Mar 23 2014

Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with James Dean

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James Dean is a business reporter for The Times, where he has carried out undercover investigative work to break stories including the Lloyds payment protection insurance (PPI) selling scandal.

He will be speaking at the Polis Annual Conference on Friday 28th March, on a panel focused on discussing how journalists sometimes have to ‘cross the line’ in pursuit of a story to hold power to account.

Free tickets, as well as information on our line-up, are available here. Our keynote speakers are Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, and Ian Katz, Editor of Newsnight. Continue reading

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Posted by: Posted on by Marion Koob

Mar 20 2014

The award-winning story of how Rio’s poor were robbed by the people who were supposed to run their hospitals (guest blog)

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One of my students here at the LSE is a Brazilian journalist who has just won the Tim Lopes Journalistic Prize for Investigative Reporting. Julio Lubianco was recognised for his radio investigation into corruption in the health services provided for the poor of Rio de Janeiro. Here he explains the story and how he revealed it. it included clever use of data investigation, leaking, and a lot of hard work.

The National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Rio

The National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Rio

From December 2012 to June 2013, I produced a six-piece series on how doctors from a public hospital were being paid for shifts they did not show up for. The stories were broadcasted by Radio CBN (Brazilian News Central), the biggest all-news radio network in the country. The National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics (INTO, in the Portuguese acronym) is a highly specialized hospital located in Rio de Janeiro, funded by the federal government. It has a queue of 21,000 patients waiting for a surgery, which can take more than five years. Most of the patients are low income people who cannot afford private health insurance. Continue reading

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Mar 20 2014

Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with Fatima El Issawi

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Polis research fellow Fatima El Issawi speaks about her new report on post-uprising Egyptian Media: “Egyptian Media Under Transition: In the name of the regime… In the name of the people?”

The report will be launched on Friday March 28th at the Polis Annual Journalism Conference. Free tickets, as well as information on our line-up, are available here. Our keynote speakers are Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, and Ian Katz, Editor of Newsnight.

The report is available in full here.

Interview by Meg Charlton, Asuka Kaegura, and Kailey Fuller-Jackson.

We are grateful for the support of the Knight Foundationthe BBC Academy and the European Broadcasting Union, as well as Leuchtturm1917.

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Mar 20 2014

Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with Cathy Newman

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Channel 4 News TeamCathy Newman is a presenter at Channel 4 News. Last year, she broke the story of allegations against life peer and former Liberal Democrat Chief Executive Lord Rennard of inappropriate behaviour towards women. Having been refused an interview with Nick Clegg on multiple occasions, her persistent attempts to get in touch with the Lib Dem party leader have attracted attention: first on a radio show (as “Cathy from Dulwich”) and more recently when she asked him a question at a conference on mental health. Before going to Channel 4 News in 2006, she worked at the Financial Times as a media then political correspondent.

She will be speaking at next week’s Polis Annual Journalism Conference on a panel focused on discussing how journalists sometimes have to ‘cross the line’ in pursuit of a story to hold power to account. Free tickets, as well as information on our line-up, are available here. Our keynote speakers are Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, and Ian Katz, Editor of Newsnight. Continue reading

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Mar 16 2014

The invention of news – how the world came to know about itself (book review)

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Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 19.36.19If you’ve been on this planet recently and have access to electricity, you are probably familiar with the assertion that ‘the Internet is the most important invention since Printing’. Indeed, for journalism scholars, looking back to Gutenberg can be a useful way to look forward beyond Berners-Lee, Zuckerberg and Jobs. But what about all the stuff in-between? How did we get from block printing presses to the modern idea of journalism and news? This fascinating book tells us. Continue reading

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Mar 14 2014

Latest dispatch from the international propaganda war in Ukraine

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Ukrainian LSE student Elena Serdyuk gives a personal view of the media battle in the crisis with Russia and the Crimea. You can read her previous article on the crisis here

During a debate “Russia, Ukraine and Us,” organized by the LSE and BBC Radio 4 there was a consensus on at least one aspect of the crisis: that Western media were late to the party in terms of covering events in Ukraine, as compared to their Russian counterparts. Indeed, there wasn’t much continuous reporting on Ukraine in the US and the UK (with the possible exception of the BBC) from the beginning of the protests at the end of November up until the invasion of Crimea two weeks ago. Continue reading

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Mar 14 2014

Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with Jonathan Stray

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jonathan stray

Ahead of the Polis Annual Journalism Conference on Friday March 28th, we are interviewing some of our speakers.

Jonathan Stray is the man behind Overview, a project from the Associated Press that aims to help journalists find stories in large quantities of documents. The tool uses keyword searches to automatically sort documents according to topic, making patterns and trends far easier to spot. Jonathan is a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, teaching and researching computational journalism. He developed Overview with a Knight News Challenge grant. Continue reading

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Mar 12 2014

Malaysian Airlines MH370: what we don’t know can make compelling journalism

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In the absence of facts we get clichés. We (currently) have no accurate idea where the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is, so journalists resort to phrases such as ‘mystery surrounds the fate’ or ‘confusion reigns’. More journalism is like this than you realise. It’s proof that news can be even more compelling when incomplete.

What do they know?

What do they know?

One way of understanding this is the Rumsfeld Rule applied to breaking news. There are ‘known knowns’. The airline took off at a certain time and is now lost. Journalists have spent a lot of time going through ‘leads’ that are now ‘known’ to be either not true or irrelevant. The issue around ‘mobile phones still ringing’ for example. It felt like a clue but can be dismissed. Continue reading

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Mar 12 2014

Ed the brave and logical? The risks and realities in denying a referendum

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The decision by Ed Miliband and Labour to effectively rule out holding a referendum on EU membership in the next parliament is very brave, logical and politically risky.

I can’t see that it will directly win him a single new vote and the danger is that it will characterise his party as out of touch with the public and part of a metropolitan/cosmopolitan elite that does not trust the voice of the British people.

It has certainly been an effective bit of messaging with the ‘quality’ headlines making the new stance very clear: Continue reading

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Mar 11 2014

Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with Alice Ross

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Alice RossAhead of the Polis Annual Journalism Conference on Friday March 28th, we are interviewing some of our speakers.  Alice Ross leads The Bureau for Investigative Journalism’s work on drones. The Covert Drone War project is based on a database of all known US drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, providing details of the number of strikes in each country and estimate numbers of those killed, including civilians.

Alice will speak in a session on investigative journalism today. Free tickets, as well as information on our line-up, are available here. Our keynote speakers are Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, and Ian Katz, Editor of Newsnight.

Interview by Polis reporter Emma Goodman.

Do you think that transparency could be described as the “new objectivity”? 
 One thing that I would say about transparency is that it’s easier to measure: it’s easier for people to assess how transparent you than it is for them to assess really how objective you are. And it’s certainly a more obtainable goal than objectivity, because objectivity is a concept, whereas transparency is more of a process. I would say it’s certainly more realistic for human beings to be transparent than to be truly objective. Continue reading

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