- Get Involved
- About Us
|Industry and Business of News|
INDUSTRY NEWS • June 29, 2017
CNN accepts resignations of 3 involved in retracted story
CNN accepted the resignations of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund.
The story was posted on the network's website last week, then removed. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting.
The story's author, Thomas Frank, was among those who resigned, according to a network executive who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel issues. Also losing their jobs were Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN's Washington bureau, and Lex Haris, head of the investigations unit.
Poynter: NPR to reorganize around regional hubs
NPR's top news executive announced plans to roll out a regional hub system at a speech for the Public Radio News Directors convention in Miami.
Michael Oreskes, NPR's senior vice president for news and editorial director, told news directors that he envisions, "more than four and less than 12 hubs around the country."
The hubs would be staffed by experienced managers who could help identify regional stories while making it easier for local stations in those regions to share expertise and resources around investigative work and digital content.
Hubs, he said, would better allow NPR and its more than 900 member stations to act in unison. NPR now reaches a digital audience of about 40 million people while local stations combined have about 20 million digital listeners and readers, he said.
Rhett Long named new publisher of Daily Herald
Rhett Long has been appointed as the new publisher of the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah. He formerly was publisher and president of The Spectrum in St. George and Spectrum Media.
Long will replace Bob Williams, who will be retiring at the end of July.
Ogden Newspapers Inc. purchased the Daily Herald in August 2016 from former owner Lee Enterprises.
Commercial Appeal Will Seek New Office In Memphis With Digital Capabilities
The Commercial Appeal is selling the property on Union Avenue it has called home since 1977 and then will search for new office space in Memphis.
Mike Jung, president of the newspaper, told employeesthat the property will go on the market in two to three weeks.
“We are a Memphis-based organization, and we will remain in Memphis,” Jung said in a later interview. “We look forward to moving into a new, modern building that reflects our digital-forward environment and organization.”
INDUSTRY NEWS • June 15, 2017
Latvian man extradited to US in alleged hacking scheme
A Latvian man has made an initial appearance in U.S. federal court in Minneapolis for his alleged involvement in a hacking scheme that caused internet users to lose millions of dollars. Twenty-eight-year-old Peteris Sahurovs was indicted in 2011 in a "scareware" scheme that targeted the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website. The indictment says Sahurovs and an accomplice created a phony advertising agency and bought ads on startribune.com, then infected computer users who visited the site with malware. The affected computer users were tricked into buying purported antivirus software. The scheme generated more than $2 million. Sahurovs was arrested in Latvia in June 2011 but fled after a Latvian court released him. He was arrested in Poland last fall and extradited to the U.S. The federal defender's office will represent him, but he hasn't yet been assigned an attorney.
Fired Fox executive calls lawsuit against her a 'money grab'
A former financial executive at Fox News Channel says a racial discrimination lawsuit against her is "nothing more than a meritless and reprehensible money grab." Lawyers for Judith Slater, who ran the accounting department at the network but was fired earlier this year when some employees alleged she ran a racially hostile environment, said in court papers filed Monday, June 12, that their client sometimes used humor to lessen pressure at work. Slater said that the main plaintiffs in the case — Tichaona Brown, Tabrese Wright and Monica Douglas — were trying to turn reality upside down by portraying a friendly relationship as hostile. In the original lawsuit, Slater was accused of racial hostility over several years, including discussing her physical fear of black people and mocking the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
New Alabama governor hires PR firm to help get message out
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's office is hiring an outside firm to do communications and public relations work for Ivey who was suddenly catapulted to the governor's office this spring. Under the contract, the governor's office will use state funds to pay $46,000 to Direct Response, LLC over the next six months. The contract description says the firm will do "communications and public relations support, external affairs development." The Alabama governor's office has its own press office with state-paid several employees who send out news releases and answers reporters' questions. Ivey spokeswoman Eileen Jones in an emailed statement said that Direct Response is needed to "support the ongoing transition to the Ivey Administration on a number of topics."
First Amendment lawyer defending neo-Nazi website publisher
A Las Vegas-based lawyer specializing in free-speech cases is representing the publisher of a leading neo-Nazi website who has been sued for orchestrating an anti-Semitic online trolling campaign against a Montana family. Marc Randazza told The Associated Press June 9 that his law firm is defending The Daily Stormer's founder, Andrew Anglin, against a federal lawsuit that real estate agent Tanya Gersh filed against him in April. "Everybody deserves to have their constitutional rights defended," Randazza said. "Nobody needs the First Amendment to protect Mr. Rogers. That's not what it's there for." Gersh is represented by attorneys from the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.
Trump's social media director receives ethics warning
White House social media director Dan Scavino violated the law when he used an official-looking Twitter account for campaign purposes, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has concluded, issuing Scavino a letter of admonishment. The agency also warned that if Scavino engages in prohibited political activity again, it will be considered "a willful and knowing violation of the law, which could result in further action." The agency concluded that Scavino, one of Trump's most trusted aides, violated the Hatch Act, which bars most executive branch officials from using their government positions to influence elections.
Al-Jazeera a target in Gulf confrontation with Qatar
The Arabic news network Al-Jazeera has been thrust into the center of the story as Qatar came under virtual siege by its Gulf neighbors, pressuring it to shut down the channel that has infuriated them with its coverage for 20 years. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar this week over allegations it supports terrorism and, more specifically, that it uses Al-Jazeera as a mouthpiece to destabilize the region. The Qatar-based network, one of the most widely seen Arabic channels in the world, had long angered Mideast governments, since at its start it was one the few that presented alternative viewpoints. Critics say it has in past years turned to promoting Islamist movements as a tool of Qatar's foreign policy. The region's rulers see many of these movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, as threats.
Chelsea Manning talks leaks, transition after prison release
Chelsea Manning believed she had a "responsibility to the public" and didn't think she was risking national security when she leaked a trove of classified documents, the soldier said in her first interview since being released from a military prison last month. The 29-year-old formerly known as Bradley Manning said in a pre-taped interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that she was prompted to give the 700,000 military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks because of the human toll of the "death, destruction and mayhem" she saw as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq. She told ABC that she has "accepted responsibility" for her actions. "No one told me to do this. No one directed me to do this. This is me. It's on me," she said.
Comey's release of Trump memo to newspaper draws criticism
When former FBI Director James Comey revealed June 8 that he orchestrated a disclosure of damaging details about his conversations with President Donald Trump, he demonstrated his savvy use of media and his skills as a Washington operator. He also kicked up a hornet's nest of questions about the legal and ethical implications of the move. Trump's personal lawyer made Comey's secret gambit a central piece of his defense of the president against the fired lawman's testimony. Attorney Marc Kasowitz claimed Comey made "unauthorized disclosures" of privileged communications. He said he would leave it to the "appropriate authorities" to determine whether Comey's plan should be investigated along with the leaks of material that have infuriated Trump. But Comey seemed unconcerned about that prospect when he acknowledged the move Thursday before a throng of cameras and a packed Senate intelligence committee hearing room.
Coverage of Comey testimony plays out with partisan spin
The extensive coverage of former FBI Director James Comey's Senate testimony on June 8 gave Americans time to pause and focus on the slowly unfolding story about President Donald Trump and Russian involvement in the presidential campaign. But there was no rest for partisan spinners. Broadcast networks cast aside regular schedules for three or four hours. So did cable news networks, bracketing Comey's first public appearance since being fired by Trump with hours of their own talk. His plain-spoken answers to questions from alternating Democratic and Republican senators offered quotes for each side to latch on to. "Depending on which camp you're in, you could say that Comey totally condemned President Trump today, or you could say the president was exonerated by Comey," commentator Dana Perino said on Fox News Channel. "The thing is, this was just another log on the fire, because America is going to continue to push forward on this."
Gianforte apologizes to reporter for assault before election
Newly elected U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana issued an apology letter June 7 and said he plans to donate money to a journalism advocacy organization as part of a settlement agreement with a reporter he is accused of assaulting. In exchange, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs agreed not to sue Gianforte over the attack, and he will not object to Gianforte entering a "no contest" plea to the misdemeanor assault charge the Republican faces from the May 24 encounter. Jacobs tried to ask Gianforte about the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Republican health care bill as Gianforte was preparing for a television interview. Gianforte, according to Jacobs at the time, "body slammed" him to the ground and broke his glasses. Gianforte then told Jacobs to "get the hell out of here," according to an audio recording by Jacobs.
Advocate for women and girls wins photojournalism award
This year's recipient of an award named for an Associated Press photographer killed in Afghanistan is a photojournalist who captures the quiet dignity of women and girls who have endured cruel practices such as child marriage, genital mutilation and acid attacks. New York-based freelance photographer Stephanie Sinclair will accept the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award on June 8 in Washington. "Courage is not only defined by facing risk on the front lines of war but also displaying emotional and intellectual courage required to continue to bear witness to scenes of despair with eloquence and compassion," the panel of industry judges gathered by the International Women's Media Foundation wrote, adding that Sinclair received their unanimous support.
How news networks plan to cover Comey's testimony
With television networks setting aside regular programming to mark the moment Thursday, June 8, former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before Congress on the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election will be hard for most Americans to miss. CNN has already kept a "countdown clock" to the start of Comey's appearance before the Senate intelligence committee on its screen for days. The moment has already drawn comparisons to past congressional appearances that riveted the country, from Watergate to Anita Hill's testimony at Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearing. "This is one of those moments where much of the country may want to stop and watch," said Norah O'Donnell, part of the trio anchoring CBS' live coverage.
Newspaper objects to candidate's use of fake front pages
A Maine newspaper is objecting to the use of its logo on campaign posters modeled after real newspapers, but carrying fake headlines. The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2sDj6zC ) reports that that its lawyer has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Republican Mary Mayhew, who announced her candidacy for governor Tuesday, June 6. At the campaign kickoff, posters lauding the business climate in Maine were made to look like the front pages of the Portland Press Herald, the Lewiston Sun Journal and the Bangor Daily News. The Press Herald says the fabricated headlines are especially problematic at a time when politicians make accusations of "fake news." But the Sun Journal's editor said she was "tickled," taking the stunt as an implicit affirmation of her newspaper's trustworthiness. Mayhew's campaign declined to comment.
Young journalists honored with national Livingston Awards
Young journalists who wrote about economic despair in Appalachia, covered mass killings in Syria and put a human face on immigration policy have been named winners of Livingston Awards. Associated Press reporter Claire Galofaro, The California Sunday Magazine's Brooke Jarvis and The New Yorker's Ben Taub received the $10,000 awards intended to encourage journalists younger than 35. The late Gwen Ifill also was honored at a Tuesday ceremony in New York City. The University of Michigan and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation help fund the awards.
US contractor arrested after leak of Russia hacking report
A federal contractor has been arrested following the leak of a classified intelligence report that suggests Russian hackers attacked at least one U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election. Shortly after the release of the report by The Intercept on Monday, June 5, the Justice Department announced it had charged government contractor, Reality Leigh Winner, in Georgia with leaking a classified report containing "Top Secret level" information to an online news organization. The report the contractor allegedly leaked is dated May 5, the same date as the document The Intercept posted online. The report suggests election-related hacking penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than previously known. A Kremlin spokesman denied the report.
INDUSTRY NEWS • June 8, 2017
Poynter: Pew Research study shows decline in newspaper business, rise in cable
The Pew Research Center offered new and telling data points on the continuing financial decline of the newspaper business and a banner year in 2016 for their cable competitors.
A fact sheet documents concurrent declines last year in newspaper organizations' paid circulation, advertising (down 10 percent compared to 2015) and news staffing. The outlets are making progress on the digital side of their business but that falls well short of a turnaround.
Conversely, cable cashed in bigly on the presidential election year and Trump transition in every dimension on which their business can be measured.
The report is a reduced version of the annual State of the News Media project Pew has been producing since 2004. This year, there is no accompanying narrative. Reports on other sectors will come later.
New York Times offers buyouts to staff
The New York Times offered buyouts to its newsroom employees, aiming to reduce layers of editing and requiring more of the editors who remain.
In a memo to the newsroom, Dean Baquet, the executive editor, and Joseph Kahn, the managing editor, said the current system of copy editors and “backfielders” who assign and shape articles would be replaced with a single group of editors who would be responsible for all aspects of an article. Another editor would be “looking over their shoulders before publication.”
“Our goal is to significantly shift the balance of editors to reporters at The Times, giving us more on-the-ground journalists developing original work than ever before,” they said in the memo.
In a separate memo, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, said the company would be eliminating the position of public editor, which was established to receive reader complaints and question Times journalists on how they make decisions. Liz Spayd, the current public editor, will leave The Times.
Poynter: Lenfest Institute offers $1 million for journalism projects
The well-heeled Lenfest Institute for Journalism in Philadelphia plans to distribute $1 million over the rest of this year to support local news innovation projects and individual "entrepreneurs-in-residence."
The money will be distributed through an open application process.
Executive Director Jim Friedlich said that two "buckets" with three distinct programs are planned:
● Experimental grants of up to $35,000 as seed money for "new projects just getting off the ground."
● Amplification grants of up to $100,000 "for products or services that have already shown initial traction and applicants who are looking to scale for broad impact."
● Funding "entrepreneur-in-residence" positions that will pay up to $10,000 a month for three to six months of research and development aimed at "building news and information products for local communities."
WSJ, Google spar over free stories, search
After blocking Google users from reading free articles in February, the Wall Street Journal's subscription business soared, with a fourfold increase in the rate of visitors converting into paying customers, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. But there was a trade-off: Traffic from Google plummeted 44 percent.
The reason: Google search results are based on an algorithm that scans the Internet for free content. After the Journal's articles went behind a paywall, Google's bot only saw the first few paragraphs and started ranking them lower, limiting viewership.
Executives at the Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., argue that Google's policy is unfairly punishing them for trying to attract more digital subscribers. They want Google to treat their articles equally in search rankings, despite being behind a paywall.
"Any site like ours automatically doesn't get the visibility in search that a free site would," Suzi Watford, the Journal's chief marketing officer, said in an interview. "You are definitely being discriminated against as a paid news site."
The Journal's experience could have implications across the news industry, where publishers are relying more on persuading readers to pay for their articles because tech giants like Google and Facebook are vacuuming up the lion's share of online advertising.
14 journalists who died in line of duty in 2016 recognized
The Newseum is adding the names of 14 journalists who died in the line of duty last year to its memorial.
The Washington museum is rededicating its Journalists Memorial. National Public Radio editorial director Michael Oreskes was scheduled to deliver the keynote remarks. NPR photojournalist David Gilkey was one of the 14 who died last year, killed in Afghanistan during a Taliban attack.
The Newseum is also blacking out its popular exhibit of front pages from around the world Monday as a way to raise awareness of the threats journalists face.
Four of those killed in 2016 were reporting from Syria. Other nations included Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Somalia and Ukraine.
The memorial bears the names of more than 2,300 journalists, dating to 1837.
Hearst acquires New Haven Register, other newspapers
Hearst has announced it has acquired the New Haven (Connecticut) Register and other newspapers from Digital First Media.
The Register Citizen, of Torrington, and The Middletown Press were also acquired in the deal.
The newspapers will be added to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.
The group now includes eight daily and 11 weekly newspapers and a number of digital outlets.
Hearst says the acquisitions reach more than 470,000 households combined and 1.4 million online visitors.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
4 West Virginia newspapers changing ownership
The publisher of The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia, has reached an agreement to acquire four newspapers in southern West Virginia.
The Herald-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2rI8cLE ) reports that parent HD Media will acquire the Logan Banner and the Williamson Daily News from Davidson, North Carolina-based Civitas Media, along with two weekly newspapers, the Coal Valley News and The Pineville Independent Herald.
