Fightin' the powers that be

Muck Rack Daily

Fightin' the powers that be
April 25th, 2017
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Muck Rack Daily
Hello from Muck Rack, where you can get a snapshot of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking and commenting on right now.

From January 2001 to September 2016, the newspaper business lost more half of its jobs. Where does that leave us today? And what does it mean for tomorrow? In a new blog post, John Egan, editor in chief at LawnStarter, asks, Is it too early for a newspaper industry obituary — or too late for prayers? As someone “who practically had newspaper ink running through his veins,” John can’t help but look at the issue from his heart, but he weighs in from the realist’s perspective, too. Read the post, and share your thoughts.


Here’s a news flash: “The U.S. government is now openly promoting the president's PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT resort,” tweets S. V. Date, linking to Mar-a-Lago: The winter White House, which had appeared on the website for the US Embassy in London. Go there now and you’ll see “Page not found.” Maybe tweets like “@StateDept giving free advertising to Mar-a-Lago,” from Cameron Joseph, and “Take out 'Mar a Lago' and sub in 'Clinton Foundation event' and imagine the reaction if State promoted it,” from Maggie Haberman, helped lead to its removal? Or maybe it was this alternate headline, from Ray Pride: “American Embassy touts Florida swamp property as coveted super-elite tourist destination #Emoluments.” As reported by Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn in State Department, U.S. embassies promoting Trump's Mar-a-Lago, at least two embassies (UK and Albania) were promoting Mar-a-Lago. For more, read Yeganeh June Torbati’s piece for Reuters, State Department website posts article on Trump's Florida resort, which notes, “Although it was posted weeks ago, the article surfaced on Monday when it was shared widely on social media.”  

A new name, and a new mission 

“Write for people, not about them,” tweets Tristan McConnell, referring us to “@lpolgreen's inspiring vision for HuffPost, and journalism.” HuffPo's (the abbreviated name's official now) new editor in chief, Lydia Polgreen greets us today with “A new name, and a new mission. Welcome to @HuffPost.” Says Jason Whittaker, “A bit of mission statement stuff from new @HuffPost ed. Hopefully will sharpen the focus. Way too broad I reckon.” Matina Stevis tweets, “If there's 1 journo who can turn HuffPo into a more unified entity w higher standards, it's @lpolgreen.” Damien Cave adds, “So much to love in this. Inspiring even from afar; @lpolgreen on fightin' the powers that be with the new HuffPost.” “No matter where you are on political spectrum this is a powerful mission statement from a reflective journalist,” says Michael Barbaro. Although Scott Nover is a little disappointed: “Damn! I had money on HufflePost.”

Nobody cares about the deficit

At The Wall Street Journal, Michael Bender, Richard Rubin and Nick Timiraos have the scoop that Trump Wants Tax Plan to Cut Corporate Rate to 15%. As Bender tweets, “Trump tells staff to prioritize a massive corporate tax rate cut to 15%—says budget neutrality less important.” Here’s some math, courtesy of Rubin: “Handy rule of thumb: Every 1 percentage point cut in the corporate tax rate is $100 billion over a decade.” Or as Saumya Vaishampayan puts it, “A 20-point tax cut would cost the government $2 trillion over a decade.” Ryan McCarthy’s analysis: “More evidence Trump's tax plan will increase the deficit (and piss off his own party).” Or will it? Says David Dayen, “Nobody cares about the deficit.”

Meanwhile, what do people care about? Well, as Rebecca Ballhaus writes in The Wall Street Journal, Americans Back Immigration and Trade at Record Levels. Tweets Timothy Aeppel, “Six in 10 Americans support immigration--up 6 points from September and highest level since at least 2005,” according to the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey. Also? Public pans Republicans’ latest approach to replacing Affordable Care Act, reports Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, citing the results of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, which show that, as Goldstein tweets, “Public frowns on strategy & substance GOP is pursuing to eliminate the ACA.”

Facts v. Politics

Stephanie Strom refers you to Nadja Popovich’s piece in The New York TImes, Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal. As Dan Zak explains, “Solar has 2.3 times more jobs across the country than coal, but coal is a more important employer in...two states.” Kirk Johnson calls it a “Cool job map of energy in America: Midwest and Great Plains states lead the way on renewable power thanks to wind,” and Michael Brune tweets, “Headline says it all. As we move to 100% clean renewable energy we'll cut pollution & create jobs Win-win #nobrainer.”

