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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  March 22, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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dean lyons: how often do you tweet? gabriel: several times a day. one of you was tweeting you were excited to have me here. i responded. was that you? good to see you in the world. just to tread lightly and question the status quo, partly for me what i feel is a visible position, i am a private person, and i use twitter more for professional services, so you will see me tweeting things like we issued our transparency report. that is the kind of thing i want people to know about. i know there are a lot of other people tweeting about seeing
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their daughter's first steps. my daughter's first steps were experienced by me in the comfort of my own home and were not disseminated in this way, but that is up to each on their own. dean lyons: i tend to use it professionally as well, but occasionally i will tweet about my kids, and it sounds authentic to them. i think they respond favorably. gabriel: it is lovely. it is lovely. as a user, some of those moments where i get to see this unvarnished look at people i've never would have had access to -- i love those experiences. to be able to be exposed to interactions between people -- i love those experiences, too, and to the extent there is an appetite to see that unvarnished look at me, i am happy to catch
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up over a coffee at some time, but i am not putting it on display. dean lyons: are there any tweets you regret? gabriel: that is a great question. maybe because i am a cautious person, no, there are none, but i stand by them. there are plenty of other people i regret having done. dean lyons: that is great. this is a relatively recent tweet of mine and i thought it was harmless. my daughter had a civilization's history textbook and i picked it up and started going through it and it mentioned that as best experts can tell, christ was not born in the year zero. he was born in the year 5 bc that was the best guess. i tweeted i just learned this,
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am i the last to know? the birthdate of christ is an important date for a lot of people in the world, and i got a response. [laughter] i was trying to be the scientist. it was one of those things where it got a little more response than i expected. [laughter] gabriel: if it makes you feel any better, we had dr. neil degrasse tyson out in the bay area area last week, and he came by the office and i was asking him about an extraordinary exchange he had -- some of you may have seen this -- i think it was last christmas, and he tweeted out that on this day december 25, we celebrate -- i will do a bad job of paraphrasing, but this is the spirit of it, for you fact-checkers -- "on this day,
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we celebrate a man who was born, and by the time he was 30 revolutionized the world. happy birthday, isaac newton." it turns out people assign very special value to december 25 and he heard an earful about that, but to your question, any tweets that we or others regret -- he certainly was unapologetic in having made that. you know, i think, again, people are provocative in their lives. he is certainly a provocative member of our society, and i think he is probably just as provocative now as he was before twitter, it is just that we all get to experience it along with him. those types of behaviors, i love seeing. dean lyons: that is part of why the university is such an
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exciting place. the marketplace for ideas is open, and that is why we love it here so much. gabriel, thank you very much for being here today. gabriel: thank you for having me. [applause] >> the house and senate return next week with their budget plans on the agenda. eight tyree remains -- a priority remains increased sent spending -- defense spending. we will hear more about the budget with mac thornberry. he will discuss the pentagon budget and other issues at the strategic studies institute. that is monday on c-span2. >> coming him next on c-span, a
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discussion on newsgathering in the 21st century. and then a discussion on how investigative journalism is impacting consumers. buzz feed news executive editor was part of a recent discussion on media and the 21st century. she was joined by gawker's editor in chief. this discussion was moderated by tom rosenstiel, a former media critic. this is just over one hour. [applause] >> long gone are the days with two daily doses of in the ages
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of advanced technology, news is reported and consumed. americans are turning to online sources of information. this age of new news is given by website. publications that take up more than that of your facebook news feed. although these organizations are younger than most people in the audience, they have a dramatic impact on how our generation receives news. tonight, we have an all-star panel. an editorial intern for vice. rose to the editor in chief in 2011. we have max read editor-in-chief of gawker. we have tom
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american director of the press institute please welcome me in jordan tonight's panel. -- in welcoming tonight's panel. >> i want to start by asking you how you would describe the mission of your organization. let's start with gawker what do you see as the mission of gawker ? what function do planar audience's life >> we spent a lot of time talking about this because gawker has been around a long time, especially for a blog. we started as a gaza publication and brew into a place that
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funded culture change. the one thread that has been pulled through that entire history has been our status as a trusted guide as to what is bs and what is not. the idea we can seek honestly because they are too afraid or concerned with their own respectability to say to get take readers and sit them down and give them a stiff drink and see that thing the times was telling you is wrong. these are the players behind the scenes and this is what you need to know in order to know the news. tom: it is like the inside story. max: either way, the goal is to make everyone on the inside, to tear down the gatekeepers and to let there be no what journalists are talking about at the bar or when they see each other for
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lunch. tom: the names are intriguing. gawker and buzzfeed. it is another name that implies something. what is the mission? >> we have been working on our shani: we have been working on our mission statement, and i don't have it done yet. for news that is really causing trouble, kicking ass, taking names. for the intersection -- for the entertainment section, we also have a news section.
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we try to do all kinds of things to meet people where they are. tom: let me follow up on that. you are known for cat videos. i saw a presentation of buzzfeed , and it is a picture of a basset hound. but you also have a range of things that goes to watchdog journalism. i will ask any minute about resources. what role do you see buzzfeed playing in the life of its audiences? shani: since i work primarily with news, my focus is being a trustworthy source to our readers. that is primarily why have invested so heavily in news media. they do not have a reason to trust us, because we had not been presenting ourselves as a trustworthy source of news. that is what has been changing
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in the last couple of years. from my perspective, a big part is making our readers -- helping our readers understand we are helping them. tom: i will push on that when we get to it revenue models. rocco, you have spent 10 years at vice. i'm going to ask you to describe vice's mission. rocco: i actually have to take something here. i'm in no longer with vice. in order to come to this event given circumstances i won't get into, and it should not detract from this. but in order to be here and talk to you guys, some stuff h appened, we'll say. tom: so you're speaking as an individual. rocco: as a good american.
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[laughter] tom: so, given that caveat, how does vice fit into this new media ecosystem? rocco: there used to be eight a rate card, one of the guys from tv on the radfio -- "vice is the all swalloingwing whore of babylon." there is some truth to that -- vice is vice. what started out as a free publication in montreal evolved to being literally about vice, sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, and over the years we have different voices in places that were lacking interesting
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reporting. some of this was by luck, some by accident, i lot of it with the founders and everyone that works there. we have somehow transitioned that egos into expanding vice -- that ethos into expanding vice. vice candy eating too much, it can be -- can be eating too much, it can be anything. what people are accepting as news these days. all three of us would not be here if this was not a great topic to discuss. tom: before we get to it revenue models let me ask about how all three of your organizations have grown. why is that?
