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Michael Calderone
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Michael Calderone is the Senior Media Reporter for The Huffington Post. He previously covered media and politics for Politico, the New York Observer, and Yahoo! News. Calderone holds a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Rutgers University. He lives in Brooklyn.

Entries by Michael Calderone

Al Jazeera America Digital Journalists Move To Unionize

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 7:21 AM

NEW YORK -- Digital journalists at Al Jazeera America have moved toward unionizing, joining a growing number of digital newsrooms that have organized in recent months.

In a mission statement released Thursday, employees said they "want to work with Al Jazeera management in a spirit of honesty, integrity...

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Bloomberg Editor Lays Out Newsroom's Vision After Layoffs

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 3:06 PM

NEW YORK – Just hours after laying off roughly 80 staffers, Bloomberg editor John Micklethwait said Tuesday afternoon that he wanted the media company to become the definitive “chronicle of capitalism,” according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

He also attributed the layoffs...

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Bloomberg Begins Layoffs Of Roughly 80 Journalists

(1) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 9:55 AM

NEW YORK – Bloomberg began layoffs Tuesday morning, with the media company expected to cut around 80 newsroom jobs, according to sources familiar with the plans.

The staff cuts have been looming as the company restructures under top editor John Micklethwait, who was hired in...

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Fox News: No, Rand Paul, We Didn’t Favor Trump During The Debate

(2) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 4:48 PM

NEW YORK – While Donald Trump famously complained for weeks about tough questions from Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly at the Aug. 6 Republican debate, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul leveled his own charge of mistreatment Monday.

In an interview on Boston Herald Radio, Paul said...

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Turkey Charges Vice News Journalists With Supporting ISIS

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 2:25 PM

NEW YORK -- Two Vice News journalists and their fixer were charged Monday with "engaging in terror activity" on behalf of the Islamic State, or ISIS, allegations the media company quickly dismissed as an attempt to censor its reporting.

"Today the Turkish government has leveled baseless and alarmingly false charges of 'working on behalf of a terrorist organization' against three Vice News reporters, in an attempt to intimidate and censor their coverage," said Kevin Sutcliffe, head of news programming in Europe, in a statement. "Prior to being unjustly detained, these journalists were reporting and documenting the situation in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir."

"Vice News condemns in the strongest possible terms the Turkish government's attempts to silence our reporters who have been providing vital coverage from the region," Sutcliffe added. "We continue to work with all relevant authorities to expedite the safe release of our three colleagues and friends."

Vice News has become known for reporting in some of the most difficult and dangerous parts of the world, including getting unprecedented access last summer to part of Islamic State-controlled Syria. The three journalists -- Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, of the U.K., and an unnamed journalist fixer -- were detained Thursday in a predominately Kurdish region of southeastern Turkey. Reuters reported that the journalists, who were "filming clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants," did not have government accreditation. 

Hanrahan was tweeting images from southeastern Turkey the day before his arrest. 

The group's driver was let go without charges, AFP reported Monday.

The Turkish government is known to level terrorism charges in attempts to silence the press. Earlier this month, the Turkish government accused 18 editors at nine news outlets of supporting terrorism.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed Turkey's press is the freest in the world, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Turkey was the world's leading jailer of journalists in 2012 and 2013, and ranked near the top in 2014. 

Several advocacy groups called on the Turkish government to release the Vice journalists soon after reports of their arrests surfaced last week. 

Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International's Turkey researcher, said in a statement that the arrests were "yet another example of the Turkish authorities suppressing the reporting of stories that are embarrassing to them."

"It is completely proper that journalists should cover this important story," Gardner said. "The decision to detain the journalists was wrong, while the allegation of assisting Islamic state is unsubstantiated, outrageous and bizarre."

Nina Ognianova, the Europe and Central Asia program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said "authorities ought to protect, not gag journalists on the job."

Asked about the charges at Monday's State Department press briefing, spokesman Mark Toner said that "freedom of expression, including for journalists, and due process are key elements in every healthy democracy and are enshrined, in fact, in the Turkish constitution as well as Turkey's OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] commitments and Turkey's international human rights obligations."

"So as Turkey's friend and NATO ally," Toner continued, "we urge Turkish authorities to ensure their actions uphold universal democratic values, including due process, freedom of expression, as well as access to media and information."

This story has been updated with comment from a State Department spokesman.

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Politico Denies Unionizing Effort Was Behind Reporter's Departure

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 4:05 PM

NEW YORK -- Politico confirmed Thursday that labor reporter Mike Elk is no longer with the company and said his efforts to unionize the newsroom were not the reason for his departure in a statement provided to The Huffington Post. 

"Mike Elk no longer works at...

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Bloomberg Braces For Layoffs, Washington Bureau On Edge

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 1:50 PM

NEW YORK – Bloomberg is bracing for layoffs in the coming weeks, the latest shake-up at a media company where editorial priorities and executives’ power have shifted greatly over the past year.

The New York Post first reported Thursday that 100 cuts were expected around Labor...

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McDonald’s Silent On Trespassing Charges Against Journalists At Ferguson Restaurant

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 3:31 PM

NEW YORK -- Since St. Louis County prosecutors filed charges last week against two journalists for trespassing and interfering with police at a McDonald’s restaurant during last year's demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, the fast food chain has not commented.

St. Louis County police arrested The...

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Media Coalition Protests Charges Against Huffington Post And Washington Post Reporters

(2) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 12:59 PM

NEW YORK -- The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in a letter signed by 38 news outlets and media organizations, on Tuesday called for St. Louis County officials to drop charges against The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly and The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery.


