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By Varlam Shalamov; John Glad (Translator)

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Tag: Journalism


Rupert Murdoch vs. Google (and Reality)

In an interview with Sky News Australia, the News Corp. tycoon laid out his vision for the future of the news business, which bears little resemblance to the present state of the news business. Murdoch said he would soon begin charging for online content, block Google searches and ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 9, 2009 READ MORE


I.F. Stone
kean.edu

Keep the Government Out of the News Business

I’ve been thinking of I.F. Stone while reading the growing stack of reports and essays giving recommendations on how to save the declining news business. The outrageous solution increasingly favored by the journalism establishment is one that Stone would have hated—turning to Washington for help.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 READ MORE


Future TV
AP / Darko Bandic

End of an Era for Lebanon’s Free Press

For decades, Lebanese journalism has been applauded as the freest, most outspoken and most literate in the heavily censored Arab world. Alas, no more. The Lebanese media are being hit – like the rest of the world – by the Internet and falling advertising revenues. But this is Lebanon, where politics is always involved. Is something rotten in the state of the Lebanese press?

Posted on Oct 23, 2009 READ MORE



Where Have All the Ramparts Gone?

Peter Richardson’s new book about the groundbreaking Ramparts magazine says the rag changed America. Truthdig arts and culture editor Kasia Anderson asks the author and former Ramparts Editor Robert Scheer, Truthdig’s editor-in-chief, why the magazine’s impact isn’t better remembered and what will take its place.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE



Where Have All the Ramparts Gone?

Peter Richardson’s new book about the groundbreaking Ramparts Magazine says the rag changed America. Truthdig arts and culture editor Kasia Anderson asks the author and former Ramparts Editor Robert Scheer, Truthdig’s editor-in-chief, why its impact isn’t better remembered, and what will take its place.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE


William Safire
White House / Shealah Craighead

William Safire Dead at 79

The conservative New York Times columnist, Nixon speechwriter and college dropout lost a battle with pancreatic cancer Sunday. In his final opinion column for The Times, Safire wrote about mortality and his intention to reinvent himself at 75.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / David Boyle

Newspaper Bailout? Maybe, but Don’t Hold Your Breath

President Obama says the kind of journalism done by newspapers is “absolutely critical to the health of our democracy” and he’s “happy to look at” proposals to save “fact-based reporting.” But don’t expect the newspaper-junkie-in-chief to break out the keys to the bailout vault anytime soon.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / freegazaorg

Gideon Levy: Bad Journalism Is a Gift to Occupation

Haaretz’s Gideon Levy writes that the “cheap and harmful journalism” of the Swedish organ harvesting story has made life more difficult for opponents of the occupation: “The Israeli occupation is ugly enough without the contribution of Nordic fairy tales. ... [A]ny exaggeration in describing the occupation’s cruelty will ultimately damage the struggle against it.”

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


Amy Goodman

Media Meltdown in a Time of Crisis, Part 3

Amy Goodman, Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer discuss the present and future of media with the global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the health care debate raging on.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


Losing the News

Chris Hedges on Alex S. Jones’ ‘Losing the News’

Are we entering an age in which the electronic image, endowed with the ability to manufacture its own reality, is hurling us into a state of collective self-delusion? Welcome to a brave new post-literate world where we confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Media Meltdown in a Time of Crisis, Part 2

Amy Goodman, Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer discuss the present and future of media with the global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the health care debate raging on.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Media Meltdown in a Time of Crisis, Part 1

Amy Goodman and Robert Scheer discuss the present and future of media with the global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the health care debate raging on.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / squigglycircle

It Ain’t Over Till the Good Lady Gets Justice

Anna Politkovskaya was such a fine journalist, so brave in afflicting the comfortable, that she was shot. Probably by her political enemies, which included her government. She was the 13th journalistic critic of the government to be shot down by contract killers during Putin’s reign. After the first sham trial led to nothing, the Russian Supreme Court ordered a retrial of defendants in the case, a trial that is now under way and in a brief adjournment.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


When Trust and Media Were One

The greatest sorrow in marking Walter Cronkite’s death is the necessity of acknowledging that we have replaced his work ethic and wisdom with puffery and ideological pontification.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



© 2001 Reese Erlich

Opinions Walter Cronkite Never Aired

In the fall of 2002, Walter Cronkite agreed to be interviewed about the pending U.S. invasion of Iraq. That interview was never published. Looking back at the transcript seven years later, Walter’s views proved quite prescient. Here’s some of what he told me.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Cronkite
AP / File

Walter Cronkite, TV’s First Anchor, Dies at 92

One of the news industry’s longest-living legends, Walter Cronkite, died of cerebrovascular disease Friday at the age of 92. Over the course of his storied career as the anchor of CBS News, Cronkite covered some of the biggest events of the 20th century. He himself coined his famous and often-quoted sign-off line: “And that’s the way it is. ... ”

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE



Background: Flickr / Tracy O

Washington Post Makes a Really Bad Decision

For a mere $250,000, lobbyists and captains of industry were invited to “an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of [Washington Post] CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth.” Invitees were promised unfettered access to the paper’s reporters as well as “key Obama administration and congressional leaders.”

