|Lately, there’s been a lot of coverage of well-known journalists launching their own Web sites or going it alone with their existing ones: Glenn Greenwald, Nate Silver, Ezra Klein, and the All Things Digital crew come to mind. Now there’s an unlikely addition to the field: Bill Keller, the former executive editor and columnist of the Times. On Sunday, Keller announced he was leaving the paper to lead an online startup devoted to covering the criminal justice system.
The news about Keller came hours before Greenwald’s new site, The Intercept, went live. It launched with an exclusive and disturbing story about the N.S.A.’s role in selecting targets for drone attacks, which, it claimed, contributes to the killing of innocent civilians in places like Pakistan and Yemen. The story relied on an unnamed source who used to operate U.S. drones, and it also quoted from documents that Edward Snowden that discussed drone operations. (Greenwald and Laura Poitras, one of his colleagues at The Intercept, were two of the journalists who broke the Snowden story.)
Keller’s baby, the Marshall Project, will be strictly not for profit, in the mold of ProPublica, the investigative news site that launched in 2007, under the leadership of Paul Steiger, a former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, and has since received many journalism awards. The initial financial backing for the Marshall Project will come from Neil Barsky, a former hedge-fund manager who was also a reporter at the Wall Street Journal; it will also seek tax-deductible donations from charitable foundations and other sources. The Intercept represents the initial rollout of a larger venture funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, which will have both a charitable and a commercial aspect. The journalism operation will be organized as a nonprofit, with editorial independence, and the technology side will be a regular business. Last fall, Omidyar said he would commit two hundred and fifty million dollars to the over-all venture, First Look Media, which is looking to launch a range of “digital magazines” and other media products.
Despite their differing origins and sources of funding, however, the Marshall Project and First Look Media share one thing in common: a commitment to high-quality, independent journalism, which tackles serious subjects and, when necessary, upsets powerful interests. In an era when it’s widely believed that online journalism has no place for in-depth reporting and muckraking, these developments caution against blanket statements.
Public-interest journalism is still under threat, especially at the local level, where cutbacks in editorial budgets have decimated many newsrooms. But it’s not finished yet. The Internet, while it undercuts the traditional media model, opens up interesting new possibilities. An explosion of information from official and unofficial sources has provided more raw material for reporters and commentators, especially in specialist areas such as finance, technology, and the law. And part of what the Internet takes away in advertising revenues it gives back in lower production costs, new formats for telling stories, an expanded potential audience, and alternative sources of funding. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—House GOP meltdown over budget cuts:
|Basically we're seeing two factions in the GOP these days, the ORCs and the YATs.
The first are the Opportunist Republican Cynics (ORCs), and they are still the dominant faction. They are led by John Boehner, and they are basically the same people who drove America's economy into the ground under George W. Bush. They've regained power thanks to tea partiers, Fox News, and a willingness to parrot the doomsdayer teahadist rhetoric about spending and debt, but they also understand that actually following through on what they promised would be a political disaster of epic proportion. The problem for ORCs is that they don't have anything else to offer because they last time they were allowed to drive policy decisions for the GOP, they ended up thoroughly discrediting the party.
The other faction are the Yelling Angry Teahadists (YATs). They don't control the GOP leadership, but there's enough of them that the GOP needs them to maintain its majority.
The YATs believe everything they said during the campaign about how Obama is the second coming of Karl Marx and how spending is destroying America. They really believe the only way to save America is to eliminate the deficit and they believe the deficit can be balanced by immediately cutting spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. And they believe the rest of America agrees with them. YATs are the only Republicans with any real enthusiasm, but that's mostly because their ideas haven't yet been discredited by the test of reality.
On today's encore performance Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin noted that Republicans still haven't wrapped their heads around losing the 2012 election. Next, a little explainer on what remains of the Senate hold, and the attempt to block Hagel & Brennan. And just for fun, did the blizzard have 2016 implications? Then, GunFAIL and a nod to the New York Times & NBC news for stepping up their coverage. Armando reminded us of the 7th anniversary of Harry Whittington unconscionably putting his face in the way of Dick Cheney's shotgun. Breaking news of the shooting in Delaware broke into the discussion as well.