By Elizabeth Cherneff – CNN
This week on Reliable Sources, we’ll continue to discuss media coverage and fallout since former intelligence worker Edward Snowden revealed himself as the source of leaked documents outlining the NSA’s surveillance programs. In the meantime, here are some other stories that caught our eye this week:
This week, ESPN announced it would be closing its 3D sports channel by the end of the year. In a statement, the network cited limited demand for 3D services, implying that the trend has been slow to take off with viewers. Following the announcement, ESPN’s chief technology officer Chuck Pagano suggested that 3D technology needs to be more user-friendly in order to be successful. In the meantime, the network says it plans to maintain a full standard broadcast line-up in place of 3D content on the channel.
For many, unpaid internships are seen as a key step towards landing full-time employment. This week, a federal judge in New York ruled in favor of two former Fox Searchlight Pictures interns who claim they should have been paid while interning for the production company in 2011. In the decision, the judge ruled that the internships did not promote an educational environment and the studio benefited from the work, both of which violate the Dept. of Labor’s unpaid internship regulations. While a 20th Century Fox spokesman announced the company would be appealing the ruling, Tuesday’s decision could potentially set precedent for others seeking compensation for unpaid internships.
Generally when a newspaper issues an apology, it’s a pretty big deal. The British newspaper ‘The Sun’ took an unusual approach this week when it published the following apology in regards to a weekend article:
“In an article on Saturday headlined ‘Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ,’ we stated “two flat silver discs” were seen “above the Church of Scientology HQ.” Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien life forms for linking them to Scientologists.”
The apology, which has since been picked up by Buzzfeed and ITV News, has also gained attention on social media, suggesting that in this case, the U.K. tabloid had the last laugh.
By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN
This Sunday on Reliable Sources, we'll discuss media coverage following the Guardian report involving U.S. FISA-related court orders to monitor telephone traffic of Verizon customers. Until then, here are some more stories that caught our attention this week:
John Oliver takes the reigns at 'The Daily Show' Starting Monday, comedian John Oliver will take over as guest host of “The Daily Show.” While permanent host Jon Stewart takes time off to direct a movie this summer, Oliver, an already popular presence on the late-night Comedy Central program, will fill the anchor’s chair. This week, Oliver opened up about his expectations for the show in interview with the New York Times. When asked if the voice of the Daily Show would change, Oliver responded in honest and humorous fashion, saying, “the voice is going to change, in so far as words are going to be pronounced accurately. And there are going to be a lot more u’s on the prompter. I don’t want to see c-o-l-o-r on the prompter or there’s going to be hell to pay.”
'News crew assaulted by woman wileding rocks, baseball bat, and attack dogs': A Rhode Island tv crew kept their cameras rolling this week after a potential interviewee started attacking them. According to local reports, a Providence woman was charged with assault on Wednesday after she chased ABC6 News reporter Abbey Niezgoda and her cameraman with a baseball bat while throwing rocks at them. In a video segment posted online, you can see Niezgoda and her cameraman dodging rocks while being chased down the street by the woman and her dogs. Niezgoda says her station was following up on a weekend shooting involving the woman’s daughter when the confrontation started.
'22 maps that show how Americans speka English totally differently from each other': Some eye-catching maps identifying how people across the U.S. pronounce words like ‘syrup’ and ‘pecan’ had all of us in the newsroom chiming in this week. Compiled by North Carolina State University Ph. D student Joshua Katz as part of a linguistic project, the maps show that when it comes to pronunciations, we might just have to agree to disagree. For example, a traffic circle to those in the Mid-Atlantic region is more commonly called a roundabout out West- but folks in the Northeast prefer the term ‘rotary.’ And while the sugary topping ‘caramel’ is more commonly pronounced with 2 syllables in the West/Midwest (“car-ml”), heading East the same word gets another syllable tacked on, becoming “carra-mel” instead. We’re not sure what’s behind all the different pronos, but we had some laughs comparing dialects across our newsroom this week- sound off in the comments below and let us know what you’re reading this week!
By Becky Perlow, CNN
The official start of summer is still a few weeks away, but the weather is too beautiful to stay inside. So grab your sunscreen and relax by the pool while you catch up on what the Reliable staff is reading this week!
Do the shoes make the woman? Some journalists seem to think so, as they've written articles referencing a woman's shoes... as if her footwear choice lends any insight into her individual integrity. Unfortunately, the "insight" is usually cast in a negative tone, such as when USA Today’s Joanne Bamberger wrote that Sheryl Sandberg wants “women to pull themselves up by the Louboutin straps." According to one Slate.com writer, though, "the mention of high heels is an egregious detail—so many women wear them, they’re about as meaningful a fashion choice as a senator in a suit."
