posts about or somewhat related to ‘Associated Press’

breakingnews:

AP photographer killed, reporter wounded in Afghanistan
AP: Veteran Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed and AP reporter Kathy Gannon was wounded on Friday when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan.
Follow more on this story at Breaking News
Photo: Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus poses for a photograph in Rome. (AP File Photo)

FJP — Via the BBC:

The attack took place in the town of Khost near the border with Pakistan…
…[The two journalists] had been travelling with election workers delivering ballots in the Tanay district of Khost province.
An eyewitness said a police unit commander had opened fire on the journalists as they were waiting for their convoy to move inside a security compound.
The police officer behind the attack was taken into custody after surrendering to other police…
…The BBC’s Afghanistan correspondent, David Loyn, says the election is being protected by the biggest military operation since the fall of the Taliban.
Nearly 200,000 troops have been deployed across the country to prevent attacks.
Rings of security have been set up around each polling centre, with the police at the centre and hundreds of troops on the outside.
Reporting restrictions are in place, limiting what can be broadcast about the candidates.

For what it’s worth, Niedringhaus was a former Nieman Fellow. Some of her work can be seen on her Tumblr. See also her 2007 essay in Nieman Reports on the emotions of photography, and this 2013 photo essay of her work in Afghanistan from the Atlantic.

breakingnews:

AP photographer killed, reporter wounded in Afghanistan

AP: Veteran Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed and AP reporter Kathy Gannon was wounded on Friday when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan.

Follow more on this story at Breaking News

Photo: Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus poses for a photograph in Rome. (AP File Photo)

FJP — Via the BBC:

The attack took place in the town of Khost near the border with Pakistan…

…[The two journalists] had been travelling with election workers delivering ballots in the Tanay district of Khost province.

An eyewitness said a police unit commander had opened fire on the journalists as they were waiting for their convoy to move inside a security compound.

The police officer behind the attack was taken into custody after surrendering to other police…

The BBC’s Afghanistan correspondent, David Loyn, says the election is being protected by the biggest military operation since the fall of the Taliban.

Nearly 200,000 troops have been deployed across the country to prevent attacks.

Rings of security have been set up around each polling centre, with the police at the centre and hundreds of troops on the outside.

Reporting restrictions are in place, limiting what can be broadcast about the candidates.

For what it’s worth, Niedringhaus was a former Nieman Fellow. Some of her work can be seen on her Tumblr. See also her 2007 essay in Nieman Reports on the emotions of photography, and this 2013 photo essay of her work in Afghanistan from the Atlantic.

Transgender Children in California Can Choose Bathrooms and Teams Based on Gender Identity
According to The Associated Press, lawmakers in California approved a bill requiring public schools to allow transgender students to pick which bathrooms and which groups or teams they want to join based on their gender identity. Similar policies have been put into action in other school districts around the U.S., but this is the ”first time a state has mandated such treatment by statute.”
Via Mashable: 

A long debate preceded the 21-9 vote in the California State Senate, including one objection from a senator who suggested that the rules would allow mediocre male athletes to join female sports teams for competitive advantage.

FJP: Because even a mediocre male athlete is better than the best female on a sports team, apparently. (Insert growl here.) - Krissy
Image: Children celebrating Gay Pride in Durham Region Pride Parade, via Demotix

Transgender Children in California Can Choose Bathrooms and Teams Based on Gender Identity

According to The Associated Press, lawmakers in California approved a bill requiring public schools to allow transgender students to pick which bathrooms and which groups or teams they want to join based on their gender identity. Similar policies have been put into action in other school districts around the U.S., but this is the ”first time a state has mandated such treatment by statute.”

Via Mashable

A long debate preceded the 21-9 vote in the California State Senate, including one objection from a senator who suggested that the rules would allow mediocre male athletes to join female sports teams for competitive advantage.

FJP: Because even a mediocre male athlete is better than the best female on a sports team, apparently. (Insert growl here.) - Krissy

Image: Children celebrating Gay Pride in Durham Region Pride Parade, via Demotix

At Bloomberg, reporters could sit at their desks and use a keyboard function to see the last time an official of the Federal Reserve logged on. And the Justice Department obtained the records of The Associated Press from phone companies with no advance notice, giving it no chance to challenge the action. The absence of friction has led to a culture of transgression. Clearly, if it can be known, it will be known.
Leaks, The Justice Department and the Associated Press
Attorney General Eric Holder responded yesterday to the news that the Justice Department seized two months of Associated Press phone records. Security!

This was a very serious leak and a very, very serious leak. I’ve been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks I’ve ever seen. It put the American people at risk. That’s not hyperbole. It put the American people at risk.

