The Washington Independent went beta a few weeks ago. The site employs several reporters to do investigative journalism on topics of national importance. [more inside]
Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
Everyblock has launched. It's local news culled from (any and all available) services, including photos, news, restaurant inspections, classified ads, and civic announcements. Sounds pretty dry, but looking at my old neighborhood in San Francisco, there's a wealth of hyperlocal information that you can't get in one place. They're currently in three major metro areas of the US with many more to come -- their launch announcement has more. This site was spearheaded by Adrian Holovaty, a pioneer of the intersection between journalism and computer science, and winner of a $1million grant last year to build such sites.
As Iraqis See It. "About a year ago, McClatchy Newspapers set up a blog exclusively for contributions from its Iraqi staff. 'Inside Iraq,' it's called, and several times a week the Iraqi staff members post on it about their experiences and impressions. 'It's an opportunity for Iraqis to talk directly to an American audience,' says Leila Fadel, the current bureau chief. As such, the blog fills a major gap in the coverage." Previously discussed here. [Via disinformation.]
Toronto: Justice Denied. Mark Kingwell writes about Toronto. The article is a great read even if you've never stepped foot in the city.
Are we recording all this, Nick? I hope we are. Right here we go... In 2005, the BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell was preparing a "two-way" regarding that year's VJ Day 60th anniversary commemorations. He and the interviewer Richard Evans just couldn't see eye to eye as to how the story should be covered. Luckily for us, their tetchy conversation and the fall out with the producers was recorded (transcript/mp3). Despite the vintage, it's a rather revealing behind the scenes record demonstrating the process that's often gone through to decide how news is best communicated to we listeners.
...GE had long done business with the bin Ladens. In a misguided attempt at corporate synergy, I called GE headquarters...
"You Don't Understand Our Audience" --what John Hockenberry (formerly of NBC, now at MIT Media Lab) learned about network news--good guys and bad guys, the "emotional center", synergy, facts, and why fewer and fewer watch nowadays.
Image of the Year. From the article: "If you want to go shallow for an Image of the Year, you can't do better than Paris Hilton, seen through the window of a Los Angeles sheriff's car, weeping as she's being hauled back to prison to complete a probation-violation sentence. But when you first notice the credit on that now infamous picture, there's a double take. The image came from the camera of Nick Ut, whose picture of a little girl burned by napalm, naked and running directly toward the camera and into the conscience of the American people, became perhaps the most powerful and influential vision of the Vietnam War. Not only was the Paris Hilton image taken by one of this country's most celebrated war photographers, it was taken June 8, 35 years to the day after the devastating image of 9-year-old Kim Phuc fleeing her bombed-out village. Let's put these two pictures up on the wall together for one last, end-of-the-year look, and see if something emerges."
Vanity Fair sits down with Larry Flynt --his history and hits and misses, how much he pays for scandals involving hypocritical public figures, and a new (and limp) Nixon anecdote -- and tons of other juicy tidbits, of course).
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]
Jessica Hagy, author of indexed (previously) covers the 2008 Presidential Election for McClatchy's "alt.campaign" site.
[archaic tech filter] Foreign correspondents and reporters in the field at the New York Times say goodbye to the paper of record's recording room.
In the same spirit as the Open Net Initiative and Committee to Protect Bloggers that both track global internet filtering, Sami ben Gharbia's Access Denied Map tries to track the blocking of sites like Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and others by governments, as well as efforts by activists to keep them accessible or to challenge their blockage.
The internet is killing the reporter, or at least the investigative journalist. So says David Leigh, the Guardian's esteemed dirty digger. But how right is he? Doesn't "the powerful global conversation", to quote the Cluetrain Manifesto, give investigative journalism new hope. Rather than be centred around the reporter, can communities of interest unite to share and uncover the sort of information that was once the sole property of reporters like Mr Leigh?
"Together they panhandled with Nam Vet Needs Help signs at the highway entrance, converted their proceeds into Icehouse beer and Rich & Rare whiskey, and shared their nights in the perpetual dusk beneath the elevated highway, taking turns seeking the full sleep that never came, so loud was the traffic above, so naked were they below, in addled vulnerability.