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what is the void you think you are feeling that allowed you to do this? was it knowing it digital technology and digital publishing and understanding data, was it something else? whoever wants to jump at that one. max: i think gawker -- there is an information arbitrage going on. every journalist who has ever worked on a story has had information that they were able to put into that story because they had editors that were afraid of it, work were friends of the people that the story was about, or people who otherwise did not want to put that in the paper. that is a huge amount of information that a lot of people might be interested in that we have long held -- the perfect gawker story is one user at a bar from another journalist and
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then you actually go and tell everybody else, because it should be public knowledge. there was nobody really doing that. there were people doing something similar to that at various times certainly tabloids it is a tabloid related kind of things. that sense -- i hesitate to use these mtv words, but raw unflitered uncensored, these things that otherwise people would not have access to. there was nobody doing news in the way that people actually talk about news. swing to your cubicle mate at the office and say "hey, did you hear such and such about a news story?" and you talk about gossip that is not necessarily concerned with the specifics pinning down individual facts, so much as presenting it and trusting
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yourself to do it. tom: how about at buzzfeed? i know it is a data and technology company. it studies the audience very deeply. what is the engine of your growth? shani: from the perspective of news it comes from the fact that we have a pretty traditional background in our news leadership. we started with politics stuff. we realized that we need to be on top of breaking news. something that we learned during the boston marathon bombing is that people were coming to us to see if we had updated information. that was something that had never happened before in a large numbers. and that was the point at which we really started beeifing up
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our breaking news operation. then eachit grew from there. we should invest in foreign correspondents and world reporting. part of it is about being taken seriously, and part of it is because it is fascinating and interesting and worth telling our readers about. there are all of these different paths that we expanded into. just because we had a very traditional start. tom: part of it is that you attracted a big audience, and you had money that allowed you to expand. what was the engine behind that? did you make your storytelling easy for millennials and brought audiences to fo llow, was it because you are built around sharing and mobile? shani: part of it is knowing what people like. our founder jonah, is great at
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this, spending his lifetime looking up people interact online. he has a note in stories about how information is shared. -- he has a million stories about how information is shared. people are interested in things that make them feel smart, that make them go good. people want to share those emotions with other people. they let you put the post of some dog story on facebook and share that with friends. there is a aspect of human psychology which is harder to quantify, which is trustworthiness. you can build a big audience and i a lot of traffic but you have to be anything that your audience believes in beyond entertainment. tom: is there something about sharing. data would suggest that people share things publicly -- once
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you share it on facebook or elsewhere, it means you are recommending. shani: yes, although that has changed. three years ago, people were not sharing as much content about sex and bodies and menstrual cups or whatever. now that has shifted where people feel comfortable about sharing that stuff on facebook with their names attached. tom: some people do. [laughter] tom: rocco, what is the essence of vice's growth? rocco: we started as a print product. i think max and i can agree on this, but at the sake of arsenic, emergent yourself --
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for the sake of argument, emergent yourself in stories on a lesser level i don't know./ you're being very honest about your own experience, not getting in the way of the story. i think that translate to video verys to video very well. it is interesting how that might translate to social. i don't know how that works. we are seeing things like that emerge. we were talking earlier about snappedchat. it is fleeting, it makes you feel like you have an exclusive on something. that may be the next frontier on how we interact the news. one thing that vice has taken from the old guard is listening to its readers and viewers. those are the people at the end of the day that you have to answer to.
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finding and keeping the pulse on of the zeitgeist. tom: washich is it different from the old-style -- different from the olympian voice of the old-style? rocco: yes, taking things further out and it knowing that it is recorded in some regard. there will be interesting cultural shifts happening. you are seeing it on entertainment level. with this post-snowden environment, i think it will affect the media ways. all of those things are participatory. we willtom: we will get into that. that is a big issue. before we do, let's get down to a basic thing, so people understand the structure of your organization.
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traditional american immediate has been funded by advertising. in radio, that was some version of display.a,, ads, video ads. what is the revenue model of gawker, and if it is, what kind? max: for 2013, we were 80% funded by advertisements. it was similar to that last year. we have a very traditional revenue model. a slightly different thing we do from print is that week felt sponsored posts not written by advertisers necessarily, but approved by advertisers that are labeled as "such and such post sponsored by brown ale" that appears in our feed somewhat somewhat to our post. you see this in magazines where you see inserts of doctors and things like that. the other bit of revenue that is
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new and growing quickly for us. gawker is one ifof eight sister blogs. we have a whole host of ajit gadjet and tech focused blogs. whenever we do a review, it includes a link to that gadget. we have an affiliate partnership with amazon. if you purchase it through that link to amazon, we get some portion of the revenue. 15% of our revenue in 2013 was just through affiliating alone. it is a weirdly growing thing. i am not 100% control with it, but we do label it. we say if you purchase this through our link, we received some of the revenue. tom: it is transaction revenue. how easy is it to note that
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sponsored content is sponsored? max: it depends on the person. i am skeptical that the majority of our readers know what gawker is. given that a huge portion of our audience is revenue to gawker. it is unlikely to me that they would know what a regular gawker post compared to eight sponsored one. -- compared to our sponsored one. there is an offset of color there is a post that says is sponsored. you cannot comment on them, obviously advertisers are not interested in letting you comment. [laughter] it strikes me as pretty similar to what print and newspapers and magazines have done with big ads that are meant to resemble a newspaper. tom: what are traditionally called advertorials. and do you sell banner and
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pop-up ads? max: we do./ i am not super pretty toivvy to the actions of our advertising departments. tom: i won't bore people with all of this. but when we started buzzfeed summits of the traditional revenue is pop-up ads. he said, we start with the perception that banner ads sucks, that is why we can't charge much for them. we will invent a new form that people like as much as the rest of our content. and he gave a big this to what is now -- a big impetus to sponsored content. is that a big part of your
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revenue model? shani: i tend not to think about that in the arena as editor. tom: your people have no involvement in creating the sponsored content. how about itat vice? rocco: none. rocco: it is interesting. pop-up ads are annoying. people that flipped through magazines look at the advertisements that for so long. i think there is a church and state. if you look at ink on paper for so long, exponentially technology develops more quickly. you seek public ads replete lose their value. -- pop-up ads quickly lose their
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value. there is going to be new platforms through which content and advertising. the first thing is that there are three problems to me. -- three prongs. those three prongs are in some way the weightay vice's revenue problem works. i tried not to think about it while i was there. [laughter] what the advertiser is buying an association. that is what advertisers want. you do not want your acura ad next to a pileup on the freeway. you are buying the readership or the viewership. that is what an advertiser is looking for. i think model advice is similar. there is also advertising or a creative services division. i think the ultimate goal is to
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not do anything that crosses that line. and because of our content, we work with brands closely so that they think there is an authenticity. you can make a custom campaign for them. there is a different leg there then what is going on with you guys. tom: as the editor, there is some sponsored content that you think is terrible, do you have any role in raising concerns? max: i have an open mind to the people who do that. to their credit, they want us to be good. that is what their job is, to make stuff that ghues three version of the gawker voice that takes some of the shine, has some of that gawker aura.
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we have had trouble in the past. the division is enough, that our site kotaku mispelled the site otaku the entire post. that sort of thing will get fixed immediately. tom: one way or another, you are selling trust. at gawker, you are selling an inside story. at buzzfeed, your trying to build up trust fund these other topics. as editor, you are in charge of detecting that trust. do you agree with that? -- you are in charge of protecting that trust. what metric is most important to you?
