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NY Guiild, Allies Rally for El Diario Workers Outside CIty Hall

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:21pm
StaffAugust 19, 2014The Newspaper Guild of New York

El Diario workers and leaders of the New York Guild were joined by supporters from the NYC Central Labor Council, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Newspaper Deliverers Union and other allies Tuesday to demand an end to the illegal firings and threats against union-represented workers at the media company. Speakers called for the reinstatement of eight workers illegally fired in June. Following the press conference, those workers and their Guild representatives had several positive and productive meetings with elected officials who expressed their support and pledged to do more on this issue. The Guild has scheduled several follow up meetings with local and state elected officials to discuss the ongoing labor violations at El Diario.

Reporter with Most Apple Scoops is 20-Year-Old Student

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 4:35pm
Michael RosenwaldAugust 19, 2014Columbia Journalism Review

The best-sourced reporter covering Apple Inc., one of the world’s most secretive companies, is a 20-year-old junior at the University of Michigan. His name is Mark Gurman. He makes more than six figures a year as senior editor and scoop master at 9to5Mac.com, a news outlet most people have never heard of. Gurman’s scoops, beginning in high school, have included stories about Apple’s foray into tablets, new phone designs, the arrival of Siri, the dropping of Google maps, how Apple stores operate, how new operating systems work and look, and, most recently, how the company plans to integrate health and fitness tracking into its devices.  “He drives that site the way Nate Silver did at The New York Times,” said Kara Swisher, who with Walt Mossberg co-founded Re/Code, one of many outlets that have tried unsuccessfully to lure away Gurman and his scoops. “He’s the show as far as any of us are concerned in Silicon Valley. He’s the brand.”

Afghan Officials Won't Let NY Times Reporter Leave Country

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 2:42pm
Rod NordlandAugust 19, 2014The New York Times

The Afghan attorney general’s office called in a New York Times correspondent for questioning Tuesday, and later banned him from leaving the country, after The Times published a story about discussions among some officials of imposing an interim government. The correspondent, Matthew Rosenberg, 40, a three-year veteran of The Times’s Kabul bureau, was summoned to the attorney general’s office for what was billed as an “informal chat” Tuesday about an article published in that day’s newspaper. The article said that powerful figures in the Afghan government were discussing the formation of a temporary governing committee as a way to break the deadlock that followed national elections. It was the fourth time this year that the Afghan government has threatened or initiated legal action against The Times because of complaints by senior Afghan officials over articles it has published.

Newspaper Vet Praises, Cautions Journalists in Ferguson

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 2:10pm
StaffAugust 19, 2014Poynter

Richard Weiss, retired St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, editor and writing coach, is praising journalists covering Ferguson for "living up to your responsibilities. Beautifully." And he suggests those doing it best are staying out of the story. "This is not the time to let people know how many hours you are working (which is a way of bragging that you are tireless) or that you are scared (which is a way of saying you are really brave) or that you are appearing in 15 minutes on BBC or CNN (which is a way of saying you are special) or that your news site got 10 zillion hits or tens of thousands of viewers or listeners (which is a way of saying you are more interested in your brand than in what’s going on) and it’s not even the time to praise your colleague for his/ fine work (which may be appreciated by that person but will be construed as tribalism by others.) Rather stick to your knitting… let your fine work speak for itself."

No Textbook Teaches What Journalists are Learning at Riots

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:51am
Paul FarhiAugust 19, 2014The Washington Post

The first thing you learn in covering a riot is to expect the unexpected. It’s not just the rioters you have to worry about, say reporters; the authorities can be difficult — and dangerous — too. Journalists who’ve been covering the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Mo., for the past week describe being wary of both sides. If they aren’t being threatened by looters, they could be in the path of tear-gas showers and rubber-bullet volleys launched by police. Many journalists have been gassed, and a few have been hurt, although none seriously it seems. The intensity of the situation is illustrated by the things reporters carry — not just notebooks and cameras, but flak jackets, helmets and gas masks. On Monday, The Washington Post, following the lead of other news organizations, began outfitting its employees with gas masks, purchased at a chain hardware store. Post photographers are among those equipped with an accessory familiar to war correspondents: a blue bulletproof vest emblazoned with the word “PRESS.”

