Weekly Wrap: Freelance & Creative News

Complaints about D.C. food media. Elon Musk's secret venture. Popular mag admits racist coverage. The best smartphone camera... AND MORE!

Trump Hotel Getting Cold Shoulder From Food Media?

Managers from Trump Hotel International in Washington D.C. claim the D.C food media is giving the property the cold shoulder, says the Washington Post.

The hotel has a steakhouse, BLT Prime by David Burke, and the Benjamin Bar and Lounge.

Patricia Tang, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing said their events and activities rarely, if ever, make the local roundups and listings. She’s been in the field 15 years and says she’s never before encountered such resistance from the press.

Earlier this week, when Benjamin’s weekly dessert night wasn’t included on the list of “11 D.C. Restaurants That Crush Dessert,” Managing director Mickael Damelincourt tweeted that it was “another big miss” and alleged that “proper research was not done or [a] decision was made to exclude the most popular dessert venue.”

The parent company for BLT Prime, ESquared, seems to agree with the complaints. “Since BLT Prime opened, we have noted that multiple publications have chosen to omit our restaurant from coverage,” said Rachel Wormser, vice president of PR and marketing.

The WaPo article included statements from members of the media. They cited various reasons for their personal lack of coverage but none mentioned any type of blacklist or orders to exclude the Trump Hotel.

Imagine that. Publications and professionals who don’t feel this is a good time to associate their professional image with Trump-related things.

Elon Musk Launching A Media Site

Elon Musk, the guy who brought you Tesla and SpaceX, is planning to launch a media site, Page Six reports.

Details are scarce but it’s reportedly a comedy venture and Musk has recruited writers and former editors from the Onion. Some have been working on the project since last year, says the Daily Beast.

Amazon Opened A Bookstore In Washington D.C.

Amazon opened its 15th brick-and-mortar bookstore in Georgetown, a historic neighborhood in Washington D.C.

The 10,000-sq. ft. store is stocked with new releases and a curated selection of books that either rate four stars or higher or that are bestsellers on Amazon’s website and at other stores.

All books face out “so they can communicate their own essence.” And, each book is displayed with a card that has the Amazon.com customer rating and a review.

Amazon Prime customers get Prime prices, instead of the list price, reports the Washington Business Journal.

Dead Butt Syndrome is Real And a Risk

Dead butt syndrome is a real thing, and it’s not uncommon, Andrew Bang, a chiropractor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute told Health. In fact, it’s a real risk for people who spend a lot of time sitting.

It’s a condition where the gluteus medius, one of the main butt muscles, stops working.  When you spend hours sitting, your hip flexors are contracting while your glutes rest. “Over time, we’re basically training our glutes to be weak,” Bang says.

The results can include lower back pain, hip pain, knee issues and ankle issues.

BTW: Did You Catch The Research On Standing Desks?

5 Freelance Photographers’ Work Exhibited At Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s in London is hosting “Hard Truths,” an exhibition featuring work by five freelance photographers. The images were captured during assignments for the New York Times.

  • Ivor Prickett’s brings images from the ravaged streets of Mosul, Iraq.
  • Meridith Kohut chronicles Venezuela’s slide into chaos, illness, and hunger.
  • Tomas Munita’s delivers “moody” images of the wait for change in Cuba.
  • Daniel Berehulak documented the vigilante-style war on drugs in the Philippines.
  • Newsha Tavakolian captured portraits Iranians daily life amid geopolitical drama.

The NYT said the exhibition is to show it embraces photography and to engage audiences in a different setting. The exhibition will travel for the next two years, making stops in locations including New York, Sydney, and Madrid.

Let’s toast to them! And crown them with bragging rights. I don’t know anyone whose work was showcased at Sotheby’s.

The Football Association Inks Deal With Shutterstock and SilverHub

The Football Association, the governing body for English football, inked an exclusive multi-year photography and distribution deal with SilverHub Media UK and Shutterstock.

Those are the companies enlisted to capture real-time photography of FA and Wembley Stadium events and they get exclusive access to off-the-field events and behind-the-scenes activities.

The deal also gives the pair exclusive access to Wembley Stadium events NFL games, music and entertainment events.

Photography captured by SilverHub will be made available for licensing via Shutterstock.

Digital Trends: Google Pixel Best Smartphone Camera

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the best smartphone cameras on the market, according to Digital Trends.

