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Berkeleyside is launching a sister site in Oakland to help fill the void left by pillaged newspapers
Here are the American Journalism Project’s first 11 recipients, taking home $8.5 million to grow their business operations
The post Three things I learned from spending the day with Katie Couric appeared first on Poynter.
Reporter Kathy Scruggs maligned in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’ » Bill Hemmer is the new Shepard Smith » Objectified at work, on air
The Poynter Report is our daily media newsletter. To have it delivered to your inbox Monday-Friday, click here. The irony of ‘Richard Jewell’ Hollywood often takes dramatic license with movies based on true stories. Happens all the time. But the new Clint Eastwood film, “Richard Jewell,” appears to have gone too far. The film is about the […]
“US officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it.” That’s how the Washington Post summarized “The Afghanistan Papers,” a slick package of stories it just published revealing the rot at the heart of America’s longest war. Craig Whitlock, a reporter with the paper, obtained more than 2,000 pages of interviews with more than 400 officials—generals, diplomats, aid workers, and more—conducted during a federal review of the “Lessons Learned” in Afghanistan. He also obtained hundreds of pages of memos filed by Donald Rumsfeld when he was George W. Bush’s defense secretary in the 2000s. (Rumsfeld called the memos “snowflakes”; how the right has changed.) Taken together, Whitlock writes, the documents “constitute a secret history of the war and an unsparing appraisal of 18 years of conflict.”
Several of the officials interviewed for the review spoke of systematic efforts to mislead the public—and the press—on the war effort. John Sopko, who leads the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which conducted the review, admitted to the Post that the records show the American people “have constantly been lied to.” In his interview for the review, Bob Crowley, a US Army colonel, said that “every data point was altered to present the best picture possible… We became a self-licking ice cream cone.” In his main story, Whitlock cleverly juxtaposes things officials said in public with what was being said in private. There was no clear rationale and no clear enemy. Good money was thrown after bad—on warfare, aid, and nation-building—with no metric for success. Publicly, officials said they wouldn’t tolerate the corrupt use of US funds in Afghanistan; privately, they admitted they turned a blind eye to it.
SIGAR’s review wasn’t entirely secret—the agency has published some reports under the Lessons Learned rubric—but, per Whitlock, its output has been hard to parse, and omitted much of the damning information that was collected. The Post first learned that there might be more to the story during the 2016 election, when a tipster told the paper that Michael Flynn—then a Trump campaign surrogate, now Trump’s disgraced former national security adviser—had given an internal interview castigating the mess in Afghanistan, where he’d served as chief of military intelligence.
The Post, Whitlock writes, requested documents related to Flynn’s interview under the Freedom of Information Act. After a long delay, SIGAR rejected the request, citing a FOIA exemption that allows the government to withhold some deliberative records. The Post appealed, then broadened its request to cover all the interviews it believed SIGAR had conducted. SIGAR went dark. In October 2017, the Post sued the agency, using the Flynn records as a test case for the whole cache. Eventually, SIGAR relented, released the Flynn interview, and agreed to release the others on a rolling basis; it insisted, however, on redacting portions of the documents, and refused to identify the vast majority of its interviewees, because it had promised them anonymity. When SIGAR started dragging its feet again, the Post sued it again. By August of this year, all the interviews had been handed over, but they were still redacted, and mostly anonymized. The Post still wants the names. Expanding on its earlier argument, the government claimed in court that some interviewees are “whistleblowers,” so must be protected. The Post’s lawyers reject this notion.
A final decision in the case is pending; still, the Post decided it had enough to publish, and did so yesterday morning. Its story was immediately and ubiquitously compared to the Pentagon Papers—the explosive internal review of US blunders in Vietnam that the New York Times was the first to reveal in 1971. The Post’s Gillian Brockell ran down the similarities: both reviews were compiled in little-known corners of the Defense Department; both were voluminous; both came to light only after court fights; both showed rampant lying. But there are key differences between the respective sets of documents. Unlike the Afghanistan Papers, the Pentagon Papers were not based on any interviews, because Robert McNamara, the defense secretary who commissioned them, was afraid of leaks. (So much for that.) Perhaps most importantly, the Post’s pursuit of the Afghanistan Papers did not set a legal precedent around the release of government information; by contrast, the Pentagon Papers case produced a landmark Supreme Court ruling annulling Richard Nixon’s efforts to bar the Times from publishing them.
