November 7, 2016 Last Updated 4:54 pm

The news media faces its zero hour; threats, arrests, targeting of journalists grows more brazen

Morning Brief: As this election cycle ends, it is good to remember that the war on a free press will continue, and is ongoing in many places around the globe

The end is near, soon we may be able to exhale. Or else begin looking to find European job boards. More on that later today as TNM goes there by making it clear we this site stands.

Meanwhile, a few magazines this cycle have weighed in on the election when they might have, in a normal election year, laid low.


It is during days like this that I miss the last editorial team over at Editor and Publisher before it was closed by Nielsen. Greg Mitchell, who many journalists thought went too far in his criticism of the way newspapers supported the Iraq War (and who was, of course, right) most likely would have used his position to speak about this election. It would have been interesting to see the reaction.

(Feature photo on home page: screenshot of Donald Trump supporter’s t-shirt at rally Sunday._


9 Journalists And Executives At A Leading Turkish Newspaper Are Arrested

From Istanbul, journalist Dalia Mortada reports for our Newscast unit:

“The daily is one of the last remaining independent voices that is critical of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government. Since the failed coup, the government has shut down more than 150 media outlets and reclaimed its place as the world’s leading jailer of journalists.

“This is not the first time Cumhurriyet has been targeted by prosecutors. In May, the paper’s former editor-in-chief was sentenced to five years in jail for espionage after he published evidence of Turkish intelligence trucks delivering weapons into Syria.”

State-run Anadolu Agency lists the arrested journalists as editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and cartoonist Haci Musa Kart, along with board members Ahmet Kadri Gursel, Guray Tekin Oz, Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Turhan Gunay, Hakan Karasinir, Onder Celik and Bulent Utku.

American Enterprise Institute:

Are western journalists in Turkey self-censoring?

Last month, a hacker group stole the emails of Berat Albayrak, not only Turkey’s Energy Minister but also the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan…

…All this is relevant given the diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter vis-à-vis Turkey as the campaign to liberate Mosul continues. And yet, major US correspondents based in Istanbul have failed to pursue the issue in any depth. Perhaps their outlets find it distasteful to use hacked emails. But, if that’s the case, why not bury every revelation that emerges from Wikileaks?

Alternately, perhaps they fear having their visas revoked. That may seem tragic for those who have invested time and money in setting up a Turkey office, but it would be better to leave Turkey than to become complicit by omission in the propaganda that Turkey’s increasingly erratic leader seeks to espouse.

The Jamestown Sun:

At least 7 journalists charged with crimes during ND pipeline protests

At least seven journalists have been charged with crimes while covering Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota, prompting some out-of-state and independent journalists to say law enforcement is targeting them.

The arrests include a freelance journalist who is charged with a felony of conspiring to set fire to roadblocks and vehicles, but he says he was reporting on the confrontation with law enforcement, not participating in it.

“It’s ridiculous the way they’ve been targeting media,” said Adam Schrader, a freelance journalist from New York.

The Washington Post:

Israel’s ruling party used Facebook to track ‘antigovernment’ journalists

Israel’s ruling Likud party used Facebook to track the activities and posts of certain journalists it perceives as antigovernment, a member of the party, which is headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a public debate on Saturday.

Likud parliamentarian David Bitan, who serves as chairman of the government coalition, told the gathering that he and some friends had been following the Facebook pages of journalists hired recently to set up a new public broadcasting service.

“We went and we checked the Facebook pages of these people. We saw what they are writing and I will tell you that we are talking about people who are leftist. They want to impose their own agenda on the new channel,” he said in the forum.

The New York Times:

Media’s Next Challenge: Overcoming the Threat of Fake News

In the last couple of weeks, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets have exposed millions of Americans to false stories asserting that: the Clinton campaign’s pollster, Joel Benenson, wrote a secret memo detailing plans to “salvage” Hillary Clinton’s candidacy by launching a radiological attack to halt voting (merrily shared on Twitter by Roger Stone, an informal adviser to the Trump campaign); the Clinton campaign senior strategist John Podesta practiced an occult ritual involving various bodily fluids; Mrs. Clinton is paying public pollsters to skew results (shared on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr.); there is a trail of supposedly suspicious deaths of myriad Clinton foes (which The Times’s Frank Bruni heard repeated in a hotel lobby in Ohio).

As Mike Cernovich, a Twitter star, alt-right news provocateur and promoter of Clinton health conspiracies, boasted in last week’s New Yorker, “Someone like me is perceived as the new Fourth Estate.” His content can live alongside that of The Times or The Boston Globe or The Washington Post on the Facebook newsfeed and be just as well read, if not more so. On Saturday he called on a President Trump to disband the White House press corps.

He may not have to. All you have to do is look at the effect of the Gannett cuts on its Washington staff, which Politico recently likened to a “blood bath.”

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