Reporter breaks the news of secret bombing in Cambodia

Reporter breaks the news of secret bombing in Cambodia


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William Beecher, military correspondent for the New York Times, publishes a front page dispatch from Washington, “Raids in Cambodia by U.S. Unprotested,” which accurately described the first of the secret B-52 bombing raids in Cambodia. Within hours, Henry Kissinger, presidential assistant for national security affairs, contacted J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking him to find the governmental sources of Beecher’s article. During the next two years, Alexander Haig, a key Kissinger assistant, transmitted the names of National Security Council staff members and reporters who were to have their telephones wiretapped by the FBI.

READ MORE: How Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia Triggered a Check on Presidential Power


Fort Bragg Veterans Break Their Silence About Secret Vietnam Missions

FORT BRAGG &mdash For almost 40 years, their story could not be told. Their Vietnam War missions were so secret that the U.S. top brass could not or would not talk about them -- until now.

Thousands of American soldiers fought in rice paddies and jungles in Vietnam, but the men of theStudies and Observation Group(SOG) fought a different war against the North Vietnamese Army.

SOG recon teams generally consisted of three American Special Forces soldiers and six to 10 allied Montagnard, Chinese Nung, Cambodian or Vietnamese soldiers. Recon teams struck 15 to 50 miles deep into Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam.

Few of them were officers. Most were enlisted men -- Green Beret volunteers. They attacked North Vietnamese bases in Cambodia and Laos and disrupted traffic on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

"They gave us a briefing, and said, 'Now, you're all volunteers now,' and we were on a classified mission into Laos," says former SOG soldier Maj. Frank Jaks.

About 2,000 Americans served in SOG between 1964 and 1972. More than 300 of them died.

"Whenever you got the Army Times there, you'd read the names in the obituary column, and you knew a lot of them in there," says retired SOG soldier Robbie Robbins.

Rescuing Allied prisoners was difficult because the North Vietnamese moved them frequently. A major raid on the Son Tay prison to rescue American POWs was unsuccessful.

"The real thing that goes through your mind was the disappointment of not finding anybody there," Robbins says.

Armed to the teeth, SOG teams moved quietly through fields and jungle, whispering and evading to discover what the enemy was doing. If discovered, there was usually a quick and deadly firefight. If they were lucky, they could escape by helicopters protected by American fighter planes.

Jaks led a team 50 miles into Laos to resuce a downed U.S. pilot.

"We got the guy and put him on the chopper. He says, 'I didn't realize that we had American aviation here.' I said, 'We don't and forget what you have seen here,'" he says.

Dick Norris led Recon Team Illinois "over the fence" into Laos.

"We went in by helicopter and came out by Vietnamese helicopter. We stayed in there five days. I was wounded along with one Montagnard," he says.

Fort Bragg has always been headquarters for special forces. The lessons and tactics learned by the recon teams in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are now taught at the John F. Kennedy special warfare center and school.

Names and statues of SOG heroes remind today's Special Forces soldiers of their heritage.

"Everyone will eventually come back to Fort Bragg. I don't care if you were assigned to one of the groups, if you went over to Vietnam, went to Thailand or went to Korea, you always come back to Fort Bragg," says retired SOG soldier Earl Bleacher.

Twenty-nine years after SOG was disbanded, the units' stories are told by author John Plaster, who is also a former SOG member.

"I would say that this is probably the greatest group of unsung heroes of the Vietnam War," he says.

Last month, the men of SOG were honored for their gallantry with the Presidential Unit Citation. More than 2,000 were given medals for their heroism. Eleven of them received the Medal of Honor.


Bob Simon

Bob Simon, the longtime &ldquo60 Minutes&rdquo correspondent and legendary CBS News foreign reporter died Feb. 11, 2015, in a car accident in New York City.

Bob Simon was among a handful of elite journalists who had covered most major overseas conflicts and news stories from the late 1960s to the present, earning an unprecedented number of awards in the process. He had contributed regularly to 60 Minutes since 1996. He was a correspondent for all seven seasons of 60 Minutes II, from January 1999 to June 2005, after which he became a full-time 60 Minutes correspondent.

Simon reported on the persecution of Coptic Christians caught up in Egypt&rsquos political turmoil and the situation in Fukushima, Japan, three years after it endured the triple tragedy of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. His 2012 story from Central Africa on the world&rsquos only all-black symphony won him his fourth Peabody award and an Emmy. Another story about an orchestra in Paraguay, one whose poor members constructed their instruments from trash, won him his 27th Emmy.

Simon&rsquos foreign coverage appeared on all CBS News broadcasts and earned him scores of other major awards, including the Overseas Press Club&rsquos highest honor for a body of work, the President&rsquos Award. His 27 Emmys may be the most held by a journalist for field reporting. His news magazine work took many of those, including Emmys for 60 Minutes stories &ldquoCurveball,&rdquo the investigation of the Iraqi defector who provided the faulty testimony that eventually led America to war &ldquoThe Sea Gypsies,&rdquo a report on the island-dwelling Moken peoples of Southeast Asia &ldquoAftershock,&rdquo about American paramedics saving lives after an earthquake in Pakistan and &ldquoRoberto Benigni,&rdquo his profile of the Italian actor/director. He also won Emmy Awards for his reporting from Vietnam (two awards), Lebanon, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, India and China.

He won electronic journalism&rsquos highest honor, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, for &ldquoShame of Srebrenica,&rdquo a 60 Minutes II report on heinous acts of genocide during the Bosnian War.

Few journalists have covered as many overseas conflicts as Simon and he paid the price. In addition to several short detentions, close calls and wounds, he was captured by Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border during the opening days of the Gulf War in January 1991. He and the other three members of CBS News&rsquo coverage team spent 40 days in Iraqi prisons, an experience Simon wrote about in his book &ldquoForty Days&rdquo (Putnam, 1992). He went to Baghdad again in January 1993 to cover the American bombing of Iraq.

His career in war reporting began in Vietnam. While based in the London (1972-77) and Saigon (1971-72) bureaus, he reported extensively on the war. He won an OPC award for his reporting on Hanoi&rsquos 1972 spring offensive and was part of the CBS News team that won a 1975 Overseas Press Club (OPC) award for Best Radio Spot News for coverage of the end of the conflict. He covered its final six weeks and was on one of the last helicopters out of Saigon in 1975. During his first tour in CBS News&rsquo London bureau (1969-71), he reported extensively on the troubles in Northern Ireland. In addition, Simon also reported from war zones in Portugal, Cyprus, The Falklands, the Persian Gulf, Yugoslavia and from the American interventions in Grenada, Somalia and Haiti. He was in Poland during martial law, with Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War, with PLO fighters during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and in Gaza the day the First Intifada began.

Simon was named CBS News&rsquo chief Middle Eastern correspondent in 1987, where he distinguished himself as the premier broadcast journalist in that part of the world, working out of the Tel Aviv bureau for over 20 years. In 1996, he received an OPC Award, a Peabody Award and two Emmy Awards for his coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and another OPC Award in 1991 for his coverage of the Gulf War. Simon&rsquos report from war-torn Sarajevo was part of the basis for an RTNDA Overall Excellence in Television Award received by CBS News in 1996. He scored two major news-making interviews for 60 Minutes in 2003 after the start of the Iraqi War: the first Western interview with militant Iraqi cleric Muqtada al Sadr and another with his exiled Shiite rival, the Ayatollah al-Hakim, who was assassinated shortly after the interview.

His remarkable career was recognized with a Peabody Award (2000) for &ldquoa body of work by an outstanding international journalist on a diverse set of critical global issues,&rdquo and with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in September 2003. He was a recipient of the 1997 Edward Weintal Prize given by Georgetown University&rsquos Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in recognition of &ldquodistinguished reporting on foreign policy and diplomacy.&rdquo

Simon also contributed acclaimed reports to CBS&rsquos Olympics coverage. For the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, he chronicled the botched attempt of the Mossad, Israel&rsquos secret intelligence agency, to avenge the deaths of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, coverage that earned him an Emmy Award. For the broadcast of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, he delivered a 30-minute piece on Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic runner who survived World War II as a prisoner of war of the Japanese and eventually triumphed over that and other extraordinary personal setbacks. The story was recognized with a Sports Emmy.

In addition to his distinguished work overseas, Simon served as a national correspondent in New York for CBS News (1982-87). He also spent time in Washington, D.C., as the CBS News State Department correspondent (1981-82). Before that, he was assigned for the first time to CBS News&rsquo Tel Aviv bureau (1977-81).

Simon joined CBS News in 1967 as a reporter and assignment editor based in New York. He covered campus unrest and inner-city riots, as well as the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Simon served as an American Foreign Service officer (1964-67). He was a Fulbright scholar in France and a Woodrow Wilson scholar.


Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report

A Black secret service agent who former President Trump Donald Trump Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport MORE said informed him of the meaning of Juneteenth last year also reportedly told the commander in chief that he found it “offensive” that he had a political rally scheduled in Tulsa on the holiday.

The reported detail was revealed in an upcoming book from Wall Street Journal White House reporter Michael C. Bender, “ Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost,” a portion of which Politico published on Friday.

Trump previously told Bender in an interview published by the Journal last year that a Black secret service agent had informed him about the history of Juneteenth, the day commemorating when news of the end to slavery reached Texas in 1865, nearly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

According to new details released by Bender on Friday, Trump two days after announcing a rally to be held on June 19 in Tulsa, Okla., the location of the 1921 attacks considered one of the country’s bloodiest instances of racial violence, asked an unnamed Black secret service agent about Juneteenth.

“Yes, I know what it is,” the agent said to Trump, according to Bender. “And it’s very offensive to me that you’re having this rally on Juneteenth.”

According to the journalist, it was that night that Trump tweeted that he wished to change the date of his rally.

The details surrounding the controversial scheduling of the rally, which was eventually postponed, comes a day after President Biden Joe Biden Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll US to give Afghanistan 3M doses of J&J vaccine MORE signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, officially making Juneteenth a national holiday in the U.S.

The holiday, which falls on Saturday this year, is being observed by federal employees on Friday, per a Thursday announcement from the Office of Personnel Management.

Trump in last year’s interview with the Journal claimed that it was him who made Juneteenth “very famous” by originally scheduling his campaign rally that day.

However, the then-president expressed surprise in the same interview when an aide informed him that the White House had put out a statement marking the commemoration the year prior.

“Oh, really? We put out a statement? The Trump White House put out a statement?” Trump said at the time. “OK, OK. Good.”

Bender’s book excerpt also revealed other details surrounding the planning of the Tulsa rally, including that it was Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale Brad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE , who recommended holding the event on June 19.

“No one on Parscale’s team flagged that day—or that combination of time and place—as potentially problematic,” the journalist wrote.

Trump’s team reportedly considered a range of other possible locations for the rally, including Arizona, Florida and Michigan.

The Hill has reached out to representatives for Trump for comment on the newly reported details.


Book excerpt: "Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service"

In her new book, "Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service" (Random House), Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig (co-author of the bestselling "A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America") traces the evolution of the agency responsible for protecting the president, and how in recent years the Secret Service has become marred by black marks, scandals, and a toxic work culture.

Read the excerpt below, and don't miss Jim Axelrod's interview with Carol Leonnig on "CBS Sunday Morning" May 16!

Random House

Chapter 1
Protecting Lancer

Win Lawson felt his chest puff out a little this particular day in Buffalo, his shoulders hiking his lanky frame just a little taller and straighter. Proud. Yep, he could admit it to himself. Win Lawson, the shy, quiet worrier, felt proud.

The thirty-four-year-old had grown up in a no-stoplight town along the banks of Lake Erie that few outside upstate New York had ever heard of: Portland, New York. The community, about sixty miles south of Buffalo, was best known for its chilly lake air, vineyards and apple farms, and families as hardy as the crops they tended.

Lawson, the son of an elementary school teacher and a local banker, had left for college the summer after high school. He got his degree, married a fraternity brother's sister, and joined an Army intelligence unit as the Korean War began.

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Now, a dozen years later, on this fall day in 1962, Lawson had returned to his home turf in a prestigious new role: He was an agent with the Secret Service, assigned to protect the president of the United States.

Nearly two hundred thousand people spilled across Buffalo's largest downtown square, angling for a glimpse of the most famous man on earth, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. And Win Lawson stood beside him.

Kennedy visited Buffalo on October 14, 1962, the day of the city's beloved Polish heritage parade. Seeing the crowds eight deep on the limo route, Lawson thought: Polish or not, all of upstate New York has turned out today to see their dashing president.

Lawson and the seven other members of the president's detail had a job that required every ounce of their concentration: Safeguard Kennedy from start to finish of the trip. They shadowed him as he stepped off Air Force One, as he stood waving from his limo the last half mile of the parade, and now finally as he addressed the enormous crowd in the city's center &mdash Niagara Square.

That inner ring of detail agents kept a unique vigil that relied largely on sensory instinct and coiled muscles. When "the Boss" &mdash their informal name for the president &mdash stepped on the platform stage, his detail trained their eyes and ears on the crowd for any odd duck, strange movement, or person with hands stuffed in their pockets. When Kennedy was shaking hands, as he loved to do, detail agents flanked him on either side, watching those outstretched hands for any sign of danger. Their duty: to put their body between the president and a gun, knife, or any other threat.

Standing at the base of the wooden stage in front of City Hall, Lawson rotated his head from left to right, scanning the square, a human periscope rolling over endless heads, faces, and arms, alert to any sign of danger.

For this visit, Lawson had the added duty of serving as the Secret Service's chief of security planning. He had arrived three days earlier to assess the safety of every step the president would take on the visit, an elaborate choreography known as "the advance." He had chosen which streets to block off for the motorcade, how close crowds could stand, and what perimeter posts local cops and motorcycle escorts would man.

But Lawson's meticulous planning didn't change the laws of physics: He and his fellow agents were ultimately insignificant dots in the swirling mass of people pouring into the square.

Cheers went up as Kennedy told the crowd they had kept Poland in their hearts and urged them to pray that her people might one day live free of Communist rule. "And as the old song says, 'As long as you live, Poland lives,'" Kennedy continued. Thundering applause filled the square. Kennedy smiled at how long he had to wait before he could say the next line.

