Sunday, August 17

The latest news from Ferguson, Missouri; interviews with reporters who were arrested and tear-gassed while covering protests; what's the future of "Meet the Press?"

The latest news from Ferguson, Missouri; interviews with reporters who were arrested and tear-gassed while covering protests; what's the future of "Meet the Press?"

What we're reading this week...
January 24th, 2014
05:07 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN

From the Grantland article that kick-started a larger discussion on transgender reporting, to the Bieber breaking news that dominated the morning shows on Thursday, team Reliable Sources has an exciting show planned for you this Sunday. We'll also be speaking with the authors of the Pacific Standard cover story and the New York Times column that discussed internet abuse against female journalists.  For now, though, check out the following media stories that also popped up on our radar this week:

"This is Danny Pearl's Final Story"

It's been more than a decade since Daniel Pearl, then a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was abducted in Pakistan and ultimately murdered. Writing for The Washingtonian magazine, Asra Nomani gives us a first hand look at her friendship with Pearl: She describes  what it was like to be the last person to see Pearl alive and tells us what it was like to watch the video that confirmed his death. Since his murder, Nomani has spent the better part of a decade crusading for justice, calling upon the United States to charge Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (the man who claimed to have killed Pearl) with murder. In the story, she also details confronting the man who killed her friend "Danny."

"Firing of AP Freelance Photographer Highlights Perils in Altering Images"

You think photojournalists would learn already - don't alter an image! According to Poynter, one freelance photographer learned this lesson the hard way. After digitally altering an image to remove a "colleague’s video camera from a photo of a Syrian opposition fighter" and then "cloning background images to cover it up," Narciso Contreras sent the altered image to the Associated Press. The wire service has since learned of the editing and fired Contreras . According to Poynter, the AP said it will look back at Contreras' previous work submitted to the AP and check for other altered images.

"Komla Dumor: The African Journalist Who 'Lifted The Continent"

"Americans probably didn't know the name Komla Dumor unless they were real news junkies. But for Africans, he was a household name for anyone who followed news across the continent," writes NPR. Dumor, a notable journalist for BBC that spent much of his career covering Africa, passed away last weekend from a heart attack.

What we're reading this week...
January 17th, 2014
06:42 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

Don't miss 'Reliable Sources' this Sunday, January 19 as host Brian Stelter broadcasts LIVE from Park City, Utah, site of the annual Sundance Film Festival! We'll speak with several directors and preview a few of the documentaries that have movie critics talking at Sundance this year, but in the meantime, here are some other media stories that caught our eye this week:

'The smart politics of Snapchat'  CNN's Peter Hamby regularly breaks news on the political front, but it was his CNN.com write-up on politicians and new media this week that caught our attention. After Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joined the photo-sharing app Snapchat this week, many on social media platforms openly mocked the politician. But in an innovative approach, Hamby used the social media platform to successfully request an interview with the Senator, who talked to CNN about his views on social media outreach. Incorporating recent data/polling on how Americans consume their news, Hamby's piece offers a smart take on why we may see more politicians on both sides of the aisle embracing social media platforms in order to connect with voters.

'Time Warner sells Manhattan headquarters; CNN, other nets, will be on the move'  It's official– CNN (and other networks housed at NY's current Time Warner Center) will be relocating to different New York offices in the not-so-distant future. While the move is estimated to take place in late 2018, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes confirmed the plans, writing in a company-wide memo, "We expect that moving into a single location will save us three-quarters of a billion dollars in ongoing real estate costs over the next 20 years, which we can reallocate to doing more of what we do best – creating and sharing high-quality entertainment and journalism through great storytelling."

'Dan Rather calls out corporate media giving "sweetheart coverage" to Washington'  In an interview Thursday, veteran news anchor Dan Rather wasn't shy when commenting on the state of Washington media coverage. Speaking on AXS TV's 'Tom Green Live' show, Rather emphasized the need for reporters to be more transparent in disclosing politicians' influence in the business sphere and vice versa.  Critiquing the ties amongst top business and political leaders, Rather said, "Their [corporate media] big money contributed to political campaigns gives them heavy influence in Washington. They need favors. Of course, what the political powers need is 'sweetheart coverage.'"

