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CNN, Bloomberg Digital Teams Prepare for Elections

On May 4, 2014, Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin B. Smith and Bloomberg News Editor-In-Chief Matthew Winkler announced through Bloomberg Now that Bloomberg Politics would make its debut in 2014. It is scheduled to launch on October 6, 2014, and gear up to cover politics in the United States leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the Huffington Post reported on September 2, 2014, the digital site “will feature political coverage on the Web, mobile, TV, radio and in print…”

Meanwhile, on September 11, 2014, Politico reported that “CNN's Politics Digital team, led by former POLITICO managing editor Rachel Smolkin, hired three POLITICO journalists on Wednesday (September 10, 2014): Congress editor Steven Sloan, deputy breaking news editor Jedd Rosche and POLITICO Pro’s Eric Bradner, who will serve as a breaking news reporter.” You can find more here.

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Peter Maass’ revealing and thought-provoking profile of documentary filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras (in photo below), which was published in the August 13, 2013, edition of The New York Times magazine under the headline “How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets,” should be required reading Laura_Poitras_at_PopTech_2010in all journalism classes. In fact, all editors should required their reporters to read it. It’s a great story of how investigative journalism must be done in the digital age, especially that dealing with national security issues, such as the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive, global collection of all internet and telephone communications, including that of Americans.

Mr. Maas’ article is about how Ms. Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, a former constitutional lawyer and a columnist for The Guardian, a London-based publication with offices in the U.S., brought to light how they became the journalist former CIA agent Edward Snowden, a former system administrator at Booz Allen Hamilton, an NSA subcontractor, contacted about the NSA’s global spying operation. Mr. Maas concludes, and I concur, that:

Poitras and Greenwald are an especially dramatic example of what outsider reporting looks like in 2013. They do not work in a newsroom, and they personally want to be in control of what gets published and when. When The Guardian didn’t move as quickly as they wanted with the first article on Verizon, Greenwald discussed taking it elsewhere, sending an encrypted draft to a colleague at another publication. He also considered creating a Web site on which they would publish everything, which he planned to call NSADisclosures.
Mr. Maas said, “In the end, The Guardian moved ahead with their articles. But Poitras and Greenwald have created their own publishing network as well, placing articles with other outlets in Germany and Brazil and planning more for the future. They have not shared the full set of documents with anyone.

Conclusion: In the 1970’s, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein inspired a generation of aspiring journalists with their reporting on the Watergate Scandal, which forced President Richard M. Nixon to resign. Now, in 2013, it’s Poitras and Greenwald. Hopefully, young journalist will follow their lead. 

Note: Laura Poitras photo by Kris Krug . Licensed under Creative Commons share and share alike.

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Recommended: ‘Fort Hood & the Perversion of Language…’

Jason Adams, a resident of Hudson, Wisconsin, USA, posted the best analysis I’ve read to date on the news coverage surrounding Major Nidal Malik Hassan’s alleged killing and wounding of U.S. soldiers and civilians at Forth Hood Texas, USA, on November 5, 2009. See Mr. Adam’s November 12, 2009, Dissident Voice post headlined Fort Hood & the Perversion of Language: “The Shooter Was a Soldier.”

Even if you don’t like what the Dissident Voice represents – it’s described as “a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice” -- read Mr. Adams’ post anyway. Don’t just read it, reflect on what he has to say.

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Foreign Policy Magazine's New Home

I see the Washington Post Co. has bought Foreign Policy magazine from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington, D.C. based think tank. See "FP: now brought to you by the Washington Post Company."

According to Foreign Policy editor-in-chief Moisés Naím:

Foreign Policy is thrilled to join The Post Company. In an era in which too many newspapers and magazines are retreating from international news, The Washington Post Company is smartly bucking the trend. Serving the expanding market of readers eager to understand how events in other countries affect them is what FP is all about, and that is why we are so excited to have The Washington Post Company as our new home.
For years, I was a faithfully reader of the magazine, "founded in 1970 by "Clash of Civilizations" author Samuel P. image  Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel, a German-born investment banker who once served as U.S. ambassador to Denmark. Now I read it online.

Is it a good investment for the Post Company? It is, according to a September 29, 2008, press release, in which Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of The Washington Post Company, says:

Foreign Policy is a terrific magazine, and I’m pleased it will become a part of our company. We are committed to great magazine journalism, and I hope Foreign Policy will also become one more center of innovation that helps us expand our journalism in the online arena.

Only time will tell if it can survive as a traditional magazine. I'm more incline to stay with the online version.

This post can also be found at The Blogging Journalist, my blog on "blogging by professional and amateur journalists and pundits in the United States and abroad."

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Obama Forced to Walk a Tightrope as He Denounces Ex-Pastor

The Wall Street Journal Online's Suzanne Sataline and Douglas Belkin make important observations about sermons in many African-American churches in a March 17, 2996, post headlined "Blunt Sermons Rooted in Black Tradition."

While the sermons of Mr. [Jeremiah] Wright, Sen. [Barack] Obama's blunt-speaking pastor, who is about to retire, may sound spiteful to some, they are rooted in the history of black protest and a Christian theology shared by some African-American churches," they note.

I highly recommend the article, which comments on the controversy surrounding some of Reverend Wright's sermons. See "Obama strongly rejects remarks by former pastor" and Church: Obama ex-pastor is under unfair attack." Also see "Pastor removed from Obama committee."

For two African-American perspectives, please see "The White Man's Burden is Not the Black Man's Responsibility" and "The Politician and His Pastor."

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Where Did Bush Get Phrase 'Compassionate Conservative'?

While reading "A farewell after 60 Monitor years," Godfrey Sperling Jr.'s article in the September 6, 2005 edition of The Christian Science Monitor recounting his 60-years with the Boston-based paper, I ran across this tidbit:

When George W. Bush first described himself as a "compassionate conservative," the press thought it had heard something new. Not so. He got it from Dad, who'd used it first when, on "Meet the Press" in 1979, I'd asked the elder Bush what "vision" he'd bring to the presidency if elected.
Sperling makes many interesting and similar observations in his farewell piece.

Editor's Note: This item is also posted at The Opinion Gazette, one of my other blogs.

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