Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings, 33, was killed in a car accident in Los Angeles, the site announced this evening.
Editor in chief Ben Smith released a statement praising Mr. Hastings. “Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians,” Mr. Smith wrote. “He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold.”
The New York Times
Michael Cooper will move over to the culture desk, The New York Times culture editor Danielle Mattoon announced this afternoon. Mr. Cooper, who was covering urban affairs as a national correspondent for the paper, will begin covering classical music and dance in August.
“For those of you who don’t know him, we are all in for a treat,” Times culture editor Danielle Mattoon wrote in an announcement that went out this afternoon. “Walk around the newsroom and start asking people to give you a few examples of great work from Michael and the response tends to be some version of: ‘How much time do you have?’”
Off the Media
Advertising is a simple business.
A publisher creates inventory, whether it’s in a newspaper, over the airwaves, by the side of the road or online. They sell part of that inventory to companies who want to get their products and brand names in front of an audience.
Though it seems like a simple equation, there are a lot of ways it could go wrong, especially in the dizzying world of online ads.
I'll Tumbl For You
Tumblr “director/media evangelist” Mark Coatney, one of the company’s early employees and the man who built the site’s outreach team, just announced that he’s leaving the company. For those keeping score at home, that’s right on the heels of creative director Jacob Bijani’s departure.
Mr. Coatney didn’t detail his reasons for leaving in the announcement on his Tumblr, other than to say, “It’s a a good time, with Tumblr moving into a new and even better stage with Yahoo, and though I’m happy about the decision and excited about new opportunities, it’s still bittersweet.”
As we reported yesterday, Vice magazine recreated the means of suicide of seven female literary icons in a fashion spread called “Last Words.” But this morning, Vice, which normally prides itself on refusing to bow to the gods of taste or opinion, has removed the post from its website following general outrage after the spread was published online.
Of course, the images are still available in the print edition. Still, this seems to be a rare time when Vice has backed down and removed an offending photo spread from the Internet.
Both at the time of his scandal and now during his political comeback attempt, the New York Post has simply reveled in making pun after pun with Anthony Weiner’s last name. But don’t expect any apologies.
Asked what he’d say to critics who have accused his publication of being immature, Post editor in chief Col Allan bluntly told the Australian news program Lateline, “I don’t know. They got to develop a sense of humor, I guess.”
Around the town
Yesterday, PBS sent an email to some 50 news organizations with information about an interview that would air on Charlie Rose later that night, noting that the information was embargoed until after the show aired at 11 pm. Buzzfeed published information about the interview anyway, scooping Mr. Rose on his own interview.
This upset many journalists, including NBC’s Chuck Todd, who naturally took to Twitter to complain. Others, including Commentary‘s John Podhoretz and Buzzfeed editor in chief Ben Smith, insisted that an embargo must be mutually agreed upon, not unilaterally imposed. Just because PBS said the information was embargoed didn’t mean it necessarily was. Soon, the Twitter debate descended into bickering about journalistic ethics. Not bad for a Monday night. (Twitter/Buzzfeed)
In a questionable photo spread entitled “Last Words,” Vice has captured the unique glamor of female writers who have committed suicide. The models, who are stylish (and sad) in couture, pose in the manner in which the seven literary icons took their lives.
Beneath each photo is a blurb with the writer’s name, age at time of death, place of birth, place of death and manner of suicide. As with any fashion photo spread, the clothing’s designer is mentioned. No mention, however, is made of any of the work that made these women famous.
On Friday, the Post‘s Page Six reported this salacious bit of gossip: “Show creator and star Lena Dunham and boyfriend Jack Antonoff sat at a small table alone while the rest of the cast and crew occupied two tables of six nearby.”
Ms. Dunham, though, set the record straight in a tweet this afternoon, explaining that her actual dinner companion was her father, the artist Carroll Dunham.
MSNBC.com is seemingly on a hiring spree as they gear up to relaunch the website later this year. Today, the network announced that it has hired two more reporters—Irin Carmon and Timothy Noah—and a new social media editor, Nisha Chittal. Dafna Linzer, managing editor of MSNBC.com, announced the hires on Twitter this afternoon.
“We’re continuing to build an outstanding digital team of writers and editors at MSNBC, and we’re excited to announce our latest additions, ahead of our launch later this year,” MSNBC.com director Richard Wolffe wrote in a memo announcing the hires (which was first posted by Jim Romenesko).