HD Media also publishes The Wayne County News, The Putnam Herald, The Lawrence Herald, Tri-State Weekly and River Cities Magazine.
APG purchases Eau Claire Press Company in Wisconsin
Minneapolis-based Adams Publishing Group LLC announced that it has acquired The Eau Claire Press Company, a fourth-generation and fifth-generation family-owned media company with a daily newspaper, a weekly agricultural newspaper, a shopper product, a commercial printing division, digital and marketing services in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Adams Publishing Group (APG), chaired by Stephen Adams, is the parent company of the Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing Daily Tribune, Grand Rapids Herald-Review, Chisholm Tribune Press, Pilot Independent in Walker and Manney’s Shoppers.
Newspapers in the sale include The Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire), The Country Today (Eau Claire), Leader Printing, a commercial printing division, and their associated websites, for an undisclosed amount.
Reggae star Damian Marley, others buy control of High Times
An investment group that includes legendary ganga guru Bob Marley's son has bought a controlling interest in High Times, the magazine that for decades has separated the stems and seeds from the leaves when it comes to showing people the best ways to grow, roll and consume the finest blends of marijuana.
Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, whose forthcoming reggae album is appropriately titled "Stony Hill," is one of 20 investors who announced that they have acquired 60 percent interest in Trans-High Corp., owner of High Times, its digital platforms and its popular Cannabis Cup trade shows.
THC (the acronym is the same as that of marijuana's key ingredient) will be renamed High Times Holding Co.
Mark Elliott named publisher of Register-News and Times-leader
Veteran newspaper executive Mark C. Elliott has been appointed publisher of the Mt. Vernon (Illinois) Register News and the McLeansboro (Illinois) Times-Leader.
Elliott has been the advertising director for the Anderson, Indiana, Herald Bulletin for the last two years, and the Goshen, Indiana, News for two years before that.
Previously, he also served in executive advertising and marketing roles for newspapers in Arkansas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut.
INDUSTRY NEWS • June 1, 2017
Americans don't trust media, but feel better about favorites
While Americans have doubts about how much they should trust the "news media" in general, a poll by the Media Insight Project suggests they have a higher opinion of the sources they personally rely upon to follow the world.
The survey by the project, a partnership between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and American Press Institute, echoed the phenomenon where people express distaste for politicians yet support their local representatives.
Only 17 percent of people judged the "news media" as very accurate but twice as many said the same thing about the news sources they visit most often, the poll found. Ask about other attributes and it's the same pattern: 24 percent judged the media as a whole as moral, while 53 percent said that about their favorites. Twenty-seven percent said the media was willing to admit mistakes, and 47 percent said that about their sources.
"The whole question of trust in the media is more complicated than we think," said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute.
Sun Coast Media Group announces changes
The Charlotte Sun in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, reports that longtime Sun Coast Media Group employee Glen Nickerson will return to Charlotte County as publisher of all Sun newspapers, and current publisher Rob Lee will take on a new challenge as revenue chief for coastal operations.
Sun Coast Media CEO David Dunn-Rankin revealed those changes, along with the move of current Venice Publisher Tim Smolarick to Highlands News-Sun.
National Association of Black Journalists honors four
Publisher Emeritus of The Miami Times Garth C. Reeves Sr. is among The National Association of Black Journalists 2017 Hall of Fame class, the group announced.
The induction ceremony will take place at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana on Aug. 11 as part of NABJ's national convention. The Hall of Fame Award is the highest recognition given by the organization. The other inductees include Michael Days, John Jenkins and Aisha Karimah, who retired as Washington’s NBC4 community director.
Days is an APME board member and editor of the Philadelphia Daily News; John Jenkins is a veteran photographer and television executive.
Denver Post fires sports writer over tweet
A veteran sports writer is no longer working with The Denver Post after he posted on Twitter that he was "uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend."
Terry Frei sent the tweet after Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the race.
Frei sent a follow-up tweet apologizing to Sato and the paper for his comment, saying he "fouled up." He noted his tweet occurred during an emotional time when he was honoring his late father, who was a World War II pilot in the fight against Japan.
Police probe whether damage at newspaper caused by gunfire
Several windows were shattered at a Kentucky newspaper office, and police are investigating whether the damage was caused by gunfire.
The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2ry4sw0 ) reports damage to first-, second- and third-level windows of the press room.
The newspaper says three exterior windows were shattered, while two windows on the upper level of the press room were damaged but didn't shatter. The press room is no longer in use.
The newspaper in Kentucky's second-largest city says police confirmed they are investigating the incident as criminal mischief, and investigators believe the damage is consistent with small-caliber bullet damage.
No employees were injured or near the area where damage occurred.
Publisher Rufus M. Friday says security is being increased.
INDUSTRY NEWS • May 24, 2017
Poynter: AP Social Newswire launches
The Associated Press has become the latest news organization to get into the user-generated content game, announcing the launch of a new service called AP Social Newswire, Poynter reports.
The new service works with the platform SAM to find, vet and verify content generated by users on social media and elsewhere. AP customers will be able to embed that content into their work. The feed will offer UGC on international and regional coverage as well as trending topics.
The AP has used SAM since 2015, according to the press release, and owns an equity stake in it.
AP, ExpertFile collaborate to connect newsrooms with expert sources
The Associated Press and ExpertFile announced that they will work together to make ExpertFile’s online directory of subject matter experts available to newsrooms.
As a first initiative in this collaboration, ExpertFile’s search engine and content platform for media on over 25,000 unique topics will be integrated into AP Planner, the news agency’s media planning tool. The integration will allow those who use it, including print, broadcast and online journalists and others, to more easily find and connect with experts.
Poynter: New York Times to offer buyouts to editors to transform editing
The New York Times plans to release "more information by the end of the month" about a buyout program for editors amid a much-anticipated reduction of the editing staff, Poynter reports.
The buyout program will also be offered to some staffers across the newsroom, according to a memo sent to the newsroom this morning by Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn.
"As we have said several times in recent months, we're working hard to improve and streamline our editing system," the memo reads. "Our goal is to preserve meticulous text editing while meeting the demands of digital, which requires more speed and more visual storytelling. We have also said that we expect some reductions in the size of the newsroom, including in the editing staff."
Poynter: Sacramento Bee enacts layoffs
The Sacramento Bee has enacted a round of layoffs, the latest in a series of staff reductions executed by its corporate parent, The McClatchy Company.
Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Joyce Terhaar acknowledged the layoffs in an email to staff that did not specify the number of staffers cut. She declined to comment on the layoffs in an email to Poynter.
Earlier this month, McClatchy reported a net loss of $95.6 million in the first quarter of 2017, largely due to the continued decline of print advertising and a one-time charge related to the carrying value of the company's interest in CareerBuilder.
The McClatchy Company, a national newspaper chain headquartered in The Sacramento Bee's Midtown building, has laid off staffers from several of its newsrooms in recent weeks.
Mid-Valley Media Group publisher expands role
The publisher of the Mid-Valley Media Group, Jeff Precourt, will assume an expanded role as publisher of Lee Enterprise's Oregon properties.
Precourt will remain in his role as publisher of the Albany Democrat-Herald, the Corvallis Gazette-Times and the weeklies Lebanon Express and Philomath Express. But his duties will expand to include oversight of The World newspaper in Coos Bay and its associated weekly publications.
Lee names new Casper Star-Tribune publisher, general manager
Lee Enterprises, the parent company of the Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming, has named Eugene Jackson as the newspaper’s regional publisher. Dale Bohren, the newspaper’s executive editor, will be promoted to general manager, the company announced.
Current publisher Tom Biermann will be moving to Davenport, Iowa, to take on a role in consumer sales and marketing for Lee.
Jackson, who will also oversee the Rapid City (South Dakota) Journal, began working for Lee in 2016, as publisher of the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri.
Jeff DeLoach leaves 2 Texas newspapers for Tennessee job
The president of the Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News and the San Angelo Standard-Times will leave the USA Today Network to become president of the Times Free Press in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Jeff DeLoach has been president in San Angelo since 2009 and became president of the Reporter-News in 2014, splitting his time between the two markets.
DeLoach replaces Bruce Hartmann, who plans to take a job with the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
BH Media appoints new publisher for Winston-Salem, region
BH Media Group has appointed Alton Brown to be the next publisher of the Winston-Salem Journal and vice president of the North Carolina Group of the company, which includes the News & Record.
Brown is currently regional publisher of the Lynchburg, Virginia, Group, according to a statement from Terry J. Kroeger, BH Media Group's president and chief executive officer.
Eleven newspapers are part of the North Carolina Group, including six dailies.
Fox News fires Bob Beckel for racially insensitive remark
Fox News Channel said that it had fired liberal commentator Bob Beckel for making a racially insensitive remark to a black employee.
Fox offered no details on the case, but a lawyer for the employee said Beckel had "stormed out" of his office when the man, who is a technician, came to do work on his computer, saying he was leaving because the worker was black.
Beckel, 68, is a veteran Democratic political strategist who was a regular on Fox's "The Five," where he discusses stories with four conservative panelists.
INDUSTRY NEWS • May 10, 2017
Pay for news? More than half of Americans say they do
A battered news industry can find some flickers of hope in a survey that gauges public willingness to pay for journalism, as long as its leaders plan judiciously.
A little more than half of American adults regularly pay for news, through newspaper and magazine subscriptions, apps on electronic devices or contributions to public media, according to the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
It's not only greybeards, either. Although they're less likely than their parents' generation to subscribe, close to 4 in 10 people under age 35 also pay. Younger people are also more likely to express a desire to support a news organization's mission as a reason for subscribing, the project's study found.
On the other hand, young adults who don't pay for news are especially likely to say they're just not very interested in the content that's for sale.
Sinclair to buy Tribune Media, expanding its local TV reach
NEW YORK _ Sinclair Broadcast Group, already the nation's largest local TV station operator, wants to be even bigger.
The company announced that it will pay about $3.9 billion for Tribune Media and its 42 stations, which includes KTLA in Los Angeles, WGN in Chicago and WPIX in New York. Chicago-based Tribune also owns stakes in the Food Network and job-search website CareerBuilder.
Sinclair has 173 stations, including KUTV in Salt Lake City, KOMO in Seattle and WKRC in Cincinnati. The Tribune deal, plus other pending acquisitions, will give it a total of 233 stations, putting distance between it and rival Nexstar Media Group, which has 170.
Sinclair said it may have to sell some stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission rules, although the FCC has recently loosened rules related to media ownership. Sinclair is also in the process of buying Bonten Media Group, which owns 14 stations, for $240 million.
Poynter: Northwestern’s Medill opts out of accreditation system
The Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern has announced that it's not seeking the once-every-six-years formal accreditation because it believes the process overseen by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is screwed-up and doesn't serve Medill's needs.
Medill is among the elite journalism programs, and at a total yearly cost of about $70,000. Most of its peers generally seen as operating in the same realm do go through the process, including the programs at Columbia University, the University of Missouri, the University of Pennsylvania and the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison opted out of the system 25 years ago, seeing its focus on producing doctoral candidates as out of sync with the council aims.
The council's multi-stage process finished in Chicago recently with its formal approval of 24 schools' accreditation. Not having gone through the process this time, Medill thus will allow accreditation that's been in place since 1987 simply lapse.
Tim Franklin leaving Poynter for Medill
Tim Franklin, Poynter's president, announced to the staff this morning that he is leaving the institute to become senior associate dean at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing at Northwestern University.
He will be replaced in the interim by Andy Corty, the president and publisher of Florida Trend magazine. Poynter's board of trustees will soon begin a search for his successor.
Franklin, who joined Poynter in 2014, has led a financial turnaround at the institute and adapted Poynter’s business to the changing industry during his tenure as president.
New York Times adds 308,000 digital subscription in 1Q
The New York Times added 308,000 digital subscribers in the first quarter — its best quarter since it began offering digital-only subscriptions in 2011. The additional subscribers helped boost the company to a net income of $13.2 million in the first quarter after reporting a loss of $8.3 million in the same period a year earlier.
Digital-only subscription revenues were up 40 percent over the first quarter of 2016, and advertising revenue for digital jumped 19 percent over the previous year's quarter.
Sales of the Times' print edition continued to decline, taking advertisers with it. Print ad revenue fell about 18 percent from last year's first quarter. The company attributed the decline primarily to lower display ad sales.
Minneapolis Star Tribune CEO Mike Klingensmith to chair news industry trade group
Mike Klingensmith, publisher and CEO of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, has been elected chairman of the News Media Alliance, an industry trade group formerly known as the Newspaper Association of America.
Klingensmith, who previously served as vice chairman of the NMA, succeeds Tony Hunter, a consultant and former chief executive of the Chicago Tribune.
Klingensmith, a Fridley native, joined the Star Tribune in January 2010 after spending most of his more than 30-year career in publishing with Time Inc. in New York.
Institute tasked with saving local journalism raises $26M
A Philadelphia-based journalism institute tasked with finding ways to save local journalism has raised over $26 million in donations.
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism says it has secured new commitments of $26.5 million. Its creator, philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, has committed an additional $40 million.
The institute also announced a matching gift campaign to further advance the development of sustainable business models for high-quality local journalism.
Lenfest previously donated $20 million to establish the institute in January 2016.
Lenfest bought Philadelphia's two largest newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, and their joint website, philly.com, and gave the struggling properties to the institute to help them survive the digital age.
Facebook to hire 3,000 to review videos of crime and suicide
Facebook plans to hire 3,000 more people to review videos and other posts after getting criticized for not responding quickly enough to murders shown on its service.
The hires over the next year will be on top of the 4,500 people Facebook already has to identify crime and other questionable content for removal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is "working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down."
Videos and posts that glorify violence are against Facebook's rules, but Facebook has been criticized for being slow in responding to such content, including videos of a murder in Cleveland and the killing of a baby in Thailand that was live-streamed.
Networks, CNN refuse to air Trump advertisement
ABC, CBS and NBC have joined CNN in refusing to air an advertisement that lists President Donald Trump's accomplishments during his administration's first 100 days while blaming the "fake news" media for not reporting on them.
A "fake news" graphic superimposed over the faces of news anchors was cited by CNN, ABC and NBC for not airing the ad. The networks contend that makes it inaccurate, and ABC said it represents a personal attack. CBS would not comment on its reasons for the rejection.
The journalists whose faces are seen in the commercial are Andrea Mitchell of NBC, Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Scott Pelley of CBS and George Stephanopoulos of ABC.
The ad has run on Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. The Trump campaign did not seek ad time on the Fox broadcast network, which doesn't have a regular newscast.
Mark Hamrick to head SABEW
Mark Hamrick, Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Economic Analyst at Bankrate.com, has been named president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, a leading organization of business journalists.
SABEW was formed over fifty years ago to promote exceptional coverage of business and economic topics and events. Hamrick joined the Board of Governors in 2014 and has held the positions of secretary, treasurer and most recently vice president.
Mr. Hamrick joined personal finance site Bankrate.com in January 2013 after leading business news for the Associated Press radio and television/online video operation in Washington for many years.
Fired BET executive sues, alleging 'old boys' club' bias
A former female executive with Black Entertainment Television has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the channel and its parent company, Viacom.
Zola Mashariki claims a discriminatory "old boys' club" atmosphere led to her firing while she was on disability for breast cancer. Mashariki was an executive vice president who oversaw original programming for the network.
The lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles federal court alleges that BET, Viacom and its largely male leadership foster a climate in which women are systematically harassed and exploited.
