Thursday, October 18, 2018


There are two important news items online today.

First, the final column from murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, in which he emphasizes yet again how tyrannical governments are suppressing rights and press freedom.

Read it HERE.

You can also hear my Joe's Media Corner podcast talking to experts about Saudi Arabia's history of poor press treatment HERE.

Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah offered this note with the column explaining how it came about on his last apparent day alive:

I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul. The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post. 

This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for. I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together.

Also out this week is a great ProPublica investigation into the Trump Organization's history of misleading business colleagues and clients.

Among it's findings:

The Trumps were typically way more than mere licensors or bystanders in their often-troubled deals. They were deeply involved in these projects. They helped mislead investors and buyers — and they profited handsomely from it. 

Patterns of deceptive practices occurred in a dozen deals across the globe, as the business expanded into international projects, and the Trumps often participated. One common pattern, visible in more than half of those transactions, was a tendency to misstate key sales numbers.

See that report in full HERE.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


If you think election coverage won't be big during the next two years, check out this ad for election reporters posted today at The Washington Post:

The Washington Post is looking for six reporters and an editor to expand our team covering the 2020 presidential election. 
These are once-in-a-lifetime jobs. 

The coming presidential campaign will be as hard-fought, captivating and consequential as any in recent memory, and The Post is committed to building on its leading role in political coverage. We are looking for reporters who can do it all: travel extensively, deliver scoops, spot off-beat tales, capture pivotal moments and write about the candidates in a revealing and compelling way. We also want people who are as eager to provide aggressive coverage of the administration that follows the election as they are the campaign. After the election, we will use these six additional reporting positions for increased accountability of the executive branch, although some individual reporters may end up remaining on the politics team or moving on to other areas of coverage. 

The ideal editor candidate relishes breaking news, has a proven ability to manage a large and collaborative team, and has an eye for innovative storytelling. We want someone who can shape and elevate a story and who enjoys working with photographers, graphic artists and videographers to find new ways to tell it. 

Applicants should send a letter describing their approach to political reporting, a resume and five clips to Peter Wallsten ( and Tracy Grant ( by Oct. 22. In the subject line, please note “Election Editor” or “Election Reporter.”

Thursday, October 4, 2018


This is not great news, from the Pew Research Center, among the best sources for media and other information:

State of the News Media: Newspapers Fact Sheet

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2018) – The newspaper industry’s financial fortunes and subscriber base have been in decline since the early 2000s. A new Pew Research Center analysis of Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) data finds that in 2017 the estimated U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) was 31 million for weekday and 34 million for Sunday, down 11% and 10%, respectively, from the previous year.

Since 2004, Pew Research Center has published analyses of key audience and economic indicators for a variety of sectors within the U.S. news media industry. Instead of a single summary report, the Center now produces a series of fact sheets showcasing the most important and trendable data points for each sector in an easy-to-digest format. Today’s fact sheet focuses on the newspaper industry. Additional fact sheets will be rolled out over the coming months.

Among the key findings for newspapers:

Total estimated advertising revenue for the newspaper industry in 2017 was $16.5 billion, a 10% decrease from 2016 based on the Center’s analysis of financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies. Total estimated circulation revenue was $11 billion, which is changed only slightly from 2016, up by 3%. Meanwhile, digital advertising accounted for 31% of newspaper advertising revenue in 2017. The portion stood at 29% in 2016.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, there was an average of 11.5 million monthly unique visitors (across all devices) to the top 50 U.S. daily newspapers, based on circulation, according to comScore data. This is nearly the same as in 2016 (11.7 million), making this the first year that did not show a double-digit rise in web traffic since Pew Research Center began tracking the trend.

Average minutes per visit to the websites of the top 50 U.S. daily newspapers, based on circulation, is about two-and-a-half minutes. This is roughly the same as 2016.

Despite overall declines in newspaper circulation, digital circulation rose for some national newspapers. In recent years The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have not fully reported their digital circulation to AAM, the group that audits the circulation figures of many of the largest North American newspapers and other publications. However, in independently produced reports, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported large gains in digital circulation in 2017: 42% for the Times and 26% for the Journal. But because these independently produced figures may not be counted under the same rules used by AAM, they are not included in the overall circulation analysis.

Average circulation for the top 20 U.S. alt-weekly newspapers is just over 55,000, a 10% decline from 2016 according to data from AAM, Verified Audit Circulation, Circulation Verification Council and independently produced reports. Alt-weekly newspapers are generally distributed for free in many U.S. cities and are heavily focused on arts and culture content.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics, 39,210 people worked as reporters, editors, photographers or film and video editors in the newspaper industry in 2017. That is down 15% from 2014. Median wages in 2017 were about $49,000 for newspaper editors and about $34,000 for newspaper reporters.

Read the report: