Thursday, April 30, 2015


I saw this during today's coverage.

My Irish heritage recalls Paddy Wagon as an anti-Irish slur, no?

Sunday, April 26, 2015


The case of Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post reporter who has been held for nine months in Iran on outrageous claims of espionage and spying finally got a big boost of attention this weekend.

First, President Obama highlighted the detention of this journalist in his remarks at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, saying the U.S. "will not rest" until he is freed.

Then, on Sunday, Post Editor Marty Baron appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources and told host Brian Stelter that claims against Rezaian were "absurd," and there was "no evidence" that Rezaian engaged in anything other than proper news coverage. He also said the case may be heading to trial in Iran.

As Baron said in his appearance, reporters have been held by foreign nations, including in Iran in the past, but always released. This, as he said, is "entirely unjust" and would be even more unacceptable if he were to face trial.

You can imagine how ridiculous a trial in Iran would be and efforts to avoid one and bring Rezaian back safely need to be paramount. Not just for his safe return, but for the rights of all journalists who bravely seek to cover news in such unfriendly nations.

If Iran is allowed to get away with such actions, it is not only a crime against Rezaian, his family and the Post. But also against all journalists who seek the truth unfettered, and against the United States, whose democracy is served by a free press, whether in Washington or the Middle East.

Among the efforts to highlight Rezaian's plight is an online petition at demanding his release, while Free Jason pins were passed out at the WHCA dinner.

This type of abuse of journalists who travel overseas to cover wars, dangerous areas and international news is another reminder of what foreign correspondents go through. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that, so far this year, 21 journalists have been killed around the world, while another 221 remained imprisoned at the end of 2014, with Rezaian among them.

CPJ stated on its website last week that it "is alarmed by reports of official charges levied against Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian. The charges included espionage, 'collaborating with hostile governments,' 'propaganda against the establishment,' and allegations that he gathered information 'about internal and foreign policy,' the Post reported today."

We should all be alarmed and do whatever we can to keep this tragedy in the public eye and support all efforts to make sure freedom is attained for one of our own.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


If you were wondering what notable names plan to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday, this list was leaked to us. 

The guests range from Senator Rand Paul to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to stars of Modern Family and Blackish to Jane Fonda, as well as one-time Seth Meyers punching bag Donald Trump.

No surprises jump out, but for your information:

