Views of the News: Keeping reporters safe on the job

Apr 8, 2014

Credit via Twitter

Last week, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was shot and killed while on assignment in Afghanistan.  She was traveling with a convoy of election workers ahead of the presidential election when an Afgan police officer open fire on Niedringhaus and her reporter.

Afghanistan is a war zone.

Houston, Texas isn't.

But, that doesn't make the job any less dangerous for reporter there.  The news director at KTRK-TV announced this week that he is putting a stop to the practice of reporters knocking on the doors of crime suspects.  That's because a KTRK reporter and photographer were held at gunpoint after approaching the home of a man charged with child molestation.

Darrell N. Phillips, “Houston news director adopts ‘no knock’ policy for reporters chasing criminal suspects

Demond Fernandez, KTRK: “Suspect pulls gun on ABC13 reporter, photographer during coverage of sex assault trial

Credit Flickr user Rinaldo Wurglitsch

'Secret' social media network in Cuba

For more than two years, there was a Twitter-like social media network built in Cuba to push dissent against the government.  What the users didn't know: it was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the state department.  They also didn't know American contractors were collecting their personal data and potentially using it for political purposes.

Alberto Arce, Desmond Butler & Jack Gillum, Associated Press: “U.S. secretly built ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest

Mike Hashimoto, Dallas Morning News: “From exploding cigars to ‘You have new followers’ in Cuba

Alberto Arce, Desmond Butler & Jack Gillum, Associated Press: “White House defends ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest

Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker: “The dangerous absurdity of the secret 'Cuban Twitter'

Credit Flickr user Jonas Strandell

Mozilla CTO Ousted

The company behind the Firefox web browser and a number of other open source products saw the ouster of its chief technology officer, Brendan Eich.

Eich is best known for developing JavaScript.  Soon after his promotion to CTO, his record of donating to anti-gay political movements -- particularly California's Prop * -- was a problem for many Mozilla employees.

William Slatean, Slate: “Brendan Eich, homophobia, and corporate values: The left is the new Moral Majority

Steve Tobak, Fox Business: “The truth behind Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s demise

Mary Hamilton, The Guardian: “Brendan Eich has the right to fight gay rights, but not to be Mozilla’s CEO

Tal Kopan, Politico: “Donald Trump: ‘Really unfair’ about Brendan Eich

Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times: “Gay marriage, Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, and the role of a CEO

Does media have a gender problem?

A study from the Women's Media Center shows how pervasive the gender gap is in American television and radio stations, newspapers, wire services and online news outlets.

Women’s Media Center: “Media gender gap

Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post: “The media’s enormous gender problem, in one chart

Making journalism degrees “matter more”

Futurist Amy Webb challenged attendees at the annual Journalism Interactive conference to re-think journalism education and find a way to make a journalism degree "matter more" to students.

Justine McDaniel, American Journalism Review: “Webb: Journalism schools needs to make the ‘degree matter more’

Changes to the NCAA tournament broadcasts

For the first time ever, the Final Four telecasts featured team-specific broadcasts this year -- giving "hometown" analysts the mic to call the semi-finals.  Some viewers loved it, others were simply confused.


Richard Sandomir, New York Times: “With a holler, homers make NCAA broadcasts fun

Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated: “Final Four teams will get hometown announcers for semifinal games

Sam Cooper, Yahoo Sports: “Some people on Twitter are very confused by the biases of the Kentucky Teamcast announcers