Think carefully before viewing Entertainment Weekly’s online content, like a slideshow of the “26 scariest pop culture clowns.” Is it worth paying for? Before answering, consider — you are (probably) not a child, so clowns are not scary. Also, EW has launched a paywall.
According to Politico, EW.com’s paywall is metered, like the New York Times’ paywall. Nonregistered readers can read up to 10 stories per month, while “registered nonsubscribers” can read up to 15 articles per month.
For complete digital access to EW.com, you’ll have to pay $1.99 per month or $20 per year. If you’re a EW fan, that’s really not much at all. So pay up. Or ask your parents to.
Thirty-six years after leaving California State University, Sacramento as an incomplete, the NBC Nightly News anchor will be back on campus Saturday evening to accept an honorary doctorate. He will also give the Commencement address to 813 students graduating from the College of Arts and Letters.
From Robert D’Avila’s report in the Sacramento Bee:
Lester Holt Sr. was concerned in 1979 when he learned that his son was planning to drop out of California State University, Sacramento, to work at a San Francisco radio station. But he wasn’t as worried as his wife, June. \"She predicted poverty and failure,\" he said with a laugh.
But the Rancho Cordova couple gave their blessing, firm in the belief that Lester Jr. would go far with hard work, talent and a likeable personality in his chosen field of broadcast journalism.
Holt interned while in high school for KCRA Channel 3. The radio station he went to work for in the Bay Area as a part-time DJ, KRAK 103.1 FM, is today an AM ESPN sports radio station.
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) May 22, 2015[Top photo courtesy: NBC]
The New York Daily News now has two bidders — John Catsimatidis and a group led by Jimmy Finkelstein.
If Finkelstein takes over, say goodbye to the Daily News as you know it. According to The New York Post, Finkelstein has plans to change the tabloid into a digital-only production in an effort to eventually turn a profit. That’s understandable, if not depressing. What is New York with only one tabloid? Chicago? Gross.
Catsimatidis—long considered the frontrunner to win (lose?) the Daily News—has no plans to shutter the print version. “I hope they sell it to someone who lets it survive,” Catsimatidis told the Post. By “someone” he means himself.
Here’s a look at the posts that made the most buzz the past seven days.
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Here’s a great way to get people to attend an exhibit. Make the companion book, in this case The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld, available exclusively on site.
Opening today, the New-York Historical Society exhibit showcases more than 100 Hirschfeld illustrations. The institution interviewed curator David Leopold, also creative director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation. At one point, Leopold was asked what his favorite drawing in the show is:
“One of my absolute favorites in the show is a mixed media work of the Marx Brothers, probably created to promote their first MGM film, A Night at the Opera. Against a background of collaged sheet music is a portrait of the Marx Brothers: Harpo’s hair is made from cotton balls, Chico’s hair from Brillo pads and Groucho’s moustache from a black piece of felt. His glasses are fastened from pipe cleaners.”
“After this piece was published, MGM encouraged the Marx Brothers to conform to the cartoon. In their second film, A Day at the Races, Groucho’s hair was styled in two triangles just like Hirschfeld had drawn. Through his art, Hirschfeld helped define some of Hollywood’s most iconic characters.”
Hirschfeld passed away in 2003. The exhibit runs through October 15.
Hearst Magazines Digital Media (HMDM) has named Laura Kalehoff director, branded content studio. Kalehoff was most recently editor-in-chief of Fit Pregnancy and Natural Health.
At HMDM, Kalehoff will serve as the top editor, managing a team of editors working on Hearst’s sponsored content.
HMDM’s senior vice president Lee Sosin, to whom Kalehoff will report, described Kalehoff as “a world class editorial talent.”
Reporters Without Borders hails yesterday's decision by a Luanda provincial court to drop all 24 charges in the criminal libel trial against investigative journalist and activist Rafael Marques de Morais that began in March.
Marques had been facing up to 14 years in prison in the case brought against him by seven army generals and a group of private companies over his allegations of grave human rights violations and corruption in connection with the diamond mining industry in the Lundas region.
In his book “Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola,” published in Portugal in 2011, he documented 500 cases of torture and 100 murders of villagers by military personnel and private security companies, and accused the generals of endorsing these “crimes against humanity.”
Marques agreed yesterday not to republish his book, which remains available in electronic form. This undertaking was a “voluntary action designed to facilitate dialogue and future exchanges of information,” said Marques, who intends to continue investigating human rights in the Lundas region.
“We are very happy and relieved to learn that all charges have been dropped against Rafael Marques,” Reporters Without Borders deputy programme director Virginie Dangles said.
