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What we're reading this week
June 27th, 2013
04:39 PM ET

What we're reading this week

By Becky Perlow, CNN

Dan Stein, intern who raced SCOTUS decision to NBC News, speaks out

The "Running of the Interns" is a time honored tradition for the DC media. Respective news interns spend their summer vacations standing in sweltering, swamp-like DC heat, waiting for Supreme Court decisions to be handed down. This year, though, one intern in particular drew more attention than others: Dan Stein, an editor of the Yale Daily News, became a viral sensation after numerous media outlets showed him racing from inside the Court's press room to hand deliver the Court's decision (and dissent) to his company's awaiting correspondent, Pete Williams.  Stein was later interviewed on NBC's "Today" and told the morning show team it was "an honor to be part of the history."

'Virginia'? Radford University's diplomas misspell 'Virginia'

Irony can be a funny thing, especially when a collegiate program that is supposedly teaching students to edit their articles can't even seem to edit its own diplomas. According to Joe Carpenter, Radford’s chief communications officer, "1,481 undergraduate and graduate diplomas from fall 2012 and spring 2013 were misspelled."

Recollections from hundreds of executions in Texas

Michael Graczyk, an Associated Press reporter who has covered Texas executions since 1984,  can't remember how many executions he has witnessed, and to be honest, he doesn't really care to anyway. He is, however, able to recall very specific memories - from one inmate singing "Silent Night" as the lethal injection coursed through his veins, to another inmate's "pretty brown eyes" popping open as he died.

Brighton manager learns from BBC he's been fired while working for BBC

It's embarrassing enough to lose your job... but one British soccer club manager not only lost his job, but also lost his job on live television. According to Deadspin, Brighton & Hove Albion's manager, Gus Poyet  "was officially fired when BBC producers printed out a press release from the team announcing the decision and it was read aloud for him on air."

 

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What we're reading this week...
May 30th, 2013
05:19 PM ET

What we'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.

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Filed under: Baghdad • Blog • Iraq • Media • New York Post • Reliable Sources • TMZ • What we're reading
April 19th, 2013
04:29 PM ET

Sneak Peek at this Sunday's show

By Becky Perlow, CNN

Monday morning was supposed to be a slow day in news - a gun hearing here, maybe a senate presser there... until a bomb exploded at the Boston Marathon, injuring more than 100 people and killing three, including an 8-year-old boy.

The media raced to Boston, blanketing the city in TV anchors, cameramen and hand-held microphones.  During this time, most media outlets began speculating as to the cause of the bombings - was it a terror attack? Was it domestic or foreign in nature? How many were hurt? As the investigation continued, several organizations (inducing CNN) faced criticism for incorrectly reporting news of an arrest, then later correcting it.  Mediaite’s Joe Concha, The Washington Post's Erik Wemple, and Lauren Ashburn of The Daily Download join Howard Kurtz in our Washington DC studio to discuss the media's coverage - from Monday's breaking news to the on-going Boston manhunt and more.  After our panel, Callie Crossley, host of WGBH radio's "Under the Radar with Callie Crossley," will join Howie from Boston to discuss media coverage on the ground.

USA Today's Christine Brennan will also join Howie in DC to discuss how the sports news world reacted to the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, including how sports journalists became breaking news reporters and how athletes became first responders.

One journalist didn't just report the Boston Marathon bombings - he actually ran the race and crossed the finish line 39 minutes before the first bomb exploded. The Washington Post's Vernon Loeb swings by the studio to share his experience about his 61st marathon race and what it was like reporting breaking news following a 26.2 mile run.

Tune in Sunday at 11am ET.

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Filed under: Boston • Boston Bombings • Boston Marathon • Reliable Sources • Sneak Peek • Terrorism
What we're reading this week
April 4th, 2013
06:03 PM ET

What we're reading this week

By Becky Perlow, CNN

Jay Leno is leaving the historic Tonight show, Roger Ebert has passed away after a long battle with cancer and the media's obsession with Hilary's supposed 2016 run has hit an all-time high. If that's not enough news for you, though, take a look at what the Reliable Sources staff is reading this week:

Social media slight: Jon Stewart's political tirades are both long and legendary, so it's no surprise that he dedicated an entire 10-minute segment of one of his shows to mocking Egyptian President Morsi after the Egyptian leader arrested Stewart's Middle-Eastern comedic counterpart, Bassem Youssef (seen in the picture above).  The diatribe might have ended there, if not for one worker at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, who decided to send out a link to Stewart's segment via the U.S. Embassy's Twitter account. Morsi's office quickly complained via its own official Twitter feed, saying that "It's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda." In response, the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson ordered that the embassy's Twitter be shut down, according to State Department officials.