Leaks! The government doesn’t like them. And Holder’s Justice Department has prosecuted more alleged leakers under the World War 1-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined.
In this case, the alleged leak lead to the AP reporting on a Yemeni-based plot to blow up an airplane.
Here’s some of what we’re reading on the story.
Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian: Justice Department’s pursuit of AP’s phone records is both extreme and dangerous.

The legality of the DOJ’s actions is impossible to assess because it is not even known what legal authority it claims nor the legal process it invoked to obtain these records. Particularly in the post-9/11 era, the DOJ’s power to obtain phone records is, as I’ve detailed many times, dangerously broad. It often has the power to obtain those records without the person’s knowledge (as happened here) and for a wildly broad scope of time (as also happened here). There are numerous instruments that have been vested in the DOJ to obtain phone records, many of which do not require court approval, including administrative subpoenas and “national security letters” (issued without judicial review); indeed, the Obama DOJ has previously claimed it has the power to obtain journalists’ phone records without subpoeans using NSLs, and in its relentless pursuit to learn the identity of the source for one of New York Times’ James Risen’s stories, the Obama DOJ has actually claimed that journalists have no shield protections whatsoever in the national security context. It’s also quite possible that they obtained the records through a Grand Jury subpoena, as part of yet another criminal investigation to uncover and punish leakers.
None of those processes for obtaining these invasive records requires a demonstration of probable cause or anything close to it. Instead, the DOJ must simply assert that the records “relate to” a pending investigation: a standard so broad that virtually every DOJ desire will fulfill it.

Emily Bazelon, Slate: Obama’s War on Journalists:

Whether a leak threatens national security is clearly not the standard Holder and his department are using. And the problem is that the standard is up to them. The 1917 Espionage Act, the basis for most of these cases, was written to go after people who compromised military operations. Back in 1973, the major law review article on that statute concluded that Congress never intended to go after journalists with it, or even their sources. Since then, legal scholars have proposed various ways of narrowing the Espionage Act—University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone wants to limit the law’s reach to cases in which there’s proof that a reporter knows publication will wreck national security without contributing to the public debate. But Congress has done nothing of the sort. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Republicans who are indignant over the AP investigation got serious about reform? Somehow, I doubt it. Instead, with a Democratic White House leading the charge, it’s hard to see who will stop this train.

Timothy Lee, Washington Post: In AP surveillance case, the real scandal is what’s legal

But here’s what’s really scary: The Justice Department’s actions are likely perfectly legal.
U.S. law allows the government to engage in this type of surveillance—on media organizations or anyone else—without meaningful judicial oversight.
The key here is a legal principle known as the “third party doctrine,” which says that users don’t have Fourth Amendment rights protecting information they voluntarily turn over to someone else. Courts have said that when you dial a phone number, you are voluntarily providing information to your phone company, which is then free to share it with the government.

Brian Fung, National Journal: What the AP Subpoena Scandal Means for Your Electronic Privacy.

It’s not just journalists and their sources who stand to suffer from an erosion of the legal barriers between government and businesses. Here’s a short list of your personal information companies can hand over to the feds without repercussion, and on little more than a subpoena: geolocation data, the PCs you’ve accessed, emails you’ve sent and text messages and content you’ve placed on cloud services like Dropbox.

Image: Boiling Water, by Tom Tomorrow, March 2011. Since this cartoon, the government has prosecuted a sixth alleged leaker under the Espionage Act. Select to embiggen.

Leaks, The Justice Department and the Associated Press

Attorney General Eric Holder responded yesterday to the news that the Justice Department seized two months of Associated Press phone records. Security!

This was a very serious leak and a very, very serious leak. I’ve been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks I’ve ever seen. It put the American people at risk. That’s not hyperbole. It put the American people at risk.

Leaks! The government doesn’t like them. And Holder’s Justice Department has prosecuted more alleged leakers under the World War 1-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined.

In this case, the alleged leak lead to the AP reporting on a Yemeni-based plot to blow up an airplane.

Here’s some of what we’re reading on the story.

Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian: Justice Department’s pursuit of AP’s phone records is both extreme and dangerous.

The legality of the DOJ’s actions is impossible to assess because it is not even known what legal authority it claims nor the legal process it invoked to obtain these records. Particularly in the post-9/11 era, the DOJ’s power to obtain phone records is, as I’ve detailed many times, dangerously broad. It often has the power to obtain those records without the person’s knowledge (as happened here) and for a wildly broad scope of time (as also happened here). There are numerous instruments that have been vested in the DOJ to obtain phone records, many of which do not require court approval, including administrative subpoenas and “national security letters” (issued without judicial review); indeed, the Obama DOJ has previously claimed it has the power to obtain journalists’ phone records without subpoeans using NSLs, and in its relentless pursuit to learn the identity of the source for one of New York Times’ James Risen’s stories, the Obama DOJ has actually claimed that journalists have no shield protections whatsoever in the national security context. It’s also quite possible that they obtained the records through a Grand Jury subpoena, as part of yet another criminal investigation to uncover and punish leakers.

