"For most of the years that I was based in Iran as a correspondent for Time magazine, my working life approximated a clumsy script for a television spy drama,"Azadeh Moaveni reported Friday for the New York Times. "I was regularly obliged to meet with intelligence agents who monitored my writing and hectored me to disclose the identities of sources. These interrogation sessions usually took place in empty apartments across Tehran, places where no one could have heard me scream, and always with stern warnings that nobody could know they were taking place. . . ."
Moaveni was writing about Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who has been imprisoned in Tehran for more than 14 months and who, according to Iranian media, has been convicted after an espionage trial that ended in August. Post executive editor Martin Baron on Saturday urged editors to "keep Jason in mind" on their news and editorial pages. "If it weren't such a tragedy, it would be a farce," Baron said of Rezaian's case.
Moaveni also wrote, "Those who are detaining Jason have an ideological vision of Iran's future that requires continued isolation.
"They worry, correctly, that President Hassan Rouhani and his allies are working to open Iran up to the world. And that this opening will gradually erode support internally, among the government itself, for Iran's aggressive posture in the region and its severe restrictions at home.
"They see how media coverage of Iran has shifted in recent months, how once routine images of black-chador-clad women and Shiite militias have given way to fashion spreads and profiles of tech start-ups. For them, this is a nightmare in the making, and they know that imprisoning Iranian-Americans is a quick way to stop it. . . ."
The board of directors of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has scheduled a conference call meeting for Monday to discuss whether Ivette Davila-Richards, NAHJ vice president for broadcast, still qualifies as a member.
Davila-Richards was elected while associate producer at CBS News in New York.
An NAHJ board meeting notice asks, "Based on the information gathered from Ivette Davila-Richards and her employer directly, does her new job title Broadcast Relations & Marketing Team Member in the Marketing Department fall under the current Bylaws classification of 'regular member'?
"Bylaws Description: Regular Members consist of persons whose principal means of support is earned in the gathering, editing, or presentation of news. Regular Members may not be employees of a government-supported news organization.
"Persons with the following job title descriptions, among others, are eligible for admission as a Regular Member: Reporter, Editor, Broadcast News Director, Community or Public Affairs Director in broadcast or print news organizations, Publisher of print news media, General Manager of broadcast news media, Photographer, and News Cameraperson, News Graphic Artist, and Newspaper Designer. A Regular Member has the right to vote and the right to serve as a director or officer of the Association. . . "
The NAHJ board has urged the membership to approve a change in its bylaws to extend full voting privileges to non-media, academic, public relations and student members. However, voting on such a change has been postponed while the organization processes reincorporation paperwork.
Friends and admirers of Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor of the "PBS NewsHour," filled seats going for $225 a person and $2,000 a table on Thursday to watch Ifill accept the Fourth Estate Award, the National Press Club's most-honored prize.
The ceremony at the Washington institution was described as inspiring. Ifill "is the 43rd recipient of the Fourth Estate Award, which recognizes a journalist who has made significant contributions to the field through a lifetime of excellence. The National Press Club Board of Governors voted to give Ifill the award," the club said in its announcement.
"'Gwen Ifill embodies the core values of journalism at a time when the industry is undergoing tremendous change,'' said National Press Club President John Hughes, who is also an editor at Bloomberg News' First Word. 'Whether working in print or broadcast, she has been a voice of balance, fairness and depth throughout her career.' . . .''
"In 1976, when Carl Jensen, a professor at California's Sonoma State University, started looking into news-media self-censorship, nobody had ever dreamed of the Internet. Most computers [were] still big mainframes with whirling tape reels; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had just figured out how to make a personal computer, but sales were in the low hundreds,"Tim Redmond reported Wednesday for 48hills.org.
Redmond also wrote, "Jensen set out to frame a new definition of censorship. He put out an annual list of the ten biggest stories that the mainstream media had ignored, arguing that it was a failure of the corporate press to pursue and promote these stories that represented censorship – not by the government, but by the media itself.
"My definition starts with the other end, with the failure of information to reach people," Redmond wrote. "For the purposes of this project, censorship is defined as the suppression of information, whether purposeful or not, by any method – including bias, omission, underreporting, or self-censorship, which prevents the public from fully knowing what is happening in the world.
"Jensen died in April, 2015, but his project lives on. The people who inherited the mantle, Peter Phillips, a sociology professor at Sonoma State, and [project staffer Mickey] Huff, who teaches social science and history at Diablo Valley College, have veered at times into the world of conspiracies and 9/11 'truther' folks. A handful of past stories were, to be kind, difficult to verify. That's caused a lot of folks in the alternative press to question the validity of the annual list.
"But Huff, who is now project director, and Roth, associate director, have expanded and tightened up the process of selecting stories; project staffers and volunteers first fact-check nomination that come in to make sure they are 'valid' news reports. Then a panel of 28 judges, mostly academics with a few journalists and media critics, finalize the top ten and the 15 runners-up.
"The results are published in a book that will be released Oct. 16 by Seven Stories Press. . . ."
"Half of global wealth owned by the 1 percent . . .
"Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater . . .
"89 percent of Pakistani drone victims not identifiable as militants . . .
"Popular resistance to corporate water grabbing . . .
"[Fukushima] nuclear disaster deepens . . .
"Methane and arctic warmings global impacts . . .
"Fear of government spying is chilling writers’ freedom of expression . . .
"Who dies at the hands of police — and how often . . .
"Millions in poverty get less media coverage than billionaires do . . .
"Costa Rica is setting the standard on renewable energy. . . ."