WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


February 2006

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Boris Berezovskiy, a popular Russian businessman who now lives in London, has sold his Kommersant publishing house to his friend and partner Badri Patarkacishvili, a president of the Georgia Olympic committee, who is searched for by the Russian general prosecutor.

Berezovsky told the press that his political activity could harm and compromise the publishing business. So he made up his mind to sell it to Patarkacishvili. He and Berezovsky had a joint property over Bary Discovered Partners foundation which has some food factories and the Kommersant publishing house (Kommersant business newspaper is one of the most popular in Russia; Vlast (Power), Dengi (Money), Abtopilot and Molotok magazines also belong to the publisher).

Patarkacishvili has been Chairman of the Kommersant Board of Directors for a long time. He promises that all the media will remain independent of political influence and the key task for him is business development and not control over editorial policy.

In fact Berezovsky used his media as an instrument of political influence. Last year he replaced the former chief editor and CEO by the people completely loyal to him. This has affected the editorial policy and it has shifted in the direction of a tough opposition. So nobody expects any changes caused by replacement of the owner.

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Author

Anastasia Terentyeva

Date

2006-02-28 22:05

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It is widely known that newspapers, faced with competition from proliferating sites like Craigslist and GoogleBase, are losing classified ad revenues, one of their staple sources of income. Bill Mitchell of Poynter attended the Newspaper Association of America convention to find out how newspapers were faring with their own free classified experiments. Turns out, not so well.

The San Diego Union-Tribune began providing free classifieds to those not hawking products for over $5,000. The promotional phase of the initiative worked relatively well, increasing lineage significantly, but up-selling didn't work.

The Tribune Company also reported difficulties in up-selling for its Recycler.com site. Director of corporate development, Tom Finke said, "The up-charges weren't enough to offset the cost of acquiring the customers."

Mitchell concludes, " It's unclear whether either case provides sufficient reason to abandon free altogether. But they certainly do provide a realistic sense of the risks."

Source: Poynter

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Author

John Burke

Date

2006-02-28 18:47

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The widespread availability of broadband internet has upped the ante adding much variety to what internet users can view, hear, in short consume, online. In such a climate, video is set to become one of the key new requirements for newspaper websites.

UK regional daily The Hull Daily Mail began offering video news reports on its website in November after six of its journalists completed a diploma in videojournalism, comprised of three weeks of intensive practical training, organised by The Press Association and taught by David Dunkley Gyimah, senior lecturer in Digital Journalism at The University of Westminster.

The Editors Weblog interviewed David Dunkley Gyimah and Paul Hartley, assistant editor at the Hull Daily Mail, asking them about the diploma in videojournalism and the implications of online video for newspaper websites. Both agree that online video will soon be found on most newspaper websites.

1. What is the biggest challenge in teaching videojournalism to already established print journalists; what did the print journalists themselves find most difficult about learning to use the different medium?

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Author

Dominique Lewis Tuohy

Date

2006-02-28 18:33

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Simon Waldman, director of digital publishing at The Guardian, talks about moving the newspaper's brand online in an interview with Jemima Kiss of journalism.co.uk.

Asked what has kept him at the Guardian for ten years, Waldman responded: "Whenever I've even thought about packing my bags, something fascinating has always emerged … In addition to that, there has been a long standing commitment to the net from the top of Guardian Newspapers down ... we've been able to spend most of the last decade building a fantastic online presence and business - rather than constantly having to justify our existence. Lots of organisations have been willing to chuck huge chunks of cash at the net in sporadic bursts, but few, if any, have shown the same level of steady, continuous support - and that is probably the single reason why we've been able to do so well."

When asked who is doing the best work in online news, Waldman replied: "I still think we're way ahead of the pack among newspapers and the BBC only ever nudges ahead because it has such a vast resource to play with. I think the Washington Post has done some interesting things recently with mash-ups and Technorati, and at the other end of the scale I think the way that the Newbury Weekly News has adopted video is really quite spectacular given the scale of its operation."

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Author

Dominique Lewis Tuohy

Date

2006-02-28 16:36

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The Russian city of Volgograd is to have a new newspaper after Gorodskiye Izvestia was closed down for publishing its own cartoon, showing religious figures, lampooning the row over the infamous Jyllands Posten Mohammed cartoons (see previous posting). The new paper is to be called Volgogradskaya Gazeta.