“We hope that the end of this trial marks the end of the judicial harassment endured by this journalist for several years. Marques is an investigative journalist who just did his job and who, after concluding his research, revealed to the entire world vital information about appalling crimes in the mining industry. “
Dangles added: “By being crowned with success, this battle has become a source of optimism. It is a victory for freedom of information in Angola.”
The seven generals originally filed suit in Portugal, but they refiled in Angola after the case was dismissed in Portugal in February 2013. Marques initially faced nine counts of criminal defamation but another 15 counts were added when he appeared in court on 24 March 2015.
The case drew a great deal of international attention. On the eve of the 24 March hearing, Reporters Without Borders and nine other human rights organizations issued a joint call for the withdrawal of all charges against Marques.
Previously, in December 2014, Reporters Without Borders and 16 other NGOs sent a joint letter to the special rapporteurs (for freedom of expression and the situation of human rights defenders) of the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, asking them to press the Angolan government to end the prosecution.
A renowned journalist who has won many awards for the quality of his reporting, Marques has been hounded for years by the Angolan authorities. Ever since the late 1990s, he has been the target of arbitrary arrests, prolonged judicial proceedings and travel bans – all aimed at silencing one of the last independent journalists in this wealthy African country.
Defamation continues to be a crime in Angola and the authorities often use defamation charges to gag journalists who expose corruption in the state or private sector. Angola is ranked 123rd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
In the beginning, Megan Finnerty knew she’d have to tell a story in front of a group of strangers. That’s not counting however many friends and assorted colleagues at The Arizona Republic she could draft into service on the first night of Arizona Storytellers.
It was an experiment: gather community members together for a night of oral storytelling in an intimate setting and see how it works. The trick, of course, is that she would need to stack the deck with storytellers — including her.
Now, almost four years later, Finnerty only has to jump in to tell a story rarely — there’s no shortage of people looking to talk now. “Getting storytellers to do this has been easier and easier as this has picked up momentum and people want to do it,” she said.
She estimates there were under 70 people on that first night; Arizona Storytellers now attracts sellout crowds, between 150 and 250 people depending on the venue.
It’s a program that takes some lessons from the rise of popular storytelling series like The Moth or Mortified, which invite everyday people in to share their — sometimes heartwarming, other times hilarious — personal tales.
What started as a small project has transformed into an important part of the Republic’s events and audience engagement plans. With about 16 events a year, Arizona Storytellers makes enough money from tickets and local sponsorships to cover its own costs and help the paper’s bottom line.
RELATED ARTICLEPutting on a show: How NPR is retooling its events strategyMarch 10, 2015Media companies around the world are busy developing event strategies on all levels, and while Arizona Storytellers has helped the Republic create new lines of revenue, it has also created stronger ties to the community. The program has not only put the paper in front of new audiences, but created new relationships with businesses, the local NPR affiliate, and the local community college.
“Storytellers opened our eyes to the bigger opportunities and broader opportunities to build those personal, face-to-face connections with both our existing audience and exposing us to new audiences,” said Randy Lovely, senior vice president for news and audience development at the Republic.
Arizona Storytellers started as a spinoff of a project that celebrated the state’s centennial in 2012. The video series captured stories from residents every day of the year leading up to the event. Finnerty, already a fan of shows like The Moth, saw an opportunity to expand into a more permanent series.
“I’m nosy and I like talking about people’s feelings,” she says laughing. “So that was a good fit for my personality.”
She was nightlife and events editor at the time, and using her knowledge of bars and restaurants around Phoenix, she proposed a trial run of three events. At first, Finnerty largely worked alone on the program, lining up venues and partners. The paper responded by giving Finnerty more help to organize sponsors and vendors for things like A/V equipment. “Management has always, always been behind this idea,” she said. “I never had to beg or twist arms about it.”
Lovely said the paper wants to give space for people to be entrepreneurial in their thinking about new stories or projects. The positive early response was all they needed to put more resources into the events, he said.
“Megan is a leading example. She had passion and an idea and came to us,” he said. “My general philosophy is I’m here to get out of your way or help you facilitate what you define as great journalism.”
Figuring out logistics is one thing; in order for the program to be successful, it also had to create a unique experience for participants on both sides of the microphone. Finnerty said one of her motivations for starting Storytellers was to create space to share experiences that reflect the lives all kinds of Arizonans. “In the same way that journalists place an incredibly high premium on veracity in stories and proving what they know, we place a premium on emotional safety for the listeners,” she said.
Storytellers follows a similar script to The Moth, allowing a select group of people to tell their stories within a time limit, coaching participants beforehand.
Liz Warren, director of the storytelling institute at South Mountain Community College, got involved with the program close to the beginning. The institute held workshops with Republic staff to prepare readers to tell their stories as part of the centennial project.
After Finnerty launched Storytellers as its own series, Warren started working with her to prepare participants to share their experiences. People are chosen by submissions to the Republic, followed by a session with Warren before their night in front of the microphone.
