The Washington Post

News media derivatives: Feb. 15

In case you missed it — Fox News and its exquisite sense of timing make the media a great beat.

Also: The top editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer talks about the paper’s journalism as well as the meddling from on high regarding the paper’s coverage of its impending sale.


*People who work for the remaining News Corp. newspapers in Britain are steaming mad. They want to know what rights they have vis-a-vis the internal investigations that have been tearing up the organizations — The Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times. The sleuthing by internal investigators in many cases have resulted in information getting handed over to authorities, who then swoop in and arrest staffers. Apprehension is the result.

“The anger on the editorial floors of all three titles is something I have never seen before. I’ve not seen this level of anger and sense of betrayal,” said a representative for staffers.

*GigaOM-er Mathew Ingram lights up the Associated Press for filing a lawsuit against Meltwater, a company that provides a subscription-based news service. AP’s claim? Meltwater swipes its content:

Meltwater News is a parasitic distribution service that competes directly with traditional news sources without paying license fees to cover the costs of creating those stories. It has a significant negative impact on the ability of AP to continue providing the high-quality news reports on which the public relies.

Whatever the rhetoric, writes Ingram, AP is fighting a retrograde battle to stay moored in some previous decade:

As I’ve tried to describe before, I think the AP’s attitude is fundamentally futile, whether it involves stopping reporters from breaking news on Twitter or suing those who re-use or aggregate its content. It’s clear that the newswire is threatened by the web and the democratization of distribution, but putting up walls and filing lawsuits is a waste of time and money...

*Current TV anchor Keith Olbermann takes some incoming fire over a tweet addressing reports of rape at Occupy encampments.

*A tweet: “@rupertmurdoch: To hell with politicians! When are we going to find some to tell the truth in any country? Don’t hold your breath.”

*Jack Shafer of Reuters raps the Daily Caller for lack of investigation in its investigation of journalists who allegedly regurgitate information from Media Matters:

The Daily Caller doesn’t bother to quantify in any way the alleged lapdogism of these reporters and outlets. Have they run with hundreds, scores or dozens of Media Matters tips? Or just a few newsworthy ones? A textual analysis backed by a Nexis dump could help prove the assertion, but the Daily Caller doesn’t bother to do the work, preferring to allow anonymous sources to call Smith, Sargent and others Media Matters dupes without testing the proposition.

*Bill Carter of the New York Times reports that CNN’s quick and thorough coverage of Whitney Houston’s death yielded ratings rewards.

*A lot of deep thoughts on the value of old, great magazine articles.

*Here’s a great target for Bill O’Reilly’s trademark snark and sneering: the modeling industry.

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


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