The biggest story in the world — Saudi journalist’s fate — Sunday shows ignore Trump taxes scoop — Hicks to Fox

THE BIGGEST STORY IN THE WORLD is too often a blip in the news cycle. But a major new United Nations report on climate change, which warns of mass food shortages, wildfires and coral reefs dying off as early as 2040, has highlighted the dire situation facing roughly seven-and-a-half billion people on Earth. The BBC’s headline didn’t mince words: “Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe.’”

— Drastic action is required to even have a chance of staving off the most dire outcomes, according to scientists. Yet President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly cast doubt on the science behind climate change — and whose administration is dismantling environmental regulations even as it acknowledges potentially cataclysmic warming — has proven unwilling to address the crisis.

— “It’s generally treated as a non-issue that the president not only rejects human responsibility for climate change but claims the world Continue reading “The biggest story in the world — Saudi journalist’s fate — Sunday shows ignore Trump taxes scoop — Hicks to Fox”

The Benioffs buy Time —Why Kavanaugh accuser came forward — Photojournalism’s #MeToo moment?

WHILE SOME MAGAZINE OWNERS seem focused on trying to survive in the short-term, Salesforce co-founder Marc Benioff and wife Lynne Benioff, the new stewards of Time, are said to be looking far into the future. “One of the first challenges Marc and Lynne gave us is to think big, really big,” Time editor in chief Edward Felsenthal told Sunday night. “Beyond the five-year plan, what will Time look like in 2040? What will it mean to people decades from now?”

— The $190 million sale is welcome news to the magazine’s staffers, who have been in limbo for the past six months since Meredith, after acquiring Time Inc., put Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money up for sale. (The latter three remain on the market.) The Benioffs left a good impression during a recent meeting with a small group of senior Time staffers, according to a Continue reading “The Benioffs buy Time —Why Kavanaugh accuser came forward — Photojournalism’s #MeToo moment?”

Economist Group to sell CQ Roll Call to FiscalNote

The Economist Group plans to sell CQ Roll Call to technology and data company FiscalNote, with the acquisition expected to close later this year, the companies announced Wednesday.

Following the deal, the Economist Group — publisher of The Economist magazine — would take on an 18 percent equity stake in the combined company, and its chief executive, Chris Stibbs, would join FiscalNote’s Board of Directors. Tim Hwang, the founder and CEO of FiscalNote, would continue to lead the company.

The Economist Group, which purchased Capitol Hill-focused newspaper Roll Call in 1992, added CQ, the congressional news and policy publication, in 2009 in a deal reported to be around $100 million. No price was announced Wednesday.

It’s unclear how FiscalNote, which focuses on technology and data, would manage a news organization like CQ Roll Call, a staple of Washington political and policy reporting. But representatives from both organizations suggested there was Continue reading “Economist Group to sell CQ Roll Call to FiscalNote”

Daily News cuts drive fears New York City’s becoming ‘local news desert’

Zach Haberman, who was laid off Monday morning from the New York Daily News, acknowledged shortly after leaving the newsroom that the situation “sucks.” But the real story, he stressed, is “not about any individual.”

“This is about this city. This is about this institution,” Haberman, who was the Daily News’ breaking news editor, told POLITICO. “And this is about the people who live here, and they lose from this.”

The decimation of the Daily News follows a familiar storyline in a struggling industry, as a national newspaper chain — in this case, Chicago-based Tronc — announces a “restructuring” (aka layoffs) of a paper that’s already been downsized in recent years. Tronc, which just bought the Daily News in September, laid off staffers at its Chicago Tribune in March and recently sold the Los Angeles Times, which was spared the axe as a result.

But Tronc’s decision Continue reading “Daily News cuts drive fears New York City’s becoming ‘local news desert’”

Trump labels media ‘enemy’ before Putin meeting — View from Helsinki — Kavanaugh’s record

THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PUNISHED CNN by canceling a scheduled Sunday interview with national security adviser John Bolton in response to “bad behavior.” What CNN correspondent Jim Acosta did to merit that description was ask Trump a question at a joint news conference with the British prime minister on Friday. Trump responded by dismissing CNN as “fake news” and turning instead to a reporter from Fox News, which he declared “a real network.”

