BillyPenn.com Draws Fire for Sex Assault Article

Here’s how BillyPenn.com covered the A.J. Marsico sex assault allegation:

You know the story: Boy meets girl, boy takes girl back to his office at 10 pm for a job interview (!), girl files rape charges. Or maybe you hadn’t heard about the arrest of Andrew Mascio, a 40-year-old lobbyist for Greenlee Partners. He’s accused of sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman he met at the posh Union League on August 21; the alleged rape happened that same night, at his office at the Bellevue. Oh, and Mascio’s married to Action News reporter Annie McCormick. Much more to come, but this sounds like the plot of a House of Cards episode…

That treatment was a bit too flip for a number of readers who sharply criticized the startup news site after the post appeared in its morning newsletter.
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Interview: When Women Lead Newsrooms

Diana Lind, editor-in-chief at NextCity.org. Photo by Inna Spivakova.

Diana Lind, editor-in-chief at NextCity.org. Photo by Inna Spivakova.

It’s not easy to find a woman leading a newsroom. Yes, women do ascend to the top spots of newspapers and magazines — but sometimes, as in the case of the New York Times’Jill Abramson, they leave the position just as quickly as they ascended. In fact, there are fewer women leading major newsrooms now there were a decade ago.

One person who has noted the trends — and bucked them — is Diana Lind, editor-in-chief of Philadelphia-based NextCity.org, a website devoted to urban issues around the world. She doesn’t just lead the staff — she shares the masthead with four other women in the website’s top spots.

The result? An online publication that covers the nitty gritty of economics and urban transportation, but also features stories about the political roles that mayoral first ladies play, and an upcoming piece about transgender cops.

Lind spoke to Philly Mag recently about women in the newsroom. Some excerpts from that conversation:

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Sheinelle Jones to Anchor Today Weekends

A familiar face is getting a new, high-profile gig.

The Today Show reports:

Sheinelle Jones has joined the TODAY team as the news anchor of the weekend program.

Jones joins NBC News from FOX in Philadelphia, where she spent nine years serving as a co-host of its Emmy Award-winning show “Good Day Philadelphia.”

Jones is taking over for Jenna Wolfe, who will be moving to the weekdays as TODAY’s first-ever lifestyle and fitness correspondent. Jones will take up her new role beginning on Saturday, Oct. 4.

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The Philadelphia Citizen Is Apparently Still A Thing

It’s been nearly a year since The Philadelphia Citizen debuted its website with a bruising eff-you to the local media establishment — but then not much happened. Larry Platt, the former Philly Mag editor and founder of the new effort, conducted some salons around town, but there was little sign an actual publication was emerging.

That’s changing. This video was just posted to Vimeo this morning:

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(UPDATE) Gerry Lenfest Is Tom Corbett’s Fifth-Biggest Donor

Philanthropist H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest speak at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | AP, Matt Rourke

Philanthropist H.G. “Gerry” Lenfest speak at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | AP, Matt Rourke

[Update 6 p.m.] Interstate General Media, the company that owns the papers and Philly.com, sends along a statement saying the donations are old news:

In February 2014, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Magazine both reported on the nature of Mr. Lenfest’s $250,000 donation to Governor Corbett’s reelection campaign. The donation was directly related to the governor’s approval of a $30 million grant for the proposed Museum of the American Revolution.

In the Feb. 4 Inquirer article, headlined “Lenfest second largest individual donor to Corbett”, Mr. Lenfest made the following statements regarding his donation in an interview:

“I greatly appreciated that support from the Commonwealth,” Lenfest said. He said he was “even more appreciative of what Gov. Corbett did” because Lenfest had supported Democrat Dan Onorato for governor in 2010.*

“He (Corbett) saw the museum as something worthy of support. . . . It wasn’t a quid pro quo because he didn’t know that I’d give to him when he approved the RCAP grant,” Lenfest said.*

It should be noted that Mr. Lenfest’s political contributions to the governor’s campaign were made prior to becoming sole owner and publisher of Interstate General Media’s publications. Mr. Lenfest stands by The Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com’s fair and balanced coverage of the gubernatorial campaign.

[Original] Gerry Lenfest, publisher of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com, is one of the biggest cash donors to the re-election campaign of Gov. Tom Corbett, an Associated Press analysis reveals.

Lenfest has given $252,000 to Corbett’s campaign, making him the Republican’s fifth-biggest donor, AP reported.
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RIP, Racked Philly

Racked

In local blog news, I received confirmation this morning that Racked Philly is folding on Friday. The retail-focused site started off with regional coverage in New York, LA and Chicago, adding Boston, Philly and San Francisco in 2012. The national blog announced the dedicated local coverage in December 2012, and hired Julie Davis—formerly of DailyCandy and The Feast— to helm the blog.
Read more here.

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