Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Spotlight on Investigative Journos and MEdia Dragons

The victory of documentary drama "Spotlight" in the Best Picture category in the Oscars is a timely reminder of the value of investigative journalism.

"We would not be here today without the heroic efforts of our reporters...Not only do they effect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism.”
                                       -- [Spotlight] producer Blye Pagon Faust said in her acceptance speech 

 “Spotlight” is the true story of the investigative journalists of The Boston Globe who exposed the scale and the cover up surrounding paedophile priests in the Catholic Church. The series rocked the Catholic Church, shook the faith of thousands of Catholics, not just in Boston, but across the country and around the world.
 Power elites, blinded by hubris, intoxicated by absolute power, unable to set limits on their exploitation of the underclass, propelled to expand empire beyond its capacity to sustain itself, addicted to hedonism, spectacle and wealth, surrounded by half-witted courtiers—Alan Greenspan, Thomas Friedman, David Brooks and others—who tell them what they want to hear, and enveloped by a false sense of security because of their ability to employ massive state violence, are the last to know their privileged world is imploding.
“History,” the Italian sociologist Vilfredo Paretowrote, “is the graveyard of aristocracies.”

Oscars 2016: Spotlight wins Best Picture The Verge. Spotlight was the best American film I saw in 2015, precisely because it just wanted to tell the story it was telling, with a modicum of frills or bombast. The best film I saw overall was A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, which is almost indescribable.

Journalism had a good night at the Oscars. The "Best Picture" and "Best Screenplay" wins by "Spotlight" highlighted The Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. Journalism did well last year, too, when"CitizenFour" won in the best documentary category. But there's much more movie material out there.
That doesn't mean those stories will actually get told, said Roy J. Harris, who wrote "Pulitzer's Gold," a book about the history of the Pulitzer Prize for public service. After "All the President's Men" won inseveral categories in 1977, everyone thought there'd be more behind-the-scenes journalism stories, he said. There wasn't a sudden spike. And "Spotlight" met with a lot of obstacles before it premiered, including concerns over making a film about a such a dark subject Dear Hollywood here are 9 other Pulitzer winning stories worth considering

A culture of fear in the Education Department allowed corruption to flourish, even though "sham" payments were "common knowledge". And the procurement board's "rubber stamp" mentality also failed. Stockholm Syndrome

BBC culture allowed Savile sex Crime

Hospital treatment for an amputated "gangrenous" big toe has so far kept Gary Goodman away from the inquiry, which heard he had two other lovers in addition to Ms Mishra and another council employee, Marny Baccam.
"If you want four women, look after them then you ... [unintelligible] do you think I'm dumb?" an enraged Ms Mishra tells Mr Goodman in another phone intercept recorded in September...
The grilling Suman Mishra received from a corruption inquiry was relatively mild compared to the tongue-lashing the former Botany Bay Council accountant was heard giving her lover for cutting her out of his alleged spoils. "You and Marny rip the council off in thousands," an irate Ms Mishra told council's former chief financial officer in a phone intercept played at the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing on Tuesday. "And when I want money it's in $50?" Messy Love By Botany Bay ... [Public sick corrupt councils ]

The Economist, The Biggest Loophole of All: Having Launched and Led the Battle Against Offshore Tax Evasion, America Is Now Part of the Problem:
Devin Nunes raised eyebrows in 2013 when, as chairman of a congressional working group on tax, he urged reforms that would make America “the largest tax haven in human history”. Though he was thinking of America’s competitiveness rather than turning his country into a haven for dirty money, the words were surprising: America is better known for walloping tax-dodgers than welcoming them. Its assault on Swiss banks that aided tax evasion, launched in 2007, sparked a global revolution in financial transparency. Next year dozens of governments will start to exchange information on their banks’ clients automatically, rather than only when asked to. The tax-shy are being chased to the world’s farthest corners.
And yet something odd is happening: Mr Nunes’s wish may be coming true. America seems not to feel bound by the global rules being crafted as a result of its own war on tax-dodging. It is also failing to tackle the anonymous shell companies often used to hide money. The Tax Justice Network, a lobby group, calls the United States one of the world’s top three “secrecy jurisdictions”, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong. All this adds up to “another example of how the US has elevated exceptionalism to a constitutional principle,” says Richard Hay of Stikeman Elliott, a law firm. “Europe has been outfoxed.”