Closing up shop: With U.S. soldiers back home and a dwindling stream of news from the Middle Eastern nation, news organizations have been shutting down their brick-and-mortar operations. This week, CNN was the last American news organization to do so, though it will continue to have a permanent presence. According to TVNewser, "it's also the end of an era," as CNN has operated a bureau in Iraq since 1990, becoming a household name for its coverage of the Gulf War.
News from the mole hole: It's been more than a year since news broke of a liberal mole in the Fox New lair, but the man at the center of the story continues to cash in on his 15-minutes of fame. In an article released on Salon.com and tied to his new book, Joe Muto writes about where Fox News' editorial direction comes from and gives readers a rundown into O'Reilly's daily schedule. So what's next on Muto's plate? Only time will tell.
Tawdry tabloid tours: New York City's landmarks have certainly staked their places in history – from visiting The Great Gatsby’s Plaza Hotel, to the Upper-East Side tours of Carrie Bradshaw's rent-controlled brownstone, people from all over the world travel to see the places of their favorite novels, TV shows and movies. "In February The New York Post, in partnership with Metro Sightseeing, an offshoot of Circle Line Sightseeing, began taking riders on a tabloid excursion around the city, revisiting many of the sites immortalized in the newspaper’s renowned headlines," writes The New York Times. Apparently, though, one scandalized sightseeing ride isn't enough - TMZ has now joined the scene.
So where would you go on a Tabloid Tour? And are you reading anything interesting this week? Tell us in the comments below.
By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN
This week on Reliable Sources, we’ll look at media coverage of the devastating Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes as well as the ongoing federal investigation into Fox News reporter James Rosen’s sources. Until then, here are some other stories that caught our attention this week:
Scandals and Watergate: An overused analogy? - In a piece for Slate this week, chief political correspondent John Dickerson urged his younger peers to be cautious in comparing the recent controversies facing the Obama administration to the infamous 1970's Watergate scandal. Dickerson argues that the tendency to overuse the phrase in modern reporting “has scrubbed the analogy down to near meaninglessness.” Rather than exaggerate, he writes, journalists should exercise caution in covering political scandals with the knowledge that “if something is like Watergate, you will not have to say it is so.”
For Weiner, a Campaign Apart - With this week’s YouTube video announcing his bid, Anthony Weiner ended months of speculation and confirmed that he will enter the race for NYC mayor. The Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Grossman notes that this will be a campaign unlike any other for Weiner, who was forced to resign in 2011 after sending inappropriate tweets and photos to several women on social media. Now, Weiner faces several hurdles, including the fact that many unions and political groups have already thrown their support behind other candidates. As he kicks off his latest campaign, it will be interesting to see how receptive New Yorkers are to Weiner’s latest message to focus on issues affecting the city’s middle class voters.
ESPN Cutting 300 to 400 Jobs - ESPN is cutting 300 to 400 jobs through layoffs and leaving vacant positions unfilled. The company confirmed the changes and released a statement on Tuesday reading, ‘We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs.” Despite the revenue ESPN brings to its parent company, Walt Disney, the staffing cuts come at a time when sports programming costs are also on the rise.
Celebrities who have fallen asleep during tv interviews - A tv interview with actor Morgan Freeman went viral this week after he appeared to fall asleep during a live segment with Seattle affiliate KCPQ. Freeman was appearing alongside fellow actor Michael Caine to promote the pair’s new film, ‘Now You See Me.’ With hectic press tour schedules, Freeman isn’t the first celebrity to doze off on-air, but the actor had the last laugh this time. Following the interview, he posted a good-natured response on his Facebook page, writing, “Regarding my recent interview, I wasn't actually sleeping. I'm a beta tester for Google Eyelids and I was merely taking the opportunity to update my Facebook page .”
By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN
We’ve got a busy show coming up on Sunday. From the Justice Department seizing AP reporters’ phone records to the IRS targeting conservative groups, the Obama administration’s handling of several major controversies has been criticized across the spectrum. We’ll discuss the coverage of the latest Washington headlines in detail, but until then, here are some other reads that caught our attention this week:
Seth Meyers will return to ‘SNL’ this fall, leave for ‘Late Night’ in 2014: The late night television changes continued this week with NBC’s announcement that current SNL cast member Seth Meyers will replace Jimmy Fallon as host of ‘Late Night.’ In a ‘Today Show’ interview, Meyers confirmed to NBC’s Matt Lauer that he’ll stay with Saturday Night Live through the fall before starting his new gig next year. February 2014 marks Jimmy Fallon’s transition to ‘The Tonight Show’ slot, also coinciding with NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage. While many SNL fans will undoubtedly be sad to see Meyers go, this latest change reflects the networks’ push to attract younger viewers.
