Tag Archives | Journalism

Vice News Crew Facing Terrorism Charges in Turkey

While the terrorism charges against two Vice News journalists may sound trumped up and Vice Media is pooh-poohing them, consider that Egypt has just sentenced three Al-Jazeera journalists to three years in (a not very nice) prison. The Wrap reports on the situation in Turkey:

Two Vice News reporters and their two colleagues will appear in court on Monday in Turkey to face terrorism charges after being detained on Thursday.

credit: Darwinek (CC)

credit: Darwinek (CC)

 

Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, two British journalists for Vice, were taken into custody with their driver and fixer in the city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey, initially detained for filming without accreditation; the charges have now evolved to supporting ISIS.

Authorities seized their cameras and raided their hotel rooms. The journalists “face unsubstantiated charges of terrorism” in court, a VICE News spokesperson said. “VICE News continues to work vigorously with all relevant authorities to secure the safe release of our four colleagues,” the spokesperson said.

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Ted Rall: 14 Years Ago, a Woman Vindicated Me Now

"Ted Rall" by Joshin Yamada from Portland, USA - 20070929_MG_8712.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ted Rall” by Joshin Yamada from Portland, USA – 20070929_MG_8712.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ted Rall writes at CounterPunch:

A woman walking down the street in West Hollywood saw a police officer roughing up and handcuffing a man, whom he accused of jaywalking. Appalled, she challenged the officer. “Take off his handcuffs!” she demanded.

Noticing the commotion, more passersby approached. Soon a small crowd of people had gathered around. Some people shouted at the officer to stop. Others mocked his aggressiveness, sarcastically suggesting that his unfulfilled sexual desires explained his behavior. Surrounded by pissed-off citizens, the cop replied with a smirk: “I’m SO scared.” Others stood and watched, witnessing.

This happened 14 years ago. The man was me.

None of us knew that the cop, Officer Will Durr, was secretly capturing the audio of my arrest on a tape recorder — some of it, anyway.

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Death penalty: execution ballads were the news reports and tweets of a bloody era

Time for a jolly singalong. Wellcome Library, London, CC BY-SA

Time for a jolly singalong. Wellcome Library, London, CC BY-SA

Whether it’s the recent mass death sentences handed down by the Egyptian judiciary after the ill-fated Arab Spring uprising, or US states having to delay executions of Death Row prisoners because European drug companies are refusing to supply them with the drugs required, capital punishment regularly dominates the news headlines.

Central to all of these stories is the publicity they receive. If you’re going to practice capital punishment as a deterrent – a claim still made despite statistics having shown that the death penalty has no effect on crime rates – then there’s no point doing it unless as many people as possible can find out about it. Now such information zips around the world on the internet. But how did people find out about crime and punishment in that era of spectacular public executions, the Renaissance?

In the early modern period, the majority of the European population was illiterate, and so more creative ways of broadcasting the horror were needed.… Read the rest

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How To Write A Contrarian Thinkpiece

Chris Potter (CC BY 2.0)

Chris Potter (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Schaub writes at the Pessimist:

You probably think that the online contrarian thinkpiece represents a new low in journalism: a dispensable, reactionary quasi-essay written by a condescending know-it-all, and published by a magazine desperate for web traffic. Well, guess what? You’re wrong, you stupid idiot. I hate you and your face. Your family is probably ashamed of you, you wrong, stupid idiot.

I’m kidding, of course. You’re right. There is a great historical tradition of contrarian journalism, but it’s a tradition that didn’t survive the 20th century. Our founding fathers might have penned classic protest essays like “What Ho, Lord Shelvington! You Shall Tariff Our Churns No Longer, Good Sir!” (working from memory here but I’m pretty sure I nailed it), what passes for contrarianism these days is much more soul-crushingly petty. It is smug, personally insulting to the reader, and usually about low-stakes subjects like kale or Girls.

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Jon Stewart & Obama Meetings Ethics Debate

Screen-Shot-2015-07-30-at-9.05.22-AM-620x412

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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