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In September, a court in Myanmar convicted Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two reporters for Reuters, of violating the Official Secrets Act and sentenced them to seven years in prison. They had already been in jail for 265 days. The journalists appealed the verdict. In January, Yangon High Court turned them down. Yesterday, Myanmar’s Supreme Court did likewise, confirming the seven-year sentence—without elaborating on its reasoning—in what seems a decisive verdict.
The families of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo plan to ask President Win Myint for a pardon. (Press freedom groups had hoped he might offer one this month, during Myanmar’s New Year, but he did not.) Reuters is not giving up either. “Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo did not commit any crime, nor was there any proof that they did,” Gail Gove, its chief counsel, said in a statement. “We will continue to do all we can to free them as soon as possible.”
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are in prison because of their journalism. In late 2017—as Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, a minority Muslim population, attracted global condemnation—the two reporters were working on a story about a massacre at Inn Din, a village in Rakhine state. Ten Rohingya men had been murdered during a broader terror campaign perpetrated by Buddhist villagers and orchestrated—as well as actively abetted—by state soldiers and paramilitary police. The story was groundbreaking: many Rohingya had attested to the brutality of the security services, but Reuters was the first outlet to report Buddhist villagers and army and police insiders admitting their culpability.
In December 2017, before their story was published, Wa Lone was invited to dinner by a police official he was hoping to interview for the piece. Kyaw Soe Oo accompanied him. The official handed the pair some documents; shortly afterward, they were arrested on charges of possessing them. Months later, during their trial, an officer admitted that police set Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo up. According to Reuters’s John Chalmers, the case for the prosecution was broadly shambolic. Several of its witnesses contradicted police accounts; one conceded that the documents that provided the pretext for the arrest were not really “secret” at all. Nonetheless, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted and sentenced on September 3, 2018—exactly one year and one day after the Inn Din massacre they had worked to expose.
Since the beginning, the case has acted as a focal point for mounting fears about the state of press freedom globally. Reuters has worked diligently to keep the spotlight on the story; in February last year, it published Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo’s final, stomach-churning reconstruction of the events at Inn Din. (The piece was co-reported by Simon Lewis and Antoni Slodkowski.) Before Christmas, Time magazine named targeted journalists as its collective “person of the year,” and put Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo on one of four special covers. (The other covers featured Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered Saudi dissident; Maria Ressa, a frequent target of authorities in the Philippines; and the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where a gunman killed five staffers last summer.) Last week, the Inn Din story won a Pulitzer in the international reporting category.
The case has also been a lightning rod for growing concern about Myanmar. In 2016, after 50 years of military-dominated rule, the country looked to be at a crossroads, with Aung San Suu Kyi, an iconic pro-democracy campaigner and Nobel laureate, installed as its de facto leader after watershed national elections. Since then, however, Myanmar has backslid, and Aung San Suu Kyi’s reputation has taken a severe hit, especially over her handling of the Rohingya crisis. Some say the military has consolidated power around her; others point out that her attitude toward the Rohingya has long been questionable. (Last year, United Nations investigators found her government complicit in the “atrocity crimes” against the Rohingya, which they characterized as being driven by “genocidal intent.”) Aung San Suu Kyi has mostly stayed quiet about the case of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. When she broke her silence, last June, she said the reporters were not arrested because of their journalism, but because “they broke the Official Secrets Act.”
The case against Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is a sham and a travesty. Despite the apparent finality of yesterday’s verdict, the journalism world should continue to make that case loudly and clearly. Press freedom is wounded by arrests and prosecutions. It dies after years in prison, when public attention on its standard bearers wanes.
Below, more on Myanmar, and Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo:
- “Aung San Suu Kyi’s shocking betrayal”: In its 2019 World Press Freedom Index, published last week, Reporters Without Borders ranked Myanmar 138th out of 180 countries worldwide. The word “Rohingya” is officially banned in the country, and journalists there are routinely prosecuted under draconian defamation laws.
- “Values-based foreign policy”: In November, The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin reported that Mike Pence raised the treatment of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo during a summit meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi in Singapore. Pence first raised the issue in front of assembled press, but he “wasn’t just mugging for the cameras. Inside the private portion of their meeting, he pressed Aung San Suu Kyi repeatedly to pardon the two Reuters journalists, a senior administration official said.”