Both phones have the same 12.2-megapixel camera that’s lightning fast to focus and produces sharp, detailed photos in a wide range of circumstances,” the mag says. The video capability is also top notch, supporting 4K video at 30 frames-per-second, or full HD at 120 frames-per-second.

But, if you just can’t imagine life without Apple, the best smartphone camera pick is the iPhone X.

Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus is the best low-light camera.

And, Honor 7X is the top budget pick.

YouTube To Fight Conspiracy Theories With Wikipedia

YouTube has a notorious problem with conspiracy-theory videos, ranging from the 9/11 to school shootings to the NBA, says Fortune.

The company’s idea for fixing the problem is adding a link under those videos to Wikipedia and other “fact-based” sources, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced at the SXSW festival.

For anyone who thinks this sounds like a good idea, please note that Wikipedia has a page devoted to discouraging this exact thing.

“Because of insufficient care in assessing breaking news sources, Wikipedia has, in several cases, repeated not only incorrect but damagingly incorrect information,” the page says. And therefore warns that it shouldn’t be relied on to “sort out oft-conflicting and mistaken reporting” related to disasters and news events.

National Geographic Admits A History of Racist Coverage

Ahead of National Geographic‘s “race” issue for April, the magazine decided to examine its own history, writes Susan Goldberg Editor in Chief.

They enlisted University of Virginia professor John Edwin Mason to help.

Mason found that “until the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers.”

“Meanwhile it pictured “natives” elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché,” wrote Goldberg.

Goldberg says many readers have gotten their first look at the world from this magazine, but it wasn’t teaching as much as reinforcing, racist, stereotypical messages, and “doing so in a magazine that had tremendous authority.”

Concerns Over Oxford University Press’ Rohingya Article

A group of scholars and human right campaigners are taking issue with the Oxford University Press (OUP) decision to have Dr. Jacques Leider write a reference article on Rohingya.

They assert that he is not an impartial party and he has taken concerning positions, including downplaying the violence and suffering that has been set upon the Rohingya,” says Truthout.

The critics warn that given OUP’s reputation, both scholars and the general public will give a great deal of credibility to whatever they publish on Rohingya.  So, they are asking OUP to reconsider having Dr. Leider write the piece, and if he does to include a clear disclaimer that it’s an opinion piece. Here is more on the controversy. Here is a petition if you want to lend your voice.

Podomatic Podcasts Now On Spotify

Podomatic, a podcast hosting platform, teamed up with Spotify. The hookup gives independent podcasts on the platform access to Spotify’s 60 global markets and 140 million active users.

Playboy Launching A Cryptocurrency Wallet

Playboy is launching a digital wallet that will support cryptocurrencies across its online media, digital, and casual gaming businesses.

Playboy.TV will be the first of the company’s media platforms to feature the new digital wallet. Users will be able to use and earn cryptocurrency tokens to access to content, comment, and vote for content.

 

What’s Else Is New?

Free Images of Empowerment:

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and partners are offering over 300 high-quality editorial “empowerment” images of women and girls taken by photojournalists Paula Bronstein and Nina Robinson. The pics are available under Creative Commons licensing. Find images from Bihar, India or Louisiana and Mississippi.


New Version of Flipping Book Publisher:

Readers can create notes. There’s a highlight feature. And document creators can embed GIFs and videos from Wistia, YouTube, and Vimeo.


Deep Creativity: Inside the Creative Mystery:

Victor Shamas Ph.D. published a book that chronicles his 30-year research study of creative inspiration. It’s supposed to shows reader what it takes to get and stay inspired.

Schedule It

April 5-8: The Photography Show 

The event presented by Association of International Photography Art Dealers will feature 96 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries, over 30 book sellers, 15 AIPAD talks, 3 special exhibitions, and more.

It’ll be held at Pier 94 in New York. Ticket prices vary.

Go For It

Ohio Valley Writing Contest:

The Martins Ferry Public Library is hosting contests for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. It’s open to writers in Ohio County, WV and Belmont County, Ohio. First prize is $100. Here are the details.


Curbed Needs A Visual Editor:

Curbed, a Vox Media site, is looking for a multidisciplinary visuals editor with at least five years of experience. It’s a full-time job, and it’s in New York. Want the deets? Here you go.

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