Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Are journalists repeating the mistakes they made while covering the 2016 election?

 Almanac: George Eliot on despair

“There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope.” George Eliot, Adam Bede Continue reading Almanac: George Eliot on despair at About Last Night.... Read more

How Academics Infected Literary Journalism

The laudable aim of encouraging brainy specialists to share their knowledge with the world at large has turned into a complete disaster. Why is the presence of an academic on a book prize judging panel, fronting a BBC Four arts documentary or even reviewing for a national newspaper generally such an embarrassment? – The Critic

The Unraveling of America: Anthropologist Wade Davis on how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era

‘Confirmed’ Has Become A Meaningless Word In Mainstream News Reporting Caitlin Johnstone

Journalism’s New Propaganda Tool: Using “Confirmed” to Mean Its Opposite Intercept. Glenn Greenwald. From earlier this month; still germane. Not sure whether we linked to this before, nit it bears rereading.

Money laundering is rampant and the government is refusing to put in place the measures to tackle it

As the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reports this morning, the FinCEN Files that it has uncovered show trillions in tainted dollars flow freely through
Read the full article…

Are journalists repeating the mistakes they made while covering the 2016 election?

A person holds a newspaper signaling Donald Trump's victory across 5th Ave. from Trump Tower in New York Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Is 2020’s election going to be deja vu all over again? In The Atlantic, James Fallows argues that journalists are repeating mistakes they made in 2016 and haven’t adapted to a world in which the rules have changed. 

Fallows writes about “both-sides-ism,” “horserace-ism” and coverage as entertainment instead of news, and dissects articles from the Associated Press, The Washington Post and The New York Times to illustrate real-world examples of each. 

He writes “The institution I am part of, the media, is also being tested. The press isn’t the only part of America’s institutional crisis. But it’s an important part of the predicament we are in, and of the hope for getting out. For as long as the press has existed, it has been shambling and imperfect and improvisational. At our best we get things right on average, and incrementally, with a lot of getting things wrong along the way. Most of us in this business do our imperfect best. But any hope of doing better depends on the ability to learn.”

The top Republican in Pennsylvania’s state senate is suing journalists over the cost of producing public records. Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati is seeking $6,070 from weekly watchdog publication The Caucus, Caucus bureau chief Brad Bumsted and Spotlight PA reporter Angela Couloumbis to cover accounting fees, attorney’s fees and court costs. Journalists had used the records to uncover “questionable spending by the lawmaker and other politicians,” Spotlight PA reported

Should this suit prevail, Spotlight PA reported, “the suit could make it easier for politicians to hide their campaign spending from the public, while at the same time have a chilling effect on investigative reporting, media experts said.” A public records expert they spoke to called the suit “kind of scary” and said “authoritarian practices seem to be picking up speed.”

The Justice Department says media outlet AJ+ must register as a foreign agent, Mother Jones reported. AJ+ is owned by Al Jazeera, a Qatari state-owned broadcaster. “The designation follows a years-long push by lobbyists hired by the autocratic government of the United Arab Emirates, which has long resented the critical coverage it receives from Al Jazeera,” Mother Jones reported.

Americans with certain media diets are more likely to believe an untrue claim about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s stance on police funding. Biden does not support defunding the police, though President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that he does. An analysis from the Pew Research Center’s American News Pathways project found that U.S. adults whose major sources of political news are Fox News and/or talk radio are far more likely to falsely believe Biden supports defunding police (66% vs. 27%). 

The study also found that while similar percentages of Democrats and Republicans say they are following election news very closely (33% and 30%, respectively), their news sources of choice seem to make a big impact on how closely they follow that news. 55% of Republicans who cite Fox News or talk radio as their main political news source say they are following election news very closely, while only 17% of Republicans who get their news from other sources say they are following it closely. 

Layoffs, buyouts and more fallout from the pandemic continue hitting local news. This week, several newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises in Virginia laid off staff and two Lee-owned papers in North Carolina also laid off staff. The Tribune-owned (Newport News, Virginia) Daily Press will permanently close its office. And 24 staffers at KCRW, an NPR affiliate in Santa Monica, accepted buyout offers. You can see our full list here.

Daniel Dale, CNN’s whirlwind of a fact-checker, identified 22 false or misleading claims that President Trump made during a town hall Tuesday night. Dale categorized the claims by topic and explained what the president said and how it was misleading.


FinCEN Files: The accidental money launderer

 It's difficult, with certainty, to pinpoint exactly when Jack's career as a money launderer began, but around December 2012 stands out.

That month he had moved into an apartment in Sydney's north-west. It was virtually unfurnished except for a simple chair. And one day he sat on it and it shattered.

"I am not very heavy, but that chair crumbled when I sat on it," he says.

 Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 20, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: How to Blur Your House in Google Maps’ Street View; USPS Phishing Texts Are Flooding Phones Across The Country; Creepy ‘Geofence’ Finds Anyone Who Went Near a Crime Scene; and Weather Apps Continue To Share Data With Third Parties.

Article on U.S. as World's Banking Policeman