During discussion of Bigfoot, Managing editor: “(Crazy Regular Newsroom Visitor) knows him.”

Crazy Regular Newsroom Visitor: “Yeah, we seen him one time and you know what we did? We sat there on a rock and smoked PCP.”

Two nights ago I…

Was here at the NPR HQ with the Elections Desk intern helping out with the live New Hampshire primary special. I’m Paulina and I’m the Washington Desk intern (on the right in the photo above. Elections Desk intern Jordan Gass-Poore is on the left). For three hours, All-Things-Considered ’s Ari Shapiro and Audie Cornish hosted a live special with different guests, reporter spots and live feeds from the candidates as the results of the primary were announced.

One of the best things about being here during a live special is watching everyone in action. The buzz in the newsroom is really contagious, everyone is focused and aware of how important their specific work is and also how exciting and momentous these events are in an election year. The editors and reporters in the building and on the field are so sharp and on top of their beats, which makes it so exciting to listen to them give as-they-happen updates from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, or even from inside the studio. (And depending on your level of political nerdiness, various exit poll data and analysis of candidates’ speeches can get pretty thrilling).

Our job was to follow along during the live show, listening for good quotes from reporters, pollsters, campaign representatives and from candidates’ victory and concession speeches for all things digital and social. You can see some of the quotes we collected that were tweeted out from @nprpolitics. Ahead of primary night, I also wrote a story about Dixville Notch, a small town in New Hampshire that holds the tradition of voting right at midnight, and whether the results are at all predictive of what’s to come in the primary. You can read it here:

Jordan and I also took over the NPR intern social accounts, on Twitter and on Instagram, to keep ~the fans~ updated on what we were doing and what was happening in the newsroom. Feel free to follow along with us during the next primary. Next up: South Carolina’s Republican primary on February 20.  

—    Paulina Firozi, Washington Desk

The Best Auto-Reply

Via Elan Morgan:

When we give so much of our media space over to discussion about the irritation that is listening to women’s voices, we miss the underlying truth and strengthen an already powerful and ugly cultural bias. This ongoing, superficial public discussion about women’s speech habits is really about our resistance to listening to or featuring women in public discussion. It is not about how women need to be taught how to speak.

The bias against women in public dialog, from the complaints about the way they speak to our reticence to see them in positions of power, limits their participation in the culture and the politics that affect change not only in their own lives but also in their communities and the larger world. This imbalance has deep and broad social, political, and economic impacts for all of us, both women and men.

That is what we really need to be talking about.

Image: Screenshot of an auto-reply email created by Katie Mingle of the design — and design thinking — 99% Invisible podcast.

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.

okay, folks, iowa results are in and hillary’s officially won 23 delegates to bernie’s 21.

if you’ve been talking to me you know who i support, and i’m not going to pretend i don’t have strong feelings about this result; but i’m also not going to pretend i’m not much more fascinated by the hot mess that is this entire election.

most of all, i want to emphasize that less than 20% of iowans made it to the caucuses, and that’s important.

this particular race was incredibly narrow– more participation on one side or the other absolutely would’ve tipped the balance in a big way. that participation didn’t happen.

so whether you support sanders or clinton, your voice is crucial. you belong in the polling booth, your friends belong in the polling booth, your family belongs in the polling booth, random strangers you meet in the street belong in the polling booth.

you make the difference in this election. with things so neck-and-neck, your ability to educate, agitate, and organize for your candidate is absolutely crucial to their success.

i’m really excited - i hope you are too - and i hope you know how to get your absentee ballot. if not, there’s no better time than now to look it up, because your chance to shine is just around the corner.


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.]

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 >>
Obama, Romney agree to Univision forums

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.