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INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 17, 2017
Journalists group backs media insurance covering war zones
The International Federation of Journalists is helping set up a new insurance scheme that also seeks to cover media workers in war zones where insurance can be hard to come by or very expensive. The IFJ, which represents 600,000 members in 140 countries, announced its backing Tuesday, Jan. 17, for the scheme by a company called Insurance for Journalists and said it would fill an important void for reporters who are sometimes held back from traveling to war zones because of the financial risks. Each policy covers accidental death and disablement plus emergency accident and sickness evacuation and repatriation from anywhere in the world to the policy holders' country of residence, the IFJ says in a statement.
PBS: No 'red flag' on funding under Trump, but it's early
PBS is waiting, but not quietly, to see what the Trump administration's impact on public broadcasting and its federal funding may be, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger said. "It's too early to tell. But there's been no red flag," Kerger said in an interview Sunday, Jan. 15. Given that change always presents uncertainty, she said, and "in this case, more uncertainty," PBS and its member stations are conducting a vigorous effort to remind lawmakers about public television's value. The effort coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act that created what Kerger called "the best public-private partnership." "For about $1.35 a citizen a year, we provide an extraordinary service," she said.
Nashville journalist told to release documents in libel case
A Nashville television reporter has been ordered to hand over documents from his investigation of a district attorney. The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/2jyNTsI ) reports a judge in Nashville on Friday, Jan. 13, ruled WTVF-TV reporter Phil Williams must release the documents as part of District Attorney Glenn Funk's pending libel lawsuit against him. Williams published a February 2016 story based on depositions and quoting text messages from a developer who had faced criminal charges by Funk that were later dropped. Funk's lawyers hope to prove that Williams acted with malice. Williams attorney Ron Harris argued against releasing the information, citing journalists' news gathering privileges. The judge cited an exception in Tennessee's shield law in defamation cases in ruling those privileges did not apply. The case is set for trial in October.
Facebook introduces measures to tackle fake news in Germany
Facebook says it's introducing measures to tackle the spread of fake news in Germany, months before the country holds a national election. The social network said Sunday the investigative media group Correctiv will be its first outside fact-checker in Germany and it's working to bring aboard other media organizations. It said updates to make it easier to report fake news will be introduced shortly in Germany. Facebook last month launched plans to focus on the "worst of the worst" offenders and partner with outside fact-checkers and news organizations, including The Associated Press, to sort out true news reports from made-up stories. Germany is expected to hold a national election in September. Facebook has also faced criticism in Germany for what critics call an insufficient response to hate speech.
Contents of Trump's folders spark speculation
In the aftermath of President-elect Donald Trump's closely watched news conference, a burning question remains: What, exactly, was in those folders stacked on the desk next to him? The campaign wouldn't let reporters look at them. Trump never got around to discussing the documents. Some of the folders weren't labeled. That leaves it possible the public won't ever know precisely what the pile of papers was — other than another of Trump's stage props. The former reality-TV star with a flair for showmanship has a clear affinity for the political prop. He's appeared with marbled steaks; one of his "Make America Great Again" hats displayed in a glass case; and a 50-foot Christmas tree, intended to underscore his vow to trade what he believed was the politically correct greeting of "Happy Holidays" for his preferred "Merry Christmas."
CNN at war with Trump over what reporting unleashed
A week before the inauguration, CNN is at war with an incoming president, not necessarily for what it reported but for what its reporting unleashed. For all the noise — accusations of "fake news," the confrontation between Donald Trump and CNN's Jim Acosta at a news conference, false claims about what CNN had reported or linked to — that realization emerged toward the end of a remarkable 25-minute televised confrontation between Anderson Cooper and Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. When it reported on Tuesday, Jan. 10, that national intelligence officials had informed the president-elect that the Russians had collected a dossier on his behavior, CNN did not specifically detail what that behavior was because it couldn't vouch for its veracity. But it was CNN that gave BuzzFeed the cover to do so, Conway said. "You got the party started," she said. The question is raised: if one person unlocks a box and walks away, is that person responsible when someone else opens the box and removes its unsavory contents?
Capitol Hill Buzz: Russian news site interrupts C-SPAN
Moscow, we have a problem. Web surfers expecting to tune into C-SPAN's online feed of debate in the House on Thursday, Jan.12, instead saw images supplied by the Russian news site RT, which briefly interrupted programming on the network's website. Spokesman Howard Mortman said the website, www.c-span.org , was replaced by RT for about 10 minutes. The problem was likely a routing issue, since RT is one of the networks that C-SPAN regularly monitors, he said. The network is "investigating and troubleshooting this occurrence," Mortman said. The programming glitch came hours after a power outage interrupted a Senate confirmation hearing for Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., to head the CIA. The hearing reconvened in a different room. The Architect of the Capitol's office said a local power company "de-energized" a system that feeds power to the Hart Senate Office Building. The office said the power company, Pepco, quickly restored the lost power. The architect's office said it is examining the surge-breaker that was unexpectedly affected by the planned Pepco work.
Trump's long-awaited news conference quickly turns combative
A shouting match with a reporter. A long unexplained prop. An unexpected interlude from a lawyer. Donald Trump's raucous first news conference as president-elect bore little resemblance to the usually staid and choreographed sessions with the occupant of the Oval Office. It was a 58-minute display of how some of the old rules of journalism will be tested in the Trump era. More than 250 journalists packed Trump Tower for the celebrity businessman's first full-fledged news conference since July, which was billed as a forum to discuss his separation from his business but quickly turned into a loud, wide-ranging free-for-all about U.S. intelligence, Russian hacking and, eventually, some of Trump's policy plans after he takes office on Jan. 20.
Facebook takes on a bigger role in journalism
Facebook is launching a journalism project aimed at strengthening its ties with media organizations to help them expand their audiences, come up with new products and generally promote trusted news in today's "post-truth" era. The project is in its early stages and as such, light on specifics. But the company envisions Facebook engineers working with news organizations to create new ways of telling stories and novel advertising or subscription models, right from the early stages of development. The company also wants to help promote "news literacy" and support local news. "It's very early in the process but certainly something we are really excited about," said Dave Merrell, lead product manager at The Washington Post, which is among the news organizations working with Facebook. "We worked with Facebook on numerous products over the years, but often were not involved in the product development stage."
Trump says BuzzFeed 'garbage' for publishing allegations
President-elect Donald Trump and his team on Wednesday, Jan. 11, attacked news organizations that spread unsubstantiated reports about a damaging dossier collected on him by Russia, an incident that illustrates how old rules of journalism are tested in today's rapidly changing media world. Trump called BuzzFeed "a pile of garbage" for publishing the allegations and got into a spat with CNN's Jim Acosta during his first news conference since July. He praised organizations that didn't follow BuzzFeed's lead. The untraditional news conference, less than two weeks before Trump's inauguration, was dominated by questions about Russia and the president-elect's relationship with the intelligence community. CNN on Tuesday reported that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about compromising personal and financial information that Russia had collected on him. The network did not give details about the information, saying the charges had not been verified, but BuzzFeed soon published them. Most reputable news organizations, following up the story, also did not report the details.
Trump news spreads faster than reporters can verify
The spread of a report about supposed damaging information about President-elect Donald Trump collected by Russia became a public test of journalistic standards, but burst into public consciousness even as those standards were being debated. Hours after news reports circulated Tuesday, Jan. 10, that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about the existence of the dossier on him, BuzzFeed News published a summary of those allegations. It published despite its editor noting that there is reason to doubt the truth of them. Most news organizations, including The Associated Press, held back on the specific allegations because they had not been substantiated. "Even Donald Trump deserves journalistic fairness," tweeted David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones. Yet the news spread so quickly that by Tuesday night, one specific, salacious allegation was a top trending topic on Twitter.
INDUSTRY NEWS • JAN. 12, 2017
Suit claims inmate punished for communicating with reporter
Louisiana prison officials retaliated against an inmate for corresponding with a reporter whose newspaper published a series of stories critical of the state's corrections department, a federal lawsuit alleged Monday, Jan. 9. William Kissinger was transferred from Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and placed in solitary confinement at another prison after communicating with Advocate reporter Maya Lau about the "culture of greed and corruption" in the state's prison system, the suit says. The suit describes Kissinger as a whistleblower and asks the court to rule that prison officials violated his constitutional rights to free speech and due process.
Corrections Department spokesman Ken Pastorick said in a Monday afternoon email that Kissinger "violated department policy" and was transferred "for his protection, and for disciplinary reasons."
WikiLeaks: Russia hacking report was political document
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denounced last week's U.S. intelligence report on Russian hacking, calling it a politically motivated "press release" that provided no evidence that Russian actors gave WikiLeaks hacked material. In an online news conference Jan. 9, Assange said the report is vague and that U.S. intelligence officials should be embarrassed by the 25-page, declassified document. "This is a press release," Assange said. "It is clearly designed for political effects." National Intelligence Director James Clapper, whose office issued the report, told a congressional panel last week that he does not think Assange is credible. "I don't think those with the intelligence community have a whole lot of respect for him," Clapper said.
Committee to Protect Journalists boosted by Streep's appeal
A plug from Meryl Streep on Sunday's Golden Globes telecast sparked a surge in contributions to the Committee to Protect Journalists. By mid-afternoon Monday, Jan. 9, the CPJ had received about 700 online donations totaling $60,000, communications associate Mehdi Rahmati said. Ordinarily, only a handful of donations would have been received overnight, he said. "And people are still reaching out." Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Streep cited President-elect Donald Trump's tumultuous relationship with the media. Then, she urged viewers to support a free press as journalists face dangerous assignments abroad. Last year was the worst on record for journalist imprisonment around the world, according to the CPJ, a non-profit committed to protecting press freedom. Streep's appeal to the telecast's 20 million viewers was a happy surprise for the CPJ, Rahmati said.
Trump, McCain weigh in on Meryl Streep's Globes speech
Twitter boots ex-pharma exec Martin Shkreli for harassment
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been suspended from Twitter for harassing a journalist. Lauren Duca is a freelance reporter for Teen Vogue who wrote a piece critical of President-elect Donald Trump. After she defended the story in a testy interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Shkreli invited Duca to accompany him to Trump's inauguration. Duca responded by posting Shkreli's offer on Twitter and saying, "I would rather eat my own organs." Shkreli later changed his Twitter profile picture to a digitally edited image in which he appeared to be embracing Duca on a couch. Duca tweeted pictures of the change to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter says in a statement that the platform's rules "prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies."
Trump, amid media battles, meets with Conde Nast executives
President-elect Donald Trump sat down Friday, Jan. 6, with executives at Conde Nast, a magazine chain whose editors have frequently been his foes. The 90-minute, off-the-record meeting, which underscores Trump's unusual relationship with the press, comes just days before he is slated to hold his first news conference as president-elect, an event normally scheduled just days after Election Day. Trump tweeted early Friday that he had been asked to attend the meeting by Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour. Wintour is a longtime admirer of President Barack Obama and his family. She supported and raised money for Trump's general election opponent, Hillary Clinton. Another attendee, New Yorker editor David Remnick, has repeatedly been critical of Trump.
US belief missing journalist is alive boosts parents' hopes
The parents of an American journalist taken hostage in Syria in 2012 say their hope that their son will come home safely has never wavered. That faith recently got a
boost from U.S. officials, who told the family they have high confidence Austin Tice is alive. Tice's father, Marc Tice, told The Associated Press during an interview at his Houston home Thursday, Jan. 5: "Getting that word from official sources just reinforces that, yes, this is not wasted effort. This is real effort that needs to continue." U.S. Department of State spokesman Frankie Sturm declined to comment about how officials determined Tice, who was kidnapped in August 2012 near Damascus while covering the civil war, remains alive in captivity. Tice is a former Marine who has reported for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, CBS and other outlets, and disappeared shortly after his 31st birthday.
Northwest Cable News set to go off air
Northwest Cable News, the Pacific Northwest's 24-hour regional news network, went off the air Friday, Jan. 6, after 21 years of broadcasting. The network signed off following an hour-long retrospective. Jim Rose, general manager of KING Broadcasting in Seattle, has said declining viewership and changing viewer habits were factors. KING, a division of TEGNA, oversees the regional network. Northwest Cable News reports (http://bit.ly/2j9eik7) that Rose says 25 employees are affected by the shutdown, but more than half of those have found other jobs within the company in Seattle or elsewhere with TEGNA. The 24-hour regional news channel debuted on cable TV systems in much of Washington, Oregon and Idaho in December 1995. It drew content from KING, Portland's KGW, Spokane's KREM and KTVB in Boise, Idaho. All are owned by TEGNA.
MSNBC hires Greta Van Susteren for evening show
Greta Van Susteren's absence from cable news proved short. MSNBC said Thursday, Jan. 5, that it has hired the former Fox News Channel anchor for a daily, Washington-based news program at the dinner hour. Just like Tucker Carlson, who Fox named as Megyn Kelly's prime-time replacement on Thursday, Van Susteren completes the cable news hat trick: hosting shows on CNN, Fox and MSNBC. Her new show will air at 6 p.m. ET starting Monday, Jan. 9. A lawyer, Van Susteren got her start in television for CNN analyzing O.J. Simpson's trial, and that evolved into a regular role. After more than a decade at Fox, she left abruptly in late summer following a financial disagreement, saying Fox no longer felt like home. MSNBC had an open time slot following the end of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's political show.
Fox News says Tucker Carlson to take Megyn Kelly time slot
Fox News Channel is giving Megyn Kelly's time slot to veteran pundit Tucker Carlson, doubling down on conservative opinion leaders in its prime-time lineup at the dawn of the Trump administration. The network also said on Thursday, Jan. 5, that Martha MacCallum will move into Carson's 7 p.m. time slot, at least temporarily. She will host a show called "The First 100 Days" to coincide with the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency. Carlson, who has hosted shows on CNN, MSNBC and PBS, replaced Greta Van Susteren, who left Fox in late summer. Since his start on Nov. 14, the average audience of 2.8 million viewers for "Tucker Carlson Tonight" is up 23 percent compared to Van Susteren a year ago, the Nielsen company said.
Attorney General sides with newspaper in public record fight
New Mexico officials have asked that the city of Roswell reconsider its refusal to make some personnel records available to the public. The Roswell Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/2j8JziR ) that the newspaper requested former city zoo superintendent Elaine Mayfield's personnel records after learning she was placed on administrative leave as superintendent of the Spring River Park & Zoo. The newspaper filed a complaint with the state Attorney General's Office in September, alleging the city violated state public records laws by denying the production of records. The Attorney General's Office has since said the city used an invalid justification to withhold records in Mayfield's personnel file from the Daily Record. The AG's Office requested the city re-examine its denial of documents and produce the documents to the newspaper.
'CBS This Morning' marks 5 years of 're-imagining the news'
In 1982, CBS uprooted "Captain Kangaroo" from its weekday berth after 27 years. The beloved children's show got the heave-ho to make way for a breakfast-hour news show to go up against ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today."
For the next 30 years, that didn't go so well. One misfire after another kept CBS a ratings also-ran. It was as if kindly Captain Kangaroo was getting payback for CBS doing him wrong. Then, five years ago Monday, Jan. 2,that quixotic quest bore fruit with the debut of "CBS This Morning." After three dismal decades, CBS had brought something fresh and useful to the morning TV realm. For that remarkable feat, it seemed the Captain decided to lift his curse. True, "CBS This Morning" (averaging 3.69 million viewers for fourth-quarter 2016) remains in third place, behind nip-and-tuck front-runners "GMA" (which averaged 4.66 million viewers for the quarter, edging out "Today" by 84,000) and "Today" (which, averaging 4.79 million viewers in December, eked out a 98,000-viewer monthly win). But CBS' audience is steadily increasing, with year-over-year growth for 50 consecutive months, while the gap erodes between "This Morning" and its rivals.
Hulu adds CBS for upcoming live TV streaming service
Hulu is teaming up with CBS to add three of the network's channels to its upcoming live TV streaming service. The deal will give Hulu the right to live stream the nation's most-watched broadcast network, CBS, as well as CBS Sports Network and cable channel Pop. Hulu said Wednesday that more CBS Corp. channels may be added later. Some shows can also be watched on demand after they have aired.
Hulu says its live-streaming service will launch in the coming months, but did not give a date. The streaming company already has similar deals with Time Warner Inc., 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Co., allowing it to live stream CNN, Fox, ESPN and several other channels.