Kennedy was winning hearts, and &mdash his political aides hoped &mdash votes. To help Democrats win congressional seats that November, the White House wanted as many voters as possible to see the president. Secret Service agents privately disapproved of how close Kennedy wanted to get to his public, but they didn't have the power to override him. Still, the agents knew that the longer the parade route and the more hand-shaking at rope lines, the greater the chances that something bad could happen.

Hard as it was to believe that the president needed protecting from the cheering masses in Niagara Square, Lawson and the detail had to assume at all times that an enemy lurked within the throng. Kennedy may have been handsome, rich, and devilishly charming, but plenty of people in the country despised him. A select few wanted him dead.

The forty-three-year-old politician threatened the status quo. He was the first Catholic to win the presidency, a shock for an older generation that considered Protestants the nation's nobility. Many Americans were also deeply unsettled by Kennedy's insistence that Blacks deserved to study in the same schools, use the same bathrooms, and eat in the same restaurants as Whites.

A few weeks after Kennedy won the 1960 election, Richard Pavlick, a retired seventy-three-year-old postal worker with a history of mental problem and rants against Catholics, loaded the trunk of his Buick with seven sticks of dynamite. He drove from his native New Hampshire to Palm Beach, where the president-elect was staying before his inauguration. Pavlick plotted to blow up Kennedy by ramming his car as he left to attend mass, but he scrapped the plan when he saw Kennedy's wife and children walking by his side. Palm Beach police arrested him a few days later, based on a tip from a worried colleague who pieced together that Pavlick had been stalking Kennedy.

In Kennedy's first six weeks as president, the White House received three times the average number of letters threatening violence against the president. "We are sick of the dirty black Catholics," read one anonymous letter postmarked from Los Angeles. "The next bomb will be for you, Mr. Kennedy."

The agents who make up the president's White House detail privately feared for Kennedy's safety. And not just because their job naturally bred paranoia. To the public, President Kennedy was a dashing, cerebral leader with a picture-perfect family. In private, Kennedy's Secret Service agents saw a man courting danger.

Kennedy kept up an unrelenting pace compared to his predecessors, and it pushed his detail close to exhaustion. He was also extremely reckless with his own personal safety. His actions made some of his protectors uneasy and a few quite angry. The agents on his detail liked the new president personally, but professionally, he was their toughest assignment yet.

When Kennedy moved his young family into the White House in January 1961, the Service was so small it resembled a modest city police force more than a federal agency. The Service's top official was even called Chief. The agency ran on a $5 million budget and employed just over three hundred agents, the majority of whom were stationed in field offices spread across fifty states. Just thirty-four agents were assigned to the White House detail &mdash the arm that protected the president. They typically worked in six-man teams around the president, rotating in eight-hour shifts.

These agents &mdash all men, and most of them from working-class backgrounds &mdash had grown up in the shadow of World War II and possessed a keen sense of duty to country. The typical hire was an athletic, straitlaced college graduate in his late twenties or early thirties who served in the military or worked for a local police department.

New agents were always sent first to a field office, but "keepers" were summoned to the White House for a tryout on the detail within one or two years. The Service struck a deal with the federal government to bypass the federal hiring pool and instead hire any agent the chief wanted. As part of the agreement, the Secret Service had to put these relatively junior agents on the president's detail within two years if the Service wanted to keep them on the job.

The agents received no specialized protection training, but learned on the job from experienced colleagues on the detail. "That's how the Secret Service worked. They got you started, they paired you with someone good," said Tim McIntyre, a former Kennedy detail agent. "The Service had a policy of allocating assignments to you and expecting you to respond. When you're posted at various spots, it could be anyplace. It could be in an auditorium. They don't have time to spend to explain a whole lot to you. They expect you to pick up the ball and run with it."

The work of an agent, standing watch at a fixed post, was grueling &mdash even boring. But working alongside the affable, debonair Kennedy gave the job a special cachet. And unlike the general before him, this president made an effort to get to know his agents and greeted them by name. His glamorous life, which included regular sightings of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and the queen of England, sprinkled a little stardust on his security team. Agents relished standing next to history.

"I'd go down to the LBJ ranch, I'd be working the midnight shift. I'd be standing under one of those big oak trees out in front. And it'd be two in the morning, and it'd be cold," Lawson grimaced, recalling one assignment. "You'd think, 'What in the world am I doing here? You know I'm a college graduate and here I am almost like on guard duty in the middle of the night and so far away. I've been away from home, it's over Christmas,' whatever.

"Then maybe two weeks later, you'd go to an event you couldn't buy your way into. I was at Cape Canaveral . for the first moonshot. I was there when they took off," he said. "You think, 'My gosh, I'm a guy from a little town in western New York and look what I've just been witness to.'"

The Polish heritage parade was one of those days for Lawson. After the parade was over, the president of the United States hopped into his open-topped limousine and left Buffalo, all without incident. Then, as he'd prearranged, Lawson met his parents and brother at the Niagara Falls airstrip parking lot and quickly placed them in a choice spot on the fence line. He knew the president would shake hands there before boarding his plane for the return flight to Washington. Kennedy loved this part of his public outings best: the face-to- face greetings with voters who'd waited for hours to welcome him.

As the president neared Lawson's family, Lawson stood behind his left shoulder and nodded quickly at his parents. Lawson's shift leader, Floyd Boring, paused at their section of fence.

"Mr. President," Boring said, "this is Agent Lawson's family."

Ever gracious, the president beamed. He shook hands with Lawson's brother and father and thanked them for Win's service. Lawson's mother, wearing one of her best day dresses and a pillbox hat decorated with pink and lavender flowers, thrust her right hand toward him with a determined look.

"I am sorry for how busy we have been keeping your son," Kennedy said, grasping the mother's pale white arm. And then came that Kennedy trademark: his whip-fast humor. "He must be doing a pretty good job, because nobody has shot me yet," the president deadpanned.

From the book "Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service" by Carol Leonnig. Copyright © 2021 by Carol Leonnig. Published by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Before ‘Batman Begins’: Secret History of the Movies That Almost Got Made

Four films and eight years after Tim Burton successfully brought Batman to the big screen, Joel Shumacher‘s Batman & Robin became the first major miss for The Dark Knight.

The film was panned by fans and critics alike, and while Schumacher had a fifth Batman film planned (a draft of a script was nearly complete), it soon became apparent he would be exiting the franchise.

Warner Bros. was unsure where to take the Caped Crusader next, and for the next six years a slew of filmmakers came and went, each with their own take on the Dark Knight. Hot talent like Frank Miller, Darren Aronofsky , Se7en‘s Andrew Kevin Walker and a pair of untested screenwriters took their shots, until the studio finally settled on Christopher Nolan‘s take in 2003. The young director, best known for the cerebral indie Memento and the midsize studio film Insomnia, envisioned a grounded take on the character, and teamed with screenwriter David S. Goyer to deliver on that vision.

Batman Begins hit theaters ten years ago on June 15, 2005 and would go on to be the most influential comic book film since Richard Donner‘s 1978 classic Superman. Nolan’s Batman films are arguably the most beloved superhero trilogy of all time, with its chapters &mdash also including The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) &mdash going on to gross more than $2.4 billion worldwide. It made the term “reboot” a word every studio in Hollywood had on its mind and most would make it part of their business models.

The path between Batman Begins and the campy disappointment Batman & Robin was littered with passionate pitches, ambitious scripts and inventive takes on the character. Now, the filmmakers who tackled Batman during that period of upheaval are sharing details of the films that never got off the ground.

Batman Unchained

Director: Joel Schumacher
Screenwriter: Mark Protosevich
Stars: George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell
Villains: Scarecrow, Harley Quinn &hellip and a whole lot of others

With Schumacher’s Batman Forever a hit, and Warner Bros. seeing no reason that Batman & Robin wouldn’t be another, the studio was eager to get a third Schumacher Batman film in the pipeline.

As the director completed post-production on Batman & Robin in spring 1997, the studio enlisted screenwriter Mark Protosevich, who had recently written a draft of I Am Legend for Warner Bros. He met with Schumacher, who pitched his vision for pushing the franchise in a more serious direction. Schumacher envisioned a psychologically complex take on the character, something he says he wanted to do with his Batman Forever follow-up before getting pushback from the studio and ultimately making Batman & Robin.

Scarecrow and Harley Quinn were to be the film’s chief villains. George Clooney (Batman) and Chris O’Donnell (Robin) would be back, but Alicia Silverstone‘s Batgirl was not in the script. In what would have been big boon, Jack Nicholson ‘s Joker was also slated to appear, alongside previous villains in the series.

“It was going to be very dark,” says Schumacher. “I remember going to the set of Face/Off and asking Nic Cage to play the Scarecrow.”

After meeting with Schumacher, Protosevich locked himself away to slave over the script. What emerged was a roughly 150-page first draft for what he called Batman Unchained (often referred to as Batman Triumphant online, though Protosevich is not sure where that name came from).The script dealt with Batman learning to conquer fear and to confront the demons of his past.

Its two villains had each hated a different aspect of Batman. The brilliant (and satanic) Prof. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow had a personal vendetta against Bruce Wayne, while Harley Quinn despised Bruce’s alter ego.

Harley, a toymaker whom Protosevich describes as “sadistic in a mischievous, fun sense,” learns that her true father was The Joker. This sets her on a path of vengeance against Batman for taking him away in the 1989 film. Eventually, Crane learns Batman’s secret identity and teams up with Harley to drive him insane and have him sent to Arkham Asylum.

The script culminates with an ambitious, all-star sequence that would have seen a hallucinating Batman face the demons of his past, where he is put on trial by the franchise’s previous villains.

The studio wanted to enlist cameos from Danny DeVito (The Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman), Tommy Lee Jones (Two-Face) and Jim Carrey (The Riddler), all leading up to a final confrontation with the man himself: Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

“Joel wanted to tie up all of the films. The Tim Burton films and his films, building up to this moment,” says Protosevich.

During the movie, a rift forms between Batman and Robin, who comes back during the final battle to help his mentor. After defeating his demons, Bruce travels to Bali, where Protosevich read in real life monks enter a cave full of bats to show they have conquered fear. In the script, Bruce enters the cave as bats swarm around him.

“There’s a similar image in Batman Begins, where he discovers what will be the bat cave and it’s filled with bats and they are flying around him,” says Protosevich. “Not that this scene was inspired by mine, but it was a similar idea. It was a powerful image.”

The standout character of the film would have been Harley Quinn, who in the end finds redemption for her villainous ways. She was to be complex, conflicted and ultimately a good person underneath. While the casting process never got off the ground, Protosevich’s agents at CAA set him up for lunch with Courtney Love, who was also repped by the agency and was interested in getting an acting career going.

“I think she had heard about the possibility of Harley Quinn being in the new Batman and was thinking she would be good for it,” says Protosevich. “But we didn’t really talk about that. We talked about a lot of other things. It was certainly one of the better lunches I’ve ever had in my career in show business.”

Protosevich was finishing up his first draft when Batman & Robin hit theaters in June 1997. The backlash against the movie was immediate. Shortly after, Protosevich received a call from Schumacher, who asked to see his script &mdash which was still an unpolished first draft. Schumacher shared it with Warner Bros. executive Tom Lassally, among only “a handful of people on the planet” who have ever read the script, says Protosevich, noting the script has never leaked online.

“A few days later, I’m getting a call from Joel, whose main comment was that I had written maybe the most expensive movie ever made. Then I remember I never heard from the executive at Warner Bros. I called many times, never got any kind of response,” says Protosevich. “This got into a period of weeks and then a month, and my agent pestering Warners. And the next thing I knew, they were pulling the plug on the whole project. They were going to wait and see what they were going to do with Batman. The Joel Schumacher-driven Batman train was taken off the rails.”

Batman: DarKnight

Screenwriters: Lee Shapiro and Stephen Wise
Villains: Scarecrow and Man-Bat
Stars: George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell

In the weeks after Batman & Robin‘s release, two young screenwriters Lee Shapiro and Stephen Wise were meeting with Greg Silverman, then a junior production executive, about a post-apocalyptic script they were working on. While Protosevich’s script for Schumacher wasn’t yet officially dead, Shapiro and Wise got wind the studio was potentiality looking for new directions for Batman and Silverman asked them where they would take the franchise.

The pair went off and brainstormed for a few weeks, coming back to Warner Bros. and impressing Lassally enough with their pitch that he commissioned a script, which the studio hoped would divorce the franchise from Batman & Robin while remaining in the same continuity as the Burton/ Schumacher films.

“Our script was just a direct answer to the last movie. Everything we were doing was, ‘What did they do? Let’s not do that,’ ” recalls Shapiro.

The script for Batman: DarKnight, which was written with the idea that Clooney and O’Donnel might return, is in some ways more of a Robin/Dick Grayson story than a Batman one. It begins with a Bruce Wayne living as a recluse, retired after a tragedy caused him to hang up the cape and cowl.

At Bruce’s urging, Dick Grayson is in college, though he still has plans to fight crime. At school, Dick clashes with Prof. Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow), who suffers from a disease that prevents him from feeling physical pain. Dick challenges one of Crane’s academic positions in front of the whole class, enraging the villain. The Scarecrow eventually kidnaps Dick, experiments on him and throws him in Arkham asylum.

Kirk Langstrom/Man-Bat is also in the mix as a second villain, who was once a colleague of Crane’s, but who is turned into the Man-Bat thanks to one of the Scarecrow’s experiments.

The script had a Halloween theme, and is more gruesome than previous Batman had been.

“His sense of touch is off, so it’s heightened his other senses, and it made him like a living scarecrow,” Shapiro says of Scarecrow. “He gets physically scarred during a confrontation with Man-Bat, and that scarring of his face becomes his mask. It becomes the stitches he puts on himself, and the cauterizing of the wounds and all of that stuff. His face becomes the scarecrow mask.”

