Tanzania detains reporters Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo

The Committee to Protect Journalists says authorities in Tanzania have forcibly detained Angela Quintal, Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Muthoki Mumo, CPJ's sub-Saharan Africa representative. Their passports were seized. Read the rest

The media "blowing it again" in last days of election, but "not as badly" as last time

Former New York Times ombudsman Margaret Sullivan can't believe the media is making the same mistakes it made in the run up to the 2016 election: "Too many journalists allow Trump to lead them around by the nose, which is why you’ve heard so very much about that migrant caravan in recent weeks."

With the president as their de facto assignment editor, too many seem to respond “how high?” when Trump says jump.

Wide-eyed coverage of his politically driven pet issues — primarily the supposed horrors of immigration — has dominated the past few weeks of news, with a fixation on the refugees coming north through Mexico. ... Journalists too often parrot what the president says, and giddily follow his shiny-object distractions du jour.

Singled out for brutal criticism are Axios's Jonathan Swan, The Hill, Fox News and other usual suspects who breathlessly convey Trump's wisdom without skepticism or journalistic acumen. But she also praises other outlets for getting over their squeamish indifference to lies and reporting them as such, and for the trend of sucessfully ignoring vacuous Trumpspeak.

I made a picture for you (above) for use later this week on social media, when it really starts to sink in. Read the rest

Footage of Khashoggi "body double" in his clothes after murder

According to CNN, surveillance footage show one of the Saudi men suspected of murdering Jamal Khashoggi wearing the dead man's clothes and a fake beard while walking around Istanbul as a decoy. From CNN:

A senior Turkish official told CNN that the video showed that Madani was brought to Istanbul to act as a body double.

"You don't need a body double for a rendition or an interrogation," the official said. "Our assessment has not changed since October 6. This was a premeditated murder and the body was moved out of the consulate..."

Four hours earlier Madani had entered the consulate by the front door, alongside an alleged accomplice. Saudi's forensic medicine chief Salah al-Tubaiqi, another key suspect who was identified using facial recognition analysis together with CNN's timeline of events that day, was also present. The video appears to show Madani without a beard, wearing a blue and white checked shirt and dark blue trousers. When he exited the consulate dressed as Khashoggi, the video then appears to show him wearing the same dark pair of sneakers with white soles that he first arrived in prior to the journalist's death. "Khashoggi's clothes were probably still warm when Madani put them on," the senior Turkish official told CNN.

Read the rest

This 'Emoji First Amendment' coffee mug supports good journalism ☕

It's an emoji-fied version of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Read the rest

No, Steve Bannon should not speak at your journalism conference. Here's why.

White Supremacist grifter Steve Bannon, formerly of Donald Trump's Presidential administration, has made quite the new career for himself as a lucrative speaker on the journalism and big thinker circuit. Read the rest

Trump: Justice Dept should investigate identity of anonymous NY Times op-ed writer, because national security

Speaking on the never-ending campaign trail for his insatiable ego, Donald Trump today called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to harness the full power of the Justice Department to go after whoever wrote the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times that said all those mean things about him. Read the rest

RIP The Village Voice

"Today is kind of a sucky day," Village Voice owner Peter Barbey told newspaper staff in a phone call Friday. "Due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material.” Read the rest

'Act like a lady,' Denver police tell journalist as they handcuff and detain her for photographing them

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Susan Greene responds. “Act like a lady?”

“There you go,” the police officer says. “Now you can go to jail.” Read the rest

New York weekly newspaper's cover is a voter registration form

Ithaca's free alt-weekly The Ithaca Times printed a New York State voter registration form on their cover this week. The medium is the message.

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Chicago journalists once opened a fake bar to document corruption

Forty years ago, investigative journalists in Chicago hatched an audacious plan to create a fake tavern packed with hidden microphones, cameras, and reporters everywhere working as bar staff and customers. Their goal was to document local corruption. Topic has a great oral history of the project. Read the rest

YouTube plans to spend $25 million fighting 'fake news.' Here's how.

