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Posts Tagged ‘Edward Snowden’

The Tenets of Solid Journalism Get Pooped On, Again

ICNPhotoFor the love of fact-checking!

On April Fool’s, UK website Independent Catholic News published an item, complete with hilarious photo (at right), about a hawk enlisted by the Vatican to help tend to aviary security matters. On April 15, per a summary of this sorry trail by iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith, The Guardian replaced its pick-up with this note:

An agency story about the Vatican recruiting a hawk to protect the Pope’s doves was deleted on the 15 April 2014 because it was discovered to have been an April fools’ joke.

As the crow flies, or any other trajectory, it’s a long way from Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden NSA scoops. Per Smith, other major outlets fooled were said agency, AFP, and the Washington Times.

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Guardian Dudette Salutes Bill & Ted’s Excellent Anniversary

ShutterstockKeanuReevesSpiritAwards2014We love this kind of essay.

Guardian writer Hadley Freeman was a tweenager when Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure forever in 1989 altered the course of time-travel-movies history. Twenty-five years later, in a newspaper telescoped forward by its own paradigm-challenging male duo (Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden), she recalls how she was smitten from the start:

I first came across the movie in 1990, when my mother rented it for me after I announced to her that I was deeply in love with Keanu Reeves and so would probably marry him (it was the early 90s, when it was the law for every heterosexual female under 35 to be in love with Reeves.)

My mother was extremely supportive of my new relationship (my father, on the other hand, never quite mastered the pronunciation of my fiance’s first name), so when I informed her that a mere rental was an insufficient token of my new relationship, she bought the video for me for the commitment-sealing sum of £9.99. My little sister and I duly watched that tape to ribbons.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Pulitzers Announced | Google Buys Drone Maker | Relativity Eyes Maker Studios

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2014 Pulitzer Prizes Announced (FishbowlNY)
The Pulitzer Prizes celebrate the best of the best, and Monday we learned the latest recipients of journalism’s highest honor. TVNewser The Washington Post and the U.S. edition of The Guardian have won the award. They will share the Public Service award for their series of stories on NSA surveillance, as revealed by Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor who gave the top-secret information to the news organizations. The Pulitzer committee said the journalism was “marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” Politico Snowden immediately declared the decision “a vindication.” The reporting on the former government contractor’s leaks was led by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewan McAskill at The Guardian, Barton Gellman at the Post, and Laura Poitras, who worked with both newspapers. NYT The Boston Globe won the breaking news prize for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded at least 260. The Post won a second award, for explanatory journalism. Eli Saslow, 31, a staff writer, won for a series of articles on American families that rely on the federal food stamp program. GalleyCat Author Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book The Goldfinch. The novel about an orphan also won Amazon’s Best Books of the Month “Spotlight Pick” in October 2013 and was shortlisted for 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Vanity Fair Interviews Edward Snowden

Vanity Fair’s May issue is officially a must read. The magazine somehow snagged an interview with Edward Snowden, which serves as a starting point for the glossy’s 20,000 word piece on the man who leaked countless NSA documents to the press. Below are some highlights from the Snowden interview.

On the rumor that he has almost 2 million documents:

Look at the language officials use in sworn testimony about these records: ‘could have,’ ‘may have,’ ‘potentially.’ They’re prevaricating. Every single one of those officials knows I don’t have 1.7 million files, but what are they going to say? What senior official is going to go in front of Congress and say, ‘We have no idea what he has, because the N.S.A.’s auditing of systems holding hundreds of millions of Americans’ data is so negligent that any high-school dropout can walk out the door with it?’

On his political leanings:

I’d describe my political thought as moderate.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Turkey Blocks YouTube | NBC Ends Two Sites | Twitter on The Charts

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Turkish Telecoms Authority Moves Against YouTube After Twitter Ban (Reuters)
The Turkish telecoms authority TIB said on Thursday it had taken an “administrative measure” against YouTube, a week after it blocked access to microblogging site Twitter. NYT / The Lede The Turkish government blocked access to YouTube after an audio recording was uploaded to the platform in which the foreign minister and senior military and intelligence officials could be heard discussing the security situation in Syria. WSJ The leaked recording published anonymously purported to show a conversation in which Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios that could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria. After the two-part voice file was published, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the TIB requesting that it shutter YouTube. The content represents a “first degree threat to national security,” the ministry said, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. CNN Turkey’s top media regulating agency announced a similar ban on the broadcast of the conversation to television and radio channels. Turkey’s political elite has been battered by a campaign of wiretap leaks recorded by unknown operatives and distributed daily for more than a month on the Internet. Until Wednesday, all of the wiretaps seemed to be recordings of phone conversations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his inner circle, government officials and some top corporate executives. Politico The move comes just days before significant local elections. Turkish residents decried the Twitter blockage, which prevented them from using the site in any way. A Turkish court overturned the ban on Wednesday, although it could stay in place until after Sunday’s elections. The Twitter crackdown came after similar information appeared on the site questioning the government’s credibility.

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Gauging the Next ‘Golden Age’ of Journalism

We’re still mulling over remarks made last Friday in Lawrence, KS by ProPublica founder and executive chairman Paul Steiger. Accepting the prestigious William Allen White Foundation National Citation from the University of Kansas’s White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, he talked a lot about “golden ages” of journalism.

