Mapping Gun Owners, International Journalists Fight Censorship, and More

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Friday, January 11, 2013

The ATF's desire for a central database of gun transactions, journalists fight for the right to report on India's rape trial, an interview with 56 Up director Michael Apted, and Chinese journalists strike after the government censored an Op-Ed.

Privacy and Gun Control

On Thursday, Vice President Biden sketched out early hints of what gun control reform might look like. One potential reform concerns something that you might mistakenly assume already exists: a central database of gun transactions in the US, maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The NRA has blocked all such efforts in the past. New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg tells Bob why the ATF's record-keeping on gun sales is actually incredibly antiquated. 

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Newspaper Publishes a Map Showing Where Gun Owners Live

Following the school massacre in nearby Connecticut, a New York state paper published a map showing the names and addresses of handgun permit owners in its readership area — all except for one county, where local officials have refused to provide the paper with the information. This decision violates explicit New York State law, but has a supporter in New York state Senator Greg Ball, who tells Bob why he's supporting Putnam County officials.

Yo La Tengo - Stupid Things

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Protests for Press Freedom in China

Earlier this week in southern China, protests began after a New Year’s Day op-ed by the newspaper Southern Weekly was censored. In its original form, the op-ed hoped for a new year in which the liberal principles of the Chinese constitution were respected. When that op-ed was reduced to party platitudes by propaganda officials, the paper’s employees briefly went on strike and the protests began. Brooke speaks with Jeremy Goldkorn is the director of Danwei, a firm that researches Chinese media and internet, about the situation. 

The Books - It Never Changes To Stop


Censorship in the Largest Democracy in the World

The rape and murder of a young woman in India has brought protesters to the streets. Both the national and international press have closely followed the public outrage and tepid response from government officials, turning out in full force to see the accused men in court on Monday. The swarm of journalists prompted a local judge to not only ban reporters from the courtroom, but also prohibit anyone from covering the trial. Brooke talks with New York Times reporter Niharika Mandhana about the repercussions of the ban, and about why the government would keep the trial off the public record. 

Tinariwen - Walla Illa

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Al Jazeera and the Qatari Government's Editorial Influence

In December, Al Jazeera Berlin correspondent Aktham Suliman left the news outlet, saying he felt its primary funder, the Qatari government, exerted too much influence over Al Jazeera's coverage. Suliman is just the latest in a string of resignations from Al Jazeera in protest of editorial interference. In an interview from August of last year, Bob talks to blogger and political commentator Sultan Al Qassemi about what he sees as the problems with Al Jazeera's coverage of ongoing fighting in Syria.

Yo La Tengo - I'll Be Around

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We take a moment to correct two recent mistakes.

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The "Up Series" at 56

In 1964, a documentary called Seven Up! sought to illustrate Britain's entrenched class system through the stories of 14 seven-year-olds. Michael Apted, an assistant on that film crew, ended up expanding the project into a longitudinal series: every seven years, he has directed a new documentary that revisits the characters as they grow. One of the most memorable characters from the series is Tony Walker, a London cab driver. Brooke speaks with Michael and Tony about the 2012 installment of the series, 56 Up.

UPDATE 1/15/2013: Check out our 56 Up web extra to hear selected outtakes from this interview.

Mary Z. Cox - Scarborough Fair

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