The New York Times, Jill Abramson, and the NSA

The New York Times has been at the receiving end of much media attention following the unceremonious dumping to Executive Editor Jill Abramson, with all manner of stories being floated as reasons for her canning. Was it due to poor management style? Was it because she complained that she was being paid less than her male predecessors? Was it because those who worked for her were complaining about her? Was it because, as Michelle Goldberg writes, she sent a reporter to London to investigate the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and the way that the BBC failed to cover it, which might have implicated NYT CEO Mark Thompson who was the head of the BBC at that time? Was it because, as Ken Auletta says, she was planning to bring in a deputy managing editor to work alongside managing editor Dean Baquet, the person who replaced her, and that he was unhappy with this move?
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When technology clashes with copyright

There is an interesting case that is being heard today before the US Supreme Court in which technology and copyright laws come into conflict. It concerns a firm named Aereo that is marketing a small antenna that can be connected to your mobile device that can then pick up programming that is being broadcast over the air by the TV networks. In other words, you are no longer tethered to your TV but can watch anywhere and even record and save for later viewing.
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Treat press releases about science with caution

Journals frequently send out pre-publication copies of what they think are important papers to science journalists under an embargo, where they are free to research the topic and gather material to write articles, but not publish them until the release date that the journal specifies. This enables journalists to write articles that put the research in context and provide alternative and critical views on the research in a timely manner. In the hands of good science journalists, this practice enables the general public to get a reasonable sense of what new research reveals.
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Great moments in marketing

If you are marketing a juice that consists of 99% apple and grape juice, 0.3% pomegranate juice, and 0.2% blueberry juice, what would you put on the label? If you are Coca-Cola, you call it “Pomegranate Blueberry” of course, because then you can take advantage of the fact that currently pomegranate juice is being marketed as the hot new healthy item, whether that is true or not.
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Using sex to sell news

Sex sells. That is something that the advertising agencies discovered a long time ago. So it should not be surprising that TV channels should want to use sex to gain audiences, especially during the periods when ratings are being calculated. But at the same time, news stations tend to have older viewers who, at least on the surface, like to think of themselves as upholders of old-fashioned morality. Thus has emerged one of the most obvious media tricks to have your cake and eat it, and that is to have an ‘in-depth’ news story closely examining some aspect of sex while deploring it.
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Greenwald and Poitras dedicate their Polk awards to Snowden

Andrew Rice of New York magazine had an entertaining description of the Polk Awards last night where Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill, and Barton Gellman received the award for National Security Reporting for their work on the Snowden documents. Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian who supported the printing of the first major articles, also was present to pick up a well-deserved award for his paper.
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