YouTube just unveiled a plan to combat phony conspiracy videos intended to manipulate or defraud viewers. Read the rest

Capital Gazette publishes despite newsroom attack

Though five of its employees were shot dead yesterday, The Annapolis Capital-Gazette vowed to put out an issue this morning and did so.

An otherwise blank editorial page memorialized the victims.

The Guardian

In the aftermath of the shooting, the Gazette’s reporters were back out covering the tragedy that had been inflicted on their own colleagues.

By late on Thursday evening, the newspaper posted its front page on social media as it went to press – “5 shot dead at The Capital” and “Laurel man, the suspected gunman, in custody”, read the headline and subhead.

As evidence grew that the gun rampage had been committed by an individual who specifically targeted the newspaper and its editing team, the response of the surviving journalists on the title was one of resolute defiance.

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Classic on-air fight between anchor and reporter

Jim Ryan vs. Dick Olive on Fox 5's Good Day New York, July 19, 2001. So great that the network itself uploaded this wonderful moment to YouTube. Of course Oliver was the inspiration for Bill Hader's "Herb Welch" character on Saturday Night Live.

(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Here's exactly how to make amends for past biased reporting on transgender people

Donna Minkowitz wrote one of the most important pieces about the murder of Brandon Teena, the transgender man depicted in the film Boys Don't Cry. A quarter century later, she does what few journalists have the courage to do: she acknowledged the botched the story with biased reporting. Read the rest

The Atlantic again concern-trolls: SHOULD CHILDREN HAVE SEX CHANGES?

How did Twitter addict Jesse Singal become the anti-transgender spokesgoblin of his generation? When a Child Says She's Trans continues his creepy fixation on gender-nonconforming minors. The "ex-trans" movement, similar to the discredited "ex-gay" movement, can always count on axe-grinding coverage that vastly over-represents their numbers and POV. Read the rest

Proposed solution for Trump propaganda: "truth sandwich" reporting

George Lakoff, a cognitive scientist and linguist that studies propaganda, says the way the media reports on Trump's lies actually helps Trump. “Trump needs the media, and the media help him by repeating what he says,” he told The Washington Post. He says stories can actually be constructed in a way to make Trump's lies work against him, not for him:

Unlike those who insist that what the president says is news and therefore must be reported, Lakoff proposes a radical reimagining of how the news media reports on Trump.

Instead of treating the president’s every tweet and utterance — true or false — as newsworthy (and then perhaps fact-checking it later), Lakoff urges the use of what he calls a “truth sandwich.”

First, he says, get as close to the overall, big-picture truth as possible right away. (Thus the gist of the Trump-in-Singapore story: Little of substance was accomplished in the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, despite the pageantry.) Then report what Trump is claiming about it: achievement of world peace. And then, in the same story or broadcast, fact-check his claims.

That’s the truth sandwich — reality, spin, reality — all in one tasty, democracy-nourishing meal.

Photo of wax museum dummy of Trump by Max Pixel, CC0 Public Domain Read the rest

Tom Wolfe, pioneering "New Journalist" and novelist, RIP

Tom Wolfe, the highly influential journalist at Rolling Stone and Esquire and author of such fantastic works as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died at age 88. From the New York Times:

In his use of novelistic techniques in his nonfiction, Mr. Wolfe, beginning in the 1960s, helped create the enormously influential hybrid known as the New Journalism...

His talent as a writer and caricaturist was evident from the start in his verbal pyrotechnics and perfect mimicry of speech patterns, his meticulous reporting, and his creative use of pop language and explosive punctuation.

“As a titlist of flamboyance he is without peer in the Western world,” Joseph Epstein wrote in the The New Republic. “His prose style is normally shotgun baroque, sometimes edging over into machine-gun rococo, as in his article on Las Vegas which begins by repeating the word ‘hernia’ 57 times.”

William F. Buckley Jr., writing in National Review, put it more simply: “He is probably the most skillful writer in America — I mean by that he can do more things with words than anyone else.”

Image: White House Photo by Susan Sterner Read the rest

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