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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 15, 2019

New York Post: New Media deal to buy USA Today owner Gannett is hanging on for dear life

A $1.4 billion deal to buy USA Today owner Gannett Co. has been so poorly received since it was announced on Monday that executives from both Gannett and its wannabe buyer — New Media Investment — are hitting the road next week in bid to garner support, The Post has learned.

If they don’t succeed, the deal could be derailed, sources told The Post.

On Monday, New Media said it planned to buy Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $1.4 billion at the time. The deal would create the nation’s largest newspaper conglomerate by combining Gannett, currently the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, with New Media’s Gatehouse Media, which owns nearly 700 papers across 39 states, including 156 dailies like the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio.

Only, instead of cheering the deal, investors sent shares of New Media plummeting in a selloff that has lasted three days. The now sagging New Media shares will be used as currency to pay Gannett shareholders for selling the company. They could vote the deal down if they feel they aren’t being properly compensated.

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Facebook Journalism Project: How Local Newsrooms Are Doing Public Service Journalism With Help From the Pulitzer Center

Last year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced it would do more to support local news in communities where it is struggling to survive. One of our goals was to provide funding and help local journalists and newsrooms with their newsgathering needs. As part of these efforts, we supported the Pulitzer Center with a $5 million endowment gift to launch Bringing Stories Home, a new initiative that offers reporting grants to local newsrooms across the country, aiming to support coverage of issues that affect their communities.

Over the past six months, Bringing Stories Home has helped fund enterprise reporting projects and community engagement with nearly a dozen regional news organizations. Reporters have covered topics ranging from police corruption and hate crimes to the challenges immigrants face when they seek asylum in the U.S.

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Poynter: More papers go to 6 days a week in print

The trend continues. McClatchy announced Wednesday that three more newspapers will stop publishing a print product on Saturdays. This announcement comes a week after three other McClatchy papers announced the same thing. The changes go into effect Nov. 9.

The latest six papers to cut back to printing six days a week are: the Tri-City (Washington) Herald, the San Luis Obispo (California) Tribune, The Island Packet and Beaufort (South Carolina) Gazette, The Modesto (California) Bee, The Belleville (Illinois) News-Democrat and the Centre (Pennsylvania) Daily Times.

Those papers join the McClatchy-owned Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Sun News, The Durham (North Carolina) Herald Sun and the Bellingham (Washington) Herald as six-day-a-week publications with Saturdays reserved exclusively for digital.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 8, 2019

Newsonomics: The “daily” part of daily newspapers is on the way out — and sooner than you might think

What do you call a daily newspaper that’s no longer a daily newspaper? “Sunday + Digital” sounds far less poetic.

That’s now more than an academic question. Many publishers — if not most — are now seriously modeling and planning for the transformation of their businesses from seven-day newspapers to something…less, numerous industry sources tell me. And not just a little less — significantly less.

Blame Google and Facebook, blame tariffs and newsprint costs, blame Amazon and Uber for hiring away would-be early-morning newspaper deliverers — it makes little difference. We are on the brink of seeing major cutbacks in daily delivery and daily printing of newspapers, as soon as 2020.

“It is one of the top topics of discussion in the boardroom,” says Peter Doucette, managing director of the Technology & Media Practice for well-used news industry consultant FTI. “The current operating model is under duress like we’ve never seen before. Our point of view is that the daily morning distribution model is no longer going to work in a three- to five-year timeline. That’s broad, of course, and dependent on market.”

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The Rural Blog: A town with moxie and a history of slavery dedicates a statue of a native, a pioneering black woman journalist

In a little park amid the main intersection in downtown Russellville, Kentucky, stands a monument to the Confederate dead of Logan County, which borders Tennessee and before the Civil War had an economy based on slavery. No one pays much attention to the monument and its statue of a soldier anymore; business in the town of 7,000 no longer revolves around the square at Fourth and Main.

Six blocks away, much more attention is being paid to a newer and more remarkable statue, of an African American woman who rose from poverty in Logan County to become the first black woman accredited as a journalist to the White House and Congress: Alice Allison Dunnigan, who died in 1983.

The statue was dedicated Friday at its new home, the Struggles for Emancipation and Equality in Kentucky (SEEK) Museum, which occupies several lots and buildings in the heart of Russellville’s main African American neighborhood. A new walk running diagonally from the corner of Morgan and Sixth leads to the bronze of Dunnigan, looking up from a copy of The Washington Post and seeming ready to ask a sharp question.

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GateHouse, Gannett to merge for $1.4B, build newspaper giant

NEW YORK (AP) — Two of the largest U.S. newspaper companies have agreed to combine for roughly $1.4 billion, creating a new industry giant that hopes to manage the crisis of print’s decline through sheer size.

GateHouse Media, a fast-growing chain backed by an investment firm, is buying USA Today owner Gannett, promising to speed up a digital transformation as readers shift online. The companies say they are committed to “journalistic excellence” — while also cutting $300 million in costs every year.

The resulting company would be the largest U.S. newspaper company by far, with a print circulation of 8.7 million, 7 million more than the new No. 2, McClatchy, according to media expert Ken Doctor.

Local papers, faced with the complex and expensive process of building digital businesses to replace declines in print ads and circulation, have been consolidating madly in recent years. Although papers with national readerships like The New York Times and The Washington Post have had success adding digital subscribers, local papers with local readerships find it much more difficult. Hundreds of such papers have closed, and newsrooms have slashed jobs.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 1, 2019

Axios: Local news deserts are getting some relief

News deserts in cities and small towns all over the country are beginning to capture the attention of big tech companies, donors, regulators and advocacy groups who want to step in and save local journalism.

Why it matters: Newspaper closures that started in rural America are creeping towards small and medium-sized cities. Often, the closing of local papers leaves communities without the watchdogs that can keep municipal governments accountable and productive.

Driving the news: McClatchy is creating a local news outlet to serve Youngstown, Ohio, just weeks after the city's daily newspaper, The Vindicator, announced it would be closing,

McClatchy's investment marks the launch of a wider project called The Compass Experiment — an initiative that's funded with Google to develop new business models and launch new outlets in underserved news communities.

“When we heard that Youngstown’s daily newspaper, The Vindicator, would be closing, we saw an opportunity to help a community with a rich heritage and distinct identity find a path forward for local news,” says Mandy Jenkins, general manager of The Compass Experiment.

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East Oregonian: EO Media Group wins bid for 2 Central Oregon newspapers

PENDLETON — The auction lasted 15 minutes Monday and ended with the EO Media Group buying the Bend Bulletin.

The $3.65 million winning bid also covered the price for the Bulletin‘s sister newspaper, the Redmond Spokesman.

EO Media Group beat two out-of-state competitors, Adams Publishing Group out of Greeneville, Tennessee, and Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers Inc., which did not send a representative to the auction but made almost $68,000 on the sale.

Heidi Wright, EO Media Group’s chief operating officer, said the the company appreciates the opportunity to continue Oregon ownership of the Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman.

“It’s reassuring for the future of community newspapers when a small independent company like EO Media Group can prevail, even when going up against the big companies that are buying up newspapers nonstop around the country,” she said.

Western Communications, the Bulletin‘s former parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and is selling all of its assets. EO Media Group bought two of those assets in June at auction — The Observer in La Grande and the Baker City Herald. The Bulletin and Spokesman acquisitions bring the company’s total number of newspapers and journals to 14. Wright explained why the purchases make sense for the family-owned business.

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American Press Institute: How a culture of listening strengthens reporting and relationships

When Journal Star executive editor Dennis Anderson created a reader advisory board with residents of Peoria’s predominately African American South Side in 2014, he knew the paper had some work to do.

Regard for the Journal Star wasn’t particularly high among these residents of the central Illinois town; some said that the only time they saw a reporter show up was to cover crime or local charity efforts. And the neighborhood faces dramatic inequality, with higher rates of poverty than the rest of Peoria, which is more white and affluent.

So Anderson and his staff started listening.

Taking the lead and acting like a beat reporter, Anderson talked with people across the South Side, asking each to recommend five more people he should connect with. He formed an advisory board of representatives from the community, who began contributing their perspectives and ideas for the Journal Star’s coverage.

The Journal Star also began hosting monthly meetings throughout the neighborhood, welcoming locals to come and share their ideas and insights for stories that the newspaper should tell about their community.

Fast forward to 2018. Anderson says he now gets regular calls from people in the neighborhood who never would have dialed up the newspaper before, sharing tips and feedback on the newspaper’s coverage. His newsroom still hosts monthly meetings on the South Side, and sends an email to about 150 people in the neighborhood twice a month to update them on stories and remind them about the gatherings.

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Virginia Mercury: Virginian-Pilot alums launch statewide investigative reporting center

Two former staffers at The Virginian-Pilot have teamed up to launch a nonprofit investigative newsroom that plans to partner with media outlets and universities around the state to produce in-depth local reporting.

The Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism aims to post its first story within the next month and hopes to begin publishing on a routine basis by the end of September, said Chris Tyree, the fledgling organization’s executive editor and cofounder.

“It’s not going to be a daily report,” said Tyree, who worked as a photographer at the Pilot and, more recently, as a documentary filmmaker. “We have newspapers doing that. We’re going to be taking things deeper. And some of our projects will take a lot of time to do.”

Tyree enlisted former colleague Maria Carrillo to serve as co-director. She worked as the Pilot’s managing editor for nine years and is currently a deputy editor at the Tampa Bay Times, where she oversees enterprise journalism. She says she’ll stay in that role as she helps launch the center.

“We’ve watched from a distance as the Pilot has gotten smaller and smaller and other newsrooms have gotten smaller and smaller,” Carrillo said. “We’ve lost a lot of expertise and investigative journalists.”

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INDUSTRY NEWS • July 25, 2019

Oregon Public Broadcasting: Bend Bulletin Must Terminate Employees Before Paper's Sale, Documents State

A new court filing outlining the sale of Central Oregon's only daily newspaper shows that all employees of the Bend Bulletin and other publications must be terminated before Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers takes control.

The Rhode Island company plans to buy Western Communications' Central Oregon publications for more than $2 million.

As a part of the sale agreement, Western Communications must terminate all employees at the Bend Bulletin, the Redmond Spokesman Weekly and other publications including Go! Weekly entertainment tabloid and Bend Homes monthly.

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Pew Research: U.S. newsroom employment has dropped a quarter since 2008, with greatest decline at newspapers

Newsroom employment in the United States declined 25% between 2008 and 2018Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers. And even though digital-native news outlets have experienced some recent growth in employment, they have added too few newsroom positions to make up for recent losses in the broader industry, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey data.

From 2008 to 2018, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 25%. In 2008, about 114,000 newsroom employees - reporters, editors, photographers and videographers - worked in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and "other information services" (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2018, that number had declined to about 86,000, a loss of about 28,000 jobs.

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Editor & Publisher: Industry Insight: To Slow Decline, Newspaper Print Editions Should Act Their Age

Flat is the new growth, many would say, when it comes to declining volume of daily newspaper print circulation, especially as success has been found in raising prices among the most loyal subscribers.

So maybe it’s time for publishers to radically lean in to serving and retaining their most loyal print readers—the elderly.

I’ve read a lot of lengthy, handwritten or typed-and-snail-mailed letters from print edition subscribers in their 70s and 80s, usually written in response to a price increase or renewal notice. After nominal objection to price, their real passion spills out.

Why can’t we deliver the paper to their doorstep like we used to (they’re not as mobile as they used to be and worried about an icy driveway in the winter), or get it there at a consistent time to fit their early morning breakfast routine?

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Family-owned newspapers in Ohio sold to West Virginia firm

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — A newspaper that has operated under the same family for 150 years in Ohio has been sold to Wheeling, West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers.

Ogden is buying the Sandusky Register along with the Norwalk Reflector from Sandusky Newspapers Inc.

The family has owned the Register since 1869 and the Reflector since 1913.

The sale announced Wednesday is expected to close later this month.

Sandusky Newspapers CEO David Rau says it was a very difficult decision. He says it was decided the newspapers would be better off if owned by a larger company.

Ogden owns nearly 50 daily newspapers, including eight in Ohio.

Sandusky Newspapers says it will continue to publish the Kingsport Times-News and the Johnson City Press in Tennessee along with three weekly newspapers.

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AP: Report: Newspaper chains Gannett, GateHouse in merger talks

NEW YORK (AP) — Two of the country’s largest newspaper companies are in “advanced talks” to combine.

That’s according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The Journal says that Gannett Co., the owner of USA Today, and GateHouse Media, the owner of the Austin American-Statesman, Palm Beach Post and many papers in small- and mid-sized towns, are nearing a deal that would have GateHouse or its parent buy Gannett.

New Media Investment Group, itself a unit of private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, owns GateHouse. Fortress’ owner is Japanese tech giant SoftBank, which also owns U.S. wireless carrier Sprint.

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The Herald-Dispatch: Judge OKs release of DEA data on opioids

CINCINNATI — The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled an Ohio federal judge abused his power in issuing a blanket protective order prohibiting the public release of extensive Drug Enforcement Administration opioid data that would show the number of painkillers drug companies shipped to pharmacies nationwide.

The opinion - penned by Circuit Judge Eric L. Clay and released Thursday - said Cleveland-based U.S. District Judge Dan A. Polster did a U-turn in his own reasoning for allowing the data to be given to plaintiff counties that filed lawsuits against the drug companies, but not the media.

"Between the time it ordered the DEA to produce the ... data to plaintiffs and the time it denied (the media's) request for the data, the district court seems to have done a complete about-face concerning the relevant interests at stake," Clay wrote.

The ruling came after May 2 arguments from lawyers from HD Media, which owns the Charleston Gazette-Mail and The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, and The Washington Post asking for the data to be disclosed after Polster previously denied the request.

Read more: Federal appeals court OKs release of opioids data to the public

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Columbia Journalism Review: Two newspaper giants plan a massive merger

IN RECENT MONTHS, IT SEEMS, top US newspaper companies have been speed dating. In May, The Wall Street Journal reported that Gannett, the biggest of these companies by circulation, had talked to all of GateHouse, McClatchy, and Tribune—formerly tronc, with which Gannett has a messy history—about a potential merger. (By this point, Gannett had already rebuffed the only suitor to have gone public with its interest: Digital First Media, the hedge-fund-backed publisher notorious for brutal cost-slashing at its properties.) Of these possible pairings, the notion of a Gannett–GateHouse partnership was perhaps the most striking: GateHouse—itself backed by private equity and hardly of glowing journalistic reputation—is America’s second biggest newspaper chain after Gannett, and owns even more dailies than its larger rival.

It now looks like this pairing might last. Late last week, the Journal’s Cara Lombardo and Dana Cimilluca reported that Gannett and GateHouse are close to a deal; an official announcement could follow in the next few weeks. According to Nieman Lab’s Ken Doctor—who has long foreseen a major move to consolidate the media industry—the combined company would own 265 daily titles with a total print circulation nearing 9 million readers. That’s one of every six daily newspapers in America. “The hunt for scale seems to be ending with a merger of No. 1 and No. 2,” Doctor writes. Some scale.

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KDKA2: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Eliminating 2 Additional Days Of Print

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is eliminating two days of print.

Starting Sept. 30, the Post-Gazette will not print on Mondays and Wednesdays, the paper said in a statement.

The statement said the paper, which is owned by Block Communications, is taking its next step in its digital transformation by eliminating two additional days of print.

In August 2018, the Post-Gazette cut Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Subscribers will get a print edition on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

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The Bend Bulletin: Oregon newspaper company submits high bid for The Bulletin, Redmond Spokesman

With financial backing from unnamed Bend residents, an Oregon newspaper company hopes to outbid two others for The Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman.

EO Media Group, publisher of 11 newspapers from the Wallowas to the Oregon Coast, is offering $2.5 million for Bend’s daily newspaper and its weekly sister publication in Redmond, according to a notice filed Monday in U.S. District Court of Oregon.

The Bulletin’s parent company, Western Communications, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and is in the process of selling all of its assets.

“There’s strong support from the community for us to acquire The Bulletin,” said Heidi Wright, chief operating officer of EO Media Group, or East Oregonian Publishing Co.

“Key community leaders” offered to back a bid by EO Media Group after Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers Inc. came forward in June with an offer of $2.25 million, Wright said. “They are supportive of our efforts to be the successful bidder coming out of the auction.”

An auction will be held July 29 in the Portland office of Tonkon Torp LLP, which represents Western Communications. A hearing is scheduled later that day in U.S. District Court.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • July 11, 2019

The Washington Post: ‘Democracy … is about to die in Youngstown’ with closing of the local newspaper

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Mere moments after the start of the hastily called community forum, the tears started to flow.

“Gobsmacked,” was how one Youngstown reader described her horrified reaction to the surprise announcement, just days before, that the city’s 150-year-old daily newspaper, the Vindicator, would publish its last edition on Aug. 31.

And Mary Beth Earnheardt, who teaches journalism at Youngstown State University, briefly left the meeting room at the local history center to pull herself together.

Like many others, she feels the impending loss deeply.

“The Vindy connects us all. A community without a strong, central newspaper is missing leadership — and a big part of its identity.”

The paper’s demise is another blow for a region hit hard earlier this year by the shutdown of the sprawling General Motors plant in Lordstown, a 20-minute drive from downtown, which once employed 14,000. The plant, which made the Chevrolet Cruze, is part of the Rust Belt manufacturing sector that President Trump vowed he would bring back.

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Chicago Sun-Times: ‘An essential force in American history,' Chicago Defender to stop print publication

The Chicago Defender will cease print operations next week, ending a storied 114-year newspaper legacy that included driving the Great Migration of African Americans to Chicago from the South and bolstering the black electorate as a key constituency in national politics.

Wednesday marks the final physical edition from the Defender's Bronzeville newsroom, its executives announced Friday, with the outlet switching to a digital-only platform on Thursday.

"Under the print version, we could not reach people where they live and work," said Hiram E. Jackson, CEO of Real Times Media, the Detroit-based black newspaper chain that bought the Defender in 2003. "Being a digital-only outlet will help us reach people who live on the West Side or South Side or south suburbs, giving people what they need when they want it. It makes us more nimble.

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Globe and Mail staff member tweets that 79 people are taking buyouts at his newspaper

The newspaper industry in Canada is a little bit smaller this month.

That's because 79 people at the Globe and Mail are taking buyouts, with more than half in the editorial department, according to a tweet by health writer André Picard.

It's a result of a voluntary severance program announced in May to try to save about $10 million annually.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • June 27, 2019

Frustration, confusion as Bakersfield Californian faces layoffs and new ownership

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The Bakersfield Californian has always been family owned and operated, a rare feat for a newspaper with a 122 year history. But come July 1, California Sound News Media Inc. will take the reins, and changes for the paper's print production and staffing have already been announced.

The paper was founded by Alfred and Virginia Harrell in 1897, and five generations later, their descendants, now the Fritts-Moorhouse family, announced earlier this month the paper had been sold to the Canadian-owned company that has other local California newspaper acquisitions.

This week at least six longtime editors were given notice that they will not have a job come July 1st.

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Greentown newspaper stops publishing due to slumping ad sales

GREENTOWN - The Greentown Grapevine, which is managed by Eastern Howard School Corporation and is the only community newspaper in the state produced by high school students, is ending publication after 25 years in town.

The monthly paper made the announcement in the June edition, citing rising costs and declining ad revenue and readership for the reason for the closure.

"The Greentown Grapevine staff is saddened to see the local newspaper come to an end," read the article announcing the closure. "It was an extremely difficult decision to make. We are thankful for the community's support and concern."

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Judge orders holding newspaper shooting trial in 2 phases

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A judge on Tuesday ordered that the trial for a man charged with killing five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland to be held in two parts and granted a request for more time to conduct a mental health review by the state health department.

Judge Laura Ripken granted a request by Jarrod Ramos' defense attorneys for the trial to first determine guilt or innocence. If he's found to have committed the crimes, a second phase would determine whether his mental state made him not criminally responsible. Ramos, 39, has pleaded not guilty and not criminally responsible, Maryland's version of an insanity defense.

Ripken also granted a request from the state health department for 60 more days for a mental health evaluation of Ramos, because more records are needed to finish it.

"Thoroughness is important in terms of this report," Ripken said.

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SEEING ISN’T BELIEVING: The Fact Checker’s guide to manipulated video

The Internet is increasingly populated with false and misleading videos. These videos — spread by politicians, advocacy groups and everyday users — are viewed by millions. The Fact Checker set out to develop a universal language to label manipulated video and hold creators and sharers of this misinformation accountable. We have found three main ways video is being altered: footage taken out of context, deceptively edited or deliberately altered.

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Florida newsrooms band together to cover the effects of climate change

The media ecosystem has changed in more ways than we can count.

And with fewer journalists working in the United States these days, newsrooms have to find new ways to do things.

That brings me to an important announcement: A group of Florida newsrooms have banded together to cover climate change. The Tampa Bay Times will be joining the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Palm Beach Post and WLRN Public Media to produce stories about the issue. Other media partners are sure to come aboard. The initial partners have already begun to share stories and ideas.

Topics the media partnership will explore include the dangers of increasingly destructive hurricanes, the effects on native species and the impacts to the economy. We’ll also probe what lies ahead for coastal towns and cities jeopardized by rising sea levels.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • June 20, 2019

UT student newspaper ends its 19-year independence from the university

After nearly two decades of editorial independence from the University of Toledo, its student-run newspaper will re-establish legal and financial ties with the institution this fall.

The Independent Collegian began discussions two years ago about reuniting with UT because of declining ad revenue and funding. Reuniting with the university "was one of many options considered within the past two years," said Erin Czerniak, the Independent Collegian's exiting faculty advisor.

The newspaper's board of directors officially voted for reunification this April.

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MediaNews plans to cut 81 jobs at Reading Eagle

The new owners of the Reading Eagle plan to lay off more than a third of the staff after they assume control of the 150-year-old newspaper and the company’s other assets later this month.

MediaNews Group stepped forward to buy the Reading Eagle Co. for $5 million after the family-owned company filed for bankruptcy protection in March.

A filing with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry said that MediaNews intends to lay off 81 of the Reading Eagle’s 221 employees. The Reading Eagle’s other properties include news-talk radio station WEEU-AM and a weekly newspaper.

“As we anticipated, (MediaNews) has determined it will have a reduced need for a large number of Reading Eagle employees following the closing of the sale,” Jennie Rodriguez-Priest, the Reading Eagle’s human resources director, wrote to the state labor department. The new owners are “still considering other Reading Eagle employees for possible employment,” she wrote.

The company promised a final list of cuts by June 28. MediaNews plans to complete its purchase of the paper June 30.

A Reading Eagle spokeswoman had no information on how many newsroom jobs will be lost. A message was left with MediaNews seeking comment. The company has previously said it will “re-create” the Eagle so the paper “has the appropriate resources” to provide local news coverage in a city where the Eagle has long been the dominant source.

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A newspaper bucks layoff trend, and hopes readers respond

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — These days, the news about local news seems relentlessly bad:

Newsroom employment, down by nearly half over the past 15 years. Waves of layoffs continuing to hit both traditional newspaper chains and digital news startups. Cities and towns so denuded of coverage that they’re described as “news deserts .”

But then, there’s The Berkshire Eagle.

The western Massachusetts daily has an expanded investigative team. There’s a new 12-page lifestyle section for the Eagle’s Sunday editions. There’s a new monthly magazine focusing on the area’s culinary and natural charms. There’s an advisory board that includes cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Pulitzer-winning writer Elizabeth Kolbert.

The newspaper is wider, its paper thicker. There’s even a second daily crossword puzzle.

The Eagle’s revival started three years ago, when four investors with deep pockets and ties to the Berkshires took a leap of faith. They bought it and its three sister Vermont publications from a hedge fund-backed media chain with a reputation for cost-cutting tactics that squeeze profits from struggling newspapers while leaving a diminished staff; the chain has defended its strategy as a way to ensure that local newspapers can survive financially.

Since the purchase, a hiring flurry has brought more than 50 new jobs to the Eagle and its sister papers.

It’s easy to get carried away — the Eagle is still struggling, and its survival is far from assured. Readers are trickling, not flocking, back.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • June 6, 2019

The Boston Globe: Now that’s a good story: news revival in Berkshires

PITTSFIELD — As he was nearing 70, the mandatory retirement age for judges in Massachusetts, Fred Rutberg began thinking about what he might do next. He had served on the bench in Berkshire County for 20 years, and lived in Stockbridge for 40.

Then one soft summer night in 2014, Rutberg and his wife, Judith, were on Nantucket, listening to a talk at the island library by veteran political journalist Joe Klein.

“At some point, [Klein] said, offhandedly, ‘Democracy requires citizenship and citizenship requires a town square,’ ” Rutberg said. “And when he said that, I whispered to my wife, ‘The Berkshire Eagle.’ ”

Five years later, the former district court judge is president and publisher of the Eagle, a once-great daily newspaper whose staff, circulation, and prestige all declined dramatically during two decades of corporate ownership. Backed by a group with local ties and deep pockets, Rutberg bought the moribund paper in May 2016 and began investing in it, hiring reporters and editors, adding new sections, revitalizing its website, even spending money on better-quality newsprint.

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McClatchy announces an experiment to eliminate one day of print for two papers — but with an enhanced online experience and no job losses.

These are rickety times for newspapers. A major issue: printing a paper costs lots of money. Delivering the paper costs lots of money.

So the McClatchy chain, which has 30 newsrooms, is on a learning journey to find out how to get readers to go from print to digital.

In April, the McClatchy-owned Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Sun News went from publishing a print product seven days a week to six. It cut the print edition and produced only digital stories on Saturdays. Because digital activation increased 8% in one month, revenue was not impacted and virtually no one cancelled their subscription, McClatchy is adding two more papers to what it calls “Digital Saturdays.” The Durham (North Carolina) Herald Sun and the Bellingham (Washington) Herald will no longer print on Saturdays, starting July 6.

This initiative is headed up by Sara Glines, McClatchy’s Carolinas & East regions president and publisher. And she wants to be clear with readers of those papers.

“You’re going to get all the same content that you got before,” Glines said. “You’re just going to get it in a different way.”

In fact, Glines said readers will get more. Extra comics and puzzles will appear in the Friday and Sunday print editions. And the Saturday e-edition will include even more international, national, sports and entertainment coverage than the Saturday print edition normally carried.

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Gannett reportedly in deal talks with GateHouse, Tribune, McClatchy

USA TODAY owner Gannett is reportedly in merger talks with newspaper chain GateHouse Media and has had discussions about possible deals with other media companies.

Gannett and GateHouse have discussed a deal that could help them "bulk up and trim costs," the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Gannett declined to comment on the report, and GateHouse did not respond to a request seeking comment.

GateHouse is part of New Media Investment Group, which has 156 daily publications and dozens of weekly newspapers. The company's largest publications include the Austin American-Statesman and the Oklahoman. Many of its properties are much smaller newspapers.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 30, 2019

GateHouse Media lays off journalists across the country (Poynter)

Another major blow for newspapers. GateHouse Media, one of the largest publishers in the United States with 156 daily newspapers and 328 weeklies, slashed jobs across the country Thursday. The official number is unknown, but it appears to be at least several dozen.

Mike Reed, CEO of GateHouse's parent company, New Media Investment Group, told Poynter media business analyst Rick Edmonds, "We are doing a small restructuring - at least that's what I would call it - that I'm sure will be misreported. We have 11,000 employees. This involves a couple of hundred."

Reed said that of the 200 or so, a great majority "are moving from non-reporting to reporting jobs." In other words, editors and photographers could be asked to switch assignments, although it's unclear how many will accept their new roles.

Reed said, ultimately, the actual number of news staff being downsized is "more like 10." But numbers far exceeded 10 when journalists impacted took to social media and reached out to Poynter on Thursday.

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Arkansas newspaper gambles on free iPads as the future

HOPE, Ark. (AP) - Over a lunch of hamburger steaks, mashed potatoes and green beans, Walter Hussman delivered his pitch to the dozen or so attendees of the Hope, Arkansas, Rotary Club meeting. He promised that if they keep paying their current rate of $36 a month for subscription to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, even though it will no longer be printed daily or delivered to their door, they'll get a free iPad to view a digital version.

The daily digital replica of the state's largest newspaper will be accessed with an easy-to-use app they can download on the tablet that the newspaper is distributing to subscribers.

Hussman, the newspaper's publisher, said Wednesday that by the end of the year, only the Sunday edition of the paper will be printed.

It's a gamble Hussman feels compelled to take to sustain his newsroom of 106 employees and turn a profit, which the paper hasn't done since 2017.

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Wendi Winters' family establishes foundation to carry on her work

With a shoe box full of her notes, Wendi Winters children pieced together how to continue what their mom was known for: supporting local journalism.

Along with continuing the tradition of hosting a PR Bazaar, now called the Wendi Winters P.R. Bazaar, her children have started a foundation in her name and a community organization continues to work on behalf of Winters and the four other Capital employees killed in a shooting at the newsroom last year.

"We have to let go of our anger, we have to let go of our guilt and we never really truly let go of our sadness or our memories," Montana Geimer, one of Winters' daughters, said.

"We hope that we can share our memories of our mother with other people, keep her alive and be able to in someway share her with the community that she loved.”

A final trip: Laying slain journalist Wendi Winters to rest in Istanbul

Right away, Winters’ children realized they wanted to do something in honor of their mother, according to Summerleigh Geimer.

“We just didn’t have the direction of knowing exactly what we were going to do,” Summerleigh Geimer said. “We are a family trying to do something with the support we are receiving.”

They started the Wendi Winters Memorial Foundation, still pending for a 501c3 status, to organize and promote programs that support local journalism, journalists and news organizations.

“Really this organization supports journalists the exact way mom did when she was alive,” Winters’ son Phoenix Geimer said. “It is showing local groups in our area that journalists are approachable.”

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 23, 2019

Anderson newspaper to sell its building and move downtown

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — A newspaper in Anderson says it has put its building for sale and plans to get more modern office space closer to downtown.

Independent Mail News Director Steve Bruss said now that the Anderson paper is printed in Knoxville, Tennessee, the newspaper no longer needs all the space it has for a printing press.

Bruss says once the building is sold, the newspaper will find office space closer to downtown that it can make more modern.

Gannett now owns the Anderson paper and it collaborates with The Greenville News nearby.

Bruss says the newspaper is committed to covering Anderson as aggressively.

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Rochester newspaper sold to Forum Communications

By Catharine Richert Minnesota Public Radio News undefined

ROCHESTER -- The Rochester Post-Bulletin will have a new owner.

The regional newspaper operator Forum Communications has inked a deal to acquire the Rochester Post-Bulletin, which is the largest paper in southeast Minnesota.

Fargo, N.D.-based Forum Communications owns more than three dozen papers in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin

The deal doesn't include the Post-Bulletin's building or printing facility in downtown Rochester, which was put up for sale late last year.

In recent years, the Post-Bulletin has cut back on the number of days it publishes and laid off staff under financial pressures stemming from reduced ad and subscription revenue.

The privately-owned Small Newspaper Group acquired the paper in 1977.

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New Jersey Herald sold to GateHouse Media

NEWTON – The New Jersey Herald, in operation since 1829, is being sold to GateHouse Media.

In announcing the pending sale to Herald staff Thursday morning, Ralph Oakley, CEO of Quincy Media, the newspaper's current owners, said, “We are proud to have been associated with the New Jersey Herald for more than 50 years.

“The paper has done a wonderful job of covering the Sussex County area. This change in ownership will allow the newspaper to continue as a very important institution in this region.”

Joe Vanderhoof, regional vice president of GateHouse's Mid-Atlantic group, who was present for the announcement, said, “I'm very excited about this pending acquisition of the New Jersey Herald and continuing the legacy of award-winning community journalism.

“We also value the paper's strong relationships with readers, advertisers and the broader business community.”

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53 percent of college students say free speech is important; 45 percent say that have little trust in the media

MIAMI-May 13, 2019-As college students across the United States continue to test the limits and protections of the First Amendment, a new report by College Pulse reveals that students show support for these rights, but are divided on whether it's more important to promote an inclusive society that welcomes diverse groups or to protect the extremes of free speech. Opinions sharply diverge by gender, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation and religion.

Supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the report used a mobile app and web portal to survey 4,407 full-time college students enrolled in four-year degree programs in December 2018. It builds on previous surveys of college students and their views on the First Amendment supported by Knight in 2016 and 2018.

The report showed that more than half (53 percent) of students favor protecting free speech rights, while nearly as many (46 percent) say it's important to promote an inclusive and welcoming society. At the same time, 58 percent of students said that hate speech should continue to be protected under the First Amendment while 41 percent disagree. The report's exploration of perceptions by race, gender, sexual orientation and religion further highlight stark differences in student views on these issues.

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Pope pays tribute to journalists who were killed; says press freedom vitalVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis paid tribute on Saturday to journalists killed while doing their jobs, saying media freedom is a key indicator of a country’s health.

Pope Francis attends a meeting with the members of Italian Foreign Press Association at Clementine Hall at the Vatican, May 18, 2019. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

In an address to the Foreign Press Association in Italy, he urged journalists to shun fake news and continue reporting on the plight of people who no longer make headlines but are still suffering, specifically mentioning the Rohingya and Yazidi.

“I listened in pain to the statistics about your colleagues killed while carrying out their work with courage and dedication in so many countries to report on what is happening in wars and other dramatic situations in which so many of our brothers and sisters in the world live,” he said.

Francis had just heard the association’s president, Patricia Thomas of Associated Press Television, talk about journalists killed, imprisoned, wounded or threatened in their line of work.

She mentioned Lyra Mckee, who was shot dead while covering a riot in Northern Ireland, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who died in a car bomb in 2017, and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.

“Freedom of the press and of expression is an important indicator of the state of a country’s health,” the pope said. “Let’s not forget that one of the first things dictatorships do is remove freedom of the press or mask it, not leaving it free.”

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Bankruptcy judge approves sale of Reading Eagle to chain

READING, Pa. (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved the sale of the 150-year-old Reading Eagle to a publisher known for its aggressive cost-cutting.

MediaNews Group, better known as Digital First Media, offered $5 million for the assets of the Reading Eagle Co., which filed for bankruptcy protection in March. Chief Judge Richard E. Fehling signed off on the deal after a hearing Wednesday.

Digital First's portfolio includes about 200 papers and other publications, including The Denver Post and the Boston Herald. Its biggest shareholder is Alden Global Capital, a New York hedge fund that invests in distressed companies.

Digital First has a reputation for buying struggling newspapers and slashing their staffs, and job cuts are widely expected at the Eagle. The Pennsylvania paper began publishing in 1868.

"The Reading Eagle has always had an outsized role in defining this community. It is far and away the dominant source of news," Berks County Community Foundation CEO Kevin Murphy said.

He said hundreds of people have talked to him about the Eagle since it entered bankruptcy.

"I don't remember anything in 25 years that has jolted this community more than this bankruptcy news," he said. "It has been a process of shock and grief."

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Rutgers students vote to slash funding for student paper. Daily Targum could shut down.

The future of Rutgers University’s independent student newspaper is in question after losing all of its funding from student fees, the primary source of revenue for the 150-year-old The Daily Targum.

Not enough students voted to continue supporting an $11.25 per-semester student fee in a recent campus referendum, gutting the paper of its largest and most reliable source of revenue, the paper announced on Monday night.

“It’s kind of up in the air right now," Sandy Giacobbe, The Daily Targum’s business manager, said of the future. “The Targum is in uncharted territory.”

Giacobbe, a junior, wouldn’t say what percentage of total revenue will be lost or speculate about whether the paper may reduce its current five-day print schedule.

The failed referendum is the the first complete loss of student fee funding since the paper became independent of the university in 1980, he said.

In a statement, The Daily Targum pledged to continue serving the Rutgers community.

“We do not know what the future holds, but the Targum Publishing Company’s Board of Trustees and staff will be working to address this funding crisis,” the paper tweeted.

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Police to return property seized from San Francisco reporter

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police agreed Tuesday to return property seized from a San Francisco journalist in a raid, but the decision did little to ease tensions in the case, which has alarmed journalism advocates and put pressure on city leaders.

Authorities have said the May 10 raids on freelancer Bryan Carmody's home and office were part of an investigation into what police called the illegal leak of a report on the death of former Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who died unexpectedly in February.

Media organizations across the country criticized the raids as a violation of California's shield law, which specifically protects journalists from search warrants. The Associated Press is among dozens of news organizations siding with Carmody and seeking to submit a friend-of-the-court brief.

A police attorney said at a hearing that officers would give back Carmody's property, but the case will soon be back in court. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng did not rule Tuesday on requests by Carmody's attorney and media organizations to unseal warrant materials and revoke the search warrants, but the judge set deadlines for further filings.

The editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle has joined with other publications in criticizing city leaders, including Mayor London Breed, for failing to quickly condemn the police actions. A Chronicle report published Monday named supervisors who have not returned messages for comment on the raids in which police, armed with a sledgehammer, attempted to enter Carmody's home and then cuffed him for hours.

Breed initially defended the raids but on Sunday posted messages on Twitter saying she was "not okay" with raids on reporters.

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How The Advocate conquered New Orleans (and most of the rest of Louisiana, too)

Even before owners of The New Orleans Advocate bought the assets of its competitor, The Times-Picayune and, earlier this month, it charted a remarkable course of expansion in an industry that is relentlessly shrinking.

With papers in Baton Rouge and the Acadiana/Lafayette region, The Advocate has built a combined circulation of 100,000 and a news staff of 110. Both will grow as The Advocate absorbs The Times-Picayune's paid print circulation (at 43,400, slightly bigger than its own circulation of 35,500).

The combined digital site will pick up the name and use its faster technology, probably by early July, though a date has not yet been set. And the New Orleans Advocate will grow its news staff hiring some of those who lost their jobs as and the Picayune dissolve.

That thunderbolt overshadows what The Advocate had already accomplished a month earlier: winning its first Pulitzer Prize for local reporting and being chosen as a finalist in editorial writing, both honors for a painstaking investigation of jury practices that discriminated against black defendants.

The contours of the Advocate's success by now are familiar to many - a generous owner, John Georges; a deeply experienced and hard-charging editor, Peter Kovacs; and a host of strong news and business staffers as well.

However, I suspected there was a good deal more to this counter-cyclical tale and went to New Orleans earlier this month to see what I could find. I identified at least 10 reasons the Advocate became ascendant.

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Bend Bulletin Owners Plan To Sell Everything And Dissolve The Company

The owner of the Bend Bulletin plans to dissolve the company and sell all seven newspapers in its Pacific Northwest chain, according to a liquidation plan filed in federal bankruptcy court Wednesday.

In the plan, Western Communications outlines the terms of its own demise, but provides few details on who might buy the newspapers, real estate and other assets. The corporation owes roughly $30 million in debt, about two thirds of which is secured under a single creditor through the terms of a previous bankruptcy. This week’s court filing assures creditors the company is negotiating with a short list of buyers.

“Five [potential buyers] have toured Debtor’s facilities and engaged in follow-up discussions and negotiations,” according to the disclosure statement signed by Chairwoman Elizabeth McCool.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 16, 2019

Reading Eagle newspaper gets 'multiple bids'

READING, Pa. (AP) — The Reading Eagle newspaper, whose owners recently filed for bankruptcy protection, is evaluating several offers from potential buyers.

Bankruptcy attorney Robert Lapowsky says "multiple bids" were received by Wednesday's deadline. He says the bids are being reviewed.

If there is more than one qualified bidder for the 150-year-old family-owned paper, an auction will be held Friday.

The Reading Eagle Co. issued a mass-layoff notice this week, telling Pennsylvania state officials that nearly its entire workforce of more than 200 employees could lose their jobs next month.

The company's other properties include news-talk radio station WEEU and a weekly newspaper. The Eagle has continued to publish under Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules.

The newspaper said it has an average daily circulation of more than 37,000 Monday through Friday, and more than 50,000 on Sunday. It was first published in 1868.

Man who threatened Boston Globe journalists pleads guilty

BOSTON (AP) — A California man who threatened to kill employees of The Boston Globe after the newspaper called on media organizations nationwide to denounce President Trump's attacks on the media pleaded guilty Wednesday, federal prosecutors said.

Robert Chain, 68, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to seven counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, The U.S. attorney's office in Boston said in a statement.

He faces five years in prison per count at sentencing scheduled for Sept. 23.

Neither Chain nor his attorney spoke when they left court.

But his attorney, William Weinreb, said last month his client took "full responsibility" for his actions.

"He is anxious to make a full, public apology, expressing his sincere remorse to those he affected," Weinreb said in an email last month.

Chain was arrested in August after authorities say he made 14 calls threatening the lives of Globe staff in retaliation for its coordinated and nonpartisan editorial response to Trump's frequent attacks on the news media.

"You are the enemy of the people,'" Chain allegedly said on Aug. 13, according to prosecutors, echoing Trump's repeated references to the media. "We will hunt you down and kill you and your dogs."

Quincy Media to purchase Hannibal Courier-Post

HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — The company that operates the Quincy (Illinois) Herald-Whig and other media outlets is buying a daily newspaper from across the Mississippi River.

Quincy Media Inc. announced Friday it will purchase the Hannibal (Missouri) Courier-Post from GateHouse Media. The purchase is expected to close this summer.

Quincy Media Vice President Ron Wallace, who also is publisher of the Herald-Whig, says the purchase will bring control of the Courier-Post back to the Hannibal area.

Quincy Media is a family-owned company in operation since 1926. It operates two newspapers — the Herald-Whig and the New Jersey Herald in Newton, New Jersey, and has broadcast properties in 16 markets.

INDUSTRY NEWS • May 9, 2019

Entire New Orleans Times-Picayune staff axed after sale to competitor

The Newhouse family sold the 182-year-old daily The Times-Picayune and its website,, to a scrappy New Orleans competitor, and the entire staff is being laid off. That has stirred worries across the other papers in the family's Advance Publications empire.

A total of 161 staff members are being laid off, according to a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, which listed 65 reporter and editor jobs in the bloodbath.

John and Dathel Georges, the husband-and-wife team that owns the rival New Orleans Advocate, are buying The Times-Picayune from Newhouse's Advance Local, which has owned it since 1962.

The Advocate plans to publish a seven-days-a-week paper using both brands on the masthead starting in early June and will merge both websites under

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Newhouse co. sends bumbling exec to lay off entire Times-Picayune staff

The Newhouse family, which owns publications ranging from Vanity Fair to The Star-Ledger, just gave a lesson on the wrong way to shutter a newspaper.

The New York media dynasty announced a surprise shutdown of the 182-year-old New Orleans Times-Picayune last week — and the bumbling executive the family sent to deliver pink slips forgot to introduce himself as he delivered the crushing blow to staffers.

“Thank you for coming today on short notice. I’m going to get right to the point,” the executive began in a May 2 speech, according to a recording of the bizarre incident provided to The Post.

Explaining that the Newhouses’ newspaper chain, Advance Local, had sold the Times-Picayune and its website to rival newspaper New Orleans Advocate, the executive then broke the news that all 161 employees, including 65 journalists, would lose their jobs in 60 days.

“I’m very proud to be a colleague of everyone in this room and on the phone,” he said roughly three minutes into his speech.

The touchy-feely line seemed to prompt a soon-to-be-unemployed reporter to raise his hand and ask, “Who is talking? We don’t know who is talking.”

“I’m sorry. I should have introduced myself. Tom Bates,” he said.

Five minutes later, after Bates had finished his speech and a human resources official was explaining the severance packages, another staffer piped up with a question.

“The man we just listened to, what’s his title,” the staffer asked.

“He’s the president,” said HR executive Ellen Williams.

“He’s the president of… ?” the staffer asks.

“He’s regional president of Advance Local,” Williams replied, referring to the Newhouse entity that has owned the Times-Picayune since 1962.

The demise of the nearly two hundred year old paper, which is being folded into the Advocate in name only, sent shockwaves through the struggling print media industry, particularly publications owned by Advance, including the Staten Island Advance, the Jersey Journal and Newark Star-Ledger.

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Salt Lake Tribune announces plans to convert into nonprofit

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Salt Lake Tribune announced plans Wednesday to become a nonprofit as it moves toward a nontraditional model that it hopes will ensure long-term stability after years of financial struggles fueled by declines in advertising and circulation revenues.

The plan for the Utah newspaper that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 would be similar to setups at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Tampa Bay Times, which are both are owned by nonprofit foundations.

The Tribune's wealthy publisher, Paul Huntsman, told the staff Tuesday, and the newspaper published a story Wednesday. Huntsman purchased the newspaper in 2016, leading to a period of increased stability after the newspaper had dealt with staff reductions and feared closure under the previous owner. But one-third of the staff was laid off last year as the financial hardships emerged again.

Jennifer Napier-Pearce, editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, said the current financial is broken with revenue declines looking irreversible.

"You got to try something. If you just let the future wash over you, we're going to go out of business. So that's just not acceptable," Napier-Pearce said. "Print is not dead. But it's dying, so you've got to find some other piece to prop up the stool. That third piece is going to be philanthropy."

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INDUSTRY NEWS • April 11, 2019

The Oregonian: Oregon newsrooms team up on suicide awareness/prevention reporting

SALEM — If you’re a regular reader of your local news, it’s likely you’ll have a good sense of how many people died in a car crash or of a terminal illness. But it’s less likely you’ll hear when somebody dies by suicide.

It’s partly because of a long-held rule across newsrooms not to report on suicides, out of respect for the family and from the belief that reporting on the topic could have a “contagious effect” and inspires others to also take their own lives.

While there's some evidence for that logic, the nation's growing number of suicides has become difficult for reporters to ignore. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the national suicide rate is at a 50-year high, climbing 33% since 1999. It's estimated 25,000 Americans died by suicide in 2016 alone.

"Journalists stopped covering suicide for some very good reasons," said Nicole Dahmen, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Oregon. "But the unintended consequence of that is that suicide has remained unreported, and death by suicide has been on the rise so much so that it's become a public health crisis."

The issue has prompted reporters in Oregon, which has a suicide rate 40% higher than the national average, to take a different approach to tackling the topic.

Over 30 newsrooms from around the state are banding together in an unprecedented, weeklong reporting collaboration to shed light on suicide and its effect on the community. The project, known as “Breaking the Silence,” will run from April 7 to 14 and involve newspapers, TV stations and student media organizations from across Oregon. (The Oregonian/OregonLive’s coverage starts in The Sunday Oregonian.)

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Oregon Public  Broadcasting: Incomplete reporting hides rising death rates in Northwest jails

In 2012, Michael Saffioti turned himself in on a misdemeanor. The charge was marijuana possession. The next day at the Snohomish County Jail in Everett, Washington, he was served oatmeal that contained milk. The 22-year-old with severe asthma and a dairy allergy went into anaphylaxis and died.

In 2015, in Island County Jail on Washington's Whidbey Island, 25-year-old Keaton Farris was found naked on the floor of his cell. He died malnourished and dehydrated after guards turned off the water to his cell because he had flooded it previously.

One year later, in the Columbia County Jail in St. Helens, Oregon, two inmates attempted suicide on the same day. Responders saved one, but 44-year-old Jason Shaw later died at a Portland hospital. He had hanged himself using a bedsheet.

In 2018, 53-year-old Jacqueline Cowans was booked at the Lane County Jail in Eugene, Oregon, on three warrants: burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful delivery of methadone. Eight days later she was moaning, asking for water and saying she was dying. Less than an hour after that, she was dead. The medical examiner determined she died from internal bleeding caused by pancreatitis.

Since 2008, at least 306 people across the Northwest have died after being taken to a county jail, according to an investigation by OPB, KUOW and the Northwest News Network. Until now, that number was unknown, in part because Oregon and Washington have not comprehensively tracked those deaths in county jails.

If they did, they would find a crisis of rising death rates in overburdened jails that have been set up to fail the inmates they are tasked with keeping safe.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • April 4, 2019

Plain Dealer lays off a third of unionized newsroom staff

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Plain Dealer on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees as part of a staff reduction first announced in December. The 14, most of them reporters and all members of Local 1 of the News Guild of the Communication Workers of America, account for about a third of the unionized news-gathering staff.

One additional journalist will depart later this month. The company had earlier announced plans to eliminate 29 other jobs in May by shifting its page-production work to a centralized outside system. Three of those production staffers will move to the newsroom, however, reducing the net loss of jobs there to 12.

"Today, we share a sense of loss,” Plain Dealer President and Editor George Rodrigue said in a statement. “The essence of any layoff is that good people lose their jobs. We regret that, and we wish our colleagues well.

“In the near future, we will be refocusing our efforts to invest in deeper coverage of key topics that are of high value to our community. We will be sharing more about those plans in the coming weeks.”

Said Ginger Christ, Plain Dealer News Guild unit chair: “Today was an incredibly stressful day. We lost talented colleagues and the community lost important voices. The damage isn’t just the loss of jobs. It’s the loss of information vital to the life of the city.”

Rodrigue blamed the cuts on the continuing decline in advertising revenue that has battered virtually all mass media, including television, radio and digital-first news organizations such as A Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor statistics from 2008 to 2017 found overall newsroom employment dropped nationally by 23 percent and in newspaper newsrooms employment dropped by 45 percent. More than 2,400 media jobs have been eliminated so far this year, according to Business Insider.

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Indian Country Today to relocate to ASU Cronkite school

PHOENIX (AP) — Indian Country Today, an online publication billed as the largest news site covering tribes and indigenous people across North America, announced Wednesday it is relocating its operation to Arizona State University.

The outlet, which started out as a weekly newspaper in 1981, said in a news release it will move this summer from Washington, D.C., to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix. A digital team, however, will remain in Washington.

The change in setting also will allow the site to create a national TV news program specifically for Native Americans using Native American talent.

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan praised the move. Callahan said the school wants to bolster coverage of Native communities as well as the number of Native journalism students. Stories about tribal issues sometimes are ignored or reported without proper understanding, he said.

"We are delighted that Indian Country Today, the iconic and influential news site, will be coming to Cronkite," he said in a statement.

In addition, Cronkite also is searching for someone to serve a first-ever professorship on Native Americans and the news media.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • March 28, 2019

Reading Eagle Company files for bankruptcy protection

Reading Eagle Company, the family-owned business that has published the Reading Eagle newspaper for more than 150 years, is filing for bankruptcy protection.

The company, which in addition to the newspaper, includes WEEU 830 AM, the weekly South Schuylkill News, Pretzel City Productions and its commercial printing subsidiary REP, announced the decision by its board of directors to employees Wednesday afternoon.

The company will continue to publish and broadcast under Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules, while it seeks a buyer to take over the Eagle's news and broadcasting legacy, company officials said.

“For more than a century you have taken us into your homes and supported us as we've told your stories and reported on the events and policies that shape your lives,” the company says in a note to readers. “We hope you will stay with us as we move through this period of change.”

At a meeting with employees late this afternoon, company President and CEO Peter D. Barbey said the company is pursuing options for the future with other news media companies. The company has 236 full-time employees and 20 part-time.

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Nieman Reports: Why Newsrooms Are Unionizing Now

In January 2015, The Washington Post’s labor reporter at the time, Lydia DePillis, wrote a story called “Why Internet journalists don’t organize.” DePillis observed that many writers were individualistic and had “built personal brands” and therefore apparently had scant interest in unions and collective action. One employee she interviewed said digital media workers were “half-looking to jump elsewhere,” so why fight to have a union if you’re not going to stick around? An editor told DePillis that despite the industry’s low salaries and instability, digital journalists were “SO unprepared for anything like union organizing…They all went to good schools, and very few of them seem to have any experience with labor in the real workforce.”

Two months later, Hamilton Nolan, a senior writer at Gawker, was talking with an organizer from the Writers Guild of America, East, a union largely of film and television writers, when the organizer told him that workers at one news website she hoped to unionize seemed scared of retaliation if they pushed for a union. Nolan surprised her by saying why not try to unionize his company, Gawker Media, which included Jezebel, Deadspin, Gizmodo, and Jalopnik. Soon Nolan was chatting up his coworkers, and within three weeks, nearly 40 Gawker workers met one afternoon at Writers Guild headquarters to discuss unionization.

The next day, Nolan posted a piece on Gawker with the headline “Why We’ve Decided to Organize.” While noting that Gawker was “a very good place to work,” Nolan wrote, “Every workplace could use a union. A union is the only real mechanism that exists to represent the interests of employees in a company.”

