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INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 19, 2017
US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe
Silicon Valley is a uniquely American creation, the product of an entrepreneurial spirit and no-holds-barred capitalism that now drives many aspects of modern life. But the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are increasingly facing an uncomfortable truth: it is Europe's culture of tougher oversight of companies, not America's laissez-faire attitude, which could soon rule their industry as governments seek to combat fake news and prevent extremists from using the internet to fan the flames of hatred. While the U.S. has largely relied on market forces to regulate content in a country where free speech is revered, European officials have shown they are willing to act. Germany recently passed a law imposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($59 million) on websites that don't remove hate speech within 24 hours. British Prime Minister Theresa May wants companies to take down extremist material within two hours. And across the EU, Google has for years been obliged to remove search results if there is a legitimate complaint about the content's veracity or relevance.
Any questions? Trump wants to talk. Again.
Reporters were seated in the White House briefing room awaiting an appearance by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday, Oct. 16, when a call went out over a loudspeaker to head to the Rose Garden. There was no time to lose: President Donald Trump wanted to talk. Again. Chaos briefly ensued as the press corps quickly repositioned itself along a ropeline among the famous garden's fall mums and foliage in front of a podium marked by the presidential seal. While Trump rarely holds formal, stand-alone news conferences, his freewheeling, last-minute Rose Garden scrum was the latest example of his penchant for talking to journalists on the fly. For nearly 40 minutes, the president held forth on everything from tax policy to the Russia investigations to Hillary Clinton. Trump reveled in the wild rumpus, gesturing to specific journalists with a "hello" or a wink as they screamed and jumped to get his attention.
Fact-checking fake news on Facebook works - just too slowly
Facebook's effort to limit the spread of fake news using outside fact-checkers appears to be having an effect — although that finding comes with a major caveat. Once a story receives a false rating from a fact-checker, Facebook says, subsequent "impressions" can fall off by 80 percent. Impressions count the number of times Facebook users see a particular post.
But it routinely takes more than three days for a false story that appears on Facebook to be passed along to fact-checkers and given a false rating. And most impressions occur when the story first comes out, not three days later. That's the case with all news, both true and fake. The information was shared in an email from a Facebook manager sent to the company's fact-checking partners, including The Associated Press. Facebook gave an AP reporter access to the email.
Bomb kills reporter who covered Malta's 'Panama Papers' link
A Maltese investigative journalist who exposed the island nation's links to offshore tax havens through the leaked Panama Papers was killed Monday, Oct. 16, when a bomb exploded in her car, the prime minister said. Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a large town on Malta's main island, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle's wreckage spiraling over a wall and into a field, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said. Caruana Galizia's death resulted from a "barbaric attack" that also amounted to an assault on freedom of expression, Muscat said. He described her as "was one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level" as he denounced her slaying.
4 women sue Detroit Free Press in pay discrimination lawsuit
Four female photo journalists have filed a pay discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the Detroit Free Press. Former and current staff members allege in the Friday, Oct. 13, complaint that the newspaper underpaid them because they're women. The lawsuit follows a study this year by the newspaper's union analyzing pay data. It shows the median wage for men was higher than for women in almost every job category at the newspaper. For example, the lawsuit says male photographers make over $4 an hour more than female photographers. Free Press editor and vice president Peter Bhatia says the lawsuit has no merit and the newspaper has a "long-standing commitment" to supporting equal pay. A spokeswoman for newspaper parent company Gannett, also named in the lawsuit, didn't have further comment on Saturday.
Facebook's Sandberg favors release of Russia-linked ads
A top Facebook executive says ads linked to Russia trying to influence the U.S. presidential election should “absolutely” be released to the public, along with information on whom the ads were targeting. Previously, Facebook declined to make the ads public. While Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, now favors the release, she didn't say Thursday when the company would do so. The company disclosed last month that it found ads linked to fake accounts — likely run from Russia — that sought to influence the election. Facebook says these ads focused on divisive political issues, such as immigration and gun rights, in an apparent attempt to sow discord among the U.S. population. The ads included promoted events and amplified posts that show up in users' news feeds.
Ryan backs free speech amid Trump threat to yank NBC license
House Speaker Paul Ryan affirms his support for the First Amendment amid the president's threats to yank NBC's broadcast license. Ryan told journalists Thursday, "I'm a constitutional conservative, I'm for the First Amendment." The First Amendment to the Constitution protects the freedom of the press. Ryan added, "I don't always agree and like what you guys write, but you have a right to do it, and I'm a constitutional conservative and I'm just going to leave it at that." Trump is threatening NBC's broadcast licenses because he's not happy with how its news division has covered him and calls it "fake news." But experts say his threats aren't likely to lead to any action. Pressed on Trump's view, Ryan said only, "This is how I see it," and moved on.
Trump threatens NBC but experts see no real risk to licenses
President Donald Trump is threatening NBC's broadcast licenses because he's not happy with how its news division has covered him. But experts say his threats aren't likely to lead to any action. The network itself doesn't need a license to operate, but individual stations do. NBC owns several stations in major cities. Stations owned by other companies such as Tribune and Cox carry NBC's news shows and other programs elsewhere. Licenses come from the Federal Communications Commission, an independent government agency whose chairman is a Trump appointee. Trump tweeted Wednesday, Oct. 11, "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!" NBC spokeswoman Hilary Smith had no comment. The FCC did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Facebook exec meets with lawmakers amid Russia probe
One of Facebook's top executives met Wednesday with House members investigating the company's Russia-linked ads and told them the social media giant is serious about dealing with the issue. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, told lawmakers behind closed doors that the company is working hard to ensure Americans "understand what the propaganda is that they may or may not be reading," said House Republican Rep. Mike Conaway, who is leading the House intelligence committee probe Wednesday's meetings are ahead of a Nov. 1 House Intelligence Committee hearing at which Facebook, Twitter and Google are expected to testify. Investigators have recently focused on the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media and have pressured Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, to release any Russia-linked ads.
NBC News president defends losing Weinstein story
NBC News defended itself Wednesday after questions were raised about whether it had fumbled an explosive story about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults that network contributor Ronan Farrow broke instead in The New Yorker magazine. It was the same day NBC came under withering attack from President Donald Trump for a story the network did report, about whether the president sought in a summer meeting to greatly increase the nation's nuclear stockpile. Farrow's story, released by the magazine Tuesday, Oct. 10, offered new details about Weinstein's alleged behavior with women that followed an investigation published last week in The New York Times. The Times' story led to Weinstein's firing from the film company that bears his name.
Atlanta TV anchor running to oust new Republican Rep. Handel
An Atlanta TV news anchor says he's quit his job at the CBS News affiliate to run for Congress against Republican Rep. Karen Handel, whose election this summer capped the most expensive U.S. House race in history. Bobby Kaple said Wednesday, Oct. 11, that he can succeed where fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff fell short in the June special election for Georgia's 6th District. Handel kept the seat in GOP hands by winning a June 20 special election after Republican Rep. Tom Price stepped down to join President Donald Trump's administration. More than $50 million was spent on the race. Handel must seek re-election to a full term next year. Kaple says he left his job at WGCL-TV to enter the 2018 campaign because he can't stand to "simply report on this mess."
Danish police say submarine inventor won't talk anymore
Danish submarine inventor Peter Madsen, suspected in the death of a Swedish journalist whose torso, decapitated head, legs and clothes were found in the sea off Copenhagen, won't talk with investigators anymore, police said Wednesday, Oct.11. Investigator Jens Moeller Jensen told The Associated Press that Madsen "doesn't want to talk now." Moeller Jensen said that Madsen, who is in pre-trial detention, isn't obliged to talk, adding that his lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, had informed them about it. She wasn't immediately available to comment. Kim Wall's headless torso with 15 stab wounds was found on Aug. 21. Before the other body parts were found last week, Madsen was willing to talk to investigators. Her arms are still missing.
Saw found in Denmark could be linked to submarine case
Danish police say divers have recovered a saw from the sea off Copenhagen and forensic investigators are checking whether it was used to dismember the body of a Swedish journalist. Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen said Thursday they were still searching for the arms of 30-year-old Kim Wall. Wall's torso was found on a southern Copenhagen coast Aug. 21, and her decapitated head, legs and clothes were found at sea last week. Wall was last seen on a home-made submarine with inventor Peter Madsen, who is being held in custody. He has said she died after being accidentally hit by a heavy hatch in the submarine's tower. Police have found no fractures to Wall's skull.
Late journalist, professor to be honored at George Mason
George Mason is honoring one of its former professors whose career stretched beyond academia into journalism and civil rights. The school is dedicating a plaza Thursday in the Johnson Center on its flagship Fairfax campus to Roger Wilkins, who died earlier this year at age 85. Wilkins won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 along with Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and cartoonist Herbert Block for coverage of the Watergate scandal. Wilkins was working as an editorial writer at the time. He championed civil rights as an assistant attorney general in the Lyndon Johnson administration. Wilkins served as a professor of history and American culture at Mason from 1986 until his retirement in 2007.
Philadelphia papers offer buyouts and some new jobs
The owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, its sister paper the Philadelphia Daily News and their joint website is seeking to eliminate 30 to 35 newsroom positions through buyouts.
The Philadelphia Media Network also announced Monday, Oct. 9, it's hiring 10 people for new digital-related jobs. Publisher Terrance Egger says "the economics are not getting any better" for the business. He says the company needs to cut costs but is also investing to modernize its news operation and expand its audience on Philly.com. The combined personnel moves represent about a 10 percent reduction in the 210-member union staff.
Union employees at the company since October 2010 are eligible for 28 week' severance pay. They also can get lump sums of $2,500 to $15,000 based on seniority.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 12, 2017
Fake news is still here, despite efforts by Google, Facebook
Nearly a year after Facebook and Google launched offensives against fake news, they're still inadvertently promoting it — often at the worst possible times. Online services designed to engross users aren't so easily retooled to promote greater accuracy, it turns out. Especially with online trolls, pranksters and more malicious types scheming to evade new controls as they're rolled out. In the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Facebook's "Crisis Response" page for the attack featured a false article misidentifying the gunman and claiming he was a "far left loon." Google promoted a similarly erroneous item from the anonymous prankster site 4chan in its "Top Stories" results.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/fake-news-is-still-here-despite-efforts-by-google-facebook/2017/10/09/1945fa0c-ad1d-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.5b24f5251779
Danish police find severed head in Kim Wall submarine case
Danish divers found the decapitated head, legs and clothes of a Swedish journalist who was killed after going on a trip with an inventor on his submarine, police said Saturday.
The body parts and clothing were found Friday in plastic bags with a knife and "heavy metal pieces" to make them sink near where 30-year-old Kim Wall's naked, headless torso was found in August, Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen said. Moeller Jensen said there were no fractures to Wall's skull and he declined to comment on the discovery of the knife. Peter Madsen, the 46-year-old Danish inventor who is in pre-trial detention on preliminary manslaughter charges, has said Wall died after being accidentally hit by a 70-kilogram (155-pound) hatch on the UC3 Nautilus submarine, after which he "buried" her at sea.
Murdoch's UK firm pays damages to ex-spy in hacking scandal
Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper company has agreed to pay damages to a former intelligence officer whose computer was hacked by detectives working for Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid, lawyers said Friday, Oct. 6. Ian Hurst, who ran agents inside the IRA in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, sued Murdoch's News Group Newspapers after learning from a BBC news report in 2011 that his emails had been hacked. Hurst's lawyer, Jeremy Reed, said at the High Court in London that News Group acknowledged the agent's emails had been intercepted "routinely and intensively" over several months in 2006. Reed said when he found out, Hurst "feared for the safety of many of the people with whom he had been in contact," who included people in the witness protection program.
Treasury's IG probing illegal surveillance allegations
The Treasury Department's inspector general said Friday, Oct. 6, it is looking into allegations that a Treasury Department agency has been illegally looking at the private financial records of U.S. citizens. BuzzFeed, a news website, is quoting unnamed government sources as saying that Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis has "repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of U.S. citizens and companies." Asked about the report, Rich Delmar, counsel to Treasury's Inspector General, said, "The issues referred to in the article are currently being reviewed as part of a Treasury OIG audit."
Adams Publishing acquiring Pioneer News media division
Family-owned Adams Publishing Group is acquiring the media division assets of the Pioneer News Group Co. in a deal that includes 22 daily and weekly newspapers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah. Terms of the sale that's expected to close Nov. 1 were not disclosed. Minneapolis-based Adams Publishing says the acquisition also includes a newspaper and commercial printing facility, various shoppers and websites. The Seattle-based Pioneer News Group is a media business owned by members of the Scripps family. Pioneer Newspapers was formed by James G. Scripps in 1986.Adams Publishing Group owns and operates 100 community newspapers in 11 states. The Adams family also owns radio stations, outdoor advertising companies, a wine distribution business, label printing companies and a large interest in Camping World Holdings.
