds to finish and costs 99 cents more than the $2 cash price.

Hartmann named president of Chattanooga Publishing

Bruce Hartmann, former president and publisher of the Knoxville News Sentinel, has been named president of the Chattanooga Publishing Co., which publishes the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Hartmann was also formerly chief revenue officer and vice president of sales and marketing for the E.W. Scripps Co.'s publishing division. He succeeds Jason Taylor as president. Taylor is now president and publisher of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, and regional president of U.S. Community Publishing East Group.

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ABC's 'World News' breaks a ratings streak

As it did in the morning two years ago, ABC News has broken a long-running winning streak by its rivals at NBC News. ABC's "World News" beat NBC's "Nightly News" in viewership last week, only a month after David Muir took over as anchor from Diane Sawyer. NBC's Brian Williams-led newscast had ruled for 263 consecutive weeks, a streak that began in September 2009, and for 310 of the past 311 weeks. Last week ABC's broadcast averaged 8.42 million viewers, while NBC had 8.25 million, the Nielsen company said.

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Sick journalist to get blood from Ebola survivor

The first American flown back to the U.S. for treatment of Ebola this summer has donated blood to the most recent one to return from West Africa with the disease. The Nebraska Medical Center said Wednesday, Sept 8, that it called Dr. Kent Brantly on Tuesday to tell him his blood type matches that of Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance video journalist who arrived at the medical center Monday. The hospital says Brantly was driving through Kansas City, Mo., and was able to give blood locally that was flown to Omaha. It says Mukpo will receive the transfusion Wednesday. Such transfusions are believed to help Ebola patients because a survivor's blood contains antibodies to fight the disease. Brantly also donated blood to the first Ebola patient treated at the Nebraska hospital.

CBS reporter travels to Syria for interviews

CBS News reporter Clarissa Ward traveled undercover to Syria to interview two Westerners fighting against the United States for stories airing this week, a risk the network took despite the backdrop of kidnappings and beheadings by Islamic state fighters. Ward's stories, about a former Dutch Army fighter and an American who are fighting for rebel groups in Syria, are scheduled to air Tuesday and Wednesday on the "CBS Evening News." Ward said she spent only hours in Syria last week for the stories, which she began working on in June upon making online contact with a Dutch jihadist known as Yilmaz. She has been to Syria for reporting 11 times since the civil war began there.

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Rowe series CNN's latest nonfiction entertainment

Mike Rowe never expected his new travelogue series, "Somebody's Gotta Do It," to land on CNN. Yet when you think about it, Rowe fits what has become the network's mold for nonfiction entertainment programming: well-known personalities making series related to the work they are best known for, with a twist or two. Rowe and Lisa Ling recently joined Anthony Bourdain and John Walsh with new entries. Rowe's program, a key part of CNN's strategy for the future, debuts Wednesday at 9 p.m. EDT.

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Newspaper Group sells Northern Wyo. Daily News

The Wyoming Newspaper Group has sold the Northern Wyoming Daily News after 75 years of ownership. Mike McCraken is president of Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc. He says the newspaper group is selling the Northern Wyoming Daily News to focus on its I-80 corridor newspapers. The McCraken family's association with the Northern Wyoming Daily News, based in Worland, began in 1939. The company operates newspapers in Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins and Rock Springs.

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Columbus Telegram gets new publisher

The advertising director has been named publisher of Lee Enterprises' Columbus (Neb.) Telegram. The Telegram says 55-year-old John DiMambro will hold both jobs. He's been interim publisher since his predecessor as publisher, James Dean, retired in August. DiMambro also will oversee the Schuyler Sun and David City Banner-Press. DiMambro joined the five-day-a-week newspaper in April. His newspaper career includes 30 years in senior management. He graduated from the Utica College of Syracuse University with a bachelor's in journalism.



