Eyewitnesses say Pittsburgh-Post Gazette publisher John Robinson Block fired journalists while screaming drunk

Eyewitnesses say the publisher of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette drunkenly stumbled through the newsroom screaming at journalists, firing them-- and demanded that a photo of him and his daughter be published on the front page. Meanwhile, his daughter screamed, “Please, please Daddy no!” Read the rest

Teen journalists profile each of the 1,200+ US children killed by guns since Parkland

More than 200 teen journalists have come together to write Since Parkland, which profiles each of the more than 1,200 children killed by guns in the USA since the Parkland shooting (not including suicides, kids killed by cops, or shooters who were themselves killed while committing shootings): "The reporting you will read in 'Since Parkland' is journalism in one of its purest forms — revealing the human stories behind the statistics — carried out on an exhaustive scale." A reminder that we do more to keep kids from getting their shots than we do to keep them from getting shot. (via Kottke) Read the rest

The problem with all the mistakes in Jill Abramson's book on journalism is you'll never know who wrote them

Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, has a book out about journalism, ethics and truth. Unfortunately, many paragraphs turned out to be plagiarized from other writers. To the seemingly oblivious Abramson, it seems incomprehensible that this might be a problem. To her publishers, the vast sunk costs involved (it paid about $1m for the copied-and-pasted hackintome) have forced them to pretend that it isn't.

And then there's the errors. Even before it was out, reviewers noticed problems ranging from major cities situated in the wrong states to insulting factual flubs about the young journalists Abramson thinks she's schooling.

And now this, spotted by Chris Krewson:

CPM refers to cost per mille, a measure used in advertising, and makes no sense as written here. In any case, it certainly was not a term devised by Nick Denton to calculate traffic bonuses.

"The lack of understanding about digital is stunning," Krewson writes.

Ah, but whose lack of understanding about digital?

The problem with all the mistakes in Jill Abramson's book on journalism is you'll never know who made them. It's the paradox of plagiarism: all discussion that depends on authorship, intent, context -- all of it becomes pointless. You can't very well blame Abramson for someone else's mistake, can you?1

Her book supposedly honors the traditions of 20th century journalism but has become a gravestone marking their death. The corpses will now be fucked by social media companies, billionaires and fascists until there's nothing left to fuck but the cold stone where they lay. Read the rest

Prominent newspapers across the United States come under cyberattack

2018 has been a dangerous year for those who bring us the news: according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 129 journalists were killed this year. For the first time in history, the United States has been listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to ply their trade. The President of the United States has been calling the media industry an "enemy of the people" for the past two years. Many of his acolytes have bought into his bullshit: news rooms have come under assault by gunmen. Bomb threats against TV stations have been made on a number of occasions. Nicaragua's government has hamstrung the nation's independent press. Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post was strangled and sawed to pieces by Saudi operatives. President Trump pretty much shrugged his shoulders and got on with his life. The hate and distrust showered on those working to cast light on the dark secrets that our governments would rather not be known are a budding fascist's wet dream.

And now, many of the nation's newspapers of record have suffered a cyberattack.

From The Los Angeles Times:

A cyberattack that appears to have originated from outside the United States caused major printing and delivery disruptions at several newspapers across the country on Saturday including the Los Angeles Times, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The attack led to distribution delays in the Saturday edition of The Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and several other major newspapers that operate on a shared production platform.

Read the rest

The incredible story of Susan Potter, the "immortal corpse"

In the year 2,000, Susan Potter, then 72, donated her body to medicine. After Potter died, scientists froze her corpse, sliced it into 27,000 slivers thinner than a human hair, photographed each slice, and created "the world’s most advanced virtual cadaver using the highest-quality imagery of an entire human body in existence." Not only is the virtual cadaver an incredible accomplishment but so is National Geographic's story about Potter and the lead researcher, Dr. Vic Spitzer Ph.D., director of the Center for Human Simulation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Why? Because National Geographic followed this incredible story of the Visible Human Project for almost two decades, from before Potter died through the completion of the simulation. Watch the documentary above. From National Geographic:

Are you interested in working with us before you die? (Spitzer) finally asked (Potter). Are you interested in giving us more than just your body—in giving us your personality and knowledge?

Spitzer wanted to videotape her while she was living and record her talking about her life, her health, her medical history. Your pathology isn’t that interesting to the project, Spitzer told Potter. But if I could capture you talking to medical students, when they’re looking at slices of your body, you could tell them about your spine—why you didn’t want the surgery, what kind of pain the surgery caused, and what kind of life you led after the surgery. That would be fascinating.

“They’ll see her body while they’re hearing her stories,” he explained, adding that video and audio of her would make her more real and introduce the element of emotion to students.

