And, will Fayyad retract the statement issued by his "office"?

Will Salam Fayyad correct the wrong-headed efforts of his “office” to save him from Fatah’s wrath in Ramallah by making the patently false denial that he’s given any statements or interviews to the media since his resignation on 13 April?

Will he stand up and do the right thing, here?

Will he admit that he did give an interview to New York Times columnist Roger Cohen? [And, for that matter, also to Daoud Kuttab…}

Salam Fayyad participates in Greek Orthodox + Eastern Easter celebrations in Ramallah - 5 May 2013
Salam Fayyad participated with Church officials in Greek Orthodox + Eastern Easter celebrations in Ramallah - 5 May 2013

Salam Fayyad is not perfect, but he is better than this — no matter what pressure he’s under, he’s not a person I would have thought would attack a journalist, or deny that he did what he did, or said what he said.

Nobody I’ve spoken to believes the denials, anyway…

The Palestinian Authority people in Ramallah can’t take criticism, though they should try to learn …

In what was billed as his last weekly radio address, Fayyad said “I feel a deep sense of gratitude to all those who supported us and stood by us. I am also deeply grateful for each opinion or position that criticized the path of our work and tried to correct it for the benefit of our people and their national cause”.

That is good.

Then, he went on to say: “As for those who maintained preconceived positions throughout our journey or made it their business to launch attacks and spread prejudices, I tell them: may God forgive you”…

Maybe Fayyad, like others here, have a hard time telling the difference, and see all criticism as attacks and spreading of prejudices.

Fayyad should rise up and retract the statement issued by his “office”…

Meanwhile, Roger Cohen wrote in a Tweet today [probably overly defensive, as he was addressing someone known to be a critic of Fayyad] that “#Fayyad is serious, tough and consequential”…

If so, Fayyad should retract the nonsense statement issued by his “office”.

Photo of the Year international – First Place General News – "Last Kiss"

Picture of the Year - First Place General News - Last Kiss - Gaza 18 Nov 2012
Last Kiss - First Place - Photo of the Year international - General News

This is a gorgeous and moving photo.  The composition, the color, the gesture, the hands — gorgeous, and immensely emotional.  It was taken in Gaza, during the IDF’s Operation Pillar of Defense or Pillar of Clouds last November.

“Last Kiss” won First Place in the General News Category of the Photo of the Year International [POYi] contest.

Its caption reads: “A Palestinian man kisses the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012”

The photo was taken by Spanish photographer Bernat Arnangue, of Associated Press, currently based in the Middle East covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Last Kiss” was announced as the First Place winning photo in the General News category today, and it’s published here.

H/T to journalist Ana Cardenes, currently based in Jerusalem, who Tweeted the announcement of the winning photo:
@AnaCardenesPicture Of the Year. General News. First Place @BernatArmangue´s Last Kiss. #Gaza #POY pic.twitter.com/ohvE6CJJ

Winning photographs in all categories judged during the first session are posted on the POYi Web site at www.poyi.org.

The POYi website days that “Photographs are posted without credits until judging is complete. This is to protect the anonymity of entrants across all categories because many images are entered in multiple categories. Once judging has concluded and POY has verified all winning entries, final results will be announced”. Judging judging of all categories will be concluded on 27 February. The Photo of the Year International contest [POYi] is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (www.rjionline.org) at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Sometimes, it's all too much

Sometimes, things here in Israel-Palestine just get to be too much.

There are always things to write about — too many, more than one person can possibly handle, sometimes 5 – 25 things a day.

Due to this pressure, and circumstances beyond our control, I could not write for a while.

So, with apologies for the unscheduled break, I plan to resume shortly.

Marie Colvin: "Our Mission is to Speak the Truth"

Described with rough affection on Twitter this morning as one of “the most badass journalists of all time”, veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin, an American working for the Sunday Times, died in war this morning —
in a shelling on a “Media Center” or “safe house” in the Baba Amr district of Homs, where some 28,000 civilians are reportedly trapped while a sustained Syrian Army offensive against “rebels” has continued “without mercy”, as she said, for days.

Intensive shelling started some two weeks ago.  The Syrian Army is reportedly using large mortars on the civilians trapped with fighters from the Free Syria Army [said to be composed of Syrian military defectors].
Marie reported that Syrian Army snipers are posted all around the perimeter of the area now being shelled, so it is very difficult and dangerous to go in or out. Supplies of all kinds are dwindling in the siege.