Every Sunday Dan Barry writes about America in his This Land column for the New York Times.
Every Sunday Dan Barry writes about America in his This Land column for the New York Times.
Enzo Biagi (August 9, 1920 - November 6, 2007) was one of the few left on italian public tv. If there's an afterlife they may be writing a two hands article with Indro on how eulogies and their writers kind of suck.
The 2007 Frédéric Bastiat Prize for Journalism has been awarded to Amit Varma (economics journalist for Mint and writer of the interesting India Uncut blog). Clive Crook (Atlantic & FT) was second. The Prize was developed to encourage, recognise and reward writers whose published works elucidate the institutions of the free society, including free trade, property rights, the rule of law, freedom of contract, free speech and limited government. [more inside]
Unqualified Reservations is a fascinating ongoing commentary on society and governance in postmodernity. He's currently on about the pwning of Richard Dawkins, after writing about Mediocracy and Official Journalism. It might be best to first read his earlier posts in which he defines the self-invented terminology he's fond of using, like: Formalism, The Iron Polygon, Universalism, Neocameralism, and The Rotary System. [more inside]
Amusing Ourselves to Depth: Is The Onion our most intelligent newspaper?: "While other newspapers desperately add gardening sections, ask readers to share their favorite bratwurst recipes, or throw their staffers to ravenous packs of bloggers for online question-and-answer sessions, The Onion has focused on reporting the news. The fake news, sure, but still the news. It doesn’t ask readers to post their comments at the end of stories, allow them to rate stories on a scale of one to five, or encourage citizen-satire. It makes no effort to convince readers that it really does understand their needs and exists only to serve them. The Onion’s journalists concentrate on writing stories and then getting them out there in a variety of formats, and this relatively old-fashioned approach to newspapering has been tremendously successful." The article is based on the premises of the late media critic Neil Postman, especially from his book "Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse In The Age Of Show Business."
What Cats Know About War. A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
Gentlemen Ranters, a "brilliant compendium of reminiscences of the great days of Fleet Street". Via (check the comments for a more depressing viewpoint).
Censored: The scariest news may be the stuff you haven’t seen yet. David Phinney thought he’d struck journalistic gold. The veteran reporter, who has done freelance work for PBS, ABC, The New York Times, and other news companies, learned from a disgusted American contractor that the Kuwaiti company hired to build the U.S. embassy in Iraq was using forced laborers trafficked in from Asia. [more inside]
Old Magazine Articles Neat little database of .pdf copies of vintage magazine articles like Gilbert Seldes' 1922 review of Krazy Kat in Vanity Fair, a 1910 look at "Horse Versus Automobile," early nose jobs, an interview with James Joyce and more. [via ResearchBuzz]
The website of the ridiculously awesome Newseum has been revamped and relaunched in anticipation of its October reopening. Check out the redesigned Today's Front Pages and Analysis sections - and go here for frequent, fascinating evaluations of current front page graphic design (archive). Browse the downloadable front pages of notable dates in recent history (e.g. Katrina, 2004 tsunami, 9/11). Watch discussions of some of the most recognizable Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, and check out the interactive archives of past exhibits. You can also pay your respects at the online version of the Newseum's Journalists Memorial. (previously)
Going After Gore "Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ("I invented the Internet"), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."
“It seems that everytime I get a request from a western photojournalist to do a project on Manila, it's always about the slums and squatters and I am sick of it.” Carlos Celdran is well known for his chatty walking tours of Manila, and he’s tired of the one-track perception Westerners have of the city. Manila as slum gothic – low-hanging fruit for lazy photojournalists or writers? Or is a fairer perspective (in more ways than one) possible?
Traditionally, media doesn't print names/photos of people only accused, but not yet convicted, but not always. Lots of towns have a police blotter section where arrests are listed. Here in Seattle, the FBI recently asked the public for help in identifying two men seen acting suspicious on the ferry system. The Seattle PI has decided not to publish the photos. Other local media have. The commentary on if the PI made the right choice follows predictable paths...
