June 26, 2009

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Charges of coziness between the news networks and the White House; NPR's policy on the word "torture"; adventures in ambushing potential interviewees

Getting A Second Opinion

When ABC broadcast its exclusive health-care-reform town hall meeting with President Obama on Wednesday, one group cried foul. The Media Fairness Caucus, newly formed with some 40 Republican House members, wrote to ABC News president David Westin to complain that Obama wouldn't, couldn't be challenged enough to satisfy ...

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Torturous Wording

Last week, NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard caused a minor uproar after responding to angry emails from listeners over NPR's use of the phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques" to describe treatment of terrorism suspects under the Bush Administration. Shepard talks about NPR's policy and her own opinion on the use ...

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Leaving the Story

This week, the Iranian government continued a harsh crackdown on protests and on news outlets covering them. Journalists were expelled from the country. Some were arrested. Others, like Tehran Bureau's Jason Rezaian, were under such severe restrictions that they couldn't effectively report. So ...

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Moving On Up?

Ross Douthat and Ezra Klein are two new opinion writers at the New York Times and the Washington Post. Both started out in the blogosphere, and both are young - Klein 25, Douthat 29. The two discuss whether they may have actually lost a measure of influence by ...


Help Line

A few weeks ago Ron Lieber, the New York Times "Your Money" columnist, faced a predicament. He'd undertaken an ambitious research project about student loans that he couldn't possibly finish by his deadline. So he came clean and asked readers for help. Lieber explains his journalistic experiment ...


Ambushing the Ambushers

In the past few years, "The O'Reilly Factor" has adopted an old tradition from "60 Minutes"-era TV journalism: the ambush interview. We talk to John Cook, investigations editor for Gawker, who says that Bill O'Reilly uses the ambush to settle personal scores. Plus, OTM producer PJ Vogt describes ...

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The Art of the Ambush

Legendary producer Lowell Bergman worked for "60 Minutes" for nearly fifteen years. He describes the ambush interview's surprising origins and thorny legal history. He also explains why reporter Mike Wallace eventually stopped using the technique.

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