Inmate was beaten to death in rare Iowa prison homicide
An inmate died after he was beaten by a fellow prisoner at Iowa's maximum-security penitentiary in what's believed to be the first homicide at an Iowa prison since 2010 and one that prompted a union to accuse the state of covering up safety lapses. The deadly attack at the Iowa State Penitentiary in October continued despite a correctional officer's commands for the assailant to stop, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press under the open records law. The records reveal for the first time the beating of inmate Michael Whitworth, 46, who died Oct. 30. A union representing prison employees had accused the Department of Corrections of trying to hide news of the homicide by waiting to announce it until Election Day and saying it resulted from "an incident."
Wichita Eagle to move to new headquarters in Old Town
The Wichita Eagle will move its news operations to Old Town Square, an entertainment and shopping district in downtown Wichita. President and publisher Roy Heatherly announced Tuesday that the Eagle had signed an agreement to move its business and about 100 employees to Old Town. The Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/2i7fW1g ) the building is expected to be ready by April. Heatherly says the new location will help the Eagle emphasize its digital and multimedia operations, including digital screens on the front of the building that will project the paper's website and breaking news. Heatherly is still looking for a second building for a distribution center. The newspaper moved its printing operations to Kansas City last year. The Eagle's current building will be converted to headquarters for Cargill.
Megyn Kelly leaving Fox News, will host 2 shows on NBC
Megyn Kelly, the Fox News star who's had a contentious relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, said Tuesday, Jan. 3, that she's leaving the network for NBC News, where she will host a daytime talk show and a weekend newsmagazine, as well as contribute to breaking news coverage. NBC News made the announcement Tuesday, ending months of speculation over whether she would re-up with Fox, where she has flourished while suffering bruised feelings in recent months, or start a new chapter in her career. Her contract with Fox expires this summer. Her last show on Fox will be Friday night. Kelly's departure deprives Fox News of its second-most-watched host, behind only Bill O'Reilly, and a hole at 9 p.m. in its prime-time lineup.
Joe Scarborough says he was with Trump, but not to party
Joe Scarborough's year-end meet-up with Donald Trump has unleashed criticism of the MSNBC commentator for being too cozy with a high elected figure. But Scarborough says he's just doing his job as a journalist, and suggests he was targeted only because the politician was Trump. Eyebrows were raised Sunday, Jan. 1, by a New York Times report including Scarborough and his "Morning Joe" co-host, Mika Brzezinski, among those on hand for Trump's lavish New Year's Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. But on Tuesday's "Morning Joe" edition, Scarborough denied he and Brzezinski were there to party. Instead, he said, they were summoned for a private meeting with Trump to discuss a possible future interview.
The Dallas Morning News moving to former library building
The publisher of The Dallas Morning News has signed a 16-year lease to move the newspaper from its longtime home to the redeveloped former Old Dallas Central Library building. A.H. Belo on Tuesday, Jan. Jan. 3, announced details in The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/2j1oGWS ), which has been at 508 Young St. since 1949. Belo's chief financial officer, Katy Murray, says the move should take place over several months in late spring and early summer. About 500 employees work at the current complex. The move reduces space from about 325,000 square feet in two buildings near Union Station, to about 90,000 square feet. Murray says some sales personnel will use communal spaces at the new office. Belo will christen the new site in April with a ceremony marking 175 years of media operations.
Columbia, Missouri, newspaper to switch to morning delivery
The Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune will move from afternoon to morning deliveries beginning Feb. 6. Interim Publisher Mark Hinueber says the newspaper also plans a new design to help modernize the Tribune's look and will publish on five major holidays it had previously taken off. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2i6KjVK ) that afternoon daily newspapers have largely disappeared, particularly in larger cities. It says 525 afternoon dailies remain out of 1,387 dailies nationwide, with most in small markets. The switch is part of several changes at the Tribune since it was purchased Oct. 1 by GateHouse Media Inc. Newspaper officials say the change will provide reporters and editors with a better news cycle to cover news, allow the printing of later sports stories, benefit advertisers and consolidate delivery routes.
Editor: Man buys 100s of papers to hide DWI arrest, mugshot
The owner of a weekly upstate New York newspaper says a man bought hundreds of copies of the publication in an unsuccessful effort to keep others from reading about his drunk driving arrest. State police arrested 43-year-old Joseph Talbot last Thursday, Dec. 29, in Wayne County and charged him with driving while intoxicated. Police also charged him with refusing to be fingerprinted or photographed after he told troopers he didn't want his mugshot in the paper. Ron Holdraker, editor and owner of the 12,000-circulation Times of Wayne County, says the paper obtained a mugshot from the county jail and printed it along with a story on Saturday. Both were posted on its website. Holdraker says Talbot bought nearly 1,000 copies at $1.25 each.
Fight against publishing notices in newspapers persists
As classified advertising, once the lifeblood of newspapers, has dried up, one constant has remained: a thick daily listing of government public notices. But legislative fights have put that at risk. A measure to allow government agencies in New Jersey to no longer publish their legal notices in newspapers recently stalled, but Republican Gov. Chris Christie said he will make the change a priority in 2017. And Democratic leaders in the Legislature aren't backing down from having the debate, either. Christie says the change would save taxpayers and residents $80 million, but the state's newspapers dispute that math. They say that the state spends $20 million on legal notice advertising each year and that more than half is reimbursed by private business. Christie's figures also apparently include an estimate that $60 million will be spent on public notices of pending foreclosures, a fee paid for by banks.
WSJ: Reporter detained in Turkey for nearly 3 days released
The Wall Street Journal says one of its reporters was detained in Turkey for nearly three days before authorities allowed him to leave the country. Editor Gerard Baker says in a statement Saturday, Dec. 31, that national security reporter Dion Nissenbaum was prohibited from calling his family, editors or a lawyer while in custody. A newspaper spokesman says Nissenbaum's detention was likely related to Turkey's ban on reporting Islamic State terror group videos. He wouldn't comment further. A top Turkish official recently warned journalists against sharing a video that allegedly shows two Turkish soldiers being burned alive. The Turkish Consulate General in New York hasn't returned messages seeking comment. A State Department spokesman says officials are aware of Nissenbaum's case but couldn't discuss it. Nissenbaum tells The Journal he was treated well while detained.
China state broadcaster rebrands in international push
State broadcaster Central China Television has rebranded its international networks and digital presence under the name China Global Television Network as part of a push to consolidate its worldwide reach. CCTV on Friday, Dec. 30, unveiled several new mobile apps under the CGTN brand, and visitors to CCTV's non-Chinese language websites are directed to a new http://www.cgtn.com site. The broadcaster says it made the move to "integrate resources and to adapt to the trend of media convergence," with foreign language channels, video content and digital media falling under the new group. The government has long grumbled about the Western news media's hold on international discourse and has spent vast sums in recent years to enhance its own influence and shape global opinion, with CCTV as one of its spearheads. The broadcaster has channels in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and Russian, and production centers in Washington and Nairobi.
Lawyers quarrel over sealed documents in lane-closing case
Attorneys on Friday, Dec. 30, continued to fight over confidential documents related to the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case in which two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie were convicted in a political retaliation plot. A judge in Newark is reviewing which previously sealed documents can be released and if deleted portions of some documents can be restored. She is scheduled to rule by mid-January. Attorneys for several media organizations including The Associated Press requested in a letter Friday that materials already deemed to be publicly accessible be released now. Last week, government attorneys had asked for the judge to keep private a disk containing the documents. Among the documents at issue are a list of unindicted co-conspirators, grand jury testimony, search warrant affidavits and other evidence, including a page from Christie's calendar.
93 journalists killed in 2016; 29 more die in accidents
The International Federation of Journalists says that 93 journalists and media staff were killed in targeted attacks, by bombs or by crossfire in 2016 while a further 29 died in two plane crashes. The IFJ said in its annual report released Friday, Dec. 30, that the number was down from 112 in 2015. Iraq still had the largest number of media killings with 15, ahead of Afghanistan with 13 and Mexico with 11. Despite the slight decrease in deadly violence against journalists, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said that the statistics "give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis." In the two plane crashes, 20 Brazilian journalists died in Colombia and nine Russian media staff died as they headed to Syria.
Longtime editor Kai Diekmann leaves Germany's Bild
German publisher Axel Springer SE says that Kai Diekmann, the longtime editor of its mass-circulation Bild daily and one of the best-known figures in German journalism, is leaving the company. Springer said Friday, Dec. 30, that the 52-year-old Diekmann will step down Jan. 31 at his own request and pursue "other functions outside the company." It didn't elaborate. Diekmann joined Springer in 1985 and worked for Bild and its Sunday edition, as well as the company's B.Z. and Welt am Sonntag newspapers. He was Bild editor-in-chief from 2001 to 2015, and for the past year has overseen the Bild group's newspaper and website editors as its publisher.
Study: Ad-tech use shines light on fringe, fake news sites
What distinguishes mainstream news sites from those devoted to fake news or other hyper-partisan takes on events? It's not just the stories they run, but also the way they use online technology that tracks readers and shows them ads, according to a new study by a web analytics firm. In particular, the study — from the New York-based startup Mezzobit — showed that such fringe news sites are relatively unsophisticated in the way they make money from online ads, perhaps because many are shoestring operations that can easily cover their costs. Stories shown on fake or fringe news sites are anything but mainstream. They run from made-up articles to pieces that start with a grain of truth but exaggerate it to fit highly opinionated perspectives. But they use the same underlying ad technology, which serves up ads intended to appeal to every individual who visits, as their mainstream counterparts — just in different, and sometimes revealing, ways.
Refugee hopes to spark free press in Gambia
The founder and executive director of a Rhode Island refugee organization says he's planning to start a newspaper in the West African country he fled a decade ago. Omar Bah says he plans to launch a private, independent newspaper in Gambia that will be an alternative to government-controlled media there. Bah is a former Gambian journalist. He says he fled the country in 2006 after being beaten, kicked and tortured while trying to cover a secret trial. He arrived in Rhode Island in 2007. He directs the Providence-based Refugee Dream Center. Bah announced his plans in a First Amendment blog run by Roger Williams University. He says he's motivated by a government crisis involving Gambia's longtime ruler, President Yahya Jammeh, who lost a Dec. 1 election but hasn't accepted defeat.
Fox News has kept most of its audience after the election
A sharp drop in cable news ratings following a presidential election is as inevitable as snow in Buffalo. Yet in the Age of Trump, so far Fox News Channel is defying that trend. Comparing the five weeks after the election to the white-hot campaign days of October, Fox's prime-time audience is down 8 percent, the Nielsen company said. That's a much smaller drop than rivals CNN and MSNBC, and smaller than all of the networks historically following elections. "They've really, obviously, established themselves as the go-to place for all things Trump, Trump supporters certainly," said Paul Sweeney, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. "This is their time to shine and they're making the most of it."
Continuing battle with media, Trump avoids news conference
Release of emails by Chicago mayor doesn't end dispute
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's decision to release thousands of pages of private emails does not end a dispute in Illinois about public access to such emails from him and other officials when they deal with government business. Emanuel announced late Wednesday, DFec. 21, that he had settled a lawsuit by a government watchdog group over emails from his personal accounts, but it allows him and his personal lawyer to decide which emails are public records and which are not. It's not clear what emails were withheld, and the Emanuel administration said it still disputes whether the private emails were actually public documents. The watchdog Better Government Association said the group didn't have the time or money to keep fighting its lawsuit. But the Chicago Tribune, which filed a similar lawsuit, said it was not ready to settle for the 2,700 pages of emails the mayor's office released and will press ahead with its legal challenge.
McClatchy buys Herald-Sun newspaper of Durham
California-based McClatchy has added The Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina, to its media holdings. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Wednesday, Dec. 21, (http://bit.ly/2h39N4X ) that McClatchy bought the newspaper and its online assets from Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group, which acquired them in 2004. The companies did not disclose the cost or other terms of the deal. The Herald-Sun's operation will be overseen by Sara Glines, president and publisher of The News & Observer. The Raleigh newspaper is among 29 papers across 14 states owned by McClatchy, which also operates a bureau in Washington. Its other papers in the Carolinas include The Charlotte Observer and The State of Columbia, South Carolina. The Herald-Sun dates to 1889, when it was published as the Durham Daily Sun.
Maryland officials considered sanctions over 'Serial' audio
Maryland officials considered sanctioning the producers of the popular "Serial" podcast for airing Baltimore courtroom audio from the trial of Adnan Syed, a violation of state law. The Baltimore Sun reported (http://bsun.md/2hsiS8o ) Wednesday, Dec. 21, that officials considered holding the podcast's producers in contempt. Maryland law prohibits the broadcasting of any criminal case. The paper says court officials this year reached out to "Serial" producer Sarah Koenig about how the tapes ended up in the 2014 podcast. Koenig says an attorney gave her team incorrect legal advice about the state's rules on courtroom audio. She's agreed not to broadcast court proceedings in the future. A Maryland Judiciary spokesman, Kevin Kane, says officials decided not to go forward with sanctions in light of the explanation. Syed's conviction was overturned earlier this year.
Report: At least 48 journalists killed on the job in 2016
At least 48 journalists worldwide have been killed on the job in 2016 as the year winds down, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That is down from 72 journalists in 2015. The report released this week says 26 of the journalists killed this year died in combat or crossfire covering conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and Somalia. Eighteen of the journalists killed in 2016 were directly targeted for death in retaliation for their work, the lowest number since 2002, the committee says. The decline in targeted killings may be attributable to factors including less risk-taking by the media and the use of other means to silence critical journalists, the report says. Syria was the deadliest country for journalists for the fifth year in a row, with at least 14 journalists killed there in 2016.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 14, 2016
CPJ: More journalists jailed than in nearly 3 decades
More journalists have been jailed this year by governments around the world than at any time in nearly three decades, primarily because of the crackdown in Turkey after a failed coup in July, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday, Dec. 13. At least 81 journalists were imprisoned in Turkey as of Dec. 1, all facing anti-state charges, said the nonprofit group that works to defend press freedoms. "In Turkey, media freedom was already under siege in early 2016, with authorities arresting, harassing, and expelling journalists and shutting down or taking over news outlets," said the group's report on its annual census of imprisoned journalists. Written by Elana Beiser, the report said a total of 259 journalists are jailed around the world, compared to 199 at the same time last year. That is the highest number since the group began keeping detailed records in 1990.
Conservative Kansas Policy Institute to launch news service
The conservative Kansas Policy Institute says it is planning to launch its own news service. Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert announced in a video on the organization's website that it will start a service called the Sentinel. But University of Kansas journalism professor Scott Reinardy said the service will be "no different than a public relations arm of their organization," the Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/2hlIPtk ) reported. The video announcement starts by alleging that media outlets withhold information about government and economy to influence public opinion.
Truth comes at price in fake news fight, Times CEO says
Fake news is disrupting digital media, but it's not entirely up to credible news agencies to debunk falsehood spewed on social platforms, according to the CEO of The New York Times Co. Speaking at a Detroit Economic Club luncheon on Monday, Dec. 12, Mark Thompson opened a 30-minute talk touching on his newspaper's relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, and how Trump's sometimes fallacious Twitter remarks blur the line between truth and lies. Trump's false tweets about dwindling circulation at The New York Times and voter fraud, among others, should be remembered when combatting fake news, according to Thompson. "As we've seen, Mr. Trump does it himself," Thompson said. "Any proposed solution or mitigation to the issue of fake news must recognize the reality that the next occupant of the Oval Office is himself a seasoned practitioner of it. And it seems unlikely that any discouragement of fake news is going to emanate from there."
Trump's ties to 'Apprentice' raises conflict issues for NBC
New publisher of Kentucky’s Times-Tribune and London Sentinel-Echo named
Dave Eldridge, a 35-year newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of the Times-Tribune and The London Sentinel-Echo. Eldridge currently serves as publisher of the Richmond Register in Richmond, Kentucky. He will continue in that role with his expanded regional responsibilities at the Corbin and London properties. Bill Hanson, senior publisher for Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., parent company of the newspapers, said Eldridge has the experience and knowledge to be a difference maker at The Sentinel-Echo and Times-Tribune. “Dave has a solid understanding of the purpose of community newspapers. He knows the markets and has worked closely with the staff at both locations. That made the promotion an easy decision for me,” Hanson said.