Abbott Greg Governor, Texas
Al Otaiba Yousef Amb. From United Arab Emirates
Anderson Anne Irish Amb. To US
Anderson Anthony Black-ish
Araud Gerard French Ambassador to the US
Ayotte Kelly Senator from New Hampshire
Bernard Jeremy The White House
Bharara Preet US Attorney, So. District NY
Bisogniero Claudio Italian Amb. To US
Blinken Antony Dept. of State
Boone Megan NY, NY
Bowen Sharon Commissioner, CFTC
Bowen Julie Modern Family
Bowser Muriel Mayor, Washington, DC
Breedlove Philip Gen., US Air Force
Brennan John Director, CIA
Britton Connie Nashville, TN
Brooks James L. Director & Producer
Buffenbarger Thomas Pres., Machinists Union
Burrell Ty Modern Family
Burwell Sylvia Secretary, Dept. of Health & Human Services
Bush Sophia LA
Caldiero Ray LA
Campbell Naomi London, England
Carter Ashton Secretary, Dept. of Defense
Chaffetz Jason Rep. from UT
Chasez JC LA
Coderre Denis Mayor of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Cohan Lauren actress
Comstock Barbara Rep from VA
Crawford Chace LA
Cummings Elijah Rep. from MD
Dane Eric Beverly Hills, CA
Dermer Ron Amb.  From Israel
Doer Gary Amb from Canada
Donnelly Joe Senator from Indiana
Donovan Shaun Dir., Office of Budget & Management
Eastwood Scott actor
Eichner Billy comedian
Fauci Anthony S. NIH
Ferguson Jesse Tyler Modern Family
Finer Jonathan Dept. of State
Fischer Stanley Vice Chair, US Fed. Reserve
Fonda Jane Beverly Hills, CA
Forbes J. Randy Rep. from VA
Foxx Anthony Secretary of Transportation
Gabourey Sidibe actor
Gayhart Rebecca Beverly Hills, CA
Gilbert C. Todd Delegate from VA
Hall Keith Dir., Congressional Budget Office
Harris Kamala Attorney General, CA
Helbig Grace LA
Hickenlooper John Wright Governor, Colorado
Hoffa James Pres., Teamsters Union
Hogan Larry Governor, MD
Hutchinson Asa Governor of Arkansas
Israel Steve Rep. from NY
Jabbar Kareem Abdul Athlete
James Deborah Lee Sec., U.S. Air Force
Jarrett Valerie The White House
Jenner Brody LA
Jewell Sally Secretary of Interior
Johnson Ron Senator, Wisconsin
Johnson Jeh Sec., Homeland Security
Johnson Kevin Mayor of Sacramento, CA
Johnson Steven NY/CA
Kaptur Marcy Rep. from Ohio
Kasich John Governor, Ohio
Klobuchar Amy Senator from MN
Kwanten Ryan LA
Lee Barbara Rep. from CA
Lerner Myla NY, NY
Lew Jack Sec. of Treasury
Lierman Brooke Delegate from MD
Love Mia Rep., Utah
Mabus Ray Secretary of the Navy
Maloney Carolyn Rep from NY
Markey Ed Senator from MA
McCarthy Gina EPA Administrator
McCaskill Claire Senator from Missouri
McHenry Patrick US Rep. from NC
Millett Patricia A. Circuit Court DC
Murphy Vivek Surgeon General 
Musk Elon Tesla Motors
Oakley Tyler LA
Parker Sean Napster
Pelosi Nancy Rep from CA
Perez Thomas Sec. of Labor
Piwowar Michael SEC Comissioner
Podwall Eric LA
Power Samantha US Amb. To UN
Priebus Reince Chairman, RNC
Rand Paul Senator, Kentucky
Reedus Norman actor
Rendell Ed Former Gov., PA
Rhodes Ben The White House
Rice Susan US Amb. To UN
Robinson Smokey LA
Rogers Mike Dir., National Security Agency
Romo Tony Dallas, TX
Rooney Tom US Rep from Florida
Ross Tracee Ellis Black-ish
Scalia Antonin Associate Justice, US Supreme Court
Schuette Bill Att. Gen of Michigan
Schultz Eric The White House
Scott Rick Governor, Florida
Seymour Jane LA
Spencer Roderick LA
Stabenow Debbie Senator from MI
Stanchfield Darby Actor
Stanchfield Darby
Stevenson Betsey The White House
Stewart Martha NY, NY
Stonestreet Eric Modern Family
Szubin Adam Treasury Dept.
Tatum Jenna Dewan LA
Trump Donald NY, NY
Trump Ivanka NY, NY
Vilsack Thomas Secretary of Agriculture
Washington Kerry actor
Waters Maxine Rep. from CA
Weingarten Randi Pres., Am. Fed. Of Teachers
Westmacott, Sir Peter British Amb. To US
Wetjen Mark Commissioner, CFTC
Wheeler Tom Chairman, FCC
Wittig Peter German Amb. To US
Woodard Alfre LA
Young Bellamy actor
Zients Jeff The White House

Monday, April 20, 2015


Some tidbits from The Pulitzer Prizes today:

* The New York Times adds to its list of most Pulitzers ever with three more. It now has 117.

* Two of The New York Times' wins today, in photography and international reporting, were related to the Ebola crises in Africa. The late David Carr of the Times also took a finalist nod in the commentary category.

* No online news outlets won prizes, with all of the awards going to newspapers that still have a print component.

* The Ferguson police shooting case won the breaking news award for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

* Bloomberg News won its first-ever Pulitzer, in the explanatory category, for coverage of corporate tax loopholes.

* The first magazine finalist was named, with The New Yorker being honored as a finalist in the feature category for a Riker's Island prisoner's story. This was the first year magazines were allowed to compete in two categories.