— Trump’s “fake news” attack was “music to the ears of dictators and authoritarian leaders,” the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Rob Mahoney told the New York Times. And Trump on Sunday declared much of the U.S. news media the “enemy of the people” as he headed to Helsinki for today’s meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

— ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Bolton on Sunday’s “This Week” if Trump “branding real news organizations, real news Continue reading “Trump labels media ‘enemy’ before Putin meeting — View from Helsinki — Kavanaugh’s record”

Times takes heat for missing Crowley’s defeat

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off Tuesday night what CNN host Don Lemon called “the most shocking upset” of the political season, the network had no camera there to capture it.

But the progressive digital network TYT was inside her victory party in a Bronx bar, with Ryan Grim, a contributor to the channel and the Washington bureau chief of The Intercept, calling the race amid cheering supporters. Local media, like Spectrum News New York 1, was on hand, too, but journalists from major media outlets were scarce. Grim spoke on the broadcast with members of “Chapo Trap House,” a popular left-wing podcast.

“She has rare talent as a candidate,” Grim, whose site extensively covered Ocasio-Cortez’s candidate in articles, on video, and a podcast, told POLITICO. “She just has a natural ability and way to connect to people that very few politicians have.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s talent, however, got Continue reading “Times takes heat for missing Crowley’s defeat”

Gerard Baker steps down as Journal editor

After two years of internal disputes about its coverage of Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal is changing editors.

Gerard Baker, who has sparred with staff members over his perceived reluctance to go after Trump, is stepping down to become editor-at-large. Matt Murray, a Journal veteran of more than two decades, will be its next editor-in-chief.

Murray has most recently served as executive editor. In stepping up to the top newsroom position, Murray said “there is little doubt that at a time when journalism faces a host of challenges, readers are hungry for sophisticated, fair, illuminating and fact-based journalism – and see us as a uniquely trusted news source.”

In his new role, Baker is expected to write a column and host a new Journal-branded program on Fox Business, which is also part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

Baker has faced criticism, from inside and outside the newsroom, that Continue reading “Gerard Baker steps down as Journal editor”

Showtime series captures NYT grappling with press-bashing and erratic presidency

When New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters meets attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in the first episode of the forthcoming Showtime series “The Fourth Estate,” one man matter-of-factly reminds him of the “five enemies.” There’s ABC, NBC, CBS and The Washington Post, he says, and “you all.”

Director Liz Garbus, in an interview with POLITICO, recalled that CPAC exchange as indicative of how people may collectively hate the media writ large but can also have a pleasant exchange with a reporter one on one.

“As soon as there is a you, who seems like a human being, who is not walking around with devil horns on their head, the dynamic changes,” she said.

It’s that possibility that prompted The Times’ executive editor, Dean Baquet, to sign off on Garbus’s post-election request for “fly on the wall” access to covering the new president. Baquet recently said he Continue reading “Showtime series captures NYT grappling with press-bashing and erratic presidency”

New York Times metro editor resigns after internal investigation

New York Times Metro editor Wendell Jamieson resigned from the newspaper following an investigation on Monday and apologized to colleagues for “mistakes” he made, according to a newsroom memo.

Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joseph Kahn said in a memo that Jamieson’s departure follows an investigation, though they did not specify what it was over. They announced that Susan Chira, a veteran Times editor who was most recently a senior correspondent writing on gender issues, would step in as interim metro editor.

In the memo, Jamieson is quoted as saying that “leading Metro for the last five years and working with the incredible Times team has been the high point of my professional life.”

“I regret and apologize for my mistakes and leaving under these circumstances,” Jamieson said. “I’m especially proud of all the talent I’ve helped bring to The Times. Susan Chira is a wonderful Continue reading “New York Times metro editor resigns after internal investigation”

Will the White House Correspondents’ Dinner go on? — MSNBC stars back Joy Reid — RedState ‘purges’ Trump critics

THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER is having an existential crisis. Journalists quickly distanced themselves from Saturday night’s dinner in response to comedian Michelle Wolf’s biting routine — particularly the jokes directed at press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. WHCA president Margaret Talev told me Sunday morning that some of Wolf’s remarks “made me uncomfortable and did not embody the spirit of the night.”

But what is the spirit of the night? The WHCA has framed the dinner as an opportunity to celebrate the First Amendment and give out journalism awards and scholarships. Yet the dinner has also become a spectacle, with news organizations jockeying for celebrities and a red carpet entrance. The perception of chumminess between the press and the government has been another long-running concern, prompting the New York Times to sit it out.

