British GQ Disappears Negative Feature Story About Rupert Murdoch

J.K. Trotter · 07/08/15 04:00PM

In April 2014, the media critic Michael Wolff published a column in British GQ about the then-ongoing phone hacking trial against several journalists and editors employed by Rupert Murdoch’s shuttered tabloid News of the World. Titled “The court without the king,” the critical article is now at the center of a complaint lodged by England’s attorney general, whose office believes GQ should be held in “contempt of court” for implying, with Wolff’s column, that Murdoch was somehow culpable for the hacking charges. As reported by the Guardian, the magazine’s publisher Condé Nast is rightfully fighting this accusation. At the same time, and without any public notice, Condé appears to have taken several highly unusual steps to prevent anyone from reading what Wolff wrote.

BuzzFeed’s Support of Women’s Rights Does Not Include Abortion

J.K. Trotter · 07/07/15 10:10AM

In late January, BuzzFeed published a lengthy standards and ethics manual, with which the site intended to hold itself accountable for various missteps (such as surreptitiously deleting articles). Unlike most other news outlets that bother with ethics manuals, however, BuzzFeed decided to specify its stance toward a number of social and political issues: “We firmly believe that for a number of issues, including civil rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality, there are not two sides.”

Do You Have a Copy of NBC’s Devastating Brian Williams Investigation?

J.K. Trotter · 06/19/15 03:50PM

Yesterday, NBC News announced the permanent demotion of disgraced Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who will serve as breaking news manager for MSNBC. Network executives came to this decision after an internal investigation turned up “a number of inaccurate statements” made by Williams “about his own role and experiences.” However, as Michael Calderone at The Huffington Post notes, “NBC opted against transparency and declined to make public its findings.”

Rolling Stone Lays Off Staffers, Including Longtime Writer David Fricke

Jordan Sargent · 06/17/15 05:10PM

This afternoon, Rolling Stone—along with fellow Wenner Media properties Us Weekly and Men’s Journal*—laid off several employees, including longtime editor and critic David Fricke, who has been the magazine’s most recognizable writer for several decades.

Fusion Is the Least Wanted Network on Television

Jordan Sargent · 06/17/15 01:55PM

We’ve learned that nobody reads or watches Fusion, but as the legend goes, Felix Salmon’s dream journal still harbors a plan to get rich by making people, via their cable companies, pay for its television network. It sounds like a fine enough scheme as any in our current media wasteland, but they better get moving on it before television watchers are able to reject the channel outright.

New York Times Regrets Calling Dead Irish Students Drunk Party Animals

J.K. Trotter · 06/17/15 01:30PM

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article about a deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley that killed six college students from Ireland who had been partying on the structure. The victims had come to California on the J1 work-visa program—which, the Times noted in the second paragraph of the article, has become “a source of embarrassment for Ireland, marked by a series of high-profile episodes involving drunken partying and the wrecking of apartments in places like San Francisco and Santa Barbara.”

Hell Is Working at the Huffington Post

Anonymous · 06/02/15 12:30PM

Talk to someone who works at the Huffington Post these days and inevitably one word will keep popping up: “demoralized.” “I’ve never seen people so demoralized” is what a typical HuffPost employee usually says.

Your "Scoop" Doesn't Matter

Sam Stecklow · 05/29/15 12:45PM

On Thursday, at about 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, several news outlets reported that Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Illinois congressman, was indicted for, among other offenses, lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The media entities included BuzzFeed News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and CBS Chicago, all of whom posted their stories within minutes of each other.

Sasha Frere-Jones Pulls Back From (Rap) Genius

Jordan Sargent · 05/28/15 04:25PM

In January, Sasha Frere-Jones, the longtime music critic at the New Yorker, left the fabled magazine for a job at Genius (neé Rap Genius), the annotation website that sticks bad jokes next to your favorite rap lyrics. The honeymoon, though, appears to have been short: Frere-Jones recently moved from full-time to contract at the company to devote more time to other projects.

When Everything Is Facebook, Facebook Sets the Standards

Tom Scocca · 05/13/15 04:58PM

This is the day that the New York Times, National Geographic, and BuzzFeed, among others, began publishing stories directly to Facebook. The instant-publishing partnership is the newest concession to, or accommodation with, Facebook’s ever-greater dominance of how people encounter and read (or watch) material.