Journalist with Ebola arrives at Nebraska hospital

An American video journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia has arrived at a Nebraska hospital, where he will be treated for the deadly disease. Ashoka Mukpo, 33, arrived by ambulance Monday, Oct. 6, at the Nebraska Medical Center, where he will be kept in a specialized containment unit built specifically to handle this type of illness. Mukpo was working 
in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC News when he became ill last week. He is the fifth American with Ebola to return to the U.S. for treatment during the latest outbreak, which the World Health Organization estimates has killed more than 3,400 people.

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Ebola has news organizations looking at risks

For media covering the spread of Ebola in West Africa, the infection of a cameraman who works for NBC offers both a reason to emphasize precaution and to continue to bear witness. The New York Times' approach is emblematic of many news organizations: "We want to figure out a way to have maximum protection for people involved in the coverage and also to continue the coverage," said Joseph Kahn, the newspaper's international editor. Other than NBC, no news outlet has publicly cited Ashoka Mukpo's infection as the impetus for removing personnel from Liberia, where the freelance cameraman had been covering the disease's rapid spread and the strains it placed on its health care system. 

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Canada's Postmedia buys Sun Media newspapers 

Canadian newspaper publisher Postmedia Network Canada Corp. announced Monday, Oct. 6, that it is buying 175 newspapers and publications in a major consolidation of print media in Canada. It is paying 316 million Canadian dollars ($283 million) to Quebecor Media Inc. for Sun Media Corp.'s English-language operations. That includes the Sun chain of daily newspapers in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary and Sun's digital platforms. Postmedia already has one of Canada's largest chains of daily newspapers including the National Post and dailies in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. It has been losing millions in recent quarters.

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Montana newspaper editor arrested at crash scene

Law enforcement officers in western Montana arrested the editor of a weekly newspaper in Polson while he was taking photographs of a highway crash. The Montana Highway Patrol accuses Lake County Leader editor Vince Lovato of obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was arrested on Oct. 1 and released on his own recognizance. 
The Daily Inter Lake reports his first court date on the misdemeanor charges is on Oct. 15. Lake County sheriff's spokeswoman Karen Sergeant told KERR-AM that Lovato was arrested for interfering with the investigation on Montana Highway 35. Attorneys on both sides advised their clients not to comment. Lovato has been a journalist for 33 years and was hired as editor of the Leader earlier this year.

Iran frees wife of jailed Washington Post reporter

 Iran has released the wife of a Washington Post reporter after arresting the two journalists in July, her newspaper said Monday, Oct. 6. The National newspaper said Yeganeh Salehi, 30, was released on bail, while her husband, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, 38, remains in detention. The Abu Dhabi-based newspaper cited Ali Rezaian, Jason's brother, 
as saying the reporter was freed on bail late last week. It quoted him as saying the two were "physically healthy" and that Salehi had been allowed to visit her husband recently. Jason Rezaian has American and Iranian citizenship.

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NY Times reporter allowed back into Afghanistan

A correspondent for The New York Times expelled from Afghanistan over a story he wrote about that country's recent presidential election can return after its newly inaugurated president ordered the previous administration's decision reversed. Mohammad Daoud Sultanzai, an adviser to Afghan President Asharf Ghani Ahmadzai, said Sunday, Oct. 5, the country's attorney general has been told to allow Matthew Rosenberg back into Afghanistan.

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Watchdog: Turkey to improve journalists situation

Turkish government officials have defended Turkey's much-criticized press freedom record but have agreed to improve the situation for journalists, an international media freedom watchdog said Friday, Oct. 3. The chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Sandy Rowe, and counterparts from the International Press Institute met with Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, on Thursday. In a statement released Friday, the delegation said Turkish officials denied that journalists were put under pressure and accused media outlets of distorting coverage. They nevertheless agree to address concerns raised, including reforming press laws and making files of jailed journalists available for independent review.

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Colbert takes on his show's model

It's almost enough to make their fans nostalgic: Stephen Colbert and his "Papa Bear," Bill O'Reilly, going after each other again for probably one of the last times. Colbert is mocking the Fox News Channel host's proposal that a 25,000-member mercenary force be armed and trained to fight the Islamic state. Colbert countered with his own "army of expert double 
Ninja super soldiers with laser nunchucks," imagined when he was in the fourth grade. Colbert essentially modeled the cable news opinion host character he's been playing on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" after the Fox News ratings king. But as he prepares to replace David Letterman on CBS next year, Colbert is shutting down his show and the character itself at 
the end of the year.