An inside look at Guantanamo Bay: Cuba’s most infamous detention center is the subject of author and Wall Street Journal correspondent Jess Bravin’s new book The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay. In his latest novel, Bravin highlights the lack of legal precedent that makes prosecuting inmates even more difficult amid hunger strikes and calls to close the prison. With rising costs to maintain Guantanamo Bay and accounts of worsening conditions inside the cells, the topic is sure to remain a source of controversy across the political spectrum.
Which journalists accepted free laptops from Google? When it comes to reviewing the newest smartphones and laptops, trying out the latest gadgets is part of the job- but does it create conflicts of interest for journalists tasked with objectively covering the technology beat? At this week’s Google keynote address, Gawker media blogger Sam Biddle highlighted a possibly ambiguous loan agreement that may have allowed several journalists to keep some gadgets free of charge. The story highlights the bigger issue of news organizations’ ethics policies against handouts and not accepting gifts- in an evolving media landscape, it’s an ongoing conversation to be had amongst journalists and news executives.
By Laura Koran, CNN
Tune in Sunday for a look at how the Cleveland abduction case, the Benghazi hearing, and the week's other big stories are playing out in the media. Until then, here are some interesting reads that caught our attention.
Sexism at play? - This week’s Time Magazine cover story, “The Me Me Me Generation”, describes the entitlement and narcissism of American Millenials. While author Joel Stein concede that the generation “could be a great force for positive change,” his portrayal is often less than flattering. While some have taken issue with Stein’s perception of young people, others are calling out the magazine itself for the cover image it used to accompany the story. The cover features a young woman taking a picture of herself with a smart phone. That depiction, according to ThinkProgress culture reporter Alyssa Rosenberg, is not only ageist, but sexist as well, implying that self-absorption is a primarily female trait.
The Photoshop diet - The media’s ongoing obsession with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight was on display this week after the Governor admitted he underwent weight loss surgery in February. We will have more on how the story played out in the national media on Sunday, but for those who have been asking themselves how the leaner Christie will look, there’s no need to wait! The Asbury Park Press digitally altered a photo of the Governor to show what he might look like once the weight loss takes effect. This makes Christie the latest in a long line of celebrities who have benefited from developments in airbrushing technology.
Eulogy to a library – After the library across the street from his apartment closed to make way for condos and a hotel, Current TV co-founder Michael Rosenblum took to Huffington Post to reminisce about libraries and to ponder their future existence. As Rosenblum points out, libraries may hold sentimental value to people, but the internet has rendered them increasingly unnecessary. In fact, the disappearance of Rosenblum’s local library is far from unique. According to the American Library Association, state and federal funding for libraries has been dropping significantly in recent years, leaving many to wonder whether they might to the way of telephone booths and typewriters.
By Becky Perlow, CNN
We've got a great show for you on Sunday, from the new arrests in the Boston bombing case to the final days of the Jodi Arias trial. Until then, here's a quick look at what else caught our attention this week.
Baring their arms: "The sleeveless sheath dress, now ubiquitous on cable and local news, and especially beloved by morning news programs, is as much a uniform for TV newswomen as androgyny was in the mid-’90s, when boxy blazers and short hair reigned," writes Slate.com's female blog, Double X. According to the author, the sleeveless anchor is now a sexy necessity for news networks across the nation - but at what cost to our reputation as journalists? And what does it say about our industry when the viewer is instructed (consciously or subconsciously) to care more about what the anchor is wearing, as opposed to what the anchor is saying?
The funniest name in news: From movies and tweets, to TV shows and articles, The Onion has established itself as a major news source... however untrue the published news might be. Hoping to "expand its empire," the comedic fake-news publication (in conjunction with Amazon) is now taking a crack at a new comedy show called "Onion News Empire." A quick look at the trailer suggests a similar story-line of HBO's The Newsroom, but with reports focusing on the NRA giving fetuses the right to carry assault weapons, rather than segments on international wars. The author adds that "it's also worth noting that the pilot was written before 'The Newsroom' premiered on HBO."
