Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony Hackers Make Demands | Pulitzer Prizes Expand Eligibility

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Sony Hackers Leak New Documents, Call for The Interview to Be Pulled (THR)
For the first time since Sony Pictures was hacked two weeks ago, the group behind the massive breach appears to making its demands known to the public. The group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) posted the following message on Monday: “Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!” Variety GOP did not specifically identify the movie. Authorities have been investigating whether the hacker attack is in some way be connected to The Interview, the movie that has generated condemnation from the government of North Korea. The message from GOP said that they “have given our clear demand to the management team of Sony, however they have refused…You, SONY, & FBI, cannot find us.” WSJ / Digits Representatives for the studio have said Sony Pictures leaders have not received any demands from the hacking group. Further muddying the situation, the letter received on Monday also claimed that the hacking group was not responsible for a letter received by Sony Pictures employees Friday that threatened them and their families. “We know nothing about the threatening email received by Sony staffers, but you should wisely judge by yourself why such things are happening and who is responsible for it,” it said. Re/code North Korea has denied any connection with the devastating attack on the studio, but in a statement issued Sunday by the Korean Central News Agency, the country called the attack a “righteous deed.” Sony Pictures suffered one of the worst cyber attacks in recent memory after intruders claim to have made off with as much as 100 terabytes of internal information including salaries, social security numbers, passwords, sales plans and four unreleased feature films. THR Sony employees will be briefed by the FBI over the attack on the studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Michael Lynton told staff in a memo. He also revealed the FBI had created an email address dedicated to the case, to which employees could send information. Lynton also announced there would be an all-hands meeting on Friday to discuss the issue.

Pulitzer Prizes Expand Eligibility (FishbowlNY)
The Pulitzer Prizes have opened their golden arms to magazines. The board announced that it will now allow entries from print and online magazines in the Investigative Reporting and Feature Writing categories. HuffPost In the past, publications that identified as magazines, either in print or online, were not allowed to compete for a Pulitzer in any category. But as an increasing number of Americans turn to digital media for their daily news, and many print magazines publish weekly and operate their own websites, the decision to broaden the spectrum makes sense. Capital New York While broadcasters remain ineligible, the board also revised the rules with regard to partnerships. Going forward, “eligible news organizations will now be allowed to nominate journalists employed by partnering organizations even if those organizations are themselves ineligible to compete for Pulitzer Prizes,” according to the Board. Poynter / MediaWire Pulitzer Prize administrator Mike Pride said the change reflects the reality that a growing number of print and digital magazines are reporting on current events under tighter deadline pressure. There are a couple caveats: For magazines to qualify, they must embody “highest journalistic principles,” a standard for which the prizes have no fixed criteria, Pride said. Instead, the prizes will evaluate candidates on a case-by-case basis against the traditional journalistic ideals. They must also publish at least weekly and be “primarily dedicated to original news reporting and coverage of ongoing stories.”

Fox Pacts With Vice Media for Movies (THR)
Vice Media and 20th Century Fox have entered a partnership to finance, produce, market and distribute at least two feature films a year. The joint venture was brought together by 20th Century Fox chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos, Vice CEO Shane Smith and Vice chief creative officer Eddy Moretti. NYT The budgets for these films, released either theatrically or on digital platforms or a mix of the two, will be tiny, at least by Fox standards, at about $2 million each. Fox will pay the production costs. “It’s partly a low-risk, high-upside way for us to explore new windows” without involving Fox’s main labels, Gianopulos said in an interview. Vice will also seek to develop and produce bigger-budget movies, perhaps in the $10 million to $20 million range, in alliance with various Fox divisions, which include the art house label Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox International Productions. In addition, Fox’s blockbuster-focused movie division will have the right to develop feature films based on material from Vice’s content library. Variety Vice already releases documentaries and TV shows through the Vice Films label. Its first theatrical release was White Lightnin’ in 2009, followed by The Ride in 2010. Vice has released a trio of movie titles this year — Fishing Without Nets, the skateboard documentary All This Mayhem and the Iranian vampire film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Mashable Vice isn’t the only digital media company to take aim at the big screen. BuzzFeed recently launched “BuzzFeed Motion Pictures,” complete with a 12-acre campus and Hollywood consultants, to help build out its online and offline video offerings. Meanwhile Epic, a long-form journalism startup backed by Medium, was formed last year, in part to surface concepts for movies.

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Time Announces Person of The Year Finalists (FishbowlNY)
The finalists for Time’s 2014 Person of The Year have been announced. Each person or group of people made the final cut because of their impact on the news. The final eight includes Iraqi president Massoud Barzani, Tim Cook, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Roger Goodell, Ebola doctors/nurses, Ferguson protesters, Vladimir Putin and Taylor Swift. TVNewser Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs appeared on the Today show Monday morning to announce the finalists. She will return to Today on Wednesday to announce the winner. HuffPost While some may question Swift’s inclusion for consideration, Gibbs credited the pop star for her impact as a businesswoman this year, making the bold decision to pull all of her music off of the streaming service Spotify. The winner is chosen each year by the magazine’s editors, but readers can still place their vote on Time’s website. Previous winners have included Pope Francis, President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Prince William Visits White House (FishbowlDC)
With the Duchess of Cambridge remaining in New York, Prince William visited with President Barack Obama at the White House Monday morning to discuss the United for Wildlife campaign. The Telegraph The White House politely but firmly asked reporters not to take selfies in the Oval Office during President Obama’s meeting with Prince William. FishbowlNY This was necessary because when Obama met with France’s president François Hollande, a group of French journalists couldn’t resist taking selfies. PRNewser The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in New York City with great fanfare on Sunday for a three-day visit.