Radio road trip:  While you might not have heard of Tim Westergren, we bet you've heard (and even listened to) his musical creation called Pandora. Westergren, founder of the online radio service, is currently knee-deep in a bitter battle with the music industry over the price Pandora pays for each song played on its radio, as compared to the lower costs per song that satellite and cable radio pay. But "when you’re Tim Westergren, and you’ve got more than 69 million active users listening to more than 1.5 billion of hours of music in a month and your product is embedded into the dashboard of 80 or so new car models, you don’t have to confine legislative lobbying to Washington (and political fund-raisers). Instead you go on the road, where his company forged an unusually intimate bond with its customers, hundreds of whom show up for each of his town halls," explains an article in The Washington Post.

Say Bye-bye to Bill: (Adair that is.) The Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times is reportedly trading in his pencils and notepads for textbooks and lecture halls. Adair, who has worked for the paper for more than 24 years, will be leaving for Duke University this summer to become the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy. While he will technically leave the paper, he says he'll continue to contribute to his Pulitzer prize winning fact-checking machine, Politifact.

The Time Warner of the streets: Founded originally as a free magazine by Shane Smith in the mid '90s, Vice media has evolved to a multi-platform news organization, known for its gonzo reporting style and in-your-face stories. Despite its avid fans, though, Vice has been unable to attract a wide audience... until now. With a new documentary series set to debut tomorrow on HBO, Vice's popularity is finally gaining traction in the mainstream media, and, according to Smith, can achieve the same scale [like CNN] by selling its content piecemeal to other companies—to YouTube, through its original-content program, and to TV channels."

So do you think Vice could become the next CNN? And what are you reading this week?

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Filed under: Jay Leno • Jon Stewart • Morsi • Politifact • Reliable Sources • Tampa Bay Times • What we're reading
March 29th, 2013
04:15 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Becky Perlow, CNN

There's no denying that Barbara Walters has left her mark on journalism. After her humble beginnings as a segment writer on Today, she climbed the corporate ladder to finally become the first female co-host of NBC's morning show, paving the way for young female journalists eager to anchor television. From there, Walters went on to co-anchor ABC's newsmagazine 20/20 and eventually create and co-host the girl gabfest house, The View. Reports have recently surfaced, though, that the legendary news anchor and talk show host is retiring in 2014. Eric Deggans, TV critics for the Tampa Bay Times, and Carole Simpson, former anchor for ABC News, join Kurtz to discuss Walter's  impact on the industry and what her legacy will look like.

All eyes were trained on the Supreme Court this past week, as the justices spent two days listening to arguments focused on the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8. The Washington Posts' Jennifer Rubin and AMERICAblog founder John Aravosis swing by the studio to discuss how the media is covering the upcoming Court cases.

The average human's attention span has shrunk though the years, and with it went the novel-length feature articles and in-depth investigative segments. Now, every story has to fit in 140 characters or less, and with the creation of the video-sharing tool "Vine," filmed in six seconds or less. ESPN's tech analyst Katie Linendoll and WNBC New York 4 reporter Brynn Gingras join the discussion of what the next app will mean for the future of multimedia journalism.

Allyson Bird left journalism less than a year ago, but a blog post about her decision to exit the industry has gone viral. Some journalists have rushed to her defense, while others have criticized her criticism of long hours, poor pay and general quality of life. Kurtz invites Bird to the show, where they'll discuss her post and whether it fairly represented the media.

Tune in this Sunday at 11am ET.

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March 15th, 2013
08:08 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

For a show that considers itself a family, NBC's “Today” has been ripped apart in the media for its poor handling of Ann Curry's departure. Many have blamed current co-host Matt Lauer, who remarkably kept silent through the entire ordeal... until now. Lauer broke his silence earlier this week during an interview with Howard Kurtz, where he shared his feelings on the matter. Lauren Ashburn, Editor-in-chief of Daily-Download.com, and Adam Buckman, TV columnist for Xfinity, join Howie to discuss.

