Media, The Daily Feed

Breaking: WaPo to Sell Newsweek

Photo courtesy of
‘Newsweek Logo Process – Jim Parkinson’
courtesy of ‘FontShop’

In a post to Newsweek, Washington Post Co., the magazine’s owner, has announced that it has retained a firm to guide the sale of the weekly newsmagazine. Newsweek has been around since 1933, and it was purchased by WaPo in 1961.  In the statement, Donald E. Graham, chairman of the organization, cited that the magazine has been losing money for several years, and stands to also lose in 2010 “despite heroic efforts on the part of NEWSWEEK’s [sic] management and staff.”

UPDATE 12:26: A report from The Awl indicates that Newsweek’s editor, Jon Meacham, is planning on lining up financiers to bid on the publication.

All Politics is Local, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, Media, The Daily Feed, The District

U.S. Census Workers To Hit The Streets Starting In May

Photo courtesy of
‘Census #3′
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

If you haven’t yet filled out your 2010 Census form, starting in May chances are you’ll be getting a friendly knock on the door from your local census worker. The U.S. Census staffer will be asking you the same questions that are on the census mail form with the hopes of upping the 69% DC’s current response rate.

The big question is, how do you know who is a legit census worker and who might be scamming you. Well, fortunately the good census folks have put together some fantastic informational videos, including what to expect/look for from a real census employee.

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Media, The Daily Feed

PETA Says WHCD Can’t Be Green If It Serves Meat

Photo courtesy of
‘Rib Eye Steak Dinner’
courtesy of ‘japes18′

PETA will not be attending this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner stag, as it sounds like the date they lined up will be a big heifer. No, stop groaning. The group is bringing a “cow” to the Washington Hilton on Saturday evening to stand outside the event with a sign that says, “Don’t Eat MEat [sic].”

The animal rights group is decently upset that, even though the organization has said that this year’s event will be the most eco-friendly rendition in the dinner’s history, meat will still be served as an option. Citing “environmental degradation” of the meat process, PETA’s statement noted that there are many negative impacts that occur on the way from farm to plate. They even asked the association to go completely Vegan with their menu.

It may be something to stew on, but wouldn’t count on anything changing come dinner time tomorrow.

Media, The Daily Feed

WaPo Exec.: “Wait And See” Before Pay Walls

Photo courtesy of
‘Irony’
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

For District residents who spend a lot of the day in front of computers, refreshing news sites or even just clicking the occasional link from a friend, an open way to get to content on local newspaper sites is pretty crucial. If you are one of those people, you are likely wondering if it will stay that way forever here in D.C., especially since other major newspapers are either planning or have already built subscription models that will impact how and at what cost we can have access.

Of course, given the prestige of the Washington Post in the journalism community, there are lots of people interested more than just cube dwellers about what its business plains entail in this regard. The answer? To be determined (and not in the Albritton kind of way). Speaking to a collection of student journalists from the Harvard Crimson over the weekend, Washington Post Co. Vice Chairman Boisfeuillet Jones, Jr. said the paper would “watch and see what happens before we jump into something like [the New York Times’ upcoming metered model].”

Jones did mention that something is likely in the works, but there is at least a little bit of time before we know for sure what will happen to the news we get from WashingtonPost.com.

Media, The Daily Feed

White House Correspondents’ Dinner: D.C.’s “Hollywood” Week

Photo courtesy of
‘White House Correspondents Dinner’
courtesy of ‘angela n.’

The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner – sometimes affectionately referred to as “Nerd Prom” – is a gala to which media types through D.C. very much look forward. While it’s a fancy-pants event to begin with, the dinner often attracts a wide array of politically active celebrities to visit the District to enjoy the prom.