NBC shutting down its Breaking News service
NBC says that it is shutting down its Breaking News digital service, which provided bulletins on stories through Twitter, a website and its own app. The network said Thursday, Dec. 8, that the service, which began in 2009, wasn't self-sustaining and will cease operations at the end of the year. It employed 20 people in Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, London and Chicago. NBC Digital spokeswoman Emily Passer said Thursday the network will try to find jobs for those people elsewhere in the company. The headline service was popular with journalists, government workers and other industries dependent on knowing news quickly.
Vice Media offering apprenticeships to former inmates
German companies pull advertising from US website Breitbart
Several large German companies, including carmaker BMW, have pulled their ads from U.S.-based news and opinion website Breitbart due to concerns about its content, following a similar move by cereal maker Kellogg's. The German boycott was spurred by a social media campaign using the hashtag #KeinGeldFuerRechts , which translates as "No Money for the Right." The campaign urges companies to stop paying for ads on sites considered to promote racist and nationalist ideas. A representative for Breitbart didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, Dec. 7. Deutsche Telekom said it regretted advertising on Breitbart, saying the ads hadn't been placed there intentionally and it would blacklist the site from future campaigns.
Thai prime minister cautions news media on lese majeste law
Thailand's prime minister warned Wednesday, Dec. 7, that the BBC could be prosecuted if an online report published by its Thai-language service about the country's new king is found to have violated the law safeguarding the monarchy's reputation. BBC-Thai, a relative newcomer among the services of the British Broadcasting Corp., caused a stir when it published a profile of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun touching on controversial aspects of his background. The story included details of three of his marriages that ended in divorce and other material that cannot be published by Thai news media without legal risk. Thailand has a strict lese majeste law against insulting the monarchy that carries a penalty of three to 15 years in prison. No charges have been filed against the BBC yet.
Laboy named publisher in Nebraska
A familiar face is returning to the Lee Enterprises family of newspapers in eastern Nebraska. Vincent Laboy is the new publisher and advertising director of The Columbus Telegram, David City Banner-Press and Schuyler Sun. Laboy, who will join the newspaper group Dec. 12, is no stranger to Lee Enterprises. He served as the advertising director for the Fremont Tribune for seven years before being promoted to publisher and advertising director for the Tribune and Plattsmouth Journal in 2012. Laboy led the Montrose Daily Press in Colorado as publisher and advertising director for two years before accepting the position in Columbus.
Hunter accused of killing upright walking bear sues 6 people
A hunter who says he was falsely accused online of killing a New Jersey black bear that walked upright on its hind legs and became an internet celebrity has sued six social media posters. John DeFilippo's attorney filed the suit Tuesday, Dec. 6, in state Superior Court. It seeks undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages for defamation and invasion of privacy. The suit stems from the apparent death of the bear Pedals during the first part of this year's state bear hunt. The animal walked upright because of an injury and was seen strolling around New Jersey neighborhoods in videos posted on social media and shown on national television.
Study: 2016 campaign coverage was overwhelmingly negative
A Harvard University study released Wednesday, Dec. 7, concludes that media coverage of the 2016 presidential election was topped only by the 2000 Bush-Gore campaign for its overwhelming negativity. Strip away "horse race" stories about who was leading or trailing in the polls, and coverage of issues relating to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's fitness for office was an identical 87 percent negative for each candidate, said the report by Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. "The real bias of the press is not that it's liberal. Its bias is a decided preference for the negative," said the report, written by Harvard political science professor Thomas Patterson. The report looked at coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News Channel nightly newscasts, along with The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
AP reporter deported from South Sudan
Government agents ordered a journalist working for The Associated Press out of South Sudan on Tuesday, Dec. 6, taking him to the airport in Juba and putting him aboard a flight to Uganda. Justin Lynch, an American freelance journalist who had reported on human rights violations in the violence-plagued nation for the past six months, said he was arrested by members of South Sudan's National Security Service who temporarily seized his mobile phones and allowed him to pack a bag. The agents told him only that he was being deported for his journalistic work, Lynch said after arriving in Kampala, Uganda's capital. Lynch, 25, from Saratoga, New York, has been working for AP in South Sudan since July. He recently reported on evidence of ethnic violence in the country and on the warning by a U.N. official that South Sudan is at risk of genocide.
Appeals court scrutinizes ex-CIA officer's leak conviction
Chicago newspaper suing city over Laquan McDonald emails
A newspaper is suing the Chicago Police Department over public records it requested last December related to the police shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. The Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/2ge7iQg ) says its lawsuit stems from a Freedom of Information Act request for police employee emails connected to McDonald's shooting death. The request followed the city's release of a video showing officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times in October 2015. The department said the newspaper's initial request was "unduly burdensome." The department then said in March that it would send 375 emails the next day in response to a scaled-back request from the newspaper. The lawsuit contends those emails never arrived. The Tribune reported Monday Dec. 6 that the city's law department had no immediate comment.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 7, 2016
Officials: Potential for violence from fake news troubling
The bizarre rumors began with a leaked email referencing Hillary Clinton and sinister interpretations of references to pizza parties. It morphed into fake online news stories about a child sex trafficking ring run by prominent Democrats operating out of a Washington, D.C., pizza joint. On Sunday, Dec. 4, it culminated in violence when police say a North Carolina man fired an assault rifle inside the Comet Ping Pong restaurant as he attempted to "self-investigate" the conspiracy theory known in the Twitterverse as "Pizzagate." No one was hurt and the man was arrested. But the shooting alarmed those from neighboring businesses all the way to the White House about the real life dangers of fake news on the internet. One of those people posting on the conspiracy theory is the son of President-elect Donald Trump's proposed national security adviser.
Tech companies move to target terrorist propaganda online
Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are joining forces to more quickly identify the worst terrorist propaganda and prevent it from spreading online. The new program announced Monday would create a database of unique digital "fingerprints" to help automatically identify videos or images the companies could remove. The move by the technology companies, which is expected to begin in early 2017, aims to assuage government concerns — and derail proposed new federal legislation — over social media content that is seen as increasingly driving terrorist recruitment and radicalization, while also balancing free-speech issues. Technical details were being worked out, but Microsoft pioneered similar technology to detect, report and remove child pornography through such a database in 2009.
Emory library acquires papers of civil rights journalist
A library at Emory University in Atlanta has acquired the papers of a civil rights journalist. The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is now home to the papers of Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene Patterson. The school says Patterson who was an editor for The Atlanta Constitution and The Washington Post and "a significant voice for civil rights in the 1960s." Emory says the papers include correspondence, photographs, subject files and six scrapbooks of Patterson's daily columns. Patterson's column "A Flower for the Graves" about the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama, church that killed four young girls in September 1963 got national attention. Patterson was invited to read it aloud on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Patterson died in 2013 at age 89.
Imprisoned former CIA officer fights conviction over leak
Once an employee of the powerful CIA, Jeffrey Sterling now sits behind bars at a federal prison in Colorado. He bides his time by reading and writing and working at the facility's recreational center. Nearly two years after Sterling was found guilty of leaking government secrets to a reporter, the 49-year-old maintains that he is innocent. Sterling is now pinning his hopes for an early release on a federal appeals court, which will soon consider whether to reverse his convictions. Sterling is serving a 3 1/2-year prison sentence at an all-male prison that also houses former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and ex-Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. A jury convicted Sterling on all counts last year after he was charged under the Espionage Act for leaking details of a CIA mission to New York Times journalist James Risen. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Sterling's case on Tuesday.
Police use 'fake news' in sting aimed at California gang
Police investigating a notorious gang in a city on California's central coast issued a fake press release that the chief credited with saving two men by deceiving gang members who wanted to kill them, but the ruse was criticized by news organizations who reported it as fact. Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin defended the rare tactic last week when it came to light, saying he had never done such a thing in his 43-year career, but he wouldn't rule out doing it again. "It was a moral and ethical decision, and I stand by it," Martin said Friday. "I am keenly aware and sensitive to the community and the media. I also had 21 bodies lying in the city in the last 15 months." The phony announcement issued in February was discovered in court documents and only reported this week by the Santa Maria Sun, a weekly newspaper in the city 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Judge expects to rule soon in case pitting UK, newspaper
A judge says he expects to rule this month in the University of Kentucky's open records lawsuit against the student newspaper on campus. The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2gzTC2j ) reports lawyers for UK and the Kentucky Kernel argued in court Friday, Dec. 2, about whether university investigations of alleged sexual harassment and assault of students should be considered public records.
Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark says he'll rule by the end of the month, if not sooner. The university is suing the Kernel, which sought documents relating to a sexual assault investigation involving a former professor. UK refused to release the documents, and when the Kentucky Attorney General's Office ruled in favor of the Kernel, the university sued the independent student newspaper in an attempt to overturn the attorney general's decision.
Media outlets release tax arrangements made by top players
Lewis appointed publisher of Register-News, Times-Leader in Illinois
Darrell K. Lewis, a veteran Illinois newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of the Mt. Vernon Register-News and the McLeansboro Times-Leader, the newspapers announced Dec. 2. Lewis currently serves as publisher of the Effingham Daily News and the Shelbyville Daily Union in Southern Illinois. He will continue in that role under his expanded regional responsibilities at the Register-News and Times-Leader. Robyn McCloskey, senior vice president of operations for Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., parent company of the newspapers, said Lewis has the experience and the knowledge to move the Register-News and Times-Leader and their websites forward in the digital era. Lewis’ newspaper career includes several years with the Gannett Company as a marketing executive in Springfield, Mo.; Greenville, S.C., and Ashville, N.C., before joining CNHI in Effingham in May. He’s also been a senior marketing director for the Kroger Company and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Kentucky University.
Breitbart urges Kellogg's boycott over pulled ads
Breitbart is encouraging a boycott of Kellogg's products after the cereal maker said it would no longer advertise on the news and opinion website, formerly run by President-elect Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon. The Kellogg Company cited company "values" in explaining its decision; a spokeswoman said Thursday, Dec.1, it has "nothing to do with politics." Breitbart has been condemned for featuring racist, sexist and anti-Semitic content. Breitbart said Kellogg's decision amounted to "economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse" and "as un-American as it gets." It launched a #DumpKelloggs petition Wednesday calling for a boycott of Kellogg's. Breitbart said Kellogg's decision represents "an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers" and their values. Target and Allstate also have reportedly pulled ads from the site. Traditionally, news organizations maintain a separation between their editorial and advertising operations in order to avoid potential conflicts.
Retired Dallas Police Chief hired as contributor by ABC News
Retired Dallas Police Chief David Brown, who stepped into the national spotlight after a sniper killed five law enforcement officers at a July protest, will step back into the spotlight as a contributor for ABC News. A news release posted on ABC News' website Wednesday, Nov. 30, quotes a note to staff sent by company President James Goldston announcing Brown's hiring. The note says Brown will start Jan. 1 as a contributor on topics such as economic inequality, gun violence, race relations, policing and social justice. A network spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for more information. Brown announced his retirement after 33 years on the force about two months after the attack. He officially retired on Oct. 4.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ends 24-year print edition run
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper printed its last edition and has laid off 106 workers as it transitions into an online-only publication. The Wednesday, Nov. 30, edition ends a 24-year run that began when the late billionaire publisher Richard Mellon Scaife established the paper to compete with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which remains the only printed daily newspaper in the city. Trib Total Media will continue publishing two daily print editions for the suburbs, the Greensburg-based Westmoreland edition of the Tribune-Review and the Tarentum-based Valley News Dispatch edition, as well as 11 of the other 14 weeklies owned by Trib Total Media. The company announced in September that it was discontinuing the Pittsburgh daily, which had a daily circulation of just under 33,500 and 40,000 on Sundays.
Reporter becomes Canada's first hijab-clad news anchor
BBC, Voice of America reporters detained in southeast Turkey
Turkish authorities detained two reporters working for foreign news organizations in southeast Turkey, the latest journalists taken into custody as part of the government's sweeping crackdown following a failed coup in July. BBC Turkish correspondent Hatice Kamer was detained Saturday, Nov. 26, in the town of Sirvan while covering a recent copper mine collapse that killed at least 11 workers, the broadcaster said. Voice of America said its freelance reporter, Khajijan Farqin, was detained the same day in Diyarbakir. Kamer was released on Sunday, BBC Turkish said. She told German broadcaster WDR by phone after being freed that she was told she would face charges of having supported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, through her reporting. Kamer said there was no evidence for that. Turkish authorities have not commented on the detentions. Dozens of Turkish journalists have been detained and hundreds of media outlets shut down in Turkey as part of the government's post-coup clampdown on suspected dissidents.
Times reporters tweet news of Trump meeting as it happens
UK school cancels talk by Breitbart editor Yiannopoulos
A British school has canceled a talk by an editor of the U.S. right-wing website Breitbart News, citing safety concerns and the threat of demonstrations at the school. Milo Yiannopoulos was due to address students at his former school, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in southern England, on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The school said it pulled the talk after it was contacted by the Department of Education's counter-terrorism officials. Yiannopoulos was banned by Twitter in July for abusive comments. He is a senior editor of Breitbart, an "alt-right" website backing Donald Trump. The alt-right is a loose group espousing a provocative and reactionary strain of conservatism. The school said many of its students and parents supported its attempt to bring in controversial speakers, and that it remained committed to free speech.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 16, 2016
Editor: Breitbart plans to be 'best place for news on Trump'
Google also gets fooled by fake election news
Trump on Twitter: Restrained or an unvarnished White House?
GateHouse to acquire Harris newspapers
A division of newspaper company GateHouse Media will acquire the newspapers and most other assets of Kansas-based Harris Enterprises Inc. The Salina Journal (http://bit.ly/2eTsrej ) reports that the two companies made the announcement Monday. The new owner takes over Dec. 1. In Kansas, Harris owns the Salina paper as well as The Hutchinson News, The Garden City Telegram, The Hays Daily News and The Ottawa Herald. Harris also owns The Burlington Hawk Eye in Iowa. GateHouse owns newspapers in 36 states. In Kansas, they're in cities that include Newton and Pittsburg. In Iowa, GateHouse has papers in Ames and other cities. Harris president Bruce Buchanan says GateHouse has a "broad footprint and can compete on a national level." No layoffs are planned, although Buchanan and Harris' chief financial officer won't stay.
Widow sues to prevent release of husband's jail death video
The wife of an inmate who died in custody at the Greenwood County jail in South Carolina has sued the local newspaper, sheriff and coroner to prevent officials from releasing video footage of the last hour of his life. Demetric Cowan died in custody on March 13, about six hours after he was arrested and charged with drug possession and resisting arrest. Cowan died from a drug overdose, and officers at the jail were not charged, according to a report from the State Law Enforcement Division, obtained by The Index-Journal of Greenwood (http://bit.ly/2fwhHUG ). The newspaper requested jail surveillance video under the Freedom of Information Act shortly after Cowan died. They were given video, but not footage that covered most of the final hour of Cowan's life.
Megyn Kelly: Trump tried to influence coverage with gifts
Newspaper columnist reports fighting off thief in hotel room
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof fought with and restrained a burglary suspect he found in his Philadelphia hotel room who tried to steal his wife's purse.
Kristof said on Twitter there had been "big excitement" when he "interrupted an intruder" in his room Saturday morning at the Franklin Hotel near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The suspect was restrained after a chase and a fight. A police spokesman said the 58-year-old suspect threatened to stab Kristof but the columnist chased him to the lobby level and he and a witness were able to detain him until officers arrived. Kristof said in another message that he had a wrenched thumb from the fight but was "otherwise OK." He said "fortunately, he was a wimpish thief."
NC legislator's email: 'Trump forces black family from home'
Some North Carolina Republicans are criticizing a legislative colleague who emailed them fake newspaper headline that said "Trump forces black family from home" and showed a picture of the White House. The News & Observer of Raleigh obtained the emails, which it reported (http://bit.ly/2fHl7EM) were sent to House Republican caucus members by Rep. George Cleveland of Onslow County. Two legislators rebuked Cleveland. House Rules Chairman David Lewis of Harnett County wrote in response that legislators "must be smart enough to know our words and actions matter." Rep. Bob Steinburg of Chowan County responded that it was a poor and tasteless attempt at humor. Cleveland defended the mail Friday, saying it "was a bit of humor that I thought was a good jab at the media."
