Reuters editor-in-chief instructs journalists on how to cover the new Administration

Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler is proud of the way his news organization is able to provide high-quality, fact-based journalism in oppressive places like Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, "nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists." Here's his list of dos and don'ts for staffers:

Do’s:

--Cover what matters in people’s lives and provide them the facts they need to make better decisions.

--Become ever-more resourceful: If one door to information closes, open another one.

--Give up on hand-outs and worry less about official access. They were never all that valuable anyway. Our coverage of Iran has been outstanding, and we have virtually no official access. What we have are sources.

--Get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.

--Keep the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles close at hand, remembering that “the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Reuters shall at all times be fully preserved.”

Don’ts:

--Never be intimidated, but:

--Don’t pick unnecessary fights or make the story about us. We may care about the inside baseball but the public generally doesn’t and might not be on our side even if it did.

--Don’t vent publicly about what might be understandable day-to-day frustration. In countless other countries, we keep our own counsel so we can do our reporting without being suspected of personal animus.

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News groups sue FBI for iPhone hacking details in San Bernardino case

VICE Media, USA Today owner Gannett, and the Associated Press today announced a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI. The news organizations want to how much and who the government paid to hack into the San Bernardino shooters' iPhone, during the government's investigation into last year's mass shooting.

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Some questions for those who are cheering Gawker's demise

Gawker.com, the pioneering and controversial media blog, officially died yesterday. It was killed by billionaire Peter Thiel in his successful quest to bankrupt Gawker Media Group through a series of lawsuits he funded – most notably wrestler Hulk Hogan, who sued over the publication of a portion of his sex tape four years ago. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning, after suicide attempt: 'Your incredible love and support is lifting my spirits.'

Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning is suffering from severe mental health challenges in prison, directly related to her treatment in prison. She isn't getting the care she needs, and she recently tried to take her own life.

Chelsea is a transgender woman who, despite her gender identity being acknowledged by the world, is forced by the U.S. to serve out her sentence in an all-male maximum security prison. To be a woman imprisoned among men is a most gendered form of cruel and unusual punishment, but America's hatred and misunderstanding of trans people allows this to be the norm.

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Dozens of news orgs demand DOJ release its secret rules for targeting journalists with secret National Security Letters

Freedom of the Press Foundation recently filed a huge brief in the organization's case demanding that the Justice Department release its secret rules for targeting journalists with National Security Letters. And in related news, a coalition of 37 news organizations - including the New York Times, The Associated Press, USA Today, Buzzfeed, and tons more - filed an amicus brief in support of the Freedom of the Press Foundation case, demanding that the Department of Justice do the same.

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What Amazon's Jeff Bezos thinks about Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker

In this video from the Recode conference, an interesting reveal of what Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos thinks of the legal battle between Peter Thiel and Gawker, with Hulk Hogan as a most unfortunate proxy. Bezos is full of surprising insights here, and offers Thiel some tough love.

The only effective defense public figures like Thiel have against their critics, says Bezos: “Develop a thick skin.”

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Gawker lost. Hulk Hogan wins $115M verdict against Gawker in sex tape trial

A Florida jury today ruled in favor of Hulk Hogan's privacy claims instead of Gawker's arguments for press freedom. The court handed the former wrestling star a $115 million verdict against Gawker Media over a 2012 gawker.com blog post about the now-infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape.

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New documents shed light on secret DoJ rules for targeting journalists with National Security Letters

In July 2015, Freedom of the Press Foundation sued the Justice Department (DOJ) over the agency’s secret rules governing how the FBI can target members of the media with due process-free National Security Letters, and we have just received documents back in the ongoing lawsuit. Read the rest

Missouri student files complaint against Melissa "Muscle" Click

Above: a longer video that shows Professor Click's attempts to block and eject University of Missouri student Mark Schierbecker after she called for "muscle."

Professor Melissa Click says she can't recall pushing University of Missouri student Mark Schierbecker, who recorded her calling for "muscle" to remove him from a campus protest. But Schierbecker says she did push him and he has filed a complaint with the with campus police, reports USA Today.

Schierbecker said he met with Click at her office on Tuesday, but that he found her apology "lacking." He said that he's made further attempts to contact Click to speak to her about his grievances with her, but she has refused to engage him.

"I am just left with the feeling that she doesn't care," Schierbecker told USA TODAY.

It's interesting that Schierbecker had to go to Professor Click's office to receive her apology. If she really cared, she would have gone to Schierbecker's home. But maybe she's afraid to leave her office. She told faculty members that she's received "2,000 threatening e-mails since Monday's incident."

See also: Dear Melissa Click: Your Apology Is Bullshit Read the rest

Egypt sentences 3 Al Jazeera reporters to 3 years in prison

They are sentenced to three years in prison, on charges widely believed to be politically motivated and otherwise baseless.

Journalists around the world voice support for Netzpolitik after outrageous 'treason' investigation

Reporters and press freedom advocates from around the world have signed on to support Netzpolitik and condemn the German government's outrageous investigation.

If the FBI has a backdoor to Facebook or Apple encryption, we are less safe

It seems pretty clear the next battle in Congress will almost certainly be over encryption.

Obama’s Justice Department secretly helped kill FOIA transparency bill

U.S. President Barack Obama looks toward Attorney General Eric Holder. Justice Department investigators have engaged in aggressive tactics against journalists in recent months. [Reuters]

We’ve long known the Justice Department’s stance on transparency has been hypocritical and disingenuous. But they’ve really outdone themselves this time. Read the rest

Australian bill will put journos in prison for 10 years for reporting leaks

The bill was introduced on Wednesday by Attorney General George Brandis, and it gives the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation the power to imprison leakers (including reporters) for five years, with ten year sentences for anything regarding "special intelligence operations" (illegal spy operations conducted under promise of immunity). Read the rest

House approves 'media shield' amendment, as reporter reveals 2011 subpoena fight

The House of Representatives today voted 225-183 to approve an appropriations bill amendment that bars the Justice Department from forcing reporters to testify about their confidential sources.

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Fact-checking Hillary Clinton's comments on Edward Snowden and the NSA

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a group of supporters and students at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Gaston De Cardenas

Hillary Clinton made her first extended public remarks about Edward Snowden late last week, and unfortunately she misstated some basic facts about the NSA whistleblower and how events have played out in the last year. Here’s a breakdown of what she said and where she went wrong:

Clinton: "If he were concerned and wanted to be part of the American debate, he could have been… I don't understand why he couldn't have been part of the debate at home."

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Snowden that even NSA reform advocates have furthered. Edward Snowden could not be part of this debate at home, period. Read the rest

Press freedom case of NYT reporter James Risen may go to Supreme Court

"A federal appeals court will not reconsider a decision compelling a journalist to identify a source who disclosed details of a secret CIA operation," reports the AP: Read the rest

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