Tag Archives: The Washington Post

WashingtonPost: Abducted French security advisers in Mogadishu posed as journalists

“Two French security advisers posing as journalists were abducted from their hotel in Mogadishu on Tuesday by Somali gunmen, according to the foreign ministry and reports from the chaotic Somali capital,” reports the Washington Post.  Full story at this link…


  • The AFP reports that, according to the Somali defence minister, the pair were ‘kidnapped for cash not politics’.

Background from the Frontline:

“The Telegraph’s Colin Freeman and photographer José Cendón were kidnapped and held for six weeks earlier this year. Meanwhile, freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan after still being held hostage after being kidnapped in Mogadishu in August, 2008. Their driver and fixer were released in January, 2009. This new kidnap comes at a time of ‘fresh fighting’ in the north of Mogadishu, although one could argue fighting never really gets the time to go stale in Mogadishu.”

Washington Post: Fewer copy editors, more errors – now a ‘universal desk’

Andrew Alexander, ombudsman for the Washington Post, reflects on how a reduction in the number of copy editors (down from around 75 to 43 in three-and-a-half years) at the title has caused a peak in errors.

“Little mistakes take a huge toll on credibility,” argues Alexander.

But as the Post this week began its shift to a centralised ‘universal desk’ – intended to streamline production operations for print, online and mobile content – will the number of errors increase or will new systems emerge to deal with them?

Full article at this link…

The Washington Post and the cancelled lobbyist event

The original Politico story:

“Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was canceling plans for an exclusive ‘salon’ at her home where for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to ‘those powerful few’ – Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors.”

Full story at this link…

And also read about it here:

A video from Politico showing the Whitehouse press secretary Robert Gibbs answering a question about the ‘salon’:

Bloggasm: How much original reporting on HuffPo’s front page?

Simon Owens has done a spot-check on the front page of the Huffington Post site, at 8pm on Tuesday June 2, to ascertain how many HuffPo headlines are of the reporters’ own making.

He explains how he defines ‘original reporting’ in the Bloggasm post, and here’s what he found:

“There were a total of 77 headlines on the front page of the Huffington Post when I conducted the survey. Of those, four headlines simply linked to news outlets offsite. There were five HuffPo stories that contained original reporting. There were 55 HuffPo stories that simply expressed opinion and/or summarized content from other outlets. The remaining 13 stories were reprinted wire copy.

“So this means that approximately 6 per cent of the HuffPo stories on the front page tonight contained original reporting. This is likely significantly fewer originally reported stories than you’d find on most major newspaper websites, including the New York Times, LA Times and the Washington Post.”

Full post at this link…

Silicon Alley Insider: Subscriptions only work for porn, says Huffington

“Unless you’re selling porn – especially weird porn – I would not go the subscription route,” Ariana Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, told the All Things D conference last week.

In the video below with the Washington Post’s Katharine Weymouth, Huffington also talks about the development of HuffPo: half of the site’s traffic now comes from non-political stories; the last round of funding is going into the investigative journalism fund, local verticals and expansion; the site is breaking even.

Full story at this link…

Steve Buttry: Yet another Twitter rant by a journalist who doesn’t understand it

“It’s ok to be sick and tired of Twitter rants by journalists who don’t understand it,” writes Steve Buttry.

“The same day I posted about Edward Wasserman writing about Twitter without really learning about it, I read another piece from another journalist I respect, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post, writing The Twitter Explosion in the American Journalism Review.

“Farhi, to his credit, did a fairly thorough job of researching Twitter by reading about it online and by interviewing journalists who use it. He just didn’t bother, from what I can tell, to learn anything firsthand by actually using it. And his writing revealed his ignorance.”

Full post at this link…

Washington Post: WaPo and Google discussing ‘informal collaboration’

The Washington Post’s chief executive, Donald Graham, has confirmed that the title has been holding talks with Google chief executive Eric Schmidt about a possible collaboration on new ways of presenting news.

No more specific details as yet.

Full article at this link…

Reuters using Apture for multimedia linking

Last year BBC News online trialled technology from Apture, which created pop-up windows to wikipedia pages, youtube and relevant articles from certain hyperlinks.

Now Reuters is using the the feature – predominantly on its blogs – to do the same, linking to images, maps, Twitter updates, videos and relevant articles.

The service ‘helps Reuters.com enhance its content with intuitive links to related information available on the Web, without directing reader traffic away from Reuters.com’, says a release from Apture.

You can see it in the screengrab below or take a look at Apture in aciton on the Reuters Fan Fare blog.

Apture on Reuters

The Beeb ended its Apture trial – despite positive feedback – but with the Washington Post and Reuters using it, let’s see what happens.

Obama’s first 100 days: how the web is covering it

Some great multimedia coverage as US President Barack Obama completes his first 100 days in power.

The Washington Post has set up a ‘special package’ to mark the day – complete with videos, more than 300 photos arranged by topic (see below) and an interactive timeline of the period – with symbols marking the days key legislation was introduced.

(The Post has used Daylife previously to organise its photos – for example during the Olympics last year – so I’m wondering whether that’s the case here too.)

Screenshot of Washington Post's 100 days photo site

Similarly, the LA Times has its own 100 days site with the emphasis on readers’ views. The Times asked commuters for their video thoughts on Obama’s progress so far.

What I like in particular about this effort is the ability to filter videos by policy and the interactive calendar that dominates the top of the page – click on any date from the 100 for more information.

It’s a very clean layout with a nice feed of LA Times’ related articles too.

The White House is getting in on the act too with its own Flickr group of images depicting the start of the presidency.

Any more good examples of coverage?

UPDATE April 30:

Am reliably informed by Daylife that they’re not behind the Times’ photos – it’s being done internally – but their technology has had a hand in the Wall Street Journal’s coverage, which pulls together video, relevant articles, images and create interactive graphics.

Also enjoyed Slate highlighting the 100 days on Obama’s Facebook feed.

Editors Weblog: Reorganisation at the Washington Post

“A memo [via Poynter] from Washington Post editor Marcus Brauchli has revealed that the publication is reorganising, ‘in anticipation of the impending integration of our print and digital news operations’. Brauchli emphasises that the changes reflect the Post’s commitment to great reporting and journalism,” the EditorsWeblog reports.

Full story at this link…