Articles about "Russia"


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While in Russia, two U.S. journalism teachers were hauled before a judge

Joe Bergantino, New England Center for Investigative Reporting

Joe Bergantino, New England Center for Investigative Reporting

Veteran Boston TV investigative reporter Joe Bergantino spent several hours in Russian police custody Thursday after authorities barged in on a journalism training session he and the Newsplex’s Randy Covington were leading in St. Petersburg, Russia. The two were teaching investigative reporting skills to 14 Russian TV, print and online reporters at the time.

Bergantino said in a phone interview that he and Covington had been contracted by the U.S. State Department to teach how to interview, report and think critically.

“We had finished teaching a workshop in Moscow and were just starting a second session in St. Petersburg, Russia when agents from the immigration service walked in,” Bergantino said from Paris. “We were taken to an adjacent room and surrounded by people asking us questions for about an hour.”

He said the officials demanded the two Americans write and sign a statement saying what they were doing in Russia. After writing the statement, the two returned to teaching for five minutes, only to be interrupted a second time. This time the agents shut the workshop down and hauled Bergantino and Covington away.

“This time they took us to an immigration service office and showed us a document that they wanted us to sign saying we were guilty of immigration law violations. We refused to sign it,” Bergantino said. “Then we were taken to a district court. The judge had already determined we were guilty. They initially provided an interpreter who was translating about one-tenth of what was going on.”

Bergantino and Covington were using “targeted tourism visas,” as they said the U.S. State Department told them to do. But the Russians said they needed business visas. “Randy has been to Russia before to train journalists and used the same visa we were using this time,” Bergantino told me.

“The judge told us we were guilty of violating immigration law and issued us a warning.”

As far as they know, Bergantino said, they weren’t fined and they weren’t officially deported.

“She told us we could take our scheduled flight home, but not knowing what might happen next, we took an earlier flight to Paris,” Bergantino said.

Russian journalists interview Bergantino (photo provided by Joe Bergantino)

Russian journalists interview Bergantino (photo provided by Joe Bergantino)

Bergantino is still unsure what was behind the disruption and intimidation.

“What we did hear last night is this is not from the immigration service, it is a higher level. Putin is trying to send a message if you make the Russian life difficult, we will make it difficult for you. They don’t want people from the journalists outside to come in and teach investigative reporting and stir up Russians journalists.”

Bergantino has partnered with Poynter and me on several occasions training investigative reporters as part of his work with the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, which he heads. Before that he had a long career with WBZ-TV, WPLG-TV and has appeared on many national broadcasts including Nightline, World News Tonight and Good Morning America.

The judge did tell the Americans they could return to Russia if they get the “proper” paperwork.

“I would go back, I love the people there,” Bergantino said. “But something tells me I am not going to get the visa they say I need.” Read more

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Vladimir Putin

Russian ‘law on bloggers’ takes effect today

mediawiremorningHello there. Sorry this isn’t Beaujon. Here are 10 or so media stories. Happy Friday!

  1. Russian blogger law goes into effect: It could crack down on free expression, Alec Luhn explains: “Popularly known as the ‘law on bloggers,’ the legislation requires users of any website whose posts are read by more than 3,000 people each day to publish under their real name and register with the authorities if requested.” (The Guardian) | “Registered bloggers have to disclose their true identity, avoid hate speech, ‘extremist calls’ and even obscene language.” (Gigaom) | The law also states that “social networks must maintain six months of data on its users.” (BBC News)
  2. More on David Frum non-faked photo fakery saga: Photo fakery surely occurs in places like Gaza, James Fallows writes. “But the claim that it has is as serious as they come in journalism.” The three words that are the “immensely powerful source of pride in what we do,” he says: “I saw that.” (The Atlantic) | Frum-related: 3 ways to prevent your apology from becoming the story, from Kristen Hare. (Poynter) | Gaza-related: Jay Rosen on why the AP revised its “members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel” tweet: “A major provider like the AP gets hit hard in the bias wars, so the principle, don’t give them ammunition! has to be built into its routines.” (Pressthink)
  3. SEC watchdog conducted lengthy leak investigation: “The SEC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) started the investigation after Reuters published information about the regulator’s decision, taken in a closed-door meeting on Sept. 12, 2013, to settle its probe into JPMorgan Chase & Co’s massive London Whale trading loss.” Inspectors “don’t consider issues of press freedom when carrying out their investigations,” according to an OIG official. (Reuters)
  4. Media company Twitter interactions are up: The average number of Twitter interactions per month increased 159 percent between June 2013 and June 2014. John McDermott attributes that to October design tweaks that allow users to interact with retweet, reply and favorite buttons without first clicking or tapping the tweet. (Digiday)
  5. Chicago Tribune launches new website: The responsive platform — explained here by editor Gerould Kern — will be rolled out to other Tribune newspaper sites later this year, when metered paywalls will also be introduced. (Chicago Tribune) | Previously: Suggested tweets and choose-your-own adventure scrolling will be familiar to those who have visited the relaunched LA Times. (Poynter)
  6. More issues with Carol Vogel’s NYT stories? A tipster clues Erik Wemple in to three other troubling cases. But he notes “Not all eerie similarities are created equal.” (Washington Post) | A Times editor note earlier in the week acknowledges Vogel lifted part of a July 25 column from Wikipedia. (Poynter)
  7. Telegraph’s traffic up 20 percent in June: How? A “surge in Facebook traffic referral” as the Telegraph emphasized Facebook over Twitter. “It had previously been all about Twitter. Journalists are all on Twitter, and obsessed with it, so that is where the energy had gone,” Telegraph Media Group editor-in-chief Jason Seiken tells Mark Sweney. (The Guardian) | Related oldie-but-goodie: Ezra Klein tackles the “Why are journalists so obsessed with Twitter?” question. (Washington Post)
  8. Washington Business Journal won’t use the term ‘Redskins’: “I can’t dodge the question anymore,” editor-in-chief Douglas Fruehling writes in a paywalled article. (Washington Business Journal) | We’ll add them to our list of publications rejecting the football team name. (Poynter)
  9. It’s all about the clicks: “Has the Internet killed newspapers?” asks Jon Stewart. “YES!” The takeaway from this segment: Spend 15 minutes on a headline, five minutes on the article itself. (The Daily Show)
     

     

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Sara Just will be the executive producer of PBS NewsHour. Formerly, she was Washington deputy bureau chief for ABC News. (PBS NewsHour) | Josh Rubin will be executive producer and managing director for video at the Daily Dot. Formerly, he was a producer at CNN. Allen Weiner will be an editor at large at the Daily Dot. Formerly, he was a vice president of research for Gartner, Inc. (The Daily Dot) | Brandi Grissom will be enterprise editor for the Los Angeles Times. Formerly, she was managing editor of The Texas Tribune. (@brandigrissom) | Shelby Grad will be assistant managing editor for California news at the Los Angeles Times. Formerly, he was city editor there. Ashley Dunn will be deputy national editor for the Los Angeles Times. Formerly, he was metro editor there. Mark Porubcansky, foreign editor for the Los Angeles Times, will be retiring. Kim Murphy, who has been named assistant managing editor for national and foreign news, will add international coverage to her responsibilities. (Los Angeles Times) | Oskar Garcia, news editor for the Associated Press in charge of coverage of Hawaii, will be AP’s east region sports editor. (Associated Press) | LaToya Valmont will be managing editor of Glamour. Formerly, she was production director there. Job of the day: The Newhouse School at Syracuse University is looking for a director of its Goldring Arts Journalism program. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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Nelson Mandela

The New Yorker still fact-checks more than you do

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 (or so) media stories.