Journalists Who Fled Syria Publish Syrian Paper from Turkey

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 8:46am
Phoebe ZerwickAugust 19, 2014Winston-Salem Journal

Noura Mansour and Diab Serriah fled Syria and almost certain arrest in 2012, but they keep close tabs on what’s happening at home through the freelance journalists inside Syria who file stories with them for their newspaper, Tamddon. The newspaper is published in five regions in northern Syria – Idlid, Aleppo, Derazor, Homs and Hama – for Syrians without other reliable sources of news. The couple publishes accounts of the ongoing war but most importantly to them, Tamddon covers stories about Syrians and the way they live at home or in exile. Recently, for example, Tamddon published a story about Syrian women who were learning to weave carpets in a Turkish refugee camp and another Syrian village where residents produce billboards and banners printed with political slogans. “We want to show we are having a real revolution,” Mansour said. “We are not all Islamists. We are not all ISIS or Dash.” 

Getty Photographer Arrested, Released In Ferguson

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 8:03am
Mollie ReillyAugust 19, 2014Huffington Post

Getty photojournalist Scott Olson was arrested in Ferguson Monday, allegedly for not being in the precise spot where media were supposed to be. He was later released. It's not Olson's first brush with the law while on the job. In 2012, he was one of several journalists injured while covering protests at a Chicago NATO summit. In a Saturday interview with NPR's "All Things Considered," Olson detailed his experiences covering the protests over the death of Michael Brown. A former Marine, he said he was shocked by how heavily armed Ferguson's police squads were. "Most of these protesters are peaceful," he said. "If you have several people there trying to disrupt the protest, you're not going to shoot at them with a rifle. Not in a crowd like that."

Guild Letter to Ferguson Leaders Decries Media's Treatment

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 3:34pm
StaffAugust 18, 2014United Media Guild

A letter signed by United Media Guild leaders and International President Bernie Lunzer was delivered Monday to the Ferguson, Mo., mayor and police chief, decrying the treatment of journalists covering protests of the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown. The letter notes that the Guild worked with police officials in Oakland, California, after unrest there, to identify policies that allow journalists to cover breaking events without compromising police safety. "We want to work with you to find solutions," Lunzer, UMG President Jeff Gordon and UMG Business Representative Shannon Duffy say in the letter.

#Ferguson: Twitter Puts Global Spotlight on Police Shooting

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 1:10pm
David CarrAugust 18, 2014The New York Times

David Carr looks back at how the police shooting of Michael Brown and the early protests in Ferguson, Mo., became a national, and international, media event, in large part due to Twitter. "In a situation hostile to traditional reporting, the crowdsourced, phone-enabled network of information that Twitter provides has proved invaluable... News organizations learned about the arrest and harassment of their reporters on Twitter and were able to take steps to get them out of jail. In the meantime, important information continues to flow out of Ferguson. As much as any traditional wire service, Twitter spread the remarkable work of David Carson, a photographer at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch who managed to take pictures despite being pushed around by both the police and the protesters," Carr writes, with a shout-out to Carson, a United Media Guild member.

Obama Hypocritical in Statement About Reporters' Arrests

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 11:04am
David UbertiAugust 18, 2014Columbia Journalism Review

In a news conference Thursday addressing the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown and resulting unrest in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama criticized the arrests of two reporters there. “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs,” Obama said. Just minutes after the president finished his remarks, a coalition of journalism organizations at the National Press Club in Washington began a news conference condemning the Obama administration’s attempt to compel James Risen, a New York Times reporter, to identify a confidential source. Risen could face jail if he doesn't comply.

More Journalists Arrested, Threatened at Ferguson Protests

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:36am
Abby PhillipAugust 18, 2014The Washington Post

As journalists from around the world flock to Ferguson, Mo., more are reporting being detained, threatened or otherwise prevented from covering the unfolding story. Three reporters were arrested Sunday night: Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated, Chicago-based Financial Times reporter Neil Munshi and Rob Crilly, a foreign correspondent for the Telegraph. The arrests were ordered arrested by Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who has been serving as a critical bridge between the Ferguson community and law enforcement. The journalists said that they were released shortly after their arrests, but not before plastic “handcuffs” were put around their wrists.

Police: No New Leads in Search for Missing WSJ Reporter

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:23am
StaffAugust 18, 2014Echoes-Sentinell

With leads that have led nowhere in the eight months since his disappearance, police are continuing to seek information in the case of Millington, N.J., resident David Bird, a Wall Street Journal reporter and Guild member who has been missing since Saturday, Jan. 11, when he left his home at about 4:30 p.m. for a short walk. Bird, 55, has worked for the Journal for more than 20 years, most recently as senior energy reporter. Journal publisher Dow Jones has offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Bird. Meanwhile, friends have set up a fund to help his family. 