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Times Leader Layoffs Hit Sports Department

WILKES-BARRE — The Times Leader on Thursday cut more than half of its sports staff in the company’s latest round of layoffs, according to numerous sources.

Longtime sports writers Tom Venesky, DJ Eberle and Paul Sokoloski were laid off from the newspaper’s five-person sports department, according to multiple Times Leader employees who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Robert Tomkavage, the last remaining staff reporter for the Times Leader-branded publication The Abington Journal, also announced on Twitter on Thursday afternoon that his position had been eliminated. The Abington Journal previously closed its office in Clarks Summit.

The employees were notified at home by phone call Thursday morning, the sources said.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • March 21, 2019

Nieman: Collaborating at the Capitol: A new Illinois reporting service nearly doubles the number of statehouse journalists

Serving the thousand or so people of Roseville, Illinois, the Roseville Independent is an "occasional" newspaper with 143 subscribers and a Facebook page followed by as much as half of the town's population. It now also regularly publishes explainers on the state's government happenings and policy debates (including those still in committee!).

How? Through Capitol News Illinois, a new service from the Illinois Press Foundation, journalism on topics like the implications of the newly raised $15 minimum wage, skipping answering the census next year, and the governor's promise of revenue from legalized cannabis could again become commonplace in Illinois newspapers. Note those links are from the Southern Illinoisan, the Decatur-based Herald-Review, and the Rockford Star, a sampling of the 250 newspapers (out of IPF's 440 members) that have published CNI's reporting since it launched in January. Roseville, about 226 miles miles west of Chicago and 20 miles from Western Illinois University, is the smallest member, but on the other end is the Chicago Sun-Times with its circulation of 120,000 ("Statewide bag tax advances out of committee").

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Nieman: Nine local partners in Charlotte form a new reporting collaborative, with Solutions Journalism Network and the Knight Foundation

Continuing its efforts at building local journalism collaborations, the Solutions Journalism Network is partnering with the Knight Foundation to launch a nine-member collaborative focused on Charlotte, North Carolina.

·       The Charlotte Journalism Collaborative will be comprised of:

·       The Charlotte Observer

·       Latinx-focused La Noticia

·       Tegna-owned WCNC-TV

·       QCity Metro serving the African American community

·       NPR news station WFAE 90.7 FM

·       LGBTQ-geared QNotes

·       The Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte

·       The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and

·       News advocacy/community engagement group Free Press.

It will spend its first year jointly reporting on the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte, based in a metropolitan area of 2 million people, beginning this spring. (The grant lasts for two years with the hopes of the collaborative, according to Knight, "grow to include other media organizations and become self-sustaining.") A Charlotte Observer story last month described the crisis:

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The Plain Dealer: A painful adjustment at The Plain Dealer, and a few thoughts about our future

Since around 2001, newspaper advertising revenue nationally has been plummeting. It’s below the levels of the 1950s now. This has forced newsrooms around the country to make painful adjustments. I’m writing to tell you about one The Plain Dealer will be making soon.

Within approximately two weeks, we plan to reduce the net size of our newsroom staff by 12 reporters and editors. The essence of a reduction in force like this is that good people lose their jobs, through no fault of their own. That is a kind of tragedy, and one that will be deeply felt by everyone at The Plain Dealer.

The planned layoffs are in addition to changes we announced in December, involving the shift of page-production work from our free-standing production desk to a centralized system. That new production system is planned to start in early May.

Necessity has driven both moves.

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Should media avoid naming the gunmen in mass shootings?

A few months after teen shooters killed 12 classmates and her father at Columbine High School, Coni Sanders was standing in line at a grocery store with her young daughter when they came face to face with the magazine cover.

It showed the two gunmen who had carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Sanders realized that few people knew much about her father, who saved countless lives. But virtually everyone knew the names and the tiniest of details about the attackers who carried out the carnage.

In the decades since Columbine, a growing movement has urged news organizations to refrain from naming the shooters in mass slayings and to cease the steady drumbeat of biographical information about them. Critics say giving the assailants notoriety offers little to help understand the attacks and instead fuels celebrity-style coverage that only encourages future attacks.

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The Daily Astorian: Changes planned at The Daily Astorian

Last week, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Little did we know then how much the internet would affect retailing, banking and communications. We can publish news 24/7, something newspapers couldn’t have dreamed of 30 years ago.

Effective May 6, The Daily Astorian will change print publication dates from five days a week to three — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Our masthead will change to The Astorian in print, but remain The Daily Astorian online, reflecting our commitment to continue to be a daily news organization, publishing breaking and local news digitally every day.

The way your print newspaper is delivered will also change. Starting May 7, you’ll receive your Astorian by postal carrier. Much like Amazon and UPS, we are partnering with the local postal service. Your postal carrier will become your new newspaper carrier. For most of you, your newspaper will arrive earlier in the day with the mail. The newspaper will be in racks and stores by 7 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Our doors will continue to be open for business five days a week, and the people who work with you at our business today will continue to be here to serve you as we always have.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • March 14, 2019

AP: Town by town, local journalism is dying in plain sight

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. • Five minutes late, Darrell Todd Maurina sweeps into a meeting room and plugs in his laptop computer. He places a Wi-Fi hotspot on the table and turns on a digital recorder. The earplug in his left ear is attached to a police scanner in his pants pocket.

He wears a tie; Maurina insists upon professionalism.

He is the press — in its entirety.

Maurina, who posts his work to Facebook, is the only person who has come to the Pulaski County courthouse to tell residents what their commissioners are up to, the only one who will report on their deliberations — specifically, their discussions about how to satisfy the Federal Emergency Management Agency so it will pay to repair a road inundated during a 2013 flood.

Last September, Waynesville became a statistic. With the shutdown of its newspaper, the Daily Guide, this town of 5,200 people in central Missouri’s Ozark hills joined more than 1,400 other cities and towns across the U.S. to lose a newspaper over the past 15 years, according to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by the University of North Carolina.

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Post-Dispatch Buyouts Claim More Senior Reporters, Editors

Earlier this year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed that it hoped to interest up to fifteen senior employees in a buyout offer. Fourteen staffers signed up by the March 4 deadline, with some well-known bylines among them.

Doug Moore, a nineteen-year veteran of the daily who penned some of its most interesting stories, has accepted the offer. So has editor Christopher Ave, who's directed the paper's political coverage for the last eleven years.

Each announced the news this morning on social media. Moore, who is also the secretary for the executive board for the United Media Guild, wrote on Facebook that he'd unexpectedly received a different job offer and decided it was time to go.

In a long Twitter thread, Ave wrote that leaving was "a painful but necessary decision. I wish the paper only the best and I feel bad for leaving my brothers in arms. (and sisters of course). An exciting new challenge awaits, one that I will tell you about presently. For now, as the smell of election-night pizza lingers and the adrenaline rush of deadline fades, here's to journalism — it's been a thrilling, frustrating, beautiful ride."

Jean Buchanan, who served as the paper's projects and investigative team editor, has also accepted a buyout. She's been with the paper since 2004. The assistant metro editor/nights, Lisa Eisenhauer, was also on the list.

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AP: Border agency watchdog looking into caravan database

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The U.S. government kept a database on journalists, activists, organizers and "instigators" during an investigation into last year's migrant caravan, infuriating civil liberties and media groups who called it a blatant violation of free speech rights.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection compiled information on dozens of people that included passport and social media photos, dates of birth, personal information and their suspected role in the caravan. Some of the people on the list were denied entry into Mexico and had their passports flagged or visas revoked.

On Thursday, officials said the department's independent watchdog was looking into the database, and stressed that journalists were not targeted based on their occupation or reporting.

"CBP has policies in place that prohibit discrimination against arriving travelers and has specific provisions regarding encounters with journalists," said Andrew Meehan, assistant commissioner of public affairs.

The database was revealed Wednesday by the San Diego TV station KNSD. People listed in the documents provided to the station included 10 journalists, many of whom are U.S. citizens, and an American attorney. There were several dozen people in all on the list, including many labeled as "instigators."

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AP: Judge denies defense request in newspaper shooting case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The judge in a case against a man accused of killing five people at a Maryland newspaper office ruled Monday that prosecutors have provided "significantly more" information about the charges to defense attorneys than the law requires.

Lawyers for Jarrod Ramos asked Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Laura Ripken last month to require prosecutors to give them more details about the charges, as they weigh changing their client's plea to not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. His attorneys currently have a Friday deadline to change the plea from not guilty.

"The judge's ruling was that the state complied with the law and provided sufficient evidence for the defense to prepare for court," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess, speaking with reporters outside the courthouse in Annapolis.

William Davis, an attorney for Ramos, declined to comment after a brief court hearing. Ramos, with long hair and a beard, attended the hearing.

A trial is currently scheduled for June. A scheduling conference has been set for March 28 "to determine whether it's appropriate to proceed in June," Leitess said.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • March 7, 2019

Sacramento Bee reporter detained, two more journalists covering protest march among 84 arrested

Sacramento Bee reporter Dale Kasler was detained Monday night while covering a Stephon Clark protest in East Sacramento.

Kasler was handcuffed and led away as other reporters shouted that Kasler was a member of the media on assignment. He had been standing on the west side of the street, where several protesters who were also arrested had been standing.

Kasler was released just after 11 p.m. after being held for about an hour.

Kasler is in his 23rd year as a Bee reporter after joining the newspaper from the Des Moines Register. He had been running a video stream on Facebook Live at the time of the arrest.


Good news: These newspapers added a print section on good news

The Philadelphia Inquirer got an idea from the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune - focus on the good stuff, too. In April, the Inquirer will launch a new Sunday print section (yes, you read that correctly) that focuses on the solutions, stories and people making the region better.

It's called The UpSide, and it was Inspired by Strib's Inspired, which launched last year. The Strib's standalone print section comes out on Saturdays and had two sponsors in its first year. Digital stories from the section bring in a total of between 100,000 and 200,000 pageviews a month. And the beat tends to "be strongest with engaging local readers, retaining local subscribers and engaging online readers," said Suki Dardarian, the Star Tribune's managing editor and vice president, in an email.

Neither project, however, is an attempt to manufacture good news and ignore reality.

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‘PBS NewsHour’ is expanding with its first West Coast bureau

“PBS NewsHour,” public television’s nightly national newscast, is adding a full-time West Coast bureau aimed at providing more timely coverage for viewers in the region.

The program produced by Washington, D.C., PBS station WETA will unveil plans Wednesday to open a dedicated newsroom and studio based at the Arizona State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix. The studio will provide live updates for the West Coast feed of the broadcast.

The launch of the operation, called “PBS NewsHour West,” will give the program the ability to keep up with the seemingly nonstop news cycle where stories often can break in the evening. The program has never had a West Coast location since it was launched nationally by PBS in 1975 as “The Robert MacNeil Report.”

Sara Just, executive producer of “PBS NewsHour,” said the bureau scheduled to open later this year will better equip the program to stay on top of developing stories that occur after the full broadcast is fed live to stations at 6 p.m. Eastern time. The program has only been done live for the West Coast when it covers major planned events.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 28, 2019

AP duo to focus on #metoo, gender politics

News leaders announced Monday that two AP journalists will focus on covering #metoo and gender politics through 2019.

Here is the memo from Vice President of Global Enterprise Marjorie Miller, Deputy Managing Editor for U.S. News Noreen Gillespie and Sarah Nordgren, deputy managing editor for business, science and health, sports, entertainment and lifestyles:

For more than a year, the #metoo movement has created a discussion of sexual harassment and assault in America and across the globe. It has sparked conversations and change in boardrooms, Hollywood and college campuses.

We are proud of the work AP's dedicated team has done to cover this movement. Today, we are sharing news of a shift in our strategy to ensure the movement and gender politics continue to be a coverage priority for us.

Philadelphia-based reporter Maryclaire Dale, whose work on the Bill Cosby sexual assault case ensured that his victims' stories did not stay buried in court documents, and culture and feature writer Jocelyn Noveck, an original member of the #metoo coverage team who has chronicled the movement since its inception and most recently broke news about how it influenced the Kavanaugh hearings, will focus their work on #metoo and gender politics for the coming year. They will work with U.S. enterprise editor Pauline Arrillaga on these important issues.

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2 arrested in robbery of California news crew

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Two men have been arrested in the shooting of the security guard for a news crew that was robbed while covering the Oakland teachers' strike, authorities said Monday.

KPIX said a reporter and a photographer were gathering interviews Sunday afternoon at the Oakland Library when a car pulled up and two men got out and of them pointed a gun and demanded their camera. The crew surrendered the equipment and began walking away.

One of the suspects then shot the guard, Matt Meredith, in the leg, the news station said. KPIX reporter Joe Vazquez said on Twitter that the guard, a retired Berkeley police officer, returned gunfire.

Alameda County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said a 21-year-old man with several gunshot wounds went to a hospital after the incident. Oakland police arrested the man on suspicion of shooting the guard.

Oakland Police spokeswoman Johanna Watson confirmed Monday two people were detained and the stolen camera was recovered. The guard was treated at a hospital and released, she said.

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The Morning Call’s journalists are starting a union: ‘We want a voice’ in newsroom decisions, they say

Seeking a chance to control their own working conditions and preserve jobs, journalists at The Morning Call on Monday announced they have started the process of forming a union.

The Allentown-based newspaper owned by Tribune Publishing Co. recently went through a round of buyouts, which hit the newsroom staff as the entire industry deals with wage-stagnation and staff cuts.

Thirty-eight of the newsroom’s 48 eligible employees -- which includes reporters, photographers and copy editors (some of whom have worked with us at -- agreed to begin unionization, according to one of the reporters there.

The new Morning Call Guild has launched a website and Facebook page, and posted a video with staffers explaining their decision.

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Montana bill requiring media to identify owners is tabled

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana legislative committee has tabled a bill that sought to require media outlets owned by out-of-state corporations to prominently identify their owners and headquarters on the front of their publications and on online content.

The House State Administration committee voted 18-2 Wednesday to table the bill. That means it is likely dead for the session, unless a vote is held to bring it back for consideration.

The Montana Newspaper Association and the Montana Broadcasters Association spoke against the bill Monday, citing First Amendment concerns.

Republican Rep. Joe Read said he introduced the bill, in part, after reading stories that a broadcast ownership group required local television stations to read statements or air certain content. He questioned whether newspaper ownership groups would someday require the same of local newspapers.

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Seattle Weekly stops the presses, ending four decades of print and joining the web-only ranks

Seattle Weekly, once one of the most innovative and influential voices in Seattle arts and politics, and a leading light of the alternative weekly movement, will no longer be seen on Seattle’s streets after this week.

On Monday, the Weekly’s owner, Everett-based Sound Publishing, confirmed that the 42-year-old newsweekly would put out its final print edition this week and then shift to a web-only format starting March 1. Josh O’Connor, president of Sound Publishing, also confirmed that the three remaining editorial staff members “will not remain with the Seattle Weekly after we put out the final edition.”

The decision to kill the print edition, first reported in Crosscut, marks the latest effort to keep the Weekly alive in a publishing environment that has been completely upended by digital competitors.

In 2017, Sound Publishing tried to revive the struggling publication by merging the Weekly’s operations with the company’s large network of community newspapers — a move that involved cutting the staff of roughly two dozen to just three. “But the relaunch did not attract enough of an audience and advertising base to make the print product successful,” O’Connor acknowledged.

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American Journalism Project Launches Major Effort to Reinvigorate Local News with $42 Million in Founding Commitments

Feb. 26, 2019. Miami, Fla. — The American Journalism Project, a new initiative to reinvigorate mission-driven local news through the power of venture philanthropy, today announced its official launch with $42 million in lead funding commitments, a Board of Directors, and its first three hires.

Founded by Elizabeth Green and John Thornton (founders of Chalkbeat and The Texas Tribune, respectively), the American Journalism Project is the first venture philanthropy organization dedicated to strengthening an ecosystem of civic news organizations that believe local journalism a public good.

The organization will support existing and emerging news organizations with grants and hands-on support to ensure their long-term sustainability through diverse revenue generation and modern technology operations. With these investments, the American Journalism Project will help transition these organizations from primarily grant-funded newsrooms into integrated nonprofit media organizations and catalyze a step-function increase in journalism philanthropy.

“Local news coverage on topics of civic interest is a public good: vital to informed decision-making in a democracy, but no longer supported by the private market,” said Elizabeth Green, CEO and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat and Board Chair of the American Journalism Project. “Plenty of journalists are ready to take on this challenge by developing creative new business models in the public interest. What’s been missing is the philanthropic capital to truly support them.”

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 7, 2019

From fake news to enemy of the people: An anatomy of Trump's tweets

Since announcing his candidacy in the 2016 presidential elections to the end of his second year in office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sent 1,339 tweets about the media that were critical, insinuating, condemning, or threatening. In lieu of formal appearances as president, Trump has tweeted over 5,400 times to his more than 55.8 million followers; over 11 percent of these insulted or criticized journalists and outlets, or condemned and denigrated the news media as a whole.

To better monitor this negative rhetoric, CPJ's North America program created a database to track tweets in which Trump mentioned the media, individual journalists, news outlets, or journalistic sources in a negative tone.

The president's tweets can have an impact and consequences for the press both at home and abroad. His rhetoric has given cover to autocratic regimes: world leaders from Cambodia to the Philippines have echoed terms like "fake news" in the midst of crackdowns on press freedom. And the rhetoric has sometimes resulted in harassment of individual journalists in the U.S., where CPJ is aware of several journalists who say they were harassed or threatened online after being singled out on Twitter by Trump.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stopped putting every single story on social media and tripled its following

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel used to use social media the way a lot of newsrooms do — as the digital paperboy meant to deliver the news and get people back to their site. And like a lot of other newsrooms, the Journal Sentinel sent that paperboy out a lot.

In 2017, they made some changes. They still share frequently on Facebook, but they don’t share everything the 137-year-old newspaper publishes. They’ve figured out the rhythms of their readers, which stories should go on different platforms and how those platforms differ. And the measure now isn’t click-throughs, but getting people engaged with what they’re doing on the platforms where they are.

Since January of 2017, the Journal Sentinel grew Facebook page likes by more than three times, reach by more than seven times and, in the past year, Instagram followers have nearly doubled.

The Journal Sentinel took part in the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, also known as Table Stakes, and one goal was to grow digital subscribers, said Emily Ristow, loyalty and engagement news director. (Disclosure: The Knight Foundation helps fund my coverage of local news, and Lenfest is a funder of Poynter.)

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McClatchy offers buyouts to 10 percent of staff

Even more troubling media news, or so it would seem.

Just hours after Vice Media announced it was slashing 10 percent of its staff, McClatchy CEO Craig Forman sent an email Friday to about 10 percent of the newspaper chain’s employees, offering voluntary buyouts. The 10 percent represents about 450 employees.

But, according to the Miami New Times, Forman stressed that the buyout is optional. What wasn’t immediately known was what would happen if less than 10 percent accepted the buyout. The deadline to accept a buyout is Feb. 19.

“It is important to us that (employees) are empowered to make the next steps on their career path,’’ Forman wrote.

He also wrote, “This will be a one-time opportunity. We do not anticipate another.’’

McClatchy runs 29 daily newspapers across the country, including the Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer, The Kansas City Star, the News & Observer in Raleigh and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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McClatchy upgrades CEO’s housing stipend to $35K a month amid buyouts

BUZZFEED, HUFFPO, GANNETT, VICE. This has already been a ruthless year for layoffs in digital journalism. On Friday morning, McClatchy President and CEO Craig Forman emailed employees to let them know 450 staffers across the enterprise, all aged 55 and over, would be offered early retirement.

In his email on Friday, Forman attributed this latest reduction in staff to “the culmination of the enormous progress McClatchy has already made in our transition to a digital future,” but the response among reporters didn’t match his optimism. “McClatchy laid off a bunch of folks including me back in 2018,” reporter Christian Boschult tweeted as the news broke. “Hopefully the folks who don’t take buyouts aren’t let go.”

“We hope that offering early voluntary retirement and shifting to a functional organization will create enough savings in operating expenses to avoid layoffs,” says spokesperson Jeanne Segal. “That is our intention.” McClatchy “turned the digital corner,” she says, with online ad sales surpassing 43.8 percent of total ad revenue.

In 2017,  Forman’s take-home pay from McClatchy was $1.7 million, excluding restricted stock. His newest contract with the company, dated January 25, 2019, includes a base pay of $1 million, a bonus of $1 million, and an additional $35,000 monthly stipend. According to Segal, this stipend will be used to pay for Forman’s travel, housing, office, and security expenses. This monthly stipend alone, which is up from $5,000 in his previous contract, could fund several reporters’ salaries every year.

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The AP is using data journalism to help strengthen local newsrooms

The forces facing local news aren’t all bad.

Report for America is putting more reporters in local newsrooms. ProPublica’s adding local investigative journalists. And in the last three years, the Associated Press has worked with member newsrooms to localize data stories.

On Monday, the AP shared the results of a project it started to get localized data to local newsrooms and help journalists make the best use of it. In 2018, the AP saw 1,400 downloads from 300 local newsrooms on its platform, said AP managing editor Brian Carovillano.

“Given the crisis in local news, I think it’s something really notable,” he said. “We’re enabling local news coverage on hard-hitting topics at a really massive scale.”

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Gannett rejects acquisition bid, says Digital First would be unfit to run its properties

Gannett rejected a takeover offer from Media News Group/Digital First this morning (Feb. 4), and it did not do so politely.

A letter from the Board of Directors expressed doubt that Digital First could come up with money to finance the offer. And Gannett added an unusual slam of the potential buyer.

Based on Digital First’s cut-and-slash management of the Denver Post and other properties, Gannett questioned whether it would be able to run the 109 Gannett regional papers and USA Today in the best interests of the communities served.

Poynter Institute and Craig Newmark Philanthropies to launch a new center on ethics. Here’s why.

We live in the age of the misinformation superhighway. The pile-ups that happen there no longer revolve around the inside baseball of running newsrooms, but around the fraying fabric of our civic life. Modern journalism is facing an unprecedented challenge to its ability to confront those who trade in lies and confusion in pursuit of power or profit. Here at Poynter, where ethics has been center stage for 40 years, we are launching an ambitious initiative to elevate the craft and conscience of journalism.

We’re getting more calls than ever for ethics advice  — like the one Al Tompkins took recently from a TV producer about whether to air footage of brutal fighting among a group of prisoners. The footage was both graphic and unverified. The producer had to balance the opportunity to expose wrongdoing with essential concerns around veracity.

More and more, those conversations are happening in our living rooms. Be it on Twitter or cable, in editorials or your email, you will find debates over the trustworthiness of sources, arguments about “objectivity,” and rants about whether newsrooms are trading truth for clicks. Questions about journalists seem to outnumber questions from journalists.

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Fact-checking the State of the Union for 2019

President Donald Trump delivered the 2019 State of the Union address on Feb. 5, 2019, addressing the topics of the economy, immigration, foreign policy and more.

Here are some of his comments, fact-checked or with additional explanation or context. This report includes information on three accurate statements and 12 claims that are inaccurate, exaggerated or lack context.

We've also fact-checked the Democratic response delivered by Stacey Abrams, a 2018 candidate for Georgia governor.

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Post Register owner, Adams Publishing Group, establishes new Bingham County newspaper

A new newspaper is coming to Bingham County.

Adams Publishing Group, the Greeneville, Tennessee-based media company that owns the Post Register, Idaho State Journal, Idaho Press and more than a dozen weekly newspapers in Idaho and northern Utah, announced Wednesday that it is launching a new publication to cover eastern Idaho news.

The Bingham County Chronicle, a five-day-per-week newspaper, will cover local news from Bingham County, which includes Aberdeen, Shelley, Firth, Fort Hall and Blackfoot, among other cities and census-designated places in the county.

The Bingham County Chronicle will be housed in downtown Blackfoot, a city of more than 10,000 residents and the metropolitan center of Bingham County, which is home to nearly 50,000 people.

It's an area that has received reduced news coverage since the Shelley Pioneer, a former Adams Publishing Group publication, shuttered in late 2017.

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The New York Times is getting close to becoming a majority-digital company

The dream for any newspaper seeking to last longer than print itself is to transition its business model into digital. The New York Times is almost there.

The Times announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 financials this morning, and there’s a lot of good news. (One quick heuristic I like to run with newspaper company earnings reports is searching the press release to see the ratio of “digital” mentions to “print” mentions. Today: 40 to 17.) The most important: The Times generated $709 million in digital revenue in 2018, putting it ahead of the ambitious goal it set out back in 2015 to hit $800 million in digital revenue by 2020. They’ll make that with little trouble — barring economic collapse, civil war, and so on.

Flush with confidence, Times CEO Mark Thompson laid out a new goal: “to grow our subscription business to more than 10 million subscriptions by 2025.” (He’s really formalizing a goal more than laying one out — 10 million subscriptions has been a Timesian aspiration for several years now. It has 4.3 million now, counting both digital and print.)

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 31, 2019

Johns Hopkins to buy Newseum building in D.C. as journalism museum plans to relocate

A major museum on Pennsylvania Avenue will close within a year and make way for the opening of a prominent university center for graduate studies under a real estate deal announced Friday that is destined to transform a marquee address in the nation’s capital.

Johns Hopkins University is buying the landmark building that houses the Newseum for $372.5 million, a purchase that will enable the struggling cultural institution devoted to news and the First Amendment to seek a new home in the Washington area.

The Freedom Forum — the private foundation that created the Newseum and that is its primary funder — said the museum will remain open at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW for the rest of the year. Then, assuming the deal wins regulatory approval, the university will take control of the property and prepare to move several graduate programs to the site.

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Gannett lays off journalists across the country

Another brutal day for journalism.

Gannett began slashing jobs all across the country Wednesday (Jan. 23) in a cost-cutting move that was anticipated even before the recent news that a hedge-fund company was planning to buy the chain.

The cuts were not minor.

At the Indianapolis Star, three journalists were laid off, including well-known columnist Tim Swarens. At the Knoxville (Tennessee) News Sentinel, University of Tennessee women’s basketball reporter Dan Fleser is out after more than 30 years in sports. The Tennessean cut three positions, including high school sports reporter Michael Murphy. Traci Bauer, executive editor of LoHud (New York), was let go.

Six were laid off at The Record in North Jersey after nine took an early retirement buyout earlier this month.

On and on it continued.

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More than 1,000 media jobs lost in one day

The media industry's current round of cuts and consolidation is accelerating. Sizable layoffs at Buzzfeed, Gannett and Verizon Media (home of AOL, Yahoo, HuffPost and others) were announced Wednesday, totaling over 1,000 jobs cut.

Why it matters: If the headlines signal anything, it's that the news media will continue to struggle to find a sustainable business model in an advertising and attention ecosystem dominated by tech companies like Google, Facebook and Netflix.

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Schurz Communications selling its newspapers, including eight in Indiana

Media company Schurz Communications Inc. announced an agreement Monday to sell all 20 of its newspapers, including eight papers in Indiana.

Mishawaka, Indiana-based Schurz said it planned to sell its publishing division to Pittsford, New York-based GateHouse Media Inc. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter, were not disclosed.

The sale includes The Reporter Times in Martinsville, The Mooresville-Decatur Times in Mooresville, the Herald Times in Bloomington and the South Bend Tribune.

The Times-Mail in Bedford, the Notre Dame Insider in South Bend, The Evening World in Spencer and the Hoosier Topics also are part of the sale.

The other publications involved in the deal are in Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.

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Some journalists wonder if their profession is tweet-crazy

NEW YORK (AP) — If Twitter is the town square for journalists, some are ready to step away.

That's happening this week at the online news site Insider — by order of the boss. Reporters have been told to take a week off from tweeting at work and to keep TweetDeck off their computer screens. The idea of disengaging is to kick away a crutch for the journalists and escape from the echo chamber, said Julie Zeveloff West, Insider's editor-in-chief for the U.S.

Addiction to always-rolling Twitter feeds and the temptation to join in has led to soul-searching in newsrooms. Some of it is inspired by the reaction to the Jan. 19 demonstration in Washington involving students from a Covington, Kentucky, high school, which gained traction as a story primarily because of social media outrage only to become more complicated as different details and perspectives emerged.

Planning for Insider's ban predated the Covington story, West said.

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UF’s “Fresh Take Florida” to provide news coverage of state government

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications today announced the launch of Fresh Take Florida, an effort to provide coverage of Florida state government at a time when state capitals are increasingly under-covered.

Six student journalists, all graduating seniors, will be covering executive-branch agency operations as well as legislation throughout the 2019 legislative session. They will focus on covering topics of particular impact to the North Central Florida area and the University of Florida community, including higher education, healthcare and environmental protection.

“State government is the level of government that has the greatest importance in people's daily lives, and it's by far the least-covered level of government in America,” said Brechner Center for Freedom of Information Director Frank LoMonte, who conceived of and organized the program. “Our goal is to help fill the growing gap in coverage that's been left by years of attrition in statehouse press corps. We hope the students who spend a semester covering Tallahassee come away with the know-how to unearth the untold stories of state government and a sense of excitement about the impact they can have.”

Students will be working out of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times capital bureau using workspace volunteered by those news organizations. The stories will appear on WUFT News, the companion site of the WUFT public media stations operated by UFCJC. Some stories could also appear in the Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times and other Florida news publications.

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Arkansas lawmaker wants to bring back journalism class requirement in public schools

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — Prior to last year, Arkansas schools were required to offer journalism classes as an elective. But many lawmakers voted to remove it, calling it a mandate.

State Rep. Julie Mayberry, R-Hensley, told KATV she was appalled when lawmakers did away with the requirement. That prompted her to file House Bill 1015 this legislative session.

Under Mayberry’s proposed legislation, all Arkansas public schools would be required to offer journalism as an elective. It's a requirement that she said dates back to 1984.

“Journalism is essential to our American government,” she said. “We have three branches of government so that we have a watch on each department. But who keeps an eye on them? The journalist."

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 24, 2019

AP to host 2 Report for America journalists

The Associated Press will add two journalists dedicated to local news coverage in Connecticut and New York as part of the 2019 Report for America program.

Working with local AP editors, the reporters will provide statehouse coverage for our member news organizations and customers, with a focus on criminal justice and mental health issues.

Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, facilitates the placement of journalists in a variety of U.S. news organizations to report in underserved areas across the country.

"We are excited about the collaboration with Report for America, which pairs the organization's commitment to local news with AP's national footprint and customer distribution network," said Noreen Gillespie, deputy managing editor for U.S. News.

AP is one of 35 news organizations announced today where Report for America's 2019 corps members will work beginning in June. A full list of participating organizations is available online.

The deadline to apply for the Report for America 2019 class is Feb. 8.

Here’s the link:

Donald Trump Says He Told Sarah Sanders 'Not To Bother' With White House Briefings

President Donald Trump shared on Twitter that he has told Sarah Sanders "not to bother" with White House press briefings, citing his belief that she's been covered unfairly in the media.

The president's tweet, published on Tuesday, was in response to growing criticism that the White House has not held a press briefing in over a month - or since the partial government shutdown, which began on Dec. 22.

"The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the 'podium' much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press," Trump wrote.

"I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway!" he continued "Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!"

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Sanders says it's laughable that White House is inaccessible

NEW YORK (AP) — Following the apparent demise of the traditional afternoon briefing of reporters, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News Channel on Wednesday that any notion the Trump administration is not accessible to the press is "absolutely laughable."

"I take questions from reporters every single day," she said.

Sanders' venue for the statement, the morning show "Fox & Friends," was familiar. Since Dec. 18, the day of the last White House press briefing, she's given eight television interviews — six of them on Fox News Channel, according to networks and the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America. She also appeared once on "CBS This Morning" and had a notably tough interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," which is seen on both the Fox broadcast and cable news network.

Sanders has been interviewed on "Fox & Friends," the agenda-setting morning show popular with Trump supporters, on Dec. 21, Jan. 4, Jan. 9, Jan. 16 and Wednesday. On Tuesday night, she appeared on Sean Hannity's prime-time show, according to Media Matters.

President Donald Trump tweeted a day earlier that he had told Sanders not to bother with the afternoon briefing with White House reporters from all credentialed outlets because she has been treated rudely and inaccurately by the "fake news" media.

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The Capital: Suspected newspaper shooter gets plea deadline extension

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A man suspected of killing five people in a shooting at a Maryland newspaper has been given extra time to consider an insanity plea.

The Capital reports a judge on Tuesday extended the insanity plea deadline, giving 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos until March to modify his not guilty plea.

Five people were shot to death in the Capital Gazette newsroom in June 2018, and Ramos was indicted on 23 charges in the attack, including murder.

His trial is set for this June. He and his defense attorneys are considering a plea that says Ramos is not criminally responsible for the offenses by reason of insanity.

Letters that threatened the newsroom and were signed with Ramos' name were received by area judges and an attorney in the days following the attack.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 17, 2019

Condoned by Trump, press attacks hit local reporters hard

DOUGLAS BURNS, a fourth-generation journalist, is co-owner of the Daily Times Herald in Carroll, Iowa, a newspaper that has been in his family since 1929. He writes a regular column, "Taking Note," for the Times Herald editorial page, and he has covered politics in the Midwest since the late '80s, with a focus on rural issues. He's a fixture in his community.

None of that seemed to matter last October, when Burns arrived at a Trump rally in Council Bluffs, about two hours southwest of Carroll. Burns was there to report on an ethanol-use announcement of particular concern to farmers, and yet he was treated as if he had ulterior motives. Along with other reporters, he was locked in a media pen at the back of the arena and forbidden to speak to members of the crowd, many of whom he knew. Burns couldn't use the bathroom without an invigilator from Trump's team following along to make sure he didn't interact with anyone. "It was like visiting hours in a prison," Burns, 49, tells me.

His demoralizing experience was just one of a number of instances during the midterms and beyond in which local reporters with longstanding community ties were shunned, spurned, harassed, and otherwise treated with disdain by elected officials. As President Trump's press bashing continues unabated, such incidents seem to suggest his example is being taken up at the local level.

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CJR: Breaking news that isn’t breaking, readers who aren’t reading: Some 2019 predictions about social media

Our end-of-year “Predictions for Journalism” package has grown and grown and grown since its first iteration back in 2011. For the 2019 iteration, we published more than 200, and it’s possible I am literally the only person alive to have read all of them.

So over the next few days, we’ll be running what I’m calling Prediction Playlists — collections of predictions centered around a particular theme. Hopefully they’ll give you a point of entry into what can be an intimidating pile of #content. Today’s theme: the platforms — social media, aggregators, and all the other tech intermediaries that connect (and stand between!) journalists and their audiences.

The big question, as it has been for years, is how much effort publishers should invest in Facebook, Twitter, Apple News, SEO, and every other tech-company-controlled platform that offers a huge potential audience but also a loss of control? After a terrible year for Facebook, some think it’s time for a significant reevaluation.

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Stephen King complaint spurs newspaper subscription drive

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine newspaper that horrified author Stephen King by dropping its local book review coverage used his complaint to boost digital subscriptions.

King, who lives in Bangor, complained Friday about the Portland Press Herald's decision to stop publishing freelance-written reviews of books about Maine or written by Maine authors and urged his 5.1 million Twitter followers to retweet his message .

The paper responded by promising to reinstate the local book reviews if 100 of King's followers purchased digital subscriptions to the newspaper. It reached that goal late Saturday morning.

In a tweet announcing the subscriptions, the newspaper said, "You all are the best readers anywhere. Sincerely," and "We love you Maine. We love you journalists. We love you newspapers."

Hedge-Fund-Backed Media Group Makes Bid for Gannett

A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs has made an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett Co.

MNG Enterprises Inc., one of the largest newspaper chains in the country, has quietly built a 7.5% position in Gannett’s stock and is urging the McLean, Va., publisher to review its strategic alternatives, including a potential sale. It also is calling on Gannett to commit to a moratorium on digital investments.

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Entire East Bay Express editorial staff laid off on Friday

OAKLAND — In a devastating blow to the East Bay’s alternative weekly newspaper, the East Bay Express on Friday laid off one-third of total employees, including its entire editorial staff except Editor Robert Gammon.

The Express will continue publishing, but with a few editors relying on freelance writers instead of staff.

The editorial staff of staff writer Darwin BondGraham, Managing Editor Janelle Bitker, Associate Editor Azucena Rasilla and Calendar Editor Beatrice Kilat were among the layoffs. Gammon, who had the job of informing staff of the layoffs, remains as editor, and beginning on Monday Publisher Stephen Buel returns to the newsroom after a hiatus.

“It was a sad day for the East Bay Express today,” Gammon said in a phone interview Friday. “The people laid off were all fabulous journalists and they are going to be sorely missed.”

The layoffs came in the wake of the Express losing a lawsuit filed by Terry Furry, its ex-sales and marketing director who sued claiming he was illegally denied overtime pay. Buel was attempting to sell the Express, with at least two groups seriously interested, but any hope of selling the paper in the near-term appears to have ended with the court decision from earlier this week.

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Newspaper cutting print editions 2 days a week

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The Blade newspaper in Toledo says it will stop publishing its print edition two days a week.

The newspaper announced Tuesday that it will be distributed only by e-delivery two days each week starting in the week of Feb. 24.

Blade executives did not specify which days will be cut.

The owners of the newspaper, Toledo-based Block Communications Inc., say The Blade is focusing on growing its digital news operations.

Chairman Allan Block says the newspaper will maintain its news department and remain flexible on implementing the digital future

The newspaper's digital products will continue to be available seven days a week.

Facebook is putting $300 million toward stabilizing local news

Facebook announced Tuesday that it’s giving a total of $300 million over three years to several organizations and initiatives devoted to the health and sustainability of local news. A press release explained where $36 million of that money will go, and it falls in three directions — coverage, technology and business models.

The other $264 million?

“There will be more to come. This is just the beginning,” said Campbell Brown, head of Facebook’s News Partnerships. “We are making what I would characterize as an important shift to focus on local news.”

Facebook already started focusing on local news in 2017 and 2018 through efforts including the Facebook Journalism Project, “Today In,”  which helps surface local news on Facebook, an initiative to help local independent newsrooms better use Facebook tools, and a membership and subscription accelerator.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 10, 2019

Retirement Systems of Alabama buys newspaper chain

Alabama's employee pension fund has become sole owner of one of the largest chains of local U.S. newspapers.

CHNI LLC has been acquired by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The company includes 68 daily newspapers and more than 40 non-dailies plus websites in 22 states.

The Montgomery-based newspaper group is being spun off Raycom Media Inc., which is being purchased by the Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. Raycom was owned by the retirement system.

CNHI previously operated with the state retirement system as its creditor. CNHI chief executive Donna Barrett says in a statement the acquisition will provide stability for the newspaper group.

Financial details weren't announced.

Alabama’s pension fund has other non-traditional investments including golf courses, airliners and the largest office building in New York City.

Dallas Morning News lays off 43 as company struggles with revenue declines

As the newspaper industry struggles to stem declines in revenue, The Dallas Morning News on Monday laid off 43 employees in its newsroom and other parts of the company.

The cuts include about 20 writers, editors, photographers and newsroom support personnel. The overall staff reduction represents about 4 percent of the 978 employees working for The News’ parent company, A. H. Belo Corporation. 

The layoffs are intended to position The News for long-term success, said president and publisher Grant Moise.

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Statehouse press room could honor newspaper shooting victims

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Top political leaders are supporting a proposal to rename the Maryland State House's main press room in honor of the five Capital Gazette employees killed in last year's newsroom shooting.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch told The Baltimore Sun on Monday that he wanted to dedicate the workspace used by The Capital and other outlets "to honor the profession of journalism."

The renaming of the workroom known as "the bullpen" or "the press pit" must be approved by the State House Trust, but Busch expects the proposal to sail through. He says he's secured support from most trust members, including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Capital's editor Rick Hutzell says the staff continues "to be surprised and heartened by the gestures of respect."

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Sun Herald making plans to leave Gulfport building

The Sun Herald is making plans to leave its longtime building on DeBuys Road in Gulfport.

The company is working with a realtor to find a buyer for the building, according to Blake Kaplan, Sun Herald general manager and executive editor. Signs have been placed in front of the building letting motorists know it is available.

“We’re looking to move to more modern office space better suited for our digital mission,” said Kaplan, making reference to the journalism industry’s changing focus from print to digital. “There’s no timetable for us to move, nor do we know yet where we might move. The first step is to sell the building.”

The building has been in use for about 50 years and no longer suits the Sun Herald’s needs, Kaplan said.

Read more here:

Orlando Sentinel: A new fact-checking feature is coming, and you're invited to help

There’s no shortage of fact-checkers looking into the statements of politicians on the national stage.

There is a shortage of fact-checking on a local and state level.

That’s why the Orlando Sentinel is launching Fact or Fake, a weekly feature devoted to testing the accuracy of statements made by people closer to home.

In the coming weeks (just in time for the state’s legislative session) we’ll begin checking claims made by elected officials, pundits, business leaders, civic leaders and pretty much anyone in a position of influence in Florida, especially in our region.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 3, 2019

Governor allows media into inaugural gala at State House

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's governor has decided she'll let the media into her inaugural gala after all.

The Providence Journal reports Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo will allow credentialed reporters to cover the Jan. 5 gala at the State House after previously saying Saturday's black-tie optional affair was a closed, invite-only event.

The newspaper reports the press has been invited to cover previous inaugural galas.

The gala celebrates the election of Raimondo and other state Democrats, including Lt. Gov. Dan McKee, state Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Attorney General Peter Neronha and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.

A spokesman for Raimondo says the gala and other inauguration-related events are being paid through donations, not taxpayer dollars.

Raimondo is being sworn in Tuesday for her second, four-year term after defeating Republican challenger Allan Fung in November.

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The Baltimore Sun Names the Capital Gazette 2018 Marylander of the Year

BALTIMORE, Dec. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Baltimore Sun's editorial board named the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis as the 2018 Marylanders of the Year for their unwavering dedication in providing news and information to the community in the face of the most tragic day in the news organization's 291-year history.

On June 28, a gunman shot his way into the Capital Gazette office and killed five staff members: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. Six other employees in the office survived the attack. In the aftermath, staff members, while mourning the loss of their respected colleagues, banded together to ensure that the news organization published online in the hours after the shooting and in print the next day. Members of the Annapolis community as well as journalists and citizens from around the country have offered their support and assistance as well in the days and months since.

“During the past six months, the Capital Gazette staff has courageously upheld its journalistic mission to provide news and information for the community it serves. They have done so with strength and dedication while they deal with the unimaginable. Gerald, Rob, John, Rebecca and Wendi would be proud,” said Trif Alatzas, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Baltimore Sun.

The staff continues to report on the devastating and senseless act as well as school board meetings, local events, high school sports and other news that community journalists provide every day.

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Virus named for bored anime demon Ryuk is likely culprit in attack on Union-Tribune, other newspapers

Malware comes in many forms.

Bad links can lead to obnoxious adware that unleashes a plague of pop-ups. Nefarious attachments can hijack your processor for a bitcoin-mining botnet.

Ryuk, a malware program believed to have been used in an attack this weekend that hobbled newspapers nationwide, including The San Diego Union-Tribune, is a sophisticated twist on an extortionate classic.

Once Ryuk gets into a network, it automatically spreads from computer to computer, node to node, encrypting important files along the way with an unbreakable code. Try to access the encrypted data, and the malware presents a ransom note: deposit bitcoin into an anonymous wallet and receive a key to decrypt your entire system. Refuse to pay, and the files remain locked for good.

This piece of ransomware managed to throw a monkey wrench into Tribune Publishing newspaper operations, which under-gird its printing plants as well as those of the Los Angeles Times and the Union-Tribune. The Times and Union-Tribune are no longer owned by Tribune Publishing — they were purchased by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in June — but still share many systems.

The problem surfaced near midnight Thursday, when sports editors at the Union-Tribune struggled to transmit finished pages to the printing facility. It spread rapidly over the following day, impeding distribution of the Saturday editions of the Times and Union-Tribune, as well as papers in Florida, Chicago and Connecticut and the West Coast editions of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, which are printed in downtown Los Angeles.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 27, 2018

Report: 53 journalist deaths tied to work so far in 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of journalists killed in retaliation for their work nearly doubled this year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The New York-based organization found that at least 34 journalists were targeted and killed for their work as of Dec. 14. In all, at least 53 died while doing dangerous work. That compares with 18 retaliation killings out of 47 deaths documented by the committee in 2017.

The committee also said the imprisonment of journalists has been on the rise.

“The context for the crisis is varied and complex, and closely tied to changes in technology that have allowed more people to practice journalism even as it has made journalists expendable to the political and criminal groups who once needed the news media to spread their message,” the committee said in its annual report.

The report came a day after the media freedom group Reporters Without Borders issued its own tally , saying the U.S. was among the top five deadliest countries for journalists this year for the first time, with six dead. Four of those were journalists killed by a gunman in a June attack on the newspaper Capital Gazette in Maryland. In addition, another two journalists died while covering a storm.

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Herald News backs reporter as Mayor Jasiel Correia admits to creating website pushing ‘fake news’ meme

FALL RIVER — The Herald News is standing behind its reporter Jo C. Goode as Mayor Jasiel Correia II has repeatedly attempted to discredit her reporting through a website he created.

For the second time in a month, Correia posted the link to on Twitter, which brings people to a website displaying a meme of President Donald Trump declaring “You are fake news.”

The latest link came in response to a Tweet from Goode that a crew affiliated with HBO and Mark Wahlberg was filming Correia in Government Center Thursday afternoon. The first instance came after Goode posted a question on Twitter on Nov. 24 asking if Correia was moving from his Bank Street apartment. The Herald News previously had reported that Correia had been served a notice to quit by Dec. 1, sharing the document on

“It just is what it is,” Correia said when asked about the site. “Jo reports fake news and I stand by it.”

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NiemanLab: Predictions for Journalism 2019

Each year, we ask some of the smartest people in journalism and digital media what they think is coming in the next 12 months. Here’s what they had to say.

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2018's biggest news story was the Parkland shooting and the student movement it created, Associated Press survey finds

The mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school — which killed 17 students and staff, and sparked nationwide student-led marches for gun control — was the top news story of 2018, according to The Associated Press’ annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors.

The No. 2 story was the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into whether Donald Trump’s election campaign coordinated with Russia. It was one of several major stories — in a year jam-packed with dramatic developments — in which the U.S. president played a role.

A year ago, the surge of #MeToo sexual misconduct allegations that toppled many powerful men was voted the top news story of 2017. The continuing momentum of #MeToo in 2018 was this year’s No. 3 story.

The first AP top-stories poll was conducted in 1936, when editors chose the abdication of Britain’s King Edward VIII.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 20, 2018

Newspaper: Kilgore News Herald sold to M. Roberts Media

LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) — Bluebonnet Publishing Co. has sold the Kilgore News Herald to Longview-based M. Roberts Media.

Terms of the deal were not released Friday.

M. Roberts Media owns the Longview News-Journal, the Tyler Morning Telegraph, The Marshall News Messenger, the Victoria Advocate and The Panola Watchman in Carthage.

The Kilgore News Herald has roots stretching back to the early days of the East Texas oil boom. It represents the 1940 consolidation of the Kilgore Daily News, established in 1931, and the Kilgore Herald, founded in 1935.

Jerry Pye will become publisher of the Kilgore News Herald. Pye also oversees The Marshall News Messenger and The Panola Watchman.

Bluebonnet Publishing is based in Kilgore.

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Bomb threats emailed to multiple locations across the country

(CNN)Dozens of businesses and institutions across the United States and Canada received email threats Thursday afternoon, prompting evacuations and sweeps of buildings.

Guy Dickinson tweeted this photo of  police at 17th Street and K Street Northwest in Washington, DC on Thursday afternoon.

Guy Dickinson tweeted this photo of police at 17th Street and K Street Northwest in Washington, DC on Thursday afternoon.

At this time it's unclear if the threats -- which have been received in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Miami, Washington, DC and other locations nationwide -- are connected. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they are aware of the threats and are working with law enforcement to provide assistance.

"As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety," the FBI said.

Email threats also have been received in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto, Canada.

Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Jason Robillard tells CNN that businesses have received threats. He is not aware of any buildings that have evacuated.

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Arizona newspaper publisher uses his publication to accuse wife of poisoning attempt

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — An award-winning Arizona newspaper publisher and his wife are locked in a bizarre divorce case that has morphed into something more: a journalism ethics saga.

Joseph Soldwedel has accused his wife, Felice Soldwedel, in a lawsuit of trying to kill him by poisoning him, and detailed the allegations in one of the small-town newspapers he owns, the 13,000-circulation Prescott Daily Courier.

None of the three news stories in the paper named his wife. But the Courier ran an ad accusing her by name, with a photo of her, bordered with images of skulls and rats. The ad said she had an unnamed accomplice, and it offered a $10,000 reward for tips.

Soldwedel's wife of eight years calls the poisoning claims ludicrous and says he is retaliating against her for seeking a divorce.

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The funny, the weird and the serious: 33 media corrections from 2018

No one likes admitting to a mistake. But everyone likes reading about them.

Poynter’s annual roundup of media corrections is now in its sixth edition (follow the links for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and 2017 lists) — and it is always among our top articles of the year.

The corrections in our roundup are often hilarious, uncovering Freudian slips, misplaced homonyms or pedantic readers. But not all are a laughing matter. Corrections can reveal systemic bias or severe mispractice in reporting.

Still, readers should continue to value publications that honestly correct themselves over those that pretend nothing happened or stealthily edit past mistakes. Corrections policies are an unequivocally good thing about journalism. Even as accusations of “fake news” dog the industry, its response should be to double down on this practice.

Do you have a correction you think we should include? Email

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Appeals court upholds $6M libel ruling against newspaper

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An appeals court has upheld a libel ruling against a North Carolina newspaper that resulted in a $6 million award for a firearms expert whose work was questioned in articles.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that State Bureau of Investigation agent Beth Desmond showed sufficient evidence The News & Observer misrepresented expert quotations or used them out of context. The court rejected arguments that evidence helpful to the newspaper was improperly excluded at trial and that the jury wasn't properly instructed.

Desmond argues she was defamed in 2010 articles criticizing and questioning her work in two murder cases.

Lawyer John Bussian said the newspaper will seek to have the libel verdict overturned by the state Supreme Court. He said the newspaper's work is protected by the First Amendment.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 13, 2018

Gannett Co., which operates USA TODAY and 109 local media properties, said Wednesday that President and CEO Robert J. Dickey has decided to retire from the company in 2019.

The Gannett board of directors has initiated a succession plan and engaged an outside search firm to assist in evaluating internal and external candidates. Dickey, 61, will continue to lead the company as president and CEO during the process and will be involved in the search.

He has agreed to remain with the company until May 7, 2019. If a successor is identified prior to that date, Dickey will stay on as an adviser.

Dickey’s career has been marked by waves of change that have included the spinoff of Gannett's broadcast division into a separate company and the ongoing transformation of Gannett into a digital news organization.

Dickey said the decision was made in consultation with the board and was driven partly by the desire to spend more time with family.

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McClatchy to centralize design jobs in North Carolina

Sacramento-based newspaper publisher The McClatchy Co. will consolidate the design and copy editing functions of its 30 newspapers across the country into a central hub in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The move is part of the transformation of McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) as it focuses less on print and more on digital publishing. It's also the result of declining advertising revenue and digital disruption, said Gary Wortel, publisher and president of the Sacramento Bee and McClatchy's West regional publisher.

Wortel said the consolidation will affect 30 people now based in the West.

“This consolidation will shift positions in Sacramento to Charlotte,” he said via email. “All West News Desk colleagues have been offered jobs at the McClatchy Publishing Center and will have the opportunity to work virtually.”

Employees who decide not to stay with the company will be offered voluntary separation packages, Wortel said.

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'Guardians and War on Truth' Time's 'Person of the Year'

NEW YORK (AP) - Time magazine's 2018 person of the year are the "guardians and the war on truth."

The group is made up of four journalists and a newspaper that Time says "are representatives of a broader fight by countless others around the world.

Time's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal made the announcement Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show. The magazine recognizes the person or group of people who most influenced the news and the world "for better or for worse" during the past year.

The "guardians" are slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were shot and killed at the newspaper's offices in June; Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, who has been arrested; and two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar for nearly a year, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

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Social media outpaces print newspapers in the U.S. as a news source

Social media sites have surpassed print newspapers as a news source for Americans: One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%) for the first time since Pew Research Center began asking these questions. In 2017, the portion who got news via social media was about equal to the portion who got news from print newspapers.