Kremlin warns US against restrictions on Russian media
The Kremlin is warning that Moscow could respond quid pro quo if Washington restricts operations of Russian news outlets in the United States. Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Friday that Russian state-funded RT television network and Sputnik news agency had come under "unprecedented pressure" in the U.S. RT said it faces a U.S. demand to register as a foreign agent and provide detailed personal data for its staff, the request it said amounts to an attempt to push it out of the U.S. media market. Peskov warned that if the U.S. hampers the Russian news outlets' operation in violation of media freedom, "actions on the basis of the principle of reciprocity can't be excluded." He added that Russia respects press freedom and treats foreign media equally.
Open government group honors AP reporter, media executive
An organization dedicated to open government will honor an Associated Press reporter and a former newspaper executive. The Iowa Freedom of Information Council will present its annual Friend of the First Amendment award to AP reporter Ryan J. Foley and Michael Gartner, who has held numerous leadership roles at newspapers and broadcasters and now is principal owner of the Iowa Cubs baseball team. Foley is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was editor of The Daily Iowan. He joined the AP in 2004 and worked in Des Moines and Madison, Wisconsin, before being named Iowa City correspondent in 2010. Throughout his AP career, Foley has been recognized for his ability as an investigative reporter and skilled use of public records.
No snark allowed: PBS' 'Washington Week' stays true to form
For 50 years, PBS' "Washington Week" has gathered a rotating group of reporters to share and discuss information about the nation's most pressing issues. It's an approach that's satisfyingly wonkish and, amid a TV sea of partisan megaphones and questions about journalism's role, especially important. An "oasis" is how Robert Costa, The Washington Post reporter who was named the show's moderator last April after the loss of much-admired Gwen Ifill to cancer in November 2016, describes it. "We don't have polemicists on. We don't have people who are columnists. We have reporters," he said. "No snark, no apocalyptic ventilating about the news, no snide opinions, no praise. Analysis. It's not complicated." Costa said that's what draws respected print and broadcast journalists to the program that airs Friday nights (check local listings for times). They include Washington Post veteran Dan Balz; Peter Baker of The New York Times; Jeanne Cummings of The Wall Street Journal; Erica Werner of The Associated Press; and Nancy Cordes of CBS.
Alabama media firm acquires West Georgia-based newspaper
An Alabama media company has purchased a daily newspaper based in west Georgia.
A subsidiary of Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa purchased The Valley Times-News from Valley Newspapers Inc. and its owner, Nell Dunn Walls. The publication, based in West Point, Georgia, serves readers in the West Point area and also the Alabama communities of Lanett and Valley. Boone Newspapers manages newspapers in similar-sized communities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The Times-News reports that its office and staff will remain in West Point. The new publisher of The Valley Times-News is Baker Ellis, who also is publisher of the Times-News' now-affiliated publication, The LaGrange Daily News in LaGrange, Georgia. The deal was finalized Oct. 1.
Russian lawmakers weigh restrictions against US media
Russian lawmakers are warning that Moscow could retaliate if the U.S. moves to impose restrictions on Russia's state-funded news outlets. Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-funded RT television network, said it faces a U.S. demand to register as a foreign agent and provide detailed personal information about its staff, among other things. She has said that the request effectively amounts to an attempt to push RT out of the U.S. media market. Speaking after Thursday's meeting of a parliamentary panel investigating alleged foreign interference in Russian affairs, its head Igor Klimov said that Russian government agencies will consider possible retaliatory moves against the U.S. media broadcasting in Russia in response to the U.S. action regarding RT and state-funded Sputnik news agency.
Stolen baby photos, albums returned to mom by newspaper years later
Candace Brooke Murray feared her precious memories were lost when her Florida home was burglarized and her children's baby photos were stolen more than a decade ago.
Everything in the home was stolen or destroyed. Three years later, a woman mysteriously left a box of baby photos, including ultrasounds, at the front desk of The News Herald of Panama City. The staff tried, but social media wasn't what it is now and the trail grew cold and was forgotten until a reporter recently stumbled upon it while cleaning. The box was filled with clues including the mother's hospital band. They quickly found her on Facebook and reached out to her. A dumbfounded Murray said her daughter graduated from high school last year, and the family had a difficult time finding photos. But she rejoiced that the photos will be there when her 15-year-old son graduates.
Basketball ref sues Kentucky media company over harassment
A college basketball referee filed a federal lawsuit against a Kentucky media company on Tuesday, Oct. 3, accusing it of creating conditions that led to the harassment of him and his family after he worked an NCAA Tournament game between Kentucky and North Carolina in March. In his suit, John Higgins blamed Kentucky Sports Radio for helping incite death threats that frightened him and his family and defamatory messages on social media and in phone messages that disrupted his roofing business in suburban Omaha. Kentucky coach John Calipari was critical of the officiating in his postgame comments, a theme that was picked up on by commentators for Kentucky Sports Radio after the game.
Arizona State journalism school, Facebook fight fake news
Arizona State University's journalism school has partnered with Facebook on a project to increase news literacy and combat false news. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication launched a news laboratory Tuesday, Oct. 3, that will work with news organizations to fight the proliferation of misinformation. The project is funded by Facebook, which has come under criticism for its handling of fake articles that circulated widely on many social media platforms during the presidential election last year. Facebook recently launched a notification on its site that helps users spot false news.
INDUSTRY NEWS • OCT. 5, 2017
False news of the Vegas attack spread on Google, Facebook
False news that erroneously named a suspect in the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting on Sunday spread on Google and Facebook before the services removed the posts in question, the two companies acknowledged Monday, Oct. 3. Erroneous posts on both services — one highlighted by Google's "Top Stories" search results, the other circulated by Facebook users — falsely identified the shooter as an apparently uninvolved person.
A a story by the pro-Trump political website "The Gateway Pundit" named a different person as the shooter, citing a Facebook page to claim the individual was "a far left loon" and "a Democrat who liked (MSNBC host) Rachel Maddow." Posters on the anonymous, anarchic 4chan.org forum likewise trumpeted supposed findings that the same individual was both the shooter and a "social democrat." BuzzFeed saved screenshots of the stories, which no longer turn up on either Gateway Pundit or 4chan.
CBS fires lawyer for social media comment on Las Vegas
CBS has fired a corporate lawyer who said on social media about the Las Vegas mass shooting that she wasn't sympathetic because "country music fans often are Republican gun-toters." The network said Oct. 3 that Hayley Geftman-Gold had violated the company's standards by expressing deeply unacceptable views. Geftman-Gold was a vice president and senior legal counsel at CBS in New York and had worked there for a year.
Geftman-Gold made the comments on Facebook in connection with a discussion on gun control. She said she had no hope that Republicans would take action if they didn't do anything when children were murdered, an apparent reference to the Sandy Hook massacre. At least 58 people were killed in Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in the nation's history.
Google spikes free-article requirements on publishers
Google is ending a decade-old policy that required publishers to provide some free stories to Google users —though it's not clear how many readers will even notice, at least for the moment. Publishers had been required to provide at least three free stories a day under the search engine's previous policy, called "first click free." Now they have the power to choose how many free articles they want to offer readers via Google before charging a fee, Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google Inc., wrote Monday in a company blog post. The goal is to help publishers build up digital subscriptions, an imperative for many media outlets that pay large sums for news production but are starved for advertising revenue.
Maria television reporting raises echoes of Katrina coverage
As the days pass since Hurricane Maria ripped across Puerto Rico, television reports increasingly echo those after Katrina a dozen years ago in sounding the alarm for a desperate population frustrated by the pace of relief efforts. The question is: how many people are listening this time? The words were blunt by the usually easygoing Bill Weir on CNN: "This is a humanitarian crisis the likes of which we have not seen for a long time." His report, though, came 20 minutes into a Jake Tapper newscast that was led by political developments in the United States. The story has struggled to get the attention of predecessor hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which struck the U.S. mainland. The emotional plea of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on Friday, Sept. 29, felt like a turning point, although it was overshadowed in the news by the resignation of President Donald Trump's health secretary, Tom Price.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/maria-television-reporting-raises-echoes-of-katrina-coverage/2017/09/30/1fdc6a46-a5fb-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html?utm_term=.92d3a265ef1b
Playboy's interviews were models of the art form
When Jann Wenner was preparing to launch Rolling Stone in 1967, he had some ideas about how to make the magazine's interviews stand out. "The Rolling Stone interview was modeled in part on the Playboy interview," Wenner told The Associated Press this week, discussing the impact of the publication started by Hugh Hefner, who died Wednesday, Sept. 27, at age 91. Wenner, whose magazine's many notable interviews include conversations with John Lennon, Keith Richards and Elton John, explained that he wanted to combine The Paris Review's respect for the artist's craft with Playboy's range and outlook. Hefner is known most as an instigator of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s, but Playboy's influence extended well beyond its centerfolds, whether by publishing such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Kurt Vonnegut, sponsoring comedians and jazz musicians or through its mastery of the art of the interview.
Newspaper publisher partners with ZipRecruiter
Bucks, Montgomery and Burlington County businesses and job seekers will have access to a powerful online tool to help them connect, starting Monday, Oct. 2. New Media Investment Group and GateHouse Media, the parent of The Intelligencer, Bucks County Courier Times and the Burlington County Times, on Monday begins its new partnership with Santa Monica, California-based ZipRecruiter, one of the fastest growing online marketplaces. Under the agreement, ZipRecruiter will be the exclusive advertising partner for GateHouse's recruitment pages, both online and in print, for the company's 130 daily newspapers, more than 300 weekly newspapers and 555 local websites that reach more than 21 million readers each week.
New publisher announced at The Paris (Texas) News
Interim publisher and longtime business manager Relan Walker has assumed the role of publisher of The Paris (Texas) News, Dolph Tillotson, president of Southern Newspapers Inc., announced Sunday, Oct. 1. “Walker is a great asset for our company,” Tillotson said. “I’m very happy to announce her promotion to the role of publisher on a permanent basis. She’s a good newspaper woman and a good citizen, and I don’t know of anyone who has more universal support from her staff.”
Senator: Twitter's actions on Russia-linked accounts lacking
Social media giant Twitter told congressional investigators Thursday, Sept. 28, it has suspended at least two dozen accounts that may have been tied to Russia, but the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee was anything but satisfied. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said Twitter's explanations of its actions against Russia-linked accounts were "deeply disappointing," and he suggested the company doesn't understand the seriousness of Congress' investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Warner made the comments after company executives met behind closed doors with staff members of both the Senate and House intelligence committees for several hours.
Warner said the information Twitter shared "was frankly inadequate on almost every level."
Rutland Herald newspaper buildings to be sold
The buildings that housed the Rutland Herald newspaper in Vermont will be sold at an auction next month. The Rutland Herald reports the Herald Association Inc. has agreed to sell three of its properties through an agreement with the Manchester-based firm Nathan Auction & Real Estate Inc. The Herald building, its rear warehouse and an adjacent parking lot will all be sold. The properties had previously been put on the market unsuccessfully. They are currently listed for sale for $895,000. The Herald Association sold the Rutland Herald and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus newspapers last year to Vermont Community Media LLC. Vermont Community Media plans to move operations at the Rutland Herald to the old Central Vermont Public Service building in November. The auction has been scheduled for Oct. 27.
New Mexico Supreme Court strikes down judge's gag order
The New Mexico Supreme Court overturned a judge's order barring a newspaper reporter and other people from disclosing information the judge deemed confidential at the trial of a business lawsuit. The Albuquerque Journal and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government brought the issue before the state Supreme Court and presented oral arguments on Wednesday, Sept. 27. At the start of the trial in April, Judge Alan Malott warned the audience, which included a reporter from the Albuquerque newspaper, that he would jail those who shared court discussion of financial information involving the Abruzzo family-owned Alvarado Realty. Lawyers representing the family of Mary Pat Abruzzo had asked that some sensitive financial information be kept private.
House, Senate inviting social media giants to testify
The House and Senate intelligence committees are inviting tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet — the parent company of Google — to appear for public hearings as part of their investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, The Associated Press has learned. The House intelligence committee is planning to hold a hearing in October and the Senate intelligence committee has invited witnesses to appear Nov. 1. The announcements of public hearings come the day before Twitter is scheduled to hold closed-door staff briefings with both panels. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, confirmed the House hearing in an interview with the AP, though he noted a date had not yet been set.
Charges: Man stole from dementia patient, funded newspaper
Federal prosecutors say a former Pennsylvania attorney stole nearly $624,000 from a client with dementia and pumped about $110,000 of it into a newspaper he bought with other businessmen last year. Mail fraud charges were announced Tuesday, Sept. 27, against Keith Bassi, of Charleroi. The charges allege Bassi used a power of attorney to steal the money from the dementia patient's estate from November 2013 to October 2016 and spent some of it on his stake in Mid Mon Valley Publishing. The company was formed to buy the assets of the former Valley Independent newspaper from Trib Total Media. The new company publishes the paper under the name Mon Valley Independent. Bassi's attorney didn't immediately comment. The paper's general manager, Jeff Oliver, says the charges shouldn't affect the paper's operation.
