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posted by Dopefish on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the freedom-is-not-free dept.

combatserver writes:

"While The Guardian and The New York Times reported on the NSA targeting of data leaked by popular mobile apps, independent sources produced highly-detailed articles--accompanied by source material--that paint a much broader picture of NSA capabilities and intent. Recent restrictions imposed on journalists--a result of corporate influence, editorial decisions, and threats against journalists--combined with the ease of establishing a website, might be driving a new era in journalism.

The Intercept recently announced a shift towards independent reporting with the creation of their own news outlet, free of the constraints imposed on journalists by 'Big Media' and governments. Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill have joined forces to provide the world with an alternative, perhaps blazing a path towards a fundamental change in how news is reported and distributed. SoylentNews can play a significant role in this shift towards journalistic freedom--we share many common core-ideals, and can give voice to independent news sources.

The Big Question: How will 'Big Media' and governments react to this shift in journalism?"

 
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by BradTheGeek on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:45PM

    by BradTheGeek (450) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:45PM (#1562)

    Independent journalism has a place, and I applaud its growth and freedom. However, to do truly in depth reporting, especially in certain arenas takes money. Where does it come from?

    In an era where we increasingly want free or cheap media? How do we fund such efforts with minimal bias?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:39PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:39PM (#1590)

    Public broadcasting has had a crowdfunding model for what, 50 years or so? (They also eagerly accept money from corporations and governments, and many believe they are highly biased.)

    I would not mind if all for-profit media died today and a handful of PBS-style news sources took their place.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:23PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:23PM (#1680) Journal
      Except PBS is beholden to large contributors and it turns out, money ends up driving its stories AND its viewpoint. Example: http://pando.com/2014/02/12/the-wolf-of-sesame-str eet-revealing-the-secret-corruption-inside-pbss-ne ws-division/ [pando.com] -- Pension Peril is a two year series on public employee pensions financed by a billionaire who is actively lobbying for the end of such pensions. PBS essentially buried the funding source information and violated its own policies in order to hide the contribution.

      Despite Arnold's pension-slashing activism and his foundation's ties to partisan politics, Leila Walsh, a spokesperson for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), told Pando that PBS officials were not hesitant to work with them, even though PBS's own very clear rules prohibit such blatant conflicts. (note: the term "PBS officials" refers interchangeably to both PBS officials and officials from PBS flagship affiliate WNET who were acting on behalf of the entire PBS system).

      To the contrary, the Arnold Foundation spokesperson tells Pando that it was PBS officials who first initiated contact with Arnold in the Spring of 2013. She says those officials actively solicited Arnold to finance the broadcaster's proposal for a new pension-focused series. According to the spokesperson, they solicited Arnold's support based specifically on their knowledge of his push to slash pension benefits for public employees.

      ...

      With PBS's "Pension Peril" series echoing many of the same pension-cutting themes that the Arnold Foundation is promoting in the legislative arena, and with the series not explicitly disclosing the Arnold financing to PBS viewers, the foundation's spokesperson says her organization is happy with the segments airing on stations throughout the country. However, she says the foundation reserves "the ability to stop funding" the series at any time "in the event of extraordinary circumstances."

      And there is this: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/1305 27fa_fact_mayer?printable=true&currentPage=all [newyorker.com] which outlines the way in which PBS stations have dropped shows that might be controversial for major donors. PBS is basically becoming owned, sort of like an artsy Fox or NBC.

      As for First Look Media, I'm sure that for a time it will actually act independently and be a good source of news. I'm also fairly pessimistic that it will remain so for all time -- like anything, it will grow, flourish, age, wither, die, and rot. Public broadcasting happens to be in withering stage.

      PS: PBS has backed out of the deal with Arnold ( http://pando.com/2014/02/14/nyt-pbs-to-return-john -arnolds-3-5-million-following-pando-expose/ [pando.com] ) -- but that is certainly only because it got caught.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:30PM

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:30PM (#1825) Homepage Journal

      PBS has never been unbiased, at least within my lifetime. About the best you can say for them is they're less blatantly adversarial in their approach than most news corps.

      Unfortunately, most journalists come out of school ready to crusade against evil corporations (read: all of them), anyone who isn't a Democrat, and anyone who doesn't agree with this approach to journalism. The rub is that there's nothing that can be done about this while still maintaining any semblance of a free press.

      Hopefully, having non-journalism-degree-having people reporting the news on sites like this will at least give the unserved majority of us a bit better access to what's actually happening in the world.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.