John Rung named CEO of Shaw Media
Shaw Media, based in Sterling, Illinois, has named John Rung CEO. The company publishes close to 100 print and digital publications in Illinois and Iowa.
He replaces Thomas D. “Tom” Shaw, 69, of Grand Detour, who announced last month that he would retire. Shaw will remain on the company’s board.
The Shaw Media Board of Directors named Rung CEO on Thursday at the company’s annual meeting. He is the first nonfamily member to hold that role at the third-oldest continuously owned and operated family newspaper company in the nation.
Rung, 54, had been president of Shaw Media since 2013.
Shaw Media has about 550 employees at newspapers, magazines and other publications in northern Illinois and Iowa. Its daily newspaper holdings include Sauk Valley Media, which is the Daily Gazette in Sterling and the Telegraph in Dixon, the Ogle County Newspapers and its publications in Oregon, Polo, Mount Morris and Forreston; the Bureau County Republican in Princeton; and the Prairie Advocate in Carroll County.
Winston-Salem Journal publisher Kevin Kampman announces his retirement
Kevin Kampman, publisher of the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal, is retiring.
Kampman, 60, made the announcement in an email to staff.
“I have been working in the publishing business for 37 years and it is time to spread my wings and try something different,” Kampman wrote.
A successor has not been named but BH Media is looking to fill the position quickly, said Terry Kroeger, president and chief executive officer.
INDUSTRY NEWS • April 27, 2017
State Department names former Fox News anchor as spokeswoman
The State Department says former Fox News Channel anchor Heather Nauert will be the agency's new spokeswoman. The department says Nauert will fill the slot that had been vacant since the start of the Trump administration. The job had been filled on an acting basis by Mark Toner, a career diplomat who served as deputy spokesman during the last years of President Barack Obama's presidency.
It was not immediately clear when Nauert would start briefing reporters from the podium. Nauert, who has 15 years of experience in television journalism and started in the industry with ABC News, was most recently an anchor on the "Fox and Friends" morning show, which is known to be a favorite of President Donald Trump.
AP journalist covering Kashmir protest helps injured teen
He was documenting a protest by dozens of Kashmiri students confronting armed Indian government forces wearing riot gear. But when an 18-year-old was hit in the head and began bleeding profusely, the Associated Press photographer put down his camera and rushed in to help her. "It was an instant decision, and I didn't think twice," Dar Yasin said. He explained that he was closest to the woman and so best able to help. "I gave my camera to a colleague. ... I took the injured girl in my arms."
The scene soon became chaotic. Other protesters became angry when they saw the woman bleeding and hurled stones at the police and paramilitary soldiers, who retaliated with tear gas. Yasin carried Khushboo Jan away from the protest site in Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, and urged her anxious friends not to worry. "I told the girl protesters that I have two daughters," he said. The effort was captured by another photographer who then helped Yasin load Jan into a car that had been pulled up by a civilian to take her to a hospital.
Eagle publisher leaving as part of McClatchy restructuring
Wichita Eagle publisher and president Roy Heatherly is leaving the company as part of a larger restructuring by the McClatchy Co. Tony Berg, regional publisher for McClatchy's Midwest Division, announced Monday that Heatherly's last day will be May 5. Heatherly joined The Eagle in June 2015. Berg said he will hire a general manager to lead The Eagle and its sales operations. Berg told employees the McClatchy reorganization is designed to streamline the company's operations and refocus resources as it works to increase the pace of its digital transition. The Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/2paYkWs ) McClatchy recently announced a regional publishing structure that moves its markets into four regions across the country.
Berg also oversees The Kansas City Star, the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
GateHouse executive based in Hutchinson is resigning
GateHouse News Senior Group Publisher John Montgomery says he plans to leave the company, effective May 8. Montgomery was publisher and editor of The Hutchinson (Kansas) News for 10 years before Gatehouse Media purchased the Harris Group in November. When that purchase was complete, Montgomery became publisher for 16 newspapers. Most are in Kansas and three are in Colorado. The 50-year-old Montgomery said Monday he will move to the Kansas City area but has no immediate plans. Montgomery was editor and publisher of the Ottawa Herald and The Hays Daily News before moving to Hutchinson. The Hutchinson News (http://bit.ly/2oFmI1D ) reports Steven Curd, of Lee's Summit, Missouri, will be interim replacement for Montgomery. He is currently Group Publisher for GateHouse Media in Independence, Missouri.
Greitens' social media use draws praise, criticism
During his first 100 days in office, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has trained with firefighters and police, announced a parental leave policy and various business expansions, and answered online questions from constituents. He has broadcast it all on his personal Facebook page. Like President Donald Trump, Greitens has used social media as a primary — and sometimes his only — means of public communication. It's an approach unlike any used by previous Missouri governors.
"The governor has said from the beginning that his top priority is the people, and (social media is) where the people are," said Greitens spokesman Parker Briden, who has shot some of the videos posted on the governor's site. Political use of social media has been growing nationally. In the 2008 presidential primary election, 10 percent of people said they followed candidates or got involved through social media. In 2016, the number of adults turning to social media for presidential election news had more than doubled to about 24 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.
Lexington police using social media video to solve crimes
Lexington police are using more video on social media and the web to help solve crimes. The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2ozvGwq ) reports that the police department produced 28 videos in 2016, including three surveillance recordings for its website and YouTube channel and for social media. In the first four months of 2017, 19 videos, including eight surveillance videos, have been uploaded. The department's public information officer, Brenna Angel, says that of the 11 surveillance videos posted since Angel joined the department in January 2016, seven have led to charges filed. Angel says property was recovered in three of those cases. Some suspects have turned themselves in once the material was posted.
Bill O'Reilly to return with new podcast episode April 24
Bill O'Reilly is back and ready to talk. His personal website says the former Fox News host will air a new episode of his "No Spin News" podcast Monday evening, April 24. Fox News Channel's parent company fired O'Reilly on Wednesday following an investigation into sexual harassment allegations by women. O'Reilly has called the allegations completely unfounded. For two decades, O'Reilly and his show "The O'Reilly Factor" had been the linchpin of Fox News' success as the most visible and most watched host. Many wondered what the future would hold for him. O'Reilly's podcast episode will be available on his website to premium members at 7 p.m. EDT Monday.
Retirement for O'Reilly? He'll have other options
Chances are you haven't heard the last of Bill O'Reilly. He'll have options, and retirement seems unlikely. At least three conservative news outlets are eager to speak with him. O'Reilly, the top cable news personality for two decades until Fox News Channel fired him this week following harassment claims by women, would be a game-changer for any company trapped in Fox's shadow. "He's an incredible, unparalleled, unchallenged talent and I would be very eager to discuss the possibility of him on Newsmax," said Chris Ruddy, CEO of the Florida-based media company. "I think he has been unfairly treated." Another right-leaning outlet, One America News Network, has been inundated with emails from O'Reilly fans who want their hero back on television, said Robert Herring, Sr., the network's founder and CEO.
New law promotes media literacy, internet safety in schools
Washington leaders have passed a law that requires students to learn about media literacy and internet safety in schools. The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2pm8l68A ) Gov. Jay Inslee signed the new law on Thursday. The law requires Washington schools to develop a model policy to better support digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety. Media literacy is defined as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media. A statewide survey of teacher-librarians, principals and school technology directors will be conduct to determine how they are currently integrating digital citizenship and media literacy education into their curriculum. A website with links to successful practices in other schools, curriculum and other resources for teachers will be created under the law.
Reports: US prosecutors weighing charges against WikiLeaks
Two media reports say U.S. prosecutors are preparing or closely considering charges against the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, including its founder Julian Assange, for revealing sensitive government secrets. CNN (http://cnn.it/2pINsBT) reported Thursday that authorities are preparing to seek Assange's arrest. The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/2pJgy4k) reported prosecutors are weighing charges against the organization's members after the Obama-era Justice Department declined to do so. Possible charges include conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act, the newspaper said, though any charges would need approval from high-ranking officials in the Justice Department. The move comes after WikiLeaks last month released nearly 8,000 documents that it says reveal secrets about the CIA's cyberespionage tools for breaking into computers, cellphones and even smart TVs.
Vermont's media shield law heads to Governor's desk
In a nearly unanimous vote, the Vermont House on Thursday approved a bill designed to protect journalists from revealing confidential sources, even when threatened with a subpoena. The House voted 140-2 without debate to give final approval to the bill. It passed the Senate unanimously last month. The bill will soon land on the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who supports the bill, said spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley. "I think this is a huge victory for a free press in Vermont and for the sources we rely upon," said Paul Heintz, a board member of the Vermont Press Association and political editor at Vermont's Seven Days newspaper.
Heintz, along with a cohort of media professionals from Vermont's print, radio and television outlets, became temporary lobbyists to help get the law through, putting them in an uncomfortable position, Heintz said.
Without O'Reilly, Fox News faces its toughest test
Fox News Channel has thrived despite losing founding leader Roger Ailes and next generation star Megyn Kelly within the past nine months. The firing of defining personality Bill O'Reilly will be its toughest test yet. Fox moved quickly to install a new lineup after announcing O'Reilly's exit due to several harassment allegations by women, which he continues to deny. Outside pressure isn't leaving with him; members of the National Organization for Women demonstrated outside Fox's headquarters Thursday, saying the company's workplace culture won't really change unless management cleans house of other high-ranking executives who knew about the sexual harassment but didn't do anything. For most of Fox's existence, O'Reilly had been the linchpin of its success as the most visible and most watched host.
O'Reilly is out at Fox but influence endures; career too?
Despite the inglorious end to Bill O'Reilly's two-decade Fox News Channel career, observers say his deep imprint on Fox and other cable news outlets and his influence on barbed political discourse are intact for the foreseeable future. Fired on April 19 amid a drumbeat of sexual harassment allegations, the vacationing host's "The O'Reilly Factor" was quickly redubbed "The Factor" and Fox News announced his time slot will be filled by Tucker Carlson, another adamantly conservative Fox host who dovetails with the channel's audience. But it was O'Reilly who created the template for how to succeed in cable TV punditry, delighting his viewers with unapologetic attacks on liberal politicians and media members that he delivered with gusto.
Newspaper decline continues to weigh on AP earnings
Earnings at The Associated Press shrank substantially last year compared with 2015, when the news organization enjoyed a large tax benefit that skewed its results. Revenue also edged downward, reflecting continued contraction in the newspaper industry and a stronger U.S. dollar that reduced the value of overseas sales. Net income last year shrank to $1.6 million from $183.6 million in 2015, a 99 percent decline. The 2015 profit figure was bolstered by a one-time, $165 million tax benefit. AP's 2014 net income of $140.9 million was also boosted by a large non-recurring gain from the sale of a stake in a sports data company. In 2013, net income at the AP — a not-for-profit news cooperative — was $3.3 million.
Although AP's 2016 profit was slightly less than half that of 2013, AP chief financial officer Ken Dale said last year brought the company's net results "back to more normal levels."
O'Reilly out at Fox News Channel, still denies allegations
Fox News Channel's parent company fired Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday, April 19, following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable news' most popular program and one that came to define the bravado of his network over 20 years. O'Reilly lost his job on the same day he was photographed in Rome shaking the hand of Pope Francis. The downfall of Fox's most popular — and most lucrative — personality began with an April 2 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O'Reilly, who continued to deny any wrongdoing in a statement hours after he was fired. Dozens of his show's advertisers fled within days, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased. O'Reilly's exit came nine months after his former boss, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, was ousted following allegations of sexual harassment.
Internal memo on Bill O'Reilly sent to Fox News employees
The following internal memo was sent to Fox News Channel employees on Wednesday, April 19: "We'd like to address questions about Bill O'Reilly's future at Fox News. After a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Mr. O'Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel. This decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel. By ratings standards, Bill O'Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect. Best, Rupert, Lachlan, James
Bill O'Reilly's statement following his firing from Fox News
Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly issued the following statement following his firing Wednesday, April 19:
"Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel."
A few heated, barbed interludes with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly
Over the years, "The O'Reilly Factor" was a forum for heated exchanges led by host Bill O'Reilly and, appearing elsewhere on Fox News Channel, he was often ready with a barbed remark. Here are a few examples:
2003: Jeremy Glick, the son of a Port Authority worker killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, proposed that CIA support of anti-Soviet Afghan fighters in the late 1970s and 1980s had provided the training for what would later emerge as the organization responsible for the terrorist attacks. O'Reilly roared that Glick had dishonored the memory of his father, repeatedly ordered him to "shut up!" and finally cut Glick's microphone "out of respect" for Glick's father.
Kansas students invited to Washington correspondents' dinner
Six Kansas high school journalists who published a story that led to the resignation of their school's new principal will be special guests at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The Pittsburg High School students and their teacher, Emily Smith, are receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the April 29 dinner in Washington D.C., courtesy of the Huffington Post. The group made national news after a story published last month in the student newspaper questioned the credentials of Amy Robertson, who had been hired to become principal at the school. The questions eventually led Robertson to resign. Pittsburg Superintendent Destry Brown told the Pittsburg Morning Sun (http://bit.ly/2o3IAaJ ) he's excited the students will get a "once in a lifetime" experience. The students will be in Washington from April 28 to April 30.
In “The Promise,” Christian Bale stars as an AP reporter
The life of the wire service scribe has, traditionally, been to toil in anonymity. Christian Bale, however, is far from anonymous. In "The Promise," Bale stars as an Associated Press reporter in Constantinople in the early days of World War I, and at the onset of the mass killings and deportations of Armenians carried out by Ottoman Empire. He's not the central figure in the movie; that's Oscar Isaac's Armenian medical student. But as a brash speak-truth-to-power journalist firing out powerfully worded dispatches, he's pivotal in bringing attention to the atrocities against the Armenians. The killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey during and after World War I is considered by genocide scholars to have been the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies a genocide occurred and argues that the death toll among Armenians was more limited in scale and resulted from civil unrest and war, not deliberate policy.
Viewership of 'O'Reilly Factor' drops without Bill O'Reilly
Through four days of Bill O'Reilly's vacation, his show's viewership declined by 23 percent in the hands of substitutes Dana Perino, Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld. O'Reilly is on a nearly two-week vacation at the same time Fox News Channel's parent company looks into a woman's accusation that her career was slowed when she spurned his advances. Dozens of his show's advertisers have fled following reports of harassment settlements paid to other women. O'Reilly has denied any wrongdoing. Despite the vacation, the pressure is staying on O'Reilly and 21st Century Fox, which is looking into at least one complaint about his behavior. On Tuesday, attorney Lisa Bloom said she was representing a former clerical worker at Fox who complained that day to a hotline established at Fox about O'Reilly's behavior during her six months working there in 2008.
Walter Cronkite journalism award going to Woodruff, Ifill
Arizona State University is awarding its Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism for 2017 to Judy Woodruff and the late Gwen Ifill, co-anchors and managing editors of the "PBS NewsHour." An announcement Monday, April 18, by the university's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication says Woodruff will accept the award for herself and Ifill Oct. 19 in Phoenix. Ifill had served with Woodruff as co-anchor and co-managing editor from 2013 until her death from cancer in November. Woodruff says in the announcement she was honored to be selected for the award named after Walter Cronkite, the late and longtime CBS Evening News anchor. She says Cronkite "represented the very best of our craft." Woodruff says Ifill "left a legacy of excellence and dedication that touched all who knew her."
