29 October 2014

Victims of ISIS: The non western journalists who do not make the headlines

October 27, 2014 20:06 WCT

The risks of being a journalist these days....not only in the U.S. but around the world.

In the past 10 months, at least 17 Iraqi journalists have been executed by Isis. Many others have been kidnapped, their fate unknown.

Last week, Islamic State militants released a fifth video of the British freelance journalist John Cantlie, wearing a Guantánamo Bay-style orange jumpsuit and appearing to read from a script.
The film’s release was widely reported. Unsurprisingly: since August, Isis has released videos showing its beheading of two American journalists,James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as two British aid workers, David Haines and Alan Henning. All have been huge news events.
Less widely covered were reports that, on 13 October, Isis shot and killed the Mosul correspondent of Iraq’s Sada news agency in the city’s al-Ghazlani camp. Several local sources, as well as a Kurdish Democratic party spokesman and a medical centre, confirmed Mohanad al-Aqidi’s death to numerous NGOs (members of his family have since disputed the reports, and al-Aqidi’s fate is currently unclear.)
There are no doubts about the public beheading on 10 October, in Samarra, 50km south-east of Tikrit, of Raad Mohamed al-Azaoui , an Iraqi cameraman and photographer for Sama Salah Aldeen TV. Azaoui, a 37-year-old father of three, was killed with his brother after Friday prayers. More...

28 October 2014

Obama: Transparency?

October 27, 2014 11:48 WCT

There has been a lot of talk lately from the White House Press of discrimination of who will get chosen to ask questions.  If the paper or news outlet does not write positive articles about the administration or inquires too deep about an event, then they will get denied access or receive last minute invitations when it is too late to be present.  Many who have been covering the "beat" for years say that this is the most closed administration to press access.  Here is an article I found:

USA Today

At some point, a compendium of condemnations against the Obama administration’s record of media transparency (actually, opacity) must be assembled. Notable quotations in this vein come from former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who said, “It is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering”; New York Times reporter James Risen, who said, “I think Obama hates the press”; and CBS News’s Bob Schieffer, who said, “This administration exercises more control than George W. Bush’s did, and his before that.”
USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page has added a sharper edge to this set of knives. Speaking Saturday at a White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seminar, Page called the current White House not only “more restrictive” but also “more dangerous” to the press than any other in history, a clear reference to the Obama administration’s leak investigations and its naming of Fox News’s James Rosen as a possible “co-conspirator” in a violation of the Espionage Act.

FBI Created fake Seattle Times Webpage to nab bombing suspect

October 27, 2014 11:35 WCT

The FBI in Seattle created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Lacey’s Timberline High School in 2007, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in San Francisco.
The deception was publicized Monday when Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C., revealed it on Twitter. More...

Justice Department inquiry sought in Ferguson police treatment of press

Oct 27, 2014, 6:19am CDT
The PEN American Center will announce Monday that it is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate police treatment of the press at protests following the death of Michael Brown.
Police held reporters in areas that denied them access to events they had to cover, flashed lights to hinder photographers, and were accused of threats and assaults, according to the PEN American Centerreport. The group is devoted to defending the freedom of writers. more...