- Get Involved
- About Us
|Industry and Business of News|
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.'"
INDUSTRY NEWS • March 2, 2017
Trump takes on entrenched practice of Washington leaks
When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer wanted to crack down on leaks last week, he collected his aides' cell phones to check for communication with reporters. The crackdown quickly leaked. President Donald Trump now says he probably would have handled the situation differently, meeting with staff one-on-one instead — but perhaps still demanding to look at their phones. "I mean, you know, there are things you can do that are a hell of a lot worse than that, I'll be honest with you," Trump told "Fox & Friends" in an interview aired Tuesday. Trump denied that there was a "major leak process" at the White House. So who did it? "We have sort of ideas," Trump said. "But don't forget, we have people from other campaigns, we have people from other governments. We've got a lot of people here."
Cambodian official urges emulating Trump's position on press
A Cambodian government official says U.S. President Donald Trump's attacks on the media are an inspiration to his own country to observe limits on freedom of expression. Cabinet spokesman Phay Siphan warned media companies, including specifically two radio outlets funded by the U.S. government, that Cambodian authorities might have to act against them if their reporting threatens the country's stability. All major media outlets inside Cambodia are already supportive of the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has held power for three decades. One of Hun Sen's daughters owns a popular television network.
Swedes puzzle over Fox News' Swedish 'security advisor'
A trans-Atlantic wave of puzzlement is rippling across Sweden for the second time in a week, after a prominent Fox News program featured a "Swedish defense and national security advisor" who's unknown to the country's military and foreign-affairs officials. Swedes, and some Americans, have been wondering about representations of the Nordic nation in the U.S. since President Donald Trump invoked "what's happening last night in Sweden" while alluding to past terror attacks in Europe during a rally Feb. 18. There hadn't been any major incident in Sweden the previous night. Then, Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly convened an on-air faceoff Thursday, Feb. 23, over Swedish immigration and crime between a Swedish newspaper reporter and a man identified on screen and verbally as a "Swedish defense and national security advisor," Nils Bildt.
New York Times to broadcast 'truth' ad during Academy Awards
The New York Times broadcast a commercial called "The Truth Is Hard" during Sunday's Academy Awards, just days after the company and other news organizations were blocked from joining an informal, on-the-record White House press briefing. The 30-second ad includes audio from voices in the vein of news clips, talking about certain "truths," from "the truth is our nation is more divided than ever" to "the truth is the media is dishonest." It is the first television advertising from the Times since 2010 and its first brand-focused television ad in a decade. The ad closes with: "The truth is hard. The truth is hard to find. The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important now than ever." The clip, also posted on the Times' official YouTube page, has more than 1.5 million views since it premiered Feb. 23.
Trump will not attend White House correspondents’ dinner
President Donald Trump will not attend the White House correspondents' dinner, after a campaign and early tenure where he continually battled with the press. Trump announced his decision on Twitter late Saturday afternoon. The dinner is scheduled for April 29. He tweeted: “I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” Shortly after Trump's tweet, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, which sponsors the annual event, said in an email that the dinner would take place even without Trump's attendance. "[The dinner] has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic," WHCA president Jeff Mason said. Since Trump's inauguration, calls to boycott the annual event have grown louder amid his increasingly fraught relationship with the press.
White House says chief of staff not wrong to talk to FBI
The White House on Friday, Feb. 24, defended chief of staff Reince Priebus against accusations he breached a government firewall when he asked FBI Director James Comey to publicly dispute media reports that Trump campaign advisers had been frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents. President Donald Trump's spokesman, Sean Spicer, argued Priebus had little choice but to seek Comey's assistance in rebutting what Spicer said were inaccurate reports about contacts during last year's presidential campaign. The FBI did not issue the statement requested by Priebus and has given no sign one is forthcoming. Spicer said it was the FBI that first approached the White House about the veracity of a New York Times story asserting that Trump advisers had contacts with Russian intelligence officials during the presidential campaign. Spicer said Priebus then asked both FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe if they would condemn the story publicly, which they declined to do.
Bill aims to restrict media's publication of accident photos
Tears welled as Maura Gruber recounted how she learned that the love of her life had perished in a traffic accident. Social media delivered her the news on that fateful day last month when her local newspaper published a photo on Facebook of an overturned vehicle. She was devastated and angry, she told a state legislative committee Friday, Feb. 24, that is wading into an emotional First Amendment battle as it considers barring news outlets from posting photos of fatal accidents on social media before authorities can notify next of kin. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Amanda Curtis of Butte, seeks to force news organizations to delay posting such photos on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Curtis said the bill does not include photos published on news sites.
White House bars major news outlets from informal briefing
News organizations, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and Politico, were blocked from joining an informal, on-the-record White House press briefing Friday, Feb. 24. The Associated Press chose not to participate in the briefing after White House press secretary Sean Spicer restricted the number of journalists included. Typically, the daily briefing is televised and open to all news organizations credentialed to cover the White House. "The AP believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible," Lauren Easton, the AP's director of media relations, said in a statement. On Friday, hours after President Donald Trump delivered a speech blasting the media, Spicer invited only a pool of news organizations that represents and shares reporting with the larger press corps. He also invited several other major news outlets, as well as smaller organizations including the conservative Washington Times, One America News Network and Breitbart News, whose former executive chairman, Steve Bannon, is Trump's chief strategist. When the additional news organizations attempted to gain access, they weren't allowed to enter.
Efforts to stop anonymous sources clash with 1st Amendment
President Donald Trump railed against the news media Friday, Feb.24, saying reporters shouldn't be allowed to use anonymous sources. He said he's been a target of unrelenting criticism by unnamed people, and he predicted that negative stories would "dry up like you've never seen before" if anonymous sources were jettisoned. Of course, any effort to limit sources would conflict with the First Amendment. Separately, 39 states and the District of Columbia have reporter shields, which offer various protections from subpoenas and the forced disclosure of sources, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. But there is no shield in federal law, despite past efforts in Congress to pass one. "The Supreme Court has held back on recognizing a constitutional reporters' shield," said Gabe Rottman, a lawyer at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington.
Trump blasts media, anonymous sources _ after WH uses them
President Donald Trump unloaded on the news media Friday, Feb. 24, for using anonymous sources — just hours after members of his own staff insisted on briefing reporters only on condition their names be concealed. Unleashing a line of attack that energized an enthusiastic crowd at the nation's largest gathering of conservative activists, Trump said unethical reporters "make up stories and make up sources." "They shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name," he declared. "Let their name be put out there." Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference that while not all reporters are bad, the "fake news" crowd "doesn't represent the people. It will never represent the people and we're going to do something about it."
The Washington Post's new motto predates Trump's election
Executives at The Washington Post say they began considering the newspaper's eye-grabbing new motto long before President Donald Trump was elected. The newspaper began running the phrase "Democracy Dies in Darkness" beneath its online masthead this week. The slogan will begin appearing in the Post's print edition next week. The Post (http://tinyurl.com/jdegot4 ) reports that employees including editor Marty Baron decided nearly a year ago to adopt a new slogan and "Democracy Dies in Darkness" was one of the first ideas. They considered more "positive-sounding" versions but ultimately went with the alliterative phrase. Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward has used the phrase in reference to Richard Nixon for years. He says it came from a judicial opinion in a First Amendment case and "it's about the dangers of secrecy in government."
Report: German spy agency targets foreign reporters' phones
The German weekly Der Spiegel reports that the country's spy agency had at least 50 numbers and email addresses of journalists among its surveillance targets. Spiegel reported Friday, Feb. 24, that a list seen by the magazine contained over a dozen numbers belonging to the BBC in Afghanistan and London. It says a New York Times phone number in Afghanistan and several cell and satellite phone numbers for the Reuters news agency in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria were also on the list. Germany's foreign intelligence agency, known by its acronym BND, declined to comment directly on the report. In a statement sent to The Associated Press, the agency said it only communicates with the German government and lawmakers on parliament's intelligence oversight committee about "operative aspects" of its work.
Justice Ginsburg praises media and the role of free press
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is praising the media at a time when the Trump administration has accused reporters of being dishonest and delivering "fake news." Ginsburg told the BBC's "Newsnight" program in an interview Thursday, Feb. 23, that she reads The Washington Post and The New York Times every day, and that "reporters are trying to tell the public the truth." The 83-year-old justice did not comment directly on President Donald Trump, but said she was encouraged by the massive women's march in Washington, the day after his inauguration Jan. 20, when demonstrators protested his election victory. Ginsburg, who leads the high court's liberal wing, was openly critical of Trump in media interviews before his election. She later said she regretted her "ill-advised" comments in which she dismissed Trump as a "faker" who "really has an ego."
Conservative activist O'Keefe posts tapes targeting CNN
Conservative activist James O'Keefe on Thursday, Feb. 23, released what he said are 119 hours of raw audio secretly recorded inside CNN's Atlanta headquarters in 2009. The audio was recorded and provided to O'Keefe's website, Project Veritas, by a source he didn't identify. His organization promoted the tapes as exposing journalistic lapses at CNN. One excerpt reveals that CNN did not include a particular poll in its reporting eight years ago. However, it is common for news organizations to be discerning about which polls they choose to report on. "We don't know everything that's on the tapes. We've listened to a fraction of them," O'Keefe said during a phone interview Thursday, adding that the process of sifting through them continues. He did not explain the yearslong delay in the tapes' release, but said the source had approached his organization "in recent weeks."
School board member sues paper over secret meeting recording
A Pennsylvania school board member has sued his local newspaper and three of its journalists, claiming they violated state wiretapping laws by reporting on a secretly recorded audiotape of a closed-door meeting on the search for a new superintendent. Manheim Township School Board member Bill Murry also alleged in the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Feb. 21, that the LNP newspaper company in Lancaster, two reporters and an editor defamed him and invaded his privacy. Manheim Township, located in Lancaster County, is a heavily suburban district that serves more than 5,000 students. Murry claims LNP produced a "false narrative" that the board conspired to violate the state Sunshine Act, a law that requires many government meetings to be open to the public. Violations are a summary offense, less serious than a misdemeanor.
7-year-old boy meets NBC's Holt after on-air shout out
A 7-year-old boy's mention of Lester Holt to a local news reporter in Portland, Oregon, has earned him a chance to meet his favorite news anchor. After mentioning Holt to KGW-TV reporter Drew Carney on air earlier this month, the boy told Carney, "usually you see him more on the news than you." Video of the moment has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and earned a mention from Holt on the "NBC Nightly News." NBC News says the boy, identified only by his first name, Jaden, was invited to meet Holt in New York on Tuesday. Holt gave him a tour of the news set. Jaden was a bit shy on camera this time around, but did take the chance to read his name off the teleprompter.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 22, 2017
AP, other media ask judge to order release of iPhone records
The Associated Press and two other news organizations asked a judge Monday, Feb. 20, to force the federal government to reveal how much it paid for a tool to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters. The news organizations said in a court filing there was "no adequate justification" for the FBI to continue to withhold information on the cost of the tool or the identity of the vendor that sold it. They said their requests were narrowly tailored and, contrary to the arguments of the FBI and Justice Department, did not seek information that would jeopardize national security or be exploited by America's enemies.
Website features 171,000 photos from newspaper's archive
About 171,000 photos shot by The Salt Lake Tribune from the 1930s to the 1960s are now accessible on a state history website. The collection includes a young Hank Aaron in Salt Lake City and President John F. Kennedy in Utah about two months before his assassination, the newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/2m5ldc7 ). "We're really proud of this," said Heidi Tak, a digital librarian with the Utah Division of State History. "It's the largest we've ever digitized, and it brought our photo collection to over 250,000." Backstage Library Works, University of Utah's Marriott Library and Southern Utah University started scanning negatives in late 2015, she said.
