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Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalists Under Threat in MO | Broadcasters Aim at Aereo

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Ferguson Police Threaten Journalists (FishbowlNY)
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, have once again clashed with reporters covering the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. One cop, who was being filmed by local radio journalist Mustafa Hussein, threatened to shoot if Hussein didn’t stop. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was also threatened by an officer who said “Get back! Or next time you’re gonna be the one maced.” Three other journalists – Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko, The Telegraph’s Rob Crilly and The Financial Times’ Neil Munshi — tweeted that they had been briefly arrested and then released. TVNewser Three more reporters were arrested in Ferguson overnight Sunday, with several more reporting being detained or threatened. FishbowlDC Last Wednesday, The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and HuffPost’s Ryan Reilly were arrested inside a McDonald’s and later released. The same night, tear gas was shot at an Al Jazeera America crew in Ferguson. TVNewser As the National Guard arrived in Ferguson, where the overnight curfew has been lifted, the broadcast and cable networks had set plans to continue coverage of the escalating violence there Monday. Brian Williams anchored Nightly News from Ferguson Monday night, and correspondents Ron Allen and Mark Potter reported from Ferguson. ABC News had Steve Osunsami and Alex Perez, CBS News sent Mark Strassmann and Vladimir Duthiers, and MSNBC deployed Hayes and MSNBC.com reporters Trymaine Lee and Amanda Sakuma. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper were also in Ferguson, as well as Fox News’ Mike Tobin and Shepard Smith. PRNewser In the wake of the violence, the town of Ferguson has hired a PR firm, Common Ground Public Relations, for communications help. According to a rep from Common Ground, the firm is only handling the deluge of media requests that the city has been getting since protests began about a week ago.

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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: Amazon Unveils Fire TV | Strahan to Join GMA | Peabody Award Winners

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Amazon Announces Set-Top Box ‘Fire TV’ (LostRemote)
Amazon continues its quest to become more than an e-commerce powerhouse, announcing Wednesday a set-top box that allows HDTV viewers to connect to Amazon’s video offerings. Mashable The set-top device, called Amazon Fire TV, will be sold for $99. It is a small flat box with a remote control. The hardware aims to take on the Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. The Internet-connected set-top box, which uses voice search when you speak into the remote and also serves as a gaming console, was announced during a launch event in New York City on Wednesday with Amazon VP Peter Larsen playing master of ceremonies, not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. WSJ The new Fire TV is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions. Sales of streaming media devices such as Roku are expected to grow 24 percent this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple currently leads the market, followed by Roku and Google, the firm said. NYT Fire TV will show a range of content from other providers, including Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. With a separate $40 controller, it can be used to play games, including a version of the extremely popular Minecraft. Among the improvements and enhancements promoted for Fire TV: a voice search function that allows users to utter a name like “George Clooney” or a genre like “horror” and see results instantly pop up, and a prediction feature that knows what you want and queues it up. THR The small black box began shipping Wednesday, Larsen told a crowd of reporters. It has a premium price point in line with Apple TV. Roku, meanwhile, costs as low as $50 and Chromecast retails for $35.

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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: Snowden’s Empty Seat | Deen’s First Interview | McGrath Joins Sony


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Journalists Tracking Edward Snowden Tricked Into Flying to Cuba (TVNewser)
Since NSA leaker Edward Snowden apparently left Hong Kong, journalists have been trying to track his whereabouts. He supposedly flew to Moscow, Russia (though no reporter saw him there) and Russian state media reported that he would be flying to Cuba, before moving on to Venezuela and likely Ecuador. A slew of reporters, believing the Russian media report, booked tickets on the Aeroflot flight to Havana. When they boarded, it became clear that Snowden was not going to be joining them. The Washington Post / WorldViews More than two dozen reporters and photographers reportedly tried to board that Aeroflot SU-150 from Moscow to Havana on Monday morning. It’s not clear how many of them made it on, but they made clear in a flurry of tweets as the plane pulled away from the gate that the man they were after wasn’t on the plane. Reuters All eyes were on seat 17A as a planeload of journalists strapped themselves in for an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Cuba with former U.S. intelligence contractor Snowden. Their first disappointment was that Snowden didn’t show up. The second was that it was a booze-free flight — all 11 hours and 35 minutes of it. HuffPost / The Backstory For years, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald has argued that journalists in Washington often seem too cozy with the political figures they’re supposed to hold accountable and too quick to amplify the government’s perspective on national security. Meet the Press host David Gregory’s suggestion Sunday that Greenwald “aided and abetted” Snowden, his source for a series of bombshell stories, only seemed to validate that viewpoint. NYT Until he re-emerged this week as an ally for Snowden, Julian Assange looked like a forgotten man. WikiLeaks had not had a major release of information in several years, its funds had dwindled and several senior architects of its systems left, citing internal disputes. Assange himself is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he fled to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual abuse. Read more

