media and journalism | KUOW News and Information

media and journalism

Since Donald Trump's election victory, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come out not once, but twice, to address the issue of fake news, inaccurate or simply false information that appears on the Web in the guise of journalism.

Gwen Ifill, one of the most prominent political journalists in the country, has died, according to PBS. She was 61.

Days after she was deported from Pakistan to her native Afghanistan, the woman whose piercing green-eyed stare landed a spot on the cover of National Geographic will next travel to India for medical care.

That's the news from Shaida Abdali, Afghanistan's ambassador to India, who said via Twitter that Sharbat Gula "will soon be in India for medical treatment free of cost."

It hasn't been easy for journalists covering the 2016 presidential race. While doing their jobs, they've had to confront unprecedented threats, abuse, bans and accusations of conspiracy and bias.

A federal jury has found that Rolling Stone, a reporter and the magazine's publisher are liable in a defamation lawsuit over a retracted article about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia.

The trial centered on a November 2014 piece by reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely that told the story of a student, identified as "Jackie," who said she was brutally gang raped at a fraternity party in 2012.

Monica Guzman / The Evergrey

Bill Radke speaks with local journalists Monica Guzman, co-founder of Seattle newsletter The Evergrey, and Reagan Jackson, writer at The Seattle Globalist and South Seattle Emerald, about #JournalismSoWhite.

Voice recognition surrounds tech-loving Americans, from Siri to Google Assistant to Amazon Echo. Its omnipresence can make it easy to forget that making this technology has been really, really hard.

Understanding human speech is one of the most difficult frontiers in machine learning, and the biggest names in technology have devoted much time and money to conquering it. But their products still work for only a handful of languages.

Less prominent languages are still indecipherable to computers — even for text translations, let alone voice recognition.

A short online post broke the story to viewers and readers that the regional all-news channel Northwest Cable News will air its last broadcast on January 6.

This presidential election year has tested the limits of free speech on Twitter. It's a prime political platform for Republican candidate Donald Trump, for the correspondents covering both presidential candidates, and for the purveyors of hate speech.

Emily Bell is the director for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. NPR's Steve Inskeep talked with Bell about the challenges Twitter faces.


Interview Highlights

On the quality of debate on Twitter

It has become a familiar story in a world bristling with live mics. A public figure is caught out using a vulgarity, and the media have to decide how to report the remark. Web media tend to be explicit, but the traditional media are more circumspect.

Amy Goodman — the host of the left-leaning Democracy Now news program will not face criminal charges for her coverage of an oil pipeline protest in North Dakota last month. At least not for now — prosecutors say they may still bring charges later.

On Sept. 3, Goodman and her crew captured images of security teams with dogs trying to keep protesters from entering a pipeline construction site. She wanted to know if security members were "telling the dogs to bite the protesters?"

My mom's mental illness told through photos

Oct 14, 2016
From the ongoing photography project, You Have Nothing to Worry About. Title: Mom's new makeup, 2014.
Melissa Spitz

Since 2009, I have been making photographs of my mentally ill, substance-abusing mother. Her diagnoses change frequently – from alcoholism to dissociative identity disorder – and my relationship with her has been fraught with animosity for as long as I can remember.

The whirling dervish that is Donald J. Trump spun ever-faster on Thursday, shredding almost everything in his range of vision — Hillary Clinton, his fellow Republicans who fail to support him unequivocally, the growing chorus of women accusing him of sexual misconduct, and especially the press.

Jesse Watters says his story was meant to be tongue-in-cheek — but his critics say he invoked a string of Asian stereotypes in a segment taped in New York City's Chinatown district. Instead of lampooning racist bigotry, his critics say, the segment embodied it.

Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly included the segment on Monday's edition of his show, saying that he sent Watters to Chinatown "to sample political opinion" because China has been repeatedly criticized by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

R
Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

As the brutal civil war in Syria grinds on in its fifth year, it's clear that civilians have borne the brunt of the tragedy. 

Syrian and Russian armed forces are regularly criticized for bombing civilians in rebel-held areas.