Yesterday, Marie said in a Q+A aired on BBC: “I watched a baby die”.

Killed with Marie was 28-year-old French photographer Remi Ochlik, whose work is posted on his website here, and where he wrote about himself: “In 2011, Remi photographed the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions and the uprising and war in Libya”. Ochlik stayed behind in Homs when a staff photographer for a French publication was pulled out because of the dangerous conditions.

Yesterday, Syrian blogger/journalist Rami al-Sayed [“Syria Pioneer”] was killed in Baba Amr while working to report the fighting on the internet. “He was one of the first activists who risked their lives and braved sniper bullets to film the protests in Homs. Rami also set up a channel to live stream the anti-regime demonstrations and the army’s assaults on the city. Rami never admitted he was the one behind the channel but whenever his colleagues told me he was ‘out’ or ‘busy’, I was sure to find a live feed on his channel”, according to a post published here, which was picked up by the NYTimes blog, TheLede.

In all, as of today, some 13 journalists have lost their lives in the fighting in Syria.
Marie and Remi were killed today, and at least three other journalists were wounded in the same attack this morning, just after they had uploaded video and photos, and filed stories — leading to the growing suspicion that sophisticated electronic methods had been used to track and target the journalists.

The Telegraph reported in an updated article bylined by Gordon Rayner, Nabila Ramdani and Richard Spencer
that a group of journalists “were fired on as they tried to flee a makeshift press centre that had suffered a direct hit from a shell. Witnesses said they were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade as they emerged from the ruins of the press centre, which was next door to a hospital. Frederic Mitterrand, the French culture minister, said they had been ‘pursued as they tried to flee the bombardment’ … Before the building was attacked, Syrian army officers were allegedly intercepted by intelligence staff in neighbouring Lebanon discussing how they would claim journalists had been killed in crossfire with ‘terrorist groups’ … Hours before she died, Colvin had given interviews to several broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4 and CNN in which she described the bloodshed as ‘absolutely sickening’. She also accused Mr Assad’s forces of ‘murder’ and said it was ‘a complete and utter lie that they are only targeting terrorists…the Syrian army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians’. Sources in Damascus confirmed that Syrians, including Mr Assad, would have been able to watch Colvin’s broadcasts – a fact that could have sealed her fate. Jean-Pierre Perrin, a journalist for the Paris-based Liberation newspaper who was with Colvin in Homs last week, said they had been told the Syrian Army was deliberately going to shell their media centre, which had a limited electricity supply and internet access thanks to a generator. Mr Perrin said: ‘A few days ago we were advised to leave the city urgently and we were told “if they [the Syrian army] find you they will kill you”. I then left the city with [Colvin] but she wanted to go back when she saw that the major offensive had not yet taken place’.” This account is published here.

Earlier, makeshift clinics and medical personnel were reportedly targetted in Baba Amr.

Continue reading “Marie Colvin: "Our Mission is to Speak the Truth"”

Is Julian Assange a journalist?

This will not be my opinion — so far, I’m slightly more inclined to give Julian Assange some other job title [though for now, I could accept his latest choice, which is “Editor in Chief” of WikiLeaks].

UPDATE: But, Assange is renewing his membership in the Australian journalists’ union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), according to a report here.

According to the report in the Herald Sun, “Victorian MEAA branch secretary Louise Connor said Mr Assange had contacted the Alliance in November just as the ‘cablegate’ story began to break … She said he noted at the time that his credit card had been cancelled and he might not be able to pay his union dues. It had been decided to waive his union dues, she said … ‘We’ve drawn up a new union card for him and offer him the full support of his union and professional association’.” In addition, ACTU president Ged Kearney said “Assange and WikiLeaks deserved support. ‘WikiLeaks is simply performing the same function as media organisations have for centuries in facilitating the release of information in the public interest. Mr Assange’s rights should be respected just the same as other journalists’, she said in a statement’.”

