Today's Top Stories

Media Stocks Dive as Market Plunges

Worries about the economy sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 512.76 points Thursday, or 4.31%, and media stocks were among those taking bigger than average hits. Shares of Comcast and Time Warner, which reported higher profits this week, were down 4.26% and 4.62% respectively. News Corp., which reports earnings next week, was down nearly 7%.

INSI calls on UN to investigate over NATO and IDF attacks on media outlets

Two recent incidents suggest NATO and Israeli forces may have targeted journalists in breach of international law. A NATO air strike on the Tripoli headquarters of state broadcaster Al-Jamahiriya on July 30 killed three media staff and wounded 21. And on July 29, at the start of the weekly Palestinian demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Israeli army infantry reservists opened fire with riot-control weapons on a group of some 10 press photographers

Star Tribune Guild members OK pay freeze extension

Newsroom employees at the Star Tribune have approved extending their pay freeze for another 18 months. Newspaper Guild co-chair David Chanen says union members voted overwhelmingly for the contract extension Thursday. He did not release a specific vote. Chanen says when the 18-month extension expires, Star Tribune Newspaper Guild members will have had their pay frozen for 4.5 years.

Second newspaper group faces hacking lawsuits, lawyer says

Several alleged victims of tabloid phone hacking in Britain will soon file lawsuits against a second newspaper group, Piers Morgan's former employer Trinity Mirror PLC, their lawyer said Friday. Mark Lewis said the claims would be filed in “a few weeks,” but would not disclose identities of his clients or say precisely when the papers would be lodged at court.

Job growth still sputtering in lowest gear

The decline in the unemployment rate, from 9.2% to 9.1%, was due entirely to a drop in labor force participation, not an increase in the share of workers with jobs. Remarkably, the labor force is smaller now than it was before the recession started (by more than 700,000 workers), even though the working-age population grew by over seven million in that time. Meanwhile, the share of unemployed workers who have been unemployed for more than six months held steady at 44.4%.

Call for public inquiry in murder case with NoW links

Lawyers acting for the family of a murdered private detective have called for a new public inquiry which could shed more light on corrupt relationships between British police and News Corp. journalists. "We know now that News International had entered the criminal underworld," MP Tom Watson said, about the 1987 ax murder of Daniel Morgan -- which, despite five police investigations, has never resulted in a conviction.

IRS: 235,413 million-dollar earners

People and households earning $1 million or more annually made up just 0.1%, or just over 235,000, of the 140 million tax returns filed in 2009, taking in a total of $726.9 billion — yet 1,470 paid not a penny of income taxes. Meanwhile the average income in 2009 was $54,283, a drop of more than $3,500, or 6%, from 2008. That put the average income at its lowest level since 1997.

Calling MaineToday in Honduras

Maine's largest daily-newspaper group has outsourced its circulation customer-service work to Honduras, letting five Maine-based employees go, reassigning another, and allowing one to retire early. The workers, some of whom were part-time, were paid at rates that for full-time workers were between $445 and $542 per week, depending on their seniority.