Mike Allen has the scoop (I mean, it’s Mike Allen, of course he has the scoop) on the types of stars you can expect to grace the event. Among others, it looks like the press corps can join Alec Baldwin, Betty White, Jeremy Piven, the Jonas Brothers, Jimmy Fallon, John Cusack, Morgan Freeman, Mariska Hargitay, and even new Redskins QB, Donovan McNabb. It looks to be another A-list caliber WHCD.

Media, The Daily Feed

Jonathan Slevin Done As Washington Times Publisher

Photo courtesy of
‘examiner’
courtesy of ‘(afm)’

Patrick Gavin of Politico is reporting that the contract Jonathan Slevin, just six months after being named publisher and president of the Washington Times, will not be renewed. It has certainly been a trying time for the second daily in town over the last few months, which has axed its sports coverage, gone through layoffs and tried to find many other ways to try and cut costs. While WaPo has been able to grow in revenue in the last few financial quarters, mainly on the back of some of its non-media entities like Kaplan education, things are certainly not going as well in the other press shop in town.

Update, 2:03 p.m.: Patrick Gavin has taken to Twitter to stick up for his report, even as a Times spokesmen is denying it.

Media, Music, Special Events, The Features

Apollo Theater Exhibit to Open at Smithsonian

Photo courtesy of
‘Vinyl’
courtesy of ‘tiffany bridge’

When I was a kid, I listened to my parents’ music almost exclusively until I was about 12 years old. Which meant that while my friends were listening to Pet Shop Boys and Material Girl-era Madonna, I was singing along (into my hairbrush, of course) with the Supremes, the Drifters, and Chuck Berry.

While it was an excellent musical education, the local oldies station and my dad’s cassette tapes didn’t do a lot to put that music in the social context in which it belonged. I had learned about the civil rights movement in history class, and the general experience of African-Americans in the United States, but somehow had never connected the dots between the dates in my textbooks with the dates on those album covers until adulthood.

Which is why I so thoroughly enjoyed checking out the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (not yet built and currently existing as a gallery in the National Museum of American History) exhibit “Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment.”   Continue reading

Life in the Capital, Media, The Daily Feed

Law & Order’s Mariska Hargitay Talks Hollywood, Global Health

Photo courtesy of
‘Library of Congress Reading Room’
courtesy of ‘tzk333′

Can’t get enough Law & Order even though it’s on every single hour of every day? Mariska Hargitay, of the procedural’s Special Victims Unit series, will be in the District this week to talk about Hollywood’s portrayal of global health issues. Hargitay is joined by the show’s executive producer Neal Baer,  as well as representatives of both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Hollywood, Health & Society (the sponsoring organization).

The group’s focus will be a discussion on how entertainment can play a role in support for global initiatives around developing healthcare. Fishbowl DC has more details on the event, which will be held this Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Library of Congress in the Mumford Room (6th floor) of the Madison Building.

Media, News, The Daily Feed

Washington Post Ombudsman Defends Front Page Photo of Kissing Couple

This photo, taken by Bill O’leary, ran on the front page of the Washington Post on May 4 and with this article. It sparked a number of letters to the WaPo ombudsman as well as subscription cancellations.

It has been a very exciting week for same-sex couples in the District, and the Washington Post wanted to make sure to capture the joy that city residents were sharing around the date that licenses for same-sex marriages would be accepted. As part of news coverage of that, the Post ran the above photo of Jeremy Ames and Taka Ariga kissing outside D.C. Superior Court on the front page of one of last week’s print editions.

Yesterday, Ombudsman Andrew Alexander shared some unfortunate news on his blog: a few readers were offended by the intimacy of two men reveling in the moment. He included several quotes from this feedback that don’t necessarily agree with the joy of the moment, and he noted that nearly 30 subscribers cited the photo as a reason to cancel subscriptions. Kudos to Alexander, though, for handling it incredibly well with his classy response:

Did the Post go too far? Of course not. The photo deserved to be in newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display.