INDUSTRY NEWS • April 18, 2017
Lawmakers consider more protections for student journalists
Missouri lawmakers are working on legislation that would place stricter limits on what administrators are allowed to restrict in student publications. The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2osJR7X ) reports that the bill passed out of the House in March and now awaits debate in the Senate. The current law allows administrators to censor anything considered to be "sensitive." It was established by a landmark Missouri case that made it up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 1988 Hazelwood decision determined that public school students do not have full First Amendment rights in school-sponsored publications. Republican Rep. Kevin Corlew, of Kansas City, says the additional protections show student journalists that their rights matter. So far, at least 11 states, including Kansas, have adopted some form of additional protection for student journalists.
Vegas journalist arrested at Trump rally released from jail
The journalist arrested at a Tax Day protest at President Donald Trump's signature Las Vegas hotel has been released from jail. KLAS Vice President and General Manager Lisa Howfield said photojournalist Neb Solomon was freed April 15, hours after he was arrested while covering the off-Strip protest. Las Vegas police said Solomon was uncooperative and refused to provide his personal identification information at the scene. He was then booked into Clark County jail on two misdemeanors, including trespassing and obstructing an officer. Solomon was recording the protest while on private property that belonged to the Fashion Show Mall, adjacent to the Trump International Hotel, police said. Mall security notified officers on scene that Solomon refused their request to stop filming there.
Chasing retirement, newsman-rancher takes on state and wins
Les Zaitz has been living and working at a ranch near John Day in eastern Oregon for more than a decade — not exactly where most would expect to find one of the state's top investigative journalists. The 61-year-old is a former reporter and editor for The Oregonian who favors jeans and boots as daily attire and a cowboy hat when not in the office. He grew up on the west side of the state in Keizer, near Salem, and started muckraking as a teenager, probing high school budgets in response to grumbling about cuts. . Almost a half-century later, the two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist hoped to relax more after retiring from The Oregonian following exhaustive coverage of the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. But he's still working long hours and breaking big news, now for a weekly newspaper that he owns with his family, The Malheur Enterprise.
Maine governor: Printed legal notices prop up dying industry
Laws requiring legal notices to be published in newspapers prop up a "dying, antiquated industry," Maine's Republican governor said in the latest example of his antipathy toward the press. Gov. Paul LePage has said journalists use words to destroy people and make his remarks seem racist. The governor, who once apologized for telling a boy that he'd like to shoot his Bangor Daily News cartoonist father, has most recently called for governmental oversight of newspapers and retreated to interviews on talk radio shows and conservative websites. Legislators on Thursday, April 13, overrode LePage's veto of a bill that requires the continued posting of newspaper legal notices on a publicly accessible website. The Democratic-controlled House overrode the veto with a 121-22 vote, while the Republican-controlled Senate voted 32-0.
CNN commentator Lord defends his likening of Trump to King
CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord tweeted clips of speeches from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the overnight hours Friday, April 14, capping a strange day where he stepped on a third rail of American politics by suggesting viewers think of President Donald Trump as "the Martin Luther King of health care." Lord made his comparison on CNN's morning "New Day" on Thursday and ended the day in a shouting match with CNN's Don Lemon. He was the subject of social media derision and outrage during the hours in between, illustrating what some critics suggest is cable television's ability to bring heat, if not light, to an issue. Generally amiable, he's gotten into a few rough exchanges with other CNN pundits, most notably Van Jones on election night. Fellow commentator Symone Sanders' eyes widened in astonishment when Lord first equated Trump with the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "There is no similarity," she said.
Boston Fox affiliate drops "Fox" from newscast name
Boston's Fox television affiliate is distancing itself from the conservative Fox News national cable network by dropping the word "Fox" from the name of its newscast.
WFXT-TV Channel 25 announced Thursday, April 13, that the name of its independent and locally produced newscast is being changed from "Fox 25 News" to "Boston 25 News" starting April 24. General manager Tom Raponi tells The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/2ofAE1i ) that local viewers perceive the station as being conservative when it strives to be impartial. The station will still broadcast Fox shows and refer to itself as Fox 25 in most cases, including on its building signs and on-screen visuals during non-news broadcasts. Raponi says the name change has been considered since 2014 when the station was acquired by Atlanta-based Cox Media Group.
The Providence Journal has named a new executive editor
The Providence Journal has named a new executive editor. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2pbmzWZ) that Alan Rosenberg, who currently serves as managing editor, will take over the post when David Butler, the current executive editor, retires in June. The announcement was made April 13 by the Journal's president and publisher, Janet Hasson. Rosenberg has worked for the Journal for nearly four decades in various roles. He'll be replaced in the managing editor's role by Michael McDermott, who was most recently the assistant managing editor for breaking news and features. Rosenberg says he's excited to take the post in a time when "accurate, verified reporting" is more important than ever. Butler joined the newspaper in 2015 after retiring from the San Jose Mercury News.
Audit sparked by newspaper probe flags Reno jail death rates
After a newspaper investigation revealed a sharp increase in suicides and in-custody deaths at a Nevada jail, an independent audit found serious deficiencies in training and mental health care for inmates. Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen requested the outside review after the Reno Gazette-Journal launched its probe into deaths at the county jail where the suicide rate jumped to nearly 10 times the national rate two years ago. The newspaper reports (http://www.rgj.com/series/deathbehindbars/) there were no suicides at the jail from 2011-2014, but a total of five over the last two years and one so far this year. The paper found the spike coincided with an end to suicide training and ongoing problems with the jail's private health care provider.
Who could Fox News tap if Bill O'Reilly doesn't return?
Fox News Channel expects Bill O'Reilly back from his vacation on April 24, ready to resume his position as cable television news' most popular host. But given advertiser defections and the swirl of stories about payouts totaling $13 million to five women to keep harassment allegations quiet, it's impossible to dismiss the idea that Papa Bear may lose his television home for the past two decades. Fox News without Roger Ailes once seemed unthinkable, too, until the network chief's downfall following sexual harassment charges last summer. Replacing the host who came to define the network would be no easy task. While Megyn Kelly wasn't as popular as O'Reilly, her departure for NBC in January is instructive. Tucker Carlson took over her 9 p.m. time slot and increased the ratings, evidence that Fox viewers are Fox viewers — loyal to the network and its ethos as much, if not more, than individual personalities. For that reason, it's a virtual certainty that whoever takes over O'Reilly's time slot will be somebody Fox viewers already know.
CIA director calls WikiLeaks 'hostile intelligence service'
CIA Director Mike Pompeo denounced the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Thursday, April 13, as a "hostile intelligence service" and a threat to U.S. national security, a condemnation that differed sharply from President Donald Trump's past praise of the organization. In his first public speech since becoming America's spy master, the former Republican congressman escalated the agency's hostility to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, accusing them of making common cause with dictators. While "Assange and his ilk" claim they act in the name of liberty and privacy, Pompeo said that in reality, their mission is "personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values." "WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service," Pompeo said. Pompeo's tone was notably different from that of his boss.
$19.8 billion airwaves auction may mean better cell service
Consumers could see more competition and better mobile service after the end of a big U.S. government auction transferring airwave rights from TV broadcasters to companies interested in wireless networks. The biggest spenders in the Federal Communications Commission's $19.8 billion auction were T-Mobile with $8 billion, satellite TV company Dish at $6.2 billion and Comcast with $1.7 billion. The nation's airwaves regulator ran the auction to help wireless networks keep up as people spend more time on smartphones. The biggest bidders in the last auction, in 2015, were AT&T ($18.2 billion) and Verizon ($10.4 billion). T-Mobile says its winnings will give its network more oomph against industry heavyweights AT&T and Verizon. The company "just cleaned up," its CEO, John Legere, tweeted . The company has racked up new subscribers in recent years and helped tug AT&T and Verizon into offering unlimited plans again.
Courts administrative arm investigated for vehicle auctions
The Administrative Office of the Courts says it is being investigated for possible irregularities with its employee-only auctions of surplus vehicles. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/2pyWoWY ) the office began an internal review after it was questioned by reporters at the newspaper. Office spokeswoman Leigh Ann Hiatt said one employee has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which she said is being conducted in partnership with the Attorney General's office. Attorney General Andy Beshear's office would not confirm or deny the investigation. The office is the administrative arm of Kentucky's court system. If often auctions off surplus equipment to employees. Such employee-only options are illegal in the executive branch, but the judicial branch is not subject to the same laws.
Journalists at 2 New York digital news sites opt to unionize
Journalists at two recently combined digital news organizations in New York have agreed to unionize. The Writers Guild of America, East announced Wednesday, March 12, a majority of the 26 reporters and editors at DNAinfo and Gothamist opted to the join the guild. The workers released a joint statement saying the union move will "make the newsroom stronger" and "attract and retain quality journalists." The websites are owned by billionaire Joe Ricketts, who founded the online broker TD Ameritrade. Ricketts also is an owner of the Chicago Cubs and is a prominent Republican donor. A spokeswoman for Ricketts says DNAinfo was considering its options. Many of New York's digital media companies have been unionized in recent years, including The Huffington Post, Vice, MTV News, Gizmodo Media Group and The Intercept.
Embattled O'Reilly takes his longest spring break in years
Embattled Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly, who announced he's vacationing starting Wednesday, April 12, and returning April 24, hasn't taken off this much time consecutively in March or April for at least 10 years, an examination of his show's transcripts revealed. O'Reilly said he likes to take vacation around this time and that he booked this year's break months ago. That would appear to stave off stories that the cable host had been pressured to make himself scarce for a while. His show has seen an advertiser exodus since reports emerged of settlements reached with five women to keep quiet about harassment accusations. Fox would not discuss whether network executives influenced the duration or timing of his break. O'Reilly's announcement immediately set off speculation about whether cable television's most popular host will return at all.
Melania Trump wins damages from Daily Mail publisher
U.S. first lady Melania Trump has accepted an apology and damages from the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper for reporting rumors about her time as a model, the two parties in the lawsuit said Wednesday. In a joint statement, the parties said the Mail retracted its false statements that Trump "provided services beyond simply modeling" and agreed to pay damages and costs. The total settlement for the U.S. and U.K. lawsuits was about $2.9 million, according to a person familiar with the settlement who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose the information, which was not released in court. "First lady Melania Trump is very pleased that she has resolved this matter favorably with the Daily Mail, which has issued a full and complete retraction and apology for its false statements about her, and agreed to pay her millions of dollars in damages and full reimbursement of her legal fees," Melania Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder said in a statement Wednesday.
Rolling Stone settles, but fight over rape story isn't over
Rolling Stone magazine settled a University of Virginia administrator's lawsuit over its discredited story about a rape on campus, but its legal fights over the botched article aren't over. Attorneys for Rolling Stone and Nicole Eramo announced this week that they reached a confidential settlement over the 2014 story "A Rape on Campus," putting an end to the lengthy case stemming from the now-debunked claims of a woman identified only as "Jackie." The magazine still faces a more than $25 million lawsuit filed by the University of Virginia chapter of the fraternity where Jackie claimed she had been raped, which is scheduled to go to trial in October. A separate lawsuit from three former fraternity members was dismissed last year.
Upstate NY newspaper delivery driver retires after 57 years
After nearly six decades and millions of newspapers delivered, Mel Rulison has called it quits. The 87-year-old retired April 10 as a route driver for The Leader-Herald, a 7,500-circulation daily afternoon paper published in Gloversville, in New York's Mohawk Valley. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2osp0U3 ) Rulison delivered 220 to 300 newspapers a day, seven days a week for 57 consecutive years. That's more than 5 million papers delivered during that span. Rulison was working for his uncle's tannery when he took on newspaper deliveries as an extra job in 1960. After the tannery closed nearly 30 years ago he kept the delivery job, spending three hours a day dropping off papers at homes in a rural area 40 miles northwest of Albany. On Monday, the newspaper threw Rulison a retirement party, thanking him for his 57 years of dedicated service.
Advertisers are fleeing Bill O'Reilly, but viewers aren't
Advertisers are fleeing Bill O'Reilly's "no spin zone" on Fox News Channel, but viewers are remaining loyal. "The O'Reilly Factor" averaged 3.71 million viewers over five nights last week, the Nielsen company said Tuesday. That's up 12 percent from the 3.31 million viewers he averaged the week before and up 28 percent compared to the same week in 2016. O'Reilly's show averaged just under 4 million viewers for the first three months of 2017, his biggest quarter ever in the show's 20-year history. "Controversy is a breeding ground for interest," said Marc Berman, editor in chief of The Programming Insider. "So people who otherwise might not have seen his show recently are curious. People might want to see if he addresses the subject. If the ratings were not up, I would have been surprised."
New center to combat disinformation to be built in Finland
A center to combat such things as disinformation and fake news will be built in Finland following an agreement Tuesday, April 12, of nine countries from the European Union and NATO. The countries — Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the United States — signed the memorandum to set up the so-called "hybrid threat" center in Helsinki with the support of the Finnish government. The center will become operational later this year and will initially have a budget of 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) and be staffed by a group of experts and reasearchers from the founding members. Lorenz Meyer-Minneman, head of NATO's civil preparedness unit, said the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats will serve as a platform for EU and NATO to pool resources and share expertise.
'Daily Show's' Hasan Minhaj to star at Correspondents Dinner
With President Donald Trump staying away, "The Daily Show's" Hasan Minhaj is set to headline this year's White House Correspondents Association dinner. In a press release, the comedian made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the president's Twitter style, saying: "It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!" WHCA President Jeff Mason made the announcement on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday, saying the April 29 dinner will be "different" without Trump. In a statement, Mason says the event "will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media." Trump was famously the butt of jokes from President Barack Obama at the 2011 dinner. Trump announced in February that he wouldn't attend this year.
Black journalists hold regional conference in Philadelphia
Hundreds of journalists, communication professionals and students from across the Northeast attended the National Association of Black Journalists’ Region I Conference, Diversity, Innovation & Technology Summit earlier this month. “The conference was absolutely, 100 percent phenomenal,” said freelance journalist and author, Marsha Stroman. “I think it should happen at least once a month!” Held at the Annenberg School for Communication on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, March 31 and April 1, the gathering featured workshops, panel discussions, lectures and job interviews.
INDUSTRY NEWS • April 13, 2017
Editor in small Iowa town wins editorial writing Pulitzer
A small-town Iowa newspaper editorial writer won the Pulitzer Prize on Monday, April 10, for taking on powerful agricultural organizations after a water utility sued the paper's home county and two others over farm pollution. Art Cullen, who owns the Storm Lake Times with his brother John, acknowledged it wasn't easy taking on agriculture in a state like Iowa where you see hundreds of miles of farm fields in every direction. The Cullens lost a few friends and a few advertisers, but never doubted they were doing the right thing. "We're here to challenge people's assumptions and I think that's what every good newspaper should do," he said.
Cullen's writing was lauded by the Pulitzer committee for "editorials fueled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa."
Gazette-Mail reporter wins Pulitzer for drug stories
Eric Eyre had been reporting on the state's opioid addiction crisis for more than a year before he unearthed previously confidential federal records showing drug wholesalers shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on the painkillers.
On Monday Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail won a Pulitzer for investigative reporting. Eyre obtained previously confidential records sent by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to the office of West Virginia's Attorney General. They disclosed pills sold to every pharmacy and drug shipments to all 55 counties in West Virginia between 2007 and 2012. Eyre reported that for more than a decade, the same distributors disregarded rules to report suspicious orders for controlled substances in West Virginia to the state Board of Pharmacy.
Salt Lake Tribune wins Pulitzer for BYU sex assault stories
The Salt Lake Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for local reporting for a series of stories on Mormon-owned Brigham Young University's practice of opening honor code investigations into students who reported they were victims of sexual assault. The staff at the Utah newspaper won for the series that prompted BYU to revise its policies and say it will stop investigating student victims. The school's strict honor code includes bans on drinking and premarital sex. "I hope that this just kind of helps confirm that these stories were true, they were newsworthy and they were right to be told," said Erin Alberty, one of the reporters who worked on the series. She called the reporting a team effort. The Pulitzer committee called it "a string of vivid reports revealing the perverse, punitive and cruel treatment given to sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University."
