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2014 Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism Announced
The winners of the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes for journalism have been announced. The Guardian and The Washington Post were both award the Pulitzer Price in the public service category for breaking the important story about the NSA's widespread secret surveillance program. The story was one of the biggest stories of 2013 and continues to be a huge story this year. There have been continuous developments about the spy program as well as ways reporters discover the program impacts the life of citizens around the world.

Here is the list of winners:
  • Public Service: The Guardian US and The Washington Post
  • Breaking News Reporting: Staff of The Boston Globe
  • Investigative Reporting: Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, DC
  • Explanatory Reporting: Eli Saslow of The Washington Post
  • Local Reporting: Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia of Tampa Bay Times
  • National Reporting: David Philipps of The Gazette, Colorado Springs, CO
  • International Reporting: Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall of Reuters
  • Feature Writing: No award given
  • Commentary: Stephen Henderson of Detroit Free Press
  • Criticism: Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Editorial Writing: Editorial Staff of The Oregonian, Portland
  • Editorial Cartooning: Kevin Siers of The Charlotte Observer
  • Breaking News Photography: Tyler Hicks of The New York Times
  • Feature Photography: Josh Haner of The New York Times
Complete details about the all the winners can be found here.

Posted on April 14, 2014

Amazon to Acquire ComiXology
Amazon has announced plans to acquire ComiXology, a cloud-based digital comics platform. Amazon says in a release that the company has "revolutionized the digital comics reading experience with their immersive Guided View technology and makes discovering, buying, and reading comic books and graphic novels easier and more fun than ever before."

ComiXology was founded by 2007. It offers digital comic book content from over 75% of the top comic book publishers as well as comics from independent creators. Amazon says the company's headquarters will remain in New York City.

ComiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger says in a statement, "We have long had the goal of making every person on the planet a comics fan. With Amazonís help, this crazy goal is more possible than ever before. With the Kindle, Amazon has shown a passion for reinventing the reading experience, just like comiXology has shown for comics and graphic novels."

Steinberger also says ComiXology will retain its identity as a subsidiary of Amazon.

Posted on April 10, 2014

Alaska Dispatch Publishing to Acquire Anchorage Daily News From McClatchy
Alaska Dispatch Publishing is to acquire the Anchorage Daily News from McClatchy. The Anchorage Daily News is the largest newspaper in Alaska. The $34 million deal will close in the second quarter of 2014. The New York Times reports that the $34 million acquisition price includes the newspaper, website and the building the paper is published from.

The paper has its own report on the deal here. The Daily News says its president and publisher Pat Doyle and senior vp and editor Pat Dougherty will both be retiring.

Alice Rogoff, majority owner of Alaska Dispatch, says in a statement, "The Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Dispatch play vital roles in our great state. By merging these operations, we can serve as a stronger, even more comprehensive resource for Alaskans for their news and information. Our mission is to offer a level of coverage never before seen in Alaska history, and to offer it to readers across the state through a variety of mediums. We expect to publish news and commentary for all Alaskans, from oil field workers on the North Slope to Southeast fishermen; from those whose roots go back thousands of years to newcomers fresh off the plane; from our biggest cities to our most remote villages and everywhere in between. We want to provide a true public forum where Alaskans from all walks of life can come together to help build our community."

Kevin McClatchy, chairman of The McClatchy Company, says, "This is a bittersweet moment for all of us at McClatchy. We are extremely proud of the Daily News and its employees, their exceptional service to Alaska's diverse communities and all of their contributions to McClatchy over the years. However, this sale not only makes sense from a local ownership perspective, but it also allows McClatchy to focus more resources on accelerating our digital transformation to better serve our communities."

Posted on April 8, 2014

Microsoft Producing TV Shows for Xbox Live
Microsoft is entering the growing TV content wars. The company is launching a challenge against Netflix, Amazon and other companies creating original content. Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has six series in production. The Xbox television studio division is headed by Nancy Tellem. She was formerly with CBS.

