Tag: Journalism

A Journalist and a Spy

 

Katherine Clark was an investigative reporter active between the 1940s and 1960s. She was the first female Allied war correspondent entering Berlin in 1945. Her 1950s beat was Eastern Europe. There she spoke truth to power, what investigative reporters are supposed to do. But she spoke the wrong kind of truth about the wrong kind of power. So, unlike those widely lionized today, like I.F. Stone, Clark has been allowed to be forgotten. Until now.

“The Double Life of Katharine Clark: The Untold Story of the American Journalist Who Brought the Truth about Communism to the West,” by Katharine Gregorio, brings Clark’s biography to the attention of a new generation of Americans. What a story it is.

Gregorio focuses the story on Clark’s Eastern European years, when Clark covered anti-Soviet uprisings in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. More importantly, it reveals her efforts on behalf of Milovan Djilas, one-time vice-president of Yugoslavia. An ardent Communist who became disaffected with Communism, he was stripped of his position and the privileges and power that went with it after speaking up against its totalitarianism.

Don’t Canada America, Redux

 

What started as a Chinese-style “social credit” financial system focused on protesting truckers four months ago has now expanded to guns, mainstream and social media, and religion.

Following the tragic massacre in Uvalde, Texas last week, Canada’s government, some 2,000 miles away, decided they needed to do something. There is no right to gun ownership in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, backed by masked and clapping seals from his Liberal Party caucus, announced that legislation would be forthcoming to ban (sorry, a “national freeze”) the sale and transfer of all handguns.

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MISINFORMATION Here is another example of majority media eliminating information. Not only is there a need for viewpoint diversity, there is a need for viewpoint transparency. Thank you to Kevon Martis for his work to give another side to “renewable energy.” My latest from Salvo. https://bit.ly/3pXvABo [2 min read] Preview Open

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Тихая ночь в Москве: The End of Echo, No More Rain (Borscht Report #11)

 

I’m not quite sure how to start this. In fact, I’m not quite sure I’m going to post it. I write a lot about Russia, for Ricochet and in ‘real life.’ Watching the level of discourse about the war in Ukraine across American social media has been…well, let’s just go with ‘words I’m not allowed to say here because this is a family website.’ Maybe, if it were something that was less present in my everyday life, I would feel as though I could engage with this topic and not watch my temper rocket from zero to a hundred in record time. But it isn’t. 

As a historian, I have a sub-field specialty in Russia, and as a scholar with a professional interest in Jewish studies, Russia and Ukraine are vital research locations for me. As an undergraduate student, I spent three very difficult years going from my ABCs to fluency in Russian. As a Russian speaker, I’m sitting in an apartment filled with books, vinyl records, t-shirts, etc. in Russian. As a human being, I have people I love in Russia and Ukraine, and even more people I love have friends and family in both of those places. In the last week, I’ve seen a Ukrainian friend I studied with in London leave the safety of that city to fight for his country, and have watched from afar as a Russian friend’s life comes unraveled, her brother and father conscripted to fight, her Ukrainian family struggling with no hope of help, her avenues to the outside world growing narrower every day, and her activism a very real threat to her life. It’s entirely possible that he will die defending his nation, and she will go to prison for criticizing the megalomaniacal dictator that runs her country. A month ago, we were joking about our stress-obsessed former Russian teacher, or our shared taste in oldies underground rock. Now I’m just hoping that I won’t wake up one day and realize that yesterday would be the last time I ever heard from them. 

Join Jim and Greg as they salute Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s decisive victory over forced masking in schools. They also highlight former Obama advisor Steve Rattner admitting that too much COVID stimulus is a big reason for the current inflation crisis. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau groups a Jewish member of the Canadian Parliament with Nazis while Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar slams reporters for tracking down donors to the Freedom Convoy.

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Each morning The New York Times “The Morning” email is delivered to my inbox. Each morning I scan the news the Old Gray Lady is willing to print. I realize going in that there will be a certain slant to the coverage. One event will be promoted for observation, another will be unobserved altogether. A further point […]

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As a researcher and writer, I care deeply for factual transparency and honesty in reportage. I read across a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Paid subscriptions from the following are sent to my inbox, all of which I scan (and often read in-depth) daily: The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, […]

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Плохие дни для Мр. Путина: A Week of Prize Winning Russians (Borscht Report #10)

 

As international recognition of Russia goes, this hasn’t been a fun week for Vladimir Putin. News that the Kremlin had decided to reimpose lockdowns and the President’s own admission that the country could be hurt by a gas crisis was overshadowed only by two things: Dmirty Muratov winning the Nobel Peace Prize and Alexei Navalny being awarded the Sakharov Prize. Neither man is a friend of the regime, to say the least, and winning such prominent awards bolsters Muratov’s international profile, keeps Navalny on Western minds, and gives much-needed succor to the pro-democracy opposition movement in the country.

Anyone that follows Russia will be familiar with Navalny, but I think it’s worth doing something of a deep (or at least not quite shallow) dive on Muratov, as he represents a branch of the opposition less recognized than political and movement leaders outside of the country. 

