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Twitter Suspends ISIS Account That Tweeted Amputation

It appears Twitter has suspended ISIS-affiliated user reyadiraq, who earlier tweeted images (such as the one to the right) of a man’s hand being amputated. A spokesperson from Twitter said that they do not comment on individual accounts, “for privacy and security reasons.” But attempts to visit are now met with a message saying the account has been suspended.  The Twitter TOS also state that accounts may be suspended if they are deemed to be inciting violence or posting obscene material.

Fishbowl Five: HuffPo’s Josh Hersh in Syria

Joshua Hersh, The Huffington Post’s Middle East correspondent based in Beirut, has been in Damascus since Saturday. As one of the few American journos on the ground there, he has a front row seat to a tragic piece of history in the making. FishbowlDC was lucky enough to have Josh answer a few questions for us about what it’s like to report from a war zone and what’s he’s learned about the devastating conflict developing in Syria.

Without further ado, The Fishbowl Five with Josh Hersh:

You previously covered foreign affairs out of HuffPo’s DC bureau, now you’re based in Lebanon. What parts of an international story, especially a war story, do reporters miss by not being on the front lines?

The hardest part to recognize is how inconsequential we often are. That’s not totally true of course — decisions made in Washington and New York play a major role in the course of events all over the world. But even though the people of the Middle East may talk about us a lot over coffee and a cigarette, they don’t really care about us all that much — and they certainly don’t care about the same things we do. There’s a tendency in political discourse in the west — especially on TV, or the halls of Congress — to think what we do and say matters more than it really does. Learning to disentangle our political debates about foreign policy (should Obama intervene in Syria, should there be a total troop draw-down in Afghanistan, etc) from the substantive questions of what’s really going on out in those countries is both instructive and liberating.

It’s also useful to recognize how little people in the world fully comprehend about our politics. Things we see as key distinctions — even something as broad as the fact that the president makes foreign policy, and congress mainly just pontificates about it; or that one party is in control of the White House and the other is not — are often lost on other countries. (And it’s not about intelligence: Next time you read a quote from a political leader in Iran about bombing Israel, for instance, think about whether you really know whether he’s in the part of Iran’s government that actually controls nuclear policy, or just the part that complains about it.)

Much more with Josh Hersh after the jump.

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Kiev in Chaos

Max Fisher at WaPo posts to this live stream of the protests in Kiev, Ukraine. Reports are also coming in that riot police attempting to disperse the crowd are meeting with stiff resistance. It’s pretty nuts:

Brian Williams and Paul Ryan to Talk Poverty at Newseum Thursday

Brian_Williams anchorRep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), NBC’s Brian Williams, and a slew of  other journalists are gathering at the Newseum on Thursday to discuss poverty as part of NBC’s “In Plain Sight” initiative. The two part event will start with Williams interviewing Rep. Ryan, who has been travelling the country recently, visiting low income neighborhoods. He has also challenged his party to adopt a new anti-poverty plan to replace what he has called the “failed” war on poverty. Then Williams will moderate a panel of journalists, including:

  • David Stoeffler, Executive Editor of the Springfield News Leader in Springfield, MO
  • Krissy Clark, Senior Reporter on the Wealth and Poverty Desk for “Marketplace” on American Public Media
  • Susan Smith Richardson, Editor and Publisher of The Chicago Reporter
  • John Sharify, reporter for KING-5 TV in Seattle, WA

They will discuss how the news media covers poverty in America. Members of the media can RSVP to Erika Masonhall at Press check-in will be at the main entrance.

WHAT: Poverty in America: Reporting the Story
WHO: NBC and the Newseum
WHERE: The Newseum, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
WHEN: Thursday, January 9th, 7:30 PM

Lunch Break

Taking a long lunch today? Or perhaps you’re just killing time at your desk pretending to work even though no one else is in the office ’cause you used up all your vacation days already? Either way, you might find this little Book TV talk interesting. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik takes you on a wild ride through the rise and fall of Ruper Murdoch‘s News Corp empire. Yeah, Book TV is totally lame and nerdy -we know. But then again, Google Analytics reveals that nearly 60% of all FishbowlDC readers are nerds. So you’re welcome!

Click the pic to watch:

WSJ‘s Theo Francis to Lead Seminar on Investigating Corporate Fraud

WSJ's Theo Francis

WSJ’s Theo Francis

Theo Francis, a Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, will be co-instructing a free seminar on February 27th in Baltimore entitled “Detecting Corporate Fraud.” Participants will learn where to look in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other disclosures to quickly identify trouble spots and how to recognize when crucial details are missing. Francis -who has spent more than 8 years covering hospitals, insurance, retirements, and pensions for WSJ, and teaches journalism at the University of Maryland , will be joined by Roddy Boyd, an investigative reporter and founder of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (SIRF).The seminar is being organized by the Donald Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism -a project of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. To sign up, go here.