The new paper's editor will be Tatiana Kaminskaya, the former editor of Gorodskiye Izvestia, she has confirmed that the new paper will focus on city life and publish interviews.

Volgograd vice-mayor Konstantin Kalachyov confirmed that "The personnel of the closed Gorodskiye Vesti is preparing for the release of the first issue (of the new paper Volgogradskaya Gazeta) on Tuesday."

Source: Interfax (through the IFRA newsletter)

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Author

Dominique Lewis Tuohy

Date

2006-02-28 15:54

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In his weekly Guardian column, Jeff Jarvis describes the website that he sees as the future of media, Digg.com. Launched by "scruffy geek," Kevin Rose, Digg is a site whose users become news editors by scouring the Web for articles, posting what they find interesting and then voting on what other articles they "dig," or in other words, articles they enjoyed and think other users should read. Articles which receive the most votes make it to the front page.

Two main points from Jarvis' article:

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John Burke

Date

2006-02-28 14:30

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The text of an European Union statement on the Mohammed cartoons row has been contested by Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot who wished to make it "clear that we do not make an apology for the cartoons." The first paragraph of the statement currently reads "The (EU) council acknowledges and regrets that these cartoons were considered offensive and distressing by Muslims across the world."

Bernard Bot has additionally lodged a protest with EU head of foreign policy Javier Solana for comments Solana made which the Dutch foreign minister ammounted to an apology to Muslim countries for the cartoons.

Denmark's Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller confirmed he is "pleased" with the declaration and the unanimity displayed by the EU member states in supporting Denmark. Denmark was reportedly unhappy with the Dutch position on the cartoons issue and rather supported the more conciliatory position put forward by Spain. Per Stig Moller has pledged 200,000 euros for the 'Alliance of Civilisations' scheme initiated by Spain and has announced that a con-ference on stereotypes in schoolbooks and the media will be held in Denmark.

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Author

Dominique Lewis Tuohy

Date

2006-02-28 11:52

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Bill Emmott, the outgoing editor of the weekly The Economist recently commented on the success of his newspaper suggesting that dailies had contributed significantly, but not in the way one would hope. Having helped to double the paper's circulation to over 1 million during his 13-year tenure, Emmott said that the tendency of daily papers to print more "entertainment" news while sacrificing hard facts and insightful editorials left the analytical Economist a niche for educated readers craving intelligent journalism. To see if others in the industry felt that newspapers were straying from their core function, The Editors Weblog asked several newspaper men and women to react to Emmott's comments:

George Brock, Saturday Editor, The Times, UK; President, World Editors Forum

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John Burke

Date

2006-02-28 10:20

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Designed to save $17 million dollars a year starting in 2006, the Wall Street Journals change from a broadsheet to a more compact tabloid format has not met its readers approval. Dow Jones and Co. Inc plans to “retool” its Wall Street Journal Asian and European newspaper editions, two editions struggling to stay afloat.

Some readers feel "there is less of a paper than before," said Chief Executive Officer Richard Zannino.

The company had hoped that readers would see that there have been no content changes and that it is only a matter of becoming accustomed to the new size.

"Readers' reaction overall is positive -- not as positive as some other things we've done, so we are going to correct a little there. Retool it a bit," he said

Although changes will occur, Zannino failed to specify what they would entail. After a recent management reshuffle, job cuts and newspaper resizing, money-saving tactics still need to keep the newspapers' readers in mind.

Source: Reuters

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Author

Bertrand Pecquerie

Date

2006-02-28 10:01

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Significantly smaller than its immediate rival and operating in a market that has been on a downturn for 20 years, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's plight is well known in the American newspaper industry. Some even predict that the daily will eventually die. But several reforms the paper is undergoing could prove these pessimists wrong.

A few years back, the P-I launched "Project Tornado", an initiative which repurposed some newsroom employees to finding out specifically what the paper's readers wanted to see in the paper. Now, the project's findings are being implemented, causing a complete restructuring of the newsroom.

Tornado found, as most newspaper/new media pundits have been predicting, that the issues that most concerned readers tended to be local and that stories from outside the area should be given a local flavor. In order to provide better local coverage, the newspaper had to adapt its newsroom.