Social media’s small edge over print emerged after years of steady declines in newspaper circulation and modest increases in the portion of Americans who use social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year.

Overall, television is still the most popular platform for news consumption – even though its use has declined since 2016. News websites are the next most common source, followed by radio, and finally social media sites and print newspapers. And when looking at online news use combined – the percentage of Americans who get news often from either news websites or social media – the web has closed in on television as a source for news (43% of adults get news often from news websites or social media, compared with 49% for television).

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School dedicates memorial to slain newspaper employees

The University of Maryland's journalism school on Tuesday dedicated a memorial to the five Capital Gazette employees shot and killed in an attack on the Annapolis newspaper's office.

The honor comes on the same day the newspaper's staff was included by Time magazine among its 2018 Person of the Year honorees.

Tuesday's ceremony dedicated the Capital Gazette Memorial Seminar Room at the university's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. A memorial on the wall includes photos of those killed in the June 28 shooting: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

The man charged with killing them had a history of harassing the newspaper's journalists.

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Man accused of threatening journalists put on house arrest

DETROIT (AP) — A man charged with sending threatening, anti-Semitic and sexually violent messages to Detroit journalists and an elected official has been placed on house arrest.

Prosecutors allege that 69-year-old Lawrence Steven Brayboy, of Ann Arbor, targeted workers at The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The Detroit News reports that he was released on bond Monday. He's charged with stalking and making threatening communications.

His lawyer didn't immediately reply to an Associated Press email sent Tuesday seeking comment.

Under the terms of his release, Brayboy must wear a GPS tether and is barred from using the internet or contacting media members. He may leave home for court hearings.

The FBI investigated Brayboy for a year after journalists received repeated emails and voicemails. He also repeatedly emailed an Ann Arbor official.

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Local newspapers end print run after photographer's shooting

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio newspaper company has said it will no longer publish its local newspapers after the shooting of the newspapers' photographer by a sheriff's deputy who said he mistook a camera tripod for a rifle.

KBA News LLC owner Dale Grimm and his son Andy made the announcement last week, saying photographer Andy Grimm hasn't been able to return to work since the shooting. The company says that is a main reason for ending the print production of the New Carlisle News, Enon Eagle and Tippecanoe Gazette though the newspapers will continue publishing online.

A grand jury last month declined to indict the Clark County sheriff's deputy for shooting Andy Grimm in 2017.

Andy Grimm says the shooting has strained relations between the company and the involved entities.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 6, 2018

Sinclair Makes 200 Local News Stations Run Segment Supporting Use of Tear Gas on Migrants

As the media outrage toward the Trump administration's harsh border policies escalated this week, Sinclair Broadcast Group required their roughly 200 local news outlets to air a defense of the Border Patrol's use of tear gas against migrants crossing the border on Sunday.

"The migrant crisis on our southern border has greatly escalated," former Trump administration assistant and Sinclair political analyst Boris Epshteyn says as viewers are presented with clips of the border crisis. "Dozens of migrants attacked U.S. border enforcement by throwing rocks and bottles. Ultimately, American authorities had to use tear gas to stop the attacks."

The right-wing pundit then condemned "the left" and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) for questioning "our president and his team standing up for our men and women in uniform and for our national security."

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Liberty University students create independent news site

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Students at the country's largest evangelical Christian university have started an independent news site where articles won't have to be approved by school officials.

The Lynchburg News & Advance reports that a group of students at Liberty University have started the Lynchburg Torch.

The new site was spearheaded by student Jack Panyard. He was ousted earlier this year as editor-in-chief of the school's official newspaper, the Liberty Champion.

Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. vetoed a student's column focusing on vulgar comments made by Donald Trump from running in the Champion during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Falwell is a strong supporter of President Trump and said he pulled the article because it was "redundant" with a medical student's pro-Hillary Clinton letter to the editor on the opinion page.

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1,400 aftershocks later, Anchorage newsrooms are shaken but reporting

KTVA-TV journalists in Anchorage, Alaska, wore hard hats Monday as they produced their newscasts, and engineers repaired the damage around them caused by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake Friday.

All weekend, journalists who were supposed to be off work reported to the office anyway. Besides the quake emergency, election officials were still conducting a recount in one race and the state was about to swear in a new governor.

The journalists had work to do and the public needed them.

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Owners Of Local TV Stations Announce $4.1 Billion Purchase Deal

WBRE-TV owner Nexstar Media Group Inc. has agreed to buy WNEP-TV parent company Tribune Media Co. in a $4.1-billion deal that would create the nation’s largest owner of local television stations, the companies announced Monday.

The deal must still be approved by federal regulators, as well as shareholders. It comes nearly four months after a plan for Tribune Media to sell itself to Sinclair Broadcast Group became a regulatory and political flashpoint for the companies and ultimately collapsed.

Irving, Texas-based Nexstar — whose portfolio is composed of 174 stations, including affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox — outbid private equity giant Apollo Global Management with an all-cash offer of $46.50 a share.

Nexstar acquired WBRE, an NBC affiliate, in January 1998. It also operates CBS affiliate WYOU under a shared services agreement with owner Mission Broadcasting.

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Times-Shamrock Communications To Consolidate Media Companies/businesses Under Nonfamily Leader

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — After 123 years under family-run leadership, Times-Shamrock Communications is turning to a non-family member to run the company, which includes four daily newspapers in Pennsylvania.

Family chief executives Matthew Haggerty, George Lynett Jr. and Robert Lynett announced the change Monday. They said it was years in the making and part of their succession planning.

Chief financial officer Jim Lewandowski will become CEO on April 1. He’ll oversee all the media businesses that comprise Times-Shamrock, including The Times-Tribune in Scranton, The Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre, the Standard-Speaker in Hazleton and the Republican Herald in Pottsville.

Chief operating officer Don Farley will become company president and oversee all media operations across the U.S., including print, radio, outdoor and digital.

The three current family CEOs say they will remain active in family governance of Times-Shamrock and its private equity investment arm.

Paxton Media Group buys Kentucky New Era, 4 other papers

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Paducah-based Paxton Media Group has bought the Kentucky New Era and four other newspapers.

Taylor Hayes is the publisher-editor of the Kentucky New Era. He said in a news release it was important to his family to keep the Hopkinsville paper in the commonwealth and pass it on to another family.

The Kentucky New Era Group announced the sale on Friday. It includes the Dawson Springs Progress, the Princeton Times Leader, the Providence Journal-Enterprise and the Oak Grove Eagle Post. The company also has a contract to publish the official weekly paper of the Fort Campbell Army Base.

According to the news release, Paxton Media owns more than 35 daily newspapers, a television station and numerous weekly publications, primarily in the South.

Thomson Reuters to cut 3,200 jobs in next two years (Reuters)

TORONTO (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) said on Tuesday that it will cut its workforce by 12 percent in the next two years, axing 3,200 jobs, as part of a plan to streamline the business and reduce costs.

The news and information provider, which completed the sale of a 55-percent stake in its Financial & Risk (F&R) unit to private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), announced the cuts during an investor day in Toronto, in which it outlined its future strategy and growth plans.

The company, which is focusing on its legal and tax businesses following the Blackstone deal, declined to say where the job cuts were being made. However, Co-Chief Operating Officer Neil Masterson told investors that staff had already been informed about 90 percent of the planned cuts.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2018

A seat at the table: American newsrooms still don’t represent their diverse communities

A half-century ago, the Kerner Commission investigated the racial unrest that tore at the fabric of the nation in 1967. The panel laid some of the responsibility on journalists for the deadly summer of violence: “The media report and write from the standpoint of a white man’s world.”

In 2018, tension is again high between police and communities of color. Ferguson, Charlottesville, Standing Rock and other places have been rocked by racially charged clashes in recent years. Viral videos show one incident after another in which a person of color — or someone who isn’t speaking English — is told to “go back home.”

Fifty years after Kerner, it’s still a man’s world when you look at who produces most news coverage. A Women’s Media Center report last year found that “female journalists continue to report less of the news than do male journalists” in the top 20 news outlets — and the difference was “especially glaring in TV news.”

Journalists are charged with shining light on society’s ills. Lack of a voice is one of those ills. Yet not all voices have a chance to be heard in today’s newsrooms. Although more women and more people of color are journalists now than in the ’60s, most newsrooms still do not adequately reflect their audiences.

The American Society of News Editors has been surveying newsroom staffs for 40 years. This year’s findings — provided by a disappointing 17 percent of 1,700 newsrooms surveyed — showed incremental movement toward greater representation by people of color and women. Although the latest survey participation was so low as to be of minimal statistical relevance, previous decades of ASNE data do not provide a rosier outlook.

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42 — and counting — journalism awards to apply for

With the end of the year quickly approaching, journalists have an opportunity to reflect on a year of work well-done. This period of reflection also happens to coincide with the journalism award season.

So take some time away from watching football and avoiding political discussions over Thanksgiving dinner to polish up your submissions.

And please note, this is not an exhaustive list. Journalists love giving each other awards! Be sure to check your state or local regional press association for upcoming awards. Minority journalism organizations, like the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association Lesbian and Gay Journalists, and beat organizations, including the Society for Environmental Journalists and the Society for Features Journalism, have awards but are not yet accepting submissions.

If you would like your organization to be added to list, please send me an email at

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Digging Deep Into Local News, A Small Newspaper In Rural Oregon Is Thriving

The Malheur Enterprise was founded in 1909, and, like many other newspapers, was languishing. But in the past few years, its circulation has surged and it has won several national awards. Perhaps surprisingly, the weekly paper's turnaround and increased popularity happened in a part of the state that strongly supports President Trump, who continues to lash out at the media.

… ”Boomed" is a relative term when it comes to a rural weekly. Paid subscriptions are at about 2,000. But during a recent week, more than a third of Malheur County's roughly 30,000 residents read the paper's online edition. And advertising dollars, the lifeblood of a small newspaper, are way up.

"Our overall revenue is more than triple what it was three years ago," says Les Zaitz, the paper's editor and publisher. "Circulation is probably double. We're profitable, and there are not a lot of papers in the United States that can say they're profitable."

Zaitz is largely responsible for this. Although he would rather smack you with his humor than admit he is the reason for the turnaround.

"It's a damnable lie," he says, laughing.

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Canada introduces a $595 million package in support of journalism

While Americans spent last week pardoning (and eating) turkeys, our neighbors to the north were focused on bringing home the bacon for Canadian journalism.

Canada's federal government introduced a CAN$595 million-over-5-years tax package to bolster the country's journalism market, including:

A temporary, non-refundable tax credit that will allow subscribers to claim 15 per cent of the cost of subscriptions of eligible digital news media. This is meant to help support digital news organizations in achieving a "more financially sustainable business model."

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Newseum opens new installation about Capital Gazette shooting

The Newseum in Washington D.C. has a new installation about the attack that killed five staff members at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis in June.

“Behind the News: A Deadly Attack on a Community Newspaper,” looks at the risks journalists face in an increasingly hostile climate for the press.

The exhibit focuses on how the staff of the Capital Gazette, part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group, put out a newspaper the day after the mass shooting.

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Man accused in newspaper shootings to face trial next June

BALTIMORE (AP) — A judge has set a June 2019 trial date for a man accused of fatally shooting five staff members of the Maryland newspaper Capital Gazette earlier this year.

The Baltimore Sun reports Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Laura Ripken moved the trial to next June 3 during a hearing Thursday in Annapolis. The trial was originally scheduled to begin in mid-January.

Jarrod Ramos is charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Police say Ramos killed the five newspaper employees on June 28 after shooting through the glass newsroom entrance. Ramos was in the courtroom Thursday, but didn't address the judge.

Ripken cited outstanding motions, preparation for trial and a change of the prosecution team for the new date. State prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on the postponement.

Capital Gazette, Maryland community papers move to unionize

BALTIMORE (AP) — Journalists at Baltimore Sun Media Group community newspapers are asking parent company Tribune Publishing to voluntarily recognize a union.

The Baltimore Sun reports unionizing journalists include staffers at The Capital Gazette, where five employees were killed in a June newsroom shooting.

The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild delivered the request to recognize the Chesapeake Newspaper Guild on Wednesday. The media group says it plans to respond next week.

Around 50 photographers, reporters, designers and copy editors are eligible to be represented by the Chesapeake Newspaper Guild. Three newsrooms are part of the unit, including the Annapolis newspaper, The Carroll County Times and the media group's hyperlocal weeklies.

The Baltimore Sun itself has a guild chapter and its chair, Scott Dance, has expressed solidarity with the new unit's organizing efforts.

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As city burns around it, a newspaper staff rises to cover unspeakable tragedy

It’s an iconic if horrifying shot of the Camp fire pulverizing Paradise — a large ball of grayish-black smoke with fire radiating on the right, taken less than two hours after the Northern California inferno started a week ago.

The photo ran on the websites of the New York Times, Washington Post and Time magazine. It was taken on an iPhone from the roof of the Chico Enterprise-Record’s office by the paper’s editor, David Little.

The responsibility fell to the Chico native because the newspaper’s only photographer is on medical leave. The image also ran prominently in the Enterprise-Record’s Friday print edition.

“It was just the first photo we posted on our website that morning and stayed there till [the] afternoon,” Little said. Until “we got some real photographers in town.”

Little has run the small paper and several others, which are part of the Digital First Media Group, for almost 20 years. The Enterprise-Record’s staff was 45 when he started; now it’s 10 with four part-timers pitching in. Journalists from their sister papers in the San Francisco Bay Area were dispatched to assist with coverage.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 15, 2018

Following investigation, Houston Chronicle retracts eight stories

On July 31, the Houston Chronicle published a front-page story with a provocative headline. "'We've moved on': Political anger after Harvey has eased," it declared, adding: "Experts believe disaster response is unlikely to be a factor in November."

It was a significant story by veteran reporter and Austin bureau chief Mike Ward. It asserted that Houston residents initially fed up with the uneven government response to Hurricane Harvey actually weren't going to blame politicians after all. The story began with West Houston resident Betsy Scheer, whose anger had faded. She was going to vote Republican.

"My friends are mostly the same way now," she was quoted as telling Ward.

But in the weeks after the story ran, questions were raised about the sourcing in Ward's story. No one could find Betsy Scheer. And no one could find three others quoted in the story — Tran Ng, Martina Racelli and Jack Nito.

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CNN's Jim Acosta's actions to Trump don't represent the best of journalism

We want journalists to ask questions and seek truth. But Jim Acosta’s encounter Wednesday at a White House press conference was less about asking questions and more about making statements. In doing so, the CNN White House reporter gave President Donald Trump room to critique Acosta’s professionalism.

In this time of difficult relations between the press and the White House, reporters who operate above reproach, while still challenging the power of the office, will build credibility.

This is in no way a defense of Trump’s suspension of Acosta’s White House press credentials. Rather, it’s a caution to not hand your critic the stick to beat you with. There’s no doubt that Trump will continue sowing doubt among his followers about the press’ ability to accurately document the administration. Had Acosta phrased his question in a more neutral tone, he likely would have had more information for his audience to digest.

Acosta asked the president if Trump had demonized the caravan of Central Americans trekking toward the United States, ending his exchange by stating, “It is not an invasion.”

If Acosta had asked “What about that seems like an invasion?” he could have both sought an answer and avoided becoming bigger than the event he was covering.

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Anne Arundel County state's attorney-elect: Capital Gazette case will go to trial

Anne Arundel County’s new head prosecutor will lead on the Capital Gazette shooting case, she said Saturday, and predicts the case will go to trial.

State’s Attorney-elect Anne Colt Leitess said she would prosecute the case following the departure of her predecessor Wes Adams, who has handled the case since the June 28 attack.

“I expect it to go to trial,” Colt Leitess said, though the case might be delayed.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Laura Ripken in August set a trial for Jan. 15, to last about 10 days. But more recently, Ripken issued a directive extending the defense’s plea deadline and cancelling an October motion’s hearing. There are still hearings scheduled for December, though whether they will happen as scheduled is uncertain.

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During the midterm elections, local fact-checking was scant

In the lead up to the midterms in the United States, plenty of fact-checkers covered contentious political battles around the country. They counted falsehoods, broke down the top storylines of the election and fact-checked political ads.

But very little of that work came from local news sources.

According to Mark Stencel, co-director of the Duke Reporters’ Lab, at least 32 state and local fact-checking projects were operational during the midterms in at least 22 states, though he cautioned that “some (were) far more active than others.” In addition, a substantial proportion of these initiatives are partners of (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact, which works with local news organizations around the country to produce fact checks. (Disclosure: The Reporters’ Lab helps pay for the Global Fact-Checking Summit.)

“(There’s a) lack of local fact-checking. We're doing it, but I don't think many others are,” Angie Holan, editor of PolitiFact, told Poynter. “I think we have a crisis in local journalism, and the lack of local fact-checking is part and parcel of that decline in local coverage.”

The local fact-checking projects not affiliated with PolitiFact vary in format. While The Arizona Republic has a dedicated section for political fact checks, most non-PolitiFact projects in states with key midterm races were based at TV news stations like KMOV in St. Louis, Missouri; KSTP in Saint Paul, Minnesota; and WISC-TV in Wisconsin. One project, the Gazette/KCRG-TV Fact Checker in Iowa, is a collaboration between a newspaper and a TV station.

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The New York Times Digitizes Millions of Historical Photos Using Google Cloud Technology

The New York Times today announced that it is leveraging the power of Google Cloud technology to digitize an extensive collection of photographs dating back to as early as the late 19th century. The process will uncover some never-before-seen-documents, equip Times journalists with an easily accessible historical reference source, and preserve The Times’s history, one of its most unique assets.

Prior to the digitization, millions of photographs, along with tens of millions of historical news clippings, microfilm records and other archival materials, existed only in a physical archive three levels below ground near The Times headquarters in New York City called “The New York Times Archival Library,” also known as the “morgue.” Though The Times officially began clipping and saving articles in the 1870s, they were not formally codified into a library until 1907.

“We’ve always known that we were sitting on a trove of historical photos and now, cloud technology allows us to not only preserve this archival source, but easily search and pull photos to provide even more historical context,” said Monica Drake, assistant managing editor, The New York Times. “Ultimately, this digitalization will equip Times journalists with useful tools to make it easier to tell even more visual stories.”

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Owner of The Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press offers buyouts to newsrooms

Days after reporting a losing third quarter and as it entertains bids to buy its newspapers, Tribune Publishing is planning to offer buyouts to full-time non-unionized workers who have been with the company for at least 10 years.

The company, which owns The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press, is offering an “enhanced” package of incentives that includes longer severance pay and the opportunity to continue with medical, dental and vision benefits during the severance period.

The company won’t be offering buyouts to the New York Daily News newsroom, where half the staff was cut in July. It also won’t be offering buyouts to advertising and sales employees and manufacturing and production employees.

Tribune Publishing, which had been called Tronc until recently, owned the Daily Press for years before buying The Virginian-Pilot in May for $34 million. It has since combined some operations and begun extensive sharing of content. The Pilot had been family-owned for more than 150 years before the sale.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 8, 2018

About 30 jobs cut thanks to layoffs and buyouts at Hearst Connecticut

As of last week, about 30 people were out at Hearst Connecticut newsrooms due to layoffs and buyouts.

“The phone call may have been 30 seconds,” said one staffer who was laid off.

Hearst Connecticut is made up of 20 weeklies, 29 websites and eight daily newsrooms including the New Haven Register, the Connecticut Post and The Middletown Press.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 2, 2018

CPJ calls on Trump to dial back rhetoric against media and critics

New York, October 26, 2018--Federal authorities today arrested a Florida man, identified as Cesar Sayoc, suspected of mailing 13 bombs addressed to prominent figures and critics of President Donald Trump, two of which were addressed care of CNN at their New York studio.

"It would be reckless and dangerous for President Trump to continue his rhetorical assaults on the press and branding of journalists as enemies of the people after this spate of package bombs aimed at political figures and CNN," said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. "While we cannot say that Trump's speech directly incites violence, it is clear that some people are influenced by it. Journalists across the country feel unsafe because of the constant hostility and belittling of their role in our democracy by the head of state. It needs to stop."

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Mediator column: Trump’s Attacks on the News Media Are Working

He was at it again.

At 3:14 a.m. on Friday, President Trump was awake and tweeting.

“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing,” he wrote, “yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!’”

He tapped that one out as federal authorities were investigating the 12 pipe bombs mailed to the billionaire George Soros, Democratic politicians, Robert De Niro and CNN. Hours later, Mr. Trump’s tweet was national news.

“President Blames Media For Attempted Bombs,” read the onscreen chyron on “Good Morning America” as an ABC News correspondent, Jonathan Karl, briefed the anchor George Stephanopoulos on the president’s latest digital sortie from the still-dark White House lawn.

So began Day 645 of a presidency that has made denigrating the news media one of its identifying features.

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Projo Issues Statement After Gun Store Sticker Ad Runs on Top of Synagogue Massacre Story

The Providence Journal on Sunday featured a front-page ad for The Sporting Shoppe — a gun store that this month features sales on rifles and handguns and a “special offer” of $25 off a purchase of $500 on a handgun.

The ad for The Sporting Shoppe was a ‘post-it’ style ad and it was placed just above a front page article written by the Associated Press. On the backside of the sticker is an offer for "Free Ammo."

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New York Times: Why We Are Publishing Haunting Photos of Emaciated Yemeni Children

Amal Hussain is a 7-year-old Yemeni girl with a haunting gaze whose image sits atop our latest report from Yemen, a country plunged into war and on the brink of a catastrophic famine.

Amal is skin and bones, and her head is turned away, as if she cannot bear to meet the eyes of those looking at her.

Some readers may feel they want to look away, too. And if experience is any guide, some are going to demand to know why we are asking them to look at all.

But we are asking you to look — and not just at Amal, but also at Shaher al-Hajaji, a scarred 3-year-old boy in the grip of malnutrition, and at Bassam Mohammed Hassan, an emaciated, listless young boy with an empty look in his eyes.

This is our job as journalists: to bear witness, to give voice to those who are otherwise abandoned, victimized and forgotten. And our correspondents and photographers will go to great lengths, often putting themselves in harm’s way, to do so.

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Newly launched Local News Initiative at Northwestern joins national effort to support local news

It's a jarring contradiction: The public has never had better access to news, yet local journalism is suffering a dramatic decline.

Which means there’s plenty to read and view, but it might not tell us very much.

On a single day in July, the New York Daily News cut its newsroom staff in half. The next month, Pittsburgh became the biggest American city without a daily print newspaper when the Post-Gazette went to five-days-a-week publication.

The number of U.S. newsroom jobs has dropped by about a quarter since 2008, and by 45 percent at newspapers. That has left some areas of the country virtually uncovered by journalism and plagues all news consumers with more superficiality and mistakes.

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In wake of Khashoggi's killing, Washington Post announces Press Freedom Partnership

"Thirty days ago, Jamal Khashoggi was lured into a death trap," Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said at the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Awards tonight in DC on Thursday night.

As the threat of cybercrime intensifies, know the basic steps to safeguard your data and assets.

Ryan, who was there to accept the group's leadership award, dedicated his speech to Khashoggi.

"If Saudi Arabia faces no consequences for Jamal's murder, it sends a powerful message of tolerance, perhaps even encouragement. And every journalist in every country will be at greater risk," Ryan said.

Then he shared an announcement. "To help in this effort, today we announce an important new Washington Post initiative called the Press Freedom Partnership," Ryan said. "Working with the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, Reporters Without Borders, and other interested groups, we are making a major global commitment to increase awareness of the importance of an independent press.”

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AP announces coverage plans for midterm elections

With 36 states holding gubernatorial contests and control of the U.S. House and Senate in play, the stakes are high in the midterm elections on Tuesday, when The Associated Press will be uniquely positioned to count the votes and report the results.

AP has reporters working in every statehouse through the year, and on election night its proven network of over 4,000 stringers will be deployed across the country to help gather vote counts. With a history of accuracy dating to 1848, AP's vote count is considered by news organizations and the audiences they serve to be the definitive source of race results. No other national news organization can match AP's footprint, on-the-ground knowledge or the deep expertise of our elections team in Washington.

 long before the first ballots were cast. The national politics team, headed by U.S. Political Editor Steven Sloan, endeavors to break news while providing clarity and crucial context.

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Omnivorous GateHouse continues to swallow local papers

The GateHouse chain celebrated several markers today in its strategy of buying up small and mid-size market papers:

It now owns 145 dailies, more than 10 percent of the total, estimated at 1,350 to 1,400.  (Because many of the markets are very small, that amounts to less than 10 percent of total U.S. newspaper  circulation).

It has now spent more than $1 billion over five years on acquisitions.

This year's crop — totaling $156 million — includes The Eugene Register-Guard in Oregon, the Austin American-Statesman and Palm Beach (Florida) Post (both formerly owned by Cox, which kept the Atlanta Journal Constitution), The Pueblo (Colorado) Chieftan, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, and, most recently, The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. It also acquired a majority interest in an events business that produces 90 endurance races a year.

Mike Reed, the CEO of GateHouse parent New Media Investment Group, offered the recapitulation in a conference call with analysts discussing the company's third quarter earnings. More newspaper and other purchases are in the pipeline, he said, though he did not give a target spending number for 2019.

Other acquisitions have included the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and Providence (Rhode Island) Journal. Middle-sized metro markets are especially attractive, Reed said, because they tend to offer both the best opportunities for cost cutting and for events revenues and sale of digital services to local businesses.

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AP VoteCast debuts Tuesday

The Associated Press will debut its new VoteCast election survey on Nov. 6, helping to tell the story of why the winners in the U.S. midterm elections won.

Developed with NORC at the University of Chicago, AP VoteCast will provide data about the makeup of the American electorate nationwide and in all states holding an election for U.S. Senate or governor in 2018.

Deputy Managing Editor David Scott, who oversees AP's polling unit, explains how the survey works:

VoteCast is based on the surveys of more than 122,000 registered voters in every state, taken until the moment polls close. How do you find respondents?

We start by mailing a postcard to a random sample of registered voters in 25 states, inviting them to take our survey either online or by phone. We also try to reach those registered voters directly by phone. At the same time, we're conducting a random-sample survey of registered voters nationwide using NORC's based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Finally, we survey self-identified registered voters in all 50 states using opt-in online panels, which allows us to interview a very large number of people in just a few days. More details are available in the VoteCast methodology statement.

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Newsonomics: "Digital defeats print" is the headline as Gannett steps away from printed election results

Editors have long had to battle deadlines on election nights across America - pushing press runs to the last possible moment in order to get the most complete results into the next morning's paper. Print is many things, but it isn't a great real-time medium.

Now, though, Gannett is throwing the digital switch. Across its 109 local markets, readers will be directed - starting this Sunday, as editors are being urged to prepare readers in advance - to head to its digital sites for results. The idea: Recognize and act on the cultural changes - among readers and in newsrooms - to embrace real-time media for real-time news.

(And save a little money on newsprint.)

When long-time readers of the Des Moines Register, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, or Fort Myers News-Press open up their papers Wednesday morning, they'll see hardly anything in the way of results. They may see stories on voter turnout totals or "wrap-ups on the voting scene" or "a look ahead to what readers can expect in the days ahead." Even on Thursday, when nearly all vote totals should be in, don't expect to see newsprint used when cheaper pixels can do the job; the complete election results will be online, Amalie Nash, executive editor for local news at Gannett's USA Today Network, told me Wednesday.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 26, 2018

Man arrested in threats to The Oklahoman newspaper

An Oklahoma City man has been accused of making threats against The Oklahoman.

Robert Cameron Brewer, 41, was arrested Wednesday on a complaint of threatening to kill by use of explosive.

"Oh, and your building, that's not going to be there anymore," a caller said Monday in a profanity-laced voicemail.

The caller identified himself to the newspaper as "Cameron." The phone number was linked to Brewer, police reported in a court affidavit.

Brewer also is accused of making a threatening phone call in September to the office of Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong.

On Thursday, Brewer was being held in the Oklahoma County jail on $200,000 bail.

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Capital Gazette editor wins Editor of the Year Award

NNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The editor of a Maryland newspaper where five people were killed in a mass shooting in June has won the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award.

The National Press Foundation announced the award Friday to Rick Hutzell, editor of Capital Gazette Communications in Annapolis, Maryland.

"We saw courage in the face of unimaginable tragedy in the Capital Gazette editor and his staff," NPF judges said in announcing the award. "As pledged, they put out a 'damn paper' the next day, and every day since in service to their community. It underscores the importance of local newspapers and the unbreakable bond with their communities."

Hutzell said while the award may have his name on it, his staff and colleagues at the Capital Gazette and Baltimore Sun Media Group earned it.

"I did not put the paper out. We put the paper out, together," Hutzell said.

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Why they kill journalists

For 14 years, Kathleen Carroll ran The Associated Press with the clear, direct, grounded language for which the news service is known. As chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists, she still doesn't mince words.

Asked about Jamal Khashoggi and the slayings of other journalists in recent years, Carroll answered simply: “Someone feels they have the right to kill someone because they disagree with them. ... If these murders go unanswered, the killers are further empowered."

Carroll praised the Washington Post's "multi-pronged approach" in covering the assassination of Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and Post columnist. She also credited Reuters with its sustained effort to keep the public focused on the imprisonment in Myanmar of two of its reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who documented the nation's genocide of its minority Rohingya population.

The stakes are high. “If somebody doesn’t create a fuss, then it doesn’t matter,” Carroll said.

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Fewer mugshots, less naming and shaming: How editors in Cleveland are trying to build a more compassionate newsroom

When you hear the phrase “right to be forgotten,” you may think of the European Union, where right-to-be-forgotten regulations allow nearly anyone to ask (and sometimes force) Google to take down search results they don’t like. The result is a clash between free speech, the public’s right to know, and privacy. There are legitimate fears that powerful people will be able to force news outlets to take down unflattering stories about them. (As of the start of this year, Google had received almost 34,000 requests from politicians and government agencies.) Critics of the broad European laws fear that nuance will be lost as search engines and news companies rush to comply with takedown requests.

But there’s not always nuanced thought on the other side, either. Does everything really have to be preserved on the internet forever? If you commit a minor, dumb crime when you’re young, is it fair for articles about that crime to pop to the top of the Google results when a prospective employer searches your name — for the rest of your life?

The old American newspaper standard is: Never change anything that’s true; news values come first. But in 2018, it’s clear that standard isn’t exactly working; a brief item on Page A17 in one day’s print newspaper doesn’t have the same sort of impact as a permanent digital record. The stories we choose to cover — the mugshots we choose to run — these are choices, and newsroom policies need the same room for nuance that the EU’s laws do.

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Tom Silvestri column: Why 2018 will be the last year the RTD makes editorial endorsements

After the November election, this newspaper will end its practice of political endorsements. This column explains the reasons.

At the Richmond Times-Dispatch, an Editorial Board determines each endorsement that, in essence, supports a particular candidate running for office. The board is composed of the RTD Editorial team, which is headed by Bob Rayner and includes editors Cindy Paris and Robin Beres. (One position in the department is open because of a departure. We plan to fill it soon.) As publisher, I am also a member of the Editorial Board.

Unlike at some newspapers, RTD Editorial reports to the publisher. It is not part of the Newsroom, which is led by Executive Editor Paige Mudd. She also reports to the publisher. This is an important distinction, as both Editorial and News publish opinion pieces. Editorial’s edited commentary fills two pages each day, three on Sunday. News runs its opinion columns on Page A2. (Opinions also show up on the Sports pages and in art reviews.) These pieces all appear on

Editorial approached this November’s election with the traditional process. The board invited candidates to our downtown offices to answer questions and discuss issues in the expectation that one politician in each race would receive our endorsement.

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Associated Press Deletes Tweet Calling Migrant Caravan an ‘Army’

The Associated Press deleted a tweet Sunday evening that called a large caravan of migrants from Central America a ragged “army.” The decision from the wire service came just hours after the tweet was posted and sustained heavy criticism online.

“We have deleted a tweet about the migrant caravan moving through Central America and Mexico because it lacked context. A new tweet will be posted shortly,” the AP said.

“They have said they are fleeing widespread violence, poverty and corruption in Honduras. The growing caravan of migrants has resumed its journey to the U.S,” read the corrected version moments later.

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Jamal Khashoggi's Final Words-for Other Journalists Like Him

On October 3rd, the day after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared, the Washington Post received a final column left behind with his assistant when he went off to Turkey to get married. It was, in seven hundred words, poignant and personal and epically appropriate, considering his fate. "The Arab world was ripe with hope during the spring of 2011. Journalists, academics and the general population were brimming with expectations of a bright and free Arab society within their respective countries," he opined. "They expected to be emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information." Instead, rulers grew ever more repressive after the short-lived Arab Spring.

Today, hundreds of millions of people across the Middle East "are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives," Khashoggi wrote. They are either "uninformed or misinformed" by draconian censorship and fake state narratives. As the headline of his last published words asserted, "What the Arab world needs most is free expression."

In his death, Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and former government supporter who became a vocal and fearless critic of the current Saudi crown prince, has galvanized global attention far more than he was able to do during his life. The horrific details of his murder and dismemberment have had an effect he would never have imagined-putting into serious question the fate of a Saudi leader, the state of U.S.-Saudi relations, American foreign-policy goals in the world's most volatile region, and even policies that have kept dictators in power. The repercussions are only beginning.

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News industry seeks exemption from Congress to take on Facebook, Google

WASHINGTON -- A bill in Congress takes aim at the dominance of Google and Facebook in controlling how Americans receive their news, proposing to help news companies correct an imbalance that threatens their existence.

The House bill would give publishers a temporary anti-trust exemption to negotiate for better treatment by the tech giants, ensuring that Americans receive access to trusted sources of news.

Almost three out of four people in the United States now receive their news from platforms controlled by the duopoly of Facebook and Google. The companies take in 73 percent of all digital advertising revenue in the United States, and 83 percent of the digital ad growth.

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Younger generations are actually better at telling news from opinion than those over age 50

Those pesky kids with their smartphones don't know the days of print newspapers separating the news pages from the opinion section. But they're not necessarily the ones we have to worry about discerning news statements from opinions, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center.

Based on a survey Pew conducted in February and March, Americans ages 18-49 were more likely to accurately categorize factual statements as facts and opinion statements as opinions. A third of that age range correctly identified all five news items in a test, compared to 20 percent of those over age 50, and 44 percent of the younger grouping correctly identified all opinion items, compared to 26 percent of their elders.

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Targeted by pipe bomb, CNN denounces White House's rhetoric

NEW YORK (AP) - CNN's president on Wednesday denounced the White House for its "total and complete lack of understanding" of the consequences of attacks against the media after the cable news network's New York office and several prominent Democrats were sent pipe bombs.

Feelings were raw over a perceived reluctance by the administration to mention that CNN was sent one of the crude devices, which also went to Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and others. A fundraising email attacking CNN sent out as the story unfolded deepened that perception. Trump's campaign later apologized for the email.

"The president, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter," said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide. "Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that."

There was no immediate response from the White House.

CNN has been a frequent target of Trump's "fake news" barbs, and a "CNN sucks" chant broke out at a Monday campaign rally. Amid that backdrop, some at CNN were angered by an initial tweet by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that condemned "the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and other public officials," but omitted any reference to CNN. An hour later she sent another tweet that said the White House's condemnation "certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current and former public servants."

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Trump decries violence but calls on media to end 'hostility'

MOSINEE, Wis. (AP) - President Donald Trump decried the threat of political violence and called on the media to end its "hostility" on Wednesday, hours after authorities intercepted bombs sent to a news network and prominent Democrats who have been the targets of some of his sharpest barbs.

Trump's pleas for harmony came as law enforcement officials scrambled to find the perpetrator of the thwarted bomb attacks against former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and others. The scripted message was a dissonant one for the president, who has repeatedly blasted his political opponents as criminals and argued that they will destroy the country if they win control of Congress in the midterms.

"We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony," he said at a campaign rally in Wisconsin. "Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself."

The president noted the unusually subdued tone of his remarks.

"By the way, do you see how nice I'm behaving tonight?" he said. "Have you ever seen this?"

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 18, 2018

Wendi Winters among 6 to be awarded for contributions to Anne Arundel arts community

Slain Capital Gazette reporter and editor Wendi Winters and five others will be awarded for their contributions to the arts community in Anne Arundel County next week.

Winters and five county residents — Laurie Hays, Joann Vaughan, Lisa Sherwood, Joe Vitek and Robert Benson — will receive an Annie Award on Wednesday for their “significant and lasting contributions to the local arts community,” the awards group wrote in a statement.

Created in 2000 and hosted by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, this year’s award winners will be honored at a ceremony at the St. John’s College Key Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Winters — who was one of five Capital Gazette employees killed in a shooting at the newsroom office in Annapolis June 28 — will be awarded posthumously for her work with the newspaper. As a freelance writer and features editor, she regularly profiled local artists and highlighted various events in the county’s arts community.

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2 newspapers to cover local news in Carthage

CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — A city in southwestern Missouri that was recently left without a hometown newspaper will soon have two.

The Carthage Chronicle launched shortly after The Carthage Press closed without warning in August after more than 130 years in business, the Joplin Globe reported. The Chronicle is published by Sarcoxie Publishing Co. and offers subscriptions as well as free limited mailings.

Publisher and editor Paul Donley said this week that the Chronicle is building its staff of writers to cover the city just northeast of Joplin. The newspaper will offer subscriptions for $34.98 per year in Jasper, Newton and Lawrence counties and $44.98 per year elsewhere.

Rush-Hoover Media Group announced this week that The Carthage Press will return, but under local control. The newspaper was formerly owned by Gatehouse Media in New York. The locally run version will be delivered by mail weekly for free to every Carthage resident.

"We wanted to show the people of Carthage what we could do with a local newspaper not run by a large corporation," said Matthew Rush, president of the Rush-Hoover Media Group.

The group will rely on business sponsorships and advertisements for revenue, Rush said.

The Chronicle is released every Thursday and The Carthage Press will publish on Wednesdays.

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About 1,300 U.S. communities have totally lost news coverage, UNC news desert study finds

It's hardly a secret that news deserts are spreading, but just how bad is it?

A comprehensive new study released today by the University of North Carolina's School of Media and Journalism shows that far more U.S. communities have totally lost news coverage - more than 1,300 - than previously known.

Top findings:

About 20 percent of all metro and community newspapers in the United States - about 1,800 - have gone out of business or merged since 2004, when about 9,000 were being published.

Hundreds more have scaled back coverage so much that they've become what the researchers call "ghost newspapers." Almost all other newspapers still publishing have also scaled back, just less drastically.

Online news sites, as well as some TV newsrooms and cable access channels, are working hard to keep local reporting alive, but these are taking root far more slowly than newspapers are dying. Hence the 1,300 communities that have lost all local coverage.

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Washington Examiner Apologizes for ‘Inadvertently’ Plagiarizing the New York Times

he Washington Examiner offered a lengthy apology over the weekend after a story about missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi included several unattributed full paragraphs of a different New York Times piece.

“The Washington Examiner apologizes for inadvertently including paragraphs from a New York Times story in an Examiner story about Jared Kushner and Saudi Arabia,” said the paper’s managing editor Toby Harnden in a statement now appearing at the top of the piece “Khashoggi crisis is a reckoning for Jared Kushner.”

Harnden went on to explain that he had included the Times bits in a note on the unpublished version of the piece, but that things went awry from there.

“The note was not clear,” Harnden continued. “The reporter thought I had rewritten part of his story. The material from the New York Times was then subsequently mistakenly published in error and without any attribution.”

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Report for America is ready to kick growth into a higher gear

Report for America, an ambitious attempt to bring the Peace Corps/Teach for America model to local journalism, is opening applications to news organizations and sponsored reporters for a second year.

The project expects to double the number of placements to 28, co-founder Steve Waldman told me this week. Then the pace will quicken.

"We do need to keep refining," he said, "but if all goes well we hope to get to 250 in year three." That would put Report for America on a path to fielding 1,000 local reporters by 2022, Waldman's stated goal.

The gating factor is securing a quantum jump in support from foundations or from a few key individual contributors. Some of the usual suspects — Google and the Knight Foundation — have been onboard for the initial funding round. 

Report for America had 780 applicants for 13 spots in the first cohort, and 85 organizations tried to secure the reporting help. With notable journalistic successes already, Waldman said, early evidence is that both the supply and demand sides of the effort are robust.

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Fact-checking to ‘reach deeper’ into communities

As the Nov. 6 U.S. midterm elections approach, AP has stepped up efforts to fact-check political misinformation circulating at the local, state and national levels.

“Over the past year, AP has worked to reach deeper into communities, taking advantage of the expertise of our journalists in all 50 states to produce AP Fact Checks and debunk misinformation on the state and local levels,” said AP Fact Check Editor Karen Mahabir. “These local fact checks are of huge value to our members and customers across the U.S., and to a public hungry for objective, factual information, especially as we approach Election Day.” 

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 11, 2018

4 things journalists can do to rebuild trust with the public

In August, nearly 400 news outlets made the case for the importance of journalism in response to President Donald Trump’s repeated claim that the media is “the enemy of the people.”

In #FreePress editorials published in newspapers across the country, writers stressed journalism’s role in a democracy, and that a free press is essential to a free society.

The message came at a time when anti-press rhetoric is soaring and concerns about inaccuracy and bias in the news have meant Americans’ trust in the media is lingering near all-time lows.

Yet our research suggests that if news organizations are truly going to close the trust gap, they must go beyond explanations of what journalism means to democracy and directly make the case for what it means to citizens.

As researchers and journalists, we launched The 32 Percent Project to explore how citizens define trust and how news organizations can better earn it. Named for the percentage of Americans who had confidence in the news media in 2016, the project was guided by the principle that the best way to discover what citizens want is to ask them.

We held public conversations with 54 people in four communities across the country, asking questions about what news organizations should do to increase public trust.

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Google is building a search engine for fact checks

Google wants to make it easier for people to find fact checks. To do that, the company is building another version of what it’s most known for: a search engine.

On Oct. 2, the Google News Initiative launched the beta version of a tool that’s specifically for fact-checking content. The feature, which the company has been working on for months, uses the same signals as other Google products, such as Google News, to surface work from fact-checkers like Snopes and (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact.

“The goal here is to have fact-checking journalists have an easier job of locating all the work that fact-checkers have done on a specific topic,” said Cong Yu, a research scientist at Google. “For users, it’s if you want to know more about a certain topic.”

The product alpha launched about six months ago, when fact-checking organizations started using it and giving Google feedback.

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How Times Journalists Uncovered the Original Source of the President's Wealth

In the three years since Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy for president, there has been plenty of investigation into his financial history - especially because he broke with tradition and declined to release his tax returns.

In 2016, David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner of The New York Times obtained his 1995 tax returns, showing that he could have avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades. And for their article on Wednesday's front page, they worked together for more than a year to investigate the wealth that the president inherited from his father.

"It's unusual to dive into what you think is an extremely well-covered subject and to find so much completely new stuff, stuff that just is astonishing," Mr. Barstow said. "It's a great reminder that even things that you think are well described, there are these other deeper layers."

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Tronc changing name back to Tribune Publishing

Tronc, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, is changing its name back to Tribune Publishing Co.

The Chicago-based company, which also owns the Baltimore Sun; Hartford Courant; Orlando Sentinel; South Florida's Sun Sentinel; the New York Daily News; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md.; The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa.; the Daily Press in Newport News, Va.; and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., announced the decision Thursday. It ends a more than two-year run with the much-derided corporate moniker of Tronc.

The name change will take effect after the market closes Tuesday (Oct. 9). Beginning Wednesday, the company’s stock will trade on the NASDAQ under the new ticker symbol TPCO.

The Tronc name was unveiled in June 2016, four months after technology entrepreneur Michael Ferro became nonexecutive chairman and the largest shareholder of the newspaper chain. The name, which stood for Tribune Online Content and was intended to be written in all-lowercase letters, quickly was ridiculed.

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Poll: News Media's Credibility Plunges

The news media's credibility is sagging along with its revenue.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans think the news stories they read, hear and watch are frequently inaccurate, according to a poll released Sunday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. That marks the highest level of skepticism recorded since 1985, when this study of public perceptions of the media was first done.

The poll didn't distinguish between Internet bloggers and reporters employed by newspapers and broadcasters, leaving the definition of "news media" up to each individual who was questioned. The survey polled 1,506 adults on the phone in late July.

The survey found that 63 percent of the respondents thought the information they get from the media was often off base. In Pew Research's previous survey, in 2007, 53 percent of the people expressed that doubt about accuracy.

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Vandals hit New York newspaper with anti-media graffiti

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Vandals have defaced the offices of a New York newspaper with anti-media graffiti including the word "liars."

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that its employees encountered the spray-painted messages when they arrived at work Friday.

The word "liars" was spray-painted on three first-floor windows. One window was painted with the phrase "you brood of vipers," a biblical reference.

Democrat and Chronicle executive editor Karen Magnuson says she's "incredibly disappointed" that someone in the community would target the newspaper with vandalism. She said the newspaper's employees are a dedicated group of people "working extremely hard every day to cover their community."

The newspaper is owned by Gannett. Police are reviewing video footage from nearby cameras.

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This series is traveling the country to show why local news matters

The 10 newsrooms Ian Hoppe has visited this year - from Jackson, Mississippi, to Carbondale, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California- are all changing.

Some still work from their original buildings. Some have moved. Almost all are smaller.

"But the reporters are still grinding away," said Hoppe. "They don't really need some special spot or a flashy newsroom. They're still grinding and doing their thing."

And that thing, in this case, is local investigative journalism. Now, Hoppe and a team from's Reckon are telling their stories through a video series for Facebook Watch. (Reckon, just a reminder, is's social brand.)

So far, "Chasing Corruption" has brought in more than 800,000 views for the stories of a sneaky sheriff in Kentucky, a vote-suppressing governor in Alabama and a dangerously negligent and well-paid housing official in Illinois.

"My name is Ian Hoppe," the director and host says near the start of the first three videos in the series. "And I'm here to show you why local reporters matter.”

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Newspaper carriers say they were shot at near Lapwai

Donna Correll and her husband, Dane, were driving the same newspaper route at the same time they usually do outside Lapwai when they heard something that sounded like a firecracker.

Dane was asking his wife what the sound was when the passenger-side window shattered, peppering Donna with glass as she sat folding newspapers in the back seat. Once they realized someone was shooting at them, Dane drove away from a residence on the 21000 block of Lapwai Road back into town to contact Nez Perce police. Donna dropped to the floorboard and couldn’t see where the shot originated from since it was dark and there was no moonlight to illuminate the canyon they were in.

“At first, we thought it was a rock that rolled and hit beneath the car,” Donna said.

She said Monday afternoon that bullets had entered the front windshield and passenger window while they were delivering papers at about 3:25 a.m., and a third shot was later discovered when the couple drove to the police department. One bullet was lodged in the front windshield and a third had entered the hood of the vehicle and bounced around the interior, hitting a radiator hose. Donna didn’t know the full extent of damage to her vehicle, as it was impounded by law enforcement as evidence.

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Newsroom employees earn less than other college-educated workers in U.S.

Newsroom employees are more than twice as likely as other U.S. workers to be college graduates. But they tend to make less money than college-educated workers in other industries, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Nearly eight-in-ten (79%) newsroom employees in the newspaper, broadcasting and internet publishing industries - including reporters, editors, photographers and videographers - have at least a college degree, according to the analysis of 2012-2016 American Community Survey data. Among employees in all other occupations and industries, only about a third (36%) have graduated from college. Very few newsroom employees have a high school education or less (4%), compared with a third of all other workers.

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World-Herald news department votes to form union

The World-Herald news department voted Monday to form a union.

The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America will represent roughly 87 full- and part-time World-Herald journalists. The union will not represent the editorial department, which produces the Opinion section, or news department supervisors, managers and other excluded employees.

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ASNE's 40-year-old diversity survey needs responses before it can be released

Since 1978, a group of top editors has surveyed their peers in U.S. newsrooms. But on the 40th anniversary of this report, which measures the pulse of diversity, the details aren’t being released on time. The American Society of News Editors, which administers the newsroom diversity survey, announced during its annual convention in September that it had not received enough responses.

According to ASNE, less than 14 percent of newsrooms surveyed (234 of about 1,700 newspapers and digital media outlets) submitted their data on time; as a result, news leaders now have until Oct. 12 to send in their information. Last year’s numbers were released with about 40 percent of surveyed newsrooms participating.

ASNE reaches out to newsrooms with daily print products as well as online-only news sites to take part in the survey. Digital newsrooms were added to the survey in 2007, and that year, overall diversity numbers showed improvement — but only because of the addition of the online-journalist category.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Oct. 4, 2018

Introducing The New York Times Fellowship Program

For more than a century, The New York Times has invested deeply in new talent and launched careers that have led to Pulitzer Prizes and top careers in media. Spotting and lifting journalism’s next generation is a passion of ours. It’s also a responsibility we regard as both sacred and pressing.

So we are thrilled to introduce The New York Times Fellowship, a one-year work program aimed at cultivating the next generation of journalists. It will include reporters, photographers, videographers, social and audio producers, designers and visual editors.

We hope that this new immersive program will benefit not only the participants and The Times, but other newsrooms. We expect most of our fellows will graduate to positions at other publications.

Creation of the fellowship also means that we plan to retire our existing newsroom summer internship.

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Oklahoman sells to GateHouse Media, lays off several newsroom staffers

The Oklahoman Media Company, the state's biggest, announced today that it was being sold to GateHouse Media - and laid off 37 staffers.

An estimate was that about 15 of those job losses came from the newsroom, though two people agreed to retire.

A story on says that the sale will be final Oct. 1.

Employees reported being alerted via email yesterday to a mandatory meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday. They sat through a 35-minute presentation about the sale and upcoming changes before being informed of the layoffs.

Publisher Chris Reen addressed the staffers and said those who'd been laid off had just been notified via email, and their firings were effective immediately.

The entire room then checked their phones, as the meeting disintegrated.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Sept. 27, 2018

The Topeka Capital-Journal: Free State Festival panel: Journalists fighting to report news ‘until the bitter end’

LAWRENCE — Newspaper journalists battling “fake news” accusations as their ranks dwindle amid declining revenues remain committed to reporting stories of public interest, a panel of industry representatives assured a standing-room-only crowd Saturday in downtown Lawrence.

About 75 people gathered at the Watkins Museum of History to pepper panelists with questions for an “Enemy of the People” discussion — a reference to media-bashing remarks by President Donald Trump.

Reporters have long been abused for their news stories, said Tim Carpenter, Statehouse bureau chief for The Topeka Capital-Journal, but complaints are perhaps more amplified now by politicians who want to discredit journalists for personal gain.

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American Press Institute: Confusion about what’s news and what’s opinion is a big problem, but journalists can help solve it

People often don’t know whether the content they see is news or opinion, according to our recent pair of Media Insight Project surveys.

In one survey, we asked people how easy or difficult it was to see the distinctions between news and opinion in media. Just over half of Americans say it’s easy to distinguish news from opinion in news media in general.

This stat alone suggests there’s an issue.

But we were also curious if people had an easier time sorting news from opinion in certain media. It appears that’s true. People were more likely to feel like they had a handle on what’s news and what’s opinion with local TV news, which usually contains no formal commentary, and also their self-identified preferred news source.

Notably, the types of media where people expressed the least clarity were digital news sites and social media.

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The Daily Memphian has launched

You’re reading the first issue of The Daily Memphian. This is no small thing. The people, the effort, the money and resources that had to come together to make this possible cannot be underestimated. But now we’re here.

Read our stories, share them with your friends, talk about them with your family. Disagree with what we write, throw your mouse at the wall in annoyance at a column, allow us to make you cry as you immerse yourself in a point of view you’ve never before considered. Let our journalists – via the photos we take, the videos we produce, the podcasts we publish, and the written words we form – show you parts of our city that you never knew existed.

Then, tomorrow, wake up and read us again.

That’s our ambition.

Like I said, this is no small thing.

For nearly 20 years, metro newspapers in this country have been steadily retracting. Cutting staff. Reducing content. Centralizing decision-making in regional and national headquarters far removed from the realities of the cities those metro papers attempt to cover.

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Poynter: It took years for this local newsroom to start growing. Now, it’s going statewide.

Angie Newsome launched Carolina Public Press on a sunny spring day in 2011. She doesn’t remember much about that first story she published, but she was working from home and eight months pregnant with her second child.