The Donald Trump era has only exacerbated existing tensions. His absence at the Continue reading “Will the White House Correspondents’ Dinner go on? — MSNBC stars back Joy Reid — RedState ‘purges’ Trump critics”

Journalists distance themselves from Correspondents’ Dinner after Wolf routine

Comedian Michelle Wolf’s biting routine at Saturday’s 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner has triggered one of Washington’s most recurring conversations: Is one night of pomp and politics worth the headaches that usually follow?

Almost immediately after Wolf, best known as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," left the stage at the Washington Hilton, those who pack into the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on a daily basis began to distance themselves from her performance. A number of journalists deemed her act too caustic.

"The spirit of the event had always been jokes that singe but don’t burn. Reporters who work with her daily appreciate that @presssec was there," NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell wrote on Twitter.

As consternation over Wolf’s jokes continued, White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev said the comedian’s monologue "was not in the spirit of that mission," on a Continue reading “Journalists distance themselves from Correspondents’ Dinner after Wolf routine”

Hannity’s ethics under fire

Sean Hannity has wavered over the years on whether he is a journalist or conservative activist, but ethics specialists say that whichever hat the Fox News host was wearing last week when he condemned the FBI raid on attorney Michael Cohen’s office, he should have disclosed that he’s a client of Cohen’s.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a newspaper reporter or an opinion journalist,” said Indira Lakshmanan, the journalism ethics chair at the Poynter Institute. “If you want to maintain credibility with an audience, and be honest with them, you have to disclose all facts.”

Just hours after the raid on the office of Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Hannity inveighed that special counsel Robert Mueller had “declared war against the President of the United States.” But Hannity didn’t disclose that he, too, had received legal advice from Cohen. Hannity’s relationship with the embattled attorney was revealed Continue reading “Hannity’s ethics under fire”

Pulitzer Prizes honor reporting on Trump-Russia, sexual misconduct scandals

The New York Times and The Washington Post each won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting on Monday, capping a newsroom battle last year for scoops on links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, the focus of an ongoing special counsel investigation into the 2016 election.

Another dominant story of 2017, the global reckoning over sexual misconduct across industries, was also a major theme of this year’s awards. The Times and The New Yorker, whose separate, groundbreaking reports on disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates last fall, shared the public service prize. The Times’ Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey led their paper’s coverage, while Ronan Farrow’s work for The New Yorker was honored.

The Post picked up the investigative award for its in-depth reporting on accusations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, who lost his Senate bid in Alabama amid the controversy.

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah won the Continue reading “Pulitzer Prizes honor reporting on Trump-Russia, sexual misconduct scandals”

How a Trump ‘love child’ rumor roiled the media

The story of how The National Enquirer’s owner bought and spiked a story about an alleged Donald Trump "love child" is now roiling the media world, as the Associated Press acknowledged having decided not to publish it last August, before turning around and doing so on Thursday morning. Other outlets now admit they, too, had worked on the story before backing off.

Meanwhile, the New Yorker rushed to publish its own version right after the Associated Press. And Radar, a gossip site that shares an owner with the National Enquirer, attempted to head off both outlets by publishing a piece casting doubt on the claims of a “disaffected” former Trump employee.

The odd spectacle of news organizations both acknowledging their restraint in reporting a story, but then competing to put it out seemed to illustrate the media’s challenges in the Trump era, in which salacious allegations are often bandied about, Continue reading “How a Trump ‘love child’ rumor roiled the media”

Trump’s correspondents’ dinner decision gets complicated

If President Donald Trump attends this month’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, he’ll be onstage as journalists from a network he routinely calls “fake news” are honored for reporting on intelligence findings that were partly based on a dossier he also calls “fake.”

CNN won the WHCA’s Merriman Smith Award in the broadcast category for its January 2017 report on how the intelligence community believed Russia had compromising information on Trump; that report was followed by BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the entire “dossier” of opposition research on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, which has become a particular focus of the president’s wrath.

The announcement on Monday of CNN’s victory — along with a trove of other awards to various outlets for largely critical coverage of Trump and his administration — appeared to complicate the WHCA’s invitation to Trump to attend this year’s dinner, a symbolically important gesture of mutual Continue reading “Trump’s correspondents’ dinner decision gets complicated”

Trump’s correspondents’ dinner decision gets complicated

If President Donald Trump attends this month’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, he’ll be onstage as journalists from a network he routinely calls “fake news” are honored for reporting on intelligence findings that were partly based on a dossier he also calls “fake.”

