David Folkenflik

Geraldo Rivera of the Fox News Channel once described David Folkenflik as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, gave him a "laurel" for his reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.

Folkenflik is NPR's media correspondent based in New York City. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines and shows, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation. His reports offer insight into the operation of the media amid tectonic shifts in the industry and cast light on figures who help shape the way the news business works. NPR's listeners were first to learn how the corporate owners of the glossy magazine GQ sought to smother distribution of its provocative story about Russian Premier Vladimir Putin. They also found out, amid the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church, how a small, liberal Catholic weekly based in Kansas City had been documenting allegations of abuse by priests for a generation. Folkenflik provides media criticism on the air and at NPR.org on coverage of a broad array of issues — from the war in Afghanistan, to the financial crisis, to the saga of the "Balloon Boy."

Before joining NPR in 2004, Folkenflik spent more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, Congress, and the media. He started his career at the Durham (N.C.) Herald-Sun. In 1991, Folkenflik graduted with a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Cornell Daily Sun.

A three-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Awards for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik won the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News, presented by the Center for Media and Public Affairs and the University of Virginia's Center for Governmental Studies. Folkenflik's work has also been recognized with top honors from the National Headliners Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. He was the first Irik Sevin Visiting Fellow at Cornell and speaks frequently at colleges across the country. He has served as a media analyst on such television programs as CNN's Reliable Sources, ABC News' Nightline, Fox News' O'Reilly Factor, and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

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Remembrances
3:31 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Margot Adler, A Venerable And Beloved NPR Voice, Passes At 68

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:50 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Media
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Time Warner Rebuffs Rupert Murdoch's Big-Dollar Bid For Media Giant

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. There are few media companies bigger than 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. And today came reports of a possible merger that would create a huge new empire. If Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox bought Time Warner, all of these media brands could have the same owner. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) The Simpsons...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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Business
8:32 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Murdoch Says His Bid For Rival Time Warner Was Rejected

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox confirmed that it made an offer to buy the owner of HBO, Warner Bros., TBS and CNN but got shot down.

Media
2:15 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

For UK Phone-Hacking Case, An End In Acquittal And Conviction

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 5:14 pm

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Business
8:10 am
Tue June 24, 2014

1 Editor Cleared, 1 Found Guilty In U.K. Phone-Hacking Trial

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A British jury has reached verdicts in a trial stemming from a scandal involving hacking by tabloids. Several former editors and executives of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers face charges. Former News of the World editor, Andrew Coulson, was found guilty. Other editors were not. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik has been covering this story. Hi, David.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Hey, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK, so what are the verdicts here?

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Media
3:04 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

To Defeat A Goliath, David Brat Got Help In Conservative Media

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In trying to reconstruct how Congressman Cantor was defeated, another partial explanation surfaced in the media. Perhaps, it was the media. Here's NPR's media correspondent, David Folkenflik.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: David Brat had a pretty clear idea of at least one of the keys to his victory. He identified it this morning on "The Laura Ingraham Show."

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW, "THE LAURA INGRAHAM SHOW")

LAURA INGRAHAM: Hey Dave, how are you?

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Media
3:35 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

'New York Times' Editor: Losing Snowden Scoop 'Really Painful'

Edward Snowden didn't trust The New York Times with his revelations about the National Security Agency because the newspaper had delayed publishing a story about NSA secrets a decade earlier.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:13 pm

When former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden made the fateful decision to share sensitive documents with reporters revealing secret and mass gathering of the metadata associated with the phone calls made by tens of millions of Americans, he had to figure out which news outfit to trust.

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Europe
2:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Judge Sums Phone-Hacking Details, As Jury Prepares To Decide Case

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

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Media
6:02 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

An Old-Fashioned Newspaperman Takes The Helm In A Digital World

The Times is making headlines for more than just its change in leadership; an internal review, which leaked to the press earlier this month, was intensely critical about how the newspaper has adapted to the digital era.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 2:49 pm

The New York Times' new executive editor, Dean Baquet, took over just two weeks ago, yet he appears perfectly comfortable in his perch atop the worlds of journalism and New York. He smokes fine cigars to relax, wears elegant loafers and excuses his decision to keep his suit coat on during our conversation by saying that's just who he is.

