Pentagon bribery scandal -- Iraqi journalists bought out.
Officials in Washington have admitted that the US military has bribed Iraqi journalists with under-the-table payoffs of up to $200 a month -- twice the average Iraqi monthly income -- for producing upbeat newspaper, radio and television reports about the war in Iraq. This follows a similar report yesterday
that the military secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of pro-American articles written by the US Information Operations Task Force in Baghdad. A Pentagon spokesman described the report as "troubling". "This article raises some questions as to whether or not some of the practices that are described in there are consistent with the principles of this department."
posted by insomnia_lj
on Dec 1, 2005 -
The End of News?
From the New York Review of Books. Michael Massing
, a contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, discusses the decline of the mainstream media and the ideal of objectivity: Accuracy in Media
(1969), the Center for Media and Public Affairs
(1985), the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine
(1987), Rush Limbaugh
(1988), Fox News
, cost-cutting at newspapers
. Of course, the newspaper business has always been a difficult one, as Walter Lippmann noted in his book Public Opinion
(1921): [more inside]
posted by russilwvong
on Nov 14, 2005 -
Wrestling with Diane Arbus
"She set up no lights, just pulled out her Rolleiflex, which was half as big as she was, checked the aperture and the exposure, and tested the flash. Then she asked me to lie on the bed, flat on my back on the shabby counterpane.
I did as I was told. Clutching the camera she climbed on to the bed and straddled me, moving up until she was kneeling with a knee on both sides of my chest. She held the Rolleiflex at waist height with the lens right in my face. She bent her head to look through the viewfinder on top of the camera, and waited".
posted by matteo
on Oct 8, 2005 -
Reporters Without Borders
releases a free handbook
for would-be bloggers and cyber-dissidents in censor-happy lands. It features tips on blogging anonymously, ways to get around censorship and to ensure your e-mail privacy, and hosts an Internet-censor World Championship list (which lists China, Vietnam, and Tunisia, among others) as well. Download the guide here
posted by riffraff
on Sep 22, 2005 -
In the Hot Zone
Yahoo! have hired journalist Kevin Sites
(previously discussed here
) to 'cover every armed conflict in the world within one year... to provide a clear idea of the combatants, victims, causes, and costs of each of these struggles - and their global impact'. The NYT
(reg required) quotes Lloyd Braun, Head of Yahoo! Media Group, saying that he hopes they can combat the "growing public distrust of network news... [with] a transparency I think the Internet user wants and the news audience is craving".
posted by pasd
on Sep 14, 2005 -
The New York Times is offering Katrina reporters trauma counselling.
Reporters covering warzones in Iraq, Chechnya and the Sudan were not offered near-mandatory trauma counselling by the newspaper of record.
Journalists in Lousiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast were.
"In fact, the circumstances were so shocking to reporters that according to one staff member, The New York Times e-mailed information about dealing with trauma to reporters in the field, outlining warning signs; employee-assistance counselors also placed calls to reporters."
posted by huskerdont
on Sep 7, 2005 -
Looting vs Finding
Chris Graythen, an AFP photographer in New Orleans (skip down to his post) who shot the photo of two white people "finding" goods in the floodwaters, defends his caption. "These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. They picked up bread and cokes that were floating in the water." Meanwhile, the editor for the photog of the "looting" image says that he actually saw the looting occur
. "'He saw the person go into the shop and take the goods,' Stokes said, 'and that's why he wrote 'looting' in the caption.'"
posted by Brian James
on Sep 1, 2005 -
"When I read his work, I forgive him all his sins".
Edmund Wilson disliked being called a critic
. He thought of himself as a journalist, and nearly all his work was done for commercial magazines
, principally Vanity Fair, in the nineteen-twenties; The New Republic, in the nineteen-twenties and thirties; The New Yorker, beginning in the nineteen-forties
; and The New York Review of Books, in the nineteen-sixties. He was exceptionally well read
: he had had a first-class education in English, French, and Italian literature, and he kept adding languages all his life
. He learned to read German, Russian, and Hebrew; when he died, in 1972, he was working on Hungarian.