Investigation of Trump's charity wins Pulitzer Prize
The biggest U.S. news story of 2016 — the tumultuous presidential campaign — yielded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for the Washington Post reporter who not only raised doubts about Donald Trump's charitable giving but also revealed that the candidate had been recorded crudely bragging about grabbing women. David A. Fahrenthold won the prize for national reporting, with the judges citing stories that examined Trump's charitable foundation and called into question whether the real estate magnate was as generous as he claimed. Fahrenthold's submission also included his story about Trump's raunchy behind-the-scenes comments during a 2005 taping of "Access Hollywood." His talk about groping women's genitals rocked the White House race and prompted a rare apology from the then-candidate. In another election-related prize, Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal won the Pulitzer for commentary for columns that "connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation's most divisive political campaigns."
Regulators find lots of 'fake news' aimed at stock investors
"Fake news" is not limited to presidential politics and conspiracy theories. Investors also have to be on the alert for stock promotions masquerading as unbiased reports online. Federal regulators have brought civil fraud charges against 27 businesses and individuals for deceiving investors into believing what they were reading on websites were independent, impartial analyses of stocks. The writers were secretly paid for writing the bullish articles, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday. More than 250 articles had false statements attesting that the writers hadn't been compensated by the companies they were writing about, the agency said in a series of orders and lawsuits. One writer was said to have used at least nine pseudonyms as well as his own name. One of the phony identities was "an analyst and fund manager with almost 20 years of investment experience."
21st Century Fox investigating O'Reilly harassment claims
As advertisers flee Bill O'Reilly's nightly talk show amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment, Fox News parent 21st Century Fox is investigating one of those claims against its popular TV host. The investigation is in response to a complaint lodged last week by Wendy Walsh, formerly a regular guest on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" show. "21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul, Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters," the company said in a statement. As part of the probe, Walsh and her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, had a two-hour phone interview with four Fox News lawyers Monday afternoon, Bloom said. At a news conference last week, Bloom had detailed allegations against O'Reilly by Walsh, a psychologist and radio host.
2017 Pulitzer winners and finalists in journalism and arts for McClatchy
New York Daily News and ProPublica for uncovering, primarily through the work of reporter Sarah Ryley, widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people, most of them poor minorities.
Also nominated as finalists: The Chicago Tribune for reporting on prescription drug dispensing; and the Houston Chronicle for coverage of cost-cutting that denied tutoring, counseling and other special education services to families.
Breaking News Reporting
East Bay Times in Oakland, California, for coverage of the "Ghost Ship" fire, which killed 36 people at a warehouse party.
Also nominated as finalists: Dallas Morning News staff for coverage of a shooting that killed five police officers; and Orlando Sentinel staff for coverage of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub.
New York Times plugs Pulitzer winners before prizes awarded
The New York Times says it mistakenly advertised a Facebook Live event with its Pulitzer Prize winners, several hours before the official announcement that it had won three of journalism's most prestigious prizes. The Times won in the categories of international reporting, feature writing and breaking news photography. The awards were announced at 3 p.m. Monday. But the print edition of Monday's paper included a notice reading, "How does it feel to get a Pulitzer Prize? Ask The Times's recently announced 2017 winners yourself — they'll be taking questions live today at 4:30 p.m. E.T." Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy wouldn't confirm it had advance word that it had won any Pulitzers, calling the notice "a mistake, combined with a little bit of hopeful thinking." Although the prizes are confidential, news organizations sometimes manage to learn of Pulitzer wins before the official announcements.
Ex-journalist pleads not guilty to threatening Jewish groups
A former journalist from St. Louis has pleaded not guilty to charges he made threats against Jewish organizations. Juan Thompson entered the plea Monday, April 10, during a brief appearance in federal court in New York. Prosecutors have accused the 32-year-old Thompson of making threats against Jewish community centers, schools or other facilities to harass his ex-girlfriend. They said he sometimes used her name. They said in one message he claimed he had placed two bombs in a Jewish school and was "eager for Jewish Newtown," a reference to the 2012 school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. The government says it's collecting evidence from about two dozen laptops, tablets and cellphones seized from his home. Thompson was fired from the online publication The Intercept last year. His next court date is May 18.
Funding concerns factored in Chattanooga public radio firing
University officials who fired a Chattanooga public radio reporter for not identifying herself in sessions with Tennessee lawmakers were worried about losing state funding if they didn't take action, according to emails obtained by The Associated Press. The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga terminated Jacqui Helbert last month following her report about a high school gay-rights club's visit to the state Capitol. The club went to speak out against a bill requiring transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates.
Legislators, including Republican Sen. Mike Bell, later complained they did not know they were being recorded secretly. While Bell said he doesn't take issue with the substance of the report, he was upset about the circumstances.
Philadelphia Media Network approves News Guild contract
Journalists and other Newspaper Guild members have approved a three-year contract with the company that publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com. Philly.com reports that the vote April 6 was 203-79. It came 16 days after the union rejected a similar offer from Philadelphia Media Network. The current contract was to expire in July. The new deal includes better health insurance but eliminates seniority protections in the case of layoffs.
Guild president Howard Gensler says the union was "disappointed with the company's bargaining position with regard to seniority" and is "taking the company at its word that they don't want layoffs." Publisher C.Z. Egger says, "We have wonderful people here. We respect them." The company offered buyouts to union newsroom employees 55 or older with at least 15 years of service.
O'Reilly advertisers risk reputation, but viewers remain
While dozens of brands have said they're pulling ads from Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" because of harassment allegations against its host, others remain to court the biggest audience on cable television news. An ad boycott against Bill O'Reilly quickly took shape following The New York Times story last weekend that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to settle their accusations of sexual misconduct or abusive behavior against him. On Thursday, more than 40 companies had said they weren't running commercials on O'Reilly's show, according to CNN, which has maintained a count. One of the companies that hasn't abandoned O'Reilly is Angie's List. The company has a contract with Fox that doesn't specify which program its ads will air on, and has no plans to change its strategy, said Cheryl Reed, spokeswoman for the company that offers crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses.
Facebook launches resource to help spot misleading news
Facebook is launching a resource to help you spot false news and misleading information that spreads on its service. The resource, similar to previous efforts around privacy and security, is basically a notification that pops up for a few days. Clicking on it takes you to tips and other information on how to spot false news and what to do about it. Tips to spot false news include looking closely at website addresses to see if they are trying to spoof real news sites, and checking websites' "about" sections for more information. Some sites might look like real news at first glance, but their "about" sections inform the visitor that they are in fact satire.
Adam Mosseri, vice president of News Feed at Facebook, said he hopes people will become "more discerning consumers" of news.
Will Bill O'Reilly survive advertiser defections?
The rapid defection of advertisers this week from Bill O'Reilly's show because of sexual harassment allegations raises what once seemed an unthinkable question: Can O'Reilly survive at Fox News Channel? In just the few days since The New York Times reported that Fox News' most popular prime-time host and his employer have paid $13 million to five women to settle allegations he mistreated them, some 20 advertisers have said they don't want their products associated with O'Reilly's show, drugmaker Eli Lily and Coldwell Banker among the latest. Others include Mercedes-Benz, Bayer and Allstate. The companies appeared to be acting on their own, to the surprise of advocacy groups that usually orchestrate such campaigns.
Fox thrives despite scandals involving O'Reilly and Ailes
The founder of Fox News Channel was forced out in a sexual harassment scandal last summer. The network's No. 1 star, Bill O'Reilly, has been accused of crude and vindictive behavior toward women. Lawsuits depict a toxic environment at the company's New York headquarters. And yet, by the most important yardstick for television executives, Fox is thriving as never before. The network just finished the first three months of the year with the biggest quarterly audience a cable news network has ever had. It's watched more than any other cable network, including the entertainment ones, and O'Reilly leads the way. Fox is the home for fans of President Donald Trump and Trump himself, who frequently tweets about its shows and reporting. To some, that's a disconnect that, so far, recalls Trump's election as president weeks after an "Access Hollywood" tape revealed his vulgar remarks about women.
More advertisers say they have ditched Fox's O'Reilly show
Bill O'Reilly's top-rated Fox News show may be starting to feel a financial sting after allegations that he sexually harassed several women. A dozen major advertisers, ranging from automakers Hyundai and BMW, to financial firm T. Rowe Price, insurer Allstate and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, have pulled their ads from "The O'Reilly Factor." The moves come after a weekend report in The New York Times that O'Reilly and his employer paid five women $13 million to settle harassment or other allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fox's star. O'Reilly is Fox News' top revenue producer, according to research firm Kantar Media, bringing in over $178 million in ad dollars in 2015 and $118.6 million in the first nine months of 2016.
Bills would require publishing legal notices in newspapers
Bills filed in the North Carolina Legislature would preserve the requirement that governments publish legal notices in newspapers. The StarNews of Wilmington reports (http://bit.ly/2ncnaYy) the House and Senate bills are modeled after a compromise crafted by the Florida Legislature in 2012. Legal notices would still run in a general circulation newspaper, but would need to be published to the paper's website and on a North Carolina Press Association website that would carry notices from across the state. The Senate version passed its first reading last week and was referred to the rules committee. The concurrent House bill was filed Wednesday, April 5. Another measure working its way through the legislature would require governments only to publish legal notices to their websites. The savings would be used in part to fund teacher supplements.
New Jersey wants court to again block newspaper from reporting
New Jersey wants an appeals court to again block a newspaper from reporting on a child services complaint involving a kindergarten student who brought drugs to school twice. A spokesman for the state attorney general's office said Wednesday, April 5, that it had appealed a judge's order from last week that lifted the ban on the Trentonian reporting on the case. Judge Lawrence De Bello ruled last Monday that he found no evidence to support the state's argument that a reporter for the Trentonian newspaper illegally obtained the complaint from the boy's mother.
Government lawyers say child welfare complaints must be kept confidential under state law.
Principal resigns after students investigate her credentials
An incoming high school principal has resigned in Kansas after student reporters investigated and raised questions about her credentials. The Pittsburg School Board accepted Amy Robertson's resignation on Tuesday, April 4, saying she felt the decision was "in the best interest of the district ... in light of the issues that arose."
The main concern stemmed from her receiving her master's and doctoral degrees from Corllins University, an unaccredited, online school. Robertson said she received her degrees before the university lost accreditation. "She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted (to) be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials," Trina Paul, a student editor at Pittsburg High School's newspaper, The Booster Redux, told The Kansas City Star. "We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials."
GateHouse names new publisher for group of 8 Ohio newspapers
GateHouse Media has named a new publisher and regional editor for a group of newspapers in northern and eastern Ohio. Veteran publisher and advertising executive Bill Albrecht will be publisher for eight newspapers: The Review in Alliance, the Ashland Times-Gazette, The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge, The Canton Repository, the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, The Independent in Massillon, The Times-Reporters in Dover and New Philadelphia, and The Daily Record in Wooster. New regional editor Mike Shearer oversees their news operations. The recent sale of the Dix Communications newspaper chain to Pittsford, New York-based GateHouse included the Alliance, Ashland, Cambridge, Kent and Wooster publications. Albrecht most recently was president of Argus Leader Media in South Dakota. He previously was president for Gannett's Media Network of Central Ohio, where Shearer was executive editor.
Showtime developing miniseries on deposed Fox chief Ailes
A miniseries about deposed Fox News Channel executive Roger Ailes is in the works at Showtime. The project in development is based on New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman's reporting on Ailes. Showtime won out over competition for the limited series, which also will draw on Sherman's 2014 biography of Ailes, "The Loudest Voice in the Room." Tom McCarthy, the Oscar-winning director of "Spotlight," will join Sherman as a writer and executive producer. Casting wasn't announced. Ailes left Fox last summer following allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances against women, which he has denied. On Monday, April 3, Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky leveled more sexual-harassment accusations against him.
The miniseries project, titled "Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes," is a co-production from Showtime and Blumhouse Television.
Psychiatric board drops suit against Oregon newspaper
A state agency has dropped its lawsuit against a weekly Oregon newspaper that sought public records about a man charged in the kidnapping and killing of his ex-wife. The records pertain to Anthony Montwheeler, who was discharged from the state mental hospital in December after telling the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board he had faked mental illness for 20 years to stay out of prison following a 1996 crime. Montwheeler is now charged with aggravated murder after police say he killed his ex-wife in January and then collided head-on with a vehicle while fleeing police, killing the driver. The Malheur Enterprise broke the story of Montwheeler's ruse and sought additional public records about the board's decision to release him. After Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum ordered the review board to release the records, the board responded by suing the newspaper. The suit was dropped Tuesday, April 4, after Gov. Kate Brown intervened.
Berkshire Hathaway's newspaper group cutting 289 jobs
The newspaper chain owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is eliminating nearly 300 jobs to cut costs because of declining advertising and circulation revenue. The Omaha World-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2o5YHDd ) that 181 people will be laid off at BH Media Group newspapers and another 108 vacant positions will be eliminated. BH Media CEO Terry Kroeger says some of the group's 31 daily newspapers are also reducing the number of pages they print. For instance, the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia plans to lay off 33 employees, including 13 in the newsroom, and eliminate its separate daily business section. Newspapers are a relatively small part of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 90 subsidiaries and holds investments in companies like Coca-Cola Co., Wells Fargo, Apple and IBM.
Third woman joins racial lawsuit against Fox News
A third Fox News Channel employee has joined two colleagues in their lawsuit that says they were subjected to racial discrimination by a since-fired executive. Monica Douglas said former controller Judith Slater, who was fired on Feb. 28, frequently expressed an unwillingness to be near black people. Douglas is black, as are colleagues Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, who filed suit against Fox last week. Douglas, who is Panamanian, said in the lawsuit that Slater told her she wouldn't let her dogs eat food Panamanians eat. She said Slater frequently referred to her status as a breast cancer survivor, calling her the "one-boobed girl" and the like. Douglas said she complained about Slater's comments in 2014 and nothing was done. Fox, in a statement, said it takes complaints like this very seriously. "There is no place for conduct like this at Fox News, which is why Ms. Slater was fired," the network said.
INDUSTRY NEWS • April 5, 2017
Vermont bill would protect student journalists
A Vermont House committee is taking testimony on a bill that would protect student journalists and their media advisers. The bill says public school or public college officials would not be allowed to censure the content of school-sponsored media, without showing that a particular publication will cause irreparable harm. Content shall also not be suppressed because it involves political or controversial subject matter or is critical of the school or its administration. Under the bill, a student journalist may not be disciplined when following those rules and the student's media adviser also is free from discipline for protecting a student journalist who followed the rules.
Fox News gives comedy talk show 'Red Eye' a pink slip
Fox News is giving its late-night show "Red Eye" the pink slip. The network said Monday, April 4, that it is canceling the comedy talk show. "Red Eye" premiered in 2007 and will air its final episode on Friday. Fox News spokeswoman Carly Shanahan said the show's 3 a.m. slot will be filled by a repeat of "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "Red Eye" hosts Tom Shillue and Andy Levy remain employed by Fox News.