But Baquet's identity is wrapped up in a city and a different reality more than 1,000 miles away.

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Media
10:01 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

'Period Of Turmoil' Preceded Abramson Firing, Says Top Editor At 'Times'

New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, seen in 2006 while serving as editor of the Los Angeles Times, said in an interview with NPR that he doesn't believe his predecessor, Jill Abramson, was fired because of gender.
Bill Haber AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 7:57 am

Dean Baquet sat in his new office in Midtown Manhattan, the very picture of composure and precision, as he described the top-level dysfunction that led to the firing of Jill Abramson as executive editor of The New York Times and his promotion to replace her as the top news executive there.

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Media
2:37 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

In Layoff Announcement, NPR Says It Will End 'Tell Me More'

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 6:16 pm

National Public Radio has eliminated 28 positions and plans to end the program "Tell Me More." The moves come as the network continues its attempt to eliminate budget deficits.

The Two-Way
10:44 am
Tue May 20, 2014

NPR To End 'Tell Me More,' Eliminate 28 Positions

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:41 pm

NPR announced Tuesday that it would cease broadcast of the weekday program Tell Me More on Aug. 1 and eliminate 28 positions as part of a larger effort to end the company's persistent budget deficits.

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Media
5:50 am
Tue May 13, 2014

NPR Picks Jarl Mohn As Its Next CEO

Jarl Mohn replaces Gary Knell, who left last year to run the National Geographic Society. Mohn is slated to start work at NPR on July 1.

Media
2:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Meet NPR's New Chief Executive: Jarl Mohn

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:45 pm

NPR announced the selection of a new CEO. His name is Jarl Mohn, a longtime radio disc jockey and former media executive, who's been a venture capitalist and corporate board member in recent years. The appointment of Mohn follows last year's departure of Gary Knell, who left NPR to run the National Geographic Society.

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Sports
2:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

What About Donald Sterling's Right To Privacy?

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (center) has been banned by the NBA; he is seen here watching a Clippers game with V. Stiviano in 2011.
Danny Moloshok AP

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 6:46 am

You can't forget what you've heard with your own ears.

Thanks to the widespread broadcast of his beliefs on race, the disgrace of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is now cemented, and the NBA is seeking to force him to sell the team.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged as much at a news conference Tuesday, during which he announced that Sterling was banned from the league for life for his remarks on race.

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Media
3:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

So Much For Scoops: Newspapers Turn To Data-Crunching And Context

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 5:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Verticals, context blogs, explainers, those are the buzzwords of the news business. From some of the nation's oldest papers to the newest digital news startups, there's a rush to create sites that emphasize context rather than good old-fashioned scoops. The focus now is to blend fresh writing, number crunching and striking graphics. NPR's David Folkenflik reports on this evolution.

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Business
3:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Tech News Site Re/code Creates Buzz In Silicon Valley

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 6:17 am

Re/code is a new tech site that doesn't charge its readers or expect to make much from ads. Instead, it has a successful conference business. Other media also see potential profits in conferences.

Media
2:55 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Resignation Revives Doubts About Bloomberg China Coverage

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Bloomberg News finds itself under unwelcome scrutiny once again, as its parent company's chairman suggests that reporting on the corruption of China ruling elites isn't part of its core mission. A key China editor also revealed this week that he had quit Bloomberg in protest of a decision not to publish a subsequent investigation.

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Remembrances
2:12 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Joe McGinniss, Headline-Grabbing Author, Dies At 71

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:38 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Journalist and bestselling author Joe McGinness has died. The author of classic books about politics and true crime was 71 years old. He suffered from complications due to inoperable prostate cancer. As NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik recalls, McGinness courted controversy throughout his career.