News photos capture reality. And the prominent display reflects the historic significance of what was occurring. The recent D.C. Council decision to approve same-sex marriage was the culmination of a decades-long gay rights fight for equality. Same-sex marriage is now legal in the District. The photo of Ames and Ariga kissing simply showed joy that would be exhibited by any couple planning to wed – especially a couple who previously had been denied the legal right to marry.

There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change.

Dupont Circle, Entertainment, Fun & Games, Media, People, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

RWDC Live Blog Resumes

Photo courtesy of
‘The Real World DC House’
courtesy of ‘alifayre’

Well, the Olympics are over and I have no excuse: the RWDC Live Blog will resume again, tonight.  Be here at 9:45 with a drink in hand to mock the strangeness of those real folks that drank and grinded (ground?) their way around or city this summer.  Is this voyeuristic? Yes.  Can I wait for it to end? No.

Business and Money, Media, The Daily Feed

Washington Post? There’s an App for That

Photo courtesy of
‘Lotus #67′
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Online news site paidContent received reports this morning that the Washington Post is heading toward the Apple App Store. The new app, which will provide similar content as the paper’s online properties, should be available today for you to download to your iPhone or iPod touch. WaPo columnist Rob Pegoraro confirmed the news earlier this morning on Twitter.

As the post from pC noted, the application will run you $1.99, and this isn’t the first time a print outlet as done it as a paid version. The U.K.’s Guardian sold over 100,000 downloads of its $3.99 app in the first 10 weeks it was available, but its also worth noting that the New York Times has an app that is currently free (this may change further down the road when NYT moves to a paid-metered-content model).

I’ll toss this one to the crowd: Would you pay for a WaPo app or would you be more likely to download it if it was free?

Media, Penn Quarter, Special Events

A Night at the Newseum: Nick Clooney Uses ‘Reel Journalism’ to Keep Us Up on the News

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Whether you’re Team Conan or Team Jay, one thing’s for certain — NBC didn’t mess up when they chose Brian Williams to be the face for NBC News. DC was treated to a gem of wit in journalistic proportions with the latest installment of “Reel Journalism with Nick Clooney.”

The series, started just over a year ago, was the brainchild of Distinguished-Journalist-in-Residence (for both the American University School of Communication and the Newseum), Nick Clooney.

That’s right — the man who brought us George Clooney is the same man responsible for ushering in a new era of journalistic integrity and understanding — as long as you get a ticket before they sell out.

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Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Media, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

Real World DC Drinking Game!

Photo courtesy of
‘Drink Responsibly’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

And now, to make our Real World viewing experience more enjoyable, I present the RWDC drinking game that I promised last week.  I envision this game developing as the season goes on and we get to know the characters a bit better.  For now, though, I think that this should get us through the next episode.  And, since it’s Wednesday, it’s perfectly legitimate to interpret “drink” as “sip.” The rules are after the break. Enjoy!

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Adventures, Fun & Games, Media, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

Real World Live Blog Tonight!

Photo courtesy of
‘The Biggest Looser’
courtesy of ‘: rebecca :’

More live blogging is coming your way, this evening, for episode two of the Real World: DC.  Last week, we had 200 people tune in and it was the bomb .  So, please join us right here on the WLDC main page at 10pm for more “real life.” Oh, and be sure to have drinks in hand.  It makes the Real World so much better.

Fun & Games, Media, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

RWDC Drinking Game

Photo courtesy of
‘beers’
courtesy of ‘Amberture’

Currently, my cohorts and I are live blogging the Real World and have come to the unanimous conclusion that this season will be impossible to get through sans alcohol.  So, dear readers, it has fallen to me to create a drinking game.  Unfortunately, in the course of watching the Real World, my mind imploded, so I need your help in devising said game.  What are your suggestions?