A Fox News contributor came forward to level more sexual-harassment allegations against deposed chief executive Roger Ailes on Monday, April 3, two days after it was revealed the network's most popular on-air personality, Bill O'Reilly, has settled multiple complaints about his own behavior with women. O'Reilly was due to return to the air on Monday following a weekend report in The New York Times that he and his employer had paid five women $13 million to settle allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate conduct by Fox's ratings king. Meanwhile, the lawyer for another woman who says she was punished for rebuffing O'Reilly's advances called on New York City's Human Rights Commission to investigate O'Reilly's behavior.
Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte joins Murdoch's News Corp. board
Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is joining the board of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The media company announced Ayotte's addition to the board Monday, April 3. Murdoch, the company's CEO, is praising Ayotte's addition to the board, saying she'll bring "invaluable leadership and strategic planning skills." Ayotte says News Corp. plays an "important role" in keeping people informed and delivering value for investors. Ayotte, a Republican, lost her seat in the U.S. Senate last fall to former Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat. She's since been helping President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, through the confirmation process.
Ayotte is replacing Elaine Chao, the new U.S. Secretary of Transportation, on the board. News Corp. owns newspapers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, plus the book publisher HarperCollins and other media brands.
Tech leaders, others launch $14M 'News Integrity' nonprofit
Facebook and Mozilla are among the companies and organizations launching a $14 million fund to promote news literacy and increase trust in journalism. The nonprofit, called the News Integrity Initiative, will be based at the City University of New York. It will run as an independent project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Others contributing to the fund include Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and the Ford Foundation. Recent polls show the public's trust in the news industry at a low. False news and misinformation, often masquerading as trustworthy news and spreading on social media, has gained a lot of attention since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Companies like Facebook are trying to address the issue.
Journalist says she's found Twitter account of FBI director
A reporter for the website Gizmodo says she's uncovered a stealth Twitter account that she believes belongs to FBI Director James Comey. Comey acknowledged in a speech Wednesday that he was "on Twitter now," though he did not reveal his account information. In a first-person account posted Thursday, March 30, Gizmodo journalist Ashley Feinberg said she used several clues to trace Comey's Twitter presence to a user name of Reinhold Niebuhr with handle "@projectexile7." Comey's senior thesis was about Niebuhr, a theologian. An FBI spokesman declined to comment. Hours after the Gizmodo story, a tweet appeared on @projectexile7 with an image of Will Ferrell in "Anchorman" and a quote from the movie: "Actually I'm Not Even Mad. That's Amazing." The tweet also included a link to the FBI job application site.
Trump revives threat to change libel laws
President Donald Trump is reviving his attacks on news he doesn't like, threatening to target libel laws that govern freedom of the press. "The failing @nytimes has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?" he wrote on Twitter Thursday, taking yet another shot at a paper that has broken numerous stories on his fledgling administration. Libel law in the U.S. generally makes it difficult for public figures to sue reporters and others who criticize them. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that a plaintiff must demonstrate that statements were factually inaccurate as well as made with "actual malice" or a "reckless disregard" for the truth. Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said libel protections are based on the First Amendment and how it has been interpreted by the courts, and Trump can do little to change that.
Ex-journalist is jailed after court date on stalking charge
A former journalist from St. Louis who was arrested on a cyberstalking charge related to threats against Jewish organizations has made his first New York court appearance. Juan Thompson was in Manhattan federal court Wednesday March 29.
The judge appointed attorney Mark Gombiner to represent him. Gombiner declined to make a bail argument. So Thompson will likely remain incarcerated until a hearing next week before a district judge. Gombiner declined comment after the brief appearance by Thompson. Prosecutors say the 31-year-old Thompson made threats against at least eight Jewish community centers, schools or other facilities in an effort to harass his girlfriend. The government alleges in court papers that he sometimes emailed threats using the woman's name or used his name but claimed she was trying to falsely implicate him.
Benched legal analyst returns to Fox, stands by story
Fox News Channel legal analyst Andrew Napolitano returned to the air March 29, saying he stood by his claim about spying on President Donald Trump that got him benched by the network for more than a week. Napolitano had reported on Fox that British intelligence officials had helped former President Barack Obama spy on Trump, a story that quickly attracted notice because the president cited it in a news conference. Britain denied that it had done any such thing, and Fox news anchors Shepard Smith and Bret Baier distanced the network from the report, saying its reporters had found no evidence that Trump had been under surveillance. Fox said on March 21 that it was taking Napolitano off the air for an indefinite period. The former New Jersey judge has worked at Fox News and Fox Business Network as an analyst since 1998.
2 women charge racial discrimination at Fox News
Two black women who work at Fox News Channel have charged in a lawsuit that they were subjected to "yearslong relentless racial" hostility at the hands of a top financial executive at the network who has since been fired. Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, who sued this week in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx, said their boss talked about her physical fear of black people, humiliated them by making them repeat words she believes blacks pronounce incorrectly and mocked the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Judith Slater, the executive involved, asked Wright, a mother of three, whether all of her children had the same father, the lawsuit alleges. Fox said it fired Slater on Feb. 28. She was the network's controller and senior vice president of accounting.
White House staff also will skip correspondents dinner
White House staff will be skipping this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner along with President Donald Trump. The White House Correspondents' Association announced March 28 that they'd been informed that staff would not be attending out of "solidarity" with the president, who previously announced his intention to skip the annual dinner. The board says in a statement that it "regrets this decision very much," but that the event will go on as planned.
The annual fundraising dinner, which raises money for college scholarships, typically draws a mix of politicians, journalists, celebrities, as well as the president and first lady. Top White House staff members typically attend, often as guests of media organizations. The dinner also typically features remarks from a comedian, often roasting the president, and a humorous address by the president himself, often roasting the press and political opponents.
Washington state student free speech bill dies in the House
A measure aimed to protect high school and college students' rights to publish and speak freely in school-sponsored media did not make it out of the House Education Committee before a key deadline May 29. Republican Sen. Joe Fain, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5064, wrote in a Facebook post May 28: "While we are disappointed that the House of Representatives killed the legislation this afternoon, that too provides a valuable lesson on the uphill road that is the legislative process." The bill would have allowed students to determine what content to publish in their publication or broadcast without any threat of censorship or peer review from school administrators. However, action could have been taken if any content contained libelous or slanderous material, or was obscene or incited students to commit unlawful acts on school grounds. Similar bills have been filed in Vermont, Missouri and Indiana. Ten states in the U.S. currently have student speech protection laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
AP's Joe Mooshil to receive posthumous sports writing honor
Longtime Chicago Associated Press sports writer Joe Mooshil will be honored posthumously with the Ring Lardner Award. Mooshil and his ever-present cigar became a fixture on the Chicago sports scene over his course of four decades covering the city's teams. He worked for the news service from the 1950s to the 1990s and died in 2012 from leukemia. Mooshil spent his childhood selling peanuts and scorecards at Wrigley Field. He was a radio operator during World War II.
More than two dozen sports journalists have chosen to honor him. The award is given for excellence in sports journalism. Mooshil's daughter, Maria Mooshil, will accept the award at an April 13 ceremony in Chicago . Writer Dan Jenkins and sportscaster Pat Hughes also will be honored.
Public television chief says Trump budget would hit rural and minority areas
President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would most dramatically affect rural and minority ommunities, eventually forcing some local television and radio stations to close, the corporation's president and chief executive officer told Congress Tuesday, March 28. The president's budget would eliminate $445 million in federal funds for the non-profit corporation, which supports programs such as Sesame Street, Frontline and documentaries from filmmaker Ken Burns. Patricia de Stacy Harrison, the president and chief executive officer for the corporation, said federal funding generally represents 10 percent to 15 percent of a public broadcasting station's budget, but can represent as much as 80 percent of the annual budget for some stations.
Media press FBI for price it paid for tool to unlock iPhone
FBI Director James Comey has made public enough details about the bureau buying a tool to unlock an iPhone as part of a terrorism investigation that the agency should also release how much it cost, The Associated Press and two other news organizations said in court papers Monday, March 27. The media companies said Comey has spoken "at length and in detail" about the FBI's purchase last year of a tool that enabled it to break into the work phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two shooters in the December 2015 San Bernardino, California, attack. They told a judge that now that Comey has publicly offered a ballpark price that the FBI paid, and has spoken generally about the limitations of the tool, the bureau should be forced to provide the news organizations with the information they sought.
A closer look at the 'panic buttons' distributed in Colombia
It is supposed to help protect human-rights activists, labor organizers and journalists working in risky environments, but a GPS-enabled "panic button" that Colombia's government has issued to about 400 people could be exposing them to more peril. The pocket-sized devices are designed to notify authorities in the event of an attack or attempted kidnapping. But the Associated Press, with an independent security audit , uncovered technical flaws that could let hostile parties disable them, eavesdrop on conversations and track users' movements. There is no evidence the vulnerabilities have been exploited, but security experts are alarmed. "This is negligent in the extreme," said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, calling the finding "a tremendous security failure."
Hannity angry at treatment by CBS in interview
Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity is calling on CBS News to release the full tape of his interview with Ted Koppel for "Sunday Morning," in which the veteran "Nightline" anchor answered "yes" when Hannity asked if Koppel thought he was bad for America. The exchange between two different generations of television news personalities continued to resonate Monday, March 27: It was the lead "hot topic" that hosts of "The View" kicked around on their talk show. Hannity was interviewed for the Sunday show's cover story about partisan media, and sensed some unease by Koppel when he discussed his role as an opinion host. Hannity is a fervent supporter of President Donald Trump and has attacked his opponents and traditional media outlets for how they report on the president.
Will Cabinet follow Tillerson's lead in media access?
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has famously declared himself "not a big media press access person," isn't alone in President Donald Trump's Cabinet. But it's too early to call him a trendsetter, either. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, both with extensive private sector backgrounds, have similarly been press-averse at the beginning of their tenures. Others seem to be following the leads of predecessors. In some cases, it's just too early to tell. Tillerson's decision not to make room for reporters on the plane for his first major overseas trip earlier this month drew scrutiny because his job is generally considered the most important in the Cabinet and there's a rich tradition of secretaries of state keeping the public informed of foreign policy objectives.
Trump delivers his news to newspaper reporters
President Donald Trump went old school on Friday, March 24, calling reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times to announce that he had ordered a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare pulled from consideration in the House when it became clear there weren't enough votes for passage. One of those reporters — Robert Costa of the Post — tweeted news from the surprise phone call a minute after getting it while the president was still talking. Trump's phone calls came amid a day of drama that played out on television screens leading up to an anticipated afternoon vote on one of the Republicans' enduring campaign promises, to get rid of the insurance law enacted by former President Barack Obama. Congress was debating the measure when it was taken back before a vote.
Justice Department settles suit over LA Dodgers broadcasts
The U.S. Department of Justice said March 23 it has settled a lawsuit that accused AT&T's DirectTV unit of orchestrating a backroom deal with competitors to not carry the sole channel that broadcasts Dodgers baseball in Los Angeles. The suit claimed DirecTV swapped information with Cox Communications Inc., Charter Communications Inc. and AT&T — before it acquired DirecTV — during negotiations to carry the SportsNet LA, the network owned by the Dodgers. Officials said the settlement will ensure that the companies will no longer make agreements to prevent competitors from offering the channel to lure customers. Dodger fans were bitter they could only watch games through Time Warner Cable — now owned by Charter — the past three seasons.
Twitter attack follows New Hampshire reporter's comment about hoops fans
A New Hampshire school district superintendent has apologized after dozens of students inundated a sports reporter with vulgar and inappropriate tweets after he questioned their cheering skills at a high school basketball game. Roger Brown, of the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, was covering a playoff basketball game earlier this month when he tweeted that the Bedford High School student body would have to "raise its game" to match rival fans. The newspaper said that sparked a torrent of tweets from Bedford students directed at Brown over several days, including some laced with profanity and a sexually explicit one directed at his mother. Things got worse when Brown highlighted the tweets, only to have some people attack him for singling out Bedford and criticizing high school students.
ABC News says 3 of its Twitter accounts were hacked
ABC News said three of its Twitter accounts were hacked March 23, sending out profanity-filled tweets to its millions of followers. The tweets have since been deleted and ABC News said that it "resolved the issue quickly." The hacked accounts included the main ABC News one, which has nearly 10 million followers, and two accounts related to its morning show "Good Morning America." ABC News is owned by Burbank, California-based The Walt Disney Co. San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. declined to comment, saying that it does not discuss individual accounts for privacy and security reasons. Hacks of high-profile social media accounts are relatively common.
Breslin celebrated for bringing 'honor' to his press pass
Generations of New York journalists and political leaders joined Jimmy Breslin's family Wednesday, March 22, in celebrating the life of the pugnacious Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who championed the downtrodden and battled corrupt public officials for more than five decades. Breslin, who died Sunday at age 88, was remembered as a peerless prose stylist whether he wrote about sports stars, gangsters or a bit player in a national tragedy. Michael Daly, the Daily Beast correspondent who like Breslin was a longtime columnist at the Daily News, held up a New York City press pass and said, "Nobody ever brought more honor to this pass than he did."
Australia pair are first foreigners to own US radio stations
An Australian couple with roots in Alaska has bought more than two dozen radio stations in three states, marking the first time federal regulators have allowed full foreign ownership of U.S. radio stations. The Federal Communications Commission recently approved a request by Richard and Sharon Burns through their company Frontier Media to increase their interest in 29 radio stations in Alaska, Texas and Arkansas from 20 percent to 100 percent. The agency long took what some viewed as a hard line in limiting foreign ownership under a 1930s law that harkened to war-time propaganda fears. But in 2013, it acknowledged a willingness to ease up after broadcasters complained the rules were too restrictive of outside investment. The Burnses are citizens of Australia but have lived and worked in the U.S. since 2006, on special visas offered for Australians.
'Fox & Friends' the morning show of choice for Donald Trump
"Fox & Friends" has emerged as the morning television show of choice for President Donald Trump and his fans, although that may have backfired for Fox News Channel this week. Like many cable news shows in the Trump era, "Fox & Friends" has seen ratings jump, and not just in the White House. Its average February audience of 1.72 million viewers was 49 percent over last year's, the Nielsen company said. The show usually has more viewers than MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and CNN's "New Day" combined. President Trump's Twitter feed provides ample evidence of his devotion, too. Like "Morning Joe," the political talk show whose love-hate relationship with Trump is clearly set on hate right now, "Fox & Friends" makes no secret of its opinions. Yet the episode with Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano illustrated how news and opinion aren't always a smooth mix.
Syrian conflict dominates Overseas Press Club Awards winners
The devastation wrought by the war in Syria was the leading story among the winners of the Overseas Press Club Awards recognizing the finest international reporting. Besides the Syrian conflict, the 22 winning stories included the unraveling of Venezuela's public institutions, state media control in China and Russia, fighting the drug trade in Colombia and the Philippines and the elites exposed in the Panama Papers. The Overseas Press Club of America is an international association of journalists based in New York. The winners will be feted at an April 27 dinner at which the club's president, Deidre Depke, will honor journalists who died covering the war in Syria. "These awards showcase the professionalism, perseverance and courage that is the hallmark of our profession and the everyday reality for many journalists," Depke said.
Altered Facebook news headline jolts Virginia governors race
Facebook users beware: that headline on the politically related news article you're reading -- including this one -- may not be real. An altered Facebook headline on a newspaper story involving a statue of Robert E. Lee has blown up into a major sore point in the Virginia GOP primary for governor. It's not the first time politicians or their allies have changed headlines to suit their own purposes in linking to real news articles on that platform. They highlight Facebook's increasingly important presence in political campaigns, thanks to its vast reach and ability to target specific subgroups of voters. Virginia's governor's race is being watched nationally as a possible early referendum on President Donald Trump. The uproar over the altered headline taps into strongly felt opposition over Charlottesville's plan to remove a longstanding statue of the Confederate general there.
