Mideast Iraq

ISIS poses serious threat to journalists

When an armed insurgency intensified its campaign across Iraq in recent weeks, journalists quickly began trickling into the conflict zone — despite the fact that the country is the most dangerous place in the world for them.

ISIS fighters parade in Mosul, Iraq, Monday. (AP Photo)

More journalists have been killed in Iraq than any other country in the world, according to data published by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Since 1992, 248 media workers have lost their lives in the country, nearly double the amount in the second most dangerous country, the Philippines.

The majority of the deaths occurred during the Iraq War, which was the deadliest conflict for journalists on record. The war claimed the lives of 150 journalists, 85 percent of whom were locals.… Read more

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Supreme Court TV On the Internet

Broadcasters: Aereo decision was not an attack on innovation

Update at 1:40 p.m.: Stock prices for Scripps, Gannett and Meredith were up between one and two percent after the decision. Sinclair, the biggest owner of local stations in the country, saw its stock shoot up a breathtaking 12.88 percent on the news.

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The U.S. Supreme Court handed broadcast networks and local stations a victory by ruling that Aereo cannot take TV signals and send them to phones, tablets and other platforms without paying for the rights.

The networks told the court that if Aereo was allowed to lease its antennas to users without compensation, cable companies would quickly do the same, which could cost broadcasters billions of dollars.

Journalists outside the Supreme Court during arguments in the Aereo case this past April.

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Takeaways from the Al Jazeera Forum

While journalists in the United States have to worry about Tweeting out misinformation, journalists in the Arab world have to worry about their Tweets getting them thrown into jail.

At Al Jazeera’s Eighth Annual Forum in Doha, Qatar last month, 700 media and political leaders gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the media. Meanwhile, the trial of three Al Jazeera journalists, who have since been sentenced to serve jail time in Egypt came up frequently in the conversations.

A display at the entrance of the Al Jazeera Arabic newsroom features staff members showing their support for three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Supreme Court

Supreme Court Aereo ruling expected soon: Get prepared

UPDATE: The Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 that the signals from other networks captured by Aereo, Inc. are protected under by the transmit clause of the Copyright Act of 1976, and thus constitutes a performance of the petitioner’s works publicly. Here’s Poynter’s story on the decision.

The legal case is called American Broadcasting Companies Inc. V. Aereo, Inc. The stakes are hard to overstate.

Broadcasters say the very future of commercial broadcasting hangs in the balance of a Supreme Court ruling that could come Wednesday, Thursday or next Monday. The Big Four networks all want to stop Aereo from being able to capture their free over-the-air signals and then make the signals available to people who want to watch on mobile devices. Aereo offers to store up to 60 hours of content for $8-$12 a month.… Read more

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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Fact-checkers plan international organization

The Poynter Institute’s Global Fact-Checking Summit concluded Tuesday with participants voting to start an international association.

The group will build on the progress of the London summit to connect fact-checkers and convene future meetings, said Bill Adair, creator of PolitiFact and the summit’s organizer.

“The meeting showed there is a passionate community of fact-checkers that is growing around the world,” said Adair, a professor at Duke University and an adjunct faculty member at Poynter. “The association will keep the fact-checkers in touch with each other and help them learn from each other.”

Look out, untruths!

“We’re excited about the possibility of The Poynter Institute being the home of the international fact-checking organization, and producing a website that showcases members’ best work and impact on democracies” Poynter President Tim Franklin said.… Read more

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Monday, June 09, 2014

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At fact-checking summit, ‘We hope courage is contagious’

The stakes are high for fact-checkers in India, Govindraj Ethiraj from FactChecker.in said at Poynter’s Global Fact-Checking Summit in London Monday. Ethiraj risks his safety and credibility in order to fact-check politicians: “We do one thing wrong and our office will be burned up,” he said.

Summit attendees Monday.

Fact-checking is not always easy or safe, speakers said.

Macedonian fact-checker Bardhyl Jashari said, “We hope courage is contagious.” That’s why we fact-check, he said.

