The hidden billion-dollar cost of repeated police misconduct

The story notes that when police departments mention they are paying a cash settlement to a plaintiff who has made accusations of police misconduct, the departments typically don’t mention the name of officers involved. On the one hand, this makes sense, since the settlements are often made with no admission of misconduct, so the officers aren’t proven guilty. On the other hand, the missing names means it’s hard for the public to keep track of which officers are single-handedly responsible for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of taxpayer money being handed over to plaintiffs who allege police…

How to spot video and photo fakes as Russia invades Ukraine – Poynter

In the first hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, internet watchdogs pored over images shared on Russian media that claimed Ukraine struck first and Russia merely responded. The Biden administration has been warning for weeks that, in the days and hours leading up to the invasion of Ukraine that arrived before dawn on Thursday, Russian sources would release “false flag” photos and videos to make it appear that the Ukrainian military attacked Russian forces unprovoked. To understand how these investigators do their work, you should first understand a few basics. Everything created on a digital device — whether it…

War via TikTok: Russia’s new tool for propaganda machine

“This is the way they go to war; it’s a central part of Russian doctrine,” said Jim Ludes, a former U.S. defense analyst who now directs the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University. Ludes said Russian disinformation campaigns are intended to galvanize Russian support while confusing and dividing the country’s opponents. Russia tailors its propaganda message for specific audiences. For Russians and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, the message is that Russia is trying to defend its own people against Western-fueled aggression and persecution in Ukraine. Similar tactics have been used, including by Nazi Germany…

The beauty from some Olympic skaters was not worth seeing a child emotionally broken on live television.

I didn’t watch any of the video, and I have no desire to. This article was painful to read. “I hate it! … I don’t want to do anything in figure skating ever in my life! … Everyone has a gold medal, and I don’t!” One can forgive a teenage girl for having an emotional response to disappointment in a high-stakes situation, but Trusova’s reaction was an ugly display of poor sportsmanship, happening mere feet from a devastated Valieva. Trusova would later have to be coaxed into even coming back onto the ice to accept her second place finish. As Valieva…

JJ Abrams announces fourth rebooted Star Trek movie

“We are thrilled to say that we are hard at work on a new ‘Star Trek’ film that will be shooting by the end of the year that will be featuring our original cast and some new characters that I think are going to be really fun and exciting and help take ‘Star Trek’ into areas that you’ve just never seen before,” Abrams said. “We’re thrilled about this film, we have a bunch of other stories that we’re talking about that we think will be really exciting, so can’t wait for you to see what we’re cooking up. But until…

Minnesota authorities can’t arrest or threaten journalists after judge approves settlement arising from George Floyd protests

A federal judge brokers an agreement in which Minnesota police had to be told specifically that they can’t arrest, threaten, or assault journalists, or confiscate or damage their equipment. Even when protestors are ordered to disperse, journalists are permitted to document what happens next, as per their First Amendment rights. The settlement includes a payment of $825k to the ACLU, and additional training for any officers who might think they have a right to brutalize and intimidate journalists who are performing their constitutionally protected duties.  Note how the headline on FOX news uses “allegedly” and makes the liberal ACLU the…

It’s not just you — we are all more forgetful during the pandemic, experts say. Here’s how to fix it

Pandemic living can make it much more difficult to form a memory at all, let alone call it back when we need it, said Yassa, director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine.   “Sometimes we’re a little bit harder on ourselves. We think, ‘Oh, how did I forget this? This is something that should be so natural for me to store,’” he said. “But it turns out that something happened during encoding that made it actually impossible for you to even get this memory onboard to begin with. “So, if…

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Media Bias Chart (Ad Fontes, v. 9)