What we're reading this week...
January 10th, 2014
02:24 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN

It's been a great week for media news, so Brian Stelter and the Reliable team are busy gathering all the stories for our Sunday show. Look for a few segments on the release of a new book that blasts Roger Ailes, as well as an interview with an AP photographer who reunited a young, homeless man with his family simply taking a picture. Unfortunately, we can't fit everything into our one-hour show, so we decided to share a few other stories  that didn't make the cut this week:

'Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet'

Amanda Hess writes in the Pacific Standard that female journalists (and women in general) are falling victim to violent cyber attacks. In the article, Hess shares her own experiences of violent, sexual tweets and comments that have been directed at her from people who were angered by her articles. In one of the tweets, the writer tells her, "Happy to say we live in the same state. Im looking you up, and when I find you, im going to rape you and remove your head." Hess adds that despite reaching out to local and federal authorities, she is told to either quit Twitter or given the run-around by the police. Hess hopes that her article will bring light to an issue that is too often not taken seriously.

'Navy mistakenly sends FOIA plans to reporter'

Scott MacFarlane, a reporter for NBC 4 in Washington, D.C, reportedly filed several requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but got more than he bargained for when the Navy accidentally sent him an internal memo about MacFarlane's requests. The Navy's official Twitter account has released an apology for the mistake.

"60 Minutes' Clean Tech Segment Disputed By Former Energy Department Loan Boss'

As if CBS '60 Minutes' didn't have enough public relations nightmares to deal with, another segment by the legendary newscast has recently come under fire. According to The Huffington Post, the segment "detail[ed] perceived failures in government support for the development of clean energy and other advanced technology," but was later "criticized for leaving out crucial information about the state of the clean tech sector and over-emphasizing governmental failures."

'TV news executive producer saves family from fire'

As journalists, we're always on the lookout for good stories, but one news producer went over and beyond the call of duty earlier this week in Dacula, Ga. On her way to work, she noticed a house on fire and immediately called 911, before running toward the house and "banging on the doors and windows" to get the people out to safety. Now that's a good producer.

For more media news, tune in Sunday at 11am ET.

January 3rd, 2014
04:55 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

Through rain, snow, ice & freezing temperatures, Brian Stelter and the RS team are hard at work on Sunday's show. From the weather to the controversy over MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry's Mitt Romney segment to our RS exclusive interview with Hulu Head of Development Charlotte Koh, we've got a great show planned this week. In the meantime, here are some other media headlines that caught our attention this week:

'Ronan Farrow, Reluctant TV Star'  As MSNBC prepares to launch a new program hosted by Ronan Farrow this month, the New York Times takes a timely look at how the journalist/lawyer ended up as MSNBC's newest cable personality. While Farrow's name is undoubtedly linked to his famous parents, director/actor pair Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, the NYT highlights Farrow's equally impressive and far more private career path. Among several noteworthy items from the article is a quote from MSNBC  president, Phil Griffin, who, when asked about Farrow, said that after meeting with him in New York, “within 20 minutes I wanted to hire him.He’s got it.”

'CES 2014: The Verge Preview' 2014 means new resolutions and new trends and gadgets in the tech world. The annual Consumer Electronics Show kicks off later this month, and staff writers for The Verge have a robust preview this week of what to expect from CES 2014, saying "if 2013 was about introducing new tech like curved televisions and the Oculus Rift, 2014 looks like it’s going to be about making it both real and available for regular humans." From more wearable gadgets to smaller, portable tablets, it will be interesting to see what media consumption themes emerge following "the biggest tech party of the year." 

'Denver Post launches website devoted to weed'  In Colorado, weed was literally the word of this first week of 2014 after dispensaries in that state officially began selling recreational marijuana. The Denver Post made headlines weeks back when the paper appointed Ricardo Braca as its marijuana editor, and this week, Braca and colleagues launched 'The Cannabist,' a separate website devoted to covering "the culture of cannabis." On its website, 'The Cannabist'  writes that "our reach will span the globe as we address cannabis’ ever-expanding role in our weekly lives via news coverage, pot-rooted recipes, arts features, strain and gear reviews, lifestyle profiles, business articles and more, more, more."

