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AFL-CIO Complicit In Murder Of Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Much of the world was horrified in early May when Shireen Abu Akleh, a renowned Al Jazeera reporter, was shot in the head by Israeli troops while on assignment in Jenin in the Occupied West Bank. Not long before, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Liz Shuler had been photographed with Labor Party Chair Merav Michaeli, a strong supporter of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, along with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). None of the three raised any outcry subsequently after Akleh was killed. Shuler moreover sent a letter to the San Francisco Labor Council stating that its delegates could not discuss a boycott of Israel. The AFL-CIO’s current support for Israel fits a long historical pattern.

The Plot Against GrayZone And Suspicions About Consortium News

The Establishment’s war against independent media took an even darker turn with revelations by The GrayZone on Thursday that the British government and private disinformation “experts” discussed how to damage The GrayZone’s credibility and funding, while raising suspicions about Consortium News. The Gray Zone is the main target discussed in leaked emails between Paul Mason, a British journalist now running for Parliament, and Amil Khan, a former Reuters Middle East correspondent embedded with jihadists, who later helped spread the notion of moderate terrorists in Syria. He now runs a counter-disinformation firm called Valent Projects. The emails were leaked anonymously to The GrayZone and were authenticated through their metadata, GrayZone reporter Kit Klarenberg, who co-authored the piece with GrayZone editor Max Blumenthal, told Consortium News.

Guarding Democracy From News

The past month has seen blows against freedom of speech for independent news outlets and, indeed, for all Americans. I’m not being hyperbolic here. There are real threats to our freedom of speech against which we ought to mobilize. First, the Biden administration named something called a “Disinformation Governance Board,” housed in the Department of Homeland Security, whose job will supposedly be to “standardize the treatment of disinformation by the agencies it oversees.”  That means that the government will be the final arbiter of what disinformation is. It will decide what we can and can’t read. At least that’s the plan. (It is now on hold after an angry backlash.)

Notes From Wartorn Ethiopia, Part Five

As I scroll through my cell phone snapshots, I come across one taken several days ago from the back seat of a bajaj, aka “tuk tuk,” one of the three-wheeled blue taxis in service all over Ethiopia. Drivers decorate these vehicles with their favorite decals, including the phrases “#NoMore” and “It’s My Dam,” images of Ethiopian Emperors Menelik and Tewodros, and the image of Bob Marley. The driver of this bajaj had affixed a red, green, and gold “RASTA” decal to one side of his front window and a red, green, and gold cannabis leaf decal to the other. Emperor Haile Selassie gave land to a Rasta community in Ethiopia, but smoking the sacred herb is still illegal. This is one of many things I still don't understand here.

Shireen Abu Akleh And Israel’s War On Journalism

The cold-blooded killing of Shireen Abu Akleh earlier this month has made headlines around the world. An Israeli soldier shot the veteran Al-Jazeera journalist in the head while she was reporting on their raid on a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin. Shireen’s niece Lina first heard of the news from her father, who phoned her early in the morning to tell her she was injured. Today, Watchdog host Lowkey speaks to Lina Abu Akleh about her aunt’s work, legacy, and the ongoing war against the press.

What If We Use Public Money To Transform Local Media?

CounterSpin listeners understand that the news media situation in this country works against our democratic aspirations. There are so many problems crying out for open, inclusive conversation, in which those with the most power don’t get the biggest megaphone, leaving the vast majority outside of power to try and shout into the dominant noise, or try to find the space to talk around it. It’s no surprise, in that context, that conversations about how to make a different media system—differently structured, differently accountable—are among the hardest to have. But while corporate media can give the impression that, like it or not, billionaires controlling the flow of information is the only way things can go, that, like a lot of the elite narrative on political possibility, is simply untrue. One project proving that is an effort to replenish and re-imagine local news, which listeners know has suffered dramatically in years of media consolidation, in this case in New Jersey.

Editor Urges Journalists To Report Imminent Attempt To Sabotage Election

In a chilling column in Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, quietly published at 11:15pm on 7th May 2022, José Henrique Mariante, a veteran journalist, editor and currently Folha ombudsman, urged fellow journalists, and his own newspaper, to acknowledge the dark moment Brazil faces. The piece was headlined in stark terms: “There will be a Coup. Pass the information. Folha and the press should once and for all change presumption for certainty of the fact.” Mariante compared the current situation to early 2020, when appeals for calm dovetailed with outright denial of the Coronavirus pandemic, and helped drastically worsen the public health crisis. The journalist recalls that on March 2020, Folha ran a column urging for an immediate response Coronavirus pandemic: “The time to act against the coronavirus is now.”

