MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
Five senior journalists and editors at the News International tabloid the Sun were arrested on Saturday along with three public officials as Operation Elveden, the British investigation into bribery of police by News International papers, broadened to include corruption of officials in the armed forces and Ministry of Defence as well. The Guardian reports that the new arrests escalate the stakes of the ongoing US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation of News Corporation, which carries potential penalties of millions of dollars of fines and prison sentences for senior executives. [more inside]
Getting Away with Murder - The Impunity Index. The Committee to Protect Journalists' 2011 Impunity Index spotlights the 13 worst countries where journalists are slain and killers go free. The CPJ is also behind the International Press Freedom Awards. This year's awards are taking place in New York, Nov 22nd. The recipients are: Mansoor al-Jamri - Bahrain. Natalya Radina, Belarus. Javier Arturo Valdez Cárdenas, Mexico and Umar Cheema, Pakistan.
Interactive map of international adoptions, from the superlative Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. The site contains an amazing amount of information about corruption in international adoption in countries like Nepal and Vietnam.
Ira Glass does an atypical bit of investigative reporting about an especially punitive drug court in rural Georgia. [more inside]
I've never known of a single colleague who has been tortured, or who lives with the threat of death and persecution for their work, in such a confused state of mind that they believe that working in the defence of individual and collective freedoms is an act of heroism. We know full well that it is nothing more than an exercise in survival and shared dignity. [more inside]
"..when a victorious chief minister openly admits that he himself approached the leading newspaper of his state with money for “positive stories” after learning that the newspaper had signed a “package deal” with his rivals to print negative stories, you had better sit up and take urgent notice"
Last week, the Chicago Reader laid off four of its best journalists: John Conroy (previously), Harold Henderson, Tori Marlan, and Steve Bogira. The cuts almost certainly mark the beginning of the end of the paper's role in Chicago as an investigative force and a corruption watchdog. The New York Times responds with a salute to Conroy and a defense of muckraking's relevance. [more inside]
Albania to get more corruption, and duct-tape expert-- ... As much as Ridge's security expertise, Berisha wants him to also bring to Albania his "success story" as Governor of Pennsylvania on education, the judiciary, information technology, agriculture and money laundering. ...
"If a scholar or expert gets paid to do some work for the government, should he or she disclose that if he writes a paper, essay or op-ed on the same or similar subject? If this is the ethical standard, it is an entirely new standard." So says syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher, defending against revelations and accusations by Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post (warning: reg required) that she neglected to disclose that she was paid by the Administration for Children and Families Home Page (part of the Department of Health and Human Services) for consulting work inteded to promote the Administration's "pro-marriage" policies in 2002. Gallagher took a pro-Administration stance repeatedly in her column that same year. Gallagher ultimately cops out with, "I should have disclosed a government contract when I later wrote about the Bush marriage initiative. I would have, if I had remembered it." After Armstrong Willaims got caught with his pants down, is "honesty" old and busted, and "I don't remember" the new hotness?
Tehelka is the Indian journalism Web site that published video of bribe-taking on the Net, launching a Watergate-like corruption scandal at the highest levels of government. Since breaking the story, however, "Tehelka’s staff has gone from 120 people to three; its office has been vacated; its staffers arrested and harassed; and its debts have spiraled." But the site perserveres. And Malaysiakini seems to be following in its footsteps. As Doc Searles says, it's "the duct tape of journalism."