Tune in Sunday at 11am EST.

December 13th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

There's no shortage of media stories on our radar this week as we near the end of the year. To see the latest pieces our host Brian Stelter  is working on, be sure to check back here on the RS blog throughout the week for updates. In the meantime, here are some other headlines that caught our eye this week- join the conversation and tell us what you're reading in the comments section. And be sure to tune in for an all new edition of 'Reliable Sources' this Sunday on CNN at 11am EST!

Invisible Child: Dasani's Homeless Life  In a five-part series published this week, New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott and photographer Ruth Fremson paint a grim portrait of New York's homeless population through the eyes of 11-year-old Dasani. With supplemental videos, graphics and haunting still images, Elliott takes us on a vivid journey through the decrepit halls of Brooklyn's Auburn Family Residence/homeless shelter. The series features extensive sourcing notes and background compiled from Elliott's reporting, which journalists and critics among media circles are praising as a Pulitzer-worthy longform piece of investigative journalism. While New York City's sobering poverty statistics leave many readers coming away from the piece feeling angry or helpless, it's Elliot's poignant writing style and narrative skill that pulls this compelling piece together.

'Conrad Black defends Rob Ford interview' Folks in Canada and around the globe are all too familiar with this year's saga of embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, but it's a Canadian media mogul who's now facing scrutiny over his interview with the mayor conducted this week. On Monday, Canadian newspaper publisher Conrad Black conducted an interview with Ford in which the mayor made statements implying that a Toronto Star reporter was a pedophile. That reporter has since served Ford with a libel notice, but Black is also taking heat for his interview style/ not challenging the mayor on his statements. In a CBCNews interview this week, Black defended his interview, saying, "I put relevant questions to the mayor and he answered them... It's not for me to vouch for the truthfulness of his answers. I don't engage in a debating style on these things."

'A year after Newtown, little change in public opinion on guns'  As we near the one-year anniversary of the tragic Newtown/ Sandy Hook elementary school shootings, the Pew Research Center is out with new statistics that suggest attitudes toward guns haven't shifted drastically in the past year. Surveys taken shortly after the December 2012 shooting showed that respondents viewed the Sandy Hook shooting differently compared with the 2012 Colorado movie theater and January 2011 Tuscon/Gabby Giffords shooting. Public support for tighter background checks was also at a high in the immediate months after Newtown. With the defeat of the Senate bill on background checks and numerous gun control studies showing wavering public opinion on gun control this year, it appears that political and economic factors no doubt still play a role in shaping attitudes on this divisive topic.

What we're reading this week...
December 6th, 2013
12:54 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN

'This woman took a selfie in front of a man attempting suicide'

From TMI mirror selfies to basically any Kim Kardashian selfie, cell phone cameras and social media have officially blurred the rules of what's appropriate to share... and what's not. But for one woman in New York, it might have been a case of simply taking a selfie at the wrong time. The New York Post published a picture of the young, blonde woman on the cover of its Monday edition, taking a selfie with a man attempting to commit suicide in the background. Perhaps, however, she didn't notice the suicidal man and was only taking a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. What do you think?

'The trouble at Bloomberg'

Bloomberg LP, known for its business-savvy reporting, has tripled its revenues in the 12 years since Michael Bloomberg traded his plushy corporate corner office for the city of New York's mayoral podium, according to Fortune. But while "Bloomberg is on track for record revenues of $8.3 billion in 2013 and profits of about $2.7 billion," the company is battling PR nightmares, including its most recent scandal of censoring its own journalists in China. Check out CNN Money's preview of the story after the jump.

'Can Politico take Manhattan?'

The publication known for inside-the-beltway news is breaking ground in a new city outside of the nation's capital. Politico's parent company recently purchased Capital New York, a small New York-based website, and Politico founder and CEO Jim VandeHei is gearing up for the company's expansion. "When you look at City Hall, when you look at Albany, when you look at media, even when you look at finance, I think there are huge pockets of this city that are under-covered or that could be covered exponentially better," VandeHei told Bloomberg News.