The post-blog blog: When reports surfaced that The New York Times would be shutting down and/or revamping several of it's blogs (including it's popular Media Decoder blog), digital journalists (and their fans) quickly questioned whose blog would be next. The New Republic writes that "we are losing the personal blog and the themed blog... Instead, [users] use social media to efficiently pick exactly what they do and do not click on, rather than reading what a blogger or blog offers them."
So which traditional blog do you think will face the chopping block next? And what are you reading this week?
By Laura Koran, CNN
On this week’s show, we will be taking a look at the media’s hits and misses covering the attack on the Boston Marathon. Tune in for that on Sunday, and see what other stories caught our attention this week right here.
The wisdom of Mr. Rogers: In the aftermath of terrible tragedies, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, people tend to seek out examples of human kindness to dispel the notion that the world is a dark and hateful place. It is not surprising then, that a meme featuring the beloved children’s show host Mr. Rogers has gone viral since Monday’s terrorist attack. The image, circulating on social media sites, displays one of Mr. Rogers’ classic, heartfelt musings: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” As Reverend J.C. Austin points out, these simple words hold a deeper truth, and serve as a powerful reminder that the “helpers” are more powerful than the “haters.”
Is brevity the soul of good reporting? A chart recently released by Dean Starkman of Columbia Journalism Review shows that the number of long-form stories (in this case, stories with more than 2,500 words) published by The Wall Street Journal has declined significantly over the past decade. The paper responded to the chart saying in part, “The number of words in an article has never been the barometer by which the quality of a publication or its value to readers should be measured.” But many, including Alexis C. Madrigal of The Atlantic, are left wondering whether this new preference for shorter news stories can be attributed to the robust paywall on the paper’s website.
A fly on the wall: New York Times reporter Brian Stelter caught a truly lucky break when he was tipped off about a lunch between “Today” host Matt Lauer, and his former co-host Meredith Viera. That lunchtime chat, which Stelter surreptitiously eavesdropped on from the bar at New York restaurant Park Avenue Spring, provided the closing anecdote for Stelter’s new book, “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV,” which releases next week. Stelter recounts how Viera reassured Lauer that the slew of negative media coverage of his involvement in Ann Curry’s removal from the show would soon pass, telling him, “It’ll be O.K.”
Learning from history: A new documentary short premiering at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival takes a look at The New York Times’ dismal coverage of the Holocaust during World War II. The film, “Reporting on the Times,” is the work of 22-year old filmmaker Emily Harrold, who hopes her movie can serve as a warning to news organizations covering (or not covering) human rights crises today. The Times has long been criticized for under-reporting on the Holocaust; criticism that the paper itself has called, “valid.”
By Laura Koran, CNN
We have a lot to discuss on this Sunday's show, from the media's coverage of the gun control debate to Anthony Weiner's comeback hopes. But Sunday is still several days away! Here are some of the stories we found interesting this week.
Schieffer’s tip to local broadcasters: CBS Chief Washington Correspondent and host of Face the Nation Bob Schieffer had some words of advice for local broadcasters when he accepted the National Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award on Monday. Schieffer warned that, as local newspapers fold, the responsibility of broadcast reporters to hold local governments accountable will become increasingly important saying, “You cannot have a democracy unless people have that independently gathered version of events compared to what government is telling them.” Schieffer acknowledged that technology is changing the way people consume news, but rejected the idea that news content and journalistic standards should change as well.
No comment? The Huffington Post came under fire from Politico’s Mike Allen on Thursday for publishing a story about former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour without speaking with Barbour first. The story, by Peter H. Stone, claimed that the former governor was leaving the super PAC American Crossroads because he had concerns about its affiliate, the Conservative Victory Project. Barbour told Allen the story, “has no basis in fact,” and that, “Nobody at HP even talked to me about it.” He went on to say that his commitment to American Crossroads ended after the 2012 election, and that he “left with high regard and respect” for the organization. Stone and his editors are sticking by their story, and say they gave Barbour “a little more than an hour” to respond to the claims made by two un-named sources.
The “60 Minutes” formula for success: Segments that take months to produce. Frequent and costly international trips. In-depth, long-form reporting. These are not generally thought of as the ingredients of a successful (much less, profitable) news program. Yet the formula has been working for the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for 45 years, and in an era of short attention spans and increasingly insatiable demand for new content, the ratings are holding strong. The Hollywood Reporter spoke recently with the producers and correspondents of “60 Minutes” for an in-depth profile. So what is the secret to the show’s success? Longtime correspondent Morley Safer offered this theory: "It is staying out of the gutter and handling just about any kind of story imaginable. And at some point, maybe around the 25th year, we became a habit."
What are you reading this week?