For many new college grads, that first job typically is an entry-level gig with little fanfare or responsibility. For Seattle-area native Helena Bottemiller, it's been anything but lackluster. Shortly after she graduated from Claremont McKenna College in June 2009, food-safety lawyer Bill Marler snapped her up to be part of his new online publication, Food Safety News.
The website launched in September 2009; by its first anniversary, Bottemiller had covered the Food and Drug Administration's 85 food recalls (that's more than one a week), including the infamous salmonella outbreak that resulted in a half-billion egg recall last August. She has covered several other high-profile stories, including seafood safety in the wake of the BP oil spill and congressional hearings for the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which passed in December. At just 24 years old, Bottemiller is becoming something of a Lois Lane in food journalism.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
At The Washington Post, Ed O'Keefe reports that President Obama accepted a transparency award -- at a meeting closed to the press.
“It’s almost a theater of the absurd to have an award on transparency that isn’t transparent,” said Gary Bass, founder of OMB Watch, and one of five transparency advocates who met with Obama on Monday. “The irony is that everything the president said was spot-on. I wish people had heard what he had to say.”
Bass was joined at the meeting by Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive at George Washington University, Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org and Lucy A. Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Bass, Brian and Dalglish later blogged about the meeting.
All five groups have criticized the Obama White House and previous administrations for withholding government information or failing to disclose it in a timely manner. (Dalglish’s attendance at the private meeting may seem most questionable to the White House press corps, considering her group serves as a legal advocacy group for reporters and includes several prominent journalists on its steering committee.)
Bass insists the group didn’t realize the White House failed to disclose the meeting to reporters. “I think this is a particularly bad situation and I’m not going to try to defend the president on that,” he said.
Brian called it “crazy stupid” for the White House to keep mum about the meeting. “He even made a joke when we walked in the room about how he wanted to make sure we would be listed on the White House visitors logs,” she said in an e-mail. “Someone on the White House staff should get their butt kicked for this one.”
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Strategy: ends and means
- What do you want to say?
- Whom do you want to reach?
- How do you want them to react?
- What resources are available to you?
Paid media, social media, and earned media (today's focus)
- Niche story or general interest?
- What geographic area would have an interest?
- What beats and bureaus would cover?
- Print story or TV story?
- Build relationships (remember Novak)
- Media lists (An example)
Media events (more next week)
Media events (more next week)
"I sometimes feel we are living in a kind of Graham Greene novel here, you know," says Don Macintyre, a longtime foreign correspondent for the Independent newspaper. "There is a sense both of menace and fantasy that is pretty disorienting, frankly."
If you are interested in reading a play-by-play of the match, The Guardian is keeping a comprehensive record.
The national teams of India and Pakistan both advanced to the semifinal round of the cricket World Cup tournament. When it became clear that the teams would meet in the Indian city of Mohali, the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, issued a surprise invitation to his Pakistani counterpart, Yousaf Raza Gilani, to join him in the grandstand.
Mr. Gilani accepted. Both men arrived at the cricket ground on Wednesday and took their places in a private box for the one-day match. Both shook hands with the players from the opposing teams after the national anthems were sung before the game began, meeting first the Pakistani then the Indian players. The prospect of the two leaders’ sitting together for hours in a relatively informal setting has many here asking what they will talk about, and whether a breakthrough could be possible between the two fractious, nuclear-armed neighbors.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The chart soon appeared in major media outlets such Al-Jazeera English, The Guardian, and the New York Times, proving that the media will consider any sources that will enhance their coverage. The chart's proven so popular that Munroe is currently translating it into Japanese for the Tokyo media.
After thanking his colleagues — Barbara Boxer of California, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how to cut spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John A. Boehner of Ohio, the speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said. “That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.”
A minute or two into the talking-points tutorial, though, someone apparently figured out that reporters were listening, and silence fell.
Then the conference call began in earnest, with the Democrats right on message.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Facebook is in talks to hire Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s former White House press secretary, for a senior role in helping to manage the company’s communications, people briefed on the negotiations said...
Facebook is increasingly in the public eye and is looking to build its communications team ahead of an initial offering.
