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The Ballad of Balloon Boy

Seven years ago, an incredibly stupid mystery captivated CNN. Today, thanks to cable news, Balloon Boys are everywhere. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin on Oct 4, 2016 - 68 comments

Shimon Peres dies at 93

PM Peres, "one of the last surviving pillars of Israel’s founding generation", passed away in a Tel Aviv-area hospital on Wednesday. Peres was hospitalized after a stroke recently. He served as prime minister and president of Israel, as well as a minister of defense, foreign affairs, finance, and transportation. He was jointly awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, a champion of strong Israeli defense and peace in the region. Coverage from The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, BBC. Live reactions compiled by The Guardian.
posted by redct on Sep 27, 2016 - 34 comments

“What we need now is more information, more voices, and more speech.”

Banned Books Week Launches With Call to Read Books the 'Closed-Minded' Want Shut [The Guardian] ““But librarians would argue that the best way to guide your children’s reading is to read with them, and talk about what you read. For every parent convinced that a book is evil, there are two other parents who think it’s wonderful. So you have the right to guide your own children’s reading – but not to dictate or suppress someone else’s,” said LaRue. “The truth is, [these] issues are already a part of many children’s lives, and suppressing books about them doesn’t help anyone. In fact, these books may tell children that they are not alone, that what’s happening to them is not unique, and it can be survived. The world can be a dangerous place, but reading about it makes it less so.”” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 27, 2016 - 17 comments

I should have just eaten the 18 pounds of Red Leicester.

Deccan Chronicle: "In a study that has been widely welcomed, researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that eating cheese is good for our hearts." More from [askmen] [delish] [allure] [Telegraph - mentions other studies]. The actual research article conclusion: "A high daily intake of regular-fat cheese for 12 weeks did not alter LDL cholesterol or MetS risk factors differently than an equal intake of reduced-fat cheese or an isocaloric amount of carbohydrate-rich foods."
posted by Wordshore on Sep 24, 2016 - 40 comments

Pocket Devils

The World's Most Dangerous Game: Pokémon's Strange History with Moral Panics
posted by Artw on Sep 6, 2016 - 26 comments

“I think we’ve reached peak iPhone,”

Will the New Apple iPhone Have a Headphone Jack? Rumormongers Say It Won’t [The New York Times] “When the latest iPhone is unveiled here on Wednesday in a 7,000-seat auditorium, it probably will instead be more like Christmas for a sneaky 10-year-old who long ago peeked at his present. Thanks. That’s it? Anyone who cares enough about the iPhone to know that a new model is being released this month already knows what it is supposed to be like: a little thinner, a little faster and equipped with superior cameras on the Plus model. By far the most controversial feature, however, is the one that will be missing: a headphone jack. A standard element of technology that can be traced back to 1878 and the invention of the manual telephone exchange, the jack is apparently going the way of the floppy disk and the folding map. The future will be wireless.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 5, 2016 - 399 comments

The Court That Rules The World

International investors have a private court of appeal even in criminal matters - "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment. [ISDS] operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 31, 2016 - 39 comments

Be a Reporter!

Up until last year, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. had a YouTube channel (preserved at NewseumArchives) that uploaded every video made by visitors who went the the museum's "Be a Reporter!" exhibit and recorded themselves doing a TV news segment. Or practicing their golf swing. Or saying hi to their moms. Or contemplating the abyss. Sage Boggs of Mic has been tweeting out some of the highlights.
posted by Cash4Lead on Aug 26, 2016 - 10 comments

“it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial”

U.N. Admits Role in Cholera Epidemic in Haiti [The New York Times] “For the first time since a cholera epidemic believed to be imported by United Nations peacekeepers began killing thousands of Haitians nearly six years ago, the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged that the United Nations played a role in the initial outbreak and that a “significant new set of U.N. actions” will be needed to respond to the crisis.” [Previously.] [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 22, 2016 - 12 comments

“When you are a minority, it is no small thing to finally see yourself.”

What We Lose When POC Entertainers Crack Into The Mainstream [Buzzfeed] How Lilly Singh’s Superwoman and Jasmeet Singh’s JusReign navigate between two worlds.
posted by Fizz on Aug 21, 2016 - 5 comments


John McLaughlin, TV Host Who Made Combat of Punditry, Dies at 89 [The New York Times] John McLaughlin, a former Roman Catholic priest who became an aide to Richard M. Nixon in the White House and parlayed his fierce defense of the president into a television career as host of “The McLaughlin Group,” the long-running Sunday morning program of combative political punditry, died on Tuesday at his home in Washington. He was 89. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 17, 2016 - 38 comments

Where Did the Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Go So Wrong?

