Lack of female sources in NY Times front-page stories highlights need for change

In an analysis of 352 front-page stories from the Times in January and February 2013, we found that Times reporters quoted 3.4 times as many male sources as female sources.

Read more at Poynter

Why Not Occupy Newsrooms?

Almost two weeks ago, USA Today put its finger on why the Occupy Wall Street protests continued to gain traction.

“The bonus system has gone beyond a means of rewarding talent and is now Wall Street’s primary business,” the newspaper editorial stated, adding: “Institutions take huge gambles because the short-term returns are a rationale for their rich payouts. But even when the consequences of their risky behavior come back to haunt them, they still pay huge bonuses.”

Well thought and well put, but for one thing: If you were looking for bonus excess despite miserable operations, the best recent example I can think of is Gannett, which owns USA Today.

The week before the editorial ran, Craig A. Dubow resigned as Gannett’s chief executive. His short six-year tenure was, by most accounts, a disaster. Gannett’s stock price declined to about $10 a share from a high of $75 the day after he took over; the number of employees at Gannett plummeted to 32,000 from about 52,000, resulting in a remarkable diminution in journalistic boots on the ground at the 82 newspapers the company owns.

The de-newspaperization of America is finally catching up with the de-industrialization of America. Newsroom jobs, especially decent paying ones, are vanishing everywhere—thanks to the shrinking number of print readers and the fact that digital advertising can’t fully support digital journalism. But the job losses seem to be coming faster—and the effect on the fabric of already struggling communities is far greater—in the rusty, rotting-factory cities of older America.
—  Philadelphia Daily News columnist Will Bunch, discussing the ongoing cuts facing the newspaper industry. Today’s ground zero? The Cleveland Plain Dealer, where as many as 50 people lost their jobs, finding out via phone if they were the ones. The Plain Dealer recently helped surface a major national story—the rediscovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who went missing for nearly a decade—and Bunch expresses concern that the next story like that might stay under the radar.

Cable on Climate Science

Via the Union of Concerned Scientists:

CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC are the most widely watched cable news networks in the U.S. Their coverage of climate change is an influential source of information for the public and policy makers alike.

To gauge how accurately these networks inform their audiences about climate change, UCS analyzed the networks’ climate science coverage in 2013 and found that each network treated climate science very differently.

Fox News was the least accurate; 72 percent of its 2013 climate science-related segments contained misleading statements. CNN was in the middle, with about a third of segments featuring misleading statements. MSNBC was the most accurate, with only eight percent of segments containing misleading statements.

Read the overview here, or jump to the study here (PDF).

Images: Science or Spin?: Assessing the Accuracy of Cable News Coverage of Climate Science, via Union of Concerned Scientists

I spent four days [in June] trying to get comments on Gannett [executive] bonuses and on Sunday night they said, ‘We’re not going to comment on these bonuses.’ And I just said, 'Really? You’re a newspaper company? You’re a publicly held company. These bonuses are a matter of public record, and you have nothing to say about them?’ And I just found that appalling and I think some of that was reflected in the piece [this week.]
The Post incorrectly attributed a quote to Toni Braxton in an article on March 25. Braxton did not say, ‘I have a big-ass house, three cars and I fly first class all around the world. Some say I have the perfect life.’
—  correction of the day, courtesy of the New York Post. So, who is responsible for that amazing quote?

RBI editorial director Karl Schneider on newsroom management (by TheMediaBriefing)

As we have previously noted, Univision wanted to host a Latino-themed US Presidential debate this fall but the proposal was soon declined by the Debate Commission. Now, it looks like they kept flexing their muscle hard enough and finally got away with it (in a way).

Via Politico:

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have accepted Univision’s invitation to attend forums focusing on Latino issues, albeit on separate nights.

The “Meet The Candidate” events, hosted by Univision anchors Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas in front of live audiences, will “directly address topics of importance to the Hispanic community in Spanish and English,” according to a press release. The events are being co-sponsored by Facebook; the dates have not been determined.

Right after the announcement, Jorge Ramos tweeted:

It’s official. President Obama and Governor Romney agree to talk to Univision, on 2 different events, about Hispanic issues. Gracias!!!

FJP: Both Facebook and Univision are well established throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Expect an extensive coverage of these events in most Spanish-language media and social networks.

Colorado’s Finest

Via Vocativ:

Cotton candy. Creamy blueberry. Lemon rind. Pine, with a hint of rubber and fuel. And no, this isn’t the flavor list for some new-wave gourmet ice cream joint in Brooklyn. We’re talking about ganja—the kind you’ll find on Colorado’s ever-expanding marijuana menu.

The bud business is booming in the toker-friendly state, bringing in $225 million in sales so far this year. The industry even has its own investment arm, The ArcView Group, which just committed more than $1 million to Colorado’s cannabis start-ups. In November of 2000, 915,527 citizens voted in favor of medical marijuana use, and last year a 55 percent majority voted to legalize recreational smoking. The historic vote has paved the way for the first retail shops to open in January 2014. With that in mind, growers and dispensary owners are packing their greenhouses with plants of various sophisticated tastes, as businesses race to meet the coming demand.

Honest Question: Will marijuana reviews become a mainstream news beat like restaurant reviews? And what qualifications would a budding reporter need to get the gig?

Curious minds want to know.

Image: Via Vocative, A Sophisticated Tasting Menu of Denver’s Best Marijuana.


by Liz Cormack

I thought Digg was dead - but apparently they haven’t given up yet. As seen in the first image, which is just a snapshot of how quickly Digg traffic tanked last summer, Reddit has stolen a lot of once-loyal Digg users.

Digg Newsrooms might change that.

The Newsrooms, now in beta, will surface content based on topics in a clean, manageable format - articles won’t be published until users Digg them (a good move on Digg’s part in terms of keeping users happy after the catastrophe of v4) but the content will be tilled by gauging Facebook likes, Tweets and the overall quality of the source.

You can follow newrooms based on a variety of topics, and the ‘Newswire’ newsfeed is constantly updated. It looks promising, but we’ll see if it causes enough buzz to bring Digg into the forefront of the social media arena once again.

read more at Soshable >>

Friday on the newsroom messaging system
  • Monica:It tastes like alcoholic cake. I'm afraid of it.
  • Dan:The best desserts are the scary ones.
  • Monica:When we turn 40 we are going to have to find a way to turn this dessert-abetting into hand-slapping, or else we will be the fattest Style writers in history.

CJR’s Justin D. Martin posted today an interesting article about the regeneration of Colombia through international coverage and the role that journalists have played to that effect. 

Via Columbia Journalism Review:

Michael LaRosa and German Mejia wrote in a 2012 history of the country: “Global media have shifted significantly in the way they cover Colombia. Stories focusing on tourism, restaurants, Colombian tennis stars, and positive reviews of literary works…suggest the US media’s perception of the Andean nation is evolving away from the myopic, one-dimensional view that marked earlier portrayals of the country.”

And as for domestic journalists and their perceptions: It’s easier for reporters to focus on a country’s positives when they aren’t being murdered.

A career in Colombian journalism today, though, is no longer a notarized death wish. Sporadic violence against reporters still exists but dead journalists are much less a seasonal feature in Colombia today.

Read on for thought-provoking quotes from former president César Gaviria and the editorial staff of national newspaper El Tiempo.

FJP: Probably the grandest Latin American pet peeve ever: Colombia ≠ Columbia