The men envisioned their film as the first in the trilogy, and they planted Easter eggs that was to pay off in sequels. In the third act of DarKnight, Crane releases all of the inmates from Arkham Asylum, with one of the doctors injured in the breakout named Harleen Quinzel, who ends up in a coma and would become Harley Quinn in a sequel. By the third film, Dick (absent from the second film) would grow from Robin to Nightwing and help Batman defend Gotham from Killer Crock and Clayface.

The screenwriters cranked out the script in three months. They would spend the next two years waiting to see what Warner Bros. would do with it.

“Our contacts kept changing,” recalls Shapiro, whose script shuffled from exec to exec as the studio was deciding that making a clean break from the Schumaker/Burton continuity was the best course of action.

Wise and Shapirio tried to charm Warner Bros. execs by mailing them action figures of Scarecrow and Man-Bat, but it was no use. By early 2001, Jeff Robinov was placed in charge of Batman and ultimately told the men the studio had decided to pass. Warner Bros. was ready to wipe its hands clean of the past.

“That was where the term reboot came from. They basically wanted to start over,” says Wise.

Batman: Year One

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Screenwriter: Frank Miller
Villains: Organized crime/police corruption

In the 1980s, comic book creator Frank Miller singlehandedly made Batman cool again with 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns, a gritty and politically relevant four-issue comic book series featuring an aging Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement to kick everyone’s ass (including Superman’s). Miller followed that up with Batman: Year One, this time teaming with artist David Mazzucchelli to focus on the early months of Batman’s career.

Who better than Miller to rehab the Dark Knight for the big screen?

Warner Bros. initially approached up-and-coming indie filmmaker Darren Aronofsky in 1999 to share his take on Batman. Aronofsky was enamored with Miller’s Year One, which also features Jim Gordon navigating the corrupt police force as a young officer. This Gordon is more action-oriented than other depictions of the character. He’s a decisive badass who has human foibles (he succumbs to an affair with a coworker).

“He had really specific ideas about the character and which way to take it,” Miller says of Aronofsky. “I was surprised at the time, because I tend to be the more radical of any team I’m on, but it was Darren who was much more radical than I was. I said ‘Darren, would you be willing to be faithful to the comics?’ and he was ready to rip the eyes out of them. We just had a wonderful time bashing around the story every which way and developing these characters.”

In the screenplay, Bruce Wayne has rejected his inheritance, not wanting to claim it until he has proven to himself that he can make it in the world.

“He forced himself to live in poverty and went to live on the streets he was going to defend,” says Miller, who describes the character as monk-like. “So he lived like a bum. He was a short order cook until he finally proved to himself that not only could he become the greatest crime fighter the world had ever known, but he could support himself.”

Once Bruce proved that to himself, he used his fortune to transform himself into The Batman.

“He then took the fortune on, and traveled the world studying every kind of martial arts and detective school he could go to,” says Miller. “He became a master of all of them and he became the greatest crime fighter the world would ever know.”

Gordon was balancing having a wife and a baby with navigating the corrupt Gotham Police Department. At the same time, he was tasked with stopping a vigilante (Bruce) who was tearing up his streets. When the vigilante saves his baby, Gordon forms an alliance with the man he is supposed to be hunting down.

The screenplay Miller and Aronofsky turned in was violent, bold and R-rated. It wasn’t what the studio was looking for at all, particularly as it needed to make a movie kid-friendly enough that parents would buy toys built around the property.

“I think I heard a shriek of horror at first,” Miller says of the studio reaction. “They were shocked at how bold it was and wanted it to be softened as much as it could be and then we wanted it to be as hard as it could be.”

In 2002, Aronofsky, Miller and the studio parted ways. Miller, who would go on to have big screen success with Sin City, says were no hard feelings.

“The whole process was one of discovery for me. I had to figure out what they wanted. Normally somebody like me, if you say you want to make a movie, I’ll come up with something that will be 12 hours long and cost $1 billion to make,” says Miller. “I had to learn a lot more about the restrictions. The restrictions that make sense &mdash such as budgetary and who you can get to play the roles&mdashand the restrictions that don’t make sense &mdash which there are millions.”

Batman Beyond

Director: Boaz Yakin
Screenwriters: Alan Burnett and Paul Dini

Batman was struggling on the big screen, but on the small screen Batman Beyond had fresh take on The Dark Knight so different from Batman & Robin that it might have been crazy enough to work.

Batman Beyond, the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1999-2001, took place twenty years after the last sighting of The Batman, and followed Terry McGinnis, a young man the now-elderly Bruce Wayne was training to become the new Caped Crusader.

Not much is known about the proposed live action project, which hailed from Batman Beyond creators Alan Burnett and Paul Dini and Remember the Titans director Boaz Yakin. The filmmakers have rarely spoken about it publicly, and were not available to comment for this story.

In 2012, Dini referenced the project on Kevin Smith‘s Fat Man on Batman podcast, saying the trio had a number of meetings together &mdash but ultimately parted after the first draft failed to excite them.

“It didn’t quite have the fantastic futuristic edge. It was a little bit of an amalgam [of the animated show and traditional Batman comics],” said Dini. “There was a little bit of The Dark Knight, there was a little bit of contemporary comics. There was Terry in the suit. It was old Bruce Wayne. They were in it.”

Yakin told CraveOnline a similar story in 2012, saying the project was not a good fit for his life at the time.

“I thought it would be interesting but partway through writing it and being where I was at in my life at the time, I realized that actually it wasn&rsquot something I felt comfortable pursuing,” said Yakin. “Who knows whether I stayed with it or not whether that film would have ever gotten made or not.”

According to Yakin, Batman Beyond was developed around the same time Miller and Aronofsky’s Year One was in the works.

Batman Vs. Superman

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Screenwriters: Andrew Kevin Walker and Akiva Goldsman
Villains: Lex Luthor and The Joker

A decade before Warner Bros. electrified Comic-Con 2013 by announcing Batman and Superman would share the big screen, the studio considered bringing D.C.’s two biggest heroes together for the ambitious Batman Vs. Superman.

The Superman film franchise had stalled thanks to the 1987 flop Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. As late as 1990, a fifth film was in the works with the possibility for Christopher Reeve to reprise his celebrated role, while Tim Burton and Nicholas Cage came close to reviving Superman in the late 1990s with Superman Lives.

In 2002, the studio teamed director Wolfgang Petersen, then best known for helming Air Force One and The Perfect Storm, with with Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker. While Walker says his script has never been leaked online, a rewrite by Akiva Goldsman has been circulating for years.

The Goldsman rewrite for Batman Vs. Superman begins with among the most unlikely things imaginable: Bruce Wayne’s wedding. Bruce has been retired for five years, his bride knowing nothing of his former life as Batman. During Bruce’s honeymoon, his bride is killed, all signs pointing to The Joker as the culprit. This prompts The Batman out of retirement to seek out his mortal enemy, whom he believes had died years earlier.

Clark Kent is going through changes of his own, with his wife Lois Lane having left him. After serving as Bruce’s best man earlier in the ceremony &mdash and foiling a terror attack in an action-packed opening scene &mdash he returns to Smallville. Both his parents have died, but his former love interest Lana Lang is still back in Kansas, and he rekindles a romance.

Bruce goes about violently tearing up the underworld to get to the Joker. Eventually it’s revealed Lex Luthor and The Joker have been behind all of their troubles &mdash from the terror attack on Metropolis to the death of Bruce’s wife. The Joker actually plucked Bruce’s wife from obscurity and molded her into a woman Bruce would love, manipulating the couple into falling in love.

During the course of the film, a grief-stricken Batman and his friend Superman have a massive battle, with Luthor having helped pit them against each other. Batman (suited up in kryptonite-laced armor) and Superman duke it out and they fight to a massive, bloody stalemate.

The friends reconcile in time to take on The Joker and Luthor. When Bruce wants to murder The Joker, Clark gives Bruce his consent to kill the villain, with the stipulation that he must take off his mask off.

“Don’t hide behind it. Don’t pretend there’s some other part of you doing this,” Clark says. “This is your right, as a human being. Your retribution. So do this as the man who’s going to live with it for the rest of his life. Take off the mask.”

Batman spares the Joker, with that climactic speech a key to what the filmmakers wanted to explore: the notion of duel identities and why Bruce and Clark wield them The idea that they put on their separate identities to pretend it was someone else doing these things.

Sam Dickerman, then the head of Petersen’s production company, pushed Walker not just to conceptualize the film as a superhero flick.

“Sam said ‘let’s write this as if we want this to be a movie that gets considered for an Academy Award,'” says Walker. “It’s not supposed to be some kind of disposable popular culture. We wanted to take the character seriously.”

The 9/11 terror attacks occurred while Walker was working on the script, an event that shifted the American psyche in innumerable ways &mdash including what types of media the public craved. TV shows like 24 suddenly tapped into what Americans wanted, while on the Superhero front, Walker argues Superman became more needed than ever.

“There was a terrorist event in the screenplay that took on an entirely different timbre,” says Walker. “In the years after, both [DC’s] Geoff Johns and [Marvel Studios chief] Kevin Feige, at different points made the observation about how before 9/11, Batman was always the cooler, cynical, ‘Dark Knight’ character and Superman to a certain extent was regarded as a little more wholesome, a little old fashioned and at certain points wasn’t as admired as a character. Post-9/11, Superman became much more what people really wanted and needed in a way.”

Walker turned in his script, and Goldsman took a pass &mdash adding among other things, Clark Kent’s divorce, which hadn’t been in the original. Petersen spoke about the film to the press as late as 2002, with the film officially slated for a 2004 release.

It didn’t take long for the studio to decide to keep its two franchises separate. Nolan was hired to tackle Batman in 2003 and J.J. Abrams took a stab at a Superman script with McG set to direct before Bryan Singer was brought on board to direct Superman Returns.

Walker recalls fondly writing the script, especially writing for Superman.

“One of the Supermans I most admire was Richard Donner’s Superman,” says Walker. “Just that idea of Superman as a mixture of an alien and almost a Christlike or Godlike figure. Even if he was just hovering above a scene and having a discussion with someone with his cape waving behind him, there was always a really strong image. Even on the page, you really felt that stuff very strongly.”

For most of his screen life, Batman has been a story of reinvention. Burton did it with his 1989 film, which divorced itself from Adam West‘s TV show. Schumacher did it with Batman Forever, and Nolan did it with Batman Begins. Soon Warner Bros. will unleash its next reinvention, with Ben Affleck donning the cape and cowl for Batman v. Superman, the Zack Snyder film the studio hopes will give birth to a Justice League franchise that can rival Marvel Studios’ The Avengers.

Schumacher speculates society dictates what Batman it wants for the time. He’d initially wanted to go dark for his followup to Batman Forever, but got pushback from the studio and ultimately made Batman & Robin.

“The studio, and I’m not sure the audience, was in a frame of mind to go too dark with Batman at that time,” says Schumacher. “It’s interesting how our culture has changed. How the socio-economic-political culture makes it absolutely palatable to see Chris’ Batman&mdashfor instance The Dark Knight Rises&mdashwhich is such a comment on exactly what’s happening. You might be able to track that on all the movies. Maybe Batman is one of those things like Pi. It’s the center of the universe.”

Nolan was not available to comment for this story, but he spoke at length about the process of developing Batman Begins with The Hollywood Reporter late last year. He recalled getting a call from his agent Dan Aloni, who told him Warner Bros. was looking for ideas for Batman. Nolan conceived it as being like the 1978 Superman, which treated the character in a real-world sort of way.

“What I loved about Superman was the way New York felt like New York, or rather Metropolis felt like New York,” recalled Nolan. “Metropolis felt like a city you could recognize &mdash and then there was this guy flying through the streets. ‘That&rsquos amazing, so let&rsquos do that for Batman, and let&rsquos start by putting together an amazing cast.’ “


1942 Tribune story implied Americans cracked Japanese code. Documents show why reporter not indicted

For 74 years, only members of a Chicago grand jury could definitively say why they declined to indict a reporter responsible for a 1942 front page article that implied American cryptanalysts had cracked the Japanese military code.

The documents were unsealed for a group of petitioners in late 2016 after a three-year court battle, and on Wednesday, a number of carefully selected documents will be publicly available online for the first time on the National Security Archive’s website, said John Prados, editor of the postings. The timing — just 10 days after the publication of “Stanley Johnston’s Blunder,” a novel by former journalist and historian Elliot Carlson — was merely coincidental, both men said. Carlson sued for the release of the grand jury documents with the help of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Prados testified as an expert.

Yet whether you dive into the documents in the comparatively short online post or consume all 242 pages of Carlson’s labor of love, you’re likely to come away with the same sense: The grand jury declined to indict Tribune war correspondent Stanley Johnston and the Tribune’s then-managing editor, J. Loy Maloney, because Adm. Ernest J. King, who Carlson called “the adult in the room,” didn’t want to risk even more media attention and the chance that Japanese leaders would change the code from the one the Americans had already cracked.

“If this had gone on to a public trial, there’s no telling how much publicity it would’ve received or how much chaos it would’ve caused,” Carlson said from his Maryland home Tuesday. “It was already turning into a media circus, and Adm. King didn’t want to risk it hitting the airwaves. They didn’t so much fear Japanese agents in America, but that somehow all the publicity of the trial would come to the attention of the Japanese and they would change the codes.”

Not such a spoiler alert: If you know your history, or if you make it to Page 242 of Carlson’s book, you’ll learn that the fear that drove the government to take the Espionage Act of 1917 further than it had in its history was unfounded. The Imperial Japanese Navy never dramatically changed its code, Carlson wrote. It started World War II using code JN-25(d). By the end of the war, though numerous changes were made, the Japanese never greatly strayed from the code, ending with JN-25(p).

“Did any of these shifts flow from, or have any connection with, the Chicago Tribune scandal of June-August 1942? They did not. IJN leaders never realized their code had been broken. If they had, they would certainly have replaced JN-25 with a totally different system. They would have had no other choice, but they never did,” Carlson concluded in the book.

On the phone, he said the Japanese navy did change parts of the code every few months, and each time the Japanese did, it would take a few weeks before Americans learned what all the changes meant.

“This game went on the entire war, but they never changed their basic code,” Carlson said.