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Media
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

After Newsweek 'Outs' Purported Bitcoin Founder, Questions Follow

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 3:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The past 36 hours have brought us a splashy cover story claiming to have found the figure behind a shadowy multi-billion dollar enterprise, also a media circus replete with an OJ Simpson-like car chase through the streets of Los Angeles and an army of online debunkers intent on proving the article false.

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Media
2:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Out Of Portland, A Digital Ripple Hits U.S. News Media

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

Owners of The Oregonian are shedding the identity of a daily print newspaper and emphasizing digital content instead. The shift has been received with both cheers and outrage nationwide.

Media
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Piers Morgan Shown The Door, While CNN Weighs Its Next Step

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

CNN has announced that it's canceling "Piers Morgan Live." The primetime show has suffered from weak ratings and controversy. Piers Morgan is British and a former tabloid editor and reality show judge. He was named three years ago to replace Larry King as CNN's most prominent interviewer. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us from our New York bureau to sort through this. And first, David, why ultimately did Morgan fail? How would you characterize his approach?

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Media
2:22 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Consumer Advocates Alarmed By $45 Billion Deal

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Comcast is already the nation's biggest cable TV and Internet service provider. And now, it's trying to get a whole lot bigger. The company struck a deal to buy its top cable rival, Time Warner Cable. The price tag, $45 billion. NPR's David Folkenflik reports that critics say if the sale is approved, Comcast will be too dominant.

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Business
3:09 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Cable Deal: Comcast To Buy Time Warner

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:29 am

Comcast has confirmed it is buying Time Warner. The merger would combine the country's two largest cable companies and likely draw scrutiny from regulators.

Media
2:55 am
Tue February 11, 2014

eBay Co-Founder's Media Company Launches Digital Magazine

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

In the coming weeks, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik will tell us about media outlets grappling with how to report and present the news, and how to pay for that reporting amid major changes in the industry. In this, his first story, David reports on a new news organization called First Look Media, which made its debut yesterday.

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Business
2:55 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Former Wonkblog Team To Create New Site For Vox Media

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

Ezra Klein and the team behind the Wonkblog at The Washington Post have found a new home. They are joining Vox Media, a digital outfit with sites serving sports fans, foodies and gamers — but little in the way of news about politics. The creation of the new site, tentatively called Project X, demonstrates the pull of digital media for entrepreneurial journalists.

Media
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Biography Argues Roger Ailes Uses Fox To Divide Nation

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Roger Ailes is a hero to the political right and a boogeyman to the left for leading the Fox News Channel to become the top-rated force in cable news --- the competition is not even close. Ailes and Fox refused to cooperate with author Gabriel Sherman.

Business
4:14 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

News Or Ad? Online Advertisers Hope You'll Click To Find Out

Buzzfeed is among a growing number of outlets using native advertising online. The ads mimic the site's look and style, and some link to pages almost indiscernible from a typical Buzzfeed page.
screengrab/Buzzfeed.com

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 9:11 am

The New York Times unveiled a major redesign of its digital offerings Wednesday. With a new scroll feature, readers will never again have to click to read the second half of a story, and the site is crafted to appeal to a mobile audience.

But the redesign has also embraced a controversial shift in journalism: Some posts on the site that look like articles are reported and written by people working for the paper's advertisers.

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Media
4:44 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Photojournalists Push White House For Better Access To Obama

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Reporters today gave White House press secretary Jay Carney a tough time over the way the administration controls President Obama's image, in this case literally by limiting the situations in which professional photojournalists get to take pictures of the president. News organizations have formally protested and NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us now to explain

Hey there, David.

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Media
1:04 am
Wed December 4, 2013

OMG, BuzzFeed Is Investing In Serious News Coverage! Is It FTW?

BuzzFeed's content is created by both paid staff members and users of the site.
Matt Haughey Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 6:01 am

Anyone who has hankered for a list of 10 of the most life-affirming dog rescue stories ever can rely on the social media site BuzzFeed.

That list of 11 classic horror films that should never have been remade? That's from BuzzFeed too.

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