Following weeks of media speculation and hours of pundits predicting who would fill Pope Benedict's famous red shoes, millions of viewers watched as Vatican City announced the arrival of Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina. But before it was announced, TV anchors couldn't decide if the smoke was black or white (the latter signalling the Conclave's approval of a new pope). Howie invites New York Times religion correspondent Laurie Goodstein and The Washington Post's Sally Quinn to the table, where they'll assess the media's coverage of the pope.

CNN’s Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper also swings by the studio to chat with Howie about continuing tensions between the White House and reporters, as well as his new show, The Lead, which debuts Monday, March 18.

It's been 10 years since American troops entered Iraq, and ultimately 10 years of non-stop war coverage... but what lessons have we learned? The Washington Post's senior correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Time magazine's Mark Thompson will share their experiences covering the war and debate the media's shortcomings with Howie and former NBC News Senior Correspondent Fred Francis.

Tune in this Sunday, 11 E.T.

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Filed under: International • Iraq • Media • Media Criticism • Pope Francis • Reliable Sources • Sneak Peek • The Lede
What we're reading this week...
March 7th, 2013
06:06 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN 

From Jon Stewart's upcoming Daily Show hiatus to the allegation that the White House is bullying reporters, Reliable Sources will have a great show for you this week. Until then, here's a few other stories that caught our attention:

"Count" the (YouTube) views: The Sesame Street family, hoping to become the first nonprofit media organization to hit 1 billion video views, issued a challenge to its world-wide followers: Help us reach one billion channel views and we'll reward you with a "top secret" video.  And while no one knows if it was "Elmo's Song" or Cookie Monster's "Share it maybe" that pushed the YouTube channel over the 1 billion mark, Sesame Street fans delivered. PBS happily released the video on Wednesday, which already has more than 60,000 views. Can you guess which Sesame Street character they used?

Held hostage: In the April issue of Vanity Fair, NBC News's Richard Engel details what it was like to be held against his will in the midst of Syria's civil war. For five days, the foreign correspondent was mentally and physically tortured by the shabiha militia, an armed group who supports the Ba'ath Party, of which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a part of. In the diary-style excerpt, Engel writes of his initial capture, as well as his first few minutes in captivity: "Stay focused. You are here. You need to survive this. The first few hours are the most dangerous."

Free Lunches: As the saying goes, there's no such thing as free lunch, especially when you're an online freelance journalist trying to make a living. Case in point: After an Atlantic editor extended an invitation to Nate Thayer to publish a shorter version of one of his already-published pieces (but made it clear she would not be paying him for the piece), Thayer published the exchange of emails between himself and the editor, Olga Khazan. The Atlantic has since come out, calling the situation a "mistake."

Controlling the Cardinals: Following a tiff between White House press corp and the Obama administration over access to a presidential golf outing, international journalists are experiencing their own press battles after the Vatican cancelled an American press briefing with cardinals. "The American cardinals are just more used to being open and talking to the press and answering questions in public. Rome just doesn't like to operate this way," said Father Thomas Reese of the National Catholic Reporter.

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Filed under: Media • Media Criticism • NBC • Religion • Sesame Street • The Atlantic • What we're reading
What we're reading this week...
February 22nd, 2013
06:28 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN 

We know Sunday is only two days away, but if you're itching for some great news until then, here are some of the other stories the Reliable Sources team has been reading about:

Insulting a princess: During a recent lecture at the British Museum, English writer Hilary Mantel shared her worries that the Duchess of Cambridge was becoming "a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung" and that she "seems to have been selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character." Newspapers across the country instantly jumped to the royal's defense, with Prime Minister David Cameron weighing in as well. But is the criticism of Mantel fair? One Guardian reporter says it's worth taking a deeper look at the "lazy journalism" and "raging hypocrisy." She asks, for instance, "what has any paper done with Kate for the past decade but use her as decorative page filler?"

Why producers pre-tape: Every executive producer will tell you that the live interview is always better, but what about when your reporter passes out? Turns out the live segment makes for funny (or scary) TV, as when Australian weatherman Grant Denyer lost consciousness while reporting live from the cockpit of a stunt plane. Warning: this video is not for the faint of heart.

Nielsen adjusts ratings: With viewers trading in their traditional TV for web-based content, media executives are growing increasingly concerned with the fall of ratings (and ultimately, the fall of advertising sales). Nielsen stepped in to save the day, though, promising to consider people who "have a television set hooked up to the Internet, as 'television households.'" It doesn't seem like the new rule will have much affect right now as only 0.6% of households meet this new requirement, but as more homes incorporate tablet computers and internet streaming on their TVs, there's no doubt the media executives will be sleeping more soundly at night.