CNN won the WHCA’s Merriman Smith Award in the broadcast category for its January 2017 report on how the intelligence community believed Russia had compromising information on Trump; that report was followed by BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the entire “dossier” of opposition research on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, which has become a particular focus of the president’s wrath.

The announcement on Monday of CNN’s victory — along with a trove of other awards to various outlets for largely critical coverage of Trump and his administration — appeared to complicate the WHCA’s invitation to Trump to attend this year’s dinner, a symbolically important gesture of mutual Continue reading “Trump’s correspondents’ dinner decision gets complicated”

Anderson Cooper bets heavily that Stormy is serious news

Anderson Cooper walked a fine line on “60 Minutes.”

For a newsman proud of visiting disaster zones and bringing attention to the dispossessed, Cooper risked embarrassment in his interview with porn star Stormy Daniels, but soldiered through with a deadpan stare and a furrowed brow.

The ultimate verdict on his interview – almost certainly the most highly watched moment of his career – will be whether viewers accept his claim that this is serious news.

He could’ve easily gone the tabloid route given the subject matter: an adult-film star describing an alleged affair with the president of the United States. And the 39-year-old Daniels did offer some salacious details in the highly anticipated interview, such as how she spanked Trump with a magazine with his picture on the cover.

Cooper didn’t shy away from sex completely. He asked Daniels directly if Trump wore a condom; she says he Continue reading “Anderson Cooper bets heavily that Stormy is serious news”

The Sam Nunberg Show — Pitaro to lead ESPN — Ex-WSJ reporter’s ordeal — New NYT politics editor

SAM NUNBERG WANTED EVERYONE TO KNOW on Monday afternoon that he wouldn’t comply with a special counsel subpoena in the Russia probe. After Nunberg spoke to the Washington Post, MSNBC’s Katy Tur invited the former Trump campaign aide on air and he ended up staying for 17 freewheeling minutes. “The only thing I was thinking was what I wanted to ask him next,” Tur told me after.

— Nunberg would go on to dominate cable news over the next several hours in a half-dozen interviews that at times resembled interventions. Nunberg asked anchors live on television for legal advice and was questioned about his current mental state and stress level as well as whether he’s been drinking. He made bold claims — for example, that Robert Mueller knows Trump “did something” wrong during the 2016 election — and alleged without evidence that former Trump aide Carter Page colluded with the Continue reading “The Sam Nunberg Show — Pitaro to lead ESPN — Ex-WSJ reporter’s ordeal — New NYT politics editor”

Is Trump trying to make amends with the press?

David Lightman, a national correspondent for McClatchy and president of the Gridiron Club, framed President Donald Trump attending next month’s dinner as in keeping with well-worn tradition.

“He’s the president of the United States, and we always invite the president,” Lightman told POLITICO.

It’s true the Gridiron Club has been inviting presidents since 1885 and all but Grover Cleveland have attended. Still, the news on Monday that Trump plans to rub shoulders with members of Washington’s media elite is surprising given that his persistent attacks on news media haven’t abated since skipping such chummy galas last year. Trump routinely dismisses unwelcome coverage as “fake news,” has claimed with evidence that reporters make up sources, and has even questioned journalists’ patriotism.

And yet Trump also isn’t ruling out attending the glitzy White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that “no decision has been Continue reading “Is Trump trying to make amends with the press?”

Networks focus on social-media images of Florida shooting

As the media covers yet another school shooting, the constant refrain is that Americans have become inured to such violence.

But as the nation came to grips with the loss of 17 students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, the TV images contained an unusual amount of video and audio from the scene, suggesting that this shooting, at least, would leave a more indelible impression.

The jarring images of students hiding in their classroom as a SWAT team moves in, and hitting the ground as gunshots ring out, drove much of the cable TV coverage around the incident.

“Twenty years ago this would be shocking and stunning,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper said during live coverage Wednesday afternoon, and yet “this happens in everyday America these days.”

The ubiquity of mass shootings in America, and the legislative inaction that follows, drove commentators to understandably lament that Continue reading “Networks focus on social-media images of Florida shooting”