Trump campaign articles among winners of George Polk awards
A Washington Post reporter who brought to light a video of Donald J. Trump making lewd comments about women and a ProPublica reporter who covered the Trump campaign’s growing traction with voters in a tumultuous election year were among the winners of the George Polk Awards in Journalism for 2016, announced on Sunday. “We’ve seen fake news, trite news, disinformation campaigns and charges of biased coverage,” said John Darnton, the curator of the Polk Awards. But in a nod to this year’s Polk winners, Mr. Darnton said there were also bright spots. “A vibrant press continues to inform, expose, tell the truth and occasionally fill us all with outrage at injustice,” he said. Journalists representing a dozen news organizations were recognized in 14 categories in the awards, which are administered by Long Island University in honor of George Polk, a CBS News correspondent who was murdered in 1948 while covering the civil war in Greece.
McCain says a free press is essential to a healthy democracy
Sen. John McCain says a free press is vital "to preserve democracy as we know it." And he cautions about efforts to muzzle a free press, saying "that's how dictators get started." The Arizona senator was asked in an interview for NBC's "Meet the Press" how he felt about President Donald Trump's tweet criticizing "the fake news media" that said "it is the enemy of the American people." McCain tells "Meet the Press," ''The fact is we need you." He adds: "When you look at history, the first thing dictators do is shut down the press." McCain says he isn't saying Trump is trying to be a dictator but "we need to learn the lessons of history."
Trump rallies supporters by renewing old promises, insults
Just four weeks into his administration, President Donald Trump appeared at a campaign rally that mirrored the months leading up to Election Day, complete with promises to repeal the health care law, insults for the news media and a playlist highlighted by the Rolling Stones. "I want to be among my friends and among the people," Trump told a cheering crowd packed into an airport hangar in central Florida, praising his "truly great movement." Trump promised anew to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, reduce regulations and create jobs. He also pledged to "do something over the next couple of days" to address the immigration order that has been blocked in the courts. Insisting he was the victim of false reporting, Trump said his White House was running "so smoothly" and that he "inherited one big mess." The president has been trying refocus after reports of disarray and dysfunction within his administration.
New Missouri Gov. Eric Grietens grants few interviews
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has started complaining about the coverage his administration receives, but the Republican has granted few interviews during his first six weeks in office. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2kBITaV ) that Greitens' approach of using social media sites to appeal directly to voters isn't that unusual, but he hasn't given reporters many chances to ask him questions. The Post-Dispatch says it has made numerous requests for interviews since Greitens' Nov. 8 election win, but they have been rebuffed. Greitens' spokesman Parker Briden told the newspaper it will have to wait for an interview.
Trump exchange with black journalist sparks outrage
Vermont newspaper that sought owner in essay contest is sold
A small Vermont weekly newspaper whose former owner tried to give away through an essay contest about the importance of local journalism was sold Friday, Feb. 17, to a Connecticut couple. Last fall, Ross Connelly abandoned his plan to find a new owner for the Hardwick Gazette through a $175 essay contest because he didn't get enough submissions. But when he returned the entry fee, he let it be known that he would still like to sell the paper. He began negotiations with Ray and Kim Small, of Stamford, Connecticut, who had submitted an essay to take over the paper that covers Hardwick, a town of about 3,000 in northern Vermont. Connelly, 71, said he was looking for someone who would remain committed to local journalism and had the financial wherewithal to run the paper. The deal closed Friday afternoon. The sale price was not disclosed
Digital media, press restrictions changed baseball coverage The first time Tim Kurkjian met legendary Orioles manager Earl Weaver, he got cussed at. It was 1980, and Kurkjian — whose decades-long career in sports journalism has included time at The
Baltimore Sun, Sports Illustrated and now ESPN — was just starting as the No. 2 baseball writer for The Washington Star. His colleague, Dan Shaughnessy, the now-renowned Boston Globe columnist, made the introduction. "Dan said, 'Earl, this is Tim Kurkjian, he's going to be backing me up. He's going to be around the park a lot,'" said Kurkjian, speaking recently at a talk hosted by the University of Maryland's Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. "Earl looked at me, said, 'F--- you, Tim,' and walked away." "I almost started to cry," Kurkjian recalled. "But Dan looks at me, and he goes, 'Don't worry. That means he likes you.'" But covering baseball has changed: Kurkjian said he'd never be able to get that kind of access today.
Trump praises his 'fine-tuned machine,' says media dishonest
The leaks are real. But the news about them is fake. The White House is a fine-tuned machine. Russia is a ruse. For its stunning moments and memorable one-liners, Donald Trump's first solo news conference as president has no rivals in recent memory. For all the trappings of the White House and traditions of the forum, his performance was one of a swaggering, blustery campaigner, armed with grievances and primed to unload on his favorite targets. In nearly an hour and a half at the podium, Trump bullied reporters, dismissed facts and then cracked a few caustic jokes — a combination that once made the candidate irresistible cable TV fodder. Now in office, he went even further, blaming the media for all but sinking his not-yet-launched attempt to "make a deal" with Moscow.
Read more: http://www.ktvu.com/news/236363291-story
Remember Nixon? There's history behind Trump's press attacks
Thomas Jefferson railed against newspapers as "polluted vehicles" of falsehood and error. Richard Nixon tangled with reporters in the toxic atmosphere of Watergate, considering them the "enemy." Bill Clinton publicly condemned "purveyors of hatred and division" on the public air waves. Historians can point to plenty of past presidents who have sparred with the press. But they're hard-pressed to find anything that approaches the all-out attack on the media that President Donald Trump seems intent on escalating at every turn. "There has never been a kind of holistic jihad against the news media like Trump is executing," said Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley. "Trump is determined to beat and bloody the press whenever he finds himself in a hole, and that's unique."
Trump fans praise combative news conference
Critics of President Donald Trump saw in his Feb. 16 news conference a combative, thin-skinned chief executive who continues to blame the media for the controversies roiling his administration. His supporters saw something else: A champion of Middle America who is taking on the establishment and making good on his campaign promises to put the country first. The Associated Press contacted Trump supporters across the country to see how they viewed a news conference in which the president said his administration was running like "a fine-tuned machine" despite the resignation of his top national security adviser, a court setback on his immigration order, a defeat for his nominee as labor secretary and reports of internal divisions. Here are views of some of those supporters:
CNN: Donald Trump attacks haven't hurt the news network
The president of CNN says that neither the network's journalism or business have been hurt as a result of President Donald Trump's attacks. Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, spoke Thursday, Feb. 16, at the same time Trump was holding a news conference in Washington in which he continued his barrage against media coverage of the administration. Zucker said he was worried enough about Trump's labeling of CNN as "fake news" through the campaign and after that he ordered a study last month to see if it had damaged the network's reputation with viewers. He said it hadn't. Less than a third —or 31 percent — of 2,000 Americans surveyed said they believed CNN's coverage of Trump had been unfair, the internal study found.
The survey also reported that a little more than half of respondents said they trusted CNN, but that was well above the trust level for Trump or members of Congress.
Wichita Falls publisher gets Corpus Christi paper presidency
Gannett Co. has appointed Wichita Falls Times Record News Publisher Dwayne Bivona to become the new president of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, a Gannett sibling publication. The announcement Feb. 16 comes a day before Libby Averyt's last day as the Caller-Times president. She had announced plans earlier this month to retire after a three-decade career at the Caller-Times. Gannett regional president Terry Horne said Bivona also will oversee Gannett editorial operations in the Times Record News, Abilene Reporter-News and San Angelo Standard-Times. Bivona had been president and publisher of the times Record News since 2010. His three-decade journalism industry has focused on circulation, operations, advertising and sales.
Oldest TV station in Maine to be sold for $85M
Maine's oldest television station is expected to be sold to a Georgia media company for $85 million. The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2lTs74j ) reports Diversified Communications will divest itself of WABI in Bangor. Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. would add the station to its portfolio of about 100 television stations that it owns and/or operates in more than 50 markets. WABI began broadcasting in 1953. It carries programming from CBS and The CW. The station was once owned by former Maine Gov. Horace Hildreth. Hildreth's grandson Daniel Hildreth is Diversified's board chair. He calls the sale "a very difficult decision." The Federal Communications Commission must approve the sale. Diversified is also selling WCJB, a station it owns in Gainesville, Florida.
Venezuela shuts off CNN in Spanish after criticizing story
Venezuela's government pulled CNN in Spanish from the nation's airwaves on Wednesday, Feb. 15, shutting off the news channel after officials angrily criticized a report alleging the country's diplomats sold passports to members of a Middle East terror group. The National Telecommunications Commission announced it initiated sanctions because of news stories that it considered "direct aggressions" that "threaten the peace and democratic stability" of Venezuela, the agency said in a news release. The move comes as the new U.S. administration seems to be trying to further isolate Venezuela's embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump called on Maduro to release jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, saying he should be let "out of prison immediately."
Baylor official accused of throttling reporter cleared
A Texas grand jury has declined an indictment against a Baylor University athletics official charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly grabbing a reporter by the throat following a football game. The McLennan County grand jury declined the indictment Wednesday, Feb. 15, against associate athletic director Heath Nielsen. The 17-year Baylor spokesman was accused of grabbing James McBride, a reporter for the Keller-based Texas Blaze newspaper, as McBride tried to take a picture with a Baylor player on Nov. 5. According to an arrest affidavit, McBride said Nielsen told him he was violating his media privileges. The affidavit says McBride had visible scratches and complained of pain around his throat. McBride also told police it hurt to swallow. Nielsen, who denied the charges, is no longer listed on the Baylor athletics website.
Trump criticizes 'fake media' on Flynn story
President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on the "fake media" Wednesday, Feb. 15, but the media was fighting back, objecting to a presidential news conference that avoided tough questions and, in the case of one MSNBC program, banning presidential aide Kellyanne Conway from the air. Trump tweeted and voiced complaints about the media's treatment of his ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and the "criminal" leak of details on Flynn's discussion with Russians. Flynn is out after less than a month, with White House saying Trump lost confidence in him for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about talks with the Russian ambassador. The president held a news conference prior to meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As he did during the past week following meetings with leaders of Canada and Japan, Trump called on reporters from friendly news outlets.
Reporter gets to cover 'secret witness' in Durst murder case
A Los Angeles judge denied a request Wednesday, Feb. 15, to prevent a New York Times reporter from covering testimony against real estate heir Robert Durst. Judge Mark Windham said defense lawyers had only presented speculation that reporter Charles Bagli, who has covered Durst for years, would later be called as a witness in the murder case and should be barred from covering testimony in a rare pretrial proceeding. The defense said Bagli was friends with a "secret witness" to be called later and the journalist may be able to contradict his testimony if later called as a witness. The defense didn't want the unidentified witness to influence Bagli's memory of previous interviews he conducted with the subject. The testimony comes with Durst facing a murder charge in the 2000 killing of his best friend, Susan Berman. He has pleaded not guilty and prosecutors have yet to present evidence to persuade a judge that he should face trial on the charge.
AP, HHMI collaborate on expanded science, health coverage
The Associated Press is teaming up with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education to expand its coverage of science, medicine and health journalism. The initial collaboration includes two pilot projects. With the first project, AP will create and distribute a series of stories, profiles, videos and graphics focusing on genetic medicine. The second project will look at a variety of science topics in the news that will help readers stay current on the latest science research and make informed decisions on topics ranging from the environment, to public health. "This collaboration brings wider attention and new storytelling tools to evidence-based, factual science," AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee said. HHMI, based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, supports the advancement of biomedical research and science education. The organization's origin dates back to the late 1940s when a small group of physicians and scientists advised Hughes. The medical institute was created in 1953.
Pennsylvania’s Times-Shamrock newspapers offer employee buyouts
Times-Shamrock Communications is offering buyouts to employees at three of its daily newspapers in northeastern Pennsylvania. The company says it needs to streamline operations due to a drop in ad revenues and print subscribers. The company extended the buyout offer this week to employees with at least 15 years of service at The Times-Tribune in Scranton, The Citizens' Voice in Wilkes-Barre, and the Republican Herald in Pottsville. Times-Shamrock says Times-Tribune employs 270 and the two other papers about 70 each. The company is not saying how many positions it wants to cut, but that layoffs will also occur if needed. Employees were notified Feb. 13 of the buyout offer.