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max: traditionally at gawker it has been page views. most of my job has been page views, we are asked to bring a certain number of visitors every month. recently we talked about moving away from that to some nebulous new set of metrics. this is a corny thing to say the best metric is to get a couple e-mails from people that like what we do, even if it is just too-three you know thatt 203-3 emails. is the closest sense to feeling that you did some a good. tom; that: that is remarkable. that is the kind of thing you might hear an editor say 30 years ago. tom: what about at buzzfeed? shani: michael is getting someone -- my goal is hitting
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someone acting badly fired from their job. we have a socialist, which is a proprietary -- a social list, which is a proprietary way of seeing how many people have shared it. is about getting a sense of how our it is spreading beyond the people that you seatededed it to on twitter. we also have time spent engagement, and obviously page views. tom: so it is not just sharing. shani: no. rocco: i think putting someone in jail was lying and get away with it. that is my ultimate goal. you can get a lot of traffic off that. [laughter] internally am a of course. views matters -- internally, of course page views matter. i think there also might be part
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of our job to not be disingenuous, not to trick anyone. but you do want to bake them into theit them into the honey. the world is not just cats. [laughter] tom: you are not entirely new there. okay. so let's talk about ethics. do you guys all have an ethics policy? max: we don't. [laughter] max: i mean, i have a personal set of ethics. i hope our writers do too. my ethics can be used to trap us to give us an idea that we are in a publicly accountable box. the executive editor of gawker
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says that ethics is a measure of how much scurrilous and this your brand is 00-- how much scurrilousness your brand is willing to bear. we are willing to do stuff that a lot of folks are in control with. tom: what would you get fired for at gawker? max: not doing a good job. we have not once had a writer fired over a story. plagiarism generally we recommended a --we reprimanded a writer for even the hint of pleasures on a post. it is not about kissingpissing off
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an advertiser. tom: you just recently wrote one? shani: might central concept is that i can missed -- i canvassed people across my editorial. my thought is that it needs to make it easy for reporters to do their jobs. that, to me, means giving everybody guidelines. not necessarily exact answers on how to approach ethical crises, but a general sense of how we operate. how jack, our editorial director thinks. because we have become a large organization. making it easy for people to access how we would approach.
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-- tom: are there established guidelines, what theys should they be? and this question of massive amounts of data that of been obtained by who knows? this touches on that, and also on the question of information that is secondhand, that you did not gather yourself. by the way max, i will send you a copy of "the ethics of journalism" so you can build an ethics code. [laughter] what do think the stance of journalism should be about illegally obtained info, but not
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illegally obtained by you? rocco i: i think the standard is the same, and still is. i read the ethics code, it is really great. shani: thank you. rocco: i thought it was spot-on. they are pretty traditional values i think. really the question is, is it in the public's interest to know? you can get into the cold gatekeeper thing. -- the whole gatekeeper thing. i feel that morality is no longer a religious thing it is not something that your mom teaches you, it is an efficiency. because if you lie, you die. that is my ethics policy. because it is going to come out, and it is going to be far worse than bw, whatever is going on
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right now. you can see how bad things can get. that, to me, is the most simple policy. in terms of these leaks have you go through gigabytes, or terabytes of information and not look at people's social security numbers, these things that are illegally obtained? hackers have an agenda of putting that together. the story becomes so big at some point. i think the only loadstone you have is that it is in the public's interest. eye thati bet max has some thoughts on this. max: every story is different, and every writer is different but there are a huge host of factors you are waiting. -- your are weighing. tom: by public interest, do you mean is it interesting, or is it a public good? max: maybe those are the same
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thing. public entertainment is the public good. sony is an interesting example. to think about things are scurillous, i disagree with son in y in particular, that is a slamdunk. we're talking about a multibillion dollar company that is having trouble. in this case, angelina jolie is instrumental to a set of business decisions being made by this company. this is celebrity gossip, and what we were accused of when the published in a between jolie the producer and head of sony motion pictures entertainment. we published it because it had hollywood quality expletives, but it was also because of a famous disaster of a movie. the steve jobs movie was a huge
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disaster for this powerful company. they are private e-mails that unquestionably serve a public interest. versus the social security numbers of thousand sony employees, there is no case you can make that this would serve a public interest and no reason we would want to publish those. that did not even come up. shani: similarly, we found the e-mail between amy pascal and scott rudin about obama's supposed favorite movies, which all happened to be starring black people. i can't even remember what they were. that is actually news in that where we are in a moment where people are looking at the likeness of oscar nominees. 00-- the whiteness of oscar
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nominees. this jokey racism plays into all of the stories we are seeing. tom: would you say you are all in the journalism business? [laughter] tom: ok. i mean, that was a question i wanted to ask not based on the answer people have given. there is a lot of new media that resists that word. that thinks no, that is somethi ng old, and we're inventing some thing you. max:-- something new. max: gawker's founder said that we do not do journalism, but we might do journalism accidentally. tom: what made you become journalists? max: it became clear that what we were doing was journalism. we always believed that allsup
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was news. -- that gossip was news. and if that is the case, then it gossiping was an active journalism. we have been doing news and porting for so long that it deems silly to -- reporting for so long that it seems silly to put up a falseruse. tom: what is the biggest mistake you think your organizations have made so far? [silence] [laughter] tom: i'm going to give you a pass, rocco. you start, maybe i will come back around. shani: i think one of the biggest mistakes we made is something a gawker reported on quite astutely. in the early days of buzzfeed
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when we were a content laboratory, we did not have journalists. this predated news, predated our editor-in-chief. there were a lot of bizarre and not quite up to par posts on the site. at some point, someone decided to delete from the site under the auspices of it being predating our journalism operation. we should not have diluted this post. -- not have deleted those posts. not because we got caught, but it is not right. [laughter] tom: how about a gawker? t gawker? startups are supposed to learn from their failures, so what do you can sit or a failure -- do you consider a failure? max: we kept our foot to the
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huddle on pagespedal for page viewds for too long. recently facebook change the way it serves news to people on feeds. it has meant that stories now get all kinds of insane numbers of people reading them without much effort or quality. when we started, we believe that quality and popularity are, if not identical, or very close together. facebook has changed that dynamic. we should be thinking about new ways we can another wewe can measure success and quality. tomm: would you think the biggest mistakes new mjeedia
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are making in general? rocco: i think not being transparent to your readers at all times. is the biggest mistake you can make in this game. that is all i will say. tom: when you say transparent does that mean about how you got the story, transparent about your personal politics transparent about your intentions? that is a major concept in my books. my view is that is what objectivity is, but what do you mean? rocco; gettingoo: places to make mistakes. if you're going to say that you speak the truth, you have to be able to do that unfettered.
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i don't know. it sounds like you guys can talk smack on your boss, and it doesn't hurt you. max;: are encouraged to. tom:shani: i lockve talking smack on my boss. tom: so what we are going to do is going to the green room and then max can post it on gawker., before we get to questions where do you see this being in five years? wherewhat do you see news looking like? shani: i don't like to make predictions. max, we were talking earlier about how it is useless, usually. tom: but you have to make business plans. shani: true.
