Covering a missing airplane, Copyright in outer space, and more

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Friday, March 14, 2014

How the media are covering the story of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, the re-birth of the First Amendment, and copyright law in outer space.

What Became of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

From terrorism to catastrophic structural failure to alien tractor beams, theories on the vanishing jetliner have come fast and furious. And one after another, they have themselves disappeared into nothingness. Bob reflects on how a story that lacks not only the “why,” but also the “what,” gets covered in the news.

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Stepping into the Light

As we’ve previously reported, US Customs and Border Protection, under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security, is one of the least transparent agencies in the country. But late last week, sparked by a leak of a review done by the Police Executive Research Forum, CBP shone a little light on its processes. Brooke speaks to Brian Bennett, National Security Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, who was the recipient of that initial leaked report. 

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FOIA's Report Card

The Freedom of Information Act has been around since 1966, but according to a new report card, federal agencies haven’t yet mastered the art of disclosing. Brooke speaks with Sean Moulton of the Center for Effective government, which just released The Access to Information Scorecard 2014, a sobering look at government transparency.

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Twitter Cartography

With more than 240 million active users engaged in activities ranging from abetting revolutions to reporting tornadoes, Twitter’s cultural impact can’t be denied. But can we use it to chart how we actually communicate, not just with our own cohorts, but the world outside? Bob talks to Pew Research Center's Lee Rainie about mapping the informational ecosystem of Twitter.

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Pulling the Trigger Warning

Trigger warnings on the internet have been around for years as a way to prepare for potentially disturbing subjects. Recently a group of students at the University of California, Santa Barbara passed a resolution imploring administrators to include mandatory trigger warnings in potentially offensive syllabi.  Bob speaks to journalist Jenny Jarvie, about the spread of the trigger warning.

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The Re-Birth of the First Amendment

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court made a decision in the case New York Times v Sullivan that would forever alter the way journalists practiced journalism. Brooke speaks with Andrew Cohen, contributing editor at The Atlantic and fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, about the decision's impact on the First Amendment.

Supreme Court audio courtesy of Oyez®, a multimedia judicial archive at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

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Copyright Law for Extraterrestrials

Somewhere at the edge of our heliosphere, billions of miles from Earth, the Voyager 1 spacecraft carries the sounds of a few musicians from our planet into the interstellar void. It also carries a legacy of extraterrestrial copyright law. Bob talks with The New Yorker's music critic Alex Ross about the nature of intergalactic intellectual property.

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