Reporting in North Korea, Open Season for Political Scandals, and More

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Friday, April 13, 2012

The trickiness of reporting on North Korea, the beginning of the political scandal season, and the media myth of failing schools.

The Perils of Reporting in North Korea

This week, news organizations selected by the North Korean government were permitted to report inside the country on the launch of a supposed weather satellite by the autocratic regime. The launch, which was more about military power than meteorology, was a spectacular failure. Bob speaks with B.R. Myers, who says that despite that failure, the mere presence of international media is useful to North Korean domestic propaganda.

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The Associated Press in North Korea

The world’s media may have been invited for a rare peek into North Korea this week but one news organization was already there - the Associated Press.  After a year of negotiations the AP opened the first all format, full-time bureau in Pyongyang in January, the first western journalism outfit to ever do so.  Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of the Associated Press Kathleen Carroll talks to Bob about what it means to bring the AP’s journalistic standards to reporting in North Korea.

 

Smog - I'm New Here

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Forecasting Political Scandals

Brendan Nyhan is a Dartmouth political scientist who studies why scandals break when they do. According to Nyhan, before this month's GSA fiasco, President Obama had the longest streak of scandal-free coverage of any President in recent history. Nyhan tells Bob that according to his theory, we can expect the coming months to be full of scandal coverage.

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Media Access Project Shutting Down

The non-profit Media Access Project has advocated on behalf of consumers in the areas of media diversity, freedom of expression and universal communication access for almost 40 years. But now the funding well has run dry and the organization is closing its doors. Bob speaks to Andrew Schwartzman who has been MAP's policy director for more than 30 years.

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Making Laws More Public

Carl Malamud, government transparency advocate and president of public.resource.org believes safety standards should be easily accessible to all citizens for free. Yet many of these standards  --  from the design of bicycle helmets to water treatment components to hazmat suits – are the copyrighted creation of the industry organizations that have promulgated them. So Malamud has ponied up the dough to purchase exactly 73 of these standards, which he will publish online, copyright or no copyright.

 

The Spinanes - Lure and Cast

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The Failure of 'Failing Schools'

Schools are failing.  At least that’s the consensus if you’ve read any school reporting or heard any politicians promising much needed school reform since, well, approximately the beginning of American public education. But … is it true?  Washington Post reporter and columnist for the American Journalism Review Paul Farhi explains to Bob why the story doesn’t add up.   

 

The Spinanes - Kid in Candy

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Word Watch: Hacker

The past year we've heard stories about hacking, from The News of the World scandal to the exploits of groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec. But the way the media uses the word 'hack' diverges sharply from the way it's used by actual hackers. On the Media Producer Alex Goldman explores the history of the word and how its meaning has shifted over time in a story that originally aired in September of 2011. 

 

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