“Toronto Star” cashes in for exclusive video of mayor

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. (Photo credit: o.canada.com)

On Thursday, Toronto’s daily newspaper, The Toronto Star, published a new, never-before-seen video of the city’s mayor in an inebriated state.

According to PoynterThe Star paid a source $5,000 for the video.  The source claimed to have filmed it from another person’s computer. The videos shows Mayor Rob Ford, in a visibly intoxicated state, pacing around a room and yelling, threatening to commit “first degree murder.”  The story adds a new facet to Ford’s history of substance use nearly six months after Gawker started a $200,000 “Crackstarter” (don’t bother holding your laughter, I didn’t) to buy and publish a different video of the mayor supposedly smoking crack cocaine.

The Toronto newspaper originally refused to disclose the video’s price  when it initially posted the story to its website just after noon.  Poynter spoke to one of  the reporters who wrote the story, Kevin Donovan, who said “we are not disclosing the amount but it is not a lot.”

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Female reporter analyzes previous work for gender bias, results surprising

Journalist Adrienne LaFrance. (Photo credit: Honolulu Civil Beat )

Lady journo Adrienne LaFrance wrote an interesting piece this week about how she analyzed all of her published articles (for various publications) from the past year for gender bias.

The results were unbalanced, to say the least.

“We analyzed 136 of my stories published between Aug. 13, 2012 and Aug. 13, 2013,” LaFrance wrote.  “Over the course of the year I covered all kinds of topics — media, technology, the 2012 election, Hurricane Sandy, the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Boston marathon bombing…in all those stories on all those topics, I mentioned 1,566 men and 509 women.”

LaFrance found that only 25 percent of the 2,075 people mentioned in her reporting were women. She also discovered that “internationally, 24 percent of news subjects are female, according to the Global Media Monitoring Project.”

LaFrance’s findings pose the question of whether or not journalism is biased in terms of gender but her colleagues believe that women are underrepresented in society.

However, I thought she made a very important point when she said that journalists don’t look for sources based on gender, they look for whoever is most qualified to comment on the subject.

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The Star-Ledger proves to be stronger than the storm of financial shortcomings, avoids publication shutdown

New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper, The Star Ledger, narrowly escaped ceasing production this past week by coming to a tentative agreement with its production unions.

NJ.com reported that after two weeks of fierce and heated discussion, The Newhouse family, which owns The Star-Ledger, and the union negotiators were able to come to an agreement, but neither side got exactly what they wanted.

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The New Republic steps up its native advertising game

Upon entering The New Republic’s website today, I was greeted by the top story featuring a beautiful portrait of the Irani president, Hassan Rouhani.

But underneath the top story are several categories, ranging from public health to TV.  However, the first category is one labeled “sponsored content“.

There are several names floating around the internet for this kind of marketing (like “branded content”) but the concept, no matter what you call it,  is the same: advertisers are developing advertisements to look like news articles to lure in viewers.

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New app to provide background information on current affairs

A new tablet application called “Reading Radar”, which is set to debut by the end of 2013, will provide news consumers with relevant background context when reading about complex or complicated issues in today’s world.

Jan Bierhoff, who has been working on the project in The Netherlands, told Journalism.co.uk that there is “an enormous amount of information about virtually any subject or theme,” on the internet and that he “hopes to come to the rescue of those who find themselves drowning in information.”

“Journalistic coverage of a number of themes is dwindling,” Bierhoff said, and hopes that his app will highlight and better explain “the complicated backgrounds of current affairs.”

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Tito Vilanova will step down as Barcelona manager to receive treatment for throat cancer. Photo credit: http://es.eurosport.yahoo.com/

Tonight was a sad night in Barcelona.

When F.C Barcelona President Sandro Rosell called this evening’s emergency press conference, everyone—fans, players, officials and journalists—already had an idea of what was to be announced.

But they hoped they would be wrong.

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On Reporting Death

Being a journalist is a thankless job. It often seems like the only type of feedback reporters get are strongly-worded messages saying how terrible they are, or how biased the story is. But rarely do we hear a simple “thank you” for getting them the news they wanted to hear, for organizing and breaking down the facts so they don’t have to. So as you can imagine if being a journalist in the “real world” is this hard, being a student reporter is not for the faint-hearted. If you want to be taken seriously in the “real world” you have to start somewhere and take yourself seriously as a professional.

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