February 3, 2017 Last Updated 1:44 pm

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews whiffs on Conway interview; library systems remain center of growth for digital magazines

Morning Brief: Report says Meredith, in addition to trimming 40 positions, will be taking its hispanic title Siempre Mujer digital-only

Today we remember the dead from Bowling Green Massacre. Wo, hold on there, wait, the what? You remember the Bowling Green Massacre, right? Me neither, because it never happened.

But Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway went on MSNBC yesterday to again blast the media for not covering something, a terrorist attack of such magnitude that the administration felt it had to institute a Muslim ban. Of course, if you haven’t heard of it, and you hadn’t until yesterday, it was because it never happened.

The media, to its credit, has gotten it right this, rightly making fun of Conway for making up something in order to answer a simple question.

But, of course, the real question that needs to be answered is why Conway was on MSNBC to begin with. Chris Matthews handed over a large portion of his show to someone who seems to be the administration’s go-to liar. With CNN in the dog house, MSNBC stepped into the void, maybe thinking it could grab audience of Trump supporters, though that seems highly unlikely since those viewers see only one network as worthy of their time. Worse, Matthews was presented with the perfect opportunity to stop the entire interview and make some real news by simply saying : hold on there, the Bowling Green Massacre, what the hell are you talking about?” He didn’t, and as Jay Rosen, media critic and a professor of journalism, has said of similar interviews “no one who interviews Kellyanne Conway on TV has any idea why they are doing that.”

Vox, Zack Beauchamp:

Kellyanne Conway made up a fake terrorist attack to justify Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that aired on Thursday night, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway managed to get two huge things wrong in a short, 19-second answer. First, she said that the Obama administration banned Iraqi refugees from entering in the United States for six months in 2011 — which is flatly untrue.

Second, and more significantly, she made up a terrorist attack committed by Iraqi refugees that never happened — the “Bowling Green Massacre”…

…It is, I suppose, possible that Conway was referring to the other Bowling Green Massacre, which is a local haunted house.

Meredith, as you may have heard, laid off 40 staffers a week after reporting good earnings. The timing of these kinds of events usually tells you everything you need to know about management’s attitude going into a staff cut. If they occur a week or so before earnings it is often a preemptive move designed to be able to say that the company is aware that it is stinking it up and has already made adjustments (re: mindlessly eliminated jobs). If the move comes after earnings are announced, it generally a strategic move.

Last night, it appears that, in addition to 40 positions being cut, Meredith is also making a move with one of its magazines.

NY Post, Keith J. Kelly:

Meredith shake-up includes exiting editor, shuttering title

Meredith’s shake-up earlier this week has resulted in the exit of Family Circle Editor-in-Chief Linda Fears — and the shutdown of the print version of Siempre Mujer, its Hispanic women’s title, sources tell Media Ink.

Neither Fears nor Siempre Mujer Editor-in-Chief Jessica Torres returned calls, and the company is keeping mum on the specifics.

Siempre Mujer will be a digital-only publication, sources said.

I suppose this takes the concept of ancillary revenue a tad too far, even for a digitally-centric outfit like Vice.

National Post, Sean Craig and Adrian Humphreys:

Former editor allegedly used Vice Canada to recruit drug mules

A former editor with Vice Media used the Canadian headquarters of the youth-focused publishing empire as a recruiting ground to draw young journalists and artists into a transnational cocaine-smuggling ring, according to allegations by current and former Vice employees who spoke to the National Post.

Three current or former Vice journalists independently told the Post that Yaroslav Pastukhov, then Vice Canada’s music editor who went by the name Slava Pastuk, personally tried to recruit them as international drug couriers, offering each of them $10,000 to carry illicit cargo hidden in the lining of suitcases from Las Vegas to Australia. They say they did not accept the offer.

Over the past few years TNM has occasionally published a press release from a library system touting the fact that they now have digital magazines available. The releases follow the same pattern and are, frankly, rather boring – but I do it to remind readers that while digital magazines are being treated badly by Apple and other techs, going largely unnoticed is that soon every library system in America will only offer digital magazines as opposed to print.

The reason is obvious: a library can offer far more selection, with a greater variety of topics, as well as international titles, if they go digital. Also, the library won’t have to deal with patrons who tear out pages, or the chore of having to rotate magazines every month as new ones come in.

Todd von Kampen of the Omaha World-Herald did a good job of bringing us up to speed with what is happening locally with digital media at local Nebraska libraries.

Omaha World-Herald, Todd von Kampen:

Digital media is changing the face of libraries

Meanwhile, patrons’ interest in audiobooks and e-books has grown as checkouts of hard-copy books have declined — though Marlane and her peers say they don’t see the latter disappearing from libraries any time soon, if ever.

E-books’ share of Ralston’s annual circulation has grown from 4 percent to 10 percent since 2014, Canfield said, while hard-copy checkouts have fallen from 86 percent to 81 percent of the total. Her library offers access to many Omaha Public Library resources through a cooperative agreement.

In Plattsmouth, digital media checkouts grew by 8.8 percent between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 fiscal years, while hard-copy checkouts declined by 6.9 percent, according to a report from Mier to the City Council.

Digital downloads from Omaha’s libraries rose 22.7 percent from 2014 to 2015, while total items borrowed edged downward by 0.2 percent, according to the system’s annual reports for both years. Figures for 2016 were not available for this story.

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