Around The Wire: First Female EIC at the Economist, Blizzard 2015 and More Media News

Welcome to the latest installment of Around the Wire, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging, and freelancing stories from the past week.

Photo by Sven Linder; used under CC BY 2.0

Photo by Sven Linder; used under CC BY 2.0

1. Meet the First Ever Female Editor of The Economist (TIME)

This week, business affairs editor Zanny Minton Beddoes received a promotion. She takes over the reins as editor of The Economist, the first woman to do so in the publication’s 172-year history. Beddoes fills the role vacated by John Micklethwait, whose nine-year run as editor ends as he heads to Bloomberg later this month.

2. Snow Job: Why the Media Hyped the Big Bad Blizzard of 2015 (Fox News)

In the aftermath of the blizzard that wasn’t, it’s easy to question the media hype that surrounded it. Office water coolers across New York and New Jersey have been bearing the brunt of our criticism since Tuesday morning. But the more we think about the incessant doom and gloom coverage, the more it begins to make sense from a media standpoint.

First and foremost, it’s New York. The epicenter of world media. Second, weather is breaking news and nothing garners more readers and viewers than a live story. Another reason is the amount of people affected. More than eight million people live in New York City alone. These factors create a prime opportunity to fill the airwaves and front pages of any news outlet.

3. Al Jazeera Memo Illustrates the Importance of Word Choice (Poynter)

Journalists know the power of words and the effect they have on their writing. This week, Al Jazeera released a memo to its staff stressing the importance of the words they choose pertaining to politically charged language. The goal: Creating a certain amount of neutrality that allows readers to come to conclusions based on actions, not “loaded words.” As the memo states, “one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” This is an interesting thought to consider, when reporting many of today’s most important stories.

4. Conde Nast Unveils Branded Content Shop Powered by Editors (CMO Today/WSJ)

Branded content tends to be produced by marketing departments that are separated from the editorial side of a media outlet to ensure the integrity of reporting. It’s a separation that makes sense since branded content typically is paid advertising at its core.

This week, Conde Nast unveiled 23 Stories, a branded content studio that works alongside its editors. It’s an entity Conde Nast believes will appeal to advertisers, though it risks blurring the lines of what is quality editorial content and what simply is paid advertising.

5. Media News and Moves for the Week of Jan. 26 (PR Newswire’s Media Moves) 

Media Moves keeps you up to date with who went where in the world of media. This week’s edition includes history being made at The Economist, an addition to the metro desk at The New York Times, and a new senior editor at Slate.

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Ryan Hansen is an audience researcher with PR Newswire keeping track of the latest New York media moves. Follow him @RPH2004 for tweets about media, food, and his general take on something that may be irrelevant.

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