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A small paper scores an open-records win in a recovering city

KANSAS CITY -- Voters in Joplin, MO, the small Midwestern city still recovering from a 2011 tornado, went to the polls earlier this week, and a council member who's been at the center of a local controversy won re-election to his seat. But before that, The Joplin Globe scored a victory of a different sort: The paper secured a court...

Morning Report for April 10, 2014

Rupert Murdoch sees the New York Post as a digital-only publication in 10 years. Regarding his MySpace acquisition: “I think that was one of our great screwups of all time.” ( Savannah Morning News journalists get a $100 bonus if they meet pageview goals. ( “Staying home all day is severely overrated,” … Read More

The promise and peril of new Medicare data

Yesterday's release by the Department of Health & Human Services of Medicare physician payment and service data--for decades out of public reach--holds great promise for journalistic exploration. Included in the unprecedented data dump:...Show More Summary

Miami Herald editor blasts ‘a culture of censorship’ at Guantanamo Bay

Last month, four Miami Herald journalists who visited the Guantanamo Bay detention center were told they couldn’t publish the names of staff members and had to photograph troops from the neck down. This week, Gitmo soldiers published a story headlined, “There and Back Again: Guantanamo guards return 12 years later,” that had no photo or … Read More

‘Game-Changer’ Episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fizzles

Although Tuesday night’s installment of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was heavily promoted as a tie-in to the newly released theatrical hit Captain America: The Winter Soldier, relatively few viewers were on hand to see the ensuing plot twist play out. Show More Summary

Reporter: ‘The Pulitzer people are jerks’ for not putting my name on my crystal award

M.L. Elrick and Jim Schafer won the 2009 local reporting Pulitzer Prize for their Detroit Free Press investigation of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Last week, Elrick complained to Detroit Metro Times about his name not appearing on the “piece of shit crystal from Tiffany’s” that he got for winning the top prize in journalism. “The Pulitzer … Read More

The press and the tech bubble

Here's a headline you don't like to see if you're worried about a possible social-media/tech bubble: Slate wrote this toward the end of March: Candy Crush's Terrible Market Debut Shows We're Not in a Tech Bubble The stock performance of one company among thousands doesn't show much of anything, much less that tech valuations are reasonable. Particularly when that company...

How vacuum cleaner sales and media relations are similar

Former door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman John Reinan says he often compares that college-era job to media relations, his current occupation. He cites five things that apply to both positions: It’s tough to sell junk. “When I’m pitching a story I think is weak, it’s harder to be a smooth salesman.” A little patter … Read More

Audit Notes: CNN, SEC scorched, how we read now

CNN is launching a show built for Twitter called Your 15 Second Morning, The Wall Street Journal reports. Fifteen seconds! But will it have a 30-second pre-roll ad? If that's not exciting enough, there's this from what's ostensibly still the Cable News Network: Beyond that show, which executives hope will become a daily habit among younger news consumers, CNN has...

FX Will Renew The Americans

Fans of the FX Cold War spy drama The Americans can rest easy about the show’s prospects, as the network is very close to announcing a formal third-season renewal. Speaking at an upfront breakfast event in New York this morning, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said he was encouraged by The Americans’ creative direction and ratings performance. Show More Summary

Meet the most honest journalist in America

Best part of Pennsylvania student’s stabbing selfie (@stefanjbecket)

Tweeting Hank Aaron’s 715th home run

What if Twitter existed on April 8, 1974, when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run? (

Would your readers understand this headline?

My tipster reports: “Times (Shreveport, La.) sports editor Roy Lang came up with this and didn’t budge despite discussion about whether readers would understand the ‘greater than’ symbol.” I’m told that the paper didn’t get any calls from puzzled readers on Tuesday; I’ve asked Lang to confirm that.

What coverage of New York's 'surprise billing' fix left out

Last week, The New York Times ran an article announcing a significant healthcare provision in the budget deal reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature a few days earlier. The story, by Anemona Hartocollis, noted that the deal requires that patients be notified in advance when an out-of-network doctor will be involved in their care. And when patients...

Morning Report for April 9, 2014

Joel Achenbach wonders if what he considers “reporting” is just a form of aggregating. ( The draft of SPJ’s updated ethics code advises journalists to “aggressively gather and update information as a story unfolds”...Show More Summary

The Local goes global

In 2004, James Savage and Paul Rapacioli were two Brits who had fallen in love with Swedes, leaving them with a need to find work in Stockholm. Rapacioli started emailing weekly news updates to friends and newcomers. One early recipient was Savage, who approached Rapacioli with the idea of a full website. "He said, 'Together we could make something of...

Dogs and Cats Living Together: Ratings Dip for NCAA Finals

In winning its fourth NCAA Men’s basketball title in 16 years, the University of Connecticut on Monday night took its rightful place among the greatest college hoops programs of the modern era. It’s only a shame that more people weren’t watching. Show More Summary

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