Investor interest and the attention the company received from the movie “The Social Network” have put increasing pressure on the company communicate better with the public about its products and its policies.
It will be interesting to see what the response from the media is, as well as from President Obama.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
"The group, launched as a more traditional media critic, has all but abandoned its monitoring of newspapers and other television networks and is narrowing its focus to Fox and a handful of conservative websites, which its leaders view as political organizations and the “nerve center” of the conservative movement."
Saturday, March 26, 2011
From earlier in the semester, but interesting nonetheless:
The New York Times printed an article “Washington’s New Brat Pack Masters Media” about the younger group of Washington journalists/bloggers—dubbed the “Juicebox Mafia”—and their rise in media success. The article describes several young journalists and their opinions on their impact on media as well as several critics of the pack.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
According to the upcoming report from Arbitron, Inc. and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2011: Navigating Digital Platforms, more than half of all Americans ages 12 and older are on Facebook. The study, fielded in January of 2011, indicates that 51% of all adults 12+ have profiles on this dominant site.
We have been tracking the growth of Facebook since 2008, and have watched it go from 8% usage just three years ago, to 51% today. In our presentation on April 5th you will also see the remarkable year-over-year growth of Facebook users especially among people over age 35, trends on frequency of usage, and the uptake of social networking on mobile phones.
These findings come from a national survey of 2,020 persons age 12 and older. This is the 19th in a series of studies Arbitron and Edison have conducted since 1998 on topics relating to digital media. The complete study will be presented in a webinar on April 5th at 2PM Eastern, and interested parties can register here.
...what the Wikileaks debate is really about: not the press’s right to publish secrets or the government’s right to keep them, but which part of the system for keeping them needs fixing in order for it all to work again. Those who would clamp down on Wikileaks want to fix the press part. But it’s unfixable, because though a “responsible” press will continue to exist, and though even Wikileaks has somewhat tempered its zeal, there will always be an “irresponsible” publisher out there. So now it falls to the government alone to delineate and enforce secrecy. Paradoxically, therefore, the revolution in openness ends up concentrating more power in the hands of the government.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
1. Pick any current (2011) event in the
- Lexis-Nexis/News – see dropdown menu for “sources”
2. Do the same kind of analysis as in question 2, but for an American news event. Here you may find stories at http://www.watchingamerica.com/index.shtml
3. If you are covering the legislative simulation, write an essay on the opportunities and constraints of covering legislation. That is, how did you use the participants, and how did they try to use you? How did the experience compare with the real Congress? (See, esp. readings for the week of February 28).
4. Pick any national interest group or party organization. You are the communications director for that organization. Devise an advocacy ad for or against some aspect of President Obama’s agenda. You may draft a print or Internet ad, write a script for a video or audio spot, or (if you have access to the equipment), actually produce such a spot. Whom are you trying to persuade to do what? Where would you place the ad? How would you try to get “reverb” in the MSM and new media? If the group already runs ads, tell why yours is an improvement, or at least a worthy addition. (The ad will not count against the page limit.) In your analysis, supply appropriate evidence. (Potentially useful resource are http://attackadgenerator.com and http://www.xtranormal.com )
- Essays should be typed (12-point) stapled, double-spaced, and no more than three pages long. I will not read past the third page.
- Put your name on a cover sheet. Do not identify yourself on the text pages.
- Cite your sources. You may use either endnotes or parenthetical references to a bibliography. In either case, put your documentation in a standard format (e.g., Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style).
- Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
- Return essays by the start of class on Wednesday, 6 April. Essays will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness and a full grade after that. I will grant no extensions except for illness or emergency.
Reports of the squabble can be found here and here
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
- The "CNN Effect"
- Jim VandeHei
- Semipublic control
- Gag rules
- Truncated muckraking
- Niche journalism
- The "perp walk"
- Unmediated campaign information
- David Stockman
- What is the "strategic grid" in campaign communication?
- Did coverage of the health-care debate work to the president's advantage or disadvantage?
- Explain the 'issue-attention cycle."
- Define the "horse race" frame. Do the media favor it over other frames? How did it shape 2008 coverage. Explain.
- Is media consolidation a problem? Is so, why? If not, why not?