None of those processes for obtaining these invasive records requires a demonstration of probable cause or anything close to it. Instead, the DOJ must simply assert that the records “relate to” a pending investigation: a standard so broad that virtually every DOJ desire will fulfill it.

Emily Bazelon, Slate: Obama’s War on Journalists:

Whether a leak threatens national security is clearly not the standard Holder and his department are using. And the problem is that the standard is up to them. The 1917 Espionage Act, the basis for most of these cases, was written to go after people who compromised military operations. Back in 1973, the major law review article on that statute concluded that Congress never intended to go after journalists with it, or even their sources. Since then, legal scholars have proposed various ways of narrowing the Espionage Act—University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone wants to limit the law’s reach to cases in which there’s proof that a reporter knows publication will wreck national security without contributing to the public debate. But Congress has done nothing of the sort. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Republicans who are indignant over the AP investigation got serious about reform? Somehow, I doubt it. Instead, with a Democratic White House leading the charge, it’s hard to see who will stop this train.

Timothy Lee, Washington Post: In AP surveillance case, the real scandal is what’s legal

But here’s what’s really scary: The Justice Department’s actions are likely perfectly legal.

U.S. law allows the government to engage in this type of surveillance—on media organizations or anyone else—without meaningful judicial oversight.

The key here is a legal principle known as the “third party doctrine,” which says that users don’t have Fourth Amendment rights protecting information they voluntarily turn over to someone else. Courts have said that when you dial a phone number, you are voluntarily providing information to your phone company, which is then free to share it with the government.

Brian Fung, National Journal: What the AP Subpoena Scandal Means for Your Electronic Privacy.

It’s not just journalists and their sources who stand to suffer from an erosion of the legal barriers between government and businesses. Here’s a short list of your personal information companies can hand over to the feds without repercussion, and on little more than a subpoena: geolocation data, the PCs you’ve accessed, emails you’ve sent and text messages and content you’ve placed on cloud services like Dropbox.

ImageBoiling Water, by Tom Tomorrow, March 2011. Since this cartoon, the government has prosecuted a sixth alleged leaker under the Espionage Act. Select to embiggen.

There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.

Gary Pruitt, President and CEO of the Associated Press, in a letter (PDF) to US Attorney General Eric Holder.

The News, via the AP:

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for the Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.

In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

As Declan McCullagh, chief political correspondent for CNET, points out, 28 CFR 50.10 (the Code of Federal Regulations) includes the following:

No subpoena may be issued to any member of the news media or for the telephone toll records of any member of the news media without the express authorization of the Attorney General… Failure to obtain the prior approval of the Attorney General may constitute grounds for an administrative reprimand or other appropriate disciplinary action.

So, evidently, Eric Holder gave his express authorization for monitoring of the Associated Press’ phone records. Besides the initial WTF, we wait to hear how this is spun to justify the intrusion.

AP to Publish News on Restaurant Receipts
Interesting, no? From now on, whenever you dine at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., your receipt will contain the news you’ve missed over the course of the meal.
From their press release:

The printed updates have several advantages in this venue over the smartphone, providing access to the news without people becoming absorbed in their devices at the same time contributing to table conversation and interaction.

Image: Press Release.

AP to Publish News on Restaurant Receipts

Interesting, no? From now on, whenever you dine at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., your receipt will contain the news you’ve missed over the course of the meal.

From their press release:

The printed updates have several advantages in this venue over the smartphone, providing access to the news without people becoming absorbed in their devices at the same time contributing to table conversation and interaction.

Image: Press Release.

Futurecast
Yes, we know that news organizations write about events before they happen. Usually though they don’t publish them beforehand.
Image: Screenshot, the Associated Press publishes their Vice Presidential debate roundup almost two hours before it takes place.

Futurecast

Yes, we know that news organizations write about events before they happen. Usually though they don’t publish them beforehand.

Image: Screenshot, the Associated Press publishes their Vice Presidential debate roundup almost two hours before it takes place.