The Ways Agencies Will Evade Giving You Information

A functioning democracy relies on an informed citizenry. But what you read in a high school textbook, and what you see when you look up from it, are different things. Importantly, transparency—a free flow of information—should be the norm. But it isn’t. That makes even more important the role of journalists who dig out critical information the public needs to hear, whether we know it or not: information we need to challenge the powerful. And it reminds us of the need to protect that role and that ability.

NED Finances Key Ukrainian Propaganda Organ

Throughout this war, one of the most prolific voices has been the Kyiv Independent. Through both its website and its Twitter account, it has been posting a nearly endless stream of unconfirmed and often fantastical pro-Ukrainian propaganda along with unverified, and often unattributed tales of the latest Russian atrocities. Despite never offering even a scrap of evidence, however, it exploded from a few thousand followers before the war to several million now, with millions more following its individual reporters. It is routinely promoted by some of the biggest names in media, such as CNN and Fox News.

Kviv Independent Deep Dive: The West’s In-Kind Answer To Putin’s Propaganda

As the Russian attack on Ukraine has come to dominate global news feeds, so has a previously little-known outlet called The Kyiv Independent. Since its inception in November of last year, the Independent’s profile has risen rapidly and has been promoted and endorsed by both social media giants and the corporate press. The Kyiv Independent has become the toast of the town. It seems virtually impossible to turn on cable news without seeing its reporters on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, or other networks. Its staff has been given the opportunity to write multiple op-eds in the pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post, something considered the ultimate seal of approval by many journalists. NPR listeners might also have heard interviews with reporters from the Independent.

The US Bubble Of Pretend

It is perfectly obvious by now, to anyone who cares to look, that mainstream media in America and the other Western powers are not reporting the Ukraine crisis accurately. Let me try that another way: The government-supervised New York Times and the rest of the corporate-owned media on both sides of the Atlantic lie routinely to their readers and viewers as to why Russia intervened in Ukraine, the progress of its military operation, the conduct of Ukrainian forces, and America’s role in purposely provoking and prolonging this crisis. So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None.

Depicting Putin As ‘Madman’ Eliminates Need For Diplomacy

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, Western media have depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin as an irrational—perhaps mentally ill—leader who cannot be reasoned or bargained with. Such portrayals have only intensified as the Ukraine crisis came to dominate the news agenda. The implications underlying these media debates and speculations about Putin’s psyche are immense. If one believes that Putin is a “madman,” the implication is that meaningful diplomatic negotiations with Russia are impossible, pushing military options to the forefront as the means of resolving the Ukraine situation. If Putin is not a rational actor, the implication is that no kind of diplomacy could have prevented the Russian invasion, and therefore no other country besides Russia shares blame for ongoing violence.

Tunisian Journalists’ Union Announces General Strike On April 2

Journalists in Tunisia will go on a nationwide general strike on April 2 to protest governmental interference in public media and to defend the freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the country. The National Syndicate for Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), Tunisia’s main journalists’ union, announced on Wednesday, March 23, that it has approved a mass strike by journalists. Union official Amira Mohammed cited the “president’s attempts to control public media and the authorities’ insistence on hitting the sector” as the main reason for the strike. The journalists’ union has criticized president Kais Saied and his regime for a number of recent measures which according to them drastically reduced the independence of state media.

Opposition Political Parties Banned In Ukraine

In yet another assault on dissenting political views in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a ban on the activities of major opposition political parties in the country after alleging that they have links with Russia. He also announced the merger of all TV channels in the country in the name of implementing a “unified information policy”, thus creating a government monopoly over the medium. Citing the need to maintain the unity of the country, Zelensky claimed in a statement that “the National Security and Defense Council decided, given the full-scale war unleashed by Russia and the political ties that a number of political structures have with this state, to suspend any activity of a number of political parties for the period of martial law.”

Student Journalists’ Fight Against Censorship Leads To Protection Bill

The recent occupation of Canada’s capital by the “Freedom Convoy” has highlighted a growing trend of vitriol, harassment and violence facing reporters both off-screen and online. Now, as newsrooms across the country grapple with the need for increased security and safety for journalists, two high school students are working to protect the rights of student journalists. The Student Press Freedom Act was created by Vancouver-based high school student journalists, Spencer Izen and Jessica Kim, after experiencing backlash on their coverage from an unexpected source: their school’s administration. Their school’s newspaper, The Griffin’s Nest, launched in 2012. Kim, who has served as managing editor of the publication since September 2020, joined the team in grade 10.
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