media and journalism | KUOW News and Information

media and journalism

President Trump has often accused the news media of not covering terrorist attacks adequately. In a speech in February he said, "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino [...] It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported."

NPR journalists David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna died a year ago this week, ambushed on a remote road in southern Afghanistan while on a reporting assignment traveling with the Afghan National Army.

Since their deaths, NPR has been investigating what happened, and today we are sharing new information about what we learned. It's a very different story from what we originally understood.

In a South Dakota court room, ABC News will defend a series of stories it reported five years ago in a defamation law suit. Jury selection started Wednesday.

It's a trial that could prove to be a measure of public attitudes toward the media.

Back in 2012, ABC Correspondent Jim Avila reported on a practice of a South Dakota-based company called Beef Products, Inc.

What do you do about a problem like "covfefe"? That word from President Trump's late-night tweet set Twitter ablaze overnight, sparking jokes and quasi-definitions of what seems to have been a typo. The covfefe kerfuffle is a reminder that we're living in a unique political era: Even the words are brand-new.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

White House communications director Michael Dubke has resigned. Dubke offered his resignation on May 18, prior to President Trump's overseas trip to the Middle East and Europe. He is still working at the White House and has not set a departure date yet.

Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET

Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana's lone congressional seat on Thursday despite an election eve misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly body-slamming a reporter.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Swedish prosecutors have announced they are dropping the country's rape investigation of Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder, who has long denied the allegation, has been holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid Sweden's extradition request.

Can you rely on what White House officials say on behalf of the U.S. government to be true?

The answer, even by the account of President Trump himself, is no.

Of all the crises and controversies consuming this White House, perhaps none is more fundamental than the collapse of its credibility. And a close look at some of the administration's policies, statements and controversies suggests chief responsibility of that collapse can be laid at the feet of the man who works in the Oval Office.

Journalist Alex Tizon carried a secret his whole life.

"She lived with my family for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings, and cooked and cleaned from dawn to dark — always without pay," Tizon writes in an upcoming cover story in The Atlantic. "I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized she was my family's slave."

The dark side of moderating Facebook

May 15, 2017

Bill Radke spoke with UCLA assistant professor Sarah Roberts about the psychological risks of moderating social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Roberts describes some of the personal issues moderators have faced by viewing objectionable material. She also describes ways in which such a difficult job could possibly be made better. 

In a decision that could have global consequences, an Austrian court ruled on Friday that Facebook must delete postings deemed to be hate speech.

Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke talks to Ijeoma Oluo, local writer and editor at large of The Establishment, about her interview with Rachel Dolezal for The Stranger and why Oluo hopes it will be the last conversation she has on the topic. 

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Caren Firouz/Reuters

In Pakistan, the lynching of a journalism student by classmates over alleged blasphemy offenses has caused national soul-searching. 

At the start of this year, Mashal Khan was a 23-year-old with his whole future ahead of him. He was known for having a liberal outlook, including relatively secular views on religion and society. Those views had already made him unpopular on the campus of the Abdul Wali Khan University, in the city of Mardan, where he studied journalism, according to other students the BBC interviewed.

You wouldn't expect a 73-year-old to be on the crime beat, but Maximino Rodriguez Palacios couldn't help himself, says Cuauhtemoc Morgan, editor of the Baja California news blog Colectivo Pericu.

"It was totally by chance," he tells NPR. "In November 2014, Max called me about a shooting near his home in La Paz. And then he sent me a story and photos about what happened. From that moment, he was our crime reporter."

Eli Sanders, Rob McKenna and Mayor Ed Murray participate in KUOW's 'Week in Review' in front of a live audience at the Vera Project on Fri. July 31, 2015.
KUOW File Photo/Gil Aegerter

A week ago, a man with the initials D.H. filed a lawsuit saying that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had paid him for sex as a teenager in the 1980s. D.H., who at 15 could not legally consent to sex with an adult, alleges sexual abuse.

Flickr Photo/Andreas Eldh (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks to Kate Starbird about her research on how "false flag" rumors are spread on Twitter after a crisis and how they connect with "alternative" media sources, including Russian-funded media.

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Before Chris Hayes became an Emmy Award-winning MSNBC host and a best-selling author, he was a kid trying to navigate New York City in the 1990s. His experience of borders, between neighborhoods and classes of people, informed his world view.

It started out a simple, human interest story featuring a former president and his post-White House hobby — painting watercolors of world leaders, and now, portraits of American soldiers, wounded during military service.

The GOP put out a survey Thursday night that's enough to make a social scientist cringe.

It's called the "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey," but this "survey" commits a variety of polling sins.

It contains:

-- Leading questions ("Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?"),

Seattle loves swing, as featured in a sidewalk sculpture on Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/ Steve Bernacki (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bQqca2

Amanda Wilde speaks with historian Feliks Banel, a self-described huge fan of live local radio, about The Swing Years' place in Seattle radio history. 

Deborah Wang / Kuow Photo

Deborah Wang talks with Jan Miksovsky, founder of Presterity, a new website that catalogues news about the Trump Administration.

The image that won the 2017 World Press Photo of the Year award was described by one jury member as the "face of hatred."

It shows a shouting, suit-clad gunman standing in an art gallery in Turkey's capital, one hand holding a weapon, the other pointing to the sky. On the ground next to him is the crumpled body of his victim, Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov.

It's not often you get a chance to come face-to-face with that person who made a nasty comment about you on Facebook. But one interviewee from our Kitchen Table Series got a chance to do that.

Jamie Ruppert of White Haven, Pa. was featured in a story that aired in January.

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Marko Djurica/Reuters

Russians are swooning over US President Donald Trump — at least some Russians are. 

"He's like a new national hero, more popular than [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," says Sasha Chernykh, of the independent newspaper Kommersant in Moscow. "We have a very big machine of state propaganda, TV propaganda. Our authorities hate [President Barack] Obama because of sanctions, and because of propaganda most Russians think that Donald Trump is an honest guy, and he's great."  

Bill Radke talks with Jevin West about a new class at the University of Washington, "Calling Bullshit In the Age of Big Data." West is an assistant professor with the Information School, he is co-teaching the class this spring along with biology professor Carl Bergstrom.

Preventing banned users from creating new accounts and changing its search tool to minimize blocked accounts are among the new steps Twitter is taking to prevent "the most prevalent and damaging forms of behavior" on its social media platform.

The moves come months after Twitter gave its users new ways to mute and report abusive posts, as NPR's Alina Selyukh reported in November.

President Trump used the occasion of a meeting with African-American supporters to launch into another attack on the news media Wednesday. At a photo op at the top of his meeting for Black History Month, Trump said that "a lot of the media is actually the opposition party," echoing a statement made by his adviser, former Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon, a few days ago.

"They really have to straighten out their act," the president said, adding, "We won so maybe they don't have the influence they think."

"Rogue" accounts that have the look of those by real federal agencies are spreading like wildfire on Twitter.

The AltUSNatParkService Twitter account has gained more than 1 million followers and inspired the creation of many more "unofficial resistance" accounts for specific national parks and other entities, including accounts like Rogue NASA and AltUSForestService.

Merriam-Webster has a message for the Trump administration: There is no such thing as an "alternative fact." There are facts, and then there are falsehoods.

That memo was at least implied this week when the dictionary publisher tweeted the definition of a fact just hours after Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet The Press and referred to statements by White House press secretary Sean Spicer about the inaugural crowd size as "alternative facts."

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