For years, it was really just her and this vision for a site with local in-depth and investigative journalism for western North Carolina.

In 2014, she hired a donor development assistant. In 2015, she hired a managing editor.

In 2017, Carolina Public Press produced 10 major investigative projects on topics from crime to education to government transparency in addition to regular public interest reporting, according to its annual report. The site partnered with Huffington Post and held a series of community events.

And early this year, Newsome announced the site would go statewide. She’s now hiring a full-time investigative reporter, a development director and a part-time news and community partnership manager.

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Billionaires buying up media: Savior complex or civic duty?

NEW YORK (AP) - The Washington Post. Time Magazine. The Atlantic. The Village Voice. The Los Angeles Times. All American media icons, all bought by billionaires in the past half decade. Some are thriving. One died. On the rest, the jury's still out.

Still, for beleaguered news organizations the prospect of a deep-pocketed savior - even from the very same tech industry that has kneecapped the media's traditional business model - is all but irresistible.

But success is not guaranteed. And risks run from industry outsiders making poor business decisions to exposure to undue influence on editorial operations.

For the billionaires, meanwhile, ownership of storied magazines or newspapers provides an alluring combination of a trophy property, a high-profile opportunity to demonstrate their business acumen and a chance to display highbrow civic-mindedness.

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In Oregon, three news organizations are teaming up to cover state government

Four years ago, as the number of reporters covering statehouses continued shrinking, two news organizations started working together to cover state government in Oregon.

Now, they’re adding a third.

The Salem Reporter, which launched online in September, joins Pamplin Media Group and EO Media Group. Pamplin publishes the Portland Tribune and 24 other newspapers and EO publishes the East Oregonian and 10 other newspapers. Together, they're forming the Oregon Capital Bureau. Les Zaitz, editor of Salem Reporter and the Malheur Enterprise and a longtime investigative reporter in the state, will manage the team.

After watching collaborations around the country, Zaitz said, he recognized the power of working together for newsrooms with limited resources. It’s what led the two publishers to start working together in the first place, said Mark Garber, president of Pamplin Media Group.

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The New York Times is asking readers to help it cover election misinformation

The New York Times is stepping up its coverage of misinformation ahead of this fall’s midterm elections.

On Monday, the newspaper published a tip form where readers can send examples of potentially false or misleading content they find in their social media feeds. Examples could be a Facebook account spreading false information about a political candidate, a YouTube channel publishing doctored videos or a disinformation campaign being organized on Reddit.

It’s something that’s already a central part of the mandate for fact-checkers in the United States and elsewhere. But for The Times, the goal is to more proactively cover elections.

“It just feels that, from what we know that happened in 2016, misinformation was and continues to be a huge problem on social media,” said Rebecca Blumenstein, a deputy managing editor at The Times, in a phone interview. “We’ve been reporting aggressively on the election, trying to get the truth out of what’s happening in various campaigns, and you can’t leave out a player as big as Facebook.”

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Layoffs announced at The Day newspaper in New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — The publisher of The Day of New London says it is laying off some employees due to a decline in revenue and sharp increases in the cost of newsprint.

The Day Publishing Co. this week announced nine layoffs including four in The Day's newsroom and others at the paper's advertising department, its string of weeklies and a New London-based marketing agency.

The newspaper reports that employees are being asked to take five unpaid days off by the end of the year.

Company president and publisher Pat Richardson said the cost of newsprint jumped monthly during the first six months of the year and was up 26 percent over the same period the previous year. He said the company is taking steps to boost revenue.

The company employs more than 200 people.

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Prosecutors: Man threatened to kill Boston Globe staff over Trump editorials

BOSTON -- A California man upset about The Boston Globe's coordinated editorial response to President Donald Trump's attacks on the news media was arrested Thursday for threatening to travel to the newspaper's offices and kill journalists, whom he called the "enemy of the people," federal prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say 68-year-old Robert Chain's threatening phone calls to the Globe's newsroom started immediately after the Globe appealed to newspapers across the country to condemn what it called a "dirty war against the free press."

The day the editorials were published , Chain, of Encino, told a Globe staffer that he was going to shoot employees in the head at 4 o'clock, according to court documents. That threat prompted a police response and increased security at the newspaper's offices.

After the editorials ran, authorities say Chain said he would continue threatening the Globe, The New York Times and "other fake news" as long as they continue their "treasonous and seditious acts" in attacking Trump.

Several times, he called Globe employees the "enemy of the people," a characterization of journalists that Trump has used in the past.

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A day after announcing new Missoulian publisher, Lee Enterprises changes course

A day after introducing a new publisher to oversee its western Montana newspapers, including the Missoulian, Lee Enterprises changed course.

"Due to recent developments, Paul McArthur will not be joining Lee Enterprises,'' said Nathan Bekke, vice president of consumer sales and marketing and group publisher for the Iowa-based media company.

Bekke declined further comment. The company does not publicly discuss personnel matters.

Within hours of news reports about McArthur's appointment Tuesday, his past tweets and Twitter "likes'' on topics ranging from the news media to Islam to the weight of flight attendants were being widely shared — and criticized — on social media.

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Idaho newspaper publisher attacked in anonymous robocalls

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — The publisher of a northern Idaho weekly newspaper is being attacked in anonymous robocalls.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports the Sandpoint Reader's Ben Olson is the subject of robocalls appearing on answering machines this week.

Olson in a statement decried it as an attempt to impugn people who stand up to racism and intolerance but said it's been "free advertising" and brought an outpouring of kindness in the community.

The robocall claims the alternatively weekly has a "leftist agenda" and that Olson is a "cancer on wholesome North Idaho" that must be "burned out." It urges people to boycott the paper's advertisers.

The city's police chief hasn't commented.

There's been other robocalls in recent months that have targeted other journalists at various Sandpoint news organizations, including the Reader.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Sept. 20, 2018

Trump’s “Enemy of the People” Rhetoric Is Endangering Journalists’ Lives

Ever since he campaigned for the White House, Donald Trump has attacked news outlets for negative reporting, singled out individual journalists for scorn, and turned his battle cry against “fake news”—a.k.a. reporting he dislikes—virtually into a personal brand. His hostility has only escalated with scrutiny of his presidency. Whipping up crowds as he points at the press gallery has been a set piece of his political rallies. He describes journalists as “dishonest,” “corrupt,” and “sick.” And Trump has repeatedly echoed the language of 20th century despots, demonizing the American media as “the enemy of the people.”

Presidential disdain for the press is nothing new. Still, political and media experts have long worried that Trump’s uniquely broad and bitter war of words wouldn’t just corrode public trust in reported facts, but could also produce other dangerous effects.

Now there is strong evidence it has. According to half a dozen law enforcement and security leaders I spoke with in recent weeks, the targeting of journalists has steadily intensified in the Trump era, from organized campaigns of personal harassment to bomb threats and vows of assault, rape, and mass shootings. Two sources told me they’ve repeatedly seen explicit evidence of threats directly channeling the president’s rhetoric.

Read more:

Attacks and Harassment: The Impact on Female Journalists and Their Reporting

A survey of nearly 600 women journalists and media workers around the world shows that 7 in 10 women experienced more than one type of harassment, threat, or attack in the past year. The survey, for the International Women’s Media Foundation, covered online and other threats and attacks, adding that a third of those surveyed said the aggression has made them consider leaving the field. Half of the respondents were American; about 60 percent of respondents lived abroad.

Read the report:

We're expanding our right-to-be-forgotten experiment: Chris Quinn

We launched our right-to-be-forgotten experiment two months ago and began fielding requests from people to remove their identities from stories about minor crimes they committed.

So far, we've taken five names out of stories.

One was someone who had been in the health field and stole some drugs from her employer. A judge eventually declared that she not only had completed her sentence but had completely rehabilitated herself. He sealed records of her crime so she could move on with her life, meaning you could not find the records today.

She lost her license to work in her healthcare field, but as she sought to begin a new career, any Google search of her name brought up our stories about her crime, along with her mug shot.

Another was a man who stole some scrap metal years ago, completed his sentence and had his record sealed. Yet our story dogged him.

Our thinking, as I explained in July, is that people should not have to pay for a mistake for the rest of their lives. Because is so big, our content appears high in search engines, meaning that if we published a story about a minor crime you committed, our story often would be the first thing to appear in searches of your name.

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Facebook expands fact-checkers’ ability to debunk false photos and videos

Fake images and videos are the next targets of Facebook’s ongoing effort to fight misinformation.

In a blog post published today, the company announced that it is giving all 27 of its global fact-checking partners the ability to debunk photos and videos on the platform. Once a piece of content is rated as false, its future reach in the News Feed will be reduced by up to 80 percent and a fact check will be appended in the Related Articles section. (Disclosure: Being a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles is a necessary condition to be a partner.)

Videos and photos that users flag as potentially false will now filter into the dashboard that fact-checkers use to select which pieces of content to debunk. Before, most fact-checking partners could only debunk links to false news stories; Agence France-Presse was the first organization to start debunking images for Facebook last spring, when Facebook started testing the capability.

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Jeff Bezos: Trump should welcome media scrutiny

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who typically tries to stay out of the political fray, mounted a vigorous defense of press freedom on Thursday evening, saying President Donald Trump should be glad to face media scrutiny.

The remarks came during an hour-long, freewheeling conversation with hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist David Rubenstein at an annual gathering of the Economic Club of Washington, which Rubenstein leads. After discussing the success of the Washington Post, which Bezos bought in 2013, Rubenstein asked how Bezos responds to criticism — some of which comes from Trump's Twitter feed — of Amazon (AMZN) and the Post.

"I don't feel the need to defend Amazon," Bezos said. "But I will say this: I do think it's a mistake for any elected official to attack media and journalists."

"There's no public figure who's ever liked their headlines. It's okay. It's part of the process," Bezos said. "What the president should say is, 'This is right, I'm glad I'm being scrutinized.' That would be so secure and confident."

Demonizing the media and calling them "the enemies of the people" is dangerous, Bezos said.

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Newsrooms go into overdrive as Florence bears down on the Carolinas

(CNNMoney) As Hurricane Florence hurdles toward the Carolinas, news outlets are ramping up -- and in some cases, opening up -- their coverage of the storm.

The major network newscasts will broadcast from the storm zone beginning Wednesday night, with CBS' Jeff Glor, ABC's David Muir and NBC's Lester Holt all being deployed to the Carolinas.

Reporting on location during a major hurricane is standard practice for a network news anchor. And Florence is indeed expected to be major. The National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, said it will likely be "the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast."

CBS, ABC and NBC will also have correspondents reporting throughout the eastern seaboard, where Florence is expected to reach landfall by this weekend.

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Lee Enterprises shutters Missoula Independent

Lee Enterprises, the Iowa-based newspaper chain that bought the Missoula Independent last year, has now shut down the iconic alternative newsweekly.

The staff learned of the closure early Tuesday morning, according to former Independent staff writer Derek Brouwer.

"I got a phone call that woke me up around 7:30 this morning. I didn't answer it, but I looked at my phone and I saw I had the email letter. It was sent to my personal email address," Brouwer said.

The letter, from Lee Newspapers regional human resources director Jim Gaasterland, informed Brouwer that the Missoula Independent was closed.

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As Wall Street sours on McClatchy, a longtime lender is now also buying up its stock

For more than a decade, the McClatchy family has resolutely kept the newspaper company bearing its name afloat and independent despite a crushing debt load.

The tough financial hand McClatchy's board and executives have been dealt is getting even tougher with a terrible year for the industry unfolding and another expected in 2019.

McClatchy stock has lost almost all its value to investors. Its market capitalization (the number of shares multiplied by share price) sits at $69 million, lowest of the seven public newspaper companies.

At the same time, refinancing of the company's $794 million debt earlier this year consolidated more lending control in the hands of a longtime creditor, the private Chatham Asset Management hedge fund.

Since October 2017, Chatham has also been assembling large blocks of McClatchy stock. The fund is now the company's biggest institutional shareholder with about a 20 percent stake.

Except for repeated rounds of newsroom layoffs, the financial squeeze has little impact on the hundreds of McClatchy journalists at its 30 papers. They continue to do Pulitzer-worthy work year after year. This week the company's journalists will be tested, providing coverage of the hurricane headed to North Carolina and South Carolina, where McClatchy papers dominate.

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Uranus Examiner: Local newspaper stirs controversy

The newspaper, which was "launched" in the town of Uranus on Wednesday, was threatened with a boycott by the mayor of nearby Waynesville, Luge Hardman.

"No. I'm sorry. But the innuendo of that title puts the city up for public ridicule," Ms Hardman said.

The people of Uranus, in Pulaski County, are divided on the issue.

Natalie Sanders, who has been named as the newspaper's managing editor, told local news channel KY3 that the title was carefully considered before a decision was made.

"We had thought about 'constitution', but most of the people who love us, and who were part of coming up with the name, liked the examiner better," Ms Sanders reportedly said.

It comes just a week after another Missouri newspaper, the Waynseville Daily Guide, ceased publication. The Uranus Examiner publishers said this left a hole in the market.

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Orlando Sentinel presses: News titans scrapped by digital disruption

The startup of a newspaper press reminded me of a space shuttle at T-minus zero.

A constellation of motors churned to life, propelling infinite sheets of newsprint to tiptoe, haul ass and then fly.

The surging velocity of a press, a behemoth 10 feet wide, 60 feet long and 35 feet tall, roared at your sternum.

It felt like authority.

Not that long ago, nothing but a newspaper press could render accounts of taxes, car wrecks, murder, scandal, heroes, politics, love, culture, travel, winners, losers, scores, local disasters, national dramas and war into hundreds of thousands of readable formats delivered to the masses every day before sunrise.

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Wyoming newspaper drops Monday edition

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — One of Wyoming's biggest newspapers will no longer have a Monday edition.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports it will stop publishing Mondays both in print and online starting Oct. 15.

Print and online editions will continue Tuesdays through Sundays.

Newspaper officials say they're forced to make such changes due to increasing production costs including higher costs for paper.

The newspaper plans to add video coverage and a 16-page Friday section of TV listings, entertainment news and puzzles.

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Paddock family selling 120-year stake in Daily Herald to newspaper employees

After 120 years of family ownership, Paddock Publications is changing hands. The descendants of patriarch and founder Hosea C. Paddock are in the process of selling their interest in the parent company of the Daily Herald, which is expected to convert to full employee ownership before the end of the year.

Executives Robert Y. Paddock Jr. and Stuart R. Paddock III said they plan to continue to work for the company.

Calling it "one of the most important decisions we have ever made," Doug Ray, chairman, publisher and CEO of the company, announced Thursday that Paddock Publications would switch entirely to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, a move approved unanimously by the board of directors Tuesday. The Arlington Heights-based publisher has been partially employee-owned since 1976 when the ESOP was established.

Ray said the action had been under consideration "for some time" and would provide significant tax benefits for the company and allow employees to become greater financial participants in its future success.

In addition to the Daily Herald, Paddock Publications operates the monthly Daily Herald Business Ledger, the weekly Reflejos Spanish-language publication, a group of small downstate newspapers throughout Illinois, a commercial publishing business and a growing list of niche publications.

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Salem, Oregon is getting a new online news site. ‘I’m pretending there’s no other media there.’

The first time the businessman called Les Zaitz to pitch the idea of an online news organization for Salem, Oregon, Zaitz was driving through onion fields in Malheur County.

“I laughed, of course,” said the publisher and editor of the Malheur Enterprise in Vale, Oregon. Zaitz also worked at the Oregonian as an investigative reporter before retiring in 2016.

But Larry Tokarski was persistent. The two have known each other for about 30 years, Zaitz said, but more than a year ago, he wasn’t too into starting a news organization.

He got another call this spring, and this time, Zaitz said, if he was going to do something like this, he’d have to do it right.

“I’m not doing it for charity.”

On Sept. 17, the Salem Reporter will go live with Zaitz as CEO and editor and three full-time reporters who will cover “local government, schools, business, nonprofits and state government,” according to a press release.

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The newsroom food chain continues from Houston to Raleigh

On Tuesday, journalists at The News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina got to take a lunch break courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.

"A huge thanks to ⁦@nancycbarnes⁩ and our friends at ⁦@HoustonChron⁩ for sending lunch to our weary news crew!" tweeted Robyn Tomlin, editor of The News and Observer and The Herald-Sun in Durham and the regional editor for McClatchy's newsrooms in the Carolinas.

"We're so grateful to our journalism community for sending treats and offering support over the last week, but we're especially appreciative of The Houston Chronicle staff, who have recent and significant experience telling a story like this that unfolds in heart-breaking chapters over a long period of time," Tomlin said in an email. "We're inspired by the example they set during Harvey and are equally dedicated to telling the story of Florence's long-term impact on our state and region."

The Chronicle is continuing the tradition of food and solidarity. Last year, as journalists there covered Hurricane Harvey, a group of Houston natives at The Washington Post sent the Chronicle donuts.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Sept. 13, 2018

Akron Beacon Journal: A new design for the Beacon Journal and

Your Beacon Journal will be putting on a new face Tuesday. We are changing our look with a new design that includes larger type, bolder headlines and a bit more color.

And on Thursday, we will unveil a new design for our website.

These changes will improve the overall presentation for both our print edition and our website.

The first thing you will notice in the Beacon Journal is that the headlines are bolder, as are the names for the sections of the newspaper.

We also have increased the size of the type for our stories. This change will improve the overall readability for the stories we tell.

The color palette is slightly different, but we have stayed with our same basic blue.

Overall the paper will be a bit brighter because we have added white space between the columns and around the headlines.

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Media School receives $6 million gift for investigative journalism center at IU Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Media School at Indiana University will launch an independent investigative journalism center in fall 2019, thanks to the largest gift in the history of the century-old journalism program.

The Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism, funded by a $6 million gift from Arnolt, an IU Bloomington alumnus from Indianapolis, will focus on the production and teaching of investigative journalism in Indiana and beyond.

"I'm thrilled to be able to announce this transformational gift for The Media School and for journalism in Indiana," said James Shanahan, dean of The Media School. "We've all recently been reminded of the need for strong and independent investigative journalism. Michael Arnolt shares this recognition with us and is helping us take a strong step toward producing great journalism and training great journalists."

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Fake news is about to get so much more dangerous

The most powerful false-news weapon in history is around the corner. The media industry has only a short time to get ahead of it.

If technology continues its current advance, we may soon face totally convincing videos showing events that never happened - created so effectively that even experts will have trouble proving they're fakes.

"Deep fake" video will be able to show people saying, with the authentic ring of their own voices, things they never said. It will show them doing things they never did, by melding their images with other video or creating new images of them from scratch.

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The New York Times: How the Anonymous Op-Ed Came to Be

The New York Times's Opinion desk published an Op-Ed by an anonymous senior official in the Trump administration on Wednesday. By Friday, nearly 23,000 readers had submitted questions to us about the vetting process and our thinking behind publishing the essay.

Our Op-Ed editor, James Dao, has responded to a selection of the questions, which have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Please continue the conversation in the comments of this piece.

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Americans expect to get their news from social media, but they don't expect it to be accurate

Lots of news on social media? Yep. Lots of accurate news on social media? Nope: That's the mindset of the typical U.S. news consumer in 2018, according to a new Pew Research Center report on news use on social media platforms.

Around two-thirds of U.S. adults say they get news from social media. (That figure is just about flat compared with 2017.) But 57 percent say they expect the news on social media to be "largely inaccurate." (Pew interviewed 4,581 U.S. adults.)

Convenience (cited by 21 percent of respondents), interacting with other people, speed, and timeliness are the top reasons that news consumers like getting the news from social media. The top-cited reason to dislike news from social: Inaccuracy.

Silver lining? More respondents said accessing news on social media has helped them (36 percent) than that it has confused them (15 percent).

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Local News Is Dying, and It's Taking Small Town America With It

America is overrun with "news deserts," cities and towns where local coverage is lacking or altogether absent. As newspaper circulation continues to decline along with ad revenue and newsroom employment, a common casualty is the expensive, time-consuming practice of original reporting.

Without journalists digging through property records or attending city council meetings, looking for official wrongdoing and revealing secret deals, local politicians will operate unchecked-with predictable consequences. But the fallout is much bigger than just keeping municipal government honest.

Studies have shown that communities without quality local news coverage see lower rates of voter turnout. Cities where newspapers shut down have even seen their municipal bond costs rise, suggesting an increase in government expense due to a lack of transparency. More broadly, towns without serious local news coverage demonstrate less social cohesion, corroding any actual sense of community.

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Did this reporter make up sources? The Houston Chronicle is investigating

Houston Chronicle reporter Mike Ward has resigned after "questions were raised about whether individuals quoted in one of his stories were real people." Now the paper has hired "an independent, highly respected journalist to review Ward's work for the last year, or further, if necessary, and determine whether any reporting transgressions occurred," Chronicle editor Nancy Barnes told readers on Monday.

"When this investigation is complete, we will publish a full accounting of our findings," Barnes said. "We owe our readers nothing less."

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Op-ed fallout: The latest salvo in Trump's love-hate relationship with the Times

The New York Times is the newspaper President Trump both loves and hates the most.

He has called The Times both a "great, great American jewel" and "fake news." He has courted Times reporters and ridiculed them on Twitter. He has promoted the paper's reporting when it helps him and threatened the paper when it hurts him.

Now he's attacking the paper for publishing an anonymous op-ed from an unnamed senior official in the administration. On Friday, he called it "disgraceful."

In the wake of the op-ed, The Times is receiving more than the usual number of angry calls and emails from members of the public. It has stepped up security at its offices "given the heightened nature of the attention we are receiving right now," according to an internal memo on Friday.

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Submit Your Best Project Ideas for Investigating State Government.

Last year, ProPublica introduced our Local Reporting Network to help create vital, investigative journalism in communities where such stories would otherwise not to be done.

Now, we’re expanding it, and we’re specifically looking for accountability stories emanating from state capitals, from the governor’s mansion to the legislature to the work of state agencies.

The influence of state government is far-reaching, touching aspects of life as varied as taxes, education, environmental oversight and health care — yet elected officials and state bureaucrats are getting ever less scrutiny.

As local newsrooms are shrinking, and the number of reporters working in statehouses across the country has dropped sharply in recent years. Some news organizations no longer cover their state capitals and others have reduced their bureaus to one or two reporters.

With support from a new grant, we will pay the salary, plus an allowance for benefits, for full-time reporters at seven partner news organizations who are dedicated to big investigative projects focused on state politics and state government. We expect that at least one winning proposal will come from Illinois to complement our own local work at ProPublica Illinois. Applications are due Sept. 14, and selected reporters will begin work on Jan. 2 and work on their projects throughout 2019.

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A decade in, the Texas Tribune pursues the rest of its audience

ABOUT A MONTH BEFORE THE TEXAS TRIBUNE launched in 2009, media reporter Jack Shafer wrote a piece for Slate delineating the numerous problems inherent in nonprofit journalism—namely, that nonprofits lose money on purpose, and thus, have to take handouts, which, Shafer says, “come with conditions.” Shafer, who then blithely referred to CEO Evan Smith as “picking the pocket” of venture capitalist John Thornton, also spelled out that audience development is always secondary to advocacy in this sort of business model:

Commercial outlets may reflect their owners’ views, but this tendency is always tempered by the need to attract readers and viewers. Nonprofit outlets almost always measure their success in terms of influence, not audience, because their customers are the donors who’ve donated cash to influence politics, promote justice, or otherwise build a better world.

Of course, the Texas Tribune’s base, composed of members scattered across the state and beyond, also includes deep-pocketed professional philanthropists. But just as the Tribune has evolved from a niche publication for hardcore policy wonks to a mainstream, establishment publication, its lofty goals for influence and audience aren’t at odds with each other; they’re inextricably linked.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the fact that they are liberated to make news judgment the only judgment,” says Siva Vaidhyanathan, a journalist who worked at the Austin American-Statesman, Dallas Morning News, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram and now directs the University of Virginia Center for Media and Citizenship. Coverage decisions seem “based on the importance of the story to the people of Texas,” says Vaidhyanathan, “not based on parochial or political or financial concerns.”

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Lee Enterprises closes Missoula Independent

Lee Enterprises abruptly shut down the Missoula Independent, the city's alternative weekly newspaper, Tuesday morning, prompting outrage and mourning on social media, and a demonstration outside the Missoulian late Tuesday afternoon.

"It's sad for us to see a publication as longstanding and as freethinking as the Independent shut down," said Erin Erickson of Missoula Rises, which organized the demonstration that attracted about 75 people on the corner of South Higgins Avenue and Fourth Street East. Erickson stressed that the demonstration was not aimed at the Missoulian; rather its corporate owner, Lee Enterprises.

Matt Gibson sold the Independent — widely known as the Indy — to Lee in April 2017, then served as general manager for the Missoulian, the Ravalli Republic and the Independent. In Montana, Lee also owns the Billings Gazette, the Helena Independent Record and the Montana Standard in Butte.

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Times' publisher defends op-ed in meeting of US news leaders

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The publisher of The New York Times said Tuesday that the newspaper's decision to run an anonymous opinion piece criticizing President Donald Trump's leadership "added to the public understanding of this administration and the actions and beliefs of the people within it."

Publisher A.G. Sulzberger defended running the op-ed to a gathering of U.S. news leaders in Austin, Texas. He provided no clues about the author, whom the Times identified as a senior administration official.

The author professed to be a member of a "quiet resistance within the administration" that was straining to thwart Trump's "more misguided impulses." Trump fumed after the piece was published last week, saying the newspaper should turn over the author's name and calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate and unmask the person.

Sulzberger said the newspaper believed the piece crossed the threshold for using an anonymous source.

"We didn't think there was any way to make that contribution without some guarantee of anonymity," Sulzberger said. "And I think the president's actions since the release of this piece have underscored exactly why we felt that was so important."

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Newspaper seeks 2 editors as it rebuilds after mass shooting

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland newspaper where five employees were slain in a mass shooting this summer is hiring.

According to a job listing , The Capital of Annapolis is seeking a content editor for news, a role described as the second-ranking editor in the newsroom. The listing says the paper is seeking a leader to join the staff "as we rebuild our newsroom."

A job listing is also posted for an entertainment and lifestyles content editor.

The man charged in the shooting had a history of harassing the newspaper's journalists. He filed a defamation suit against the paper in 2012 that was dismissed as groundless, and he repeatedly targeted the paper's staff members in profanity-laced tweets.

Killed in the attack were Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Ann Smith and Wendi Winters.

Army post to stop publishing weekly newspaper

FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) — A weekly newspaper at a central Kentucky Army post is ceasing publication later this month.

The News Enterprise reports The Gold Standard at Fort Knox announced on Thursday that the Sept. 27 edition will be the paper's final print edition after 70 years of operation under three names. Fort Knox spokesman Ryan Brus said locally produced news coverage will still be available at .

The paper has been produced and distributed under a contract arrangement with The News-Enterprise for decades.

News-Enterprise Publisher Chris Ordway the decision to stop the presses for the paper was a difficult one. He cited changes in missions on post that affected readership habits and business circumstances.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Sept. 6, 2018

Groundbreaking alternative paper Village Voice shuts down

NEW YORK (AP) — The Village Voice, the Pulitzer Prize-winning alternative weekly known for its muckraking investigations, exhaustive arts criticism, naughty personal ads and neurosis-laden cartoons, is going out of business after 63 years.

Its publisher, Peter Barbey, announced Friday that the paper is ceasing publication altogether because of financial problems, a year after it stopped circulating in print and went to digital-only.

“Today is kind of a sucky day,” he told staff members.

Eight of the Voice’s 18 remaining staffers were laid off. Others stayed behind to digitize its print archive so that future generations can read it.

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Man faces charges he threatened journalists to defend Trump

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man who authorities said kept a small arsenal in his home was charged with making a series of phone calls threatening to kill journalists at The Boston Globe for what he allegedly called "treasonous" attacks on President Donald Trump.

Robert Chain, 68, was arrested Thursday at his home in the Encino neighborhood. A neighbor said more than 30 heavily armed agents showed up and took him away in his boxer shorts.

Chain later appeared in federal court, where prosecutors unsuccessfully asked a judge to detain him, in part because more than 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were seized from his house, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Rosenbaum said.

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Trump-friendly tabloid sees a decline in circulation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Enquirer has long explained its support for Donald Trump as a business decision based on the president's popularity among its readers. But private financial documents and circulation figures obtained by The Associated Press show that the tabloid's business was declining even as it published stories attacking Trump's political foes and, prosecutors claim, helped suppress stories about his alleged sexual affairs.

The Enquirer's privately held parent company, American Media Inc., lost $72 million for the year ending in March, the records obtained by the AP show. And despite AMI chairman David Pecker's claims that the Enquirer's heavy focus on Trump sells magazines, the documents show that the Enquirer's average weekly circulation fell by 18 percent to 265,000 in its 2018 fiscal year from the same period the year before — the greatest percentage loss of any AMI-owned publication. The slide follows the Enquirer's 15 percent circulation loss for the previous 12 months, a span that included the presidential election.

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Carthage Press to close after 134 years of operation

CARTHAGE, Mo. - The Carthage Press is no more.

In a letter to readers in today's print publication, the Carthage Press announced that today's (August 29) was its final publication.

"As Southwest Missouri's oldest daily newspaper, it's been a privilege serving the Carthage communities for all these years," Joseph Leong, senior group publisher, said in the letter. "While we transition our focus, we remain committed to serving neighboring communities."

The letter goes on to say that the Neosho Daily News will cover "important Carthage news." Both papers are owned by Gatehouse Media, which recently offered voluntary severance packages to many of its papers.

Subscribers to the Press will receive refunds within 30 days for the balance of their subscriptions, according to the letter. It also says the Press will provide "marketing solutions with our extensive digital offerings."

The Carthage Press has been in operation since 1884. Gatehouse also owns the Miami News-Record, Cherokee County News-Advocate and Pittsburg Morning Sun.

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Newsonomics: It looks like Tronc is about to be chopped up and sold for parts

While it still requires some deal jiu-jitsu, Tronc looks to be on the brink of being broken up.

Will Wyatt’s new Donerail Group, several confidential sources tell me, has now gotten the financing in place to do a deal to buy Tronc. Donerail would purchase Tronc’s 10 daily newspaper properties, take the company private, and then most likely sell the papers off to individual buyers — some of whom it already has lined up.

Tronc’s been in play, quietly, for much of the year, but several pieces of the deal puzzle have only just fallen into place. (Donerail’s interest was first reported in early August by Reuters.) But it’s now become clear, through multiple insider accounts, how such a deal may work. A completed deal would likely come in as a $640 million to $700 million transaction. That would value Tronc shares somewhere above the $18 to $19 range; they trade at $17 today.

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Where can you find funding for that local journalism project? Here’s a quick guide

After a series on parental incarceration, Jonathan Bullington and Richard Webster got an email with an idea — apply for a fellowship that supports that kind of reporting.

The | Times-Picayune reporters started thinking about what they’d cover. Their idea – what does exposure to violence do to kids? They pitched it to The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism and got $5,000.

The two rented an office space in a community center in New Orleans’ Central City. They found a football team of 9-and 10-year-old boys, and through their series, “The Children of Central City,” told both big and small stories of childhood trauma and the science behind what it does. You can read more about that project and its impact here.

Bullington isn’t sure what the project would have looked like without the fellowships. He thinks a lot of it would have been the same, but that some of the ideas they had, like embedding in the community, might have stayed in the wishlist column, too.

This was the first fellowship he’s been awarded, though he applied for one other. He’s known about fellowships and grants for journalism. He’s known people who have gotten them.

Now that he’s one of them, here’s his advice: “Just apply,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

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Times grants anonymity to administration official for essay

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times took the unusual step Wednesday of granting anonymity to a senior Trump administration official to write a searing column that said people who work for the president are trying to protect the country from his worst impulses.

The essay was published against the backdrop of a president who frequently rails against "fake news" and the "failing New York Times," to the delight of many fans. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the decision a "new low" for the Times, saying the newspaper should apologize and the writer resign.

The column veered in tone between a hostage note and a bid to reassure Americans that, as the writer put it, "there are adults in the room."

In introducing the piece, the newspaper said anonymity was granted at the request of the author, whose identity is known to the newspaper and whose job would be jeopardized by disclosure.

"We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers," the newspaper said.

While unusual, the move is not unprecedented. In June, the Times published a piece from an asylum seeker who was in a Trump administration family detention center, not identifying her because of gang-related threats she received. In 2014, a woman from Pakistan was not identified for writing an editorial page blog item to protect her from the Taliban.

But in Wednesday's case, the person was from the highest reaches of the U.S. government.

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Trump rips searing Times op-ed from unnamed senior official

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a striking anonymous broadside, a senior Trump administration official wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times on Wednesday claiming to be part of a group of people "working diligently from within" to impede President Donald Trump's "worst inclinations" and ill-conceived parts of his agenda.

Trump said it was a "gutless editorial" and "really a disgrace," and his press secretary called on the official to resign.

Trump later tweeted, "TREASON?" and in an extraordinary move demanded that if "the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

The writer, claiming to be part of the "resistance" to Trump but not from the left, said, "Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office." The newspaper described the author of the column only as a senior official in the Trump administration.

"It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room," the author continued. "We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what's right even when Donald Trump won't."

A defiant Trump, appearing at an unrelated event at the White House, lashed out at the Times for publishing the op-ed.

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Newspapers' parent company buys N.C./Fla.-based media group

MINNEAPOLIS — Adams Publishing Group, the parent company of Faribault Daily News and Northfield News, announced Tuesday that it has purchased the assets of Cooke Communications, LLC, based in Greenville, North Carolina, and Key West, Florida, including its print publications, websites and commercial printing operations, located in North Carolina and Florida.

The transaction closed Friday, August 31, 2018.

Cooke Communications newspapers included in the sale are The Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC), The Rocky Mount Telegram (Rocky Mount, NC), The Daily Advance (Elizabeth City, NC), The Key West Citizen (Key West, FL) and several non-daily newspapers and websites.

Two Oceans Digital,, and will remain in Cooke Communications Florida.

Cooke Communications is a family-owned company founded by John Kent Cooke, Sr., and his family in 2000. It has become known as a company devoted to its customers, its communities and its nearly 280 employees.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 30, 2018

So your news organization has real, paying digital subscribers. Now how do you keep them?

Raking in first-time subscribers is one thing. Getting these paying news readers to stay paying is another.

A new WAN-IFRA report walks through several case studies of news organizations (note: mostly European), that have found some success retaining their paying subscribers, through an elusive combination of consistently offering readers the news experience they want, and tracking relevant metrics to address problem points that might lead them to unsubscribe.

Easier said than done; we hear you. The news organizations represented in the report range from national to local-level outlets, and their paywall and audience growth strategies run the gamut. Many of them have the backing of a significant editorial, tech, analytics, and sales teams. Still, here are several ideas to steal:

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Omaha World-Herald eliminates 23 jobs, including 10 layoffs

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Omaha World-Herald is eliminating 23 positions from its staff, including 10 employees who were laid off.

The layoffs were announced Tuesday in a memo to the newspaper's staff. The company will also leave eight jobs unfilled, and five other employees will retire.

Omaha World-Herald President Phil Taylor says in the memo the newspaper's print advertising revenue continues to decline in certain categories, including large national retailers.

Sue Violi, the newspaper's community relations director, says the cuts amount to 3 percent of the World-Herald's workforce. Violi says the newspaper has seen rapid digital subscription growth but faces a "very difficult" transition.

The Omaha World-Herald is owned by Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The company announced in June it had struck a deal with Iowa-based chain Lee Enterprises to manage its newspapers.

Finally some good news: Trust in news is up, especially for local media

fter decades of declining trust in the press, coupled with relentless rhetorical attacks on the media by President Trump, there’s finally some good news: Trust in media is up since last year, and the great majority of Americans trust their local news sources.

The new Poynter Media Trust Survey found 76 percent of Americans across the political spectrum have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in their local television news, and 73 percent have confidence in local newspapers. That contrasts with 55 percent trust in national network news, 59 percent in national newspapers and 47 percent in online-only news outlets.

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Capital Gazette: Rob Hiaasen's final journey: A story of family love and remembrance

I must be blunt.

Rob Hiaasen loved mentoring young reporters. He loved writing. He loved finding stories about our common humanity. But I mean no harm to his professional image when I say the man adored vacationing.

I learned this about Rob during our first year of marriage, when he revealed a holy trinity of wisdom. I believe he was trying to sell me on an impromptu drive from our short-lived home of Atlanta to Key Largo, Florida, back in January 1986.

His sales pitch was simple. To have a hope of happiness, everybody needs three things:

Some place to work.

Somebody to love.

Something to look forward to.

On these, he was consistent, especially item three.

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Bulking up: USA Today triples its investigative unit

USA Today is tripling the size of its investigative reporting staff and has hired Amy Pyle of the Center of Investigative Reporting to help run its expanded operation.

The goal is to “up our cadence” on stories that affect readers across the country, says Nicole Carroll, editor-in-chief of USA Today. The move follows a Pulitzer Prize this year in explanatory reporting for the USA Today Network and Carroll’s old paper, The Arizona Republic, for their immersive look at the planned wall and its effects on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“It’s our mission,” Carroll says of investigative reporting. “It’s what we’re here to do. It drives audience,” such as engaged minutes on the stories and the impact of response of officials and communities. “When you grow audience, and your quality, you grow your business."

The move from eight to 24 journalists will be apart from enhanced ties between USA Today and its network of outlets nationwide, says Chris Davis, executive editor and vice president of investigations at USA Today Network.

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How a Trump tariff is strangling American newspapers

A months-long spike in the price of paper, driven by federal tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Canadian suppliers, is slamming newspapers at a time when the news about the news industry wasn't very good to begin with.

Newspapers, magazines and print advertisers have seen the cost of their most basic commodity rise at double-digit rates since the Commerce Department began imposing the tariffs in March on Canadian imports, by far the publishing industry's dominant paper source.

The result has been a kind of slow-motion breakdown for newspapers, long beset by declining ad revenue and disappearing readers. Even in an increasingly digital world, old-fashioned ink-on-paper remains the lifeblood of most newspapers. Print ads and subscriptions account for 75 percent or more of the revenue of an average daily newspaper. Newsprint is typically a publication's second-biggest operating expense after labor.

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Hurricane Harvey, as told through social media

One year after Hurricane Harvey, there's no better way to process what happened to Houstonians than looking back at thousands of social media posts that helped deliver a larger picture of the unprecedented disaster.

When it became clear how much Texans depended on Facebook and Twitter to get information and help during the hurricane, Time Magazine dubbed Harvey the nation's "first social media storm."

One media expert who spoke to the magazine even called it "the first major natural disaster of the social media age."

Similarly, a study by the University of Texas found that Hurricane Harvey was the first disaster where, according to one researcher, "social media calls for help appear to have supplanted the overloaded 911 call systems."

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AP: National Enquirer hid damaging Trump stories in a safe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Enquirer kept a safe containing documents on hush money payments and other damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump leading up to the 2016 presidential election, people familiar with the arrangement told The Associated Press.

The detail came as several media outlets reported on Thursday that federal prosecutors had granted immunity to National Enquirer chief David Pecker, potentially laying bare his efforts to protect his longtime friend Trump.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty this week to campaign finance violations alleging he, Trump and the tabloid were involved in buying the silence of a porn actress and a Playboy model who alleged affairs with Trump.

Five people familiar with the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., who spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because they signed non-disclosure agreements, said the safe was a great source of power for Pecker, the company’s CEO.

The Trump records were stored alongside similar documents pertaining to other celebrities’ catch-and-kill deals, in which exclusive rights to people’s stories were bought with no intention of publishing to keep them out of the news. By keeping celebrities’ embarrassing secrets, the company was able to ingratiate itself with them and ask for favors in return.

But after The Wall Street Journal initially published the first details of Playboy model Karen McDougal’s catch-and-kill deal shortly before the 2016 election, those assets became a liability. Fearful that the documents might be used against American Media, Pecker and the company’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, removed them from the safe in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration, according to one person directly familiar with the events.

It was unclear whether the documents were destroyed or simply were moved to a location known to fewer people.

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Trump accuses Google of biased searches, warns 'be careful'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google and other U.S. tech companies of rigging search results about him "so that almost all stories & news is BAD." He offered no evidence of bias, but a top adviser said the White House is "taking a look" at whether Google should face federal regulation.

Google pushed back sharply, saying Trump's claim simply wasn't so: "We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment."

The president's tweets echoed his familiar attacks on the news media — and a conservative talking point that California-based tech companies run by CEOs with liberal leanings don't give equal weight to opposing political viewpoints. They also revealed anew his deep-seated frustration he doesn't get the credit he believes he deserves.

The president, who has said he runs on little sleep, jumped onto Twitter before dawn Tuesday to rehash his recent complaints about alleged suppression of conservative voices and positive news about him.

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Report: Newspaper closures increase size, cost of local government

When a newspaper closes, local governments in the area tend to borrow more, spend more, hire more workers and raise taxes, according to a study on the matter.

The study by professors from Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Chicago found a pattern of government growth shortly after a newspaper closes. The study is in the process of being peer reviewed and hasn't been published in a journal. The authors analyzed 204 counties with a single newspaper that closed between 1996 and 2015. They found local borrowing costs rose by up to 11 basis points more than they otherwise would. Government efficiency diminished as well.

"Wage rates, government employees per capita, tax dollars per capita, and the likelihoods of costly advance re-fundings and negotiated sales all increase following a newspaper closure,” according to the report.

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18 newsrooms get more than $100,000 for engagement work

In April, 34 news organizations received grants to help them better listen to their communities.

Those grants came from the Community Listening and Engagement Fund, which works with two projects — Hearken, an engagement platform, and GroundSource, which works through mobile messaging.

Miami-based WhereBy.Us’ newsrooms launched a series on homelessness in Seattle, a voter-guide in Miami and projects in Orlando and Portland to answer people’s questions about their cities.

“So far, using these two tools has led to more frequent reader participation in the stories we publish,” said WhereBy.Us growth editor Alexandra Smith in an email. “We've always asked for community input, but the tools help give it structure and a schedule. Plus the tools have given us a way to discuss our reporting process more regularly and leverage our community's knowledge when looking for answers to their questions.”

Now, 18 more newsrooms will join CLEF with more than $100,000 in grants to use Hearken and GroundSource for engagement. 

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News media hesitate to use 'lie' for Trump's misstatements

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump has been accused of dishonesty, spreading falsehoods, misrepresenting facts, distorting news, passing on inaccuracies and being loose with the truth. But does he lie?

It's a loaded word, and some Trump critics believe major news organizations are too timid to use it. The Washington Post, which has documented more than 4,000 false or misleading claims by the president, declared for the first time last week that a Trump misstatement was a "lie."

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's plea deal provided "indisputable evidence that Trump and his allies have been deliberately dishonest" about hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote. The Post put Kessler's assessment on its front page, and it was the newspaper's most-read story online.

Not only was it the first time the Post fact checker said Trump had lied, it was the first time he used the word for any politician since Kessler began his fact-checking operation in 2011.

Many news organizations resist using the word because of the question of intent. Editors feel it's important to establish whether someone is spreading false information knowingly, intending to deceive, and it's hard to get inside a person's head.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 23, 2018

'Pittsburgh Post-Gazette' Reduces Print Run To 5 Days A Week

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the last daily newspaper in the city — announced it would cut print circulation from seven to five days a week. A digital-only version will post on Tuesday and Saturdays, beginning August 26.

The paper cited rising operational costs as the impetus for the change.

In a story posted on the site and published on the paper’s front page August 12, David M. Shribman, executive editor at the Post-Gazette stated: “By eliminating two days of print the week of Aug. 26 and undertaking a full-throttle commitment to the digital delivery of news, the Post-Gazette is reflecting Pittsburgh’s own transformation from traditional manufacturing into a high-tech center...”

According to Shribman’s piece, the new circulation restrictions follow the 2017 introduction of a daily digital edition of the paper that featured enhanced photography, video and other features called PG NewsSlide. 

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McClatchy announces staff reductions of 3.5%, among other cost-cutting measures

McClatchy, the publisher of more than two dozen daily newspapers across the country, will reduce its staff by approximately three and a half percent, cut expenses across the company, and implement other measures to save money, the company announced in an internal memo obtained by CNN on Tuesday.

Craig Forman, president and chief executive officer of McClatchy, told employees in the memo that the decisions were "painful and difficult" but "necessary to protect and further our future." He placed blame, in part, on the decline in revenue from print advertising.

"Talented and passionate people who have dedicated their energy to our mission, colleagues we call friends and rely on everyday, will leave the company," Forman wrote. "We thank you all for your commitment to McClatchy and to local journalism and wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors."

A spokesperson for the company told CNN that the staff reductions would affect nearly 140 employees.

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Judge grants time to weigh insanity plea in newspaper attack

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The man charged with killing five people at a Maryland newspaper office will get more time for his lawyer to consider filing a plea of not criminally responsible by reason of insanity, a judge ruled Monday.

Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Laura Kiessling said she found good cause to give Jarrod Ramos' lawyer until Oct. 24 to consider entering a plea of not criminally responsible. William Davis, a public defender, requested more time last week to consider hundreds of pages of documents, review other material in the case and have discussions with his client. Ramos pleaded not guilty July 30.

After meeting with attorneys, Kiessling scheduled a jury trial for Jan. 15. During a court hearing afterward, Kiessling estimated the trial could last 10 days. She also scheduled hearings for Dec. 18 and 19 to discuss admissible evidence.

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Freedom: 411 papers editorialize to preserve America’s free press

This is what we do'

At the end of a long day, Nancy Ancrum, editorial page editor of The Miami Herald, got a note from a former colleague asking why would she sign on with all those newspapers to push for freedom of the press.

Her former colleague, reflecting other naysayers on Thursday’s united editorial effort, asked: Isn’t that exactly what Donald Trump wants, so he can scapegoat the media further? You’re not going to change the minds of Trump fans, she was told.

Ancrum, whose paper is one of about 411 outlets publishing editorials today urging the preservation of America’s free press, says she responded decisively.

“This initiative is not designed to change the minds of the most rabid Trump supporters,” Ancrum tells me, hours before deadline Wednesday. “This is for people who take the First Amendment for granted, who must be more engaged … no matter where they fall on the political spectrum.”

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RTDNA: Defending the people's right to know

Today, hundreds of local news outlets across the country are dedicating a few moments of air time or a few column inches to remind the public why what they do as journalists is worth defending.

Shouldn’t great journalism that uncovers ills, helps people make more informed decisions and is a catalyst for positive change stand on its own?

It should and it does. We highlight the best of this great work every year with the Murrow Awards, and believe that an antidote to attacks on journalism is more and better journalism.

But each time anti-media rhetoric leads to politicians calling the police on reporters, reporters arrested just for asking questions and journalists physically attacked those reporters are being obstructed from doing their jobs and the public is kept in the dark. When journalists must spend more time watching their own backs, they’re less able to watch yours.

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The Facebook Journalism Project partners with the News Literacy Project

When we launched the Facebook Journalism Project last year, a top priority was to find ways to promote news literacy. People need more tools and education on what information they can trust.

Today, we're announcing a partnership with The News Literacy Project (NLP), a national non-partisan education nonprofit, to expand Checkology®, a virtual classroom for middle and high school students. NLP works with educators and journalists across the country to teach students how to assess news and other information.

Checkology lessons cover a range of topics, like identifying the purpose of different types of information, understanding bias and recognizing the role of algorithms in personalizing what people see online. With Checkology, students can:

Click on an interactive map of the world to “travel” to a country to hear about press freedoms from a local journalist.

Play the role of reporter in a game-like simulation of a breaking news scene to learn the standards of quality journalism.

Earn digital badges as they successfully complete lessons and other assignments.

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Hoosier Times group cuts 17 jobs in south central Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The publisher of the Hoosier Times newspaper group says it will eliminate 17 jobs at four publications in south central Indiana.

Publisher Cory Bollinger, who's also president of publishing for Mishawaka-based Schurz Communications Inc., says lower revenues and sharply higher newsprint costs prompted the cuts.

Affected are The (Bloomington) Herald-Times, The (Bedford) Times-Mail, The (Martinsville) Reporter-Times and the Spencer Evening World publishing group. The Herald-Times reports positions were eliminated in several departments, including news, business, production. Employees were informed Tuesday.

Some of the jobs were cut immediately, and some of the affected employees will remain in place for a short transition period.

Bollinger said the decision to cut staff was "a tough reality" but necessary.

The Hoosier Times continues to employ 173 people.

Record-Journal Publishing sells Rhode Island newspaper

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — The Record-Journal Publishing Co. has agreed to sell The Westerly Sun to a publishing group that owns newspapers in Rhode Island.

The Record-Journal reports the sale to Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers was announced Monday and is effective Aug. 31. Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers will also acquire several related publications, including the weekly Mystic River Press.

The Record-Journal in Meriden, Connecticut says it wants to strategically reposition to focus on other growth areas. It purchased The Westerly Sun in 1999, which is in Pawcatuck, Connecticut bordering Westerly, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers, a privately-owned publisher, owns several other daily and weekly newspapers in Rhode Island.

It says it's looking forward to growing its portfolio of local news publications and plans to keep all of The Westerly Sun's employees.

A hometown newspaper writes its own obituary and then writes its second act

A hometown newspaper wrote its own obituary last month, then turned the page.

“We wanted to go out with a bang,” said publisher Ted Almen, who oversaw the 6,124th and final edition of the Raymond-Prinsburg News on the Fourth of July.

The News was the third Minnesota newspaper to go out of business in the first six months of this year. Its last words landed in nearly 400 subscriber mailboxes with a solid thump, stuffed with highlights from more than a century of community coverage.

“For once, the newspaper was absolutely full of advertising,” Almen said. “Unfortunately, it was ads from the 1920s and the 1940s. Businesses that used to exist in our communities and no longer exist. The car dealership. The harness shop.”

Almen, a third-generation newspaperman, swore the tiny newsroom to secrecy about the final edition, wanting to give his readers one last exclusive. He owns a small chain of smaller newspapers with his wife, Kari Jo, and they published the News through its last two decades of slumping ad sales and shrinking circulation.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 16, 2018

ProPublica to Fund Investigative Reporting Focused on State Government

The nonprofit news organization ProPublica announced a new initiative on Wednesday to provide funding for local news outlets to pursue investigative projects focused on state government.

In recent years, as the difficult economic environment facing the media industry has taken a particular toll on local news organizations, coverage of state governments has dropped significantly.

ProPublica's initiative, which is being financed by an undisclosed donor, is intended to "try to help fill that gap," Richard Tofel, the president of ProPublica, said in a telephone interview.

"Over the last 13 years the business results of almost every journalism organization has continued to deteriorate and that's especially acute at the local level," he said. "This project, generally, is a response to that."

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Nieman Lab: An analysis of 16,000 stories, across 100 U.S. communities, finds very little actual local news

We know that local journalism is suffering. We talk about news deserts and shuttering newspapers. Research has tended to focus on individual communities, or more broadly on certain types of journalism outlets and the coverage of certain types of topics.

But what do the problems for local news look like on a broader level? Researchers from the News Measures Research Project at Duke analyzed more than 16,000 news stories across 100 U.S. communities with populations ranging from 20,000 to 300,000 people. (U.S. Census data identifies 493 such communities; the researchers chose a random sample of 100.) What they found isn’t promising:

— Only about 17 percent of the news stories provided to a community are truly local — that is actually about or having taken place within — the municipality.

— Less than half (43 percent) of the news stories provided to a community by local media outlets are original (i.e., are produced by the local media outlet).

— Just over half (56 percent) of the news stories provided to a community by local media outlets address a critical information need [categories such as “emergencies and risks,” “education,” “civic information,” etc.]

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Fort Wayne Newspaper Lays Off Majority Of Staff

The 100-year-old News-Sentinel laid off almost all of its remaining staff Friday afternoon.

According to news reports and social media posts by former staff members, the Fort Wayne publication will use freelancers, emptying a newsroom that once bustled with activity.

The News-Sentinel was sold by the Foellinger family to Knight-Ridder in 1980. The staff won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for its coverage of a local flood that nearly destroyed parts of Fort Wayne.

In early 2006, the paper was sold to McClatchy and then a few months later to its current owner, Ogden Newspapers.