Here is a list of shows Microsoft has in production:
  • Halo: Microsoft is reportedly working on two series surrounding its popular Halo series. Variety reports that one of them is an epic Game of Thrones like series that Steven Spielberg will executive produce.
  • Human: a remake of a Swedish series about robotic servants. Some of the robots want to be free.
  • Every Street United: a reality TV series focused on street soccer.
  • A documentary series centered around the digital era. Variety says the first installment looks at Atari's burial of unsold copies of E.T. the Video Game in a landfill in New Mexico. That sounds pretty interesting.
  • A series covering live events, such as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
The company also has a number of shows in development, including a comedy show with Sarah Silverman and a stop animation project from Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which includes actor Seth Green as one of its founders. Bloomberg says Microsoft has at least a dozen shows in development.

Posted on April 7, 2014

Mara Anastas Named Publisher of Aladdin Books and Simon Pulse
Mara Anastas has been named publisher of Aladdin Books and Simon Pulse. The announcement was made by Jon Anderson, president of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. Anastas will report to Anderson starting April 7th. She was previously deputy publisher of the comapny's Aladdin Books, Simon Pulse, Little Simon and Simon Spotlight imprints.

Anastas said in a statement, "Simon Pulse and Aladdin Books have an incredibly talented team of editors, designers and publishing professionals that have made them industry-leading children's publishing imprints. I could not be more thrilled at the prospect of working with them in this new role, together with the many world-class authors we publish, to develop new and exciting content for both of these well-established imprint."

Anderson says, "The drive and devotion Mara has shown in all her previous roles make her more than ready and entirely suited to take on his new responsibility. We look forward to Mara and the Aladdin Books and Simon Pulse teams building on their current successes like Rachel Renee Russel's Dork Diaries and Lisa McMann's The Unwanteds, and also to developing exciting new projects and properties like Brandon Mull's Five Kingdoms series, Scott Westerfeld's mind-bending novel Afterworlds, and 2015's Galactic Hot Dogs based on the popular Poptropica property."

Anastas succeeds Bethany Buck, who is leaving the company. Publishers Weekly reports that Buck was with Simon & Schuster since 2003.

Posted on April 6, 2014

NBCUniversal Shutters Daily Candy
Daily CandyNBCUniversal has shuttered the Daily Candy shopping news site. Re/code reports that the 64 employees working at the site were let go. Comcast acquired the newsletter focused company in 2008 for around $125 million. Re/code says Alison Moore was brought in from HBO to try and boost traffic to the site, but the site's user base of six million apparently wasn't high enough to please execs at NBCU.

The Daily Candy site posted the following farewell to its readers:
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we write today to say goodbye. After fourteen years delivering you the best in food, fashion, and fun, this train, as they say, is pulling into the station.

Rest assured that every single day that we have published DailyCandy, we have done so with delight.

Our mission was always to charm and inform you, whether telling you about an innovative new restaurant in Brooklyn, a trendy boutique in Chicagoís Gold Coast, or a groundbreaking San Fran band. Through the years, nothing made us happier than helping an emerging designer from West Hollywood find her audience or hearing that after we featured an attorney from Philly she quit her job to make brownies full-time.

But all good things must come to an end. And this, friends, is ours. On April 4, we will close our doors.

It's been the ride of our lives, and we have loved sharing it with you.
More details about the why NBCU ended up closing the site can be found here on the Daily Intelligencer.

Image: Daily Candy

Posted on April 5, 2014

Chicago Sun-Times Starts Accepting Bitcoin for Subscriptions
The Chicago Sun-Times has become the first major newspaper to accept bitcoin. CoinDesk reports that the Sun-Times will use Coinbase to handle the bitcoin transactions. The paper has set up a site to take bitcoin at

Poynter reports that Sun-Times performed a test with BItWall, a different bitcoin processor, last month. It is not clear why they were happy with the BitWall test and yet then went with Coinbase.

Chicagoist notes that the IRS recently ruled that bitcoin is taxable property and not a currency. However, this does not seem to have diminished interest in bitcoin.

Posted on April 4, 2014
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