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World of the News

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: World of the News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on World of the News

World of the News - March 2012Beleaguered UK Tabloid: The Sun is of course still all over the news, ironicaly for a tabloid – for all the right reasons, bad behaviour. A British police chief has detailed allegations that journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper cultivated a network of corrupt officials who received illegal payments in return for story tip-offs.

ABC Cameraman Louie Eroglu: has won the prestigious White House News Photographers Association’s video photographer of the year award for the second year running.

The Behemoth that is Google: is overhauling its privacy policy despite opposition from various consumer and privacy advocates. In the past, data collected in the course of a web search would be kept separate from your YouTube viewing activity or your Google email usage and map queries.

The Guardian Runs “Three Little Pigs” Open Journalism Advertisement: To demonstrate how the news organization covers stories from all angles while opening up the conversation for reader engagement, The Guardian published a video advertisement today that imagines news coverage around the classic fable about the Three Little Pigs.

Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists: is currently accepting applications for their 2012 United Nations Journalism Fellowship program. The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists has awarded fellowships to journalists since 1962. For the United Nations Journalism Fellowship, four journalists are selected and are given the opportunity to report on international affairs during the UN’s annual General Assembly.

WikiLeaks Dumping Top Secret Intelligence Emails: Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has begun publishing more than 5 million confidential emails from Texas-based intelligence firm Stratfor. WikiLeaks says it has proof of the firm’s confidential links to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co and Lockheed Martin, as well as government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency ::::

The Beleaguered UK Tabloid: The Sun is of course still all over the news, ironicaly for a tabloid – for all the right reasons, bad behaviour. A British police chief has detailed allegations that journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper cultivated a network of corrupt officials who received illegal payments in return for story tip-offs. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who is leading the criminal investigation into phone hacking, told the Leveson inquiry into media ethics that the payments were authorised at a very senior level.

The allegations come in the same week that Mr Murdoch launched a Sunday edition of the Sun, a replacement for The News of the World, which was axed last year in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. Assistant Commissioner Akers said the Sun had a network of public officials and police to approach for information, and one reporter had been given $220,000 over a number of years to pay those sources.

“It reveals a network of corrupted officials,” Akers said. “The journalists had a network upon which to call at various strategic places across public life and there also appears to have been a culture at the Sun of illegal payments.”

Assistant Commissioner Akers has alleged that staff knew they were acting illegally, managing payment through friends or relatives of the source. “Multiple payments have been made to individuals amounting to thousands of pounds,” Akers said. “In one case, over a period of several years, it amounts to in excess of 80,000 pounds.”

The inquiry also heard that in 2006, the then editor of the Sun, Rebekah Brooks, was told by a police contact that investigations into phone hacking would not be broadened beyond the News of the World. One of the victims of phone hacking, former deputy prime minister John Prescott, told the inquiry he believes there is a “conspiracy of silence to hide the facts”.

“Frankly, I’m strongly of that view in the last few months,” Prescott said.

Mr Murdoch responded to the latest allegations by saying he had made clear his company had vowed to do everything it could to get to the bottom of prior wrongdoings. He said those practices no longer took place at the The Sun, which is currently the biggest-selling newspaper in the UK.

The revelations made front page news in papers across the UK, with the Guardian – a staunch critic of Mr Murdoch’s newspapers throughout the scandal, splashing with the headline “Power, corruption and lies” above a photo-montage portrait of Mr Murdoch. Ten journalists from The Sun have been arrested since November on charges of bribing police and public officials for information.

The new revelations came as entertainer Charlotte Church settled her lawsuit against Mr Murdoch’s News International for almost $1 million. The 26-year-old was a teenager when the now defunct News of the World hacked her family’s voicemails, placed her under surveillance, and accessed her medical records.

“What I have discovered as the litigation has gone on has sickened and disgusted me,” Charlotte Church said. “In my opinion, they are not truly sorry – only sorry they got caught.”

World of the News - ABC Cameraman Louie ErogluABC – Australian Broadcasting Corp – Cameraman Louie Eroglu has won the prestigious White House News Photographers Association’s video photographer of the year award for the second year running.  Eroglu was honoured for a 7.30 feature on the bleak state of the West Virginian economy and a Foreign Correspondent documentary on Cuba. “I just love what I do and having the opportunity to reflect in pictures the amazing beauty and complexity of life in America,” Eroglu said. “You can easily pick me out of the crowd right now on Pennsylvania Avenue – I’m the chappie with the world’s biggest grin.”

WHNPA president Ron Sachs says Eroglu’s work is “truly the eyes and ears” of his viewers. Another ABC cameraman, Dan Sweetapple, also won recognition for his work in the news feature, network and documentary categories of the awards. ABC News director Kate Torney says it is a great result for the ABC’s Washington bureau. Check the Videos at www.abc.net.au

World of the News - Google PrivacyThe Behemoth that is Google: is overhauling its privacy policy despite opposition from various consumer and privacy advocates. In the past, data collected in the course of a web search would be kept separate from your YouTube viewing activity or your Google email usage and map queries.