For more on Politico's new venture, tune in later this month for Brian Stelter's interview with VandeHei, and watch for Stelter's debut show this Sunday at 11am ET.

What we're reading this week...
November 22nd, 2013
11:21 AM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN

Welcoming back Eric Deggans to the guest host chair, the Reliable Sources team has a great show planned for you this week. We'll be discussing the PR nightmare that MSNBC is battling with Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin, BuzzFeed's recent hire of an international women's rights reporter, and race-themed films, to name a few. In the meantime, here are some other stories that caught our attention this week... what caught yours?

'Rob Burgundy sings for his 'dear friend" Toronto Mayor Rob Ford'

Here on 'Reliable Sources,' we're big fans of the Channel 4 News Teams, so when we heard that the original Anchorman was swinging by the 'Conan' set, we had to tune in. But to our surprise, he didn't spout sexist comments or whip out his jazz flute to serenade the audience. Instead, he broadcast his support for his "dear, dear, dear friend, Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto."  Spoiler Alert: Burgundy has a sexy voice, so prepare yourself.

'Politico's Mike Allen, native advertising pioneer'

Native advertising, a system where an advertisement is seen within the context of a story, works out well for the company paying for the prime placement. Unfortunately for the news organization, trading page space for payment has become a somewhat controversial topic in the journalism industry, generating a discussion about the ethics involved. BuzzFeed and The Atlantic have recently come under fire for their uses of native advertising, and Politico's Mike Allen is the latest to receive criticism for the questionable use of the marketing scheme. Some fans of Allen, however, applaud his ability to weave advertisements into the folds of his stories, to the point where the two are indistinguishable from one another.

'The incredible story of Marion Stokes'

In the social media generation, we can sometimes take for granted the fact that we live in the era of YouTube - the most it takes to call up a video of the Iranian hostage crisis or Hurricane Katrina is a few taps of the keyboard and the click of a mouse. For those of an older generation, though, there's something poetic about popping in a VHS tape to re-live moments of history. One Philadelphia woman took it to the extreme, taping 35 years of "network, local, and cable news, in her home, one tape at a time, recording every major (and trivial) news event until the day she died in 2012 at the age of 83 of lung disease." Can you guess how many tapes she collected over the years?

For more media news, tune in Sunday at 11am ET.

What we're reading this week...
November 15th, 2013
12:04 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

We've got a busy show planned this Sunday when Frank Sesno, director of The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs, joins us once again as our 'Reliable Sources' guest host. With the devastating Philippines typhoon aftermath, continued fallout after the 60 Minutes/Benghazi apology, plus Obamacare woes here at home, we'll take a look at how these stories (and more) have competed for media attention this week. In the meantime, here are some other items that caught our show team's eye- sign off in the comments and tell us what you're reading this week!

'Why South Korea's media are furious with Vladimir Putin'

Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for being unpredictable. And in a Washington Post piece this week, Max Fisher writes that South Korean journalists aren't too pleased amid his latest trip to the country. Referencing articles in several South Korean media outlets, he notes that Putin's tardiness to events & last-minute schedule changes have been carefully documented by some journalists, some even calling Putin's actions 'insulting.' Beyond this, Fisher posits that even these minor acts could have larger impacts on Russian, Mideast and Western foreign policy relations.

'What happens when the weather computer fails'

Justin Chambers, meteorologist for Colorado Springs Fox affiliate KXRM, knows what it's like to have his software crash at the last minute. So on Wednesday morning, after he tweeted a photo of his blank/non-functional weather monitor, he put his improvisational skills to use once again. Using everything from dancing and iPads to pantomiming weather patterns, Chambers proved once again that when it comes to the weather, no technical glitch can prevent him from bringing viewers the forecast.

'Jana Winter's case, and what it means for journalists'

Fox News reporter Jana Winter is the latest journalist facing legal repercussions for refusing to identify her sources on a story she wrote about Aurora, CO movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes in 2012.  The upcoming New York Court of Appeals decision on whether Winter will be forced to testify & identify her sources on that story (or face jail) could have far-reaching consequences for journalists nationwide. This week's Business Insider piece highlights differences in New York/Colorado's shield laws (meant to protect journalists from being compelled to testify), but notes that with laws differing by state, Winter's case could set important precedent for other reporters & their confidential sources.

