news war coming february 13 2007
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Should reporters have the right to protect anonymous sources?


Where is the line between legitimate national security concerns and the public's right to know?


What will be the future business model for the news industry? How will we get news?

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William Safire
Columnist, The New York Times; former Nixon speechwriter

On why he's a "90 percent absolutist" on reporter's privilege

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Bill Keller
Editor, The New York Times

His face-to-face meeting with the president about the NSA wiretapping story

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Eric Schmidt
CEO, Google

On Google's place in the new media landscape -- and in defense of editors

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Pat Buchanan
Commentator, former Nixon speechwriter

A columnist can be shielded but not a citizen?

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John McLaughlin
Former deputy director, CIA

How the NSA wiretapping story damaged the intelligence community's ability to "connect the dots"

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Jeff Jarvis

Still a "cock-eyed optimist" about journalism


read what others are saying »

From the
Media Bloggers Association

media bloogers association


Daily Journalism: That Dog Won't Hunt

"...The future -- and here I mean of the republic rather than the folks getting riffed -- need not be bleak if the loss of paid newsgathering positions is offset by a greater citizen participation. That is the promise of We Media and the citizen journalism movement. But citizen media has yet to earn its stripes in the watchdog department.

Meanwhile paid journalists will have to learn how to make money from their works. Thay will have to get entrepreneurial..."

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The Public's Dilemma

"...But how does one tell the difference between a true whistleblower situation - a leak for the greater public good, revealing the bad actions of a governmental entity to the sunshine of public scrutiny - from a leak designed for payback or other less wholesome purposes? One person's good result is another person's nasty CYA, on so many levels, so how does one truly ascertain the purpose and intent of the leaker, or the journalist who is that person's secret keeper?

And therein we find the public's dilemma..."

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Is The New York Times A Law Unto Itself?

"... Frontline formulates the question in the clichéd form to which we have become accustomed, asking whether legitimate national security concerns can limit the public's right to know. I would frame the question slightly differently. Do the people of the United States have a right to enact enforceable criminal laws keeping certain information secure from disclosure to enemies of the United States? Do they, in other words, have a right not to know certain information that cannot be disclosed to them without also being disclosed to our enemies? ..."

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pres. bush and reporters

Credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert President Bush surrounded by the press on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

(270 minutes) In a four-and-a-half-hour special, News War, FRONTLINE examines the political, cultural, legal, and economic forces challenging the news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Through interviews with key figures in the print and electronic media over the past four decades -- and with unequaled, behind-the-scenes access to some of today's most important news organizations, FRONTLINE traces the recent history of American journalism, from the Nixon administration's attacks on the media to the post-Watergate popularity of the press, to the new challenges presented by the war on terror and other global forces now changing -- and challenging -- the role of the press in our society.


Feb. 13, 2007, 9pm (check local listings)

In part one of News War, FRONTLINE examines the political and legal forces challenging the mainstream news media today and. how the press has reacted in turn. Correspondent Lowell Bergman talks to the major players in the debates over the role of journalism in 2007, examining the relationship between the Bush administration and the press; the controversies surrounding the use of anonymous sources in reporting from Watergate to the present; and the unintended consequences of the Valerie Plame investigation -- a confusing and at times ugly affair that ultimately damaged both reporters' reputations and the legal protections they thought they enjoyed under the First Amendment.


Feb. 20, 2007, 9 pm (check local listings)

Part two continues with the legal jeopardy faced by a number of reporters across the country, and the additional complications generated by the war on terror. Correspondent Lowell Bergman interviews reporters facing jail for refusing to reveal their sources in the context of leak investigations and asks questions on tough issues that now confront the editors of the nation's leading newspapers, including: how much can the press reveal about secret government programs in the war on terror without jeopardizing national security? FRONTLINE looks past the heated, partisan rhetoric to determine how much of this battle is politics and whether such reporting actually harms national security.


Feb. 27, 2007, 9 pm (check local listings)

(90 min.) The third part of News War puts viewers on the front lines of an epic battle over the future of news. America's major network news divisions and daily newspapers are under siege, facing mounting pressure for profits from corporate owners, and growing challenges from cable television and the Internet, which are remaking the economics of the business and transforming the very definition of news. FRONTLINE talks to network executives, journalists, Wall Street analysts, bloggers, and key players at Google and Yahoo! who are all battling for survival and market dominance in a rapidly changing world of news. FRONTLINE also goes inside the embattled newsroom of The Los Angeles Times, one of the last remaining papers in the country still covering major national stories. Under severe pressure from Wall Street to cut costs and to compete for "eyeballs" in a new media world, editors at the paper are urgently trying to figure out what this means for their future news coverage and their public service mission.


March 27, 2007 (check local listings)

The fourth hour of News War looks at media around the globe to reveal the international forces that influence journalism and politics in the United States. The lead story focuses on the new Arab media and its role in both mitigating and exacerbating the clash between the West and Islam. With a focus on Al Jazeera and how it has changed the face of a parochial and tightly controlled Arab media, this hour explores Al Jazeera's growing influence around the world -- from Muslim communities in Europe to the pending launch of a new English-language service that will be broadcast in the United States.


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