In Prados’ words, “The continued utility of these penetrations depended on Japan not discovering the leaks, and not changing their codes. This made the Chicago Tribune affair a high-stakes national security matter from the beginning.”

As the Tribune Editorial Board pointed out in a September 2016 piece written when Carlson was still pursuing the sealed documents, World War II’s Battle of Midway involved cryptanalysts who worked tirelessly to break the codes used by the Japanese navy as the Japanese planned to seize Midway Island and use it as a steppingstone to seize the Hawaiian Islands.

Johnston, a war correspondent for the Tribune who was credentialed and vetted by the FBI, was working aboard a ship with U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. “The Navy and the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration privately knew, the details the Tribune had corresponded to a top secret dispatch” from Washington to Nimitz, Prados wrote.

Carlson said Nimitz was “very, very sloppy and careless” with his information and had even invited Johnston to stay in his personal suite aboard the ship.

“He had his own rules, which he himself then violated,” Carlson said of Nimitz. “The information from Washington should have been seen only by department heads, but when they came to his suite to get coffee and to socialize, he couldn’t resist reading parts of these messages.”

The 2016 editorial also addressed how Johnston may have gotten the information from Cmdr. Morton Seligman, who was even closer with Johnston than was Nimitz.

“Many historians think Morton Seligman, a U.S. Navy commander, intentionally or inadvertently leaked the info. A month earlier, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, Johnston had raced below deck to rescue badly burned sailors on Seligman's sinking carrier, the USS Lexington. On June 7, as the Navy's angry commander in chief Adm. Ernest King absorbed the Tribune's Midway report, he had on his desk a draft citation honoring Johnston for his heroism aboard the Lexington,” according to the editorial.

Prados and Carlson agree that Johnston likely should have known the censorship agreements made when stationed in a war zone — which the Pacific was at that time — meant the article should’ve been sent to Washington for approval. Carlson, in particular, feels Managing Editor Maloney skipped that step, in part because it was about midnight and they were going to print, and in part because they knew the government would likely kill the whole article.


The Times, Post and CNN Want Answers as Secret Trump DOJ Tactics Come to Light

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Merrick Garland, U.S. attorney general, speaks as President Joe Biden, left, listens at the White House on Thursday, April 8, 2021. by Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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New details about the Trump Department of Justice’s secret pursuit of a CNN reporter’s email records emerged Wednesday as parts of the case were unsealed, lifting a gag order that had prohibited CNN general counsel David Vigilante from discussing the government’s prolonged legal efforts beyond a select group of people—network president Jeff Zucker, and other lawyers for CNN—for nearly a year. The Justice Department’s months-long court battle to obtain tens of thousands of CNN reporter Barbara Starr’s records from 2017 ultimately “resulted in the network agreeing to turn over a limited set of email logs,” CNN revealed, a resolution that came in January, just days after President Joe Biden took office. A month earlier, CNN’s lawyers successfully fought to narrow the scope of what the government was seeking, as a federal judge ruled that the DOJ’s request for access to Starr’s internal emails was “unanchored in any facts” and “not sufficiently connected to any evidence relevant, material, or useful to the governments ascribed investigation.” Starr’s phone records and data from her personal email account had been separately seized, she learned in May, a disclosure CNN said it had not been made aware of prior.

Recounting the protracted court battle on Wednesday, Vigilante wrote that DOJ lawyers “showed no interest in exploring good faith ways to narrow the order” or help CNN’s lawyers better grasp the scenario, as they were barred from knowing what specifically the government was searching for, who they were targeting, or the subject matter of the reporting in question—“in short, all the tools lawyers use every day to navigate these situations were refused to us.” Vigilante said he was “told in no uncertain terms (multiple times) that I was forbidden from communicating about any aspect of the order or these proceedings to the journalist whose interests I am duty-bound to protect” and “subject to charges of contempt and even criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice” if he violated the secret order, one he noted he, in his two decades at CNN, had never faced before.

CNN is one of three news organizations that only just learned of efforts under the Trump administration to secretly obtain the records of journalists in an attempt to identify their sources, and one of two that was subjected to a gag order as part of a leak investigation. In recent weeks, the New York Times—the other news outlet placed under a gag order—and the Washington Post were also notified by Merrick Garland’s Justice Department of the Trump-era practices. Post managing editor Cameron Barr said at the time the DOJ “should immediately make clear its reasons for this intrusion into the activities of reporters doing their jobs.” In all three cases, Trump’s DOJ, in 2020, sought records dating back to 2017.

The revelations have sparked First Amendment concerns and placed increasing pressure on President Joe Biden to commit to breaking with the practice aggressively deployed by his two most recent predecessors. Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department prosecuted more leak cases than those brought under all previous administrations combined and took unprecedented steps to uncover reporters’ sources in such investigations, an approach embraced by President Donald Trump—whose DOJ’s sweeping assault on press freedom is only now, amid the recent record-seizure revelations, coming into focus.

Last Saturday, after the Times revealed that the newspaper’s executives had been put under a gag order during the Trump administration’s fight to obtain the emails of four Times reporters—a push that, like the gag order imposed on CNN’s lawyers, briefly continued under Biden—Garland’s Justice Department put out a statement announcing it would not “seek compulsory legal process in leak investigations to obtain source information from members of the news media doing their jobs,” breaking with a “longstanding practice” that, in a separate statement that day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “is not consistent with the President’s policy direction to the Department.” While the DOJ professed its commitment to “a free press, protecting First Amendment values,” and “taking all appropriate steps to ensure the independence of journalists,” the Associated Press noted that it was unclear whether the department would continue pursuing aggressive leak investigations without seizing reporters’ records or specify who, in policy terms, is categorized as a member of the news media or the parameters of the protection.

According to the Times, Garland said he would issue a memo detailing the new policy that he on Wednesday called “the most protective of journalists’ ability to do their jobs in history.” The attorney general has reportedly scheduled a meeting with leaders of the three affected news organizations for Monday. “We’re pleased that Attorney General Garland has agreed to this meeting,” Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a statement to Vanity Fair. “We hope to use the meeting to learn more about how this seizure of records happened and to seek a commitment that the Department of Justice will no longer seize journalists' records during leak investigations."

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— From the Archive: “60 Minutes Is Going Down”


Contents

Off-the-record material is often valuable and reporters may be eager to use it, so sources wishing to ensure the confidentiality of certain information are generally advised to discuss the "terms of use" before disclosing the information, if possible. Some journalists and news organizations have policies against accepting information "off the record", because they believe it interferes with their ability to report truthfully, or because they suspect it may be intended to mislead them or the public.

Even if writers cannot report certain information directly, they can use "off the record" information to uncover related facts, or to find other sources who are willing to speak on the record. This is especially useful in investigative journalism. Information about a surprise event or breaking news, whether on or off the record, is known as a "tip-off". Information that leads to the uncovering of more interesting information is called a "lead".

The identity of anonymous sources is sometimes revealed to senior editors or a news organization's lawyers, who would be considered bound by the same confidentiality as the journalist. (Lawyers are generally protected from subpoena in these cases by attorney–client privilege.) Legal staff may need to give counsel about whether it is advisable to publish certain information, or about court proceedings that may attempt to learn confidential information. Senior editors are in the loop to prevent reporters from fabricating non-existent anonymous sources and to provide a second opinion about how to use the information obtained, how to or how not to identify sources, and whether other options should be pursued.

The use of anonymous sources has always been controversial. Some news outlets insist that anonymous sources are the only way to obtain certain information, while others prohibit the use of unnamed sources at all times. [2] News organizations may impose safeguards, such as requiring that information from an anonymous source be corroborated by a second source before it can be printed.

But prominent reports based on anonymous sources have sometimes been proved to be incorrect. For instance, much of the O. J. Simpson reporting from unnamed sources was later deemed inaccurate. [3] Newsweek retracted a story about a Qur'an's allegedly being flushed down a toilet—the story had been based upon one unnamed military source. [4] The Los Angeles Times retracted an article that implicated Sean "Diddy" Combs in the beating of Tupac Shakur. [5] The original article was based on documents and several unnamed sources. When reporting on the original story, the Associated Press noted that "[n]one of the sources was named". [6]

After the embarrassment, a news organization will often "clamp down" on the guidelines for using unnamed sources, but those guidelines are often forgotten after the scandal dies down. [ citation needed ] One study found that large newspapers' use of anonymous sources dropped dramatically between 2003 and 2004. The Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research group, found use of anonymous sources dropped from 29 percent of all articles in 2003 to just seven percent in 2004, [7] following widespread embarrassment of media after the Bush administration claims that Iraq had WMD were found to be without basis.

This practice is generally not well seen, [8] though by the late 2010's journalists who practiced it were no longer fired. [9] [10] [11] Lengthy lists of reporters' sexual involvement with sources were published by American Journalism Review [12] and by The Los Angeles Times. [13]

Whether in a formal, sit-down interview setting or an impromptu meeting on the street, some sources request that all or part of the encounter not be captured in an audio or video recording ("tape"), but continue speaking to the reporter. As long as the interview is not confidential, the reporter may report the information given by the source, even repeating direct quotes (perhaps scribbled on a notepad or recalled from memory). This often shows up in broadcasts as "John Brown declined to be interviewed on camera, but said" or simply "a spokesperson said".

Some interview subjects are uncomfortable being recorded. Some are afraid they will be inarticulate or feel like a fool if the interview is broadcast. Others might be uncooperative or distrust the motives or competence of the journalist, and wish to prevent them from being able to broadcast an unflattering sound bite or part of the interview out of context. Professional public relations officers know that having the reporter repeat their words, rather than being heard directly on the air, will blunt the effect of their words. [ citation needed ] By refusing to be taped or on the air, a person avoids having an audience see or hear them being uncomfortable (if they have unpleasant news) it also permits the individual to be anonymous or identified only by title.

In journalism, attribution is the identification of the source of reported information. Journalists' ethical codes normally address the issue of attribution, which is sensitive because in the course of their work, journalists may receive information from sources who wish to remain anonymous. In investigative journalism, important news stories often depend on such information. For example, the Watergate scandal which led to the downfall of U.S. president Richard Nixon was in part exposed by information revealed by an anonymous source ("Deep Throat") to investigative reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Ethics Edit

Divulging the identity of a confidential source is frowned upon by groups representing journalists in many democracies. [14] [15] [16] In many countries, journalists have no special legal status, and may be required to divulge their sources in the course of a criminal investigation, as any other citizen would be. Even in jurisdictions that grant journalists special legal protections, journalists are typically required to testify if they bear witness to a crime. [17]

Journalists defend the use of anonymous sources for a variety of reasons:

  • Access. Some sources refuse to share stories without the shield of anonymity, including many government officials. [18]
  • Protection from reprisal or punishment. Other sources are concerned about reprisal or punishment as a result of sharing information with journalists. [19]
  • Illegal activity. Sources which are engaged in illegal activity are usually reluctant to be named in order to avoidself-incrimination. This includes sources which are leaking classified information or details of court proceedings which are sealed from the public. [19]

The use of anonymous sources is also criticized by some journalists and government officials:

  • Unreliability. It is difficult for a reader to evaluate the reliability and neutrality of a source they cannot identify, and the reliability of the news as a whole is reduced when it relies upon information from anonymous sources. [19][20]
  • Misinformation and propaganda. Anonymous sources may be reluctant to be identified because the information they are sharing is uncertain or known to them to be untrue, but they want attention or to spread propaganda via the press, such as in the case of the Iraqi aluminum tubes, where tubes known to be useless for uranium refinement were presented as evidence of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program by anonymous sources in the U.S. intelligence community in order to build public support for an attack on Iraq. [20][21][22][23] It may also be used to attack political enemies and present opinions as facts. [20] Several journalists, including Paul Carr, have argued that if an off-the-record briefing is a deliberate lie journalists should feel permitted to name the source. [24] The Washington Post identified a source who had offered a story in an attempt to discredit media and to distract from the issue at hand with respect to a case of sexual impropriety. [25]
  • Illegal activity. The use of anonymous sources encourages some sources to divulge information which it is illegal for them to divulge, such as the details of a legal settlement, grand jury testimony, or classified information. This information is illegal to disclose for reasons such as national security, protecting witnesses, preventing slander and libel, and ending lawsuits without lengthy, expensive trials and encouraging people to disclose such information defeats the purpose of the disclosure being illegal. [26] In some cases, a reporter may encourage a source to disclose classified information, resulting in accusations of espionage.
  • Fabricated sources. A journalist may fabricate a news story and ascribe the information to anonymous sources to fabricate news, create false detail for a news story, commit plagiarism, or protect themselves from accusations of libel. [27]

"Speaking terms" Edit

There are several categories of "speaking terms" (agreements concerning attribution) that cover information conveyed in conversations with journalists. In the UK the following conventions are generally accepted:

  • "On the record": all that is said can be quoted and attributed.
  • "Unattributable": what is said can be reported but not attributed.
  • "Off the record": the information is provided to inform a decision or provide a confidential explanation, not for publication.

However, confusion over the precise meaning of "unattributable" and "off-the-record" has led to more detailed formulations:


THE UFO CHRONICLES

Not only did the report disclose that Russia and China have worked together, investigating the UFO/UAP phenomenon, it also stated, "Several aircraft have been destroyed and at least four pilots have been killed 'chasing UFOs.'"

Conversely, in the interview, Rogan cites the document specifically, stating that pilots were lost and Carlson interrupts, saying, "were killed" and Rogan replies in the affirmative. (Watch the interview below).

Here is the snippet of the UK report confirming the "death of at least four pilots."


