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Investigative report reveals police exaggerating success in solving rape crimes

A study of over 60 police agencies around the country showed that police are using an exception in federal guidelines to pad their success in rape cases. The guidelines allow the police to declare the case solved without an arrest when they know the suspect’s identity and location but can’t make an arrest for reasons …

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Free press defenders waiting to hear details of government charges against Wikileaks’ Julian Assange

Documents surfaced November 16 indicating that the U.S government has filed charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, prompting concerns about threats to the free press. Elizabeth Goitein of the Brennan Center cautioned that the Justice Department had made a distinction between those who steal and leak information and those who publish it. “To extend that …

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Reporting on Catholic Church sex scandals continues as reporters gain experience and knowhow

As more stories of clergy committing sexual abuse surface, reporters are finding out how best to cover these difficult stories often decades old and obscured by layers of evasion. Gaining the trust  of victims has led reporters to go beyond normal procedures. Reporters may now warn victims that their stories are running and even allow …

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Supreme Court to decide on tricky question of free speech rights and police authority

The U.S Supreme Court heard a case this week on the free speech right to bring lawsuits against alleged abuse of police power. The case involved a claim of retaliatory arrest during a remote Alaskan ski and snowmobile event. The Court is struggling with how to set a standard for deciding when police were enforcing …

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Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeks truth about whether U.S. intelligence failed to warn Khashoggi

The Knight Institute is filing a FOIA lawsuit for the records surrounding U.S. Intelligence agencies decision-making about whether to warn Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi of threats to his life and liberty. The intelligence agencies were said to have known of discussions of Saudi Arabia agents to kidnap Khashoggi and return him to Saudi Arabia.  …

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Trump administration charges against WikiLeaks founder could strike a blow against free press

The Trump administration has been investigating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his alleged collaboration with the Russian government after the Obama administration laid off Assange considering him the head of a journalistic enterprise. Now the Reporter Committee for Freedom of the Press is asking that the details of  secret charges against Assange be made public …

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Pressure mounts on tech giants over free speech

The nonprofit Freedom Watch filed a lawsuit last August against giant social media and search companies claiming that they violated the First Amendment by censoring conservative viewpoints. (Apple World Today, August 30, 2018, by Dennis Sellers) While Facebook if not part of the government and a private company, it can exclude those who do not …

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Restoration of CNN reporter’s press credentials seen by some as ‘hollow victory’

A federal court judge restored the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta after President Donald Trump revoked them to punish Acosta for asking a question he did not like. The judge based his ruling on the necessity for the president to follow due process in revoking credentials, so it has not been decided that Trump …

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Deepfakes could further destroy public trust in the news media

The Wall Street Journal established a deepfakes task force and training seminars along with newsroom guidelines to deal with the challenge. Deepfakes use technology to deceive the viewer and affect their lives. Artificial intelligence systems can now be widely employed to generate deepfakes so it is easier to deceive news outlets and destroy their credibility. …

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Justice Department releases reports on encounters with journalists

The Justice Department just released 2016 and 2017 reports on their use of law enforcement tools against journalists. Guidelines have been established first in 1970 and recently revised in 2014 and 2015 to keep journalists from becoming an “investigative arm” of the government. The reports showed there has been no upsurge in subpoenas or search …

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