Ten months ago the News-Sentinel largely ceased print production, opting to only publish online at

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Semissourian rolls out new policy for "delisting" some crime stories after 6 years

The Southeast Missourian is implementing a new policy today that governs how archived crime reports and stories are made available to search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. A draft of the policy was previously explained by publisher Jon K. Rust in a column on Wed., July 25. Rust invited feedback until Aug. 8 about the proposed changes, which came in unanimously positive.

As Rust previously wrote: "The new policy seeks to strike a balance between the Southeast Missourian keeping the public informed and recognizing, sympathetically, that in today's world of instant digital search, long-past minor indiscretions can play a disproportionate role in a person's online identity."

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Trump’s Tariffs on Canadian Newsprint Hasten Local Newspapers’ Demise

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian newsprint is hastening the demise of local newspapers across the country, forcing already-struggling publications to cut staff, reduce the number of days they print and, in at least one case, shutter entirely.

Surging newsprint costs are beginning to hurt publications like The Gazette in Janesville, Wis., the hometown paper of the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, which has long felt a mandate to punch above its weight. The paper, with a newsroom staff of 22, was the first to publish the news in 2016 that Mr. Ryan would support the presidential candidacy of Donald J. Trump. And while its editorial board has endorsed Mr. Ryan countless times, the paper made national news when it chided him for refusing to hold town halls with his constituents.

Now, with newsprint tariffs increasing annual printing costs by $740,000, The Gazette has made several cuts to its staff and is using narrower paper, reducing the number of stories published every day.

“We’re all paying a huge price,” Skip Bliss, the publisher of The Gazette, said of the tariffs’ effect on the industry. “I fear it’s going to be a very difficult time. I think there’s probably going to be some casualties.”

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The Chronicle of Higher Education: As Journalists Face Constant Attacks From the White House, Teaching News Literacy Gets Harder

Fred Reeder Jr. likes to open conversations with, “I teach journalism, or as some people would say, fiction.”

Reeder, a visiting instructor at Miami University, said most of the students who crowd into his introductory-journalism course aren’t journalism students – they are strategic-communication or professional-writing majors, there to learn the basics of news writing, journalistic ethics, and the role of journalism in history and society.

There has always been general ignorance about the role of journalism in society, Reeder said, which often leads to distrust. “A lot of people struggle with really understanding what news organizations should be doing or should not be doing. And that, to me is a deeper conversation that we all need to have, not just students at a university.”

But lately, with every lesson, Reeder said, he finds he must navigate a political minefield for each news story. The truthfulness of every story is called into question by students. He sometimes struggles to hold his tongue when his field is dragged through the mud.

Scholars who work and teach what’s now considered a politicized subject like journalism have seen their jobs become harder. When news reports are criticized as “fake news,” and journalists are called the “enemy of the people,” Reeder and other professors say the landscape of teaching journalism or news literacy has changed. Several instructors say they experience tension in their classes, and adjust their curricula as a result.

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ProPublica: We Are Expanding Our Local Reporting Network. Submit Your Best Project Ideas for Investigating State Government.

Last year, ProPublica introduced our Local Reporting Network to help create vital, investigative journalism in communities where such stories would otherwise not to be done.

Now, we’re expanding it, and we’re specifically looking for accountability stories emanating from state capitals, from the governor’s mansion to the legislature to the work of state agencies.

The influence of state government is far-reaching, touching aspects of life as varied as taxes, education, environmental oversight and health care — yet elected officials and state bureaucrats are getting ever less scrutiny.

As local newsrooms are shrinking, and the number of reporters working in statehouses across the country has dropped sharply in recent years. Some news organizations no longer cover their state capitals and others have reduced their bureaus to one or two reporters.

With support from a new grant, we will pay the salary, plus an allowance for benefits, for full-time reporters at seven partner news organizations who are dedicated to big investigative projects focused on state politics and state government. We expect that at least one winning proposal will come from Illinois to complement our own local work at ProPublica Illinois. Applications are due Sept. 14, and selected reporters will begin work on Jan. 2 and work on their projects throughout 2019.

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Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: NOT FAUX NEWS. Foxes finally foiled in Arkansas newspaper caper; carriers ‘salve’ case with dab of Vicks VapoRub

Newspapers were mysteriously disappearing from doorsteps in Eureka Springs.

In one neighborhood, a dozen copies of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette vanished over three weeks in July.

Virginia Litchford, 76, knew good and well she and her daughter, Joy Salazar, had delivered those papers. But by sunrise they were gone.

Finally Salazar found a suspect -- foxes.

To test her hypothesis, Salazar slathered Vicks VapoRub on the outside of the plastic newspaper bags. It worked to keep cats off her furniture, she said, so she thought it might deter foxes, too.

Sure enough, it did.

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How not to be a parachute partner: ProPublica's figured out how to collaborate with local newsrooms without bigfooting them

Eight months into its first year, ProPublica's local reporting network has helped: a radio reporter in Orlando survey first responders about PTSD; a newspaper reporter in southern Illinois scrutinize the Department of Housing and Urban Development's policies nationwide; and a reporter with 27 years of experience hone his writing as his newspaper was bartered in bankruptcy court. (Among other things.)

ProPublica's staff is no stranger to collaboration with news organizations of all sizes (see: its project with nine other newsrooms to track the missing immigrant children). In this case, they appear to have mitigated the risk of parachute-partnering with the local newsrooms in their network, instead using its resources to strengthen and amplify local reporting. My conversations with reporters participating in the network confirmed that they see this as a hand-up, not a handout. It's not a charity case, but a true collaboration.

"It's nice when you're in a small newspaper in a little place like Charleston to feel like you've got a literal army of people at ProPublica that are on your side, trying to help you take these stories to the next level," Ken Ward, Jr., environmental writer at the Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, told me.

"We're really proud of our work at the Southern Illinoisan, but we have a flashlight, not a lighthouse," said Molly Parker, a reporter at the paper in Carbondale, Ill. "Giving some of these issues that we've been seeing a national spotlight or introducing them to a national audience might help change the nature of the conversation."

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Mind the gap: Uncovering pay disparity in the newsroom

The tumult would spread to every newspaper in the industry, but it began with whispers within the confined spaces of the women's bathrooms and during off-the-cuff coffee chats at the Wall Street Journal in late 2015.

As Elva Ramirez began speaking to other women at the Journal about their salaries, they discovered a startling pattern-for the exact same roles, they often made many thousands less than their male counterparts.

"We're doing the exact same job," Ramirez, a former video producer at the Journal, said of a male coworker. "Everything we did was identical, and he was not my boss, and he did not outrank me. Everything was the same," except that she made $13,000 less.

A few months later, the paper's union quantified the extent of the disparity: Women on average made $11,700 annually less than men, its report said.

The union's study unleashed a firestorm of controversy within the journalism industry. Within the coming weeks and months, other news unions - including those representing workers at the New York Times and Washington Post - published their own pay gap studies. Unions routinely get pay data from employers in order to negotiate labor contracts.

We reviewed pay studies commissioned by unions at the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle, in addition to the Journal, and we spoke with 29 journalists across the country to find out what they thought.

All seven studies alleged that men made more than women and that whites made more than people of color.

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Statesman to end Ahora Sí, offer voluntary severance to all employees

Ahora Sí, the American-Statesman’s weekly Spanish-language newspaper, will cease publication Oct. 11, the company said Thursday.

The announcement came at the same time the Statesman announced all its 200-plus employees would be eligible to take a voluntary severance package.

Staffers who take the voluntary severance package would depart the newspaper next month, the company said.

“This gives our employees a choice for those who were mulling retirement or a change in careers,” Statesman publisher Susie Biehle said. “This also allows us to better align our resources around the areas of most importance to our readers and advertisers.”

The Statesman’s management team will consider whether to accept staffers’ buyout applications based on the newspaper’s continuing business and news coverage needs, Biehle said.

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News-Sentinel lays off 7 of 8 remaining employees

FORT WAYNE - Almost a year after the News Sentinel announced it would halt newspaper production for an all-digital product, the paper is laying off almost all of its staff.

Friday, seven of the eight remaining staff were let go.

Tom Davis, a current reporter and former sports editor for the newspaper, was one of the employees let go. He said they were called into a meeting for the announcement, adding that they "had no idea this was coming."

The workers were told the layoffs were occurring for financial reasons.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 9, 2018

Newseum Says It Made a Mistake and Pulls ‘Fake News’ Shirts

The Newseum in Washington, which caused a stir Friday after reports that it was selling a T-shirt reading “You Are Very Fake News,” announced Saturday that it was pulling the shirts from its gift shop and online store.

“We made a mistake and we apologize,” the museum, which is dedicated to press freedom, said in a statement on its website. “A free press is an essential part of our democracy and journalists are not the enemy of the people.”

“Fake news,” of course, has become a rallying cry for President Trump and his supporters, who contend that the news media presents a distorted view of the president and his administration and fabricates facts. He has repeatedly called the press the “enemy of the people.”

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New Poll: 43% of Republicans Want to Give Trump the Power to Shut Down Media

Freedom of the press may be guaranteed in the Constitution. But a plurality of Republicans want to give President Trump the authority to close down certain news outlets, according to a new public opinion survey conducted by Ipsos and provided exclusively to The Daily Beast.

The findings present a sobering picture for the fourth estate, with respondents showing diminished trust in the media and increased support for punitive measures against its members. They also illustrate the extent to which Trump's anti-press drumbeat has shaped public opinion about the role the media plays in covering his administration.

All told, 43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed "the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior." Only 36 percent disagreed with that statement. When asked if Trump should close down specific outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, nearly a quarter of Republicans (23 percent) agreed and 49 percent disagreed.

Republicans were far more likely to take a negative view of the media. Forty-eight percent of them said they believed "the news media is the enemy of the American people" (just 28 percent disagreed) while nearly four out of every five (79 percent) said that they believed "the mainstream media treats President Trump unfairly."

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Newspaper sues ex-reporter over control of Twitter account

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The owner of a Virginia newspaper is suing a former reporter for refusing to give up control of a Twitter account the paper says it owns.

BH Media Group Inc., the parent company of The Roanoke Times, filed a lawsuit Monday alleging Virginia Tech football beat reporter Andy Bitter has misappropriated trade secrets by using the account at his new job at The Athletic website.

Another reporter started the account and the paper gave it to Bitter in 2011. He uses the handle @AndyBitterVT and has about 27,500 followers.

The lawsuit alleges Bitter was issued an employee handbook that makes it clear social media accounts "and communications on those accounts" are BH Media's property.

Bitter and a BH Media attorney declined to comment.

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Major tech companies remove Alex Jones for hate, bullying

NEW YORK (AP) — Major tech companies have begun to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their services, reflecting a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech following protests on social media.

Facebook has taken down four pages belonging to Jones, including two featuring his "Infowars" show, for violating its hate speech and bullying policies. Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by Jones. Twitter, which hasn't banned Jones, has also faced similar calls.

Facebook has also suspended Jones' account for 30 days because he repeatedly violated the company's community standards against hate speech that "attacks or dehumanizes others," it said in a statement Monday. Facebook did not immediately respond Monday asking what would happen after the 30 days are up, and why it hadn't taken action earlier. The 30-day suspension of Jones himself appears to have gone into effect in late July.

Twitter would not comment on Jones.

"We've been banned completely on Facebook, Apple, & Spotify," Jones wrote on Twitter. "What conservative news outlet will be next?"

Jones has amassed a large following on the right while promulgating conspiracy theories that claim terror attacks such as 9/11 were actually carried out by the government. Among his claims is that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, which left 20 children and six adults dead, was a hoax.

It's unclear why the companies are cracking down on Jones now, after allowing him to publish for years. Facebook has been under fire recently for not banning Jones, but as recently as July 12 it tweeted that it sees pages "on both the left and right pumping out what they consider opinion or analysis — but others call fake news."

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Universities get $6M for investigative journalism centers

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Scripps Howard Foundation is investing $6 million to create investigative journalism centers at Arizona State University and the University of Maryland.

The foundation announced Monday that each university will receive a $3 million grant over three years to establish a Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. The graduate-level programs will focus on training the next generation of reporters through hands-on investigative journalism projects.

The foundation says students will be introduced to topics including new media, data mining, history and ethics. They'll work with news organizations to report stories of national or international importance.

The centers honor the legacy of Roy W. Howard, former Scripps-Howard newspaper chain chairman and a pioneering news reporter.

National searches for center directors will launch this fall and programming will open to students in 2019.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 2, 2018

At the Capital Gazette, ‘we’re still mourning. We’re gonna need help. But we’re still here.’

Almost one month after a gunman killed five employees, journalists in Annapolis are working to cover their city and recover from a horrifying attack.

The temporary newsroom is smaller than the old one. Everyone sits closer together at a maze of gray desks under fluorescent lights. They shout across the room to each other and call for quiet before picking up their phones for an interview.

You can hear the staff of Annapolis’ Capital Gazette working here, said Danielle Ohl, a reporter who covers city hall and the Naval Academy. They type. They talk. They make each other coffee.

“This sounds so stupid,” she said, “but it’s so comforting for people to step out of the kitchen area and be like, ‘I’m going to make a pot, will everyone drink it?’”

After the devastation of losing five coworkers when a gunman broke into the newsroom on June 28, after feeling listless and directionless, it’s heartening to Ohl to see her colleagues at work.

Already, papers and empty water bottles pile up. Laptops sit open in front of desktops. Staff here work to cover their city and to recover from the attack.

This office space is not their newsroom. But they’ve made it one, at least for now.

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Mexican journalist freed by ICE, joins University of Michigan as fellow

ANN ARBOR, MI - After being detained at an immigrant detention center for nearly eight months, Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez Soto will join the 2018-19 Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists class at the University of Michigan.

Gutierrez, who will be a Senior Press Freedom Fellow at Wallace House, and his son, Oscar, were freed July 26 from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Texas.

"With so many challenges to press freedom, and in the midst of a crisis around immigration policy, it is easy to feel powerless," said Knight-Wallace Fellowship director Lynette Clemetson, who met with Gutierrez in April at the El Paso, Texas detention facility to invite him to join the Knight-Wallace program. "Emilio's release, due to the efforts of many, is a reminder that we all can do something to affect change."

Gutierrez and his son were released a day before a federal judge's deadline for U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials to produce documents explaining why the journalist was detained.

Though Gutierrez was released by ICE, he has not been granted asylum, National Press Club Freedom Fellow Kathy Kiely said.

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Man charged with newsroom killings pleads not guilty

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A man charged with killing five people in The Capital newsroom in Maryland pleaded not guilty Monday in court papers, and his attorneys contended any identification of their client at trial will be tainted due to "impermissible" identification procedures used by police.

Attorneys for Jarrod Ramos entered the not guilty plea in electronic court filings shortly before his scheduled initial appearance, which was canceled due to the filings. The appearance was no longer needed because Ramos' lawyer, William Davis, formally entered his client's appearance in court documents. Davis made requests for discovery and a speedy trial.

"By doing that, that eliminates the need for an initial appearance because he now has counsel. He is represented," Wes Adams, the Anne Arundel County state's attorney, told reporters outside the courtroom.

Ramos is being held without bail, indicted by a grand jury on 23 counts, including murder, attempted murder and assault. Police say Ramos used a shotgun to blast his way into the newsroom June 28. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters were killed.

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Times publisher pressed Trump on 'anti-press rhetoric'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The publisher of The New York Times says he took President Donald Trump to task for "deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric" that is "not just divisive but increasingly dangerous" when the two met privately at the White House this month.

Trump disclosed the meeting on Twitter on Sunday, saying he and A.G. Sulzberger "Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, 'Enemy of the People.' Sad!"

"Enemy of the People" is the phrase Trump uses to broadly describe most journalists. He said the July 20 meeting was "very good and interesting."

Sulzberger, who succeeded his father in the role on Jan. 1, said his main purpose for accepting the meeting was to "raise concerns about the president's deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric."

"I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous," he said.

Sulzberger said he told Trump that while the phrase "fake news" is untrue and harmful, "I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists 'the enemy of the people.' I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence."

Sulzberger said he stressed to Trump that leaders of other countries have adopted his rhetoric to justify cracking down on journalists. He was accompanied to the meeting by James Bennet, the Times' editorial page editor.

"I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country's greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press," the publisher said.

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Newsroom employment dropped nearly a quarter in less than 10 years, with greatest decline at newspapers

Newsroom employment declined 23% between 2008 and 2017Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers. And even though digital-native news outlets have experienced some recent growth in employment, too few newsroom positions were added to make up for recent losses in the broader industry, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey data.

From 2008 to 2017, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23%. In 2008, about 114,000 newsroom employees - reporters, editors, photographers and videographers - worked in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and "other information services" (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2017, that number declined to about 88,000, a loss of about 27,000 jobs.

This decline in overall newsroom employment was driven primarily by one sector: newspapers. Newspaper newsroom employees dropped by 45% over the period, from about 71,000 workers in 2008 to 39,000 in 2017.

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ASNE survey a critical source of information, but only if leaders participate

Reporting and interpreting the American Society of News Editors’ annual Newsroom Diversity Survey requires that we read between the lines.

For instance, at least five — and certainly many more — people of color will be missing from the New York Daily News’ numbers next year, following layoffs last week that saw a loss of half the newsroom’s staff.

The story behind those numbers illustrates the critical need for newsrooms to be transparent in reporting how well they hire, retain and promote individuals from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, there should be a demand for updating the groundbreaking tool used to encourage the industry to achieve parity with the communities it serves.

For 50 years, ASNE’s Newsroom Diversity Survey has been a critical source of information about the industry’s failings to create newsrooms that can adequately serve the needs of an American public that is growing more diverse by every imaginable measure. The survey relies on industry leaders to hold themselves to the same accountability standards we expect from other influential sectors: by collecting and reporting accurate and insightful information about who is (and who is not) represented in the newsroom.

“Counting gives us a starting point,” said Linda Shockley, managing director of the Dow Jones News Fund, one of several nonprofits that acts on such demographic data to design developmental programs that contribute to a more diverse journalism workforce.

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Digital startup Colorado Sun plans to cover the whole state in greater depth

Colorado is “a big lab for media,” Dana Coffield believes.

New publications across the state have experimented with funding and content to fill coverage gaps left by shrinking legacy newspapers. A staff of departed Denver Post employees, including Coffield, are getting ready to launch the next new outlet: The Colorado Sun.

Coffield and editor Larry Ryckman, both former Post editors, announced their plans in June for a digital newsroom focusing on in-depth journalism across the entire state.

They’re working with eight other Post veterans to launch the Sun in early September. The goal: quality investigative, explanatory and narrative reporting on issues facing the whole state, not just Denver.

“That sort of journalism helps bring understanding to readers,” Ryckman said. “It’s not about breaking news for us, but we intend to break news.”

The journalists launching the Sun resigned from the Post this spring after layoffs from its hedge fund owners had pared down its staff over and over. Shrinking newsrooms aren’t new for the state’s capital — Denver had two daily newspapers until 2009, when the Rocky Mountain News closed.

The journalists know a startup and a new business model are risky, Ryckman said, but they believe the risks are worth it. The journalists want to use their experience and institutional knowledge to bring deeper coverage and more collaboration to the Colorado news landscape.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • July 26, 2018

NY Daily News slashes newsroom staffing in half

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York tabloid Daily News cut half of its newsroom staff Monday including Jim Rich, the paper's editor in chief.

The paper was sold to Tronc Inc. last year for $1, with the owner of the Chicago Tribune assuming liabilities and debt.

In an email sent to staff Monday, Tronc said the remaining staff at the Daily News will focus on breaking news involving "crime, civil justice and public responsibility."

The newspaper has been a key fixture in New York City for the last century. It has won 11 Pulitzer Prizes, including last year for its work with ProPublica on the abuse of eviction rules in New York City.

There had been reports that the cuts were coming, and an early-morning tweet from Rich hinted at what was to come.

"If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you," Rich wrote.

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Grand jury indicts Maryland newspaper shooting suspect

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A grand jury has leveled 23 charges against a man accused of killing five people in a mass shooting at a Maryland newspaper office, a prosecutor announced Friday.

The grand jury indicted Jarrod Ramos, 38, of Laurel, on five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Ann Smith and Wendi Winters, according to a news release from Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. Ramos is also now charged with attempted murder, assault and gun crimes.

The indictment moves from District Court to Circuit Court to progress toward a trial. Ramos is scheduled to make an initial appearance July 30 in Circuit Court, according to online court records.

County police responding to the June 28 attack at the Capital-Gazette in Annapolis arrested Ramos in the newsroom. They said he blocked an exit and then used a shotgun to blast his way through the entrance.

The Capital had written about Ramos pleading guilty to harassing a former high school classmate in 2011, and Ramos unsuccessfully sued the writer and the newspaper's publisher for defamation.

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Russia, Accused of Faking News, Unfurls Its Own ‘Fake News’ Bill

MOSCOW — Russia, which American intelligence agencies said spread its fair share of misinformation during the 2016 United States election, says it will crack down on “fake news” at home, with a proposed law that critics say could limit freedom of speech on the internet.

The bill, submitted by lawmakers from the governing party, United Russia, proposes holding social networks accountable for “inaccurate” comments users post. Under existing Russian law, social media users can be punished for content deemed to promote homosexuality, to threaten public order or to be “extremist” in nature, with fines as well as prison time.

Under the proposed rule, part of a creeping crackdown on digital rights under President Vladimir V. Putin, websites with more than 100,000 daily visitors and a commenting feature must take down factually inaccurate posts or face a fine of up to 50 million rubles, about $800,000.

The bill gives social media companies 24 hours to delete “inaccurate” information after being notified of its existence, raising concerns that moderators will be left to interpret the term, which is vaguely defined in the measure.

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The Colorado Sun pits Civil-backed startup against The Denver Post

The politics desk at The Denver Posthas imploded. Starting in April with voluntary exits that included Brian Eason, a Statehouse reporter, and climaxing this month with a new round of departures, four of the political writers and an editor have gone. John Frank and Jesse Paul, who also covered the Statehouse, resigned in recent weeks, along with other colleagues, in defiance of Alden Global Capital, the New York-based hedge fund that owns the Post and other newsrooms—and has set about shrinking their ranks dramatically. But there is some hope for readers who still want to see the work of these journalists in Colorado: Frank and Paul are headed to The Colorado Sun—a Civil-backed platform staffed entirely, so far, by 10 former Post employees, who will be ready to cover the midterm elections in November. (Eason will also contribute to it.)

Larry Ryckman, an editor of the Sun, who left the Post as a senior editor in May, says he’s not in a position to recruit anyone, but receives calls “practically every other day from people at the Post who want to come work for me.” The Sun—which raised more than $160,000 in a Kickstarter campaign, doubling its goal—will be ad-free with no paywall, and reader-supported, and will focus on investigative, narrative, and explanatory journalism. Founding staff members own the company, an LLC, which also received enough startup funding from Civil to last at least the next two years.

Now the Sun, which hopes to start publishing around Labor Day, is poised to be a kind of post-Post supergroup. Paul, who is 25, began his career out of college, as a Post intern. He is known for his utility, speed and output, and balancing breaking news with enterprise. Yet he struggled with the dynamics of the Post office. “It was just a real emotional roller coaster for four years, watching your colleagues go and not knowing if you were going to be the next one to be tapped on the shoulder,” he says. He experienced the aftershocks of mass layoffs and voluntary departures, protests against Alden, a high-profile resignation, and accusations of censorship. Working in such an environment, Paul says, “was tormenting, to say the least.”

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Readers may trust news stories more when they don't know their source

Readers' trust in news stories depends more on the source's alignment with their political preferences than the actual content of the story, according to a new report from the Knight Foundation and Gallup.

Source attribution can reduce readers' trust by reminding them of their personal preferences and biases, the study suggests.

The study assigned 3,432 Americans to one of four groups, where they viewed news articles on an aggregation website that included the article's news source, the accompanying image, both source and image, or neither. In the display below, articles are shown with the news source but no image.

Study participants rated the trustworthiness of articles about politics, economics and science.

The study used seven news sources across the political spectrum. From left-leaning to right-leaning, according to the researchers: Media Matters, Vox, The New York Times, The Associated Press, Fox News, Breitbart News and 100PercentFedUp.

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Oregon college cites lack of interest, defunds student paper

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A community college in Oregon is cutting funding to its student newspaper because of lack of interest from both readers and potential student staff members.

Most young people don't read newspapers and the idea of writing for the student newspaper is no longer popular, Ron Paradis, a spokesman for Central Oregon Community College told The Bulletin for an article published Wednesday.

A survey conducted in 2014 found that more than half of the school's students didn't know the newspaper existed and only 7 percent read it consistently.

The paper's staff shrunk to 10 students from 20 writers. It was founded in 1953.

The school paid a part-time adviser $50,000 annually with benefits, and $35,000 per year from student fees went toward operations, Paradis said.

A task force recommended to the administration that The Broadside adviser's salary should go toward an adjunct faculty member who would teach journalism classes at COCC.

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Official  questions city relationship with media outlet

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island city council member is calling on a news website to return tens of thousands of dollars it received from the city as part of a contract to publish meeting notices.

The Providence Journal reports the city's Council President David Salvatore is saying website should return $67,500. He's calling it a "strange arrangement" and unnecessary considering the city launched an open meeting portal in 2013 with easy online access to the public for meeting information. The publication was founded in 2010 by former councilman Josh Fenton.

Salvatore is questioning whether a former council president was being tipped off to stories related to City Hall. The contract is no longer active, as Salvatore declined to extend it soon after he became president.

Fenton did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

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Newspapers endure more cuts, hope for brighter future online

U.S. newspapers are battered and broken, and this week's layoffs at the New York Daily News serve as the latest blow. But while local newsgathering has taken a hit, some observers think it's poised for a digital comeback.

Media company Tronc Inc. cut half of the Daily News' newsroom staff Monday, including the paper's editor in chief. The remaining staff, the company said, will focus on breaking news involving "crime, civil justice and public responsibility."

The Pulitzer Prize-winning tabloid has been a fixture in New York for the last century. Jere Hester, news director at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and a former staffer at the Daily News, bemoaned the gutting of a watchdog in the nation's largest city.

"Any time we lose a reporter covering a neighborhood or City Hall, the city is greatly diminished for it. Bottom line is, when you don't have reporters out there doing grunt work in the street, stories get lost," Hester said.

The anguish in the world's media capital exemplifies what's been happening in the rest of the country for years. Estimated U.S. daily newspaper circulation, print and digital combined, fell 11 percent to 31 million in 2017, according to the Pew Research Center.

As recently as 2000, weekday subscriptions totaled 55.8 million. In just the last three years, employment in newsrooms has fallen 15 percent.

"We're seeing very steady pressure, wave after wave of layoffs, which means less journalism," said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at Poynter Institute. "We're starting to have a lot of places that are described as news deserts."

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INDUSTRY NEWS • July 19, 2018

YouTube Launches Initiative to Fight Fake News, Pledges $25 Million to Support News Orgs

You can't always trust the veracity of stuff posted online - and obviously YouTube is no exception.

Google's YouTube announced that it is committing $25 million to help support legitimate news organizations, and also detailed new features intended to flag misinformation and highlight authoritative news sources.

YouTube's role in promoting conspiracy theories has flared up in recent months. In February, for example, a YouTube video suggesting that one of the high-school students who survived the mass killing in Parkland, Fla., David Hogg, was an actor hired by gun-control advocates briefly became YouTube's No. 1 trending video. YouTube removed the clip within a few hours, citing violation of its policy on harassment and bullying.

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Woman accused of threatening journalist is denied bail

WRENTHAM, Mass. (AP) — A woman charged with threatening a Massachusetts newspaper reporter who had asked to be removed from her email distribution list has been deemed a danger to the public and ordered held without bail.

The MetroWest Daily News reports a judge ruled Tuesday that Amy Zuckerman was too dangerous for release. Zuckerman was arrested July 7 and was charged with making terroristic threats.

Police say the 64-year-old Shutesbury woman sent to a Walpole Times reporter an email that referenced shooting through the newsroom's window.

Zuckerman's attorney says she had been obsessing about the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, and worried something would happen at the Walpole newspaper. Attorney Ethan Yankowitz says Zuckerman hadn't exhibited violent behavior.

Prosecutors say Zuckerman is "unstable" and has displayed threatening behavior for years.

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Marijuana ad complicates delivery of small Alaska newspaper

UNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A small Alaska newspaper is scrambling to distribute papers after the U.S. Postal Service raised questions about a marijuana ad.

Jenny-Marie Stryker is a reporter with the Chilkat Valley News in Haines. She says a new marijuana business took out the ad.

She says the paper didn't realize it would be problematic until it was contacted by the Postal Service.

Marijuana is legal in Alaska but illegal on the federal level.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • July 12, 2018

Newsrooms held a moment of silence today for victims of the Capital Gazette shooting

(CNN) One week after the tragic shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, newsrooms across the country held a moment of silence in memory of their five fellow journalists whose lives were lost.

The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) asked newsrooms around the world to join them at 2:33 p.m. ET Thursday -- the exact time the gunman began his rampage a week ago -- for a moment of contemplation, prayer, reflection or meditation.

"The tragedy last Thursday at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, tears at our hearts, tugs at our compassion and calls forth our fears for the safety of all those on the front lines of truth, accountability and journalistic pursuit," said a joint release by the two groups.

Some of the surviving Capital Gazette staffers participated in the moment of silence at their temporary new office in Annapolis. Journalists at the paper's parent company, Tronc, also gathered in their Chicago newsroom to reflect.

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Good Charlotte to headline benefit concert for 5 slain

NEW YORK (AP) — The city of Annapolis will hold a benefit concert featuring Maryland-based rockers Good Charlotte to honor the five Capital Gazette employees killed in an attack in their newsroom.

Mayor Gavin Buckley said Wednesday the event dubbed "Annapolis Rising: A Benefit for The Capital Gazette and Free Press" will take place July 28 and will include performances, as well as guest speakers from the journalism community.

Information on tickets will be available at a later date. Proceeds will benefit a fund established for the victims and survivors, as well as journalism scholarships.

Police say gunman Jarrod Ramos, who had a grudge against the newspaper, blasted his way into the Annapolis newsroom on June 28, killing John McNamara, Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith and Gerald Fischman. Ramos remains jailed on five counts of first-degree murder.

Good Charlotte, which includes twin brothers Joel and Benji Madden, said in an interview they are proud to return to their roots to pay tribute to the community.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • July 5, 2018

Newspaper staff reports through grief after colleagues slain

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The grieving and the reporting sort of jumbled together for staffers at The Capital Gazette on Thursday night, but they were determined to put out the next day’s edition.

Journalists with the Annapolis-based daily huddled under a covered parking deck of the Annapolis Mall, not far from where scores of other media outlets were clumped together awaiting further details of the shooting that left five people dead, including colleagues, and others injured.

Editor Rick Hutzell called a few of his journalists over to talk, a discussion punctuated with hugs and staggered expressions.

“We’re trying to do our job and deal with five people” who lost their lives, said reporter Pat Furgurson, whose wife and adult son were with him at the mall.

Furgurson said his colleagues were “just people trying to do their job for the public.”

“You think something like this might happen in Afghanistan, not in a newsroom a block away from the mall,” he said, reflecting on what appeared to be one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in U.S. history. Police later said the gunman explicitly targeted the newspaper.

The Capital is an institution in Maryland’s capital and was one of the last dailies to switch from publishing in the afternoon to mornings. Its sister publication, the Maryland Gazette, was founded in 1727 and is one of the oldest papers in America. In 1767, it became the first paper in America to be published by a woman, Anne Catherine Green, who led opposition to the stamp tax in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

For many years The Capital was published by diplomat Philip Merrill, who died in 2006. It was sold in 2014 to the Baltimore Sun Media Group.

Following in that history, the paper’s staffers were resolute Thursday that they would publish despite the tragedy. Capital reporter Chase Cook wrote on Twitter: “I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.”

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ASNE and APME share best practices and tips to help keep journalists safe under fire

The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors offer this two-page tip sheet with some of the best wisdom of journalism organizations committed to journalist safety and the pursuit of a free and dedicated press corps. 

We are committed to helping our colleagues at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, but offer this as a guide to preparing for the worst. 

Your helpful advice and comments are welcome at

Click here to download a PDF.

The Annapolis shooting is another reminder: It’s getting more dangerous to be a journalist

On Thursday, a gunman stormed the office of a local newspaper in Annapolis, Md., killing at least five people and injuring two others. According to my colleagues, the attack “likely is the deadliest involving journalists in the United States in decades.” Police have said the attack targeted the newsroom and that the man arrested in the case had assailed the paper on social media after he sued it for defamation and lost.

Thursday’s violence served as a stark reminder that it has become increasingly dangerous to be a journalist around the world.

At least 41 journalists have been killed this year, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least 30 of those killed were journalists who were slain for doing their work, or were caught in the crossfire while taking risks to report a story. That total does not include the five who died in Annapolis on Thursday.

Beyond the violence, there has been a remarkable decline in press liberty worldwide. In April, Reporters Without Borders released its annual World Press Freedom Index, which yielded disheartening results for journalists and press-freedom advocates. The organization, known by its initials in French as RSF, found “growing animosity towards journalists” as authoritarian and democratic leaders alike successfully discredited and undermined the press.

“The climate of hatred is steadily more visible in the Index,” RSF said in its report. It pointed to hostility toward the media seeping into non-authoritarian countries, such as the United States. “More and more democratically-elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion,” the report added.

This story is more than numbers. The danger for journalists who receive threats and harassment while reporting is growing. Increasingly, journalists face Internet bullying, criminal charges and even death for doing their jobs. The case of Indian journalist Rana Ayyub is illustrative. After journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered on her doorstep, Ayyub took to Twitter to point out that Lankesh had just published a book accusing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in riots in 2002. She called Lankesh’s killers cowards. Since then, as The Post reported, Ayyub has been the victim of a harassment campaign that has dubbed her an “ISIS sex slave” and superimposed her face onto pornography.

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News outlets join forces to track down children separated from their parents by the U.S.

Frustrated at the Trump administration’s limited information about thousands of migrant children separated from their parents, a group of news organizations are joining forces to help track down the kids.

BuzzFeed News, ProPublica, The Intercept and Univision announced June 27 that they are partnering to gather vital information about the children in immigration detention facilities and shelters. Joining the effort: a leading Mexican news site, Animal Político, the Guatemalan site Plaza Pública, and El Faro, from El Salvador.

The outlets will be asking readers for tips and information — including through secure channels — about what's happening on the ground at the border, in shelters, in facilities and in courtrooms.

The outlets got together to crowdsource this information because actual information on the children "was hard to come by" and state agencies weren't getting federal help, says Jessica Garrison, a senior BuzzFeed News investigative editor.

"We're inviting people to use the online tool, which ProPublica designed, or to reach out to us through our tips line or secure messaging, to help us tell the stories of people who are affected by this policy and to hold accountable those who oversee it," says Ariel Kaminer, also a senior investigations editor at BuzzFeed News.

The ProPublica tool identifies facilities where children may be held. The news outlets are asking anyone who has direct knowledge about a family that has been separated or a facility where children are being held to tell them what they know.

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This small California publication provides a blueprint for how local buyers can save a newspaper

Recently, the Half Moon Bay Review covered a school bond election that appeared too close to call. There was an extensive report on racism experienced by Asian Americans following a viral video of a local incident that shocked many. There were stories on youth softball, plans for an encampment to ease homelessness and new programs at the local high school, to name just a few of the things the newspaper covered.

In some ways, it was just another full week for me, the editor of a small-town newspaper who has more of a calling than a career. In other ways, it was a new beginning for the 120-year-old weekly newspaper tucked into the little yellow building next to City Hall in a city 30 minutes south of San Francisco.

On June 1, a group of local citizens closed on the purchase of the Review and its related assets, which include a pair of magazines, a website and the building we call home away from home.

It was anything but a garden-variety media purchase. In this case, the buyers were not planning to drink in profits and spit out whatever remained.

The deal was several months in the making that began with a September 2017 phone call from Francis Wick, CEO of Wick Communications. The family-owned newspaper company based in Arizona had run the Review for more than 20 years, but as Wick explained on the call, the times were changing. He told the us that he planned to sell the newspaper and the land beneath our feet to raise capital for other endeavors. It was an extraordinary blow.

If you are reading these words, you already know the landscape.

These are trying times for newspaper companies that once had a license to print money. Margins have slipped across the industry as advertising migrated to savvy online giants that target consumers like never before. Revenues have fallen and, despite technological efficiencies, newsgathering in a town like Half Moon Bay remains a labor-intensive proposition. The Review was Wick’s only operation in California, where the cost of doing business is notoriously high.

Almost in passing, Wick said something else that day: Why don’t you guys seek a nonprofit to buy the newspaper?

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Newspaper says it received threats following shooting

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland newspaper where five people were killed by a gunman last week said it received death threats and emails celebrating the shootings following the attack.

The Capital Gazette said in a Sunday editorial that it would not forget being called "an enemy of the people." President Donald Trump has used identical language to describe the news media.

The Capital Gazette said people also called for the paper to fire a reporter who cursed on national television after seeing her friends shot.

The paper also thanked the community for its support following the shooting and said more than 800 people subscribed to its digital edition.

Jarrod Ramos is charged with murder after police say he opened fire Thursday at the Gazette offices in Annapolis.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to Stop Publishing 2 Days a Week

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has announced it will stop publishing the newspaper two days a week.

According to a letter sent to the newspaper’s employee union Wednesday, the newspaper is shrinking its printing schedule as part of a plan to become a digital news organization.

The change will go into effect Aug. 25. Officials have not specified which days will be cut.

Senior Human Resources Manager Linda Guest says in the letter, "the nature of our operations will change substantially."

The owners of the 232-year-old paper, Ohio-based Block Communications, have not responded to requests for comment.

Huge Rise in Willingness of Americans to Pay for Online News

Online news had quite the 2017, attributable in part to the frantic news cycles of President Trump’s first year in administration, as well as the “fake news” crisis.

In the midst of all this, Americans increasingly looked to online sources of news as their main providers.

Perhaps online news is even helping to revive the journalism industry. A Late 2017 Poynter Media Trust Survey measured the highest uptick in media confidence since Sept. 11, 2001.

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Trump orders US flags lowered to honor slain journalists

President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. flags on federal property be flown at half-staff through sunset Tuesday to honor five newspaper journalists slain in Maryland's capital.

The order comes after Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said Monday that Trump had declined his request to lower the flags.

Trump issued a proclamation Tuesday ordering the flags fly at half-staff through sundown.

Five Capital Gazette newspaper employees were killed Thursday when a gunman holding a grudge against the publication shot them in the newsroom.

Trump repeatedly has called journalists the "enemy of the people." He said the day after the shooting that journalists shouldn't fear being violently attacked while doing their job.

The White House says Trump ordered the flags lowered as soon as he learned of the Annapolis mayor's request.

Suspect wrote he aimed to kill everyone at Maryland newsroom

BALTIMORE (AP) — A man charged with gunning down five people at a Maryland newspaper sent three letters on the day of the attack, police said, including one that said he was on his way to the Capital Gazette newsroom with the aim "of killing every person present."

Sgt. Jacklyn Davis, a spokeswoman for Anne Arundel County police, said the letters were received Monday. They were mailed to an attorney for The Capital newspaper, a retired judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and a Baltimore judge.

The letter Jarrod Ramos sent to the Annapolis newspaper's Baltimore-based lawyer was written to resemble a legal motion for reconsideration of his unsuccessful 2012 defamation lawsuit against the paper, a columnist and then-publisher Tom Marquardt.

Marquardt shared a copy of the letter with The Associated Press.

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New Jersey sets aside $5M for pilot local news program

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The state has set aside $5 million for a trailblazing nonprofit group seeking to boost coverage of local news in New Jersey.

Advocates see the pilot project as an important and innovative way to use public money to encourage more local news reporting following a sharp decline in such coverage industrywide in recent years.

Detractors worry the model could lead to government interference.

Lawmakers say the funding, which was included in the state budget signed Sunday by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, will help focus more reporting on local issues in a state dominated by the New York and Philadelphia media markets.

The idea for the initiative sprang from the efforts of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Free Press Action Fund, which held community forums on residents' concerns about dwindling local news coverage, leading to legislation creating the Civic Information Consortium.

The bill, which awaits the governor's signature, sets up a charitable and education organization with a 15-member board. The governor, the Democratic Assembly speaker, the Democratic Senate president and the Republican leaders in both chambers would all make appointments. The board would also include representatives from five state colleges, the news media, and the public.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • June 28, 2018

NPPA Calls for Photojournalists’ Access to Detention Facilities

(ATHENS, GA.,) The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) calls on all politicians who visit migrant child detention facilities to insist on being accompanied by visual journalists and to insist that Immigration and Customs Enforcement permits unfettered access to those facilities for all journalists.

We also call on news media organizations to decline to publish handout photographs from the government or others when full and meaningful visual access is denied.

When important issues face a nation, and the truth must be ascertained, images – taken by journalists who adhere to strict codes of ethics – truly matter. The only photographs the nation has seen from inside those facilities have come from the government.

This is unacceptable. We believe that access to those facilities by journalists is both appropriate and warranted. The nation should not be relegated to relying solely on governmental depictions when it comes to such matters of public concern.

On all issues, especially an important issue such as this, the public has a right to and a need for independent, verified visual journalism – not government-controlled images. As our Code of Ethics states, photojournalists and those who manage visuals in news organizations should “resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities,” “strive to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in public,” and “defend the right of access for all journalists.”

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In Rome, Facebook announces new strategies to combat misinformation

ROME — During the second day of the fifth annual Global Fact-Checking Summit on Thursday, the world’s biggest social network shared some news about its most visible effort to counter misinformation.

During a one-hour question-and-answer session in the morning, Tessa Lyons, a product manager at Facebook, gave an overview of the company’s fact-checking program — which allows fact-checkers to debunk hoaxes on the platform, decreasing their reach in News Feed by about 80 percent. The program has grown to 25 fact-checking outlets in 14 countries. (Disclosure: Being a signatory of the IFCN’s code of principles is a necessary condition for participation in the project.)

Near the middle of the talk, Lyons announced several new updates to the efforts Facebook is taking to weed out misinformation on its platform, where hoaxes regularly outscale fact checks.

First, Lyons said that Facebook is now employing natural learning processing systems to detect duplicate fake news stories on the platform that fact-checkers have already debunked. That’s expected to cut down on the volume of hoaxes, which are often copied and pasted from previous fake news stories that have been down-ranked in News Feed.

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Lee Enterprises to manage Berkshire Hathaway newspapers

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Warren Buffett's company has hired Lee Enterprises to manage the mostly smaller newspapers it has acquired since 2011 in 30 different markets.

Lee said Tuesday it expects to collect $50 million in fees from the five-year agreement that should help BH Media Group's newspapers reduce costs.

"In addition to the primary benefit of deploying Lee's successful strategies at BH Media, this alliance provides a significant expansion of operating scale, adding 30 markets to our own 49," Lee President Kevin Mowbray said.

Billionaire Omaha investor Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said that, "although the challenges in publishing are clear, I believe we can benefit by joining efforts. Lee Enterprises' growth in digital market share and revenue has outpaced the industry."

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GDR parent company to be offered for sale

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – CNHI, LLC, one of the country’s leading providers of local news and information, said Monday it is exploring the sale of its newspaper properties in 22 states.

The announcement was made after its parent company, Raycom Media Inc., reported it has signed an agreement to be acquired by Gray Television group, a public company headquartered in Atlanta.

CNHI is the parent company of the Gainesville Daily Register and eight other Texas daily newspapers.

Donna Barrett, CNHI’s president and chief executive office, said the company has retained the newspaper brokerage firm of Dirks, Van Essen, Murray and April to handle the sale of its newspapers.

“We’re excited to open the next chapter in our commitment to top-flight community journalism,” said Barrett. “We are looking for a transaction or transactions that will carry on CNHI’s rich tradition of public service through award-winning journalism.”

CNHI is a 20-year-old newspaper company that has grown from a few community newspapers at the outset to more than 100 papers today. They are located in the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast and Northeast.

Raycom Media Inc., which owns or operates television stations in 65 markets, acquired CNHI nine months ago.

“As we undertake this exploration process, we cannot say that any particular transaction will or will not take place,” said Barrett. “What we can say is that we will consider various options as we work to find a partner or partners that share our dedication to community newspapers and the vital journalism they produce to serve local audiences.”

INDUSTRY NEWS • June 21, 2018

Celebrity deaths force media to examine suicide reporting

NEW YORK (AP) — The deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have caused media organizations to look at how they cover suicide and whether more could be done to prevent copycat killings, without neglecting the duty to report news.

Several outlets have publicized the 1-800-273-8255 suicide prevention hotline — People and Entertainment Weekly magazines are using it on their covers — and operators say the hotline has received the largest volume of calls in its history following the celebrity deaths.

The Associated Press sent guidelines to its staff this week about how suicides should be reported, including new instructions on addressing suicide notes. The Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank, also publicized advice to news leaders.

Some of the guidelines being discussed contradict the natural impulses of journalists. When some younger reporters at a major national news organization urged that the suicide hotline be publicized following last week’s deaths, an editor said that it wasn’t their job because “we’re not social workers,” said Kelly McBride, media ethicist for the Poynter Institute. She wouldn’t identify the outlet.

John Daniszewski, vice president and editor at large for standards at The Associated Press, said: “Our responsibility is to keep people informed, but in a way that doesn’t lead others to consider suicide.”

Daniszewski’s message included a reminder to staff members that a 2015 entry in the AP’s influential Stylebook said not to be too specific about the methods of suicide. Reporting that both Spade and Bourdain died by hanging last week was newsworthy, but in both cases the service went too far in some versions of the stories by describing the implement used in the deaths, he said. The information was removed from subsequent versions.

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AP: How and when we report on suicides

AP policy on reporting suicides, spelled out in the AP Stylebook, is “to not go into detail on the methods used.” There has been a robust discussion in our newsrooms about what this means — how far do we go in discussing methods of suicide by celebrities? Are we depriving readers of essential information on a story if we are too opaque?

We tend to be news purists in the AP. Our instinct is to publish all the news for our audience to absorb, use and act upon.

But reporting on suicide, like reporting on sexual abuse, is one of the areas in which we favor not saying all that we know.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette fires editorial cartoonist

An award-winning editorial cartoonist who has worked at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 25 years announced on Thursday that he was fired from the paper.

Rob Rogers' firing comes after the paper stopped publishing his cartoons -- many of which were critical of President Trump -- last month.

"Today, after 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired," Rogers tweeted on Thursday.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last published one of Rogers' cartoons on June 5 and before that, the last editorial cartoon to appear in the paper was on May 24. Rogers continued to draw during the absence, posting his work on his personal blog and social media feeds.

Rogers told CNN's Jake Tapper last week he didn't know why the paper was killing his cartoons, but he said he got the feeling that management wanted him to be "less negative to Trump."

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Hundreds of Washington Post employees sign petition slamming billionaire owner Jeff Bezos' 'shocking pay practices', asking for 'fair wages' and urging him to 'share the wealth'

More than 400 employees of The Washington Post have signed on to a public letter to owner Jeff Bezos asking him to remedy working conditions at the newspaper, after more than a year of unsuccessful negotiation with upper management.

'All we are asking for is fairness for each and every employee who contributed to this company’s success: fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security,' the petition read.

'More than 400 of our colleagues have signed this petition, and they're just asking you to listen,' Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah said in the video that accompanied the written petition.

The petition was shared on Twitter by the Post Guild on Thursday, which was one day after Bezos tweeted about Thursday being the one year anniversary of him asking his social media following for ideas for philanthropy.

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Americans grapple with recognizing facts in news stories: Pew survey

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Only a quarter of U.S. adults in a recent survey could fully identify factual statements - as opposed to opinion - in news stories, the Pew Research Center found in a study released on Monday.

The survey comes amid growing concerns about so-called fake news spread on the internet and social media. The term generally refers to fabricated news that has no basis in fact but is presented as being factually accurate.

Facebook Inc , Alphabet Inc's Google and other tech companies have recently come under scrutiny for failing to promptly tackle the problem of fake news as more Americans consume news on social media platforms.

The main portion of Pew's survey polled 5,035 adult Americans aged 18 and above in February and March. The study was intended to determine if respondents could differentiate between factual information and opinion statements in news stories.

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Tronc finally realizes it has a stupid name

Tronc, one of the most lambasted corporate name changes of the digital era, is going to return to its original name, Tribune Publishing.

An insider said that the name change for the parent company of the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News was awaiting the completion of the spinoff of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and several other papers in its California Media group to health tech billionaire Patrick Soon Shiong. That $500 million deal was announced as final on Monday.

“The board actually approved the name change a month ago, but was waiting for the completion of the California deal,” said the insider.

Ex-chairman Michael Ferro pushed for “Tronc” in June 2016. It supposedly stood for Tribune Online Content, but was widely ridiculed at the time of the announcement.

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Post-Gazette employees, newsroom editors emphasize they are separate from editorial pages

In response to an outpouring of criticism over the firing of longtime Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers, The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh and the PG’s newsroom managers purchased advertising space in Tuesday’s print editions to emphasize that the newsroom operations are separate from the editorial pages and to promote the paper’s journalistic mission.

The newsroom editors’ ad, signed by 18 managers including executive editor David Shribman, says the news pages “honor centuries of the best traditions of journalism, which have always held that the news pages and the opinion pages stand apart.”

The Post-Gazette on Thursday fired Mr. Rogers, who had worked for the paper for 25 years, after killing 19 of his cartoons or preliminary ideas since March, including some featuring President Donald Trump.

Mr. Rogers said his work did not appear because his editor disagreed with his anti-Trump cartoons.

Keith Burris, editorial director, said that Mr. Rogers wanted to be the “sole arbiter” of his work. Mr. Burris said he found it difficult to collaborate with the cartoonist.

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APG purchases Sun Coast Media Group

Adams Publishing Group announced Monday that purchased Sun Coast Media Group based in Venice, Fla. APG is the parent company of the Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing Daily Tribune, Grand Rapids Herald Review, Chisholm Tribune Press and Walker Pilot-Independent.

The sale includes SCMG newspapers: The Venice Gondolier, The Arcadian, The West Villages Sun, The Englewood Sun, The North Port Sun, The Charlotte Sun and The Charlotte Sun Times.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are extremely excited to have the Sun Coast Media Group and its Associates join the Adams Publishing Group family,” said APG principal Stephen Adams. “The SCMG newspapers are located in one of the great newspaper markets in the United States, with a solid employee group we are eager to welcome aboard our team."

Sun Coast Media Group is a family-and-employee-owned company founded by Derek Dunn-Rankin in 1976. Derek left a senior position at Landmark Communications at age 50 to buy the Venice Gondolier, a weekly at the time, and built a successful, award-winning company that included being a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005 and winner in 2016, with more than 300 employees.

This will be APG's first newspaper acquisition in Florida and will continue community-oriented family ownership for the SCMG newspapers. The only other family-owned newspapers remaining in Florida are the Key West Citizen and the Villages Daily Sun.

"I've known the Dunn-Rankin family a long time. Because they are wonderful friends, I know they are going to miss greatly the newspapers they are selling,” said APG Executive Vice President Gregg Jones.

INDUSTRY NEWS • June 14, 2018

Almost seven-in-ten Americans have news fatigue, more among Republicans

If you feel like there is too much news and you can’t keep up, you are not alone. A sizable portion of Americans are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of news there is, though the sentiment is more common on the right side of the political spectrum, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018.

Almost seven-in-ten Americans (68%) feel worn out by the amount of news there is these days, compared with only three-in-ten who say they like the amount of news they get. The portion expressing feelings of information overload is in line with how Americans felt during the 2016 presidential election, when a majority expressed feelings of exhaustion from election coverage.

While majorities of both Republicans and Democrats express news fatigue, Republicans are feeling it more. Roughly three-quarters (77%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents feel worn out over how much news there is, compared with about six-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (61%). This elevated fatigue among Republicans tracks with them having less enthusiasm than Democrats for the 2018 elections.

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Charles Krauthammer says goodbye

Charles Krauthammer, the beloved conservative columnist, informed readers on Friday that he is confronting an aggressive form of cancer. "My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live," he wrote. "This is the final verdict. My fight is over."

Krauthammer shared the news in a short, matter-of-fact note on the WashPost and Fox News websites. Political leaders and journalists were gutted by the revelation, which came just a few hours after Bourdain's death was announced.