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Bebeto Matthews

The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free

The modern world, as Kafka predicted, has become a world where lies become true. And facts alone will be powerless to thwart the mendacity spun out through billions of dollars in corporate advertising, lobbying and control of traditional sources of information. The lines between artists, social activists and journalists have to be erased.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE


Journalism in the Twitter Era

Journalism is famously described as “the first rough draft of history.” But the history of this Iranian moment is a first, rough hailstorm of bits and bytes, tweets and texts. In the tweet of Mousavil388: “One Person=One Broadcaster.”

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE


Froomkin
discourse.net

Post Fires at the Left

Being popular and Internet-savvy, writer Dan Froomkin surely holds a place in today’s struggling newspaper business that’s secure. At least that’s what you’d think. Instead, The Washington Post has fired him. The move removes one of the only mainstream commentators to criticize Barack Obama from the left.

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE


Truthdig Wins 3 Journalism Awards

Thanks to the L.A. Press Club for acknowledging the excellent work of our writers with three Southern California Journalism Awards. Congratulations to Chris Hedges, who won Online Journalist of the Year and Best Online Column, and Scott Ritter, who took home an award for Best Online Feature. Continue reading for the full list of 12 Truthdig finalists and links to the winning and nominated articles.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’ Skewers New York Times

The “Daily Show’s” Jason Jones kicks the Gray Lady while she’s down with this uncompromising look at the day-old news business.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE


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Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE    


Richard Nixon
White House / Archives

The New York Times’ Watergate Blunder

Back in 1972 the FBI’s acting director gave a New York Times reporter the impression that the president was personally involved in Watergate, but the tip died a quick and historic death in the Times’ Washington Bureau, according to the reporter and editor involved. One went on to law school, the other took a long vacation and no one bothered to follow up.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


Newspapers’ Self-Inflicted Wounds

Most newspaper postmortems insist that decreased ad revenues brought on by the Internet and the recession caused journalism’s problems, but a look at the vapid celebrity-obsessed pages of the nation’s ever-thinner rags tells a different story.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Tony Platt on Wall Street Terror Attack

Beverly Gage’s new book exhumes a nearly forgotten tale of class warfare—call it 9/16.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE


The Rocky building
denverpost.com

The Rocky Going the Way of the Dodo

The death knell has been sounded for the Rocky Mountain News, E.W. Scripps’ Denver-area newspaper, which is scheduled to close after Friday’s edition is churned out, no doubt signaling more mayhem to come in the old media world.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Aaron Escobar

Coping With Corporate Media

The Truthdig Podcast is back and better than ever. This week the panel tackles our obsession with imperfect athletes, the first days of the Obama administration and the decline of media. Special guest Megan Tady, campaign coordinator for Free Press, joins James Harris and Josh Scheer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



radaronline.com

TV News Makes TV Look Bad

A survey of stimulus coverage by Media Matters has found that watching TV news may actually shrink your brain. Well, that’s not fair, but it certainly won’t teach you much about stimulating the economy. That’s because the personalities that populate the airwaves—and not just Fox News—are given license to repeat untruths over and over again.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

David Rieff on ‘Africa’s World War’

Why does the Darfur violence arouse outrage but the slaughter of millions more in Congo does not? An indispensable new book by Gerard Prunier attempts an answer by combining cool analysis and scholarly dispassion without losing sight of the horror of its subject.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Ollie Atkins

Still Trying to Clear Nixon’s Name

Two Truthdig contributors are under siege by an “independent historian” and The New York Times. If that sounds preposterous, just wait until you see what made it onto the front page. Last Sunday, the paper of record cited an unpublished article contending that historian Stanley Kutler deliberately altered transcripts of Nixon’s secret tapes in order to protect John Dean.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Sebastian Scheiner

With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again

The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Abdel Kareem Hana

The Language of Death

Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE



abc.go.com

‘Homeland Security USA’: The Outtakes

The inaugural episode of ABC’s newest reality television series did exactly as producer Arnold Shapiro told viewers it would: unabashedly celebrated the Department of Homeland Security. It also failed in every conceivable way to critically examine the largest reorganization of the federal government since World War II.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Did This
theatrum-belli.com

Israel Continues Killing, Bars Journalists

Be it due to danger or the ever-present desire for security, the Israeli government has always found reason to forbid journalists to enter the Gaza Strip at times of “conflict.” The current brutal assault on Gaza is no different, but this time an association of journalists has filed a petition in the Israeli Supreme Court to demand access to the occupied territories.