Recovering Congressman Steve Scalise talks to CBS
CBS says "60 Minutes" has landed the first television interview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise since he was shot at a congressional baseball team practice in June.
The network said Wednesday, Sept. 27, that Scalise will speak to Norah O'Donnell for the newsmagazine's Sunday episode. He'll recount the attack from his vantage point and will talk about what his medical ordeal has been since then. Four Republicans were shot in the June 14 attack by an Illinois man, James Hodgkinson. He was killed in a shootout with police.
Bill O'Reilly returns to Fox as Hannity's guest
It felt like a flashback on Fox News Channel Tuesday, Sept. 26, with Bill O'Reilly looking into the camera and declaring "the spin stops here." Six months after he was fired from Fox when it was revealed the network paid $13 million in settlements to five women alleging bad behavior on his part, O'Reilly returned as a guest on former colleague Sean Hannity's show. "I'm fine," O'Reilly said. "I'm teed off." O'Reilly was promoting his new book, "Killing England," which got cursory mention as the two men traded complaints about how the media had treated them and President Donald Trump. They loudly backed Trump on his campaign against NFL players protesting police brutality by not standing for the national anthem.
Famous fake news writer found dead in Phoenix
A brother of a purveyor of fake news who became famous for influencing the 2016 presidential election has died. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Casey says 38-year-old Paul Horner died in Phoenix on Sept. 18. Authorities discovered Horner dead in bed. County spokesman Fields Moseley says the cause and manner of Horner's death aren't yet determined. Moseley says the Maricopa County medical examiner is awaiting test results. Casey says Horner's family has indicated he used and abused prescription drugs. Horner was known for his false stories that often went viral and misled people. In 2016, Horner posted a fake story to several of his sites claiming a former Secret Service agent outed President Barack Obama as a gay man and a radical Muslim.
AP to enhance its fact-checking with Knight Foundation grant
The Associated Press announced Sept. 27 an effort to enhance its fact-checking and ability to debunk misinformation with $245,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. With the funding, AP will add additional full-time journalists dedicated to fact-checking and integrate local news fact checks into APNews.com and the AP News app. The local news fact checks will be distributed to AP's member news organizations and customers. AP will also experiment with new ways to present fact checks for social media and mobile platforms, as well as use data and automation to better analyze and understand how consumers make decisions about what kinds of news and information to trust. Working closely with Associated Press Media Editors, AP will offer training, best practices and support for local or regional fact-checkers aiming to build trust at the local level.
Black journalists group selects executive director
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) President Sarah Glover announced Sept. 26 the organization has named Sharon Toomer as its new executive director. The announcement comes after an intense selection process and extensive national search facilitated by Harris Rand Lusk. “We are excited that Sharon will be joining us at this critical time in NABJ’s history,” Glover said. “NABJ is so very fortunate to have Sharon onboard.” Citing Toomer’s vast experience in public affairs, communications, journalism and new media, as well as her professional and organizational skills, Glover said the Spelman College graduate was very impressive throughout the process and exhibited several traits that will serve NABJ well.
ABC's 'World News' breaks a 21-year streak
ABC’s “World News Tonight” with David Muir has dethroned NBC and finished the television season as the year’s most-watched evening newscast for the first time in 21 years, since the late Peter Jennings was anchor. While network evening newscasts have diminished in influence over the years and morning shows make more money, they still collectively reach 23 million viewers each weeknight and are considered the flagship broadcasts of news divisions. Bragging rights are eagerly sought. "One has to recognize the breaking of one of the great streaks in television," said James Goldston, ABC News president . Muir and his team "worked immensely hard to do that, and they've done it in an extraordinary period of news."
'Mark Felt' film prompts questions of Deep Throat's role
More than four decades after Hal Holbrook stood smoking in a darkened parking lot, urging Robert Redford's Bob Woodward to "follow the money," the famed Watergate source "Deep Throat" is, in cinematic terms, finally stepping out of the shadows. "Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House" is a kind of bookend to Alan J. Pakula 1976 masterpiece "All the President's Men" that gives a belated big-screen close-up to the man who was — until he revealed himself in 2005 as the Washington Post's famous source — shrouded in mystery. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the famed journalists whose reporting earned the Washington Post a Pulitzer Prize, say Peter Landesman's film overstates the importance of Felt in untangling Watergate, portraying him as a puppet master pulling the strings that would, as the subtitle asserts, topple Richard Nixon.
INDUSTRY NEWS • SEPT. 28, 2017
Judge: Independent SC journalist can keep sources secret
An independent online South Carolina journalist has avoided jail time for refusing to name sources who gave him information related to a legislative corruption probe. A judge ruled Monday, Sept. 25, that he won't hold Will Folks of fitsnews.com in contempt for rejecting demands that he reveal who gave him information and may defend himself as a journalist. Former House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham sued the writer for defamation after Folks wrote a piece saying sources told him indictments against Bingham were imminent. Judge William Keesley ruled he is considering Folks a member of the press for purposes of his ruling. The South Carolina Press Association supported Folks' claim, saying the case could set a dangerous precedent for journalists to be prosecuted civilly if Folks were forced to name his sources.
WhatsApp service disrupted in China as censorship tightens
The encrypted messaging service WhatsApp suffered intermittent disruptions in China on Tuesday as communist authorities tightened censorship ahead of a major ruling party meeting. Attempts to set up new WhatsApp accounts on some cellphones were met with network error messages. Others reported difficulty sending images and video on the service, which is owned by Facebook and offers more privacy than government-monitored Chinese social media. Chinese authorities are tightening controls on social media ahead of the party congress next month at which President Xi Jinping is due to be appointed to a second five-year term as leader.
Raycom Media, Community Newspaper Holdings announce merger
Two media organizations that own dozens of newspapers and television stations across the nation are announcing a merger. Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. and Raycom Media Inc. have agreed to merge into a new, privately owned media group, CNHI said in a statement Monday, Sept. 25. Both companies are based in Montgomery, Alabama, and are financed by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which manages pension funds for state employees. CNHI owns more than 110 newspapers, websites and publications in 22 states. Raycom Media owns or operates 65 television and two radio stations in 20 states. Under the merger agreement, CNHI will operate as a Raycom Media subsidiary. The merger is expected to be completed Sept 29.
Accused leaker asking again for pre-trial release from jail
Attorneys for a woman accused of leaking a classified U.S. report want a judge to free her from jail pending trial, arguing prosecutors have added no new charges months after they warned the woman may have stolen additional secrets. Reality Winner, a former Air Force linguist with a top secret security clearance, worked as a government contractor in Augusta until June, when she was charged with copying a classified report and mailing it to an online news organization. U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps has scheduled a hearing Friday, Sept. 29, to reconsider releasing 25-year-old Winner on bond. He ordered her jailed in June after prosecutors said Winner may have taken more than a single classified report.
Hannity boycott call fizzling, at least publicly
More than a month after a liberal advocacy group publicly called on advertisers to boycott Sean Hannity's show on Fox News Channel, luxury carmaker Cadillac has been the only new company to publicly back away from the program. While Hannity has appeared largely impervious to the efforts against him, opponents say they're not giving up. Meanwhile, Hannity is ascendant at Fox. His show, which averaged nearly 2.7 million viewers in August, was the second most-popular program in cable news behind MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, according to the Nielsen company. Starting Monday, Hannity moves back to the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot he previously occupied, taking Maddow on directly. Fox wouldn't discuss his advertising.
Senate bill would make online political ads more transparent
Legislation floated by two Democratic senators would enhance transparency for online political ads, requiring social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to keep a public file of election ads and communications. The bill by Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would try to fill what they call a "major gap" in election advertising transparency. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, the two say the legislation would also require companies to "make reasonable efforts" to ensure that election ads are not purchased directly or indirectly by a foreign national. The letter was sent Thursday, the same day that Facebook said it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators and make political advertising on its platform more transparent.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/senate-bill-would-make-online-political-ads-more-transparent/2017/09/22/374bb57e-9fd4-11e7-b2a7-bc70b6f98089_story.html?utm_term=.f3c9152728ad
Deseret News newspaper names new president, publisher
The Deseret News newspaper in Salt Lake City has a new president and publisher.
The newspaper reports Chairman of the Deseret News Publishing Co. Board of Directors Keith B. McMullin announced Thursday, Sept6. 22, media executive Jeff Simpson would be taking over the company. In a release, McMullin says Simpson's appointment builds on the foundation laid by the naming of Deseret News editor and head content officer Doug Wilks in November, and head digital officer Burke Olsen in December. Simpson, a Deseret News board member and president of Deseret Book, began his career at Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Television. He then built Excel Entertainment Group, which became a successful independent mediadistributor that was later acquired by Deseret Book. He then served as president and CEO of Bonneville International.
Megyn Kelly hopes for a Trump-free zone with new show
Megyn Kelly says she left Fox News Channel to bring more joy to her life. NBC hopes that starting Monday, Sept. 25, she can spread some to the network and its viewers. The former Fox News Channel star and Donald Trump foil debuts her talk show at 9 a.m. EDT, nestled into the four-hour "Today" show block and competing in most of the country with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest's "Live!" Kelly hosted a Sunday-night newsmagazine this summer to middling ratings, and it returns next spring. It's the daily talk show, in the lucrative morning market, that will ultimately determine the wisdom of NBC News' decision to hire her.
Facebook to release Russia ads to Congress amid pressure
Facebook will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators, bowing to pressure that it be more forthcoming with information that could shed light on possible interference in the 2016 presidential election. The social media giant also said it will make political advertising on its platform more "transparent." It will require ads to disclose who paid for them and what other ads they are running at the same time. That's key, because political ads on social media may look different depending on who they're targeted at, a tactic designed to improve their effectiveness. The moves Thursday, Sept. 21, come amid growing pressure on the social network from members of Congress, who pushed Facebook to release the ads. Facebook has already handed over the ads to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
New owners lay off employees at Alaska's largest newspaper
Reporters, editors and other employees at Alaska's largest newspaper have been laid off as the new owners attempt to stop the financial hemorrhaging that saw the paper losing $125,000 a week. Alaska Dispatch News co-Publisher Ryan Binkley wouldn't disclose how many of the newspaper's 212 employees have been laid off since the Binkley Co. was given the go-ahead from a bankruptcy judge to buy the Alaska Dispatch News on Sept. 11 for $1 million. However, he indicated this reflects a marked change ahead for the newspaper, formerly known as the Anchorage Daily News.
Reporter honored for stories on solitary confinement
Morgan State University has honored a Philadelphia journalist for his reporting on a black inmate who spent 37 years in solitary confinement. The historically black school in Baltimore said Thursday, Sept. 21, in a statement that reporter Mensah M. Dean humanized convicted killer Arthur Johnson while exposing injustices in the prison system. Dean is a reporter for the Philadelphia Media Network. His stories appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and on Philly.com. Dean was awarded the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence on Thursday. He also received a check for $10,000. Dean is a native of Washington, D.C. He graduated from Bowie State University, a historically black school in Maryland. Jarrett was a black journalist and broadcaster who became a prominent commentator on race relations. He died in 2004.
Leaders to tech firms at UN: Remove terror posts in 2 hours
The leaders of Britain, France and Italy are setting an ambitious goal for tech companies to tackle online posts that promote terrorism: Take them down within an hour or two.
Convening world and tech leaders Wednesday at the United Nations, British Prime Minister Theresa May said internet companies are making progress but need to go "further and faster" to keep violent extremist material from spreading online. The average lifetime of Islamic State extremists' online propaganda shrank from six days to 36 hours in the first six months of this year, May said. "That is still 36 hours too long," she said.
UK leader to press tech companies to block extremists
British Prime Minister Theresa May is urging internet companies to block the spread of extremist material, calling on social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google to develop technologies that will prevent content from being posted in the first place. Britain's leader will focus on the fight against extremist content during a meeting with internet companies Wednesday at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. May says that while social media platforms have made progress in fighting extremist propaganda, they need to ensure content is removed in less than two hours. She will say that "industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content" because extremists "are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead" of surveillance.
Senate intelligence chairman: Facebook should testify
The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee says Facebook should testify as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, and that the social media giant "seems to have been less than forthcoming" with Congress. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said Tuesday, Sept. 19, that committee members agreed the panel should hold a public hearing after it was revealed earlier this month that hundreds of phony Facebook accounts, likely run from Russia, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues such as gun control and race relations during the 2016 campaign. The panel is one of several in Congress probing Russian interference and any connections to President Donald Trump's campaign. "Facebook seems to have been less than forthcoming on potentially how they were used," Burr said, adding that it's "just a question of when, and potentially the scope of what that hearing would be."
