* Matt Taibbi leaves First Look Media after eight months. “Our differences were never about editorial independence,” writes Pierre Omidyar. OK, so what was the reason for his departure? (firstlook.org)
* Read this excellent ProPublica/NPR investigation before you text your next donation to the Red Cross. (“They were not interested in solving the problem — they were interested in looking good.”) (propublica.org)
* Kansas City Star’s “Heavenly” front. (newseum.org/PDF)
* Chicago police union asks a judge to stop the city from giving misconduct records to the Sun-Times and Tribune. (suntimes.com)
* Storyful applies “traditional journalistic skills to a new medium” to debunk stories. (npr.org)
* How the White House leaks stories. (washingtonpost.com)
* “I’m inside of a demographic that’s supposed to love newspapers. But…” (ryerson.ca)
* Claim: PolitiFact “has completely failed to serve any useful purpose” in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race. (expressmilwaukee.com)
* Misleading headlines examined. (fastcodesign.com)
* Hartford Courant celebrates 250 years. (courant.com) | Congratulations from President Obama. (tribpub.com)
* The line for Ben Bradlee‘s funeral. (@HowardKurtz) | Watch it on C-SPAN. (washingtonpost.com)
* New York Times kills its standalone auto section. (capitalnewyork.com)
* “Asking if journalism is dying is no different from asking if vegetables are dying.” (Buswell Street)
* “We are not going to censor a student paper,” says the president of Missouri State University. (news-leader.com) | Still, this front page made him cringe, he says.
* The FBI confirms it created a fake AP story to lure a suspect into downloading secret software. (seattletimes.com) | Seattle Times has questions for the FBI. (seattletimes.com) | Jeff Reifman: Take a deep breath and review the facts here. (geekwire.com)
* Paul Smalera leaves the New York Times to become Ideas editor at Quartz. (@zseward) | Veteran media reporter Jeff Bercovici quits Forbes to become Inc.’s SF bureau chief. (nypost.com)
* Stephen Burgard, director of Northeastern University’s journalism school and longtime Los Angeles Times journalist, dies at 66. (bostonglobe.com)
NPR standards and practices senior editor Mark Memmott writes in his Tuesday blog post: “Words and phrases matter, of course, because we’re in the business of writing and telling stories that are compelling and clear.” Getting them wrong and relying on “cliches and shopworn phrases” gets in the way of NPR’s mission, he notes.
These words and phrases annoy NPR staffers:
* “Dude.” There’s really only one.
* “Confined to a wheelchair” and other phrases that imply a judgment about someone’s condition. A simple substitute: “Uses a wheelchair.”
— Michael Gulledge (@mgulledge) October 28, 2014
The story explains that the quotes are from
Ferguson protesters a black rights protest. Michael Gulledge, whose tweet tops this post, “has been one of the few people who has had a negative response to the cover,” says Standard editor-in-chief Trevor Mitchell.
He adds in an email:
While there have a been a few people who have expressed disappointment or offense at the cover, the vast majority of feedback we’ve gotten has been positive. Many protesters have retweeted the story and the front page image saying that they’re happy that we’re showing the truth of what was said to students protesting on their own campus … I got a phone call from an African-American alumnus that said he’d “never been more proud of an article dealing with an issue” and that “the stand that you took putting that out there, the words that you guys used, it was brave, it was refreshing, it was fantastic that you actually dealt with the issue.”
People have the right to disagree with our decision, to dislike it, to be offended by it — and that’s fine. … We wanted people to take notice, and to have that reaction. And I think we’ve achieved that.
Update - Someone who shared my link on Facebook writes: “It might make people cringe but I think it’s actually an effective way to get people’s attention and get them talking about what this means for their communities.”
Matt Taibbi said in February after being hired by Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media: “This is clearly the future, and this was an opportunity for me to be part of helping to found something and create something that might carry us into the next generation.”
Now it’s not clear whether he’ll be creating anything at First Look; Taibbi has taken a leave from the site after disagreements with bosses, according to New York’s Andrew Rice.
Taibbi’s abrupt disappearance from the company’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has cast doubt on the fate of his highly anticipated digital publication, reportedly to be called Racket, which First Look executives had previously said would launch sometime this autumn. …
The confrontational approach that made Taibbi’s name at Rolling Stone — and before that, as the founding editor of the gonzo Moscow expatriate magazine The eXile — appears to have contributed to internal trouble at First Look.