UPDATE TWO: Via Glen Greenwald on Twitter, came across this:

Bruce Sterling [author of The Hacker Crackdown] wrote on The Blast Shack that Julian Assange “is a pure-dye underground computer hacker. Julian doesn’t break into systems at the moment, but he’s not an ‘ex-hacker’, he’s the silver-plated real deal, the true avant-garde. Julian is a child of the underground hacker milieu, the digital-native as twenty-first century cypherpunk. As far as I can figure, Julian has never found any other line of work that bore any interest for him”…

Continue reading “Is Julian Assange a journalist?”

CNN Editor fired for Tweet

CNN has announced/reported that “CNN’s senior Middle East editor, Octavia Nasr, has left the network after a controversial posting on Twitter about a Shia cleric who had longtime ties to and voiced strong support for Hezbollah. Nasr, who joined CNN in 1990, posted a Tweet over the weekend that said, ‘Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot’.”

This CNN story continues: “The U.S. State Department classifies the Lebanon-based Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization”.

Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of international newsgathering for CNN Worldwide, said in an email to staff: “As she [Octavia Nasr] has stated in her blog on CNN.com, she fully accepts that she should not have made such a simplistic comment without any context whatsoever … However, at this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward”

CNN noted that “In her position, Nasr provided on-air context for Middle East events and monitored the media from that region”. This story is published here.

The New York Times posted the story, saying that “Despite her senior editor title, Ms. Nasr did not run CNN’s Middle East coverage, a spokesman said. She reported and provided analysis about the region for CNN’s networks. Her explanation of the Twitter message was apparently not enough for her CNN bosses”. here.

A report on the Mashable Social Media blog reported that “in an internal memo SVP for CNN International Newsgathering Parisa Khosravi announced Nasr would be leaving the company as a result of her comments, citing that her credibility has been compromised”. here.

So now, we know: in order to give context, she should have called Fadlallah a “terrorist” in her original tweet.

[That seems to be what is meant by providing “context” — but wouldn’t calling him “terrorist” be a violation of the obligation to be “objective”?]

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UPDATE: Now we learn, from AP via the Jerusalem Post, that the UK Ambassador to Lebanon Frances Guy “paid homage to Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah who died Sunday, on her government internet blog.. This is published here.

UPDATE TWO: The Guardian reported on Friday 9 July that “Britain has moved to quash a row over its Middle East policy by taking down a controversial blog post by its ambassador in Beirut praising the late Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a staunchly anti-American cleric who was a mentor for Lebanon’s Hezbollah … William Hague, the foreign secretary, ordered the ambassador’s offending item removed yesterday. The Guardian has learned that Britain also downgraded its diplomatic representation at Fadlallah’s funeral in Beirut on Tuesday, sending just a second secretary. France and Italy were represented by their ambassadors. Guy’s comments drew outrage in Israel, where a foreign ministry spokesman said Fadlallah had inspired suicide bombings. The British ambassador had to decide ‘whether promoting terror and giving it religious justification can be considered a heritage to be cherished’, Yigal Palmor was quoted as saying … … Palmor was quoted as saying: ‘Sheikh Fadlallah was behind hostage-taking, suicide bombings and other sorts of wanton violence, but Ambassador Guy said he was a man of peace, and Ambassador Guy is an honourable woman’ … In London, a Foreign Office spokesman said today that Guy’s post had been removed ‘after mature consideration’.”

Apparently, diplomats have blogs on behalf of their employers, just as media personality do — this has been a required step for fast-track career advancement. Ambassador Guy’s blog is maintained on the Foreign Office website. The Guardian also reported that “Diplomats’ personal blogs, which flourished under Hague’s digitally aware Labour predecessor, David Miliband, may be more closely vetted in future”.

There is no evidence that Fadlallah ordered or organized any suicide attacks or “wanton violence”. He did, apparently, praise some of the attacks, after the fact. This, it seems, is what Palmor means when he argues that Fadlallah encouraged more violence.

The Guardian noted that “Fadlallah was as a key figure in the founding of Hezbollah after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, but both he and the group denied he was its spiritual leader … Britain has a more nuanced view of Hezbollah than the US and Israel, though it has proscribed the military wing as a terrorist organisation … British diplomats, including Guy, have contacts with its MPs in the Lebanese parliament, and with local officials in south Lebanon. Guy’s obituary described Fadlallah as the politician in Lebanon she enjoyed meeting most”. This was reported on Friday 9 July here.

