Journalism’s Assange problem : THe Conversation


These days, anybody with an internet connection can be a publisher.

That doesn’t make everybody a journalist.

This distinction has become more important than ever in light of two recent events.

One was the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The other was a proposal by lawmakers from Georgia, the Peach State, that looked more like an export from the Georgia that was part of the Soviet Union: a so-called “ethics in journalism” act that would have imposed onerous new requirements and potential civil penalties on reporters.

As soon as news broke of Assange’s potential extradition to the United States for trial on charges of conspiracy, his allies began campaigning to make him a Fourth Estate martyr.

“Every journalist in the world” should be speaking out on Assange’s behalf, said Intercept editor Glenn Greenwald. Another fugitive leaker of U.S. government secrets, Edward Snowden, tweeted that Assange’s arrest represents “a dark day for press freedom.”

As two journalism professors who practiced the craft for many years before becoming teachers of it, we know firsthand how powerfully reporters are drawn to unpopular causes. It’s an admirable reflex that often makes for great journalism and a better society.

But granting Assange journalist status is beyond problematic: It’s likely to draw more attacks on press freedom such as the Georgia lawmakers’ thinly disguised attempt to sanction and ostracize journalists whose work they don’t like.

 

Source: Journalism’s Assange problem  : The Conversation

If Trump is worried about the end of Mueller’s investigation, he’s worrying about the wrong thing | Salon.com


After more than 20 months of digging, issuing subpoenas, interviewing witnesses, getting indictments, making plea deals, and achieving felony convictions in federal court, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly nearing the end of his investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign for their connections to Russians during the 2016 election. Whether one week away or one month away, the Trump White House is said to be steeling itself for Mueller’s report. The end is near.

If neither Trump nor his henchmen have done anything wrong, he won’t have anything to worry about. But six men who worked for Trump in various capacities have pled guilty and have been sentenced to federal prison, or are awaiting sentencing, or have already served time. That’s not to mention the 26 Russian nationals, including 12 agents for the Russian intelligence service the GRU, who have also been indicted, along with several other individuals. There has been speculation for weeks that Mueller has more indictments to bring, and he has moved to delay sentencing for several Trump associates whom he is still interviewing or taking before his grand jury in Washington D.C., which recently received an extension of its term upon a request by Mueller.

But it’s not the report of the Special Counsel to the Attorney General that Trump should be worried about. The charter of Mueller’s investigation is narrow, limited to crimes arising out of Russian interference in the campaign of 2016 and the connections of Trump and his campaign to the Russians. Many have pointed out that the indictments Mueller has brought read like a complex narrative of the connections between the Trump campaign and Russians. We already know who stole the Democrats’ emails, how they were distributed, and who among Trump’s associates actually met with Russians during the campaign. What we don’t yet know is what took place during those meetings and whether Trump himself directed, participated in, or knew about these encounters, such as the infamous Trump Tower meeting between six Russians with connections to Kremlin intelligence and Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman.

 

Source: If Trump is worried about the end of Mueller’s investigation, he’s worrying about the wrong thing | Salon.com

The people’s victory over the TPP


Phil Ebersole's Blog

The defeat of the odious Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement shows that the people can win against entrenched corporate and political power.  The way the TPP was defeated shows how the people can win against entrenched power.

A couple of years ago, the passage of the odious Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement seemed inevitable.

163050_600Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Republican leaders in Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and most big newspapers and broadcasters were in favor of it.  The public knew little about it because it was literally classified as secret.   Congress passed fast-track authority, so that it could be pushed through without time for discussion.

Today it is a dead letter.  President Obama has given up his plan to join with Republicans and push it through a lame-duck session of Congress.   Leaders of both parties say there is no chance of getting it through the new Congress.

If you…

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