The paper's managing editor, David Mccumber explained that "Instead of tying staff to individual sections of the newspaper, we're tying them to topics we want to cover particularly well."

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Author

John Burke

Date

2006-02-27 18:01

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When the Daily Mail & General Trust put its regional newspaper group, Northcliffe on the block last fall, the crisis facing the market, primarily because of the Internet, became blatantly obvious. Perhaps even more telling that the future of British regional newspapers is in jeopardy were the weak offers for the 100-paper company, so weak in fact that DMGT repealed the sale. So what do editors and executives of those local papers think about threat posed to their no longer stable yet still profitable industry?

In an article summing up the situation of the regional press, The Guardian spoke with several traditional media bosses to find out where they think the future of the local printed press is going. Here are some highlights:

Mike Gilson - Editor, Portsmouth News
I don't think there is any competition from the internet in terms of what we produce. We are still far and away the number one supplier of news in Portsmouth. The key for us is that we work in tandem with our printed product and new media to ensure that we remain the biggest supplier of information in our area.

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John Burke

Date

2006-02-27 17:15

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As paper and print costs rise and the Internet posts up to the minute data, many newspapers have been scaling back their stock listing pages directing readers to their websites. But not all readers comply. The latest paper to cut financial listings, the Rocky Mountain News, found out the hard way.

After erasing most of its stock listings from the printed edition, RMN received about 200 complaints from readers, most of which were older and not familiar with digital news. Rob Reuteman, business editor of the daily, said, "I was talking with ninety-year old guys who've been subscribing for 44 years. And they're not getting on the Internet."

But Westword points out that the paper also received 15 email complaints, suggesting "that computer-literate people weren't nearly as cheesed off as were older members of the Rocky's demographic pool."

Steve Outing at Poynter thinks that cutting stock listings with the possibility of alienating older readers is a necessary evil of today's newspaper industry:

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John Burke

Date

2006-02-27 10:35

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The mantra from digital publishing advocates at the World Newspaper Advertising Conference & Expo was that newspaper companies must rapidly move their business on-line or risk getting left behind.

Ironically, those same advocates provided one of the strongest arguments for staying in, and developing, the print business -- newspapers generate much more revenue per reader than on-line media, and will continue to do so for some time to come.

On-line advertising revenues are rising dramatically -- they were more than 17 billion dollars in the United States last year, with 4 billion going to newspapers, according to Vin Crosbie of Borrell Associates. But on-line media produce 20 to 100 times less revenue per reader than newspapers do, he said. To put it another way, for every print reader lost, newspapers have to replace them with between 20 and 100 website readers to gain the same revenue.

"We need to make the revenues we earn from on-line readers equal or more than what we earned from the people who no longer read us in print," said Mr Crosbie, who conceded this was an enormous task.

Other speakers echoed Mr Crosbie, particularly when it comes to classified advertising. Jim Chisholm, Strategy Advisor to the World Association of Newspapers, said the movement of classified advertising from print to on-line was accelerating rapidly worldwide.

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John Burke

Date

2006-02-27 09:45

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The Reston, VA-based The Media Center at the American Press Institute has morphed its blog, Morph, into a collaborative project that invites all to participate in various conversations about the hottest topics in the rapidly evolving world of new media. The blog is divided into six sections, each led by movers and shakers of the industry, and focused on keeping the discussion lively leading up to and after the We Media Global Forum which will take place in London on May 3 and 4, 2006.

Said Gloria Pan, the center's communication director, "What we’re trying to do is replicate The Media Center experience at our real-world events, where issues and ideas are examined from a cross-sectoral perspective, allowing those sectors to learn from each other and uncovering new insights. Since most people can’t make it to our events, we’re trying to create a forum where everyone gets to participate in “The Media Center Conversation,” a thoughtful, serious exploration of what it means to live in the Digital Age - how it’s changing the way we live, the way we do business and how we perceive and engage the world."

Presently the conversations are:

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John Burke

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2006-02-27 09:12

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The German cartel office approved David Montgomery's take-over (see former posting) of the German tabloid Hamburger Morgenpost. The newspaper is now part of the Deutsche Zeitungsholding group, owner of Berliner Zeitung and Berliner Kurier, which was bought by Montgomery and his investment partner Suhler Stevenson in October 2005 (see former posting). Montgomery said the deal was the "next step in his 'buy and build' strategy for the German newspaper market", reported The Guardian.

