This Week’s Headlines: Supreme Court Rules on Health Care, Ann Curry Leaves Today Show

The Twittersphere was abuzz yesterday with news of Ann Curry’s departure from the Today show and the Supreme Court’s health care ruling. Here’s a look at these and other stories from the past week:

  • ‘Today’ co-host Ann Curry bids farewell: As Ann Curry bid a tearful farewell to Today show viewers yesterday morning, discussion over the circumstances surrounding her departure made her name a Twitter trending topic. Curry is no longer a Today show co-host but will continue working for the network as as Today show anchor-at-large and NBC News national/international correspondent.
  • CNN, Fox News err in covering Supreme Court health care ruling: Following the announcement that the Supreme Court had upheld the Affordable Care Act, CNN and Fox incorrectly reported that the act had been struck down. Meanwhile, an AP editor instructed journalists to “stop taunting on social networks.”
  • New York Times kicks off “NYT Everywhere,” first stop: Flipboard: As part of its new “NYT Everywhere” initiative, the New York Times made its content available via social magazine Flipboard starting on Thursday. Subscribers can authenticate their subscription through Flipboard and receive access according to their subscription package. As with other NYT apps, non-subscribers will have access to the paper’s Top News section.
  • Writer and Filmmaker With a Genius for Humor: Beloved and prolific journalist/author/essayist Nora Ephron died on Tuesday night at the age of 71. Fans recounted her romantic comedies including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia as well as her books like I Feel Bad About My Neck, Ephron’s best-selling collection of essays.
  • China blocks Bloomberg website after report on wealth of next president’s extended family: Today, after Bloomberg published a report on the assets of family of the heir apparent to China’s presidency, the country’s government block access to the Bloomberg website.

This Week’s Headlines: Politico Expanding, Time Offering iPad Subscriptions

First off, we couldn’t resist including a link to Poynter’s post about the journalist wage maps we published yesterday. (In case you haven’t noticed, we’re huge fans of the Poynter website so that was a nice coup for us.) Elsewhere in cyberspace: reporters, bloggers, and content writers were buzzing about a variety of other topics, including a scandal at the WSJ and news about Time Inc. subscriptions on the iPad. Here’s a look at this week’s top headlines in media and publishing:

  • Gina Chon resigns from Wall Street Journal after admitting affair with U.S. official: A Wall Street Journal reporter covering Iraq resigned from the paper this week after her relationship with an American official (President Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to Iraq) came to light. The Washington Post reports that the reporter did not divulge the relationship to the paper and violated company policy by sharing unpublished articles with him.
  • Politico to Expand Its Subscription Service: As print publications like The Times-Picayune reduce staff and page counts, Politico is actually expanding coverage of the economy and the military. In fact, the news outlet plans to hire 20 more writers and editors to beef up its subscription service Politico Pro.
  • Why your news organization’s social media policy may be illegal: A multimedia journalist at the Colorado Springs Gazette who was placed on “administrative leave” this week following a dispute over posting on Facebook illustrates the potential legal pitfalls of publications dictating employees’ social media use.
  • Apple, Time Inc. settle magazine subscription dispute: Time Inc. has reached an agreement with Apple that will enable readers to buy iPad subscriptions for 20 of Times’ magazine titles. Previously the company had been the last major holdout to iPad subscription plans, offering only single-issue versions of its magazines through the App Store.
  • iWitness filters Twitter and Flickr content by time and location: We saw several tweets this week about iWitness, a new web app that displays updates from Twitter and Flickr by time and location. Currently the app only runs on certain browsers (Chrome and Safari but not Firefox) but appears to have potential for reports looking for eyewitness accounts of events.

What’s on your radar this week? Hope all our readers have a great weekend!

How The Wall Street Journal Uses Sound Bites on Pinterest

In this 24/7 news cycle world, with stories broken down into miniscule sound bites, The Wall Street Journal has found a clever way to present select ones from the News Corp.-owned newspaper via social media.

The Journal has been pinning “memorable” quotes on Pinterest. Beneath each quote, context is provided along with a link to the complete story online. WSJ staffers use Adobe Photoshop to create images of the individual quotes, which have blurred out text surrounding them. As of June 7, the quotes board alone has 6,524 followers and 45 pins.

The Journal must have smart social media editors working in its New York City offices because the quotes that are selected immediately draw the reader in – it appears they are pulled from controversial articles or ones of extreme interest.

Here are some examples this contributor viewed when writing this blog post:

  • “This is something we think we have the legal authority to do,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, defending his proposal to stop the sale of large sodas;
  • “It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think that same-sex couples should be able to get married,” said President Barack Obama, who previously supported only civil unions, in an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts; and
  • “The leading cause of death for young black men – those ages 15 to 24 – is homicide,” said Attorney General Eric Holder on the shooting of Trayvon Martin allegedly by George Zimmerman.

But this isn’t the only Pinterest board The Journal has going. It has 33 others, with a total of 8,857 followers, 874 pins, and 74 likes. Some of the other boards include: select front pages; WSJ Fashion, New York Fashion Week; #morningWSJ, through which readers were ask to send in their photos of how they start their day; WSJ Graphics; and many more.

Other papers using Pinterest include The New York Times (it just recently launched), USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, and Orange County Register.

