Sunday, October 19

Is the media scaring us to death over Ebola? Former CNN president Jon Klein on Nielsen's TV ratings glitch; James Risen on how the crackdown on whistleblowers affects reporting.

Is the media scaring us to death over Ebola? Former CNN president Jon Klein on Nielsen's TV ratings glitch; James Risen on how the crackdown on whistleblowers affects reporting.

October 12th, 2014
01:30 PM ET

ISIS has "rules" for reporters?

CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon describes the difficult media environment for reporters covering ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

"For us, as Westerners, right now, crossing into ISIS territory, it just simply is not a viable option," Damon said.

A recently-published list of ISIS "rules" for journalists in the region applies to local journalists.

"Six months ago, before these rules even came out, people weren't even allowed to take cell phone video of areas that ISIS controlled," Damon said. "You couldn't even stand in the streets and take a selfie. Your phone would be confiscated."

Allowing local journalists to film and report - albeit under ISIS control and censorship - is a change, and suggests a new level of sophistication.

The treatment of local journalists "is all governed by this overarching sense of fear," Damon said. "At the end of the day, we're not really talking about a free media, even if these local journalists are able to obtain these various permissions. No one is going to risk angering an entity like the so-called Islamic State."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
October 5th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

First rule of covering Ebola: don't touch

The Washington Post's Lenny Bernstein talks with Brian Stelter about covering Ebola in Liberia, and the precautions he's taking now that he's back in the United States. Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner also joins the panel for a discussion about how the press is covering the Ebola outbreak.

Bernstein wrote this column for The Washington Post titled "Reporting on Ebola: First rule is you don’t touch anyone."

"In an abundance of caution as you go around Monrovia, no one is shaking hands or hugging or high fiving. No one is putting their arms around each other," Bernstein told Stelter. "You know, every once in a while you will see somebody do the Liberian handshake, which is just an elbow bump usually with long sleeves over those elbows. You just don't touch anything you don't have to."

Bernstein is now "self-quarantined" in his suburban Maryland home, following the guidance of health officials. But "I would go back in a heartbeat," he said: journalists in countries where Ebola is a threat are "taking a manageable risk in return for reporting what I think is the most important health story in the world right now."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
October 5th, 2014
01:15 PM ET

Media treatment of Ebola: going too far?

PBS "NewsHour" science correspondent Miles O'Brien, a former reporter and anchor at CNN, takes a look at some of the best and worst TV coverage of the Ebola outbreak.

"I wish everybody could take a deep breath and take a break from trying to pull viewers in by scaring them," O'Brien said.

He also said this:

"My biggest wish for the audience is that the mainstream media, the big outlets - CNN included - realize that science coverage is important and they should have people on staff who have a certain amount of expertise who study this beat. You would never run CNN without a political reporter, would you? Why is it in this world, where climate change is a big issue, Ebola is a big issue, missing airliners, all kinds of science and technological implications, why is it that big entities don't maintain science specialized units anymore? They're gone.

And that's a shame because we live in a world with a lot of things that sound very scary and it requires a little bit of digging to get to the bottom of things and put things in perspective."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
October 5th, 2014
01:13 PM ET

Sex vs substance in political journalism

Matt Bai talks about his new book "All The Truth Is Out," and he and Michael Isikoff weigh in on the trivialization of political reporting.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
October 5th, 2014
01:11 PM ET

Red News/Blue News: Secret Service shakeup

Brian Stelter takes a critical look at the speculation that clouded media coverage of the Secret Service director's resignation.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
October 5th, 2014
01:07 PM ET

Hong Kong protesters turn to "fifth estate"

"We are going online, indeed. We are going online. Even the conventional media in Hong Kong, they are conducting [so] much self-censorship... So we are all going online. We trust the fifth estate more than the local, the conventional mainstream media."

Hong Kong politician Claudia Mo tells Brian Stelter how the #OccupyCentral protesters there are making sure their message is heard.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
October 5th, 2014
01:05 PM ET

DirecTV, NFL renew Sunday Ticket deal

What a 50 percent increase in DirecTV's contract with the NFL tells us about football.

Related: CNNMoney story about the new deal


Filed under: Reliable Sources
September 28th, 2014
01:31 PM ET

Journalism and patriotism in wartime

In the above video, former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien and New York Times national security correspondent Mark Mazzetti discuss the duty of journalists to ask skeptical questions during wartime. And former CIA intelligence officer Michael Scheuer critiques the "media and the political establishment."

Host Brian Stelter said: "I want to start the morning by asking something controversial, but something that we as Americans have to be asking. Is our country again waging war in the Middle East based on faulty intelligence and exaggerated threats?"

It is "the media's duty to ask these questions in times of war," he said. FULL POST


Filed under: Reliable Sources
September 28th, 2014
01:30 PM ET

ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for rant

Jim Miller and Will Leitch on ESPN's decision to suspend one of its stars, Bill Simmons, for three weeks.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
September 28th, 2014
01:29 PM ET

Red News/Blue News: Eric Holder resigns

"So, civil rights champion or controversial political activist? Which one is it? Comparing blue news and red news coverage of this, it was like they were talking about two totally different people..."

Brian Stelter takes a look at how Fox News and MSNBC covered the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
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