Read the rest

Tanzania detains reporters Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo

The Committee to Protect Journalists says authorities in Tanzania have forcibly detained Angela Quintal, Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Muthoki Mumo, CPJ's sub-Saharan Africa representative. Their passports were seized. Read the rest

The media "blowing it again" in last days of election, but "not as badly" as last time

Former New York Times ombudsman Margaret Sullivan can't believe the media is making the same mistakes it made in the run up to the 2016 election: "Too many journalists allow Trump to lead them around by the nose, which is why you’ve heard so very much about that migrant caravan in recent weeks."

With the president as their de facto assignment editor, too many seem to respond “how high?” when Trump says jump.

Wide-eyed coverage of his politically driven pet issues — primarily the supposed horrors of immigration — has dominated the past few weeks of news, with a fixation on the refugees coming north through Mexico. ... Journalists too often parrot what the president says, and giddily follow his shiny-object distractions du jour.

Singled out for brutal criticism are Axios's Jonathan Swan, The Hill, Fox News and other usual suspects who breathlessly convey Trump's wisdom without skepticism or journalistic acumen. But she also praises other outlets for getting over their squeamish indifference to lies and reporting them as such, and for the trend of sucessfully ignoring vacuous Trumpspeak.

I made a picture for you (above) for use later this week on social media, when it really starts to sink in. Read the rest

Footage of Khashoggi "body double" in his clothes after murder

According to CNN, surveillance footage show one of the Saudi men suspected of murdering Jamal Khashoggi wearing the dead man's clothes and a fake beard while walking around Istanbul as a decoy. From CNN:

A senior Turkish official told CNN that the video showed that Madani was brought to Istanbul to act as a body double.

"You don't need a body double for a rendition or an interrogation," the official said. "Our assessment has not changed since October 6. This was a premeditated murder and the body was moved out of the consulate..."

Four hours earlier Madani had entered the consulate by the front door, alongside an alleged accomplice. Saudi's forensic medicine chief Salah al-Tubaiqi, another key suspect who was identified using facial recognition analysis together with CNN's timeline of events that day, was also present. The video appears to show Madani without a beard, wearing a blue and white checked shirt and dark blue trousers. When he exited the consulate dressed as Khashoggi, the video then appears to show him wearing the same dark pair of sneakers with white soles that he first arrived in prior to the journalist's death. "Khashoggi's clothes were probably still warm when Madani put them on," the senior Turkish official told CNN.

Read the rest

This 'Emoji First Amendment' coffee mug supports good journalism ☕

It's an emoji-fied version of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Read the rest

No, Steve Bannon should not speak at your journalism conference. Here's why.

White Supremacist grifter Steve Bannon, formerly of Donald Trump's Presidential administration, has made quite the new career for himself as a lucrative speaker on the journalism and big thinker circuit. Read the rest

Trump: Justice Dept should investigate identity of anonymous NY Times op-ed writer, because national security

Speaking on the never-ending campaign trail for his insatiable ego, Donald Trump today called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to harness the full power of the Justice Department to go after whoever wrote the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times that said all those mean things about him. Read the rest

RIP The Village Voice

"Today is kind of a sucky day," Village Voice owner Peter Barbey told newspaper staff in a phone call Friday. "Due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material.” Read the rest

'Act like a lady,' Denver police tell journalist as they handcuff and detain her for photographing them

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Susan Greene responds. “Act like a lady?”

“There you go,” the police officer says. “Now you can go to jail.” Read the rest

New York weekly newspaper's cover is a voter registration form

Ithaca's free alt-weekly The Ithaca Times printed a New York State voter registration form on their cover this week. The medium is the message.

Read the rest

Chicago journalists once opened a fake bar to document corruption

Forty years ago, investigative journalists in Chicago hatched an audacious plan to create a fake tavern packed with hidden microphones, cameras, and reporters everywhere working as bar staff and customers. Their goal was to document local corruption. Topic has a great oral history of the project. Read the rest

YouTube plans to spend $25 million fighting 'fake news.' Here's how.

YouTube just unveiled a plan to combat phony conspiracy videos intended to manipulate or defraud viewers. Read the rest

Capital Gazette publishes despite newsroom attack

Though five of its employees were shot dead yesterday, The Annapolis Capital-Gazette vowed to put out an issue this morning and did so.

An otherwise blank editorial page memorialized the victims.

The Guardian

In the aftermath of the shooting, the Gazette’s reporters were back out covering the tragedy that had been inflicted on their own colleagues.

By late on Thursday evening, the newspaper posted its front page on social media as it went to press – “5 shot dead at The Capital” and “Laurel man, the suspected gunman, in custody”, read the headline and subhead.

As evidence grew that the gun rampage had been committed by an individual who specifically targeted the newspaper and its editing team, the response of the surviving journalists on the title was one of resolute defiance.

Read the rest

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