  1. What happened between NBC News and Ayman Mohyeldin? NBC News said Friday it would return the reporter to Gaza. (HuffPost) | The clumsy move was less a conspiracy than a “news division making mistakes through ratings nervousness.” (CNN) | Here’s a Mohyeldin report from this morning. (NBC News)
  2. The new NewYorker.com launches: “The Web site already publishes fifteen original stories a day. We are promising more, as well as an even greater responsiveness to what is going on in the world.” (The New Yorker) | The publication assigns one fact-checker to its website: “And not to be defensive, but that’s one more fact-checker than probably anyone else has,” Editor David Remnick says. (Capital) | OH NO, A LISTICLE: The New Yorker tweets “eight things we think you’ll love” about the new site. (@NewYorker)
  3. Russian media broadcasts conspiracy theories about downed plane: “The Russian media space has become so uniform and independent voices so cowed and marginalized that there is no counterweight.” (The New Republic) | Russian-government funded English-language network RT reacts to reporter Sara Firth‘s resignation: “apparently we have different definitions of truth” (The Washington Post) | Firth: “I don’t think there are different definitions and versions of the truth.” (CNN) | Propaganda broadcasts in Russia “has become a problem for Putin, because this system cannot be wholly managed.” (The New Yorker)
  4. The New York Daily News is an “insane asylum”: That’s according to photographer David Handschuh, one of the 17 newsroom employees laid off Friday. The paper’s “photo desk was hit particularly hard,” Joe Pompeo reports: “Some sources even wonder if the News might be getting ready to scale back or eventually eliminate its print edition.” (Capital)
  5. How Rupert Murdoch could pay more for Time Warner: Use cash from sale of some German and Italian assets. (Bloomberg) | Henry Blodget: “one of Time Warner’s pieces of logic in saying ‘No thanks’ to the original offer is that two to three down the road, they think there will be many other potential acquirers.” (CNN) | 21st Century Fox has also looked at Scripps Networks and Univision (NYT) | Jack Shafer: “Murdoch looks a lot like the 1990s newspaper publishers who continued to buy other papers on the assumption that the moat…would support their near-monopoly profits infinitely.” But streaming video means “The moat has sprung a leak.” (Reuters)
  6. Cops and security guards hassle BuzzFeed reporter for taking pictures of buildings: Policies that permit photography haven’t quite filtered down to the muscle. (BuzzFeed)
  7. Copy editors aren’t all jazzed about “Weird Al”‘s “Word Crimes” video: “A huge segment of people aren’t viewing it as parody; they appear to be viewing it as their new grammar snob anthem. They’re identifying with feeling superior by calling other people stupid.” (ACES) | Watch the video. (Poynter)
  8. How to keep people on your site in a post-homepage world: Time, NBC News and the Los Angeles Times’ websites have all been “redesigned with an eye toward that second click or page view.” (Poynter) | Related: Yahoo and Say Media are launching “online magazines” to “remind advertisers that these are high-quality, editor-driven products with real audiences, not just listicles.” (Digiday)
  9. Here’s today’s world news, edited by Kristen Hare: Thai journalists want more freedoms, Amy Sawitta Lefevre reported Monday for Reuters. “The military said in an order late last week it could shut down any media that disseminates information that ‘could harm national security’ or criticizes the work of the ruling military council,” Sawitta Lefevre reported. | A journalist with Sky News went through a piece of luggage from the MH17 crash while on air, Catherine Taibi reported Sunday in the Huffington Post. Midway through, Colin Brazier realized that wasn’t a good idea and stopped. | Vox.com has a Twitter list of people covering MH17. (I have a growing list, too.)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Amy Ellis Nutt will head to The Washington Post in September to be a science writer. Formerly, she was an enterprise writer for The (Newark, New Jersey) Star-Ledger. (The Washington Post) | Jason Taylor, president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has been named the publisher of The (Jackson, Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger. (The Clarion-Ledger) | Paula Faris will be a weekend co-anchor at “Good Morning America.” She was previously an ABC News correspondent. (Paula Faris) | Bianna Golodryga will leave “Good Morning America” to join Katie Couric at Yahoo News, where she’ll help coordinate coverage of daily news as well as major business and finance stories. (Yahoo News) | Natalie Zmuda has been promoted to deputy managing editor at Advertising Age. She was previously a reporter and editor there. (@nzmuda) | Chris Gardner will join The Hollywood Reporter as a staff writer. Formerly, he was a staff editor at Wonderwall/MSN. (Muck Rack) | Nick Ciletti will be a weekend anchor at ABC15 in Phoenix. Formerly, he was an anchor and reporter at NBC2 in southwest Florida. (Nick Ciletti) | Danielle Lerner will be an anchor at NBC2 in Phoenix. Formerly, she was an anchor at KVOA in Tucson, Arizona. (TVSpy) | Job of the day: NPR is looking for a senior digital editor for race, policy and social issues. Get your résumés in! | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Guardian has deleted almost 500 comments from pro-Russia trolls