Lego won't advertise in Britain's Daily Mail anymore
Zuckerberg: 'Crazy' to say Facebook influenced election
Trump bucks protocol on press access
Lawyers for teen charged in shooting push to close hearings
Lawyers for a 14-year-old Utah boy accused of shooting another teen twice in the head want to close the court hearings from the public, but a coalition of media outlets opposed the request Thursday, Nov. 10. Defense attorney Sophia Moore asked a judge to close to the public all court hearings in the case. The teen is facing attempted murder and weapons charges and prosecutors want to move the case to adult court. The Associated Press is not naming the boy because it does not normally name juvenile defendants. Juvenile Judge Tupakk Renteria will hear arguments Nov. 17 on whether to close the boy's first court appearance, the Deseret News reported (http://bit.ly/2fhDXnY). In Utah, many juvenile court hearings are open to the public, but some court hearings and documents in cases against underage defendants are not publicly available.
Trump blocks journalists from traveling with him
President-elect Donald Trump refused to let journalists travel with him to cover his first meeting with President Barack Obama. The move broke from protocol intended to ensure that the public has a watchful eye on the nation's leader. Trump flew from New York to Washington on his private jet without the so-called "pool" of reporters, photographers and television cameras that travel with presidents and presidents-elect. Trump's meeting with Obama on Thursday, Nov. 10, was due to be reported by the pool of White House journalists who cover the president. News organizations had tried for weeks to coordinate a pool of journalists who could travel with Trump immediately after Election Day if he won the election. But his campaign did not cooperate and his senior advisers refused Wednesday to discuss any such arrangements.
NY college paper headline: 'MAKING AMERIKKA GREAT AGAIN'
The post-Election Day headline in a New York state college's student newspaper is making headlines for linking president-elect Donald Trump with a white supremacist group. The Wednesday, Nov. 9, edition of Buffalo State College's The Record featured the headline "MAKING AMERIKKKA GREAT AGAIN" over a page-one, above-the-fold story on Republican Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's election. The C in "America" was replaced with three K's, a reference to the Ku Klux Klan, which supported Trump's candidacy. Buffalo State President Katherine Conway Turner said in a statement that school officials "recognize that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affords all citizens the right to free speech and protects the freedom of the press." Turner said those rights extend to the content and opinions published by the college's student newspapers.
Election night narrowly misses a TV ratings record
The Trump victory proved a surprise to both viewers and the networks themselves, which clearly anticipated a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton based upon her consistent lead in pre-election polls. The aftermath is sure to lead to a serious look at the quality of opinion polls and whether journalists relied on them too much for their coverage.
Election coverage an unexpected thrill ride on TV
Syrian media activist wins Reporters Without Borders award
Syrian media activist Hadi Abdallah has won a prestigious international reporting award for covering his country's war from its shattered, opposition-held areas. Chinese news website 64Tianwang and citizen journalists Lu Yuyhu and Li Tingyu are also being honored by the international advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, the organization said Sunday, Nov. 6. Abdallah, who publishes on social media networks such as Facebook and Telegram, is known for his harrowing, on-the-spot reporting about government airstrikes and artillery attacks. He is often at the scene before the dust settles, despite the threat of so-called "double tap" attacks — follow-up strikes that target the rescuers responding to the initial attacks. Dozens of media activists have died covering Syria's war.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 8, 2016
Mark Cuban: Dispute with ESPN rooted in automated content
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says his decision to revoke the credentials of two ESPN writers who cover his team was driven partly by concern that automated game reports could eventually replace human-generated content. Cuban said Monday Nov. 8, that he banned Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon from Mavericks home games to bring attention to the issue of companies using automation in sports coverage. The Associated Press, in a partnership with Automated Insights, produces automated stories on minor league baseball but does not use the technology for most of its sports coverage. The AP has at least one reporter at all games in the four major professional sports and most major college football and basketball games.
Newby named new publisher of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Daily Press
John Newby, publisher of the Muskogee (Oklahoma) Phoenix, has also been appointed the publisher of The Tahlequah (Oklahoma) Daily Press. Both newspapers are owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. Newby is a veteran newspaper executive. He began his career as a circulation district manager at the Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska, and moved up the management ladder at newspapers in Iowa, Utah and Illinois before becoming publisher of the Muskogee Phoenix in January. Newby and his wife, Kathy, have 9 grown children and 22 grandchildren. He is a former U.S. Air Force certified weather forecaster and coached youth sports for many years.
WikiLeaks show CNN reaching out to Dems for Trump questions
News Corp. reports 1Q loss
News Corp. (NWSA) reported Monday, Nov. 7, a fiscal first-quarter loss of $15 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. The New York-based company said it had a loss of 3 cents per share. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 1 cent per share. The results met Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for a loss of 1 cent per share. The publishing company whose flagship is The Wall Street Journal posted revenue of $1.97 billion in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.98 billion. News Corp. shares have decreased 8.5 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased slightly more than 4 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $12.22, a decline of 20 percent in the last 12 months.
ABC rally makes evening news race competitive
Anchors David Muir and Lester Holt are in the midst of a spirited competition for first place in television's evening news ratings. After several years in second, ABC's "World News Tonight" with Muir has lately pulled even with NBC's "Nightly News" and some weeks a relative handful of viewers separate the shows. Morning may be where the money is for broadcast news divisions, but the evening newscasts have long been an important measure of strength. Even while some regard them as relics of a different media age, the ABC, NBC and CBS evening newscasts are durable institutions that collectively reach around 24 million viewers each weeknight.
Since the season began in late September, the ABC telecast has averaged 8.25 million viewers a night to NBC's 8.12 million, the Nielsen company said.
Print newspapers are dead? Not after historic elections
Harvard men's soccer team apologizes for sexual comments
The Harvard men's soccer team has apologized for sexual comments made about members of the women's soccer team that led the Ivy League school to suspend the men's team for the rest of the season. The apology was posted Friday, Nov. 4, on the website of The Harvard Crimson student newspaper. Team members said their behavior was inexcusable and no woman deserves to be treated in that manner.
The newspaper last month uncovered a 2012 document that rated the attractiveness of women's team recruits and included lewd comments about them. The men's team called the document its "scouting report" and circulated it online.
Jury: Rolling Stone's rape story defamed university official
Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher and a reporter defamed a University of Virginia administrator who sued them for $7.5 million over a discredited story about a gang rape at a fraternity house, a federal jury said Friday, Nov. 4. The 10-member jury in Charlottesville sided with administrator Nicole Eramo, who claimed the article portrayed her as a villain. Jurors found that journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely was responsible for libel, with actual malice, and that Rolling Stone and its publisher were also responsible for defaming Eramo. Eramo claimed the November 2014 article falsely said she discouraged the woman identified only as Jackie from reporting the incident to police. A police investigation found no evidence to back up Jackie's claims about being raped.
ABC investigates producer for doctored live shot
ABC News says it is investigating one of its producers after seeing evidence that a live camera shot on "Good Morning America" Friday , Nov. 4, was enhanced by falsely stringing police tape in the background. Reporter Linsey Davis was reporting from a field in Woodruff, South Carolina, about a woman allegedly held captive in a storage container by a registered sex offender. Behind her was a yellow police tape with the words, "Sheriff's Line Do Not Cross." Yet a wide photograph of the scene shows the police tape was actually tied to pieces of ABC's camera equipment. The incident was first reported by CNN. ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend said the doctored shot was "completely unacceptable." The report's producer has been called back as ABC investigates the incident.
Tucker Carlson to launch weeknight Fox News program Nov. 14
Fox News Channel says Tucker Carlson is claiming the weeknight host slot recently vacated by Greta Van Susteren. He will take over the 7 p.m. Eastern hour on Nov. 14, the network said Thursday, Nov. 3. The name of the new program was not announced. Carlson, who joined Fox News as a contributor in 2009, is a co-host of "Fox & Friends Weekends" and regularly appears on the network's other shows. Before joining Fox News, he was a host on both CNN and MSNBC. Carlson, 47, also is the editor-in-chief and a founder of the conservative news site, "The Daily Caller." "On The Record," the show Van Susteren hosted, has been temporarily hosted by Brit Hume since her abrupt exit from the network in September after 14 years.
Quebec inquiry into police surveillance of journalists
"Not only is freedom of the press important, it's one of the foundational safeguards of a free democracy, of a free society," the Liberal leader said Thursday during a news conference.
The New York Times' Paul Volpe to join Politico
The deputy politics editor and deputy Washington bureau chief for digital of The New York Times is joining Politico as executive editor. Paul Volpe joined the Times in 2011 and has been guiding coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign. Before joining the Times, he helped launch local news startup TBD in the Washington area and served as deputy political editor at The Washington Post. Politico made the announcement Thursday. Volpe will join Politico next month. He succeeds Peter Canellos, who will become editor-at-large.
Wall Street Journal to debut new version of print edition
The Wall Street Journal plans to combine several sections and reduce some coverage areas in its print edition as it faces a decline in print advertising. "All newspapers face structural challenges and we must move to create a print edition that can stand on a sound financial footing for the foreseeable future while our digital horizons continue to expand," Editor-in-chief Gerard Baker said in a memo announcing the changes Wednesday, Nov. 2. The new version, which will debut on Nov. 14, will have fewer pages with less space for arts, culture and New York news.
Oregon newspaper executive named head of Reno newspaper
The president of an Oregon newspaper has been named the new head of the Reno Gazette-Journal's digital and print publications, RGJ Media. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports (http://on.rgj.com/2eVCq6T ) Ryan Kedzierski, the president of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon, was named last week as president of RGJ Media. Kedzierski already serves as the head of sales for RGJ Media. He'll continue in his role leading the Oregon newspaper and the Kitsap Sun newspaper in Bremerton, Washington. The Washington, Oregon and Reno papers are owned by Gannett Corp.
Kedzierski previously worked as a digital sales leader at The Arizona Republic and for Freedom Communications.
Use of campaign surrogates puts CNN on the defensive
At a time CNN should be riding high, the network is facing the biggest threat to its reputation since Jeff Zucker took over as top executive because of its liberal use of campaign surrogates like Donna Brazile and Corey Lewandowski. CNN announced on Monday, Oct. 31, that Brazile, the acting head of the Democratic National Committee, had quit as a contributor two weeks ago. Brazile, who had been suspended at CNN upon taking the DNC job this summer, was exposed in documents released by WikiLeaks as feeding Hillary Clinton's campaign questions in advance of primary debates. The presence of Lewandowski, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, has also raised questions about whether political insiders hired as contributors are more loyal to the politicians they once worked for than a network and its viewers. Besides, said a former CNN chief executive, it makes for lousy television.
Justice Department goes to bat for beleaguered Dodgers fans
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing AT&T because its DirecTV unit allegedly orchestrated a backroom deal with competitors to not carry the sole channel that broadcasts Dodgers baseball in Los Angeles. The civil antitrust lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court accuses DirecTV of swapping information with cable companies Cox Communications Inc., Charter Communications Inc. and AT&T — before it acquired DirecTV — during negotiations to carry SportsNet LA, the network owned by the Dodgers. The complaint says the companies made the agreements to prevent competitors from offering the channel to lure customers. Dodger fans were bitter they could only watch games through Time Warner Cable — now owned by Charter — the past three seasons.
Oklahoma lawmaker writes 'firing squad' on Clinton post
A Republican state lawmaker from Oklahoma is walking back his remarks after he posted a news story on Facebook critical of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and added the comment, "2 words ... firing squad." State Rep. John Bennett, of Sallisaw, told The Associated Press that he posted the comment late Tuesday, Nov. 1, along with a link to a December 2015 article about Clinton's response to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Bennett on Wednesday described the comments as "sarcasm," and said he wouldn't wish death upon anyone or encourage violence toward any candidate. But he also says he believes Clinton's action in response to the Benghazi attacks "is nothing short of treason." A retired U.S. Marine, Bennett has faced criticism for recent remarks calling local Muslim leaders "terrorists."
Gawker's shell settles with Hulk Hogan for $31 million
The invasion-of-privacy case, which revolved around a sex tape posted on Gawker.com, resulted in a $140 million verdict won by the former professional wrestler in a Florida court. It became even more notorious when it emerged that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel had secretly bankrolled the suit. Thiel was outed as gay by a Gawker-owned website in 2007.
NYT revenue tumbles as digital transformation progresses
The New York Times Co. reported Wednesday, Nov. 2, sharply lower revenue from advertising, particularly in print, but third-quarter profit beat most expectations as the paper continues its rapid shift to digital subscriptions. Shares rose almost 2 percent in midday trading with the company reporting rising circulation revenue as it pushes digital operations aggressively. "This quarter proved yet again that The New York Times has a very compelling digital revenue story to tell," said CEO Mark Thompson. "We saw exceptional gains in our digital consumer business, with a net increase of 116,000 subscriptions to our news products, more than twice as many as the same quarter last year and far more than any quarter since the pay model launched in 2011." But the shift is costing the company in the near term.
Trump camp calls KKK newspaper 'repulsive' after praise
Donald Trump's campaign is firmly rejecting the embrace of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated newspaper. The latest issue of The Crusader used Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan as its headline for an editorial praising the catchphrase and the Republican presidential candidate. The newspaper bills itself as "The Premier Voice of the White Resistance." The newspaper didn't specifically call for readers to vote for Trump. In a statement, the Trump campaign calls the newspaper "repulsive." It said its "views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign." Trump had been criticized earlier in the campaign for failing to immediately denounce the endorsement of David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Newspaper deal falls apart as Gannett gives up on Tronc
USA Today publisher Gannett walked away Tuesday, Nov. 1, from its attempted takeover of Tronc, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other major dailies. Gannett's target was elusive from the beginning, with a publicly contentious back-and-forth between the two companies. Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing, had rejected at least two bids from Gannett since April, saying it preferred to go it alone and focus on tech-driven initiatives involving artificial intelligence and global expansion in entertainment news and video. After the stock market's close, Tronc reported third-quarter results showing its revenue declined in both its traditional and digital businesses. But it kept its sales guidance for the year and raised a profit forecast.
Thomson Reuters to cut 2,000 jobs, spares newsroom
Thomas Reuters said Tuesday, Nov. 1, that it plans to cut 2,000 jobs and take a charge of up to $250 million as the news and financial information company seeks to streamline its business. The job cuts will affect its financial and risk unit, as well as its enterprise, technology and operations group, but won't affect the company's newsroom. The cuts were first reported by Reuters, the company's news service, and were confirmed by a Thomson Reuters spokesman. The announcement of the cuts came on the same day the company reported a slight drop in profit and revenue in its third quarter, although its adjusted earnings beat expectations.
INDUSTRY NEWS NOV. 1, 2016
US Sen. Burr bans newspaper from notice of campaign events
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr's re-election campaign is refusing to provide one of North Carolina's largest newspapers with details of his upcoming campaign events. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday, Oct. 31, that Burr spokesman Jesse Hunt says the decision was made after the campaign raised objections to the newspaper's coverage of Burr's re-election contest with Democrat Deborah Ross. The News & Observer says Burr's campaign voiced concerns about an article last week involving a 2010 campaign fundraiser that conflicted with a Senate committee hearing on a costly military aircraft. In an email to The Associated Press, Hunt says the Burr campaign has not identified other media organizations with which it will not share information about upcoming campaign events, though notice of Burr appearances has been sparse this month.
La Presse says Montreal police tracked journalist's iPhone
A Montreal journalist whose iPhone was monitored by police for months said Monday, Oct. 31, he was outraged to discover he'd been "spied on" as part of what he calls an effort to identify his sources. The French-language newspaper said it learned at least 24 surveillance warrants were issued for columnist Patrick Lagace's phone this year at the request of Montreal's police's special investigations unit. That section is responsible for looking into crime within the police force. Three of those warrants reportedly authorized police to get the phone numbers for all Lagace's incoming and outgoing texts and calls, while another allowed them to track the phone's location via its GPS chip.
City, media argue in court over Orlando club 911 calls
An Orlando, Florida, judge will consider whether more 911 calls made during the Pulse nightclub shooting should be made public. Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber will listen to arguments from attorneys for the city of Orlando, The Associated Press and over two dozen other news outlets. She also has invited family members of the 49 victims who died to testify at the hearing. The city and the news outlets have been fighting over the release of all the 911 calls about the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. City officials have released two-thirds of the calls. They have refused to release over 200 calls placed to and from the nightclub during the three-hour massacre on June 12.