Edmund Wilson and American culture
. (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Aug 25, 2005 -
Could any of us really score a photo scoop? Scoopt
is an on-line photo agency that purports to help us amateur photographers sell photos to news outlets
. You join for free, but they take a 50% cut of the profit. Is it worth that to have an on-call agent? Just in case I happen across a major news event some day? On the other hand, I like being a part of the Creative Commons world of Flickr
, where my "artsy" shots are available for further artistic use.
posted by mmahaffie
on Aug 12, 2005 -
The Supreme Court's Big Day
The court chose not to review the controversy surrounding "reporter's privilege"
in withholding the names of confidential sources; meaning reporters may continue to be jailed or fined for refusing to name sources in court.
, the Court decided 6-3
that cable providers did not have to allow competitors to access their lines (the way DSL companies do). FCC opponents had been hopeful the Court would find the other way, opening new markets for competition and service options.
The Court ruled one of two
Ten Commandment displays are unconstitutional. The decalogue display on a courthouse wall in Kentucky was found 5-4
to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it was serving a religious purpose. However, the Ten Commandments display on the grounds of Texas' state capitol were found to be constitutional.
The Court finally decided the MGM v Grokster case
. The Court found unanimously
that the file sharing service can be held liable
for the copyright infringement of their users.
posted by falconred
on Jun 27, 2005 -
NEWSWEEK's Baghdad bureau chief, departing after two years of war and American occupation, has a few final thoughts.
A short, yet refreshingly honest, look at Iraq from a respected journalist on the way home.
What went wrong? A lot, but the biggest turning point was the Abu Ghraib scandal. Since April 2004 the liberation of Iraq has become a desperate exercise in damage control. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib alienated a broad swath of the Iraqi public. On top of that, it didn't work. . . . The four-square-mile Green Zone, the one place in Baghdad where foreigners are reasonably safe, could be a showcase of American values and abilities. Instead the American enclave is a trash-strewn wasteland of Mad Max-style fortifications. The traffic lights don't work because no one has bothered to fix them. The garbage rarely gets collected. Some of the worst ambassadors in U.S. history are the GIs at the Green Zone's checkpoints. They've repeatedly punched Iraqi ministers, accidentally shot at visiting dignitaries and behave (even on good days) with all the courtesy of nightclub bouncers—to Americans and Iraqis alike.
posted by caddis
on Jun 6, 2005 -
Edinburgh's Scotsman newspaper
has launched a digital archive covering all editions from 1817-1950.
There are several stories with an American slant
which may be something that interests you. There is coverage on such things as the hanging of the notorious bodysnatchers Burke and Hare
Unfortunately, after viewing the free archives it is a paysite, but I still think it's worth a look as there is easily a couple of hours of interesting reading on the free articles that are included.
The set-up and look of this site is brilliant as well.
posted by ClanvidHorse
on Jun 4, 2005 -
Sy Hersh's Loose Relationship with the Literal Truth
| Interesting article from NY Metro
which seems to condem Hersh's squirrely handling of facts while admiring his accomplishments & tenacity: "In bending the truth, Hersh is, paradoxically enough, remarkably candid. When he supplies unconfirmed accounts of military assaults on Iraqi civilians, or changes certain important details from an episode inside Abu Ghraib (thus rendering the story unverifiable), Hersh argues that he’s protecting the identities of sources who could face grave repercussions for talking. 'I defend that totally,' Hersh says of the factual fudges he serves up in speeches and lectures."
posted by jenleigh
on Jun 2, 2005 -
We really want you in the Army.
Not all citizen journalism happens in blogs, folks. A 15-year-old with a couple of cameras and a sister caught the Army willing to bend both laws and ethics in order to get him enlisted.
(Military recruitment previously discussed here
, as well as other places that I'm too lazy to search for).
posted by klangklangston
on May 25, 2005 -
Home From Iraq: photojournalist Molly
in 2003 by Iraqi security forces and held in Abu Ghraib prison from March
25 to April 2, 2003. Eighteen days after her release, she returned to Iraq to
pursue stories for The New York Times, The Guardian of London and others. Taking
a short break during the summer of 2003, Bingham had the idea of working on a
story to explore who
in the nascent
that was becoming apparent
In August 2003, Bingham returned with British journalist Steve
and spent the next 10 months reporting the story of the Iraqi resistance.