Here they are:


PUBLIC SERVICE - The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING - Two Prizes: - Eric Lipton of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Staff
EXPLANATORY REPORTING - Zachary R. Mider of Bloomberg News
LOCAL REPORTING - Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci of the Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA
NATIONAL REPORTING - Carol D. Leonnig of The Washington Post
FEATURE WRITING - Diana Marcum of the Los Angeles Times
COMMENTARY - Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle
CRITICISM - Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times
EDITORIAL WRITING - Kathleen Kingsbury of The Boston Globe
EDITORIAL CARTOONING - Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News
BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY - St. Louis Post-Disptach Photography Staff
FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY - Daniel Berehulak , freelance photographer, The New York Times


At a time when the news industry in many ways is continuing a slow demise into the world of cheap coverage, lazy reporting and greedy corporate control, it is always refreshing to find those outlets still willing to do the work that counts.

And that is what will happen later today when the Pulitzer Prizes are announced. The 14 awards in the journalism category continue to bring out the best and brightest of news and give a much needed spotlight on investigations, explanations and editorializations that are still what makes journalism great.

During my 11 years at Editor & Publisher, from 1999 to 2010, I was lucky enough to cover the awards nearly every year and still look forward to the prestigious announcement.

The 3 p.m. revelation, still done in person at the World Room on the third floor of The Graduate School of Journalism building at Columbia University, has all the trappings of a royal event. For many years I looked forward to seeing former Pulizer Administrator Sig Gissler come out to the waiting press and announce that the winners are chosen and they will "change some lives forever."

Today, Pulitzer Administrator Mike Pride does the honors, but it is available on livestream. (See it HERE, complete with a countdown clock.)

The names and stories are then posted online where many of the winners keep tabs via computer screens in their newsrooms. It was always fun at E&P to get the photos of these moments in newsrooms, which all looked similar with eyes fixed on a screen, or later champagne popping.

Final results of presidential elections or the choice of a new pope or king came to mind with the same anticipation, secrecy and impact the Pulitzers have, at least in the news industry.

The Pulitzer remains the most prestigious award in news, beyond an Emmy, Polk, or any of the other well-deserved honors. Part of this is its history, dating back to 1917 when just two awards were given, to the now defunct New York World and New York Tribune.

The impact of hard-nosed news coverage has been well-represented with the awards, especilaly the prestigious Public Service prize, which is the only Pulitzer given to a newspaper or news site and includes no prize money. 

From the 1921 prize for the Boston Post for taking down the original Ponzi scheme to the Pentagon Papers reporting by The New York Times and the Watergate coverage from The Washington Post in the 1970's to Hurricane Katrina coverage by the flooded-out Times-Picayune of New Orleans and The Sun Herald of Biloxi, MS. in 2006, these winners have shown how good journalism means battling legal, governmental and even natural challenges.

Today the Pulitzer categories have expanded to more than a dozen and online-only submissions have been part of the nominees for years. Still, it is essentially a newspaper award, with television and radio still barred from competing. Magazines are being allowed to compete for the first time in two categories, investigative and feature writing.

At one point in my E&P tenure, I was fortunate enough to get leaked finalists. For several years, we had spies who were kind to reveal the finalists weeks ahead of time. Gissler, to his credit, helped put the end to this and they usually remain secret until today. 

But I still get inquiries each year from interested parties wondering about the finalists.

Winners, who were chosen by the 19-member Pulitzer Board last week, still get out, at least among those who are chosen. It is likely that some of the lucky few who will be named later today have known about their victories for at least a day or two.

With Pulitzer Board members from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and Bloomberg, it is almost certain any word of their victory is already spread through the newsrooms there.

One of the great attractions of the Pulitzers and one of the reasons the finalists are not revealed in advance of the winners is that they can be changed. Pulitzer veterans know that the Pulitzer "juries" sift through the submissions months in advance and choose three finalists in each category. It is these finalists that we used to be able to leak. 

But the leaks are frowned upon because they are not necessarily the finalists that will be chosen later. The Pulitzer Board has the power to move finalists around, drop them, bring up other submissions to be finalists, award multiple winners in a category, or no winners in a category.

It is this power that makes the board's work even more intriguing and mysterious.

And for the news business, the pride and quality of news that is marked by the Pultizers should not be limited to one day per year, it should be the goal on every day of the year in every newsroom.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


If you didn't see The Indianapolis Star's Page One editorial Tuesday demanding changes to the state's religious freedom law, here it is.

A rare, bold move for a major daily paper.

 Embedded image permalink