Court rejects copyright exemption for online TV provider
In a victory for television broadcasters, a federal appeals court has rejected legal arguments that sought to allow live TV on the internet. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that an internet television provider cannot avoid copyright law by claiming it's a cable company. The case pitted Fox and other TV broadcasters against FilmOn X. FilmOn transmitted TV programming over the internet to paying subscribers without copyright permission. The company argued that it was a cable provider. Cable providers can obtain licenses that allow them to broadcast programming without the copyright owner's consent. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit said the U.S. Copyright Office reasonably and persuasively concluded that companies such as FilmOn are not cable providers. An email to the company was not immediately returned.
INDUSTRY NEWS • March 16, 2017
Google affiliate offers tools to safeguard elections
An organization affiliated with Google is offering tools that news organizations and election-related sites can use to protect themselves from hacking. Jigsaw, a research arm of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., says that free and fair elections depend on access to information. . To ensure such access, Jigsaw says, sites for news, human rights and election monitoring need to be protected from cyberattacks.
Jigsaw's suite of tools, called Protect Your Election, is mostly a repackaging of existing tools: — Project Shield will help websites guard against denial-of-service attacks, in which hackers flood sites with so much traffic that legitimate visitors can't get through. Users of Project Shield will be tapping technology and servers that Google already uses to protect its own sites from such attacks.
Fox pulls Napolitano from air after Trump report
Fox News Channel has pulled legal analyst Andrew Napolitano from the air after disavowing his on-air claim that British intelligence officials had helped former President Barack Obama spy on Donald Trump. A person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a personnel matter said Napolitano has been benched and won't be appearing on the air in the near future. Fox had no immediate comment Monday. Napolitano's report last week on "Fox & Friends," saying he had three intelligence sources who said Obama went "outside the chain of command" to watch Trump, provoked an international incident. Britain dismissed the report as "nonsense" after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer quoted it in a briefing, part of the administration's continued defense of Trump's unproven contention that Obama had wiretapped him at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Sharers rather than authors more important on social media
The person who shares a news story on social media is more important than the story's actual source in determining whether readers believe it, a study by the Media Insight Project has found. In a previous study, consumers said they paid greater heed to where the story originated. But the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute, set up an experiment that found something different.
News organizations are keenly interested in research that tracks consumer habits in a rapidly changing media world. Facebook was the top non-television source for election news cited by both supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in last fall's presidential campaign, according to the Pew Research Center. Businesses grew to churn out false stories that people would share online.
A talk with Jimmy Breslin, New York's "New Yorkiest" writer
(In May 2002, Associated Press National Writer Jerry Schwartz interviewed the famously blunt-yet-lyric author and columnist Jimmy Breslin about his life and work. Breslin died March 18 at age 88. The following story was originally published on May 25, 2002):
At 73, he's no longer the hulking Irish wild man of yore. He's slighter. His hair is white and thin, not black and tangled. It's been years since he knocked back beers at Pep McGuire's or the Lion's Head or his friend Mutchie's saloon — Mutchie is dead, like the bookmaker Fat Thomas and Shelly the Bail Bondsman and so many of the characters who peopled his columns for so many years. But Jimmy Breslin says he has not changed. Thirty-nine years after his first story appeared in the New York Herald Tribune — a Page One piece on the Mets, their four-game winning streak and their bungling first baseman, Marvelous Marvin Throneberry — he's still writing columns, three a week, but now for Newsday.
How a school bomb-scare case sparked a media-vs.-FBI fight
The young hacker was told in no uncertain terms: You are safe with me.
"I am not trying to find out your true identity," AP journalist Norm Weatherill assured the teenager in an online chat. "As a member of the Press, I would rather not know who you are as writers are not allowed to reveal their sources." But Norm Weatherill was no reporter. He was FBI agent Norman B. Sanders Jr., and the whole conversation was a trap. Within hours, police descended on the 15-year-old hacker's home and led him away in handcuffs for making a week and a half of emailed bomb threats at his high school in Washington state. He eventually confessed and was sentenced to 90 days in a juvenile detention center. The 2007 bust would put an end to the bomb scares and save graduation at the school but would also raise a troubling question that is unanswered to this day: How often do FBI agents impersonate members of the news media?
Vermont media shield law will go up for Senate vote
A bill that would strip the government's power to force journalists to reveal confidential sources through subpoenas will advance to the Vermont Senate floor.
The measure was passed unanimously in two Senate committees on Friday. Vermont is among about 10 states that lack laws that provide some legal protection to journalists. The law would place anything that could reveal a reporter's confidential source out of the reach of the government. The bill would also set a legal hurdle that the government would have to jump to force journalists to reveal non-confidential information. Vermont journalists who testified in support of the bill say that without protection from subpoenas, there is a chilling effect on a free press. The threat of subpoenas makes it harder for journalists to promise anonymity.
Sean Hannity denies pointing gun at Juan Williams on Fox set
Sean Hannity says he never pointed a gun at Fox News colleague Juan Williams, despite a CNN report to the contrary. CNN reported March 16 that Hannity pointed a gun directly at Williams and turned on the laser sight off-air following a heated segment last year. In a statement, Hannity said he was showing "my good friend Juan Williams my unloaded firearm in a professional and safe manner for educational purposes only." Williams said on Twitter that he and Hannity are "great friends" and the "incident is being sensationalized." He says "everything was under total control throughout and I never felt like I was put in harm's way." Fox News said in a statement that Hannity is well-trained in firearm safety and is licensed to carry a gun. "The situation was thoroughly investigated and it was found that no one was put in any danger," Fox said.
Ex-UK Treasury chief George Osborne to edit London newspaper
Former British Treasury chief George Osborne has been appointed editor of the Evening Standard newspaper, touching off a torrent of criticism about whether a sitting lawmaker should be able to run a London-based daily. The newspaper's owner, Evgeny Lebedev, said March 17 that Osborne put himself forward for the job and "was the obvious choice." Osborne indicated he would keep his job as a member of Parliament, together with a smattering of other advisory roles in private industry that are supplementing his income. But he said his role at the Standard would be to fight for the interest of Londoners, come what may.
Despite criticism, Maddow gets biggest audience
Despite some criticism of how the show played out, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow scored her biggest audience ever March 14 after tweeting that she had gotten her hands on some of President Donald Trump's tax records for 2005. Her show reached 4.13 million people, the Nielsen company said. It was second only to a "Countdown" episode with Keith Olbermann just before the 2008 election as MSNBC's most-watched series episode ever, Nielsen said. The ratings showed the power of social media. Maddow had tweeted less than 90 minutes before her show about the tax return scoop and word quickly spread online. But some viewers were disappointed that the tax records — two pages from a 2005 return — were not more extensive. She also was criticized for waiting nearly 20 minutes before revealing what the tax records showed.
UK regulators to examine Murdoch media deal
Britain's government asked two regulators to evaluate Rupert Murdoch's effort to consolidate his media empire on Thursday, March 16, in a move that will bring fresh attention to the mogul's holdings. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has asked media regulator Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority to review public interest issues surrounding Twenty-First Century Fox's plan to buy the shares it doesn't already own in Sky Plc. Bradley says she will decide whether the merger should proceed after receiving the reports, due by May 16.
Randall family explores selling Frederick newspaper
The owners of The Frederick News-Post , of Frederick, Maryland, have reached an agreement in principle to explore selling the newspaper to Ogden Newspapers Inc. in West Virginia. The News-Post reports (http://bit.ly/2mtBQOB ) that Will Randall, chief executive officer of Randall Family LLC, and Bob Nutting, Ogden's president and chief financial officer, made the announcement March 15. Should the discussions lead to a sale, Wheeling-based Ogden would publish the News-Post and operate the Frederick company's commercial printing operations. Randall says both companies have executed a letter of intent and are working toward executing an asset purchase agreement. The Randall family in 1883 founded what has become the News-Post. The Nutting family, owners of Ogden, began in the publishing business in 1890 when they started the Wheeling News. Ogden also owns newspapers in 14 other states.
Tax story puts spotlight on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow
For a brief, breathless moment, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was at the center of the political media universe. With a single tweet, she set in motion a social media storm, compelled the White House to undercut her by releasing some of President Donald Trump's tax return information, was accused of breaking the law, was attacked by Fox News Channel and likely drew one of her biggest audiences. Less than 90 minutes before her show on March 14, Maddow tweeted that "we've got Trump's tax returns ... (Seriously)," advertising her program. That teaser spread like wildfire, and within the hour, MSNBC was running a countdown clock on its screen counting down the minutes to a "Trump Taxes Exclusive." It was actually another reporter's exclusive, and more limited than the tweet made it sound.
'I'm coming for you': Whoopi Goldberg blasts fake web story
Whoopi Goldberg is blasting a fake-news website that ran a story she claims "endangered" her life. The host of ABC's "The View" on Monday, March 14, condemned a story that circulated the previous week falsely claiming that she said Navy SEAL widow Carryn Owens appeared at President Donald Trump's speech to Congress for the "attention." Goldberg said this "horrible lie" jeopardized many great relationships she has with vets and their spouses and that it "endangered" her family's life and her own. The Underground Report, which has removed the story, calls itself "a news and political satire web publication" reporting "often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways." Unsatisfied with that fine-print disclaimer, Goldberg vowed to take legal action against the Underground Report writer, warning, "I'm gonna get my lawyer and I'm coming for you."
German official wants $53M fines for social media hate posts
Germany's justice minister is proposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million) for social networking sites that fail to swiftly remove illegal content, such as hate speech or defamatory "fake news." The plan announced Tuesday marks a further step in Germany's attempt to impose its strict domestic laws against incitement on the free-wheeling world of online chatter. Justice Minister Heiko Maas, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party, said social media companies had already taken voluntary steps to crack down on hate crimes that have resulted in improvements. "This isn't sufficient yet," Maas said, citing research that he said showed Twitter deletes just 1 percent of illegal content flagged by users, while Facebook deletes 39 percent.
Trump chides media for being 'rude' after Conway interviews
President Donald Trump tweeted a critique of the media for being "rude to my very hard-working representatives" on Monday, March 14, only minutes after counselor Kellyanne Conway completed a series of interviews on television morning shows.
Conway's interviews, including one that appeared to signal a thaw in the administration's relationship with CNN, were at times combative, exasperating and fascinating — an illustration of how the administration and reporters are often talking past each other and how she's become something of a cult figure. Conway spoke on NBC's "Today" show and ABC's "Good Morning America." Her longest interview, and the one right before Trump's tweet, was with Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day."
Christie says media can be 'adversaries, but never enemies'
Gov. Chris Christie says that unlike President Donald Trump, he doesn't view the media as "the enemy" of the public. Christie, a friend of Trump's and fellow Republican, made the comment March 14 in response to a reporter's question in Englewood Cliffs where he was announcing the state's unemployment rate. Trump last month tweeted that the "fake news media" was "the enemy of the American people." The governor said he doesn't take unflattering news reports personally.
"I disagree with the president on that. I never felt that way," Christie said. "I think you have an important and appropriate role to play, and you have the right to write these stories the way you want to but, in return, I have the right to comment about what I think about those."
Vermont bill affords journalists newsgathering protections
Vermont lawmakers are considering a bill that would strip the government's subpoena power to force news reporters to reveal confidential sources. Vermont is one of only a handful of states that don't have so-called shield laws that provide some legal protection to journalists and put their notes and recordings from their newsgathering duties out of reach of the government. "From a principled standpoint, we want a free and unfettered press in this state, and this bill goes a long way in supporting that," Attorney General T.J. Donovan said in previous testimony before a Senate committee. Supporters say that having no shield law has a chilling effect on a free press and makes it difficult for reporters to ensure confidentiality to sources when anonymity is the only way to get critical information.
Fueled by Trump opponents, Maddow's popularity rises
Rachel Maddow can trace the mood of her audience by looking at the ratings. Her MSNBC show's viewership sank like a stone in the weeks following Donald Trump's election, as depressed liberals avoided politics, and bottomed out over the holidays. Slowly, they re-emerged, becoming active and interested again. Maddow's audience has grown to the point where February was her show's most-watched month since its 2008 launch. Maddow has emerged as the favorite cable news host for presidential resistors in the opening days of the Trump administration, just as Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity is one for supporters or Keith Olbermann was the go-to television host for liberals in George W. Bush's second term. Trump fascination has helped cable news programs across the political spectrum defy the traditional post-presidential election slump, few as dramatically as Maddow's.
Trump spokesman wears upside-down flag pin
White House press secretary Sean Spicer opened his daily press briefing March 10 with his American flag lapel pin upside down — and the internet noticed. Spicer took the podium in the White House briefing room Friday and launched into a recap of President Donald Trump's first 50 days in office. Twitter lit up with jokes about the pin. Some posters noted that, traditionally, an upside-down American flag is a sign of distress or an act of political protest. Others tweeted that it was the logo for the television political series "House of Cards" and wondered if it was subtle advertising. The situation was rectified when Spicer called on Fox News reporter John Roberts for the first question of the briefing. Roberts pointed out the pin, and Spicer fixed it.
Charlie Rose returning to CBS after heart surgery
Charlie Rose returns to television following a recovery from heart surgery he says his doctors told him has been "exemplary." One of three anchors on "CBS This Morning," Rose had a heart valve replaced on Feb. 9. His return was announced on the show March 10. Anthony Mason filled in for Rose beside Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell for the past month. The 5-year-old CBS morning show has been getting closer to market leaders "Good Morning America" of ABC and NBC's "Today" show in the ratings, emphasizing a newsier approach. The 75-year-old Rose, who will resume work on his PBS interview show a few days later, said he has no concerns about coming back too quickly.
Fake news? Senate leader alters headlines about governor
Was it a coincidence that two North Carolina newspapers both used the term "flip flop" in headlines about the Democratic governor's stance on important state issues? It turns out the answer is no, because neither newspaper wrote that. The wording came from the staff of the state's Republican Senate leader, Phil Berger, who used special tools available on the senator's Facebook page to alter headlines and photos of stories that they posted. The altered headlines were critical of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports (http://bit.ly/2n4DMky) the manager of the page was responsible for changing the content, which a Facebook spokesman says violates the social media company's use policies. Berger's office acknowledged changing the headlines, but gave no explanation, the report said.
Media groups push back after fake news defined U.S. election
A wildly partisan presidential election defined by deep ideological divides offered the perfect breeding ground for fake news sites to pander to readers craving information that affirms their views. And social media sites such as Facebook offered the extra turbocharge needed to blast these stories across countless networks of friends who all share the same sensibilities. "We like to believe more of what is already in line with what we believe," said Alexios Mantzarlis, director of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies International Fact-Checking Network. "And we tend to explain away, through motivated reasoning, stuff that doesn't fit into that pattern." A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in December found that 64 percent of Americans could not tell the difference between real and fake news. At least 23 percent acknowledged sharing a fake news story, either knowingly or not.
Media the enemy? Trump is sure an insatiable consumer
Before most people are out of bed, Donald Trump is watching cable news. Indeed, with Twitter app at the ready, the man who condemns the media as "the enemy of the people" may be the most voracious consumer of news in modern presidential history. Trump usually rises before 6 a.m. and first watches TV in the residence before later moving to a small dining room in the West Wing. A short time later, he's given a stack of newspapers — including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and, long his favorite, The New York Post — as well as pile of printed articles from other sources including conservative online outlets like Breitbart News. The TVs stay on all day. The president often checks in at lunch and again in the evening, when he retires to the residence, cellphone in hand.