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New York Times Plans Cutbacks in Newsroom Staff

The New York Times plans to eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs, as well as a smaller number of positions from its editorial and business operations, offering buyouts and resorting to layoffs if enough people do not leave voluntarily, the newspaper announced. Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the newspaper’s publisher, and Mark Thompson, its chief executive, said that in addition to the job cuts, NYT Opinion, a new mobile app dedicated to opinion content, was shutting down because it was not attracting enough subscribers.

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Judge allows video of theater shooting trial

News organizations will be allowed to broadcast the Colorado theater shooting trial using a closed-circuit TV camera already in the courtroom, but they won't be allowed to have their own cameras in court, the judge said. Still images can be captured from the video, but still cameras will also be barred from the courtroom, Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said in a written order.

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Piers Morgan Will Write for The Daily Mail

Piers Morgan, the British tabloid editor who replaced Larry King on CNN only to have his show canceled three years later, will join the American website of The Daily Mail as an editor at large, the newspaper said. Morgan, who since 2004 has written a column for The Mail’s sister publication, The Mail on Sunday, will write several times each week, bringing his own experience and perspective to bear on the big U.S. stories of the moment, the newspaper said.

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Journalist arrested during BART protest loses suit

A journalist who has written critically of BART and its police has lost his lawsuit claiming officers were retaliating for his coverage when they arrested him for blocking a gate during a protest. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a seven-member jury unanimously rejected David Morse's claims after a weeklong trial.

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Tennessee court denies access to Vanderbilt rape case

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has denied access to records related to a Vanderbilt University rape case against four former Vanderbilt University football players. The Tennessean ( reports that the three-judge panel ruled that records sought by The Tennessean and a media coalition — including The Associated Press — should not be made public because they are part of a continuing police investigation. In the ruling, the judges focused on the rules of criminal procedure, which can keep police materials secret.

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News Corp. to buy Move Inc. for about $950 million

News Corp. will pay about $950 million to buy the online real estate business Move Inc. in a deal that aims to speed up the media company's digital expansion. The New York company said that it will pay $21 per share in cash for each outstanding share of Move. That represents a 37 percent premium over the stock's closing stock price of $15.29 on Monday. Move operates the website News Corp. said Move displays more than 98 percent of all for-sale 
properties listed in the United States and that Move's network of websites reaches about 35 million people per month.

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Gov't settles with newspaper over seized notes

Training for Coast Guard criminal investigators will be reviewed as part of a settlement with a Washington newspaper over the 2013 seizure of notes from one of the paper's former reporters. The newspaper and former reporter Audrey Hudson sued the government last year after her notes were seized during a search of her home by the Maryland State Police. The search was part of a weapons investigation focused on Hudson's husband. John Solomon, editor and vice president for content and business development for the newspaper, said the settlement includes some legal fees for the newspaper and Hudson. 

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Newspapers at Drake University in Iowa vandalized

Police are investigating after a pile of more than 400 destroyed newspapers was left in front of the office of Drake University's student newspaper. The Des Moines Register reports that Austin Cannon, managing editor of the Times-Delphic, found the pile of drenched newspapers at about 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. On top of the pile was one paper with an advertisement for a pregnancy resource center circled in black marker.

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Tennessee Supreme Court declines to hear appeal against public record law

Tennessee's Supreme Court will not hear an appeal of a court ruling that the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is subject to the state's public records laws. The state's highest court issued an order last week against the body that regulates Tennessee high school sports. Earlier this year, a state appeals court upheld a lower court's finding that even though the TSSAA is a private nonprofit corporation, it is the functional equivalent of a state agency and subject to open records laws.

