The Washington Post

Media news derivatives: Nov. 18

In case you missed it — Reuters, of all news outlets, had a stringer in Yemen filing stories while he was working for the Yemeni president as a translator. People got mad about it, and Reuters yesterday issued a statement saying the guy would no longer be reporting for the news service from Yemen.

Also: I really need the Glenn Beck User’s Manual to understand that guy.

Also also: Bill O’Reilly, with “another” bold prediction.


*”You change now or you die.” That’s the rallying cry of John Lynch, the guy who’s soon stepping up as the new president and CEO of the San Diego Union-Tribune. And as Voice of San Diego chronicles, the “change” here doesn’t look too promising to someone who wants a career in journalism:

But Lynch said he wants the paper to be pro-business. The sports page to be pro-Chargers stadium. And reporters to become stars.

“It’s news information, but it’s also show biz,” Lynch said. “You get people to tune in and read your site or the paper when there’s an ‘Oh wow’ in the paper.”

He wants that sports page to be an advocate for a new football stadium “and call out those who don’t as obstructionists.”

Sounds as if Lynch wants the paper to be something of a crusading force. That’s fine so long as it chooses its crusades carefully. Crusade for public accountability? Good one. Crusade against government waste? Another fine one? Crusade for whatever is going to please the local business community? Prepare to lose talented journalists.

* takes apart Google’s evolving strategy. Hint: It starts with an extra click.

*Fox News is rolling in political cash, thanks to SuperPACs, the Republican primary and other factors. Rick Perry’s campaign recently made a $1 million ad buy.

For now, Republican primary politics are eating up the oxygen — and the money — and there’s no disagreement among buyers that Fox News is the place to go. And newly formed Super PACs supporting specific primary candidates such as Mr. Perry and Mitt Romney will only up the ante for national advertising.

*Dana Rubinstein of Capital delivers an extensive look at how the administration of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg handled the Zuccotti clear-out: First, deny the media access to the central event, then give the media tons of access, including news conferences and a session with top aides.

In either case, the administration decided to control the narrative from the outset. That began with the decision to prohibit press from watching the actual clearance of Zuccotti Park at 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, and by maintaining nearly continuous contact with the media thereafter.

It was reflected in the mayor’s 8 a.m. press conference with reporters Tuesday morning, and in police commissioner Ray Kelly’s appearance on “Inside City Hall” that same night. It was evidenced in Wednesday morning’s New York Times piece about the deliberations preceding the mayor’s decision to clear the park, an article that benefitted from an unusual level of cooperation from Bloomberg.

*What’s up with the publisher of the NFL’s new magazine, anyway? (Thanks, Mediagazer)

*Bill O’Reilly goes deep on the “decline” of the media in this country.

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


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