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The Snowden era of journalism

Snoeden eraWelcome to the Edward Snowden-era of national security journalism — a time when no scoop is too small, no detail too minor, and revelations about government surveillance pour forth on an almost daily basis.

It’s a significant departure from the way things used to be.

After Sept. 11, reporters and editors often heeded tremendous pressure from government officials, including the president and/or national security adviser, to hold blockbuster articles concerning classified U.S. spy operations — accepting the warnings that publishing the information could put national security in danger or even lead to another catastrophe.


Google makes a point on gay rights at Sochi Games

googleGoogle has placed a rainbow version of its logo on its search page, increasing pressure on President Vladimir Putin over Russia's "gay propaganda" law at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The page now shows a winter sports competitor above each of the six letters in the U.S. Internet giant's name, set against backgrounds in the six colors on the gay pride flag - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

The page also includes a quote from the Olympic charter underlining the right to practise sport without discrimination.


My Fox News Nightmare: How I Tortured Myself with The Propaganda of Ignorance

FOX newsOne October evening, in the midst of the 2013 government shutdown, I watched Bill O’Reilly work himself into something of a state. He sat at his desk, his hands palms upward, fingers slightly curved, as if cupping something in them.  “I want Hagel.” he said, staring into the camera. “I want Hagel. I want him.”

A casual observer might interpret this moment as O’Reilly expressing his fierce but tender desire for Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense. More experienced O’Reilly viewers, however, will recognize it as a signal that the unfortunate Hagel had plummeted downward in O’Reilly’s estimation from pinhead to evildoer. (There are only three kinds of people in Bill O’Reilly’s world: good hardworking Americans, pinheads—people who are not actually malevolent but who are too stupid to understand the way the world really works—and evildoers.)


Egypt refers 20 Al-Jazeera journalists to trial

Al Jazeera journalists jailedEgypt's chief prosecutor on Wednesday referred 20 journalists from the Al-Jazeera TV network, including four foreigners, to trial on charges of allegedly joining or assisting a terrorist group and spreading false news that endangers national security.

It was the first time authorities have put journalists on trial on terror-related charges. The charges demonstrate the expanding reach of the authorities' heavy crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3.


Journalism watchdog blasts Russia for restricting news coverage

PutinAn international journalism watchdog on Tuesday criticized Russian authorities for restricting news coverage of preparations for the Sochi Olympics.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists detailed in a report how Russian and international journalists have been harassed and prevented from covering sensitive stories in Sochi such as the abuse of migrant workers and environmental issues.


No law license for ex-writer, fabricator Stephen Glass

Stephen GlassFormer writer Stephen Glass, who was fired by The New Republic for fabricating dozens of magazine articles, was denied a law license Monday by the California Supreme Court.

The court ruled Monday that the 41-year-old Glass -- who was the subject of the film Shattered Glass -- cannot practice law in California because evidence he offered as proof of redemption and rehabilitation fell short.

The state had argued that Glass was a "serial liar" for fabricating some 42 stories in publications like The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Glass, then in his 20s, had even gone so far as to create phony business cards and phone numbers to cover his tracks.


Former NY Times journalist Noor Ahmed Noori found dead in Helmand province

Noor Ahmed NooriThe burned and mutilated body of an Afghan journalist has been found in a plastic bag behind a car salesman's yard in the capital of Helmand province, local officials said.

It was an ominous attack for an area that has become a focal point of the insurgency, and seen rising violence in recent years, but where the last murder of a journalist was five years ago.

Police are investigating the killing, said Abdul Ahad Choopan, spokesman for the provincial police chief.


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