Now, let’s see how they compare by the numbers:

  • The Wall Street Journal: 8,589 followers, 34 boards, 874 pins, 74 likes;
  • USA Today: 2,228 followers, 17 boards, 552 pins, 126 likes;
  • Los Angeles Times: 1,181 followers, 61 boards, 1,517 pins, 232 likes;
  • The New York Times: 480 followers, 14 boards, 30 pins, 3 likes;
  • Denver Post: 130 followers, 12 boards, 175 pins, 16 likes;
  • Orange County Register: 174 followers, 11 boards, 197 pins, 14 likes; and
  • San Francisco Chronicle: 90 followers, 11 boards, 55 pins, 0 likes.

It looks like The Wall Street Journal should start celebrating. Perhaps with a quote.

This Week’s Headlines: Ray Bradbury Dies, Fired GOOD Staffers Start New Venture

The blogosphere was abuzz with news of Ray Bradbury’s passing and a new publication from the fired staff of GOOD Magazine. Here’s a look at media and publishing news that caught that caught our eyes this week:

  • Ray Bradbury, 91, visionary writer of worlds near and far: On Tuesday night, legendary author Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91. Journalists, freelance writers, and other reflected on the impact Bradbury had on movies and publishing during his 71-year career. Bradbury had authored books including The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.
  • Fired GOOD Magazine Staff Announce New Venture – Tomorrow: Also on Tuesday, editorial staffers fired from GOOD Magazine announced on Tumblr that they are starting a new publication called Tomorrow. Details are still vague but according to the staffers announcement, “We want to get out of our comfort zone and push others to do the same. We want to meet and introduce you to great people.”
  • Wattpad raises $17 million to become the YouTube of writing: Toronto-based startup Wattpad announced on Wednesday at Book Expo America that it has raised $17.3 million in Series B funding. The social-reading platform lets authors upload content and connect directly to readers. A partner at Kosla Ventures, which led the funding, predicted that Wattpad could transform writing and publishing similar to how YouTube transformed video.
  • Newspapers Cut Days From Publishing Week: After New Orleans’ Times-Picayune announced plans to reduce its print schedule to three days a week, several other newspapers have followed suit. While this strategy can help papers cut costs, it’s unclear how the move impacts advertisers and newspaper readership. Times-Picayune staffers were told their priorities would shift to writing for the web, and they expect job cuts in the future.

RepresentLA Puts Ebyline on the Map

Startup Map Screenshot540

Ebyline’s on the map. Well, a map. Forbes contributor and Los Angeles tech scenester Tara Tiger Brown helped put together an interactive map of LA’s startup landscape. Where’s Ebyline? Easy to find—we’re all by our lonesomes up in Sherman Oaks, “the Valley,” kitty corner from that setting of 80′s teen movies, the Galleria.

What’s interesting about this map? A few things—even if you live far away from Southern California.

For one, it provides some vivid evidence of the boom in LA-based startups that’s the talk of the tech and investment worlds (Ebyliner Lori Kozlowski is chronicling it for Forbes here) and the subject of some poo-pooing by San Franciscans and New Yorkers. It also hints strongly that tech—really, media—is at the heart of the vast majority of startups.

Look at the clustering around Santa Monica, Venice and the areas south of LAX. There’s some thoughtful guessing as to why that is, including the presence of venture capital and angel investors. But the simplest explanation is that the majority of these companies are doing mobile apps, web sites, games, marketing and the like—not manufacturing textiles—and professionals in those code-heavy creative industries are already clustered in these areas. Mouse over the startup icons and it’s pretty clear that a lot of them end with “ly,” though there are some interesting exceptions.

LA’s substantial videogame industry is firmly planted west of the 405 freeway: market behemoth Activision is hq’d in Santa Monica, THQ in Agoura Hills, and EA has a substantial presence in Playa Vista. Google and Yahoo! have been in Santa Monica for years and El Segundo is home to a number of internet and media firms that fly under the radar. A few months back an entrepreneur friend whose tech startup is headquartered in LA’s cheap, forever-on-the-rebound downtown told me that if he needs to hire up he’ll have to move west because getting web developers to commute downtown is out of the question. (Although the new subway to Culver City might help.)

Brown points out in her original post that the map only includes a portion of the LA startups listed on databases like CrunchBase and AngelList but it’s safe to assume this is a representative sample—go to an accelerator or VC event in LA and the people you meet will inevitably be either near the beach or around Caltech in Pasadena and the handful of other pockets you see on the map. And if you think that’s clustering, see this startup map of New York City, which makes it look as if the outer boroughs have been infected with Plague. So much for hip Brooklyn.

What else catches the eye? Gaming, shopping, data, and advertising. Some of the firms on the map have been around for quite a while and others barely qualified as startups when they were new. There’s more than a few journalism-related and content-writer outfits on this map, sort of unexpected for LA given the industry’s gravitational center in New York. Hollywood news site TheWrap.com is on there. Gravity works with publishers to customize content. Notably absent up in Pasadena is Perfect Market, which does something similar for newspapers. (If we missed  any, holler.)

Back to us. You’re thinking Ebyline is either a cheapskate company that couldn’t stump for A office space on the Westside or we’re too cool for school. It’s a mystery to all who work here but I suspect it has something to do with our founders’ living on opposite sides of the LA area with Sherman Oaks close to the middle. In fact, it’s seems to be about equidistant from all our homes. My drive is just about the typical 28-minute LA commute. And the Valley’s kind of nice. There. I said it.

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