Our present media landscape, too, looks very different from that of the 1970s. The key players are the same—the Times and the Post are both having a moment—but around them, much of the industry is in dire financial straits. Reporting like Whitlock’s is brilliant and essential, but it requires resources—time, money, legal heft—that are at a premium in many of the nation’s newsrooms. The fight for a sustainable press is often rendered in platitudinous, even abstract terms. The Afghanistan Papers are a shocking, concrete example of the stakes.
Below, more on the Afghanistan Papers:
- The broader context: In September, Trump abruptly scrapped negotiations with the Taliban, right ahead of a scheduled secret summit with Taliban leaders at Camp David. Visiting Afghanistan over Thanksgiving, Trump made a surprise announcement: talks are back on. They restarted in Doha, Qatar, over the weekend.
- Ell’s bells: CNN’s Brian Stelter called Daniel Ellsberg, the analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers in the ’70s, for his reaction to the Afghanistan Papers. Ellsberg said he planned to read every page obtained by the Post. “It affirms my warnings that the situations were the same.”
- How it played: The Times prominently promoted the Post’s reporting yesterday, including in a breaking news alert and email newsletters. (Paul Farhi, a media reporter at the Post, called the former “rare if not unprecedented.”) Many other outlets covered the Post’s work, too, but its scope was perhaps diluted by the impeachment chaos out of Washington—especially on cable news.
Other notable stories:
- For CJR’s print issue on disinformation, Amitava Kumar writes that the specter of fake news is haunting fiction writing, and Andrew McCormick, Akintunde Ahmad, and Kevin Zweerink map Fox News spin on the causes of mass shootings. Today, we’re holding a conference on disinformation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; speakers include Emily Bell, Hamilton Nolan, Jonathan Albright, and Carole Cadwalladr, who helped break open the Cambridge Analytica scandal. You can watch the event here from 9:45am Eastern.
- It was a busy day in Washington yesterday. As anticipated, Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, released his report on the FBI’s decision to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia, in 2016. As anticipated, Horowitz found that the probe was justified, but criticized some of its steps; that propelled the right-wing mediasphere’s “Russia hoax” grievance mill, despite the central thesis having been debunked. Also yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held its latest hearing on impeachment. Today, Democrats are expected to unveil the two articles that they’ll file against the president, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
- In October, Shep Smith quit Fox News. Network bosses filled his 3pm Eastern daily slot on a rotation basis; yesterday, they announced that Bill Hemmer, who currently cohosts America’s Newsroom in the mornings, will be Smith’s permanent replacement. Hemmer, CNN’s Stelter writes, is “significantly less confrontational” than Smith. “His general approach is to ask questions and accept the response he receives.”
- Last week, after the Times and ProPublica reported on McKinsey’s role in implementing Trump’s immigration agenda, pressure mounted on Pete Buttigieg to disclose his past work for the firm. Buttigieg said McKinsey would have to release him from nondisclosure obligations first; yesterday, it agreed to do so. Following pressure from Elizabeth Warren, Buttigieg will also open his fundraisers to the press, and reveal who his top bundlers are.
- Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center obtained old emails that Stephen Miller, now a senior aide to Trump, sent to Breitbart; the cache cast light on Miller’s influence with the site, and white-nationalist literature’s influence on him. Yesterday, 27 US senators, led by Kamala Harris and five Democratic presidential candidates, wrote the White House demanding that Miller be fired. HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias has more.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote Warner Bros. and Clint Eastwood objecting to the portrayal of Kathy Scruggs, a reporter who died in 2001, in their new film Richard Jewell, about a man wrongly suspected of bombing the 1996 Olympics. In the film, Scruggs sleeps with an FBI agent to get information; the paper said there’s no evidence for this, and demanded that Warner Bros. note that in the film. Variety’s Brent Lang has more.
- Three days out from British elections, a reporter tried to show Boris Johnson, the Conservative prime minister, an image of a sick child sleeping on the floor of an overcrowded hospital; Johnson took the reporter’s phone and put it in his pocket. Later, Conservative sources told reporters that an opposition activist punched an aide during a visit to the hospital. The story got out—followed by a video that showed it wasn’t true.
