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I’m not surprised that the Pulitzer Prize committee gave the Washington Post and The Guardian US a prize for pursuing the sensationalistic story of Edward Snowden —even though the story is a disaster for the country. Unlike some on both the right and the left, I do not see Snowden as any kind of hero. He should be returned to the United States for prosecution. It is another sign of this Administration’s weakness in foreign affairs that it cannot persuade other countries to turn him over.
I don’t, however, think we need to automatically read the prize as a vindication of Snowden’s crimes. Awarding a prize to a newspaper that covered a hurricane or runs a photo of a grisly crime does not somehow justify the underlying tragedy. Yes, there is a difference here, in that the harm comes from the public release of the material. I’m not sure, however, that the distinction between the event itself and publicity is key.More
Interviewing him for Uncommon Knowledge, I served up several questions in a row that all but begged Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp —which owns the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, and more than 150 other newspapers — to weep and moan about the way technology has squeezed the profits out of journalism.
Thomson wouldn’t bite.More
The News Corp owns more than 150 newspapers, some of which date far, far back—the Times of London, to name one, first appeared in 1785, the Wall Street Journal in 1889. Chief executive officer of News Corp for a year now, Robert Thomson explains how he intends to infuse the organization with the mentality of a startup–including a willingness to make mistakes.
Since becoming a copyboy back home in Australia at 18, journalism is the only life Robert Thomson has ever known—and he has made a brilliant career of it as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, editor of the Financial Times, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, and now chief executive officer of News Corp, the newspaper company, built by Rupert Murdoch, that owns more than 150 titles.
When I interviewed him for Uncommon Knowledge, I tried to get Robert going on journalism-as-a-noble profession.More
I recently accepted an invitation from Jeffrey Rosen at the National Constitution Center to talk with my University of Chicago colleague Geoffrey Stone about the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, establishing the standards by which reporting about public officials can be considered to be defamation or libel.
In this conversation, we discuss whether this was a positive step forward for the free press or whether it needs to be revisited. Hear the debate below:More
More than 95% of Crimeans voted to break way from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, according to preliminary results, in a referendum that raises the stakes in the most acute East-West confrontations since the Cold War.