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
From the Washington Post's TV Column:
On Friday in prime time, Fox News Channel maintained its lead over CNN, but it was a close race: FNC averaged 2.7 million viewers to CNN’s 2.6 million.
That day, CNN had pulled off the now rare feat of edging out FNC for the total day’s ratings lead.
CNN, which has taken a battering in the ratings (and in perception) of late, averaged 2.3 million viewers for the day last Friday — its biggest audience since the presidential inauguration in January 2009.
By Wednesday — the most recent day for which numbers are available — FNC was firmly back on top in the ratings, with an average of 2.5 million prime-time viewers to CNN’s 1.6 million. MSNBC was well behind, attracting 873,000 viewers.
Friday through Wednesday, CNN had averaged 1.9 million viewers and FNC 2.2 million. MSNBC averaged 807,000.
Given the American public’s ongoing interest in the tragedy in Japan, industry pundits are forecasting that CNN will beat MSNBC in prime time and in total day ratings for the month of March.
It would be the first time that CNN has accomplished such a ratings feat since Michael Jackson’s death in the summer of 2009.
From the NYTimes Media Decoder Blog:
Continuing interest in the breaking news out of Japan led CNN to a rare prime-time win over Fox News Wednesday night among the viewers most sought by news advertisers.
CNN’s lineup of hourlong programs averaged 679,000 viewers in the category of viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, edging the perennial leader, Fox News, which had 644,000. All of CNN’s programs, which were dedicated to the events in Japan, showed increases.
It was the first time CNN had moved ahead of Fox News in prime time among the 25-54 audience since August 2009, on a night that included coverage of the memorial to Senator Ted Kennedy.
Can you provide humanitarian aid without facilitating conflicts?
The article draws an interesting connection between the media and U.S. aid culture. From where do our humanitarian inclinations really arise? You can finish reading the article at the address below:
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
The Times Announces Digital Subscription Plan
Beginning March 28, visitors toNYTimes.com will be able to read 20 articles a month without paying, a limit that company executives said was intended to draw in subscription revenue from the most loyal readers while not driving away the casual visitors who make up the vast majority of the site’s traffic.
Once readers click on their 21st article, they will have the option of buying one of three digital news packages — $15 every four weeks for access to the Web site and a mobile phone app (or $195 for a full year), $20 for Web access and an iPad app ($260 a year) or $35 for an all-access plan ($455 a year). All subscribers who take home delivery of the paper will have free and unlimited access across all Times digital platforms except, for now, e-readers like theAmazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Subscribers to The International Herald Tribune, which is The Times’s global edition, will also have free digital access.
No American news organization as large as The Times has tried to put its content behind a pay wall after allowing unrestricted access. The move is being closely watched by anxious publishers, which have warily embraced the Web and struggled with how to turn online journalism into a profitable business.
The rest of the Article can be found at:
Thursday, March 17, 2011
1. Find a niche - that's the only way I was able to be considered an "expert" here (though this still makes me laugh, no one can be an expert at 24...but oh well).2. Know your audience - I had to think about how I'd explain this to my grandma or someone who knows nothing about food policy (not my usual audience) - and I got stopped mid-sentence when referring to the "Lakers." The producer insisted I say "Lakers basketball team" instead so that viewers in, say, Iraq would understand the reference.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
After the quake, it took 45 minutes for the tsunami to reach the coast of Japan — 45 minutes of knowing, of waiting, of bracing.
When it came, they were all glued to their televisions — a Jesuit priest in New York, an engineering professor in rural Oregon, a geophysicist in San Diego. What unfolded had never been broadcast live before: a 13-foot wall of mud that belittled human achievement, folding houses inside out, propelling yachts across miles of rice fields, rupturing oil refineries, sweeping trains from their tracks and killing hundreds.
By now, we're versed in bearing witness to the aftermath of disaster: limbs jutting out from collapsed buildings in Haiti, survivors using laundry to spell out "HELP US" on their rooftops after Hurricane Katrina. This was different — a disaster unfolding in visceral, wrenching real time, for viewers who were alternately spellbound and tortured by their inability to do anything about it.