Rolling Stone publisher disagreed with rape story retraction
Rolling Stone magazine publisher and co-founder Jann Wenner said in a video deposition that he disagreed with a top editor's decision to retract an entire article about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity after the story was discredited. In a video played for jurors Friday, Oct. 28, in the defamation trial against Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner said that although the account given by the woman known only as "Jackie" turned out not to be accurate, the bulk of the 2014 story, "A Rape on Campus," is still valid, The Daily Progress reports (http://bit.ly/2dQ8RnM ). The article described in harrowing detail the alleged gang rape of the woman. A police investigation found no evidence to back up Jackie's claims and the magazine officially retracted the article in April 2015.
Newspaper fighting order blocking reporting of document
A New Jersey newspaper is fighting a judge's order preventing it from reporting on a child services complaint it obtained. The complaint pertains to the case of a 5-year-old boy found with drugs at school twice. An attorney for the Trentonian said Friday, Oct. 28, that Judge Craig Corson's order this week barring it from reporting on the document violates the newspaper's First Amendment rights. Lawyers for New Jersey sought the injunction against the newspaper, saying the document must be kept confidential under state law. The newspaper says it obtained the document lawfully. The Trentonian reported Wednesday that the boy was placed into foster care after he was found with crack cocaine this week. His father and another woman were charged last month after the boy was found with 30 packets of heroin.
Goodwill Omaha CEO resigns following newspaper investigation
The CEO of Goodwill Omaha has resigned in the wake of an Omaha World-Herald investigation showing the charity's top executives being paid more than Goodwills nationwide — a practice that drastically ate into funds for its job programs for the needy and disabled. The Omaha World-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2dPRofc ) that 64-year-old Frank McGree announced Friday, Oct. 28, his resignation and plan to take early retirement. McGree had led the Omaha charity for 30 years. Goodwill's board accepted his resignation Friday. The newspaper's investigation showed McGree received total compensation of $933,444 in 2014. Also, 13 of the nonprofit's executives were paid more than $100,000 in 2014, so a significant portion of the $4 million generated from Goodwill's stores in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa went to administrative costs instead of its job-training programs.
University blames newspaper for fewer sex assault reports
University of Kentucky officials claim that a student newspaper's stories about alleged sexual harassment by a professor are to blame for a drop in sexual assault reports on campus. University officials said in court filings that the number of sexual assault reports to the university's Violence Intervention and Prevention Center fell to 38 this fall, The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2fkBFoR) reported. The number was 59 between July and October 2015. Center intervention program coordinator Ashley Rouster said that after the Kentucky Kernel published the articles, students who visited the center feared their stories could appear in the paper.
Trump says NBC broke law by releasing audio
Donald Trump now says NBC broke the law when it released a recording of him making lewd comments about how he felt entitled to grope women aboard an "Access Hollywood" bus. Trump tells Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" that "the microphone was not supposed to be on." He's also claiming it was an "illegal act" for NBC to record his conversation, even though he was in the midst of recording a television episode. Trump says, "you know that was a private dressing room - yeah that was certainly illegal, no question about it." California law makes it a crime to record private conversations unless all parties consent — as long as the participants have an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening. Trump is also suggesting he might consider taking legal action against NBC after the election. He has rarely followed through with such threats.
USA Today publisher Gannett posts loss as print ads sink
USA Today publisher Gannett, suffering from the ongoing print-ad declines that have hurt the broader newspaper industry, is cutting jobs as it reported a loss in its latest quarter. The company said it is cutting 2 percent of its staff. Gannett had nearly 19,000 employees at the end of 2015, suggesting more than 300 jobs were lost. Gannett spokeswoman Amber Allman did not reply to a question asking how many employees are losing their jobs. CEO Robert Dickey said on a call with analysts Thursday, Oct. 27, that layoffs "touched across all areas" of the company and will mean $10 million a year in savings. He said that the company is trying not to cut reporters to keep up the quality of its journalism.
Fox boss: We want to keep Megyn Kelly
Fox News boss Rupert Murdoch says he wants to keep anchor Megyn Kelly at the network, but if she decides to leave "we have a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot." Murdoch, in an interview published in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Oct. 27, also said that Fox News Channel hopes to keep Bill O'Reilly on the air in prime-time and that he doesn't foresee major changes in the network's direction after the Nov. 8 election. Murdoch speaking publicly at this stage of negotiations to keep Kelly at Fox News was perhaps more startling than what he actually said. Murdoch has been chief executive at Fox following Roger Ailes' departure this summer amid sexual harassment allegations, and is vice chairman of its parent company 21st Century Fox.
Citizen journalists covering Islamic State win courage prize
A citizen journalist group that reports secretly from the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa is being honored with a $50,000 prize for courage. The New York-based Train Foundation announced Thursday, Oct. 27, that this year's Civil Courage Prize will go to the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. The group was formed in 2014 after Islamic State militants took over the Syrian city of Raqqa and declared it to be their capital. The citizen journalists work anonymously to publicize lashings, beheadings and other abuses by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently says its members have been abducted, tortured and killed in retaliation for their work. The Civil Courage Prize was founded in 2000 and recognizes "resistance to evil at great personal risk."
Group: Somalia least likely to punish media murders
For the second year in a row, Somalia topped the list of countries where the killing of journalists is most likely to go unpunished, a prominent media watchdog said. The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report issuedThursday, Oct. 27, that al-Shabab militants were responsible for the majority of media killings in Somalia. In Iraq and Syria, the countries that ranked second and third for impunity in media killings, the Islamic State group was responsible for most of the deaths. "Impunity in the murders of journalists emboldens would-be killers and forces the media to operate in a climate of fear, which in turn restricts information available to the public," said Elisabeth Witchel, author of the report and CPJ's consultant for the Global Campaign Against Impunity. "
The Trump-Clinton Twitter war: Bludgeon vs. stiletto
Back in June, when Donald Trump slammed President Barack Obama's endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Twitter, the Democrat's campaign was quick to tweet back a chilly three-word response: "Delete your account." It was a telling exchange, and not just because it set the stage for what has become the country's first nationwide Twitter election. It also highlighted the striking, and very different, ways both presidential hopefuls have used the service to hone their messages, hurl accusations at one another and speak directly to voters — in effect, bypassing traditional media while also relying on it to amplify their retorts. So entrenched has Twitter become in the 2016 election that it can be difficult to remember just how new it is in this context. Four years ago, candidates Obama and Mitt Romney were just testing the waters with social media. This year, it's a major source of information — political and otherwise — for a huge number of Americans.
Rising star: YouTube playing key role in Google's success
YouTube has emerged as a break-out star in Google's cast of services as the online video site upstages cable television for a younger generation of viewers looking for amusement, news and music on their smartphones. The trend is contributing to an advertising shift away from traditional network television programming to the more eclectic and diversified mix of clips ranging from cute cat videos to sobering shots of street violence found on YouTube. As more advertising dollars flow to YouTube, it's making the already hugely profitable Google even more prosperous. In a third-quarter report released Thursday, Oct. 27, Google's corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., said it earned $5.1 billion, or $7.25 per share, a 27 percent increase from the same time last year.
2 studies point to lack of campaign substance on newscasts
Two studies of U.S. news coverage suggest that this is a presidential campaign with little substance — unless groping women, tax returns and email servers are your idea of major issues. ADT Research, which monitors content of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, said Wednesday, Oct. 26, that with two weeks before Election Day, there has been less issues coverage than for any presidential campaign the company has monitored, going back through 1988. The conservative watchdog Media Research Center also counted the campaign topics that have taken up the most time on the newscasts since the end of the conventions. Of the 15 topics with the most attention, arguably only two — Donald Trump's position on immigration and questions about his attitudes toward Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin — could be considered traditional policy issues.
Sept. 12 newspaper page signed by 5 presidents nets $11,000
A front page of The New York Times from Sept. 12, 2001, showing the burning World Trade Center and autographed by five U.S. presidents sold for $11,000 on Wednesday at an auction of presidential papers. The page was signed by Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush when they were attending a national day of remembrance and prayer event for Sept. 11 victims at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., days after the attacks. Its headline above a photograph of the burning twin towers says: "U.S. Attacked: Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers and Hit Pentagon in Day of Terror." The front page's presale estimate was $6,000 to $8,000. The auction house will donate all of its commission from the proceeds of the sale of the page to the Sept. 11 charity Tuesday's Children.
Fox's Megyn Kelly to guest-host 'Live' day after election
She may be a little bleary-eyed, but Fox News' Megyn Kelly is booked to co-host the morning talk show "Live" with Kelly Ripa on the day after the election. The show said it will be Kelly's first time as a co-host. "Live" has been looking for a partner for Ripa since last spring, when Michael Strahan left to join "Good Morning America." It's an intriguing booking. Although Fox is anxious to keep her, Kelly will soon become a free agent able to look for other broadcasting jobs. Kelly has been one of the most high-profile TV journalists of the presidential campaign, the target of barbs from Donald Trump and, on Tuesday night, from Newt Gingrich.
Despite ratings drop, Olympics boosts Comcast in 3Q
Comcast's profit rose 12 percent in the July-September quarter thanks to the Olympics and the first third-quarter gains in video subscribers in a decade. NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke has said that the company made over $250 million in Rio as ad sales rose, even though Olympics ratings fell 16 percent in prime time on NBC from the London Olympics. Ratings were down 9 percent if viewers watching on NBCUniversal's cable channels and digital were added. The cable giant has been winning back video subscribers despite an overall drop in the number of people who pay for traditional TV. There has also been a trend toward smaller audiences, even for big sporting events like NFL football and the Olympics.
Trump: No interest in Trump TV
Donald Trump says he has no interest in a "Trump TV" media venture if he loses the election. It's an idea that has persisted this week, after his Facebook page began featuring an alternative to network nightly news programs called "Live From Trump Tower." It's a joint effort by the campaign and a company that has been streaming Trump's rallies online. The program directly competed yesterday with the national network newscasts and their increasingly gloomy assessments of the Republican's chances of winning the upcoming election. It's expected to air eight more times before the election. But when asked about "Trump TV," the candidate told a Cincinnati radio station (WLW) that he doesn't have "any interest in that." He says his only interest is winning on November 8th.
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 25, 2016
LSU's student newspaper to end daily publications
The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University’s more than 120-year-old student newspaper, will end its daily print publication beginning next semester. The newspaper will scale back to a weekly print edition. The Daily Reveille's student editors announced the change in a post on the newspaper's website early Thursday, Oct, 20. The post says because of a loss in the newspaper's advertising revenue, the Office of Student Media was in danger of depleting its financial reserves within two academic years. Copies of the newspaper are free on campus. Printing costs about $108,000 per year, and the paper is subsidized by student fees. The announcement says the reduction in print expenses will allow them to redistribute funds to increase circulation, upgrade equipment and software and improve the digital footprint on LSUNow.com.
Anti-Trump column pulled from Liberty U student newspaper
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. had a student's sports column pulled from the school's newspaper because it focused on vulgar comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the notion of "locker room talk." Falwell, a stalwart Trump supporter, said the evangelical school's newspaper was already publishing a medical student's pro-Hillary Clinton letter to the editor on the Opinion page, making Schmieg's column "redundant." "After going back and forth, I decided we didn't need two saying the same thing, using up valuable space," Falwell said. Liberty junior Joel Schmieg, who writes a weekly column for The Liberty Champion, calls it censorship.
British reporter 'Fake Sheikh' jailed for 15 months
A judge sentenced a British journalist who often posed as a Middle Eastern tycoon in sting operations to 15 months in prison on Friday, Oct, 21, after the tabloid reporter was convicted of perverting the course of justice in an effort to get scoops. Mazher Mahmood, a tabloid reporter nicknamed the "Fake Sheikh," was found guilty earlier this month of tampering with evidence in the collapsed drug trial of pop star and actress Tulisa Contostavlos. The case against Contostavlos originally was based on interviews Mahmood, 53, conducted for the Sun newspaper. The Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing another 25 convictions linked to Mahmood's work and has dropped active criminal cases in which Mahmood was to be a witness.
Ex-newscaster settles suit against station, former co-anchor
A lawsuit filed by an ex-Philadelphia newscaster against the local CBS station and her former co-anchor has been settled. Alycia Lane filed the suit in 2008, claiming KYW-TV was negligent and failed to stop her former co-anchor Larry Mendte from hacking into her email and giving her personal information and photos to gossip columnists. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (http://bit.ly/2eOFC5I ) a lawyer for KYW-TV could only say the case has been resolved. The deal was reached last week; terms are confidential. Mendte and Lane shared co-anchor duties until December 2007, when Lane was arrested after allegedly hitting a New York police officer during a traffic stop. She was fired a month later and entered a diversion program. The charge was dismissed. Mendte was then fired after he was charged with hacking her emails. He admitted to the hacking and was sentenced to house arrest in November 2008.
Hungary deflects US concerns about declining media freedoms
A spokesman's for Hungary's foreign ministry says U.S. concerns about press freedoms and media diversity after the suspension of an opposition newspaper are "without any foundation" and cannot be based on trustworthy information. Tamas Mencer, head of the foreign ministry's press department, said Friday, Oct. 21, that Hungarian media represent a wide range of views and that press freedoms were not at risk in the country. On Thursday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States was "following closely" the closure of the Nepszabadsag newspaper and news website 444.hu's banishment from Parliament after its reporters broke rules restricting camera access to lawmakers. Mencer echoed the newspaper publisher's statement that finances prompted the publication's closure. He said, "We are curious whether the U.S. government interferes in the decisions of media owners."
Group wants charges against 3 documentary filmmakers dropped
A media watchdog is calling on prosecutors in North Dakota and Washington state to drop charges against three documentary filmmakers arrested while filming protests against oil pipelines. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday, Oct. 20, the filmmakers were arrested Oct. 11 as participants in a multistate protest and were charged with a range of felonies. CPJ deputy executive director Robert Mahoney says recording civil disobedience and arrests is news-gathering, not conspiracy. He says prosecuting filmmakers for covering protests sends a chilling message. He says he wants authorities to "stop interfering with journalists doing their jobs." The arrests came shortly after another journalist filming protests against a North Dakota pipeline project was charged with trespassing. North Dakota prosecutors have no comment. Washington prosecutors haven't responded to a request for comment.
Newspaper ordered to pay SBI agent $6 million in libel case
The News & Observer of Raleigh has been ordered to pay about $6 million to a State Bureau of Investigation agent who won a libel lawsuit against the newspaper. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2en4fGK ) that a jury said Wednesday, Oct. 19, the money should go to Beth Desmond regarding a 2010 story about her work as a forensic firearms analyst for the agency. The newspaper had published statements from firearms experts questioning her analysis. The jury earlier said the newspaper owed $1.5 million for Desmond's suffering, humiliation, lost wages and medical expenses. State law limits punitive damages to three times the actual damages, meaning the newspaper owes Desmond a total of about $6 million. The newspaper has defended its story and said it will appeal. Desmond would not talk about the case after the verdict.
Authorities: Journalists harassed at pipeline encampment
North Dakota authorities are investigating a confrontation between journalists and protesters of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline. The Morton County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday, Oct. 19, that filmmaker Phelim McAleer and two colleagues were in the protest camp Tuesday near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation when people they were interviewing "got offended by a line of questioning." McAleer made the documentary "FrackNation," a 2013 rebuttal of anti-fracking film "Gasland," about the process of shooting liquid under high pressure below ground to free energy from rock. One person grabbed a reporter's microphone, dragging him several feet, and the journalists' car was blocked from leaving until law enforcement arrived. The camp is home to protests against Energy Transfer Partners' $3.8 billion pipeline. Demonstrators believe the pipeline threatens sacred sites and the Missouri River.
Video of Rolling Stone reporter discussing errors debated
A federal judge was considering on Wednesday, Oct. 19, whether the jury in a University of Virginia administrator's defamation suit against Rolling Stone should be able to watch a video in which the reporter who wrote a now-discredited story about a gang rape on campus discusses reporting mistakes she made while in college. Attorneys for former Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo wanted to admit as evidence a video of Sabrina Rubin Erdely discussing an article about folk singer Michelle Shocked that earned her a college journalism award from Rolling Stone. In the video, Erdely acknowledged that "just about everything in the story was wrong." Erdely said she missed most of the press conference where Shocked spoke and then "borrowed whatever facts" she could find in media publications at the time to write the article.
