Tag Archives | Journalism

Jon Stewart & Obama Meetings Ethics Debate

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President Obama’s administration used Jon Stewart as a “useful prod.” Stewart was often summoned to the White House before big announcements. A debate about the ethics of the TV host rages on.

Jackie Salo via International Business Times:

President Barack Obama summoned television host Jon Stewart to the White House on several occasions before he made major announcements, according to a Politico article that revealed the secret connection between “The Daily Show” host and the president. News of the private meetings surfaced Tuesday as Stewart prepares to end his tenure as host on Aug. 6.

Some have questioned Stewart’s ethics because he did not disclose his connection to Obama. “The summoning of Stewart to the White House validates the belief that the comedian is more influential on the public discourse than any journalist,” said a Minnesota Public Radio article Tuesday. “But do the rules of journalism apply to a comedian who doesn’t consider himself a journalist even as the people watching consider him one?”

While still at the White House, former Obama advisor David Axelrod kept in touch with the host by phone and email.

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More than 2,800 people are dead in Yemen – so why aren’t we outraged?

In the summer of 2014, our screens were inundated with videos of the carnage from the streets of Gaza. The European media was outraged, and the sense of moral urgency was amplified across social media. Similar outrage greeted the destruction of UNESCO heritage sites in both Iraq and Syria with the condemnation of Islamic State’s barbarism reaching a crescendo when it overtook Syria’s majestic city of Palmyra.

Compare this coverage to the almost universal silence on the ongoing war in Yemen, which is largely absent from our TV screens, Facebook and Twitter trending topics sections and the front pages of broadsheet papers.

Admittedly, the Yemen conflict is a complicated matter, where the Saudi “bad guys” in the northern half of the country are looked upon as potential saviours in the southern half. The war includes a number of factions, and provides no easy narratives for the casual news watcher to follow.… Read the rest

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Al-Jazeera Anchor Ahmed Mansour Released, Details of Torture Case Reemerge

Ahmed Mansour

Ahmed Mansour

These videos are allegedly of the torture with Mansour present. NSFW.

Hanad Fayed writes at the Cairo Post:

Despite Egyptian efforts to extradite Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour from Germany to Egypt, he was released Monday from a German prison after two days of detention, Reuters reported the Berlin state prosecutor as saying.

“No one will be extradited from Germany if they face the death penalty,” Reuters quoted spokesperson for the Germany Foreign Ministry Martin Schaefer as saying earlier Monday.

“Egypt has launched a politically motivated campaign against Al-Jazeera and is now abusing the international system,” CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Sherif Mansour said Sunday.

The Interpol previously rejected an Egyptian request to issue a red notice against Mansour in October 2014 because it did not meet the standards of the Interpol, according to Mansour’s lawyer.

British-Egyptian Al-Jazeera anchor Mansour was arrested Saturday in Berlin while heading to Qatar.

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Should People Give Up Nutella For the Sake of Our Trees?

nutella

This post originally appeared on HoneyColony.

Palm oil is used in a mind-boggling range of everyday products including shampoo, toothpaste and Nutella. In total, 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually.

As a result, tens of millions of acres of forest have been cut down to make way for large-scale palm oil plantations, lending to deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty, and indigenous rights abuses. There are more sustainable oils out there that offer more nutrition.  But what is the likelihood of giving up an iconic product like Nutella for the sake of Mamma Earth?

Food Fight: France VS Italy

Italy and France are going at it again, this time it’s a food fight over Nutella, arguably the world’s most popular ‘chocolate’ hazelnut breakfast spread. About 365,000 tons of Nutella is made each year (about the same as the weight of The Empire State Building).

Earlier this week, Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal stated on the French television network Canal+ France that, “We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming.… Read the rest

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Reason Magazine Subpoena Stomps on Free Speech

Stephen Melkisethian (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Stephen Melkisethian (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Virginia Postrel Via Bloomberg View:

Wielding subpoenas demanding information on anonymous commenters, the government is harassing a respected journalism site that dissents from its policies. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York claims these comments could constitute violent threats, even though they’re clearly hyperbolic political rhetoric.