UPDATE THREE: Reuters reported that Ambassador Guy put a new post on her blog on the Foreign Office website, dated 9 July, in which she explained that “her earlier posting had been an attempt to ‘acknowledge the spiritual significance to many of Sheikh Fadlallah and the views that he held in the latter part of his life’. Guy said she had ‘no truck with terrorism wherever it is committed in whoever’s name’, and that it was possible for Hezbollah ‘to reject violence and play a constructive, democratic and peaceful role in Lebanese politics’.” This is posted here.

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Juan Cole has written on his blog, Informed Comment: “So help me understand this. Nuri al-Maliki, still the Iraqi prime minister for the moment, expressed his appreciation for the accomplishments of the late Grand Ayatollah Hussein Fadlallah … But when Octavia Nasr of CNN tweets the same thing that al-Maliki said, she is fired … The firing of Nasr is just a latter-day privatized McCarthyism … This is posted here.

Continue reading “CNN Editor fired for Tweet”

Gideon Levy: self-censorship is worse than censorship

Haaretz author Gideon Levy was interviewed by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa on free expression for journalists in Israel. The interview is published in Haaretz,

In it, Levy tells Vargas Llosa that “The media in Israel, most of them, are the biggest collaborators to the occupation”.

Here are some excerpts:

Question (Mario Vargas Llosa): Would you say then that in Israel there is total freedom of expression and that the media reflect daily exactly what is going on, without any kind of censorship?

Answer (Gideon Levy of Haaretz): “Absolutely not.  The media are the biggest collaborators.  The media in Israel, most of them, are the biggest collaborators to the occupation.  There is no censorship in Israel, almost none.  There is something that is much worse than censorship —  self-censorship, because in self-censorship there is never resistance…

Continue reading “Gideon Levy: self-censorship is worse than censorship”

On Journalism – the press corps as "courtiers"

The very estimable journalist Chris Hedges wrote in an article published by Truthdig on 1 February: “ ‘The very notion that on any given story all you have to do is report what both sides say and you’ve done a fine job of objective journalism debilitates the press’, the late columnist Molly Ivins once wrote. ‘There is no such thing as objectivity, and the truth, that slippery little bugger, has the oddest habit of being way to hell off on one side or the other: it seldom nestles neatly halfway between any two opposing points of view. The smug complacency of much of the press — I have heard many an editor say, ‘Well, we’re being attacked by both sides so we must be right’ — stems from the curious notion that if you get a quote from both sides, preferably in an official position, you’ve done the job. In the first place, most stories aren’t two-sided, they’re 17-sided at least. In the second place, it’s of no help to either the readers or the truth to quote one side saying, ‘Cat,’ and the other side saying ‘Dog,’ while the truth is there’s an elephant crashing around out there in the bushes’.” Ivins went on to write that “the press’s most serious failures are not its sins of commission, but its sins of omission — the stories we miss, the stories we don’t see, the stories that don’t hold press conferences, the stories that don’t come from ‘reliable sources.’”

Objectivity creates the formula of quoting Establishment specialists or experts within the narrow confines of the power élite who debate policy nuance like medieval theologians. As long as one viewpoint is balanced by another, usually no more than what Sigmund Freud would term ‘the narcissism of minor difference’, the job of a reporter is deemed complete. But this is more often a way to obscure rather than expose truth.

Reporting, while it is presented to the public as neutral, objective, and unbiased, is always highly interpretive. It is defined by rigid stylistic parameters. I have written, like most other reporters, hundreds of news stories. Reporters begin with a collection of facts, statements, positions, and anecdotes and then select those that create the ‘balance’ permitted by the formula of daily journalism. The closer reporters get to official sources, for example those covering Wall Street, Congress, the White House, or the State Department, the more constraints they endure. When reporting depends heavily on access it becomes very difficult to challenge those who grant or deny that access. This craven desire for access has turned huge sections of the Washington press, along with most business reporters, into courtiers. The need to be included in press briefings and background interviews with government or business officials, as well as the desire for leaks and early access to official documents, obliterates journalistic autonomy.