The Post said Krauthammer is discouraging "flowery tributes." He wrote, "I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life -- full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended."

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EPA spokesperson calls reporter 'piece of trash' when asked for comment

The spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency attacked a reporter on Wednesday, referring to the journalist as a "piece of trash" when she phoned for comment on a story.

Elaina Plott, a writer for The Atlantic magazine, reported Wednesday that a top aide for the EPA had resigned, and that EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox snapped at her when she called him for comment.

"You have a great day, you're a piece of trash," Wilcox was quoted as telling Plott.

Wilcox did not immediately respond to phone calls or an email from CNN seeking comment.

Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, tweeted, "Always a good day when our reporters get under the skin of classless flacks."

The comment from Wilcox was widely condemned online by journalists. The EPA, under administrator Scott Pruitt, has had a tense relationship with the press.

Late last month, the federal agency blocked reporters from several news outlets from attending a national summit where Pruitt was speaking. At that event, the Associated Press said one of its reporters, who was denied entry, was grabbed by security guards and forcibly shoved out of the building after asking to speak to a public affairs person.

Pruitt has been under intense scrutiny since March, when media reports first revealed the EPA chief had rented a luxury Capitol Hill condo tied to a prominent oil and gas lobbyist for just $50 a night.

Other recently disclosed examples of Pruitt seeking special treatment include his repeated use of first-class air travel, luxury hotel suits and directing his security staff to use lights and sirens to speed through Washington traffic to dinner reservations.

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Chicago Tribune: CPS fails to tell parents about alleged misconduct by renowned choir director

Robert Jeffrey Weaver’s resignation from Chicago Public Schools was abrupt, occurring just weeks before the 2012 school year was to start, and it shocked many of the students and parents who admired and even adored him.

Weaver had earned accolades as choral director and chair of the music department for selective-enrollment Payton College Prep, leading his singers in a concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and as they performed the national anthem at Soldier Field and traveled to China to sing “Lotus Flower” in concert with that country’s top young vocalists.

Weaver also held “Boys Talk” seminars for male students and led its all-male a cappella ensemble, the Sounds of Sweetness.

Still, when he left, there was no official explanation, no note home from the school.

What parents didn’t know was that Weaver resigned just as CPS investigators were preparing a devastating report alleging sexual misconduct dating back more than two decades.

That 37-page report from September 2012 found “credible evidence” that Weaver had oral and anal sex with one student over a five-year period, showed pornography to that student and another student at his apartment, and sexually harassed multiple students at Payton and at nearby Lincoln Elementary school, where he previously taught.

CPS initially denied the Tribune’s Freedom of Information requests for basic records about Weaver’s career and his misconduct, saying it would be “unduly burdensome” to produce any of that paperwork. But after the Tribune threatened a public records lawsuit, CPS released a redacted version of the 2012 investigative report. The Tribune also has reviewed an unredacted version.

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Craig Newmark’s biggest bet on news: The next generation

Growing up in a neighborhood of first- and second-generation Americans in Morristown, New Jersey, Craig Newmark took to heart his U.S. history teacher’s lessons on the nation’s democracy — and of its goals of fairness, opportunity and respect for all.

The billionaire founder of Craigslist cited those lessons in explaining a gift, announced this morning, of $20 million to further journalism instruction at the only public graduate journalism school in the Northeast. Under the gift, the CUNY j-school will be renamed the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

“We are living in a time of crisis,” Newmark said in an interview, noting that the integrity of both democracy and journalism are under attack. “We need a lot more people coming in the field doing good journalism.”

It is by far the biggest single journalism donation by Newmark, who has focused another $20 million in various initiatives to bring diverse viewpoints into reporting, strengthen transparency and media ethics, back fact-checking efforts and stop technologies that spread disinformation.

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White House restricts US press access to Kim Jong Un summit

SINGAPORE (AP) — The White House restricted journalists’ access to parts of President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un on Tuesday despite long-standing arrangements intended to ensure the public is kept fully abreast of key presidential moments, such as the first meeting in history with a North Korean leader.

Under standard rules agreed to by the White House and the press corps, a full pool of reporters travels with the president at all times and is allowed at any meetings where press access in granted, even if space is limited. The group includes representatives from various forms of media — such as TV, print and photos — who then pool the information they gather with other news outlets that are unable to be present because of space.

During the photo-op at the start of Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Kim, text reporters for newswires The Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg were kept out of the pool, as were the designated representatives for radio and the foreign press corps. Although a television cameraman and sound technician were allowed in, the TV networks’ editorial representative — responsible for relaying information to colleagues about what occurs or is said during the photo-op — was not.

Some, but not all, were later allowed in for the photo-op of Trump’s larger meeting with Kim and aides from both countries.

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Trump tags US media as nation's 'biggest enemy' after summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump challenged skeptical media coverage of his historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on Wednesday, declaring that "Fake News" is the nation's "biggest enemy."

The president's tweet, delivered a few hours after Air Force One touched down outside Washington, was reminiscent of his February 2017 Twitter rebuke in which he called several leading news outlets "the enemy of the American people."

Trump has sought to portray his unprecedented meeting with Kim as a significant accomplishment that has made the world less vulnerable to the North's nuclear arsenal. Critics say that his agreement with the North lacks specific restraints on Kim's government and that he offered to end joint military exercises with South Korea with little in return.

The president tweeted after returning from his Singapore summit that "the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN," are "fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea." He added: "500 days ago they would have 'begged' for this deal-looked like war would break out."

"Our Country's biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!" Trump tweeted.

The president also asserted that after his initial round of talks with Kim, there is "no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea." Trump's claim is dubious given that independent experts estimate Pyongyang has enough fissile material for 20 to 60 bombs.

The tweet followed a New York Times story on the Trump administration's lack of scientific expertise, the president's questioning of the honesty of the American media at an international summit in Canada and his dismissal of diplomatic expertise in favor of using a "touch" and "feel" approach in his talks with Kim.

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Poll: Americans want more of what journalists want to report

NEW YORK (AP) — There's substantial agreement on what Americans want from the news media and what journalists want to report, according to a pair of studies that also reveal a troubling caveat: a nagging feeling among both the ideal isn't being met.

Public suspicion about journalism is also fueled by some basic misunderstandings on how the process works, particularly in an era of rapid change, according to the twin surveys of the American public and journalists released Monday by the Media Insight Project. The effort is a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.

The close look at attitudes comes in the midst of President Donald Trump's relentless attacks on the news media and the continued downsizing of the economically beleaguered newspaper industry. It has left journalists beaten down: The surveys found about 3 in 4 journalists believe the public's level of trust in the news media has decreased in the past year. Yet only 44 percent of American adults actually say their level of trust has decreased.

The public actually wants what most journalists say they want to give them — news stories that are factual and offer context and analysis, said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute. But the public doesn't feel like they're seeing enough of that work, with 42 percent of Americans saying journalists stray too far into commentary, according to the new research.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • June 7, 2018

Facebook kills 'trending' topics, tests breaking news label

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is shutting down its ill-fated "trending" news section after four years, a company executive told The Associated Press.

The company claims the tool is outdated and wasn't popular. But the trending section also proved problematic in ways that would presage Facebook's later problems with fake news, political balance and the limitations of artificial intelligence in managing the messy human world.

When Facebook launched "trending" in 2014 as a list of headlines to the side of the main news feed, it was a straightforward move to steal users from Twitter by giving them a quick look at the most popular news of the moment. It fit nicely into CEO Mark Zuckerberg's pledge just a year earlier to make Facebook its users' "personal newspaper."

But that was then. "Fake news" wasn't yet a popular term, and no foreign country had been accused of trying to influence the U.S. elections through social media, as Russia later would be. Trending news that year included the death of Robin Williams, Ebola and the World Cup.

Facebook is now testing new features, including a "breaking news" label that publishers can add to stories to distinguish them from other chatter. Facebook also wants to make local news more prominent.

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Publishers coping with higher costs from tariffs on Canadian newsprint

The Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper, a weekly distributed in six counties that comprise the Diocese of Pittsburgh, hasn’t raised subscription rates in 16 years because it has had a healthy stream of advertising to generate revenues.

But recent federal government tariffs slapped on Canadian newsprint have pushed production costs so high that Carmella Weismantle, the paper’s operations manager, said there may be no choice but to ask advertisers — and perhaps the parishes that subscribe — to pay more.

Two newsprint price hikes since January cost the nonprofit Pittsburgh Catholic Publishing Associates $37,000 and Ms. Weismantle is bracing for another increase in July.

“We’re running on a shoestring as it is. We don’t have $37,000,” she said.

Newspapers across the country are coping with the same problem since the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed tariffs on Canadian imports of the uncoated groundwood paper used for newsprint.

Besides asking newspaper advertisers and readers to pay more, publishers nationwide are laying off workers and shrinking the size of their papers.

The duties vary from company to company but range as high as 32 percent, according to the News Media Alliance, an advocacy group in Arlington, Va.

The tariffs resulted from a complaint by a U.S. paper manufacturer, North Pacific Paper Co. of Longview, Wash., which said government subsidies give Canadian producers an unfair price advantage over domestic mills. Canada has about 25 groundwood producers while only five are operating in the U.S.

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Arrested Tennessee reporter wins stay of deportation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — An appeals board has ordered a stay of deportation for a Spanish-language news reporter who was arrested during a demonstration in Tennessee.

The Commercial Appeal reported that a lawyer for 42-year-old Manuel Duran said he won the stay but still faces months in immigration detention while an appeal is pending.

Attorney Jeremy Jong said federal authorities had planned to deport Duran to El Salvador on Wednesday, but the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Virginia, ordered a stay Tuesday. Jong said he spoke with Duran, who is excited and happy.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan D. Cox confirmed the stay but said the underlying immigration case wasn't addressed.

Duran was reporting on a protest of immigration policies in Memphis in April when he was arrested. The protest coincided with days of remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis.

Disorderly conduct and obstruction of a highway charges were dropped, but he was picked up by immigration agents after his release.

Duran is from El Salvador and he has lived in Memphis for years. He runs the Memphis Noticias online news outlet. Duran's lawyers have said he came to the U.S. after receiving death threats related to reporting on corruption in El Salvador.

Duran was issued a deportation order in 2007. The order to leave the country came after Duran failed to show up for court.

One of Duran's attorneys has said he had been critical of law enforcement in his reporting and was targeted and retaliated against for it. Memphis police have denied those allegations.

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The Hidden Costs of Losing Your City's Newspaper

When local newspapers shut their doors, communities lose out. People and their stories can’t find coverage. Politicos take liberties when it’s nobody’s job to hold them accountable. What the public doesn’t know winds up hurting them. The city feels poorer, politically and culturally.

According to a new working paper, local news deserts lose out financially, too. Cities where newspapers closed up shop saw increases in government costs as a result of the lack of scrutiny over local deals, say researchers who tracked the decline of local news outlets between 1996 and 2015.

Disruptions in local news coverage are soon followed by higher long-term borrowing costs for cities. Costs for bonds can rise as much as 11 basis points after the closure of a local newspaper—a finding that can’t be attributed to other underlying economic conditions, the authors say. Those civic watchdogs make a difference to the bottom line.

Paul Gao, an associate professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame and one of the paper’s authors, was inspired to look into the issue after an episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” about the news industry. “He was focused on two things: consolidation of national news media and closure of local news media. John Oliver’s show really gave us the prompt for the phenomenon, and we started thinking about it from an economist’s point of view.”

The survey covers some 1,596 English-language newspapers serving 1,266 counties in the U.S. over the study period. This paper excludes counties without any daily local newspaper (1,863 in all). Across the relevant counties, the study finds 296 newspaper “exits”—which refers to a local paper closing down or being absorbed by another outlet, or publishing fewer than four days a week, or merging to form a new newspaper. Depressingly, the paper finds that news shrinkage is a nationwide phenomenon.

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What might the 'dead' Russian reporter incident mean for journalism?

Russian journalist and critic of the Kremlin, Arkady Babchenko, is alive. Normally that would not be much news, but only yesterday the world thought he was dead. As journalism groups called for an investigation, Ukraine's prime minister was already blaming Russia for the killing.

But Wednesday, Babchenko showed up at a news conference alive and well. Even his wife and six children did not know he was taking part in a secret Ukrainian undercover operation to catch the people who threatened his life. Ukraine officials said they knew of the threat two months ago and told Babchenko about a month ago.

Watch the news conference video. Three minutes and seventeen seconds into the news conference, authorities displayed video of the what they said was an undercover contact with a contract killer hired to kill Babchenko. At seven minutes and 44 seconds into the news conference, authorities played video of a man being arrested and stuffed into a security van.

Then, a minute later, investigators revealed to a stunned news conference that Babchenko was alive, and he walked in.

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AP names 2 top managers in US Central region

CHICAGO (AP) — The Associated Press has named two deputies to help lead newsgathering and storytelling in the central United States, part of a move by the AP to integrate news operations across media formats in 14 states stretching from Texas to the upper Midwest.

Sarah Rafi, currently the deputy editor for the U.S. Central Region, will become deputy director of newsgathering for the region, and Delano Massey, currently the AP's news editor in Ohio, will be deputy director of storytelling. Both will be based in Chicago.

"Rafi and Massey's complementary experience and talents will pay dividends in strengthening both the cross-format reporting and the presentation of everything we cover in the region," said Tom Berman, the news director for the Central Region, in announcing the appointments Tuesday.

AP is in the process of merging the management of its text, photo, video and interactive journalism at regional desks around the world. The announcements in the Central region are a step in creating a single management team in which every format is represented, and will include multimedia journalists and an integrated editing desk that emphasizes video, photos and social media alongside text.

Rafi will work closely with the region's journalists to cover breaking news and create distinctive enterprise stories for AP members and customers. Massey's responsibilities will include managing the integrated editing desk and being the region's point person in devising creative and engaging ways to present content across formats.

Massey joined The Associated Press in 2016 as the Ohio news editor and has helped lead AP's nationwide Race and Ethnicity reporting team.

As Ohio news editor, based in Cleveland, Massey has supervised coverage of a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University and the release and death of Otto Warmbier, who spent a year-and-a-half in North Korea.

As a leader of the Race and Ethnicity team, Massey coordinated coverage for the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine, a group of students who were at the forefront of the battle to desegregate schools. Massey's work included creating an online presentation that pulled together AP's new reporting across formats and archival material.

The AP's Central Region includes Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 31, 2018

Tronc buys Virginian-Pilot from Landmark for $34 million

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Chicago-based media company Tronc Inc. said Tuesday that it has acquired all of The Virginian-Pilot Media Companies, which publishes Virginia's largest daily newspaper, for $34 million in cash.

The purchase by the company formerly known as Tribune Publishing reflects the growing trend of media corporations buying family owned newspapers. Many have struggled as costs of adapting to a changing media environment have risen and advertising revenue has declined.

The acquisition from Landmark Media Enterprises includes The Virginian-Pilot newspaper, and Pilot Targeted Media. The newspaper serves communities including Norfolk and Virginia Beach, the state's largest city.

Tronc already owns the Daily Press in Newport News, which is across the Elizabeth River and covers the northern part of Virginia's Hampton Roads region. The Virginian-Pilot has traditionally covered the area's more populated southern half.

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Falling tree kills 2 journalists reporting on severe weather

TRYON, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's governor is urging his state's residents to exercise caution as rains from a subtropical depression spread into his and other Southern states, noting the deaths of two broadcast journalists killed by a falling tree as they reported on the severe weather associated with Alberto.

The television news anchor and a photojournalist colleague were killed Monday in North Carolina while covering the very fringes of the large system whose core made landfall hundreds of miles (kilometers) away on the northern Gulf Coast. Authorities said a tree became uprooted from rain-soaked soil and toppled on the news team's SUV, killing the two instantly.

"Two journalists working to keep the public informed about this storm have tragically lost their lives, and we mourn with their families, friends and colleagues," Cooper said in a statement. "North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously. I urge everyone to keep a close eye on forecasts, warnings and road conditions, especially in western North Carolina where even heavier rain is predicted."

The dead were identified as working for a station based in Greenville, South Carolina.

WYFF-TV Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer both had worked in the Greenville market for more than a decade, anchor Carol Goldsmith said on air, breaking the news of their deaths Monday.

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Reporter notes sought by lawyers for imprisoned ex-UA coach

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson newspaper and one of its reporters have been subpoenaed by attorneys for a former University of Arizona assistant track and field coach sent to prison for assaulting a female student-athlete.

Craig Carter was sentenced May 14 to five years in prison after being convicted in March of aggravated assault and assault with a dangerous instrument.

The 50-year-old Carter admitted to authorities that he choked the woman and threatened her with a box cutter in 2015 when she wanted to end their relationship.

Carter's lawyers want an Arizona Daily Star reporter to produce all notes and communication related to their client's legal battles dating to April 2015.

The Star reports that an attorney for the newspaper will file a motion in court to quash the subpoena.

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Records advocates sue over sealed documents in opioid suit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government and the Knoxville News Sentinel are asking a judge to give the public access to all records in the state's lawsuit against the makers of the world's top-selling painkiller.

Tennessee was one of six states last week that filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, a drug at the center of America's opioid crisis. Tennessee's complaint was filed under seal, and a judge gave Purdue Pharma 10 days to argue that it should be kept from the public.

TCOG and the newspaper asked to intervene, arguing that the state is in an addiction crisis and citizens have a compelling interest in the lawsuit.

Purdue Pharma has denied claims in the lawsuits against it and said it will defend itself.

Judge rules against city of Columbia in open records lawsuit

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Boone County judge has ruled that the city of Columbia violated the state's Sunshine law during a disagreement with the city's police union.

Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs ruled this week that City Manager Mike Matthes violated the law in September 2016 when he refused to release public documents sought by the Columbia Police Officers' Association.

The union represents most Columbia police officers. It sued the city in October 2016 after Matthes' denied the request for responses to surveys Matthes gave police officers concerning work-related issues.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Matthes contended the responses to the survey contained personnel information and could hurt morale.

Jacobs ruled Tuesday that the survey responses are open records. The city was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and the union's court costs.

Boston Globe Finds Itself Uncomfortably in the News

BOSTON - The Boston Globe, New England's largest newspaper, has struggled with a string of controversies in recent months that have roiled the staff, the latest of which concerns a claim against its top editor.

The newspaper said it was carrying out an investigation into a suggestion made on Twitter by a former employee that the editor, Brian McGrory, had sent an inappropriate text message. Mr. McGrory issued a statement to the staff on Wednesday night denying harassing the former employee or anyone else at the newspaper.

Late last year, Mr. McGrory had published a front-page note to readers after a different incident. In initially reporting that the newspaper had fired one of its political reporters over allegations of sexual harassment, The Globe did not identify the reporter. After expressions of outrage on social media and within the Globe newsroom, the paper publicly named the reporter, Jim O'Sullivan.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 24, 2018

Metro Times suspends Lessenberry over misconduct claims

One of the media organizations that employs veteran Detroit-area journalist Jack Lessenberry said Thursday it was suspending him in response to a published report alleging he has a history of inappropriate comments and behavior toward women.

The Metro Times, where Lessenberry is a columnist, announced the action hours after Deadline Detroit reported allegations from women that Lessenberry made inappropriate comments or paid undue attention to them while he was an editor at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis in the early 1990s and later as a journalism instructor at Wayne State University.

"Regarding the Deadline Detroit story, we have decided to suspend Jack Lessenberry while we look into the matter," Lee DeVito, editor-in-chief of the Metro Times, wrote in an email to The Detroit News.

Wayne State – where Lessenberry is chair of the journalism department and a lecturer – said it may not start a formal investigation unless women step forward and make a complaint, said Linda Galante, the university's associate general counsel. Lessenberry has been affiliated with the Detroit university since 1993.

"It's hard when you don't have someone coming forward" to start an investigation, she said.

The university has received only one formal complaint about Lessenberry during his years there and no action was taken because it was determined to be "inadvertent touching," spokesman Matt Lockwood said in an email.

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Man settles Michigan jail excessive force lawsuit for $12.9M

DETROIT (AP) — A man who was pepper-sprayed, hit with a stun gun and restrained face-down at a Michigan jail in 2010 has settled a federal lawsuit for $12.9 million.

The settlement with William Jennings was detailed in documents obtained by The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act.

Video at the Genesee County Jail showed officers acting aggressively after Jennings lowered his hand during a search. He fought back during a struggle and a mask was placed over his head to prevent him from biting or spitting. He was restrained for more than two hours.

A jury in 2016 awarded $36.6 million to Jennings, who had been arrested in the Flint area for drunken driving, but a judge later reduced the verdict to $11 million. The settlement avoids a second trial.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 17, 2018

NBC says no culture of harassment in its news division

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC's internal investigation following Matt Lauer's firing says it doesn't believe there is a culture of sexual harassment at the news division and that current news executives weren't aware of the former "Today" show anchor's behavior until the complaint that doomed him.

Investigators also said more needs to be done to ensure that the more than 2,000 employees at NBC News can talk about bad behavior without fearing retaliation, leading NBC News Chairman Andy Lack to establish a way this can be done outside the company.

Despite releasing the report publicly, NBC was criticized for not allowing outsiders to look at its practices. Some suggested it damages the report's credibility.

"No one is going to be fully candid when speaking to management for fear of losing their jobs," said Eleanor McManus, a co-founder of Press Forward, an organization of women who worked in the news industry and experienced sexual misconduct.

"News organizations, journalists and media all hold corporations, governments and individuals to higher standards in similar instances, so it's concerning that NBC would not choose to follow those same standards itself."

Owner of Pueblo Chieftain agrees to sell; Terms not released

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — The owner of The Pueblo Chieftain has agreed to sell the southern Colorado newspaper.

The Star-Journal Publishing Corp. announced Tuesday that the sale to GateHouse Media is expected to conclude within about a month. Terms were not released.

GateHouse publishes more than 560 community newspapers, including 124 dailies, along with more than 485 affiliated websites. Its publications can be found in 38 states.

Chieftain publisher Jane Rawlings says her father, Robert Hoag Rawlings, asked that the paper be sold upon his death. He died in March 2017 after serving as owner, publisher and editor of the newspaper for decades.

Jane Rawlings says the proceeds from the sale will be placed in a foundation aimed at serving Pueblo and southern Colorado.

Denver Post Journalists Go to New York to Protest Their Owner

Noelle Phillips, a reporter for The Denver Post, was among the journalists who took part in a protest against the newspaper's hedge-fund owner in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, May 8. Along with a dozen other sign-wielding protesters from newspapers across the country, Ms. Phillips chanted slogans outside the Lipstick Building, where Alden Global Capital, the company behind the newspaper chain Digital First Media, has its headquarters.

"As a reporter, what do you do when someone won't answer your questions?" she said. "You go knock on their door."

Journalists at The Post have taken the lead in making public their displeasure with Alden and Digital First Media, the owner of more than 90 publications nationwide, including The Orange County Register, The Pioneer Press of St. Paul and The Mercury News of San Jose, Calif.

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One fewer public editor: Not needed anymore, or needed more than ever?

In the past, even ESPN executives would refer to the multi-platform sports news network as “a walking conflict of interest.” On Wednesday, ESPN announced it cut its public editor position, explaining that real-time social feedback has reduced the need for a separate ombudsman-style internal checker and explainer to the public.

The Undefeated’s editor-in-chief, Kevin Merida, an ESPN senior vice president and chair of its editorial board, noted the elimination of the New York Times and Washington Post public editors preceded ESPN’s move. NPR and PBS are among the shrinking ranks of news organizations with outside public editors.

Merida said his editorial board meets regularly on the kinds of current journalistic issues and best practices a public editor might handle. “No one holds our journalists to higher standards than we do,” Merida wrote in a statement.

The position, created in 2005, was last held by Jim Brady, former Washington Post digital chief and CEO of Spirited Media. Brady, whose two-plus-year term ended in March, was unsurprised. “Sorry to see this,” he tweeted Wednesday morning, “though when my term ended, it felt like continuing to have the position was a 50-50 proposition at best.”

In his final column, Brady questioned whether new president James Pitaro would show the same commitment to journalism as his predecessor, John Skipper.

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Berkshire Eagle Editor Resigns, Citing Ethics Concerns

WAMC has learned that The Berkshire Eagle’s managing editor for news has resigned from the paper, citing concerns about ethics violations. The Pittsfield, Massachusetts newspaper disputes the criticism.

Samantha Wood told WAMC that her issues with the paper began with a new face on its editorial board in November.

“Several people in the newsroom were asking why that person had been added, who did that person work for, where did they come from, why had ownership chosen to put that person on the board, and that had been percolating,” she said.

That person is Oren Cass, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative non-profit think tank based in New York City. Cass served as an adviser to Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid.

“This spring that person ran for public office," said Wood, "and it was assumed by me and a number of my colleagues that that person would no longer serve on the editorial board. It’s a basic tenet and it’s laid out in the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists that people who do work in newsrooms and are closely associated with newsrooms don’t run for public office, and people who run for public office don’t work in newsrooms.”

The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics does not explicitly prevent journalists from running for office, but it does include the call for journalists to, quote, “Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived,” and to, quote, “Disclose unavoidable conflicts.”

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Standard-Examiner newspaper lets go of 29 staffers

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Standard-Examiner newspaper has let go of 29 employees as it undergoes a transfer to new ownership.

The northern Utah newspaper reports that the employees were told Thursday their positions weren't included in the sale by Sandusky Newspaper Group to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers.

Among the terminated employees are five newsroom staff, 10 people from the circulation and customer service team, seven packagers, four salespeople and the publisher. Five other unfilled positions were also eliminated from the advertising and editorial departments.

The departures account for roughly 19 percent of the newspaper's staff.

Ogden Newspapers own publications in at least 16 states. The sale is expected to close Sunday.

Earlier this week, the Salt Lake Tribune announced it was facing layoffs due to declining advertising revenues and shrinking circulation.

Drastic cutbacks at the Salt Lake Tribune

In a radical restructuring of Utah’s largest newspaper, owner Paul Huntsman proceeded Monday with cutting 34 Salt Lake Tribune employees from a newsroom staff of 90, along with the elimination of key print sections and some well-known writers who were read for generations.

After sounding the alarm last Tuesday, Huntsman — whose wealthy father, philanthropist and Tribune champion Jon Huntsman Sr., died Feb. 2 — enacted a drastic reduction in costs at The Tribune in light of what he said were unexpectedly sharp declines in print circulation and advertising revenues since he bought the Salt Lake City-based publication in 2016.

Along with cutting one in every three newsroom employees, The Tribune will eliminate its high-profile Utah news section Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, having already gone dark with its Monday version of the local news page. Remaining pages devoted to news, features, entertainment, business, sports and puzzles will all contract slightly.

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AP to offer election voter survey to replace exit polls

NEW YORK (AP) - The Associated Press said Tuesday that it will begin conducting an elaborate election voter survey designed to replace the traditional in-person exit poll, which has been criticized in recent years for inaccuracy and failing to keep up with changes in how Americans vote.

AP is convinced that science is on its side. Still, it's a bold and potentially risky move for the news cooperative, which counts political coverage as a strong suit and which has, until recently, pooled resources with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to conduct exit polling in major elections.

AP has been concerned about the accuracy of in-person exit polls for the past several years, said Sally Buzbee, the news agency's executive editor. On election night in 2016, when she was then serving as AP's Washington bureau chief, she directed that only actual results be used to declare winners after exit poll results varied widely from actual vote returns. The exit poll that year was far more favorable to Hillary Clinton in many states than to eventual winner Donald Trump.

"If you don't trust it enough to use it, it doesn't have much value," Buzbee said.

The new AP VoteCast service, developed with NORC at the University of Chicago, uses a combination of online and telephone surveys conducted four days before Election Day and through the close of polls. In all, AP expects to conduct more than 85,000 interviews with voters for this year's midterm election survey, said David Scott, the AP's deputy managing editor for operations. That's far more than the roughly 19,400 conducted by the exit poll in 2014, Scott said, allowing for a deeper and more accurate understanding of the electorate.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 10, 2018

AP announces new policy over the term ‘collision’

The Associated Press has changed the laws of physics. Sorta, kinda.

At the annual introduction of new style guidelines presented at the conference of ACES: The Society for Editing, Paula Froke, the lead editor for the Associated Press Stylebook, said AP would no longer require that two bodies must be in motion for a “collision” to happen.

A collision of hands broke out when this was announced, because copy editors.

Some explanation is in order. For decades, the AP has insisted that, as its previous entry said, “Two objects must be in motion before they can collide. A moving train cannot collide with a stopped train.”

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A Lynching Memorial Forces a Reckoning for a Nation, and a Newspaper

A memorial that opened last week in Montgomery, Ala., honoring lynching victims aims to force a reckoning with one of the United States’ worst atrocities.

As the city’s largest newspaper, The Montgomery Advertiser, covered the opening, it found itself in the middle of its own reckoning.

In a news article and an editorial, The Advertiser admitted that its coverage of lynchings over many decades was careless, dismissive and dehumanizing in its treatment of the black victims and portrayed them as criminals who got what was coming to them.

“We were wrong,” the editorial began.

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Study: Diversity remains low in sports news departments

The number of jobs held by people of color and women in sports departments at newspapers and websites has improved slightly but remains low, with most positions dominated by white males, according to a study released Wednesday.

The report by Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports issued the more than 75 outlets belonging to the Associated Press Sports Editors a second straight B grade for racial hiring, a D-plus for overall hiring practices and a fifth consecutive failing grade for gender hires in jobs that include sports editor, columnist, reporter and copy editor.

Richard Lapchick, the director of the institute and the study's primary author, said the percentages rose in nine of the 10 hiring categories — five each for racial hiring, five for gender hiring — that were studied.

"But in most cases, those were very small increases," Lapchick said. "Particularly in gender-hiring practices, where it continues to earn another F, there is a very long way to go."

Every editor’s nightmare: Procedures change after gun ad ends up on front page

The local paper for the tragedy that dominated headlines earlier this year — the Parkland school massacre — found itself apologizing and changing policies after a nightmare juxtaposition of news and advertising.

South Florida’s Sun Sentinel temporarily banned all gun ads and changed editing procedures after an ad slipped onto a front page that featured stories on a Parkland victims fund and the guilty plea of another mass shooter.

After an outcry from readers and at least one parent of a Parkland shooting victim, publisher Nancy Meyer said: “We are taking steps to ensure this does not happen again.” Meyer placed a temporary moratorium on all gun ads and noted that such ads were never supposed to be on the front page in the first place.

A new desk policy instituted Wednesday requires all front-page proofs to be in hard copy so that the entire page can be seen at a glance before printing, editor-in-chief Julie Anderson told Poynter. (Read our full story here).

The Sun Sentinel’s swift public response was praised by one irate reader, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was among those killed in Parkland. “They did more than apologize; they actually put a moratorium in place on more gun advertising," Guttenberg told the Miami New Times.

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Women Said to Accuse Times Editor Who Resigned of Inappropriate Behavior
Charlie Rose’s misconduct was widespread at CBS and three managers were warned, investigation finds

At least three female New York Times employees had accused departed metro editor Wendell Jamieson of inappropriate behavior, the NYT’s Tiffany Hsu reported. Jamieson would not comment for the article. His resignation, announced Monday, followed an internal investigation, and Susan Chira was named as interim metro editor.

Lessons in saving your student paper, before it’s too late

The decision was made in secret. The alums found out too late to save it. How The Daily Campus, the venerable independent newspaper of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, is now under university control, and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen at your school. The story is written by two Daily Campus alums, ProPublica’s Jessica Huseman and Texas Christian University’s Daxton “Chip” Stewart.

3 women sue CBS News and Charlie Rose, alleging harassment

NEW YORK (AP) — Three women who worked with Charlie Rose filed a sexual harassment lawsuit Friday against CBS News and the television journalist.

The lawsuit filed in New York state court seeks unspecified damages.

It said the women, who were in their early 20s when they were hired, were subjected to "predatory behavior," including repeated physical and verbal sexual harassment as Rose inquired about their sex lives and boasted of his exploits with women.

Rose was fired in November as "CBS This Morning" anchor.

His PBS interview show was canceled. The Washington Post has reported that more than two dozen women say Rose harassed them.

CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Idaho asked to investigate 'newspaper' mailed to voters

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Democratic Party on Friday said the state should investigate a publication purporting to be a conservative newspaper because they argue it is really a cleverly disguised political campaign mailer.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, the party is requesting his office look into a publication known as "The Idahoan," which included more than 40 pages spread over two sections. The letter also demands that Denney should not be involved in the investigation because the publication's co-editor and publisher Lou Esposito, a longtime political consultant, has close ties to the Republican politician.

The periodical states that it is "written by conservatives" designed to serve as a voter guide to the upcoming May 15 primary election. The publication has endorsements of far-right candidates, advertisements from conservative groups such as Idaho Chooses Life and editorials criticizing so-called "moderate" Republicans.

Most notably, the publication is sprinkled with multiple factual errors ranging from informing voters the wrong day to vote to misspelling names of candidates, to candidates misidentified in photos. It says it will only be published before an election and around legislative sessions.

"This trickery and deceptiveness cannot be tolerated by your office, and The Idahoan and its backers should be investigated to ensure that all election and campaign laws have been complied with," Sam Dotters-Katz wrote, the party's attorney.

Accusations of censorship at UN on World Press Freedom Day

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — On World Press Freedom Day when the U.N. chief was touting the "invaluable" role of a free press, a U.N. panel discussion on international media freedom and fake news was suddenly postponed, sparking accusations of censorship.

The postponement was raised at Thursday's official U.N. event marking World Press Freedom Day, where Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video message that the service of the media to the public "is invaluable."

Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists thanked organizers of the official event for shining a light on the work of journalists — but said unfortunately "as we battle censorship around the world ... the panel was cancelled because one of the presenters was going to mention by name countries that jail journalists."

"So we have a discussion in the U.N. about battling censorship, being censored, that's quite ironic," he said. "I would call on us all here present to resist the politicization — the increasing politicization of U.N. agencies whose mission is to defend press freedom."

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations organized the panel which included about a dozen prominent journalists and media experts in collaboration with the News Literacy Project, an education nonprofit that works with educators and journalists to teach students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age

Denver Post staffers protest 'censorship' of editor who criticized owner

A rebellion that began about a month ago with a remarkable editorial continued on Monday when staffers condemned what they called the "censorship" of editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett.

An open letter to readers on Monday was signed by 55 of the newsroom's roughly 70 staffers. Now the ball is back in the owner's court.

Both the Post's editorial page and the newsroom, two different parts of the newspaper, are at odds with parent company Digital First Media, which is controlled by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

The Post has been at risk of suffering from the same death spiral as other newspapers, despite being profitable. But instead of privately lamenting round after round of cutbacks, key staffers and union officials have been speaking out.

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Denver Post editor resigns after fiery editorial calling out owner

The editorial page editor at The Denver Post resigned on Thursday, a few weeks after he wrote a column criticizing the paper's owners.

The Denver Post reporters and local news outlet Denverite reported that Charles Plunkett resigned from his post, the latest casualty at a paper that has been ravaged by layoffs in recent years.

"It's a tragedy what Alden Global Capital is doing to its newsrooms and what it's doing to The Denver Post," Plunkett told Denverite. "It's an act of apostasy to our profession and I could no longer abide it."

Colleagues praised Plunkett for his work and fearless attitude.

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Tronc recognizes Chicago Tribune Guild, unionizing newsrooms

CHICAGO (AP) — Media company Tronc has agreed to recognize the Chicago Tribune Guild after about 85 percent of newsroom employees signed cards supporting union representation.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Tribune publisher and editor-in-chief Bruce Dold announced in an email to newsroom employees on Sunday that the union would be recognized. It would be the first newsroom union in the newspaper's 171-year history. The company said there will be three bargaining units representing the Chicago Tribune, its suburban and Hoy publications and its design and production studio.

The National Labor Relations Board is expected to give official certification in the coming week. The guild is part of the NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America.

Formerly Tribune Co., Tronc also operates publications including the New York Daily News and The Baltimore Sun.

First lady admonishes reporters to 'be best' in their jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Melania Trump is admonishing journalists to "be best" in their jobs following some unflattering news coverage of her initiative to promote child well-being.

The first lady launched the "Be Best" campaign on Monday to encourage adults to help teach children to be good citizens. Several news outlets reported that material she distributed for adults to talk to children about being online was similar to information distributed during the Obama administration.

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman, took the "opposition media" to task on Tuesday. She says in a statement that journalists used a day meant to promote positive efforts on behalf of children to lob "baseless accusations towards the first lady."

Newseum Institute renamed as Freedom Forum Institute

The Newseum Institute has been renamed the Freedom Forum Institute. The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. This change more strongly aligns the name with the Institute’s work.

The Freedom Forum Institute’s important mission remains the same: to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment. The Institute carries out this work through its First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, and NewseumED, an online learning platform for students and teachers.

The Freedom Forum Institute also houses several important initiatives that promote journalistic excellence, diversity in the media and workplace integrity. The Chips Quinn Scholars program, the Institute’s largest and most enduring diversity initiative, gives journalism students hands-on training and mentoring from news veterans, opening doors to media careers for young students of color and increasing diversity in the nation’s newsrooms. Launched in 2018, the Power Shift Project promotes workplace integrity, defined as eliminating sexual harassment and creating opportunities for all, through rigorous training and resources for newsroom leaders and HR professionals. And the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference brings 51 high school juniors to Washington, D.C., each summer for a five-day experience designed to inspire and encourage students to pursue journalism.

The Freedom Forum Institute, with the University of South Dakota, also presents the annual Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media, recognizing extraordinary achievements by leaders in the media.

The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University.

The Salt Lake Tribune faces layoffs, cuts to print offerings

The owner and publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune has ordered staff cuts and a review of shrinking its print edition in light of continued losses in circulation and advertising revenues.

Paul Huntsman, who acquired Utah’s largest newspaper in 2016, relayed those impending changes and financial difficulties in a 50-minute newsroom meeting with staff Tuesday, saying specifics on layoffs, reducing print pages and other content changes would be forthcoming within a week.

A son of the late industrialist-philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., the publisher said that in the two years since he acquired The Tribune from New York-based Digital First Media, the Salt Lake City-based paper had suffered a 40 percent decline in ad revenues while weekday print circulation continues to plummet, down from 85,000 four years ago to fewer than 31,000 today.

Huntsman said he had personally covered the resulting red ink over the past eight months, but added that the conditions were “not sustainable.”

Investments totaling more than a million dollars in a new web production system and upgrading The Tribune’s digital offerings, mobile apps and social media presence have not stemmed those losses, he said.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • May 3, 2018

RSF Index 2018: Hatred of journalism threatens democracies

The 2018 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), reflects growing animosity towards journalists. Hostility towards the media, openly encouraged by political leaders, and the efforts of authoritarian regimes to export their vision of journalism pose a threat to democracies.

The climate of hatred is steadily more visible in the Index, which evaluates the level of press freedom in 180 countries each year. Hostility towards the media from political leaders is no longer limited to authoritarian countries such as Turkey (down two at 157th) and Egypt (161st), where “media-phobia” is now so pronounced that journalists are routinely accused of terrorism and all those who don’t offer loyalty are arbitrarily imprisoned.

More and more democratically elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion. The United States, the country of the First Amendment, has fallen again in the Index under Donald Trump, this time two places to 45th. A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters “enemies of the people,” the term once used by Joseph Stalin.

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Nine journalists killed in Afghan bombing, prompting appeal to U.N.

At least nine journalists were killed and half a dozen wounded in a double suicide bombing in Afghanistan's capital Kabul.

Almost as alarming as the bloodshed — at least 25 people were killed overall and dozens wounded — was the modus operandi. It appeared that the journalists were intentionally targeted by a bomber who hid among members of the media rushing to cover the first explosion.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said it is formally appealing to the U.N. secretary general for the creation of a special U.N. envoy for protecting journalists.

The Washington-based Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemned the attack, calling it "a reminder of the extreme dangers to media workers in that country" and "an assault on Afghan democracy."

The bombing by the Islamic State group was the deadliest attack targeting reporters since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, according to Reporters Without Borders, also known by its French acronym RSF. It said 36 media workers have been killed in Afghanistan in attacks by the Islamic State group or the Taliban since 2016.

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AP reports loss on one-time accounting charges

The Associated Press lost $74 million in 2017, mostly due to one-time accounting charges related to the federal tax overhaul passed late last year.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $510.1 million from $556.3 million in 2016, when the company benefited from additional revenue related to U.S. elections, according to the AP’s earnings release.

The revenue decline also reflects a shrinking newspaper industry and consolidation among some major online media companies. This is AP’s first loss since 2012.

The nonprofit cooperative, which had a profit of $1.6 million in 2016, sells content to other media organizations.

The AP said the loss was largely the result of a one-time write-down related to a decline in the value of deferred tax assets under the new tax law. That measure lowered the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent as of Jan. 1.

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Comedian Wolf draws laughs, gasps at correspondents' dinner

If President Donald Trump isn't comfortable being the target of jokes, comedian Michelle Wolf has given him and others plenty of reasons to squirm.

"It's 2018 and I'm a woman, so you cannot shut me up, unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000," she cracked at the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association.

No, Trump's personal attorney wasn't there. And, for the second year, Trump himself skipped the event, preferring to criticize journalists and others during a campaign-style rally in Michigan.

Wolf, the after-dinner entertainment for the White House press corps and their guests, was surprisingly racy for the venue and seemed more at home on HBO than C-SPAN. After one crass joke drew groans in the Washington Hilton ballroom, she laughed and said, "Yeah, shoulda done more research before you got me to do this."

Trump, noting how Wolf's routine played, observed in a tweet: "While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn't work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust ... the so-called comedian really 'bombed.'"

As he did last year, Trump flew to a Republican-friendly district to rally supporters on the same night as the dinner. In Michigan, the president assured his audience he'd rather be there than in that other city by that name.

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Bill Hanson named senior publisher of Commonwealth Journal

Bill Hanson, senior publisher of the News and Tribune in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and the Glasgow Daily Times in Glasgow, Kentucky, has expanded his publisher responsibilities to the Somerset Commonwealth Journal in Somerset, Kentucky.

Steve McPhaul, CNHI LLC’s executive vice president, newspaper operations, said Hanson’s responsibilities were expanded because of his leadership skills and knowledge of local markets.

Hanson is a 34-year veteran of the newspaper industry who served as publisher at the Times-Tribune in Corbin, Kentucky, for eight years before accepting the assignment in Indiana in 2010.

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New York Times metro editor resigns after investigation

The New York Times announced that Wendell Jamieson, the newspaper’s metro editor, had resigned after an internal investigation but did not specify the reason for his departure.

“I regret and apologize for my mistakes and leaving under these circumstances,” Mr. Jamieson said in a statement that was included in a note to employees from Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, and Joseph Kahn, the managing editor.

Mr. Jamieson, 51, joined The Times in 2000 after having worked for Newsday, The Daily News and The New York Post. He was named metro editor in 2013.

Susan Chira, a senior correspondent and an editor covering gender issues, replaced Mr. Jamieson in an interim capacity.

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New publisher takes reins of East Oregonian in Pendleton, Oregon

The EO Media Group has named Chris Rush as the regional publisher and revenue director of several Oregon newspapers: the East Oregonian, Hermiston Herald, Blue Mountain Eagle and Wallowa County Chieftain.

He will replace Kathryn Brown, who has been publisher of the East Oregonian since 2013 and will begin developing a new publication for the EO Media Group this summer.

Rush is a 25-year veteran of the journalism industry and native of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Colorado editor who posted editorial on blog without permission fired

An editor at The Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, who published a critical editorial about the newspaper's hedge fund owners without the publisher's permission has been fired.

Dave Krieger tweeted that he was fired, though he didn't say why.

The editorial page editor posted the piece on a blog on April 14 after he said the newspaper's publisher rejected it. It criticized cuts made by Alden Global Capital. Alden owns a controlling interest in Digital First Media, which owns numerous newspapers including The Denver Post and The Camera.

MSNBC's Joy Reid can't prove hackers wrote 'hurtful' posts

MSNBC's Joy Reid, under fire for homophobic language in old blog posts, apologized for any past comments that belittled or mocked the LGBTQ community and says she hasn't been able to verify her claim that her account was hacked.

Reid opened her weekend show "AM Joy" by acknowledging she has said "dumb" and "hurtful" things in the past. "The person I am now is not the person I was then," she said.

But she was unable to explain blog posts from a decade ago that mocked gay people and individuals who were allegedly gay. Reid has denied posting them altogether but says security experts she hired who looked into whether she had been a hacking victim found no proof.

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Tom Brokaw denies sexual misconduct claim by ex-NBC reporter

A woman who worked as a war correspondent for NBC News said Tom Brokaw groped her, twice tried to forcibly kiss her and made inappropriate overtures attempting to have an affair, according to two published reports.

Linda Vester told Variety and the Washington Post that the misbehavior from the longtime news anchor at the network took place in NBC offices in Denver and New York in the 1990s, when she was in her 20s. Variety reports that Vester, now 52, showed them journals from the time that corroborated the story.

Brokaw, who is 78 and has been married since 1962, denied doing anything inappropriate.

"I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC," Brokaw said in a statement to the two outlets issued through NBC News. "The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda's allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other."

Another woman, who was not identified, made similar claims about Brokaw to the Post.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • April 26, 2018

Jim Moroney, chairman, president and chief executive of the A.H. Belo Corp., will retire

Jim Moroney, chairman, president and chief executive of the A.H. Belo Corp., will retire at the mid-May meeting of the board of the parent company of The Dallas Morning News.

The newspaper reports that he will be succeeded by cousin Robert W. Decherd, who had preceded the 61-year-old Moroney as CEO.

Moroney and Decherd are both great-grandsons of George B. Dealey, the first and longest tenured publisher of the DMN.

Moroney became publisher of the newspaper in 2001 and relinquished the position last month.

During Moroney's tenure, the DMN won Pulitzer Prizes in 2004, 2006 and 2010 and was a finalist in other years.

AP Stylebook updates guidance

The 2018 AP Stylebook will include a new chapter on polls and surveys, adding details to help journalists report responsibly on public opinion research heading into the U.S. midterm elections.

The new chapter, available immediately to AP Stylebook Online subscribers, leads with longstanding guidance that the mere existence of a poll is not enough to make news. It adds that “poll results that seek to preview the outcome of an election must never be the lead, headline or single subject of any story.”

Deputy Managing Editor for Operations David Scott, who oversees AP’s polling unit, said:

A good pre-election poll can provide solid insight into what voters are thinking. In the heat of a campaign, that’s why they are so often intoxicating for journalists, for campaign staffers and, yes, for candidates, too. But the 2016 election was a reminder that polls aren’t perfect. They’re unquestionably a piece of the story, but never the whole story. The Stylebook update aims to serve as a steady reminder of that fact.

Tampa Bay Times CEO says dozens of layoffs 'directly related to the tariffs'

Last month, Paul Tash, the chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times, wrote that because of newspaper tariffs that were going to add $3 million more in expenses, layoffs were coming.

Last week, those layoffs began. They’ll total "approximately" 50 across the company, Ashley Gurbal Kritzer reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Poynter owns the Times, and Tash is chairman of Poynter’s board of trustees.

Last month, Poynter business analyst Rick Edmonds wrote about how the tariffs came about: A single American paper company, Norpac in the Pacific Northwest, complained last fall that Canadian mills, which supply most of the newsprint in the U.S., were unfairly subsidized by the government there and also were dumping at cut-rate prices here. Norpac, which had previous favorable rulings from the Commerce Department, got a preliminary judgment in their favor in January. The matter now goes to the International Trade Commission, whose ruling is expected in September. The Commerce Department will issue a separate ruling on the dumping charges in August.

Poynter: Will the next generation of journalists fall prey to censorship?

We’ve all grown accustomed to the notion that the news media and journalists are under attack from several quarters. But there’s a certain portion of this group that now seems more vulnerable than ever: student journalists.

That’s important to know as student news operations prepare for  #SaveStudentNewsroomsDay for 87 student publications nationwide on April 25. This is an effort to raise understanding, allies — and funds — for the work.

At risk: the independence or even survival of student publications that hold powerful universities and local communities accountable — and are the training ground for the next generation of journalists.

“So many of us started at college newspapers,” tweeted Los Angeles Times reporter Jim Puzzanghera. “This is a cause worth supporting if you value the First Amendment.”

Some student newspapers are in dire shape.

SPJ has endorsed the student effort, with national president Rebecca Baker saying pressure must build on universities to support their independent student media.

Chicago Sun-Times: Please subscribe!

The Chicago Sun-Times published a blank front page on April 23 with an inside message urging reading to “please support our daily work.” It read:

“The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the city. Every day for 174 years, we have been there for you. Now we need you to be there for us. We’re asking you to please support our daily work by subscribing to our website for $7.49 a month. That’s less than 25 cents a day. In return, you’ll get unlimited access to our web content and will help protect the long-term survival of our newsroom.

-- Imagine our city without our headlines.

-- Without our journalists to tell your side of the story.

-- Without our beat writers to cover sports.

-- Without our watchdog reporters to keep an eye on government.

-- Without our columnists and editorial board to be a second voice.

-- Imagine it. Then help us make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Owner of Provo Daily Herald buys Ogden Standard-Examiner

The owner of the Provo (Utah) Daily Herald is purchasing the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden.

West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers will buy the Standard-Examiner, its website and its office and printing press from Ohio-based Sandusky Newspapers Inc.

Ogden Newspapers CEO Robert Nutting says his family is extremely proud to be the new publisher of the Standard-Examiner and to serve the northern Utah region.

Ogden Newspapers is the owner of 45 daily newspapers around the U.S.

Rebecca Poynter named new Idaho Statesman publisher

The McClatchy Company has named Rebecca Poynter as the new publisher of the Idaho Statesman in Boise.

Poynter most recently led a group of Michigan newspapers for Gannett Co. She succeeds Debra Leithauser, who left the Idaho Statesman in December to lead the communications department at Idaho Power.

Poynter was born and raised in Kentucky and earned a journalism degree from the University of Kentucky. While with Gannett, she worked for the Army Times, USA Today and other news organizations before moving to Lansing, Michigan to oversee the State Journal and Gannett's papers in Port Huron, Battle Creek, Howell, Livonia and Northville.

INDUSTRY NEWS • April 12, 2018

Knight Foundation looks at local television

Some would argue the local television news industry sits in an enviable position. It still reaches large audiences and brings in considerable revenue, thanks to political advertising and the retransmission fees that cable and satellite systems pay to carry local channels. But television news leaders are well aware of the shifting landscape. Broadcast ratings have declined and TV news leaders, like those working in other media, know, that in the digital age, audiences find their news on mobile devices and social streams. That’s led to television newsrooms accelerating their efforts to serve viewers across websites, social and next generation platforms that promise to deliver ultra-high definition TV anywhere, anytime. TV now means much more than producing stories for the f o”clock news. Knight Foundation is supporting television news journalists and leadership by investing $2.6 million into efforts around digital information, diversity, audience engagement and investigative reporting. And it is complementing that effort by publishing new research on the state of the industry and its future.

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Poynter: 16 J-School deans and chairs issue letter expressing concern to Sinclair

Sixteen university journalism department deans and chairs have now signed a letter of concern to Sinclair Broadcast Group's chairman, David Smith. The letter began at the University of Maryland, the university closest to Sinclair's Baltimore headquarters and spread to other respected journalism schools at LSU, University of Georgia, Temple, USC and on Monday NYU and other universities added their names.

The letter of protest to the Sinclair Broadcast Group Executive Chairman David D. Smith condemns the company for forcing anchors at its nearly 200 stations to read a statement accusing other news outlets of publishing "fake news." The letter includes this passage:

While news organizations have historically had and used the prerogative to publish and broadcast editorials clearly identified as opinion, we believe that line was crossed at Sinclair stations when anchors were required to read scripts making claims about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.”

The Denver Post is in open revolt against its owner.

Angry and frustrated journalists at the 125-year-old newspaper took the extraordinary step this weekend of publicly blasting its New York-based hedge-fund owner and making the case for its own survival in several articles that went online and are scheduled to run in The Post’s Sunday opinion section.

“News matters,” the main headline reads. “Colo. should demand the newspaper it deserves.”

The bold tactic was born out of a dissatisfaction not uncommon in newsrooms across the country as newspapers grapple with the loss of revenue that has followed the decline of print.