Two and a half years after the disappearance of MH370 (original thread), China, Malaysia and Australia have announced the search will be suspended. Why had they been so confident in the first place? How could they have been wrong? (Popular Mechanics)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 22, 2016 - 38 comments

Where one half just doesn’t know anything at all about the other.

Increasingly, what counts as a fact is merely a view that someone feels to be true. Many newsrooms are in danger of losing what matters most about journalism: the valuable, civic, pounding-the-streets, sifting-the-database, asking-challenging-questions hard graft of uncovering things that someone doesn’t want you to know. Serious, public-interest journalism is demanding, and there is more of a need for it than ever. It helps keep the powerful honest; it helps people make sense of the world and their place in it. Facts and reliable information are essential for the functioning of democracy – and the digital era has made that even more obvious.
posted by bitmage on Jul 17, 2016 - 34 comments

"It's a coup, go home."

An attempted military coup is underway in Turkey. According to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, "Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command." The Turkish military claims they have taken over the government, "in the name of democratic order, adding that all existing foreign relations will continue and human rights will remain." [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Jul 15, 2016 - 408 comments

"Unfortunately, nobody knows where the solid double line is."

RBC recently became the latest of many independent news organization in Russia to face resignations, restrictions and closures due to mounting pressure from authorities. In May, the editor-in-chief was dismissed, reportedly due to political pressure resulting from stories about Putin's inner circle. Two other chief editors and numerous editorial staff left in protest. The replacement chief editors, brought in from state-controlled media outlet TASS, wanted to introduce themselves to the remaining RBC staff. The Q&A with the new bosses started with a simple request: Everything we discuss here … doesn't go beyond this room and doesn't end up on social media. Naturally, the whole thing was recorded, and the transcript was posted online. [more inside]
posted by Kabanos on Jul 12, 2016 - 16 comments

Everybody has a story to tell.

Minnesota's nickname is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." But for local reporter Boyd Huppert and photojournalist Jonathan Malat of KARE-11, Minneapolis, it's also the Land of 10,000 Stories. Their long-running news segment highlights touching, local, human interest pieces, and has won multiple awards for excellence in journalism. A special hour-long compilation of eight popular stories aired last year.
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2016 - 5 comments

National, just smaller

"I think now is the perfect time to start (or restart) a local digital news operation. There are few greater gifts in journalism than a blank sheet of paper." In CJR, editor and entrepreneur Jim Brady (@jimbrady) on why and how now might finally be the time for local journalism in the USA to find a business model that works. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 28, 2016 - 13 comments

Stem Cell Therapy Crosses a Threshold

Stanford researchers ‘stunned’ by stem cell experiment that helped stroke patient walk
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jun 3, 2016 - 31 comments


Publishing giant Tribune is changing its name to... tronc. Originally incorporated in 1847 with the founding of the Chicago Tribune, Tribune owns both the Chicago Tribune as well as the LA Times and numerous newspapers across the US.
posted by GuyZero on Jun 2, 2016 - 370 comments

“failed to uphold the standards of ethical behavior”

Ethics and the Eye of the Beholder by Katie J.M. Baker [Buzzfeed] Thomas Pogge, one of the world’s most prominent ethicists, stands accused of manipulating students to gain sexual advantage. Did the fierce champion of the world's disempowered abuse his own power? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 20, 2016 - 46 comments

No longer ticking: Morley Safer, 1931-2016

NY Times obituary. On May 11, he retired from 60 Minutes after 46 years. "His Canadian sensibility grounded his work," said fellow journalists. 1998 profile: "He never played it safe." He famously reported on the horrors of Vietnam in Cam Ne: When President Lyndon Baines Johnson was outraged, he wanted to know if Safer was a Communist. "When he was told that Morley was 'not a communist, but just a Canadian', LBJ apparently said `Oh well, I knew he wasn’t an American'."
posted by Melismata on May 19, 2016 - 44 comments

Do you actually work with people, or do you give them morals?

Emily Bazelon writes for the New York Times about sex worker rights and decriminalization in the US and abroad (featuring photography of sex workers across the US).
posted by divabat on May 10, 2016 - 3 comments

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

Facebook workers say 'trending news' section is manipulated The revelations undermine any presumption of Facebook as a neutral pipeline for news, or the trending news module as an algorithmically-driven list of what people are actually talking about.
posted by modernnomad on May 9, 2016 - 113 comments

“Everybody wants to own the end of the world.”

