WEDNESDAY’S LINKS: Cheney and the 1st Amendment, ‘NYT’ Unworried About Prosecution, Rally in Santa Barbara

By: E&P Staff

In today’s edition, a writer suggests that Vice President Dick Cheney could shield himself in the Valerie Plame case using the First Amendment, most U.S. bloggers don’t see themselves as journalists, and the New York Times appears to be unworried about the threat of prosecution over the publication of the SWIFT story.


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Storytelling, Not Journalism, Spurs Most U.S. Blogs
Reuters: Many people see Web journals or “blogs” as alternatives to the mainstream media, but most Americans who run them do so as a hobby rather than a vocation, according to a report released on Wednesday. About 77 percent of blog authors, or “bloggers,” said they post to express themselves creatively rather to get noticed or paid, according to the report.


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Times Unworried By Threats of SWIFT Prosecution
New York Observer: How seriously is The Times taking the demands for prosecution? Not very. According to Times sources with knowledge of the paper?s legal strategy, Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen have not retained lawyers. Mr. Risen was recently represented by Cahill Gordon during the civil suit brought by Wen Ho Lee, but according to a source with knowledge of matter, Mr. Risen has not retained the firm this time around. Additionally, The Times? preferred First Amendment attorney, Floyd Abrams, hasn?t been called into action.


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Times’ Angry Inch: Latest Vogue Slices Paper Coulter-Thin
New York Observer: In joint memos announcing the page shrinkage, executive editor Bill Keller and Times president Scott Heekin-Canedy both described the smaller format as ?reader-friendly.? Mr. Keller also described it as the emerging ?industry norm,? which was true: Whatever readers may or may not think of the floppy (or generous) old broadsheet size, the newspaper business has agreed that it is too much — a symbol of archaic inefficiency. Cutting, then, has become an efficiency ritual: a way of demonstrating that a newspaper is not too attached to ? well, to newspaper.


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Dick Cheney as the Next First Amendment Poster Child?
Slate: “In an administration not known for its love of the Bill of Rights, Vice President Richard Cheney may soon find himself in a new role: defender of the First Amendment,” writes Akhil Reed Amar. “Cheney’s first instinct may be to assert, brusquely, that he is legally immune from damage suits challenging his actions as vice president, but does Cheney really want to go down in history next to Richard Nixon? Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to position himself in the lawbooks alongside John Peter Zenger?”


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U.N. Drama Unfolds, Times Runs Wire Copy (NYO)
“The story had everything: secret agents, political intrigue, personal betrayal and cash. Lots and lots of cash,” writes Niall Stanage. “Yet, for all that, a remarkable trial that ended last week in a Manhattan courtroom — a proceeding that implicated figures in the highest echelons of international politics — was barely mentioned in the major American press. If it weren?t for the journalistic wing of the conservative movement, outlets like the National Review Online and The New York Sun, it might not have been covered at all.”


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In Santa Barbara, a Rally to Save the ‘News-Press’ and a Free Press
Los Angeles Times: During a 45-minute midday rally at which journalists, community activists and the mayors of three cities spoke, the crowd erupted into cheers whenever the journalists who departed were mentioned. Some at the rally walked over to a group of reporters who remain on the job, but have been ordered not to talk, to offer hugs and words of support. Many at Tuesday’s rally said they came to show support not only for the News-Press staff but for the larger issues at stake.


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‘Times’ of London Editor: Newspapers Will Survive
I Want Media: Robert Thomson is the editor of the Times of London, News Corp.’s much-heralded broadsheet-turned-compact newspaper. Prior to his appointment at the Times in March 2002, Thomson was the editor of the U.S. edition of the Financial Times, leading the drive of the London-based FT into the American market. The Melbourne native is now overseeing the launch this summer of a U.S. edition of the Times. One might think that few publishers would consider starting up a pay newspaper today, as more readers turn to the Internet for news for free. But Thomson argues that print newspapers are “advantageous for profile.”


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Weird Science: Why Editors Must Dare To Be Dumb
CJR Daily: “It?s not that editors aren?t smart enough to understand science,” writes K. C. Cole. “Actually, it?s the opposite: they?re too accustomed to being smart, and thus can?t deal with the fact that they don?t understand it. And because they?re uncomfortable feeling confused, readers are left in the dark about a universe of research that eludes easy explanation.”

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