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.

October 4th, 2013
05:44 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Charmaine Crutchfield, CNN

This Sunday, Frank Sesno, CNN veteran and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, will return as our guest host on ‘Reliable Sources.’

We’ll discuss how the news media is covering Obamacare debates and the government shutdown with CNN commentator and NY1’s ‘Road to City Hall’ host Errol Louis, Washington Bureau Chief and Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Lynn Sweet, and former Huffington Post Washington correspondent/ Center for Accountability Journalism founder Dan Froomkin.

Next, we will sit down with host Michael Smerconish of ‘The Michael Smerconish Program’ on SirusXM Radio- we’ll get his thoughts on what it takes for a host to prepare for guests who come armed with talking points in the midst of partisan battles happening now in Washington.

Later in the show, we’ll visit Frank Sesno’s journalism class at the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs for an eye-opening discussion on how the next generation of journalists retrieve their news and what they think about the coverage of the government shutdown.

Lastly, we will chat with award-winning filmmaker and director Eva Orner to discuss her new film “The Network,” which explores the development of Afghanistan’s most popular TV network in the years after the Taliban was overthrown.

Tune in Sunday at 11a ET.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • documentary • Obamacare • shutdown • Sneak Peek • Washington DC
September 27th, 2013
04:45 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

We’ve got a busy show planned this Sunday when Brian Stelter of the New York Times returns as our ‘Reliable Sources’ guest host.

With the nationwide rollout of Obamacare and another government shutdown on the horizon, we’ll discuss how the bipartisan bickering in Washington is playing out across national media outlets with CNN commentator Ryan Lizza, Politico’s Manu Raju, and The Guardian’s Ana Marie Cox.

And it’s the day all Walter White fans have been holding out for– ahead of the highly anticipated ‘Breaking Bad’ series finale, we’ll sit down with AMC President and General Manager Charlie Collier to discuss the success of the show and the series spin-off currently in the works.

Later in the show, Time Magazine’s James Poniewozik and the Huffington Post’s Mo Ryan will join us to talk all things ‘Breaking Bad.' We’ll also discuss ‘Saturday Night Live’ as NBC’s popular late-night comedy show enters its 39th season with a handful of new cast members, including a new ‘Weekend Update’ co-anchor.

Finally, author Allen Salkin will join us on ‘Reliable Sources’ to discuss his new book, “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network,” which details the founding of the network as well as the recent scandal surrounding celebrity chef Paula Deen.

Tune in Sunday at 11am ET.

What we're reading this week...
September 20th, 2013
01:47 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

We've got a busy show planned this Sunday when NPR's David Folkenflik returns to guest host 'Reliable Sources.' We'll look at this week's breaking news coverage of the Navy Yard shootings, but in the meantime, here are some additional stories that caught our eye this week:

‘Blogger considers suing The New York Post for insinuating she’s a racist’   Lifestyle blogger Aly Walansky found herself at the center of the Miss America controversy after a tweet she posted was picked up by The New York Post. Only problem? Her tweet, included in an article about racism following the crowning, was posted about a different contestant, roughly 20 minutes before 24-year-old Nina Davuluri was crowned this year’s Miss America. The Post later issued a correction, but Walansky told The New York Observer she’s now considering suing the Post following multiple email and twitter threats in the wake of the article.

‘Not all mass shootings are equal in the eyes of the media or the public’  That’s the premise behind Paul Farhi’s recent article in the Washington Post. By Wednesday, only 48 hours after the Navy Yard shooting, Farhi writes, many of the major network and cable news outlets had re-focused attention onto other players in the news. Citing past shooting tragedies like Newtown and Aurora, Farhi suggests that the criteria surrounding each plays a role in media coverage, writing, ‘the cynical truth is that the Navy Yard murders — we’ve yet to agree on the shorthand name for this event — had neither the kinds of victims nor the story that sustains media interest and public revulsion.’

