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Posts Tagged ‘Roxana Saberi’

Iranian Court Sentences Roxana Saberi to 8 Years For Spying

TVNewser: After a five-day trial held behind closed doors, an Iranian court has sentenced Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, to eight years in prison. The former Miss North Dakota, who’d been working in Iran as a freelance reporter, was convicted of spying for the United States.

31-year-old Saberi has reported for NPR, “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer”, and Fox News Channel, among others as the Tehran bureau chief for Feature Story News. Her press credentials were revoked in 2006.

The Obama administration has called the charges against Saberi baseless and is demanding her release.

Saberi grew up in North Dakota and graduated from Concordia College. She was Miss North Dakota 1997 and worked briefly at KLVY-TV in Fargo.

> Update from an NPR interview with Saberi’s father: “In the beginning…under pressure, she had made some statements. And later, when they questioned again, she denied, said that those things that she had said were not right. But they apparently, in the case, they didn’t consider her denial. She is very weak and frail, last time we saw. And she wanted to go on hunger strike, but we persuaded her not to do so. And after this, most probably she will.”

> More: Statement from NPR president Vivian Schiller – “We are deeply distressed by this harsh and unwarranted sentence. Ms. Saberi has already endured a three month confinement in Evin Prison, and we are very concerned for her well-being. Through her work for NPR over several years, we know her as an established and respected professional journalist. We appeal to all of those who share our concerns to ask that the Iranian authorities show compassion and allow her to return home to the Untied States immediately with her parents.”

> More: Statement from ABC News – “We are distressed by the sentence of espionage delivered to our colleague Roxana Saberi today. There was no evidence of espionage made public and her trial was conducted in secret. Roxana’s friends and colleagues at ABC News are extremely concerned for her well-being and our thoughts have been with Roxana and her family throughout this ordeal. We urge the Iranian government to release Roxana to her family immediately.

> More: Statement from Feature Story News president and chief correspondent – FSN’s President and Chief Correspondent Simon Marks issued the following statement: “Roxana’s conviction is an appalling miscarriage of justice – or what passes for justice in modern Iran. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Roxana and her family at this extremely difficult time. We once again urge the Iranian authorities to release Roxana immediately into the custody of her family, so that she can make plans to return to the United States where she was born and raised”.”

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Morning Reading List 04.14.09

Good morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

Its day 85 covering the Obama administration and week 11 for us. Happy Birthday to Sasha Issenberg! What we know and what we’re reading this Tuesday morning…



The Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20% of its newsroom staff in yet another bid to reduce expenses amid continuing advertising declines. Staffers were told of the impending layoffs last week, and the cuts will take place over the next several weeks.


A guest on Glenn Beck‘s Fox News show passed out as the opening segment was coming to an end. Beck and his guest, David Buckner, professor of organizational leadership at Columbia University program, were standing at a monitor talking about what is leading American companies to bankruptcy.

FBN’s Cody Willard is profiled in the Los Angeles Times. He describes his first NYC job (Starbucks barista), most embarrassing on-air moment (involving an ex) and more.

Half way through the month of April, CNN is in fourth place among the four cable news channels in prime time (8-11pmET) in the A25-54 demo. More from TVNewser here.


In memoriam: Harry Kalas, the sincere and sentimental Phillies broadcaster whose smoky voice and singular home-run calls were for nearly 40 years as much a franchise fixture as the “P” on its players’ red caps, died yesterday at 73. Philadelphia Inquirer: “We lost our voice today,” said Phillies president David Montgomery. Kalas was found unconscious in the broadcast booth yesterday before the Phillies’ game at Nationals Park.


NYT: The first reaction many people have to Twitter is befuddlement. Why would they want to read short messages about what someone ate for breakfast? But taken collectively, the stream of messages can turn Twitter into a surprisingly useful tool for solving problems and providing insights into the digital mood.


From Playbook: Ebony’s May issue names “The Ebony Power 150: The Most Influential Blacks In America,” including President Obama, Rep. James Clyburn, Donna Brazile, Gwen Ifill, Mayor Fenty, Michael Steele, Soledad O’Brien, Don Lemon, General Powell, Oprah and Dr. William H. (Bill) Cosby Jr.

Ebony also has “Power Behind Power: Top Blacks in the Obama Administration” and “A Great Day at the White House: African Americans in the White House Press Corps” by Kevin Chappell.


The Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, accused of spying in Iran went on trial this week and a verdict is expected soon, an Iranian official has said. She has worked for the BBC, NPR, and Fox News and is being held in Evin prison near Tehran.

Dan Rather‘s case against CBS, now in its 19th month, is back in court today.

HBO Films has optioned “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime,” an in-the-works Harper Collins book by political writers Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romenesko

JOBS after the jump…

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American Journo Charged w/ Espionage in Iran

Roxana Saberi, the former reporter for NPR, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and Fox News who was detained in Iran earlier this year is today being charged with espionage, reports TV Newser.

“Under Iran’s penal code, the crime of espionage can carry the death penalty,” reports Reuters. “Last November Iran executed an Iranian businessman convicted of spying on the military for Israel.”

Journos Gather at Ritz for RTNDF First Amendment Dinner

Last night was the First Amendment Awards Dinner at the Ritz Carlton, the 19th annual hosted by RTNDF.

The dinner was emceed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who started by thanking his wife Kathleen (away on a skiing trip), his “ambassador to the human race.” He also thanked Rod Blagojevich, Sen. Roland Burris and Rahm Emanuel for producing numbers for Hardball and MSNBC. (A dinner guest points out to us that Matthews was still wearing his Hardball makeup.)

CNN’s Jack Womack presented the first award of the evening to colleague Susan Grant, the First Amendment Service Award. Grant joked she was sure “the board had run out of deserving journalists.”

ABC’s Charlie Gibson and Sam Donaldson brought a comedy act to present the Leonard Zeidenberg Award to Cokie Roberts. Some of their back-and-forth… Charlie: “Get your hands off me… I’m somewhat perturbed I have to share the podium with Sam.” Sam: “Women like older men- that’s me,” and Charlie: “Much older.”

Donaldson introduced a story about Roberts saying, “you can check this story, though I wouldn’t, it’s a good story,” to which Gibson replied, “like most of Sam’s stories.” Donaldson went on to tell about the time on the This Week with David Brinkey that John Tower asked what a womanizer was and Cokie looked at him and said, “I think most women know it when they see it, Senator.”

At her last dinner, RTNDF President Barbara Cochran honored the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with a special award, which was accepted by Alberto Ibarguen. To much applause, Cochran called prompt freeing of detained journalist Roxana Saberi in Iran.

And the last award of the evening was presented to Google’s Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt by PBS’s Judy Woodruff, as the whole room pondered, what would we do without Google?

In attendance: Dana Perino, CNN’s newly acquired State of the Union EP Michelle Jaconi, sitting next to Gloria Borger, who received a warm hello from Linda Douglass, Rome Hartman deep in conversation with Sam Donaldson at the cocktail hour, Mike Allen blackberrying away outside the Ritz, Lara Logan back from maternity leave, Google’s Bob Boorstin, Mark Whitaker with new deputy bureau chief Antoine Sanfuentes, David Bass, Emily Heil, Karen Travers and so on.

Morning Reading List 03.11.09

Good Morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.

Its day 51 covering the Obama administration and week six for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Wednesday morning…



A philantropist, Eli Broad, is interested in buying the LATimes and later combining it with WaPo.

The NYT is offering to “retrain” its reporters to produce for the web, but few are interested.

The Observer reports Robert Murdoch‘s News Corporation has purchased The Brooklyn Newspaper.

We somehow missed this last week- NYT’s Tom Friedman wrote a column endorsing The Onion? You have to see it to believe it here.


Will liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz get his own shot at MSNBC? The Observer looks into that here. Schultz has filled in for David Shuster on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave this week; Shuster has filled in for Keith Olbermann on Countdown.


More Howard Kurtz on Rush Limbaugh in yesterday’s Media Backtalk, WaPo’s online chat. “It is difficult to measure Rush’s audience across 600 stations- but I don’t believe he is wrong that Limbaugh enjoyed a huge spike in listeners during a week when the Rush vs. White House story line all but dominated the news,” Kurtz said.

DCRTV reports WAMU has signed Diane Rehm to a new five-year deal. The late-morning show, which is syndicated on more than 135 stations, will celebrate its 30th anniversary this fall. “I’m delighted to be with WAMU and NPR for five more years,” said Rehm. “These are historic and monumental times. I’m proud that our program will continue to give voice to the leaders moving our country forward and to our listeners, who have made- and continue to make- this program so successful.”


