ISIS's Media Offensive, Online Death Threats, and What NPR Is (and Isn't)

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Friday, June 20, 2014

ISIS's Twitter and television offensive, the effects of language on your morals, and what NPR is and what it isn't. 

Extremist Social Media

ISIS and its brutal offensive in Iraq has left the media reeling. But social media has become another battleground. Intelwire.com editor J.M. Berger has been tracking ISIS on social media for the last year, and he talks with Brooke about how the group's online strategy is better honed than its extremist competitors.

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ISIS on the TV Screen

As ISIS storms through Iraq, its allies and enemies wage an information war on television. Elliott Colla, professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown and author of the crime novel, Baghdad Central, has been watching the events unfold onscreen alongside his wife's Iraqi family, who recently resettled from Baghdad to Amman. Colla reads part of his essay, “Watching ISIS on TV,” published in the online magazine Jadaliyya, and talks with Brooke about the origins of Iraq's frenzied media landscape.

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Threats in Cyberspace

The Supreme Court will hear a case involving Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man serving jail time for posting death threats against his wife on Facebook. Elonis says he didn’t mean it literally, and it’s up to the High Court to decide if that distinction matters. Brooke talks with Slate's Dahlia Lithwick about the impact this case could have on how violent speech online is viewed in the eyes of the law.

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Your Morals Depend on Language

Would you sacrifice one person to save the lives of five others? Your answer may depend on whether you consider the problem in your native tongue or a secondary one.

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The End of Tell Me More

NPR recently announced that Tell Me More would be cancelled due to financial constraints. As journalist Veralyn Williams put it, it's "The End of NPR's Blackest Show." Brooke talks with Williams and Keith Woods, NPR's VP of Diversity in News and Operations, about the loss and what it means for diversity at NPR. 

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This Is NOT NPR

If you've ever heard someone say "I heard it on NPR" - there's a pretty good chance they're wrong. What NPR actually is, what it isn't, and how it all got so complicated. 

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