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Dear Kosmos Reader,
Journalists and their sources take enormous risks to reveal the uncensored truth to the public. Most recently the courage of Edward Snowden stands out. The Washington Post and The Guardian have just won the Pulitzer Prize for their stories based on National Security Agency documents leaked by the former government contractor Edward J. Snowden. Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitas also won the prestigious George Polk Honor for Exposing NSA Surveillance. Recognizing the importance of independent journalism to democracy, this newsletter focuses on issues of freedom of the press and investigative reporting.
We begin with The State of the News Media 2014, the eleventh edition of an annual report by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project examining the landscape of American journalism. We have included the overview here and links to the full report.
Kosmos Journal has consistently reported on ways journalistic practice is changing. In 2006 Mikhail Gorbachev understood that the integrity of mass media worldwide was at stake and with it democracy itself. He invited 46 journalists from around the world to share their experience. I was very honored to be invited to this seminal conference in Venice and reported on it in Media Between Citizens and Power | World Political Forum Seminar, Kosmos, Fall 2006.
In the Spring of 2008, we published The Rise of Public Insight Journalism: from Priesthood to Partnership, by Michael Skoler. It talked about tapping the knowledge, experience and insights of a vast network of people who have expertise, but are rarely recognized as experts by the media. This idea presaged the rise of Citizen Journalism and is very much in the mainstream today.
Peggy Holman’s article, Journalism that Matters in the Summer/2009 issue of Kosmos Journal addressed practices relevant to the emerging new journalism that “not only informs, but engages, inspires, and activates people to play their roles as free and self-governing citizens.” Since then, we have seen how important independent media has been to movements like Occupy and Transition.
In this newsletter we are sharing Investigative Reporting: A Reporter’s Notebook. This article by a veteran investigative reporter, Roberta Baskin is especially compelling as she shares her personal feelings and experience with the reader. It is from Kosmos Journal’s Fall/Winter 2010 edition.
We are also pleased to present a short video on the importance of bearing witness in investigative reporting by our own digital director, Rhonda Fabian. It includes insights by some top journalists and news editors of the day.
Finally, we have a free e-book for you to download. The State of Journalism in China, from The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard looks at how journalists in China work around the Communist Party’s efforts to rein in free speech.
We are grateful to journalists everywhere in the world who work with integrity and passion to keep us informed.
By Amy Mitchell
The State of the News Media 2014 is the eleventh edition of an annual report by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project examining the landscape of American journalism.
By Roberta Baskin
Investigative reporting matters, and it can’t be replaced on the cheap. That’s not to say that there are not creative, exciting experiments taking place, with new models for investigative reporting emerging online. At the moment, philanthropy is stepping forward to foot many of these bills, knowing that investigative reporting is crucial to democracy. But charity is unlikely to be a sustainable model. It’s more like a stopgap to rescue investigative journalism until new systems emerge that will support enterprise reporting.
By Rhonda Fabian
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard has created a free e-book of short essays that shed light on the current status of journalists in China. The State of Journalism in China looks at how journalists in China work around the Communist Party’s efforts to rein in free speech. International reporters often face surveillance and harassment […]
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