FBDC has learned Larry Van Dyne was among those cut at Washingtonian magazine. He was a writer/editor at the mag for 30 years. DCRTV reports of the 11 editorial people let go, seven were editorial and four were contract writers.


Several news organizations, including NPR, ABC and the BBC are urging Iranian officials to release detained journalist Roxana Saberi, who has been detained in the country since late January.

NPR asks “Where Were The Media as Wall Street Imploded?”

Submissions are being accepted for the 2009 Knight International Journalism Awards. Deadline is April 13th. Nominations can be made here.


Check out the Newsbox for for freelance work for writers, editors, translators, designers and photographers.


DC power couples in WaPo- “Rule No. 1 about power couples: They deny that they are power couples.”

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro

Morning Reading List 03.04.09

Good Morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.

Its day 44 covering the Obama administration and one month down for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Tuesday morning…



In an attempt to reach more readers, the WSJ is expanding its sports coverage. The paper started printing a daily sports page yesterday.

Regarding the economy, the Examiner asks, “Heard the news? Reporters think the time for panic is now.” “When one’s inbox is peppered with e-mails announcing colleagues’ layoffs and buyouts, reporting on a political or economic story is more than just hammering out some copy. It’s an effort for survival.”

Q&A with Bob Woodward in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Answering a question on the future of newspapers, Woodward chanels Ben Bradlee, “I recall a couple of months ago having lunch with my old editor at the Post, Ben Bradlee; we were discussing this. He said quite emphatically, and this is the great editor of the last century, ‘obviously there will be fewer newspapers.’ They will be delivered differently, but he believes passionately that there will remain a group of journalists whose job it is to tell what they believe the truth to be. Obviously we are going through a convulsion. Probably we in the newspaper business have not responded fast enough or smart enough, but the need for information is greater. Not just the quick and dirty take of the Internet or bloggers, but people really digging into things and doing the long form.”


We told you earlier this week about American freelance reporter Roxana Saberi, who is being detained in Iran. ABC’s Martha Raddatz writes about her own experiences with the Iranian government’s attitudes about “gathering news illegally” here.

On a lighter note, is CNN’s John Roberts is single and ready to mingle?

From DCRTV: Longtime DC TV news anchor Maureen Bunyan will step down from her duties on Channel 7/WJLA’s 11 PM newscast. She will continue to co-anchor the 6 PM newscast with longtime colleague Gordon Peterson, and will serve as substitute anchor on 7′s 5 PM and 11 PM newscasts. Leon Harris will anchor the 11 PM newscast.


More on Rush Limbaugh from Howard Kurtz in today’s Media Notes. “For weeks now, El Rushbo has been riding a publicity wave, fueled by an unerring sense of showmanship and his bald-faced declaration that he wants President Obama to fail. The media, finding Limbaugh far more fascinating than Mitch McConnell or John Boehner, have staged endless debates over whether the radio talk show host is the new leader of the Republican Party. The conventional strategy in such cases is for the administration in power to avoid talking about a mere radio critic. That would elevate him to the level of the president. Which, it turns out, is exactly what the Obama team wants.”


Politico takes on “How media sucks up to the White House.” In this piece, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter calls the “beat sweetener” a “tribal custom” among the press corps.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romanesko

American Reporter Detained in Iran

From TVNewser:

A former Miss North Dakota, who’s been working in Iran as a freelance reporter, is being detained in an undisclosed location there.

31-year-old Roxana Saberi has reported for NPR, “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer“, and Fox News Channel, among others as the Tehran bureau chief for Feature Story News. Her press credentials were revoked by the Iranian government more than a year ago, but she was being allowed to file short stories until her arrest about a month ago.

NPR reports the Saberi family decided not to go public with Saberi’s arrest until yesterday. Her father, who still lives in Fargo, last spoke to her on February 10 and said he doesn’t know where she’s being held or what the charges are.

“Roxana Saberi is one of the most courageous people I have ever met”, said Simon Marks, FSN’s President and Chief Correspondent. “It is imperative that the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran now divulge her whereabouts, and explain to both her family and her legal representatives the reasons for her detention”. Saberi served as FSN’s Tehran Bureau Chief from February 2003 to July 2006.

Saberi grew up in North Dakota and graduated from Concordia College. She was Miss North Dakota 1997 and worked briefly at KLVY-TV in Fargo.

(photos: FSN/Saberi Family via KFYR-TV)