Back to the Future by Tony Tulathimutte [The New Republic] For 45 years, Don DeLillo has been our high priest of the American apocalypse, having tackled just about every man-made disaster: nukes in End Zone, nukes and garbage in Underworld, toxic pollution in White Noise, financial busts in Cosmopolis, terrorism in Falling Man, terrorism and the death of the novel in Mao II, war in Point Omega. His latest novel, Zero K, clears out every end-times scenario left in the bag: climate change, droughts, pandemics, volcanoes, biological warfare, even meteor strikes and solar flares. But these only menace in the background as future probabilities, and the novel’s focus is not human extinction but its inverse: immortality through cryonics. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 3, 2016 - 6 comments

The Increasing Problem With the Misinformed

“The rise of the misinformed is now the largest obstacle for success for journalists today (outside the concerns that relate to publishing). If people don't trust the news, you don't have a news business.” Thomas Baekdal writes a strategic analysis for media companies to earn their readers’ trust, looking at data from PolitiFact to understand how misinformation spreads and what journalists can do to stop it.
posted by Rangi on May 1, 2016 - 54 comments

"I can't sentence you for being a child molester"--judge to Hastert

Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert admitted to sexually abusing boys on his wrestling team. He was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for structuring bank withdrawals, after a hearing in which "Individual D" took the stand, identifying himself as 53 year old Scott Cross (brother of a former GOP political ally of Hastert), and described Hastert's abuse. These are the Chicago Tribune's live tweets from the sentencing hearing. [Trigger Warning]
posted by OmieWise on Apr 27, 2016 - 116 comments

“There was big hype over the video, the stream had a good 2.8K views,”

When Rape Is Broadcast Live On The Internet by Rossalyn Warren [Buzzfeed News] Sexual assault, domestic abuse, and attempted murder are among the crimes recently captured on live video services. BuzzFeed News uncovered one apparent incident of a rape aired in real time and asked what it means for the companies that host this content. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 21, 2016 - 91 comments

Speeding up your favorite Brum news website

The Birmingham Mail, a tabloid newspaper covering England's second city, has an 'online news portal' with a reputation for being a bit slow. Not to fear, Brummie news addicts! A Chrome Extension, announced by a local alternative media website, now usefully blocks some of that deeply annoying slowing-down-the-browser content. With data, they explain why.
posted by Wordshore on Mar 22, 2016 - 9 comments

"Politicians. Businessmen. Nobody’s watching them anymore."

As newsrooms disappear, veteran reporters are being forced from the profession. They dedicated their lives to telling other people’s stories. What happens when no one wants to print their words anymore?
posted by zarq on Mar 5, 2016 - 100 comments

Dearest Nerds,

Melissa Harris-Perry (previously) published this letter to her staff yesterday, announcing her decision not to appear as part of MSNBC's weekend election coverage, after several instances in which MSNBC bumped her weekend morning show.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 27, 2016 - 64 comments

Hoaxmap.org: Tracking unsubstantiated rumours about refugees

'Hoaxmap' busts rumors about refugees in Germany Reacting to viral rumours and accusations made against migrants arriving and living in Germany, Karolin Schwarz and Lutz Helm from Leipzig have launched hoaxmap.org, which researches and refutes claims made in German social media by contacting local police and newspapers.
posted by bouvin on Feb 15, 2016 - 19 comments

A few seconds closer to Midnight?

Today The Doomsday Clock will have its time recalibrated. In 2015 the scientists set the hands to 23.57 - "due to climate change, the modernization of nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia, and the problem of nuclear waste." Is the apocalypse closer or further away? Watch the result live at 13.30 EST. There's really only one way it can go.
posted by 0bvious on Jan 26, 2016 - 7 comments

"You have to respect the absurdity of it,"

Iowa's caucus system, explained. [YouTube] [Vox] Each US primary election season kicks off in Iowa. Learn the process behind one of the pivotal events of the general election. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 25, 2016 - 58 comments

“I’ve been here 33 years and I’ve never seen anything so bad,”

The Story Behind The Deadliest Prison Bus Crash In Texas History [BuzzFeed] In January 2015, a prison transport carrying 15 men — three guards and 12 chained-together inmates — ran off the road. It was one of the bloodiest days in the history of Texas prisons. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 18, 2016 - 20 comments

Define 'interesting.'

When an NBC producer fell for celebrated surgeon Paolo Macchiarini while filming a Dateline documentary special about him, she thought her biggest problem was a breach of journalistic ethics. Then things got really interesting.
posted by zarq on Jan 6, 2016 - 131 comments

Nieman Lab's Crowdsourced

Predictions for Journalism 2016
posted by infini on Dec 29, 2015 - 50 comments

“...people are guilty if they eat shrimp that we peeled like slaves.”

Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves. by Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza and Esther Htusan [Associated Press] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 14, 2015 - 84 comments

“What kind of police do you call on the police?”