WilliamAllenWhiteMedalLogo

According to Steiger, the last such era started in the mid-1950s and ran through the mid-1970s. Ergo, ending right around the time a massive amount of students were compelled by Woodward and Bernstein to head to J-school. Steiger takes issue with Henry Blodget‘s 2013 declaration that a new golden age is upon us. He says we’re perhaps close, but not quite there yet:

“Creating millions of lone-wolf, single-person bloggers doesn’t get us to a golden age. It can give us cat photos that make us giggle, news scoops involving an original fact or two, a trenchant analysis of finance or politics or sculpture, video of Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift nuzzling their latest boyfriends, or possibly some movie and book reviews worth trusting. All nice to have but not game-changing.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Journo Beaten in Ukraine | Snowden’s Xmas | Rap Genius Demoted

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Journalist Is Beaten in Latest Attack on Ukrainian Opposition (NYT)
A crusading antigovernment journalist and activist in Ukraine who became famous last year after documenting the opulence of the heavily guarded residential compound of President Viktor F. Yanukovich was savagely beaten early Wednesday. The assault on the activist, Tetyana Chornovol, 34, just outside the capital, Kiev, was the latest attack on government opponents who have been participating in sustained protests that have shaken the country. Kyiv Post The brutal Dec. 25 attack and beating of Chornovol has enraged politicians and the public. Chornovol was driving in a village near Kyiv Oblast, reportedly looking to take a break from the EuroMaidan demonstrations in which she has been a constant presence, when men stopped her vehicle and started beating her. They left, leaving passersby to call police. She remains hospitalized. Mashable News of the beating flooded social media and triggered fresh protests, including many people holding up pictures of a heavily-bruised Chornovol. BuzzFeed / World Hours before the attack, Chornovol published photos of luxury homes she claimed belonged to the country’s interior minister on the website of Ukrainskaya Pravda, which has changed its name on its website to European Pravda out of solidarity with the protest movement, which Chornovol also covered. She had previously published pictures of homes allegedly belonging to other top officials, highlighting Ukrainians’ anger with rampant corruption.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Logan Back at 60 Minutes | Judge Questions NSA | USA Today Expands

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Lara Logan to Return to 60 Minutes (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Lara Logan and Max McClellan, the 60 Minutes journalists who were put on a leave of absence following their now-retracted report on Benghazi, are set to return to the program early next year, Politico has learned. Logan and her producer, who had unfinished projects in the works when they left in November, have started booking camera crews for news packages, network sources said. Their return could come as early as next month. TVNewser CBS News chairman and executive producer of 60 Minutes Jeff Fager held a meeting with show staffers on Dec. 5, according to Politico, where he answered questions about the botched report and indicated he didn’t know how long Logan and her producer would be off-air. 60 Minutes spokesperson Kevin Tedesco tells TVNewser: “Lara Logan’s return has not been scheduled. Beyond that, we do not comment on speculation.” Mediaite This news came on a day when the long-running newsmagazine faces another round of flak for a piece on the NSA widely panned as uncritical. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media CBS’s 60 Minutes has had a terrible year: Logan’s now-retracted Benghazi report was the sort of black mark that will take the newsmagazine years to live down.

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Pope Francis Named Time Person of The Year

Well, this isn’t that surprising. Pope Francis has been chosen (no pun intended religious bros!) as Time’s Person of The Year. The runner-up — Edward Snowden — was our choice. But hey, that’s life. Snowden was followed by Edith Windsor, Bashar Assad and Ted Cruz. Let’s all be thankful that although Miley Cyrus was in the top 10, she didn’t crack the top five.

In the latest issue of TimeNancy Gibbs, managing editor of the magazine, writes:

Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly—young and old, faithful and cynical—as has Pope Francis. In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power…. He is embracing complexity and acknowledging the risk that a church obsessed with its own rights and righteousness could inflict more wounds than it heals…. For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs, and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time’s 2013 Person of the Year.

Maybe next year Time will pick someone who thinks women can make decisions about their own bodies and doesn’t think gay marriage is wrong. But until then, congrats Pope Francis.

Barbara Walters’ ’10 Most Fascinating People’ Includes Robin Roberts, Idiots

barbara-walters-300Each year, Barbara Walters lists the “10 Most Fascinating People” and every year, it’s sort of stupid. The latest installment continues that trend. Walters’ list includes people who are truly fascinating — like Robin Roberts and Edward Snowden — and a variety of people who are definitely not.

In fact, this year’s 10 Most Fascinating People list already includes more than 10 people, and Walters doesn’t even name the 10th until her TV special airs on December 18. One of the “people” is “Kimye,” an inane nickname that teens and idiots use to refer to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Great work, Barbara. Another one of the “people” is the entire cast of Duck Dynasty. Then there’s Jennifer Lawrence, Miley CyrusPrince George, Diana Nyad and Pope Francis.

By our count that means Walters’ entire list features only three actually interesting people. However, we’re not going to get too upset about it. The only thing worse than stupid end of the year awards/honors/lists is getting mad about stupid end of the year awards/honors/lists.

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