Portland schools face audit after suing records requesters
Oregon's secretary of state said his office will audit spending by Portland Public Schools, in part because of the district's decision to sue people who requested public records. The Associated Press featured the district in a story over the weekend about government agencies across the country filing lawsuits against people who seek documents. Secretary of State Dennis Richardson told the Oregonian/Oregon Live (http://bit.ly/2hfATvf ) on Monday, Sept. 18, that Portland residents have complained to him about the district's problems and that the public records lawsuit is one reason why it deserves an audit.
O'Reilly says his ouster was hit job and business decision
Bill O'Reilly said Tuesday, Sept. 19, that his firing from Fox News Channel in April was a "political hit job" and that his network's parent company made a business decision to get rid of him. The deposed king of cable television news had a contentious interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show, where he said his conscience was clear about how he dealt with women in the working world. O'Reilly was dismissed by 21st Century Fox following a review prompted by a report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with the Fox host.
INDUSTRY NEWS • SEPT. 21, 2017
Republican governors get into the 'news' business
Republican governors are getting into the "news" business. The Republican Governors Association has quietly launched an online publication that looks like a media outlet and is branded as such on social media. The Free Telegraph blares headlines about the virtues of GOP governors, while framing Democrats negatively. It asks readers to sign up for breaking news alerts. It launched in the summer bearing no acknowledgement that it was a product of an official party committee whose sole purpose is to get more Republicans elected. Only after The Associated Press inquired about the site last week was a disclosure added to The Free Telegraph's pages identifying the publication's partisan source.
Facebook may be facing an 'era of accountability'
The problems keep piling up for Facebook, and it's unclear how long the internet giant will be able to brush them aside as it barrels toward acquiring its next billion users. The world's biggest social network has unwittingly allowed groups backed by the Russian government to target users with ads. That's after it took months to acknowledge its outsized role in influencing the U.S. election by allowing the spread of fake news — though before news emerged that it let advertisers target messages to "Jew-haters." Now Facebook is under siege, facing questions from lawmakers and others seeking to rein in its enormous power. The company has turned over information on the Russia-backed ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
University of Louisville to end funding for campus newspaper
The University of Louisville is planning to cease funding for the campus newspaper amid the school's $48 million budget shortfall. The Courier-Journal reports that school officials told the student journalism staff that funding for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper would cease by the end of the 2018 spring semester. Jenni Laidman, chair of the Louisville Cardinal board of directors, says the newspaper is "caught in the middle of the university's financial problems." Laidman says it could "mean the end of the Cardinal." Since becoming an independent student newspaper in the 1970s, the Cardinal received $40,000 to $60,000 from the president's and provost's office for advertising. In 2016, the university decreased its funding commitment by $20,000. Now with no future university funding, Laidman says they're forced to search for other options.
Photographer who died in Vietnam named honorary Marine
The photographer believed to be the first female American journalist killed in a war has become an honorary Marine. Wisconsin native Dickey Chapelle was 47 when she was killed by shrapnel from an exploding land mine while covering the Vietnam War in 1965. She also covered the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa during World War II.
Her connection to the Marines began when she first visited the front lines on Iwo Jima. She bonded with the Marines by digging her own foxhole and eating the same food they ate.
Laura Ingraham joins Fox News evening lineup
Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham is joining Fox News Channel's prime-time lineup with a program that pushes Sean Hannity into a direct competition with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Her show, "The Ingraham Angle," will air weekdays at 10 p.m. ET starting Oct. 30. The radio talk show host is no stranger to Fox viewers since she's been a commentator on the network for a decade, and her ascension to a regular show has been an open secret since earlier this summer. Fox said her show would "focus on every day, hard-working Americans who serve as the backbone of the nation" and highlight the importance of faith. Ingraham did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Monday.
NBC's Carson Daly announces death of mom Pattie Daly Caruso
Carson Daly's mother has died. The "Today" show correspondent and "The Voice" host announced the death of Pattie Daly Caruso in a statement read by his "Today" colleague Matt Lauer on the NBC program Monday. The statement said Caruso died Sunday. No cause of death was given, but the Desert Sun newspaper of Palm Springs, California, reports a family spokesman said Caruso died of a heart attack. Caruso was a well-known personality on local TV in California, where she hosted her talk show "Valley Views" for 25 years. She appeared with her son at times on the red carpet and on "The Voice."
Rolling Stone magazine to be sold
Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner plans to sell his company's controlling stake in the legendary magazine that chronicled the music and politics of the counterculture movement and changed music journalism forever. The New York Times reported Sunday that Wenner and his 27-year-old son, Gus, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, hope to stay on at the magazine, but it's a decision for the buyer. Gus Wenner said in an interview last week that "publishing is a completely different industry than what it was." No potential buyers have been named. The company's other magazines, Us Weekly and Men's Journal, were sold recently to American Media Inc., helmed by publisher David J. Pecker. The elder Wenner says he hopes to find a buyer that understands Rolling Stone's mission.
University of Missouri journalism school gets $21.6M gift
The University of Missouri has received $21.6 million from a 1974 graduate. The university announced David Novak's donation at a ceremony Friday, Sept. 15, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The funds will be used to create the Novak Leadership Institute in the School of Journalism. The institute will offer undergraduate training, graduate courses including an online master's degree, certificates and seminars on leadership. The courses will be based on a leadership program Novak created. "This is going to set the standard for how leadership is taught in the world," Novak said. "We are going to break new ground on leadership."
Grant aids Arizona project to digitize historic newspapers
Federal funding is helping preserve and provide ready access to decades of Arizona history in the form of newspapers. The state received a $279,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize approximately 100,000 pages of historic newspapers. That material will be addition to approximately 380,000 pages of newspapers already digitized by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records since 2008. The National Endowment grant is the fourth for the project. Previous digitization covered 68 historic titles published between 1859 and 1922 — a time period that included Arizona's territorial years and statehood. The material is available digitally on both the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" site and on the Arizona Digital Historic Newspapers platform.
Winfrey joins '60 Minutes' for 50th anniversary year
CBS' "60 Minutes," the newsmagazine that can credit consistency for much of its success as it enters its 50th anniversary year, is about to see a major change with the addition of Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey will debut Sept. 24, reporting on a story about America's political divisions. It's a testament to the power of the Sunday-night newsmagazine that it seeks to absorb one of television's biggest stars into its fabric instead of the other way around. One of the medium's best-known celebrity interviewers will do some, but will largely work against type in reporting stories, said Jeff Fager, the show's executive producer. "She wants to do stories with impact," he said. "She's driven by that and so are we. That's part of why this is such a good fit for her."
Hudson Valley daily newspaper gets new publisher
Kevin Corrado, publisher of the New Haven Register in Connecticut for the past three years, has been named publisher of the Daily Freeman in Kingston. The Hudson Valley newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2eWThF3 ) that Corrado also will oversee operations at the Denver-based Digital First Media's other New York properties, including the Oneida Daily Dispatch; The Saratogian, of Saratoga Springs, and The Record, of Troy. He'll also have management duties for the company's newspapers in Massachusetts, including The Lowell Sun and the Sentinel & Enterprise, of Fitchburg. The move comes after Digital First Media recently decided to consolidate management structure in the two states. In addition to his stint with in New Haven, Corrado also led operations at several of the company's other Connecticut publications. He has also served as publisher at newspapers in Vermont, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
TMZ's Levin visits celebs in their homes for new series
Harvey Levin likes to keep a secret — at least when it involves him — so you'll have to watch his new Fox News Channel series to find out which celebrity keeps a rock as a precious memento. The founder of the TMZ celebrity website is the creator and host of "Objectified," which premieres on Fox Sunday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. Eastern. The program features celebrities showing off personal memorabilia in their homes, starting this weekend with "Judge Judy" Sheindlin. Levin tested the idea last year with Donald Trump in Trump Tower, and that special reached more than 4 million viewers, a big hit in the cable world. The initial idea was to do separate episodes with Trump and Hillary Clinton, but since Clinton declined, the Trump episode was held until a couple of weeks after the election.
New leadership, new home for Mid-America Press Institute
The Mid-America Press Institute, a newsroom training association approaching its fifth decade, has relocated to Champaign, Illinois, and is now under new management.
The move was finalized August 1. The Mid-America Press Institute, a nonprofit offering low-cost training to mid-career journalists, built its membership from newspapers across the Midwest and had been located at Eastern Illinois University since 1994. Management of MPI is overseen by part-time co-directors, Brant Houston, the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois, and Pam Dempsey, the executive director of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, an online, nonprofit newsroom covering agribusiness and related issues.
Trump nominee for FEMA post withdraws over travel audit
President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the No. 2 official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency has withdrawn from consideration following questions about a 2011 federal investigation. NBC News reports that Daniel A. Craig withdrew after a reporter asked him about an inspector general's investigation that concluded he falsified government travel and timekeeping records while serving at FEMA during the Bush administration. Craig has denied wrongdoing. He didn't respond to phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Police: Man accidentally shot through reporter's window
Police in the Vermont city of Winooski say a bullet that went through the apartment of a regional television reporter was fired accidentally. The Burlington Free Press reports Winooski Police identified 21-year-old Tyler LaValley as the person who fired the gun. Police say LaValley considering buying the gun and accidentally discharged the weapon when he was handling it. New England Cable News reporter Jack Thurston says he was getting ready for bed when he heard the sound and immediately knew it was a gunshot. Thurston says he later he found a hole in a window and the bullet lodged in a storage box. LaValley has been ordered to complete a community justice program. Police say LaValley will also take lessons in how to handle firearms
In blow to Murdoch, UK refers Fox bid for Sky to regulator
The British government will refer Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.’s bid for satellite broadcaster Sky to the country’s competition regulator for further examination, in a blow to Rupert Murdoch’s takeover plans. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told lawmakers Tuesday that she intended to refer the takeover to the Competition and Markets Authority because of concerns that the deal might concentrate too much power in one company's hands. Murdoch already owns British newspapers including the Sun and The Times of London. And, in a change of view, she said she was also "minded" to refer it out of concerns about broadcasting standards. Bradley said there is a risk, "which is not purely fanciful," that the merger would not be in the public interest.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Sept. 14, 2017
Judge approves sale of Alaska's largest newspaper
A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday, Sept. 12, approved the sale of Alaska’s largest newspaper for $1 million, saving the paper from folding. Judge Gary Spraker made his decision after hearing hours of testimony over the financial liabilities of the Alaska Dispatch News. In approving the sale, Spraker said it was the best option available — better than liquidation — despite his concerns over the fast pace of the process. The new owner of the Anchorage newspaper is the Binkley Co., a family owned firm in Fairbanks. Ryan Binkley and Alaska Media's Jason Evans are currently co-publishers of the newspaper and intend to keep it going.
TV correspondents face danger they told others to avoid
It's a paradox of hurricane coverage: people on television spend days warning the public to get out of harm's way, then station their correspondents squarely in the middle of howling wind and rain and hope they don't get hurt. That was the case throughout Sunday's gripping coverage of Hurricane Irma's assault on Florida. Journalists were the shock troops allowing the nation to experience the storm from the comfort of their living rooms. Networks all brought their top teams in on the weekend for special coverage, non-stop on the newschannels. Network executives were one flying projectile away from a tragedy that would have them facing hard questions about whether they were placing a quest for exciting TV and ratings above common sense and public safety.
Fox News host Eric Bolling out; had been under suspension
Fox News Channel said Friday, Sept. 8, it has parted ways with host Eric Bolling, who had been suspended last month following allegations that he sent lewd photos to female co-workers. Fox is also cancelling the program Bolling hosted, "The Specialists." Meanwhile, Fox Business Network is reinstating Charles Payne, a host who had been suspended while the network had investigated charges of sexual misconduct. Bolling had been working at Fox for 10 years and had been considered a rising star, one of its more vociferous supporters of President Donald Trump. He had the lead role on "The Specialists," which aired at 5 p.m. ET.
Company seeks $4M arbitration award from Charleston paper
A media company has asked a federal court to order the Charleston newspaper to pay almost $4 million after an arbitrator upheld its claims under their partnership to operate two newspapers in West Virginia's capital. MediaNews Group, which owned the Daily Mail, says the Daily Gazette Co. failed to pay $495,000 in past management fees, $1.8 million in future fees through 2024 and $1.5 million from selling the Daily Mail's internet locator, dailymail.com, to a British paper. The Gazette Co., which in 2015 combined the newspapers into the Charleston Gazette-Mail, said it had the right to sell the website to pay down debts and Denver-based MediaNews didn't earn fees. Arbitrator Edward McDevitt rejected those defenses, awarding MediaNews $3.795 million. The newspaper's lawyer is asking the court to vacate the arbitration.
Longtime Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter leaving magazine
Vanity Fair says its longtime editor Graydon Carter is leaving the magazine at the end of the year after 25 years at the helm. Carter became editor of the magazine, known for its coverage of celebrities, Hollywood, media and politics, in 1992. It's famous for its star-studded annual Oscars party. Vanity Fair spokeswoman Beth Kseniak did not immediately answer questions Thursday about who would replace him. Carter says in a statement that he is "eager to try out this 'third act' thing" but did not specify his plans for the future.
