Posts tagged with ‘newsrooms’

We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.

We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.

We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.

A message from Diane Foley whose son Jim was executed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Via Facebook.

Foley was originally kidnapped in Syria in November 2012 while covering that conflict for Global Post. 

Related

Foreign Policy: Social Media Companies Scramble to Block Terrorist Video of Journalist’s Murder
The crackdown provided a vivid example of the pressure on social media companies to police violent terrorist propaganda, but at the same time it showed the difficulty they have in stopping individuals intent on spreading violent images and rhetoric.

Washington Post: Foley video, photos being scrubbed from Twitter
[T]he very viral abundance that makes Twitter so powerful — a half billion tweets are sent a day — makes it difficult to police.

Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter.

See also #ISISmediaBlackout on the power and propaganda of imagery.

Independent and Citizen Journalism in #Ferguson
Via GigaOm: Crowd-powered journalism becomes crucial when traditional media is unwilling or unable:

Just as it did in Egypt and Ukraine, the stream of updates from Ferguson — both from amateur or non-journalists, eyewitnesses and professional reporters for various outlets — turned into a feed of breaking news unlike anything that non-Twitter users were getting from the major news networks and cable channels. Most of the latter continued with their regular programming, just as media outlets in Turkey and Ukraine avoided mentioning the growing demonstrations in their cities. In a very real sense, citizen-powered journalism filled the gap left by traditional media, which were either incapable or unwilling to cover the news.

Related, also via GigaOm: You can use your phone to film the police, even if they tell you not to.
Related, once again: Argus Radio was webcasting events last night from Ferguson via their Livestream channel and will start again today at 3pm.
Image: Screenshot from Argus Radio’s “I Am Mike Brown” Livestream channel.

Independent and Citizen Journalism in #Ferguson

Via GigaOm: Crowd-powered journalism becomes crucial when traditional media is unwilling or unable:

Just as it did in Egypt and Ukraine, the stream of updates from Ferguson — both from amateur or non-journalists, eyewitnesses and professional reporters for various outlets — turned into a feed of breaking news unlike anything that non-Twitter users were getting from the major news networks and cable channels. Most of the latter continued with their regular programming, just as media outlets in Turkey and Ukraine avoided mentioning the growing demonstrations in their cities. In a very real sense, citizen-powered journalism filled the gap left by traditional media, which were either incapable or unwilling to cover the news.

Related, also via GigaOm: You can use your phone to film the police, even if they tell you not to.

Related, once again: Argus Radio was webcasting events last night from Ferguson via their Livestream channel and will start again today at 3pm.

Image: Screenshot from Argus Radio’s “I Am Mike Brown” Livestream channel.

In the last decade, newspapers’ weekday circulation has fallen 47 percent, ads have fallen 55 percent, and about seven in ten newspaper readers are now older than 45. Stats like these provide the background music to events of the last few months, when News Corp, Time Warner, Gannett, the Tribune Company, and E. W. Scripps all unloaded their journalism divisions. Including the Washington Post’s sale within the last 12 months, this means that seven of the ten largest newspapers in the country have been dumped in an annus horribilis for print.

A Terrible Year for Newspapers, a Good Year for News - The Atlantic (via infoneer-pulse)

FJP: Horrendum X Annos. But, yes, also an amazing age for news.

(via infoneer-pulse)

Business News, August 2014 Edition
Buzzfeed, which gets about 150 million of us to visit each month, just closed a $50 million round with Andreessen Horowitz, the prominent technology venture firm.
Chris Dixon, general partner at the VC firm, says Buzzfeed is a “full stack" startup, meaning that it’s not just an online publisher, but rather an online publisher with integrated end-to-end technologies.
In this case, a media stack on which listicles and in-depth reporting can co-exist side by side, driven by a modern content management system, integrated analytics and ad serving engines, and a 75 person team creating “native content” for advertisers. It’s repetitive to say Buzzfeed also gets the social thing. About 75% of Buzzfeed’s traffic comes from social media.
What, fundamentally, makes this an interesting investment to Dixon? A mastery of social, mobile, content and tech:

Many of today’s great media companies were built on top of emerging technologies. Examples include Time Inc. which was built on color printing, CBS which was built on radio, and Viacom which was built on cable TV. We’re presently in the midst of a major technological shift in which, increasingly, news and entertainment are being distributed on social networks and consumed on mobile devices. We believe BuzzFeed will emerge from this period as a preeminent media company.