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but has a pretty traditional journalists, i don't perceive the fundamentals changing very much., in terms of what is good and how to report. beyond that, i don't know. to wetom: we know we are going to mobile. shani: a majority of our readership comes from mobile. i think about 60%. tom: is that changing the way you write stories? shani: it is fun with our tech team. they are able to give us a preview of what the post will look like on mobile. it has been code thealled the mobile preview. because we are sitting at computers all day, that is not what most people are seen. to see what people are actually consuming in a buzzfeed
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post is useful. tom: and better understanding the audienece's behavior? shani: yes we like to know what they're thinking. tom: leading or following? shani: it is important to know what kind of couple you want to have a threesome with. [laughter] obviously they should tell us if they want. rocco: i hope the future is smellovision and holograms. max: i think shani is right. anyone that thinks they know what the content industry looks like 18 months from now is lying to you. building trust with your regulars and your publication
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the quality of the stories you are bringing out, if you have a fantastic tech team as buzzfeed buzzfeed does, to deliver stories in a way that readers will appreciate. the hope is that nothing will change so much that it will push publications out of business. i don't know, either not the business guy. -- i am not the business guy. tom: how much of your traffic comes directly to the page versus social? rocco: ours is about 30% -- max: ours is about 30% facebook, 1/3drd called arkdark. tom: how about at buzzfeed? shani: i cannot tell you off the top of my head. primarily facebook followed by
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pinterest and twitter. tom: what about vice? rocco: it follows the same, maybe minus pinterest. [laughter] tom: how important is your understanding facebook's mysterious algorithm to know what will succeed in their delivery? shani: i think you can't obsess about it because it is constantly. -- it changes constantly. there is not one outgrow them, there are 40 and they are tweaking them constantly. -- there is not one formula. what will get me traffic today over what people actually care about -- tom: you don't focus on that intermediary. shani: yeah. tom: in an increasingly crowded
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marketplace, one argument could be made -- and you have all talked about this -- you have gravitated towards being more trustworthy. you have passed journalism. do you think that your brand is going to migrate towards becoming more serious, more trustworthy because that will serve the business model? rocco: trustworthy is a funny word. i want to torture it to mean something that it doesn't. which is to say, i want people to trust that we are being honest with them, not necessarily that what we are writing is true, or that we are 100% positive it is true. we are a gossip rag, and we embrace that and publish gossip. the hope is that we have the integrity and identity that allows people to recognize that without them making the judgment
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about the stuff we are presenting based on the transparency and so on. the only thing you can rely on is your name, and if so, you want to make sure it is taken seriously, or at least understood. tom: it is a sort of 21st century tabloid. shani:and buzzfeed? tom:shani: yeah, but not too serious. tom: don't take yourself too seriously. journalists to be funny because they deal with all kinds of stuff. some serious issues need to be addressed that were not addressed earlier. so i think it is a trend, if you
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will. tom: our trend is to go to the audience. >> thank you so much for coming. [indiscernible] tom: good question. max: i would say i believe that
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essentially. i believe that rocco is good at his job. what we are talking about his business models. we have a history of reporting on vice and people coming into stories and telling us that they are only reporting on vice because we are jealous. everybody is jealous of advice they have a lot of money. [laughter] it is important that readers reckon i'd we're doing the reporting because we believe those stories to be important. tom: let's stick to one question per person. >> hi, thank you all for coming. you will consider yourself to be in the journals in business, but also you work for websites with a lot of people viewing your articles. how do you balance publishing
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quality content that is important, but also being quick based? tom:shani: we don't do quick base. tom: remember, you're in the trustworthy business. shani: not every story needs to get the same amount of traffic. that is the most important thing to understand. for us, for me, what i think about most is this story reading the people in needs to reach. -- it needs to reach. if we are doing a story on a chronic fatigue syndrome and it goes to 60,000 people, and then you go to a quiz on moments that historic your community and it goes to 400 million people that is okay. the people that read the story on chronic fatigue syndrome are sending you e-mails and asking if they can translate
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it into their journals. there are so many metrics we can measure success on that thinking about everything as traffic is detrimental. but it is also bad for business. tom: do you guys have expectations about how well a certain kind of story should do? worse that more refined -- or is that more refined? shani: i have a general idea depending what a success looks like. but we don't have traffic goals. tom: how about itat vice or gakwer? rocco: the metric is quality and it needs to be determined somehow. you're doing this job in some regard, you can say that one piece is going to go nutes ors or get on reddit or something. and sometimes i think, this is a shitty story.
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but that is our job, to predict that. there are other pieces, trying to be dispassionate about it. people will e-mail you about the stories, and if the right person reads it, maybe one person does change. and real-world changes the real metric. -- is the real metric. shani: we got a senior nsa official fired because of a conflict of interest. that didn't go wide on facebook by any means. i would take that almost any day. tom: thank you. >> hi, thank you for coming. this is been a very entertaining event. [laughter] tom: a little bit of seriousness. >> my question is -- do you think that someone reading exquisitely as a media like her companies could be considered
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fully informed? follow-up to that would be, do you think your readers have the perception of being fully informed if they are only getting your media? rocco: i do think there is any such thing as fully informed obviously. max: if you read facebook or gawker, i can see yourself being very well informed. shani: i will steal this for my boss who always says people think of this middleground reader who reads the newspaper every day. he is a little bit interested about the latest incident, and a bit interested in the rocket going to space them, and wants to read the paper to get an anchor mental update on thse thinese things. -- to get an incremental update on the things.
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i don't think that kind of person actually exist. rocco: i will say people are more complex than marketing department or editorial deferments think. -- editorial departments think. >> thanks for coming. buzzfeed gawker, and vice all have sister sites or subsections. if you could add a sister sistte or remove one which one or why? shani: from each other's? [laughter] >> it's open. max: something we do well, and could be done better his coverage of internet culture. -- is coverage of internet culture. we call it weird internet, but it is not even weird, it is just to let. -- it is just internet
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gizmodo does a bit of it. is ait is incredibly important and influential. >> i really to find a way to tell climate stories in a way that is readable and compelling. it is just hard. the market for climate journalist has been so diminished in the last 10 years. there is hardly anybody doing it. the people who are doing it are doing it were isoing worthy, but not readable work. tom: can i ask a related question? traditional newsrooms, as they have shrunk, have largely given up on diversity pulls. what we have done in research at
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api, the digital divide in terms of minority publishing's not being connected to the internet, that problem may have been solved by wireless. the other problem of digital, this new diversity of content, also has not happened. there is a growing concern -- and now we see in technology, there is even gender diversity issues. do you see this as a major concern? if the goal is to get to scale and brand as fast as possible those broad appeal categories are not going to be served? rocco: if you can successfully use some of that to push forth stuff that people might not read otherwise, it balances out.
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in terms of diversity in tracking using, that is a tough dilemma. -- diversity in news media. they can choose. they cross over. the way things are going categories, whatever you want to call them, sister sites. as long as there is that, it only serves the reader more. >> hi, my question is merely for primarily for shani. you said you wanted to remodel buzzfeed. maybe getting rid of cats. shani: not at all, i love those
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things. >> do think that may reduce the seriousness? i haven't read articles on for ferguson and op-ed pieces that i appreciate. -- i have read articles on ferguson. but also the less academic type posts, to be gentle. pictures of cats, those are fun but do you see those as being potentially harmful or detracting? shani: i genuinely do not. i think it is great and love it. i think most people are not reading buzzfeed as ia whole.
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most people are reading the pieces that cross their facebook page. the thing that we have found through doing research of our users. we like to research what our users think. we felt that people who find out that we do serious news, their estimation of us shoots up in a way that is fascinating because they just did not know. the answer is not to do less of the fun stuff, but to do more of the news and make it clear that is what we do. they don't think less of us because we have some fun quizzes. >> okay. thanks. >> what is your approach to international news, and have you picked people will consume and
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learn from it? rocco vice news has had such strong conflict in the past, but also with the future of buzzfeed news? rocco: i can't speak to vice n ews particularyly now. for we had a" "saving south sudan" issue. 30,000 word story about why he was a failed state. i would love to bring attention to issues like that. maybe i didn't answer the. question i would love to do -- maybe i did not answer the previous question. keep building on the story.