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Forest Service says media doesn't need permit

Faced with increasing criticism of a proposal that would restrict media filming in wilderness areas, the head of the U.S. Forest Service said that the rule is not intended to apply to news-gathering activities. The rule would apply to commercial filming, like a movie production, but reporters and news organizations would not need to get a permit to shoot video or photographs in the nation's wilderness areas, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said in a phone interview.

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Oliver adds journalism to his comedy

In poking fun at the Miss America pageant on the most recent episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver reached for the comedic equivalent of low-hanging fruit. Then he veered into something wholly unexpected — investigative journalism. His subsequent report questioning the pageant's scholarship program was the latest example of how Oliver has quickly moved beyond his roots at "The Daily Show" to produce something distinctive, and usually hilarious.

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Watchdog warns of attacks on journalists in Yemen

An international watchdog has expressed concern over increasing attacks on journalists in the Yemeni capital by armed Shiite rebels who have swept into Sanaa and taken control of the city. Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that the Hawthi rebel group has created a "climate of terror," forcing journalists to go into hiding or self-censor their work to avoid reprisals.

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Journalist freed in Somalia: Need time to recover

A German-American journalist released after more than 2 1⁄2 years by pirates in Somalia says he is safe though "not healthy" and needs time to recover before speaking about his ordeal. German magazine Der Spiegel, for which Michael Scott Moore had freelanced in the past, responded to requests for comment with a short statement Thursday, Sept. 25, from Moore in which he said that "the support from everyone has been terrific."

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Snowden, Rusbridger honored with 'alternative Nobel'

Edward Snowden was among the winners of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel," for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs. The former National Security Agency contractor split the honorary portion of the Right Livelihood Award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden.

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Media study on African-American and Hispanic news consumers

A new study shows a large majority of African-American and Hispanic news consumers don't fully trust the media to portray their communities accurately. Three-fourths of African-American news consumers and two-thirds of Hispanics have doubts about what mainstream media report about their communities, according to a survey by the Media Insight Project. And while most say it's become easier to get news generally in the last five years, few feel the same way about news regarding their own community, the survey said. People of color who are "seeking out 
news about their communities, they can't find it. And what they see, they don't think is accurate," said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, which teamed with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research on the project. The survey was funded by the American Press Institute and the McCormick Foundation.

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AP sports editors graded D+ overall for racial and gender hiring practices

The latest report card for racial and gender hiring issued by the Associated Press Sports Editors gives the group a C+ for racial hiring practices and an overall grade of D+. Jorge Rojas, sports editor of the Miami Herald and diversity chairman for the APSE, says the report card, for 2012, gives an overall grade of F for gender hiring practices, down from D+ in 2010. 

Despite a goal of more diversified sports departments across the country, the report card also found that in 2012:

● 90.9 percent of sports editors, 86.6 percent of assistant sports editors, 83.9 percent of columnists, 86.3 percent of reporters and 86 percent of copy editors were white.

● 90.4 percent of sports editors, 82.8 percent of assistant sports editors, 90.2 percent of columnists, 88.3 percent of reporters, and 80.4 percent of copy editors were men.

A report by Richard Lapchick, requested by APSE and released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, recommends a rule that would require at least one minority candidate for each opening in sports departments, much like the NFL’s Rooney Rule. Some APSE members have already instituted this policy. Rojas says APME and ASNE can help greatly by establishing protocols in sports editors’ (and newsrooms’) hiring practices. "After all, it starts with all of us!" he said.

Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot

A reporter for an Alaska TV station revealed on the air that she owns a medical marijuana business and was quitting her job to advocate for the drug. After reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club on Sunday night's broadcast, KTVA's Charlo Greene identified herself as the business's owner and said she would be devoting all her energy to fighting for "freedom and fairness." She then used an expletive to quit her job, and walked off-camera. In a statement on KTVA's website, news director Bert Rudman apologized for Greene's "inappropriate language" and said she was terminated. Alaska voters decide Nov. 4 whether to legalize recreational pot. Measure 2 would be similar to Washington and Colorado's legalization laws.