WHAT: Free Seminar -”Detecting Corporate Fraud”

WHO: Theo Francis of WSJ, Roddy Boyd of SIRF, and the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism

WHEN: February 26, 2 -5 PM

WHERE: Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, 110 S. Eutaw St., Baltimore, MD



DC Judge Postpones Hearing to Determine WUSA Reporter’s Fate

An anchor for WUSA 9, J.C. Hayward, will have to wait a little longer before she learns if she will be allowed back on the air anytime soon. Hayward was put on leave from her job at the local CBS affiliate on October 2nd, after the District of Columbia named her in a complaint as one of five people who attempted to divert money from Options Public Charter School for personal gain. Hayward, who is chairwoman of the school, maintains her innocence and has requested to be removed as a defendant in the case. DC Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe had scheduled a hearing today to consider the motion, but it was postponed until January 3rd, according to the court website. The hearing was postponed in order to give Options Public Charter, a city school for students in danger of dropping out, more time to respond to the complaint. This is the third time the school has requested such an extension.

In related news, the DC Public Charter School Board voted unanimously on Monday to close Options, citing a “pattern of fiscal mismanagement.”

For more, read WaPo reporter Emma Brown‘s excellent story on the scandal here.

Good News Journos -Your Industry Is Only Nearly Extinct!

Image courtesy of

According to Yahoo!, at least, y’all out there in DC Journo Land might want to consider switching careers. Specifically -get into PR. Yahoo! reporter Andrea Duchon has talked to some people on the Internet(one of whom is named Gidwani) and they decided that journalism -among other careers – is kaputz. Specifically, they expect the industry to shed 8% of jobs (3,900) by 2020. This is mostly because of, well, bloggers like us (awkward) and Twitter:

Gidwani says that a number of factors have contributed to the decline of the modern day journalist, from dwindling newspaper readership to the consolidation of news organizations.

‘The real driving force, however, has been the Internet, where millions of amateur reporters blog for free, hundreds of sites copy, aggregate, and curate other people’s content (often without due credit), and millions of millennials have learned to get their news from alternative sources, such as Twitter.’

To be clear -we do not blog for free. Still…awkward.

The good news is the public relations industry is expected to explode by 23% or 58,200 jobs by 2020! That’s great! Journalists and PR professionals are practically the same. The only real difference is that journalists educate the people about the truth, and PR professionals educate the people about products! And that’s a very small, small difference when you think about it…

Sorry for ruining your careers.

MORE LISTS: TIME‘s Most Underreported Stories

TimelogoThat’s right, more lists y’all! TIME magazine has about one bajillion different lists that we could, theoretically post about. But we’re choosing this one because we tend to agree that these stories need to be talked about more. As you might expect, soon-to-be-radio-host (God willing) Anthony Weiner is nowhere to be found here. You may be wishing he was, though, by the time you get through the whole list. Not gunna lie -ost of this stuff is real depressing. Without further ado:

TIME‘s Top 10 Underreported Stories of 2013

1. Anarchy in the Central African Republic: The President of the country has fled and a brutal band of rebels commit atrocities across the country. The UN and France are considering intervening.

2. U.S. Violent Crime Rises for Second Straight Year: Crime is up 1% since 2011 with likely the economy to blame. It doesn’t help that police are strained by cuts to local governments.

3. Legalization of Pot in Latin America: From Uruguay to Columbia to Mexico, Latin American countries are relaxing laws against pot. Along with decriminalization in some states and localities in the US, this could have profound effects on the drug war.

4. Government Shutdown Causes Problems for Long-Term Science Research: The weeks long interruption of government services has ruined several important government funded research projects. Experimental cancer meds went un-administered, Arctic research data was lost, and mice in Alzheimer experiments died.

5. Heightened Violence in Iraq: 8,000 civilians died in Iraq in 2013, and some estimate that Al Qaeda is as strong or stronger than it was before the Surge. Sunnis feel discriminated against by the government, and Shiite leaders are calling on followers to take up arms. Will civil war be next?

More after the jump…

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The Atlantic, PEN Hosting Free Expression Forum at Newseum

The PEN American Center, in conjunction with The Atlantic and Google is holding a forum on December 4th, moderated by The Atlantic‘s James Fallows to discuss the “challenges to freedom of expression in the digital age.” In light of all the recent stories of journalists being harassed by the federal government (see here, here, and here), this is pretty timely. The panelists include David Simon (HBO’s The Wire), E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime), Masha Gessen (The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin), and Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran), all of whom have experienced various degrees of government intrusion into their professional life.

Here are the deets:

WHO: PEN American Center, Google, and The Atlantic

WHAT: A forum to explore the rapidly changing environment for free expression

WHEN: December 4, 2013 at 4 pm

WHERE: The Knight Studio at the Newseum, C Street entrance, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

Press wishing to attend must RSVP by email to Natalie Raabe (, Joanne Levine ( or Sarah Edkins ( This event will also be live streamed by The Atlantic.