UVa administrator: Rolling Stone apologies weren't enough
A University of Virginia administrator who sued Rolling Stone magazine over its portrayal of her in a now-discredited story about a gang rape said Wednesday, Oct. 19, that the magazine's apologies for its journalistic failures didn't go far enough. Former Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo took the stand for the second day in her $7.85 million defamation trial. Eramo says the article portrayed her as indifferent to the assault of the woman identified only as "Jackie." Elizabeth McNamara, an attorney for Rolling Stone, noted that the magazine issued an apology in December 2014 and another one the following April when it officially retracted the article. She said that apology was specifically extended to school administrators.
New York Times positions publisher's son as his successor
The New York Times has named Arthur Gregg "A.G." Sulzberger as deputy publisher, setting him up to take over for his father, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. If made publisher, the 36-year-old Sulzberger would be the latest in a long line of family overseers. A.G. Sulzberger's great-great-grandfather took over The Times in 1896, and the family controls the influential paper through a special class of shares. The change comes as the newspaper industry is struggling to adapt to readers' migration online, which has caused print ad revenue to crater. The New York Times has tried to counter that decline by focusing on growing its digital-only subscriptions. The younger Sulzberger, who joined The Times in 2009 after working for Rhode Island and Oregon newspapers, has worked on the editorial side of the paper as a reporter and editor and has also led a team that studied how to tackle the digital transformation.
Magazines now eligible for all journalism Pulitzer Prizes
Print and online magazines are now eligible for Pulitzer Prizes in all journalism categories. The Pulitzer Prize Board announced Wednesday, Oct. 19, that entries of work done in 2016 will be accepted beginning in December for the 2017 prizes. The board says it made its decision after two years of experimentation. New entry guidelines are posted at Pulitzer.org . The Pulitzers are considered one of American journalism's most prestigious awards. They recognize various categories of reporting, photography and opinion writing, as well as editorial cartooning. The prizes also honor drama, music and fiction and nonfiction books. The Pulitzers are administered by Columbia University. The 2016 Pulitzers marked the centennial of the awards being handed out.
AP Photographer Rodrigo Abd receives Cabot Prize
Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism honored five veteran journalists for distinguished coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Rodrigo Abd, an Associated Press photographer who has spent years documenting social problems in Latin America, was one of four who received the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, considered the oldest in international journalism. The other winners were Rosental C. Alves of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas; Margarita Martinez, a Colombian filmmaker; and Oscar Martinez of the digital newspaper El Faro in El Salvador. A special citation was awarded to Marina Walker Guevara of the Panama Papers reporting team at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Newspaper office being sold, set to become doughnut factory
A New Jersey newspaper's headquarters may soon become a doughnut factory. The Trentonian newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2eOBHoF ) its Trenton headquarters is being sold to a company that makes products for local Dunkin' Donuts stores. Central Jersey CML was granted $18.9 million in tax credits over 10 years to move to Trenton and create 171 jobs. The new Dunkin' Donuts factory would be right next door to the Trenton police department's headquarters. Trentonian editor John Berry says the sales process has begun and the company expects it to be done by the end of the year if it's finalized. The Trentonian is owned by Digital First Media. The Trentonian moved to the building in 1965, but its staff now only takes up about a quarter of the building.
US denies telling Ecuador to cut off Assange's internet
The State Department is denying a claim by WikiLeaks that the U.S. government was involved in cutting off internet access for the group's founder, Julian Assange. He has said his hosts at Ecuador's embassy in London cut him off from the internet over the weekend as he was releasing a series of damaging disclosures about Hillary Clinton. The group claims that Secretary of State John Kerry had personally intervened to get Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing documents about Clinton. The State Department says that's "simply untrue."
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 18, 2016
NBC News fires Billy Bush after lewd Donald Trump tape airs
NBC News on Monday fired "Today" show host Billy Bush, who was caught on tape in a vulgar conversation about women with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump before an "Access Hollywood" appearance. Bush was suspended at the morning show two days after contents of the 2005 tape were reported on Oct. 7. Once it became clear he wouldn't be back, NBC and Bush's representatives had been negotiating terms of his exit. On the tape, Bush is heard laughing as Trump talks about fame enabling him to grope and try to have sex with women not his wife. Trump has denied groping women, and Bush later said he was "embarrassed and ashamed" by what was caught on tape.
Newspaper publisher abandons essay contest to find new owner
The owner and publisher of a weekly Vermont newspaper has abandoned his plan for an essay contest to find a new owner for it because he failed to get enough entries. Ross Connelly said Monday, Oct. 17, that he had received 140 essays since the $175-per-entry contest started in June — much lower than his goal of 700 entries. He extended the essay deadline twice. He says he's now hoping to sell The Hardwick Gazette to one of the essayists. The 71-year-old says he is returning contestants' entry fees and has notified them that the newspaper is for sale. He isn't publicly disclosing the price he is seeking. He came up with the idea of the essay contest when previous attempts to sell it failed.
Judge drops charge against 'Democracy Now' reporter
"Democracy Now!" reporter Amy Goodman won't face a riot charge stemming from her coverage of a protest against construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota, with a judge saying Monday, Oct. 17, that there was no cause for it. Judge John Grinsteiner refused to sign off on the misdemeanor riot charge, which Prosecutor Ladd Erickson had pursued after dismissing a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge against the journalist on Friday. However, authorities would not rule out the possibility Goodman could face other charges. Erickson has said Goodman was acting like a protester when she reported on a clash between protesters and pipeline security last month. Her attorney, Tom Dickson, maintains Goodman was doing her job.
Memo: Inmate transferred for writing letter to newspaper
A Department of Corrections memo shows an inmate was transferred to a separate unit inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman for writing a newspaper letter that criticized Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher. The Greenwood Commonwealth reported (http://bit.ly/2e4JlII) that it published a letter Sept. 27 from Tim Turner, 52, who's serving a 20-year sentence for a 2012 drug conviction in Itawamba County. Turner's letter said Fisher excessively uses lockdowns and revokes inmates' privileges to try to curb violence and contraband.
Putin to Kremlin journalists: US is watching you
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told journalists in the Russian press corps that they are possibly being watched by American intelligence agencies. Putin made the comments Sunday in Benaulim, India, where he was attending the summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies. Putin told journalists covering his visit that "the United States listens to everything and looks at everything. All of you are objects of exploitation for the special services." Putin said that "you are in the presidential pool and you may hear something or see it, talk with somebody, you freely chat on the telephone on open connections," according to the RIA Novosti news agency. Putin's warning comes as tensions with Washington over Syria and other issues have escalated.
NYT says no libel, no retraction, no apology for Trump story
The New York Times on Thursday, Oct. 13, rejected Donald Trump's claim the newspaper had libeled the Republican presidential nominee, saying its story about two women who said he sexually assaulted them was "newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern." In a letter Thursday, Times attorney David McCraw said Trump "has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women" and that multiple women had already come forward. "Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself," he wrote.
Longtime Daily Banner Publisher Stephen Crass to retire
Longtime Cleveland (Tennessee) Daily Banner Publisher and Editor Stephen Crass says he plans to retire in January after leading the paper for 16 years. The Banner (http://bit.ly/2e8nDSB ) reported Wednesday, Oct. 12, that Crass' newspaper career spans 40 years at seven different newspapers in Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri. He worked in every newspaper department, beginning as a staff writer following college. Crass said staffing at the Banner increased over the 16 years he ran the paper and the newspaper, unlike most papers, has not reduced its personnel, a fact of which he said he is most proud. He said the paper's employees are dedicated and take pride in the work they produce. Crass was raised in Harriman, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Roane State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University. He also attended graduate school at MTSU and the University of Tennessee. A successor has not been named.
Brian Williams and Billy Bush: 2 scandals, 2 approaches
Two scandals, two approaches. NBC News gave Brian Williams a second chance after he was caught lying about his role in stories, while Billy Bush apparently won't get the same opportunity following his profane conversation with Donald Trump. NBC wasn't talking publicly about Bush's future on Wednesday, Oct. 12. But the network is privately negotiating the "Today" show host's exit, according to an executive with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter. When Bush was suspended Sunday, "Today" chief executive Noah Oppenheim said there was "simply no excuse" for Bush's language and behavior on the 2005 tape revealed Friday. The sins of Williams and Bush were different, but in both cases NBC executives needed to weigh whether it was worth rehabilitating them.
Newspaper or politicking? FEC gets complaint on Proft paper
One of several startup newspapers tied to a conservative Illinois activist is being challenged as political campaign material in a complaint before the Federal Election Commission. Darien Democrat Kim Savage says the DuPage Policy Journal is a Republican mouthpiece for GOP congressional candidate Tonia Khouri against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and costs should be reported as political contributions. The paper is one of 14 that businessman and talk-show host Dan Proft started last spring. Savage's complaint was filed last week. It says the newspapers are not independent but controlled by Proft's political action committee. Proft says the newspapers are owned and distributed by a private company and are legitimate policy forums. He calls the complaint "factually incorrect in every possible way." Foster's campaign declined comment.
Kim Kardashian West sues online media outlet for libel
Kim Kardashian West sued an online media outlet for libel Tuesday, Oct. 11, saying she was wrongly portrayed as a liar and thief after she was attacked in Paris. The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages from MediaTakeOut.com. It said Kardashian West, traumatized by the Oct. 3 armed robbery, was victimized a second time when the website reported hours afterward that she faked the robbery and lied about the assault. The website's owner, Fred Mwangaguhunga, didn't answer his phone when comment was sought Tuesday. A message left with the website wasn't immediately returned. Police said armed robbers forced their way into a private residence where the reality TV star was staying, tied her up and stole $10 million worth of jewelry. She was in Paris for fashion week. No arrests have been made.
UVa administrator barred from showing leaked video at trial
A federal judge has delivered a setback to a University of Virginia official suing Rolling Stone and one of its writers for $7.8 million, alleging she was defamed in their discredited article about campus rapes. The judge says Nicole Eramo's lawyers can't show jurors any video from a deposition by the writer, Sabrina Erdely, because they leaked the tape to ABC News for a "20/20" television special Friday. Eramo's lawyer, Libby Locke, said they didn't believe the tapes were confidential because written transcripts were already introduced into the court's record. What's not clear from the initial reporting in Roanoke by Newsplex (http://bit.ly/2dT0O6H ) and other local media, is whether the judge's order applies only to the video format, or to any and all evidence from the deposition.
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 11, 2016
Vice debuts its nightly newscast on HBO
Vice Media launched a daily newscast Monday, Oct. 10, designed to appeal to younger viewers with colorful graphics, a light musical soundtrack, no on-camera newsreader and reports on topics ranging from the second presidential debate to a strike by prison inmates in Alabama. The debut of "Vice News Tonight" featured a correspondent in a nose ring who tied Hurricane Matthew to climate change. Vice, an upstart media company known for its in-your-face international reporting, is looking to shake up television's daily news diet. Its newscast is airing weeknights on HBO at 7:30 p.m. ET. That's after the more traditional newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC, which have been on the air for decades and attract primarily an older audience.
Media mogul Ted Turner is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. In an email Monday, Oct. 10, Turner lauded Clinton's leadership skills and says the former secretary of state is the most qualified to become the 45th president. Clinton, a democrat, is in a race for president against republican nominee Donald Trump. Turner says he admires Clinton for her effort to improve health care, education, immigration reform and crusade for equal rights. The television pioneer says he places Clinton at the top of the list as one of the "smartest and powerful people" in the world. Turner is the founder of CNN. He also founded the Cable News Network, the first 24-hour, all news TV network. Turner sold his Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner Inc. in 1996.
Unlike first, second debate doesn't set viewership record
An estimated 66.5 million people watched the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, down from the record-setting audience who saw their first match but on par with the Obama-Romney contests four years ago. The first debate reached a total of 84 million viewers, more than for any other presidential debate on record, the Nielsen company said on Monday. The previous record of 80.6 million had been set for the only debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980. In 2012, an estimated 65.6 million people watched the second debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, after 67.2 million saw their first debate.
Ohio newspaper breaks tradition, endorses Democrat Clinton
The daily newspaper in Ohio's capital has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, breaking a century-long tradition of backing Republicans for the White House. The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2e1pZE5 ) on Sunday, Oct. 9, called Republican Donald Trump "unfit to be president of the United States." The newspaper's editorial board said Clinton "despite her flaws, is well-equipped for the job." The editorial notes the paper's history of supporting GOP candidates but says "Trump does not espouse or support traditional Republican values." The newspaper says Clinton practices the art of compromise, is well-known to foreign leaders, and understands the role of the United States as a stabilizing force in the world. The Dispatch last endorsed a Democrat for president in 1916, when it supported Woodrow Wilson.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity are friends again
Fox News Channel colleagues Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly are friends again. Kelly tweeted a picture of her and Hannity together on the set of Kelly's show Thursday, Oct. 6, with a note, "We're Irish. It's complicated. #friends." She also ended her program, which leads into Hannity's, by saying, "Up next: Live, Sean Hannity. My friend." The amends come a day after Kelly called out GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for seeking out friendly media interviews with Hannity. Hannity responded with a tweet calling Kelly a supporter of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Hannity also appeared to bury the hatchet on Twitter , saying "2 friends just worked out a MINOR disagreement."
NY press group protests prosecutor barring journalists
An organization of New York newspapers and broadcasters has protested a prosecutor's decision to exclude some journalists from a news conference following the acquittal of a former soccer coach charged with murder. The New York State Associated Press Association said in a letter Monday, Oct. 3, to St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain that she violated the 1st Amendment right of the press to cover public officials when she barred Watertown Daily Times reporter William Eckert and photographer Jason Hunter. The association said that decision "denied some citizens the right to equal access to information" about the verdict in favor of Oral "Nick" Hillary on Sept. 28.
Study shows Trump airtime advantage on cable
The three biggest cable news networks spent more time covering live Donald Trump rallies than they did for Hillary Clinton in September, with the widest disparity at Fox News Channel. A study released by the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America said Fox aired 7 hours, 32 minutes of coverage from Republican Trump events, compared with 3 hours, 25 minutes for Clinton, the Democratic candidate. It was much closer at CNN (5:18 Trump, 5:04 Clinton) and MSNBC (5:48 Trump, 5:14 Clinton). Stretch back further, from the beginning of June through the end of September and Media Matters said Thursday the three networks have beamed 65 hours, 3 minutes of Trump rallies, compared with 49 hours, 47 minutes of Clinton.
Police tracking social media during protests stirs concerns
Increasingly common tools that allow police to conduct real-time social media surveillance during protests are drawing criticism from civil liberties advocates, who oppose the way some departments have quietly unrolled the technology without community input and little public explanation. Police say services such as Geofeedia, which map, collect and store information from social media posts, are a powerful way to help find crime witnesses, spot brewing problems during large gatherings and gauge community sentiment. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union say the software can be easily used to collect information on peaceful protesters or target certain groups. The programs let police gather and record all online posts within specific geographic boundaries, and some allow users to do keyword searches for certain words or hashtags.
Activists blast 'O'Reilly Factor' Chinatown piece as racist
Watchdog and activist groups are condemning a segment on "The O'Reilly Factor" as racist and demeaning to Asian Americans. The piece by political humorist Jesse Watters aired Monday, Oct. 3, on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Channel show. In it, Watters visited New York City's Chinatown neighborhood to interview people on the street about the presidential election. He also asked for demonstrations of karate and how people in China dance. Groups including the Asian American Journalists Association called the segment offensive and full of stereotypes. On Twitter, Watters said Wednesday that the interviews he does are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek, adding that he regretted if anyone "found offense."
Lawsuit challenges Michigan's ban on photographing ballots
A man who says he has a constitutional right to take a photo of himself as he votes, otherwise known as a ballot selfie, has challenged Michigan's long-standing ban on photographing ballots. Joel Crookston, 32, of Portage sued in Grand Rapids federal court last month, arguing his First Amendment right to free speech was unconstitutionally limited by state law and policies designed to discourage voter intimidation, The Detroit News reported (http://detne.ws/2dIZwdQ ). "State law and orders from the Secretary of State threaten Crookston and all Michigan voters with forfeiting their votes, fines and even imprisonment for this simple, effective act of political speech," attorney Stephen Klein wrote in a request for a preliminary injunction.