[F]ormer New York Times columnist Russell Baker wrote: ‘Real objectivity would require not only hard work by news people to determine which report was accurate, but also a willingness to put up with the abuse certain to follow publication of an objectively formed judgment. To escape the hard work or the abuse, if one man says Hitler is an ogre, we instantly give you another to say Hitler is a prince. A man says the rockets won’t work? We give you another who says they will. The public may not learn much about these fairly sensitive matters, but neither does it get another excuse to denounce the media for unfairness and lack of objectivity. In brief, society is teeming with people who become furious if told what the score is’. Journalists, because of their training and distaste for shattering their own exalted notion of themselves, lack the inclination and vocabulary to discuss ethics. They will, when pressed, mumble something about telling the truth and serving the public. They prefer not to face the fact that my truth is not your truth. News is a signal, a “blip,” an alarm that something is happening beyond our small circle of existence, as Walter Lippmann noted in his book, Public Opinion. Journalism does not point us toward truth since, as Lippmann understood, there is always a vast divide between truth and news. Ethical questions open journalism to the nebulous world of interpretation and philosophy, and for this reason journalists flee from ethical inquiry like a herd of frightened sheep. Journalists, while they like to promote the image of themselves as fierce individualists, are in the end another species of corporate employees”… The original article can be read in full here.

Now, the also-estimable Jonathan Cook, a British journalist now based permanently in Nazareth with his new family there, has written a reflection on the hot topic of whether or not “you have to be Jewish to report on Israel for the New York Times?”

Cook said that “Shortly after I wrote an earlier piece on [New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem and Deputy Foreign Editor Ethan] Bronner [whose son has just enlisted in the IDF] , pointing out that most Western coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict is shaped by Jewish and Israeli journalists, and that Palestinian voices are almost entirely excluded, a Jerusalem-based bureau chief asked to meet. Over a coffee he congratulated me, adding: ‘I’d be fired if I wrote something like that’. This reporter, who, unlike me, spends lots of time with the main press corps in Jerusalem, then made some interesting points. He wishes to remain anonymous but has agreed to my passing on his observations. He calls Bronner’s situation ‘the rule, not the exception’, adding: ‘I can think of a dozen foreign bureau chiefs, responsible for covering both Israel and the Palestinians, who have served in the Israeli army, and another dozen who like Bronner have kids in the Israeli army’. He added that it is very common to hear Western reporters boasting to one another about their ‘Zionist’credentials, their service in the Israeli army or the loyal service of their children. ‘Comments like that are very common at Foreign Press Association gatherings [in Israel] among the senior, agenda-setting, elite journalists’. My informant is highly critical of what is going on among the Jerusalem press corps, even though he admits the same charges could be levelled against him. ‘I’m Jewish, married to an Israeli and like almost all Western journalists live in Jewish West Jerusalem. In my free time I hang out in cafes and bars with Jewish Israelis chatting in Hebrew. For the Jewish sabbath and Jewish holidays I often get together with a bunch of Western journalists. While it would be convenient to think otherwise, there is no question that this deep personal integration into Israeli society informs our overall understanding and coverage of the place in a way quite different from a journalist who lived in Ramallah or Gaza and whose personal life was more embedded in Palestinian society’. And now he gets to the crunch: ‘The degree to which Bronner’s personal life, like that of most lead journalists here, is integrated into Israeli society, makes him an excellent candidate to cover Israeli political life, cultural shifts and intellectual life. The problem is that Bronner is also expected to be his paper’s lead voice on Palestinian political life, cultural shifts and intellectual life, all in a society he has almost no connection to, deep knowledge of or even the ability to directly communicate with … The presumption that this is possible is neither fair to Bronner nor to his readers, and it’s really a shame that Western media executives don’t see the value in an Arabic-speaking bureau chief living in Ramallah and setting the agenda for the news coming out of the Palestinian territories’. All true. But I think there is a deeper lesson from the Bronner affair. Editors who prefer to appoint Jews and Israelis to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are probably making a rational choice in news terms — even if they would never dare admit their reasoning. The media assign someone to the Jerusalem bureau because they want as much access as possible to the inner sanctums of power in a self-declared Jewish state. They believe – and they are right – that doors open if their reporter is a Jew, or better still an Israeli Jew, who has proved his or her commitment to Israel by marrying an Israeli, by serving in the army or having a child in the army, and by speaking fluent Hebrew, a language all but useless outside this small state. Yes, Ethan Bronner is ‘the rule’, as my informant notes, because any other kind of journalist — the goyim, as many Israelis dismiss non-Jews — will only ever be able to scratch at the surface of Israel’s military-political-industrial edifice. The Bronners have access to power, they can talk to the officials who matter, because those same officials trust that high-powered Jewish and Israeli reporters belong in the Israeli consensus. They may be critical of the occupation, but they can be trusted to pull their punches. If they ever failed to do so, they would be ejected from the inner sanctum and a paper like the NYT would be forced to replace them with someone more cooperative. When in later years, these Jerusalem bureau chiefs retire from the field of battle and are promoted to the rank of armchair general back at media HQ – when they become a Thomas Friedman paid to pontificate regularly on the conflict — they can be trusted to talk to those same high-placed officials, explaining their viewpoint and defending it. That is why you will not read anything in the NYT questioning the idea that Israel is a democratic state or see coverage suggesting that Israel is acting in bad faith in the peace process. I do not want here to suggest there is anything unique about this relationship of almost utter dependence. To a degree, this is how most specialists in the mainstream media operate. Think of the local crime reporter. How effective would he be (and it is invariably a he) if he alienated the senior police officers who provide the inside information he needs for his regular supply of stories? Might he not prefer to turn a blind eye to a scoop revealing that one of his main informants is taking bribes, if publishing such a story would lose him his ‘access’ and his posting? This is a simple cost-benefit analysis made both by the reporter and the editors who assign him that almost always favours the powerful over the weak, the interests of the journalist over the reader. And so it is with Israel. Like the crime reporter, our Jerusalem bureau chief needs his ‘access’ more than he needs the occasional scoop that would sabotage his relationship with official sources. But more so than the crime reporter, many of these bureau chiefs also identify with Israel and its goals because they have an Israeli spouse and children. They not only live on one side of a bitter national conflict but actively participate in defending that side through service in its military. This is a conflict of interest of the highest order. It is also the reason why they are there in the first place”… Like many Jonathan Cook articles, this one is being picked up and republished on multiple websites concerned with covering this area. I first found it on Mondoweiss, here.