“Manufacturing of truth has become a multimillion dollar industry,” Tampa Bay Times Editor Neil Brown said in a keynote address. “This is where we come in to provide independent analysis.”

Brown.

Fact-checkers are “fighting difficult circumstances and bringing creativity to try to build this candid world,” Brown said.

The conference’s primary goal is to create a community among fact-checkers, said PolitiFact founder Bill Adair, who organized the summit, held at the London School of Economics.… Read more

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Friday, June 06, 2014

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The Riveter celebrates its second print issue with more longform journalism by women

Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz have spent the past year helping to change the ratio of women to men in longform journalism.

Today, they’re publishing the second print issue of The Riveter, the magazine they created last year to highlight longform and narrative journalism written by women.

“Our first print issue came out almost a year ago, and since then we’ve built up a dynamic staff of editors and big-picture thinkers who have helped us secure a reliable online voice,” Demkiewicz said via email. “In producing weekly online content, we have broadened our audience and are able to prove that we ebb and flow with the surrounding media and culture.”

Joanna Demkiewicz (left) and Kaylen Ralph.

As part of The Riveter’s growth, Demkiewicz and Ralph have added new departments to diversify the magazine’s content, including one called “Longform as Lifestyle” and another called “Bedstand.”

“One new department speaks to our mission to promote longform as a lifestyle element on par with music, fashion, beauty, health, etc.,” Demkiewicz said.… Read more

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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Chinese police officers, paramilitary policemen and plainclothes security personnel prepare to clear Tiananmen Square ahead of an official ceremony in Beijing, China, on May 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

On eve of Tiananmen anniversary, early optimism pushed aside by press, speech crackdown

Chinese police officers, paramilitary policemen and plainclothes security personnel prepare to clear Tiananmen Square ahead of an official ceremony in Beijing, China, on May 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Two years ago in China, during the run-up to the Communist Party’s ritual changing of the guard, there was a heady mood of expectation that the country’s new top leaders might revive long-stalled political reform and maybe, just maybe, reopen the history books on one topic considered taboo: the June 4, 1989 massacre of hundreds of unarmed pro-democracy students in the streets around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The reasons for the early optimism were sound enough.

Xi Jinping, the incoming president, and Li Keqiang, who would become prime minister, were new generation leaders. Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun, a revolutionary hero, was widely believed to have opposed the Tiananmen crackdown.… Read more

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Yumi Wilson

Spreading the gospel of LinkedIn for Journalists

The classroom at the City University of New York sat attentively watching the browser on the large screen point to LinkedIn. Everyone in the room was familiar with the social network, but they were journalists and had come to see how they could use it for their own specific purposes.

Yumi Wilson

While explaining how the audience could use LinkedIn, Corporate Communications Manager Yumi Wilson was also ushering them through a social media door, one she has unlocked for journalists in person or through online webinars over the past several months.

It’s all part of an expansion strategy for LinkedIn, which has seen membership grow exponentially from 32 million members in 2008 to 300 million in 2014. One part of that strategy is inviting journalists into a group called LinkedIn for Journalists, which boasts more than 55,000 members.… Read more

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Friday, May 23, 2014

hornestsnestmovie

‘Hornet’s Nest’: Memorial Day war movie by father and son journalists opens

The trailer for Mike and Carlos Boettcher’s new movie “The Hornet’s Nest” that opens in theaters nationwide today says right up front the film is “Not based on a true story.” Then a second message appears on the screen, “This is the true story.”

“The Hornet’s Nest” is a movie with no actors. The shooting, the fear, the loneliness, the bleeding, the dying is all real. “The Hornet’s Nest” is the product of two journalists, a father and a son who risked their lives and spent their own money to tell the stories of soldiers and Marines and their families involved in America’s longest wars.

Mike Boettcher is one of network television’s most experienced war correspondents. In 1985, he was kidnapped and threatened with execution in El Salvador.… Read more

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