Essential to understanding Muratov is understanding the outfit he works for, Новая газета/Novaya Gazeta, lit. New Gazette. Founded in part with the monetary prize from Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1990 Nobel Prize win, the newspaper put out its first edition on the 1st of April, 1993. Many of the journalists were drawn from Komsomolskaya Pravda (one of the official news arms of the Komsomol, the youth wing of the Soviet Communist Party, which is now a tabloid), and were excited for the opportunity to do uncensored journalism for a non-state entity. The newspaper did everything but endear itself to Vladimir Putin from the start; in 2001, it became embroiled in a fierce legal battle for accusing a member of his inner circle, Sergei Pugachev, of corruption. Although the organization he represented was eventually forced to withdraw its claim for compensation because the extent of the corruption was revealed, by materials the organization’s own lawsuit, to be much worse than previously thought, the pattern repeated itself. 

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It’s not news that traditional newsrooms are shrinking across America. Some local newspapers have gone from daily to biweekly or less, if not out of business altogether. This, despite the rise of new digital news organizations in recent years. You’ve probably seen them, from a national network of local “Patch” outlets, left-leaning Axios and its […]

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I was reminded again this weekend that background to a situation should superintend journalistic reporting on a matter. Many may have read or read about the NYTs Harvard chaplain story circulating late this past week. Jordan Gandhi has done us a great service by providing the background to the situation from Harvard Christian Alumni; I […]

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I Was a Student Journalist – For a Day, At Least

 

On April 28th, 1976, I arrived at school and heard very disturbing news: Our school principal, Mr. Tauzer, had just died of a heart attack. I was a ninth-grader at Comstock Junior High School (a 7th – 9th-grade school) and was co-editor of the school newspaper, the Premier ’70. My journalism teacher, Mr. Stockman, told us that he wanted us to put a paper that covered the principal’s death and life.

Usually, the news of our paper was reporting on sports, student council meetings, paper drives, dances, and I would write snarky satirical articles about the faculty (usually greatly reined in by our advisor) but for this paper, we would be writing about something that actually mattered.  Over several days our staff went to work reporting and writing. But on May 7, 1976, we had to put the paper out. Along with my co-editor, Rene Sanchez, I was excused from all other classes for the day as we worked to put the paper out. Our staff had interviewed staff and students and even some of the principal’s neighbors to put the stories together. But that day we had to edit those stories, do the layout, print up the paper, and distribute the paper to the sixth-period classes.

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I’m convinced that American media coverage and narratives are designed to accomplish a set of key goals: Fuel outrage against designated cultural, political, religious, and racial disfavored groups that are often over and unfairly generalized (e.g.: police officers, white people, Republicans, Christians) and/or purposely amorphous in their definition and characteristics (e.g.: white supremacists) by interpreting […]

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Media Exploited Anonymous Sources to Lie About Trump’s Georgia Call

 

Journalists Are Duty Bound To Pursue Objective Truth, Not To Become A Tool

After a 40+ year relationship, I ended my Washington Post subscription last year. Their (and the New York Timeswholly undeserved Pulitzer Prize over breathless and largely discredited reporting of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax and overreliance on anonymous sources for an endless stream of anti-Trump stories lost me. I knew I could no longer trust the Washington Post – owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – as a credible journalistic enterprise.

Oh man, it’s media day in our year-end Three Martini Lunch awards and Jim and Greg are holding nothing back.  Specifically, they look at the stories the mainstream media covered far too much, the ones they conveniently ignored because they didn’t fit their narrative, and what they saw as the best stories of 2020.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the first supplies of the new Pfizer coronavirus vaccine being shipped out to inoculate medical personnel and vulnerable citizens. They also get a kick out of CNN and American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan being horrified that someone secretly recorded and leaked a conversation with Joe Biden and then seriously agreeing with another reporter who mockingly suggested that the media should only report things that come from the Biden team. And they discuss the sexual harassment allegations made against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo by his former aide and how the media are instantly demanding proof when the accused is a Democrat.

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Just once, when one of the ‘journalists’ like Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd or Chris Wallace demands from someone like Sidney Powell why they aren’t giving them the detailed evidence they want, I would like to hear the response: “Well, Jake/Chuck/Chris – you are the supposed journalist.  What evidence is there that you are looking for […]

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The Cost of Information, Good and Bad

 

Is there something about the decreasing price of information that makes it harder to sift the chaff from the wheat? I have investigated this phenomenon before with respect to poetry. The barriers to entry for writing and publishing poetry have come down significantly over the centuries, and especially over the last few decades. There is much more poetry, but not necessarily any more good poetry. Thus, it becomes more of a chore to find good new poems. (Trust me, I once published and edited a poetry magazine.) The same seems to be happening with “news” and other information sources. There seem to be more outlets serving fewer real facts. Finding these facts becomes more and more difficult.

What are you seeing out there, Ricochet?

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As a young trade association communications director in 1980, I was not long removed from being a newspaper editor and reporter. Then a flack of sorts for the National Restaurant Association, I remember picking up my Washington Post and reading an incredible, 2,200-word story about an 8-year-old heroin addict in the Washington Post by a […]

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