The AP Plans to Use Robotic Cameras for Olympic Coverage
The Associated Press isn’t just sending photographers, photo editors and video journalists to the Olympics. They’re also booting up the robots.
Via the AP:

Remote-controlled robotic cameras at the swimming, weightlifting and diving venues will provide alternative angles, including under water, to supplement AP’s regular photo coverage. In addition to a selection of hand-placed remote cameras at a several other venues, such as those for gymnastics, track and field, AP photographers will use the latest Canon 1DX cameras and take advantage of new workflows and technology to move more photos faster than ever before.  

Being the remote operator would be a fun gig. — Michael

The AP Plans to Use Robotic Cameras for Olympic Coverage

The Associated Press isn’t just sending photographers, photo editors and video journalists to the Olympics. They’re also booting up the robots.

Via the AP:

Remote-controlled robotic cameras at the swimming, weightlifting and diving venues will provide alternative angles, including under water, to supplement AP’s regular photo coverage. In addition to a selection of hand-placed remote cameras at a several other venues, such as those for gymnastics, track and field, AP photographers will use the latest Canon 1DX cameras and take advantage of new workflows and technology to move more photos faster than ever before.  

Being the remote operator would be a fun gig. — Michael

Thirty years ago today, former President Ronald Reagan was shot by would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. on what happened to be Ron Edmonds's second day as a photographer for the Associated Press. The video above has Edmonds and former secret service agent Danny Spriggs discuss the events of that nearly-tragic day.

Edmonds, who won the Pulitzer Prize for the photos, comments on what it was like to be a photojournalist in the old days:

Today we are fortunate. We make a picture, we can immediately look at the back and — and sort through it to see if we’ve got it or not. In those days you had to wait, you know — you did the best you could with the abilities that you’ve got and you waited to see.

Elsewhere today, Time LightBox spoke with Edmonds about what it was like being so young and photographing something so important. 

Initially, Edmonds was convinced he had upset his employers because he had failed to get a picture of Hinckley. When Edmonds returned to the office, he was told to call the head of the AP, and he assumed the worst. On only the second day of his six-month probation as a new hire, he feared he would be let go. Instead he was told, “You nailed it, kid,” and “We’re lifting your probation — we’re going to keep you.”

Central Pyongyang At Dusk
The New York Times’ Lens blog profiles David Guttenfelder, an AP photographer who is the only Westerner able to shoot in North Korea on a regular basis.
Guttenfelder’s work is a part of “Window on North Korea,” a photography exhibit taking place in New York City that places images by AP photographers next to those taken by Korea State Media (KCNA) photographers.
Via the New York Times:

[The show] has some of the best of the North Korea images by Mr. Guttenfelder and his A.P. colleagues.
But the photos by the KCNA are most telling. They are highly idealized images: everyone is well fed, and smiling. The workers are heroic and the leaders have a heavenly glow.  There are no traces of the hunger, hardships and repression that exist in North Korea. They may be propaganda but they do provide insight into how the North Korean government officials want — and need — their people to see their country.

A slideshow of images from the exhibit is available at the Lens blog.
Image: Central Pyongyang At Dusk by David Guttenfelder, AP. Via the New York Times.

Central Pyongyang At Dusk

The New York Times’ Lens blog profiles David Guttenfelder, an AP photographer who is the only Westerner able to shoot in North Korea on a regular basis.

Guttenfelder’s work is a part of “Window on North Korea,” a photography exhibit taking place in New York City that places images by AP photographers next to those taken by Korea State Media (KCNA) photographers.

Via the New York Times:

[The show] has some of the best of the North Korea images by Mr. Guttenfelder and his A.P. colleagues.

But the photos by the KCNA are most telling. They are highly idealized images: everyone is well fed, and smiling. The workers are heroic and the leaders have a heavenly glow.  There are no traces of the hunger, hardships and repression that exist in North Korea. They may be propaganda but they do provide insight into how the North Korean government officials want — and need — their people to see their country.

A slideshow of images from the exhibit is available at the Lens blog.

Image: Central Pyongyang At Dusk by David Guttenfelder, AP. Via the New York Times.

AP: Next Stop, North Korea
The AP opens first Western news bureau in North Korea.
Via the Associated Press:

The Associated Press opened its newest bureau here Monday, becoming the first international news organization with a full-time presence to cover news from North Korea in words, pictures and video.
In a ceremony that came less than a month after the death of longtime ruler Kim Jong Il and capped nearly a year of discussions, AP President and CEO Tom Curley and a delegation of top AP editors inaugurated the office, situated inside the headquarters of the state-run Korean Central News Agency in downtown Pyongyang…
…The bureau puts AP in a position to document the people, places and politics of North Korea across all media platforms at a critical moment in its history, with Kim’s death and the ascension of his young son as the country’s new leader, Curley said in remarks prepared for the opening.
"Beyond this door lies a path to vastly larger understanding and cultural enrichment for millions around the world," Curley said. "Regardless of whether you were born in Pyongyang or Pennsylvania, you are aware of the bridge being created today."
Curley said the Pyongyang bureau will operate under the same standards and practices as AP bureaus worldwide.
"Everyone at The Associated Press takes his or her responsibilities of a free and fair press with utmost seriousness," he said. "We pledge to do our best to reflect accurately the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as well as what they do and say."