Carter, a well-known figure in New York, is a book author, film and theater producer and restaurant owner.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/celebrities/longtime-vanity-fair-editor-graydon-carter-leaving-magazine/2017/09/07/eb64048e-93eb-11e7-8482-8dc9a7af29f9_story.html?utm_term=.80b74ba1d661
Israel PM bars Al-Jazeera journalist from free press seminar
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally intervened to bar an Al-Jazeera journalist from a government conference on press freedoms that uses the pan-Arab broadcaster as a case study. Bureau chief Walid Omary's exclusion from attending a seminar titled "Limits of free expression: the dilemma between national security and freedom of the press — Al Jazeera as a case study," comes a month after Netanyahu threatened to shut the Qatar-based outlet's Israel offices. The Government Press Office said Thursday that the prime minister is still pushing to strip Al-Jazeera reporters of their credentials and close their offices, but the move faces legal hurdles. Last month the office threatened to revoke an Al-Jazeera reporter's credentials after a 2016 interview surfaced in which he expressed support for Palestinian "resistance."
Entertainment series 'Objectified' joins Fox News schedule
Fox News Channel is making space for entertainment on its schedule. The channel said Wednesday, Sept. 6, the series "Objectified" with host Harvey Levin will debut at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 17. Each episode of "Objectified" will feature Levin interviewing a newsmaker or celebrity, with their valued objects helping to reveal what shaped them.
In the debut hour, Judy Sheindlin, TV's "Judge Judy," discusses the prized keepsakes in her Greenwich, Connecticut, home.
Charge dismissed against arrested West Virginia journalist
A West Virginia journalist who was arrested after repeatedly questioning U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price broke no law and isn’t being charged, a prosecutor said Wednesday, Sept. 6. A joint press release from the independent Public News Service and the Kanawha County prosecutor's office said a review cleared Daniel Ralph Heyman of any lawbreaking. "The State has determined, after a careful review of the facts, that Mr. Heyman's conduct, while it may have been aggressive journalism, was not unlawful and did not violate the law," the joint statement said. The Charleston-based reporter for Public News Service was initially charged with willful disruption of governmental processes at the state Capitol in Charleston during Price’s May 9 visit. Heyman had wanted to ask Price whether domestic violence is a pre-existing condition under the Republican health care proposal.
Utah media oppose closing former county official's hearing
Utah journalists are opposing a motion to close a court hearing on the guardianship of incapacitated former Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott. Several media organizations filed a motion together to prevent the 3rd District Court hearing from closing Wednesday, Sept. 6. The motion cites questions about the impact of Ott's condition on his elected office. A lawyer for the family previously declined to discuss his medical condition, but court documents say he has "mental incapacity that is not temporary in nature." Ott's appointed attorney Dara Cohen tells the Deseret News that she filed the motion to close the hearing because "private matters will be discussed." Ott's family and his girlfriend Karmen Sanone are embroiled in a legal battle over guardianship of the 66-year-old. Ott resigned from office last month.
Deal resolves lawsuit over inmate's emails with reporter
A settlement agreement on Tuesday, Sept. 5, resolves a lawsuit that accused Louisiana prison officials of retaliating against an inmate for exchanging emails with a reporter whose newspaper published a series of stories critical of the state's corrections department. The agreement requires prison officials to rescind a disciplinary action against William Kissinger, restore his trusty status at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and give him a job that pays 16 cents an hour. January's lawsuit said Kissinger was transferred from Angola last year and placed in solitary confinement at another prison after communicating with an Advocate reporter about an alleged "culture of greed and corruption" in Louisiana's prison system. Burl Cain, Angola's longtime warden, resigned in January 2016 following a string of Advocate reports about his private real estate dealings.
Police chief urges newspaper not to publish arrest logs
A Rhode Island police chief says he has tried to keep crimes out of the local newspaper because it embarrasses people. The Providence Journal reports that Block Island Chief Vincent Carlone was quoted in a column in The Day newspaper in Connecticut as saying he lobbied The Block Island Times to stop publishing information on minor crimes. Carlone backed up his statement Tuesday, Sept. 5, saying the columnist was "trying to make the island look bad." David Collins wrote the column and says the absence of police logs in the newspaper creates a "blind spot" for residents. The editor of The Block Island Times did not respond to requests for comment. Carlone says it's the newspaper's right to publish whatever they please. He says he does send a notification of major crimes.
Inventor kept in custody over journalist's death
A Danish judge has extended the detention of Peter Madsen, the inventor suspected in the death of a Swedish woman aboard his home-made submarine. In the first public hearing since Madsen was arrested on Aug. 11, the 46-year-old claimed freelance journalist Kim Wall died after she was accidentally hit by a hatch in the submarine's tower, and denied all accusations of sexual assault. Madsen is being held on preliminary charges of manslaughter and indecent handling of a corpse. He told the court he slipped when in the tower and tried to hold the hatch, but it fell down. The journalist, who was on her way up the tower, was hit in the head by the 70-kilogram (155-pound) hatch and bled from an open skull fracture, he said.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Sept. 6, 2017
Publisher Tronc acquires Daily News, storied NY tabloid
Newspaper publisher Tronc has acquired the Daily News, a storied New York tabloid newspaper that won a Pulitzer Prize this year but has been buffeted by the changing media environment. Chicago-based Tronc Inc., the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, announced the deal Monday night, and the Daily News posted a story on its website. It was first reported by The New York Times. Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn said acquiring the paper and its popular website would "provide us with another strategic platform for growing our digital business, expanding our reach and broadening our services for advertisers and marketers," and both Tronc and Daily News executives said the company would maintain the quality of the paper's journalism.
Conservative publisher wants nothing more to do with Times
A company that publishes books by Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and other conservative authors says it wants nothing to do anymore with The New York Times and its best-seller list. Regnery Publishing said on Monday, Sept. 5, it will no longer recognize the Times' accounting of book sales, meaning its writers can no longer claim to be "New York Times best-selling authors." That's a big deal in the book business. Regnery is annoyed that its book "The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left" was only No. 7 on the Times' latest best-sellers list even though another organization that tracks sales ranked it No. 1. Regnery says another of its books, "No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You," is also not ranked as highly by the Times as it deserves to be.
Court: DirecTV owes $15M to South Carolina in tax dispute
A court has ruled that pay-television giant DirecTV owes South Carolina nearly $15 million because of the way the company calculates its tax bill in the state. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the South Carolina Court of Appeals found that DirecTV revised its returns to the Department of Revenue in a way that understated how much money it collected from customers in the state over several years. The decision issued Thursday upholds a lower court ruling from June 2015. Taxes on more than $2 billion in South Carolina subscriber fees are at stake. The California-based company, which was acquired by AT&T in 2015, could pay the money or appeal to the S.C. Supreme Court. A DirecTV spokeswoman says the company is reviewing the court decision.
Philadelphia newspapers to start charging for online access
The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News will soon begin charging readers for unlimited access to their website Philly.com. Philadelphia Media Network says the newpricing will go into effect Tuesday. The company says those who subscribe will also receive current and archival digital replicas of the newspapers. Readers who don't subscribe to the digital service will be able to view up to 10 articles every 30 days. The company joins a number of newsorganizations, large and small, that charge for digital content.
Boone buys 2 daily newspapers in Kentucky
The Harlan Daily Enterprise and the Middlesboro Daily News in eastern Kentucky have been purchased by Boone Newspapers Inc. The papers, along with the Claiborne Progress, a weekly newspaper in Tazewell, Tennessee, were sold by Civitas Media of Davidson, North Carolina. The purchases were finalized Aug. 31, the Harlan Daily nterprise reported. Terms of the sales were not disclosed. Bill Sharp will remain as publisher of Harlan, Middlesboro and Tazewell. He was named to the position last November. Sharp says he is looking forward "to a great future with people who care about community news and the local newspaper." Boone, which has offices in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Natchez, Mississippi, owns and manages 75 papers, including three other Kentucky dailies: The State Journal in Frankfort, The Advocate-Messenger in Danville and The Winchester Sun.
Kansas secretary of state writing regular Breitbart columns
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is writing regular columns for the conservative Breitbart News website. The Kansas City Star reports that Kobach wrote his first column for the website in June and it tied refugees to terrorism. Kobach is a conservative Republican serving as vice chairman of President Donald Trump's commission on election fraud. He is nationally known for advocating tough policies against illegal immigration. Kobach also is a candidate for governor next year. Breitbart's executive chairman is former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon. Kobach has said he had regular contact with Bannon at the White House. Kobach said Breitbart approached him and said the site appeals to a broad spectrum of conservatives. He disputed claims that the site caters to white nationalists.
New research shows AP is bedrock of journalism on Facebook
New research reveals that the biggest provider of stories by far on the world’s biggest social media platform is the world’s oldest news agency, Associated Press. A study by news analytics company NewsWhip found that the AP – set up in 1846 by a group of New York dailies to provide coverage of the Mexican-American War – is generating almost 35m engagements a month on Facebook, a fact disguised by the agency’s comparative anonymity, masked by the brands of its members and clients in the news industry. This huge number of engagements (likes, comments etc) can’t be matched by any single news publisher, even the phenomenal Mail Online, which currently leads the chasing pack with 27m interactions. The AP’s most popular content is its breaking news, its political coverage, and its celebrity and “odd” stories.
Charleston Gazette-Mail plans online-only Monday edition
The Charleston Gazette-Mail will stop publishing a Monday print edition in a cost-cutting move. The newspaper , which won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting earlier this year, says that starting Oct. 2, its Monday edition will be available on its website, along with its app and electronic edition that shows print pages in a digital format. Charleston Newspapers President Trip Shumate says "we're trying to make moves that cut costs and continue to allow us to produce a quality product."
Customers' home delivery rates will remain unchanged. The Charleston Gazette and Charleston Daily Mail combined newsrooms in 2015.
Trump mixes up blonde Finnish journalists
It appeared to be a case of all blondes look alike for President Donald Trump, at least during a White House news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. Trump at one point turned to Niinisto and encouraged him to choose another journalist to ask a question. But Trump seemed puzzled by Niinisto's choice during the Monday press conference. "Again?" Trump asked. "You're going to give her the same one?" Trump apparently thought Niinisto had called on the same woman he had called on earlier during the news conference. Niinisto explained that the person he picked is "not the same lady" and that both women "are sitting side by side."
Trump's mix-up prompted someone in the audience to remark, "We have a lot of blonde women in Finland."
US regulators warn Alaska church using illegal broadcast
The Federal Communications Commission has warned an Anchorage church that it can no longer broadcast on a radio station without a license. The FCC officially warned the
Anchorage Baptist Temple on Monday, Aug. 28, after making a trip to the church this summer, KTUU-TV reported. Tom Steigleman, general manager for nonprofit Christian Broadcasting Inc., which has offices at the church, said the broadcast has been silent for a month or more following the FCC's visit. Anchorage Baptist Temple began broadcasting on 99.9 FM years ago as a way to play Christmas music with its lights display, Steigleman said. The broadcast carried into the holiday off-season, when church announcements would play on a loop. The signal had barely reached across the street, he said.
Professors get $300,000 grant for digital fake-news detector
Two Penn State professors have received $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop technology that will enable digital devices to weed out fake news. The university says information sciences and technology professor Dongwon Lee and communications professor S. Shyam Sundar are working on the project. Lee says fake news "has been around for decades" but has been "exacerbated" on the internet and social media platforms. The professors plan to investigate "characteristic indicators of fake news" and develop complex formulas that will enable digital devices to recognize those indicators and purge stories that contain them. Sundar has researched the psychology of online news consumption for two decades. The Associated Press and other media outlets have made efforts to point out fake news, such as a recent social media headline claiming Hillary Clinton lost the popular vote.
Sweden, Denmark say Russian fake news a threat
The defense ministers of Sweden and Denmark say they would boost their military cooperation to counter the threat of Russian military buildup, cyberattacks and false news.
Peter Hultqvist and Claus Hjort Frederiksen said in a joint statement titled "Russian fake news: A danger to our countries" that misinformation from Russia made their nations "increasingly unsafe." They said Thursday, Aug. 31, they would increase hybrid warfare cooperation, but stopped short of giving details. The two ministers from the neighboring Scandinavian countries cited an increased presence of Russian military vessels in the nearby Baltic Sea region, which has also seen several reports of airspace violations by Russian military aircraft.
N. Korea threatens S. Korean reporters over book review
North Korea on Thursday vowed to execute reporters from two South Korean newspapers, saying they insulted the country's dignity while reviewing and interviewing the British authors of a book about life in the isolated country. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency carried a state court statement expressing anger over the descriptions of North Korean lives as increasingly capitalist. It also objected to the translated title of the South Korean edition as "Capitalist People's Republic of Korea" and the book's cover that replaced the red star in North Korea's official seal with the U.S. dollar mark. North Korea's Central Court also "sentenced to death" the presidents of the newspapers and said the North will "track down to the end and cut off the dirty windpipes" of those responsible for such provocations.