Ala. editor named president of Vicksburg Newsmedia

The editor of Selma’s Times-Journal has been named president of Vicksburg Newsmedia LLC and publisher of The Vicksburg Post in Mississippi. Times-Journal Editor Tim Reeves has served as editor of the Times-Journal since September 2010. He helped lead a newspaper redesign and the launch of a magazine. During Reeves' time as editor, the Times-Journal earned 46 editorial awards from the Alabama Press Association, including the Most Improved Newspaper award in 2011 and 2012. The Times-Journal and The Vicksburg Post are both affiliated with Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa. Reeves will start working in Vicksburg, on Sept. 29.

The journalist behind Maryland’s Gathland

Hikers, picnickers and history lovers all visit Gathland State Park near Burkittsville, Md., for different reasons. But most know little about the journalist who built Gathland. Once a Victorian estate, today Gathland is a peaceful mountaintop place of respite and a state park. Dianne Wiebe works in the museum there dedicated to George Alfred Townsend, who strung his initials together and added an H, calling himself Gath and his estate Gathland. Townsend was a 19th-century journalist who covered the Civil War and who was an expert in late 19th-century news and politics. He chafed at the idea that his words and ideas would likely not survive his lifetime.

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Rouse publisher of Blytheville, other newspapers

A southeast Missouri native has been named publisher of the Blytheville Courier News in addition to the Osceola Times — both in in northeastern Arkansas — and the Steele Enterprise and the Democrat-Argus in Caruthersville in southeastern Missouri. Kennett native Shelia Rouse was announced as the publisher on Thursday, Sept. 18, succeeding David Tennyson as publisher of the Courier News following his recent retirement.

Judge blocks Alabama newspaper from printing story

A state court judge sided with Alabama Gas Corp. and blocked the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information about the utility's plan for gas line safety, which the Alabama Public Service Commission released through an open records request. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance granted a request by Alagasco to temporarily prevent the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information from the plan. Court records show Vance ruled a week ago — on the same day Alagasco made the request to block publication — before the newspaper had a chance to respond.

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British journalist appears in new hostage video

The Islamic State group on Thursday, Sept. 18, released a video showing a British journalist who says he is a prisoner of the extremists. In a slick, three-minute video shot with three cameras, John Cantlie, a photojournalist, said he worked for publications including The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph and came to Syria in November 2012 where he was subsequently captured by the Islamic State group. The group which now controls roughly a third of Syria and Iraq has beheaded two U.S. journalists and a British aid worker, and has threatened to kill another British hostage. The British government declined to comment on the video.

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Journalists join Arizona execution legal battle

News organizations have joined a legal fight to obtain more information about the nearly two-hour execution of Arizona death row inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood. The First Amendment Coalition of Arizona joined a lawsuit against the state on Thursday, Sept. 18, seeking information about lethal injection methods used to kill Arizona death row inmates.

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News Corp opposes Google in EU antitrust case

The media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch is joining the fray in Google's protracted European antitrust case, saying the technology company unfairly distorts competition. Robert Thomson, CEO of New York-based News Corp., says in a letter to the EU's antitrust authority that Google is "willing to exploit its dominant market position to stifle competition." He 
says it systematically diverts users away from relevant search results to its own offerings. 

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Teacher suspended over 'Redskins' newspaper flap

The faculty adviser for a student newspaper in Bensalem, Pa., embroiled in a battle over the word "Redskins" has been suspended for two days without pay. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Neshaminy High School teacher Tara Huber was disciplined for "willful neglect of duty and insubordination." The suspension came three months after students published the June edition, in which they disobeyed an order by administrators to print an op-ed containing the word "Redskin."

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New Mencken book features unpublished material

Nearly 60 years after his death, we still have not heard the last from H.L. Mencken. Next week, the Library of America will publish "The Days Trilogy," a bound and expanded edition of three popular memoirs by the celebrated journalist and linguist that were released in the 1940s: "Happy Days," ''Newspaper Days" and "Heathen Days." Along with the original books 
are some 200 pages of commentary that he had requested not to be released in his lifetime.