Image: Associated Press President Tom Curley, left, and Korean Central News Agency President Kim Pyong Ho hang the Associated Press Pyongyang sign on the door to open a new AP bureau in Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday Jan. 16, 2012. Via the AP.

AP: Next Stop, North Korea

The AP opens first Western news bureau in North Korea.

Via the Associated Press:

The Associated Press opened its newest bureau here Monday, becoming the first international news organization with a full-time presence to cover news from North Korea in words, pictures and video.

In a ceremony that came less than a month after the death of longtime ruler Kim Jong Il and capped nearly a year of discussions, AP President and CEO Tom Curley and a delegation of top AP editors inaugurated the office, situated inside the headquarters of the state-run Korean Central News Agency in downtown Pyongyang…

…The bureau puts AP in a position to document the people, places and politics of North Korea across all media platforms at a critical moment in its history, with Kim’s death and the ascension of his young son as the country’s new leader, Curley said in remarks prepared for the opening.

"Beyond this door lies a path to vastly larger understanding and cultural enrichment for millions around the world," Curley said. "Regardless of whether you were born in Pyongyang or Pennsylvania, you are aware of the bridge being created today."

Curley said the Pyongyang bureau will operate under the same standards and practices as AP bureaus worldwide.

"Everyone at The Associated Press takes his or her responsibilities of a free and fair press with utmost seriousness," he said. "We pledge to do our best to reflect accurately the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as well as what they do and say."

Image: Associated Press President Tom Curley, left, and Korean Central News Agency President Kim Pyong Ho hang the Associated Press Pyongyang sign on the door to open a new AP bureau in Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday Jan. 16, 2012. Via the AP.

Doing News Right? The AP's New Licensing Venture →

The Associated Press, along with 28 other news organizations, launched NewsRight yesterday. The goal is license member content out to commercial aggregators.

Included in the service is an analytics suite that NewsRight’s creators says will let publishers understand what’s happening with their content. Via a NewsRight press release:

NewsRight will make it easy for publishers and third parties to access and use these data in editorial, marketing, advertising, public relations and other contexts involving the analysis of news events. Using the News Registry, a content measurement system developed at the Associated Press, NewsRight currently measures several billion impressions a month on news content from participating publishers. NewsRight participants and clients will receive real-time measurements about news patterns and how registered content is being used across digital platforms.

Over at Poynter, Rick Edmonds points out that NewsRight has competitors such as the older non-profit Copyright Clearance Center and the newer Attributor, but believes the move is putting the industry on track for a comprehensive paid digital content strategy:

Should NewsRight catch on big, as it founders hope, the industry will have in place a second leg to a paid digital content strategy. Paywalls and bundled print/digital subscriptions had a snowballing adoption curve in 2011 that will continue into this year. The New York Times metered model and its variations essentially ask heavy direct users of news websites to pay some of the cost of generating content.

NewsRight aims to apply the same strategy to aggregators, targeting those who make heavy (and commercial) use of content originated elsewhere. They are being asked to become payers rather than free riders.

In relation to AP staff being taken into custody at the Occupy Wall Street story, we’ve had a breakdown in staff sticking to policies around social media and everyone needs to get with their folks now to tell them to knock it off.

From an internal Associated Press email to its staff scolding them for using Twitter to report the arrests of AP journalists at Occupy Wall Street.

The Associated Press recently updated their social media policies (PDF). Among its Golden Rules: “Don’t break news that we haven’t published, no matter the format.”

H/T: Steffen Konrath.

AP, Google Team Up on Scholarship Award →

If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student with a focus on journalism, innovation and technology, run this way.

Via the Online News Association:

The Associated Press and Google announce a new national scholarship program intended to foster digital and new media skills in student journalists. The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, will administer the program.

The AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship program will provide $20,000 scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year to six promising undergraduate or graduate students pursuing or planning to pursue degrees at the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media. The program is targeted to individual students creating innovative projects that further the ideals of digital journalism. A key goal is to promote geographic, gender and ethnic diversity, with an emphasis on rural and urban areas.

Applications are now open for the 2012-2013 academic year. Deadline is this January. But why wait until then when you can do it now.

Read up on how Google thinks about the scholarship on the Google Blog.