Telling a story, especially in front of a crowd, is about creating pictures in people’s minds, something that feels grounded by more than a set of facts strung together, Warren said. The people who sign up for Storytellers come with all kinds of experience, so her job is to get the best out of them. “Mainly what they need is assurance that they have a real story and are ready to go,” she said.
Collaboration has been a key to the success of Storytellers, Warren said, which has resulted in bigger and more diverse audiences taking part in the event. Those partnerships, with the community college or local NPR station KJZZ — which broadcasts excerpts from the events — are what help make it an inclusive community event, she said.
“What Megan has been able to do with her partners, the themes, and now with the renown of the program in the community, is bring together all sorts of people who otherwise wouldn’t meet each other,” she said.
RELATED ARTICLEThinking of starting an events business? API has a guide for news companiesAugust 7, 2014While the Republic has held events in the past, Lovely said the strategy didn’t have many persistent, ongoing programs. Now they hold event series across different areas, including around Cardinals football during NFL season and a photography series with the Republic’s photo staff. Some are more focused on entertainment, while others will bring Republic journalists out into the community to discuss the news.
“It’s taking work traditionally done through the paper and turning that into something relevant in terms of how we connect with the community,” he said. “It’s about growing loyalty, engagement, and hopefully generating new readers.”
At many events, they conduct surveys to find out how many attendees are Republic subscribers. Last summer, they found that almost 50 percent of people of attendees were not, Lovely said.
But the overall goal of the events isn’t to increase the newspaper’s subscriber count. Lovely said establishing stronger connections between the Republic and the community will have greater benefits in the future, either for new products or creating new forms of engagement. It’s a different way of making the Republic relevant to people’s lives, he said.
“What we’re seeing is that hopefully this helps change the perception of The Arizona Republic in the traditional sense and hopefully opens us up to new audiences,” Lovely said.
Finnerty said they’ve already received interest from other papers in the Gannett chain who want to create their own version of Storytellers. As they’ve been drawing up blueprints for others, they’re also focusing on how they can continue to grow the event. Finnerty said they plan to do more themed events while also moving Storytellers to new venues and new audiences. That kind of outreach, mixed with a focus on sharing narratives about the community, is part of the mission of any newspaper, she said.
“The value proposition is that we train all kinds of people to tell stories,” she said. “We are better able to serve and reflect the community. That’s why a newsroom would do this, that’s why it makes sense for a community to take this on.”
Photos of Arizona Storytellers events by Dave Seibert/The Arizona Republic.
Elle Australia’s latest issue features model Nicole Trunfio nursing her four-month-old son. This is great! We’re all for moms breastfeeding their kids. However, there are a couple problems with this cover.
If Elle really wants to normalize breastfeeding, maybe the photograph could be a little bit more… Normal. We’re not exactly sure, but we think nursing is rarely this glamorous.
Also, this cover is nice, but it’s only being sent to Elle Australia subscribers. The issue available on newsstands looks like this:
If Elle Australia was truly trying to be supportive of breastfeeding, why hide the original cover from the public eye?
It’s not just Elle Australia that is screwing up. It seems like magazines overall can’t seem to figure out how to represent breastfeeding. In 2008, W did a breastfeeding cover the correct way, with Angelina Jolie smiling during the intimate moment. There was nothing sensationalistic about the cover; it was just a (famous) mom nursing her child.
In an example of how not to do a breastfeeding cover, a 2012 issue of Time featured a mom nursing her 3 year old in a pose that basically screamed “How weird is this?”
Maybe the fact that we’re even writing this shows that breastfeeding is much more accepted than it once was, but it sure seems like magazines have a long way to go before getting it right.
Fusion, the TV network/news site for millennials, has just received a vote of confidence from its co-owners. According to The New York Post, Disney and Univision have promised Fusion $30 million in additional financing.
Launched in 2013, Fusion expanded rapidly last year. As it grew, the company added plenty of talent. Some of the more notable names that joined Fusion last year included Anna Holmes, a founder of Jezebel; Jane Spencer, from The Daily Beast; Dodai Stewart, from Jezebel; and Alexis Madrigal, from The Atlantic.
Fusion’s latest big news is that it will co-produce Vergaraland, a series about Sofia Vergara’s life that will debut on Snapchat. In other words, yes, you’re too old for Fusion.
A couple Revolving Door items for you this morning, involving Forbes and The New York Times. Details are below.
- Forbes has named Peter Carbonara deputy editor, entrepreneurship. Carbonara has spent the past five years as a freelancer. He previously worked for Businessweek and Fortune.
- Poynter reports that The New York Times has hired Michael Gold and Tim Herrera. Both come to the Times from The Washington Post.