This is happening in America — weirdly, to a site I founded, and one whose commenters often earned my public contempt.

Los Angeles legal blogger Ken White has obtained a grand jury subpoena issued to Reason.com, the online home of the libertarian magazine I edited throughout the 1990s. The subpoena seeks information about commenters who posted in response to an article by the site’s editor Nick Gillespie about the letter that Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht wrote to Judge Katherine B. Forrest before she sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Ulbricht was convicted of seven felony charges, included conspiracies to traffic in narcotics and launder money, and faced a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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Reporter chooses to do his job without following social media and feels better about life

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

I think this article would be a great piece to read for those trying to discipline themselves or learn how to self-improve. Author Dick Meyer writes that before he changed positions in journalism from inside management to being a writer, it was unavoidable for him to have to read through lots of social media pages a day. I’d like to raise a question primarily for disinfonauts.

Certain elitist groups in this country want education to be a system where:

“one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”

The educators of the twentieth century taught in a fashion that prepared individuals to work a lifetime of sitting stationary in factory or office positions where orders are taken without question.… Read the rest

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They’re Really Mad at Seymour Hersh Now

liar liarSeymour Hersh’s investigation into the real events surrounding bin Laden’s death not only makes the government look bad, it also shows-up the news media who have been its patsy for years. Accordingly, their response to Hersh has been eerily reminiscent of what was portrayed in the 2014 film Kill the Messenger. This from the Columbia Journalism Review:

Seymour Hersh has done the public a great service by breathing life into questions surrounding the official narrative of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Yet instead of trying to build off the details of his story, or to disprove his assertions with additional reporting, journalists have largely attempted to tear down the messenger.

Barrels of ink have been spilled ripping apart Hersh’s character, while barely any follow-up reporting has been done to corroborate or refute his claims—even though there’s no doubt that the Obama administration has repeatedly misinformed and misled the public about the incident.… Read the rest

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Amnesty International: Whitewashing Another Massacre

Richard Potts (CC BY 2.0)

Richard Potts (CC BY 2.0)

Paul de Rooij writes at CounterPunch:

Amnesty International has issued four reports on the Massacre in Gaza in 2014 [1]. Given the scale of the destruction and the number of fatalities, any attempt to document the crimes committed should be welcomed. But these reports are problematic, and raise questions about this organization [2], including why they were written at all. It also raises questions about the broader human rights industry that are worth considering.

Basic Background

July 2014 marked the onset of the Israeli massacre in Gaza (I will dispense with the Israeli sugar-coated operation names). The Israeli army trained for this attack for several months before finding a pretext to attack Gaza, shattering an existing ceasefire; this was the third such post-“disengagement” (2004) attack, and possibly the worst so far. At least 2,215 were killed and 10,000+ wounded, most of them civilians. The scale of destruction was staggering: tens of thousands of houses rendered uninhabitable; several high-rise buildings struck by huge American-supplied bombs; schools and hospitals targeted; 61 mosques totally destroyed; water purification and sewage treatment plants damaged; Gaza’s main flour mill bombed; all chicken farms ravaged; an incalculable devastation [3].

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The King of Bullsh*t News

Apparently unaware of the irony, Buzzfeed crowns Central European News (CEN) as the “King of Bullsh*t News”:

Last November, within a few hours of each other, some of the planet’s biggest news websites published an irresistible story. An attractive Argentinian teacher called Lucita Sandoval, from Santiago del Estero, had been having sex with her 16-year-old student, and the video of their tryst had made its way to a porn website. With its heady blend of titillation and depravity, it was the perfect tabloid scandal.

mirror

Websites including the Daily Mirror and Metro in the UK and the New York Daily News in the US duly published the story, alongside an image showing the teacher posing poolside in her bikini. “Teacher suspended after sex session with teen pupil ends up on hardcore porn website,” read the Mirror’s headline. The Daily Mail – the most successful English-language newspaper website in the world – even went so far as to claim that there would be a criminal investigation, and that this wasn’t the first time that the teacher in question had sexual relations with a student.

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