Source: Anderson Cooper staying with CNN with new contract
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is sticking with the cable news network. Cooper signed a long-term deal to stay with CNN, a person with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday, Oct. 4. The person, who is not authorized to talk publicly about contracts, spoke on condition of anonymity. Cooper's decision may put an end to the possibility he'll join Kelly Ripa as co-host of ABC's talk show "Live." She reportedly favored him to replace Michael Strahan, who jumped to ABC's "Good Morning America." Cooper has served as a guest co-host on "Live," a sharp contrast to the high-profile campaign work he's doing on CNN — which includes joining with ABC's Martha Raddatz to moderate the second Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate on Sunday. CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Report: Yahoo gave US intel agencies access to email
Yahoo scanned hundreds of millions of incoming emails at the behest of U.S. intelligence or law enforcement, according to a report published Tuesday, Oct. 4. The internet company conducted the surveillance last year after receiving a classified demand from the National Security Agency or the FBI, Reuters said in its story. The report cited three former Yahoo employees and another unidentified person familiar with the matter. Those individuals told Reuters that the government pushed Yahoo to search for a string of letters, numbers or other characters. That meant the fishing expedition could have involved finding a specific phrase or code in the text of an email or an attachment.
New publisher named for Coeur d'Alene Press
Larry Riley has been named the new publisher of the Coeur d'Alene Press, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The northern Idaho newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2dYrQvY ) that the Hagadone Corporation announced the new hire on Monday, Oct. 3. The 56-year-old Riley was the publisher of the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for the past two years. He replaces Jim Thompson, who retired from his 22-year career with the Coeur d'Alene Press earlier this year. Riley has worked as a publisher of the Appeal-Democrat in northern California and publisher of a Spanish-language weekly for three years. He also served as circulation director for the Los Angeles Times. Riley grew up in San Diego. He graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences, as well as business administration and management.
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 5, 2016
1976 lynching photo both a dark mark and blind spot for Thais
A battered body hangs from a tree as a man swings a folding chair over his head, preparing to smash it into the corpse. Spectators watch intently at a slight distance, some smiling, as if watching a Punch and Judy show. A photo of that moment immortalizes the bloody events of Oct. 6, 1976, when heavily armed security forces shot up Bangkok's Thammasat University campus and killed scores of students, while right-wing vigilantes captured and lynched would-be escapees. Even so, what happened there, and why, is to some degree forgotten in Thailand. No one in that Pulitzer Prize-winning photo — the victim, the attacker or any of the dozens of spectators — has been identified in the 40 years since Associated Press photographer Neal Ulevich shot it.
A look at Chicago's Tribune Tower as it changes hands
A 36-story Chicago landmark, the Tribune Tower, has been sold — gargoyles, flying buttresses and all. Tribune Media Co. announced Wednesday, Sept. 28, that it closed the sale of the tower and two other properties this week. The company has received $430 million in gross proceeds for the assets, and may receive up to an additional $45 million in contingent payments. The Tribune Tower, purchased by CIM Group, sits on three acres along Chicago's Michigan Avenue.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper plans to stop its print edition Nov. 30 and offer an online-only publication in a reorganization that will also require 106 layoffs, its publisher announced Wednesday, Sept. 28. The moves mean Pittsburghers will again have only one daily print newspaper, something the Trib's former owner, the late billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, sought to avoid. Trib Total Media will continue publishing two daily print editions for the suburbs, the Greensburg-based Westmoreland edition of the Tribune-Review and the Tarentum-based Valley News Dispatch edition.
Newspaper dispensers become Little Free Library stations
Bob Shipley, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, dislikes illiteracy and enjoys repurposing things. So, fashioning a couple of used newspaper vending machines into libraries seemed like a natural thing to do. The now-retired educator, bicycle shop owner and engineer had been volunteering as a mentor in an adult literacy program, knowing that "reading proficiency in this state is abominable," he said. Wanting to do something else to combat the problem, he set up the Little Free Library stations in front of his home on the 6900 block of Barber Place NE. The idea behind the Little Free Library is pretty simple: Create some type of receptacle that can hold books and set it in a public place where people can grab a title with the understanding that they later return it or leave another book.
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 27, 2016
Associated Press buys British Movietone film archive
The Associated Press has purchased the film archive of British Movietone, bolstering the news cooperative's collection with historic video from World War II, the Beatles' conquest of America and the romance between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. The newsreels, acquired from Newsreel Archive, were originally shown in movie theaters twice a week and were the first to have sound and color. The archive includes the first recorded speeches of personalities such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and George Bernard Shaw, as well as the only footage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's wedding filmed in high definition on 35mm film.
Jane Pauley replacing Osgood at 'Sunday Morning'
Jane Pauley is becoming a morning television host again — this time at a much more relaxed pace. CBS said Sunday she will replace Charles Osgood as anchor of the "Sunday Morning" telecast. The bow-tied Osgood told viewers at the end of his last telecast after 22 years that Pauley would replace him. She's been a contributor to the show since 2014. Pauley will be only the third host of the program since its 1979 start with Charles Kuralt. "Sunday Morning" averages nearly six million viewers a week, the most popular morning news program on the weekend, heavy on features and a quiet, cultured vibe. Osgood leaves on a high note; ratings have increased for four straight years and this past season was his most-watched ever as host.
Charge against reporter arrested outside Trump event dropped
A trespassing charge has been dropped against a Vice News reporter arrested outside a Donald Trump campaign event at a Houston hotel. In a statement, Vice News said the Harris County District Attorney's Office dropped the case Friday, Sept. 23, against reporter Alex Thompson. Police arrested the 27-year-old reporter on Sept. 17 after Thompson returned to the Omni Houston at Westside lobby after leaving at the hotel management's request. Vice News said Thompson was arrested while awaiting a response to his request for access to Trump's appearance. Trump was appearing at a nonprofit advocate for families of those killed by immigrants in the country illegally. District attorney's spokesman Jeff McShan said hotel officials chose not to pursue the complaint. The Trump campaign denied any involvement in Thompson's arrest.
Poll: Quarter of Americans believe media too easy on Trump
An estimated 27 percent of Americans believe the news media has been too easy on Donald Trump. The Pew Research Center said Thursday, Sept. 22, that more people feel that way than they did about the coverage for republicans Mitt Romney and John McCain the last two elections. Romney was at 20 percent and McCain 15 percent. The increase is primarily driven by democrats. Twice as many democrats feel the media has gone soft for Trump as felt that way about McCain. Meanwhile, 33 percent of people said the media has been too easy on Hillary Clinton. That percentage is roughly on par with what people thought about coverage of President Barack Obama the last two elections.
British programs win International Emmys for News, Current Affairs
Britain's Sky News has won the International Emmy for News for "Migration Crisis" describing the perilous journey of a group of migrants from Turkey to Greece as well as clashes between riot police and refugees on the Hungary-Serbia border. The International Emmy for Current Affairs went to Britain's ITN Productions and its collaborators for "Dispatches-Escape From Isis" which exposed the harsh treatment of women living under the control of the Islamic State group and the efforts of an underground network trying to rescue women and children enslaved by the extremist group. The awards were announced Wednesday, Sept. 21, in conjunction with the U.S. News Emmys during a ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York. Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, says the awards reflect how "extraordinary and disheartening events in the Middle East have set a new bar for courageous journalism."
Orange County Register to move after 111 years in Santa Ana
After 111 years in Santa Ana, the Orange County Register is relocating its headquarters about 10 miles north to Anaheim. The California newspaper said Wednesday, Sept. 21, (http://bit.ly/2db65K5 ) that its newsroom and business staff will move in March 2017. The paper's Santa Ana-based printing operations will also eventually move to Riverside and Anaheim. Publisher Ron Hasse says the new facilities will be more modern, with technological improvements to encourage innovation. The Register is owned by the Southern California News Group. Two other papers owned by the news group have relocated in the last year.
Fox News: Sean Hannity won't appear in any more Trump videos
Fox News says Sean Hannity won't be appearing in any more campaign videos for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Hannity touts what he sees as the benefits of a Trump presidency in a video titled "#HEARTLAND4TRUMP" posted on the candidate's YouTube channel Sunday, Sept. 18. Hannity's appears in about 30 seconds of the eight-minute long video. In a statement, Fox News said Hannity "will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election season." Fox said it did not know in advance that Hannity would be making the appearance.
North Carolina governor campaign planted questions at event
Immersed in an intense re-election campaign and besieged for a law about transgender people and restrooms, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory answered questions last week before Charlotte's small business community. The written questions were supposedly from audience members and a newspaper. "Anything you like. No filter here," McCrory told the event moderator at the start of the Q-and-A, according to The Charlotte Observer. Turns out, the three questions identified as from the Observer actually came from McCrory's campaign. The planted questions generally were favorable to the Republican incumbent. Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten attended the event and said Tuesday, Sept. 20, after hearing the first question, "I knew that hadn't come from me." When Batten did try to ask a question, McCrory responded: "We've got three Observer questions answered already. I think you guys dominate the news enough."
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 20, 2016
Effort to preserve radio history starts in Missouri
Missouri will host the pilot project for an initiative to make radio history available through a national archive. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2d3tgVy ) reports that the Radio Preservation Task Force, overseen by the Library of Congress, is collecting and cataloging radio recordings. Missouri is the pilot in part because of preservation efforts already made in St. Louis and Kansas City. Task force director Josh Sheppard says there has never previously been a concerted effort by one federal institution to trace old recordings. "We realized pretty quickly that at least 75 percent of recorded radio has been discarded or destroyed," he said. The group is hoping to have 1.8 million to 2.5 million recordings identified by 2020. Digitizing efforts will follow, as money and time allow.
Florida journalists form union at Herald-Tribune newspaper
Journalists at the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Florida, have voted to unionize. Newsroom employees voted 22-16 to affiliate with The NewsGuild-CWA on Thursday, Sept. 15. The guild will represent them in bargaining for their first labor contract with the paper's parent company, GateHouse Media. The Herald-Tribune becomes the second newspaper newsroom in Florida to organize in as many months. Staff of The Ledger in Lakeland, another GateHouse paper, voted 22-3 on Aug. 11 to join the Guild. The Herald-Tribune has a daily circulation of 73,700 and a Sunday circulation of 94,800. The NewsGuild, formerly known as The Newspaper Guild, will represent approximately 40 people in the newsroom. The News Media Guild represents Associated Press editorial employees in the U.S.
Trump criticized for bait and switch on 'birther' statement
Donald Trump's renouncement of birtherism came with some media gamesmanship that compelled television news networks to air 20 minutes of endorsements by retired military men before the candidate briefly got to the point. "We all got Rick-rolled," said CNN's Jake Tapper, a reference to the Internet prank of replacing an expected link with a video of singer Rick Astley's 1987 hit, "Never Gonna Give You Up." The bad blood continued after the Friday, Sept. 16, morning event when the Trump campaign barred text reporters and a television producer from joining him on a tour of the new Trump International Hotel in Washington. In response, cable and broadcast networks refused to use any video of the tour.
Blogger claims restraining order violates his rights
A Minnesota blogger who has written about two Lakeville sisters who went missing claims his constitutional rights are being violated after he was served with a restraining order. The girls' mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, got the restraining order against Michael Brodkorb because she claimed he was harassing her and she feared her safety due to "slanderous misinformation" that she said damaged her reputation. Brodkorb, who writes about the case for his Missing in Minnesota blog, calls his work journalism and says the restraining order violates his First Amendment rights and ability to cover Grazzini-Rucki's sentencing.
AP, other media sue FBI for details on iPhone hacking tool
The Associated Press and two other news organizations sued the FBI on Friday, Sept. 16, to learn who the government paid and how much it spent to hack into an iPhone in its investigation into last year's San Bernardino, California, massacre. The lawsuit seeks records about the FBI's contract with an unidentified vendor who provided a tool to unlock the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife killed 14 people at a holiday gathering of county workers in December 2015. Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, and Vice Media LLC joined the complaint with the AP, seeking to learn more about the mysterious transaction that cut short a legal dispute in which the government sought to force Apple Inc. to unlock the phone.
The Citizen of Laconia, New Hampshire, to stop publishing Sept. 30
The Citizen newspaper of Laconia, New Hampshire, says it will stop publishing Sept. 30, after 90 years of serving readers in the state's Lakes Region. The paper reports (http://bit.ly/2cLsGLJ) Sample News Group CEO George Sample says the company has tried for several months to sell the paper, without success. Sample says in its six years of ownership, The Citizen became the No. 1 source for online news, but the advertising needed to sustain that effort, plus the high cost of printing and distributing newspapers, hasn't followed. Sample said the company will focus its energy on other New Hampshire newspapers, including The Eagle Times of Claremont, The Argus-Champion, Weekly Flea and Message For the Week, all part of Eagle Printing and Publishing Co.
FBI tightens its policies for impersonating journalists
The FBI has imposed new restrictions on its agents' ability to masquerade as reporters following an uproar over the impersonation of an Associated Press journalist, but the agency has stopped short of ruling out the practice as news organizations had wanted. An inspector general report released Thursday, Sept. 15, said the FBI recently instituted new policies requiring top-level approval before agents can pose as journalists, calling the changes an "important improvement" over past practices. But it also said the impersonation was permissible under policies in place at the time and suggested that there may still be undercover operations in which the tactic could be appropriate to use. The AP and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sued the FBI last year after it emerged that the bureau had impersonated an AP journalist to send a bogus news article that was booby-trapped with surveillance software. The ruse, in 2007, resulted in the trial and conviction of a teenage bomb hoaxer in Washington State.
Journalism faculty ask UK president to apologize, drop suit
Fifteen journalism and media faculty members from the University of Kentucky are asking university President Eli Capilouto to apologize and drop the university's open records lawsuit against the student paper. Al Cross, who signed the letter, said it was delivered to Capilouto on Thursday afternoon. The university is suing the Kentucky Kernel, which sought documents relating to a sexual assault investigation involving a former professor. The letter to Capilouto said his remark last week to the board of trustees that the newspaper published "salacious details to attract readers" challenged the paper's reputation and that of its editor and "cast aspersions on journalism faculty." University spokesman Jay Blanton said while the concerns are appreciated, the disagreement is about the privacy of victims and is rightly being determined in court.
Wynton Marsalis leads CBS tribute to Morley Safer
CBS News paid tribute to late "60 Minutes" reporter Morley Safer on Thursday with some New Orleans jazz from Wynton Marsalis, a letter from the prime minister of his native Canada and a few hearty laughs. Safer died May 19 at age 84, eight days after CBS announced his retirement and four days after "60 Minutes" aired a special about his work during more than 50 years at CBS, most on the newsmagazine he joined in 1970 in only its third season. "I believe he held onto life until that broadcast aired," said Jeff Fager, "60 Minutes" executive producer and once one of Safer's story producers, at a Manhattan memorial attended by broadcast luminaries like Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel and Charlie Rose. CBS has become sadly adept at organizing these memorials as a generation of stars from the "60 Minutes" golden years died, including Ed Bradley, Mike Wallace, Bob Simon, Andy Rooney and founding executive Don Hewitt.
Iowa city scraps its news site that some saw as propaganda
The city of Davenport, Iowa, has pulled the plug on its taxpayer-funded news website, which faced a backlash from critics who called it propaganda but also won praise for its innovative approach to communications. DavenportToday was credited with improving the city's online presence during its two-year run. But it was attacked by critics as an inappropriate jump into the media by government and a misuse of taxpayer money that could be better spent fighting fires and fixing potholes. Davenport has recently taken down the site, which served as a public relations tool for the city of 100,000 residents at a cost of $178,000 annually. Two employees who produced stories and photos were laid off.
UK lawmakers slam 2 Murdoch execs for phone hacking evidence
British lawmakers say two former executives of the defunct News of the World misled Parliament by claiming that phone hacking was restricted to a single rogue reporter at the tabloid. The House of Commons Committee of Privileges on Wednesday, Sept. 14, found former editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone in contempt of Parliament for testimony they gave legislators investigating the hacking scandal in 2009 and 2011. It said Parliament should "formally admonish" the pair. Myler and Crone denied misleading lawmakers. Owner Rupert Murdoch shut down the 168-year-old tabloid in 2011 after the revelation that it had eavesdropped on the mobile-phone voicemails of people in the public eye, including a 13-year-old murder victim. Several journalists were later convicted, and Murdoch's company has paid out millions in compensation to hacking victims.