‘BBC Newsreader mistakes photocopier paper for iPad live on air, just holds paper anyway’  Viewers tuning into Simon McCoy’s BBC newscast on Wednesday noticed something slightly askew. As McCoy began reading a story on police proposals, a wider camera shot revealed that the anchor was holding a ream of printer paper in his hands instead of his usual iPad. Not flustered in the least, McCoy continued reporting in a calm, professional manner. The BBC later issued a statement reading, “This morning as Simon McCoy was preparing to introduce this story, instead of picking up his tablet to hold as he went to air, he mistakenly picked up a ream of paper that was sitting next to it. In the rush of live news, he didn’t have an opportunity to swap the items, so simply went with it.”

'Lexus to air live ads, fueled by social suggestions, during NBC’s ‘Late Night’’   As Jimmy Fallon prepares to lead the ‘Late Night’ host slot on NBC early next year, it seems that advertisers are also preparing by trying out a different strategy. This week, Adage reports that when Fallon takes the reigns at 'The Tonight Show’ in 2014, Lexus also has plans to air several live commercials throughout the show. The new ad approach seeks to capitalize on heavy social media involvement from Fallon’s audience.

Tune in Sunday at 11a EDT.

September 13th, 2013
04:16 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

This Sunday, we welcome back Politico's Patrick Gavin as our 'Reliable Sources' guest host.

First up, NPR's Deborah Amos will join us from Beirut, Lebanon. A longtime NPR Middle East correspondent, Amos will offer her take on reporting from both Syria and Iraq and whether media comparisons between the two are fair.

Next, we'll speak with PBS anchor & 'CBS This Morning' co-host Charlie Rose about interviewing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. As one of the few journalists to sit down with the controversial Syrian leader, Rose will tell us why he considers his recent interview "one of the biggest of his career."

Also on the show, The Washington Post's Max Fisher will join us to discuss his recent piece, '9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask.' Following that, DecodeDC host Andrea Seabrook and CQ/Roll Call's Emily Cadei will join us to weigh in on how readers and viewers are processing the volume of news reports coming from Syria.

On the heels of Apple announcing its latest iPhone versions and Twitter's IPO filing, we'll ask technology columnist Farhad Manjoo what's behind all of the hype.

Later in the show, University of Maryland journalism professor Mark Feldstein will join us on a visit to the Virginia parking garage made famous during the Watergate era by reporter Bob Woodward and "Deep Throat."

Finally, Will Tracy, editor-in-chief of 'The Onion,' joins us to discuss satire, spin, and what's behind recent Syria commentary & op-eds from 'America's Finest News Source.'

Tune in Sunday at 11am ET.

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What we're reading this week...
September 5th, 2013
05:04 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

We’re gearing up for a busy show this Sunday when Frank Sesno, director of the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, rejoins ‘Reliable Sources’ as our guest host. As U.S. congressional leaders debate military action in Syria, we’ll discuss how the developments are playing out in media outlets at home and abroad- in the meantime, here are some other stories that caught our eye this week.

‘Jeff Daniels: ‘The Newsroom’ returning for Season 3’  There’s more to come from Will McAvoy and the world of Atlantis Cable News. On Tuesday, Jeff Daniels confirmed the hit HBO series had been renewed, tweeting ‘It’s official. #Newsroom coming back for a Season 3.’ The series has held onto steady ratings since its premiere last year. Both Jeff Daniels and co-star Jane Fonda received Primetime Emmy nominations for their performances as a fictional cable news anchor and CEO, respectively.

CBS honors 50th anniversary of 30-minute ‘Evening News’ by going black and white’  Viewers tuning in to the Labor Day broadcast of the CBS Evening News got a special treat on Monday. In honor of the network’s 50th anniversary of its transition to the 30-minute broadcast, anchor Scott Pelley ended Monday’s newscast with a black and white tribute video featuring footage with legendary CBS anchor Walter Cronkite. Additionally, older newsreel footage incorporated into the segment helped illustrated the broadcast’s evolution.