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Newspaper asks judge to stop state email deletion

A Pennsylvania newspaper is asking a judge to prevent state agencies from deleting email five days after receiving it. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed a lawsuit Monday, Sept. 15, in Commonwealth Court asking that the correspondence be preserved for at least two years.Newspaper lawyers say the destruction violates the due process rights of anyone seeking public records under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law.

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Henderson is Carlsbad Current-Argus' new publisher

Rynni Henderson is the new publisher of the Carlsbad Current-Argus, of Carlsbad, N.M.. The Current-Argus says Henderson has more than 20 years' experience in newspapers, magazines and digital media. She succeeds David Stringer, who took a position with a Texas newspaper. Henderson's past jobs include serving as publisher of The Daily Journal of Commerce in Portland, Oregon, The Times of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Florida Keys Magazine in Key West, Florida.

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Snowden documentary to premiere at NY festival

A documentary about Edward Snowden is a late addition to the New York Film Festival. The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Tuesday, Sept. 16, that Laura Poitras' "Citizenfour" will premiere Oct. 10 as part of the annual festival's main slate. Poitras is a journalist and documentarian whom Snowden first contacted about leaking thousands of documents that revealed the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone and email records. She shared in the Pulitzer Prize for public service given earlier this year to The Washington Post and The Guardian for the NSA revelations.

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Utah governor eyes more appearances on Fox News

Gov. Gary Herbert met with Fox News Channel executives in New York City on Thursday, Sept. 11, as he looks to join the ranks of Republican colleagues like Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin whose regular network appearances increase their national exposure and connect them with more supporters. While Christie and Walker are considered possible 2016 presidential candidates, Herbert's spokesman said the governor's motivation is to promote 
Utah, not to prepare a run for higher office.

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New publisher chosen for The Times of Gainesville, Ga.

A 35-year newsroom veteran has been chosen as publisher of The Times of Gainesville, Ga. The newspaper reported Saturday, Sept 13, that Charlotte Atkins will begin in her new role on Oct. 6. As publisher, Atkins will oversee the content, operations and business functions of the newspaper and its website.

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Parents of slain US journalist criticize handling

The parents of a New Hampshire journalist slain by Islamic extremists in Syria said that they never knew what the U.S. government was doing to help their son and were told they could be prosecuted if they tried to raise money for a ransom.James Foley was kidnapped in 2012. He was beheaded by members of the Islamic State militant group, a killing depicted in an Internet video posted Aug. 19. Two weeks later, another video showed the slaying of another journalist, Steven Sotloff.

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Networks find Rice video too hard to resist

Television executives say they want minimize replays of video showing Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee with one punch. In practice, it has proved hard to resist. Hours after CNN's programming chief publicly worried about gratuitous repeats of the disturbing images that first came to light Monday, Sept. 8, the network showed Janay Palmer falling to an elevator floor 
after Rice's blow some 13 times on two evening programs Thursday, Sept. 11, according to a count by Media Matters for America. Seven times it was played in slow motion.

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Digital First Media exploring possible sale of co.

Newspaper company Digital First Media said Friday, Sept 12, that it is exploring strategic options, which could include a sale of the company or parts of it. The privately held company is the nation's second biggest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation. Its publications include the Los Angeles Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News, the Denver Post and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. Digital First Media serves 75 million customers monthly.

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Congressional resolution honors slain journalists

Members of the U.S. House from New Hampshire and Florida have introduced a resolution honoring the lives of two American journalists who were beheaded by Islamic State militants in Syria. The resolution recognizes the substantial achieves of James Foley and Steven Sotloff "through their courageous reporting of events in Libya, Syria and elsewhere."

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NY judge: TV clip service not violating copyright

A media monitoring company distributing television clips and snippets of transcripts to customers including the White House and Congress hasn't violated broadcasters' copyrights by letting its customers search its database, but it's unclear whether all facets of its business will get a judicial stamp of approval, a judge said Tuesday, Sept. 8. U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan ruled in a copyright case filed by Fox News Network against TVEyes
Inc. He wrote that the company's database and its searchable function for television clips and snippets of transcript were fair uses of broadcast content and thus were protected from claims of copyright infringement.