Japan's plight came on a sunny Friday afternoon; the magnitude 8.9 earthquake, the largest to strike the area in more than a millennium, hit at 2:46 p.m. local time. Japan is not only an advanced economy but one of the most wired nations on earth; at one point Friday, there were 20 tweets a second coming out of Tokyo.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It started as a local story about small-city graft but quickly grew to become a national symbol of greed and failed government.
Nine months ago, the 40,000 residents of the city of Bell, Calif., – where 1 in 6 lives below the poverty line – became incensed with the discovery that several city officials were making six- and seven-figure salaries after creating secret boards and giving themselves outrageous raises.
Now, the light shined on the city of Bell by journalists, public officials, and the courts will reap large lessons from coast to coast, several political analysts say. As eight current and former officials await trial for fraud, Bell voters – one-fourth of the city’s population – will select five new city council members Tuesday from among 17 candidates in a recall election.
"The city of Bell is typical in that voters don’t pay much attention to their state and local legislative bodies, and the media are too stretched to look at each of the governmental jurisdictions within their territories,” says Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies. “Governmental officials in the smaller jurisdictions rely on this lack of attentiveness and interest. There are a lot of Bells throughout the county; we just don’t know about them.”
Interesting article about how NPR executive was caught "bashing" the Tea Party and Conservatives.
Ignore the last tip - "Here's a wild guess: You're hoping to publish your article in The New York Times, with The Washington Post andThe Wall Street Journal as backups. Well, welcome to the club. These and other national publications, such as Newsweek and USA Today, receive a staggering number of submissions, the overwhelming majority of which are rejected. You have a better shot at regional newspapers and, especially, at local papers, which almost always give preference to writers from the local area."
Go big or go home, CMC.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the powerful Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has launched an inquiry into whether spokesman Kurt Bardella improperly shared e-mails from other reporters with a New York Times reporter writing a book on Washington’s political culture, POLITICO has learned.
Bardella has been cooperating extensively with the Times’s Mark Leibovich on the book, and Issa told POLITICO Monday that he would “get to the bottom” of exactly what Bardella shared with Leibovich.
On Tuesday morning, Issa fired Bardella as a result of his investigation.
Bardella has been of particular interest to reporters and Capitol Hill aides in recent months, after a New Yorker piece quoted him taking credit for his boss’s increased prominence in national politics and making somewhat impolitic remarks about reporters and women.
In his comments to POLITICO, Issa said that Bardella had been "about one nanosecond from not working on Capitol Hill anymore" after the New Yorker piece. Issa said Bardella "would have been fired" if he was not otherwise an exceptional young person.
Bardella also recently had an episode with former Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, now a contributor at The Daily Beast, in which Kurtz published an interview thinking he had been speaking to Issa when he had really been speaking to Bardella.
Kurtz, who later ran a correction for the mix-up, told POLITICO that he remains puzzled as to why Bardella did not correct him when he was addressing him as “Congressman” or when he sent an e-mail after the interview saying “thanks for getting me the congressman so quickly.”
This long back and forth was the lead-in to a Bardella quote I used in the piece:[R]eporters e-mail me saying, “Hey, I’m writing this story on this thing. Do you think you guys might want to investigate it? If so, if you get some documents, can you give them to me?” I’m, like, “You guys are going to write that we’re the ones wanting to do all the investigating, but you guys are literally the ones trying to egg us on to do that!”
To me that last quote was one of the most important things Bardella told me. The rest of it—that offices clash over how to leak info and that bookers and reporters are competitive—is interesting but relatively well known, and not very relevant to a piece about Darrell Issa. But that Bardella accused reporters of offering to collaborate with Issa as he launches what will inevitably be partisan investigations of the Obama Administration seemed jaw-dropping. This is exactly the dysfunctional investigator/reporter dynamic that in the nineteen-nineties fed frenzies over every minor Clinton scandal. In his short-lived career, Bardella was witness to the fact that it was all starting over in 2011, now that there was again a Republican House and a Democratic President. From what I know of what Bardella shared, the beat reporters who cover Issa and engaged in this kind of game with Bardella will be the ones most embarrassed by the e-mails that Leibovich possesses.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
|Headlines - Novak's Hit-and-Run|
Going around the MSM
Palin and Death Panels