Contents

Etymology Edit

The English word "news" developed in the 14th century as a special use of the plural form of "new". In Middle English, the equivalent word was newes, like the French nouvelles and the German Neues. Similar developments are found in the Slavic languages – namely the Czech and Slovak noviny (from nový, "new"), the cognate Polish nowiny, the Bulgarian novini, and Russian novosti – and in the Celtic languages: the Welsh newyddion (from newydd) and the Cornish nowodhow (from nowydh). [1] [2]

The beliefs that "news" is derived from an acronym of the phrase “Notable Events, Weather, and Sports”, or that it is formed from the first letters of the compass (North, East, West, South) are incorrect. [3]

Jessica Garretson Finch is credited with coining the phrase "current events" while teaching at Barnard College in the 1890s. [4]

Newness Edit

As its name implies, "news" typically connotes the presentation of new information. [5] [6] The newness of news gives it an uncertain quality which distinguishes it from the more careful investigations of history or other scholarly disciplines. [6] [7] [8] Whereas historians tend to view events as causally related Manifestations of underlying processes, news stories tend to describe events in isolation, and to exclude discussion of the relationships between them. [9] News conspicuously describes the world in the present or immediate past, even when the most important aspects of a news story have occurred long in the past—or are expected to occur in the future. To make the news, an ongoing process must have some "peg", an event in time which anchors it to the present moment. [9] [10] Relatedly, news often addresses aspects of reality which seem unusual, deviant, or out of the ordinary. [11] Hence the famous dictum that "Dog Bites Man" is not news, but "Man Bites Dog" is. [12]

Another corollary of the newness of news is that, as new technology enables new media to disseminate news more quickly, 'slower' forms of communication may move away from 'news' towards 'analysis'. [13]

Commodity Edit

According to some theories, "news" is whatever the news industry sells. [14] Journalism, broadly understood along the same lines, is the act or occupation of collecting and providing news. [15] [16] From a commercial perspective, news is simply one input, along with paper (or an electronic server) necessary to prepare a final product for distribution. [17] A news agency supplies this resource "wholesale" and publishers enhance it for retail. [18] [19]

Tone Edit

Most purveyors of news value impartiality, neutrality, and objectivity, despite the inherent difficulty of reporting without political bias. [20] Perception of these values has changed greatly over time as sensationalized 'tabloid journalism' has risen in popularity. Michael Schudson has argued that before the era of World War I and the concomitant rise of propaganda, journalists were not aware of the concept of bias in reporting, let alone actively correcting for it. [21] News is also sometimes said to portray the truth, but this relationship is elusive and qualified. [22]

Paradoxically, another property commonly attributed to news is sensationalism, the disproportionate focus on, and exaggeration of, emotive stories for public consumption. [23] [24] This news is also not unrelated to gossip, the human practice of sharing information about other humans of mutual interest. [25] A common sensational topic is violence hence another news dictum, "if it bleeds, it leads". [26]

Newsworthiness Edit

Newsworthiness is defined as a subject having sufficient relevance to the public or a special audience to warrant press attention or coverage. [27]

News values seem to be common across cultures. People seem to be interested in news to the extent which it has a big impact, describes conflicts, happens nearby, involves well-known people, and deviates from the norms of everyday happenings. [28] War is a common news topic, partly because it involves unknown events that could pose personal danger. [29]

Folk news Edit

Evidence suggests that cultures around the world have found a place for people to share stories about interesting new information. Among Zulus, Mongolians, Polynesians, and American Southerners, anthropologists have documented the practice of questioning travelers for news as a matter of priority. [30] Sufficiently important news would be repeated quickly and often, and could spread by word of mouth over a large geographic area. [31] Even as printing presses came into use in Europe, news for the general public often travelled orally via monks, travelers, town criers, etc. [32]

The news is also transmitted in public gathering places, such as the Greek forum and the Roman baths. Starting in England, coffeehouses served as important sites for the spread of news, even after telecommunications became widely available. The history of the coffee houses is traced from Arab countries, which was introduced in England in the 16th century. [33] In the Muslim world, people have gathered and exchanged news at mosques and other social places. Travelers on pilgrimages to Mecca traditionally stay at caravanserais, roadside inns, along the way, and these places have naturally served as hubs for gaining news of the world. [34] In late medieval Britain, reports ("tidings") of major events were a topic of great public interest, as chronicled in Chaucer's 1380 The House of Fame and other works. [35]

Government proclamations Edit

Before the invention of newspapers in the early 17th century, official government bulletins and edicts were circulated at times in some centralized empires. [36] The first documented use of an organized courier service for the diffusion of written documents is in Egypt, where Pharaohs used couriers for the diffusion of their decrees in the territory of the State (2400 BC). [37] Julius Caesar regularly publicized his heroic deeds in Gaul, and upon becoming dictator of Rome began publishing government announcements called Acta Diurna. These were carved in metal or stone and posted in public places. [38] [39] In medieval England, parliamentary declarations were delivered to sheriffs for public display and reading at the market. [40]

Specially sanctioned messengers have been recognized in Vietnamese culture, among the Khasi people in India, and in the Fox and Winnebago cultures of the American midwest. The Zulu Kingdom used runners to quickly disseminate news. In West Africa, news can be spread by griots. In most cases, the official spreaders of news have been closely aligned with holders of political power. [41]

Town criers were a common means of conveying information to citydwellers. In thirteenth-century Florence, criers known as banditori arrived in the market regularly, to announce political news, to convoke public meetings, and to call the populace to arms. In 1307 and 1322–1325, laws were established governing their appointment, conduct, and salary. These laws stipulated how many times a banditoro was to repeat a proclamation (forty) and where in the city they were to read them. [42] Different declarations sometimes came with additional protocols announcements regarding the plague were also to be read at the city gates. [43] These proclamations all used a standard format, beginning with an exordium—"The worshipful and most esteemed gentlemen of the Eight of Ward and Security of the city of Florence make it known, notify, and expressly command, to whosoever, of whatever status, rank, quality and condition"—and continuing with a statement (narratio), a request made upon the listeners (petitio), and the penalty to be exacted from those who would not comply (peroratio). [44] In addition to major declarations, bandi (announcements) might concern petty crimes, requests for information, and notices about missing slaves. [45] Niccolò Machiavelli was captured by the Medicis in 1513, following a bando calling for his immediate surrender. [46] Some town criers could be paid to include advertising along with news. [47]

Under the Ottoman Empire, official messages were regularly distributed at mosques, by traveling holy men, and by secular criers. These criers were sent to read official announcements in marketplaces, highways, and other well-traveled places, sometimes issuing commands and penalties for disobedience. [48]

Early news networks Edit

The spread of news has always been linked to the communications networks in place to disseminate it. Thus, political, religious, and commercial interests have historically controlled, expanded, and monitored communications channels by which news could spread. Postal services have long been closely entwined with the maintenance of political power in a large area. [49] [50]

One of the imperial communication channels, called the "Royal Road" traversed the Assyrian Empire and served as a key source of its power. [51] The Roman Empire maintained a vast network of roads, known as cursus publicus, for similar purposes. [52]

Visible chains of long-distance signaling, known as optical telegraphy, have also been used throughout history to convey limited types of information. These can have ranged from smoke and fire signals to advanced systems using semaphore codes and telescopes. [53] [54] The latter form of optical telegraph came into use in Japan, Britain, France, and Germany from the 1790s through the 1850s. [55] [56]

Asia Edit

The world's first written news may have originated in eighth century BCE China, where reports gathered by officials were eventually compiled as the Spring and Autumn Annals. The annals, whose compilation is attributed to Confucius, were available to a sizeable reading public and dealt with common news themes—though they straddle the line between news and history. [57] The Han dynasty is credited with developing one of the most effective imperial surveillance and communications networks in the ancient world. [58] Government-produced news sheets, called tipao, circulated among court officials during the late Han dynasty (second and third centuries AD). Between 713 and 734, the Kaiyuan Za Bao ("Bulletin of the Court") of the Chinese Tang Dynasty published government news it was handwritten on silk and read by government officials. [59] The court created a Bureau of Official Reports (Jin Zhouyuan) to centralize news distribution for the court. [60] Newsletters called ch'ao pao continued to be produced and gained wider public circulation in the following centuries. [61] In 1582 there was the first reference to privately published newssheets in Beijing, during the late Ming Dynasty. [62] [63]

Japan had effective communications and postal delivery networks at several points in its history, first in 646 with the Taika Reform and again during the Kamakura period from 1183 to 1333. The system depended on hikyaku, runners, and regularly spaced relay stations. By this method, news could travel between Kyoto and Kamakura in 5–7 days. Special horse-mounted messengers could move information at the speed of 170 kilometers per day. [56] [64] The Japanese shogunates were less tolerant than the Chinese government of news circulation. [59] The postal system established during the Edo period was even more effective, with average speeds of 125–150 km/day and express speed of 200 km/day. This system was initially used only by the government, taking private communications only at exorbitant prices. Private services emerged and in 1668 established their own nakama (guild). They became even faster, and created an effective optical telegraphy system using flags by day and lanterns and mirrors by night. [56]

Europe Edit

In Europe, during the Middle Ages, elites relied on runners to transmit news over long distances. At 33 kilometres per day, a runner would take two months to bring a message across the Hanseatic League from Bruges to Riga. [65] [66] In the early modern period, increased cross-border interaction created a rising need for information which was met by concise handwritten newssheets. The driving force of this new development was the commercial advantage provided by up-to-date news. [8] [67]

In 1556, the government of Venice first published the monthly Notizie scritte, which cost one gazetta. [68] These avvisi were handwritten newsletters and used to convey political, military, and economic news quickly and efficiently to Italian cities (1500–1700)—sharing some characteristics of newspapers though usually not considered true newspapers. [69] Avvisi were sold by subscription under the auspices of military, religious, and banking authorities. Sponsorship flavored the contents of each series, which were circulated under many different names. Subscribers included clerics, diplomatic staff, and noble families. By the last quarter of the seventeenth century, long passages from avvisi were finding their way into published monthlies such as the Mercure de France and, in northern Italy, Pallade veneta. [70] [71] [72]

Postal services enabled merchants and monarchs to stay abreast of important information. For the Holy Roman Empire, Emperor Maximillian I in 1490 authorized two brothers from the Italian Tasso family, Francesco and Janetto, to create a network of courier stations linked by riders. They began with a communications line between Innsbruck and Mechelen and grew from there. [73] In 1505 this network expanded to Spain, new governed by Maximilian's son Philip. These riders could travel 180 kilometers in a day. [74] This system became the Imperial Reichspost, administered by Tasso descendants (subsequently known as Thurn-und-Taxis), who in 1587 received exclusive operating rights from the Emperor. [73] The French postal service and English postal service also began at this time, but did not become comprehensive until the early 1600s. [73] [75] [76] In 1620, the English system linked with Thurn-und-Taxis. [54]

These connections underpinned an extensive system of news circulation, with handwritten items bearing dates and places of origin. Centred in Germany, the network took in news from Russia, the Balkans, Italy, Britain, France, and the Netherlands. [77] The German lawyer Christoph von Scheurl and the Fugger house of Augsburg were prominent hubs in this network. [78] Letters describing historically significant events could gain wide circulation as news reports. Indeed, personal correspondence sometimes acted only as a convenient channel through which news could flow across a larger network. [79] A common type of business communication was a simple listing of current prices, the circulation of which quickened the flow of international trade. [80] [81] Businesspeople also wanted to know about events related to shipping, the affairs of other businesses, and political developments. [80] Even after the advent of international newspapers, business owners still valued correspondence highly as a source of reliable news that would affect their enterprise. [82] Handwritten newsletters, which could be produced quickly for a limited clientele, also continued into the 1600s. [78]

Rise of the newspaper Edit

The spread of paper and the printing press from China to Europe preceded a major advance in the transmission of news. [83] With the spread of printing presses and the creation of new markets in the 1500s, news underwent a shift from factual and precise economic reporting, to a more emotive and freewheeling format. (Private newsletters containing important intelligence therefore remained in use by people who needed to know.) [84] The first newspapers emerged in Germany in the early 1600s. [85] Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, from 1605, is recognized as the world's first formalized 'newspaper' [86] while not a 'newspaper' in the modern sense, the Ancient Roman acta diurna served a similar purpose circa 131 BC.

The new format, which mashed together numerous unrelated and perhaps dubious reports from far-flung locations, created a radically new and jarring experience for its readers. [87] A variety of styles emerged, from single-story tales, to compilations, overviews, and personal and impersonal types of news analysis. [88]

News for public consumption was at first tightly controlled by governments. By 1530, England had created a licensing system for the press and banned "seditious opinions". [89] Under the Licensing Act, publication was restricted to approved presses—as exemplified by The London Gazette, which prominently bore the words: "Published By Authority". [90] Parliament allowed the Licensing Act to lapse in 1695, beginning a new era marked by Whig and Tory newspapers. [91] (During this era, the Stamp Act limited newspaper distribution simply by making them expensive to sell and buy.) In France, censorship was even more constant. [92] Consequently, many Europeans read newspapers originating from beyond their national borders—especially from the Dutch Republic, where publishers could evade state censorship. [93]

The new United States saw a newspaper boom beginning with the Revolutionary era, accelerated by spirited debates over the establishment of a new government, spurred on by subsidies contained in the 1792 Postal Service Act, and continuing into the 1800s. [94] [95] American newspapers got many of their stories by copying reports from each other. Thus by offering free postage to newspapers wishing to exchange copies, the Postal Service Act subsidized a rapidly growing news network through which different stories could percolate. [96] Newspapers thrived during the colonization of the West, fueled by high literacy and a newspaper-loving culture. [97] By 1880, San Francisco rivaled New York in number of different newspapers and in printed newspaper copies per capita. [98] Boosters of new towns felt that newspapers covering local events brought legitimacy, recognition, and community. [99] The 1830s American, wrote Alexis de Tocqueville, was "a very civilized man prepared for a time to face life in the forest, plunging into the wilderness of the New World with his Bible, ax, and newspapers." [100] In France, the Revolution brought forth an abundance of newspapers and a new climate of press freedom, followed by a return to repression under Napoleon. [101] In 1792 the Revolutionaries set up a news ministry called the Bureau d'Esprit. [102]

Some newspapers published in the 1800s and after retained the commercial orientation characteristic of the private newsletters of the Renaissance. Economically oriented newspapers published new types of data enabled the advent of statistics, especially economic statistics which could inform sophisticated investment decisions. [103] These newspapers, too, became available for larger sections of society, not just elites, keen on investing some of their savings in the stock markets. Yet, as in the case other newspapers, the incorporation of advertising into the newspaper led to justified reservations about accepting newspaper information at face value. [104] Economic newspapers also became promoters of economic ideologies, such as Keynesianism in the mid-1900s. [105]

