The Washington Post

Media news derivatives: April 18

In case you missed it — For how many years does a confidential source-reporter relationship last? Until the source dies? Till some other date? In perpetuity? That’s one of the many little debates stirred by Max Holland’s book “Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat.”

Also: Are Bill O’Reilly and Bernard Goldberg really saying that alleged media bias is inconsequential — meaning they’re going to find another talking point?

Also also: The Pulitzer Prizes celebrate journalism in its finest form. Then their leaders issue a stream of no-comments.


* Romenesko shines the spotlight on a copy editor who has something to learn about prepositions and pronouns.

* The paywall firm Piano takes a cable-TV approach to rounding up money from subscribers.

“Piano is a united system for payments,” Tomáš Bella, Piano’s chief executive told Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, in June 2011. “People don’t have that big of a problem with paying for content on the Internet. What we’re trying to do, is to copy a cable TV model, where you pay once for all the programs, and you know you won’t be bothered with any other payment requests.”

The firm’s leaders say it now has the capital needed to break out on the global market, after starting out in Slovakia.

* More on paywall stuff: Ryan Thornburg asks whether paywalls will affect media coverage:

There’s never been a question that people will pay for digital content. Give people information they need to profit professionally or enjoy personally, and they will pay for it. But what about all the boring and bad stuff? What about the kind of iron-butt reporting that has journalists cover legislative subcommittee meetings just so powerful people know the public is watching? And the quarter million-dollar investigations that find the hidden winners and losers?

* The Muckraker laments the rise of journalists who think they’re on a path toward celebrity:

Journalism is becoming like Hollywood; full of bad actors who can’t act. I’m tired of it. Being a journalist comes with a certain amount of humility. People allow us into their lives; they share information with us, blowing the whistle on corruption, murder and injustice. Bad things happen in the world; journalism can stop them. When people read our words, they give us time they won’t get back.

* Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC bashes Ted Nugent, easily:

* And Piers Morgan of CNN does pretty much the same, though more gently:

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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