- The New Yorker’s Joshua Yaffa profiles Konstantin Ernst, a “discerning auteur” who became “Putin’s unofficial minister of propaganda” as head of a top state TV network. Ernst is “one of the most powerful men in Russia, with the ability to set the visual style for the country’s political life—at least the part its rulers wish to transmit to the public.”
- And The Outline listed the worst takes of the 2010s. David Brooks, John Derbyshire, Anna Breslaw, Megan McArdle, Matt Yglesias, Jacob Brogan, Kevin Williamson, Jonathan Chait, Virginia Heffernan, Jason Whitlock, Anthony Lane, Bret Stephens, and, erm, The Outline’s Jeremy Gordon all feature.
Working with traumatic imagery is a daily routine for fact-checkers in India. A video showing a naked young couple being beaten up in the street went viral this week in India as if proof of how bad Christians are treated in the eastern state of Odisha. Boom, one of the largest fact-checking organizations in India, […]
The post Worried about post-trauma disorders, fact-checkers in India set guidelines for self-care appeared first on Poynter.
The tools the New York Times uses for online investigations, tips to fix Wi-Fi problems and how to deep search Instagram
Men and white people believe the news is less reliable now than it was in the past. Women and people of color think it’s gotten more reliable.
An updated version of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)’s 2016 Code of Principles has been approved by an overwhelming majority of IFCN’s signatories and will be introduced worldwide in March 2020. The IFCN’s senior adviser, Peter Cunliffe-Jones, announced the changes during the APAC Trusted Media Summit, an event co-organized by the IFCN, First Draft and […]
The post The IFCN announces updates to its Code of Principles appeared first on Poynter.
Want to start your own local online news outlet? With a new staff and a $1 million grant, LION Publishers wants to do more to help
Mumbrella tried to copy its successful business model from Australia to Asia — here’s why it didn’t work
Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, comparisons to Richard Nixon and Watergate have proliferated in our media. Trump’s firings of James Comey and Jeff Sessions were “a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre”; multiple of his officials were, or could have been, John Dean. In recent weeks, as the House has marched inexorably toward Trump’s impeachment, a different historical comparison—to Bill Clinton—has been widely aired, too, including in an interview with Clinton on CNN last month. We’ve heard that Trump is taking a page from Clinton’s impeachment playbook—travel and photo ops designed to show his “relentless” focus “on doing the business of the American people”—and that actually, he’s not doing that at all. Late last week, Politico’s John F. Harris, who covered the Clinton impeachment, wrote that such comparisons have had things somewhat backwards. “People for the most part misremember that time,” Harris wrote, of the ‘90s. “The mythology that Clinton was a disciplined compartmentalizer… has an element of truth. But it has an equal or greater element of fiction. Impeachment consumed a year of his public and private life, and by all evidence it is doing the same to Trump.”
Beyond the presidential comparisons, a cast of recurring characters links the late ’90s and now. In recent days, some of them have come to the fore. Last Wednesday, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee called Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, as their witness at a hearing focused on the constitutional grounds for impeachment. In 1998, Turley had testified in favor of impeaching Clinton; not doing so, he feared, would “expand the space for executive conduct.” Last week, he expressed his opposition to the impeachment of Trump, noting his concern about “lowering impeachment standards.” Turley stressed that Trump’s dealings with Ukraine were not “perfect”; still, members of the media seized on his U-turn. CNN’s John Avlon called Turley’s recent remarks “an amazing impeachment flip-flop.” Writing for The Nation, Elie Mystal called Turley a “shameless hack” who had “beclowned himself.”