That's well documented in media reports. 

But people like Michael Beshara, a Syrian American who lives in upstate New York, argue that the Western media's portrayal of the war in Syria glosses over the human tragedy in government-controlled areas.

Early last month, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told a crowd at Harvard University that he would happily face time in jail to publish Donald Trump's long-withheld tax forms.

Theoretically, Baquet just might have his chance. But almost certainly, only theoretically.

Clearly, researchers love Facebook, even if some of the rest of us are ambivalent.

A 2012 survey of social science papers related to the social network turned up 412 separate studies, and there have been even more since. Among the most popular questions: What effect does Facebook have on emotional states?

The city of Seattle has hired a private investigator to find out who leaked a proposed police labor agreement to the press.


Hillary Clinton has not held a single press conference since the start of 2016, triggering charges that she's trying to duck questions from reporters on the campaign trail.

For Gawker Media's websites to live, Gawker.com, the actual namesake website, has to die. It will be shut down next week by its new owner, a victim of its own poisoned legacy.

Any obituary should start by acknowledging the good the subject rendered to the world. There's no reason not to do that here, other than the extent to which that impulse might appall some of Gawker's own writers were it a piece about the demise of another publication.

KPLU public radio will soon have new call letters – KNKX, which will be pronounced, “Connects.”

That was the word on Friday from Friends of 88.5 FM, the nonprofit group that raised the money to buy the public radio station from Pacific Lutheran University.

The group said the name change will take effect after it formally takes ownership of the station, scheduled for Aug. 30.

It was two years ago this week that a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in a case that became an inflection point in the way Americans talk about race and policing.

The question is repeated in one form or another millions of times a day in social media and random conversation. It comes primarily from the backers of Donald Trump, but also from others — including the simply curious:

Why are the media obsessed with Trump's controversies and not Clinton's?

These pickles spent weeks on the counter in the KUOW break room, which doubles as the place where our guests wait to be interviewed. The descriptions muttered about them were decidedly NSFW. CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO SEE MORE WEIRD STUFF.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The subject line read: "There is fresh, raw Nigerian pygmy goat's milk in the fridge."* 

And beneath it: "I'm not going to drink it all, so feel free." 

In most newsrooms, free food is usually day-old pizza or stale Skittles. But at KUOW, the free counter in our break room is practically a dare. 

On Friday, Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviewed David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who is running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana. Duke ran for the same office twice in the 1990s and lost; in announcing his new candidacy, he cited the current political climate, as evidenced by support for Donald Trump's campaign.

Daughters Of Hanford Wins History Award

Aug 1, 2016

A woman meets a mysterious stranger as she studies declassified documents about one the most polluted sites on earth.

Three generations of women are part of a family whose lives, health and even high school mascot bear markers of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington state.

The Washington State Historical Society recognizes these stories, and the entire project Daughters of Hanford, with the 2016 David Douglas Award.

Susan Stamberg and Marcie Sillman at KUOW.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Wang

Susan Stamberg was the first woman to anchor a national nightly news broadcast in the U.S. She has been on staff at NPR since the network began in 1971. She currently serves as a special correspondent.

This talk with KUOW’s Marcie Sillman covers the early days of NPR; Stamberg’s creation of Weekend Edition, which included her promotion of Click and Clack and Will Shortz; and her passion for arts and culture reporting.

Night Vale: Where fear, gender identity and a magical floating cat collide

Jul 27, 2016
'Welcome to Night Vale' features a radio personality grappling with the strange occurences of his small desert town.
Flickr Photo/Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ghqXNT

Ross Reynolds talks with Jeffery Cranor, co-creator of the podcast Welcome To Night Vale, about exploring real-world issues in the fictional small desert town of Night Vale.

Helen Gurley Brown, the tiny, tough and influential editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, who transformed the staid family magazine and took circulation to giddy heights, did so by lubricating its pages with one word: sex.

Make that extra-marital sex.

Ijeoma Oluo
Courtesy of Ijeoma Oluo

Deborah Wang talks with Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo about the abuse minority groups receive online

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