NBC acquires stake in Euronews, shuffles news executives
NBC News is buying a minority stake in the overseas television news outlet Euronews, appointing NBC News President Deborah Turness to run NBC’s side of the new partnership, and having "Today" show chief executive Noah Oppenheim replace her as NBC News president. NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack on Tuesday,Feb. 14, announced the deal with Euronews, which employs some 500 journalists and airs in 164 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. NBC is paying $30 million, and the new venture will be known as Euronews NBC. American viewers will be able to see Euronews journalists adding their expertise to NBC News, MSNBC and digital coverage of international stories, the network said. "We believe we've found a unique international partner at a pivotal time in global news," Lack said in a memo to his staff.
New York Times: Reporter's Melania Trump dig 'inappropriate'
The New York Times says a reporter's comment about an unfounded rumor about first lady Melania Trump in a private conversation with an actress at a party was "completely inappropriate." The comment came to light after actress Emily Ratajkowski tweeted Monday, Feb. 11, that a Times journalist told her "Melania is a hooker." Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in a statement Monday that the unnamed reporter does not cover Washington or politics. She said, "The comment was not intended to be public, but it was nonetheless completely inappropriate and should not have occurred." Murphy said editors have spoken with the reporter. Mrs. Trump said Monday: "Applause to all women around the world who speak up, stand up and support other women!"
INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 15, 2017
AP image of Turkish assassin wins World Press Photo award
As an off-duty policeman who had just assassinated Russia's ambassador to Turkey stood in front of Burhan Ozbilici waving a gun, the veteran Associated Press photographer summoned the composure to stand his ground and keep taking pictures. "I immediately decided to do my job because I could be wounded, maybe die, but at least I have to represent good journalism," Ozbilici said Monday as his image of gunman Mevlut Mert Altintas looming over the body of Ambassador Andrei Karlov was named World Press Photo of the Year. Ozbilici's image of a political murder's immediate aftermath was part of a series titled "An Assassination in Turkey" that also won the Spot News - Stories category in the prestigious awards. The photos were captured in the moments before and after Altintas drew a handgun and shot Karlov at an Ankara gallery on Dec. 19.
News conferences raise issue of Trump seeking softballs
President Donald Trump managed to avoid questions about hot-button issues facing the White House — such as the future of national security adviser Michael Flynn and a North Korean missile launch — in a news conference Monday, Feb. 13, where selected reporters asked non-challenging questions and other, shouted-out inquiries were ignored. Trump appeared before the White House press corps after meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Traditionally, leaders in these gatherings face two questions each from White House press and from reporters following the foreign leader. The president selected his questioners: Scott Thuman from Washington's local ABC News affiliate and Kaitlan Collins of The Daily Caller, a conservative website founded in 2010 by Fox News Channel anchor Tucker Carlson.
The new civics course in US schools: How to spot fake news
Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news — and why they should care that there's a difference. As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of "Pope endorses Trump " headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign. "I think only education can solve this problem," said Pat Winters Lauro, a professor at New Jersey's Kean University who began teaching a course on news literacy this semester. Like others, Lauro has found discussions of fake news can lead to politically sensitive territory.
Supreme Court nominee has defended free speech, religion
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims, an Associated Press review of his rulings shows. His record puts him at odds with President Donald Trump's disdain for journalists and tendency to lash out at critics. On other First Amendment cases involving freedom of religion, however, Gorsuch's rulings in his decade on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver reflect views more in line with the president and conservatives. Gorsuch repeatedly has sided with religious groups when they butt up against the secular state. In a 2007 opinion involving free speech, Gorsuch ruled for a Kansas citizen who said he was bullied by Douglas County officials into dropping his tax complaints. "When public officials feel free to wield the powers of their office as weapons against those who question their decisions, they do damage not merely to the citizen in their sights but also to the First Amendment liberties," Gorsuch wrote.
Pennsylvania news organizations merge under AP Media Editors banner
The Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors and the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association have merged. The newly formed Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Editors will put the final touches on the merger in the weeks ahead, including combining bank accounts and planning a leadership succession before the annual meeting in May. "The digital revolution continues to change the journalism industry in radical but meaningful ways," said Thomas A. Barstow, former president of the newspaper group and the current president of the merged organization. Barstow, who teaches journalism at Gettysburg College, said print journalists can learn from broadcasters — and vice versa — as all reporters, editors and photographers increasingly adopt social media and video in their storytelling. The PAPME is composed of AP member newspapers and television and radio stations in Pennsylvania. The AP is an independent, not-for-profit cooperative based in New York City with news teams telling the world's stories from more than 100 countries.
2 Massachusetts daily newspapers cease publication
Two Massachusetts daily newspapers that could trace their roots to the late 19th century have ceased publication, citing financial pressures. The Malden Evening News and the Medford Daily Mercury stopped publishing print and online editions in mid-January. They both published Monday through Friday. Patrick Horgan, a member of the family that owned the newspapers, says many of their biggest advertisers are also struggling financially and "we just didn't know where our revenue would come from." He didn't know how many jobs were lost in the closures. The papers were bought out of bankruptcy about 20 years ago by Horgan's father, attorney-turned-publisher Daniel J. Horgan. He was publisher until his death in 2011. Both communities north of Boston have weekly newspapers and associated websites.
Spicer: 'Clearly meant Orlando' in talk of Atlanta attack
President Donald Trump's press secretary says he meant to say Orlando when he repeatedly referenced a terror attack in Atlanta during interviews and a press briefing last week. Sean Spicer first referred to an Atlanta attack in an interview on Jan. 29 on ABC's "This Week." He also named the city in reference to a terror attack during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Jan. 30 and in a press briefing later that same day. Spicer told ABC News in an email Wednesday that he "clearly meant Orlando." Spicer isn't the only Trump administration official to refer to a terror attack that never happened. Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway referred to a "Bowling Green Massacre" during an interview with MSNBC last week. She now says she misspoke.
Gov. Kasich to newspaper editors: 'I want you to survive'
Republican Gov. John Kasich repeated his belief in the importance of the free press Wednesday, Feb. 8, as tensions between the media and the administration of President Donald Trump remain high. The former congressman and 2016 presidential contender declined to directly take on Trump, who he refused to endorse, campaign with or vote for last year, while speaking to editors and publishers convened by the Ohio Newspaper Association. But Kasich said he wanted to see the industry survive and thrive. "I'd like to stand for all of you, for all of you who have real content, for all of you who've decided in a really crazy, changing world that your point of view, your editorials, your writings, your articles are critically important," Kasich said.
US-funded news channel in Russian offers Kremlin alternative
Two U.S. government-funded news outlets are launching a global Russian-language TV network aimed at providing an alternative to slick, Kremlin-controlled media that critics say spread propaganda and misinformation. Current Time, run by Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with help from Washington-based Voice of America, is targeting Russian speakers across the globe with round-the-clock programming intended to offer the type of fact-based news that its leaders say is sorely missing in the Russian market. The network formally launched this week after quietly starting operations last year. "In a complicated world, it can be difficult to tell what's real. But Current Time tells it like it is," a narrator says in a flashy promotional video for the network. "Current Time serves as a reality check, with no 'fake news' or spin."
ESPN reporters writing book on NFL power struggles
A pair of prize-winning investigative reporters from ESPN is working on a book about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, team owners and the "momentous power struggles" that shape the league. Crown Archetype told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it had acquired "Powerball" by Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham. A publication date has not been set. According to Crown, "Powerball" will detail the rivalries among owners and their relationship with Goodell, who was booed loudly at the Super Bowl last weekend. Goodell had suspended quarterback Tom Brady of the champion New England Patriots for four games at the start of the season for his role in the so-called "Deflategate" scandal, with the league alleging that Brady used underinflated footballs during a playoff game in 2015.
Media fact-checking more aggressive under Trump
These days of alternative facts, phantom terrorist attacks and fake news are changing the way news organizations do their jobs. Media outlets are more aggressively fact-checking political statements — a function often pushed into the background when campaigns end — finding innovative new formats and seeing keen interest among consumers. An administration that views that the press as the opposition is reinvigorating it. Someday, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway's invocation of "alternative facts" on NBC's "Meet the Press" may be cited as a galvanizing moment for journalism. "We're writing about a president who makes quite a number of misstatements," said Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post reporter whose regular fact checks award "Pinocchios" based on the magnitude and brazenness of false claims. "This has increased our workload and increased the level of interest in fact-checking."
Twitter broadens its campaign against hate and abuse
Twitter announced Tuesday, Feb. 7, that it is expanding efforts to protect its users from abuse and harassment, the latest milestone in a broader, growing corporate campaign to crack down on online hate. The social media giant said it has begun identifying people who have been banned for abusive behavior and it will stop them from creating new accounts. The company said its changes, which also include a new "safe search" feature, will be implemented in the coming weeks. In July, Twitter banned conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor of the right-wing news site Breitbart News, for "participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals." Twitter subsequently suspended the accounts of other prominent figureheads of the "alt-right" fringe movement, an amorphous mix of racism, white nationalism, xenophobia and anti-feminism.
Commercial Appeal publisher Cogswell steps down
George Cogswell III has stepped down as publisher and president of The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, where he's served since 2012. The 57-year-old Cogswell led one of the state's oldest and largest daily newspapers through two ownership changes in two years, most recently to Gannett Inc., which also owns The Tennessean of Nashville, the Knoxville News Sentinel and USA Today. The Memphis paper celebrated its 175th year in 2016. Cogswell left at the end of January. No successor has been named. The newspaper reported that Cogswell plans to remain in Memphis and join his family's residential and commercial cleaning business. Originally from the Boston area, Cogswell worked 33 years in the newspaper business and previously served as publisher in Ventura, California, and Abilene, Texas, and in other newspaper leadership roles in Florida, Colorado, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Fact check on Trump’s terrorist attack claims
President Donald Trump made an unsupported assertion Monday that terrorist acts in Europe are going unreported. A look at the matter: TRUMP: “All over Europe it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.” THE FACTS: Trump and his team have cited only one example of a deadly terrorist attack anywhere going unreported, the one that didn’t happen in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Adviser Kellyanne Conway spoke about a Bowling Green “massacre” that didn’t take place, correcting herself when she was called out on the error. As for Trump’s claim about Europe, it’s probably true that you haven’t heard of every attack on the continent that can be tied to terrorism. Scores if not hundreds happen every year. Many don’t rise to the level of an international audience because they cause no casualties, or little or no property damage, or are carried out by unknown assailants for unclear reasons.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 8, 2017
Melania Trump re-files Daily Mail lawsuit
First lady Melania Trump has re-filed a libel lawsuit against the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail's website, this time in New York, for reporting rumors that she worked as an escort. In the new filing Monday, Feb. 6, the first lady's attorneys argue the report damaged her ability to profit off her high profile. Mrs. Trump, the filing states, "had the unique, one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model, brand spokesperson and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world." Those product categories, it goes on to say, could have included apparel, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care and fragrance, among others.
Kremlin protests Fox News host's 'killer' comment on Putin
The Kremlin is indignant over the comments of a Fox News host who called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "killer" in an interview with President Donald Trump. In the interview broadcast over the weekend, Bill O'Reilly called the Russian leader "a killer." Trump replied that the U.S. has killers, too. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment Monday, Feb. 6, on Trump's reply, but lashed out at Fox News, calling O'Reilly's remarks "unacceptable and offensive." "We would like to receive an apology from the president from this respected organization," Peskov told reporters on Monday, referring to Fox News. A British judge concluded last year that two Russians, acting at the behest of Moscow's security services and probably with approval from Putin, poisoned ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko at a London hotel in 2006.
With McCarthy playing Spicer, 'SNL' cranks up Trump satire
Melissa McCarthy lampooned White House press secretary Sean Spicer in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch where she taunted reporters as "losers," fired a water gun at the press corps and even used the lectern to ram a Wall Street Journal journalist. "SNL" opened with Alec Baldwin reprising his President Donald Trump and phoning foreign leaders with chief strategist Stephen Bannon by his side. Bannon, with hood and scythe, was portrayed as the grim reaper. But it was McCarthy's mid-show sketch impersonating a pugnacious Spicer that sparked the bigger response in the NBC show's second episode since the inauguration. McCarthy's Spicer insisted that "no one was sad" at Trump's supreme court nominee unveiling. "Those are the facts forever," she said, before accidentally giving her email password. Off to the side, she kept a CNN reporter, chastised as "fake news," jailed in a cage.