An all-white jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw of rape. It's almost enough. [The Guardian]
It took 45 hours over the course of four days for an all-white jury in Oklahoma City to decide whether or not they should convict former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of sexual assault on the word of 13 black women. On Thursday night, the jury opted to believe (most of) them. There is perhaps no bigger test of how blind justice could possibly be than asking any American jury – especially one that is all white and includes eight men – to believe 13 black women over a former police officer and supposed hero football player. It’s easy enough to point to cases where the police were acquitted. And yet, against all expectations this time, justice was blind.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Dec 12, 2015 - 81 comments

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”

Four-day marathon public reading of War and Peace begins in Russia. [The Guardian]
A marathon four-day Russian public reading of Leo Tolstoy’s vast classic novel War and Peace kicked off on Tuesday morning, with more than 1,300 people in more than 30 cities preparing to make their contributions to the record-breaking project. Coordinated by Tolstoy’s great-great-granddaughter Fekla Tolstaya, and featuring a number of cultural luminaries including the Polish film director Andrzej Wajda, the readings are being streamed by Russian state television channel Kultura. One volume of Tolstoy’s fictionalised history of Russia during the Napoleonic campaign will be read each day.
posted by Fizz on Dec 8, 2015 - 17 comments

Don't make unnecessary journeys

Ireland is having a spot of weather, as Teresa Mannion reports. Her coverage of storm Desmond went instantly viral, earneding a remix from Super Céilí as well as numerous homages. Skip to 1:30 on the main link if you like, but I kind of enjoy the slow burn of it.
posted by Iteki on Dec 6, 2015 - 16 comments

“My body knows it's time to say goodbye.”

Kobe Bryant to retire after this season. [Los Angeles Times] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Nov 29, 2015 - 76 comments

a very real punk news site that you should not question

The Hard Times brings you all the (somehow occasionally mistaken for real) punk rock news. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 19, 2015 - 28 comments

This American death

Adnan Syed’s case is being reopened. NPR's Serial Podcast, formerly discussed abouts these parts, seems to have finally precipitated the state of Maryland to allow a new examination of the case, considering new evidence stemming from the podcast series and following events. The Guardian's post-podcast rundown.
posted by allkindsoftime on Nov 7, 2015 - 104 comments

Discover something new

"It isn’t easy to discover new podcasts. There are just SO many out there. Sometimes the best approach is to simply turn to a friend and say, 'Hey, what are you listening to these days?'" So, NPR has created earbud.fm, a "friendly guide to great podcasts."
posted by zarq on Nov 3, 2015 - 82 comments


Can You Survive A Week As Jeremy Corbyn? The press hates you, lots of your party hates you – can you make it through a week without resigning? (NSFW, Buzzfeed, Choose Your Own Adventure format)
posted by Wordshore on Oct 3, 2015 - 33 comments

Of course I'd like to sit around and chat... but someone's listening in

Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 26, 2015 - 105 comments

Boehner out

House Speaker John Boehner will give up his House seat and resign from Congress at the end of October. Boehner has been Speaker since January 2011, and has been a member of the House since January 1991. Boehner made the announcement this morning in an emotional meeting with fellow Republicans, according to the New York Times, which says that his resignation throws Congress and the federal government "into chaos" as Congress faces an imminent government shutdown, the first since 2013.
posted by blucevalo on Sep 25, 2015 - 507 comments

♫ Ah, look at all the Corbyn people! Ah, look at all the Corbyn people!♪

Jeremy Corbyn, socialist token once chosen to broaden debate... wins Labour race!
Look at his rivals -- Burnham and Cooper and Kendall all grumble, deplore. Who are they for?
All the Corbyn people -- where do they all come from? All the Corbyn people -- where do they all belong?

Jez's agenda: Nato and Trident and railways and people's QE. Experts agree!
Chuka Umunna, right-leaning leader (and one-time Barack wannabe), pleads unity!
All the Corbyn people -- what will they all become? All the Corbyn people -- will Labour play along? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 12, 2015 - 443 comments

Panic and Tumult in Northamptonshire

A cow in Northamptonshire has gotten its head stuck in a lawn chair. The County of Northamptonshire in England's East Midlands was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1011), as Hamtunscire: the scire (shire) of Hamtun (the homestead). There are 129 things to do in Northamptonshire, the best of which is a llama farm. But all that changed today, when Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service were summoned to save a cow who had somehow gotten its head stuck in a lawn chair. [more inside]
posted by Naberius on Aug 28, 2015 - 37 comments

More Philly than the Rocky Theme

"Move closer to your world, my friend / Take a little bit of time"

When you think of Philadelphia music, you may think of the Rocky theme, you may think of Philly Soul, or you may think of The Dead Milkmen, but no song is Philly quite like The Channel 6 Action News Theme, "Move Closer to Your World" [more inside]
posted by SansPoint on Aug 12, 2015 - 48 comments

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