International round-up: Ezra Klein launches new venture

Ezra Klein launches new venture, Vox.com

Former columnist for The Washington Post and editor of the newspaper’s Wonkblog, Ezra Klein, has launched a new politics and news site Vox.com.

The new venture, which was announced in January this year, is published by digital media company Vox Media, which also publishes other editorial brands SB Nation (sports news), The Verge (technology news), Polygon (video games news), Curbed (real-estate/home news), Eater (food/dining news) and Racked (retail/shopping and style news).

Mr Klein, who is editor-in-chief of Vox.com, said in an opening editorial – co-authored by executive editors Melissa Bell and Matt Yglesias – that the site aims to provide “explanatory journalism” to its readers.

This ambition is outlined in an accompanying piece explaining the site’s purpose; “The media is excellent at reporting the news and pretty good at adding commentary atop the news. What’s lacking is an organisation genuinely dedicated to explaining the news.

“That is to say, our end goal isn’t telling you what just happened, or how we feel about what just happened, it’s making sure you understand what just happened.

“We’re going to deliver a lot of contextual information that traditional news stories aren’t designed to carry, and we’re hiring journalists who really know the topics they cover.”

The launch of Vox.com comes only a few weeks after the launch of former The New York Times columnist Nate Silver’s website FiveThirtyEight – which is an expanded version of the blog he ran on The New York Times’ site – and the launch of former Guardian national security and politics blogger Glenn Greenwald’s new site The Intercept, which is published by First Look Media, a news organisation started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Photographer killed in Afghanistan

A photographer for the Associated Press in Afghanistan was shot dead and an AP journalist working alongside her was badly wounded while reporting on preparations for the forthcoming presidential election in the country.

The slain photographer, 48-year-old German Anja Niedringhaus, died almost immediately from wounds to her head, a head official told The Guardian, and the injured journalist Kathy Gannon was taken to hospital after being shot twice.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the police officer walked up to Ms Niedringhaus’ car, shouted “Allah Akbar” – or, “God is great” – and then opened fire on Ms Niedringhaus and Ms Gannon, who were in the car with another AP photographer and a translator. The two reporters were delivering ballots in a convoy of election works from Khost city to the Tani district, according to an AP report.

The AP report also confirmed Ms Gannon’s condition as stable and reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed sadness over Ms Niedringhaus’ death and advised the interior minister and Khost governor to assist the AP in every way possible.

In 2005, Ms Niedringhaus was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning AP team that were recognised for its coverage of the war in Iraq.

Anchorage Daily News sold for $34m

Alaska’s largest daily newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, has been sold for $US34 million to Anchorage-based Alaska Dispatch Publishing LLC, which is the parent company of online news site the Alaska Dispatch.

The Anchorage Daily News, which is owned by US publisher The McClatchy Company, was first published in 1946 and is the only Alaskan paper to have won a Pulitzer Prize (winning for public service in 1976 and 1989).

The paper will continue to be printed seven days a week and there are no plans to change the masthead name, according to an AP report on the purchase.

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