Some Boston Globe editions suggest Patriots lost Super Bowl
It wasn't exactly "Dewey Defeats Truman," but some Florida readers of The Boston Globe learned a different Super Bowl outcome than most on Monday morning. Early Feb. 6 editions of New England's largest newspaper ran a front page suggesting the Patriots lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night, with a headline that read "A Bitter End" over a large image of star quarterback Tom Brady falling to his knees. The Falcons had a comfortable lead going into halftime, but the Patriots mounted a furious rally and won 34-28 in overtime for the franchise's fifth championship. It's not clear how many readers received the incorrect front page. Globe officials didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. Boston-area editions ran the headline "Win For The Ages" and showed a triumphant Brady holding up the championship trophy as confetti fell.
Fighting fake news isn't just up to Facebook and Google
You, too, can join the battle against misleading and other "fake" news online. But your options are somewhat limited unless you're already an academic or data scientist who's been studying the subject since way before Donald Trump started running for president. Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, a research scientist at Indiana University, fits that bill. He helped create a tool tracking how unsubstantiated claims spread online, a phenomenon that first caught his eye during the Ebola crisis in 2014. "We started seeing a lot of content that was spreading, completely fabricated claims about importations of Ebola, (such as) entire towns in Texas being under quarantine," he says. "Fake news," which has gotten a lot of attention for its potential role in swaying the 2016 presidential election, has fascinated researchers for some time. Their studies have yielded tools that help track how "alternative facts" spread, and others that let you identify fake stories or block them altogether.
Trump team relaxes EPA restrictions on media and contracts
The Trump administration said Friday, Feb. 3, it has thawed its temporary freeze on contract and grant approvals at the Environmental Protection Agency, with all $3.9 billion in planned spending moving forward. A media blackout at the agency also appears to have been partially lifted, as a trickle of press releases were issued by the EPA this week. However, the agency has still not posted to its official Twitter feed since President Donald Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, and the volume of information flowing from the agency is a fraction of what it was under former President Barack Obama. The Associated Press and other media outlets reported last week that Trump political appointees had instructed EPA staff not to issue press releases or make posts to the agency's official social media accounts without prior approval.
Judge dismisses Melania Trump's lawsuit against Daily Mail
A Maryland judge has dismissed first lady Melania Trump's libel lawsuit against Britain's Daily Mail newspaper over an article that contained insinuations that she had worked as an escort. Court records show that Montgomery County Circuit Judge Sharon Burrell ruled Thursday, Feb. 2, to dismiss the suit against Mail Media Inc., the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail's website. The Daily Mail's argument centered on whether the lawsuit should have been filed in Maryland and whether Trump was suing the correct corporate entity. Trump also has filed a lawsuit against the paper in London. The first lady's libel suit against blogger Webster Tarpley of Gaithersburg for reporting the escort rumors was allowed to move ahead last week. She filed the lawsuit in Rockville in September, after both Tarpley and the Daily Mail issued retractions.
New York Times racks up digital customers; print ads slide
The New York Times Co. is racking up digital subscribers as President Donald Trump makes news waves, but the decline in the print business continues to drag on its finances. The New York company said Thursday, Feb. 2, that it added 276,000 new digital news subscribers from October to December, the best quarter since 2011, when it started offering digital-only deals. At the end of the quarter, it had 1.6 million paying digital-only news customers, up 47 percent from a year ago. The company now has a record 3 million total subscribers — to the print paper, the digital version and its crosswords — said CEO Mark Thompson on an earnings call Thursday. The company is studying the reasons why subscribers have grown to this extent, and Thompson said there are several reasons, but that the news business is in a "very lively" environment because of Trump's "news making" and controversy-causing administration. "There's plenty of kinetic energy in the news cycle," he said, for months and possibly years.
Ex-head of Boston Indy bid charged with kicking photographer
The former chief executive of the failed effort to bring IndyCar racing to Boston has been charged with kicking a news photographer in a courthouse hallway. John Casey was freed on $1,200 bail after pleading not guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon at his arraignment Thursday, Feb. 2, in Salem, Massachusetts. Prosecutors say the 53-year-old Casey swore at reporters and kicked a Boston Herald photographer in the arm Wednesday after leaving a courtroom following a hearing on a civil matter. In that case, Global Partners, a gas station and convenience store company, has sued for the return of $275,000 it paid to sponsor the race. Casey is representing himself in both cases. He said he suffered a panic attack when approached by the "aggressive" photographer and denied making contact.
Reddit bans forum for white nationalists from its website
Reddit has banned a forum for white nationalists from its social news website, citing the company's rules against posting personal information and online harassment. Reddit spokesman Anna Soellner said in a statement that the company banned its "r/altright" forum on Wednesday, Feb. 1, for repeated violations of its content rules. Soellner said Reddit users can be banned for posting personal information, but her statement doesn't cite any examples involving the banned forum. Thousands of users subscribed to the forum named for the "alt-right" fringe movement, which has been described as an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism. Other sites, including 4chan.org, have been popular forums for the movement's followers, who rallied around President Donald Trump's campaign.
CBS to spinoff radio unit and combine it with Entercom
CBS is spinning off its radio business and combining it with broadcaster Entercom, creating the country's second-largest radio station company behind iHeartMedia. The combined company, which will keep the Entercom name, will own more than 200 radio stations. They expect to sell about 15 stations to receive government approval for the deal. CBS shareholders will own 72 percent of the combined company and Entercom shareholders will own 28 percent. Entercom's headquarters will stay in Philadelphia. The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of this year and expected to be tax free for New York-based CBS and its shareholders.
Gannett announces new Cincinnati-based regional president
The Gannett Co. Inc. has announced a new regional president to lead The Cincinnati Enquirer and other Ohio news outlets. Eddie Tyner will head the USA Today Network for the region based in Cincinnati. That also includes the Enquirer Media group with Cincinnati.com and the Community Press weekly newspapers, along with the Media Network of Central Ohio. The announcement Thursday, Feb. 2, says he will move from Atlanta and begin at Enquirer Media headquarters Feb. 13. The 46-year-old veteran of 25 years in media work most recently served as senior vice president of enterprise dealer partnerships with Cox Automotive. He's a former Tribune Co. senior vice president and also worked at The Washington Post. Tyner succeeds Rick Green, now vice president for news and editor of Gannett's North Jersey Media Group.
Facebook beats Street 4Q earnings, revenue forecasts
Facebook blew past Wall Street's expectations yet again with its quarterly earnings report, despite some concerns that its "ad load," or the number of advertisements it can show users without clogging up their feed, has reached its limit. Facebook on Wednesday, Feb. 1, reported fourth-quarter earnings of $3.56 billion, up sharply from $1.56 billion in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the Menlo Park, California-based company said it had net income of $1.21, up from 54 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.41 per share in the latest quarter. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.34 per share.
False news, absurd reality present challenges for satirists
Between reality and the bubble of fantasy news stories, these are tough times for satirists. The New Yorker magazine recently took steps to distinguish Andy Borowitz's humor columns from politically motivated false stories circulating online. His editor said the New Yorker was getting email asking if there was a difference between the two. So they changed the tagline for "The Borowitz Report" from "the news, reshuffled" to "not the news" on the magazine's website. When the stories are shared online, they are more clearly identified as satire, said Nicholas Thompson, editor of NewYorker.com. Borowitz's columns take the form of news stories, like one headlined this week, "Trump fires attorney general after copy of Constitution is found on her computer." One story last week: "Trump enraged as Mexican president meets with Meryl Streep instead."
Journalist says he was wrongly detained under Trump order
A CNN editor and producer from Iraq was wrongly detained at Atlanta's airport because of the President Donald Trump's ban on entry for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, according to a lawsuit filed this week. Mohammed Abdullah Tawfeeq, who has a green card, says in a federal lawsuit filed Monday, Jan. 30, in Atlanta that he was improperly detained and subjected to additional screening when he arrived Sunday from Iraq. Tawfeeq, who has worked for CNN since 2004, came to the U.S. as a refugee and became a legal permanent resident in June 2013, the suit says. He traveled to Iraq in mid-October for work and then spent time with family there after completing his assignment. When he returned to Atlanta, a Customs and Border Protection officer "notified him that he could be refused entry under the president's recently-signed executive order," the lawsuit says.
Pulitzer-winning photographer returns to West Bank outpost
Exactly 11 years ago, thousands of Israeli security forces clashed with settlers and their supporters as they tried to demolish nine homes in the Amona outpost in the West Bank. On that day, AP photographer Oded Balilty took a picture of a defiant protester attempting to block Israeli troops that would win him a Pulitzer Prize. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Balilty returned to Amona to document the court-ordered evacuation of the remainder of the illegal outpost, finding a chaotic but less violent scene on the wind-swept hilltop. Balilty said the tensions surrounding each event were different, making for two very distinct outcomes. In 2006, the demolition took place on the heels of Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, in which Israel withdrew all 8,000 settlers from the territory. Tensions were high, and deep divisions lingered when the homes in Amona were demolished. Apparently shaped by that bitter experience, the sides were more respectful to one another on Wednesday, he said.
Reality show comparisons in Trump announcement inescapable
President Trump's past life as a television showman proved a comparison irresistible covering his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump's announcement from the White House on Tuesday, Jan. 31, had a prime-time slot with broadcast and cable news networks all on hand, genuine suspense over the choice and, finally, the big reveal when Gorsuch and his wife Marie Louise emerged from a doorway at the host's — make that the president's — request. "Was that a surprise?" Trump asked audience members and television viewers. Supreme Court nominees are usually not prime-time affairs and usually not surprises; a president's selection typically leaks to the news media before the two people make it to the podium. Throughout Tuesday, however, anticipation built with reporters primarily speculating it would be one of two men, Colorado's Gorsuch and Pennsylvania Judge Thomas Hardiman.
GateHouse Media buys Dix Communications newspaper chain
The Dix Communications newspaper chain, with operations in northeastern and east-central Ohio, has been sold to GateHouse Media for $21.2 million. The Dix family announced the sale to Pittsford, New York-based GateHouse on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Dix Communications operations include a printing facility in Wooster and more than 30 daily and weekly newspapers, online-only publications and specialty publications. Its larger newspapers are the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, The Daily Record in Wooster, the Ashland Times-Gazette, The Review in Alliance and The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge. GateHouse Media owns The Columbus Dispatch, The Canton Repository and about 50 other Ohio publications and websites. It operates in more than 520 markets in 35 states and owns more than 125 daily newspapers and more than 300 weekly newspapers, along with other publications and websites.
Meredith Corp. cuts 40 jobs, about 1 percent of workforce
The nation's top publisher of magazines and websites for women has announced the layoff of 40 employees. Meredith Corp. spokesman Art Slusark says the job cuts are part of a company reorganization that included promotions, new assignments and the layoff of about 1 percent of its 3,800 workers. Half are in New York and half are in other company locations including 10 in Des Moines, the company's headquarters. Meredith publishes 20 magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Allrecipes, and owns about 130 special interest publications and digital products targeting millennial women. The company owns 17 television stations. Last week Meredith reported record second-quarter earnings from record television political advertising and double-digit growth in digital advertising revenues. The company expects fiscal 2017 per-share profit to be the highest ever.
Shepard Smith stands out in Fox's sea of opinion
The Twitter stream on a producer's computer a few feet from where Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith anchored his newscast several days ago steadily churned out invective. You're a liberal, Shep. You belong on MSNBC. President Trump doesn't watch your show. Those are the printable messages, and illustrate the island he often finds himself upon. Fox is the network of choice for an overwhelming majority of Trump supporters and Smith's afternoon newscast is the place where they are most likely to encounter things they might not want to hear. In the past week, he pointed out that facts don't support the president's claim of widespread voter fraud. He said he doesn't know upon what Trump bases his belief that torture works as an interrogation tactic, and said the new immigration policy is a jihadist's dream.
Oprah Winfrey to be 'special contributor' to '60 Minutes'
Oprah Winfrey has been named a "special contributor" to CBS News' "60 Minutes."