Data crunching on the media bubble

At Politico, Jack Shafer and Tucker Doherty reveal that The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think. Josh Smith says it’s an “interesting read on the economic and business forces driving the ‘media bubble.’” “This story is a stinging rebuttal to Tom Friedman's ‘The World Is Flat,’” says Byron Tau. But Emily Cahn notes, “And if 60K people out of more than 125 million had voted differently, this story wouldn't exist.” Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones’s assessment: “Good overview of media economics but may be incomplete.”

Can Facebook fix its own worst bug?

That’s the question Farhad Manjoo set out to answer in his New York Times Magazine piece, as he tweets, “Here's my @NYTmag piece about Mark Zuckerberg's and FB's attempt to come to grips with the world they've created.” Caroline Preston's answer: “I'm gonna go with ‘no’ here.” Says Tony Tassell, “This @nytimes mag cover story/interview by @fmanjoo on Zuckerberg and Facebook is fascinating.” Jeff Nesbit notes, “Zuck also wants machines filtering news for 2B people. I'll take expert editors and journalists, please.” So what did we learn? “.@Facebook has a news problem. It still doesn’t know how to deal with it,” says Mark Scott.

A new potential weapon against fake news? Laura Hazard Owen tweets that “Fact checking sites like @politifact and @snopes are seen as liberal. This could be different.” She links to her new piece for Neiman Lab, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune, “news by the people and for the people.” Wikitribune is being described as a large-scale attempt to combat fake news. Says Will Findlater, “Interesting - a news site written by journalists and subbed by the public.”

Decadent nose-holding

Another question for you to ponder: Le Pen is a far-right Holocaust revisionist. Macron isn’t. Hard choice? In her piece for The Guardian, Hadley Freeman tweets, “I've written about the left's decadent nose-holding about the French election, and why they need to eat the chicken.” Nick Cohen says, “Great piece by @HadleyFreeman on those who can't tell the difference between centrism and barbarism,” and Gaby Hinsliff calls it “Thumpingly good @HadleyFreeman on the 'yeah, but Macron's a banker, so...' tendency.” Alex Massie comments, “I find it utterly astonishing that articles such as this - by the great @hadleyfreeman - *still* need to be written.”

The biggest Shortys

The 9th Annual Shorty Awards, honoring the best in social media, were held on Sunday night in New York. Big congrats to Lauren Duca, winner of the Best Journalist award, whose win prompted Robert Malcolm to tweet, "Hey @TuckerCarlson guess what -- that 'thigh-high boots' journalist @laurenduca you mocked just won an award for writing -- for @TeenVogue." And Martin Lieberman tweeted, "'Journalism really frickin' matters right now!' Amen, @laurenduca. Congrats! #shortyawards." Among other winners, iHeartRadio tweeted, "Thank you for an incredible night @shortyawards! The tails are looking good on the windowsill this morning! #ShortyAwards #LiveEvents." (Missed the show? Not to worry. Catch the highlight reel here for the "Biggest Shortys of 2017," and watch the ceremony here. Follow the hashtag shortyawards for more reactions and wins.)

Also making the rounds:

Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: This year marks the 50th anniversary of S.E. Hinton's classic coming-of-age novel, "The Outsiders." Hinton had a small cameo in the 1983 film adaptation of her book. What role did she play?

Answer: S.E. (that's Susan Eloise) Hinton played a nurse in the movie.

Congrats to Dan Rosenbaum, who was first to tweet in the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…The word "factoid" first appeared in a 1973 biography, where it referred to an "invented" fact that people believe is true because it appears in print. Name the author who coined the word. Extra credit if you name the book, too.

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack.

Career Updates
Boylan joins The Washington Times, Sterne to spearhead U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Dan Boylan has joined The Washington Times as a national security reporter, with an emphasis on covering the Capitol Hill legislative committees that deal with intelligence, foreign relations and military affairs. Prior to The Times, he covered the Massachusetts State Legislature and North Carolina General Assembly. Boylan has filed datelined foreign correspondence for the Boston Herald, South China Morning Post and The National, in addition to working as an international news editor at The Associated Press headquarters.

Meanwhile, Peter Sterne, who has covered digital and print media for Politico since 2014, is leaving Politico to spearhead U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a site being launched by a coalition of advocacy organizations including the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Index on Censorship. Sterne will begin as a reporter for the Freedom of the Press Foundation on May 1, collecting information on journalist arrests, border stops, searches and seizures, leak prosecutions and subpoenas demanding that reporters testify on their confidential sources. He will also write related feature stories and trend pieces for the site, which will be dedicated to compiling and maintaining a database of press freedom incidents in the United States.

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!
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