- Jay Jay the Journalist: Last year, Wa Lone published Jay Jay the Journalist, an illustrated children’s book, from prison. “Many people in Myanmar think of journalists as swindlers,” his editor, Shwe Mi, told CJR’s Andrew McCormick. “There is no child who wants to be a journalist. That is why we need to introduce what journalism is to children.”
Other notable stories:
- The Markup, a nonprofit investigative-journalism startup focused on technology’s societal impact, is in turmoil following the firing of Julia Angwin, its editor. “Angwin’s ouster stemmed from disagreements among the three co-founders—Angwin, Jeff Larson, and Sue Gardner—over how to best balance data-driven journalism and political advocacy,” Peter Sterne reports for CJR. “According to Angwin, Gardner created a spreadsheet ranking candidates for reporter positions according to their views toward technology companies.” Yesterday morning, The Markup’s seven-strong editorial staff signed a statement supporting Angwin; by day’s end, five of them—Jon Keegan, Lauren Kirchner, Adrianne Jeffries, Leon Yin, and Surya Mattu—had quit in protest.
- Even by his own high standards, Donald Trump was on a Twitter tear yesterday. The president took aim at The New York Times (“they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!”) and at Twitter itself (“they don’t treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory, hard for people to sign on… No wonder Congress wants to get involved – and they should”). Later in the day, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s founder and CEO, walked into the lion’s Oval Office for a meeting. Twitter said the discussion focused on the “health of the public conversation” ahead of the 2020 elections; the Post’s Tony Romm hears that Trump spent “a significant portion” of the time complaining about his declining follower count.
- For CJR, Anna Altman updates the story of Der Spiegel as the German news magazine continues to process the revelations that Claas Relotius, one of its star reporters, fabricated sources and stories. The results of an internal investigation have yet to be made public. For now, “a dilemma… remains unresolved: whether Relotius should be understood as one bad actor who abused a viable system, or whether there is something wrong with the system.”
- For Variety, Whitney Davis—who worked in both the news and entertainment divisions at CBS, most recently as an executive—writes that her old network has “a white problem.” The inquiry set up to investigate the conduct of Les Moonves, CBS’s disgraced former CEO, failed to catalyze a broader change in workplace culture, Davis says. CBS has been “fraught with systemic racism, discrimination, and sexual harassment,” she writes.
- Last month, NBC’s San Diego affiliate reported that the US government compiled a secret database of journalists and activists with links to the migrant “caravan.” Border officials had, in some cases, monitored reporters and flagged their passports. Now the station, one of its reporters, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are suing a clutch of federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act, claiming that records related to the secret database have been unlawfully withheld.
- In other border news, Politico’s Gabby Orr and Andrew Restuccia report that Stephen Miller, Trump’s hardline adviser, asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to beef up press releases about immigrants they had apprehended, telling them to include details like full names and pending criminal charges. “At one point, he wanted us to be releasing press releases every day about the people we had detained and their criminal status,” a former Department of Homeland Security official recalls. “We were constantly doing a dance just to remain in a legal place.”
- The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein checked in with Robert Mueller—but not that one. The other Mueller, who works as a newscaster for WKRN in Nashville, says his life has gotten a little weird since his namesake was appointed special counsel. “The politicians Mueller interviews on his show have ribbed him about how long it’s taken to get to the bottom of the Trump mess,” Stein writes. “And his Facebook feed has been a cesspool of loonies and MSNBC moms offering support.”
- And for CJR, Marie Glancy O’Shea reviews Ink, a play about Rupert Murdoch’s revival of British tabloid The Sun that officially opens on Broadway today: “Embodied by actor Bertie Carvel, Murdoch emerges as a god-like, if malformed, figure—one might say a Lucifer—who sets events in motion and appears at key moments thereafter to check in on what he’s wrought.”
Months from launch, The Markup abruptly fired cofounder Julia Angwin, setting off an editorial exodus
Game of Phones: Podcasts and podcast apps are now treating each other like wary rivals, protecting their turf
Since January 28, when CNN hosted its first town-hall broadcast of the 2020 primary season, with Kamala Harris, the format has become a fixture on the network. Last night, the network braved a new frontier, hosting five candidates—Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Harris, and Pete Buttigieg—back to back to back in a five-hour broadcast from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. In the run-up, CNN’s Alex Marquardt billed it as the “first major event of the 2020 presidential campaign.” It was certainly an event of the 2020 presidential campaign.