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Judge refuses to dismiss newspaper lawsuit

A lawsuit challenging a joint-operating agreement between Salt Lake City's two daily newspapers will proceed after a federal judge on Monday, Sept. 9, refused to dismiss the case.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune made powerful arguments about why the lawsuit should be stopped, but Waddoups said he had to be cautious when stopping a case early in the process. Attorneys for the two newspapers argue that a group of Tribune readers and former employees has no legal standing to challenge the agreement.

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Chuck Todd debuts as 'Meet the Press' moderator

Chuck Todd debuted Sunday, Sept. 7, as moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press," bringing a low-key style and surrounding himself with fellow pundits as NBC turns to him to erase a slide that has taken the long-running Sunday morning political affairs program from first to third in the ratings. The bulk of his first program was centered on Todd's Saturday interview with President Obama, the biggest "get" possible for one of the Washington-based chat shows. It also included a look at cities around the country where mayors are successfully moving their communities forward.

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Publisher of, Star-Ledger rolls out changes

The company that publishes, The Star-Ledger and other newspapers around the state, has rolled out changes it says recognize its future as an increasingly digitally focused operation.
Matt Kraner, the president of NJ Advance Media, said Monday, Sept. 8, that many reporters, photographers and videographers whose work appears on are now part of NJ Advance Media.

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Defense: Ban TV camera from theater shooting trial

Attorneys for Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes asked the judge to bar television coverage inside the courtroom, saying it would violate Holmes' right to a fair trial.
In a filing dated Thursday and released Friday, Sept.5, defense lawyers argued that televising the trial could intimidate witnesses, expose jurors and attorneys to death threats, and create other problems.

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Lawmakers' lunch shows vagueness of meetings law

City council and school board members in Sacramento, Calif., gathering for dinners, parties or other social affairs must guard their words or notify the public beforehand if a majority will attend and talk policy. The same rules do not apply for state lawmakers, who have long exempted themselves from the transparency rules that apply to other elected bodies in California. The vagueness of the special open meetings law for the state Legislature was highlighted last week when Gov. Jerry Brown invited all 120 lawmakers to a luncheon honoring Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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MU starts search for journalism dean

The University of Missouri has started its search for a new School of Journalism dean.
The university said in a release posted on the journalism school website that it had started its nationwide search to replace Dean Mills, who announced in February he was stepping down from the post he occupied for 25 years. Mills is taking a part-time job as director of the Reynolds Fellows program at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. According to the online job posting, the journalism school seeks a “dynamic” and “visionary” leader.

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Family mourns slain journalist in tearful service

Letters slain journalist Steven Sotloff wrote to his family before he was beheaded by Islamic State militants were read at his memorial service Friday, Sept. 5, in Pinecrest, Fla. He told them to be happy and stay positive and that if they didn't meet again, he hoped they would in heaven. In a service punctuated by tears, Sotloff's parents, sister and friends spoke of his gentle demeanor and unwavering commitment as a journalist toward putting a face on suffering in the
Arab world, despite the personal risks.

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Former NFL receiver joins Huffingion Post

The Huffington Post has made an unusual choice for a new correspondent covering national security — former NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth. The website announced Thursday, Sept. 4, that the 10-year NFL player will join its Washington bureau this month as a fellow.

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New York newspaper sacks Washington nickname

One of the nation's largest newspapers says it will no longer use the name Redskins when writing about Washington's NFL team. The Daily News of New York said Thursday, Sept. 4, in a lead editorial titled "Sack the Name" that the reference will no longer be part of stories and columns. The name, however, may appear in quotations, reader letters and discussion of the dispute.

