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Friday, May 07, 2004

Deepening trouble and strife at progressive talk radio network Air America -- chairman Evan Cohen and his deputy Rex Sorensen have resigned and there are staff payroll problems.

It's the second executive shake-up in as many weeks, following the departure of Chief Executive Mark Walsh and programming head Dave Logan.

Will Air America become the XFL of radio?

Chicago Tribune: Chairman, partner leave Air America (Registration Required)

The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld may still enjoy the support of President Bush despite the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal but The Economist insists he should go.

"Responsibility for what has occurred needs to be taken ? and to be seen to be taken ? at the highest level," it says in a leader column. "It is plain what that means....Rumsfeld should resign. And if he won't resign, Mr Bush should fire him."

The Economist wanted this war -- it should accept the consequences of it.

In a piece of stunningly unoriginal journalism Sky News are going big today with a story about sex tourism in Cambodia.

The headline from the special "Sky News Investigation" are paedophile sex tourists in South East Asia. Astonishing. (Regular readers will know that ever since I visited Cambodia last year I've had a bee in my bonnet about this one.)

Kaveh's name is among those to be added to the Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

Reopening this posting, the New Jersey Star-Ledger asks whether news helicopters are more trouble than they're worth.

The Star-Ledger believes, correctly, that on many stories the choppers are more about showbiz than they are about genuine newsgathering.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Yet more on the Abu Ghraib/Stanford Prison Experiment similarities:
NY Times: Simulated Prison in '71 Showed a Fine Line Between `Normal' and `Monster'

...but Vikram Dodd of the Guardian says the American soldiers in Abu Ghraib were simply using well-established CIA interrogation methods.

Read the CIA manuals concerned for yourself here and here.

Both make fascinating, if at times terrifying, reading.

President Bush has told al-Arabiya that the US will "fully investigate" the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by military personnel and "justice will be served."

What, like the "full investigations" and subsequent handing down of justice following the deaths of Tariq Ayyub, Taras Protsyuk, José Couso, Mazen Dana, Ali Al-Khatib and Ali Abdel Aziz?

Don't hold your breath.


It's news imitating life imitating news at its most self-referential.

A helicopter owned by New York TV station NewsChannel 4 dramatically spins out of control and crashes onto a rooftop while filming a shooting.

The crash is captured on tape by another news crew (great pictures) -- and so becomes the lead story on NewsChannel 4.

Later, the removal of the helicopter wreckage becomes the follow up story -- filmed by a cameraman on NewsChannel 4 chopper.

Keep this up and rolling news networks won't have to cover any other news at all. They can just report on crashes involving their own newsgathering vehicles and the deaths of their own staff. Journalists will then be able to interview themselves for eyewitness accounts of what happened in a never-ending loop.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

BBC News Online picks up on the similarities between the Iraq prison abuse photos and the Stanford Prison Experiment -- only six days after this posting.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Around 50 retired American diplomats have followed the example of their British counterparts and written to President Bush to complain about America's policy towards the Middle East.

No doubt the US press corps will be scanning the names closely, looking for any similarities to those uncovered by the Sunday Telegraph, which reported on the weekend that several of the key signatories are paid by pro-Arab organisations.

Nothing wrong with that, of course -- but it should have been made clear in the letter.

To be filed in the "stating the bloody obvious" folder, the The Committee to Protect Journalists awards Iraq the unenviable accolade of the World’s Worst Place to Be a Journalist.

The CPJ awards panel obviously haven't visited Television Centre recently.

Meanwhile, Reporters Sans Frontières says the the number of journalists killed in the line of duty rose to its highest level in nearly a decade last year.

Monday, May 03, 2004

The New York Times reports on Media Matters, a new "Web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

Looks like one to watch.

Sympathies to the prosthesis-less scuffler from one amputee to another:
NZ Herald: Hastings man has artificial arm pulled off in fight

What, exactly, were they expecting?
AP: Editor-in-chief of U.S.-funded Iraqi newspaper quits, complaining of American control

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