Gov’t Obtains Wide AP Phone Records in Probe (The Associated Press / The Big Story)
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news. The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. The Guardian The AP’s president and chief executive officer, Gary Pruitt, sent a letter of protest to the attorney-general, Eric Holder. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said. HuffPost / The Backstory Though the DOJ did not give the AP a specific reason for the seizure, the dates of the phone calls it targeted offered a clear tell. On May 7, 2012, AP reporters Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, citing anonymous sources, reported that the CIA had thwarted a plot by an al-Qaeda affiliate to “destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.” Politico Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren told Politico in an email that the DOJ’s seizure “sounds like a dragnet to intimidate the media,” not a criminal investigation. “What is stunning is the breadth of the seizure!” Van Susteren said. EFF While the government has not confirmed, the subpoenas appear to stem from an investigation into a government leak of information to the AP. This is not a sufficient excuse. Imagine if “Deep Throat,” the informant critical to Woodward and Bernstein’s investigation of the 1972 Watergate burglary, knew that his identity could be obtained through legal process. His career, and perhaps his life, would have been in serious jeopardy, and a cautious individual would have kept silent. TVNewser Former CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, now an intelligence and counterterrorism reporter for the AP, was one of the journalists who had their phone logs seized. Dozier was seriously injured in Iraq in 2006. She left CBS for the AP in 2010. FishbowlNY Sadly, the saying “If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention” never seems more relevant than now.
Bloomberg Users’ Messages Leaked Online (The Financial Times)
More than 10,000 private messages sent between users of Bloomberg’s financial terminals have leaked online, undermining the company’s attempts to restore faith in its ability to keep client data confidential as it scrambles to allay clients’ privacy concerns. Gawker A high-ranking newsroom official for Bloomberg News was ordered last year to cut off reporters’ access to information about how clients used the company’s information terminals, according to a former Bloomberg reporter, but the spying continued anyway. The order followed complaints from JPMorgan Chase that Bloomberg reporters had used JPMorgan’s terminal-use records to break stories about the “London Whale” trading debacle, which led to more than $6 billion in losses for the company. The Guardian / Comment Is Free The reaction from Wall Street traders is more often along the lines of “meh.” One trader, as an example, noted, “[The journalists] are doing functions that any other Bloomberg users would do.” Few people predict that any users will leave Bloomberg over this. It is unlikely that this quasi-scandal, while it keeps media pundits busy, will ever really impact Bloomberg’s business. Wall Street never stops doing business with you because you know too much; in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Dr. Joyce Brothers, On-Air Psychologist Who Made TV House Calls, Dies at 85 (CNN)
Joyce Brothers, who pioneered the television advice show and was called the mother of media psychology, has died, her daughter said Monday. She was 85. She grew her fame as a frequent guest on television talk shows and as an advice columnist for Good Housekeeping magazine for four decades and for newspapers throughout the United States. NYT Brothers arrived in the American consciousness (or, more precisely, the American unconscious) at a serendipitous time: the exact historical moment when cold war anxiety, a greater acceptance of talk therapy and the widespread ownership of television sets converged.
Soledad O’Brien Calls Out ‘White People’ Over Black in America Series (HuffPost)
Soledad O’Brien addressed criticism from “white people” about her documentaries about race in America in a new video. In a talk at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she said that some people have told her that the documentaries are “divisive,” and that they think black Americans should stop differentiating themselves from white Americans.
James Altucher: ‘First Book Ever to Be for Sale Only on Bitcoin’ (GalleyCat)
Author James Altucher is letting his fans buy his book with Bitcoin — weeks before you can buy the book with more traditional currencies. According to the author, this is the “first book ever to be for sale only on bitcoin.”
New Research Finds 92 Percent of Time Spent on News Consumption Is Still on Legacy Platforms (Poynter / Biz Blog)
Here is a surprising statistic from leading consultants McKinsey and Company: When you measure news consumption in the U.S. by time spent, rather than raw audience numbers, digital platforms are getting only 8 percent of the action.
Today Team Pops Up in Trailer for New NBC Michael J. Fox Comedy (TVNewser)
The Michael J. Fox Show starring, well, Michael J. Fox, has the actor and comedian playing a local TV news anchor named Mike Henry who returns to work after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. NBC just released the trailer for the show, which features plenty of jokes at NBC’s expense, and a special appearance by the Today anchor team of Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, who interview “Mike Henry” on the morning program.
Pittsburgh Watches The Most Live Television, Study Finds (TVSpy)
According to a study of average daily viewing habits among adults 25-54 during the February sweep, Pittsburgh residents watched more live television than any other Nielsen market.
iTunes’ Recent Growth Shows Content Could Be A Big Business for Apple (GigaOM)
iTunes’ increasingly good quarterly sales demonstrates how the long-rumored Apple video and “iRadio” subscription services the company has over the years tried to bring to fruition could become significant revenue sources.
American Investor Targets Sony for A Breakup (NYT / DealBook)
An American hedge fund billionaire known for starting big fights has called for a breakup of the entertainment and electronics colossus Sony, according to people briefed on the matter, possibly setting off a battle that could roil Japan’s famously staid corporate culture.
PBS MediaShift Starts Publishing eBooks; First Topics: Cord-Cutting And Self-Publishing (paidContent)
PBS’ MediaShift is launching a line of eBooks, starting with titles on self-publishing and cord-cutting. Executive Mark Glaser says he plans to release 10 to 20 books this year, depending on how well the first titles do.
Advertisers Will Spend Nearly $10 Billion This Week on A Broken TV Model (Business Insider)
This week, advertisers will sit down with the broadcast TV networks and hash out their “upfront” ad buying deals for the year. Networks are expecting, again, to see TV ad spending rise. CBS chief Les Moonves is bullish, and analysts expect the network may get 7-9 percent price increases. Some believe more than $10 billion will get spent. Oddly, the networks want those increases even as the viewing audience itself dwindles.
Medium vs. The New Yorker: The Future of ‘Smart Take’ (Medium / Walt Frick)
NewYorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson’s explanation of the brand’s recent success online made sense to me: “The Internet wants to read smart takes on what’s in the news right now.” Let the news addicts wade through every break in every story. The New Yorker will figure out what’s important and give you something intelligent to chew on. They’re just doing it more often and a bit quicker in recognition of the way the Web operates. But will it work?
Sorry, ‘Snow Fall’ Isn’t Going to Save The New York Times (PandoDaily)
The best way for The New York Times to “fight BuzzFeed and reinvent its future” is to find a way to rebuild its business for a post-advertising era. Unfortunately, there’s no answer as simple as “do more ‘Snow Falls'” for that giant problem.
Three Reuters Editors Reprimanded for Not Disclosing FBI Visit (TalkingBizNews)
Three Reuters editors have been reprimanded for failing to tell their superiors that the home of a now-terminated social media employee had been raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Talking Biz News has confirmed from multiple sources. Kenneth Li is no longer global editor of Reuters.com, while social media editor Anthony De Rosa and editor Robert MacMillan were given letters of reprimand. All three are still working at the company.
We’ve been noticing some great long form writing online. What are your favorite sites for long form journalism?
Marissa Evans More than half of my Pocket app is filled with Longreads from the Atlantic and the New Yorker!
Saxon Burns The Atlantic, New York mag, The New Yorker, TNR. The Daily Beast has gotten too sloppy and sensationalistic.
Laura Shin Plus Narratively and Matter