The re-invented resume: There's no shame in using every social media tool available to score a new job, but one journalist took it to new heights with the use of Vine, a six-second video sharing tool. Former political director for Fox News Radio, Dawn Siff created a "Vine resume" that promoted some of her best assets, from "idea machine" to "deadline Jedi."

So would you hire someone from a "Vine resume?" And what are you reading this week? Tell us in the comments below.

February 8th, 2013
04:32 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Becky Perlow, CNN 

With Dick Morris recently released from his punditry duties on Fox News, many critics have questioned whether the network, long criticized for acting as an extension of the GOP, is trying to soften its conservative image. Conservatives aren't the only ones in trouble, though, as Democratic Senator Bob Menendez continues his battle with the media. On Monday, Menendez told CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that the news website The Daily Caller was "a right wing blog" that was smearing his reputation with "totally unsubstantiated" lies. Until recently, the mainstream media had largely stayed away from the sex scandal claims, but as journalists dug deeper, they discovered the Garden State senator might be mixed up with other conduct claims that are questionable in nature. Lauren Ashburn, Editor-in-chief of Daily-download.com, The New Yorker's Washington Correspondent Ryan Lizza and George Washington University's Professor of Media and Public Affairs Steve Roberts join Howie at the table to debate. They'll also discuss the media's mockery of Chris Christie's health and the unusual media connection to the manhunt for Los Angeles ex-police officer Christopher J. Dorner.

Founder of PandoDaily.com Sarah Lacy and HLN Digital Lifestyle Expert Mario Armstrong will continue our media analysis this week, focusing on Facebook vacations (when people leave Facebook cold-turkey for a significant amount of time) and Netflix's attempt to change the way viewers watch TV. 

Rounding up our show, Culture Commentator Lola Ogunnaike and  NY Magazine's "The Cut" Features Editor Maureen O'Connor will lead the Grammy discussion... namely, what does CBS's new "dress code memo" mean for the famed red carpet?

Tune in this Sunday at 11am EST.

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Filed under: Blog • Bob Menendez • CBS • Chris Christie • Facebook • Fox News • Grammy • Netflix • Reliable Sources • Sneak Peek • The Grammys
What we're reading this week...
February 1st, 2013
01:20 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN 

Reliable Sources digs into media coverage this week – but here’s a look at some of the other stories that caught our attention:

Answering on Al Jazeera: Falling victim to The Daily Show's comedic wrath is a rite of passage for most politicians and Al Gore was no exception. Reported by Mediaite, Jon Stewart questioned Gore about the climate control activist's decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera, a news operation owned by the Middle Eastern country Qatar, which makes its money on oil and gas. Stewart called it an "odd move" because Gore preaches about climate change, and according to him, what's a major cause of climate change? Oh, that's right: oil and gas.

Netflix and Networks: Netflix, well-known for its DVD delivery service, is aiming to make itself equally renowned for its online streaming and change the way viewers watch TV. It hopes to accomplish this in 2013 with new original programming that's only available via Netflix, with no other major network involvement. Debuting tonight will be one of these new series called "House of Cards," a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey as (what else?) a sociopath. Here's the kicker: instead of releasing one-episode per week like its network competitors, Netflix is debuting all 13 episodes in one sitting. (Now would be a good time to cancel your Friday plans and figure out what you want for dinner because you'll be ordering in tonight.)

Twitter's gone rogue: The Week's Matt Lewis says he's no Manti Te'o, but he "did meet a lot of virtual friends" via Twitter. The Conservative writer has been tweeting since 2008, long before Twitter became another outlet for news. Four years later, though, Lewis says "The social sharing tool [that] was once a vision [is now] a prison."

Bloggers vs. Reporters: According to BuzzFeed, you shouldn't confuse the two, or you might just end up on Rajiv Chandrasekaran's bad side. Note: You would be joining the company of Senator Jim Inhofe, who quoted conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin during Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearing earlier today. Except he called her a reporter, and Chandrasekaran apparently took great offense.

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Filed under: Al Gore • Al Jazeera • Al Jazeera English • Blog • Blogging • Jon Stewart • Kevin Spacey • Netflix • Reliable Sources • Washington Post • What we're reading
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