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Alan Krawitz

I'm a native Long Islander whose been writing/reporting for more than 15 years for a variety of media outlets including Newsday, NY Daily News, NY Press as well as magazines and numerous regional, local weekly and hyperlocal outlets in the NY metropolitan area. Among my specialties and areas of interest are features (politics, education, immigration, transportation, land-use/zoning, cops/courts), business and community profiles, spot hard news coverage and longer, more investigative-type pieces. And, of course, all issues that touch on the craft we know as Journalism.

Hacks and Hackers New Executive Director is Planning for Growth

hackshackers post picFor the uninitiated, the Hacks and Hackers Network is an international, grassroots organization of journalists and technologists who use technology to visualize information and find and tell stories.

Since the group’s first meeting five years ago, in a bar in San Francisco, more than 80 communities worldwide now boast a Hacks and Hackers group.

In an effort to continue that growth, Jeanne Brooks, the group’s first-ever executive director, has come up with a plan to help the global journalism and technology group bolster its numbers as well as its impact.

Brooks, who is supported by a 2014-2015 fellowship from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, wrote on her blog, “At the outset, my aim is to create a roadmap for not only sustainability but for scaling the impact of the network.”

She added that while a global network of volunteer leaders has helped grow the movement, using various methods to organize and nurture local communities, a more comprehensive strategy is now needed to encourage new growth. Read more

Knight Survey: High School Students Support First Amendment More Than Adults

photo courtesy CHSTV, via Poynter.org

photo courtesy CHSTV, via Poynter.org

High School students, who rank among the heaviest users of digital media, support First Amendment freedoms more than adults, for the first time in more than a decade, according to a recent survey by the Knight Foundation.
Read more

Uncertain Future for NY Times Reporter Protecting Confidential Source

New York Times reporter James Risen

New York Times reporter James Risen, photo via Alex Menendez, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

It’s been more than three months since the Supreme Court turned down an appeal from Pulitzer-winning New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, who continues to face the looming threat of jail over his refusal to reveal a confidential source.

Back in June, the Supreme Court basically sided with the government by turning down Risen’s appeal related to a case whereby prosecutors are attempting to secure evidence in what they say is a national security prosecution.

In turn, journalists contend the government is infringing upon Risen’s press freedom by demanding he turn over a confidential source from a chapter in his 2006 book, State of War. Read more

Grading the Media on Ferguson Coverage

Now that the Ferguson protests are slowly beginning to wind down, it’s likely a good time to assess how the media handled the coverage of the recent unrest, triggered by the police shooting of unarmed teen, Michael Brown.

From the coverage I’ve seen myself, I would have to grade the media a C to C-, mainly for coverage that I thought was uneven, at best, with some national reporters even crossing journalistic lines to become advocates, rather than unbiased, objective third-parties. Read more

Journalism Under Attack

journalist post picMost journalists can agree that the profession has for years now been under financial attack by way of newsroom layoffs, the decline of newspapers/ad revenues and media consolidation, among other factors.

But now, both around the world and across the nation, journalists have been coming under increasing physical attack from a combination of hostile governments, overly militarized police forces and international terror organizations. Read more

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