First Look Media Launches Real-Time, Social Newsroom (SocialTimes)
First Look Media has had a rocky start, but Monday it launched its social newsroom called Andy Carvin is the editor-in-chief and was busy on Twitter Monday morning fielding questions about operations. GigaOM In a nutshell, the venture will be doing an expanded version of what Carvin did for NPR during the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and subsequent news events: The half dozen staff he has hired will be embedded in a variety of social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit and using them to report in real-time on breaking news stories and other important events. Mashable It will apparently publish only on social platforms, not on its own website. is the first new endeavor from First Look since the exit of Matt Taibbi and the shuttering of his digital magazine, Racket. That episode exposed a great deal of tension within First Look between its journalists and executives.

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Hachette to Sell Books Within Twitter (GalleyCat)
Hachette Book Group will soon begin selling books directly within Twitter, thanks to a new partnership. Technology provider Gumroad is facilitating the publisher with the tools to sell items natively without leaving the social network. GigaOM The print titles are Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking (starting Dec. 11), Chris Hadfield’s You Are Here (starting Dec. 15) and The Onion’s The Onion Magazine: The Iconic Covers That Transformed an Undeserving World (starting Dec. 18). Each book sold will be accompanied by “an exclusive bonus item” — in the case of The Onion’s book, for instance, it’s a set of notecards.

Facebook Users Can Finally Search for Posts (AllFacebook)
Facebook users can finally search for posts that have been shared with them, following an update that will be rolled out this week to U.S. English users on iPhone and desktop. WSJ / Digits There is no time limit on how far back Facebook Search goes. That means if you shared something with your friends eight years ago, it can now be found much more easily. If you posted it publicly, as opposed to just to friends, it can show up in anyone’s search.

Fox News Hires Former NBC White House Correspondent (FTV Live)
Former NBC White House correspondent Kevin Corke is heading back to D.C. to join Fox News Channel as a Washington correspondent. TVNewser Corke last covered the White House six years ago, departing NBC in December 2008. Ten months later he rejoined the company and was named news anchor for NBC Miami station WTVJ, where he remained for two years. Corke’s joining FNC comes as the network bids farewell to two longtime Washington, D.C. correspondents. Last week, Wendell Goler and Jim Angle both announced they were retiring from TV news.

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Another CNN Original Departs (TVNewser)
Another CNN original is leaving the network, as the company finalizes an 8 percent workforce reduction, or about 300 positions. Andy Parsons, currently director of technical projects, has been with the network since before it went on the air in 1980. Parsons, based in Atlanta, accepted the company’s buyout package.

Jessica Lustig Named Deputy Editor at NYT Magazine (Poynter / MediaWire)
New York Times staff editor Jessica Lustig will be a deputy editor at The New York Times Magazine, according to a staff memo from Jake Silverstein, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. Lustig currently works for the Times‘ Op-Ed/Sunday Review. FishbowlNY Jenna Wortham has also joined the Times Magazine as a staff writer. She was most recently a tech columnist for the paper. She has been with the Times since 2008.

CBS Research Chief Sees Flattish 2015 Broadcast Networks Ad Sales (THR)
David Poltrack, CBS Corp.’s chief research officer, said Monday that broadcast network TV advertising revenue will remain “stable but not growing” through at least mid-2015. Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, he forecasted that broadcast networks would see unchanged advertising revenue in 2015, or growth of 2 percent on an underlying basis when adjusted for the Olympics in 2014.

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Pivot’s Take Part Live Canceled (TheWrap)
Pivot’s Take Part Live has been canceled. The show starred Meghan McCain, Jacob Soboroff and Baratunde Thurston. Thurston had just joined the show in October. The hour-long Embassy Row production had aired at 10 p.m. ET on Pivot.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Shuts Off Comment Function After Ferguson Sparks ‘Vile And Racist’ Remarks (HuffPost)
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is turning off all comments on its opinion editorials, columns and letters, the editorial board announced Monday. The paper offered a succinct explanation: “Why? Ferguson.” The Post-Dispatch said that for the next two months, readers will not be able to comment on any opinion page pieces, calling it “an experiment in elevating the conversation.”

ESPN Tries ‘Programmatic’ Auction for TV Ad Sales (WSJ / CMO Today)
In a few weeks, ESPN will begin selling some ads for its SportsCenter highlights show through a Web-based auction, instead of old-fashioned yet enduring methods such as taking orders over the phone.

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