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Assange: The US cannot take down WikiLeaks

January 31st, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick, Journalism

If you’re a whistleblower and you have information that’s important, we will accept it, we will defend you and we will publish it.

This was the message from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an interview on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, where he also insisted that the US does not have the technology to take the WikiLeaks site down.

Just the way our technology is constructed, the way the internet is constructed. It’s quite hard to stop things reappearing. So, we’ve had attacks on particular domain names. Little pieces of infrastructure knocked out. But we now have some 2,000 fully independent in every way web sites, where we’re publishing around the world.

In the interview, Assange also challenges the idea that WikiLeaks goes after certain parties.

We don’t go after. That’s a bit of a misconception. We don’t go after a particular country. We don’t go after a particular organizational group. We just stick to our promise of publishing the material that is likely to have a significant impact.

He also defended the organisation’s harm minimization process, although admitted that “it is absolutely impossible” to say that nothing WikiLeaks ever publishes will result in harm.

Read Journalism.co.uk’s interview with former WikiLeaks in-house journalist James Ball, who worked for the group on the preparation and release of the US embassy cables, at this link.

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Walter Cronkite: death of America’s ‘most trusted’ news voice

July 21st, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism

WalterCronkite1-799355America has lost a top celebrity anchorman, whose news delivery was so influential, he came to be called ‘the most trusted man in America’.

He died peacefully at his home, on Friday July 17, at the age of 92.

Walter Cronkite was an anchorman for CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981, reading news including a wide range of historical events: the moon landings, Watergate, John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the Vietnam war.

He had a reassuring manner of delivering the news that inspired confidence and trust in the audience. Every evening 70 million Americans heard him deliver his broadcast, which invariably concluded with the parting words “And that’s the way it is.”

He was born Walter Leland Cronkite Jr on November 4th, 1916 in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of a dentist. As a teenager, his family moved to Houston, where he had his first junior reporter job at The Houston Post – and at the same time delivering the very paper for which he worked.

Known for his trademark clipped moustache and grave voice, he was affectionately known as Uncle Walt, owing to a resemblance to Walt Disney. Despite his popularity, Cronkite was uncomfortable with his celebrity status and declined a proposal for a Walter Cronkite fan club saying: “I don’t think news people ought to have fan clubs.” He also brushed aside suggestions for him to stand for vice-president, even president. The only job he had ever wanted was that of reporter.

No amount of friendship or adulation could compromise Cronkite’s journalistic integrity. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said, “When I wanted to make a point Cronkite was the first person I would call. I was sure I was getting a fair interview – tough but fair.”

Some of Cronkite’s finest moments:

  • 1963: Assassination of President John F . Kennedy: Walter Cronkite famously displays a rare show of emotion, taking off his glasses to fight back tears as he announces the death of President Kennedy. Video below:

  • 1968: Vietnam War: After visiting Vietnam in 1968, he called the war ‘a stalemate’ and made his pro-peace stance clear. His views were so influential that, having watched the broadcast, the then US President Lyndon Johnson reportedly said, “I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” Two weeks later  Johnson resigned and announced he would not stand for re-election. Walter Cronkite on the Vietnam War.
  • 1977: Cronkite’s interview with Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin led to Sadat visiting Jerusalem and signing the peace accords the following year at Camp David.

Cronkite retired from from the CBS evening news programme in 1981, handing it over to Dan Rather, but continued producing special reports for the CBS network and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour. In 1983 he covered the general elections in the UK for ITV and interviewed Margaret Thatcher.

He is survived by a son, two daughters and four grandsons.

Useful related links:

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NYTimes.com: CBS News using Ustream for newscasts and special reports

“Seeking a younger audience more accustomed to watching the news on the internet than on television, CBS News said Monday that it had joined with a live video web site [Ustream] to simulcast its newscasts and special reports,” reports the New York Times.

Ustream, will host ‘CBS Evening News With Katie Couric,’ breaking news coverage and ‘unfiltered news conferences and speeches’, it is reported. Full story at this link…

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WSJ: Katie Couric poised to leave CBS News

April 10th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

The CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric is likely to leave the broadcaster long before her contract expires, according to CBS executives.

Couric, who joined CBS in June 2006, is only halfway through a five-year contract, but has struggled to pull in viewers – the programme has seen record ratings lows in the last two years.

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Top US news sites for February

March 20th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Online Journalism, Traffic

Top 50 US news sites for February 2008, according to Nielsen Online.

(Also, have a look at: February Worries Boost News Traffic)

Brand Uniques  (000) Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
All Events & Global News 101,336 127:01

CNN Digital Network 37,181 0:40:11
Yahoo! News 35,274 0:23:10
MSNBC Digital Network 34,013 0:29:50
AOL News 21,119 0:36:14
NYTimes.com 18,975 0:33:29
Tribune Newspapers 14,716 0:10:09
Gannett Newspapers 13,998 0:21:28
ABCNEWS Digital Network 12,324 0:09:54
Google News 12,050 0:10:14
WorldNow 10,588 0:13:16
USATODAY.com 10,571 0:14:16
Washingtonpost.com 10,441 0:17:30
Fox News Digital Network 10,177 0:41:10
CBS News Digital Network 9,970 0:09:09
Hearst Newspapers Digital 8,349 0:17:38
McClatchy Network 8,343 0:11:41
IB Websites 7,565 0:11:00
Advance Internet 6,791 0:13:08
BBC News 6,437 0:10:42
Slate 6,261 0:07:29
Gannett Broadcasting 6,174 0:09:18
Topix 6,121 0:06:30
MediaNews Group 5,850 0:12:41
Associated Press 5,353 0:07:03
Cox Newspapers 5,197 0:20:08
Boston.com 4,904 0:07:47
Belo Television 4,827 0:05:58
Fox Television Stations 4,758 0:06:06
New York Post Holdings 4,605 0:09:12
NewsMax.com 4,054 0:10:35
TheHuffingtonPost.com 3,749 0:08:04
Freedom Interactive 3,613 0:07:51
Daily News Online Edition 3,563 0:06:46
Belo Newspapers 3,476 0:05:52
Drudgereport.com 3,445 0:59:49
Guardian.co.uk 3,391 0:02:49
Daily Mail 3,364 0:09:11
Telegraph 2,990 0:03:39
Times Online 2,852 0:06:37
Community News Network 2,846 0:10:40
Swift Newspapers 2,750 0:05:42
Scripps News Group 2,713 0:18:00
Netscape 2,709 0:11:03
Breitbart.com 2,674 0:09:20
Int Herald Tribune 2,598 0:02:02
Fisher Interactive Network 2,526 0:05:08
Seattle Times Network 2,245 0:11:03
Philly.com 2,204 0:04:52
Chicago Sun-Times 2,203 0:08:29
Star Tribune 2,108 0:25:08

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