Winfrey will bring occasional reports to the newsmagazine starting this fall, when it begins its 50th season on the air. Executive producer Jeff Fager called Winfrey "a remarkable and talented woman with a level of integrity that sets her apart and makes her a perfect fit for '60 Minutes.'" Winfrey said her aim with her "60 Minutes" stories is "to look at what separates us, and help facilitate real conversations between people from different backgrounds."
INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 1, 2017
CEO Jeff Bezos says Amazon backs suit opposing Trump order
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says the Seattle-based company is prepared to support a lawsuit being brought by Washington state's attorney general against President Donald Trump and the administration over Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees. The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, reports (http://wapo.st/2jQBdx0 ) Bezos wrote in an internal email to Amazon employees Monday that company lawyers have prepared a "declaration of support" for the suit. The Post reports the letter says company lawyers "are working other legal options as well." Fellow Washington state-based tech companies Microsoft and Expedia are also supporting the suit. The lawsuit filed Monday says the restrictions on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries is damaging Washington state's economy and hurting its companies. Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Inauguration Day charges against 3 journalists dropped
Federal prosecutors have dropped felony rioting charges against three more journalists who were arrested after protesters broke windows and torched a limousine in Washington on Inauguration Day. The U.S. Attorney's Office filed motions Monday, Jan. 30, to dismiss charges against Matthew Hopard, John Keller and Alexander Rubenstein. All three were working as journalists chronicling the mayhem in downtown Washington after President Donald Trump was sworn into office. A group of self-described anarchists broke windows at businesses and destroyed other property. Police arrested 230 people and charged them with felony rioting, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Charges against another journalist, Evan Engel, were dropped on Friday. Two other people who identified themselves as journalists still face charges. The U.S. Attorney's Office has declined to comment on those cases.
UK Parliament to launch 'fake news' inquiry; cites threat
A British parliamentary committee is launching an inquiry into the spreading "fake news" phenomenon. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee probe begins Monday, Jan. 30. It will study "the widespread dissemination, through social media and the Internet" of phony news stories. Committee chairman Damian Collins says the trend is a "threat to democracy" that undermines public confidence in the media.
He called on major tech companies to do more to prevent the spread of fake news on their platforms. "Just as major tech companies have accepted they have a social responsibility to combat piracy online and the illegal sharing of content, they also need to help address the spreading of fake news on social media platforms," he said.
PolitiFact founder to discuss fact-checking 2016 election
A new lecture series in Nashville, Tennessee, that explores emerging issues involving the news media and First Amendment rights will kick off Thursday, Feb, 2, with a focus on the relevance of fact-checking. Fact-checking website PolitiFact founder Bill Adair will discuss the 2016 election in a presentation titled "Pants on Fire," which is also the site's lowest rating for the most ridiculous falsehoods.
The lecture is part of the Seigenthaler Series, named in honor of the late John Seigenthaler, former longtime editor of The Tennessean and founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. The presentation is open to the public and will start at 6 p.m. at the First Amendment Center at 1207 18th Ave. South. The lecture series is presented by the center and the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
Intentionally or not, big brands help fund fake news
Wittingly or not, major global corporations are helping fund sites that traffic in fake news by advertising on them. Take, for instance, a story that falsely claimed former President Barack Obama had banned Christmas cards to overseas military personnel. Despite debunking by The Associated Press and other fact-checking outlets, that article lives on at "Fox News The FB Page," which has no connection to the news channel although its bears a replica of its logo. And until recently, the story was often flanked by ads from big brands such as the insurer Geico, the business-news outlet Financial Times, and the beauty-products maker Revlon. This situation isn't remotely an isolated case, although major companies generally say they have no intention of bankrolling purveyors of fake news with their ad dollars. Because many of their ads are placed on websites by computer algorithms, it's not always easy for these companies to steer them away from sites they find objectionable.
Boulder dog delivers newspapers to neighbors' doorsteps
Many dogs are trained to fetch their owners' newspapers. But one Boulder canine has separated himself from the pack by helping deliver papers to an entire neighborhood. For 11 years, Quincy the golden retriever has worked his own paper route, going to about a dozen houses on Simmons Drive in east Boulder, dutifully picking up neighbors' newspapers from their driveways and plopping them onto their doorsteps, reported the Daily Camera (http://bit.ly/2kuG0sf). "He loves to have a job," said Quincy's owner, Paul Goldan. "He's very anxious to do his job. It's just something that he thinks of as a game." Just before 7 a.m. on a chilly Tuesday morning, Quincy started his route by first delivering the Goldans' Daily Camera. But while that would have been it for most dogs, Quincy was just getting started.
Cartoon exhibit explores commentary on capital punishment
"OK if I take my lunch break now?" a masked executioner says to a colleague trying to insert a syringe into the arm of a death row inmate strapped to a gurney. The scene is depicted in a Sept. 20, 2009, panel by political cartoonist Jeff Danziger and is one of several political cartoons about capital punishment in an exhibit at Ohio State University's Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Danziger's cartoon ran a few days after the botched execution of Ohio death row inmate Romell Broom, which was stopped after executioners failed to find a usable vein after two hours of trying. Broom remains on death row. "Windows On Death Row," organized by a TV journalist and documentary maker and her political cartoonist husband, offers a look at artistic commentary about capital punishment over the past 50 years.
Charge dropped for journalist arrested in Trump protest
Prosecutors have dropped the felony rioting charge filed against a journalist who was arrested after protesters began breaking windows in Washington on Inauguration Day. William Miller, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia, said Friday, Jan. 27, that prosecutors decided not to pursue the case against Vocativ Senior Producer Evan Engel after reviewing evidence and consulting with his attorney. Engel was among 230 people arrested during the Inauguration Day unrest. The protesters described themselves as anti-capitalists.
The Guardian newspaper reported earlier this week that Engel was one of six journalists charged. The group was charged with felony rioting, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Miller said his office won't comment on other cases.
Judge: Melania Trump's suit against blogger can go forward
First lady Melania Trump can move ahead with a libel lawsuit she filed against a blogger who reported rumors that she worked as a high-end escort, a judge ruled Friday, Jan. 27. The blogger, Webster Tarpley of Gaithersburg, Maryland, sought to have the lawsuit dismissed. His lawyer argued Friday in Montgomery County Circuit Court that Tarpley accurately reported in an August blog post the fact that there were rumors about whether Trump's modeling career included work as an escort.
"There is no dispute that there were, in fact, rumors," said his lawyer, Danielle Giroux. "He did not say that Melania Trump was a high-class escort. What he said was there are rumors about that." Trump's lawyer said the rumor is false and that reporters can't make defamatory statements under the guise of reporting rumors.
"The job of a reporter is to vet it before you publish it," the lawyer, Charles Harder said.
Craig Forman new CEO of McClatchy Co.
The McClatchy Co. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, named former Yahoo! and Earthlink executive Craig Forman as its new president and chief executive officer as the newspaper publishing giant struggles to make money in the digital age. Forman, 55, succeeds Patrick Talamantes, who was CEO for four years during which the Sacramento-based company continued to see profits drop even as it invested in digital products. The company reported a net loss of $37 million for the first nine months of last year. McClatchy operates 29 daily newspapers in 14 states, including the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, Sacramento Bee, Charlotte Observer and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It has been trying to build a digital footprint as online news providers continue to steal eyeballs and profits from newspapers and magazines.
House Science chairman: Get news from Trump, not media
The Republican chairman of the House Science panel is encouraging Americans to get their news from President Donald Trump and not the news media. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas said if Trump were a Democrat, the media would be saying he has tremendous energy, how he "is courageous, even fearless," and how he is a great father, among many other positive attributes. But Smith said the "national, liberal media" won't print or air such attributes. The congressman said Monday, Jan. 23, night during a speech on the House floor: "Better to get your news directly from the president. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth." Trump has repeatedly made false claims about fraudulent balloting costing him the popular vote and has disputed the turnout for his inauguration. Kellyanne Conway, an aide to Trump, said this weekend that the White House was offering "alternative facts" to the ones reported by the media.
Newspapers fight bill eliminating meeting minute publication
Wisconsin newspapers are pledging to fight a bipartisan effort in the state Legislature to eliminate a requirement that meeting minutes of government entities be published in local newspapers. A group of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 24, announced that they were circulating a bill to do away with the requirement that summaries of meetings by school districts, municipalities, counties and technical colleges be printed in the newspaper. Instead, the meeting minutes, or summary of what occurred at a public meeting, would instead be posted on the government entity's website. Supportive lawmakers pitched the proposal as both a way for cash-strapped governments to save money and a way to increase access to the information.
Trump admin orders EPA contract freeze and media blackout
The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants, part of a broader communications clampdown within the executive branch. The prohibitions came to light Tuesday, Jan. 24, as the agency moved to delay implementation of at least 30 environmental rules finalized in the closing months of President Barack Obama's term, a potential first step to seeking to kill the regulations. A summary of the actions posted in the Federal Register includes a long list of regulations that include updated air pollution rulings for several states, renewable fuel standards and limits on the amount of formaldehyde that can leach from wood products. Emails sent to EPA staff and reviewed by The Associated Press also detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts.
Pope on fake news, 'alternative facts': Tell positive truth
At a time of fake news and "alternative facts," Pope Francis is asking the media to not only tell the truth, but to report good news. In his message for the Catholic church's annual communications day, Francis urged journalists on Tuesday, Jan 24, to tell positive stories that bring hope and not to focus so much on bad news and scandal. He stressed he wasn't asking the journalists to "ignore the tragedy of human suffering" or naively turn a blind eye to evil. But he said a constant negative drumbeat can lead to apathy and resignation. Francis had tense relations with the press in his native Argentina and has been an outspoken media critic. He also has used the media to get his message out, particularly via Catholic and Italian outlets.
Bill to protect student journalists from censorship returns
School administrations would be restricted from censoring student journalists under a bill discussed in a Missouri House committee. The Columbia Missourian (http://bit.ly/2j85oia ) reports that the bill discussed Monday, Jan. 23, would broaden protections for high school and college journalists. Schools would remain able to limit content if it is deemed libelous or slanderous, invades privacy, violates federal or state law or violates school policy or disrupts school. After unanimously passing through the House last legislative session, a Senate committee held the bill while waiting for a vote. The latest version mimics the language of a longstanding law in Kansas, known as the Kansas Student Publications Act. If it passes, Missouri would become the twelfth state, in addition to the District of Columbia, that has approved additional legal protections for high school students.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 26, 2017
'Net neutrality' foe Ajit Pai is new FCC head
President Donald Trump has picked a fierce critic of the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules to be chief regulator of the nation's airwaves and internet connections. In a statement Monday, Jan. 23, Ajit Pai said he was grateful to the president for choosing him as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Several reports last week had said he was the pick. Pai had been one of the two Republican commissioners on a five-member panel that regulates the country's communications infrastructure, including TV, phone and internet service. There are currently just three members on the panel. The Republicans' new majority at the FCC, along with their control of Congress and the White House, is expected to help them roll back policies applauded by consumer advocates that upset many phone and cable industry groups, including net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from favoring some websites and apps over others.
Gannett laying off 141 employees at New Jersey news group
Gannett is issuing layoff notices to 141 employees in a second major round of job cuts at its recently purchased group of newspapers in northern New Jersey. The company said Monday, Jan. 23, the cuts will take place across its North Jersey Media Group, which includes The Record, the Herald News of Passaic County and NorthJersey.com. The McLean, Virginia-based Gannett Co. Inc. also eliminated more than 100 jobs at the newspaper group after purchasing it last summer. The company says North Jersey Media Group is reorganizing to meet the growing digital demands of its readers and advertisers. Group president Nancy Meyer (http://bit.ly/2jUG6bR ) says the decisions being made are difficult but will enable the company to continue serving communities across northern New Jersey for years to come.