West Virginia University course to detect 'fake news'
West Virginia University is offering a new course to provide student consumers with tools for separating media fact from fiction. Noting the phrase "fake news" has been widely heard since last year's presidential election and is now used in commentary by both politicians and journalists, the university's Reed College of Media says the honors seminar tackles the phenomenon head on. It's intended to make students savvier consumers by teaching them to how to access, critically analyze and evaluate news and information across various media platforms. Assistant Professor Bob Britten developed the course.
He says it's not designed to teach students which outlets are necessarily right or wrong, but the tools to systematically analyze and investigate a report's content to determine if it's accurate and supportable through other sources.
Gibson named general manager of 3 Lee newspapers in western Montana
Longtime Missoula Independent publisher Matt Gibson has been named the general manager of the Missoulian, the Ravalli Republic and the Independent, three news outlets owned by Lee Enterprises. Mike Gulledge, Lee Enterprises publishing vice president and regional publisher of the Missoulian and Billings Gazette, made the announcement during a staff meeting alongside Gibson Wednesday, Aug. 30. The Missoulian and Ravalli Republic newsrooms will continue to report directly to Gulledge. Gibson will oversee advertising, circulation, production and finance at the Missoula and Hamilton news organizations and will oversee all operations at the Independent. Brad Tyer, Indy editor, will report to Indy general manager Andy Sutcliffe.
Harvey reporters cast aside role as observers to help
In the midst of documenting the flooding in Texas, several news reporters have set aside their roles as observers to help people in danger. They've lifted people into boats, connected families through social media, flagged down rescuers and, in one case, coaxed people out of a flooding apartment house while on television. Most news reporters try to stay out of their stories, but say the dire situations they've seen because of Hurricane Harvey and its remnants left them no choice. "I'm a journalist, but I'm also a human being," said David Begnaud, a CBS News reporter who guided residents out of a flooded house in western Houston to a rescue boat in which he'd been riding. Cameras recorded the scene live on the CBSN digital stream.
Israel PM slams 'fake news' amid corruption allegations
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out at the "fake news industry" over media coverage of investigations into corruption allegations. Addressing a rally of his Likud party supporters Wednesday, Aug. 30, Netanyahu also criticized the weekly protests held outside the attorney general's home demanding he be indicted. Netanyahu struck a similar tone at a rally earlier this month. Police have questioned Netanyahu over allegations he received gifts from Hollywood and business figures. A separate probe is looking into secret talks with the publisher of a major Israeli newspaper in which Netanyahu allegedly requested positive coverage in exchange for reining in a free pro-Netanyahu daily.
Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and says the allegations are part of a political witch hunt by hostile media.
Fox hires conservative commentator Lahren
Fox News Channel has hired conservative commentator Tomi Lahren, who has hosted shows on The Blaze and One America News Network along with working for a political action committee supporting President Donald Trump. The network said on Wednesday Aug. 30, A that Lahren will have a "signature role" on a digital product under development and be a commentator on the network's opinion programming. Her primary home will be on Sean Hannity's show, where she was to debut on Wednesday. Lahren, who is 25, has quickly achieved a high profile in the conservative movement following her graduation from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has more than 4 million Facebook followers, and she produces her own videos with commentary on politics and culture.
Joel Osteen blames 'false narrative' for Harvey criticism
Joel Osteen is defending the decision not to open his Houston megachurch as a shelter during the initial flooding from Harvey in the face of withering criticism on social media. The televangelist maintained on ABC's "Good Morning America" Wednesday, Aug. 30, that his Lakewood Church was inaccessible due to floodwaters during the early part of the storm. He says the 16,000-seat former basketball arena is prone to flooding and that "the last thing we would do is put people in it right at the beginning." He says the city didn't ask the church to open as a shelter initially. Osteen tells NBC's "Today" show that a "false narrative" on social media was to blame for the backlash. Lakewood Church began taking in Harvey evacuees Tuesday afternoon.
UN rights chief decries Trump's 'demonization' of media
The U.N. human rights chief has denounced U.S. President Donald Trump's "repeated attacks" on three major American news organizations, saying "demonization" of the press can endanger journalists. Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein also made his first public comments decrying racist and anti-Semitic cries by far-right groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, calling the events on its streets "an abomination" and "a nightmare." He said he didn't initially respond because there was already a "cacophony of noise" in the United States. Zeid, who is a Jordanian prince, said Trump's repeated criticism of U.S. news outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN was "an incitement for others to attack journalists." "You don't have to stretch the imagination to see then what could happen to journalists," he said.
Parents of US journalist killed in South Sudan 'devastated'
The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for an independent investigation into the killing of an American freelance journalist in South Sudan. In a separate statement to The Associated Press, the parents of 26-year-old Christopher Allen say they are devastated and say their son "passionately sought the truth from every perspective."
Allen was shot dead over the weekend in fighting between government forces and rebels. South Sudan's government says there was no indication Allen was a journalist and that he entered the country illegally. The opposition says Allen was embedded with its fighters and was targeted when government troops saw him taking photos.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says it is "deeply troubled" by South Sudan's comments and wants those responsible for Allen's death to be "held to account."
Weather Channel, news networks, go all in on Harvey coverage
The Weather Channel plans to tally at least 188 consecutive live hours on Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath into this weekend — and the network's coverage is not just for people fascinated by eye walls and occluded fronts. TWC has distinguished itself with its coverage of the unfolding humanitarian disaster, with its meteorologists appearing in hip-deep in flood waters like reporters at the general news networks. The network has aired rescues and alerted viewers to the worst of the flooding from the record-shattering tropical system. Traditional news outlets have relied on water-logged correspondents to tell the story of Harvey and its aftermath. Network star power has been in short supply in Texas, with NBC "Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt the biggest name on the scene early.
Judge rejects Sarah Palin lawsuit against The New York Times
A federal judge on Tuesday, Aug. 29, tossed out a defamation lawsuit by Sarah Palin against The New York Times, saying the former Alaska governor failed to show the newspaper knew it was publishing false statements in an editorial before quickly correcting them. The written ruling by Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the lawsuit seeking unspecified damages "fails on its face to adequately allege actual malice.""What we have here is an editorial, written and rewritten rapidly in order to voice an opinion on an immediate event of importance, in which are included a few factual inaccuracies somewhat pertaining to Mrs. Palin that are very rapidly corrected," the judge said. "Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not."
Aspen Daily News sold to group led by acting publisher
Aspen Daily News founder Dave Danforth has sold his 39-year-old newspaper to an investment group that also owns an Aspen television station. The company that purchased the paper on Monday, Paperbag Media, is co-owned by David Cook, who had been the publisher of the Aspen Daily News, along with Spencer McKnight. Paperbag Media also owns the Aspen 82 TV station. Other investors include three brokers with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, a major advertiser. Cook says the investors will have no say in the day-to-day operations or news output. The Aspen Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/2vp4etw ) Danforth and two partners founded the newspaper in July 1978, producing a double-sided 8-by-11-inch publication. The publication acquired a traditional newspaper press in 1984 and added a Sunday edition in 1996.
South Sudan says no hint that dead American was a journalist
The American journalist shot dead in South Sudan over the weekend had entered the country illegally with rebels, the army said Tuesday, Aug. 29. There was no indication that Christopher Allen, 26, was a journalist, said army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang, who warned that journalists will not be protected if they come with rebels into this East African country's civil war. Allen, a freelance journalist, was killed Saturday in fighting between government and rebel forces near the Ugandan border. His body was handed over by South Sudan's army to the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.
Danes scan home-made submarine for any concealed areas
Danish police on Tuesday, Aug. 29, scanned a home-made submarine where Swedish journalist Kim Wall was last seen alive, saying they are looking for any possible concealed cavities. The 40-ton, nearly 18 meter-long (60 foot-long) submarine, which sank earlier this month, now stands on land in a remote corner of Copenhagen's harbor where a mobile cargo scanner has been deployed. In Tuesday's statement, police said Swedish colleagues with dogs specially trained to search for corpses in the water were combing the Copenhagen coast looking for clothing and more missing body parts from Swedish journalist Kim Wall. Her naked, headless torso was found Aug. 21. That search is expected to last two days, police said.
Trump mixes up blonde Finnish journalists
It appeared to be a case of all blondes look alike for President Donald Trump, at least during a White House news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. Trump at one point turned to Niinisto and encouraged him to choose another journalist to ask a question. But Trump seemed puzzled by Niinisto's choice during the Monday press conference. "Again?" Trump asked. "You're going to give her the same one?" Trump apparently thought Niinisto had called on the same woman he had called on earlier during the news conference. Niinisto explained that the person he picked is "not the same lady" and that both women "are sitting side by side."
Trump's mix-up prompted someone in the audience to remark, "We have a lot of blonde women in Finland."
Australian government open to CBS takeover of local network
Australia's communication's minister said Tuesday, Aug. 29, he did not have a preference for who owned troubled Australian television broadcaster Ten Network, with U.S. giant CBS Corp. making a takeover offer while a bid by local media moguls remains stymied in the Senate. The CBS bid for the network's owner, Ten Network Holdings Ltd., announced on Monday, has yet to be approved by Ten creditors and the Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board, which has to be convinced such takeovers are in the national interest. The sale price will be revealed in a report to creditors this week.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 31, 2017
Washington Post: Herbst to step down at Newseum, possible building sale
Jeffrey Herbst, president and chief executive of the Newseum, stepped down suddenly as the museum’s board announced a full-blown review of its long-troubled finances.
The review could result in the sale of the landmark building on Pennsylvania Avenue, according to a statement from the Freedom Forum, the creator and primary benefactor of the Newseum.
The Newseum will remain open while the financial review takes place, the statement said. One of Washington’s most popular museums, the Newseum is devoted to free expression and the First Amendment.
The museum moved from Arlington to downtown Washington in 2008. Over the past 20 years, the statement said, the Freedom Forum has provided more than $500 million to build and fund the Newseum.
“Despite these gifts, and the generous support of many individuals, foundations and companies, the Newseum has not been able to become self-sustaining,” it said.
Jan Neuharth, Freedom Forum CEO, said: “It has become obvious that the current model — where the Freedom Forum is the primary funder of the Newseum — cannot continue indefinitely at this level.”
POLITICO: Top newspapers lower paywalls for Harvey coverage
The nation's three most storied newspapers — The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal — lowered their paywalls this weekend for coverage of Hurricane Harvey.
The rare, concurrent move by the three titles gave non-subscribers unlimited access to their on-the-ground reporting as Harvey continues to inflict damage along the Texas coastline. It also gives readers access to weather and safety coverage.
"During times when safety may be at risk, access to accurate and up-to-date information is crucial," a spokesperson for the New York Times told POLITICO.
The three newspapers join The Houston Chronicle and other local Texas news outlets in reducing barriers to entry for content in the wake of Harvey.
Village Voice stops print edition, goes digital only
The Village Voice, the famed alternative weekly that's been in print for decades, is going online only. Owner Peter Barbey announced the change.
He says the paper, founded more than 60 years ago, "has been a beacon for progress and a literal voice for thousands of people whose identities, opinions, and ideas might otherwise have been unheard." Barbey says he expects that to continue, with reporting and stories posted on its website.
The Village Voice was the country's first alternative newsweekly, and has won multiple Pulitzer Prizes. It has been celebrated for its arts and culture coverage and its investigations.
Barbey bought the paper in 2015. He's the president and CEO of The Reading Eagle newspaper in Pennsylvania.
New York Times: WSJ editor calls out staff for ‘commentary’ in news stories
Gerard Baker, the editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal, has faced unease and frustration in his newsroom over his stewardship of the newspaper’s coverage of President Trump, which some journalists there say has lacked toughness and verve, according to The New York Times.
Some staff members expressed similar concerns after Mr. Baker, in a series of blunt late-night emails, criticized his staff over their coverage of Mr. Trump’s rally in Phoenix, describing their reporting as overly opinionated.
“Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting,” Mr. Baker wrote at 12:01 a.m. the next day to a group of Journal reporters and editors, in response to a draft of the rally article that was intended for the newspaper’s final edition.
He added in a follow-up, “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?”
A copy of Mr. Baker’s emails was reviewed by The New York Times.
Several phrases about Mr. Trump that appeared in the draft of the article reviewed by Mr. Baker were not included in the final version published on the Journal’s website.
Latino coalition: CBS diversity progress is part of new push
Latino leaders meeting with top CBS executives were braced for a confrontation over a protracted scarcity of Latino actors and stories on the network's prime-time shows.
"We said, 'That's it, no more'" in preparing for the encounter, said Alex Nogales of the National Latino Media Coalition.
Instead, the coalition said in a statement it found CBS has made "record commitments" to improved representation of Latinos, which Nogales said has galvanized the group to demand more from other networks.
