Should We Be Scared Of The Koch Brothers’ Possible Newspaper Buyout?

Hey, remember last week, when the newspaper reporter was named 2013′s worst job of the year–outranking lumberjack, actor, and even soldier? Remember 2007, when the Wall Street Journal, one of the most prominent financial newspapers in the world, was bought out by none other than Rupert Murdoch? And remember those couple of newspapers that were forced to go out of business because nobody was buying their paper copies?

You probably know the Tribune Company by their papers–the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Orlando Sentinel, among others. Well, as it turns out, it isn’t just small papers that are going out of business. The Tribune Company is seeking new investors for its remodeled platform, formed after going into bankruptcy in 2008. The leading contenders for stakes in the Tribune Co. are the Koch brothers.

Yeah, those Koch brothers. The starting bid for the Tribune Co.? $600 million. But that’s nothing when you realized that David and Charles Koch are worth a combined $62 billion.

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NYT Editor Jill Abramson Talks To NYU About Millennials And White House Access

Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, made an appearance last night at NYU’s journalism school. In her hour-and-a-half conversation with NYU professor Meryl Gordon she touched on what it’s like to be executive editor (“I don’t get to complain anymore.”), what the Times thinks of your potty mouth (“If a swear word is gonna be used and is actually consequential to the actual news in the story, which in some cases it is, we make exception.”), and how she felt working under her former boss Howell Raines (“I did think about quitting”).

During the question part of the talk, NYU Local asked Abramson about the rumored section aimed squarely at millennial interest (supposedly called “NYT Juniors”). Responding to the hints dropped last week by Times C.E.O. Mark Thompson, she said, “I think that it’s a wrong interpretation.” Read more…

Internship Confessions: Despite Recent Labor Reform, Condé Nast Still Breaks the Rules

Copy-making, coffee-fetching, envelope delivering. It’s a job description that seems typical of a personal assistant’s job, just like that of Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada. These days, it’s not uncommon to find the same job description applied to interns, except unlike the college-grad P.A. Hathaway portrays in the movie, interns usually don’t get paid for running errands. In recent years, unpaid internships have muddled the lines between personal assisting and educational learning experience. In our new series, “Internship Confessions,” we will take a look at the world of college internships by interviewing different NYU students in a variety of fields, to see what makes an internship great and what makes one seem like slave labor.

In March of last year, the integrated-media giant Condé Nast reformed their internship policies in order to reflect positive changes against the growing controversy of unpaid internships. According to the Atlantic Wire:

•Interns aren’t allowed to stay at the company for more than one semester per calendar year unless granted special clearance by Human Resources.

• Interns are required to do an orientation with HR where they are told to contact them if they are working unreasonably long hours or are mistreated.

• Interns can only work until 7pm and their security badges will actually be modified so that they won’t work after 7pm–meaning they won’t be able to get back into the building after 7 (making any late-afternoon errands or pickups particularly stressful) Read more…

The Millennial Arm Of ‘The Nation’ Wants To Know What You Want

How often do you see a mainstay journalistic institution run a website devoted to young people? Not often. How often do you see them do it well? We’re inclined to say never. When we are in the news, we’re either the “failure to launch” generation or the apathetic narcissists. Or, at the news cycle’s most bleak, we’re just the impossible hipsters. It’s enough to make a self-respecting millennial rage-quit the internet.

But wait! There’s a magazine that’s willing to try something. And they want help. The Nation is the oldest weekly magazine in the US, and they have been running a student-oriented site since 2007. StudentNation (as it is currently called) finds solid writing from people in our age cohort on things otherwise written about by out-of-generation observers: Student debt, contraception, protest. They’ve even republished some of our work. Now they’d like to go a whole lot further.