‘The New York Post gets a new digital look and new ad units’  This week, ‘The New York Post’ got a digital makeover, complete with a simplified, cleaner overall look. Ad Age’s Alex Kantrowitz notes that the Post now incorporates more prominent photo placement on its site. The redesign was led by the paper’s managing editor, Remy Stern, as well as the same agency (Hard Candy Shell) which helped The New Republic and Newsweek with their web redesigns. The move is an approach many news organizations are undertaking in an effort to remain competitive on expanding digital platforms.

‘The Onion denies taking a serious line on Syria’  Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray takes a look at The Onion’s recent articles on Bashar al-Assad and Syria. While the satirical news site has always garnered attention for its take on the news, the Onion has taken a demonstrably more provocative approach with its recent Syria coverage. With headlines like “Help has to be on the way now, thinks Syrian man currently being gassed,” and ‘Nation currently more sympathetic to demise of Planet Krypton than plight of Syria,’ the Onion has remained critical of U.S.  inaction in Syria. However, Will Tracy, The Onion’s editor-in-chief, says the paper isn’t straying from its satirical point of view, saying “I wouldn’t say we’ve staked out an editorial line so much as we’ve chosen to acknowledge two equally valid points of view at once.”

What stories are you reading this week? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to tune in for 'Reliable Sources' Sunday at 11am EDT.

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Filed under: CBS • HBO • Jeff Daniels • New York Post • Reliable Sources • Syria • The Newsroom • The Onion • What we're reading
What we're reading this week...
August 29th, 2013
06:12 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

We’ve got a busy show planned this Sunday when Brian Stelter of the New York Times returns to guest host ‘Reliable Sources.’ We’ll discuss the latest coverage out of Syria amid rising tensions in the region, but until then, here are some other stories that caught our attention this week:

‘Why bloggers fell for a fake TechCrunch story about self-driving cars’ Slate’s Will Oremus took note of a recent TechCrunch story titled ‘Dispatch from the Future: Uber to Purchase 2,500 Driverless Cars From Google.’ Only problem? The post, complete with a July 25, 2023 dateline, was fictional. That didn’t stop some journalists, who tweeted, blogged and incorporated the post into their stories as though it were factual. While Google announced its plans to invest $258 million in the car-service mobile app earlier this month, it appears that, for now, entire fleets of driverless cars are still a phenomenon of the future.

‘Murdoch to purchase Los Angeles winery’

He’s one of the most well-known media moguls in the world, and Rupert Murdoch is now adding wineries to his list of acquisitions. Politico reports this week that Murdoch is in the process of closing a $28.2 million deal to buy a combo estate/vineyard in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. Spanning 13 acres and 7,500 square feet, the property was originally owned and built by Victor Fleming, director of Hollywood classics like ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Gone With the Wind.’

‘Will this be the tweet heard ‘round the world?’ The Washington Post’s Dominic Basulto speculates what Twitter can learn from Facebook’s 2012 IPO amid rumors that the social media giant could also go public in 2014. He notes that if/when and IPO should arise, Twitter would join other publicly traded media companies like Google, Instagram, and Linked In. Basulto writes that as social media companies expand, so does Wall Street’s influence and a subsequent focus on mobile platforms to generate revenue.

‘Elmore Leonard talks writing in never-before-seen videos’

Famed crime/suspense novelist Elmore Leonard passed away August 20, but his writing expertise is the focus of several never-before seen videos. In two videos, Buzzfeed highlights Leonard’s 10 rules for writers. His tips range from lighthearted to serious, including ‘try not to show off with your writing,’ and ‘try to leave out the parts that writers skip.’ Over his lifetime, 26 of Leonard’s books were adapted into screenplays.

‘No, ‘twerk’ and ‘selfie’ have not been added to the Oxford English Dictionary’ ‘Twerk’ was the word of the week after Miley  Cyrus’ over-the-top VMA’s performance, but the word caught people’s attention for another reason, too. Critics were quick to point out that ‘twerk’, among other words, was not added to the Oxford English Dictionary, but added to the separate entity, Oxford Dictionaries Online. Multiple media pundits were quick to pick up on the error, but not before several outlets misreported the additions. Among other notable words added to Oxford Dictionaries Online were ‘selfie,’ ‘emoji’, and ‘food baby.’