Post Smelled Trouble When Reporter Vanished from Twitter

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:23am
Brian FungAugust 15, 2014The Washington Post

When police in combat gear arrested two reporters Wednesday in Ferguson, Mo., the journalists' first instinct was to tweet about it. “Ryan, tweet that they’re arresting me, tweet that they’re arresting me," Washington Post's Wesley Lowery told Ryan Reilly of HuffPost. But it was too late: Reilly himself was being put in handcuffs. In an earlier time, Lowery might have phoned his editors to let them know he'd been detained. But this is not then. Back in The Washington Post newsroom, staffers monitoring social media were the first to become concerned about Lowery's whereabouts. Tweets may be little, ephemeral bits of information, but when they wind up launching a major national news story, 140 characters may as well be 140 pages. Within minutes of the reporters' arrest, other journalists were tweeting about the men's disappearance from social media.

Obama to Ferguson Cops: Stop Bullying, Arresting Reporters

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 5:04pm
Lena WilliamsAugust 14, 2014NewsGuild-CWA


Photo: Screen shot from video by Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery as he was confronted and then arrested Wednesday night by Ferguson police.

President Obama criticized Thursday the arrests of two journalists by police in Ferguson, Mo., and called for an “open and transparent” investigation into last weekend’s shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old black man by a white Ferguson police officer.

The president spoke out in response to the growing violence in the St. Louis suburb in the shooting’s aftermath.

The incident has sparked both peaceful protests and acts of looting and vandalism in the city since the Aug. 9 shooting. As Ferguson police fire tear gas and rubber bullets, citizens and journalists dispute that crowd control is officers’ only motivation.

On Wednesday, an Al Jazeera America news crew was hit with tear gas and rubber bullets while setting up their equipment.

That incident occurred not long after after a reporter for The Washington Post and another from Huffington Post were arrested by police inside a McDonald’s restaurant that has served as a makeshift media staging area.

Wesley Lowery of the Post and Ryan J. Reilly of HuffPost described how armed police officers ordered them to leave the restaurant. While beginning to comply, Lowery also began recording events on his cell phone. When he refused police orders to stop, officers grabbed and handcuffed him and shoved him against a soda machine.

In a first-person account for the Post, Lowery writes, “Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands. ‘My hands are behind my back,’ I said. ‘I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.’ At which point one officer said: ‘You’re resisting. Stop resisting.' That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets.”

Reilly was also arrested and both men were taken by van to police headquarters. They were subsequently released, but police refused the journalists’ requests for the officers’ names and badge numbers.

Acknowledging nationwide concerns about the escalating police action in Ferguson, Obama said that while there's no excuse for violence against police, there's also "no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protestors or to throw protestors in jail for lawfully exercising their First amendment rights."

The president spoke strongly against law enforcement officials arresting and detaining working journalists. “Here in the United States of America police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground," he said.

Those comments were met with subtle but derisive laughter when brought up by a reporter at another Thursday afternoon news conference. At the National Press Club, national journalism and First Amendment groups gathered in support of New York Times reporter James Risen, whom the federal government is threatening with jail if he fails to reveal a source.

Speakers condemned the Obama administration’s actions against Risen and its crackdown on other journalists and whistleblowers. "I don't think the United States wants to join Cuba in being the only other country in the Western Hemisphere to have an imprisoned journalist," said Courtney Radsch of the Committee to Protect Journalists.(More coverage of the news conference coming shortly to NewsGuild.org.)

With regard to Ferguson, Obama said he has tasked the Department of Justice and the F.B.I. to independently investigate Michael Brown’s death, along with local officials.

He said the DOJ is consulting with local authorities about ways to maintain public safety without “restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation.”

Touching on the family’s and community’s heartbreak, Obama said, “When something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities.

“Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done.”

Chicago Guild Takes on Quota Demands at Pioneer Press

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:01am
Ralph ZahorikAugust 14, 2014Chicago Newspaper Guild

After some Pioneer Press reporters started getting warnings last winter that they had to write 2.5 stories a day, their union, the Chicago Newspaper Guild, met with the company to find out what was going on. It seemed as if a quota system was being imposed but, at the meeting, the company said while there was a new system with new expectations, the system was flexible, the rules “weren’t hard and fast” and reporters were not going to be subject to discipline, said Craig Rosenbaum, Chicago Newspaper Guild Executive Director. Most of this turned out to be false. Pioneer reporters are now working under a confusing but strict quota. They’re being warned if they don’t produce the 2.5 minimum, they could lose their jobs.