Sources: Medienhandbuch.de (in German), The Guardian

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Anna-Maria Mende

Date

2006-02-25 16:21

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Spain's 2 largest top-shelf papers, El Pais and El Mundo, are showing their tech savvy to their readers with initiatives meant to enhance the reading experience and claim a stake for the role of newspapers in the digital age.

El Pais has come a long way from once being a fully paid-for subscription site. Now, after opening up to all readers as of May 2005, it has launched a constantly updated Internet supplement that can be downloaded in PDF format and printed by the reader.

The publication, entitled 24 Horas, is not only an attempt to bring readers to El Pais' website which is dominated by that of El Mundo, but also to compete with Spain's rapidly growing and popular free paper market. By being able to download and print the paper before their morning commute, readers may opt to read articles from El Pais in 24 Horas rather than the shortened wire stories and local coverage printed in free papers.

The PDF/print option could, however, soon be outdated if epapers are to gain popularity among consumers. Instead of printing it out, readers could simply download 24 Horas onto their tablets. Still, the print option is a good one as newspapers need to pander to as many interests as possible; many readers may never purchase an epaper device.

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Anna-Maria Mende

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2006-02-25 15:57

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The free classified website Craigslist which has ravaged newspaper classified revenues in many markets, is being sued by the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for allegedly 'publishing' "discriminatory advertisements" which is against the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

The group of lawyers scanned Craigslist sites of various cities to find that some of its users posted ads that included terms such as "no kids allowed" or "no minorities." Because such ads are illegal in newspapers and on newspaper websites, the group argues that they cannot be published on websites independent of newspapers.

A lawyer for the group said, "We would like Craigslist to be under the same obligations and resulting factors as all other publishers, be they newspapers or magazines, that they do what is necessary and appropriate to make sure that classified ads comply with the Fair Housing Act."

Representatives of Craigslist argue that the very nature of the site distinguishes it from newspapers and that its users which form a community regularly report discriminatory ads with the click of a mouse.

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John Burke

Date

2006-02-24 12:49

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Arguably the world's most long-standing and successful citizen journalism publication, South Korea's OhmyNews, has traded almost 13% of its shares for $11 million from Tokyo-based firm Softbank. The deal also marks the first step towards an OhmyNews International division and a Japanese version of the six-year-old site.

Representatives of start-up citizen journalism sites in the United States sounded off positively on the deal.

Anthony Lappé, executive editor of Guerrila News Network, an umbrella for 10,000 community blogs, said, “There’s a whole lot of interest in content sites, especially those that have a large number of contributors. It’s a very captive and specific targeted audience, which advertisers like a lot.”

But at the same time, Lappé noted the difference in the success of OhmyNews and American citizen journalism sites; "“Asian participatory anything is just way ahead, whether it’s Japan or Korea. The sense that I get (in the States) is it’s just so much more about MySpace and about hooking up.”

Source: Red Herring

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John Burke

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2006-02-24 12:17

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Australian newspaper publishers of all sizes are uniting to form a new "marketing body to promote newspapers as Australia's number one medium," writes the nation's Central Midlands & Coastal Advocate. The entity, which is currently searching for a CEO to work between the publishers involved in the deal, is aimed at convincing advertisers and agencies that newspapers are still a valuable tool.

Said John Hartigan, News Limited Chairman and CEO, "We reject the notion that newspapers are "old media". Newspapers deliver much better reach for advertisers than any other media and are the most influential media among consumers. Newspapers also offer untapped potential as a creative medium. However, as the media market fragments and competition for ad revenue and "eyeballs" intensifies, it is more important than ever that the value of newspapers as a category is researched and marketed professionally."

Source: moora.yourguide

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John Burke

Date

2006-02-24 11:54

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A group of UK MPs have called on newspapers to invest in quality journalism, while expressing 'grave concern' at the number of newspaper job losses across the country recently. Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell, a former journalist, has lead a campaign that launched a petition asserting that news coverage will most likely suffer because of job cuts and mergers in the newspaper industry.

Seven MPs have so far signed the petition, which comes in the wake of job cut announcements at newspapers across the UK, such as The Manchester Evening News, The South Wales Echo, The Bristol Evening Post, and others.