Meantime, legacy media companies are dropping their print publications. “Divestiture" is the name of the 2014 game. Three companies built on print — Ganett, the Tribune Company, and EW Scripps — are focusing on television, radio and the Internet, and spinning off their print properties to survive as independent companies that sink or swim as the tides may turn.
Says The New York Times’ David Carr:

The persistent financial demands of Wall Street have trumped the informational needs of Main Street. For decades, investors wanted newspaper companies to become bigger and diversify, so they bought more newspapers and developed television divisions. Now print is too much of a drag on earnings, so media companies are dividing back up and print is being kicked to the curb.

The news behind the news, of course, is that already reeling smaller, regional papers will increasingly vanish without the financial buffer provided by being part of larger diversified companies. This, despite the fact that 72% of Americans follow local news via these same print publications. Then again, many outside the news media bubble don’t know about the financial disruption that’s churned the industry over the last decade.
Via last year’s Pew State of the Media Report:

[T]he majority of people surveyed early this year had heard little or nothing about the financial problems besetting news organizations. The largest group of respondents—36%—said they heard “nothing at all” about the issue and the second largest—24%—said they heard “a little.”

So where goes print?
As news of the $50 million Buzzfeed round pinged about the Internet, a quieter profile of Harper’s publisher John MacArthur hit the Web. In it, he doubles down on print:

The web is bad for writers, [MacArthur] said, who are too exhausted by the pace of an endless news cycle to write poised, reflective stories and who are paid peanuts if they do. It’s bad for publishers, who have lost advertising revenue to Google and Facebook and will never make enough from a free model to sustain great writing. And it’s bad for readers, who cannot absorb information well on devices that buzz, flash and generally distract.
He does not want to explore many of the new revenue streams favored by other publishers — like Monocle, which has stores and a radio station. He will not let advertisers sponsor a section of the magazine, let alone place native ads, for fear that it will look as if they own Harper’s. He does not want conferences or to make videos. “A magazine should be a magazine,” he said. “A newspaper should be a newspaper.”

Harper’s, like other general interest literary magazines, consistently loses money. Then again, as a nonprofit backed by the MacArthur foundation and its $5.7 billion endowment, it’s not going away anytime soon.
For the rest: the forecast reads rocky times ahead.
Image: Old Carissa shipwrecked off the coast of Oregon, via Erin Misserion on Flickr. Select to embiggen.

Business News, August 2014 Edition

Buzzfeed, which gets about 150 million of us to visit each month, just closed a $50 million round with Andreessen Horowitz, the prominent technology venture firm.

Chris Dixon, general partner at the VC firm, says Buzzfeed is a “full stack" startup, meaning that it’s not just an online publisher, but rather an online publisher with integrated end-to-end technologies.

In this case, a media stack on which listicles and in-depth reporting can co-exist side by side, driven by a modern content management system, integrated analytics and ad serving engines, and a 75 person team creating “native content” for advertisers. It’s repetitive to say Buzzfeed also gets the social thing. About 75% of Buzzfeed’s traffic comes from social media.

What, fundamentally, makes this an interesting investment to Dixon? A mastery of social, mobile, content and tech:

Many of today’s great media companies were built on top of emerging technologies. Examples include Time Inc. which was built on color printing, CBS which was built on radio, and Viacom which was built on cable TV. We’re presently in the midst of a major technological shift in which, increasingly, news and entertainment are being distributed on social networks and consumed on mobile devices. We believe BuzzFeed will emerge from this period as a preeminent media company.