AP FACT CHECK: Claims of president's defenders on wiretaps
President Donald Trump's unsupported charge that predecessor Barack Obama had ordered wiretapping at Trump Tower has prompted Trump's supporters to search for other examples under Obama. What they came up with falls short of doing that.
In a press briefing March 8, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer offered as an example that Fox News Channel reporter James Rosen "had his phones, multiple phones, tapped." Spicer's assertion echoed a story on the Glenn Beck-founded conservative web site theblaze.com that said "it's widely known that Obama's Justice Department targeted journalists with wiretaps in 2013, most famous Fox News' James Rosen."
The Associated Press "was also a target of the surveillance," the web site said. Fox News Channel also said that former Attorney General Eric Holder had ordered Rosen's personal phones and email tapped.
Media, family oppose Georgia gag order in missing teacher's slaying
News organizations are challenging a judge's gag order in a case involving the slaying of a south Georgia high school teacher who vanished nearly 12 years ago.
Three groups of newspapers and television stations have filed motions asking Superior Court Judge Melanie B. Cross to lift the order. Ryan Alexander Duke, 33, was charged with murder Feb. 23 in the slaying of Tara Grinstead, an Irwin County High School teacher who disappeared in 2005. A second man, 32-year-old Bo Dukes, was arrested March 3 in Ben Hill County. Arrest warrants showed Dukes was charged with concealing a body, evidence tampering and hindering the apprehension of a criminal in connection with Grinstead's disappearance. Police agencies said they couldn't talk about it, citing the gag order. Grinstead's body hasn't been found, but authorities have been searching for the body at a farm owned by Dukes' uncle in Ben Hill County.
Fox News settles sexual assault complaint
Fox News Channel's parent company has reportedly fired an executive and paid more than $2.5 million to settle a sexual assault complaint made by a former network contributor. The network said that Tamara Holder, a lawyer who would often offer a democratic point of view in Fox segments, last September told them about the incident, which had taken place a year earlier. The New York Times said Thursday, March 9, that that the executive tried to force Holder to perform oral sex when they were alone in his office. In a joint statement with Holder, Fox said 21st Century Fox "promptly investigated the matter and took decisive action, for which Ms. Holder thanks the network." Francisco Cortes, vice president for Fox News Latino, lost his job because of the incident. Cortes' lawyer, Jay Sanchez, told The Associated Press that he had told Cortes not to comment and that "I am presently considering Mr. Cortes' legal options."
Ex-Obama spokesman says Trump is cynically using the press
Former Obama administration spokesman Josh Earnest says Republican President Donald Trump is cynically using the press while also relying on it to boost his image and appeal to the public. Earnest said Trump has a complicated relationship with the media. He said he doesn't believe Trump has any grand ambitions to do away with the First Amendment but lashes out when reporters don't echo his version of events. "He doesn't want the news media to just go away. He just wants them to be nice to him. But that's not their job," Earnest said March 7 during a Harvard University John. F. Kennedy School of Government forum on the press and the presidency. Earnest said a stark difference between Trump and Democratic former President Barack Obama is Obama relished the opportunity to marshal facts to make an argument.
CBS' Pelley noted for blunt evaluations of Trump
Soft-spoken yet direct, anchor Scott Pelley is emerging as a blunt evaluator of President Donald Trump on his "CBS Evening News" broadcast. After Trump's claim of underreported terrorist attacks last month,
Pelley said on his newscast that "it has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality." Pelley isn't another cable news bloviator. He's the buttoned-down anchor of a nightly news summary steeped in tradition, one that reaches between 7 and 8 million viewers a night on a network particularly popular in the nation's heartland — Trump country. His words carry weight. —"The president's real troubles today were not with the media, but with the facts," he said on Feb. 24, reporting on a skirmish with the media. —"Some of the problems Mr. Trump promised to solve last night don't actually exist," he said on the broadcast after the president's address to Congress.
CNN chief: Politicians should oppose Trump's attack on media
The president of CNN said Tuesday, March 7, it was "shocking" to watch the political establishment's silence over President Donald Trump's attacks on the media, calling it an abdication of their responsibility. Speaking at a media conference in Jerusalem, Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, said Trump's labeling of the media as the enemy of the state was unfortunate and dangerous. He refused to say whether any CNN staff had been threatened and what kind of security measures the company had taken, but warned that "words can have consequences." Zucker also said he was stunned politicians had not spoken out fiercely against Trump's assault on the free press. He singled out Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham as among the few who have had the courage to stand up for their convictions.
AP: Photographer Nick Ut of "Naplam Girl" fame to retire
The Associated Press reported how it would seem all but impossible to sum up one of the most distinguished careers in photojournalism in only four words, but that's just what Nick Ut does when he says, "From hell to Hollywood." And the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, who is retiring this month after 51 years with the Associated Press, has the pictures to prove it, the most famous being a stunning black-and-white image from the Vietnam War that's come to be known simply as "Napalm Girl."It's the photo of a terrified child running naked down a country road, her body literally burning from the napalm bombs dropped on her village just moments before Ut captured the iconic image.
INDUSTRY NEWS • March 9, 2017
National Sunshine Week begins March 12
The American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2005 launched the first national Sunshine Week. The celebration of access to public information has been held every year since to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate of the Bill of Rights. This year, ASNE (now the American Society of News Editors), The Associated Press and the Associated Press Media Editors, a group representing AP-affiliated news organizations, are teaming up to mark the importance of press freedoms for Sunshine Week and beyond. The ongoing collaboration will help the public understand the necessity of a free press, the importance of a transparent government and the role that a free flow of news and information play in a well-informed citizenry. It will involve explanatory and accountability-related news stories and related content, as well as opportunities for public engagement in local communities to promote media literacy. The effort will kick off during Sunshine Week, which begins Sunday, March 12.
Arizona House committee approves bill targeting student press rights
High school and college-level journalists across Arizona could soon see further protections from censorship by administrators for work under their school-sponsored media. The House Education Committee approved a proposal by Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, on Monday, March 6, that she says promotes freedom of speech and the press for students who contribute to their school's publications. The Senate unanimously approved the measure last month. The Senate majority leader's fight for broader protections for student journalists dates all the way back to her senior year at Greenway High School in 1992. It was then that she testified before an Arizona Senate committee in support of a similar measure that also would have increased press freedom protections for student journalists at all academic levels.
Spielberg, Streep, Hanks may team for Pentagon Papers movie
Hollywood dream team Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are considering taking on some classified government documents in a feature film about the Pentagon Papers case. A source close to the project who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly said Monday,. March 7, that Spielberg has signed on to direct "The Post," a co-production from Fox and Amblin Entertainment. Based on a script by Liz Hannah, the film will focus on The Washington Post's 1971 publication of the classified Vietnam War study after a federal judge barred the New York Times from further coverage. The Times had previously published a series of articles from the critical report after military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked the top secret documents.
CNN's Alisyn Camerota is writing a novel
Jake Tapper isn't the only CNN anchor writing novels these days. Viking told The Associated Press on Monday, March 6, that it has acquired Alisyn Camerota's debut work of fiction, "Amanda Wakes Up." The book is scheduled for July 25 and has a plot Camerota may well relate to: A "bootstrapping" young reporter becomes an anchor at a major cable news station and tries to balance work with her romantic life. Last month, Little, Brown and Co. announced that Tapper's political thriller, "The Hellfire Club," was scheduled for the summer of 2018. Camerota is the co-anchor of CNN's "New Day." Before joining CNN, in 2014, she worked 16 years for Fox News.
Journalists often seen by leaders as "enemy of the people"
President Donald Trump's assertion that journalists are "the enemy of the people," with its dark echoes of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, has reverberated through news organizations reporting from the White House and far beyond. Former President George W. Bush recently said "it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere." Yet reporters in some countries suffer repression, imprisonment, injury or death, conditions far worse than in the U.S. Here are a few examples of what it's like covering leaders in more hostile or challenging environments.
Police search for man in hockey mask who attacked reporter
New York City police are looking for a man in a hockey mask who attacked a television reporter on air. ABC 7 News reporter CeFaan Kim was doing a broadcast Friday evening on Manhattan's Lower East Side for the 11 p.m. news when a man wearing a black leather jacket and mask came up behind him and wrapped his arm around the reporter's neck. The camera catches them scuffle and the man is seen hitting Kim. The man takes off his mask to reveal a bushy black beard. His friend, also in a red mask, tries to separate the two. They continue to argue before the segment cuts off. Kim shared a link to the broadcast on his Twitter page Saturday and asked viewers to be on the lookout.
UN experts express concern about growth of 'fake news'
Experts monitoring freedom of expression at the United Nations and key regional organizations expressed concern Friday at the growing prevalence of "fake news" and propaganda — and alarm public authorities denigrating the media as "lying" or "the opposition." In a joint declaration, the experts highlight the obligation of governments to foster freedom of expression and state that restrictions can only be imposed in accordance with international law — including to prohibit advocating hatred and incitement to violence, discrimination or hostility. David Kaye, the U.N. special investigator on freedom of opinion and expression, said "'fake news' has emerged as a global topic of concern and there is a risk that efforts to counter it could lead to censorship, the suppression of critical thinking and other approaches contrary to human rights law."
Former journalist charged with threatening Jewish centers to frame his ex
A former journalist fired for fabricating details in stories for the online publication The Intercept last year made at least eight of the scores of threats against Jewish institutions nationwide, including a bomb threat to New York's Anti-Defamation League, as part of a bizarre campaign to harass and frame his ex-girlfriend, federal officials said Friday, March 3. Juan Thompson, 31, was arrested in St. Louis and appeared there in federal court Friday on a cyberstalking charge. He politely answered questions and told the judge he had enough money to hire a lawyer. Thompson started making threats Jan. 28, a criminal complaint said, with an email to the Jewish History Museum in New York City written from an account that made it appear as if it was being sent by an ex-girlfriend.
Washington state Senate passes bill protecting students' free speech
A bill protecting high school and college students' rights to publish and speak freely in school-sponsored media passed the Washington state Senate Thursday, March 2. Senate Bill 5064 passed on a 45-4 bipartisan vote and now heads to the House for consideration. Republican Sen. Joe Fain, the sponsor of the measure, called it an important bill that reasserts the value of journalism by ensuring that student journalists at the high school and college level "have the types of free speech protections that we Americans have always associated with journalism." Under the measure, student editors would be fully responsible for determining what goes into their publication or broadcast. School administrators would not be allowed to censor or review any content before publishing unless it contains libelous or slanderous material, or is obscene or incites students to commit unlawful acts on school grounds.
Mother Jones journalist wins Harvard prize for prison report
Mother Jones senior reporter Shane Bauer has won a $25,000 prize from Harvard University for an investigative report that exposed mismanagement in private prisons. Bauer was awarded the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting on March 2 from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He was honored for his report, "My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard," which detailed his employment at Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, Louisiana. The Shorenstein Center says that within weeks of the report, the Department of Justice announced that it would end its use of private prisons and the Department of Homeland Security said it would consider doing the same. Bauer was held hostage in Iran from 2009 to 2011 with his now-wife, Sarah Shourd, and friend, Josh Fattal.
Sessions story takes different shape on different outlets
Reports about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' two meetings with Russia's U.S. ambassador became a textbook illustration of the vastly different shapes a story takes in today's media world. The story moved with lightning speed across the media ecosphere, from the Washington Post's initial revelation the night before, to hours of political combat, finally to Sessions' announcement — broadcast live Thursday, March 2, on broadcast and cable news networks — that he would remove himself from any investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. The story about Sessions' meetings with the Russian ambassador, with the backdrop of still unanswered questions about Russian ties to Trump, had enough mystery to make it politically malleable: why did they take place and what was said? Some Democrats called for Sessions' resignation, while many Trump supporters saw nothing wrong.
Publisher of The Billings Gazette takes on Missoulian duties
The publisher of The Billings Gazette is adding the Missoulian and the Ravalli Republic to his duties as part of a regional management restructuring by Lee Enterprises. The Missoulian reports (http://bit.ly/2lXSgPK ) Mike Gulledge is taking over as publisher of the newspapers in Missoula and Hamilton after Mark Heintzelman left the company. Gulledge has been publisher of the Gazette for 17 years and has been with Lee since 1982. He has been a vice president with the company since 2005 and in that role has oversight of a dozen properties in eight states, including the Montana Standard in Butte and the Independent Record in Helena. Tyler Miller is the regional publisher of the Standard and Independent Record.
Former ABC News employees urge strong stand against Trump
More than 230 former ABC News correspondents, executives and producers have signed a letter urging the network's current top executive to take a firm stand against any Trump administration effort to curtail press access. The letter, which circulated on a Facebook forum for ex-ABC News employees, was written after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held an informal briefing Feb. 24 excluding several news organizations that have done stories angering President Donald Trump and his team. Signees ask ABC News President James Goldston to "take a public stand. Refuse to take part in any future White House briefings based on an invitation list of who's in/who's out."
Reno Gazette-Journal selling newspaper building
The Reno Gazette-Journal has put its building up for sale as part of a plan to outsource its printing operations. The newspaper reported plans for the move in Wednesday's editions (http://tinyurl.com/jfgjjo7). Gazette-Journal President Ryan Kedzierski says print production and packaging of the newspaper will cease at the building east of downtown on May 1. He says those operations will transition over the next two months to the Swift Communications' facility in Carson City. Kedzierski says the change give advertisers more options with newer color-printing equipment. He says RGJ Media plans to move its offices into a newer space that better suits its multi-media needs. Kedzierski says the newspaper will continue to print daily and operate normally during the transition. The newspaper moved into the building on Kuenzli Street along the Truckee River in 1981.
Bay Area private university upset after newspaper censored
Students and alumni of the private Santa Clara University are up in arms after the campus newspaper was forced to remove a section of a published story that administrators objected to. The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/2lc0UNj ) that administrators on Feb. 9 forced the student newspaper to remove criticism of a dean by a wealthy donor. Under California law, the newspaper did not have to change the article. Campus lawyer John Ottoboni says the administration requested the change because the harm of the comment outweighed the benefit of keeping it in. California extends First Amendment protections to public and private colleges, universities and high schools under the so-called 1992 "Leonard Law." Santa Clara University students said they didn't know about the Leonard Law and were told by faculty that they had to comply with the administration's request.
Was president, an enemy of anonymous sources, one himself?
Less than a week after President Donald Trump publicly attacked journalists for using anonymous sources in stories about his administration, it appears the president became one himself on Tuesday — at least briefly. Three television anchors, shortly after attending a White House lunch meeting with the president, emerged to report news on the president's belief that the time may be right for immigration reform. Fox News Channel's Bret Baier, and CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper, attributed the news to a "senior administration official." ABC's George Stephanopoulos, in a tweet, sourced it to a "WH official." After being asked about the apparent contradiction, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in an email that "the president's comments on that subject are on the record." And minutes after that, ABC's David Muir, who was also in the meeting, posted a story on the network's web site quoting Trump by name.
Bush promotes new book, reflects on painting and the press
Former President George W. Bush says he didn't intend to criticize President Donald Trump when he said recently that a free press is essential to democracy. Speaking by telephone Feb. 28 with The Associated Press, Bush said he was simply responding to a reporter's question about the role of journalism. Trump has referred to the press as the "enemy of the people," but Bush said that it's important to hold those in power "to account," adding that power can be "very corrupting" and that it was dangerous to "fall in love" with power or fame or money. He called his own relationship with the media "symbiotic," with the media needing a story and the president needing to get his message out. "I understood people were trying to do their job," he said. "There were moments when I (was) irritated and wanted to tell so-and-so that they missed a story. But I don't look back and say, 'This was a terrible part of my presidency.'"