"We're going to be very militant from here on out. ... The next target is Fox," he said, with a meeting to be requested soon. Letter-writing campaigns and boycotts could be among the tools employed to push broadcasters to act, he said.
Fort Wayne (Indiana) News-Sentinel to cease afternoon newspaper
The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana, has announced it will soon stop publishing its own newspaper editions and convert primarily to an online publication.
The News-Sentinel has been Fort Wayne's afternoon newspaper under a business partnership with the Journal Gazette morning newspaper. The News-Sentinel says it will have designated pages produced by its staffers that will be included within the Journal Gazette's printed editions while focusing more on its digital content. A date for the change wasn't announced.
Fort Wayne Newspapers CEO Mike Christman says The News-Sentinel will reach a wider audience while retaining its independent voice.
The News-Sentinel traces its newspaper roots back more than 180 years. Its staff won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for its coverage of severe flooding that hit Fort Wayne in 1982.
Longtime publisher of Fort Dodge, Iowa, newspaper stepping down
The longtime publisher of The Messenger newspaper in Fort Dodge, Iowa, is stepping down.
The Messenger reports that 75-year-old Larry Bushman intends to retire Sept. 30 and is being replaced by Terry Christensen, general manager of the Daily Freeman-Journal, which serves Webster City. Both are owned by Ogden Newspapers, which is based in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Bushman has been The Messenger publisher since 1991.
Christensen has been general manager of the Freeman-Journal since 2010, and his career has included stints with the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 24, 2017
The Messenger publisher Rick Welch takes on additional newspapers
Rick Welch, publisher of The Messenger in Madisonville, Kentucky, is adding publisher and general manager duties at the Franklin Favorite newspaper, WFKN radio in Franklin, and the Portland Leader newspaper in Tennessee, to his portfolio.
Welch officially takes over when the current general manager in Franklin and Portland, Jim Goodlad, retires in September.
All of the properties are owned by Paxton Media Group.
Mother of slain journalist urges Trump to fill vacancy
The mother of slain journalist James Foley is urging action on a position that has remained unfilled since President Donald Trump took office.
Rochester, New Hampshire, resident Diane Foley traveled to Washington to speak with hostage recovery and counterterrorism officials. The Portsmouth Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2wnPGcX ) she hopes to persuade officials to fill the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs position.
Saturday is the three-year anniversary of James Foley's 2014 execution by the Islamic State group.
The position was created in 2015. Former U.S. Army military intelligence officer Julia Nesheiwat currently serves as the acting envoy. Diane Foley says reform is still needed in order to ensure more Americans are brought home safely.
Ceppos stepping down at Louisiana State University
Manship School of Mass Communication Dean Jerry Ceppos is stepping down from his position at the end of the 2017-18 academic school year. He has served the position since July 2011.
Before working at the University, Ceppos was dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
He is a member of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and mass Communication, and has been chair of the journalism-education committees for the Associated Press Managing Editors and the American Society of News Editors and the president of APME in 2000.
Ceppos said he will likely remain in the Manship School faculty for some time after stepping down as dean.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 17, 2017
Morris Communications selling newspapers to GateHouse Media
Morris Communications will sell its 11 daily newspapers and other publications in those markets to New Media Investment Group, the parent company of GateHouse Media Inc., the companies announced.
New Media said in a news release it will pay $120 million to purchase Morris Publishing Group, the newspaper division of Georgia-based Morris Communications.
The sale includes The Augusta Chronicle, The Savannah Morning News and The Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia; The Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville and The St. Augustine Record in Florida; the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Amarillo Globe News in Texas; the Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas; the Log Cabin Democrat of Conway, Arkansas; and the Juneau Empire and Peninsula Clarion of Kenai in Alaska.
Family-owned Morris Communications has operated newspapers for more than 70 years.
The deal allows Morris to remain as publisher of The Augusta Chronicle.
GateHouse Media owns more than 130 daily newspapers and other publications in 36 U.S. states. The Morris acquisition will add 79 total publications, including a number of weekly newspapers, plus all related websites and digital operations.
Alabama media firm to acquire west Georgia-based newspaper
An Alabama media company is purchasing a daily newspaper based in west Georgia.
The Valley Times-News reports that a subsidiary of Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa intends to purchase the Times-News from Valley Newspapers Inc. and its owner, Nell Walls.
The publication, based in West Point, Georgia, serves readers in the West Point area and also the Alabama communities of Lanett and Valley.
Boone Newspapers manages newspapers in similar-sized communities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
Civitas Media Sells Newspaper Group
Civitas Media, the North Carolina-based company that owns the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, has sold a group of three newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee to Paxton Media Group.
The newspapers include the Grayson County News-Gazette in Leitchfield, Kentucky, the News-Democrat & Leader in Russellville, Kentucky, and the Macon County Times in Lafayette, Tennessee.
The Grayson County News-Gazette has been the county’s source for local news for more than a century and publishes every Wednesday and Saturday.
The News-Democrat & Leader has roots dating back to 1806 and publishes every Tuesday and Friday. The Macon County Times publishes every Thursday.
Newspaper files for bankruptcy protection, gets new owners
The Alaska Dispatch News in Anchorage has announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is in the process of transitioning to new ownership.
KTVA reports ( http://bit.ly/2vul4FR ) the newspaper's potential buyers might pay as much as $1 million for the paper. Those buyers included four siblings — Ryan Binkley, Wade Binkley, James Binkley and Kai Binkley Sims — as well as Alaska Media LLC, publisher of the Arctic Sounder, The Bristol Bay Times and the Dutch Harbor Fisherman.
A statement from Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff called the decision bittersweet. But she expressed pride in the paper's work under her tenure since buying the former Anchorage Daily News in 2014 for $34 million. She renamed the print publication the Alaska Dispatch News.
A number of creditors have filed lawsuits against the Dispatch News, the state's largest newspaper.
Pew Research: Digital News Fact Sheet
In the U.S., roughly nine-in-ten adults (93%) ever get news online (either via mobile or desktop), and the online space has become a host for the digital homes of both legacy news outlets and new, “born on the web” news outlets. Digital advertising revenue across all digital entities (beyond just news) continues to grow, with technology companies playing a large role in the flow of both news and revenue. … While online news includes the digital operations of many so-called “legacy” news organizations (those that originated in print or broadcast), this audience section presents data about digital native news publishers – those originally founded on the web.
White House's Omarosa Manigault jeered during panel talk
White House official Omarosa Manigault-Newman clashed with a veteran news anchor during a panel discussion on policing in black communities held at the largest gathering of black journalists in the country in New Orleans.
The director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison was a late addition to a panel at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans.
Her conversation with anchor Ed Gordon became testy when he attempted to question Manigault-Newman on President Donald Trump's policies around policing in communities of color. Trump recently said some police officers are too courteous to suspects when arresting them.
The conversation quickly escalated into a tense exchange before Manigault-Newman, a former "Apprentice" contestant, left the stage. Several people in the audience, which included non-journalists, turned their backs in protest during the discussion.
Poynter: Jim Kirk leaving Chicago Sun-Times for Tronc
Jim Kirk, the editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, is leaving the newspaper to join Tronc, the parent company of longtime Sun-Times competitor the Chicago Tribune.
The news comes just weeks after the Sun-Times was acquired by a group led by businessman Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor.
Kirk will be senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Tronc, the digital content and commerce division of Tronc.
CNN fires commentator Jeffrey Lord over Nazi salute tweet
CNN fired conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted a Nazi salute at a critic.
A network spokesperson confirmed that Lord was no longer with the network and said "Nazi salutes are indefensible." The statement came hours after Lord tweeted the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil!" at the head of a liberal advocacy group, Media Matters for America.
Lord said in a telephone interview that he respected CNN and its journalists, but fundamentally disagreed with the network's decision to fire him. He said his "Sieg Heil!" tweet was not an endorsement of Nazism or fascist tactics, but was meant to mock Media Matters and its use of boycotts of advertisers of conservative voices such as Sean Hannity, which Lord equated with fascism.
UK journalist Alison Smale named new UN communications chief
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Alison Smale, a veteran foreign correspondent and editor who has reported major stories for nearly 40 years, as the United Nations' new communications chief.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced the 62-year-old British journalist's appointment as undersecretary-general for global communications, succeeding Cristina Gallach of Spain.
"She has a proven track record as reporter, editor and senior leader," Dujarric said.
Smale, who speaks at least four languages fluently, started her journalistic career with United Press International in Germany and then joined The Associated Press in December 1981 in Bonn.
She covered events in the Soviet Union leading to its breakup and was at the Berlin Wall when it fell on Nov. 9, 1989, crossing at Checkpoint Charlie along with the first East Germans.
Smale joined The New York Times in 1998 and became a deputy foreign editor in 2002. Two years later she moved to Paris as managing editor of the International Herald Tribune, and in December 2008 she was named that paper's first female executive editor.
Since August 2013 she has been the Times' chief correspondent for Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, based in Berlin.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 3, 2017
AP: White House aide's tirade tests editors and producers
A presidential aide's explosion of profanity while talking to a reporter about his new White House colleagues tested newsroom leaders, forcing decisions about whether to use the graphic language or leave much of what he said to the imagination of readers and viewers.
Anthony Scaramucci, the incoming White House communications director, aimed his tirade at then-chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. An account of his conversation with Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker was published in graphic detail on the magazine's website, complete with expletives and anatomical references.
Scaramucci used the language in suggesting to Lizza that Priebus had leaked information about him, and that Bannon was more interested in advancing his own agenda than President Donald Trump's.
Following The New Yorker's lead, The New York Times printed all of Scaramucci's words.
The Washington Post similarly published the expletives Scaramucci used in reference to Priebus, but avoided the very graphic descriptor of self-love he used in reference to Bannon.
The AP's rules prohibit use of obscenities, racial epithets or other offensive slurs "unless they are part of a direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them." Scaramucci's words satisfied the first part of that restriction, but editors concluded there wasn't a compelling reason to use the profanity.
Kevin Shaw named new regional publisher of Dakota Media Group
Kevin Shaw has accepted the position of regional publisher of Schurz Communications' Dakota Media Group, which includes the American News, Farm Forum and Watertown Public Opinion.
He will begin Aug. 14, according to an announcement from Schurz. He will work alongside current Regional Publisher Mark Roby through Roby''s retirement on Sept. 1.
Shaw has worked in a variety of positions at the South Bend Tribune in Indiana.
Wyoming Press Association helps fund journalism department
The journalism department at the University of Wyoming is in a tight spot, but a few members of the Wyoming Press Association stepped up to help fund a couple of courses.
The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (http://bit.ly/2vfbfM8 ) reported that Robb Hicks, publisher of the Buffalo Bulletin, and Toby Bonner, general manager of the Powell Tribune, jointly paid for the multimedia messaging course. Bonner says it cost $1,750 from each newspaper's budget.
Bob Kennedy, owner of the Cody Enterprise, says he diverted the Bruce M. Kennedy Scholarship to help fund the journalism department. Kennedy says that is worth approximately $1,000-$2,000.
The department, which had six full-time faculty members two years ago, is down to just two.
INDUSTRY NEWS • July 27, 2017
New York Times: Facebook may let publishers charge for articles
Facebook is working on a new tool that could help drive subscriptions to news organizations that publish articles directly on the online service, an effort to improve the fraught relationship between the social giant and media companies, the New York Times reports.
The tool would be added to Facebook’s Instant Articles product, which allows publishers to post news articles that can be read within Facebook rather than on the publisher’s website.
The discussions about the tool are still in the early stages, according to two people familiar with the talks who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details were not public. But it is possible that Facebook could produce a metered pay wall product similar to those used by some publishers. After reading 10 New York Times articles on Facebook, for instance, a user could be sent to The Times’ subscription sign-up page.
Facebook plans to start a pilot with a small group of publishers using the tool in October and to expand the initiative in 2018 if early results are promising. It was not clear which publishers might participate in the test. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on the discussions.
Capital Newspapers names John Blais general manager
Capital Newspapers, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times, has named John D. Blais general manager.
Blais, a senior media executive with two decades of experience in Chicago and northern Illinois, will oversee day-to-day operations of the company, which provides operational support for the two Madison newspapers and several other daily newspapers and non-daily publications in southern Wisconsin.
Blais co-founded Chronicle Media, which circulates in 14 counties in Illinois, including the Chicago metro area. He previously served as vice president/general manager of Chicago Sun-Times Media Local and director of business development for the Sun-Times.
Capital Newspapers is co-owned by Lee Enterprises, the Davenport, Iowa, company that is responsible for the State Journal, and The Capital Times Co., which publishes The Capital Times.
Globe CEO resigns amid John Henry shake-up
The abrupt departure of Boston Globe CEO Doug Franklin after just seven months on the job — over strategic differences — underscores the financial pressures owner John Henry is under as he looks to rein in costs after the paper’s move from Dorchester to downtown, the Boston Herald reports.
In a goodbye memo to staff yesterday, Franklin said he and Henry “share similar passion and vision for the Globe” but “have our differences how to strategically achieve our financial sustainability.”
