Not All Web Sites Are Created Equal

by Genevieve Long for YPNation

See the full posting here

The news that the lauded Editor & Publisher (E&P) has been sold and will survive to fight another day was officially announced last week. E&P, which has undergone many incarnations, mergers and forms since its founding in 1884, was in danger of dying. Fortunately, the E&P magazine and Web site were bought by an Irvine, California-based company called Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc. Well, maybe it was fortunate—it’s hard to say so early on.

That’s because although it seems like a happy ending, anyone who has spent time in California knows that it’s a state of suspended reality and trendsetters. Trendsetters like McIntosh, a newspaper publishing company, tend to have money. But in the case of E&P—a resource that has no comparable equal in terms of reporting on the news industry and being a resource for those who work in it—being saved from extinction under such conditions wasn’t necessarily the most desirable solution.

In a Huffington Post blog on Tuesday, former E&P editor Gregg Mitchell (who was ousted along with Senior Editor Joe Strupp in the takeover) describes the changes that will now be coming.

“Much of the speculation about the “new” E&P has been on the decision to focus on business and tech/press room issues. Many observers in recent days have warned that the “E” will be largely taken out of “E&P.” McIntosh pointed to this for The New York Times, as it reported: ‘Mr. McIntosh said in an interview that he wanted to shift Editor & Publisher’s focus toward the business and technology of the industry, with less emphasis on what happens in newsrooms.’”

Add to this that E&P Pub, the Web site’s newsroom-oriented (and most popular) blog, was shut down.

See the full posting here

New Study Reveals American Media Trends

by Genevieve Long for The Epoch Times

read the full article here

A new study reveals that Americans are still getting most of their news from traditional sources. The one-week study, run by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, was the result of a close examination of media coverage in Baltimore, Maryland from July 19–25, 2009.

The Pew Center is a nonpartisan organization that specializes in using empirical methods to evaluate and study the performance of the press, with a focus on content analysis.

Among the most significant findings were that most new information comes from traditional sources, and new media plays only a limited role in disseminating information. Other findings include that the official version of an event is becoming more important than original reporting, and formal procedures for citing are getting lost in the online world.

The study examined all local media outlets in Baltimore during the week and surveyed their output. A closer examination of six major narratives that emerged during the time frame found that much of the “news” people receive contains no original reporting.

Eight out of ten stories studied were repeated or repackaged information that was previously published.

read the full article here

Sources of news (Data courtesy of PEJ)

Coffee and Journalism Go Hand in Hand

Maybe because coffee has the impact of energizing most people–or rather giving them a temporary burst of energy–that it’s long been associated with journalists. Worn out journalists who have been run ragged by day and work long into the night need something to keep them going. After all, a reporter cannot survive on the mere thrill of chasing the latest story alone.

In the newsroom where I work, there are often discussions among the relatively health-conscious editorial staff about quitting drinking coffee. The conversations range from, “I wish I could quit” to “I am going to quit” to “Oh, I don’t drink coffee.” That last statement is always presented in a slightly triumphant tone, annoying all the coffee drinkers in the vicinity–especially those who would like to quit.

For me, coffee has an emotional connection to childhood memories of my dad (who was a TV cameraman much of the time I was growing up) and my best friend’s dad (who was a local legendary reporter at the town newspaper). I associate coffee with hard work, early mornings, crusty news reporters sitting around and shooting the bull in the newsroom on a slow day. Or maybe just between reporting and filing stories. It’s like one of those pegs you use to hold a tent up–a subtle, grounding link to the earth. Coffee keeps reporters honest and grounded among the people. You’ve never heard of a hard-core, battle-tested, tea-drinking reporter have you?

For the time being, I think I’ll keep drinking coffee, even though sometimes I overdo it and feel like my eyes are opened a bit wider than they should be. At the very least, it gives me something to focus on early in the morning when I have to sit down and write something brilliant. Write a little, take a sip of coffee and think about that next sentence…seems useful to me!

CIA Killer’s Wife Gives Exclusive Interview

An exclusive Newsweek interview with the wife of Dr. Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, the suicide bomber in Afghanistan who killed himself and 7 CIA agents, reveals a chilling anti-American sentiment.

During the interview, Defne Bayrak, 31, spent more than an hour at the offices of NEWSWEEK Türkiye in Istanbul talking about her husband and his hate for America.

Bayrak is Turkish and a journalist, and one book she has translated is called Bin Laden: Che Guevara of the East.

According to Newsweek:

“Al-Balawi “started to change,” says his wife, after the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. By 2004, she says, he began to talk to her about his strong belief in the need for violent jihad against Western occupiers of Muslim lands, but he was not part of any organization or group. “He followed all of them, but from a distance,” she says. “He was constantly reading and writing. He was crazy about online forums. He would go onto them and write severe, extremely hardline comments.”

The interview was reported by Newsweek Turkiye’s Adem Demir and written by Christopher Dickey.

See the original story on Before It’s News

Scientists Call for Moratorium on Mountaintop Mining Permits

as reported for The Epoch Times

Read the full article about scientists calling for a moratorium on mountaintop mining here

A day after a controversial permit was issued for mountaintop mining in West Virginia, a group of leading environmental scientists is saying the practice has a severe impact on the environment and humans.

The article “Mountaintop Mining Consequences” appears in the Jan. 8, 2010, edition of Science. The internationally recognized group of hydrologists, ecologists, and engineers, which includes several members of the National Academy of Sciences, says the United States should stop issuing mountaintop mining permits.

The Science article argues that peer-reviewed research confirms such mining has irreversible environmental impacts and puts area residents at a high risk of serious health problems.

The Sierra Club environmental group said the article should be taken as a call to action.

“If the Obama administration is serious about science driving policy, then this report should be the nail in the coffin that prompts the administration to issue new Clean Water Act regulations that prohibit the dumping of mining waste into streams,” stated Ed Hopkins, environmental-quality program director at the Sierra Club in a press release.

Mountaintop mining is considered by many environmentalists and scientists to be the most destructive form of coal mining. It involves clearing upper-elevation forests and stripping topsoil before using explosives to break up rocks to expose coal deposits. The process sends rock, sediment, and debris down the mountainside, where it buries and obliterates streams. It is widespread throughout eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia.