January 24, 2017 Last Updated 8:06 am

NYT apologizes for story about fathers left to do the chores due to Women’s March

Morning Brief: Two journalists arrested during Inauguration Day protests that turned violent; digital magazine launch tries to fill need for literary magazines in India that rival those published in NYC or London

The New York Times was forced to apologize for a story that ran on Sunday by Filip Bondy, His story was about fathers left home with their kids as their wives marched on Saturday. It was a bizarre story about men who had to do chores around the house because their wives were doing something important. Oh, poor babies.

That the story would have run online on Sunday, though, didn’t surprise me. I’ve been noticing that the NYT has run some rather odd stories on Sunday or Monday – produced or edited by the weekend crew, it appears.

One shouldn’t be surprised. Before web publishing, the weekend paper was produced by the Monday-Friday newsroom staff, with a skeleton crew in the newsroom on weekends in case something important came up. The Monday paper, generally the thinnest of the week, would then be filled mostly with wire copy and sports. But the world of journalism doesn’t work that way any longer, and when layoffs are occurring in most newsrooms, things are likely to be getting pretty thin, with reliance on freelancers becoming the norm.

In any case, Bondy’s story produced quite a backlash on social media. Bondy, who does not use Twitter much, nonetheless went on Twitter to apologize: “Mea culpa.I treated child care lightly, and it is the cornerstone of equal rights.I was watching my granddaughter when the Twitter storm hit.”

The New York Times, Filip Bondy:

How Vital Are Women? This Town Found Out as They Left to March

“Doing everything by myself all day long is not typical,” Mr. Coyle said, not so much complaining as stating a simple logistical fact.

Mr. Coyle’s fate was not atypical in this town. More than 84 percent of Montclair voters cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton in the November election, and fewer than 11 percent for President Trump, so this was bound to be a fertile ground for participation in the marches. And while the 40,000-resident municipality was not exactly a ghost town on Saturday, there were clearly some stark changes of habit.

Steve Politi, a sports columnist for The Star-Ledger of Newark, missed the Rutgers men’s basketball game on Saturday to stay home with his two children. He did the soccer-game thing, set up play dates (arguably, cheating a bit) and warmed up some leftover pizza for lunch. He also cleaned the refrigerator.

So even though Rutgers earned its first victory in Big Ten Conference play this season, Mr. Politi, a prolific writer, was not there to describe the win.

“I did have to laugh at the irony of my wife marching for equality in New York while I was missing the game and cleaning out the refrigerator,” Mr. Politi said.

The Huffington Post, Emily Pack:

New York Times Apologizes For Much-Ridiculed Story About Fatherss

The reporter and editor responsible for publishing a much-derided New York Times story about fathers are sorry for running the article, they told The Huffington Post Monday morning.

“It was a bad idea from the get-go,” said Wendell Jamieson, the editor who oversees the Times’ Metro section, where the story appeared on Sunday. “It was conceived with the best intentions, but it fell flat. And I regret it.”

Filip Bondy, the freelancer who wrote the story, said, “Sorry, sorry, sorry.”



Two journalists who were covering the protests on Inauguration Day were arrested and charged with felonies. The Guardian’s Jon Swaine covered the story yesterday and certainly gave the impression that the journalists were targeted by the arrests. A journalists on Twitter wondered why the arrests were not getting more coverage.

The answer may lie in the fact that the two, Evan Engel of Vocativ and Alex Rubinstein of RT America, were part of a group of people police arrested when protestors began breaking storefront windows. More than 200 were arrested on that Friday, in stark contrast to the zero arrests reported on Saturday when more than a million people rallied as part of the Women’s March.

We will continue to follow this story to see if the charges stick, or whether the two will be have their charges dropped in February when they have their preliminary hearing.

Oh, and by the way, the Jon Swaine who is writing for The Guardian should not be confused with the Jon Swain, theBritish journalist famously portrayed in the film The Killing Fields.

The Guardian, Jon Swaine:

Two journalists covering inauguration protests face felony riot charges

Two journalists who were arrested while covering the unrest in Washington DC surrounding Donald Trump’s inauguration last Friday have been charged with felonies and could face up to 10 years in prison.

The journalists, who were there on assignment, are both charged with the most serious level of offense under the District of Columbia’s law against rioting. They could also each be fined up to $25,000 if convicted.

Evan Engel of Vocativ and Alex Rubinstein of RT America were arrested on Friday morning outside a school at 12th and L Streets in downtown Washington, according to police reports. They were released on Saturday following initial court appearances. Both had preliminary hearings scheduled for mid-February.

Associated Press:

Lawyers claim DC police made wrongful arrests on Inauguration Day

Some innocent observers, including two journalists, were improperly swept up in a group of 230 people arrested after self-described anti-capitalists began breaking windows in Washington on Inauguration Day, lawyers said…

…City law says that if, in the course of a riot, a person is seriously injured or there is property damage of more than $5,000 “every person who willfully incited or urged others to engage in the riot” can be charged with felony rioting.

But on Sunday, Mark Goldstone, a lawyer representing about 50 of those arrested, said police “basically identified a location that had problems and arrested everyone in that location.” He said there were not 230 people engaged in conduct that merited a felony rioting charge and called the charges an overreach.

“They arrested everyone in a single location including reporters, lawyers, law students and non-riotous protesters,” Goldstone said.



Monday Note, Frederic Filloux:

Facebook Journalism Project is Nothing But A Much-Needed PR stunt

First of all, Facebook needed to do something about news. The social network faces difficult challenges on two different fronts: one is the fake news problem to which Mark Zuckerberg and his team responded poorly — that’s an understatement. The second problem is the publishers’ growing discontent: they feel duped by what they see as Facebook’s propensity to hijack their content’s economic value. After succumbing to Facebook’s Instant Articles mirage, publishers came to an unpleasant realization: while audience numbers were great, the expected generous monetization stream really was a mere trickle of water. (Last week, for good measure, Facebook cut off subsidies granted to a small coterie of publishers to produce live videos)…

…”We will work with third-party organizations on how to better understand and to promote news literacy both on and off our platform to help people in our community have the information they need to make decisions about which sources to trust.”

No kidding. If you can wrap your mind around this 42-word sentence, it’ll amount to saying McDonald’s goes low-fat, low-carb, or Monsanto acquires Whole Foods. Lofty words, unconnected to reality.



This story from the Hindustan Times is a week old, but I just stumbled upon it. TNM has written quite a number of negative things about where digital magazines are going, mostly blaming Apple’s App Store management and publishers who are not enthusiastic about digital editions. But this story gets at the heart of why digital magazines should be a thing: digital allows for the low cost creation of new publications where before print publishers failed to deliver.

The Bombay Review is an online literary magazine launch, one that does not appear to have an app at this time. A few years back I might have said that was a mistake, but the App Store is such a mess that I cannot criticize a publisher for avoiding it altogether.

Hindustan Times, Manoj Sharma:

A host of new digital literary magazines are giving a boost to India’s literary magazine culture

India has always been in the back seat when it comes to a literary-magazine culture. In fact, Brooklyn borough of New York boasts of more literary magazines than the whole of India.

But lately a host of new digital ventures are trying to change that…

…“India lacks literary magazines, it doesn’t have a Tin House or Granta, or even a good Brooklyn Review. The Bombay Review aspires to change that. An India that is increasingly reading online, needs literary magazines ,” says Kaartikeya Bajpai, 21, founder and editor-in-chief of The Bombay Review, a bi-monthly founded in 2014.

The magazine, he says, was started after he realised the poor ratio of Indian literary magazines compared to those in New York or London. While Brooklyn alone has over a dozen independent literary magazines — Breadcrumbs, The Atlas Review, Epiphany, etc, — India does not offer much in the genre with a couple of exceptions such as Muse India, The Little Magazine and Biblio, both published from Delhi.

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