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how does it effect me? that is an important thing. we can say this is how it affects you -- this is the oil incident, follow the money trail. that can be in it shooting thing, and i hope that is the way technology and news go. shani: i'm not quite sure what your specific question was about those. >> i'm just curious about buzzfeed's approach to international news will go forward? shani: there are two fronts in which we do international news. one is our foreign correspondents. we have people based in nairobi the border of turkey. we are hiring a correspondent in nigeria. we have somebody in ukraine. we have people scattered about just sending dispatches in a very traditional way.
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we are also expanding in terms of our bureaus it other countries. we have a london bureau. they are becoming a new source for people in the uk. they are doing news and fun stuff and entertainment for the u.k.. we also are looking to expand in brazil, sydney, and other places like that. >> hi. so your organizations have been around almost sense the beginning of communities that have been formed and started on the internet. your websites are very entrenched in those kinds of committees and were built around the same time. -- kinds of communities and were built around the same time. you have to contend with groups coming in this new edge while still being this new media that was born from the internet, aside from vice, which started in print, but came to the internet. how do you do with those communities coming to the internet and more eestnet the old media -- and more based with
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the old print media compared to the newcomers? max: that is an interesting question, and one i don't think about much. i think my audience is one young enough -- we are not an appealing place to people, as my parents are fond of telling me. [laughter] in that sense, we don't think about them much at all. we aren't generally a publication largely by people under the age of 40. entirely under the age of 40. we think about news from the perspective people that age, we've rated a write it with that perspective. it is not an accent that our audiencese is young.
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i don't know if that answers your questions. >> kind of. [laughter] >> i haven't thought much about people who are not internet age coming to our website. we do wide variety of things. there are things that will appeal to them, and things that will not appeal to the middle. hopefully the right things find them. [laughter] tom: do you care less? if the reader less important if they are 60? to your advertisers, or to you? rocco: to advertisers, probably. shani: i have no idea. nmmax: i don't think about our demographics much. it is about who we are at this moment in the web more than anything else.
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i am a bit more afraid of teens who are vigor in number 00 -- bigger in number don't care about as much because we are not instagram or snapchat. that is a vigor business problem -- that is a bigger business problem for us. >> building on that idea of the community, one thing you need is commenters. i was wondering about the commenting seen on gawker. it is probably the most fiber and i have seen anywhere. i was wondering how you viewed that because most sites hide it.
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we saw commenters -- how do you see commenters playing into the new media scene? >> the founder of our country would be pleased to hear he said that. part of the ito'swe saw is -- the ethos is we give readers the ability to hold us accountable on pages we write. the idea is we have fiber and, intelligent, sharp writers who can call us out when we are wrong or doing something badly. the problem is i think anyone who has done this long enough is in order to have a productive and worthwhile commenting community for online form community, yet that moderators to weed out trolls but also not to fall back on in-jokey, mean-girl things which is something gawker has struggled
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with, both writing and in the comments. [laughter] there is nothing worse than having a writer write something extremely brave or intelligent that they put a huge amount of effort into and the first thing is tl;dr and i looked you up on the internet and you are really ugly. [laughter] women writers are subject to misogynistic, terrible comments. now that i have rambled for too long, to answer your question, if you have a comment moderator great. it can only strengthen a website. i think it can only make a publication better. there is a high chance you would just be publishing with actual racism on your platform.
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>> are there other ways -- do you want to add anything? >> for news, we have removed that we call our native comments. anyone who makes those easily, there is no reason for anyone to comment like that. i made it difficult to comment on news stories. for things like lists and quizzes or lifestyle things, comments are useful in that people can say i tried this and
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it worked for me or people will be like there are funny people who tell funny jokes and go along with the vibe of the host. we like our community moderators to spend time moderating those places rather than terrorism and racial strife. there is less by you -- l you have comments oness value -- less value to have comments on that. journalism is constantly evolving. my friend says every agent invents its own journalism. "the new york times" was invented in response to yellow journalism. it was a reaction. what we think of as journalism is a permanent thing has never been the case. when i got into the business a
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very long time ago, we were trying to essentially put our footsteps into the prints of our elders. and almost ciceronian way of doing it. you're inventing a new journalism. that can always be messy. it is also a very dynamic edge. if you are young and thinking about this, you're going to invent the next journalism and that is pretty cool. at it's very exciting. one thing i would add, the disruption in media, the most profound disruption is financial. it is not that the audience has gone away. the audience is bigger and more constant and it has ever been. this is a search for revenue as much as anything else. >> we want to thank our fantastic panel for being here. [applause]
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thank you so much for joining us. >> are you doing? >> good. >> on the next "washington journal" the latest on the iran nuclear negotiations. with douglas shop. then thomas with the economic policy institute and row mina of the heritage foundation --
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romina with the heritage foundation discussed the budget with the house and senate. after pleasanton -- president obama recently declared the country a national security threat. we will also take your phone calls and look for your comments on facebook and twitter. >> now isis rears their ugly head. we should not be surprised by that. you cannot undo decades of soviet era and saddam you're a stuff with eight years. -- saddam era stuff with eight years. we will be in afghanistan in a troop advising role and draw down to 5000 year and down to almost zero after that. i would warn that we will see a similar result with isis in the
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afghanistan attack. it will be very shaky without u.s. help. >> the tenant general on the failed u.s. strategies in iraq and afghanistan and what we should have done differently on c-span's "human day here, -- "q and a." >> the event included a group of journalists discussing the importance of investigative journalism and its impact on consumers. this is over an ohour. this is over and hour. >> i think will begin right away. thank you all for staying in place. we will move quickly my name is
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jack gillis. i am director of public affairs for the consumer affairs of america. i would like to welcome you on the investigative panel of reporting. for the consumer advocates and working with the media investigative reporting is one of the most critical components of being an effective advocate. today we are going to talk about something near and dear to the heart of advocates and that is investigative reporting. the traditional and the traditional -- and as a result, the increasingly difficult business challenges facing news outlets, the new types of investigative reporting. we will look at how all of this is impacting a key bill in consumer advocacy. because the media is so critically important to advocates there are new questions being raised that will affect the way we are able to change policy. who is emerging as credible news sources on the internet?
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do the new business models affect editorial content? what is the relevance of print and broadcast outlets to their internet partners? how do news recipients, how do we consume us address the concern that the internet content may not be as carefully edited as daily print content? our blogs real competition our traditional news outlets? and what are the challenges in integrating blogs, social media, user-generated content into organizations like abc, nbc, yahoo!, "the wall street journal" and propublica? who has new and blue-chip reputations for unbiased and carefully researched content? the bottom line is we'll look at where investigative reporting is going in the next five years. as we asked these questions, the news, about the news is kind of scary.
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]a recent pew report discussed that the continued erosion of news reporting resources combined with the new media opportunities, present growing opportunities in politics, government, and agencies and corporations to take their messages directly to the public without a filter. here's a snapshot from the pew report. newspaper newsroom cutbacks for the industry down over 30% since 2000. in local tv, sports, weather and traffic now account for an average of 40% of the content. cnn, the cable channel that branded itself around deep reporting, has cut story packages and half. across three of the major cable channels, coverage of live events and live reports during the day, which requires expensive cruise and staff, have been cut by 30%.
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here's where it gets interesting. to combat dwindling resources, a growing list of media outlets such as "forbes" magazine uses new technology to produce content by way of algorithm. no human reporting necessary. this adds up to a new industry that is more undermanned and underprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones into question the information putting their hands. all this is happening at a time as howard kurtz said, the , average consumer can in effect create his own news, picking and choosing from sources they trust and enjoys rather than being spoonfed by a handful of big media conglomerates. of which we have here, the big media conglomerates. almost every year for 20 years we have examined at the media from a variety of perspectives and we've had some incredible participants.
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i can say without question that this year we are honored to have what could be considered the best collection of investigative reporters in the country. so thank you all very much for joining us. so what i would like to do today is just ask a series of questions come encourage the panelists to interact with each other, and most importantly encourage you to interrupt, as -- ask questions, and be part of this discussion. the first question goes to brian ross. brian is abc news chief investigative correspondent reporting for world news "nightline," good morning america and 20/20. he's also began his career actually prior to nbc where he was before abc in waterloo iowa. well, he is a chicago native graduate of university of iowa which explains that water to i -- waterloo, iowa, beginning
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which i could understand when i first read his bio. he is receiving of the most prestigious awards in journalism including seven dupont, six device, 16 in the scope five overs to press awards and five edward r. murrow awards and and many, many more. i could spend an hour listing the stories that brian and his team have done to generate these awards. a couple of them are worth noting, however. exposing the dangerous conditions at factories in bangladesh, making clothes for tommy hilfiger and wal-mart. a toyota report which prompted one of the largest automobile recalls in history. pay to play grading system for overseas. wal-mart use of overseas child labor for their buy america clothing campaign. in fact, i was in wal-mart result and there's pictures of brian all over the place. do not let this man in. [laughter] there are many, many more
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stories, but it must've been when he was 10 years old that brian also broke what many of us remember as a very important story, and that's the abscam story. i guess, brian, you can also be credited with a great movie " american hustle." in introducing brian i also have to acknowledge cindy who is in the audience today, probably one of abc's star investigative producers and some of you i know many of you know quite well. so cindy, welcome as well. so, brian, what is your award-winning stories was done in cooperation with the center for public integrity. how did that come about? what was the relationship? what do you see as the future for joint investigative reports? and if there is a future, what protection do you engage in when selecting a partner to avoid the appearance of bias? brian: thank you, jack. it's nice to be here.
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we partner with the center republican integrity on in the tribal story about what's happening to coal miners vying for benefits under the black lung law. and what we discovered working with a great research at the center, chris, was one doctor at the country most prestigious hospital perhaps, johns hopkins, became the co-companies go to doctor. -- coal companies go-to doctor. after course of 10 or 15 years in every single case he failed to find black lung. he thought it was summer more so -- he thought it was some sort of lung bird disease but he never found black lung. and what chris at the center did was to go back and actually compiled the precise medical records of some 1800 cases, and 1700, examine the findings to some of those people had died and the autopsies showed they
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had black lung. so chris came to us from the center, and with the producer we worked together using the incredible research and, frankly, they can research what we probably would not spend a year and a half doing. that's what chris did. and then putting that together with our ability to sit down at johns hopkins and introduces doctor. after our report, that program was suspended by hopkins. the department of labor since moved to reopen every single case where miners had been denied, and again and again there were many who died who had been determined by their own doctors they have black lung. after this doctor hopkins said they did not, the government reached out to take back the benefits, some of them were in debt for $60,000 because there $50,000, was a callback of the benefits. that was for me one of the most powerful stories we've done in recent time. it led to a number of awards but more importantly to a real change in how the law was administered and how the program is nothing looked at again by the department of labor. and it was, partnerships are not without their issues.
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we all seek to have credit and we try to share the credit as as much as possible. there are a number of awards the center won a pulitzer prize. we won the goldsmith ward at harvard. we won a number of other awards for and it was one of the more rewarding projects i think, but, frankly, as i said, abc probably would not have spent a year and half to go through every single medical file. he did incredible work. what we brought it was i think the ability to help shape the story and to give it a broadest possible broadcast and it went on every single major program on abc news. >> is this something that could happen in the future? how do you work out the organization bringing a bias you want to avoid? brian: we don't want to group with a organization may bring a
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particular bias. i do think the center came to with any particular bias to we work with propublica on project. we're picking and their people who make decisions about who we would and who we would not work with in that kind of joint effort. we are prepared to interview lots of people into stories about all kinds of groups. we are going to go in the trenches together. as journalists we are very picky. moderator: next we have mike chief investigative correspondent at downtown. he has one repeated awards for u.s. intelligence failures, apple grape -- the abba garrotte scandal, -- abu ghraib scandal, presidential politics and the coverage of the aftermath of 9/11. what is particularly, mike is particularly well-known for a couple of major stories, fact
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has exclusive report on the lewinsky scandal gained international attention is coverage of the event of children to the president bill clinton's impeachment. in doing so he earned a whole series of awards and for "newsweek." the national headliner award the edgar a. poe award and white house correspondents award as well as the gerald r. ford award for journalism. is the author to "new york times" best selling books and as a result both of those books have chronicled much of his reporting, and in 2009 mike, along with brody, he will meet in a couple of minutes was named as one of the 50 best and most influential journalists in the nation's capital by washingtonian. he graduated from washington university in st. louis and received his masters degree in journalism from northwestern. we are familiar with with nbc and "newsweek," which may be today we are not so familiar with.
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tell us about yahoo!'s news philosophy and how are they reaching an audience with the news. mike: well, thank you. and actually this is sort of new uncharted territory for me in the digital space. and it is evolving. yahoo! has made a commitment to be a serious news player. it's invested heavily in recruiting people, katie couric is a sort of chief global anchor. matt bynes of the new york times cheap political call missed. i came aboard last year. although yahoo! is a huge silicon valley player, in the news side, it is kind of like in for a startup.
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we are inventing it. we are trying to see what works, exploring, experimenting with different ways of delivering news, both written and video. but a couple things stand out. one is the incredible reach that we have. yahoo! is something like 800 million users globally. when i write stories for yahoo! now, i rarely see the numbers. there are people that track these things, that you get a rough gauge by looking at comments. i never read the comments on my stories. that's a true way to go down a rabbit hole. [laughter] but i do try to look at the numbers to give you sort of an idea of what's out there, and the numbers of comments i get on what i do now at yahoo! is 10 to
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t20 fold greater than anything i would get when i wrote for "newsweek" or online for nbc news. there is a vast audience out there in the digital space that sees your stuff. that is one reason why a lot of major news organizations have wanted to partner with yahoo!. in fact, we have a partnership with abc that was just renewed and that was a sort of highly coveted. other networks wanted to partner with yahoo!. we chose, or yahoo! chose to continue the abc relationship, and that's because to the extent that more and more people are getting their news digitally and mobile, this is where the audience is increasingly going to be.
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so in some respects, although, you know, in silicon valley, yahoo! has a reputation as something of a legacy company. it was one of the early internet companies. it is, i think, very much a pioneer in news on the web. and we've got, we've got resources and there is a commitment, and i'm so very excited about the opportunities. jack: thanks, mike. you are famous for these in depth investigative stories, the penn state scandal comes to mind. you spent hours and hours. how does that translate to two paragraphs on a yahoo! page? mike: you know, the stories that
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i'm doing at yahoo! are a lot longer than two paragraphs. maybe that's what people might see on their mobile or something but it's all there. we been able to do some pretty interesting investigative pieces. there's one that got a lot of attention last year. i've done a lot of reporting on government's war on terror, particularly drone strikes and the effectiveness of those. and we discovered a drone strike in yemen last year that killed a bunch of innocent civilians in the town, caused a huge uproar in the village, anti-u.s. protest backlash because when those killed was an anti, was anti-al-qaeda imam who spoke out
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against the violence of al-qaeda, a police officer was killed. these sorts of errant drone strikes have led to a real question because all drone program is cloaked in secrecy. what does the u.s. government do, what does it do when it kills innocent civilians in a foreign country like this? when the u.s. military inadvertently kills civilians, there's procedures for condolence payments. they will make compensation to the families, but what happened with drone programs have been cloaked in secrecy. we found a guy who was a relative of some of the innocents who were killed who recounted an incredible story.
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this had been a cia drone strike the we tracked him down in yemen, and to get him by skype and were able to get help bunch of records showing that after the drone strike and after some human rights watch had written about this, human rights group in brought him to washington to meet members of the white house, he gets called to the national security bureau in yemen but it was still functioning, they still have a government in yemen then. i'm not sure what would happen now. and basically he was slipped a bag full of $150,000 in cash. greenbacks, sequentially numbered, no paperwork. the deal is, you take this money, take it back to your village, pay the families but does anything about it and there will be no record of it. fascinating account. we were able to actually get the records showing how the money was ultimately wired to an
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account in the guy's village, fully corroborating his story. we have others who were able to do it. and this was the first window into, first the u.s. technology -- acknowledged that it was killing innocent civilians in that town in yemen and also what it was instructed to do tamp it down. , there was a big debate in the village. some people thought it was hush hush money end they didn't want to take it. they ultimately took it. but it was a fascinating window into what happens in the aftermath of a drone strikes ago something were able to do on yahoo!. we spent a lot of time on it. we have some really gripping video, and it got a lot of attention. so that's just an example of the kind of work we can do in this sort of new era of digital news. >> fascinating.
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quick question before we go on to larry. you invested all this time money and effort in this particular story, which could have been anything, including consumer investigative story. you put it up on the internet. do you have any concern that other reporters will just grab it after your investment and repackage it? mike: i mean, i have that concern, the "washington post," "newsweek," if people see her stories and they don't give you credit and then run with it. but by and large people sort of know, you know, you had it first and where it came from. and it's very hard to take a store like that that took a lot of time and effort and a lot of accumulating documents and interviews for somebody to sort of rip it off without it being
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clear where the story is coming from. jack: let's go on to larry roberts, senior editor at propublica. previously he was investigative editor at the "washington post" executive editor of the "huffington post" investigative fund, projects editor at the hartford current, and editor at large at bloomberg news. he became a foreign correspondent for press international. as an editor, larry was a leader on the team that received three pulitzer prizes, one for the current investigation into the flaws of the hubble space telescope, a foreign examination of the vice president dick cheney, and another for exposing the details of the paper half lobbying scandal. at the "washington post" business director, he directed an investigation showing how
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aol misuse accounting the few its disastrous merger with time warner which one the gerald loeb award. he taught journalism at wesleyan university and graduated in new hampshire. to larry, first of all propublica seems to be the hottest discussion item among research and polling communities. so what in the world is propublica? how are you funded? who is your audience? what is your overarching asian? -- what is your overarching goal? larry: thanks, jack. appreciated being here with the consumer federation and with this cluster's panel of reporters. as a lowly editor i'm somewhat , of an odd man out, but propublica is a nonprofit independent newsroom that started about six years ago. and that was in the midst of the real upheaval in the way the internet was changing the news business. there was real fear among many of us at the time that the traditional news organizations because of the change in a
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business model were not going to be able to devote the amount of resources and time to investigative reporting in the sense of long-term in depth work that takes reporters months to produce. and at the time a lot of different kinds of elements of a noose ecosystem started to spring up. propublica raised money from foundations, from individuals, and has built over the last six, seven years a newsroom of about 50 people, focused only on the journalism in the public interest. and that, of course, includes a big swath of reporting on consumers, on how abuses unfairness, abuses of trust, fraud, and what propublica brings to the table is a
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long-term commitment to working on stories, however long they take to do. a big commitment to data collection and analysis, and a feeling that every time we produce the story, that is based on the huge amount of data, we try to extend that reporting to local communities by partnering with people across the country who can do their own versions of it. for example, we recently started a series on workers compensation compensation, took a reporter named michael graybill about a year to produce, and he analyzed how workers caught laws and rules have changed in all 50 states, sure these enormous disparities on how people are treated if they are hurt in oklahoma as opposed to new york. and build this into a big database, an interactive chart
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and now we are working with news organizations, local and regional around the country where they would do their own versions of the story, sort of based on the research that we have produced. and that's been kind of replicated along a number of stories like how pharmaceutical companies pay doctors, which has up until now been sort of a hidden, you know, a hidden thing. so, propublica is like a couple of other nonprofit news organizations, some of which were mentioned before, the center for public integrity which is the one brian worked with, the center for investigative reporting based in san francisco. as the internet has changed things and produced a lot of problems for what we call legacy news organizations, it's also
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opened up a lot of opportunities for different kinds of organizations to spring up, and we are one of those groups. jack: so larry, in your reporting does propublica see as one of its roles the object as to influence and change public-policy? >> yes. that's right. it has a much more sort of focused way, i mean, implicitly in all investigative journalism that's done by anybody from the "washington post," "new york times," "wall street journal," abc news, there's implicitly this idea that if you expose things that are hidden or the people don't want to be known for that are abuses of consuming or abuses of power, that that may lead to change but with a much more explicit mission which is that when we tackle a topic we want to take it to the point where if people want to act on reform for change, they can do
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it. so what that mainly means is that in the choice of what we choose to pursue, we are looking for things that could lead to actual action. jack: fascinating. next we have a brody mullins and it has a good reporter for "the wall street journal." prior to joining "wall street journal," a reporter for the "national journal" and roll call. at "the wall street journal" he first covered tax legislation and then get investigative stories about congress, lobbying and the culture of washington. recently his examination of how wall street minds govern for information to trade stocks helped inspire congressional legislation known as the s.t.o.c.k. act that band members of congress and other aid aid from trading on stock based on insider information. in 22 new series of stories on lawmakers covet overseas on official government business expose a series of abuses, prodded congress to cancel plans to spend $500 million on new luxury jets and led to reforms in how congress traveled abroad. brody has twice received the
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everett mckinley dirksen award this to -- award for distinguished reporting on congress and the national press club award for the best political reporter under age 33. did not know they had the age bracket. [laughter] brody: i think it's a 34. jack: okay. it gets older as you do. he also received the george polk award and was a finalist for the gerald loeb award, along with michael is the washington magazine called him one of washington's 50 best reporters. he is a true d.c. native graduated from gonzaga high school and also northwestern university. so, brody, as a paper focus on business and business people for many advocates "the wall street journal" is somewhat of a mystery. yet much of the investigative reporting done by you and your colleagues has resulted in very consumer-oriented reforms.