Newspapers came to sub-Saharan Africa via colonization. The first English-language newspaper in the area was The Royal Gazette and Sierra Leone Advertiser, established in 1801, and followed by The Royal Gold Coast Gazette and Commercial Intelligencer in 1822 and the Liberia Herald in 1826. [106] A number of nineteenth-century African newspapers were established by missionaries. [107] These newspapers by and large promoted the colonial governments and served the interests of European settlers by relaying news from Europe. [107] The first newspaper published in a native African language was the Muigwithania, published in Kikuyu by the Kenyan Central Association. [107] Muigwithania and other newspapers published by indigenous Africans took strong opposition stances, agitating strongly for African independence. [108] Newspapers were censored heavily during the colonial period—as well as after formal independence. Some liberalization and diversification took place in the 1990s. [109]

Newspapers were slow to spread to the Arab world, which had a stronger tradition of oral communication, and mistrust of the European approach to news reporting. By the end of the eighteenth century, the Ottoman Empire's leaders in Istanbul monitored the European press, but its contents were not disseminated for mass consumption. [110] Some of the first written news in modern North Africa arose in Egypt under Muhammad Ali, who developed the local paper industry and initiated the limited circulation of news bulletins called jurnals. [111] Beginning in the 1850s and 1860s, the private press began to develop in the multi-religious country of Lebanon. [112]

Newswire Edit

The development of the electrical telegraph, which often travelled along railroad lines, enabled news to travel faster, over longer distances. [113] (Days before Morse's Baltimore–Washington line transmitted the famous question, "What hath God wrought?", it transmitted the news that Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen had been chosen by the Whig nominating party.) [38] Telegraph networks enabled a new centralization of the news, in the hands of wire services concentrated in major cities. The modern form of these originated with Charles-Louis Havas, who founded Bureau Havas (later Agence France-Presse) in Paris. Havas began in 1832, using the French government's optical telegraph network. In 1840 he began using pigeons for communications to Paris, London, and Brussels. Havas began to use the electric telegraph when it became available. [114]

One of Havas's proteges, Bernhard Wolff, founded Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau in Berlin in 1849. [115] Another Havas disciple, Paul Reuter, began collecting news from Germany and France in 1849, and in 1851 immigrated to London, where he established the Reuters news agency—specializing in news from the continent. [116] In 1863, William Saunders and Edward Spender formed the Central Press agency, later called the Press Association, to handle domestic news. [117] Just before insulated telegraph line crossed the English Channel in 1851, Reuter won the right to transmit stock exchange prices between Paris and London. [118] He maneuvered Reuters into a dominant global position with the motto "Follow the Cable", setting up news outposts across the British Empire in Alexandria (1865), Bombay (1866), Melbourne (1874), Sydney (1874), and Cape Town (1876). [118] [119] In the United States, the Associated Press became a news powerhouse, gaining a lead position through an exclusive arrangement with the Western Union company. [120]

The telegraph ushered in a new global communications regime, accompanied by a restructuring of the national postal systems, and closely followed by the advent of telephone lines. With the value of international news at a premium, governments, businesses, and news agencies moved aggressively to reduce transmission times. In 1865, Reuters had the scoop on the Lincoln assassination, reporting the news in England twelve days after the event took place. [121] In 1866, an undersea telegraph cable successfully connected Ireland to Newfoundland (and thus the Western Union network) cutting trans-Atlantic transmission time from days to hours. [122] [123] [124] The transatlantic cable allowed fast exchange of information about the London and New York stock exchanges, as well as the New York, Chicago, and Liverpool commodity exchanges—for the price of $5–10, in gold, per word. [125] Transmitting On 11 May 1857, a young British telegraph operator in Delhi signaled home to alert the authorities of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The rebels proceeded to disrupt the British telegraph network, which was rebuilt with more redundancies. [126] In 1902–1903, Britain and the U.S. completed the circumtelegraphy of the planet with transpacific cables from Canada to Fiji and New Zealand (British Empire), and from the US to Hawaii and the occupied Philippines. [127] U.S. reassertions of the Monroe Doctrine notwithstanding, Latin America was a battleground of competing telegraphic interests until World War I, after which U.S. interests finally did consolidate their power in the hemisphere. [128]

By the turn of the century (i.e., circa 1900), Wolff, Havas, and Reuters formed a news cartel, dividing up the global market into three sections, in which each had more-or-less exclusive distribution rights and relationships with national agencies. [129] Each agency's area corresponded roughly to the colonial sphere of its mother country. [130] Reuters and the Australian national news service had an agreement to exchange news only with each other. [131] Due to the high cost of maintaining infrastructure, political goodwill, and global reach, newcomers found it virtually impossible to challenge the big three European agencies or the American Associated Press. [132] In 1890 Reuters (in partnership with the Press Association, England's major news agency for domestic stories) expanded into "soft" news stories for public consumption, about topics such as sports and "human interest". [133] In 1904, the big three wire services opened relations with Vestnik, the news agency of Czarist Russia, to their group, though they maintained their own reporters in Moscow. [134] During and after the Russian Revolution, the outside agencies maintained a working relationship with the Petrograd Telegraph Agency, renamed the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) and eventually the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS). [135]

The Chinese Communist Party created its news agency, the Red China News Agency, in 1931 its primary responsibilities were the Red China newspaper and the internal Reference News. In 1937, the Party renamed the agency Xinhua, New China. Xinhua became the official news agency of the People's Republic of China in 1949. [136]

These agencies touted their ability to distill events into "minute globules of news", 20–30 word summaries which conveyed the essence of new developments. [135] Unlike newspapers, and contrary to the sentiments of some of their reporters, the agencies sought to keep their reports simple and factual. [137] The wire services brought forth the "inverted pyramid" model of news copy, in which key facts appear at the start of the text, and more and more details are included as it goes along. [122] The sparse telegraphic writing style spilled over into newspapers, which often reprinted stories from the wire with little embellishment. [19] [138] In a 20 September 1918 Pravda editorial, Lenin instructed the Soviet press to cut back on their political rambling and produce many short anticapitalist news items in "telegraph style". [139]

As in previous eras, the news agencies provided special services to political and business clients, and these services constituted a significant portion of their operations and income. The wire services maintained close relationships with their respective national governments, which provided both press releases and payments. [140] The acceleration and centralization of economic news facilitated regional economic integration and economic globalization. "It was the decrease in information costs and the increasing communication speed that stood at the roots of increased market integration, rather than falling transport costs by itself. In order to send goods to another area, merchants needed to know first whether in fact to send off the goods and to what place. Information costs and speed were essential for these decisions." [141]

Radio and television Edit

The British Broadcasting Company began transmitting radio news from London in 1922, dependent entirely, by law, on the British news agencies. [142] BBC radio marketed itself as a news by and for social elites, and hired only broadcasters who spoke with upper-class accents. [143] The BBC gained importance in the May 1926 general strike, during which newspapers were closed and the radio served as the only source of news for an uncertain public. (To the displeasure of many listeners, the BBC took an unambiguously pro-government stance against the strikers). [142] [144]

In the US, RCA's Radio Group established its radio network, NBC, in 1926. The Paley family founded CBS soon after. These two networks, which supplied news broadcasts to subsidiaries and affiliates, dominated the airwaves throughout the period of radio's hegemony as a news source. [145] Radio broadcasters in the United States negotiated a similar arrangement with the press in 1933, when they agreed to use only news from the Press–Radio Bureau and eschew advertising this agreement soon collapsed and radio stations began reporting their own news (with advertising). [146] As in Britain, American news radio avoided "controversial" topics as per norms established by the National Association of Broadcasters. [147] By 1939, 58% of Americans surveyed by Fortune considered radio news more accurate than newspapers, and 70% chose radio as their main news source. [147] Radio expanded rapidly across the continent, from 30 stations in 1920 to a thousand in the 1930s. This operation was financed mostly with advertising and public relations money. [148]

The Soviet Union began a major international broadcasting operation in 1929, with stations in German, English and French. The Nazi Party made use of the radio in its rise to power in Germany, with much of its propaganda focused on attacking the Soviet Bolsheviks. The British and Italian foreign radio services competed for influence in North Africa. All four of these broadcast services grew increasingly vitriolic as the European nations prepared for war. [149]

The war provided an opportunity to expand radio and take advantage of its new potential. The BBC reported on Allied invasion of Normandy on 8:00 a.m. of the morning it took place, and including a clip from German radio coverage of the same event. Listeners followed along with developments throughout the day. [150] The U.S. set up its Office of War Information which by 1942 sent programming across South America, the Middle East, and East Asia. [151] Radio Luxembourg, a centrally located high-power station on the continent, was seized by Germany, and then by the United States—which created fake news programs appearing as though they were created by Germany. [152] Targeting American troops in the Pacific, the Japanese government broadcast the "Zero Hour" program, which included news from the U.S. to make the soldiers homesick. [153] But by the end of the war, Britain had the largest radio network in the world, broadcasting internationally in 43 different languages. [154] Its scope would eventually be surpassed (by 1955) by the worldwide Voice of America programs, produced by the United States Information Agency. [155]

In Britain and the United States, television news watching rose dramatically in the 1950s and by the 1960s supplanted radio as the public's primary source of news. [156] In the U.S., television was run by the same networks which owned radio: CBS, NBC, and an NBC spin-off called ABC. [157] Edward R. Murrow, who first entered the public ear as a war reporter in London, made the big leap to television to become an iconic newsman on CBS (and later the director of the United States Information Agency). [158]

Ted Turner's creation of the Cable News Network (CNN) in 1980 inaugurated a new era of 24-hour satellite news broadcasting. In 1991, the BBC introduced a competitor, BBC World Service Television. Rupert Murdoch's Australian News Corporation entered the picture with Fox News Channel in the US, Sky News in Britain, and STAR TV in Asia. [159] Combining this new apparatus with the use of embedded reporters, the United States waged the 1991–1992 Gulf War with the assistance of nonstop media coverage. [160] CNN's specialty is the crisis, to which the network is prepared to shift its total attention if so chosen. [161] CNN news was transmitted via INTELSAT communications satellites. [162] CNN, said an executive, would bring a "town crier to the global village". [163]

In 1996, the Qatar-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera emerged as a powerful alternative to the Western media, capitalizing in part on anger in the Arab & Muslim world regarding biased coverage of the Gulf War. Al Jazeera hired many news workers conveniently laid off by BBC Arabic Television, which closed in April 1996. It used Arabsat to broadcast. [159]

Internet Edit

The early internet, known as ARPANET, was controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense and used mostly by academics. It became available to a wider public with the release of the Netscape browser in 1994. [164] At first, news websites were mostly archives of print publications. [165] An early online newspaper was the Electronic Telegraph, published by The Daily Telegraph. [166] [167] A 1994 earthquake in California was one of the first big stories to be reported online in real time. [168] The new availability of web browsing made news sites accessible to more people. [168] On the day of the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, people flocked to newsgroups and chatrooms to discuss the situation and share information. The Oklahoma City Daily posted news to its site within hours. Two of the only news sites capable of hosting images, the San Jose Mercury News and Time magazine, posted photographs of the scene. [168]

Quantitatively, the internet has massively expanded the sheer volume of news items available to one person. The speed of news flow to individuals has also reached a new plateau. [169] This insurmountable flow of news can daunt people and cause information overload. Zbigniew Brzezinski called this period the "technetronic era", in which "global reality increasingly absorbs the individual, involves him, and even occasionally overwhelms him." [170]

In cases of government crackdowns or revolutions, the Internet has often become a major communication channel for news propagation while it's a (relatively) simple act to shut down a newspaper, radio or television station, mobile devices such as smartphones and netbooks are much harder to detect and confiscate. The propagation of internet-capable mobile devices has also given rise to the citizen journalist, who provide an additional perspective on unfolding events.

News can travel through different communication media. [18] In modern times, printed news had to be phoned into a newsroom or brought there by a reporter, where it was typed and either transmitted over wire services or edited and manually set in type along with other news stories for a specific edition. Today, the term "breaking news" has become trite as commercial broadcasting United States cable news services that are available 24 hours a day use live communications satellite technology to bring current events into consumers' homes as the event occurs. Events that used to take hours or days to become common knowledge in towns or in nations are fed instantaneously to consumers via radio, television, mobile phone, and the internet.

Speed of news transmission, of course, still varies wildly on the basis of where and how one lives. [171]

Newspaper Edit

Most large cities in the United States historically had morning and afternoon newspapers. With the addition of new communications media, afternoon newspapers have shut down and morning newspapers have lost circulation. Weekly newspapers have somewhat increased. [172] In more and more cities, newspapers have established local market monopolies—i.e., a single newspaper is the only one in town. This process has accelerated since the 1980s, commensurate with a general trend of consolidation in media ownership. [173] In China, too, newspapers have gained exclusive status, city-by-city, and pooled into large associations such as Chengdu Business News. These associations function like news agencies, challenging the hegemony of Xinhua as a news provider. [136]

The world's top three most circulated newspapers all publish from Japan.

About one-third of newspaper revenue comes from sales the majority comes from advertising. [174] Newspapers have struggled to maintain revenue given declining circulation and the free flow of information over the internet some have implemented paywalls for their websites. [166]

In the U.S., many newspapers have shifted their operations online, publishing around the clock rather than daily in order to keep pace with the internet society. Prognosticators have suggested that print newspapers will vanish from the U.S. in 5–20 years. [166] Many newspapers have started to track social media engagement for trending news stories to cover. Spain's Público has reshaped their social media strategy and grew their audience by 40 %.