Devising the format and schedule for a campaign-season debate or candidate broadcast is a tricky task at the best times. A range of questions pose themselves: Who gets to host? Who gets to ask questions, and what do they get to ask? Which candidate gets their turn when? Last night, CNN lined up more female candidates than male, but viewers still raised questions as to why the moderators—Chris Cuomo (x2), Anderson Cooper (x2), and Don Lemon—were all men. The composition of the audience, too, struck some observers as problematic: more than half the audience questions came from Harvard students. The town halls were focused on young people’s issues and hosted in conjunction with Harvard’s Institute of Politics, but Harvard’s dominance nonetheless felt elitist. Vox called it “an on-the-nose example of power and social status buying political access.” Shane Goldmacher, a reporter at The New York Times, wondered why, in five hours of TV, CNN couldn’t have organized a couple questions from young people at community colleges, or who went straight into the workforce.
Nor was it immediately clear how these five candidates, specifically, were selected and then scheduled. All five have had high media profiles since they launched their respective campaigns, but it’s not as if they’re all clear frontrunners: Klobuchar, for instance, is currently polling lower than Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker. Still, should she have been excluded? Last night’s town halls were not a debate, but they did make up the first high-profile, multi-candidate event to be staged this primary season. Should the line-ups for such events be decided by polls? If polls are a bad guide at this stage, then what other measures might work better? How should CNN and likeminded networks draw the line?
Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief, told Politico’s Morning Media team that appearance logistics are more art than science—often, they reflect the schedules of whoever agrees to appear. (CJR’s request for comment, sent to two CNN representatives last night, had not been returned by time of writing.) But a town-hall slot can have a measurable impact on a candidate’s campaign. After Buttigieg appeared in early March, his campaign saw spikes in donations, media attention, and even Google search trends. Vox listed it as a “breakout” moment behind the recent “Buttigieg boom.” Lis Smith, a communications adviser to the campaign, called it “an absolute gamechanger.”
These logistical and scheduling choices all matter immensely. Ultimately, however, none is as important as the caliber of questions candidates face. Town halls are a rare opportunity to nail politicians down to policy specifics—the format, after all, puts them in an undiluted spotlight for an hour. Last night, we saw a decent amount of policy talk. Each of the candidates was asked about student debt as well as climate change and the Green New Deal. Most were asked about healthcare and voting rights for prisoners; there were questions, too, about the decriminalization of sex work, the legalization of marijuana, and entitlements. Cooper asked Buttigieg, who has drawn criticism for his relative lack of detail, when we could expect to see some specifics. (Buttigieg replied that his website was being updated, but added: “I also think it’s important that we not drown people in minutiae before we’ve vindicated the values that animate our policies.” Cooper pushed back.)
Otherwise, questions about the candidates’ respective identities abounded. Some of these were entirely legitimate, but others felt like stereotyping. Audience members asked Harris and Klobuchar about the gender pay gap; unless I missed something, Sanders and Buttigieg did not field audience questions on that topic, but were both asked about trade. The worst questions of the night were reserved for Warren. Was she concerned about getting “Hillary-ed,” one voter asked. “Are you afraid [Trump] can caricature you?” asked another. Given the sexist and (from Trump) racist attacks Warren has faced, the questions were probably posed in good faith. But the act of asking boxed Warren with unwarranted stereotypes.
As Politico puts it, town-hall mania is a thing because “everyone—from the networks to the campaigns to the Democratic party—likes them.” Candidates get free airtime; CNN gets good ratings. At its best, the format serves a useful purpose. But CNN—and other networks who try to copy them—should be careful to ensure that candidates are competing on a level playing field, and that the worst of instincts of campaign coverage doesn’t continue to creep in. And next time, fewer Ivy League students, please.
