NPR Controversy , TV News and More

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Another NPR controversy, covering the Iraq withdrawal and the latest in TV news.

(More) Controversy at NPR

Once again the intersection of NPR and politics has created a controversy. When Lisa Simeone, host of World of Opera was revealed to be acting as a spokesperson for an Occupy Wall Street inspired group in Washington D.C. - NPR decided to distance itself from the show by ending distribution. (The show will continue to be distributed by a local affiliate.) Bob spoke with Joyce Slocum, interim President and CEO of NPR about how and why that decision was made. 

The Beatles - "I'm Only Sleeping (Rehearsal)"

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Covering The Withdrawal From Iraq

Covering the run-up to the Iraq War was not the American press's finest moment. There won't be nearly as much attention to the withdrawal as there was to the invasion, but covering the withdrawal well might give the public a better sense of Iraq's future without American soldiers and what lessons to draw from the war. Bob spoke with Liz Sly, Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post who has covered Iraq for the better part of eight years.

Deaf Center - "White Lake"

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Is Transparency Always A Good Thing?

The "super committee" on deficit reduction is meeting in advance of their Thanksgiving deadline, and critics claim they have not been transparent enough about the progress of their negotiations.  Bob spoke with Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress and Donny Shaw of the Participatory Politics Foundation about the pros and cons of meeting behind closed doors.

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The Government vs. the Freedom of Information Act

Currently, the government can avoid Freedom of Information Act requests in certain narrow circumstances by refusing to confirm or deny the existence of documents.  But new rules proposed by the Department of Justice would allow the government to lie to requesters, saying that documents don't exist even when they do. Brooke talks to Michael German, Policy Council for the American Civil Liberties Union, about this proposed rule change.

Smog - "Held"

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The Vulnerability of Information Stored in the Cloud

The Stored Communications Act, passed 25 years ago this month, includes rules that make data stored on remote computers vulnerable to law enforcement subpoena without requiring a warrant. However, even though the law hasn't been changed by Congress, recent court decisions have made the government less likely to pursue this type of data without a warrant. Bob talks to Forbes privacy blogger Kashmir Hill about these developments.

Sun Airway - "Your Moon"

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Lack of Video on American TV News

Today, it is easier than ever to create and consume video, with billions of computers, TVs, and cell phones providing the world with access to the medium.  This should be good news for television news, but according to veteran TV journalist Dave Marash American TV news is actually using less and less video.  Brooke spoke with Marash about why American TV news is capping its lens.

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Audiences Returning to Network TV News

For years, network television news has seen a steady decline in viewership.  But new Nielsen ratings show an increase in audience numbers for the first time in a decade.  Brooke spoke to NewsLab Executive Director Deborah Potter about the new signs of life for network TV news.

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New Variety on Network Evening News

One explanation that's been given for the increase in network news viewership is the variety of choices now available among the three major newscasts.  Brooke spoke with Andrew Tyndall, who monitors the nightly newscasts of ABC, NBC and CBS on the Tyndall Report website.  He says the days of the interchangeable newscast are over.

Ludwig van Beethoven - "Symphony No. 9 Mvt. 2, Scherzo"

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