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Tuesday, Jul 28th

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Press freedom is declining in the US

Press freedom decliningToday the world recognizes World Press Freedom Day. Instituted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO), its purpose is to “celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on [its] independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.”

The issues of quality reporting, media independence and the safety of journalists are as relevant today as ever – especially in the United States.

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Diminished freedoms: Jailing and killing the media

jason Rezaian, jailed WP reporterThe gruesome image of a journalist dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit kneeling helplessly before their black-clad captor has become the unfortunate embodiment of the gravest threat facing journalists today.

In its 2015 World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) writes, "media freedom is in retreat on all five continents," ranking Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Syria and China at the bottom of its 180 country index.

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Life after the sting: ‘(T)error’ doc explores FBI use of paid informants

Tarik shahJenkins’ son, Tarik Shah, a jazz bassist and 10th degree black belt, was convicted in 2007 of agreeing “to provide training in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat to Al-Qaeda members and associates,” and “pledging an oath to Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden,” according to the FBI.

The crux of Shah’s conviction relied on the testimony of and recordings made by a paid FBI informant and an undercover FBI agent. His mother and four siblings maintain Shah was the victim of entrapment. He is currently halfway through his 15-year prison sentence.

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Is the White House press corps becoming obsolete?

WH press corpsOver the last six years, a confluence of forces have eroded the foundation of the relationship between the White House and the reporters who cover it most regularly.

Financial pressures have reduced the number of news organizations committed to daily coverage of the White House and to participating in its cycle of pools, briefings and trips on Air Force One. And technologies including Twitter, YouTube and livestreaming of events mean the White House can communicate directly with the public without going through the traditional media that still dominates the Brady Briefing Room.

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SC paper wins Pulitzer for reporting on domestic violence

PulitzerThe Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, won the Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday for an examination of the deadly toll of domestic violence, while The New York Times collected three awards and the Los Angeles Times two.

The Seattle Times staff took the breaking news award for its coverage of a mudslide that killed 43 people and its exploration of whether the disaster could have been prevented.

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Lying us into Iraq: The Real Problem with Judith Miller

Judith MillerIt’s okay that the New York Times reporter got Iraq wrong—the trouble with her new memoir is she still won’t admit she actually did.

Judith Miller has returned to center stage with an autobiography, The Story: A Reporter’s Journey. The Story traces Miller’s many stations of the journalistic cross—as an affirmative action hire and clueless rookie at the New York Times, as the Times Cairo bureau chief, Times Paris correspondent, Times Washington reporter, book author and, most famously, as a national security reporter whose work for the Times before and after the Iraq war drew hot fire from detractors who accused her of relying on dubious sources, and worse.

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Former CIA officer convicted of leaking secrets to journalist

Jeffrey SterlingA former CIA officer was convicted Monday of leaking classified details of an operation to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions to a New York Times reporter.

Jurors convicted 47-year-old Jeffrey Sterling of O'Fallon, Missouri, of all nine counts he faced in federal court. On the third day of deliberations, the jurors told the judge that they could not reach a unanimous verdict. However, they delivered guilty verdicts later in the afternoon after the judge urged them to keep talking.

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