From midnight on Thursday the search engine giant was to change the way it collects and collates data about its users, saying it is simplifying things and offering a better individual browsing experience. Google’s new privacy policy will affect millions of those with a Google account, including anyone who use Gmail, YouTube or any of the company’s other 60-plus services. It will also affect anyone with a smartphone using Google’s android operating system.

Seamus Byrne, editor of consumer technology site CNET Australia, says Google will build a much more intelligent picture of who you are. “They’ll target ads to you a lot better based on that information,” Byrne said. “Google’s promising that they’ll only use it internally, but Google is now an incredibly large company and they own one of the world’s biggest digital advertising networks.”

Consumer and privacy advocates say the company already holds too much personal information. Governments and organisations can, through the courts, demand access to the information. In fact Google already publishes a list of what governments have asked it for.

“The classic argument here is that there is a slippery slope and at some point Google might choose to sell this combined data to other companies,” Byrne said. “I think it would take a lot for Google to make that choice, but if at some point they made that information accessible – to the classic examples being insurance companies or government – that could be very dangerous. So I think that’s the key issue here – how dangerous is this information if it does go to the wrong people.”

Increasing concerns over online data collection by companies like Facebook and Google have prompted US president Barack Obama to put forward a privacy bill of rights, and Europe is examining its regulatory environment.

World of the News - The Guardian Runs Three Little PigsThe Guardian Runs “Three Little Pigs” Open Journalism Advertisement: To demonstrate how the news organization covers stories from all angles while opening up the conversation for reader engagement, The Guardian published a video advertisement today that imagines news coverage around the classic fable about the Three Little Pigs. Except in The Guardian’s reenactment, the pigs actually frame Big Bad Wolf in an act of insurance fraud while readers follow coverage through the various Guardian platforms. The video shows how readers are exposed to the news and are welcomed to chime in through various social media outlets as the story develops. In a word, I would simply describe this video as “epic.” Check the video here.

World of the News - Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for JournalistsDag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists: is currently accepting applications for their 2012 United Nations Journalism Fellowship program. Dag Hammarskjöld was the second Secretary-General for the United Nations and served from April 1953 until September 1961 when he met his death in a plane crash while on a peace mission in the Congo. While in office, Hammarskjöld was responsible for many diplomatic activities, including the first and second UN international conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy in Geneva, and for his support of the Armistice Agreements to promote progress towards better and more peaceful conditions between Israel and the Arab States. Hammarskjöld also posthumously received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists has awarded fellowships to journalists since 1962. For the United Nations Journalism Fellowship, four journalists are selected and are given the opportunity to report on international affairs during the UN’s annual General Assembly. The fellowships are available to radio, television, print and web journalists ages 25-35 who are native to one of the developing countries in Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean and working full-time for a media organization in a developing nation. Recipient countries are rotated for the 2012 fellowship; for example, applicants from China, Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria are not eligible to apply this year since fellowships were awarded to journalists for those countries in 2011.

Fellowships will begin in early September and extend to late November. The cost of travel and accommodations is included, as well as a per diem allowance. Applications are due on March 30, 2012 for the United Nations Journalism Fellowship. To apply, check http://unjournalismfellowship.org/ for more information.

World of the News - WikileaksWikiLeaks Dumping Top Secret Intelligence Emails: Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has begun publishing more than 5 million confidential emails from Texas-based intelligence firm Stratfor. WikiLeaks says the emails – which it refers to as the ‘Global Intelligence Files’ – date from between July 2004 and December 2011.

“The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods,” WikiLeaks said in a statement. “The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients.”

WikiLeaks says it has proof of the firm’s confidential links to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co and Lockheed Martin, as well as government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. It says it has found evidence that Stratfor gave a complimentary membership to Pakistan general Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack against international forces in Afghanistan in 2006. WikiLeaks also alleges it has proof that Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of activists seeking redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India.

“The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards,” WikiLeaks said. “Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.”

Stratfor, which was founded in 1996, describes itself as “a subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis”.

“Unlike traditional news outlets, Stratfor uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via rigorous open-source monitoring and a global network of human sources,” according to the Texas-based firm’s website.

WikiLeaks says 25 media outlets – including Rolling Stone, The Hindu newspaper and Italy’s La Repubblica – have been given access to the files and important revelations will be revealed over the coming weeks. WikiLeaks’ Australian founder Julian Assange is currently in Britain fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on rape and sexual assault allegations. The organisation has long expressed concern that if he is sent to Sweden, Stockholm would quickly send him on to the United States.

Assange attracted sharp condemnation in Washington following the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified US diplomatic files. Bradley Manning, the man suspected of turning over that massive cache of files to WikiLeaks, on Thursday declined to enter a plea at his arraignment. The 24-year-old US Army soldier has been held in custody since 2010 and faces life in prison if convicted. http://wikileaks.org/


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