By: E&P Staff
In today’s edition, Jack Shafer questions the New York Times’ use of anonymous sources, the Los Angeles Times deals with a blogger posting comments on blogs under pseudonyms, and journalist Kevin Sites thrives as an all-online foreign correspondent.
Pulitzer Now a Badge of Controversy
Some observers on the press side saw the awards as a recognition that the split between the government and the press, which many thought had been papered over during the first Bush administration, had widened again. “I think that there is a renewed recognition that the relationship with government is fundamentally adversarial,” said William L. Israel, a professor of journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “I have not seen the kind of unanimity from the Pulitzer board for some time. Over and over, they endorsed work that held the government to account.”
Debating the ‘LAT’ Fake-Comments Flap
Michael Hiltzik slammed critics not in his column but on his company-approved blog, a sideline that has landed him in trouble and raised questions about how far news organizations should go in allowing employees to swing away in the freewheeling, name-calling, grudge-settling blogosphere. The Times suspended Hiltzik’s blog on the paper’s Web site last week after he admitted using one or more pseudonyms, in violation of the company’s policy, to post derogatory comments on his and other people’s blogs.
‘WaPo’ Article Discovers More U.S. Investigations Into Torture in Iraqi Prisons
There have been at least six joint U.S.-Iraqi inspections of detention centers since November, most of them run by Iraq’s Shiite Muslim-dominated Interior Ministry. Two sources involved with the inspections, one Iraqi official and one U.S. official, said abuse of prisoners was found at all the sites visited through February. U.S. military authorities confirmed that signs of severe abuse were observed at two of the detention centers.
Schlesinger in ‘WaPo’: Presidential Preventive War a Danger to Democracy
“Maybe President Bush, who seems a humane man, might be moved by daily sorrows of death and destruction to forgo solo preventive war and return to cooperation with other countries in the interest of collective security,” writes the former advisor to John F. Kennedy in an op-ed.
One Day Soon, Straphangers May Turn Pages With a Button
In the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller “Minority Report,” a subway passenger scans an issue of USA Today that is a plastic video screen, thin, foldable and wireless, with constantly changing text. The scene is no longer science fiction. This month, De Tijd, a Belgian financial newspaper, started testing versions of electronic paper, a device with low-power digital screens embedded with digital ink — millions of microscopic capsules the width of a human hair made with organic material that display light or dark images in response to electrical charges.
Sites Covers World Widely for Web
Kevin Sites still gets hate e-mail after an incident in Iraq in 2004 when, as a freelance NBC News producer, he videotaped a U.S. Marine shooting a wounded, unarmed insurgent to death inside a mosque in Fallujah. The incident drove him away from network news to the Internet. Since September, Sites has been a “sojo” ? solo journalist ? reporting on trouble zones such as Somalia, Colombia, Lebanon and the Sudan for Yahoo.com. His site (hotzone.yahoo.com) now draws more than 2 million hits a week.
Ravenous Anonymice Devour ‘NYT’
“A year and half ago, the Times acknowledged that excessive reliance on anonymous sources could be injurious to the paper’s credibility and formed a committee charged with exploring ways to reduce them. I believe that the anonymice have eaten the committee alive,” writes Jack Shafer.
Bloggers not Interested in ‘Real’ Journalism?
Blogs elevate analysis over news-gathering; they value speed over judiciousness; and they encourage the practice of journalism to turn in on itself, to tend ever more toward navel-gazing, writes Jonathan Last.
‘NYT’ Editorial: Is Public Really Served By FBI Rifling Through Jack Anderson’s Papers?
The Anderson family has rightly refused to allow the F.B.I. unfettered access to these papers, arguing that such an intrusion would betray Mr. Anderson’s principles as a journalist and amount to a fishing expedition that could intimidate other journalists (and their sources). As the family put it in a letter to the F.B.I., if the columnist were alive “he would resist the government’s efforts with all the energy he could muster.”