Objective news reporting is an ideal. Wherever humans are involved, there will be bias. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with journalism that reports with a particular slant, but informed consumers of news who want to understand a complex issue aren’t served by one-sided media coverage that flatters and amplifies their world view. This chart sorts popular news sources on a left-right axis according to political slant, but also on a vertical axis, with fact-based original reporting at the top, a middle section that features expert commentary about the news and legitimate opinions on the news, and a bottom section for misleading…

Perspective | How NPR’s Steve Inskeep cracked the code for interviewing Trump

The role of mainstream journalists is significant, and, overall, their record has been far less than stellar. Too many, whether in a one-on-one interview or at larger sessions with a number of reporters, have failed to push back in a way that matters. Trump is such a facile talker — one who specializes in dazzling displays of distraction, ad hominem attacks and repetition — that challenging him effectively in real time can be almost impossible. Those journalistic failures have not served the public. As George Lakoff, a linguist and a proponent of the “truth sandwich,” told me in 2018: “Trump needs the…

Happy Winnie the Pooh Public Domain Day

WINNIE THE POOH PUBLIC DOMAIN JANUARY FIRST — Jason Scott (@textfiles) December 24, 2021 Thank you to the 500,000 people who have visited this tweet. I'm delighted to see so much interest in the public domain. We take a one day break every year to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of works that become locked open. Here's a great overview:https://t.co/yMCzHkRDtw — Jason Scott (@textfiles) December 25, 2021

As if 2021 wasn’t already bad enough, it managed to get Betty White.

Beloved actress, comedian and American icon Betty White has died, just weeks before a milestone birthday … TMZ has learned. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Betty passed away at her home Friday morning. A trailblazer and pioneer in media, Betty had the longest running career for any woman in TV prior to her death — starring in multiple shows over the past 8 decades, starting way back in 1939. Betty is perhaps most famous for her lead role as Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls,” which ran from 1985 to 1992. She’d been in TONS of other big hits throughout…

The LA Times deletes tweets that used passive voice, as details emerged about police killing a teenage bystander (while they also killed an assault suspect)

Several journalist-involved tweet deletions occurred in connection with the Los Angeles Times.   Doesn’t that statement sound awkward?   Language like “was shot and killed by police” and “police-involved shooting” downplays the moral choices made by LEOs who aim their weapons at fellow human beings and squeeze the trigger.   If a police report states “a bullet from a police officer’s gun struck a suspect,” good journalists should notice and revise the “copspeak.” Journalists have their own jargon, too, such as using “alleged” to describe crimes that a suspect is accused of committing (because in America we are all “innocent…

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, who testified unmasked at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, has since tested positive for the coronavirus, the airline said in a statement.

Kelly testified at the hearing that he believes masks do not add substantial protection to airplane passengers and cited aircraft ventilation systems.

“I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment,” he said. “It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”

The hearing lasted approximately three hours. Five witnesses were seated in close proximity and went most of the hearing unmasked.

Kelly was seated between American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. Kirby tested negative, the airline said. American said that “Doug is symptom-free, fully vaccinated and getting tested this afternoon.” –CNN Business

How dual loyalties created an ethics problem for Chris Cuomo and CNN

An editorial on on the firing of CNN’s Chris Cuomo actually quotes from the textbook I’m using in the journalism class that met for the last time today.   This editorial was actually published during our last class, so I regret I couldn’t assign it as a final discussion text.   It makes a really fitting take-home message to wrap up the course.   CNN Journalist Chris Cuomo admitted that he could not fairly cover news stories about the scandal that would eventually take down his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo.   Journalist Cuomo was fired; but not…

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

This is what an ethical news organization does when one of its employees becomes embroiled in a conflict of interest. No human institution is perfect, and no journalist is perfect. But Cuomo should have known better, and should have acted differently, and is now paying the price.  CNN said Saturday that anchor Chris Cuomo has been “terminated” by the network, “effective immediately.” The announcement came after an outside law firm was retained to review information about exactly how Cuomo aided his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when the then-governor was accused of sexual harassment. CNN suspended Cuomo “indefinitely”…