Meantime, legacy media companies are dropping their print publications. “Divestiture" is the name of the 2014 game. Three companies built on print — Ganett, the Tribune Company, and EW Scripps — are focusing on television, radio and the Internet, and spinning off their print properties to survive as independent companies that sink or swim as the tides may turn.

Says The New York Times’ David Carr:

The persistent financial demands of Wall Street have trumped the informational needs of Main Street. For decades, investors wanted newspaper companies to become bigger and diversify, so they bought more newspapers and developed television divisions. Now print is too much of a drag on earnings, so media companies are dividing back up and print is being kicked to the curb.

The news behind the news, of course, is that already reeling smaller, regional papers will increasingly vanish without the financial buffer provided by being part of larger diversified companies. This, despite the fact that 72% of Americans follow local news via these same print publications. Then again, many outside the news media bubble don’t know about the financial disruption that’s churned the industry over the last decade.

Via last year’s Pew State of the Media Report:

[T]he majority of people surveyed early this year had heard little or nothing about the financial problems besetting news organizations. The largest group of respondents—36%—said they heard “nothing at all” about the issue and the second largest—24%—said they heard “a little.”

So where goes print?

As news of the $50 million Buzzfeed round pinged about the Internet, a quieter profile of Harper’s publisher John MacArthur hit the Web. In it, he doubles down on print:

The web is bad for writers, [MacArthur] said, who are too exhausted by the pace of an endless news cycle to write poised, reflective stories and who are paid peanuts if they do. It’s bad for publishers, who have lost advertising revenue to Google and Facebook and will never make enough from a free model to sustain great writing. And it’s bad for readers, who cannot absorb information well on devices that buzz, flash and generally distract.

He does not want to explore many of the new revenue streams favored by other publishers — like Monocle, which has stores and a radio station. He will not let advertisers sponsor a section of the magazine, let alone place native ads, for fear that it will look as if they own Harper’s. He does not want conferences or to make videos. “A magazine should be a magazine,” he said. “A newspaper should be a newspaper.”

Harper’s, like other general interest literary magazines, consistently loses money. Then again, as a nonprofit backed by the MacArthur foundation and its $5.7 billion endowment, it’s not going away anytime soon.

For the rest: the forecast reads rocky times ahead.

Image: Old Carissa shipwrecked off the coast of Oregon, via Erin Misserion on Flickr. Select to embiggen.

Report: US Surveillance Harming Journalism, Law and Society
Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union released a report this week outlining the effect the US surveillance state is having on journalism, law and society. In particular, the two groups interviewed “50 journalists covering intelligence, national security, and law enforcement for outlets including the New York Times, the Associated Press, ABC, and NPR.”
Via Human Rights Watch:

[The report] documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented US government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public’s right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy…
…Surveillance has magnified existing concerns among journalists and their sources over the administration’s crackdown on leaks. The crackdown includes new restrictions on contact between intelligence officials and the media, an increase in leak prosecutions, and the Insider Threat Program, which requires federal officials to report one another for “suspicious” behavior that might betray an intention to leak information.
Journalists interviewed for the report said that surveillance intimidates sources, making them more hesitant to discuss even unclassified issues of public concern. The sources fear they could lose their security clearances, be fired, or – in the worst case – come under criminal investigation.
"People are increasingly scared to talk about anything," observed one Pulitzer Prize winner, including unclassified matters that are of legitimate public concern.

The report, With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy, can be downloaded here (PDF). The online Executive Summary is here.
Meantime, via The New York Times: “An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has found that its officers improperly penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.”
Image: Anonymous quote from a journalist interviewed for the report. Via Human Rights Watch.

Report: US Surveillance Harming Journalism, Law and Society

Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union released a report this week outlining the effect the US surveillance state is having on journalism, law and society. In particular, the two groups interviewed “50 journalists covering intelligence, national security, and law enforcement for outlets including the New York Times, the Associated Press, ABC, and NPR.”