Below, more on town halls:
- The Hunger Games town hall: Ahead of last night’s marathon, The Atlantic’s Megan Garber assessed the ramifications of CNN’s format: “It may be that the town halls find a new way to call the culture’s bluff. While the town halls are ostensibly realizations of voters’ hunger for more substantive conversations with candidates, they can also double as showcases for the opposite: sound bites. Gaffes. Memes. Viral moments. The fireworks of the presidential debates, without presidents or debates.”
- The litmus test: Another question every candidate was asked last night: should Trump be impeached? Warren—who already called for proceedings to begin—and Harris said yes; others demurred. The Daily Beast’s Sam Brodey writes that “removing Trump is the new question to answer or dodge in the 2020 field.”
- The Schultz booking: In February, CNN made Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who’s been flirting with running as an independent, its second town-hall invitee of the 2020 season. That decision attracted considerable skepticism, given Schultz’s transparent lack of policy detail and strong public support. For CJR, I wrote that the Schultz booking was a sign that the lessons of 2016 had not yet been learned.
Other notable stories:
- The death toll from coordinated Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka has now risen above 300. With social media platforms still blocked by the government—ostensibly to stem the flow of misinformation—journalists and commentators have continued to weigh the appropriateness of the move. (I recapped some of that debate in yesterday’s newsletter.) “There is overwhelming evidence that social media blackouts are not an effective solution to the spread of fabricated information in Sri Lanka,” BuzzFeed’s Megha Rajagopalan writes. Shutdowns, she reports, hamper people’s efforts to get in touch with loved ones; extremist groups, meanwhile, can circumvent them using VPNs.
- The New IRA has admitted responsibility for the murder of Lyra McKee, the 29-year-old journalist who was killed during rioting in Northern Ireland last week. In a statement to The Irish News, the paramilitary group offered its “full and sincere apologies” and said a gunman had been aiming at “enemy” police when he shot and killed McKee. McKee’s funeral will be held in Belfast tomorrow.
- Luminary, a subscription-based, ad-free podcast service, launches today. The startup boasts big names such as Trevor Noah, Lena Dunham, and Leon Neyfakh—but big shows, like The New York Times’s Daily and Gimlet’s Reply All, are being withheld from Luminary’s app. Podcast rivals “are setting Luminary up to fail—or at least struggle to get off on the right foot with users,” Ashley Carman writes for The Verge. “It certainly seems like the first shot fired in the inevitable premium podcast war and could destabilize one of the first buzzy, well-funded entrants before it can make a dent in the industry. The decisions that happen now will reshape the way podcasts are distributed in the future.”
- Last month, Chelsea Manning was jailed for contempt of court after she refused to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. Yesterday, a federal appeals court rejected Manning’s appeal against that ruling. According to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, prosecutors seem to think Manning’s testimony would bolster their case against Julian Assange, who faces extradition from the UK—where he was recently expelled from Ecuador’s embassy—to the US on charges that he aided Manning’s efforts to crack a password.
- For CJR, Michael Shaw assesses a series of photographs that show the “visual power” of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “Increasingly, the visual story of Ocasio-Cortez is coalescing around her commitment to becoming a skilled and effective legislator,” Shaw writes. “With almost each new scene that is published, you get the sense that her passion for legislating, for her district, and for all the wonky business of serving in Congress is, for Ocasio-Cortez, the real thing.”
- The White House has again set a record for its longest spell without holding a formal press briefing: according to The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, today marks 43 days since Sarah Huckabee Sanders last addressed reporters from the briefing room. Since the Mueller report came out, Sanders has come under renewed scrutiny—she admitted to investigators that she lied, and has since been accused of lying about why she lied, and of lying about a reporter who said Sanders should be fired for lying.
- According to The Moscow Times, Rosneft, the Russian state oil giant, threatened to have Reuters banned from Russia after the news agency reported that the government of Venezuela has been channelling oil sales through Rosneft to avoid US sanctions.
- And high-school journalists in Lexington, Kentucky, were turned away from an “open press event” featuring Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, because they didn’t RSVP to an invitation they never received. Shut out from the event, the students flayed DeVos in an editorial instead: “How odd is it that even though future generations of students’ experiences could be based on what was discussed, that we, actual students, were turned away?” The Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker has more.