The Guardian

On Sunday, The Guardian’s Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott wrote about a growing problem in the comments section of stories about Ukraine — pro-Russian trolling, which one moderator told him appears to be “an orchestrated campaign.”

Trolling covers a multitude of sins but a particularly nasty strain has emerged in the midst of the armed conflict in Ukraine, which infests comment threads on the Guardian and elsewhere, despite the best efforts of moderators. Readers and reporters alike are concerned that these are from those paid to troll, and to denigrate in abusive terms anyone criticising Russia or President Vladimir Putin.

One complaint came to the readers’ editor’s office on 6 March. “In the past weeks [I] have become incredibly frustrated and disillusioned by your inability to effectively police the waves of Nashibot trolls who’ve been relentlessly posting pro-Putin propaganda in the comments on Ukraine v Russia coverage.

Elliott included links with three recent stories on Ukraine from The Guardian with the listed number of comments and those deleted “for reasons of abuse,” including this one, from which they spiked 259 comments. Out of 4,817 total comments on the stories, Guardian moderators deleted 494.

In the comments for the story about comment trolling, one person wrote “as long as paid EU trolls are allowed to post, it should be OK.” Read more

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MediaWireWorld: American journalist held in Ukraine, journalists kicked out of Egyptian courtroom

Ukraine

American journalist Simon Ostrovsky was captured in Eastern Ukraine, Brian Ries reported on Tuesday for Mashable. Ostrovsky is a reporter for VICE News. On Wednesday, Matt McAllester reported in Time that Time’s Berlin correspondent, Simon Shuster, and four other journalists were also detained on Monday but were later released.

The journalists were traveling in a car in the separatist-held town of Slavyansk when they were stopped at a checkpoint by armed separatists, said Shuster, who is now in the city of Donetsk. Shuster, a Ukrainian photographer and a British photojournalist for VICE left Slavyansk the morning after their detention. A Russian photographer who was part of the group chose to stay in Slavyansk.

On Wednesday, Taylor Berman reported about Ostrovsky for Gawker.

A spokeswoman for a pro-Russian militia in eastern Ukraine confirmed on Wednesday that the group has detained Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky on suspicion of spying and other “bad activities.”

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AP removes ‘Ukraine’ from Crimea datelines

Associated Press

Associated Press datelines from Crimea will no longer be followed with a comma and the word Ukraine. But Russia’s not taking Ukraine’s place, either.

Ukrainian servicemen in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

On Wednesday, Tom Kent, deputy managing editor and standards editor of the AP, wrote that “Ukraine no longer controls Crimea, and AP datelines should reflect the facts on the ground.”

From now on, following the location in Crimea, Kent wrote, will be a comma and the word Crimea. And it sounds like that’s going to be true going forward.

The reason is that Crimea is geographically distinct from Russia; they have no land border. Saying just the city name and “Crimea” in the dateline, even in the event of full annexation, would be consistent with how we handle geographically separate parts of other countries. For instance, we just say “Sicily” and “Sardinia” in datelines — “PALERMO, Sicily (AP)” — even though they are part of Italy, and “Guadeloupe” in datelines even though that island is part of France.

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