Via Human Rights Watch:

[The report] documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented US government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public’s right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy…

…Surveillance has magnified existing concerns among journalists and their sources over the administration’s crackdown on leaks. The crackdown includes new restrictions on contact between intelligence officials and the media, an increase in leak prosecutions, and the Insider Threat Program, which requires federal officials to report one another for “suspicious” behavior that might betray an intention to leak information.

Journalists interviewed for the report said that surveillance intimidates sources, making them more hesitant to discuss even unclassified issues of public concern. The sources fear they could lose their security clearances, be fired, or – in the worst case – come under criminal investigation.

"People are increasingly scared to talk about anything," observed one Pulitzer Prize winner, including unclassified matters that are of legitimate public concern.

The report, With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy, can be downloaded here (PDF). The online Executive Summary is here.

Meantime, via The New York Times: “An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has found that its officers improperly penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.”

Image: Anonymous quote from a journalist interviewed for the report. Via Human Rights Watch.

[T]o be honest, there aren’t a lot of jobs that are cooler than being a reporter. I mean, that’s what Superman was.

— John Horton, former columnist for The Plain Dealer, to Poynter, before adding, “I miss the daily challenge that you had, the feeling that you were doing something larger that made a big difference, fighting that fight every day. I think journalism is one of the few jobs that really has that aspect to it.” How mass layoffs in 2013 changed the lives of former Plain Dealer staffers.

On this, the 100th anniversary of the day the first world war began, it is sobering to look back at the way that conflict was so badly reported. The catalogue of journalistic misdeeds is a matter of record: the willingness to publish propaganda as fact, the apparently tame acceptance of censorship and the failure to hold power to account.

Roy Greenslade, The Guardian. First world war: how state and press kept truth off the front page.

FJP: The more things change…

Wanted: One Qualified Lebron Stalker
The Northeast Ohio Media Group has a “Lebron James Beat.” Here’s its job listing:

Bring your sports, news and investigative reporting experience to one of the most challenging reporting jobs in the country, covering the sports performance, business dealings and community leadership of basketball star LeBron James. You’ll cover all aspects of his roles in Northeast Ohio and nationally as he returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers, writing, creating videos, and posting across multiple platforms including all relevant types of social media. You’ll also participate in broadcasts where you discuss James, working closely with reporters assigned to cover the Cavaliers and the NBA.

Image: Lebron James GIF via cagrialkan.

Wanted: One Qualified Lebron Stalker

The Northeast Ohio Media Group has a “Lebron James Beat.” Here’s its job listing:

Bring your sports, news and investigative reporting experience to one of the most challenging reporting jobs in the country, covering the sports performance, business dealings and community leadership of basketball star LeBron James. You’ll cover all aspects of his roles in Northeast Ohio and nationally as he returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers, writing, creating videos, and posting across multiple platforms including all relevant types of social media. You’ll also participate in broadcasts where you discuss James, working closely with reporters assigned to cover the Cavaliers and the NBA.

Image: Lebron James GIF via cagrialkan.

Al Jazeera’s Looking for Six Global Fellows
Al Jazeera’s AJ+ is launching this fall. With it, they’re hiring six global fellows. Some basic details:

We’re on the hunt for six seriously stellar young people from around the globe to make up our first class of AJ+ Fellows.
It’s a one-year gig, it’s paid, and it’s an opportunity unlike anything else, an opportunity to be at the heart of the next generation of storytellers. Throughout the year, you’ll work with and learn from our core AJ+ team. You’ll join us in our adventure as we introduce AJ+ to the world, and you’ll be a valuable part of making sure this introduction unfolds with fireworks.

The fellowship begins with a 2-3 week stint in San Francisco before heading back to your home region.
Major Qualification: You “have to be downright obsessed with the news and trends in your region and — just as importantly — with the pursuit of unearthing untold stories.”
Deadline to Apply: August 1. Details and application here.