The move at The Post followed a prolonged, slow-burning rebellion at The Los Angeles Times, where journalists agitated against the paper’s owner, the media company Tronc. Newsroom complaints about Tronc’s leadership helped lead to the sale of the newspaper to a billionaire medical entrepreneur, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who had been a major shareholder in Tronc.

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Trump to skip annual White House correspondents' dinner

President Donald Trump, a constant critic of what he calls "fake news," will skip the White House Correspondents' Dinner for a second year in a row.

White House Correspondents' Association president Margaret Talev said in statement that the "White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year's dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend."

Talev said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders will attend to represent the administration at the head table.

The annual dinner, a fundraiser for college scholarships and a venue for reporting awards, mixes politicians, journalists and celebrities and is typically attended by the president and first lady. Remarks by a comedian, often roasting the president, and a humorous address by the president himself, often roasting the press and political opponents, have highlighted the event.

USA TODAY names Cuban-American woman as new publisher

Maribel Perez Wadsworth has been named publisher of USA Today, becoming the second woman to hold the post.

Wadsworth is taking up the role following the retirement of John Zidich, USA Today said.

Wadsworth, 45, is also president of the USA Today Network, which has 109 local media properties. She will remain in that role, where the company said she has driven "investments in emerging technologies to create groundbreaking storytelling, such as the launch of the first weekly news program in virtual reality."

"Maribel's passion for creating great experiences for our audiences as well as her commitment to constant innovation make her the ideal leader for USA Today," said Robert Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett Co., which owns USA Today.

A Cuban-American born in Miami, Wadsworth joined the corporate team of Gannett Co. in 2009.

New publisher for newspapers in Elko, Nevada and Twin Falls, Idaho

A former publisher in charge of several newspapers in North Carolina has been named the new publisher of the Elko Daily Free Press in Nevada and the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Lee Enterprises announced 61-year-old Kevin Kampman will be based in Twin Falls.

Kampman temporarily retired in May from the BH Media Group in Winston-Salem where he oversaw two daily papers and eight smaller community publications.

The Cleveland native began his 37-year career in newspapers in the circulation department at the Columbus Dispatch.

Kampman replaces former publisher Travis Quast, who's taking a job in eastern Idaho overseeing a dozen publications through the Adams Publication Group.

Josh Trust named River Valley Media Group publisher

Josh Trust takes the helm of River Valley Media Group, which is headquartered in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to join a progressive company like Lee and a local institution that prides itself on good journalism and civic responsibility,” Trust said.

Trust, a Pittsburgh native and 20-year veteran of the newspaper industry, has been named publisher of RVMG. He will manage operations for the Winona Daily News, La Crosse Tribune, Chippewa Herald and six weekly publications.

“Josh is an accomplished executive with vast experience in the industry,” Lee Enterprises group publisher Chris White said. He succeeds Bob Fleck, who left the company in February.

INDUSTRY NEWS • April 4, 2018

Poynter: Paper and postal rate increases are kicking the print industry while it's down

Reeling print businesses stand to take a significant hit this year as a tariff on Canadian newsprint and a scheduled postal rate increase for magazines kick in.

The ultimate amount of the increases is still in flux, but worse case or even next-to-worse case, they may lead to staffing and content cutbacks at strong publications and spell the end for smaller and weaker ones.

Paul Tash, chairman and CEO of Poynter's Tampa Bay Times, said in a letter to readers that the Times' newsprint bill stands to go up 30 percent or $3 million for this year. The Times and other publishers will cut the size of the print edition and eliminate jobs as a result, he wrote.

The News Media Alliance has been lobbying against the proposed tariff since December and is ramping up those efforts this month with publishers calling on members of Congress.

Meanwhile magazine industry executives are mobilizing against a proposed postal rate increase for periodicals. They claim that what the Postal Service is asking could add 40 percent to their cost of mailing over the next five years.

If that sticks, Meredith CEO Tom Harty wrote to the Postal Commission, his company will be forced "to pursue magazine closures, circulation cuts, issue frequency reductions and conversion to digital formats."

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Hewlett Foundation announces $10 million grant to study digital disinformation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced that following a yearlong exploration, it will devote $10 million over the next two years toward grappling with the growing problem that digital disinformation poses for U.S. democracy.

Focusing primarily on the role of social media, the new funding commitment will support high-quality research to help improve decisions made by leaders in the technology sector as well as government and civil society advocates. The effort is one part of the foundation's “Madison Initiative,” founded in 2013 to strengthen the values, norms and institutions of U.S. democracy in a polarized era.

GateHouse buys Palm Beach Post, Daily News

One of the nation’s busiest acquirers of newspapers and online media has agreed to buy The Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Daily News in a deal priced at $49.25 million.

Executives at New York-based New Media Investment Group Inc. said the sister papers will join a growing GateHouse Media stable of more than 140 daily newspapers. That represents more than 1 in 10 in the country.

The papers and associated websites have been owned since 1969 by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises. The sale is expected to be completed by May.

Publicly traded New Media Investment Group (NEWM) has been on a buying spree in an industry grappling with change and consolidation. Recently the company announced it had agreed to purchase another Cox property, the Austin American-Statesman newspaper and related publications in Texas, for $47.5 million.

2 central Virginia community newspapers closing down

Two central Virginia newspapers are shutting down, becoming the second and third community papers to close in the Richmond area this year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that The Herald-Progress, which covers Ashland and Hanover County, announced that it will publish its final edition this week. Company leaders determined the paper was "no longer commercially viable."

Tennessee-based Lakeway Publishers Inc. said it's also closing Herald's sister paper, The Caroline Progress, which covered Caroline County.

The papers' closures will follow that of the Hopewell News earlier this year.

AP: Deadspin video illustrates Sinclair stations' messaging

A video with dozens of news anchors reading a script about "fake stories" put in stark visual terms what for weeks had largely been an academic debate about media consolidation and the Sinclair Broadcast Group's efforts to promote a consistent message across its stations.

The 98-second video, posted on Deadspin, has already been viewed by millions of people and provoked a tweet by President Donald Trump supporting the corporation.

Sinclair owns nearly 200 local stations and had ordered its anchors to read a statement expressing concern about "the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing the country." Some outlets publish these "fake stories" without checking facts first and some people in the media push their own biases, the statement said.

The anchors give no specific examples. Sinclair, whose corporate leadership leans right, uses terminology familiar to Trump and his criticisms of "fake news." In the message, the anchors say they "work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual."

Bill Atkinson named Chronicle publisher

Pauline Sherrer has retired as publisher of the Crossville (Tennessee) Chronicle, the community newspaper she has shepherded for the past 37 years.

Bill Atkinson will now lead the staff as publisher.

“The Crossville Chronicle is where I began my newspaper career, and I always hoped to return home as publisher one day,” he said. “This is a dream come true, and Pauline made that dream come true.”

INDUSTRY NEWS • March 29, 2018

Meredith to eliminate 1,000 jobs

Magazine and broadcasting company Meredith laid off an additional 200 workers on Wednesday and announced it would eliminate another 1,000 jobs over the next 10 months as it integrates the operations of Time Inc., which it bought six weeks ago.

Meredith CEO Tom Harty said in a statement that the 200 employees were notified their positions were being eliminated. Last month, the company announced 600 jobs in a Time subscription fulfillment center in Tampa, Florida, would be eliminated with the center's closure.

The 1,000 additional reductions planned for the next 10 months do not include the impact of any potential divestitures. The company employs about 9,500, a spokesman said.

Harty also announced plans to explore the sale of the Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and Money brands.

"These are attractive properties with strong consumer reach. However, they have different target audiences and advertising bases, and we believe each brand is better suited for success with a new owner," he said in a statement.

Meredith bought Time for $1.8 billion in January, saying it expected to save up to $500 million in the first two years by combining operations. Its women- and lifestyle-focused magazines and websites include Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle and Allrecipes.

Poynter: Google commits to helping journalism

Google will be committing $300 million over the next three years to "strengthen quality journalism" under the umbrella of an effort it’s calling the Google News Initiative.

The new project contains three large components:

      Subscribe with Google. This will allow people to sign up for news subscriptions using the existing billing information Google already has on file.

      Disinfo Lab. Set up in conjunction with the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School, it’s designed "to combat mis- and disinformation during elections and breaking news moments."

      MediaWise. This is a collaborative effort between Poynter, Stanford University and the Local Media Association to develop a digital literacy curriculum.

MaineToday Media buying more newspapers

The owner of a newspaper group that dominates Maine media says he will expand his footprint by acquiring two more daily papers and a weekly group.

MaineToday Media owner Reade Brower says he's purchasing The Times Record of Brunswick and the Journal Tribune of Biddeford along with Mainely Media weekly publications.

MaineToday publishes the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, as well as the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and Morning Sentinel in Waterville. MaineToday also owns the Sun Media Group, which publishes the Sun Journal in Lewiston and several weekly papers.

Brower's company RFB Enterprises is acquiring the Brunswick and Biddeford papers from Pennsylvania-based Sample News Group.

Moyer named as new publisher of Las Vegas Review-Journal

Las Vegas Review-Journal Editor J. Keith Moyer has been named the newspaper's publisher.

Moyer replaces Craig Moon, who is returning to Tennessee to spend more time with his family.

The paper reports that Moyer served as publisher and CEO of the Minneapolis Star Tribune from 2001 to 2007 and of the Fresno Bee from 1997 to 2001.

He's been the Review-Journal's editor-in-chief and senior vice president for content since 2016.

Moyer was the top editor at the Fresno Bee; the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and Rochester Times-Union in Rochester, New York; the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock; and The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida.

Gazette-Mail in West Virginia names new publisher

The new owner of the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette-Mail says the newspaper's vice president of circulation is being promoted to publisher.

HD Media announced that 64-year-old Jim Heady would take over the role on April 1.

Heady, a Kentucky native who started his career with the Courier Journal in Louisville, worked in advertising, marketing and circulation departments at newspapers around the country before being hired on at Charleston Newspapers in 2013.

HD Media managing partner Doug Reynolds said Heady's experience at newspapers across the U.S. made him a good fit for publisher at West Virginia's largest newspaper.

AP: Trump is staffing - or - casting from Fox

President Donald Trump's favorite TV network is increasingly serving as a West Wing casting call, as the president reshapes his administration with camera-ready personalities.

Trump's new national security adviser, John Bolton, is a former U.N. ambassador, a White House veteran — and perhaps most importantly a Fox News channel talking head. Bolton's appointment follows Trump's recent attempt to recruit Fox guest Joseph diGenova for his legal team.

Bolton went on Fox to discuss his selection and said it had happened so quickly that "I think I'm still a Fox News contributor."

Another recent TV-land addition to the Trump White House is veteran CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow as top economic adviser. Other Fox faces on Trump's team: rising State Department star Heather Nauert, a former Fox News anchor; communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp and Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh. The latter two are both former Fox commentators.

INDUSTRY NEWS • March 21, 2018

Denver Post plans to cut a third of its newsroom employees

The Denver Post is planning to cut about a third of its newsroom employees in the coming months.

The newspaper reports that editor Lee Ann Colacioppo recently told staff members that 30 positions will be eliminated — 25 by April 9 and an additional five by July 1. The newsroom has about 100 journalists, and the reductions will include managers and union-covered employees.

Colacioppo didn't say which jobs will be eliminated. She wrote in a staff memo that the cuts are "painful" and "dreadfully stressful," but the newspaper will continue to connect with and inform its readers.

The Post is owned by Digital First Media, which is controlled by New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

Travis Quast named Idaho publisher and regional president

The Adams Publishing Group has named Travis Quast to lead the company’s Eastern Idaho publications, including the Idaho State Journal, The Post Register in Idaho Falls, The Standard Journal in Rexburg and the Teton Valley News in Driggs. Quast will also provide oversight for the Herald Journal in Logan, Utah.

Prior to joining the Adams Publishing Group, Quast served for five years as the publisher of the Twin Falls Times-News and The Voice in Idaho and the Elko Daily Free Press in Nevada.

Vice names A&E chief Nancy Dubuc to run company

Vice Media has appointed Nancy Dubuc, the former head of the A&E Networks, to be its chief executive as the company tries to rebound from sexual misconduct allegations. She's been a Vice board member and worked with the company to develop the Viceland cable network. Shane Smith, the company's co-founder, said that he'll let Dubuc run the company as he concentrates on making deals and creating content. Vice has grown exponentially since its founding as a rock fan magazine in Canada in the early 1990s. It produces news and lifestyle material over a variety of platforms and is especially popular among young consumers.

'Panama Papers' law firm announces that it is closing down

The Panamanian law firm whose more than 11 million leaked documents known as the "Panama Papers" shed light on how the world's wealthy exploit financial secrecy to hide assets says it is closing at the end of March.

The data breach from the Mossack-Fonseca firm was published by an international consortium of journalists and shook the ranks of the rich and powerful.

The firm's statement said that at one time it had offices in 40 countries and some 600 employees. But after the 2016 publication of so many secrets it has closed offices and pared its staff to about 50.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shared the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting with McClatchy and the Miami Herald for their reporting on the Panama Papers.

Network for misconduct victims wants to make newsrooms safer

A support network for victims of sexual misconduct in newsrooms has appointed an advisory board that includes CNN's Jake Tapper and PBS' Judy Woodruff and wants to fund a study to give news organizations specific ideas on keeping women safer.

The group Press Forward launched a website and was hosting a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington that included Tapper, Woodruff and former ABC "Nightline" host Ted Koppel.

The group of sexual misconduct victims in journalism came together late last year following stories that led to the firings of well-known figures including Matt Lauer of "Today," Charlie Rose of "CBS This Morning" and NBC News' Mark Halperin. Now they want to go beyond providing each other support.

Michael Ferro leaves Tronc board

The Chicago Tribune reports that Michael Ferro stepped down from the board of Tronc hours before Fortune published a story online accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior toward two women while in his previous role as head of a Chicago investment firm.

Ferro had been chairman of Tronc’s board since February 2016, when he took a major stake in the Chicago-based newspaper chain that includes the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other publications.

The Fortune story alleges that in 2013, Ferro engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior toward Kathryn Minshew, CEO and co-founder of The Muse.

INDUSTRY NEWS • March 14, 2018

AP to debunk election misinformation on Facebook

As part of its comprehensive fact-checking efforts, The Associated Press announced that it will work with Facebook to identify and debunk false and misleading stories related to the U.S. midterm election that are circulating on the platform.

The expanded collaboration leverages the presence of AP reporters in all 50 U.S. states to bring a local focus to Facebook’s fact-checking initiative.

AP has worked with Facebook  since 2016 to reduce the circulation of false news articles on the platform. 

“AP is committed to accurate and informative reporting on politics across the United States and worldwide," said AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Sally Buzbee. "Fact checking has long been a critical component of AP’s coverage of campaigns and government, and we are thrilled to work with Facebook to further surface that strong, fact-based reporting among members of its community.”

Washington Post: National Geographic confronts past, finds racism

Months ago, when National Geographic set out to make race the sole focus of its April 2018 issue, it decided to engage in some soul-searching. For much of its 130-year history, the magazine depicted people of color in crude stereotypes. Its archives are loaded with pictures of brown-skinned “natives” gazing in apparent awe at Western technology, articles referring to tribal peoples as “savages,” and of course many, many photos of bare-breasted Pacific island women striking vaguely seductive poses. Those glossy Geographics, stacked up in attics and basements, were favorites of more than a few curious young boys — with little interest in New Guinea or Polynesia. So in preparation for its examination of race, National Geographic editor in chief Susan Goldberg tapped John Edwin Mason, a University of Virginia professor specializing in the history of photography and the history of Africa, to dive into the magazine’s past. On Monday, she discussed his findings in an editor’s note.  “What Mason found in short was that until the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers,” Goldberg wrote. “Meanwhile it pictured ‘natives’ elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages — every type of cliche.” The title of Goldberg’s piece put it more bluntly: “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.”

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GateHouse Media buys Austin American-Statesman

The Austin American-Statesman is being sold to New York-based publishing company GateHouse Media, executives said, ending more than 41 years of ownership by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises.

The purchase price is $47.5 million. The sale is expected to close April 2.

GateHouse Media, based in upstate New York, is the nation’s largest owner of daily newspapers across the country, with more than 10,000 employees.

Along with the Statesman, the sale includes the newspaper’s Spanish-language weekly newspaper ¡Ahora Sí!, and the Austin Community Newspapers group, which includes the Bastrop Advertiser, Lake Travis View, Pflugerville Pflag, Round Rock Leader, Smithville Times and the Westlake Picayune. Related digital offerings also are part of the sale.

HD Media successful bidder for bankrupt West Virginia paper

The owner of The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia, is the successful bidder to buy the bankrupt Charleston Gazette-Mail after another media group dropped out.

News outlets report HD Media made the lone bid of $11.4 million at an auction. Representatives of Wheeling-based Ogden Newspapers, which earlier bid $10.9 million, didn't attend the auction.

In January, the Gazette-Mail filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and issued a 60-day layoff notice to employees. It won a Pulitzer Prize last year for Eric Eyre's investigative reporting of the state's opioid drug crisis.

Huntington-based HD Media also owns The Wayne County News, the Logan Banner, Williamson Daily News, the Coal Valley News and The Pineville Independent Herald.

Lawton Constitution to be sold to Southern Newspapers

Owners of The Lawton Constitution have announced plans to sell the southwestern Oklahoma newspaper to a Houston-based company.

Lawton businessmen and brothers Brad Burgess and Bill Burgess Jr. said in a news release that they have entered into an agreement with Southern Newspapers. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Burgess brothers bought the paper in 2012. Brad Burgess said in a statement that he and his brother "have enjoyed being stewards of this important community institution."

Southern Newspapers owner and CEO Lissa Walls said in a statement her company specializes in community newspapers and that she looks forward to working with local leaders.

The privately held company has 15 papers in Texas and Alabama. The 16,500-daily circulation Constitution will be its first in Oklahoma.

Attorneys seek release of Mexican journalist held in US

Human rights attorneys are seeking the release of an award-winning Mexican journalist detained in a remote Texas immigration facility while he seeks asylum in the United States.

Attorneys told a federal judge in Texas that there's no justification for detaining Emilio Gutierrez Soto. He's been held for nearly three months in an immigration detention center in El Paso despite never having violated U.S. law.

Gutierrez fled to the U.S. a decade ago after writing about alleged corruption in the Mexican military. His work caused his name to end up on a hit list. Supporters have asked the U.S. government to grant him and his son asylum instead of deporting him.

Gutierrez in October accepted the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award from the National Press Club in Washington on behalf of Mexico's journalists.

INDUSTRY NEWS • March 8, 2018

SPJ names McKenzie as executive director

The Society of Professional Journalists announced that veteran journalist and association leader Alison Bethel McKenzie will become its 20th executive director.

"Alison is a game changer for SPJ," said SPJ National President Rebecca Baker. "Her track record of successes, both as a working journalist and a tireless advocate for press rights and the practice of journalism, will help SPJ combat the forces that seek to diminish or destroy the role of the free press as a cornerstone of democracy in this country. SPJ and its members are fortunate to have Alison as our executive director, and I look forward to working with her."

Bethel McKenzie succeeds Joe Skeel, who took the executive director position with the Indiana State Bar Association in December.

A native of Miami, Bethel McKenzie served for five years as executive director of the International Press Institute, the world’s oldest global press freedom organization, in Vienna. She was the first American, first woman and first African-American to hold the position since it was founded in 1950. In addition, she has worked as a visiting professor of print and investigative journalism at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media in Bangalore, India.

Poynter: Facebook’s spending $3 million to help newspapers build digital subscriptions

Facebook has announced a new project aimed at helping local newspapers build digital subscriptions. The Facebook Journalism Project: Local News Subscriptions Accelerator puts $3 million and three months into working with between 10 and 15 metro publications, according to a press release.

So far, newspapers that are part of the program are: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Denver Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Omaha World-Herald, The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Tennessean, Newsday and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Digital media consultant and journalist Tim Griggs will lead the project, and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism will share case studies of the project through the Local Media Consortium, Local Media Association and the News Media Alliance.

Study on how media can lure new customers

Funding for the news industry is going through significant change, and evidence suggests less of the revenue in the future will come from advertising and more will come from consumers paying for news. This will require publishers to think differently about how they engage with customers.

To help understand this new landscape, the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, has conducted a survey of people who recently subscribed to newspapers. The survey of more than 4,100 recent newspaper subscribers captures their motives and mindsets at the time of the decision to pay. The large sample helps highlight differences among large papers and small, reader preferences for digital consumption versus print, Democrats versus Republicans, and a host of other factors.

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Dallas Morning News promotes GM to president-publisher

The Dallas Morning News has promoted Grant Moise from general manager to president and publisher of the newspaper, succeeding Jim Moroney.

The newspaper reports Moise, who is 42, joined The News in 2004 as an account executive and has managed mergers and acquisitions in various executive positions with the parent company while rising to the GM's position last year. While becoming the news organization's eighth publisher, he also will retain the executive vice president's title with the parent company.

Moroney had been president and publisher since 2001 when he succeeded the retiring Robert Decherd, who remains on the board of the newspaper's Dallas-based owner, A.H. Belo Corp. Moroney remains as board chairman, president and chief executive of A.H. Belo.

Trump puts aside the feud with media for a night at Gridiron

President Donald Trump engaged in a good-natured duel of one-liners with political rivals and the press at the annual Gridiron Dinner, largely putting aside his ongoing criticism of the media for a night.

Trump dished out sharp one-liners throughout his comments, occasionally lapsing into recurring themes about the 2016 election and media bias.

"Nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do. It's not even close," said Trump, who skipped last year's dinner. He also said: "I was very excited to receive this invitation and ruin your evening in person. That's why I accepted."

The annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation, now in its 133rd year, traced its history to 1885, the year President Grover Cleveland refused to attend. Every president since has come to at least one Gridiron.

AP expands work with Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Associated Press and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education are expanding their collaboration, a move that will bolster AP's health and science coverage over the next three years.

"Science will shape the world of tomorrow. So it is especially important to explain the scientific evidence that should inform our decisions, both in everyday life, and for society at large," said Sean B. Carroll, vice president of HHMI's Department of Science Education.

"This collaboration will enable AP to provide audiences of all ages and geographies with a deeper understanding of how science affects their lives," said Sarah Nordgren, AP deputy managing editor for health and science, sports, business news and arts and entertainment.

The AP started working with HHMI last year.

Under the expanded partnership, the AP will continue to collaborate with HHMI, broadening its "Science Says" and "Genetic Frontiers" series. It will grow its space reporting, introduce new coverage areas around the environment and pursue data-driven projects about the environment and public health. AP maintains all editorial control.

Women’s Media Center finds few women of color in US newsrooms

The Women’s Media Center report  “The Status of Women of Color in the U.S. News Media 2018” offers a look at where women journalists of color are — and aren’t — in legacy print, radio, TV, and digital news. It is an extension and extrapolation of data previously published in the Women’s Media Center’s annual “The Status of Women in the U.S. Media” study.

Women of color represent just 7.95 percent of U.S. print newsroom staff, 12.6 percent of local TV news staff, and 6.2 percent of local radio staff, according to industry research that is based on news organizations’ replies to professional association queries.

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Journalists to review news sites in Brill's new venture.

The founder of Court TV and the Brill's Content magazine about journalism is behind a new effort to sniff out fake news.

Steve Brill and partner Gordon Crovitz said they've secured funding for NewsGuard, a company that will use journalists to analyze news and information websites. Reviews of some 7,500 sites will let consumers know which are reliable and which have planted false stories. Crovitz is a former publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

Brill said NewsGuard is expected to be available this fall. Each description of a web site will tell its history, the owners and editors and whether the veracity of its articles have been questioned.

Crovitz said NewsGuard is necessary in a world where news brands don't stand out on social media or through search results.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 21, 2018

Trump to attend Gridiron Dinner after skipping it last year

President Donald Trump plans to attend the annual Gridiron Dinner, a white-tie society affair he stayed away from last year. Gridiron President David Lightman announced Feb 18 that Trump would attend the 133rd Gridiron Club Dinner on March 3. The president has a standing invitation to the dinner, which features skits, songs and speeches. During his first year in office, Trump avoided a number of high-wattage staples of the D.C. social scene where an appearance by the president is routine. The events include the Alfalfa Club dinner, the Gridiron Club dinner and, perhaps most famously, the White House Correspondents' Dinner. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump would attend the Gridiron Dinner, but said no decision had been made about the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Retired AP photojournalist Gene Herrick chronicled historic events

When Gene Herrick photographed Rosa Parks being fingerprinted by a white police officer, he didn't know it would become an iconic image of the civil rights movement.

The photograph is one of the first images that pop up when you search Parks' name on Google. It's on display at The Associated Press offices in New York City. And it hangs above Herrick's desk in his Rocky Mount home. But when Herrick took the photo on Feb. 22, 1956, it was just another day in the life of an Associated Press photographer.

"As a photojournalist, you don't really think about them being icons later on," Herrick said. "You just think about the spot news at the moment, what would make a shot for the AP wire." During his 28-year career with the AP, Herrick captured historic moments in U.S. history with his camera. Herrick, 91, is best known for his work photographing the Korean War and the civil rights movement. This year, his contributions will be recognized when he is inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame.

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Protest over Little Rock's "Babe Bracket" spreads nationwide

The runner-up from last year's "Babe Bracket," a Little Rock, Arkansas, radio station promotion that places local female journalists in a tournament-style contest whether they want to be in it or not, started a protest on Twitter on Feb. 15.  Winnie Wright, a reporter at KTHV, said her station's management asked her and her colleagues to not speak publicly about the contest, but after Arkansas' governor told the radio station that "everybody enjoys" the contest, Wright took to Twitter and quickly had a following.

Wright used the hashtag "#morethanababe." Soon after, female journalists from other TV markets weighed in with their support. Some also shared their own stories.

"On a daily basis, while I'm working to bring important stories to the people of Arkansas, I am cat-called, have obscenities yelled at me from cars, have men comment on my appearance in a professional setting, and worse. But I am #morethanababe," Wright wrote Feb. 15 in a series of tweets that included a list of her professional accomplishments.

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AP source: Fox to air NFL draft along with ESPN, NFL Network

Fox Sports will broadcast the NFL draft this season, along with the NFL's usual television partners of ESPN and NFL Network. A person familiar with the decision says Fox will show the same feed as the NFL Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league and Fox haven't announced the decision. ESPN will still air its own draft feed but the person said the current rights deal for the draft allowed for the inclusion of another broadcaster. Pro Football Talk first reported the deal. Fox won the rights to broadcast 11 Thursday night football games in a deal with the NFL last month, taking over a package that was previously shared by NBC and CBS.

Radio host loses job after sexual comments on teen Olympian

A San Francisco Bay Area radio station has fired one of its hosts for sexual comments he made about 17-year-old Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim on another station. Program director Jeremiah Crowe of KNBR-AM said in a statement Wednesday, Feb. 14, that host Patrick Connor has been fired. On Tuesday, on the Barstool Sports network on SiriusXM, Connor called Kim "fine as hell" along with more vulgar sexual comments, then said "the countdown is on" until Kim's 18th birthday. Connor apologized on Twitter, calling his comments "inappropriate." Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, without referring directly to Connor, said on Twitter that his network sometimes misses the mark with humor, but "crybabies" will not dictate its actions. Kim, of Torrance, California, won gold in Women's Halfpipe Tuesday at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Proposal would shield student journalists from censorship

Student journalists in Missouri would largely be shielded from censorship by their schools under legislation that has won first-round approval in the House. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the idea started to gain traction in the 2016 legislative session. It stemmed from frustration over University of Missouri communications professor Melissa Click, calling for "muscle" to remove student journalists during November 2015 protests. The Cronkite New Voices Act, which advanced Feb. 14, states that "material in school-sponsored media shall not be suppressed solely because it involves political or controversial subject matter." The law would apply to public high schools and public universities and colleges. The proposal states that school staff cannot be disciplined for refusing to halt publication of lawful stories.

Critics wary as Google's Chrome begins an ad crackdown

Google will begin using its Chrome browser on Feb. 15 to reshape the web by eradicating ads it deems annoying or otherwise detrimental to users. It just so happens that many of Google's own most lucrative ads will pretty much sail through its new filters. The move, which Google first floated back in June, is ostensibly aimed at making online advertising more tolerable by flagging sites that run annoying ads such as ones that auto-play video with sound. And it's using a big hammer: Chrome will start blocking all ads — including Google's own — on offending sites if they don't reform themselves. There's some irony in that, given that Google's aim is partly to convince people to turn off their own ad-blocking software. These popular browser add-ons deprive publishers (and Google) of revenue by preventing ads from displaying.

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2 journalists jailed in Myanmar will receive PEN award

Two reporters imprisoned in Myanmar are receiving an award from PEN America. The literary and human rights organization announced Feb. 13 that it was giving the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award to Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The two Reuters journalists were detained last December on charges of violating a British colonial-era secrecy law that a former military junta once used to muzzle freedom of speech. Authorities said the reporters received "important secret papers" from two policemen who had worked in Rakhine state, where security forces are blamed for mass killings, rapes and arson. The Freedom to Write Award was established in 1987 and honors those who have risked adversity in the cause of free expression.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 14, 2018

NBC apologizes to South Koreans for analyst's remark

NBC has apologized to South Koreans for an on-air remark by an analyst that cited Japan as an example that has been important to the country's own transformation. The remark was made by analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo during NBC's coverage of the opening ceremony Feb. 9. He was noting the significance of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit. "Every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technical and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation," Ramo said.

An online petition quickly circulated demanding an apology, and NBC did on its NBCSN cable network Saturday and formally to the Pyeongchang Olympic organizing committee.

Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945. Petitioners said anyone familiar with Japanese treatment of Koreans during that time would be deeply hurt by Ramo's remark. They also criticized the accuracy of giving Japan credit for South Korea's resurgence. The petition had more than 10,000 supporters on Sunday.

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End of an era: Times-Union downtown newspaper presses done

It's the end of an era: The Florida Times-Union's newspaper presses at its downtown location are done. The Times-Union of Jacksonville reports pressmen fired up the old presses Saturday night, Feb. 10, for the last time. It marks one of the last editions of the newspaper to be printed in Jacksonville, ending of run of 154 years. Going forward, the newspaper will be printed at the Gainesville Sun's printing plant for Monday through Saturday editions and at the Daytona Beach News-Journal for Sundays. The Times-Union says this type of outsourcing is happening across the challenged newspaper industry as publications try to find ways to save money. Two of the massive downtown presses date to the 1960s and two to the mid-'70s. The Times-Union is also searching for new headquarters in downtown Jacksonville.

Historic Columbus, Ohio, newspaper building to get new occupant

A downtown Columbus, Ohio, building that housed the city's newspaper for nearly a century is getting a new occupant. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce says it will relocate to 34 S. Third St. in late summer. The Columbus Dispatch occupied the building for 91 years, before moving to a smaller location nearby in January 2016. The building sits across from the Ohio Statehouse and is listed on the Columbus Register of Historic Properties. It is recognizable by its stories-high neon "Dispatch" sign, which stayed put after the newspaper's move. After renovations, chamber offices will occupy the first two stories of the building. Chamber President and CEO Andrew Doehrel (DOHR'-uhl) said the building's "a perfect fit" and a suitable location for an organization celebrating its 125th year of business advocacy.

Radio host suspended after using stereotyped Asian accent

A Boston sports radio host has been suspended for five days after he impersonated a sports agent on air using a stereotyped Asian accent. Radio station WEEI has issued a statement saying it doesn't support the comments made by host Christian Fauria on Feb. 9, which the station called "an insensitive and ill-conceived attempt at humor." Fauria, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, was impersonating athletic agent Don Yee when he used the racially charged accent on his weekday show. In an apology posted to Twitter on Friday, Fauria says he "made a horrible attempt at humor" and supports the station's decision to discipline him. Yee is of Chinese descent but was born in Sacramento, California. He represents athletes including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and receiver Julian Edelman.

Fox deletes column on 'darker, gayer, different' Olympics

Fox News has removed a column from its web site that said it appeared the U.S. Olympic Committee wanted to change the event's motto to "darker, gayer, different." The column, posted on Feb, 7, was written by veteran Fox executive John Moody. He's executive vice president and executive editor of Fox News, but it appears his chief duty now is to write online opinion columns. A Fox spokeswoman says Moody's column does not reflect the views or values of Fox News. It was posted on Feb. 7 and removed on Feb, 9. Moody wrote that complaining that every team is not a rainbow of political correctness defeats the purpose of sports, which is competition.

Settlement reached in race suit filed by fired ex-TV anchor

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by a former Pittsburgh newscaster fired after her comments in a Facebook post about a shooting were deemed racially insensitive.

In a federal lawsuit filed in 2016, Wendy Bell says WTAE fired her because she is white, in violation of her civil rights. She was seeking back pay, punitive damages and her old job. Bell had commented on Facebook about a shooting of five black people in a poor Pittsburgh suburb. She speculated that the gunmen were young, black men with multiple siblings and fathers. Court records show the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice on Jan. 29.  No terms have been disclosed. Bell tells the Tribune Review Feb. 9 she can't comment other than to say she's satisfied. A call seeking comment from her attorney and WTAE's parent company weren't returned.

Northwestern journalism professor investigated, takes leave

Northwestern University officials say a journalism professor accused of misconduct by former students and employees is taking a leave of absence. University spokesman Alan Cubbage on Feb. 8 said Alec Klein is stepping away from teaching investigative journalism and as director of the Medill Justice Project while an investigation takes place.

Eight former students and two former Medill Justice Project employees released an open letter Wednesday alleging misconduct by Klein dating back to 2011. Among the allegations is that Klein gave unwanted neck massages, tried to kiss a prospective employee and asked a worker if she was a stripper. Klein denied the accusations, saying many of the claims came from a "disgruntled former employee." Klein worked for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal before joining Northwestern's faculty.

Arkansas court: Lawsuit in anchorwoman's death can proceed 

The Arkansas Supreme Court says the mother of a television news anchor killed in a 2008 attack can move forward with a complaint that hospital employees not involved in the journalist's medical care acted outrageously as the woman was dying. Justices on Feb. 8 said a Pulaski County judge correctly found that St. Vincent Infirmary couldn't be held liable for the actions of properly trained employees, but the court dismissed a cross-appeal that the workers wanted to use to end the case. Proceedings may advance on whether employees acted in an "extreme and outrageous" manner. KATV anchorwoman Anne Pressly, 26, died following an attack at her home. Three people admitted in federal court that they broke privacy laws by viewing her medical records and were fined and placed on probation. Two hospital employees were later fired. In state court, Presley's mother filed claims of outrage and invasion of privacy.

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Mueller memos illustrate media's great divide 

If Sean Hannity had been working in the 1970s, his Fox News Channel colleague Geraldo Rivera believes that President Richard Nixon would have never needed to resign because of the Watergate scandal. It's not clear whether Rivera thinks that's a good thing; Fox refused to let him speak about his recent assertion on Hannity's radio show. But it does speak starkly to the power of Fox's most popular figure and devoted supporter of President Donald Trump at a time when the media's partisan divide seems wider than ever. The point is driven home by the continuing coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump and, in the past two weeks, about the Republican-written memo on the probe.

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Arizona university gets $1.9M to research future of TV news 

Arizona State University's journalism school was awarded nearly $2 million in funding on Feb. 8 to research the future of television news. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication received the $1.9 million grant from the Knight Foundation that will provide funding over three years to fund initiatives aimed at ensuring TV news companies remain competitive in broadcast and digital storytelling.

Chief among the goals is the establishment of an online hub where newsrooms can see the latest strategies their counterparts elsewhere are trying out. "The best way I can describe it is I think it's going to be a resource where someone can come to this site from anywhere and get a sense of what newideas are floating around in space, what works and what doesn't," said Cronkite Associate Dean Mark Lodato.

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Twitter turns first profit ever, but problems remain 

Twitter beat Wall Street's cautious expectations with its first quarterly profit in history, but that isn't going to solve the company's broader problems any time soon. The company isn't alone in dealing with abuse, fake accounts and attempts by Russian agents to spread misinformation. But with its troubles compounded by a revolving door of executives and stagnant user growth, Twitter has been facing questions about just who is minding the store. Every time Twitter tries to respond to a problem, it's either not good enough, or some other problem emerges. "They are playing whack-a-mole with these problems," said Michael Connor, whose Open Mic group helps investors push tech companies to address privacy, abuse and other issues. "They say they have the problem under control, but they don't know what the problem is exactly."

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Jim Carrey says users should yank their Facebook accounts 

Delete your account. That's what Jim Carrey says Facebook users should do, as the actor looks to pull the mask off fake news. The star of "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "The Mask" said on Twitter on Tuesday that he's dumping his Facebook stock and deleting his page because the social media giant profited from Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election via spreading false news with Russian origins, and says the company is still not doing enough to stop it. The 56-year-old Carrey encouraged other investors and users to do the same. He ended his tweet with the hashtag "unfriendfacebook."

Facebook has not responded to Carrey's tweet, but founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said stemming the flow of misinformation is among the company's foremost goals.

New Kansas governor promises new open-government websites 

New Gov. Jeff Colyer promised on Feb. 8 that Kansas will launch two new government accountability websites within the next four months as part of a larger effort to make the state more transparent. Colyer issued four executive orders on transparency, following up on pledges he made during his first major policy speech the day before. The Republican governor signed the orders during a Statehouse news conference as representatives of the state's Sunshine Coalition, Press Association and Association of Broadcasters stood behind him. One order requires executive branch departments to set performance goals and develop ways to measure progress toward them so the information can be posted online. The order directs the state to launch a website posting the information within four months.

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Auction set next month for bankrupt West Virginia newspaper 

A court notice says a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in West Virginia is set to go on the auction block next month. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports a federal bankruptcy judge approved an order Feb. 7 that specifies steps companies must take to place bids by a March 6 deadline. The order says the successful bidder will be revealed the same day as the March 8 auction. Gazette-Mail owner Charleston Newspapers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late last month and issued a 60-day layoff notice to employees.

The newspaper says Wheeling-based Ogden Newspapers has submitted the highest bid so far of $10.9 million. Ogden owns more than 40 daily newspapers nationwide. The Gazette-Mail's Eric Eyre won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his investigative reporting of the state's opioid drug crisis.

Police: Consumer affairs reporter assaulted on assignment 

Police say a widely-watched New York City consumer affairs reporter known for his on-camera confrontations was assaulted while on assignment in the Bronx. Authorities say that WPIX-TV investigative reporter Howard Thompson and photographer John Frasse were attacked Feb. 6 in the borough's Belmont neighborhood. Police say Feb. 7 that 36-year-old Jose Lebron-Pimentel was arrested and charged with assault after hitting Thompson with a baseball bat on the hip outside a car dealership. Police say Howard and Frasse weren't seriously injured. Contact information for Lebron-Pimentel wasn't immediately available and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf. Thompson's "Help Me Howard" segments regularly feature him confronting landlords, business owners and others on behalf of viewers. It wasn't clear if Lebron-Pimentel was the subject of Thompson's reporting.

Local billionaire buys Los Angeles Times for $500 million 

A biotech billionaire struck a $500 million deal Feb. 7 to buy the Los Angeles Times, ending the paper's quarrelsome relationship with its Chicago-based corporate overseers and bringing it under local ownership for the first time in 18 years. The agreement between Los Angeles medical entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and Tronc Inc. represents the latest instance of a rich, civic-minded individual purchasing a newspaper from a big corporation. Soon-Shiong, 65, amassed his fortune in part by developing a cancer drug in 1991. He was already a major shareholder in Tronc, one of the richest men in Los Angeles and the nation's wealthiest doctor by Forbes' estimate, with a net worth put at $7.8 billion. The deal includes the purchase of The San Diego Union-Tribune and some other publications and the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities.

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LA Times buyer is a basketball-loving biotech billionaire

The man buying the Los Angeles Times is a 65-year-old physician-entrepreneur described by Forbes Magazine as "America's richest doctor," and one who has said his goal is to cure cancer in his lifetime. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong also is a basketball fanatic who shoots hoops on a hardwood court inside his multimillion-dollar mansion and who owns a minority interest in the Los Angeles Lakers that he bought from none other than Magic Johnson, the team's legendary president of basketball operations. Soon-Shiong also owns a 26 percent stake in the Times' parent company, Tronc, which makes him one of its largest shareholders. It was his fight against cancer that put the doctor on the road to amassing the $500 million needed to purchase the Times and its sister paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune. Forbes estimates his worth at $7.8 billion.

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House panel kills Sioux Falls students' free speech bill 

South Dakota lawmakers have killed a bill aimed at preventing school administrators from censoring news reported by student journalists. The House Education Committee voted 11-3 on Feb. 7 to table the measure for this session. The Argus Leader reports supporters, including the South Dakota Newspaper Association, argued the bill would allow student journalists to operate without fear of being censored. Opponents said the bill could allow students to publish irresponsible content. Gage Gramlick is a junior at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls and editor of the school's newspaper. Gramlick says student journalists fear censorship when reporting on controversial subjects. Executive director Wade Pogany of Associated School Boards of South Dakota contended the bill would make students' authority to publish too great with little chance of administrators providing guidance.

'Today' show's Kotb says authenticity got it through crisis 

The "Today" show's Hoda Kotb believes the program's audience bonded with her and co-host Savannah Guthrie over how they dealt with Matt Lauer's firing last November on sexual misconduct charges. They didn't pretend there was nothing wrong. "The people who watch us have been watching for a long, long time," Kotb said. "When there's something up in a family, they're watching it and feeling it, too. It's almost like you don't want mom and dad to say, 'everything's fine, there's nothing to see here.' You want someone to tell you that something is wrong and we're making our way through." The NBC News program weathered the storm better than expected.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 7, 2018

River Valley Media Group trims staff

River Valley Media Group has laid off about 15 percent of its workforce, part of a reorganization its top executive said will keep the publisher of daily and weekly newspapers and websites, specialty publications, and other digital products in western Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota on a strong financial footing.

The layoffs affected departments across River Valley Media, which publishes the Winona Daily News, from news and sales to production and distribution.

“We’re committed to serving our audience,” group publisher Bob Fleck said. “We needed to right-size our business for the time being to position ourselves to be able to serve our communities in the future.”

River Valley Media Group publishes three daily newspapers, two twice-weekly newspapers, five weekly newspapers, several shoppers and other specialty products, both in print and online.

Washington Post, Lenfest Institute, Media Network announce news technology alliance

The Washington Post, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Philadelphia Media Network (PMN) have created a new technology partnership designed to accelerate digital innovation at The Philadelphia Inquirer and other metropolitan newspapers around the country.

Under the agreement, The Post’s Arc Publishing platform — a state-of-the-art content-management system widely considered among the world’s best — will help power the digital future of, which includes all content from the Philadelphia Inquirer and its sister newspaper, the Philadelphia Daily News.

“Arc’s platform is uniquely structured to accelerate digital innovation, making it ideally suited for local publishers like The Inquirer and The Daily News,” said Scot Gillespie, Chief Technology Officer at The Post. “We hope this collaboration will serve as a model for other major metropolitan publishers making the digital-first transformation. We are especially excited to work with those local news enterprises served by Lenfest’s many industry initiatives.”

The Arc engineering team will help PMN transition to the Arc platform late this spring, with the entire newsroom implementation finished by this fall.

Paxton Media purchases North Carolina paper

Paxton Media Group announced the purchase of The Daily Herald in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, from Wick Communications.

Paxton Media, a family-owned company headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky, owns more than 35 daily newspapers, a television station and numerous weekly publications across Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Fourth- and fifth-generation family members manage Paxton Media.

Lee Enterprises sells Kentucky newspaper to Champion Media

Lee Enterprises Inc. says it has sold a Maysville, Kentucky newspaper and digital media operation.

A statement from Lee Enterprises says Champion Media LLC has purchased The Ledger Independent, which publishes five days a week and has a daily circulation of 3,654, and, which has more than 6,300 unique monthly visitors.

Lee acquired The Ledger Independent, its smallest daily newspaper, when it purchased Howard Publications in 2002.

Champion Media owns four daily newspapers and 18 weeklies in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Minnesota.

3 Mississippi newspapers eliminate Monday print edition

Three newspapers in Mississippi are eliminating their Monday print editions.

The Greenwood Commonwealth in Greenwood, the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb are all owned by Emmerich Newspapers.

The company's president, Wyatt Emmerich, says advertising has declined, particularly for Monday editions.

With the new schedule, all three newspapers will publish print editions Tuesday through Friday and on Sunday.

All three papers say they will continue to regularly publish news on their websites.

Columbia Journalism Review: The end of Time Inc.

Time Inc. is gone.

Once America’s great magazine company, the much-reduced publisher was bought by Iowa’s Meredith Corp. last year, with $650 million in equity from Koch Industries. Recently its name was stripped from its headquarters in lower Manhattan, to which it moved in 2014 after abandoning the Mad Men-era Time-Life Building in Rockefeller Center.

Then Time Inc.’s corporate website was redirecting traffic to Meredith. Former Editor in Chief John Huey tweeted: “R.I.P. Time Inc. The 95-year run is over.”

While the demise of Time Inc. has been coming for months, even years, its arrival nevertheless is a jarring moment for journalism. In part, that’s because some of the greatest names in magazines have graced its pages—film critic and writer James Agee; photographers Robert Capa, Gordon Parks, Margaret Bourke-White, and Henri Cartier-Bresson; sportswriters Rick Reilly and Frank Deford; business writer Carol Loomis, and former Time editor Walter Isaacson, who went on to write acclaimed biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci. Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square when World War II ended appeared in Life magazine, as did the first still photos from Abraham Zapruder’s home movie of the Kennedy assassination.

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Editor says he was fired for seeking better pay for women

The editor of a Massachusetts newspaper group says he has been fired for seeking pay equity for women in the newsroom, but his publisher says that is not true.

Jeffrey Good in an email to staff at the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, the Greenfield Recorder and the alternative weekly Valley Advocate, said he was fired because he "advocated for transparency and fair pay for our female colleagues."

Publisher Michael Rifanburg says the decision had nothing to do with efforts to address pay equity issues that he says have been under review since 2016.

He did not give a specific reason for firing Good.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Feb. 1, 2018

Pope: 'Fake news' is evil, journalists must search for truth

Pope Francis is denouncing "fake news" as evil and is urging journalists to make it their mission to search for the truth, The Associated Press reports.

After a week in which Francis faced unprecedented bad press during his South American tour, the pope released his annual social communications message dedicated this year to "fake news and journalism for peace."

Francis writes that the first fake news dates from the Biblical beginning of time, when Eve was tempted to take an apple from the Garden of Eden based on disinformation from the serpent.

"The strategy of this skilled 'Father of Lies' is precisely mimicry, that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with false and alluring arguments," Francis said of the snake.

In today's fast-paced information age, he called for a shared commitment to rediscovering the "dignity of journalism" and for reporters to speak the truth with a journalism that is "truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines."

The message made no reference to how some public figures — most notably U.S. President Donald Trump — often label unflattering or critical reports "fake news" to try to discredit the information.

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University of Colorado study finds young journalists know tech, not reporting

A new University of Colorado study has found young journalists heading into the industry know their way around a Twitter feed, but lack basic reporting skills.

Patrick Ferrucci, an assistant journalism professor who teaches in CU's College of Media, Communication and Information, conducted the study as part of a larger project looking at technology in newsrooms.

For this portion of the project, Ferrucci interviewed nearly 30 digital journalists nationwide from outlets like Vox, Buzzfeed, The Denver Post and The New York Times, asking reporters in the industry for at least 10 years to talk about their young colleagues' strengths and weaknesses.

"What I found was surprising," Ferrucci said. "I remember being in a newsroom a decade ago, and we'd always said that students didn't know enough about technology. Now, it seems to go the other way. It was a really, really consistent theme with really no deviation: new journalists weren't very good at a lot of basic stuff."

Twenty-seven out of 29 of the interviewed reporters, many in hiring positions, said incoming reporters lacked traditional reporting skills.

Amarillo, Lubbock newspaper publishers to resign

The publishers of the Amarillo Globe-News and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal have both announced that they are resigning.

Globe-News publisher Les Simpson and Avalanche-Journal publisher Brandon Hughes announced their resignations to their staffs. Both newspapers were among the 11 daily newspapers Georgia-based Morris Communications sold recently to Pittsford, New York-based GateHouse Media.

Matt Guthrie, GateHouse Media regional vice president, said both will be replaced by a senior group publisher who will manage both newspapers.

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Facebook says it will prioritize local news posts

Facebook plans to prioritize posts from local news sources in the news feeds of people who live in the communities served by those outlets, the company said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Selma Times-Journal that the decision stems from a cross-country tour he took with his wife in which he spoke with people in communities of different sizes. They visited the small community newspaper in Alabama on last year's trip.

Zuckerberg told the newspaper people consistently told him they wanted more local news on Facebook. Zuckerberg said the prioritization of local news sources is part of an effort to help people engage with the communities where they live.

The Menlo Park, California, company said in a news release that it identifies local publishers as those clicked on by readers in tight geographic areas.

Charleston Gazette-Mail to file bankruptcy ahead of sale to Ogden Newspapers

The Charleston Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia, reported on its website that the Gazette-Mail has agreed to take the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, setting the stage for the newspaper to change hands.

According to the report, Wheeling Newspapers, which is owned by Ogden Newspapers, is currently the high bidder to assume ownership of the company.

Ogden Newspapers, operated by the Nutting family, owns more than 40 daily newspapers across the nation, including the Wheeling, Parkersburg, Martinsburg and Elkins newspapers in West Virginia.

Sales, marketing veteran is new Nevada Appeal publisher

A 29-year veteran of sales and marketing has been named the new publisher of the Nevada Appeal.

Sierra Nevada Media Group announced 49-year-old Michael "Mick" Raher's appointment at the newspaper in Carson City.

Raher, who was the group's sales director, replaces Brooke Warner, the group's general manager who had been serving as publisher on an interim basis.

Poynter: Slate goes union

Following in the recent footsteps of editorial employees at Vox Media, those at Slate opted to go union and be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, Poynter says. The unionizing trend in digital media is a surprise (people assumed millennials were too wary of big organizations and not big on unions) but continues apace.

The union says that in addition to Slate (where management voluntarily recognized the union rather than force a formal election) and Vox Media (meaning, Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Racked, Recode, SBNation and The Verge), the union has spearheaded successful drives at  VICE, HuffPost, The Intercept, Gizmodo Media Group (Splinter, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, The Root, Lifehacker, Kotaku, io9, Jalopnik, Earther), ThinkProgress, MTV News, Thrillist and Salon.

Columbia journalism school launches civil rights center

The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has a new center dedicated to civil rights news coverage.

The dean of the New York school, Steve Coll, announced the creation of The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights. The center will soon accept applications for fellowships.

Coll says there's a need for journalism that can inform and shape the understanding of race, gender, diversity and the evolution of civil rights.

The center is directed by Jelani Cobb, an expert on history and race in the U.S.

AP names McCrudden new head of digital and visual journalism

The Associated Press named Derl McCrudden as deputy managing editor for digital and visual journalism, a new position at the global news cooperative.

The appointment was announced by Sally Buzbee, AP's senior vice president and executive editor. In his new role, McCrudden will report to Buzbee and oversee how AP tells stories in photos, video, online and on social media. He will also lead a major effort in 2018 to expand AP's ability to produce and publish video news at its regional editing centers around the world.

McCrudden, previously AP' head of international television news, will continue to be based in London, AP's international video production center and home of its all-formats regional publishing desk for Europe. He will also travel frequently to AP's global headquarters in New York and its U.S. video production center in Washington.

AP announces marijuana reporting team

AP Deputy Managing Editor for U.S. News Noreen Gillespie outlined plans for a reporting team that will cover issues related to the legalization of marijuana.

Led by California News Editor Frank Baker, the cross-format team's goal is to use the AP's global footprint to cover this emerging economy, forecast the legal and regulatory showdowns that could emerge, and smartly document how California and other states are changing marijuana culture in America. The team's goal will also be to peer beyond the U.S. and report on supply and economic implications from Mexico and Canada.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 24, 2018

AP launches Fact Check Twitter account

A new AP Fact Check Twitter account makes it easier to follow AP's fact-checking and debunking of misinformation online.