Television Edit

Internationally distributed news channels include BBC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and Sky News. Televisions are densely concentrated in the United States (98% of households), and the average American watches 4 hours of television programming each day. In other parts of the world, such as Kenya—especially rural areas without much electricity—televisions are rare. [171]

The largest supplier of international video news is Reuters TV, with 409 subscribers in 83 countries, 38 bureaus, and a reported audience of 1.5 billion people each day. The other major video news service is Associated Press Television News. These two major agencies have agreements to exchange video news with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Eurovision—itself a sizeable video news exchange. [175] CNN International is a notable broadcaster in times of crisis. [161]

Internet Edit

Online journalism is news that is reported on the internet. News can be delivered more quickly through this method of news as well as accessed more easily. The internet era has transformed the understanding of news. Because the internet allows communication which is not only instantaneous, but also bi- or multi-directional, it has blurred the boundaries of who is a legitimate news producer. A common type of internet journalism is called blogging, which is a service of persistently written articles uploaded and written by one or more individuals. Millions of people in countries such as the United States and South Korea have taken up blogging. Many blogs have rather small audiences some blogs are read by millions each month. [176] Social media sites, especially Twitter and Facebook, have become an important source of breaking news information and for disseminating links to news websites. Twitter declared in 2012: "It's like being delivered a newspaper whose headlines you'll always find interesting—you can discover news as it's happening, learn more about topics that are important to you, and get the inside scoop in real time." [177] Cell phone cameras have normalized citizen photojournalism. [178]

Michael Schudson, professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has said that "[e]verything we thought we once knew about journalism needs to be rethought in the Digital Age." [179] Today the work of journalism can be done from anywhere and done well. It requires no more than a reporter and a laptop. In that way, journalistic authority seems to have become more individual- and less institution-based. But does the individual reporter always have to be an actual journalist? Or can journalistic work be done from anywhere and by anyone? These are questions that refer to the core of journalistic practice and the definition of "news" itself. As Schudson has given emphasis to, the answer is not easily found "the ground journalists walk upon is shaking, and the experience for both those who work in the field and those on the outside studying it is dizzying". [179]

Schudson has identified the following six specific areas where the ecology of news in his opinion has changed:

  • The line between the reader and writer has blurred.
  • The distinction among tweet, blog post, Facebook, newspaper story, magazine article, and book has blurred.
  • The line between professionals and amateurs has blurred, and a variety of "pro-am" relationships has emerged.
  • The boundaries delineating for-profit, public, and non-profit media have blurred, and the cooperation across these models of financing has developed.
  • Within commercial news organizations, the line between the news room and the business office has blurred.
  • The line between old media and new media has blurred, practically beyond recognition. [180]

These alterations inevitably have fundamental ramifications for the contemporary ecology of news. "The boundaries of journalism, which just a few years ago seemed relatively clear, and permanent, have become less distinct, and this blurring, while potentially the foundation of progress even as it is the source of risk, has given rise to a new set of journalistic principles and practices", [181] Schudson puts it. It is indeed complex, but it seems to be the future.

Online news has also changed the geographic reach of individual news stories, diffusing readership from city-by-city markets to a potentially global audience. [166]

The growth of social media networks have also created new opportunities for automated and efficient news gathering for journalists and newsrooms. Many newsrooms (broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, radio and TV) have started to perform news gathering on social media platforms. Social media is creating changes in the consumer behaviour and news consumption. According to a study by Pew Research, a large portion of Americans read news on digital and on mobile devices.

Because internet does not have the "column inches" limitation of print media, online news stories can, but don't always, come bundled with supplementary material. The medium of the world wide web also enables hyperlinking, which allows readers to navigate to other pages related to the one they're reading. [166]

Despite these changes, some studies have concluded that internet news coverage remains fairly homogenous and dominated by news agencies. [182] [183] And journalists working with online media do not identify significantly different criteria for newsworthiness than print journalists. [24] The news website like TruthUnfold are the prime examples.

News agencies are services which compile news and disseminate it in bulk. Because they disseminate information to a wide variety of clients, who repackage the material as news for public consumption, news agencies tend to use less controversial language in their reports. Despite their importance, news agencies are not well known by the general public. They keep low profiles and their reporters usually do not get bylines. [19] [184]

The oldest news agency still operating is the Agence France-Presse (AFP). [185] It was founded in 1835 by a Parisian translator and advertising agent, Charles-Louis Havas as Agence Havas. By the end of the twentieth century, Reuters far outpaced the other news agencies in profits, and became one of the largest companies in Europe. [186] In 2011, Thomson Reuters employed more than 55,000 people in 100 countries, and posted an annual revenue of $12.9 billion. [19]

United Press International gained prominence as a world news agency in the middle of the twentieth century, but shrank in the 1980s and was sold off at low prices. It is owned by the Unification Church company News World Communications.

News agencies, especially Reuters and the newly important Bloomberg News, convey both news stories for mass audiences and financial information of interest to businesses and investors. [187] [188] Bloomberg LP, a private company founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, made rapid advances with computerized stock market reporting updated in real time. Its news service continued to exploit this electronic advantage by combining computer-generated analytics with text reporting. Bloomberg linked with Agence France Presse in the 1990s. [188]

Following the marketization of the Chinese economy and the media boom of the 1990s, Xinhua has adopted some commercial practices including subscription fees, but it remains government-subsidized. It provides newswire, news photos, economic information, and audio and video news. Xinhua has a growing number of subscribers, totaling 16,969 in 2002, including 93% of Chinese newspapers. [136] It operates 123 foreign bureaus and produces 300 news stories each day. [189]

Other agencies with considerable reach include Deutsche Presse-Agentur (Germany), Kyodo News (Japan), the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (Italy), the Middle East News Agency (Egypt), Tanjug (Serbia), EFE (Spain), and Anadolu Agency (Turkey). [190]

On the internet, news aggregators play a role similar to that of the news agency—and, because of the sources they select, tend to transmit news stories which originate from the main agencies. Of articles displayed by Yahoo! News in the U.S., 91.7% come from news agencies: 39.4% from AP, 30.9% AFP, and 21.3% Reuters. In India, 60.1% of Yahoo! News stories come from Reuters. Google News relies somewhat less on news agencies, and has shown high volatility, in the sense of focusing heavily on the most recent handful of salient world events. [182] In 2010, Google News redesigned its front page with automatic geotargeting, which generated a selection of local news items for every viewer. [191]

In the 20th century, global news coverage was dominated by a combination of the "Big Four" news agencies—Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France Press, and United Press International—representing the Western bloc, and the Communist agencies: TASS from the Soviet Union, and Xinhua from China. [192] Studies of major world events, and analyses of all international news coverage in various newspapers, consistently found that a large majority of news items originated from the four biggest wire services. [182]

Television news agencies include Associated Press Television News, which bought and incorporated World Television News and Reuters Television. [175] [193] Bloomberg News created in the 1990s, expanded rapidly to become a player in the realm of international news. [187] The Associated Press also maintains a radio network with thousands of subscribers worldwide it is the sole provider of international news to many small stations. [175]

By some accounts, dating back to the 1940s, the increasing interconnectedness of the news system has accelerated the pace of world history itself. [194]

New World Information and Communication Order Edit

The global news system is dominated by agencies from Europe and the United States, and reflects their interests and priorities in its coverage. [195] Euro-American control of the global news system has led to criticism that events around the world are constantly compared to events like the Holocaust and World War II, which are considered foundational in the West. [196] Since the 1960s, a significant amount of news reporting from the Third World has been characterized by some form "development journalism", a paradigm which focuses on long-term development projects, social change, and nation-building. [197] When in 1987 the U.S. media reported on a riot in the Dominican Republic—the first major news item regarding that country in years—the resulting decline in tourism lasted for years and had a noticeable effect on the economy. [198] The English language predominates in global news exchanges. [199] Critics have accused the global news system of perpetuating cultural imperialism. [163] [200] [201] Critics further charge that the Western media conglomerates maintain a bias towards the status quo economic order, especially a pro-corporate bias. [200]

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has promoted a New World Information and Communication Order, which envisions an international news exchange system involving national news agencies in every country. UNESCO encouraged the new states formed from colonial territories in the 1960s to establish news agencies, to generate domestic news stories, exchange news items with international partners, and disseminate both types of news internally. [202] Along these lines, the 1980 MacBride report, "Many Voices, One World", called for an interdependent global news system with more participation from different governments. To this end, also, UNESCO formed the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool. [203]

The Inter Press Service, founded in 1964, has served as an intermediary for Third World press agencies. [204] Inter Press Service's editorial policy favors coverage of events, institutions, and issues which relate to inequality, economic development, economic integration, natural resources, population, health, education, and sustainable development. [205] It gives less coverage than other agencies to crime, disasters, and violence. Geographically, 70% of its news reporting concerns Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. [206] IPS has the most subscribers in Latin America and southern Africa. [205] IPS receives grants from organizations such as the United Nations Development Program and other United Nations agencies and private foundations to report news on chosen topics, including the environment, sustainable development, and women's issues. [207]

Beginning in the 1960s, the United States Agency for International Development, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and UNESCO developed the use of satellite television for international broadcasting. In India, 1975–1976, these agencies implemented an experimental satellite television system, called the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment, with assistance from the Indian Space Research Organisation, and All India Radio. [208]

Further transformation in global news flow Edit

By the 1980s, much of the Third World had succumbed to a debt crisis resulting from unpayable large loans accumulated since the 1960s. At this point, the World Bank took an active role in the governance of many countries, and its authority extended to communications policy. The policy of developing Third World media gave way to a global regime of free trade institutions like the World Trade Organization, which also protected the free flow of information across borders. [209] The World Bank also promoted privatization of national telecommunications, which afforded large multinational corporations the opportunity to purchase networks and expand operations in the Third World. [210] [211]

In countries with less telecommunications infrastructure, people, especially youth, tend today to get their news predominantly from mobile phones and, less so, from the internet. Older folks listen more to the radio. The government of China is a major investor in Third World telecommunications, especially in Africa. [212] Some issues relating to global information flow were revisited in light of the internet at the 2003/2005 World Summit on the Information Society, a conference which emphasized the role of civil society and the private sector in information society governance. [213]

News values are the professional norms of journalism. Commonly, news content should contain all the "Five Ws" (who, what, when, where, why, and also how) of an event. Newspapers normally place hard news stories on the first pages, so the most important information is at the beginning, enabling busy readers to read as little or as much as they desire. Local stations and networks with a set format must take news stories and break them down into the most important aspects due to time constraints.

Journalists are often expected to aim for objectivity reporters claim to try to cover all sides of an issue without bias, as compared to commentators or analysts, who provide opinion or personal points of view. The resulting articles lay out facts in a sterile, noncommittal manner, standing back to "let the reader decide" the truth of the matter. [214] Several governments impose certain constraints against bias. In the United Kingdom, the government agency of Ofcom (Office of Communications) enforces a legal requirement of "impartiality" on news broadcasters. [215] Both newspapers and broadcast news programs in the United States are generally expected to remain neutral and avoid bias except for clearly indicated editorial articles or segments. Many single-party governments have operated state-run news organizations, which may present the government's views.

Although newswriters have always laid claim to truth and objectivity, the modern values of professional journalism were established beginning in the late 1800s and especially after World War I, when groups like the American Society of Newspaper Editors codified rules for unbiased news reporting. These norms held the most sway in American and British journalism, and were scorned by some other countries. [216] [217] These ideas have become part of the practice of journalism across the world. [218] Soviet commentators said stories in the Western press were trivial distractions from reality, and emphasized a socialist realism model focusing on developments in everyday life. [219]

Even in those situations where objectivity is expected, it is difficult to achieve, and individual journalists may fall foul of their own personal bias, or succumb to commercial or political pressure. Similarly, the objectivity of news organizations owned by conglomerated corporations fairly may be questioned, in light of the natural incentive for such groups to report news in a manner intended to advance the conglomerate's financial interests. Individuals and organizations who are the subject of news reports may use news management techniques to try to make a favourable impression. [220] Because each individual has a particular point of view, it is recognized that there can be no absolute objectivity in news reporting. [221] Journalists can collectively shift their opinion over what is a controversy up for debate and what is an established fact, as evidenced by homogenization during the 2000s of news coverage of climate change. [222]

Some commentators on news values have argued that journalists' training in news values itself represents a systemic bias of the news. The norm of objectivity leads journalists to gravitate towards certain types of acts and exclude others. A journalist can be sure of objectivity in reporting that an official or public figure has made a certain statement. This is one reason why so much news reporting is devoted to official statements. [223] This lemma dates back to the early history of public news reporting, as exemplified by an English printer who on 12 March 1624 published news from Brussels in the form of letters, with the prefacing comment: "Now because you shall not say, that either out of my owne conceit I misliked a phrase, or presumptuously tooke upon me to reforme any thing amisse, I will truly set you downe their owne words." [224]

Feminist critiques argue that discourse defined as objective by news organizations reflects a male-centered perspective. [225] In their selection of sources, journalists rely heavily on men as sources of authoritative- and objective-seeming statements. [226] News reporting has also tended to discuss women differently, usually in terms of appearance and relationship to men. [227]

The critique of traditional norms of objectivity comes from within news organizations as well. Said Peter Horrocks, head of television news at BBC: "The days of middle-of-the-road, balancing Left and Right, impartiality are dead. […] we need to consider adopting what I like to think of as a much wider 'radical impartiality'—the need to hear the widest range of views—all sides of the story." [215]

News organizations Edit

Viewed from a sociological perspective, news for mass consumption is produced in hierarchical organizations. Reporters, working near the bottom of the structure, are given significant autonomy in researching and preparing reports, subject to assignments and occasional intervention from higher decision-makers. [228] Owners at the top of the news hierarchy influence the content of news indirectly but substantially. The professional norms of journalism discourage overt censorship however, news organizations have covert but firm norms about how to cover certain topics. These policies are conveyed to journalists through socialization on the job without any written policy, they simply learn how things are done. [229] [230] Journalists comply with these rules for various reasons, including job security. [231] Journalists are also systematically influenced by their education, including journalism school. [232]

News production is routinized in several ways. News stories use familiar formats and subgenres which vary by topic. "Rituals of objectivity", such as pairing a quotation from one group with a quotation from a competing group, dictate the construction of most news narratives. Many news items revolve around periodic press conferences or other scheduled events. Further routine is established by assigning each journalist to a beat: a domain of human affairs, usually involving government or commerce, in which certain types of events routinely occur. [233]