Morning Media Newsfeed: Reaction to Snowden Leak | UK’s Times Slashes Staff | FP Editor Bolts


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A New Kind of Leaker for an Internet Age
(NYT)
What does a leaker look like? Sometimes, people who reveal secrets remain in the shadows, and the public is left to guess at their motivations, agendas and states of mind. Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old man behind the recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s pursuit of phone and computer data, upended that history. He is a new kind of leaker of the wired age: an immediately visible one with a voice and the means to go direct with the public. In a era of friction-free Web communication, he disdained the shadows and stepped into view with a lengthy video interview he gave to The Guardian, which broke the story based on information he provided. He stated his motivation plainly, saying, “The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.” HuffPost / The Backstory The Guardian has labeled Snowden a whistleblower after the NSA contractor revealed himself Sunday as the source for several recent surveillance scoops. But some news organizations have been less quick to describe Snowden as a “whistleblower,” opting instead for terms like “source” or “leaker.” The Washington Post / Erik Wemple News organizations’ hesitancy to use “whistleblower” may well derive from the term’s meaning. According to this definition, a whistleblower is an “informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it.” Clearly Snowden was looking to stop something here, but whether it was wrongdoing depends on whether you’re director of national intelligence James Clapper or, say, a civil liberties advocate. The Guardian Snowden is a “hero” who has exposed “one of the most serious events of the decade — the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state,” Julian Assange said on Monday. The WikiLeaks founder said the question of surveillance abuses by states and tech companies was “something that I and many other journalists and civil libertarians have been campaigning about for a long time. It is very pleasing to see such clear and concrete proof presented to the public.” The New Yorker / Daily Comment He is a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison. The American government, and its democracy, are flawed institutions. But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistleblower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this. Instead, in an act that speaks more to his ego than his conscience, he threw the secrets he knew up in the air — and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it. We all now have to hope that he’s right.

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Three Reasons Why Lady Gaga Visited Julian Assange

Lady Gaga is important. She is important because she loves to act like she is important, and so she does things like visiting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange is currently staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while his request for asylum in South Africa is considered.  Why would Gaga visit Assange? Your FishbowlNY editors have poured over the details and narrowed it down to three possible reasons:

  1. To discuss freedom of the press, and what that means for Gaga’s plans to enter the 2013 Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest.
  2. To show support for Assange and WikiLeaks, which is something Madonna would never do.
  3. So Assange could add vocals to Gaga’s upcoming single, tentatively titled “I’m a Crazy Rule Breaker Breaking The Rules (So Rude).”

We’ll update when we confirm which is correct.

[Image - Littlemonsters.com]

AP Partners with WikiLeaks for ‘Syria Files’ [Update]

WikiLeaks is at it again. Today the site announced a partnership with multiple news outlets (the Associated Press in the United States) to present stories based on a trove of over two million emails from Syrian political officials, ministries and more.

The documents — titled the Syria Files — contain a “range of information extends from the intimate correspondence of the most senior Baath party figures to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations,” according to WikiLeaks.

“The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents,” said Julian Assange. “It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.”

The data was taken from August 2006 through March 2012.

UPDATE:
The Huffington Post reports that the AP has been removed from the list of organizations partnering with WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange Has a TV Show

News surrounding Julian Assange and WikiLeaks has been quiet of late. So it looks like Assange has decided to make his own news. Starting in March, the WikiLeaks founder is going to host his own interview TV show.

The theme of the show? “The world tomorrow.”

Says Assange: “Through this series I will explore the possibilities for our future in conversations with those who are shaping it. Are we heading towards utopia, or dystopia and how we can set our paths? This is an exciting opportunity to discuss the vision of my guests in a new style of show that examines their philosophies and struggles in a deeper and clearer way than has been done before.”

The series is set for 10 half-hour episodes and will air weekly. WikiLeaks says that “licensing commitments cover over 600 million viewers across cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast networks,” but gives no specifics about where the show will air.

Las Vegas Start-Up Stonewalls Former Colleague

San Francisco based TechCrunch writer Alexia Tsotsis (pictured) has a funny item about her efforts to find out the nature of a new start-up being put together in Sin City by her former blog mate Paul Carr.

Turns out Carr is not so talkative now that he’s on the other end of the 2.0 reporting equation. However, after Tsotsis refused to take no-comment for an answer, he sent her an email listing 25 areas of focus his start-up will not be involved with. These include:

5. Giving a shit about your social graph
8. A browser plugin that explains to blog readers why something “is news”
14. Publishing a newspaper
15. Creating a crowdsourced database of Julian Assange’s hypocrisies
21. A microblog platform for public resignations
25. Quora

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