Alaska publisher named leader of Columbia Daily Tribune
The publisher of Alaska's Juneau Empire newspaper has been named the new top executive of the Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri. The Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/2k9SVMs ) says GateHouse Media Inc. announced on Monday, Jan. 23, its selection of 37-year-old Rustan Burton. He succeeds interim publisher Mark Hinueber, who had been at the Tribune's helm since GateHouse acquired the newspaper last October. Burton has been the Juneau Empire's publisher for more than three years. The Tribune reports that Burton will make the 3,100-mile move to Columbia with his wife and four children at the end of the school year. An Idaho native, Burton has been in the newspaper industry for nine years after having been a real estate investor.
Trump's 'running war' on the media undermines trust
Donald Trump's "running war" on the media is continuing into his presidency, with statements over the weekend calling into question the extent to which information from the White House can be trusted. White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday, Jan. 23, will hold his first daily press briefing, at which he could face questions about a statement Saturday night that included demonstrably false assertions about the crowd size at Trump's inauguration and a promise by the new administration that "we're going to hold the press accountable." Some Trump supporters will no doubt cheer the continued antagonism toward the media that was central to the Republican's campaign for president. Now the stakes are higher.Press secretaries have been lied to by their bosses, or misled reporters through the omission of information, but veteran journalist Dan Rather said Sunday it was the first time he could recall false material being delivered in this way.
Inauguration coverage shows deep divisions remain
The media brought a reverence for history and ceremony to its coverage of President Donald Trump's inaugural on Friday, yet deep divisions exposed in the campaign that brought him there weren't far from the surface. With the armchair psychologists reading the expressions on Hillary Clinton's face, several sour reviews of Trump's inaugural address and images of rock-throwing protesters, the air of celebration was muted. Non-news networks ESPN, BET and MTV aired the moment when Barack Obama was sworn in eight years ago. Not this time. An anti-Trump demonstration in Washington, D.C., was essentially ignored by television networks until the stands set up for dignitaries witnessing the oath of office cleared. Then pictures of demonstrators clashing with police emerged. No doubt an incoming administration and supporters who frequently view the media as the enemy were taking notes.
Baldwin named publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner
Ralph Baldwin Jr., a 42-year veteran of the newspaper industry, has been named publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner. The Daily Banner (http://bit.ly/2k8smKX ) reports Baldwin succeeds Stephen Crass, who recently retired after leading the Banner for 16 years. Cleveland Newspapers Inc. owns the paper. Baldwin, who started the new post earlier this month, most recently served as president of Adams Publishing Group East for Tennessee and North Carolina. Adams purchased Jones Media Inc., which is based in Greeneville, Tennessee, in September 2016. Before that, Baldwin was chief operating officer of Jones Media for eight years and oversaw operations for 14 newspapers, electronic media, and other affiliated businesses.
Bill would give students control of school-sponsored media
Amid a national push, Washington state lawmakers are reintroducing a bill that would protect student journalists' free speech in school-sponsored media at public schools and colleges. Washington could become one of about a dozen states that have passed similar legislation in response to a 1988 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave administrators control over what gets published in school media. Senate Bill 5064, introduced by Republican Sen. Joe Fain, would designate school media as "public forums for expression" and make students responsible for determining content so long as it is not slanderous or libelous, unjustly invades privacy, violates federal or state law or encourages students to break school rules or commit crimes.
Lawmaker fires aide behind fake news site
A Maryland lawmaker has fired a legislative aide who was behind a fake news site that accused Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of election-rigging.
Media outlets report that Del. David Vogt III said Wednesday he terminated Cameron Harris "on the spot" after learning that Harris was behind ChristianTimesNewspaper.com and a fabricated article that reported the discovery of tens of thousands of "fraudulent Clinton votes" in Ohio. Vogt is a Frederick County Republican. Vogt says he was shocked when he read a New York Times story outlining Harris' creation of the story. Harris recently graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina and had worked for the delegate since June. Harris apologized on Twitter to "those disappointed by my actions" and called for a "larger dialogue about how Americans approach the media" and other issues.
Trump steps into security bubble; will he bring his phone?
A few hours after President-elect Donald Trump was briefed by intelligence officials about Russian meddling in the election, an Associated Press reporter called his cellphone seeking an interview. The call went to voicemail and the reporter did not leave a message. About an hour later, Trump called back. It's hard to imagine many politicians — particularly one about to become president of the United States — calling back an unknown number on their cellphone. With Trump, it's simply how business gets done, whether he's fielding calls from real estate partners and longtime friends or foreign leaders and congressional lawmakers in the weeks after the election. But as Trump prepares to take the oath of office Friday, the future of his ever-present Android smartphone is now a matter of national security. On Thursday, Jan. 19, he told a friend that he had given up his phone, as security agencies had urged him to do.
Trump hotel bans media during inauguration week
President-elect Donald Trump's hotel in the nation's capital is off limits to media during Inauguration Week. Patricia Tang, director of sales and marketing for the Trump International in Washington, said Wednesday, Jan. 18, in a phone interview that media are banned from the hotel grounds through Sunday to protect the privacy of guests. The hotel opened in September after Trump won a lease from the federal government to renovate the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks from the White House. Tang said she's confident the ban does not violate the hotel's lease with the government or the city's public accommodations laws. On Tuesday night, a protester suffered burns after trying to light himself on fire outside the hotel.
Study illustrates Facebook's growth as campaign news source
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton voters had different media diets, but a study finds common ground in Facebook as an important news source — even if their individual feeds bore little resemblance to each other's. Facebook was the top non-television source for election news cited by supporters of both candidates, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. The social media site's import as a driver of political news has been underscored by the lingering controversy of people using it to spread false news stories. Eight percent of Clinton voters and 7 percent of Trump voters named Facebook as their main source of election news, Pew said. Facebook doesn't produce news; members share stories from a multitude of sources and their news feeds tend to reflect the politics of their Facebook friends.
New York Times correspondent denied entry into Turkey
The New York Times reported that one of its correspondents was briefly detained by border officials in Turkey as he arrived Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, then was forced to take a flight back to London with no explanation for why he had been refused entry into the country. The action against Rod Nordland, a veteran Times correspondent, appeared to be part of a broader government crackdown against the domestic and foreign news media, the Times said. There was no immediate explanation from Turkish officials about the action, the Times said, adding this appeared to be the first time a Times correspondent had been denied entry into Turkey. The Times reported that Nordland said in an email that he was stopped by the border police after having arrived at the Istanbul airport from London. They told him they were placing him on the next flight back, "no reason given," Nordland wrote.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 17, 2017
Journalists group backs media insurance covering war zones
The International Federation of Journalists is helping set up a new insurance scheme that also seeks to cover media workers in war zones where insurance can be hard to come by or very expensive. The IFJ, which represents 600,000 members in 140 countries, announced its backing Tuesday, Jan. 17, for the scheme by a company called Insurance for Journalists and said it would fill an important void for reporters who are sometimes held back from traveling to war zones because of the financial risks. Each policy covers accidental death and disablement plus emergency accident and sickness evacuation and repatriation from anywhere in the world to the policy holders' country of residence, the IFJ says in a statement.
PBS: No 'red flag' on funding under Trump, but it's early
PBS is waiting, but not quietly, to see what the Trump administration's impact on public broadcasting and its federal funding may be, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger said. "It's too early to tell. But there's been no red flag," Kerger said in an interview Sunday, Jan. 15. Given that change always presents uncertainty, she said, and "in this case, more uncertainty," PBS and its member stations are conducting a vigorous effort to remind lawmakers about public television's value. The effort coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act that created what Kerger called "the best public-private partnership." "For about $1.35 a citizen a year, we provide an extraordinary service," she said.
Nashville journalist told to release documents in libel case
A Nashville television reporter has been ordered to hand over documents from his investigation of a district attorney. The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/2jyNTsI ) reports a judge in Nashville on Friday, Jan. 13, ruled WTVF-TV reporter Phil Williams must release the documents as part of District Attorney Glenn Funk's pending libel lawsuit against him. Williams published a February 2016 story based on depositions and quoting text messages from a developer who had faced criminal charges by Funk that were later dropped. Funk's lawyers hope to prove that Williams acted with malice. Williams attorney Ron Harris argued against releasing the information, citing journalists' news gathering privileges. The judge cited an exception in Tennessee's shield law in defamation cases in ruling those privileges did not apply. The case is set for trial in October.
Facebook introduces measures to tackle fake news in Germany
Facebook says it's introducing measures to tackle the spread of fake news in Germany, months before the country holds a national election. The social network said Sunday the investigative media group Correctiv will be its first outside fact-checker in Germany and it's working to bring aboard other media organizations. It said updates to make it easier to report fake news will be introduced shortly in Germany. Facebook last month launched plans to focus on the "worst of the worst" offenders and partner with outside fact-checkers and news organizations, including The Associated Press, to sort out true news reports from made-up stories. Germany is expected to hold a national election in September. Facebook has also faced criticism in Germany for what critics call an insufficient response to hate speech.
Contents of Trump's folders spark speculation
In the aftermath of President-elect Donald Trump's closely watched news conference, a burning question remains: What, exactly, was in those folders stacked on the desk next to him? The campaign wouldn't let reporters look at them. Trump never got around to discussing the documents. Some of the folders weren't labeled. That leaves it possible the public won't ever know precisely what the pile of papers was — other than another of Trump's stage props. The former reality-TV star with a flair for showmanship has a clear affinity for the political prop. He's appeared with marbled steaks; one of his "Make America Great Again" hats displayed in a glass case; and a 50-foot Christmas tree, intended to underscore his vow to trade what he believed was the politically correct greeting of "Happy Holidays" for his preferred "Merry Christmas."
CNN at war with Trump over what reporting unleashed
A week before the inauguration, CNN is at war with an incoming president, not necessarily for what it reported but for what its reporting unleashed. For all the noise — accusations of "fake news," the confrontation between Donald Trump and CNN's Jim Acosta at a news conference, false claims about what CNN had reported or linked to — that realization emerged toward the end of a remarkable 25-minute televised confrontation between Anderson Cooper and Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. When it reported on Tuesday, Jan. 10, that national intelligence officials had informed the president-elect that the Russians had collected a dossier on his behavior, CNN did not specifically detail what that behavior was because it couldn't vouch for its veracity. But it was CNN that gave BuzzFeed the cover to do so, Conway said. "You got the party started," she said. The question is raised: if one person unlocks a box and walks away, is that person responsible when someone else opens the box and removes its unsavory contents?
Capitol Hill Buzz: Russian news site interrupts C-SPAN
Moscow, we have a problem. Web surfers expecting to tune into C-SPAN's online feed of debate in the House on Thursday, Jan.12, instead saw images supplied by the Russian news site RT, which briefly interrupted programming on the network's website. Spokesman Howard Mortman said the website, www.c-span.org , was replaced by RT for about 10 minutes. The problem was likely a routing issue, since RT is one of the networks that C-SPAN regularly monitors, he said. The network is "investigating and troubleshooting this occurrence," Mortman said. The programming glitch came hours after a power outage interrupted a Senate confirmation hearing for Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., to head the CIA. The hearing reconvened in a different room. The Architect of the Capitol's office said a local power company "de-energized" a system that feeds power to the Hart Senate Office Building. The office said the power company, Pepco, quickly restored the lost power. The architect's office said it is examining the surge-breaker that was unexpectedly affected by the planned Pepco work.
Trump's long-awaited news conference quickly turns combative
A shouting match with a reporter. A long unexplained prop. An unexpected interlude from a lawyer. Donald Trump's raucous first news conference as president-elect bore little resemblance to the usually staid and choreographed sessions with the occupant of the Oval Office. It was a 58-minute display of how some of the old rules of journalism will be tested in the Trump era. More than 250 journalists packed Trump Tower for the celebrity businessman's first full-fledged news conference since July, which was billed as a forum to discuss his separation from his business but quickly turned into a loud, wide-ranging free-for-all about U.S. intelligence, Russian hacking and, eventually, some of Trump's policy plans after he takes office on Jan. 20.
Facebook takes on a bigger role in journalism
Facebook is launching a journalism project aimed at strengthening its ties with media organizations to help them expand their audiences, come up with new products and generally promote trusted news in today's "post-truth" era. The project is in its early stages and as such, light on specifics. But the company envisions Facebook engineers working with news organizations to create new ways of telling stories and novel advertising or subscription models, right from the early stages of development. The company also wants to help promote "news literacy" and support local news. "It's very early in the process but certainly something we are really excited about," said Dave Merrell, lead product manager at The Washington Post, which is among the news organizations working with Facebook. "We worked with Facebook on numerous products over the years, but often were not involved in the product development stage."