A common scholarly frame for understanding news production is to examine the role of information gatekeepers: to ask why and how certain narratives make their way from news producers to news consumers. [234] Obvious gatekeepers include journalists, news agency staff, and wire editors of newspapers. [235] Ideology, personal preferences, source of news, and length of a story are among the many considerations which influence gatekeepers. [236] Although social media have changed the structure of news dissemination, gatekeeper effects may continue due to the role of a few central nodes in the social network. [237]

New factors have emerged in internet-era newsrooms. One issue is "click-thinking", the editorial selection of news stories—and of journalists—who can generate the most website hits and thus advertising revenue. Unlike a newspaper, a news website has detailed data collection about which stories are popular and who is reading them. [184] [238] The drive for speedy online postings, some journalists have acknowledged, has altered norms of fact-checking so that verification takes place after publication. [184] [239]

Journalists' sometimes unattributed echoing of other news sources can also increase the homogeneity of news feeds. [240] The digital age can accelerate the problem of circular reporting: propagation of the same error through increasingly reliable sources. In 2009, a number of journalists were embarrassed after all reproducing a fictional quotation, originating from Wikipedia. [240] [241]

News organizations have historically been male-dominated, though women have acted as journalists since at least the 1880s. The number of female journalists has increased over time, but organizational hierarchies remain controlled mostly by men. [242] Studies of British news organizations estimate that more than 80% of decision-makers are men. [243] Similar studies have found 'old boys' networks' in control of news organizations in the United States and the Netherlands. [244] Further, newsrooms tend to divide journalists by gender, assigning men to "hard" topics like military, crime, and economics, and women to "soft", "humanised" topics. [245]

Relationship with institutions Edit

For various reasons, news media usually have a close relationship with the state, and often church as well, even when they cast themselves in critical roles. [49] [50] [246] This relationship seems to emerge because the press can develop symbiotic relationships with other powerful social institutions. [246] In the United States, the Associated Press wire service developed a "bilateral monopoly" with the Western Union telegraph company. [120] [247]

The news agencies which rose to power in the mid-1800s all had support from their respective governments, and in turn served their political interests to some degree. [140] News for consumption has operated under statist assumptions, even when it takes a stance adversarial to some aspect of a government. [248] In practice, a large proportion of routine news production involves interactions between reporters and government officials. [249] Relatedly, journalists tend to adopt a hierarchical view of society, according to which a few people at the top of organizational pyramids are best situated to comment on the reality which serves as the basisi of news. [250] Broadly speaking, therefore, news tends to normalize and reflect the interests of the power structure dominant in its social context. [251]

Today, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) rival and may surpass governments in their influence on the content of news. [252]

State control Edit

Governments use international news transmissions to promote the national interest and conduct political warfare, alternatively known as public diplomacy and, in the modern era, international broadcasting. International radio broadcasting came into wide-ranging use by world powers seeking cultural integration of their empires. [253] The British government used BBC radio as a diplomatic tool, setting up Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese services in 1937. [254] American propaganda broadcasters include Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, set up during the Cold War and still operating today. [255] The United States remains the world's top broadcaster, although by some accounts it was surpassed for a time circa 1980 by the Soviet Union. Other major international broadcasters include the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, North Korea, India, Cuba, and Australia. [256] Around the world (and especially, formerly, in the Soviet bloc), international news sources such as the BBC World Service are often welcomed as alternatives to domestic state-run media. [257] [258]

Governments have also funneled programming through private news organizations, as when the British government arranged to insert news into the Reuters feed during and after World War Two. [259] Past revelations have suggested that the U.S. military and intelligence agencies create news stories which they disseminate secretly into the foreign and domestic media. Investigation into the Central Intelligence Agency pursued in the 1970s found that it owned hundreds of news organizations (wire services, newspapers, magazines) outright. [260] [261] Soviet news warfare also involved the creation of front groups, like the International Organization of Journalists. The Russian KGB heavily pursued a strategy of disinformation, planting false stories which made their way to news outlets worldwide. [262]

Broadcasts into Iraq before the Second Gulf War mimicked the style of local programming. [263] The US also launched Middle East Broadcasting Networks, featuring the satellite TV station Alhurra and radio station Radio Sawa to beam 24-hour programming to Iraq and environs. [264]

Today, Al Jazeera, a TV and internet news network owned by the government of Qatar, has become one of the foremost news sources in the world, appreciated by millions as an alternative to the Western media. [265] State-owned China Central Television operates 18 channels and reaches more than a billion viewers worldwide. [266] Iran's Press TV and Russia's Russia Today, branded as RT, also have multiplatform presences and large audiences.

Public relations Edit

Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928), pp. 152–153.

As distinct from advertising, which deals with marketing distinct from news, public relations involves the techniques of influencing news in order to give a certain impression to the public. A standard public relations tactic, the "third-party technique", is the creation of seemingly independent organizations, which can deliver objective-sounding statements to news organizations without revealing their corporate connections. [267] Public relations agencies can create complete content packages, such as Video News Releases, which are rebroadcast as news without commentary or detail about their origin. [268] Video news releases seem like normal news programming, but use subtle product placement and other techniques to influence viewers. [269]

Public relations releases offer valuable newsworthy information to increasingly overworked journalists on deadline. [240] (This pre-organized news content has been called an information subsidy.) [270] The journalist relies on appearances of autonomy and even opposition to established interests—but the public relations agent seek to conceal their client's influence on the news,. Thus, public relations works its magic in secret. [252] [271]

Public relations can dovetail with state objectives, as in the case of the 1990 news story about Iraqi soldiers taking "babies out of incubators" in Kuwaiti hospitals. [272] During the Nigerian Civil War, both the federal government and the secessionist Republic of Biafra hired public relations firms, which competed to influence public opinion in the West, and between them established some of the key narratives employed in news reports about the war. [273]

Overall, the position of the public relations industry has grown stronger, while the position of news producers has grown weaker. Public relations agents mediate the production of news about all sectors of society. [271]

Over the centuries, commentators on newspapers and society have repeatedly observed widespread human interest in news. [5] [274] Elite members of a society's political and economic institutions might rely on news as one limited source of information, for the masses, news represents a relatively exclusive window onto the operations by which a society is managed. [275]

Regular people in societies with news media often spend a lot of time reading or watching news reports. [276] Newspapers became significant aspects of national and literary culture—as exemplified by James Joyce's Ulysses, which derives from the newspapers of 16 June (and thereabouts), 1904, and represents the newspaper office itself as a vital part of life in Dublin. [277]

A 1945 study by sociologist Bernard Berelson found that during the 1945 New York newspaper strike, New Yorkers exhibited a virtual addiction to news, describing themselves as "lost", "nervous", "isolated", and "suffering" due to the withdrawal. [278] Television news has become still further embedded in everyday life, with specific programming anticipated at different times of day. [279] Children tend to find the news boring, too serious, or emotionally disturbing. They come to perceive news as characteristic of adulthood, and begin watching television news in their teenage years because of the adult status it confers. [280]

People exhibit various forms of skepticism towards the news. Studies of tabloid readers found that many of them gain pleasure from seeing through the obviously fake or poorly constructed stories—and get their "real news" from television. [281]

Social and cultural cohesion Edit

An important feature distinguishing news from private information transfers is the impression that when one reads (or hears, or watches) it, one joins a larger public. [282] In this regard news serves to unify its receivers under the banner of a culture, or a society, as well as into the sub-demographics of a society targeted by their favorite kind of news. [283] News thus plays a role in nation-building, the construction of a national identity. [284]

Images connected with news can also become iconic and gain a fixed role in the culture. Examples such as Alfred Eisenstaedt's photograph V-J Day in Times Square, Nick Ut's photograph of Phan Thi Kim Phuc and other children running from a napalm blast in Vietnam Kevin Carter's photograph of a starving child being stalked by a vulture [196] etc.

With the new interconnectedness of global media, the experience of receiving news along with a world audience reinforces the social cohesion effect on a larger scale. [285] As a corollary, global media culture may erode the uniqueness and cohesion of national cultures. [200]

Public sphere Edit

This collective form experience can be understood to constitute a political realm or public sphere. [282] [286] In this view, the news media constitute a fourth estate which serves to check and balance the operations of government. [279]

This idea, at least as a goal to be sought, has re-emerged in the era of global communications. [287] Today, unprecedented opportunities exist for public analysis and discussion of world events. [288] According to one interpretation of the CNN effect, instantaneous global news coverage can rally public opinion as never before to motivate political action. [289] In 1989, local and global communications media-enabled instant exposure to and discussion of the Chinese government's actions in Tiananmen Square. The news about Tiananmen Square travelled over a fax machine, telephone, newspaper, radio, and television, and continued to travel even after the government imposed new restrictions on local telecommunications. [290]

News events Edit

As the technological means for disseminating news grew more powerful, news became an experience which millions of people could undergo simultaneously. Outstanding news experiences can exert a profound influence on millions of people. Through its power to effect a shared experience, news events can mold the collective memory of a society. [291] [292]

One type of news event, the media event, is a scripted pageant organized for a mass live broadcast. Media events include athletic contests such as the Super Bowl and the Olympics, cultural events like awards ceremonies and celebrity funerals, and also political events such as coronations, debates between electoral candidates, and diplomatic ceremonies. [293] These events typically unfold according to a common format which simplifies the transmission of news items about them. [294] Usually, they have the effect of increasing the perceived unity of all parties involved, which include the broadcasters and audience. [295] Today, international events such as a national declaration of independence can be scripted in advance with the major news agencies, with staff specially deployed to key locations worldwide in advance of the life news broadcast. Public relations companies can participate in these events as well. [296]

The perception that an ongoing crisis is taking place further increases the significance of live news. People rely on the news and constantly seek more of it, to learn new information and to seek reassurance amidst feelings of fear and uncertainty. [297] Crises can also increase the effect of the news on social cohesion, and lead the population of a country to "rally" behind its current leadership. [298] The rise of a global news system goes hand in hand with the advent of terrorism and other sensational acts, which have power in proportion to the audience they capture. In 1979, the capture of American hostages in Iran dominated months of news coverage in the western media, gained the status of a "crisis", and influenced a presidential election. [299]

South Africans overwhelmingly describe the end of Apartheid as a source of the country's most important news. [300] In the United States, news events such as the assassinations of the 1960s (of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy), the 1969 moon landing, the 1986 Challenger explosion, the 1997 death of Princess Diana, the intervention of the Supreme Court in the 2000 presidential election and the 2001 September 11 attacks. [301] In Jordan, people cited numerous memorable news events involving death and war, including the death of King Hussein, Princess Diana, and Yitzhak Rabin. Positive news stories found memorable by Jordanians featured political events affecting their lives and families—such as the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon, and the Israel–Jordan peace treaty. [302]

News coverage can also shape collective memory in retrospect. A study of Israeli news coverage leading up to the media event of the nation's 60th birthday found that news coverage of events like the Holocaust, World War Two, and subsequent Israeli wars increased the perceived importance of these events in the minds of citizens. [303]

News making Edit

News making is the act of making the news or doing something that is considered to be newsworthy. When discussing the act of news making, scholars refer to specific models. Five of these models are the Professional Model, Mirror Model, Organizational Model, Political Model, and Civic Journalism Model. [304]

The Professional Model is when skilled peoples put certain events together for a specific audience. The reaction of the audience is influential because it can determine the impact that the particular article or newspaper has on the readers. [305] The Mirror Model states that news should reflect reality. This model aims to focus on particular events and provide accuracy in reporting. The Organizational Model is also known as the Bargaining Model. [304] It focuses on influencing various news organizations by applying pressures to governmental processes. The Political Model outlines that news represents the ideological biases of the people as well as the various pressures of the political environment. This model mainly influences journalists and attempts to promote public opinion. [305] The Civic Journalism Model is when the press discovers the concerns of the people and uses that to write stories. This allows the audience to play an active role in society.

Models of news making help define what the news is and how it influences readers. But it does not necessarily account for the content of print news and online media. Stories are selected if they have a strong impact, incorporate violence and scandal, are familiar and local, and if they are timely.

News Stories with a strong impact can be easily understood by a reader. Violence and scandal create an entertaining and attention-grabbing story. [304] Familiarity makes a story more relatable because the reader knows who is being talked about. Proximity can influence a reader more. A story that is timely will receive more coverage because it is a current event. The process of selecting stories coupled with the models of news making are how the media is effective and impactful in society.

Psychological effects Edit

Exposure to constant news coverage of war can lead to stress and anxiety. [306] Television coverage of the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, which repeated the same footage over and over, led to symptoms of trauma experienced across the United States. [307] Studies have indicated that children have been traumatized by exposure to television of other frightening events, including the Challenger disaster. [308] Journalists themselves also experience trauma and guilt. [309]

Research also suggest that constant representations of violence in the news lead people to overestimate the frequency of its occurrence in the real world, thus increasing their level of fear in everyday situations. [310]

Influence Edit

The content and style of news delivery certainly have effects on the general public, with the magnitude and precise nature of these effects being tough to determine experimentally. [311] In Western societies, television viewing has been so ubiquitous that its total effect on psychology and culture leave few alternatives for comparison. [312]

News is the leading source of knowledge about global affairs for people around the world. [313] According to agenda-setting theory, the general public will identify as its priorities those issues which are highlighted on the news. [314] The agenda-setting model has been well-supported by research, which indicate that the public's self-reported concerns respond to changes in news coverage rather than changes in the underlying issue itself. [315] The less an issue obviously affects people's lives, the bigger an influence media agenda-setting can have on their opinion of it. [316] The agenda-setting power becomes even stronger in practice because of the correspondence in news topics promulgated by different media channels. [317]

It has been acknowledged that sponsorship has historically influenced various news stories. [318] [319] [320] This history gained widespread attention following the release of the film Anchorman 2. [318] [319] [320] One example in recent time is the fact that Facebook has invested heavily in news sources and purchasing time on local news media outlets. [321] [322] Tech Crunch journalist Josh Continue even stated in February 2018 that the company "stole the news business" and used sponsorship to make many news publishers its "ghostwriters." [321] In January 2019, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that he will spend $300 million in local news buys over a three-year period. [322] [323]


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