News outlets will need public support to battle governments set on chilling investigative journalism


This post is by Michael J. Socolow from Nieman Lab


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Sometimes the best journalism tells us the worst news. The United States has a tradition of learning troubling news through extraordinary reporting efforts from combat zones. During the Vietnam War, award-winning journalism revealed the slaughter of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers at My Lai. More recently, reports describing the torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq embarrassed the U.S. government. Such investigative reporting ultimately helped American citizens hold accountable those charged with acting in their name. But that didn’t mean the news was welcome, or even appreciated, at the time. It’s important to recall these examples in light of the raid by the Australian Federal Police at the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on June 5. As an American Fulbright Research Scholar studying media at the University of Canberra in Australia, I’ve watched this controversy closely. Comparing the way these two western democracies protect —
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There will always be another Alex Jones, a glitch in the American system


This post is by Michael J. Socolow from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Confrontational characters spouting conspiracy theories and promoting fringe ideas have been with us since the invention of American broadcasting. First on radio, then on television, the American audience has consistently proven eager to consume the rants of angry and bitter men. Before Alex Jones and InfoWars, there was Glenn Beck. A decade ago, Beck was hawking his conspiracy theories on HLN and Fox News. Beck eventually left HLN and lost the Fox News job, just as the inflammatory Morton Downey Jr. had lost his lucrative syndicated broadcast decades earlier. And before Morton Downey Jr., there was Joe Pyne, the war hero who eventually ended up railing against “hippies, homosexuals, and feminists” on the airwaves in the 1960s. Before Pyne, there was Father Coughlin, “the radio priest.” Coughlin was eased off CBS in the 1930s when he refused to allow the network to vet his
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