ICYMI: The Rise and Fall of Facts
Some of the recurring characters can be found in Congress. In recent days, discrepancies in their records have been flagged, too. Late last week, Pelosi objected to a question, from Sinclair’s James Rosen, as to whether she was impeaching Trump because she hates him; “As a Catholic, I resent you using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me,” she said. Afterward, a clip of Pelosi saying, in 1998, that Republicans were “paralyzed with hatred” of Clinton did the rounds online, and on Fox News. (Asked to comment, Newt Gingrich, who was speaker back then, said Pelosi was part “of the left’s effort to rewrite history.”) It wasn’t just right-wing media that was at it. On the Sunday shows yesterday, Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chair of House Judiciary, twice faced questions—from CNN’s Dana Bash and NBC’s Chuck Todd—about his remarks, also in 1998, on the perils of pursuing impeachment without bipartisan support. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos raised similar Clinton-era comments by Zoe Lofgren, another Democratic member of House Judiciary. “What I should have said… was first, you need a high crime and misdemeanor,” Lofgren replied. “Lying about sex is not an abuse of presidential power.”
Politicians’ past statements are fair game—raising them is often instructive. The same is true of history more broadly. Still, when citing the past, context is key. References to the proceedings against Clinton (and Nixon) should emphasize, not elide, the extreme differences we face in Trump’s case. (Points about bipartisanship, in particular, should note the warping effect of our present information hellscape; as CNN’s Brian Stelter put it yesterday, in the 1990s, “the internet was barely a powerful force yet,” but is now “an extension of our brains and bodies.”) We should emphasize, too, that impeachment is a flexible measure. The past can elucidate ways forward, but it can also be used to muddy them, as has been the case with several Republican arguments alleging that Trump’s process rights are being abused.
Most simply, the facts we’re dealing with here are very different, too. In his Politico piece, Harris flipped the script on the Trump-emulates-Clinton narrative by imagining if Clinton had emulated Trump: “Imagine the White House releasing a transcript… of his erotically charged morning phone calls with Monica Lewinsky. Or picture Clinton striding to the South Lawn microphones to say that, yes, indeed, he had a sexual relationship with the former intern, that it was his right as commander in chief to have affairs, and that their furtive West Wing liaisons had been ‘perfect.’” Such “parlor games,” Harris wrote, have a serious point: “Whatever similarities exist between Trump and Clinton, they are minor compared to the differences in American political culture.”
Below, more on impeachment:
- Department of both sides: Yesterday, Clinton comparisons featured in a New York Times piece stating that impeachment has devolved into a “partisan brawl.” That framing got some flak on Twitter. Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, said he read the piece as a “confession” from the Times: “We’re out of ideas. ‘Both sides’ and ‘so divided’ is all we got.”
- Investigating the investigators: The House Judiciary Committee will hold its second public impeachment hearing today, to take evidence from lawyers for the Democrats and the Republicans. Also today, Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, is expected to publish his report on the circumstances of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia in 2016. According to the Post, Horowitz will criticize certain FBI officials, but assert that the bureau had adequate cause to open its Russia probe. Attorney General William Barr is reportedly unhappy with that finding.
- “We’ve seen enough”: Over the weekend, the editorial boards of the Boston Globe and the LA Times both called for Trump to be impeached. Yesterday, Fox cited the editorials as evidence of media bias, running the chyron: “MEDIA DECLARES TRUMP SHOULD BE IMPEACHED.” CNN’s Stelter has more.
- Slow Burn: If you have time (and haven’t listened already), Slate’s Slow Burn podcast walked through the Nixon and Clinton scandals in finegrain detail, and is worth a listen. The parallels—and differences—with the Trump era are obvious.
Other notable stories:
- For CJR’s new print issue on disinformation, Larissa Pham writes on rumors. “True or not, once enshrined in history, rumors aren’t really rumors,” Pham says. “They’re pretty close to being facts.” Also in the issue, Laura Thorne shares images of historical attempts at narrative control; they show that “the tactics of manipulators past and present are remarkably consistent.” ICYMI, Emily Bell and Whitney Phillips discussed their pieces from the magazine on our podcast, The Kicker. And a reminder: we’re holding a conference on disinformation tomorrow, at Columbia Journalism School. You can find details here.
- On Friday, a Saudi military trainee fatally shot three people and wounded eight others at a Navy training center in Pensacola, Florida; yesterday, the FBI confirmed that it is conducting a terrorism inquiry into the incident. In the press, the shooting—and Trump’s response—re-upped a debate about US–Saudi relations, which have faced heightened scrutiny since Saudi officials murdered the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Post’s Max Boot writes that Trump may as well be auditioning to be “Saudi Arabia’s press secretary.”