Tune in Sunday at 11a EDT

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August 9th, 2013
05:17 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By: Elizabeth Cherneff

Lots to talk about on ‘Reliable Sources’ this Sunday with our guest host, Brian Stelter of the New York Times.

This week, the Washington Post’s historic decision to sell the paper to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had journalists and those in the media world pondering the future of the paper and the larger implications across the print journalism industry. We’ll get reaction from American University’s Jane Hall, Paul Farhi of The Washington Post & Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.

We’ll also sit down with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget to ask him what he thinks about Bezos’ recent purchase and what it could mean for The Washington Post’s future in a competitive digital news environment.

Also on the show, we’ll invite panelists Paul Farhi & Jane Hall back to weigh in on the ratings challenges facing new NBC News president Deborah Turness, the first female to hold the top spot at a network news operation.

Amid news of renewed terror threats from al Qaeda, we’ll ask Jeb Boone, former editor of the Yemen Times, and freelance reporters Adam Baron and Iona Craig about what it’s like to report on the ground from Yemen.

And as “Fox Sports 1” prepares to taken on ESPN, we’ll discuss the rise in popularity of sports programming with ESPN President John Skipper.

Finally, as John Oliver nears the end of his ‘The Daily Show’ summer guest hosting stint, we’ll get perspective on Oliver’s performance so far and reaction from fans on which Jon (or John) they prefer to see in the host’s chair.

Tune in Sunday morning at 11am ET.

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What we're reading this week...
August 1st, 2013
06:40 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

We've got a busy show planned for Sunday with this week’s Reliable Sources guest host Patrick Gavin of Politico. We’ll explore the state of conservative talk radio and discuss how HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ depicts journalists and life in the newsroom, but until then, here are some other stories that caught our eye this week:

‘Why Democrats are laughing at the Republican digital strategy—and why they shouldn't be’

2016 may seem far away, but Washington insiders are already planning for the next election cycle. Following the RNC’s extensive review of the party’s 2012 election strategies, some Republicans are looking to maximize their web presence ahead of the next election. The National Journal this week highlights Phil Musser and partner Alex Skatell’s newest online venture, Media Group of America LLC, which claims its combination of digital consulting and web tools will help GOP candidates maximize their digital footprint in the next election cycle. When asked why he developed the site, Musser said, "You could pull together the top Republican talent and squeeze them into a conference room. As the Republican Party was psychoanalyzing itself to death, we put our heads down and built the tools to solve the problem."

‘The Hill reacts to the Hill’s 50 most beautiful people list’

This week, ‘The Hill’ released its annual ’50 most beautiful people’ list, featuring members of Congress, journalists and other faces around Washington. In typical fashion, Buzzfeed published their own gallery featuring several humorous (and anonymous) responses from Capitol Hill staffers on this year’s chosen names. This year marks the list’s tenth anniversary.

‘Chicago Tribune Kitten Test: Newspaper's Website Briefly Taken Over By Adorable Pet’

An interesting item appeared on the Chicago Tribune’s website briefly on Tuesday morning. Viewers visiting the site found a photo of a kitten, alongside a test block of sample text in the top left-hand section of the page. While the post only stayed online for approx. 15 minutes, it was quickly noticed and picked-up by readers and bloggers alike. In response to several posts about the glitch, Tribune editor Scott Kleinberg wrote, “Even dog lovers weren't upset. We do apologize and we’re working to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

'New site will tell you how many ladies got on the NYT homepage today'

On the heels of a study published in Poynter finding a notable gender gap among front page New York Times bylines, one creative developer came up with a potential solution. Website developer Andrew Briggs has designed 'WhoWritesFor,' a site that 'scrapes the NYT's online front page every 5 minutes.' Using a combination of algorithms to sort bylines by gender, Briggs' site updates in real time with updated counts of the gender breakdown of writers on the front page of the paper.

What stories are you reading this week? Sound off in the comments below and be sure to tune in to 'Reliable Sources' Sunday at 11a EDT.

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