John Temple, First Look Media President of Audience and Products, tells Rice that “I don’t comment about internal matters and I don’t comment on personnel matters.” I’m guessing reporters will approach Taibbi at tonight’s Books and Booze Fundraiser tonight.
* Matt Taibbi disappears from Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media (nymag.com)
* The near future of First Look Media’s next site looks fuzzy (niemanlab.org)
* February 2014: First Look Media hires critic of Wall Street (nytimes.com)
Update: Here’s a video of the candidates meeting with with the editorial board. | Update: It’s been taken down.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group last week posted a video of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and challenger Ed FitzGerald meeting with the editorial board, then took it down without explanation and replaced it with an audio recording.
The video shows Kasich – endorsed by the Plain Dealer – slumped in his chair and refusing to answer questions, according to the Plunderbund website. That site posted part of the video on Monday, then received this threat from NOMG content veep Chris Quinn.
“We believe our posting of the video falls under the category of fair use,” say Plunderbund editors, “however we have temporarily removed the video while we discuss our options.”
I’ve asked Quinn and editorial pages editor Elizabeth Sullivan about the vanishing video. [Wednesday morning update: They never responded.]
* NOMG’s Chris Quinn threatens to sue website over Kasich video (plunderbund.com)
* NOMG pulls video of Kasich refusing to answer editorial board questions (plunderbund.com) | Plain Dealer endorses Kasich (cleveland.com)
The FitzGerald campaign’s press release is after the jump. Read More
From Charleston (WV) Daily Mail editorial writer Don Surber‘s blog:
Update: Surber has taken his post down, but a cached version is below.
* The top three newspapers by circulation are USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. (chicagotribune.com)
* David Gregory is joining Katie Couric on Yahoo for an election special. (nytimes.com)
* Seattle Times blasts the FBI for putting a fake news story on a fake Seattle Times website. “Not only does that cross a line, it erases it,” says editor Kathy Best. (seattletimes.com)
* Chicago Sun-Times is launching a “mobile-first app network.” CEO Tim Knight says “this innovation … begins an exciting new chapter for the Sun-Times brand.” (robertfeder.com) | (suntimes.com)
* “The odds of major success are long,” Ken Doctor says of the Sun-Times network. (niemanlab.org)
* Nassau County D.A. threatens 5 Towns Jewish Times over a link to a “factual” New York Observer story. (observer.com)
* Report: Tampa Tribune has fired controversial conservative columnist Douglas MacKinnon. (cltampa.com)
* “I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be journalist, especially a young journalist starting out,” says Brian Stelter. “The flip side of that, there has never been a more unpredictable time.” (downtowndevil.com)
* The Bobby Harrell case in South Carolina shows why local accountability reporting matters. (cjr.org)
* Washington Post creates the Ben Bradlee Award for Courage in Journalism. (washingtonpost.com)
* Len Shapiro: “Very little has been written about Bradlee’s great affection for sports, and yes, even some sportswriters.” (shermanreport.com)
* Ebola and “a big-time journalistic juggling act.” (usatoday.com) | (Joe Strupp)
* R.L. Stine will be writing a story live on Twitter tonight. (@RL_Stine)
* Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times isn’t commenting on layoffs. (bizjournals.com)
* Newseum exec Paul Sparrow says “the next generation of news/media companies must deliver critical or entertaining information customized for a specific person based on their location, job, relationship status, interests, contacts and eventually, even their mood.” (ajr.org)
* New York Times standards editor Phil Corbett isn’t a fan of channeling one’s inner something-or-other. (nytimes.com)
Lynn Monty was laid off from Gannett’s Burlington Free Press after refusing to interview to keep her job – a process she calls “degrading and demoralizing.”
Monty was a community news and technology reporter for the Free Press’ “Innovate” and “Vermont” sections, as well as for “Hometown,” its free weekly. For the past two years, she said, she was the only reporter in the newsroom on Saturdays. As such, she simultaneously served as web editor, social media manager and editor that day of the week.
She tells Seven Days alt-weekly: “I loved my job, but I don’t love Gannett. …When our publisher jumped ship [for Party City last month], I knew it was over.”
The journalist adds: “I will miss my colleagues and I wish them all the best. It’s been an honor to learn and work alongside them. … I will make a new way for myself that doesn’t compromise my integrity.”