The sudden resignation came after an apparent clash over the Globe’s future, particularly how much to invest in its digital subscription platform. Franklin was quoted on his hiring saying “quality storytelling and great journalism tied to the subscription model has promise.”
But Henry appears more geared toward slashing costs, dropping special sections and pushing buyouts, which he has done each of the past three years.
Roby announces retirement as Dakota Media Group publisher
American News/Farm Forum Publisher and Dakota Media Group Regional Publisher Mark S. Roby announced his retirement from the company and newspaper industry, effective Sept. 1. As far as a successor, Roby indicated that work has already begun and he is confident Schurz Communications Inc., parent company of the American News/Farm Forum and the Dakota Media Group, will find a suitable candidate.
INDUSTRY NEWS • July 20, 2017
AP-NORC Poll: Three-quarters in US say they lack influence
Linda Bell, a beekeeper and farmer who makes about $11,000 a year, feels Washington power brokers have no intention of making health care affordable.
"They don't care about people like me," says the Bosque County, Texas, resident.
Three-quarters of Americans agree that people like themselves have too little influence in Washington, rare unanimity across political, economic, racial and geographical lines and including both those who approve and disapprove of President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Majorities also don't have a great deal of confidence in most of the nation's institutions. That's especially true of Congress, which takes the biggest hit, and the presidency.
Even at a time of deepening economic and political divisions, the poll finds widespread agreement that small businesses, poor Americans and workers have too little power in Washington, while lobbyists, big business and rich people have too much.
Group with ex-alderman, unions set to buy Chicago Sun-Times
An investment group led by a former Chicago alderman along with a coalition of labor unions is close to acquiring the Chicago Sun-Times, the group's leader said.
A deal to acquire the newspaper is expected to be completed soon, former Alderman Edwin Eisendrath said.
Eisendrath has declined to disclose terms of the deal and also said he doesn't have permission to reveal all the members of his investment group. "A great group has come together and make sure that a genuine voice with honest and good reporting that connects with working men and women thrives," he said.
One of the investors is the Chicago Federation of Labor, an umbrella group of labor unions. Chicago Federation of Labor secretary-treasurer Bob Reiter said the Sun-Times will retain its independence in reporting on labor unions.
Eisendrath came forward with a bid to buy the Sun-Times after owner Wrapports LLC announced it would enter into discussions with Tronc Inc. — which owns the rival Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and several other major newspapers — to acquire the paper.
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announces investment in Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced that he belongs to a group of local investors who loaned $12 million to help refinance the Times Publishing Co., which owns the Tampa Bay Times.
"I am happy to confirm that I am part of the investor group, FBN Partners, which recently formed to support the Tampa Bay Times," Vinik said in a statement.
"The Times is a critical local institution and a voice for our community. As Tampa Bay continues to grow and emerge as one of the most significant metropolitan areas in the southeast, I believe that it is important to have a strong, locally owned and operated newspaper, with the resources necessary to retain its independent voice and place as one of the nation's best."
Paul Tash, the chairman and CEO of the Times and the Times Publishing Co., announced June 30 that an investor group called FBN Partners took out a mortgage on the buildings and 27 acres of land at the newspaper's printing facilities in central St. Petersburg.
Some investors agreed to be identified, but others wished to remain anonymous.
CBS News announces partnership with BBC
Britain's BBC News is ending a long-running agreement to share reporting and resources with ABC News in the United States and instead will match up with CBS.
CBS News President David Rhodes said the deal with the BBC gives the network access to an organization that is larger and more comprehensive than Sky News, which had been its British partner. He said it does not mean CBS will be looking to cut back on its own staff.
BBC spokeswoman Charlotte Morgan said the British network has worked informally with CBS over the past few years and that the American network matches its current needs well. The BBC thanked ABC for "a long and fruitful partnership."
Canedy named administrator of Pulitzer Prizes
Dana Canedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former senior editor at The New York Times, has been named administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.
The appointment was announced by the Pulitzer Prize Board and by Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, where the prestigious prizes in journalism, letters, drama and music are administered.
Canedy succeeds Mike Pride, 70, editor emeritus of the Concord (New Hampshire) Monitor, who will retire July 31 after three years as administrator.
Canedy joined The Times in 1996 after eight years of reporting and editing at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. As a special projects reporter and editor at The Times, she was a lead journalist on “How Race Is Lived in America,” the series that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
Maine's largest media company buys storied newspaper
A family that has owned a Maine newspaper company for more than a century has announced a sale to the owner of the state's largest newsgathering company.
The Costello family has operated the publishing company that owns Augusta, Maine's Sun Journal since the 1890s. The Sun Media Group employs 225 people and includes magazines and weekly newspapers.
Reade Brower's purchase of Sun Media Group under the new SJ Acquisition company will close Aug. 1.
Brower owns MaineToday Media, which includes the Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram.
INDUSTRY NEWS • July 13, 2017
News outlets seek to negotiate with Google, Facebook on ads
News outlets are seeking permission from Congress for the right to negotiate jointly with Google and Facebook, two companies that dominate online advertising and online news traffic.
The News Media Alliance, which represents nearly 2,000 news organizations, said the two companies' dominance have forced news organizations to "play by their rules on how news and information is displayed, prioritized and monetized."
"These rules have commoditized the news and given rise to fake news, which often cannot be differentiated from real news," the alliance said.
It won't be easy getting a congressional antitrust exemption to negotiate as a group. But the alliance's chief executive, David Chavern, said in an interview that trying is better than doing nothing.
The news industry has been hit with declining print readership and a loss of advertising revenue as it has moved online.
MSNBC 'Morning Joe' hosts fire back at Trump Twitter blasts
"Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski said that President Donald Trump lied about their December encounter in a tweet and that his "unhealthy obsession" with their program doesn't serve his mental health or the country well.
The two MSNBC personalities postponed a vacation in order to respond to Trump's tweet, which drew wide condemnation a day earlier because he called Brzezinski "crazy" and said she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when he saw them at his Florida estate.
"We were heartened to hear a number of Republican lawmakers call out Mr. Trump for his offensive words and can only hope that the women who are closest to him will follow their examples," the hosts said in a co-bylined column posted on The Washington Post's website.
Trump tweets mock video of him beating CNN, sparks criticism
President Donald Trump crowned his weekend rage against the news media with a mock video that shows him pummeling a man in a business suit — his face obscured by the CNN logo — outside a wrestling ring.
It was not immediately clear who produced the brief video, which appears to be a doctored version of Trump's 2007 appearance on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. The 28-second clip was posted on Trump's official Twitter account Sunday morning, with the message: "#FraudNewsCNN #FNN."
Trump, who has branded the media as the "opposition party" and CNN as "fake news," stayed on the attack later in the day, stating on Twitter that "the dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!"
Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, condemned the video as a "threat of physical violence against journalists." He said Trump's tweet was "beneath the office of the presidency."
Maine governor suggests he makes up stories to mislead media
Gov. Paul LePage lashed out at the media for reporting he planned to leave the state during a budget impasse, and he suggested he sometimes concocts stories to mislead reporters.
The Republican governor also characterized the state media as "vile," ''inaccurate" and "useless."
"I just love to sit in my office and make up ways so they'll write these stupid stories because they are just so stupid, it's awful," he told WGAN-AM.
Maine media, citing lawmakers, reported recently that LePage might leave the state amid a government shutdown. Republicans including Senate President Michael Thibodeau and Sen. Roger Katz said LePage had told them he planned to leave the state.
Responding to a Freedom of Access Act request, the Senate Republican office produced a voicemail in which the governor is heard telling Katz, "I'm heading out of town for about 10 days and I'd like to speak to you before I leave. So could you give me a call please? Thank you."
A LePage spokesman called the news reports "fake news."
New York Times staff opposes elimination of copy desk
With the imminent elimination of a stand-alone copy desk at The New York Times, copy editors and reporters have sent two strongly worded letters to top management voicing their concerns over the changes to the newsroom’s structure.
Copy editors sent an open letter to Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, and Joe Kahn, the managing editor, challenging the decision to cut staff and eradicate the copy desk, which is responsible for, among other things, catching factual and grammatical errors and ensuring that articles adhere to Times style guidelines.
“We have begun the humiliating process of justifying our continued presence at The New York Times,” the letter from the copy desk began.
Times reporters sent their own letter in support of the copy desk.
Calkins closes on sale of Pennsylvania newspapers to GateHouse Media
Calkins Media completed its sale of the Bucks County Courier Times, The Intelligencer and Burlington County Times newspapers _ all in Pennsylvania _ to GateHouse Media.
Also included in the sale to GateHouse is the Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger newspapers in western Pennsylvania, as well as Calkins Digital.
GateHouse Media publishes 656 community and business publications, including 130 daily newspapers, along with more than 555 affiliated websites in 36 states. GateHouse is one of the largest media companies in the country. GateHouse Media is overseen by New Media Investment Group.
In a separate transaction, Calkins is selling The Uniontown Herald-Standard, the weekly Greene County Messenger and SWC Properties to Ogden Newspapers.
New general manager starts at Burlington (Iowa) Hawk Eye
The Burlington Hawk Eye in southeast Iowa has a new general manager.
The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2txvsdg ) Ellis Smith, 33, previously was a digital editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, where he first worked as a business and technology reporter.
GateHouse Media acquired the Hawk Eye in December.
New management announced at Nebraska newspapers
There's new management at the North Platte (Nebraska) Telegraph and the Grand Island Independent.
BH Media Group announced that Dee Klein will become publisher of the North Platte Telegraph. She replaces Terrie Baker, who has been named general manager of the Grand Island Independent.
The Telegraph reports (http://bit.ly/2tPPBxL ) Klein is the newspaper's longtime advertising director.
BH Media Group owns both newspapers.
Texas publisher Jeff Smith to retire
After more than four years as publisher of the Weatherford (Texas) Democrat, Jeff Smith announced plans to retire Nov. 3.
“After much consideration, my wife and I have decided it is time for a major change in our lives,” Smith said. “The decision to retire was based on a combination of things, but family played the largest part.”
Veteran newspaper executive named publisher in Indiana
Charles G. Lee, an accomplished newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher and advertising director of The Lebanon Reporter and the Zionsville Times-Sentinel, both in Indiana.
Lee is the former sales director of the Houston Community Newspapers and Media Group, which included 25 local newspapers in suburban Houston. He left the company after it was purchased by Hearst Newspapers a year ago.
Gizmodo Media Group announces 'Very Smart Brothas' partnership
One of the most popular websites for commentary on the black community is joining the media platform that includes online powerhouses Gizmodo, Deadspin and Jezebel.
Gizmodo Media Group announced that Very Smart Brothas will become a vertical of The Root, among the country's most-read online sites for African-American news. Co-founders Damon Young and Panama Jackson also will join the company as writers for TheRoot.com and work on new multimedia projects.
Very Smart Brothas launched as a blog in 2008 focused on black American popular culture and politics and has built a following covering everything from Beyonce to police brutality.
The site attracts an average of 2 million monthly unique visitors. The Root was acquired by Fusion Media Group in 2015 and posted 8.2 million monthly unique visitors in June.
INDUSTRY NEWS • June 29, 2017
CNN accepts resignations of 3 involved in retracted story
CNN accepted the resignations of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund.
The story was posted on the network's website last week, then removed. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting.
The story's author, Thomas Frank, was among those who resigned, according to a network executive who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel issues. Also losing their jobs were Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN's Washington bureau, and Lex Haris, head of the investigations unit.
Poynter: NPR to reorganize around regional hubs
NPR's top news executive announced plans to roll out a regional hub system at a speech for the Public Radio News Directors convention in Miami.
Michael Oreskes, NPR's senior vice president for news and editorial director, told news directors that he envisions, "more than four and less than 12 hubs around the country."
The hubs would be staffed by experienced managers who could help identify regional stories while making it easier for local stations in those regions to share expertise and resources around investigative work and digital content.
Hubs, he said, would better allow NPR and its more than 900 member stations to act in unison. NPR now reaches a digital audience of about 40 million people while local stations combined have about 20 million digital listeners and readers, he said.
Rhett Long named new publisher of Daily Herald
Rhett Long has been appointed as the new publisher of the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah. He formerly was publisher and president of The Spectrum in St. George and Spectrum Media.
Long will replace Bob Williams, who will be retiring at the end of July.
Ogden Newspapers Inc. purchased the Daily Herald in August 2016 from former owner Lee Enterprises.
Commercial Appeal Will Seek New Office In Memphis With Digital Capabilities
The Commercial Appeal is selling the property on Union Avenue it has called home since 1977 and then will search for new office space in Memphis.
Mike Jung, president of the newspaper, told employees that the property will go on the market in two to three weeks.
“We are a Memphis-based organization, and we will remain in Memphis,” Jung said in a later interview. “We look forward to moving into a new, modern building that reflects our digital-forward environment and organization.”