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Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Greenwald’

Tow Center Gets Knight Support For ‘Journalism After Snowden’ Initiative

02a02a5a-c755-4650-a2b8-47fffbc0af8b_170x255Mass surveillance is a big deal, and Columbia’s Tow Center wants to ensure the issue gets the attention it deserves. The Journalism After Snowden project just got a boost worth $150,000 from the Knight Foundation, which will allow the Tow Center to explore how journalism will function in the age of surveillance.

The initiative supports a yearlong series of events and research articles in conjunction with the Columbia Journalism Review.

An #AfterSnowden event will convene in San Francisco on June 18, complete with solutions and best practices for addressing source protection and other issues in the current surveillance state. Plus, Edward Snowden colleague and The Intercept journalism Glenn Greenwald will round out the event with a presentation on his NSA surveillance reporting (consider brushing up on your Greenwald knowledge with an extensive piece I wrote after his SXSW talk earlier this year).

In a blog post for the Knight Foundation, Tow Center Research Fellow Jennifer Henrichsen and Research Director Taylor Owen wrote a fascinating explanation of the challenges set before us:

“Metadata can reveal journalists’ sources without requiring officials to obtain a subpoena. Intelligence agencies can tap into undersea cables to capture encrypted traffic. Mobile devices, even when powered off, can be remotely accessed to record conversations,” the two wrote.

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The Silence at The Intercept Is A Reflection of Startup Newsroom Difficulties

0ca4fbfa-ee45-4a5c-8995-24920f11e534-620x372Just over two months after publishing its first revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance program, First Look Media’s The Intercept is taking a break. Well, sort of.

The newest member of the team (that we know of), built around former Guardian journalist and Edward Snowden cohort Glenn Greenwald, is editor-in-chief John Cook of Gawker. And on Monday, April 14, Cook took to the Intercept’s blog to explain why there hasn’t been a whole lot of action from The Intercept’s reporting team.

The main reason for the lack of reporting coming out of the team, which also includes Liliana Segura formerly of The Nation, is that they launched before they were 100 percent ready to launch. That is, they started posting stories detailing the NSA’s surveillance and other government programs before they were fully staffed and had a long-term vision for what The Intercept should be. Wrote Cook:

Until we have completed the work of getting staffed up and conceptually prepared for the launch of a full-bore news operation that will be producing a steady stream of shit-kicking stories, The Intercept will be narrowly focusing on one thing and one thing only: Reporting out stories from the NSA archive as quickly and responsibly as is practicable. We will do so at a tempo that suits the material. When we are prepared to publish those stories, we will publish them. When we are not, we will be silent for a time, unless Glenn Greenwald has some blogging he wants to do, because no one can stop Glenn Greenwald from blogging.

So there you go. The Intercept’s decision to go live was based on a broader obligation to just start reporting, “not based on an assessment that everything that one needs for the successful launch of a news web site — staff, editorial capacity, and answers to questions about the site’s broader focus, operational strategy, structure, and design,” said Cook.

Personally, I appreciate the sentiment that the website and editorial strategy don’t have to be perfect in order to set up shop. Ezra Klein‘s Vox did something similar and dubbed the site’s first iteration “a work in progress,” almost as if to invite criticism. The idea that The Intercept — even with such a specific topic focus — should have hammered out every single detail about what it wanted to be before launching is unfair. But, I can understand the complaints around the Web that The Intercept’s design is boring at best, given the $250 million eBay founder Pierre Omidyar funneled into the project. For all we know, though, part of their silence could be allowing for a total makeover.

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SXSWi 2014: Glenn Greenwald on Social Media, Surveillance and the Purpose of Journalism

greenwald-sxswSXSW attendees packed into an Austin Convention Center exhibit hall earlier this week to hear from a guest who wasn’t even in town — editor and journalist with First Look Media’s The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald.

Widely known as an associate of Edward Snowden, a former government employee who leaked hundreds of documents on the NSA’s surveillance program, Greenwald was invited to discuss his work and the future of democratic journalism via Skype. In his virtual conversation with Personal Democracy Media editorial director Micah Sifry, Greenwald was his usual unabashed, passionate self expressing his thoughts on the power of social media, government surveillance initiatives, constitutional rights and his role as a journalist:

On social:

For a man who is busy trying to expose what he believes are great injustices to the American public by reporting from all over the world, Greenwald is a pretty active Twitter user. And as the former Guardian writer said Monday, he’s a fan of the platform. “I actually do think it’s a really good medium.” Referring to social as the “biggest difference between today’s online journalism and establishment journalism,” he said its best benefit is that the availability of reader feedback it provides “keeps you honest.”

“I do think online interaction, unpleasant and annoying as it may be, is a really important form of accountability,” Greenwald said. In the old days, legacy media reporters and columnists “were completely insular people who spoke to the world in monologue form … to passive readers. Now, if you are a journalist, you’re going to constantly hear from people … who have a lot of important things to say.”

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There’s a Lack of Diversity in New Media Orgs. How Do We Fix It?

peopleThe Internet turned 25 this week and, like most twenty-somethings, still has much to work on, despite its ego. The Internet’s id shows itself in recent conversations surrounding the “new (new) journalism,” and various journalism start-ups. Emily Bell wrote yesterday that these start-ups are far from revolutionary — if only because many of them are founded and fronted by men. Think Glenn Greenwald, Ezra Klein, Nate Silver.

Is this because female journalists are less likely to be plugged as “marquee” writers, as Bell suggests? Or that they have to choose between serving others or being a stand-alone presence as columnist? Or are women simply less likely to apply (remember that Clay Shirky post?).

While I’m glad she brought it up, it’s worth noting that she may be asking the wrong question. There are successful “new” news orgs founded by women and run by them. While Melissa Bell may have, according to Bell’s post, worked in the background at Wonkblog, she seems to have a presence over at Vox — if only because she gets screen time in the launch video. What about Sarah Lacy or Kara Swisher? Vox just poached Eleanor Barkhorn. Read more

Haters Will Hate: Why Shouldn’t Ezra Klein Start His Own Media Company?

ezraklein1If I were friends with Ezra Klein, I would tell him to keep his chin up this week. As you might have read, he’s leaving the Post and Wonkblog, effective immediately, to start his own media venture, after the Post decided they wouldn’t be interested in investing a reported $10 million and hiring three dozen people to help him do it.

The general consensus is that Klein is going to need more luck than funding to make this work.

 

It’s not going to be easy — as many have pointed out — relying on advertising and his brand won’t be enough. John McDermott over at Digiday points out that Re/Code’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg need to charge thousands of dollars for conference tickets to make it work, Grantland has ESPN’s big name to draw national brands, Glenn Greenwald has a billionaire backer and Andrew Sullivan is, well, Andrew Sullivan. Read more

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