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Journalist killing highlights role of freelancers

Journalists James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Theo Curtis all had one thing in common when they were captured by Islamic militants in Syria, the title "freelance journalist." The role of freelancers, who make a living by selling individual stories, photos and video to multiple outlets, has expanded across conflict zones in recent years with the spread of technology and social media, which provides a ready canvas for their work. Some are cautious and well-trained; others take major risks. And they often lack the institutional support staff journalists receive if they get into trouble in a conflict zone.
"There is no question that people with less experience and less support are venturing out into conflict zones and seeking to make their name as journalists," said Joel Simon, the executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. ...According to the committee's data, just under half of the 70 journalists killed in Syria since the conflict began in 2011 have been freelancers.

Connecticut police get free military equipment

A group of Connecticut newspapers reports that nearly two dozen police departments in southwestern Connecticut have an inventory of M-16 assault rifles, utility trucks, Commando armored cars, a mine-resistant vehicle, an armored truck and a Huey helicopter. The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports ( ) that an open records request shows 19 police departments in southwestern Connecticut have received free surplus military equipment from the Department of Defense since 2006. That's more than half the 35 departments in the region. The Defense Department's Law Enforcement Support Office has come under scrutiny after the militarized police response to violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Wisconsin’s Justice Department delayed porn probes statewide

The Wisconsin Department of Justice field offices across the state have delayed assigning and investigating child pornography cybertips for months, newly released records show. DOJ officials have insisted that no systemic delays in launching child pornography probes exist, saying overwhelmed agents prioritized most of the cases properly.
DOJ's Internet child pornography unit has taken intense criticism since March, when Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Milwaukee Special Agent-in-Charge Willie Brantley had been fired and Special Agent Anna King had left her job after agency officials determined they had let nearly four dozen cases languish for months. In one case, the agency got a tip in 2010 that Christopher Kosakoski of Milwaukee was downloading child pornography. Agents finally reviewed the tip in January — nine days after Kosakoski was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. The agency released documents tied to the review in response to open records requests from media outlets, including The Associated Press. They include a spreadsheet shows 46 cases had languished for two months or longer across the Madison, Eau Claire, Wausau and Milwaukee field offices as of Feb. 23.

Miami Herald didn’t cover FIU football opener

For the first time since FIU created a football team, the Miami Herald did not cover the Panthers’ home season opening game because the school has refused to provide a press credential to the newspaper’s beat reporter. FIU athletics officials denied the Herald’s request for a game pass for reporter David J. Neal, who has been covering FIU sports since June, 2011. Passes were granted for a Herald columnist and photographer. Neal’s access to FIU coaches and athletes had been dwindling for months, to the point where he was no longer permitted to attend football practice or conduct interviews. Last week, when Neal attempted to write a story on the FIU women’s soccer team, he was told no one was allowed to talk to him. FIU said in a statement: "We are very disappointed that The Miami Herald has decided not to cover our football home opener, although we have credentialed members of the Herald staff. We did not issue a media credential to the Herald's beat reporter because of concerns we have brought up to the Herald's reporter and editors over the past few years about the reporter's interactions with our student athletes, coaches, and staff and the nature of the resulting coverage. He is not banned from FIU or FIU Stadium. He just does not have additional access beyond that of the public.”

Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

Chelsea Clinton is quitting her job as a reporter at NBC News, citing increased work at the Clinton Foundation and the imminent birth of her first child. Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton's daughter had been working at the network since 2011, sporadically doing feature stories on people or organizations doing public-spirited work. Politico magazine reported earlier this year that NBC was paying her $600,000 a year.

David Muir takes over at ABC's 'World News'

David Muir is taking over as ABC's "World News" anchor, replacing Diane Sawyer. Muir, 40, joins NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams and Scott Pelley of the "CBS Evening News" at one of the three jobs generally considered the pinnacle of American broadcast news. Muir is also a generation younger than the 55-year-old Williams and 57-year-old Pelley.
The 68-year-old Sawyer, one of television news' best-known personalities, had anchored ABC's flagship newscast since December 2009.

Turner Broadcasting offering buyouts

The corporate parent of CNN, TNT and TBS offered voluntary buyouts to 600 veteran employees, part of an overall cost-cutting effort at the Atlanta-based broadcasting company founded by Ted Turner.The offer went out t

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