Morning Media Newsfeed: Grantland Under Fire | BBC Host Dead | Roker Feeling The Heat?

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ESPN Responds to Criticism of Grantland’s ‘Dr. V’ Story (BuzzFeed)
ESPN issued a statement Sunday in response to continued controversy and criticism over a Jan. 15 Grantland article about a transgender physicist and golf club inventor. The story in question, “Dr. V’s Magical Putter,” profiled Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt, the inventor of the Oracle GXI smart putter club — and ultimately outed Vanderbilt as a transgender woman, against her wishes. At the end of the piece, author Caleb Hannan wrote that Vanderbilt killed herself. Slate / CultureBox Over the last few days, Twitter has bubbled over with arguments about what Hannan did and didn’t do. At one extreme are the people calling Hannan a murderer, alleging that a trans woman killed herself because she believed a reporter was about to out her. At the opposite pole are those who say Hannan did what journalists are trained to do: report out a story until he unearths the truth. Glittering Scrivener It is not the mandate of a writer to keep pursuing a private citizen’s secrets (secrets which have exactly no impact on the product you are writing about) until they kill themselves. This is not an honorable act. Jezebel It appears from the story’s tone that there was zero ethical concern whatsoever concerning the trans status. This is the sort of stuff that comes up, by the way, in 101 ethics classes: Say you’re called to cover the story of a hero who saved a drowning man from an icy river, and in the course of reporting you determine the hero is also gay, and would prefer to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. Do you report on it? The answer, of course, is no, you don’t report that detail, because the hero being gay is irrelevant to the story. But real-life scenarios are not so simple. Shakesville This is one of the most cavalier, irresponsible pieces of journalism I have read in a very long time. New Republic An inquiry to Grantland’s editors was redirected to an ESPN spokesperson. He said that Bill Simmons, who runs Grantland, will respond via Grantland soon, and wrote: “We understand and appreciate the wide range of thoughtful reaction this story has generated and to the family and friends of Essay Anne Vanderbilt, we express our deepest condolences.” Hannan did not reply to a request for comment. Nieman Storyboard I spoke to Hannan Sunday afternoon. He told me he has been following the reaction to the story, and that he is working with his editors to prepare a statement. He said he will discuss the story when he and his editors feel the time is right.

BBC Anchor Komla Dumor Has Died (TVNewser)
BBC anchor Komla Dumor, a rising star of the World News network, has died from a heart attack. Dumor, just 41 years old, anchored what would be his final newscast Friday night. Very active on Twitter and Facebook, Dumor was a presenter on the daily programs World News (airing at midnight ET) and Focus on Africa, a primetime program for African viewers broadcast worldwide. The Guardian Ghana-born Dumor was remembered by broadcaster and BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain as “one of our brightest and best.” Peter Horrocks, the BBC’s global news director, described him as “a leading light of African journalism.” BBC News He travelled across Africa, meeting the continent’s top entrepreneurs and reporting on the latest business trends around the continent. He interviewed a number of high-profile guests including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan. Mail Online “Our BBC family mourns loss of one of our brightest & best — Komla Dumor. Big heart, big personality, brilliant broadcaster,” Husain wrote on Twitter.