Egypt's Press Suppression, True Crime, and More

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Friday, June 27, 2014

How the suppression of a free press in Egypt is reversing the course of the Arab Spring, challenging the conventional wisdom on student debt, a defense of True Crime, and more.

Journalism In Jail

Amid international outcry, Egypt's judiciary sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to between seven and ten years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists. Bob reflects on how suppression of a free press in Egypt may be reversing the course of the Arab Spring.


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This Is About More Than Sects

Since the violent extremist group ISIS began taking control of large parts of Iraq, a common media narrative has emerged: in the absence of a tyrant or occupying force, sectarian hatred is once again tearing the country apart. Brooke talks with history professor Ibrahim al-Marashi about whether that narrative is actually the best way to look at what's going on in Iraq.

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Between Two Poles

The Pew Research Center recently published a study titled “Political Polarization in the American Public,” which prompted a wave of alarmist reporting about how Americans are more ideologically divided than ever before. But, as Stanford political scientist Morris Fiorina explains, that's not what Pew's data actually shows.

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Rethinking the Student Debt Crisis

It’s hard to escape the prevailing media narrative that student loan debt is destroying an entire generation’s financial future. The New York Times' David Leonhardt reported on a new Brookings Institution study on education debt, in an article titled “The Reality of Student Debt is Different from the Cliches”an assertion that cuts against conventional wisdom. Bob speaks to David Leonhardt to get to the bottom of what his reporting reveals about the state of student loan debt.

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Cellphone Searching, Tiny Antennas, and the High Court

This week, the Supreme Court ruled on two media technology cases, one that may save the bacon of Big Broadcast and Cable, and another that privacy advocates are heralding as a win. Bob talks with Slate's Dahlia Lithwick about the impact of these decisions.


Covering Sin and Vice in the City

Mosi Secret is the new "sin and vice" reporter at The New York Times. He explains how his new beat came to be, and the challenges of reporting stories about people on the fringe.


Pulp Non-Fiction

‘Tis the season to update those summer reading lists. If you’re in the mood for a certain kind of deep intrigue, you can always add some True Crimeyou know, the glossy paperbacks full of crime, punishment, and ordinary people behaving badly that decorate the supermarket checkout aisle. But don’t let those foil covers fool you, says Salon senior writer Laura Miller, much True Crime rises above mere pulp. Bob speaks to Miller about why she defends True Crime.