How The Seattle Times is working with the Seattle Foundation to raise millions for its investigative work
On Easter Sunday, massive, coordinated attacks rocked Sri Lanka. Near-simultaneous explosions ripped through three churches and three luxury hotels across the cities of Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa; later, two further explosions hit a low-budget inn and a residential complex in Colombo. To date, the death toll stands at nearly 300 people, with around 500 more reported injured. According to the AP, the church and hotel attacks were collectively executed by seven suicide bombers. No group has yet claimed responsibility, though a Sri Lankan official blamed the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, a radical Islamist organization, for the casualties.
After the bombs went off, authorities in the country blocked major social networks—a bid to stanch misinformation in a country where online falsehoods have been known to exacerbate intercommunal tensions. Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram went dark; so did YouTube, Snapchat, and Viber. The shutdown featured prominently in foreign reporting on the attacks: as several outlets pointed out, platforms that were seen, a few years ago, as important “emergency response institutions” are no longer trusted with that function. The coverage added to an incessant negative news cycle for big tech. Ivan Sigal, executive director of Global Voices, told The New York Times that the Sri Lanka blackout was a “damning indictment” of the platforms; The Guardian, in a headline, said it reflected the sense “that online dangers outweigh benefits.”
Yesterday, Sigal wrote on Twitter that where we’d once have viewed “the blocking of social media sites after an attack as outrageous censorship,” we now see it as an “essential duty of care, to protect ourselves from threat.” Other observers, however, maintain that state-backed internet shutdowns set a dangerous precedent. “We know based on the past that in crises, everyone goes online to find information,” Joan Donovan, a researcher at Harvard Kennedy’s Shorenstein Center, told The Guardian. “This really puts people who already have vulnerable access to communication in a much worse position.” Alp Toker, executive director of NetBlocks, added, to the AP: “When social media is shut down, it creates a vacuum of information that’s readily exploited by other parties. It can add to the sense of fear and can cause panic.” And Sanjana Hattotuwa, of the Center for Policy Alternatives in Colombo, told The Washington Post that “while a ban on social media helps to contain the spread of rumors, it also hampers efforts by journalists to push back on them.”
It is undeniable that major platforms have failed to get to grips with junk information, particularly during fast-moving news events. In some countries—including Sri Lanka—targeted online lies have escalated into shocking physical violence. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t let our (justified) anger at Facebook et al blind us to the risks of top-down censorship in countries with troubling records on freedom of speech. In Sri Lanka, members of the then-prime minister’s party stormed several media outlets, in October, in a bid to take control. Reporters Without Borders ranked the country 126th (out of 180) in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
Nor should we let debates about social media consume our focus in the aftermath of atrocious acts. Violence often spawns necessary conversations about our online communities, as happened last month, following the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. But hate predates the internet, and has different roots in different parts of the world. Facebook-bashing should not overshadow the exploration of those causes. Nor should it diminish the centrality of innocent victims.
Many outlets did a solid, varied job in their quick-turn Sri Lanka coverage. Nonetheless, in our current news cycle, the social media question always looms particularly large. On Twitter yesterday, Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who helped break open the Cambridge Analytica scandal, assailed Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s role in spreading hate in Sri Lanka. Zeynep Tufekci, a prominent techno-sociologist, called him out. “Oh come on. This is Sri Lanka, an actual country with a real and complex history,” she wrote. “All this is too important to use as generic projection about Facebook or social media.” It was an important reminder.
Below, more on the Sri Lanka attacks:
- The developing situation: On Monday, Sri Lankan police found 87 bomb detonators at a bus station in Colombo, and let off a controlled explosion of a suspicious package found in a van. A government spokesperson, meanwhile, said authorities were warned of impending attacks two weeks ago but had failed to take action—an assertion that could deepen the rift between the country’s president and prime minister. The Guardian has the latest updates.
- The view from the ground: Britain’s Channel 4 News interviewed Faraz Shauketaly, a Sri Lankan journalist, following the bombings. “There’s a complete sense of shock and disbelief among the people,” he said.
- The precedent: Yesterday wasn’t the first time authorities in Sri Lanka shut down social media in response to violence. In March 2018, the government blocked Facebook and other services after anti-Muslim riots in the country killed at least two people. According to the International Federation of Journalists, South Asia saw the highest concentration of internet shutdowns globally in 2018.