One of the few to speak the truth about the Middle East, God-like journalist Robert Fisk holds more international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. He has covered every major event in the region for the past thirty years. He rarely gives interviews to anyone, but agreed to talk to edgey/angry youth culture magazine, Vice, about his life in the danger-zone.
China Praises Its Progress Toward Olympics. With one year to go before the 2008 Olympics, China still has many challenges ahead, like dealing with Beijing's terrible air pollution. There is still much criticism over China's record on human rights and freedom of the press, and some protests. But perhaps the most embarrassing public relations setback is that one of the official mascots, Yingsel (aka Yingying) the Tibetan Antelope, has defected from China's Olympic team and gone underground to campaign for a free Tibet. [Some links via BB and MoFi.]
The New New Journalism with short bios of a range of selected journalists compiled by Robert S. Boynton director of NYU's magazine journalism program. Remember New Journalism ? and now a look forward. Those who don't read much might prefer this.
Since Rupes went to great lengths to protect Wendi, see some other examples of newspaper self-censorship
Matthew Parris: wonderful British journalist, who mocks our feeble terrorists, never washes his hair, discreetly married his partner, respects suicide, sounds like a railway nutter, believes America is the new Germany. In 2000, he spent the winter on a desert island in the Indian Ocean, and one of his colleagues accidentally shot another dead. More Matthew here.
Frederick Remington was an American artist who in 1898 became a war correspondent and illustrator for the New York Morning Journal during the Spanish-American War. The Journal's editor in chief, William Randolph Hearst I was an American newspaper magnate whose paper had, circa 1895, fought to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule by writing sensational stories of Cuban virtue and Spanish atrocities in an attempt to influence US opinion. In 1898, Hearst sent Remington to Cuba to report on the war which Hearst was certain was about to begin. However when Remington arrived, he telegrammed Hearst saying "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst responded "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." Not long after, the war began. These telegrams are often cited as one of the most famous (if not the first) examples of yellow journalism (so much so it is mentioned in Citizen Kane) and is meant to speak to the powerful potential effects of the news media. But did The Remington-Hearst "telegrams"actually ever take place, or is this simply another urban legend?
Tornadoes have touched down in New Zealand, and journalistic standards have vanished into thin air, not surprising with the current standard of NZ news output.
David Halberstam's last column, The History Boys - Politics and Power, is in this month's Vanity Fair magazine. In other news, the student driving him at the time of his death, Kevin Jones, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. (Previously)
Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC channels the popular outrage over Paris Hilton oversaturation during a time when mainstream media has grown bored with the war.
So, you represent a country whose leader renamed the month of January after himself? We'll take the job!
"Even the best-endowed regimes need help navigating the shoals of Washington, and it is their great fortune that, for the right price, countless lobbyists are willing to steer even the foulest of ships." Journalist Ken Silverstein poses as a representative of the government of Turkmenistan to see if Washington lobbying firms will take on the job of making a country with a considerably less-than-stellar human rights record more palatable. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials calls Silverstein's work disingenuous; others disagree.
"A smart story often does contain new facts," Bennett explains. "But just as often it takes facts that are lying in plain sight and synthesizes them, or arranges them in a way — sometimes in a narrative — that really exposes some new meaning on an important subject. And I think that's a conceptual scoop." (via ATC)
Kidnapped BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston said that his captors have been treating him well in a video released today. There was no way to tell when the video was recorded. Mr Johnston was kidnapped on March 12 by Palestinian gunmen in Gaza City, and before today, had not been seen or heard from since. [Previously]
Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media. On this year's list : Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran, Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger, High-Tech Genocide in Congo, and many more.
"If people can't trust that journalists are journalists, then we are on the road to intellectual anarchy."
Vancouver police posed as journalists to lure out and arrest the activist who threatened to bring protest of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics to the doorsteps of Olympic officials - and it isn't the first time police in BC have impersonated the media to make an arrest. The Canadian Association of Journalists is not amused, but a constable speaking for the VPD "doubts the outrage from the person on the street over the issue would be the same as it has been from the journalistic community". (Previously)