Leaks, Whistleblowers, and the Media’s Right to Report

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 1.56.16 PM

This week, I moderated a discussion that followed the screening of Silenced, a new documentary that tells the stories of three whistleblowers who exposed torture, mass surveillance and government waste. What Silenced brought to the screen was the humanity of the whistleblowers and the patriotic idealism that compelled them to work in government agencies like the NSA and the CIA and then to speak out against the excesses they saw there. If anything, Silenced dramatizes how the landscape of government secrecy has changed dramatically since 9/11 and the war on terror. Continue Reading →

Thoughts from a Journalism Trainer

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 2.20.23 PM

For the past seven and one-half years, I have spent large portions of each year doing media-development work–most of it training of journalists or journalism students–in four countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and in Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Inevitably, my own experiences and observations about what works and what doesn’t, and what is really important in this work, have passed through my mind while researching and writing this report. None of them is unique, but it may be useful to list what I consider my three strongest lessons from nearly a dozen different training projects. Continue Reading →

14 Pulitzer Winners Blast Obama Admin on Prosecuting NYT’s Risen

risenB

Fourteen Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists issued strong individual statements Monday that voiced emphatic support for New York Times reporter James Risen and urged the Justice Department to stop threatening him with harsh fines or imprisonment. Many of the statements from the Pulitzer winners included scathing criticisms of the Obama administration for a range of policies related to freedom of the press. The Justice Department is now considering whether to attempt to force Risen to testify against one of his alleged sources. Risen has vowed to continue to refuse to name a source for information about a bungled CIA operation in Iran that appeared in his 2006 book State of War. On Aug. Continue Reading →

Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism

global_muckraking_final-771x1156

Global Muckraking is the first anthology of journalism from developing countries that goes back to the 19th century and includes 46 pieces of iconic reporting, each of which is introduced by a journalist, scholar, historian or activist who explains why the piece was important and what kind of impact it had (or didn’t) after it was published. Continue Reading →