Other notable stories:
- After Lyra McKee, a young journalist in Northern Ireland, was killed during violence in Derry on Thursday night, tributes to her life and work poured forth across the media. On Galley, CJR’s Mathew Ingram collected many of them. “Lyra was eight years old when the Good Friday Agreement, the peace treaty which marked an end to Northern Ireland’s bloody conflict, was signed,” Siobhan Fenton writes in The New Statesman. “She developed a voice as one of the most talented writers of Northern Ireland’s post-conflict generation, writing intelligently and compassionately about intergenerational trauma, and the lingering effects of the Troubles among younger generations.”
- Fallout from the Mueller report continued through the weekend. Channeling many pundits’ thoughts, The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins wrote that coverage of its release has existed in “two separate news universes… In one, the special counsel’s report was presented as a smoking-gun chronicle of high crimes and misdemeanors. In the other, it was heralded as a credibility-shredding blow to the president’s opponents.” In the first universe, the documented lies of Trump and senior officials are still driving much of the discussion: on CNN, Brian Stelter asked, “Why does Sarah Sanders still have a job?” ICYMI on Thursday, CJR liveblogged the top media takeaways from Mueller day.
- This morning, CJR and The Nation jointly published a piece, by Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope, arguing that media coverage of climate change has been shockingly complacent. “At a time when civilization is accelerating toward disaster, climate silence continues to reign across the bulk of the US news media,” they write. “Especially on television, where most Americans still get their news, the brutal demands of ratings and money work against adequate coverage of the biggest story of our time.” On April 30, CJR and The Nation will partner for a climate-coverage conference at Columbia Journalism School. Speakers include Chris Hayes, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, and Margaret Sullivan. You can find more information here.
- In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, an actor and comedian who played a fictional president on TV, was elected leader of the country in real life, ousting Petro Poroshenko, the incumbent president, in a landslide. In a campaign that blurred the lines between the real and the fictional, Zelensky pledged to curb the influence of oligarchs in Ukrainian politics—but many observers are concerned that he is a puppet of Ihor Kolomoisky, who owns the TV channel that broadcast Zelensky’s show.
- The Supreme Court will today hear a case involving the Argus Leader, a newspaper in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which sued for records about the government’s food assistance program under the Freedom of Information Act after parts of a 2010 request were denied. The US government stopped fighting the request after it lost in a lower court, but a supermarket trade association took over, arguing that store earnings from the program are confidential business information and thus exempt from FOIA. (The Trump administration is backing the trade group.) The stakes are high for both national and local media. Avi Asher-Schapiro explains for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- In what would amount to a “rare rebuke,” regulators at the Federal Trade Commission have discussed sanctioning Mark Zuckerberg personally for Facebook’s recent data lapses, The Washington Post’s Tony Romm reports. “The agency considered, then backed down from putting Zuckerberg directly under order during its last settlement with Facebook in 2011,” Romm writes. “Had it done so, Zuckerberg could have faced fines for future privacy violations.”
- KOSA-TV, a CBS affiliate in Texas, came under fire last week after Ali Breland, a reporter with Mother Jones, tweeted a segment the channel aired in March that uncritically amplified Islamophobic rhetoric. The segment covered an event in Midland attended by Katie Hopkins and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff—far-right figures from the UK and Austria, respectively—and featured an interview with an attendee who said, “Obviously, Islam is very stealthily trying to take over every country it can possibly take over, and it’s part of their religion to do so.” In a statement to Insider, Don Davis, general manager of KOSA-TV, conceded the segment did not meet journalistic standards.
- Last month, C-SPAN celebrated its 40th birthday. Now Brian Lamb, the man who founded the network in 1979, is retiring. In an exit interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Kyle Peterson, Lamb reflects on telecasting Congress, and argues that Supreme Court proceedings should be next.
- And for CJR, Karina Sturm argues that newsrooms should employ more journalists with disabilities. “I am not saying journalists outside of a minority community shouldn’t write about it,” Sturm writes. “But I believe it is hard work to represent an unfamiliar topic far away from one’s own experience, and journalists working under pressure might not have the time to fully immerse themselves in a complicated subject matter like disability.”
Correction: A previous version of this post identified Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff as being from Sweden—she is from Austria—and misspelled her first name.