Source: Hold The Front Page

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Dominique Lewis Tuohy

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2006-02-23 17:19

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In what could be a setback for search engines, a Los Angeles federal judge has ruled in favor of the adult magazine Perfect 10 concerning an injunction it demanded against Google Images use of thumbnails portraying images copyrighted by the magazine. The thumbnails were picked by Google's algorithm from websites that had pirated the photos from Perfect 10's website and not taken from Perfect 10 directly.

Perfect 10 complained that these pirates were cannibalizing its business model by allowing people to see the images without paying the monthly fee to the magazine. The adult publication was particularly concerned about Google Mobile's image search, which allows users to search over 2 billion images and save them on mobile devices for later viewing.

This practice is especially damaging for Perfect 10 where it provides a subscription based mobile service in the UK.

However, it was ruled that a contested feature of Google images called the "framing," which displays thumbnails in the top banner of the original page on which the image was published, does not breach copyright laws.

Source: News.com

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John Burke

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2006-02-23 15:53

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The British National Party (BNP) has distributed a leaflet including one of the 12 Mohammed cartoons, originally published in Danish paper Jyllands Posten, that have caused outrage amongst Muslims worldwide. In the pamphlet the cartoon was displayed next to a photograph of Muslim demonstrators calling for violent punishment of the cartoonists who authored the images.

500 000 copies of the pamphlet have been distributed across the UK.

A spokesman for the BNP explained the thinking behind the leaflet as follows: "What the leaflet says is which do you find most offensive? The cartoon or Muslim demonstrators calling for terrorist attacks on Europe?"

Labour party chairman Ian MC Cartney has condemned the pamphlets, stating they are "straight out of the Nazi textbook." While Faiz Siddiqi, of the Muslim Action Committee, commented: "Quite clearly the BNP wants to stay in the framework of continuing to cause offence. They are not interested in dialogue, only chaos."

Nick Griffin, head of the BNP, asserts that the publication of the Mohammed cartoon is a reaction against the decision of the British press not to publish the cartoons.

It is evident, however, that the BNP's decision to publish this cartoon is not a promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, the reasoning behind the reprinting of the cartoons by many newspapers. Nick Griffin is to be tried on race hate charges in October, along with other BNP activists.

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Dominique Lewis Tuohy

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2006-02-23 15:25

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Starting April 30, the Dallas Morning News will include a monthly CD-ROM supplement, Hollywood Previews Entertainment iMagazine, a publication of movie trailers, sweepstakes and interviews with stars. The deal demonstrates how newspapers with waning circulations are trying to attract younger and new readers.

Bernie Heller, vice president of advertising at The Dallas Morning News said the paper "has been expanding its lifestyle-themed products and services to increase the paper's appeal in today's consumer-driven society, especially among younger audiences. Including this innovative digital media magazine in our newspaper creates an engaging and entertaining experience for our readers, as well as additional marketing opportunities for advertisers."

The CD-ROM, which also allows consumers to buy items such as movie tickets and DVDs will be folded into 650,000 copies of the Dallas daily.

"Newspapers can now play a role that Google and Yahoo have played in the past," said Universal President Bob Duffy, whose syndicate is representing iMedia in the CD-ROM distribution. "For example, with Hollywood Previews, The Dallas Morning News can direct readers to DallasNews.com and to the Web sites of their advertisers to view special offers and promotions."

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John Burke

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2006-02-23 14:07

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A number of prominent US journalists have signed a petition requesting that The Newspaper Association of America to publicly recognise that its predecessor The American Newspaper Publishers Association "was wrong to turn its back on Jewish refugee journalists fleeing Hitler."

The petition, based on research entitled "Rebuffing Refugee Journalists: The Profession's Failure to Help Jews Persecuted by Nazi Germany" conducted by former Wall Street Journal reporter Laurel Leff, emphasises the fact that other organisations have publicly apologised for past mistakes and asserts that the Newspaper Association should do the same.

Among the 70 people that signed the petition are Nicholas Lemann, of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, Leon Wieseltier of political magazine The New Republic and Marvin Kalb and Alex S. Jones, both of Harvard.

President of The Newspaper Association John F. Sturm confirmed that the organisation was giving "careful consideration" to the petition and would deal with it in a "constructive manner."

Source: The New York Times

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2006-02-23 13:34


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