Her account was published in Vanity Fair magazine in July 2004; Connors shot a
documentary film on the subject. This experience has led Bingham to seriously
question the values and responsibilities of the press.
posted by stenseng
on May 11, 2005 -
Total chaos, no way to see the race, not even the track...nobody cares. Big lines at the outdoor betting windows, then stand back to watch winning numbers flash on the big board, like a giant bingo game.
Old blacks arguing about bets; "Hold on there, I'll handle this" (waving pint of whiskey, fistful of dollar bills); girl riding piggyback, T-shirt says, "Stolen from Fort Lauderdale Jail." Thousands of teen-agers, group singing "Let the Sun Shine In," ten soldiers guarding the American flag and a huge fat drunk wearing a blue football jersey (No. 80) reeling around with quart of beer in hand.
No booze sold out here, too dangerous...no bathrooms either. Muscle Beach...Woodstock...many cops with riot sticks, but no sign of a riot. Far across the track the clubhouse looks like a postcard from the Kentucky Derby.
posted by airguitar
on May 6, 2005 -
Sails to harness Vox Populi winds
: "Technology is changing politics"
[ not to mention journalism ] intones the well
connected Personal Democracy Forum
, and everybody's leaping into the "Blogging vs. Journalism"
fray. Dan Gillmor
, author of We the Media
, has quit his job after receiving seed money from Mitch Kapor and from Omidyar Networks
, to found the for-profit "Grassroots Media Inc." : Gillmor's got a hand, as well, in the noble and name studded OurMedia.org
: "We'll host your media forever — for free.....Video blogs, photo albums, home movies, podcasting, digital art, documentary journalism, home-brew political ads"
Meanwhile, SusanG - in her most recent recently released investigative piece
into the Jeff Gannon/fake journalism scandal notes her research group's effort "now encompasses so much more than Gannon" and announces future stories will post under the organizational name of ePluribus Media "We're the People ! No you're not, we're the People ! No way ! We're the...."
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 28, 2005 -
From her perspective, it was just opening fire by a tank
. Giuliana Sgrena, the freed Italian journalist who was shot at by American troops upon her release, sets the record straight: there was no checkpoint, she was on a secure VIP road that runs directly from the Green Zone to the Baghdad airport, and her car was shot at from behind. Transcript
, and video
of an interview with Naomi Klein, who talked to Sgrena in Rome.
posted by muckster
on Mar 28, 2005 -
Scientific American to stop reporting science, more creationism. There's no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don't mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming...But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there's no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.
posted by mr.curmudgeon
on Mar 25, 2005 -
Project for Excellence in Journalism Report NYT
: The annual Project for Excellence in Journalism report on the state of the media says that the use of anonymous sources in newspapers has dropped significantly over the last year. USAT
: Non-traditional media gaining ground, consumers. LAT
: Study warns of "junk news" diet. E&P
: Survey finds newspapers slipping, facing cutbacks. WaPo
: Study finds no shortage of opinion on Fox News.
posted by psmealey
on Mar 14, 2005 -
Two recent provocative articles about the the male-hooker-in-the-White-House-press-corps story: An analysis
from Monday's Philly Inquirer
asserts the flap is "far from over" and includes a cautionary quote: "The Bush people are challenging all the old assumptions about how to work the press. They are ambitious - visionary, if you will - in ways that Washington has yet to fathom." Meanwhile, this Feb 24 blog post
from lefty David Corn calls Gannon's alleged anti-gay articles "pretty tame stuff" that didn't "automatically qualify him for outing," and cautions knee-jerking progressives that "there is nothing inherently wrong with allowing journalists with identifiable biases to pose questions to the White House press secretary and even the president." [last Gannon thread] [MeTa thread about appropriateness of another front-page Gannon post]
posted by mediareport
on Mar 1, 2005 -