NYU Local editor in chief Zoë Schlanger is helping relaunch the site, so obviously she’s coming to you, dear readers of NYU Local. You can read the elevator pitch below, but here’s the gist: What should they rename it? What should it cover? Who should write for the site? Get to it in our comments or theirs. She’ll be eternally grateful, and who knows, our generation might escape trend piece-ification for once.  Read more…

Filmmakers, Photojournalists Gave Us A Lot To Think About At Gallatin’s Human Rights & New Media Panel

This week, Gallatin  has been hosting a three-day Human Rights Conference with five separate panels. Yesterday afternoon, four panelists assembled at the Human Rights and Media panel to discuss the coverage of human rights issues in this age of new media.

The panelists were all filmmakers and photojournalists seeking to push socially conscious messages. But instead of utilizing traditional print media, they emphasized new media’s ability to spread and inspire awareness.

Each of the four speakers gave individual lectures and then congregated as a panel to answer questions from the audience. Brian Storm, founder of Brooklyn-based production studio MediaStorm, has worked on films about removing land mines in Laos and Rwandan children born of rape. NYU Tisch professor Fred Ritchin walked us through his New York Times digital photography exhibit on post-war Bosnia. Nina Berman photographs and interviews American war veterans; her work includes the famous photograph of Tyler Ziegel and his former wife. Ed Kashi, a member of VII Photo Agency, published photographs of Agent Orange victims in Vietnam and the oil industry in the Niger Delta.  Read more…

News Corp.’s Sky News Is A Wannabe Anonymous

Yesterday News Corp.’s Sky News announced that it authorized journalists to hack into private email accounts on two occasions. While the TV station’s press release further corroborates claims regarding Rupert Murdoch’s woeful incompetence and News Corp.’s clear lack of effective self-regulating mechanisms, Sky News’s defense for its illicit actions is, perhaps, the aspect of this story that is most worthy of comment.

In his statement, John Ryley, executive editor of Sky News, argues that the TV station’s email hacking was “justified and in the public interest.” Now where have we heard that before? It’s the same premise that hacktivists groups like LulzSec and Anonymous –Anonymous coincidentally hacked several Chinese government websites yesterday — operate on in many of their politically motivated hacks. Does the line of reasoning offered by Ryley shield discovered members of Anonymous or Lulzsec from prosecution? Read more…

If The UK Won’t Put Up With The Murdochs, Why Do We?

“This terrible thing happened on your watch, Mr. Murdoch.”

Conservative British MP Julie Mensch uttered the line at a parliamentary hearing back in July, called in response to News Corp.’s phone hacking scandal. Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, had all but wrapped up their testimony. The Murdochs essentially blamed lower levels of management for failing to stop News Corp.-owned tabloid, News of the World, from hacking into the private voicemails of thousands of British citizens. Mensch saw through the Murdoch’s faulty line of reasoning, and, apparently, so too did the British public.

On Tuesday, James Murdoch resigned from his role as Chairman of BSkyB, a major British pay-TV company. In his own words, James Murdoch has become something of a “lightning rod for” – or liability to – BskyB due to his former role as chairman of News International, the subsidiary of News Corp. that owned News of the World. Read more…

CNN Loses Half Of Its Audience To The Interwebs

If you’re reading this right now, you’re one of the tens of millions of people nationwide that has come to rely on the Internet and its scores of independent news sources to stay up to date with current events. You also happen to be a particularly nasty thorn in the mainstream media’s side, as news giants CNN and FOX continue this year’s truly horrendous downward trend in viewership and ratings.

CNN reported a 50% overall loss in viewership last month compared to its numbers from March 2011. And while the events of last spring presented massively inflated figures for the network due to the Japanese tsunami and the Arab Spring, this year’s reports are a significant drop by anyone’s measure.  The network has received harsh criticism over the past several months for giving minimal coverage to important national and international issues such as the NDAA, Occupy Wall Street, and the Arab Spring, all the while relying on fluff pieces such as celebrity gossip and technological gimmickry to lure in an aloof target demographic of 25-54 year-olds.

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