Saturday, June 20, 2009

NY Times Reporter Escapes Taliban After 7 Months

Tomas Munita for The New York Times
David Rohde, a reporter captured last fall by the Taliban, interviewed residents of the Helmand region of Afghanistan in 2007.

David Rohde, a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban, escaped Friday night and made his way to freedom after more than seven months of captivity in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Rohde, along with a local reporter, Tahir Ludin, and their driver, Asadullah Mangal, was abducted outside Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 10 while he was researching a book.

Mr. Rohde was part of The Times’s reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize this spring for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan last year.

Until now, the kidnapping has been kept quiet by The Times and other media organizations out of concern for the men’s safety. [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Legendary CBS Journalist Walter Cronkite Reportedly Gravely Ill

Legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, 92, long known as the "Most Trusted Man in America," is gravely ill, according to multiple CBS News sources and published reports.

According to Mediabistro's blog, TVNewser, the network began updating his obituary more than a week ago; a CBS News executive had no comment to TVNewser on the reports of Cronkite's failing health.

One of the most recognized and honored journalists in America, Cronkite anchored the "CBS Evening News" for 19 years, when he was replaced by Dan Rather.

Cronkite remained a special correspondent for the network through the years. [Click for MORE]

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

News as an Endangered Species


pomonacollegecover.jpgThe current issue of Pomona College Magazine examines the future of news, drawing on journalist alums: Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times; Richard Pérez-Peña, who covers newspapers for the NYT; and Mary Schmich, the Chicago Tribune columnist who writes the Brenda Starr comic. There are also pieces by former L.A. Times writer Agustin Gurza, on El Espectador del Valle, a Spanish-language newspaper in Pomona since the 1930s, and by current LAT staffer Ellen Alperstein. Editor Mark Wood's note recounts the night the newspaper where he worked in Alabama burned down:

I’ve thought back to that night at times as I’ve watched the nation’s entire newspaper industry seem to burn slowly but inexorably to ashes. I don’t really think of myself as a journalist any more, but there are some loyalties that never fade, and the ethic of the journalist—the feeling of being part of a tradition that is honest, exacting and important—is something I still cherish. That tradition is why I have faith that this is only a transition. Newpapers may fade into history, but journalism as a profession and a positive force will endure. The alternative is simply impossible for me to imagine.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

San Diego Journalists Look at News Online

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This is a transcript of an interview broadcast on KPBS Radio's talk show "These Days." The transcript was created by a contractor for KPBS to make this interview accessible to the hearing impaired. Please refer to the audio recording as the formal record of this interview.

DOUG MYRLAND (Guest Host): I'm Doug Myrland. These Days in San Diego, and we're going to continue our media-themed discussion during this next segment. And we'll ask the big question: Will online news become the new standard for news gathering and distribution? We'll talk about the growth in online news sources and how changes in the media landscape may impact traditional media. And we have two guests in the studio including Andrew Donohue, Editor of Welcome, Andy.

ANDREW DONOHUE (Editor, Voice of San Diego): Thanks for having me.

MYRLAND: And Chris Jennewein, president of SDNN, San Diego News Network. Welcome, Chris. [MORE]

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Newspaper Design Board in Crisis Mode

The Society for News Design is working on a deal to move its headquarters from a strip mall in Rhode Island to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a move that has been stalled by questions of who the executive director will be.

Disagreement on the 32-member board -- to some extent related to the handling of a search for a new executive director -- led to the resignation of President Matt Mansfield, a professor at Northwestern University. SND announced last week that Executive Director Elise Burroughs' contract will not be renewed at the end of the year, a decision that Burroughs said in an interview surprised her. [snip]

The dissension on the board caused Tyson Evans, SND's publications director and an interface engineer at The New York Times, to submit his resignation Tuesday. Of the atmosphere on the board, he said, "I think it's becoming increasingly toxic, so that's why I'm trying to step aside at this point. ... I think this is an important time that we can't sidestep important questions and focus on petty ones." [snip]

Bill Gaspard, deputy managing editor at the Las Vegas Sun, said in an interview that he is resigning from his position as president of the SND Foundation because of how the board handled its disagreements, which he wouldn't specify. [snip]

Also tendering his resignation was Jon Wile, a regional director and a designer at The Washington Post. [Full story]
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