Al Jazeera’s Looking for Six Global Fellows

Al Jazeera’s AJ+ is launching this fall. With it, they’re hiring six global fellows. Some basic details:

We’re on the hunt for six seriously stellar young people from around the globe to make up our first class of AJ+ Fellows.

It’s a one-year gig, it’s paid, and it’s an opportunity unlike anything else, an opportunity to be at the heart of the next generation of storytellers. Throughout the year, you’ll work with and learn from our core AJ+ team. You’ll join us in our adventure as we introduce AJ+ to the world, and you’ll be a valuable part of making sure this introduction unfolds with fireworks.

The fellowship begins with a 2-3 week stint in San Francisco before heading back to your home region.

Major Qualification: You “have to be downright obsessed with the news and trends in your region and — just as importantly — with the pursuit of unearthing untold stories.”

Deadline to Apply: August 1. Details and application here.

Don’t wait for permission to make something that’s interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don’t wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who’ll give you notes to make it better. Don’t wait till you’re older, or in some better job than you have now. Don’t wait for anything. Don’t wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That’s not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it’ll show up. Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.

Ira Glass to Lifehacker. I’m Ira Glass, Host of This American Life, and This Is How I Work.

Quick tip for things to do immediately post-interview:

When I come out of an interview, I jot down the things I remember as being my favorite moments. For an hour-long interview usually it’s just four or five moments, but if out I’m reporting all day, I’ll spend over an hour at night typing out every favorite thing that happened. This is handier than you might think. Often this short list of favorite things will provide the backbone to the structure to my story.

Read through for the gear This American Life uses and its editing process.

I regret being scared. I regret wasting time thinking I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t deserve a seat at the table. You do belong and your voice is worthy. Say it to yourself in the mirror every morning if you have to, but don’t ever forget it.

Jenna Wortham, reporter, New York Times, to Buzzfeed. 39 Pieces Of Advice For Journalists And Writers Of Color.

Buzzfeed asks twenty established writers what advice they’d give to those breaking into the industry.

Here are the questions:

  • What piece of advice would you, as a writer of color, give to burgeoning writers/journalists of color?
  • What do you know now about being a writer of color that you wish you’d known when you first started?
  • Is there anything you did as a writer starting out that you now regret?

Read through for the answers.

#Propaganda
Via The New York Times:

Propaganda wars have unfolded alongside the battlefield for generations. But analysts said the latest flare-up between Israel and the Gaza Strip has brought a new level of dehumanizing, hateful language and a muddying of official talking points with incendiary threats, as social media broadcast an explosion of voices, an onslaught of unreliable information, and creative mash-ups of pop-culture icons with war imagery.

And so we learn that the Israel Defense Forces has a  social media team of 40 that publishes on 30 platforms in six different languages while a team of 400 Israeli students volunteer to counter “false representation(s) of Israel in international and social media through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Across the way, Hamas offers a list of do’s and don’ts: Don’t post images or videos of missiles fired from cities, avoid close-ups of masked gunmen and where possible begin your missives with something along the lines of, “In response to the cruel Israeli assault.”
All of which makes for a tidy trove of photos, videos and graphics prepackaged for the rest of us to share across our networks.
To which Andy Carvin, formerly of NPR, told CNET earlier this year, “I don’t know if that’s going to change the hearts and minds of people who already support you or already hate you. There aren’t exactly undecided voters in this particular conflict.”
Somewhat related, Part 01: The Verification Handbook, released by the European Journalism Centre earlier this year, guides readers through verifying “digital content” during emergency situations.
Somewhat related, Part 02: A 1985 study explored a concept called the hostile media effect where people with opposing views are exposed to the same news programming and each side comes away claiming that the same show is biased against them (PDF).
Somewhat related, Part 03: In 2009, the BBC published an “Israel-Palestine” glossary with entries ranging from “cycle of violence” to “outpost” to “assassinations” in order to explain how the BBC uses them.
For those keeping social score at home: On Twitter, #GazaUnderAttack has been used over 4.5 million times in the last month; #IsraelUnderFire about 216,000 times.
Image: Because Hitler, via The New York Times. In Gaza, Epithets Are Fired and Euphemisms Give Shelter.