Posted on Dec 30, 2008 READ MORE


book cover
amazon.com

Chesa Boudin on Colombia’s Civil War

A new book casts an illuminating spotlight on Colombia’s guerrilla war, fueled by cocaine profits and U.S. military aid.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Shlabotnik

N.Y. Times Gets Punk’d

On Monday, the paper of record published an e-mail from the mayor of Paris slamming Caroline Kennedy’s political maneuvering as “appalling.” Unfortunately, the Times failed to check whether the message was authentic—it wasn’t. Guess that explains all those articles by Nigerian princes.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


LA Times
AP photo / Kevork Djansezian

What Future for the Ink-Stained Wretch?

I’m concerned about the uncertain future for journalists. Without them, who will “watchdog” politicians and bureaucrats, charity officials, cops, educators and the many others who help make our society run?

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


Dangerous Bias Against Detroit

Nearly every current poll shows that most Americans oppose federal assistance to the auto industry, but legislators should also consider how voters would feel if the nation suffered the full consequences of a cratering auto industry—and if those voters then found out that the facts were not quite what they seemed to be.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Mark Halperin Labels Election Coverage ‘Disgusting’

Time’s veteran political reporter calls coverage of the 2008 election, during both the primary and general election, “the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war” because of “extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Regina Marler on Ted Hughes’ Letters

A new volume of the late poet’s correspondence sheds fresh light on the anguish and art of Sylvia Plath.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


Afghanistan Girl After Acid Attack
AP photo / Allauddin Khan

How Bloody Can Bush’s Legacy Be?

The legacy of George Bush’s two “wars of liberation” may already be judged as foreign policy blunders, but the real costs of war remain even after the truism of failed empire. In Afghanistan, acid attacks on at least 15 female students mark a worrisome trend in women’s rights there. And in Iraq, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on a patrol of U.S. troops, killing two.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


Keeping Tabs on Election Shenanigans

Journo nonprofit ProPublica is aggregating reports of voting issues “ranging from voter registration to machine malfunction to alleged fraud or suppression.” See what’s going wrong and where, or report a problem yourself.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

In a Previous Life, Palin Loved the Media

Sarah Palin’s relationship with the press has been like that of a deer to high-beams, but it’s not for lack of practice. According to an Associated Press count, Palin clocked more than 300 interviews and news conferences in just 20 months as governor.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE


Weapons of Mass Distraction

John McCain and Sarah Palin are going to try their best to make us talk about anything but the big issues facing our country, because most Americans think Barack Obama’s solutions are better.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE



cbsnews.com

Katie Couric Is Ready for Her Close-Up

It’s been a rough couple of years for the anchor of the last-place network newscast, but Katie Couric managed to silence many of her critics this week with an interview series that not only got a lot of attention, but scored points for her tough but fair style.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / John Moore

Robert Fisk: ‘The Middle East Is Not a Complex Place’

The acclaimed journalist stopped by our offices this week, where he told Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer that the Middle East is a lot less puzzling than it’s made out to be: “It’s we who are there, not the other way round. ... It’s not our land. It’s not our religion. Our soldiers are in the Muslim world and they should not be there.” Updated with parts 3 and 4

Posted on Sep 26, 2008 READ MORE



composite: latimes.com and Flickr / Robert Scoble

McCain Campaign Guru: N.Y. Times Isn’t ‘a Journalistic Organization’

Steve Schmidt is widely credited with re-energizing the McCain campaign with his tough and often deceptive style, but his latest is a bit much, even for a Karl Rove protégé. During a conference call with reporters, Schmidt accused The New York Times of being “a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day impugns the McCain campaign.”

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / buddhakiwi

Waiting for Sarah

Andrew Sullivan is miffed that John McCain’s No. 2 is still snubbing the media (and, by extension, the public): “It is now 24 days since she was announced as a potential president of the United States next January and she still hasn’t given a news conference or has any plans to hold one. This black-out of all serious press access has never happened in modern American political history before.”

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 READ MORE


pro-choice ad
npr.org/blogs/secretmoney/

Culture-War Ads Coming Your Way

This latest report from the “Secret Money Project,” an ongoing joint project by the Center for Investigative Reporting and National Public Radio, follows the money trail to the sources behind independently funded political advertisements on hot-button issues like abortion and religion that are cropping up as the Nov. 4 election approaches.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE


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