Trump says BuzzFeed 'garbage' for publishing allegations
President-elect Donald Trump and his team on Wednesday, Jan. 11, attacked news organizations that spread unsubstantiated reports about a damaging dossier collected on him by Russia, an incident that illustrates how old rules of journalism are tested in today's rapidly changing media world. Trump called BuzzFeed "a pile of garbage" for publishing the allegations and got into a spat with CNN's Jim Acosta during his first news conference since July. He praised organizations that didn't follow BuzzFeed's lead. The untraditional news conference, less than two weeks before Trump's inauguration, was dominated by questions about Russia and the president-elect's relationship with the intelligence community. CNN on Tuesday reported that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about compromising personal and financial information that Russia had collected on him. The network did not give details about the information, saying the charges had not been verified, but BuzzFeed soon published them. Most reputable news organizations, following up the story, also did not report the details.
Trump news spreads faster than reporters can verify
The spread of a report about supposed damaging information about President-elect Donald Trump collected by Russia became a public test of journalistic standards, but burst into public consciousness even as those standards were being debated. Hours after news reports circulated Tuesday, Jan. 10, that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about the existence of the dossier on him, BuzzFeed News published a summary of those allegations. It published despite its editor noting that there is reason to doubt the truth of them. Most news organizations, including The Associated Press, held back on the specific allegations because they had not been substantiated. "Even Donald Trump deserves journalistic fairness," tweeted David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones. Yet the news spread so quickly that by Tuesday night, one specific, salacious allegation was a top trending topic on Twitter.
INDUSTRY NEWS • JAN. 12, 2017
Suit claims inmate punished for communicating with reporter
Louisiana prison officials retaliated against an inmate for corresponding with a reporter whose newspaper published a series of stories critical of the state's corrections department, a federal lawsuit alleged Monday, Jan. 9. William Kissinger was transferred from Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and placed in solitary confinement at another prison after communicating with Advocate reporter Maya Lau about the "culture of greed and corruption" in the state's prison system, the suit says. The suit describes Kissinger as a whistleblower and asks the court to rule that prison officials violated his constitutional rights to free speech and due process.
Corrections Department spokesman Ken Pastorick said in a Monday afternoon email that Kissinger "violated department policy" and was transferred "for his protection, and for disciplinary reasons."
WikiLeaks: Russia hacking report was political document
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denounced last week's U.S. intelligence report on Russian hacking, calling it a politically motivated "press release" that provided no evidence that Russian actors gave WikiLeaks hacked material. In an online news conference Jan. 9, Assange said the report is vague and that U.S. intelligence officials should be embarrassed by the 25-page, declassified document. "This is a press release," Assange said. "It is clearly designed for political effects." National Intelligence Director James Clapper, whose office issued the report, told a congressional panel last week that he does not think Assange is credible. "I don't think those with the intelligence community have a whole lot of respect for him," Clapper said.
Committee to Protect Journalists boosted by Streep's appeal
A plug from Meryl Streep on Sunday's Golden Globes telecast sparked a surge in contributions to the Committee to Protect Journalists. By mid-afternoon Monday, Jan. 9, the CPJ had received about 700 online donations totaling $60,000, communications associate Mehdi Rahmati said. Ordinarily, only a handful of donations would have been received overnight, he said. "And people are still reaching out." Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Streep cited President-elect Donald Trump's tumultuous relationship with the media. Then, she urged viewers to support a free press as journalists face dangerous assignments abroad. Last year was the worst on record for journalist imprisonment around the world, according to the CPJ, a non-profit committed to protecting press freedom. Streep's appeal to the telecast's 20 million viewers was a happy surprise for the CPJ, Rahmati said.
Trump, McCain weigh in on Meryl Streep's Globes speech
Twitter boots ex-pharma exec Martin Shkreli for harassment
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been suspended from Twitter for harassing a journalist. Lauren Duca is a freelance reporter for Teen Vogue who wrote a piece critical of President-elect Donald Trump. After she defended the story in a testy interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Shkreli invited Duca to accompany him to Trump's inauguration. Duca responded by posting Shkreli's offer on Twitter and saying, "I would rather eat my own organs." Shkreli later changed his Twitter profile picture to a digitally edited image in which he appeared to be embracing Duca on a couch. Duca tweeted pictures of the change to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter says in a statement that the platform's rules "prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies."
Trump, amid media battles, meets with Conde Nast executives
President-elect Donald Trump sat down Friday, Jan. 6, with executives at Conde Nast, a magazine chain whose editors have frequently been his foes. The 90-minute, off-the-record meeting, which underscores Trump's unusual relationship with the press, comes just days before he is slated to hold his first news conference as president-elect, an event normally scheduled just days after Election Day. Trump tweeted early Friday that he had been asked to attend the meeting by Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour. Wintour is a longtime admirer of President Barack Obama and his family. She supported and raised money for Trump's general election opponent, Hillary Clinton. Another attendee, New Yorker editor David Remnick, has repeatedly been critical of Trump.
US belief missing journalist is alive boosts parents' hopes
The parents of an American journalist taken hostage in Syria in 2012 say their hope that their son will come home safely has never wavered. That faith recently got a
boost from U.S. officials, who told the family they have high confidence Austin Tice is alive. Tice's father, Marc Tice, told The Associated Press during an interview at his Houston home Thursday, Jan. 5: "Getting that word from official sources just reinforces that, yes, this is not wasted effort. This is real effort that needs to continue." U.S. Department of State spokesman Frankie Sturm declined to comment about how officials determined Tice, who was kidnapped in August 2012 near Damascus while covering the civil war, remains alive in captivity. Tice is a former Marine who has reported for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, CBS and other outlets, and disappeared shortly after his 31st birthday.
Northwest Cable News set to go off air
Northwest Cable News, the Pacific Northwest's 24-hour regional news network, went off the air Friday, Jan. 6, after 21 years of broadcasting. The network signed off following an hour-long retrospective. Jim Rose, general manager of KING Broadcasting in Seattle, has said declining viewership and changing viewer habits were factors. KING, a division of TEGNA, oversees the regional network. Northwest Cable News reports (http://bit.ly/2j9eik7) that Rose says 25 employees are affected by the shutdown, but more than half of those have found other jobs within the company in Seattle or elsewhere with TEGNA. The 24-hour regional news channel debuted on cable TV systems in much of Washington, Oregon and Idaho in December 1995. It drew content from KING, Portland's KGW, Spokane's KREM and KTVB in Boise, Idaho. All are owned by TEGNA.
MSNBC hires Greta Van Susteren for evening show
Greta Van Susteren's absence from cable news proved short. MSNBC said Thursday, Jan. 5, that it has hired the former Fox News Channel anchor for a daily, Washington-based news program at the dinner hour. Just like Tucker Carlson, who Fox named as Megyn Kelly's prime-time replacement on Thursday, Van Susteren completes the cable news hat trick: hosting shows on CNN, Fox and MSNBC. Her new show will air at 6 p.m. ET starting Monday, Jan. 9. A lawyer, Van Susteren got her start in television for CNN analyzing O.J. Simpson's trial, and that evolved into a regular role. After more than a decade at Fox, she left abruptly in late summer following a financial disagreement, saying Fox no longer felt like home. MSNBC had an open time slot following the end of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's political show.
Fox News says Tucker Carlson to take Megyn Kelly time slot
Fox News Channel is giving Megyn Kelly's time slot to veteran pundit Tucker Carlson, doubling down on conservative opinion leaders in its prime-time lineup at the dawn of the Trump administration. The network also said on Thursday, Jan. 5, that Martha MacCallum will move into Carson's 7 p.m. time slot, at least temporarily. She will host a show called "The First 100 Days" to coincide with the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency. Carlson, who has hosted shows on CNN, MSNBC and PBS, replaced Greta Van Susteren, who left Fox in late summer. Since his start on Nov. 14, the average audience of 2.8 million viewers for "Tucker Carlson Tonight" is up 23 percent compared to Van Susteren a year ago, the Nielsen company said.
Attorney General sides with newspaper in public record fight
New Mexico officials have asked that the city of Roswell reconsider its refusal to make some personnel records available to the public. The Roswell Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/2j8JziR ) that the newspaper requested former city zoo superintendent Elaine Mayfield's personnel records after learning she was placed on administrative leave as superintendent of the Spring River Park & Zoo. The newspaper filed a complaint with the state Attorney General's Office in September, alleging the city violated state public records laws by denying the production of records. The Attorney General's Office has since said the city used an invalid justification to withhold records in Mayfield's personnel file from the Daily Record. The AG's Office requested the city re-examine its denial of documents and produce the documents to the newspaper.
'CBS This Morning' marks 5 years of 're-imagining the news'
In 1982, CBS uprooted "Captain Kangaroo" from its weekday berth after 27 years. The beloved children's show got the heave-ho to make way for a breakfast-hour news show to go up against ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today."
For the next 30 years, that didn't go so well. One misfire after another kept CBS a ratings also-ran. It was as if kindly Captain Kangaroo was getting payback for CBS doing him wrong. Then, five years ago Monday, Jan. 2,that quixotic quest bore fruit with the debut of "CBS This Morning." After three dismal decades, CBS had brought something fresh and useful to the morning TV realm. For that remarkable feat, it seemed the Captain decided to lift his curse. True, "CBS This Morning" (averaging 3.69 million viewers for fourth-quarter 2016) remains in third place, behind nip-and-tuck front-runners "GMA" (which averaged 4.66 million viewers for the quarter, edging out "Today" by 84,000) and "Today" (which, averaging 4.79 million viewers in December, eked out a 98,000-viewer monthly win). But CBS' audience is steadily increasing, with year-over-year growth for 50 consecutive months, while the gap erodes between "This Morning" and its rivals.
Hulu adds CBS for upcoming live TV streaming service
Hulu is teaming up with CBS to add three of the network's channels to its upcoming live TV streaming service. The deal will give Hulu the right to live stream the nation's most-watched broadcast network, CBS, as well as CBS Sports Network and cable channel Pop. Hulu said Wednesday that more CBS Corp. channels may be added later. Some shows can also be watched on demand after they have aired.
Hulu says its live-streaming service will launch in the coming months, but did not give a date. The streaming company already has similar deals with Time Warner Inc., 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Co., allowing it to live stream CNN, Fox, ESPN and several other channels.
Inmate was beaten to death in rare Iowa prison homicide
An inmate died after he was beaten by a fellow prisoner at Iowa's maximum-security penitentiary in what's believed to be the first homicide at an Iowa prison since 2010 and one that prompted a union to accuse the state of covering up safety lapses. The deadly attack at the Iowa State Penitentiary in October continued despite a correctional officer's commands for the assailant to stop, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press under the open records law. The records reveal for the first time the beating of inmate Michael Whitworth, 46, who died Oct. 30. A union representing prison employees had accused the Department of Corrections of trying to hide news of the homicide by waiting to announce it until Election Day and saying it resulted from "an incident."
Wichita Eagle to move to new headquarters in Old Town
The Wichita Eagle will move its news operations to Old Town Square, an entertainment and shopping district in downtown Wichita. President and publisher Roy Heatherly announced Tuesday that the Eagle had signed an agreement to move its business and about 100 employees to Old Town. The Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/2i7fW1g ) the building is expected to be ready by April. Heatherly says the new location will help the Eagle emphasize its digital and multimedia operations, including digital screens on the front of the building that will project the paper's website and breaking news. Heatherly is still looking for a second building for a distribution center. The newspaper moved its printing operations to Kansas City last year. The Eagle's current building will be converted to headquarters for Cargill.