#Propaganda

Via The New York Times:

Propaganda wars have unfolded alongside the battlefield for generations. But analysts said the latest flare-up between Israel and the Gaza Strip has brought a new level of dehumanizing, hateful language and a muddying of official talking points with incendiary threats, as social media broadcast an explosion of voices, an onslaught of unreliable information, and creative mash-ups of pop-culture icons with war imagery.

And so we learn that the Israel Defense Forces has a social media team of 40 that publishes on 30 platforms in six different languages while a team of 400 Israeli students volunteer to counter “false representation(s) of Israel in international and social media through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Across the way, Hamas offers a list of do’s and don’ts: Don’t post images or videos of missiles fired from cities, avoid close-ups of masked gunmen and where possible begin your missives with something along the lines of, “In response to the cruel Israeli assault.”

All of which makes for a tidy trove of photos, videos and graphics prepackaged for the rest of us to share across our networks.

To which Andy Carvin, formerly of NPR, told CNET earlier this year, “I don’t know if that’s going to change the hearts and minds of people who already support you or already hate you. There aren’t exactly undecided voters in this particular conflict.”

Somewhat related, Part 01: The Verification Handbook, released by the European Journalism Centre earlier this year, guides readers through verifying “digital content” during emergency situations.

Somewhat related, Part 02: A 1985 study explored a concept called the hostile media effect where people with opposing views are exposed to the same news programming and each side comes away claiming that the same show is biased against them (PDF).

Somewhat related, Part 03: In 2009, the BBC published an “Israel-Palestine” glossary with entries ranging from “cycle of violence” to “outpost” to “assassinations” in order to explain how the BBC uses them.

For those keeping social score at home: On Twitter, #GazaUnderAttack has been used over 4.5 million times in the last month; #IsraelUnderFire about 216,000 times.

Image: Because Hitler, via The New York Times. In Gaza, Epithets Are Fired and Euphemisms Give Shelter.

The Russian Public Has a Totally Different Understanding of What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 →

Via The New Republic:

Did you know Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was full of corpses when it took off from Amsterdam? Did you know that, for some darkly inexplicable reason, on July 17, MH17 moved off the standard flight path that it had taken every time before, and moved north, toward rebel-held areas outside Donetsk? Or that the dispatchers summoned the plane lower just before the crash? Or that the plane had been recently reinsured? Or that the Ukrainian army has air defense systems in the area? Or that it was the result of the Ukrainian military mistaking MH17 for Putin’s presidential plane, which looks strangely similar?

Did you know that the crash of MH17 was all part of an American conspiracy to provoke a big war with Russia?

Well, it’s all true — at least if you live in Russia, because this is the Malaysia Airlines crash story that you’d be seeing

…And, mind you, this is not part of a larger debate of could they, or couldn’t they; this is all of Russian television and state-friendly papers pushing one line: The pro-Russian separatists we’ve been supporting all these months couldn’t have done this. Watching some of these Russian newscasts, one comes away with the impression of a desperate defense attorney scrounging for experts and angles, or a bad kid caught red-handed by the principal, trying to twist his way out of a situation in which he has no chance.

About those corpses: The conspiracy goes that what really blew up was the Malaysian flight that disappeared into the Indian Ocean back in March. In this telling, the US had the plane (and the bodies!) and flew it over Ukraine to “dispose” of the evidence. 

Read through for Julia Ioffe’s take on Russian media and what it means for the country’s domestic politics and international relations.

Yes There is a Chrome Extension That Makes Reading the News More Fun 
The extension’s here. The code is here.
The original xkcd comic is here.

Yes There is a Chrome Extension That Makes Reading the News More Fun 

The extension’s here. The code is here.

The original xkcd comic is here.