- In an extraordinary op-ed for the Times, Katie Hill—who resigned her seat in Congress after right-wing websites obtained and published explicit photos of her—reflects on the personal toll the episode took. Hill writes that she was close to committing suicide, but did not follow through. “I ran the campaign knowing it was bigger than me and what I wanted, and it still is,” she says. “I don’t know exactly what’s ahead for me, and I know there’s a lot more pain ahead. But I’m in the fight, and I’m glad it’s not all over after all.”
- Michael Bloomberg sat with Gayle King, of CBS, for his first TV interview as a candidate for president. King asked Bloomberg why he’s barring reporters at Bloomberg News from investigating him and his Democratic rivals. “You just have to learn to live with some things,” Bloomberg said of his reporters. “With your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities.” Elsewhere, Politico’s Michael Calderone assesses how Bloomberg’s rule could affect Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg’s senior White House reporter.
- Last year, Les Moonves was ousted as chairman and CEO of CBS after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct. An independent review of the company subsequently concluded that “harassment and retaliation are not pervasive” in its ranks—but a new investigation by Meg James, of the LA Times, found multiple claims of staff mistreatment at local TV stations that CBS owns, including in LA, Chicago, Dallas, and Miami.
- On Friday, a jury in California ruled that Elon Musk did not defame Vernon Unsworth, a British man who helped rescue a youth soccer team from a cave in Thailand, when he called him “pedo guy” on Twitter. Per BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac, jurors concluded that a reasonable person wouldn’t have known who Musk’s tweet was about, since it didn’t name Unsworth. (One Twitterer, Neeraj K. Agrawal, called this “the subtweet defense.”)
- For the Times, Emma Goldberg looks back on the heyday of independent feminist media, which has since been “especially hard hit by the financial turbulence in the news industry.” In recent years, The Establishment, The Hairpin, Lenny Letter, and Rookie Magazine all ceased publishing. Feministing will also shutter in the next few weeks.
- Late last week, Corriere dello Sport, a widely read newspaper in Italy, previewed a soccer match between Inter Milan and AS Roma with the headline “Black Friday,” a reference to two Black players. The headline sparked outrage; AS Roma banned Corriere dello Sport for the rest of the year. The paper accused its critics of “lynching.”
- And GQ named Chinese President Xi Jinping and Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn among the world’s worst dressed men in its British print edition—but removed them from the web version of the list to avoid causing offense. BuzzFeed’s Mark Di Stefano has more.
Chuck Todd reacts to Ted Cruz’s Ukraine claims » Bloomberg’s editorial mandate stands » Who will be Time’s Person of the Year?
The Poynter Report is our daily media newsletter. To have it delivered to your inbox Monday-Friday, click here. A picture’s worth a thousand words Another weekend. Another “Meet the Press” exchange between moderator Chuck Todd and a guest who believes Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. This time, it was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who had a testy exchange […]
Newsonomics: This is how the 5 biggest newspaper chains could become 2 — and it all comes down to one day, June 30, 2020
In 2015, the Obama administration assembled an immigration task force to assess the effectiveness, as a national security measure, of screening visa applicants’ social media accounts. In February 2017, shortly after Donald Trump took office, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general declared that there was no evidence the policy worked. Yet a month later, Trump directed his immigration agencies to implement the “extreme vetting” of visa applicants that he had promised on the campaign trail. Following the president’s order, the State Department proposed an aggressive expansion of the social media vetting policy. It took effect in May of this year. Previously, only about 65,000 visa applicants per year—those who had spent time in areas controlled by terrorist groups, for example—were asked to provide information about their social accounts. Now 14.7 million people per year—almost everyone who applies for a visa—must submit any handle they’ve used in the past five years.
Yesterday, Doc Society and the International Documentary Association, two nonprofit documentary film organizations, challenged the vetting policy in federal court. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University are representing them. The lawsuit argues that social media vetting has already had a chilling effect on the groups’ foreign collaborators. In particular, filmmakers and activists from countries with limited freedom of expression are censoring themselves on social media and declining to apply for US visas they otherwise would have sought—fearing that their applications may be declined and that details of pseudonymous accounts might be shared with their home governments.