Megyn Kelly leaving Fox News, will host 2 shows on NBC
Megyn Kelly, the Fox News star who's had a contentious relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, said Tuesday, Jan. 3, that she's leaving the network for NBC News, where she will host a daytime talk show and a weekend newsmagazine, as well as contribute to breaking news coverage. NBC News made the announcement Tuesday, ending months of speculation over whether she would re-up with Fox, where she has flourished while suffering bruised feelings in recent months, or start a new chapter in her career. Her contract with Fox expires this summer. Her last show on Fox will be Friday night. Kelly's departure deprives Fox News of its second-most-watched host, behind only Bill O'Reilly, and a hole at 9 p.m. in its prime-time lineup.
Joe Scarborough says he was with Trump, but not to party
Joe Scarborough's year-end meet-up with Donald Trump has unleashed criticism of the MSNBC commentator for being too cozy with a high elected figure. But Scarborough says he's just doing his job as a journalist, and suggests he was targeted only because the politician was Trump. Eyebrows were raised Sunday, Jan. 1, by a New York Times report including Scarborough and his "Morning Joe" co-host, Mika Brzezinski, among those on hand for Trump's lavish New Year's Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. But on Tuesday's "Morning Joe" edition, Scarborough denied he and Brzezinski were there to party. Instead, he said, they were summoned for a private meeting with Trump to discuss a possible future interview.
The Dallas Morning News moving to former library building
The publisher of The Dallas Morning News has signed a 16-year lease to move the newspaper from its longtime home to the redeveloped former Old Dallas Central Library building. A.H. Belo on Tuesday, Jan. Jan. 3, announced details in The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/2j1oGWS ), which has been at 508 Young St. since 1949. Belo's chief financial officer, Katy Murray, says the move should take place over several months in late spring and early summer. About 500 employees work at the current complex. The move reduces space from about 325,000 square feet in two buildings near Union Station, to about 90,000 square feet. Murray says some sales personnel will use communal spaces at the new office. Belo will christen the new site in April with a ceremony marking 175 years of media operations.
Columbia, Missouri, newspaper to switch to morning delivery
The Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune will move from afternoon to morning deliveries beginning Feb. 6. Interim Publisher Mark Hinueber says the newspaper also plans a new design to help modernize the Tribune's look and will publish on five major holidays it had previously taken off. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2i6KjVK ) that afternoon daily newspapers have largely disappeared, particularly in larger cities. It says 525 afternoon dailies remain out of 1,387 dailies nationwide, with most in small markets. The switch is part of several changes at the Tribune since it was purchased Oct. 1 by GateHouse Media Inc. Newspaper officials say the change will provide reporters and editors with a better news cycle to cover news, allow the printing of later sports stories, benefit advertisers and consolidate delivery routes.
Editor: Man buys 100s of papers to hide DWI arrest, mugshot
The owner of a weekly upstate New York newspaper says a man bought hundreds of copies of the publication in an unsuccessful effort to keep others from reading about his drunk driving arrest. State police arrested 43-year-old Joseph Talbot last Thursday, Dec. 29, in Wayne County and charged him with driving while intoxicated. Police also charged him with refusing to be fingerprinted or photographed after he told troopers he didn't want his mugshot in the paper. Ron Holdraker, editor and owner of the 12,000-circulation Times of Wayne County, says the paper obtained a mugshot from the county jail and printed it along with a story on Saturday. Both were posted on its website. Holdraker says Talbot bought nearly 1,000 copies at $1.25 each.
Fight against publishing notices in newspapers persists
As classified advertising, once the lifeblood of newspapers, has dried up, one constant has remained: a thick daily listing of government public notices. But legislative fights have put that at risk. A measure to allow government agencies in New Jersey to no longer publish their legal notices in newspapers recently stalled, but Republican Gov. Chris Christie said he will make the change a priority in 2017. And Democratic leaders in the Legislature aren't backing down from having the debate, either. Christie says the change would save taxpayers and residents $80 million, but the state's newspapers dispute that math. They say that the state spends $20 million on legal notice advertising each year and that more than half is reimbursed by private business. Christie's figures also apparently include an estimate that $60 million will be spent on public notices of pending foreclosures, a fee paid for by banks.
WSJ: Reporter detained in Turkey for nearly 3 days released
The Wall Street Journal says one of its reporters was detained in Turkey for nearly three days before authorities allowed him to leave the country. Editor Gerard Baker says in a statement Saturday, Dec. 31, that national security reporter Dion Nissenbaum was prohibited from calling his family, editors or a lawyer while in custody. A newspaper spokesman says Nissenbaum's detention was likely related to Turkey's ban on reporting Islamic State terror group videos. He wouldn't comment further. A top Turkish official recently warned journalists against sharing a video that allegedly shows two Turkish soldiers being burned alive. The Turkish Consulate General in New York hasn't returned messages seeking comment. A State Department spokesman says officials are aware of Nissenbaum's case but couldn't discuss it. Nissenbaum tells The Journal he was treated well while detained.
China state broadcaster rebrands in international push
State broadcaster Central China Television has rebranded its international networks and digital presence under the name China Global Television Network as part of a push to consolidate its worldwide reach. CCTV on Friday, Dec. 30, unveiled several new mobile apps under the CGTN brand, and visitors to CCTV's non-Chinese language websites are directed to a new http://www.cgtn.com site. The broadcaster says it made the move to "integrate resources and to adapt to the trend of media convergence," with foreign language channels, video content and digital media falling under the new group. The government has long grumbled about the Western news media's hold on international discourse and has spent vast sums in recent years to enhance its own influence and shape global opinion, with CCTV as one of its spearheads. The broadcaster has channels in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and Russian, and production centers in Washington and Nairobi.
Lawyers quarrel over sealed documents in lane-closing case
Attorneys on Friday, Dec. 30, continued to fight over confidential documents related to the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case in which two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie were convicted in a political retaliation plot. A judge in Newark is reviewing which previously sealed documents can be released and if deleted portions of some documents can be restored. She is scheduled to rule by mid-January. Attorneys for several media organizations including The Associated Press requested in a letter Friday that materials already deemed to be publicly accessible be released now. Last week, government attorneys had asked for the judge to keep private a disk containing the documents. Among the documents at issue are a list of unindicted co-conspirators, grand jury testimony, search warrant affidavits and other evidence, including a page from Christie's calendar.
93 journalists killed in 2016; 29 more die in accidents
The International Federation of Journalists says that 93 journalists and media staff were killed in targeted attacks, by bombs or by crossfire in 2016 while a further 29 died in two plane crashes. The IFJ said in its annual report released Friday, Dec. 30, that the number was down from 112 in 2015. Iraq still had the largest number of media killings with 15, ahead of Afghanistan with 13 and Mexico with 11. Despite the slight decrease in deadly violence against journalists, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said that the statistics "give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis." In the two plane crashes, 20 Brazilian journalists died in Colombia and nine Russian media staff died as they headed to Syria.
Longtime editor Kai Diekmann leaves Germany's Bild
German publisher Axel Springer SE says that Kai Diekmann, the longtime editor of its mass-circulation Bild daily and one of the best-known figures in German journalism, is leaving the company. Springer said Friday, Dec. 30, that the 52-year-old Diekmann will step down Jan. 31 at his own request and pursue "other functions outside the company." It didn't elaborate. Diekmann joined Springer in 1985 and worked for Bild and its Sunday edition, as well as the company's B.Z. and Welt am Sonntag newspapers. He was Bild editor-in-chief from 2001 to 2015, and for the past year has overseen the Bild group's newspaper and website editors as its publisher.
Study: Ad-tech use shines light on fringe, fake news sites
What distinguishes mainstream news sites from those devoted to fake news or other hyper-partisan takes on events? It's not just the stories they run, but also the way they use online technology that tracks readers and shows them ads, according to a new study by a web analytics firm. In particular, the study — from the New York-based startup Mezzobit — showed that such fringe news sites are relatively unsophisticated in the way they make money from online ads, perhaps because many are shoestring operations that can easily cover their costs. Stories shown on fake or fringe news sites are anything but mainstream. They run from made-up articles to pieces that start with a grain of truth but exaggerate it to fit highly opinionated perspectives. But they use the same underlying ad technology, which serves up ads intended to appeal to every individual who visits, as their mainstream counterparts — just in different, and sometimes revealing, ways.
Refugee hopes to spark free press in Gambia
The founder and executive director of a Rhode Island refugee organization says he's planning to start a newspaper in the West African country he fled a decade ago. Omar Bah says he plans to launch a private, independent newspaper in Gambia that will be an alternative to government-controlled media there. Bah is a former Gambian journalist. He says he fled the country in 2006 after being beaten, kicked and tortured while trying to cover a secret trial. He arrived in Rhode Island in 2007. He directs the Providence-based Refugee Dream Center. Bah announced his plans in a First Amendment blog run by Roger Williams University. He says he's motivated by a government crisis involving Gambia's longtime ruler, President Yahya Jammeh, who lost a Dec. 1 election but hasn't accepted defeat.
Fox News has kept most of its audience after the election
A sharp drop in cable news ratings following a presidential election is as inevitable as snow in Buffalo. Yet in the Age of Trump, so far Fox News Channel is defying that trend. Comparing the five weeks after the election to the white-hot campaign days of October, Fox's prime-time audience is down 8 percent, the Nielsen company said. That's a much smaller drop than rivals CNN and MSNBC, and smaller than all of the networks historically following elections. "They've really, obviously, established themselves as the go-to place for all things Trump, Trump supporters certainly," said Paul Sweeney, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. "This is their time to shine and they're making the most of it."
Continuing battle with media, Trump avoids news conference
Release of emails by Chicago mayor doesn't end dispute
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's decision to release thousands of pages of private emails does not end a dispute in Illinois about public access to such emails from him and other officials when they deal with government business. Emanuel announced late Wednesday, DFec. 21, that he had settled a lawsuit by a government watchdog group over emails from his personal accounts, but it allows him and his personal lawyer to decide which emails are public records and which are not. It's not clear what emails were withheld, and the Emanuel administration said it still disputes whether the private emails were actually public documents. The watchdog Better Government Association said the group didn't have the time or money to keep fighting its lawsuit. But the Chicago Tribune, which filed a similar lawsuit, said it was not ready to settle for the 2,700 pages of emails the mayor's office released and will press ahead with its legal challenge.
McClatchy buys Herald-Sun newspaper of Durham
California-based McClatchy has added The Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina, to its media holdings. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Wednesday, Dec. 21, (http://bit.ly/2h39N4X ) that McClatchy bought the newspaper and its online assets from Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group, which acquired them in 2004. The companies did not disclose the cost or other terms of the deal. The Herald-Sun's operation will be overseen by Sara Glines, president and publisher of The News & Observer. The Raleigh newspaper is among 29 papers across 14 states owned by McClatchy, which also operates a bureau in Washington. Its other papers in the Carolinas include The Charlotte Observer and The State of Columbia, South Carolina. The Herald-Sun dates to 1889, when it was published as the Durham Daily Sun.
Maryland officials considered sanctions over 'Serial' audio
Maryland officials considered sanctioning the producers of the popular "Serial" podcast for airing Baltimore courtroom audio from the trial of Adnan Syed, a violation of state law. The Baltimore Sun reported (http://bsun.md/2hsiS8o ) Wednesday, Dec. 21, that officials considered holding the podcast's producers in contempt. Maryland law prohibits the broadcasting of any criminal case. The paper says court officials this year reached out to "Serial" producer Sarah Koenig about how the tapes ended up in the 2014 podcast. Koenig says an attorney gave her team incorrect legal advice about the state's rules on courtroom audio. She's agreed not to broadcast court proceedings in the future. A Maryland Judiciary spokesman, Kevin Kane, says officials decided not to go forward with sanctions in light of the explanation. Syed's conviction was overturned earlier this year.
Report: At least 48 journalists killed on the job in 2016
At least 48 journalists worldwide have been killed on the job in 2016 as the year winds down, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That is down from 72 journalists in 2015. The report released this week says 26 of the journalists killed this year died in combat or crossfire covering conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and Somalia. Eighteen of the journalists killed in 2016 were directly targeted for death in retaliation for their work, the lowest number since 2002, the committee says. The decline in targeted killings may be attributable to factors including less risk-taking by the media and the use of other means to silence critical journalists, the report says. Syria was the deadliest country for journalists for the fifth year in a row, with at least 14 journalists killed there in 2016.