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The Times-Picayune, Heroic During Hurricane Katrina, Braces For More Cuts As 10th Anniversary Nears

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2015 | 11:36 AM

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many Times-Picayune staffers couldn’t return home. Some were separated from their families. And the future of their newspaper, published since the waning days of Andrew Jackson’s presidency, was, like the city itself, in jeopardy.  

Still, former managing editor...

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Politico Labor Reporter Mike Elk Apparently Out

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2015 | 11:29 AM

NEW YORK -- Labor reporter Mike Elk appears to no longer work at Politico, a news organization he joined in September and has been trying to unionize since late last year. 

Elk's company bio now redirects to Politico's homepage and he is no longer listed on...

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Huffington Post, Washington Post Reporters Charged For Doing Journalism In Ferguson (UPDATE)

(13) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 6:40 PM


NEW YORK – Reporters from The Huffington Post and Washington Post have been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer’s performance, a chilling setback for press freedom coming nearly a year after their arrests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly...

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Donald Trump Hijacks The 2016 Election News Cycle By Phone

(2) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 10:20 AM

NEW YORK -- Presidential candidate Donald Trump dominated the political news cycle over the weekend, after suggesting in a Friday phone interview with CNN that Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked such tough questions during Thursday's GOP debate because she was menstruating.

The offensive comment got Trump...

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Vice Media Votes To Unionize As Trend In Digital Media Continues

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 2:39 PM

NEW YORK -- Writers at Vice Media, the Brooklyn-based digital media company valued at $2.5 billion, have voted to unionize.

Vice employees sent a letter Friday to CEO Shane Smith and other top executives.  

"We are proud of the work we do here at Vice," it read. "We love being part of a company that is changing media and having an impact on the world.  We believe that a union is a logical step for the long-term legacy of the company." 

Vice management agreed to recognize the union and the two sides will begin collective bargaining. 

"I'm so proud of all my perfect diamonds here at Vice," Smith said in a statement. "Every single day your ideas and work continue to blow me away. I am proud to support all of you -- and as an old grey-haired man all I want is for my beautiful Vice family to be happy -- those writers who voted to unionize and those who did not. I love you all, and together we will conquer the world." 

Vice is the largest digital media company to unionize amid a string of recent organizing efforts. While employees at legacy media companies have long had opportunities to join unions, there's been little representation in the digital world.

Gawker sparked discussions about unionizing this spring with a debate among staff that took place more or less in public on the site. The employees voted in June to form a union. Salon followed suit last month, and Guardian US voted unanimously to unionize just last week. Other digital media companies are believed to be contemplating similar efforts. 

Like Salon and Gawker, writers at Vice Media are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East. Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said in a statement the union "is excited to work with these creative professionals, who want and deserve a seat at the table.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Vice writers' vote to unionize.  

Vice Media has 1,500 employees worldwide, including 700 in the United States. Roughly 10 percent of the company's U.S.-based employees are writers. At Gawker, 118 employees were eligible for the union. There were 26 and 45 union-eligible employees at Salon and Guardian US, respectively. 

Starting out as a punk magazine in the mid-'90s, Vice has grown into a media juggernaut with a 30,000-square-foot headquarters in Brooklyn and dozens of offices worldwide. 

Vice chief operating officer Alyssa Mastromonaco touted the company's growth in a statement, saying "every step of that dizzying growth has been a reinvention of what Vice does and how it’s done."

"That includes the never-ending process of building the most progressive workplace we can, which today includes giving employees 100's of millions of dollars in company equity, competitive salaries, paid leave and now tuition reimbursement," Mastromonaco continued. "Through these steps and others, Vice will continue doing whatever it takes to attract and retain the worlds best creative minds."

The Journal reported that in 2013, Vice management acknowledged that it paid editorial writers an average of $45,000 a year. A source told the Journal that the average for non-management employees is now close to $70,000. 

This has been updated to include statements from the company and the...

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Fox News Republican Debate Could Set A Ratings Record

(6) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 3:59 PM

NEW YORK -- Expectations are high for Thursday night's Republican primary debate -- not only for the 10 candidates taking the stage in Cleveland, but also for Fox News, the network that will be airing the whole thing.

A Washington Post profile this week of “Fox News...

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Bloomberg Editor Appoints New D.C. Bureau Chief In Hope For 'New Beginning'

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 2:35 PM

NEW YORK – Financial Times Washington bureau chief Megan Murphy is joining Bloomberg News as its Washington bureau chief and executive editor for U.S. government, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

Murphy will report to senior executive editor Marty Schenker, who will move from...

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Democratic Candidates To Debate 6 Times, Starting In October

(4) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 10:28 AM

NEW YORK -- The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday the schedule for its six primary debates, along with their network sponsors. The first contest, produced by CNN, will take place Oct. 13 in Nevada. 

DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a post on Medium,...

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Media Outlets Debate Whether Increased Access To Kochs Is Worth All The Strings Attached

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 5:09 PM

NEW YORK -- The Washington Post published an “exclusive interview” on Tuesday with Charles Koch, the press-shy billionaire industrialist, who, along with his brother David, is a major backer of conservative causes.

The Post was offered the sit-down with Koch as part of a joint interview...

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Journalists Attend Private Koch Brothers Gathering, But Agree Not To Name Donors

(33) Comments | Posted August 2, 2015 | 5:34 AM

NEW YORK -- Several news organizations gained rare access Saturday into a private gathering of influential Republican donors hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.

But journalists covering the three-day event, held at a luxurious California...

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MSNBC Cancels Three Shows As Ed Schultz, Other Hosts Depart

(50) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 4:37 PM

NEW YORK -- MSNBC has canceled "The Cycle," "Now with Alex Wagner" and "The Ed Show" with Ed Schultz as the network reconfigures its afternoon line-up to focus more on breaking news, according to a Thursday memo obtained by The Huffington Post. 

MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in...

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