Media, Music, The Daily Feed

Your Own Special Jawbox Performance

“For Your Own Special Sweetheart” courtesy of Dischord Records

Jawbox, without a doubt my all time favorite DC band, recently reissued their 90′s rock masterpiece “For Your Own Special Sweetheart” on Dischord Records. To celebrate the reissue, Jawbox agreed to a one-off reunion performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Their performance of “Savory” aired last night and it was well worth staying up to watch.

For a music nut like me this performance was – in a word – magical. It was all there, everything that made Jawbox so great back in the day, heck everything that made indie-rock in general so exciting in the early 90′s. The introverted yet passionate vocals, the jagged and jangly guitar inter-play, the shout & nod cues from the rhythm section, and of course that soul-stirring Jawbox harmonizing. No posturing here; just flat-out inventive rock and roll by scene legends who haven’t played together since 1997.

If you missed it last night you can watch the Jawbox Fallon performance plus two unaired songs by clicking the following titles: “Savory”, “FF=66″, and “68″.

Now here’s hoping for the gang to treat their hometown to a show or two before going under for another 12 years!

Entertainment, Media, The Daily Feed

Real World DC Trailer Released

realworldhouse

And the second we thought they were gone…

The Real World DC trailer was released. Hoorah! The standard MTV formula of drama, binge drinking, bar fights, and in-house romance are scheduled for this season’s messy rendition of the original reality television show.

8 strangers, 1 house, what a mess. Is it bad that I find immense comfort in the fact that this stuff is hilarious? I think not! It’s been 20 plus years. They would’ve shelved the Real World if it wasn’t good by now — right?

Season 23 premieres Dec. 30 at 10 pm. Get ready, it’s gonna be a wild and trashy joyride you don’t want to miss.

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Entertainment, Media, News, Special Events, The Daily Feed

A Good Way To Spend Lunch

Photo courtesy of
‘Hipster PDA’
courtesy of ‘koalazymonkey’

Got time for a long lunch?  Then head over to the Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA) on Friday, October 30th from 12-2pm to check out “Art & Copy,” a documentary about advertising and innovation that includes some of the industry’s greatest minds, like George Lois, Mary Wells, Cliff Freeman, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others. The film’s executive producer, Kirk Souder, will be on hand for a Q&A post viewing. The film will not be widely released, so this is your only chance.

Correction: Earlier posting showed today’s date.

All Politics is Local, Crime & Punishment, Downtown, Fun & Games, Media, News, The Daily Feed

The Chamber gets Pranked

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One of DC’s largest lobbying groups, the US Chamber of Commerce, has found itself as the butt of a prank.  Yesterday, a group claiming to represent the Chamber called a press conference at the National Press Club.  A few journalists, representing such prominent organizations as Reuters and CNN, showed up to here the stunning news that the Chamber was reversing its long-held stance on clean energy, which had been decidedly “pro-business” up to this point. Mid way through the press conference a man from the actual Chamber burst into the room and decried the proceedings as fraudulent.  Fortunately for us, the whole incident was caught on film and found its way onto Youtube.

At this point, details of what actually happened are still a bit shady.  It appears that a civic-minded comedy group, the Yes Men, staged the prank to call attention to the Chamber’s environmental stance. This group has held other, fake press conferences in the past, including delivering a fake key-note address on behalf of Exxon-Mobile at a major oil conference. At this point, the Chamber has stated that it is pursuing legal action against the Yes Men.

What do you all think?  Harmless joke? Praise-worthy activism? Crime?

Media, The Daily Feed

The All New Print Post

allnewpost.jpg

If you missed a copy of the print edition of the Washington Post this morning, you might want to go grab one to see the difference. It’s a pretty significant re-design of the front page, as well as the organization of the paper at large. They have a PDF Guide to the Redesign up on the web today as well. I’m not if I adhere to the “any redesign that needs a lengthy explanation is a bad one” theory of information architecture, but it’s certainly amazing to see what they’re trying to accomplish.

Editor Marcus Brauchli will be answering questions live in 15 minutes about the re-design of the print edition. Don’t miss it!