News Wrap: You’re Lying When You Say You Want Hard News
In surveys readers say they like hard news, but data says they are clicking otherwise.
June 20, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: Links to selected media news from the past week.


* The New York Times recently redesigned its website “with you in mind,” making it “sleeker, faster, [and] more intuitive.”  (

* On the subject of the NYT: the company pays some people pretty well. (

* “Startups are ruthless and leaderless and unrestrained, and they seem so tiny and powerless, until you realize, but only after it’s too late, that they’re devastatingly dangerous.” (

* Animation, data visualization and satire: Examples of creative World Cup 2014 journalism. (

* A new type of hybrid “journalist” may be the future. (

* Vox pulls in more unique visitors in May than FiveThirtyEight. (

* An increase in “younger readers, richer readers” for Forbes. (

* You say you want hard news, but analytics say you’re fibbing. (


Brian’s Got Rap: Brian Williams raps “Baby Got Back.” Sort of. Courtesy of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the video so far has 3.48 million views on YouTube and counting. Said one commenter:  “I had a seizure watching this. Totally worth it. ”

FBI, LOL: The FBI has released an official guide to Twitter slang, according to Gawker. It’s 83 pages long, called Twitter Shorthand, and contains around 2,800 terms. It contains everything from LMAO to EOTWAWKI (End of the world as we know it, which might apply here.)

Love Hurts: In the first five months of 2014, Slate’s social traffic was up 333%. But readers of its Facebook page are saying things like this: “Cannot believe you people get paid for writing this crap.” Cory Blair on asks whether reader backlash is a necessary price to pay for social media referral traffic.

AJR Photo Illustration of comments on the Slate Facebook page.

AJR Photo Illustration of comments on the Slate Facebook page.



YouTube Star: More evidence that YouTube is big, really big: 1)CEO of DreamWorks Animation Jeffrey Katzenberg said this week that the platform will soon be the dominant one from which people consume media, according to The Drum. 2) The platform is producing stars of all different stripes. YouTube potty mouth PewDiePie reportedly makes $4 million a year off of advertising. Swede Felix Kjelberg has amassed 27 million followers by blending video games with foul-mouthed language, reports The Wall Street Journal.

[CREDIT: PewDiePie, via Giphy, via]


GIFs for Hillary: Tumblr participated in its first live town hall meeting this week, inviting users to submit questions to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her live interview with Christiane Amanpour, reports LostRemote on MediaBistro

Yo. Just, Yo: Is texting too much of a commitment? Twitter too deep? Yo, try this new app. There may be more to it than you think, reports TechCrunch. 


Tricks for Photographing Babies Underwater: Photographer Seth Casteel shared his secrets for capturing the “joyful, curious expressions” of babies underwater, including using a fish-eye lens, a weighted belt to keep him down, along with a “complex lighting system,” according to the blog of The New York Times Magazine.

How to Investigate Hackers: The man who single-handedly broke the Target data breach story listens to funky background music and keeps a loaded shotgun in his office. Brian Krebs told that he breaks big data security stories by hanging out in underground forums and looking “for raw data information that is indicative of trends, of breaches.”

[CREDIT: The Brian Krebs playlist was assembled by reporter Cory Blair.]


Become Upworthy Worthy: Poynter recently outlined eight crucial steps for making your headlines as Upworthy-esque as possible. Tips include being outraged at injustice and not shying away from classic attention grabbers such as sex and celebrities. Find out the rest here.

Good People Use a Single Space Between Sentences: Tech writer Farhad Manjoo argues in Slate in favor of the single space between words, pointing out that “every major style guide” says there should be a single space — not two spaces.


No More “Deepthroat”: The parking garage where the world famous anonymous source “Deepthroat” met with journalist Bob Woodward during the Watergate Scandal is being demolished. According to the Washington Post, it will be replaced by a 28-story residential tower and a 24-story commercial building.

This post contains contributions from Lisa Rossi, Cory Blair and Danna Walker


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