Who Should You Trust?

conformity

Who should you trust? (Or, for all you pedants out there, whom should you trust?) It’s an important question for all of us, not least when you’re buying a used car (and believe me, I know.) But it’s probably even more important for journalists, who talk to strangers on a regular basis and need to make snap judgments about how much faith we should have in what they say. So here’s the bad news: You shouldn’t trust yourself to figure out who you should trust. Continue Reading →

Land of Opportunity in Digital News: Buenos Aires

Media Factory

We hear a lot about the next Silicon Valley, but we don't hear much about the Valley of Death. That is where 80 percent of tech startups go to die. Startups die or join the walking dead mainly for two reasons: they don't have enough cash or they don't have enough knowledge to get to the next stage of development. They are unable to show investors that their project could be commercially viable. The Media Factory News Accelerator, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, wants to change those odds of making it across the Valley of Death. Continue Reading →

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

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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

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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 →