The suit challenges social media vetting on two grounds. The first argues that the State Department lacks the authority to impose such requirements. The second claims that they are unconstitutional because they “deter expressive and associational activity and are not sufficiently tailored to any legitimate government interest.” Foreigners living abroad typically lack constitutional rights, but the lawsuit notes that the vetting policy applies to individuals who already have close ties to the US—family members, educational experience, existing jobs. Plus, the documentary groups say, the policy violates their rights of speech and association. They rely on social media to communicate with associates overseas.
The suit offers several examples of people already affected by social media vetting, including those who rely on pseudonymous accounts to conduct research. “We regularly work with filmmakers for whom the ability to maintain anonymity online can be a matter of life and death,” Jess Search, Doc Society’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We believe the registration requirement is a deeply troubling and oppressive development, forcing filmmakers to choose between free online expression and their own security.” Twitter also made a statement in support of the lawsuit, saying that social media vetting “has a chilling effect.”
This isn’t the first time reporters have been caught in the Trump administration’s immigration dragnet. Last year, CJR’s Amanda Darrach reported that the approval process for journalists seeking US visas has gotten tougher—they have faced absurdly fine-grain questions about their work and open hostility at consulates, including, in at least one case, ridicule for not having a Pulitzer or Nobel prize. This year, journalists working at the border between the US and Mexico said immigration officials harassed them using tactics that included detention, the confiscation of their reporting materials, and the flagging of their passports. In March, an NBC affiliate in San Diego obtained evidence that the US government maintained a secret database to monitor journalists, most of whom were US citizens, at work reporting on migrants in Mexico. These practices are also now subject to a lawsuit, filed last month by five journalists and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The impact of such policies will outlast the Trump administration: the vetting lawsuit, for instance, notes that the government will be able to keep the social media details it collects in perpetuity. Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight Institute, argued yesterday that asking people for their handles is “the linchpin of a far-reaching and unconstitutional surveillance regime.”
Below, more on immigration, social media, and free expression:
- The bigger picture: The risks of repressive governments getting their hands on the secret accounts of dissidents are obvious. In yesterday’s newsletter, CJR’s Mathew Ingram recapped a report from Article 19, a UK-based human rights charity; it found that freedom of expression globally has reached a ten-year low, in part due to “digital authoritarianism.”
- Facial recognition: Recently, the Department of Homeland Security proposed making facial-recognition scans mandatory for everyone entering and leaving the US, including US citizens. Yesterday, following criticism from groups including the ACLU, DHS did a U-turn, meaning citizens will continue to be able to opt out of facial recognition.
- Another social media lawsuit: Last year, I reported on another Knight Institute lawsuit; this one sought to forbid Trump from blocking other users on Twitter, which Knight claimed violated those users’ First Amendment rights. A district court sided with Knight; in July, a federal appeals court affirmed its ruling. The administration is appealing again.
Some news from the home front: On Tuesday, December 10, CJR and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism are hosting a daylong conference at Columbia Journalism School to launch our new issue of the magazine, on disinformation, and to explore the challenges the press will face heading into 2020. Speakers will include Whitney Phillips, Masha Gessen, Emily Bell, Hayes Brown, and Jelani Cobb; for the keynote, Kyle Pope, our editor and publisher, will speak with Carole Cadwalladr, who helped break open the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Details on how to attend are here. The event will also be livestreamed via cjr.org from 9am Eastern on Tuesday.
Other notable stories:
- For the magazine, Bob Moser writes that in 2020, “the most malicious and effective disinformation will be homegrown—planted and artificially amplified by for-profit troll farms, freelance cyberwarriors swapping notes in chat rooms, political parties and PACs, and campaigns up and down the ballot.” Michael Rosenwald looks at the history of US information warfare targeting other countries’ politics. And Colin Dickey reports on the rise and fall of facts. “The history of fact-checking,” he writes, “suggests that too often, the accumulation of verifiable minutiae can become an end unto itself.”
- Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will begin drafting articles of impeachment against Trump; a vote to charge the president could take place before Christmas. Later, James Rosen, of Sinclair, shouted at Pelosi as she was leaving a news conference, “Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?” Pelosi returned to the podium. “As a Catholic, I resent you using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me,” she said. “I don’t hate anyone.” Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, also had a tense exchange with a reporter yesterday. Andrew Feinberg, of Breakfast Media, asked McCarthy about his past remark that Trump is “paid by Vladimir Putin”; McCarthy said it was a joke and called the question “embarrassing.”
- In other impeachment news, Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, is working on a documentary series for One America News Network, an aggressively pro-Trump outlet. This week, Giuliani showed up in (you guessed it) Ukraine, to interview figures who have helped him spread false rumors about Joe Biden and his son. Per BuzzFeed’s Christopher Miller, Ukraine wasn’t happy to see him. President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is prepping for peace talks with Russia, learned of Giuliani’s visit from the press.
- A new trade deal between the US, Mexico, and Canada could be finalized before Christmas, though time is tight. The Wall Street Journal reports that Pelosi wants to strip the deal of a provision, demanded by tech companies, that would absolve platforms of liability for users’ posts across North America, and not just in the US. Pelosi has previously suggested that these protections—known as Section 230—should be scrapped altogether. (Jared Schroeder wrote for CJR that that might not be a bad idea.)
- For the Times Magazine, Josh Owens bares all about his past work for Infowars and its erratic boss, Alex Jones. “You had to determine where he was emotionally and match his tone quickly,” Owens writes. “If he was angry, then you had better get angry.” Owens depicts Jones drinking vodka while driving, accidentally firing an AR-15 in his direction, and repeatedly shooting a bison in gruesome footage that Owens was asked to edit.
- Karen McDougal—the former Playboy model whose claims of an affair with Trump were caught and killed by the National Enquirer in 2016—is suing Fox News. McDougal says Tucker Carlson defamed her when he accused her, last year, of trying to extort Trump; Fox said it would “vigorously defend” Carlson. (ICYMI, Simon van Zuylen-Wood reported on what’s going on at the Enquirer, including the McDougal episode, for the magazine.)
- Ojo Público, an investigative journalism site in Peru, developed an algorithm to identify possible patterns of corruption in public contracts; it flagged 40 percent of contracts between 2015 and 2018 as being possibly nefarious. Paola Nalvarte, of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas, has more details.
- Four months after India’s government cut off Kashmir, the internet is still down. BuzzFeed’s Pranav Dixit reports that Kashmiris have disappeared en masse from WhatsApp, apparently due to the app’s policy of kicking out users who have been inactive for 120 days. (In August, Rozina Ali explored “the Kashmiri narrative” for CJR.)
- And the Pulitzer Prizes are adding an “Audio Recording” category to next year’s awards.
Gannett layoffs have begun » A new category in the Pulitzers » Must-read pieces include an Alex Jones employee’s mea culpa and a terrible jailhouse deal
The Poynter Report is our daily media newsletter. To have it delivered to your inbox Monday-Friday, click here. The axe is starting to fall at Gannett Ugh. We knew this was coming. The post Gannett-GateHouse merger purge has begun. A heavy round of layoffs began on Thursday. Sadly, this might only be the beginning. Previously, Poynter media business […]
With the U.S. election now less than a year away, at least four dozen American fact-checking projects plan to keep tabs on claims by candidates and their supporters – and a majority of those fact-checkers won’t be focused on the presidential campaign. The 50 active U.S. fact-checking projects are included in the latest Duke Reporters’ […]
The post U.S. fact-checkers gear up for 2020 campaign with 50 active platforms appeared first on Poynter.
The Newseum’s closure is an opportunity, not a death sentence, said its leader. “I have great optimism that we’ll have an exciting new footprint somewhere, maybe footprints,” executive director Carrie Christoffersen told Poynter in a phone interview Wednesday. “We’ll have to see what the future really brings and what we settle on as our next […]
The post The Newseum is closing this month. Here’s the plan for what’s inside. appeared first on Poynter.
Last month, public media organization PRX released a series of 10 instructional videos, called Podcasting 101. We produced the videos alongside Google Podcasts as part of the Google Podcasts creator program, and they’re intended to train and support early stage podcasters around the world. A core value underscored in PRX’s approach to training podcasters is […]
The post These how-to podcast videos are designed to help beginners — and they come in six languages appeared first on Poynter.