Morning Media Newsfeed: NPR Disputes Report | Dead Celebs Sell Mags | NYT Chair Sells Stock

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NPR Dismisses an Ombudsman Report (CJR / Behind The News)
This past Friday, NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos released an 80-page report reviewing an October 2011 Peabody-winning investigation into the South Dakota foster care system’s treatment of Native American children. The ombudsman’s review concluded that the investigation as aired violated NPR’s Code of Ethics. NPR management has vehemently disagreed with the ombudsman’s findings. In an “Editor’s Note” posted that same night as the report, chief content officer and executive vice president Kinsey Wilson and Margaret Low Smith, the senior vice president of news, stood by the substance of the reports. NPR The network stands by the thrust of NPR correspondent Laura Sullivan’s reporting. A number of media figures, such as former Wall Street Journal deputy managing editor William Grueskin, took to Twitter to comment that Schumacher-Matos’ approach was laudable and an unusual instance of rigor and transparency. Poynter / MediaWire Wilson and Smith write that they’ve “spent weeks with our team, re-examining the hundreds of interviews and documents that formed the basis of the series” and say “Overall, the process surrounding the ombudsman’s inquiry was unorthodox, the sourcing selective, the fact-gathering uneven and many of the conclusions, in our judgment, subjective or without foundation. For that reason, we’ve concluded there is little to be gained from a point-by-point response to his claims.”

Beyoncé, Dead Celebrities Top Newsstand Sales (WWD / Memo Pad)
George Lois was at his office recently when he saw the September issue of Vanity Fair, and the legendary magazine designer had a reaction that will seem familiar to a lot of people. “It is true when I opened the magazine I wondered what dead person was on the cover this month,” he said. It’s Princess Diana. The magazine pulls the dead person trick so frequently the latest cover was greeted with a chorus of derision from some corners of the Internet. Gawker called it out of touch. Unfortunately for Lois, Gawker, and anyone who scoffs at these periodic resurrections, they are not going to stop anytime soon. That’s because dead people on magazine covers is what America wants. Just look at the newsstand numbers. The Atlantic Wire Vanity Fair‘s best seller at 308,000 copies including digital replicas has been Audrey Hepburn, who beat similarly lithe but alive star Taylor Swift by nearly 100,000 copies. In the case of Town & Country, a cover with Lauren Hutton — remember her? — was the year’s best seller so far. That cover sold 44,343 copies — almost 7,000 more than a cover with Girls‘ Allison Williams.

Sulzberger Sells Tiny Slice of Times Stock (WSJ)
New York Times Co. chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sold 50,000 shares in the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in a deal just one day after the Ochs-Sulzberger family declared the company’s namesake newspaper was “not for sale.” Sulzberger sold the shares Aug. 8 at $12 a share, raising a total of $600,000, the filing said. The stock represented a tiny portion of his overall stake. NYT Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times Co., said that the 50,000 shares represented a small percentage of his holdings, which in addition to Class A shares include stock options and shares held in a family trust. “Personally, he is still very invested in Times Company stock,” Murphy said.

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Racial Bias Claim Dismissed for Paula Deen (NYT)
A federal judge on Monday ruled that a white former employee had no standing to bring claims of racial discrimination in a lawsuit against Paula Deen, the celebrity chef who was the target of criticism this summer after she acknowledged using a racial epithet. The former employee, Lisa T. Jackson, who managed one of Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Ga., until 2010, had alleged that widespread discrimination against black workers created a difficult work environment for her. She also said such prejudices were “more personally offensive” to her because her nieces are biracial. USA Today The damage has been done. David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, a public relations and branding agency based in Suwanee, Ga., says the legal development is too little, too late. “The narrative has been set,” he says, with an unflattering chapter added less than a month ago, when The New York Times published a profile of Deen’s former cook and “soul sister,” now living in a trailer. The story only reinforced the idea that Deen is “not the sweet lady we thought she was.”