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sort of like the "rachel maddow show" resulting in more government, less government regulation so it's kind of an oxymoron, but in terms of investigative reporting how important is it to the fundamental mission of the journal? brody: how important is investigative -- jack: to the journal. brody: i think to "the wall street journal" investigative journalism is incredibly important in part because the problem we've had with investigative reporting overall, a decline in the media and regional newspapers which is greater a vacuum or opening for people doing big broad stories about problems in the government or abuses by lawmakers. these types of stores were the bread and butter of the "washington post," "the new york times" and bloomberg and the journal years ago as well as dozens of regional newspapers. the problem is the regional newspapers don't have the money anymore to invest in these types
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of stories. the issue is that you were him and talking about putting reporters for all three of your talk about putting reporters on stories for upwards of a year. i think that if the regional reporter went to the boston some good work on something for you they would be laughed out of the building. i certainly would be. so that has great sort of an -- that has created sort of an opportunity for abuse. i think lawmakers know at the state level or the national level that no one is watching them. that's a real problem. jack: so do you see the center for integrity or propublica to be competition to your investigative reporting? brody: i certainly do. i think there's enough out there that people can stay in their own lanes. there's enough to cover. i think i know another problem is that people doing this well right now are nonprofits. we work in businesses. we need to make money.
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hopefully over the next few years, coming years, newspapers and journalism overall will figure how to make money for these types of stories. the problem is if you invest in a reporter to cover a story for a year, you could use the same resources to hire five people to write 500 stories. so the challenge is how do you try to make money by investing longer-term stories? jack: i think "the wall street journal" is somewhat unique in terms of being able to make by a because one of the first and continues to be successful at generating enough revenue from its online subscription to be viable. when you are proposing and developing investigative story ideas to editors, do you ever run into pushback that was often in the local press where, you know, that's a great story but
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i'm not sure our advertisers are going to be comfortable with that? brody: i have not dealt with that at "the wall street journal." i'm sure that other people have this. certainly regional papers have done that for a long time. i think the journal is big enough, it hasn't advertisers that they are not dependent on one or two individual subscribers to carry the paper. but that is a big problem also. jack: going back to brian. so we have one million story ideas in this room. how do you decide which story ideas you are going to pursue? what kind of things are you looking for from advocates to get you started on a story? brian: i guess i start with am i interested, have i heard this before, and then as a tv report er to be honest, are there pictures the so decent --
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pictures associated with it? are there people who are hurt? do we have some representation of that? what's going to make a story that will work on television? i think part of it, i think we've done well because we have to get out a way to make almost any story visual. it's not easy but it's a challenge, part of a craft. those are the questions, am i personally interested, don't -- do i want to spend the next three months on something that is interesting to me, that hasn't been out there before, that would have an effect on people, that could have an effect on policy? those are the essential questions to me. jack: the big question many of us get is are there any victims? do you know the victims? where are the victims? and i think, larry, this is were you come in. you seem to have the pull together the data. how do you go about pulling together the data that shows that there are victims out there and it does affect x number of people?
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larry: it's sort of a very methodical process to collect data on a topic where we think there might be something new there. one of the things i wanted to point about the internet is that while it initially was seen by us in the news business as something that was disruptive to what we were doing, it also presents this enormous opportunity to reach people and have a two-way conversation with readers of the news, consumers advocates and judges and everything else. so once we sort of embark on a story line, we often will put in our stories, hey, if you know more about this, or have something to tell us, contact us . that has become an enormous source of stories, as you say of , victims, individual stories, examples of things that are happening in places that in the old days would've taken a lot more time and effort to reach. jack: well, you know, going back
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to brody, again "the wall street journal" is known for precision, you know, for its expertise, sort of a no-nonsense approach. given what larry said, what do you think about the concept of crowd sourcing for information and some are testing whether not that information is real or legitimate? >> it's not something we've done directly but part of the problem with information that goes out on the internet, news on the net sometimes, is credibility. and i think that sometimes that is why you need a dignity -- need a big name behind some of the information that goes out. people don't know what to believe. in the 24 hour cable environment we live in, const information and even a television that turns out to be not true. yesterday there was a big story that was basically not true. and i think that, i think readers at some point will say i will look to name brands or
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brands they trust and say ok so , and so is saying this, i trust that is true. that puts the burden on us to make sure we don't try to follow a story by 30 seconds, that we make sure it is right. jack: so that brings me back to you, mike. obviously, you are one of the more trusted reporters literally in the world. thinking about this trust in thinking about yahoo! and the internet, what kinds of differences have you experienced? you have had amazing experiences. "post," abc "newsweek," and yahoo!. was there different editorial policies? were you under different guidelines to come and how are you going to create this credibility that some people wonder about the internet? >> first of all, in terms of guidelines, the short answer is no. there are standards in our profession and standards of professionalism, and i pretty
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much had that in all of these experiences. actually, my direct editor now at yahoo!, danny, was my editor at "newsweek." he was former bureau chief and managing editor at "newsweek,." the editor is megan, former editor of "the new york times" magazine. so it's the same sort of professional ethos and standards, and i think to a large extent your work speaks for itself. people can read a story and get a pretty good sense once they start delving into it. of whether the work is there whether it is corroborated whether the source is good whether the information can be trusted. now, i do think, as i think when you do good work, regardless of where it is, people to recognize
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it. and if you've got something that people have not seen elsewhere it'll break through. there is a lot out there, and this is, i think this is true for all of us. there is so many sources of news now, so many, not just the traditional legacy news organizations, but a whole range of, ranging from nonprofits to blogs to regional news services to ideologically-driven news organizations. there's just a lot of noise, and a lot of stuff can sort of slip through the cracks. this is my frustration. as a reporter trying to keep tabs on everything that's out there, you know, have i missed something?
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very often it's just word of mouth, did you see that? because if i missed it on my twitter feed, i may not have seen it at all. brian just did a great piece on human rights violations by the iraqi army. i happened to see it on twitter, watch the whole video. it was really good. i did not even know it was on world news tonight. i had to ask him. [laughter] i'm kidding. but i mean, that is the way we are getting our news these days. i was not watching "world news tonight" last night. i was traveling at the time but i was able to see it, but it also means that very often there's so much out there, that good stories get lost that way. jack: i think it's very good because it gives huge numbers of
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new platforms. stories that make -- brian: stories that do not make it on the world news, we will have on twitter. apple tv, a whole sort of magazine stand of investigative stories. i just think it's a very exciting opportunity are all investigative reporters. because there are fewer limits on space and time, and great opportunity. our company and i think others we have partnered with yahoo!. we are raising to be part of the digital future. we can see that's where it's going. so that's something we embrace. we are not afraid of. larry: the other thing, too, i think that's all this noise is going on, i think one of the trend that i may be a pollyanna about this but what instructed knows if there's a growing sophistication among the news consuming audience about what is credible and what isn't. so i think that some years ago it was much more of a free for all where something would pop up and people would believe it for a long time or it wouldn't come from an organization that no one
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ever heard of. but now i feel as though there's this sort of coalescing of some sense of what a credible source is and what isn't. i think that's a great trend. brian: can i just add -- brian -- mike: can i just add, reince and something to me that registered to me as a former tv reporter myself, which is one of the frustrations, i was at nbc is to get into the nightly news or the format, the story got shorter and shorter. two minutes is like a huge takeout on tv news. i don't labor under the same encumbrances at yahoo!. i just got back two weeks ago from cuba and was able, actually , it was a fascinating trip to a --


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