Does journalism need saving?

The current issue of The Nation magazine (‘published on 7 January, but with an issue date of 25 January) has an article entitled “How to Save Journalism “, co-written by John Nichols (described as “a pioneering political blogger [who] has written The Beat since 1999 … [and] The Nation’s Washington correspondent”) and Robert W. McChesney [Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois [who] hosts the [radio] program Media Matters on WILL-AM]. Together, the co-authors of this piece “are the founders of Free Press, the media reform network, and the authors of Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (New Press) and The Death and Life of American Journalism (Nation Books)“.

Their article states that “American news media are being steered off the cliff by investors and corporate managers who soured on their ‘properties’ when the economic downturn dried up what was left of their advertising bonanza. They are taking journalism with them. Newsrooms are shrinking and disappearing altogether, along with statehouse, Washington and foreign bureaus. And with them goes the circulation of news and ideas that is indispensable to liberty. This is a dire moment for democracy, and it requires a renewal of one of America’s oldest understandings: that a free people can govern themselves only if they have access to independent information about the issues of the day and the excesses of the powerful, and that it is the duty of government to guarantee both the promise and the reality of a free press”.

The main argument of this article is that there should be public funding — government funding — to support journalism.  (Among other things this article says this has long since been accepted as common sense by the rest of the world”…)

Leaving the pros and cons of that proposition aside, there are a number of interesting observations here:
Continue reading “Does journalism need saving?”

Investors: Newspaper industry future is dismal. Watchdog: press freedom is slipping. Are these phenomena related?

Investor Warren Buffett said at a meeting of shareholders of a big American company (Berkshire Hathaway Inc.) over the weekend, according to a report on Yahoo Finance that “the future of the newspaper industry is dismal:’For most newspapers in the United States, we would not buy them at any price … They have the possibility of going to just unending losses’. As long as newspapers were essential to readers, they were essential to advertisers, he said. But news is now available in many other venues, he said. Berkshire has a substantial investment in Washington Post Co. Buffett said the company has a solid cable business, a good reason to hold on to it, but its newspaper business is in trouble”. This report can be read in full here.

Continue reading “Investors: Newspaper industry future is dismal. Watchdog: press freedom is slipping. Are these phenomena related?”