Gannett laying off more than 100 at New Jersey news group
Gannett is laying off more than 100 employees at a New Jersey media company it recently purchased. A company executive said Wednesday, Sept. 14, the layoffs are needed to improve the financial sustainability of the North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record, NorthJersey.com and other newspapers. The McLean, Virginia-based Gannett purchased the news organization in July. Tom Donovan, northeast regional president of Gannett East Group, said layoff notices will go out to 426 of the company's employees this week. Among these, he said, more than 200 newsroom employees and about 60 in sales will remain with the company. Donovan declined to say how many people the company employs.
Facebook chooses New Mexico for new data center over Utah
Facebook has chosen a village on the edge of New Mexico's largest metropolitan area as the location for its new data center, an announcement that spread quickly Wednesday, Sept. 14, as elected officials celebrated a hard-fought win that could have ripple effects for the state's struggling economy. News of the social media giant's decision to build in Los Lunas, just south of Albuquerque, comes after a roller-coaster contest between New Mexico and Utah to attract the facility.
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 13, 2016
Poynter: ASNE to stop newsroom job tallies
After a decade of documenting job losses for journalists totaling more than 20,000 since 2006, the American Society of News Editors has abandoned the effort, Poynter reports. The annual ASNE census (renamed the ASNE Diversity Survey) was released on the eve of the group's yearly convention. For the first time in its nearly 40-year history, the survey included no estimate of the total of full-time professional jobs in the newsrooms of newspaper organizations. A press release explained the decision by saying "the structure of modern newsrooms makes it impractical and error-prone to try to estimate" a total.
New mass media center at Southeast Missouri State receives new name
Southeast Missouri State University's new media center has a new name and a bustle of activity. The Rust Center for Media was officially named in a closed executive session of the Southeast Board of Regents. The center is named in honor of Gary W. Rust, an entrepreneur who built a small weekly newspaper into a network of media -- newspapers, digital sources and radio stations -- throughout nine states. This network includes the Southeast Missourian. A seven-figure gift to the university from Gary and Wendy Rust's sons Rex, Jon, and Gary, Jr.,and their respective spouses Sherry, Victoria and Suzuyo enabled the naming. Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-President of Rust Communications.
Rutland Herald, Time Argus sale nearly complete
The sale of two Vermont newspapers to a pair of business people from Maine and New Hampshire is expected to be completed this week. Rob Mitchell, editor and chief of the Rutland Herald and Times Argus, told employees in an email that they would find out more about the future from the new owners next week. The company simultaneously announced the retirement of Publisher and CEO Catherine Nelson. The papers announced in August they were being sold to Reade Brower of Maine and Chip Harris of New Hampshire, both of whom have extensive experience in publishing in northern New England.
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 6, 2016
Los Angeles developer buys iconic Tribune Tower in Chicago
The iconic Tribune Tower on Chicago's Michigan Avenue will have a new owner. Los Angeles-based CIM Group has agreed to buy the tower for up to $240 million. Chicago-based Tribune Media announced the deal. It's expected to close by September's end. Officials didn't specify development plans for the 1925 neo-Gothic tower. Tribune announced last year that it had hired a real estate investment banker to explore a sale or partnership for redevelopment. The Chicago Tribune reports Tribune Media employees were told "operational headquarters" will remain in Chicago. Staff will be moved to a new space likely in the second quarter of 2017. The deal is part of Tribune Media's ongoing efforts to sell its entire $1 billion real estate portfolio. The tower was named a city landmark in 1989.
New York Times: Newspaper Association of America dropping “paper” from name
The Newspaper Association of America, the trade group that has represented the interests of major newspaper publishers in one form or another since 1887, is going to drop from its name the very word that defined it: “Newspaper.” The group will be known as the News Media Alliance. The New York Times says there is one obvious reason behind the change: The number of newspapers continues to drop, which has a way of depressing the association’s membership. (It has fallen to about 2,000 from roughly 2,700 in 2008, executives there say.) But the bigger issue, the group’s chief executive, David Chavern, said, was that the word “newspaper” has become meaningless in reference to many of the group’s members, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and Dow Jones. They may have newspapers, but they get large percentages of their readers online. Actually, you can’t even refer exclusively to “readers” these days when so many millions are “viewers” of online news video. Then there are all those digital news organizations that until now could not join the association because they did not have print editions — like BuzzFeed or the Independent Journal Review.
Tennessee's Jones Media bought by Minneapolis company
A fourth-generation family-owned media company with newspapers in Tennessee and North Carolina has been purchased by a Minneapolis company. According to a joint news release from The Adams Publishing Group and Greeneville, Tennessee-based Jones Media, the transaction has been closed for an undisclosed amount. Tennessee newspapers that are part of the sale include The Greeneville Sun, The Daily Post-Athenian, The Daily Times, The Newport Plain Talk, The Rogersville Review, the News-Herald, The Connection, The Advocate & Democrat, and The Herald-News. North Carolina papers include the Watauga Democrat, The Mountain Times, Ashe Mountain Times, The Avery Journal-Times, and The Blowing Rocket. Gregg Jones will continue as president and CEO of Jones Media and will succeed his late father, John M. Jones III, as publisher of The Greeneville Sun.
Nebraska journalism school releases manual on drone operation
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's journalism school is releasing a free manual to give newsrooms direction on how to operate drones for newsgathering. The Drone Journalism Lab created the manual with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It was produced by Matt Waite, professor of practice in UNL's College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The manual that covers everything from pre-flight checklists to ethical considerations. In June, the FAA released new laws governing the flight of drones in the U.S. The first step to legally fly drones is passing an FAA test, which includes questions about safety protocols and reading an airspace map and an aviation weather report. Waite says drones will become a commonplace tool in newsrooms. The manual is available at http://www.dronejournalismlab.org/manual.
Blade newspaper in Toledo appoints new president
Block Communications Inc. has named a new president for The Blade newspaper in Toledo. The media company said (http://bit.ly/2bTiWew ) that William Southern will be the newspaper's president and general manager as well as vice president of newspaper operations for Block Communications. Block Communications owns both The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspapers along with several television stations and internet and cable TV providers. Southern has been The Blade's director of finance since 2009 and later began overseeing its information technology. He's been in the newspaper industry more than 25 years. Southern takes over for Joseph Zerbey, who is retiring but will stay on as a consultant for the company.
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 30, 2016
Official: FBI probing attempted cyber breach of NY Times
The FBI is investigating attempted cyber intrusions targeting reporters of The New York Times and is looking into whether Russian intelligence agencies are responsible for the acts, a U.S. official said. The Times reported that the attempted cyber attack targeted the newspaper's Moscow bureau, and that there was no evidence that it was successful. "We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in a statement. "We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised." CNN first reported the FBI's investigation. A U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that an investigation was underway. The news comes as federal authorities continue to investigate a breach of the Democratic National Committee that outside cybersecurity experts have attributed to Russian intelligence agencies and that led to the posting of embarrassing internal emails.
Mother of slain journalist James Foley fights for press safety, freedom
The mother of a photojournalist killed by the Islamic State is fighting for press freedoms and services for families of hostages two years after her son's death. Diane Foley, of Rochester, New Hampshire, tells the Portsmouth Herald (http://bit.ly/2brGcoV ) she thinks many Americans take press freedoms for granted. Foley created the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation to advocate for the release of American hostages and help keep journalists reporting in conflict zones safe. James Foley was killed on Aug. 19, 2014, after being held hostage by the Islamic State for several months. Diane Foley says she wants people to realize the vulnerability of journalists who shoot the photos that bring the world's conflicts to light. The foundation collaborates with major news organizations on reporter safety and training.
Missouri journalism school pushes diversity recruitment
University of Missouri's journalism school is starting a new program to recruit diverse high school students. Dean David Kurpius announced recruitment efforts to reporters and students in a cross-cultural journalism class at the Columbia campus. Kurpius said the goal is to partner with alumni working at media and strategic communication outlets to mentor high school students in big cities. He said the school will offer summer programs and other recruitment events on campus. Mizzou set aside $959,000 over three years for the program. Mizzou Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement Ron Kelley will step down to lead the program Sept. 12.
Gannett names 2 executives to lead New Jersey news company
Gannett has named two executives to lead a New Jersey media company it recently purchased. Nancy Meyer was named president of North Jersey Media Group, and Rick Green was named vice president for news and editor. Meyer is the former publisher and chief executive of the Orlando Sentinel Media Group. Green is president and publisher of the Gannett-owned Enquirer Media in Cincinnati, Ohio. The McLean, Virginia-based Gannett purchased the New Jersey news organization last month
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 23, 2016
The Tennessean to sell longtime Nashville offices
The Tennessean is putting its longtime offices in downtown Nashville up for sale. The newspaper reports (http://tnne.ws/2bODpVH ) that no price has been named for the 10-acre property located in the Gulch neighborhood. Laura Hollingsworth, president of The Tennessean and USA Today Network -Tennessee, says the Gannett-owned newspaper plans to move news, business and sales operations to a new space in Nashville that has yet to be identified.
VMS publisher heading to El Paso
After nearly four years as publisher of the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen, Texas, Lilia Castillo Jones will be moving to another Texas town. Early next month, Jones will head to work for Gannett/USA Today Network as President of the El Paso Times & Texas/New Mexico Partnership, overseeing the company’s paper in El Paso and other properties in New Mexico.
New Tribune owner says Huntsman Sr. will have role at paper
The wealthy new owner of The Salt Lake Tribune says his father, Utah billionaire and industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr., will serve in a role at the newspaper as chairman emeritus. Deputy editor Tim Fitzpatrick says Tribune publisher Paul Huntsman made the announcement with his father during a meeting with the newspaper's staff and new editor, Jennifer Napier-Pearce. After purchasing the paper in May, Huntsman made his first major editorial staffing change last month by replacing longtime editor Terry Orme.
Provo newspaper Daily Herald sold to West Virginia company
The Daily Herald newspaper in Provo, Utah, has been sold to a West Virginia company that owns 40 newspapers across 14 states. Newspaper chain Lee Enterprises, Inc., announced that it was selling the Provo newspaper and its digital media operations to Ogden Newspapers of Utah, LLC. The company is part of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., out of Wheeling, West Virginia. The Provo newspaper has a daily circulation of about 20,000 people. Lee had owned The Daily Herald since 2005.
Rochester, Minnesota, management to split duties
Randy Chapman, who has been publisher of the Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota, since 2007, has been named publisher emeritus, it was announced. His new role will include chairing the P-B's editorial page and community advisory boards, continuing his weekly column and other writing, representing the company in community leadership and advising top management, according to Post-Bulletin President Len R. Small, who will assume additional duties as publisher. Small and his brother, Tom, have managed the newspaper and its holding company, Small Newspaper Group, for decades.
Gawker's Nick Denton out of the 'news and gossip business'
Gawker.com, a nearly 14-year-old blog being shut down following the sale of its parent company to Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, has stopped posting. In a memo to its staff, Gawker founder Nick Denton, the acerbic, outspoken former financial journalist, said he's also getting out of the news business. The blog's parent, Gawker Media, was sold following a $140 million judgment against it in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan over a sex tape. It was later revealed Hogan's lawsuit was backed by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.
More cuts are coming to newspapers owned by GateHouse Media, Poynter reports.
Poynter says that several GateHouse Media papers, including the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, the Rockford (Illinois) Register Star and the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal are undergoing a round of buyouts as the newspapers' parent company seeks to offset revenue declines. The offer, from GateHouse Media CEO Kirk Davis, cites "ongoing efforts across our organization to reduce costs" as the primary motive for the cuts. GateHouse Media owns 125 daily newspapers across the United States.
Tampa Bay Times sells Highlands Today to owners of Sun Coast Media Group
The Tampa Bay Times is selling the Highlands Today newspaper to the owners of Sun Coast Media Group. The Times assumed ownership of Highlands Today in May when it purchased the Tampa Tribune. The Times sells about 9,000 newspapers in Highlands County. Sun Coast Media Group is owned by the Dunn-Rankin family.
West Yellowstone News to stop publishing in September
Big Sky Publishing's president says The West Yellowstone (Montana) News will shut down its newspaper and website in September unless a new owner is found. Stephanie Pressly says advertising revenue has been in decline since the 2008 economic downturn, and the company can no longer afford to keep producing the weekly newspaper. A story in the West Yellowstone News (http://bit.ly/2b6Qkk4 ) announcing the closure says the owners considered a digital-only edition, but concluded it would still lose money. Big Sky Publishing also publishes the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and the Belgrade News. Another Big Sky newspaper, The Lone Peak Lookout, closed in 2015.
New York Times shuts down NYT Now smartphone app
The New York Times is shutting down its NYT Now smartphone app because the company says it hasn’t lived up to its hopes in the two years since it was launched in an effort to reach a younger audience. NYT Now offers morning and evening news briefings and a curated list of articles in a mobile friendly format. It was launched in 2014 with a subscription fee of $8 a month but was transitioned last year to a free model. The Times says it had 334,000 unique users at its peak in May of last year. That number had fallen to an average of 257,000 per month over the past three months. The Times says many NYT Now features are being incorporated into the main New York Times app.
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 16, 2016
Adams Publishing Group to buy ECM Publishers
A family-owned media company in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, intends to purchase one of the country's largest publishers of weekly newspapers. Adams Publishing Group announced it is purchasing ECM Publishers Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Adams Publishing Group has multiple publications, including 63 community newspapers, 18 shoppers, 20 specialty publications and 81 websites. The company's website says it serves communities in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C. ECM has 50 publications and reaches more than 600,000 households in central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Its holdings include several of the weekly "Sun" newspapers in the Twin Cities metro area. Coon Rapids-based ECM was founded by former Minnesota Gov. Elmer Andersen in 1976.
Arianna Huffington signs off at The Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post's editor-in-chief, announced that she's leaving The Huffington Post to head a new health, wellbeing and productivity startup. "I thought HuffPost would be my last act," Huffington said in a tweet. "But I've decided to step down as HuffPost's editor-in-chief to run my new venture, Thrive Global." The one-time conservative commentator oversaw explosive growth at the liberal online news and blog site that she co-founded in 2005, which went on to win a Pulitzer in less than a decade. The site is known for its celebrity and newsmaker blogs and was a pioneer in the "aggregation" model in online news, posting stories that relied on articles and information from different news organizations as well as its own contributors. Aside from its U.S. edition, The Huffington Post has 14 international editions in multiple languages.
Will Bourne leaving The Village Voice
Will Bourne, the editor in chief of The Village Voice, is leaving the newspaper after less than a year at the helm of the free weekly, Poynter reports. News of Bourne's departure came via an announcement from the The Village Voice noting that the newspaper was undergoing preparations for "an extensive relaunch." The Village Voice is undertaking preparations and planning leading up to an extensive relaunch next year. Under the direction of CEO Peter Barbey, we've engaged Pentagram, the world's largest independent design consultancy, to spearhead a redesign of the newsprint weekly. We've also tapped leading digital product shop Postlight to head the build out of an entirely new website for the brand. As part of these changes, Will Bourne has stepped down as Editor in Chief. Managing editor Meave Gallagher will assume editorial responsibilities in the interim pending formal announcement of The Village Voice's next Editor in Chief.
Vermont dailies sold to owner of Portland Press Herald
The family that owns the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus in Vermont says it's selling the newspapers to a company that owns several publications in Maine, including the Portland Press Herald. In selling to a company run by Maine-based publishing entrepreneur Reade Brower and printing and marketing executive Chip Harris, the Mitchell family said in the Rutland Herald that they had found owners with the entrepreneurial spirit, community focus and commitment to journalism. The Mitchell family has owned the Rutland Herald since 1947 and the Times Argus since 1964. Together, the newspapers have 80 full and part-time employees.
Florida journalists form union at The Ledger newspaper
Journalists at The Ledger in central Florida have voted to unionize. Newsroom employees voted 22-3 on Thursday to have The News Guild represent them in bargaining for their first labor contract with the Polk County newspaper's parent company, GateHouse Media. Ledger Media Group publisher Kevin Drake said in a statement that the vote was disappointing but the newspaper remained committed to producing quality journalism. GateHouse Media acquired The Ledger and other Florida newspapers from Halifax Media in 2015. The Pittsford, New York, company is a subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc. According to a News Guild statement, over 20 Ledger newsroom employees have been laid off since the acquisition. The News Guild said The Ledger is the only Florida newspaper with a unionized newsroom. The News Media Guild represents Associated Press editorial employees in the U.S.