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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Media
5:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

New Republic Staffers Saw A Clash Between Its Mission And New Methods

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:27 pm

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Media
4:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

New 'New Republic': A 'Vertically Integrated Digital Media Company'

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:44 am

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

Media
5:12 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Defining Narrative Questioned In 'Rolling Stone' UVA Rape Story

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 6:30 pm

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

The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue November 25, 2014

'New York Times' Hires Former NPR Executive To Lead Digital Push

Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 12:39 pm

The New York Times has named former top NPR executive Kinsey Wilson to help its digital news efforts.

Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet appointed Wilson to be one of his top deputies in the newly created role of editor for innovation and strategy, the newspaper announced Tuesday morning.

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Media
4:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

'Washington Post' To Add Editor's Notes To Fareed Zakaria Columns

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:15 pm

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

All Tech Considered
6:36 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Behind The Scenes, Storyful Exposes Viral Hoaxes For News Outlets

Storyful is making a business out of verifying material on social media for journalists and news organizations.
Storyful

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 10:45 am

At most news organizations, journalists celebrate when they get a story in print, on air or online.

At Storyful, editors high-five when they knock a story down.

"We like to think about [Storyful] as the first social news agency," said Mark Little, the company's buoyant CEO. A former television news anchor and correspondent in his native Ireland, Little conceived the company in 2009 after watching the documentation of mounting protests in Iran posted to Flickr and YouTube.

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Remembrances
4:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Journalist And Political Aide Frank Mankiewicz Dies At 90

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 7:03 am

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

Remembrances
7:05 am
Wed October 22, 2014

'Post' Editor Bradlee Helped Define Modern American Journalism

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 10:09 am

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

Media
12:32 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

NPR Chief Announces Departure Of Key Digital Strategist

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Media
5:03 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

The Video, The Tabloid Site And The NFL's Unwanted Reckoning

Ray Rice has been cut from the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL following an assault on his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 2:33 pm

The NFL built its fortunes on a series of ever-expanding TV contracts worth billions of dollars showing hundreds of games to tens of millions of fans. Now a tabloid news shop has brought all conversation about the NFL to a standstill by posting a silent video lasting less than four minutes.

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Media
4:08 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Changes At The 'Post' Mark A Break From Paper's Storied Past

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 7:14 pm

Tech billionaire Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post, has announced he's replacing the paper's current publisher with Frederick Ryan, one of the founders of Politico. Katharine Weymouth's departure represents the end of a storied connection between the Graham publishing family and the Post.

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Media
5:20 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

In Covering Foley's Killing, Media Outlets Face A Difficult Choice

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:24 pm

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

Media
5:58 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

David Gregory Leaves NBC, To Be Replaced By Chuck Todd

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 6:35 pm

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

Remembrances
5:31 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 3:50 am

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

Transcript

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Media
4:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:00 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Business
10:32 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.

Business
9:47 am
Tue June 24, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:10 am

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
5:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 6:24 pm

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

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.

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Media
5:56 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 7:13 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
4:32 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

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Media
7:53 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 4:49 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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New York Times
7:47 am
Fri May 30, 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 9:57 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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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
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 2:41 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
4:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Meet NPR's New Chief Executive: Jarl Mohn

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 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
4:00 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 8:46 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
5:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 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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Media
5:06 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Resignation Revives Doubts About Bloomberg China Coverage

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:28 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
4:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Joe McGinniss, Headline-Grabbing Author, Dies At 71

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 9:38 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
4:07 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:57 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
4:00 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:02 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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