SEC Searches Emails in Aggressive Probe of Media Leaks

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:44am
Sheila S. CoronelAugust 14, 2014Columbia Journalism Review

If you think investigations of media leaks are confined to issues of national security, think again. Since 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission has aggressively investigated leaks to the media, examining some one million emails sent by nearly 300 members of its staff, interviewing some 100 of its own employees and trolling the phone records of scores more. Details of the SEC’s latest inquiry were recently revealed, when CNBC and Reuters reported that the agency’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) had examined the email and phone records of 39 SEC employees. The goal: To find out who had leaked to Reuters information on the commission’s settlement with JP Morgan over the “London Whale” trading charges.

WashPost Reporter's Account of Being Arrested in Ferguson

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:30am
Wesley LoweryAugust 14, 2014The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly were arrested Wednesday night at a McDonald's -- a makeshift staging area for journalists covering the Ferguson protests over the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. In a first-person report, Lowery writes that even as he was attempting to cooperate with officers' orders to leave the area, "Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands. “My hands are behind my back,” I said. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.” That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets. As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door."

RTDNA Urges Ferguson Police to Work with Journalists

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 8:23pm
StaffAugust 13, 2014Radio, Television and Digital News Association

In response to reports of journalists being subjected to harassment and restricted access to areas of the city not being enforced on the general public, the director of the Radio, Television and Digital News Association has written to the city's police chief, urging restraint and calling for cooperation with the media. "While our members and the journalism community as a whole understand your department’s primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the residents of Ferguson during this time, we strongly object to the conduct of some of your officers, along with that of other law enforcement officials as it impacts journalists. This includes placing undue limits on media access to the affected portions of the community, along with the continuing reports of harassment and undue treatment of reporters, photographers and others involved on-scene, who are providing vital news coverage of the events as they unfold. "

James Risen Wins Guild's Herbert Block Freedom Award

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 3:24pm
Janelle HartmanAugust 13, 2014NewsGuild-CWA


The Newspaper Guild-CWA is proud to announce that the Herbert Block Freedom Award will be presented to embattled New York Times reporter James Risen, who has risked his own freedom to protect the principles that are essential for a truly free press. 


Federal officials have been pursuing Risen since 2006, demanding he confirm the name of a man they believe was a source for his book, “State of War” about the CIA and the Bush Administration. In the years since, Risen has pursued every legal avenue to force the Department of Justice to drop its subpoena. He took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June upheld a lower court decision to sustain the subpoena. Despite the threat of jail for contempt of court, Risen continues to refuse to reveal the name.


“With his book, James Risen did what great journalists do,” TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. “He dug for information, developed sources who trusted him and ultimately exposed some of the hard truths behind the war on terrorism. Without jeopardizing national security, he told Americans what their government wouldn’t. That is his job, the job of all journalists. And we are all better for it.”


Risen’s unwavering resolve, and the outpouring of support from journalists nationwide “should make it clear to the government that no reporter is going to break a pledge to a source they’ve guaranteed anonymity,” Lunzer said. “Many journalists already report that sources are drying up out of fear of being fired and prosecuted if caught. What James Risen is doing helps ensure that the well doesn’t dry up for good, which would be a catastrophic blow to our democracy.”


The Freedom Award, which comes with a $5,000 prize, honors the famous Washington Post cartoonist, Herbert Block, known as Herblock. Block, who carried a Guild card from 1934 until his death in 2001, cared deeply about social justice and First Amendment rights. Winners, chosen by the Guild’s executive 

council, are journalists and activists who exemplify Block’s values. He had profound compassion for the weak and disadvantaged, held a deep distrust of unbridled power and made substantial contributions to a free press. 


The award will be presented with the Heywood Broun award at a ceremony in October. Whether Risen will be able to attend the event isn’t known. His lawyer has advised him not to discuss his case until it is resolved.


Journalists Cover Ebola with Caution, but Know the Risks

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 11:11am
Joe PompeoAugust 13, 2014Capital New York

Capital New York looks at how journalists are trying to stay safe while reporting on the deadly Ebola outbreak. "Some readers might question the sanity of anyone who would place themselves within arms reach of a horrific disease—unless they were one of the selfless few whose mission is either to treat people affected by it or help contain its spread. But journalists, as with soldiers, humanitarians and first responders, are often the ones running into a danger zone instead of away from it, whether that's the frontline of a war or a small town teeming with highly infectious pathogens."