For more media news, tune in Sunday at 11am ET.

What we're reading this week...
November 7th, 2013
03:24 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

'Reliable Sources' is glad to welcome back NPR tv critic Eric Deggans as our guest host this week. We've got a busy show planned for Sunday, but in the meantime, check out these other media stories that caught our eye this week:

'Your Late Fees Are Waived: Blockbuster Closes'  It's the end of an era for Blockbuster, which announced this week that it would be closing all remaining U.S. stores. And it didn't take long for movie renters of the 1980/90's to start cracking jokes on Twitter about not having to pay late fees in the wake of the announcement. "Yes! All the Blockbuster Video Stores are closing! That means they'll never get back that VHS tape of Vampire In Brooklyn. I won!" added actor and comedian Paul Scheer. Not to be outdone, 'he New York Times reported the news with a reference to the 1979 hit from the Buggles with the headline, "Internet Kills the Video Store."

'Stephen Glass' California bar admission to be decided in court'  Disgraced reporter Stephen Glass became infamous across media circles in the late 1990's after it was revealed that he had plagiarized dozens of articles, complete with fake sources and websites, while working at The New Republic. Since then, he 's received his law degree from Georgetown University and passed California's state bar exam- now, he's back in the spotlight as the state's Supreme Court weighs whether or not to grant Glass the credentials to practice law in the state.  The issue raises significant ethics questions for legal/media analysts, some who argue that Glass has proven his law capabilities while others point to his journalistic transgressions as a permanent stain on his record.

'Wait for it- Norway's Slow TV Revolution'  Want to watch people knitting on tv? Norway has you covered. This week, Grantland blogger Tess Lynch highlights Norway's 'Slow TV' genre, which included 'National Knitting Evening' last week via NRK, the country's public tv company. And if you think people aren't interested, you'd be wrong, as more than 1 million viewers tuned in for this particular 4 hour slow tv viewing session. In an ever fast-paced media world that places a premium on disseminating news quickly, it appears Norway is taking the opposite approach – and it's starting to resonate with consumers. 

'Matt Lauer, Al Roker have live prostate exams on 'TODAY"  Viewers tuning into NBC's Today Show on Thursday got up close and personal with the show's male co-hosts this morning. In an effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer/preventative screenings, both Matt Lauer and Al Roker underwent prostate exams live on the show. The procedures took a mere 35 seconds and afterwards, doctors weighed in on the prognosis and follow up for each anchor.

What we're reading this week...
October 31st, 2013
04:54 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN

NPR's David Folkenflik returns to Reliable Sources this week as our guest host. Folkenflik and Team Reliable have some great topics planned for the show, but in the meantime here are some other stories that caught our eye this week:

'San Francisco Chronicle Bans "Redskins" From Print'

Jumping on the bandwagon with Slate and the Kansas City Star, the Bay Area newspaper has decided to strike the term "Redskins" from its vocabulary. According to a statement by Managing Editor Audrey Cooper, "Not everyone has to be personally offended by a word to make it a slur." Even President Obama has weighed in on the debate, saying "I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things."

'White House Photographer in Front Row at World Series'

Pete Souza literally has a front row seat to history - as the Chief Official White House photographer for Barack Obama, he's witnessed the President rise from United States Senator to Democratic Nominee and ultimately to the President of the United States. On Wednesday, though, he had a different kind of first row seat: watching the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals in game six of the World Series.

'35 New Uses for Old Newspapers and Magazines'

Critics have long since promised the death of print journalism, and while we pray that isn't true, at least Buzzfeed found a creative way to soften the blow. With the aid of a glue gun and some scissors, you can now use your old newspapers and magazines to make dresses, wedding bouquets and even hair bows. Who knew?

'A Real Time Map of Births and Deaths'

Worried about missing your mother's birthday or that morning meeting with your boss? This map might just put things in perspective for you. Created by Brad Lyon (who holds a doctoral degree in mathematics), the interactive map shows the viewer births and deaths around the world in actual time. Creepy as it sounds, the map actually has some uses - namely, to understand how the world's population is growing toward nine million by 2042.

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