 In a memo to staff, News Editor for Fact Checks Karen Mahabir highlighted how @APFactCheck will be used:

 We'll use the account to drive even more attention to our expanding fact-checking efforts across the company. Expect to find our latest AP Fact Checks there, as well as Not Real News items, the Science Says series and AP stories related to the coverage of the so-called fake news industry.

We may also use it to promote fact-checking work from our members.

Denver Post Publisher Mac Tully resigns

Denver Post CEO/publisher and Digital First Media executive vice president Mac Tully announced that he will resign from his positions effective January 31.

His announcement follows the reintroduction of a paywall at the paper for the first time since the Aurora theater shooting trial and the ongoing move of most newsroom journalists from the Post’s longtime downtown Denver headquarters to a printing plant in Adams County.

Tully, said in a letter to the staff that he is not ready to retire. But "after 40 years in the industry, I'm ready for something a little less stressful. I'll miss the stellar and most talented people I've had the great fortune to work with at The Denver Post and throughout the rest of the company," he wrote.

Judge rules for McClatchy officials accused of mismanagement

A California judge sided with the former chief executive of the McClatchy newspaper chain and other company officials in a lawsuit alleging they mismanaged funds by buying a rival newspaper publisher and failing to diversify investments.

The officials were obligated to keep the company's stock rather than selling it off to invest elsewhere, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer said in his ruling. The judge also said acquiring the Knight Ridder newspaper chain may have allowed McClatchy to survive the Great Recession.

The decision came in a lawsuit by Carlos McClatchy, a beneficiary of a trust fund set up by Eleanor McClatchy, granddaughter of the company's founder, James McClatchy.

The company owns the Sacramento Bee and more than two dozen other newspapers across the country.

The value of the trust fund plummeted after McClatchy bought Knight Ridder for $4.5 billion in 2006. Carlos McClatchy and other beneficiaries stopped receiving dividends that had previously amounted to millions of dollars, and he sued in 2012.

The lawsuit named Gary Pruitt, McClatchy CEO during the acquisition, and other trustees. Pruitt is now CEO of The Associated Press.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch says Facebook should pay for news

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch says Facebook should pay fees to "trusted" news producers for their content, The Associated Press reports.

Facebook said recently that it will boost news sources that its users rank as most trustworthy, while shrinking the percentage of news posts overall in users' news feeds.

Murdoch, whose companies own The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the New York Post and other media properties, said publishers are "enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services."

Murdoch has previously criticized Google for the "theft" of news stories without payment.

UK regulator says Fox takeover of Sky not in public interest

British regulators say 21st Century Fox's takeover of London-based broadcaster Sky is not in the public interest because it would give Rupert Murdoch and his family too much control over the country's news media.

But it offered solutions that raised hopes that a deal would eventually be reached as the Murdochs press ahead with an even bigger deal — Disney's own bid to buy Fox.

The preliminary finding by the Competition and Markets Authority is the latest hurdle for Fox's effort to buy the 61 percent of Sky PLC it doesn't already own for 11.7 billion pound ($16.3 billion). Its attempt six years ago was derailed by the phone-hacking scandal at Murdoch's British newspapers.

The ruling will be finalized by May 1, when the authority will send its report to the government, which will make a final decision on whether the deal should proceed.

Regulators said the proposed takeover raises concerns about Murdoch's influence over British media because his family trust already controls News Corp., which owns newspapers such as the Times and the Sun, and the deal would increase its control of the influential Sky News channel.

Los Angeles Times loses publisher, gets union

Los Angeles Times Publisher and Chief Executive Ross Levinsohn was placed on an unpaid leave of absence amid allegations of past improper behavior, The Associated Press reports.

The news followed word that Times journalists had voted to join a union — a first in the paper's 136-year history.

Some Times employees had called for Levinsohn to be fired after National Public Radio reported on allegations that he had engaged in what has been termed "frat-boy" behavior while serving as an executive at two previous companies and was a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits before he joined the Times on Aug. 21.

"Levinsohn has lost credibility as the leader of one of the country's top newspapers," said a petition to Times parent company Tronc Inc. signed by more than 200 staff members.

Levinsohn will be replaced by President Mickie Rosen while Tronc investigates the allegations.

Illinois newspaper announces organizational changes

The Journal Gazette/Times-Courier in Mattoon, Illinois, announced organizational changes designed to enhance operations.

JG-TC Publisher Craig Rogers will serve as full-time publisher of The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, where he has served in addition to working as publisher of the Mattoonl papers.

Both are owned by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa. Other publications owned by Lee include the Decatur Herald & Review and the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Regional Publisher Julie Bechtel will continue to oversee operations at the JG-TC. Penny Weaver, who was named associate publisher last summer, will have the role of general manager and continue her duties as editor.

New York Times: Trump hands out ‘fake news awards’

President Trump — who gleefully questioned President Barack Obama’s birthplace for years without evidence, long insisted on the guilt of the Central Park Five despite exonerating proof and claimed that millions of illegal ballots cost him the popular vote in 2016 — wanted to have a word with the American public about accuracy in reporting.

Mr. Trump released his long-promised “Fake News Awards,” an anti-media project that had alarmed advocates of press freedom and heartened his political base.

“And the FAKE NEWS winners are …,” he wrote on Twitter.

The message linked, at first, to a malfunctioning page on, the Republican National Committee website. An error screen read: “The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later.”

When the page came back online less than an hour later, it resembled a Republican Party news release. Headlined “The Highly Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards” and attributed to “Team GOP,” it included a list of Trump administration accomplishments and jabs at news organizations presented in the form of an 11-point list.

The “winners” were CNN, mentioned four times; The New York Times, with two mentions; and ABC, The Washington Post, Time and Newsweek, with one mention apiece.

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Republican Sen. Jeff Flake denounces Trump attacks on news media

President Donald Trump's use of the terms "fake news" and "enemy of the people" is "shameful" and reminiscent of words infamously used by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to describe his enemies, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Flake, of Arizona, called Trump's repeated attacks on the media "repulsive" and said Trump "has it precisely backward." Despotism is the enemy of the people, while a free press is the despot's enemy and a guardian of democracy, Flake said.

Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring this year, said that when Trump calls news stories he doesn't like "fake news," he "should be the figure of suspicion, not the press."

Lawyer: ICE unjustly holding award-winning Mexican reporter

Advocates for an award-winning journalist trying to win asylum in the United States because he says he received death threats in Mexico accused U.S. immigration officials of unjustly detaining him based on a disputed 1999 incident.

An attorney for Emilio Gutierrez Soto said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are trying to discredit the journalist, who in October accepted the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award from the National Press Club in Washington on behalf of Mexico's journalists.

"In reality, Emilio has a clean record. He's always abided by the law," said his attorney Eduardo Beckett.

In a letter released by the press club, an ICE official accuses Gutierrez of being "less than forthcoming" in 1999 when he was accused of misrepresenting whether he was living in the U.S. or not while holding a border crossing card allowing only temporary stays. Gutierrez agreed then to give up the card and was deported, according to Beckett.

But Gutierrez sought asylum in the U.S. in 2008, saying he faced death threats in Mexico due to his work as a reporter. He was detained then by U.S. authorities for several months before being released and has lived in El Paso, Texas, with his 24-year-old son, Oscar, until the two were taken into custody again in December.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Jan. 18, 2018

AP: Facebook edits feeds to bring less news, more sharing

Facebook is changing what its users will see to highlight posts they are most likely to engage with and make time spent on social media more "meaningful."

By cutting back on items that Facebook users tend to passively consume, the change could hurt news organizations and other businesses that rely on Facebook to share their content.

The idea is to help users to connect with people they care about, not make them feel depressed and isolated.

"The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post.

"We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good."

Under the revised regime, there will be fewer posts from brands, pages and media companies and more from people. There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers "passive." People will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result, the company says.

That's because even if people read such content on Facebook, they don't necessarily comment or interact with it in other ways.

But Facebook gave scant details about how it would define what's "meaningful."

New York Times: Facebook tests show impact of overhaul

One morning in October, the editors of Página Siete, Bolivia’s third-largest news site, noticed that traffic to their outlet coming from Facebook was plummeting.

The publication had recently been hit by cyberattacks, and editors feared it was being targeted by hackers loyal to the government of President Evo Morales.

But it wasn’t the government’s fault. It was Facebook’s. The Silicon Valley company was testing a new version of its hugely popular News Feed, peeling off professional news sites from what people normally see and relegating them to a new section of Facebook called Explore. Like it or not, Bolivia had become a guinea pig in the company’s continual quest to reinvent itself.

As Facebook updates and tweaks its service in order to keep users glued to their screens, countries like Bolivia are ideal testing grounds thanks to their growing, internet-savvy populations. But these changes can have significant consequences, like limiting the audience for non-governmental news sources and — surprisingly — amplifying the impact of fabricated and sensational stories.

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Poynter: Sports Illustrated is reduced to a biweekly publication

Starting in 2018, Sports Illustrated will publish only every other week (plus of course the Swimsuit Issue).

As Editor Chris Stone's wrote: "Sports Illustrated has been a weekly staple for more than 63 years, delivering the best sports journalism with near metronomic regularity. That will continue to be the case, but beginning next month the metronome clicks a little less often."

He promised that those fewer issues will have more of the long-form stories that SI sees as its strength, and more photos better displayed on higher quality paper. The magazine has some 2.75 million subscribers.

Ohio native Clarence Page to receive journalism award

Southwest Ohio native and Ohio University alumnus Clarence Page is being honored for a half-century of journalistic achievement.

The National Press Foundation says the Chicago Tribune columnist will receive the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award at its annual awards dinner in Washington D.C. on Feb. 15.

Page, 70, built a career as reporter, editor, syndicated columnist, author and commentator.

He earned the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1989. He was named Ohio University's 2015 alumnus of the year.

Newspaper in Mississippi now run by family's 4th generation

A Mississippi newspaper is now being run by the fourth generation of the same family.

Peter Imes, 39, became publisher of the Commercial Dispatch, a daily paper based in Columbus. He succeeds his father, Birney Imes III, 66, who will continue to write a weekly column.

Birney Imes Sr. merged the Columbus Commercial and Columbus Dispatch in 1922 to form the then bi-weekly Commercial Dispatch. He expanded it to a daily newspaper in 1926.

After he died in 1947, his son Birney Imes Jr., took over as editor and publisher, running the paper for almost 50 years.

Tennessean President Laura Hollingsworth stepping down

The president of The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, and the USA Today Network-Tennessee is leaving parent company Gannett.

Laura Hollingsworth announced the decision in a newsroom address to all newspaper employees. She said she would continue to live in Nashville, but wanted to explore other opportunities and new ways to make an impact.

Over the last 18 months, she has led the integration of the Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News Sentinel into a statewide Gannett network.

Klostreich named publisher of the Wahpeton Daily News

Tara Klostreich has been named publisher of the Wahpeton (North Dakota) Daily News and other publications within the Wick Communications Group.

Klostreich formerly served as the newspaper's general manager. She joined the newspaper in 2006 as an advertising representative.

The paper said she also will serve as publisher of the News-Monitor, Southern Valley Living and Southern Valley Shopper.

Farrugia to step down as The Day's publisher

Gary Farrugia — publisher of The Day in New London, Connecticut, since 2002 — informed employees that he will retire by mid-year.

In an email, Farrugia said The Day Publishing Co. enjoyed "a period of stability” in 2017 and that it was "a good time to pass the baton to someone new.” He said The Day's board of directors has asked him to remain on the board following his retirement and that he also will continue to serve as a part-time consultant to D2 Media Solutions, a company marketing initiative. Farrugia is 66.

News-Miner Publisher Fuller Cowell to retire; Harris named to position

Fuller Cowell will retire next month as publisher of the 114-year-old Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, the trustee of the Helen E. Snedden Foundation announced.

Richard Harris, publisher of the Kodiak Daily Mirror, will succeed Cowell on Feb. 5. The Fairbanks-based nonprofit foundation has owned both newspapers since January 2016.

Chappell named publisher of Cleburne newspaper

Lisa Chappell, a veteran Texas newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of the Cleburne Times Review. She replaces Kay Helms, who recently retired.

Chappell is currently the publisher of several sister newspapers in north Texas owned by CNHI, LLC. They are located in Weatherford, Mineral Wells, Gainesville, Greenville, Royse City, Commerce and Rockwall County. She will continue in that role.

CBS appoints John Dickerson as Rose's replacement

CBS "Face the Nation" host John Dickerson is leaving Washington to take over as the third host of the "CBS This Morning," pairing with Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell as the replacement for the fired Charlie Rose.

It's a return to the general news roots for Dickerson, a former Time magazine correspondent, but opens a new job on CBS' Sunday lineup.

"I feel like it's the kind of program that fits in with the journalism I've been doing all my life," Dickerson said.

Unlike ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who continues to host ABC's "This Week" on Sunday along with "Good Morning America" during the week, Dickerson said keeping both jobs wasn't an option. The preparation for the morning show would take up too much time.

Bannon out as chairman of Breitbart News, loses radio show

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is stepping down as chairman of Breitbart News Network after a public break with President Donald Trump.

Breitbart announced that Bannon would step down as executive chairman of the conservative news site, less than a week after Bannon's explosive criticisms of Trump and his family were published in a new book.

A report on the Breitbart website quotes Bannon saying, "I'm proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform."

Trump lashed out at Bannon for comments made in Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," which questions the president's fitness for office.

New York Times: Two journalists face allegations of inappropriate conduct

Two prominent journalists, one at Fox News and one at The Washington Post, are facing allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct.

NPR reported that James Rosen, a former Washington correspondent who left Fox News last month, had done so after the network began scrutinizing sexual misconduct allegations against him. And Joel Achenbach, a Washington Post reporter, received a 90-day suspension for unspecified misconduct involving current and former female colleagues.


Nonprofit Quarterly: Nonprofit journalism is growing

Nonprofit journalism continues to make inroads in the US news business, and not only in the usual places like New York and Washington. MediaShift, which covers the intersection of mass media and technology, cites several examples of radical change in the journalism business model that have emerged in recent years. New York-based ProPublica, one of the country’s most high-profile nonprofit newsrooms, opened a regional bureau in Chicago with a team of 12 reporters, editors and technologists. In Vermont, the nonprofit VTDigger has become the country’s largest investigative reporting nonprofit focused on local or state news. MediaShift’s reporter also covers inewsource in San Diego, projected to hit a record $1.1 million in revenue this fiscal year. inewsource’s small reporting team focuses on four local issues: education, health, the environment, and local government. It partners with local PBS, NPR, and CBS affiliates to reach over a million people a week through web, radio, and TV.

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Media group: 81 reporters died, threats soared in 2017

At least 81 reporters were killed doing their jobs this year, while violence and harassment against media staff has skyrocketed, the world's biggest journalists' organization says.

In its annual "Kill Report," seen by The Associated Press, the International Federation of Journalists, which is based in Brussels, said the reporters lost their lives in targeted killings, car bomb attacks and crossfire incidents around the world.

More than 250 journalists were in prison in 2017.

The number of deaths as of Dec. 29 was the lowest in a decade, down from 93 in 2016. The largest number were killed in Mexico, but many also died in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The IFJ suspected but could not officially confirm that at least one other journalist was killed in an attack by an Islamic State suicide bomber on a Shiite cultural center in Kabul, in which at least 41 people died.

IFJ President Philippe Leruth said that while the drop in deaths "represents a downward trend, the levels of violence in journalism remain unacceptably high."

AP: Russian hackers targeted more than 200 journalists globally

Russian television anchor Pavel Lobkov was in the studio getting ready for his show when jarring news flashed across his phone: Some of his most intimate messages had just been published to the web.

Days earlier, the veteran journalist had come out live on air as HIV-positive, a taboo-breaking revelation that drew responses from hundreds of Russians fighting their own lonely struggles with the virus. Now he'd been hacked.

"These were very personal messages," Lobkov said in a recent interview, describing a frantic call to his lawyer in an abortive effort to stop the spread of nearly 300 pages of Facebook correspondence, including sexually explicit messages. Even two years later, he said, "it's a very traumatic story."

The Associated Press found that Lobkov was targeted by the hacking group known as Fancy Bear in March 2015, nine months before his messages were leaked. He was one of at least 200 journalists, publishers and bloggers targeted by the group as early as mid-2014 and as recently as a few months ago.

The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list obtained from cybersecurity firm Secureworks, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats. About 50 of the journalists worked at The New York Times. Another 50 were either foreign correspondents based in Moscow or Russian reporters like Lobkov who worked for independent news outlets. Others were prominent media figures in Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics or Washington.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Trade dispute involving newsprint worries newspapers

A petition by a paper maker in Washington state has set off alarm bells at newspapers and printing plants across the country whose leaders say the outcome could drastically increase newsprint costs, adding more financial pressure to an industry already struggling with the drain of advertising and subscription revenue in recent years.

The North Pacific Paper Company, or NORPAC, asked the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper, the grade of paper widely used by newspapers and other commercial publishers.

The company was acquired in late 2016 by One Rock Capital Partners, a New York-based hedge fund. It has essentially claimed that Canadian government subsidies are giving Canadian newsprint producers an unfair advantage over U.S. paper producers, and that the Canadians are dumping paper on the U.S. market at prices below the cost of production.

Commerce has been investigating the matter for the past four months and is expected to issue a preliminary decision soon on one aspect of the case.

U.S. newsprint buyers fear that steep import duties of up to 50 percent could increase both Canadian and domestic newsprint prices.

Poynter: Gannett fires Vermont editor after controversial tweets

Denis Finley was fired from his position as executive editor of the Burlington Free Press, the paper announced.

Finley's firing comes after a series of tweets aimed at a Vermont proposal to add a third gender option to driver licenses.

An article by the Free Press states "Finley had violated the company's social media guidelines."

Finley was hired as the Free Press executive editor in 2016. He previously worked at the Virginian-Pilot.

BBC's China editor resigns over gender pay gap dispute

The BBC's China editor has resigned her position in Beijing in protest over what she called a failure to sufficiently address a gap in compensation between men and women at the public broadcaster, The Associated Press reports.

Carrie Gracie's departure is the latest aftershock from the BBC's forced publication last year of pay levels for its top earners that showed two-thirds of those in the top bracket were men.

Presenting the corporation's flagship "Today" program alongside John Humphrys, the BBC's highest-paid news broadcaster, Gracie said the support she'd received for her decision had been "very moving" and showed the degree of frustration among many over the issue of equal pay.

A 30-year veteran of the BBC who speaks fluent Chinese, Gracie said in a statement on her website addressed to BBC viewers that she could no longer perform her job at a high level while battling with bosses over pay equality.

Poynter: Pew study shows local TV news viewership declining

Until now, local TV news viewership has been declining slowly.  But a new Pew research study shows that from 2016 to 2017, the decline picked up speed.

Pew's associate director of journalism research, Katerina Eva Matsa, reported:

"Americans are relying less on television for their news. Just 50% of U.S. adults now get news regularly from television, down from 57% a year prior in early 2016. But that audience drain varies across the three television sectors: local, network and cable. Local TV has experienced the greatest decline but still garners the largest audience of the three, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis."

As you might expect, TV news generally attracts mostly older audiences. More than half of the people surveyed who are 65 and older said they watch local, network and cable TV news.

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Baltimore Sun plans summer move from longtime headquarters

The Baltimore Sun Media Group plans to move from its longtime headquarters on the edge of downtown Baltimore to renovated space at its printing plant in a waterfront development.

The Baltimore Sun reports that its publisher and editor-in-chief, Trif Alatzas, announced recently that the company expects to move newsroom and business operations for its flagship paper and several community newspapers to Port Covington this summer. About 300 employees are currently based at the Calvert Street offices, which have served as headquarters since 1950.

The Baltimore Sun's current lease expires in June. Tribune Media already has sold the property.

San Francisco Examiner will cut back to 3 newspapers a week

The San Francisco Examiner will reduce its print edition to three times a week beginning Jan. 15, the paper announced.

The Examiner, which is free in print and does not employ a paywall online, currently runs six print editions per week, on every day except Saturday. The new publication schedule will limit the printed paper to Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Firm files $5.75m bid for Boston Herald

Revolution Capital Group of Los Angeles, has filed a $5.75 million bid to buy the Boston Herald and is asking a federal bankruptcy court to un-seat GateHouse Media’s initial $5 million offer as the auction’s preferred “stalking horse” bidder.

Revolution’s bid is the second competitive offer made since the Herald declared bankruptcy last month, citing negative trends in newspaper advertising.

The new offer tops GateHouse’s initial bid — known as the “stalking horse bid” — in pledging $3 million in cash, $2 million in severance for employees, and $750,000 in accrued paid time off for employees who are offered jobs to work after the sale.

Revolution asked the court to throw out the $200,000 break-up fee requested by GateHouse in the event that a higher bidder is accepted and to name Revolution the new “stalking horse bidder” because its offer is higher.

Revolution, founded by Scituate native Robert Loring, who interned for the Herald’s sports desk after graduating from Boston College, tried to buy the Herald in 2013, but the deal fell through.

Hearst buys Pennsylvania publisher Rodale

The media company Hearst has bought the Pennsylvania magazine publisher that owns Men's Health and Runner's World.

The Morning Call reports that a Hearst Magazines representative confirmed the purchase of Rodale Inc.

The newspaper says Hearst declined to elaborate on the next steps and a Rodale representative didn't respond to a request for comment.

Newspaper chairman resigns after spanking allegations

The chairman of an Alabama newspaper company resigned following accusations that he assaulted female newsroom employees in the 1970s by spanking them.

The Anniston Star reports that Brandt Ayers stepped down as chairman of the board of Consolidated Publishing Co. Ayers, now 82, said his resignation was in the "best interests of the newspaper and its mission."

At least three women have said that Ayers, then a newsroom executive at the Anniston paper, assaulted them in the mid-1970s, once using a metal ruler. Ayers issued a statement saying he regrets things he did when he was younger. In an earlier interview with his paper, Ayers claimed he was acting on a doctor's advice when he spanked one woman.

Ayers said his wife, Josephine Ayers, will replace him as chairman. She had previously served as vice chairman.

Ayers became a nationally known voice of Southern liberalism during his tenure as editor and publisher of the Anniston paper.

New York Times: Vice Media puts two executives on leave

Vice Media placed its president, Andrew Creighton, and its chief digital officer, Mike Germano, on leave after sexual harassment allegations were reported against them in a New York Times investigation that detailed the treatment of women at the company.

Vice employees learned of the moves in a memo sent to the staff.

Sarah Broderick, Vice’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said in the memo that a special committee of the company’s board was “reviewing the facts” related to a $135,000 settlement Mr. Creighton had reached in 2016 with a former employee, who claimed that she was fired after she rejected an intimate relationship with him, according to people briefed on the matter and documents viewed by The Times.

Times will keep reporter accused of sexual misconduct

The New York Times says it will remove reporter Glenn Thrush from the White House beat but not fire him following an investigation into sexual misconduct.

A former colleague wrote that Thrush made unwanted, drunken advances on her and other women when they worked at Politico. The Times suspended Thrush and investigated while Thrush entered substance abuse rehabilitation.

Times' executive editor Dean Baquet says in a statement that while Thrush acted offensively, he did not deserve to be fired and instead will be suspended for two months, undergo training and be given a new assignment.

List bans 'fake news,' 'covfefe' and 'let me ask you this'

Let me ask you this: Would a story that unpacks a list of tiresome words and phrases be impactful or a nothingburger? Worse, could it just be fake news?

Northern Michigan's Lake Superior State University has released its 43rd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. The tongue-in-cheek, non-binding list of 14 words or phrases comes from thousands of suggestions to the Sault Ste. Marie school.

This year's list includes "let me ask you this," ''unpack," ''impactful," ''nothingburger," ''tons," ''dish," ''drill down," ''let that sink in," and the top vote-getter, "fake news."

The others are "pre-owned," ''onboarding/offboarding," ''hot water heater," ''gig economy" and the Trumpian Twitter typo "covfefe."

While the list contains a little political flavor, Lake Superior State spokesman John Shibley said he had expected more given the highly divisive 2016 election and a year of deepening divisions in government and the U.S. electorate.

"It wasn't as focused on politics in a very dirty sense," he said. "Most of the nominations were well thought through ... considering how the year was."

INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 20, 2017

Reporters Without Borders says 65 journalists killed in 2017 

A total of 65 journalists and media workers were killed in 2017, the lowest toll in 14 years, according to figures released Dec. 19 by Reporters Without Borders. The non-governmental organization said 60 percent of those killed were murdered. It added that 326 people working in media — including 202 professional journalists — are also being detained. According to RSF, 26 people "were killed in the course of their work, the collateral victims of a deadly situation such as an air strike, an artillery bombardment, or a suicide bombing." It said the remaining 39 "were murdered, and deliberately targeted because their reporting threatened political, economic, or criminal interests." Overall, RSF said the decrease in deaths is due to journalists fleeing "countries such as Syria, Yemen and Libya that have become too dangerous." But it also noted "a growing awareness of the need to protect journalists."

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Arizona Republic's publisher to resign, take faculty post 

The president of The Arizona Republic and will resign effective Jan. 5 to take a position at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Arizona Republic reports that Mi-Ai Parrish will fill an endowed chair created in honor of former Republic Publisher Sue Clark-Johnson, who died in 2015. She cited as accomplishments her role in helping the company grow its audience, expand its digital footprint, develop new revenue and support award-winning journalism. She wrote a column responding to threats after The Republic endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in the paper's history. During a spate of sexual-misconduct accusations in the media, politics and Hollywood, Parrish disclosed Rep. Don Shooter made a demeaning sexual and racial remark to her in 2016.

Chicago teen earning gift money killed delivering newspapers 

The fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy slain while delivering newspapers with his stepfather to earn money to buy presents may have been the result of mistaken identity and rooted in an ongoing gang war that didn't involve him, Chicago police said Dec. 18 during a news conference in a city where gun violence this year has left nearly 600 people dead. Anthony Riccio, chief of the bureau of organized crime, said police are looking for two male suspects — the driver of a white van that rammed the car driven by Brian Jasso's stepfather and another who opened fire from the passenger window and shot the teen in the head. Riccio said witnesses of the shooting shortly before 7 a.m. Dec. 17 told detectives that the stepfather was at a stop sign on the city's Southwest Side when a white van appeared to accelerate and strike his car. Riccio said the van flashed its bright lights in an apparent signal to pull over. But the stepfather sensed something was wrong and when he drove away a passenger in the van opened fire with a handgun.

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ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

John Skipper, president of the sprawling ESPN sports network, said Dec. 18 that he is resigning to treat a substance abuse problem. Skipper's sudden announcement will force the Walt Disney Co.-owned network to search for new leadership at a time of retrenchment, with the company losing subscribers due to cord-cutters and working to boost its digital output to follow the migration of young sports fans to their smartphones. The 61-year-old executive, who has worked at ESPN since 1997 and has led the company since 2012, said he's struggled for many years with substance addiction but gave no details of his specific problem. He said he had concluded that now is the time to deal with it.

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Tavis Smiley says PBS made mistake in suspending him 

Tavis Smiley says PBS made a big mistake by suspending him from his talk show.

He tells ABC's "Good Morning America" Dec. 18 he's never coerced anyone into a relationship but has had consensual relationships in the workplace. He says that wasn't against his company's policies. He says he's human and has made mistakes but they don't merit suspension. He says he applauds women coming forward to share their sexual assault and harassment experiences "to lead us in a conversation about how to create healthy workspaces." However he says it's important not lose a sense of "proportionality" in the conversation, "because if we do people end up being guilty simply by accusation."

PBS suspended Smiley after an investigation uncovered "multiple, credible allegations of conduct" inconsistent with PBS standards. Smiley says he'll fight to protect his reputation.

MSNBC paid woman who said Chris Matthews harassed her 

A spokesman for MSNBC confirmed on Decd. 18 a report that a staffer at the news channel nearly two decades ago had been paid and left her job after she complained she was sexually harassed by "Hardball" host Chris Matthews. The spokesman said the woman approached CNBC executives in 1999 to report Matthews made inappropriate comments about her in front of others. CNBC is a sister company of MSNBC. The company declined to identify the comments, other than to say they were sophomoric, inappropriate, made in poor taste and never meant as propositions. "In 1999, this matter was thoroughly reviewed and dealt with," the spokesman wrote to The Associated Press. "At that time, Matthews received a formal reprimand."

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Mixed results for news media in high-profile cases 

Ohio media organizations have gotten mixed results in separate state court rulings on their challenges to newsgathering restrictions in two of the state's highest-profile criminal cases in recent years. The state's highest court on Dec. 14 refused to order the release of complete autopsy reports from the unsolved 2016 slayings of eight family members in southern Ohio. That ruling came the day after a state appeals panel agreed that reporters should have received juror questionnaires used for the retrial of a former University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist in 2015. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor wrote for the 4-3 majority that the coroner records were allowed to have redacted material under a law that exempts confidential police investigatory records. "The potential ramifications of this decision are troubling because it could really greatly expand the exemption," Greiner said.

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Iowa justice blocks newspaper from reporting court records 

An Iowa Supreme Court justice has taken the unusual step of temporarily ordering the state's largest newspaper not to publish the contents of court records legally obtained by one of its reporters. Press freedom advocates protested the order against the Des Moines Register and investigative reporter Clark Kauffman, and called on the full court , Dec. 15 to immediately lift the stay. The Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which represents media organizations and advocates for government transparency, called the action by Justice David Wiggins "extraordinary and very troubling." Wiggins granted a temporary stay Dec. 18 that blocked the newspaper from publishing information obtained from records relating to Des Moines attorney Jaysen McCleary. McCleary argued the records contained private information about his disabilities and finances and were never intended to be public.

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Court rules for AP in reporter impersonation document fight 

A federal appeals court has sided with reporters in a court fight over documents that began after an FBI agent pretended to be an Associated Press journalist while investigating bomb threats at a Washington state high school. When the ruse became public in 2014, the AP and a press freedom organization attempted to get government records about the case and any other times FBI agents have impersonated journalists. After initially getting no records from the FBI, the AP and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sued. Though some documents were produced, the organizations argued that the agency's response was inadequate. In an opinion issued Dec. 15, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed. Judge David Tatel wrote for himself and colleagues Brett Kavanaugh and Laurence Silberman that the FBI "failed to demonstrate" that it conducted a search "for the requested records, using methods which can be reasonably expected to produce the information requested."

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Report on Kentucky legislator spotlights nonprofits' role 

 It began from a late-night text message with a trusted source's tip. Seven months later, after more than 100 interviews and scouring thousands of pages of documents, a small nonprofit center devoted to investigative reporting in Kentucky released its stunning findings on the dark history of a bombastic church pastor-turned-state legislator. The report Dec. 11 included Rep. Dan Johnson's links to arson cases, repeated alcohol violations in his church and the detailed story of a woman who said the pastor sexually assaulted her when she was 17. The Republican legislator elected in 2016 sharply denied the allegations on Ded. 12 from his Heart of Fire church's pulpit, then fatally shot himself the next day in a secluded area. The exhaustive expose by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting also spotlighted the increasing role of such nonprofit, nontraditional reporting organizations in an era of shrinking newsrooms embattled by declining advertising and readership in the digital era. Newsroom surveys have estimated that more than 20,000 jobs disappeared across America in a decade's time.

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Retiring New York Times publisher to be replaced by his son 

The publisher of The New York Times Co. is stepping down after 25 years and will be succeeded by his 37-year-old son, the Times announced Dec. 14. Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. will retire as of Dec. 31 but will remain as chairman of the board of directors, the Times said. His son and current deputy publisher, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, will take over as publisher. "It is the greatest honor to serve The Times — and the people who make it what it is — as the next publisher," the younger Sulzberger, known as A.G., said in a staffwide email. Sulzberger praised his father as "the only publisher of his generation who took the reins of a great news organization and left it even better than he found."

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FCC votes to kick off review of broadcaster ownership limit 

The Federal Communications Commission is voting on party lines to kick off a review of how many TV stations one company can own. The current limit, in place for more than a decade, says that one company can't own TV stations that reach more than 39 percent of the U.S. population. The FCC will determine over the next several months if it should eliminate or change that cap. Consumer groups worry that raising or getting rid of the cap will lead to more consolidation and fewer voices in local TV, including news broadcasts. The ownership limit is also a contentious issue because right-leaning broadcaster, Sinclair Broadcast, wants to buy rival Tribune Media. That deal still needs regulatory approval. If cleared, the combined company would reach more than 70 percent of U.S. households.

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Fox News host Jeanine Pirro sued for defamation 

A civil rights activist is suing Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, claiming she defamed him while discussing a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter movement that was later dismissed. The lawsuit states that DeRay McKesson was falsely arrested in 2016 while attending a protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in which a police officer was struck in the face with a rock and seriously injured. The officer sued the Black Lives Matter movement and McKesson for his injuries. After the officer's lawsuit was dismissed, Pirro "made a series of outrageously false and defamatory statements about Mr. McKesson, including that he directed someone to hit the police officer in the face with a rock," McKesson's lawsuit said.

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Coach Lou Holtz sues The Daily Beast over RNC article

Hall of Fame college football coach Lou Holtz is suing The Daily Beast over an article that claimed he called immigrants "deadbeats" at last year's Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The federal lawsuit filed Dec. 13 in Orlando, where Holtz lives, claims an article published by the news website on July 19, 2016, defamed Holtz, causing him to lose paid speaking opportunities and suffer personal humiliation. He's seeking damages of more than $75,000. The article originally carried the headline "Lou Holtz at RNC Said Immigrants are Deadbeats Invading the US." The suit claims The Daily Beast took Holtz's comments out of context and that he never used the term "deadbeats." After complaints, the website updated its headline to "Holtz Goes on Immigrant-Bashing RNC Rant." A spokesperson for The Daily Beast's parent company said it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Russia moves to block Khodorkovsky's news website 

The Russian communications watchdog has moved to block a news website financed by top Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The Russian Communications Oversight Agency said in a statement on Dec. 12 that it has put Khodorkovsky's Open Russia website on the black list after it received a request from the Prosecutor General's Office to block it. The prosecutors' plea came after Khodorkovsky's NGO was listed as an "undesirable" organization, a label stemming from a new law intended to tighten the Kremlin's tight control over the political landscape. Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, spent 10 years in prison on two sets of charges largely regarded as political retribution before he was pardoned in December 2013. He has been living in exile since, supporting human rights initiatives and independent media.

Judge sets hearing on media bid for Vegas shooting warrants 

A Nevada judge has set a hearing date on a bid by media organizations to unseal search warrant records in the investigation of the Oct. 1 shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds on the Las Vegas Strip. A court spokeswoman said Dec. 12 that Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish allowed two more media organizations to join the seven already involved in the case, including The Associated Press. The judge set a Jan. 16 hearing for arguments about whether court records should remain sealed since police and the FBI say the lone shooter killed himself. Questions remain unanswered about why a 64-year-old high-stakes video poker player amassed an arsenal of weapons and opened fire from a high-rise casino-hotel into a crowd of thousands at an open-air concert below.


Idaho Falls newspaper names new publisher 

Andy Pennington has been named the new publisher of the Idaho Falls Post Register.

The eastern Idaho newspaper reports that Adams Publishing Group announced the new hire on Dec. 12. Pennington was the publisher of the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello since 2012. For the past two years, he's overseen the Rexburg Standard Journal and the Teton Valley News. Pennington replaces Roger Plothow, who has been the newspaper's publisher since 2002 after former publisher Jerry Brady announced he would run for governor. Plothow has since been named president of Adams Publishing Group's Signature Events, a new division focused on planning policy-based events throughout Idaho and other western states. Family-owned Adams Publishing Group bought the Post Register in 2015 and later purchased multiple Idaho newspapers, including the Idaho State Journal, earlier this year.

Group says 262 journalists imprisoned worldwide, record high 

An advocacy group for journalists said Dec. 13 that 262 people are imprisoned around the world for their work gathering and reporting the news, a record high. The Committee to Protect Journalists said the number of imprisoned journalists is the highest since it began conducting its annual survey of journalists behind bars in the early 1990s. It said the 2017 number topped last year's total of 259 imprisoned journalists, the highest number until then. "The pattern reflects a dismal failure by the international community to address a global crisis in freedom of the press," said the group's editorial director, Elana Beiser. The three countries where the most journalists are imprisoned are Turkey, China and Egypt, the organization said. There are 73 journalists behind bars in Turkey, 41 in China and 20 in Egypt, it said.

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Review: Spielberg, Streep and Hanks deliver in 'The Post' 

"The Post " is kind of like the Yankees of movies. A Steven Spielberg directed film about the Pentagon Papers starring Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and a murderer's row of all your favorite television character actors (Jesse Plemons! Bob Odenkirk! Carrie Coon! Sarah Paulson!)? It doesn't even seem fair. Is there any way it wouldn't be great or least very good? That Spielberg shot and is releasing it in under a year was perhaps the only potential handicap. Would it feel rushed? Unfinished? Eastwood-ian? The astonishing thing is that while there are a few clunkers (as if a parody, the film actually opens in Vietnam to the sound of helicopters and Creedence Clearwater Revival), on the whole "The Post" is meat and potatoes Spielberg in the best possible way. He is directing off of a script from first time screenwriter Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, who also wrote the investigative journalism drama "Spotlight."

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Gossip editors face HR training after harassment allegations 

The company that publishes Us Weekly, the National Enquirer and other gossip sites will hire outside experts to give its managers sexual harassment prevention training, one week after The Associated Press revealed that its top editor has twice been the subject of sexual harassment investigations. American Media Inc. told employees in an email obtained by AP to "re-familiarize yourself" with company policies. The email, sent Tuesday, did not mention AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard by name. The AP reported earlier that Howard was the subject of an HR investigation while running AMI's Los Angeles newsroom in 2012. The AP also revealed that Howard was found to have violated the sexual harassment policies of another employer in 2013.

Howard has called the allegations "baseless." AMI has said it supports him.

Polish top journalists oppose fine on US-owned broadcaster 

The jury of Poland's main journalism award has condemned the imposition by a state regulator of a heavy fine on a private American-owned television station for its coverage of 2016 anti-government protests. The jurors of the Grand Press award also called on the regulator, the National Broadcasting Council, known as KRRiT, to cancel the nearly 1.5 million zlotys ($420,000) fine it imposed Dec. 11, on the TVN24 all-news station, that is owned by the U.S. Scripps Networks Interactive. They said late Tuesday that the fine could be interpreted as an "attempt at intimidating the broadcaster whose message does not suit the ruling team" and undermined the media's foundation, the freedom of speech.

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State Dept. concerned by Polish fine on US-owned broadcaster 

The United States says it is concerned by Poland's decision to impose a heavy fine on a private American-owned television broadcaster. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Dec. 12 that "this decision appears to undermine media freedom in Poland, a close ally and fellow democracy." Poland's media regulator fined TVN24 nearly 1.5 million zlotys ($420,000) Monday for what it alleged was unfair reporting during streets protests a year ago. TVN24's owner, TVN, said it would appeal what it called an "unfounded" penalty. Poland's ruling Law and Justice party took control of state media after winning power in 2015, and appears to be seeking greater control of private media now. TVN was bought for $2 billion by Scripps Networks Interactive, making it the largest U.S. investment ever in Poland.

Detained by US, Mexican journalist fears death if deported 

Advocates for a Mexican journalist detained in a remote West Texas facility asked the U.S. government to grant him asylum instead of deporting him to a country where he believes he'll be killed. Emilio Gutierrez Soto fled to the United States a decade ago after articles he wrote alleging corruption in the Mexican military caused his name to end up on a hit list. Mexico is one of the world's most dangerous places for journalism, likened to countries such as Syria and Iraq. At least 11 journalists have been killed in Mexico this year. After coming within hours of possible deportation, Gutierrez, 54, is now appealing that denial. The National Press Club and other press freedom advocates held an event Dec. 11highlighting Gutierrez's case and those of other reporters whose lives were in danger.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 14, 2017

'Alternative facts' remark tops 2017 list of notable quotes 

The use of the term "alternative facts" by Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Donald Trump, tops a Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2017.

The statement Conway made when asked why Trump's then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer mischaracterized the size of inauguration crowds is one of many Trump-related quotations on the list, assembled by Fred Shapiro, an associate director at the library. "I actually had to limit the amount of Trump-related quotations on the list so as not to have the list overwhelmed by him," Shapiro said. The yearly list is an update to "The Yale Book of Quotations," which was first published in 2006. Shapiro chooses quotes that are famous or revealing of the spirit of the times, and not necessarily eloquent or admirable.

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New Yorker fires reporter Ryan Lizza for sexual misconduct 

The New Yorker magazine says it has cut ties with well-known political reporter Ryan Lizza for alleged sexual misconduct. The magazine recently learned Lizza had "engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct," a spokeswoman said on Dec. 11. After reviewing the matter, it cut ties with the reporter. Lizza is also a contributor on CNN. A spokeswoman for the cable news network said he will not appear on air while it looks into the matter. Lizza called that the New Yorker's decision a "terrible mistake" made without a full investigation. "I am dismayed that The New Yorker has decided to characterize a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate," Lizza said in an emailed statement, adding that the magazine did not cite any company policy that was violated.

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Polish media regulator fines US-owned news channel $420,000 

Poland's media regulator fined a private news channel nearly 1.5 million zlotys ($420,000) Monday for what it alleged was unfair reporting during a political crisis last year, but some saw the penalty as an attack on press freedom. The National Broadcasting Council said in a statement that all-news station TVN24's coverage of street protests over three days last December violated Polish law by "propagating illegal activities and promoting behavior that threatens security." TVN SA, the owner of TVN24, said it would appeal what it called an "unfounded" penalty. It said the fine was based on an "extremely biased and careless report" by someone linked to a Catholic pro-government media organization.

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Journalists consider response to errors after Trump attacks 
Some stinging mistakes in stories involving President Donald Trump have given him fresh ammunition in his battle against the media while raising questions about whether news organizations need to peel back the curtain on how they operate. The president tweeted six attacks on what he calls "fake news" over the weekend, saying the "out of control” media puts out purposely false and defamatory stories. That led to a contentious exchange at the White House press briefing on Dec. 12 between press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and CNN's Jim Acosta. "Journalists make honest mistakes," Acosta said. "That doesn't make them fake news." When Sanders responded that reporters should own up to their mistakes, one said, "we do." "Sometimes, but a lot of times you don't," she said. "There's a very big difference between honest mistakes and purposely misleading the American people."

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Detained by US, Mexican journalist fears death if deported 

Advocates for a Mexican journalist detained in a remote West Texas facility asked the U.S. government to grant him asylum instead of deporting him to a country where he believes he'll be killed. Emilio Gutierrez Soto fled to the United States a decade ago after articles he wrote alleging corruption in the Mexican military caused his name to end up on a hit list. Mexico is one of the world's most dangerous places for journalism, likened to countries such as Syria and Iraq. At least 11 journalists have been killed in Mexico this year. After coming within hours of possible deportation, Gutierrez, 54, is now appealing that denial. The National Press Club and other press freedom advocates held an event Monday highlighting Gutierrez's case and those of other reporters whose lives were in danger.

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Push gains ground to honor Ernie Pyle with national day 

A push to honor acclaimed World War II war correspondent Ernie Pyle with a national day of recognition is gaining steam in Congress. U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, who represents northeastern Indiana's 3rd District, is preparing a resolution similar to one Indiana's two senators recently introduced. The resolution penned by Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young seeks to make Aug. 3, 2018, National Ernie Pyle Day. Owen Johnson is the author of "At Home With Ernie Pyle." He tells The Herald-Times Pyle became a wartime household name by reporting on infantry soldiers' experiences, rather than battles. Johnson says Pyle's reporting gave readers a much better sense of what it was like to be in the war. The Indiana-born journalist was slain by a Japanese sniper in 1945 on a Pacific island.

Media fight Kushners for names of partners in Md. buildings 

News outlets including The Associated Press are filing a motion in federal court arguing that a document that reveals the names of investors in some Kushner Cos. apartment buildings in Maryland should be unsealed and available to the media. In a case before U.S. district court in Maryland, tenants allege Kushner Cos. charges excessive and illegal rent. The company denies the allegations. The Kushner Cos. has argued that the privacy rights of its partners in the Maryland properties outweigh the public interest in the disclosure, saying the media's "politically-motivated" coverage of the case puts those rights at risk. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was CEO of the company before joining the White House. The news outlets behind the motion include ProPublica, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun.

Accusations of misconduct followed top gossip editor 

Dylan Howard, the top editor at National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc., who previously faced allegations of sexual misconduct at the gossip news giant, was also accused of harassing behavior at another employer, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press. Howard took over as the chief editor of the startup celebrity news site Celebuzz in early 2012, after a stint running American Media's Los Angeles office that was punctuated by allegations of sexual harassment. Questions about Howard's behavior didn't stop at the new job. At Celebuzz, Howard asked female employees about their sex lives, talked in the office about which of his subordinates he wanted to have sex with and once threw what was described as a "c--- ring" sexual aid at an employee, according to confidential documents obtained by AP and interviews with former employees. In a letter obtained by the AP, a human resources specialist said an investigation concluded that Howard had violated the company's sexual harassment policy.

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CNN corrects report about Trump campaign and Wikileaks tip 

CNN has corrected a story that suggested the Trump campaign had been tipped off early about Wikileaks documents damaging to Hillary Clinton when it later learned the alert was about documents already publicly available. The story Dec. 8 had initially said that the email was sent to Trump and campaign officials on Sept. 4, 2016. But the Washington Post revealed that the message was actually sent on Sept. 14, pointing out Wikileaks material that had been released a day earlier. The new information, CNN noted, "indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported." It's the second mistake by a large news organization in a week on a Trump story, after ABC mistakenly reported about a communication between Trump and Michael Flynn.

Boston Herald declares bankruptcy, agrees to be sold 

The Boston Herald is declaring bankruptcy and has agreed to be sold to GateHouse Media. The daily newspaper founded in 1846 announced DFec. 8 it filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Delaware. Publisher Patrick Purcell didn't disclose the sale price but said the purchase is subject to court approval. Purcell cited pension liabilities, declining revenue, digital media and growing competition for the decision. He said the company would continue its day-to-day operations. The 64,500-circulation tabloid had some 900 employees at its peak in 2000. Today it has 240; more than half working in the newsroom. It has won eight Pulitzer Prizes in its history. New York-based GateHouse Media publishes more than 600 newspapers in 38 states, including daily newspapers serving Cape Cod, Worcester and Fall River and Rhode Island.

Lawyer says CNN producer who lost job did not harass 

The lawyer for a CNN producer who was fired last month following complaints about his behavior says the man was not accused of sexual harassment. The network said Teddy Davis, a senior producer on Jake Tapper's program, was let go following an investigation that found his conduct "does not align with the standards and values of the network." A network representative later confirmed the circumstances were related to sexual misconduct. Michael Weinsten, Davis' lawyer, says his client "was not accused of sexual harassment. Nor was he ever accused of any physical contact, language of a sexual nature or any sort of lewd conduct." What Davis did that actually led to the action remains a mystery, however. Neither Weinsten nor CNN would provide any details about the behavior.

CBS, HBO, Netflix among 2018 duPont-Columbia award winners 

A mixture of legacy journalism and new media with emerging platforms were among the 16 winners of the 2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honored for their work in broadcast, digital and documentary journalism. The awards were announced by Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism on Dec. 7. "At a challenging time for the news media," said Jury Chair Cheryl Gould. "We were gratified to see both new platforms strengthen their journalism muscles and traditional outlets maintain their vigorous reporting standards." Audio and video journalists were recognized with offerings as broadcasts and podcasts. "This American Life" won for its coverage of the split within the Republican Party and Reveal for its human rights reporting in Russia. The New York Times podcast "The Daily" also was honored. Awards went to media newcomer Netflix and filmmaker Ava Du Vernay for the feature-length documentary "13" and to Hollywood filmmaker John Ridley's partnership with ABC News on the documentary "Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992."

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Schimel defends not asking journalist for source of leak 

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel didn't ask a journalist to reveal who leaked documents to him that were collected during the investigation of Gov. Scott Walker's campaign out of respect for the reporter's free speech rights, Schimel's spokesman said Dec 7. The Republican Schimel was unable to conclude who leaked 1,300 pages of material to the Guardian following his yearlong investigation. In a report released Dec. 6, Schimel recommended that disciplinary action, but no criminal charges, be taken against nine people involved in the John Doe probe into Walker's campaign. A John Doe investigation is similar to a grand jury in that proceedings and evidence collected are expected to remain secret.

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Project Veritas founder given award by Clarence Thomas' wife 

The right-wing activist whose Project Veritas organization recently attempted to plant a false story in the Washington Post has been honored by a conservative religious organization with an award presented to him by the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. James O'Keefe received the Impact Award Dec. 6 from the United in Purpose organization in a ceremony at Washington's Trump International Hotel. He was presented the award by Virginia Thomas, a tea party-affiliated activist and consultant. O’Keefe tweeted a photo of  Thomas handing him the award. Project Veritas made headlines recently for its guerrilla tactics in defense of conservative causes. The Washington Post recently revealed an apparent sting operation designed to discredit the newspaper by planting a false story about Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Lightning strike stops Michigan newspaper for a day 

A storm that turned from rain to snow stopped the printing press at an Upper Peninsula newspaper. Lightning struck the Daily Globe in Ironwood on Dec. 2, damaging the press and halting publication of the Tuesday edition. Subscribers instead were getting it on Wednesday, along with that day's paper. The Daily Globe's website wasn't affected.

Ironwood had rain and temperatures in the 50s Monday before being slammed by falling temperatures and 6 inches of snow. Ironwood is in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula, 200 miles northeast of Minneapolis.

Women accusers take on toxic culture in TV newsrooms 

Women who say they were sexually harassed or mistreated by powerful men in television news have banded together to form a support network aimed at changing a newsroom culture they say has given men a free pass to misbehave for decades. The women behind the Press Forward initiative tell The Associated Press they want a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct at networks, better awareness of legal rights for women coming into the industry and better accountability for executives to ensure safety and improvements.

"Women should not have to go to work and worry that something like this is going to happen to them," said Eleanor McManus, who said she was a 21-year-old job seeker when then-ABC News political reporter Mark Halperin tried to kiss her during a meeting in his office. Press Forward evolved over the last two months after McManus and other women went public with allegations against Halperin, CBS and PBS host Charlie Rose and NBC's "Today" show host Matt Lauer, and others.

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National Enquirer editor accused of sexual misconduct 

The top editor for the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and other major gossip publications openly described his sexual partners in the newsroom, discussed female employees' sex lives and forced women to watch or listen to pornographic material, former employees told The Associated Press. The behavior by Dylan Howard, currently the chief content officer of American Media Inc., occurred while he was running the company's Los Angeles office, according to men and women who worked there. Howard's self-proclaimed nickname was "Dildo," a phallus-shaped sex toy, the former employees said. His conduct led to an internal inquiry in 2012 by an outside consultant, and former employees said he stopped working out of the L.A. office after the inquiry. Howard quit soon after the report was completed, but the company rehired him one year later with a promotion that landed him in the company's main office in New York. It was not clear whether Howard faced any discipline over the accusations.

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Univ. of Wyoming revising mandatory reporting by journalists 

The University of Wyoming says it will revise a policy that currently includes student journalists among school employees required to report sexual misconduct to campus officials. The Laramie Boomerang reported Dec. 5 that the move came after the university police chief questioned a reporter at the student newspaper, the Branding Iron, about a story that included an unsourced allegation of sexual assaults by a dormitory resident assistant. Chief Mike Samp said he wanted to find out the source of the allegation to determine if a crime had occurred. Newspaper editor Taylor Hannon said the request has had a chilling effect on her staff. The vice president of student affairs, Sean Blackburn, says his office will work with the board that oversees the newspaper to change the policy.

ABC says Ross will no longer cover stories involving Trump 

Suspended ABC News reporter Brian Ross will no longer cover stories involving President Donald Trump following his erroneous report Dec. 1 on former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The network on Dec. 5 confirmed the order by ABC News President James Goldston, who expressed his anger over the error on an internal phone call that was leaked to CNN. ABC declined to make Goldston available for an interview Dec. 5. Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay over the weekend. He had reported incorrectly that Trump, when he was still a candidate for president, had told Flynn to make contact with the Russians. That would have been a big development in the ongoing investigation over whether the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to influence the election. Instead, Ross later corrected his story, based on an unnamed source, to say that Trump's instructions came when he was president-elect, not a candidate.

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