Overwhelmed By Trolls, Post-Dispatch Shuts Down Comments on Editorials

Categories: Ferguson, Media

This is a fairly accurate portrayal our expression after reading Internet commenters' racial debates.
Sometimes, eradicating trolls requires extreme measures.

On Monday, the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced that it's turning off comments on its entire opinion section for two months. In an editorial titled "No comments: An experiment in elevating the conversation," the board lamented that these forums had become corrupted by the worst forms of Internet discourse, to the point that "just to present a thoughtful point of view, you have to endure vile and racist comments, shouting and personal attacks."

More »

Saturday Night Live Parodies KMOV's Morning Show Coverage of Ferguson

Categories: Ferguson, Media

YouTube screengrab
Keenan Thompson and Cecily Strong as Channel 4 morning hosts.
The last time Daily RFT wrote about KMOV (Channel 4) morning show hosts Andre Hepkins and Claire Kellett was in 2012 when their suggestive promo commercials hinted that the two had more than just an on-air chemistry.

Now Saturday Night Live has joined in the fun with a skit this past weekend that parodies KMOV's morning crew coverage of Ferguson. And while SNL cast members Cecily Strong and Keenan Thompson go by the names of "Jenny" and "Kip" in the skit, it seems pretty clear that they're modeled off the real-life KMOV team -- right down to Andre's three-piece suit and Claire's highlighted locks.

More »

Riverfront Times Seeks Assistant Art Director

Categories: Media

Thumbnail image for RFTlogo_560.jpg
Riverfront Times has an immediate opening for an assistant art director. This person will produce sophisticated and vibrant layouts for the print and online versions of the paper, produce and supervise interactive and multimedia features for, organize and manage digital assets, and assist and support the art director.

More »

Post-Dispatch Subscribers Targeted by Scam, "Renew Now for Only $489!"

Categories: Media

Courtesy of John Hoffmann
One of the fraudulent renewal notices that began arriving in St. Louis mailboxes last week.
As if daily newspapers don't face enough challenges these days. Now there's this.

Last week homes throughout the St. Louis area began receiving subscription-renewal notices for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The only problem? The invoices (asking subscribers to make two payments in two months totaling $489 to "lock in at one of our lowest" annual rates) were fake. By comparison, new subscriptions for the paper go for about $162 annually.

More »

Riverfront Times Wins Missouri Press Association Awards

Categories: Media

Jennifer Silverberg
Jessica Lussenhop's story of the former inmates and competitive handballers who play in Forest Park took first place for sports features.
The Missouri Press Association announced the winners of its Better Newspaper Contest last weekend, and Riverfront Times picked up awards for its feature writing and website.

More »

Post-Dispatch Reporter, Ferguson PR CEO Get in Twitter Tussle Over Deadlines, Clothes

Categories: Media

When Ferguson changed from a quiet St. Louis suburb to ground zero for a renewed battle over civil rights, the town quickly learned it needed a full-time public relations team to manage press inquiries and community outreach.

First, the city hired a bunch of white ladies. That didn't go so well. So the city shifted to Devin James, CEO of the eponymous, minority-owned firm the Devin James Group.

(UPDATE: Not anymore. Here's our story on that: Ferguson PR Rep. Devin James Fired (Sort Of) After Revelation He Shot, Killed Unarmed Man)

But James isn't just a public-relations CEO. He's also a clothes horse with an Instagram feed filled with pre-/-post-workout and workday selfies, each meticulously labeled with a host of hashtags. (Our favorites: #malemodel, #maturity, #communicationthatbenefitspeople.)

More »

[UPDATED]: Unpaid Bills, Bad Press Keep KXFN 1380 "The X" Off the Air (For Now)

Categories: Bidness, Media

Lindsay Toler
The 590 AM studio.
Update: Rejoice, talk radio fans! As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, KXFN 1380 AM has returned to your radio dials. Operation manager Mike Calvin says the station's landlord granted an extension until KFNS 590 is sold, which means that the 1380 crowd will able to start broadcasting and selling ad spots. The major tower repairs have also been completed, though it still awaiting some additions to bring it in line with FCC and FAA regulations.

In the meantime, Cavlin says a new investor group is in the works for KXFN, and that'll likely mean more shakeups at "The X" in the near future. Still, it appears the station may get a shot at to succeeding on the merits of its lineup -- leaving the burden of past bills (and face-punches) behind. End of update, see original post below.

Fans of KXFN 1380 AM "The X: Extreme Talk Radio" are likely wondering why the station disappeared from St. Louis airwaves. Unpaid bills are only part of the story.

For nearly three weeks, those seeking the station's brash lineup of shock-jock comedy, sex talk and music have instead encountered dead air and static where the 1380 channel should be. Although the shows are still (mostly) broadcasting over the web via KXFN's downloadable app, it's a particularly bad timing for the radio signal to go quiet: Two of station's hosts were recently nominated in the RFT Reader's Poll for the upcoming Best of St. Louis 2014 awards.

Operations manager Mike Calvin tells Daily RFT that old bills and repairs on KXFN's transmission tower knocked the broadcast off terrestrial radio, but he expects to have the debts squared and repairs completed by Tuesday. However, that doesn't solve the larger financial crisis facing KXFN and its sister station, KFNS 590 AM.

More »

Even North Korea Says Police Shouldn't Have Suppressed Ferguson Protesters

Roman Harak via Flickr, cropped
When North Korea is calling your country "a graveyard of human rights," you know something's wrong.
North Korea loves to hate on the United States. The armistice that stopped the Korean War in 1953 never really ended it, and Kim Jong-un's propaganda machine churns out anti-American rhetoric like we're still knee-deep in bloody conflict.

So it's not surprising that the isolationist regime released its own statement criticizing how law enforcement handled the massive unrest that took over Ferguson after officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. Quite the opposite. The last few weeks have been a North Korean propaganda minister's wet dream.

But that doesn't make North Korea's statement on the brutal police response to Ferguson protesters any less unsettling.

More »

Jon Stewart Talks Ferguson, Skewers Fox News Coverage of Michael Brown Shooting

The Daily Show
It's like the ice-bucket challenge, except you just get maced in the face.
The chaos has calmed in Ferguson, but the nationwide conversation about race and police mistreatment that Michael Brown's death sparked continues.

And now that Jon Stewart is back from vacation, he's diving in headfirst.

Stewart aims straight for a favorite target of his, FOX News, on Tuesday night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, watching apoplectically as the network's anchors struggle to understand why America has to talk about race at all in the wake of Brown's shooting.

More »

Why Police Will Continue to Arrest Journalists in Ferguson

Danny Wicentowski
Captain Ron Johnson briefs the media.
At the end of another dangerous night in Ferguson, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson offered an emotional plea to the media on Monday: Please stop putting officers in danger and glamorizing violent agitators in your quest for Internet virality.

Johnson seemed near tears as he illustrated the danger the press face in Ferguson -- earlier that night, reporters disobeyed police orders and fled the media corral to take pictures of a car parked across the street before officers could secure two guns. Johnson said police suspect the occupants of the car opened fire at the Canfield Green Apartments that night.

Journalists defied Johnson's plea, and it's easy to understand why they're even more distrusting than usual. Any journalist covering Ferguson at night has likely been tear gassed, if not hit by debris, rubber bullets, pepper pellets or bean bags. Police have threatened to shoot, mace and arrest reporters, sometimes on live TV or feeds. Officers have detained reporters from the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Getty Images and more, releasing them later without answers.

More »