Covering ISIS

Only a handful of journalists have gone into ISIS territory and come out alive to report about it. The group’s brutal tactics and its history of violence against journalists mean that most of what the world learns about ISIS, and about life inside the territory it controls, comes from nontraditional reporting – often citizen journalism videos, photos, and dispatches. ISIS itself actively uses social media networks to promote its ideas and to recruit supporters. Twitter has long been a favored ISIS platform, though in early February Twitter announced it had suspended more than 125,000 accounts for ISIS-related promotions of terrorism...

Amid Venezuela protests, social media serves as imperfect source for journalists Mar13

Amid Venezuela protests, social media serves as im...

The tone was fearful, and the story was dramatic. “There’s a military tank outside my streets. I’ve heard gunshots for over two hours,” said a Venezuelan enduring another night of unrest in the country’s weeks-long protests against President Nicholas Maduro. “I’m sitting on my home’s door with a knife next to me, afraid of dying tonight.” It’s the kind of scene often presented in TV or newspaper coverage of such events. But in Venezuela this year, on-the-scene accounts are far more likely to be found on Twitter – like the one about the gunshots, which appeared under the hashtag #Chacao, named for a municipality of...

No Tweeting Allowed in the Vatican Mar06

No Tweeting Allowed in the Vatican

  In his last year as pope, Benedict XVI made several moves that appeared aimed at reshaping his legacy in the Catholic Church.  First, the Vatican hired Greg Burke, a top Fox News commentator to manage communications for the Holy See.  It also cooperated with the Catholic News Service’s expanded television coverage of the Vatican.  And, in perhaps the least important, but most covered move, a Twitter account was opened in the pontiff’s name (@Pontifex, which in Latin means both bridge and pope). But none of these moves changed the fact that the Catholic Church is woefully out of date in the digital age of instant...

Global Fatigue Keeps...

The ongoing revolution in Syria erupted just over a year ago in March 2011.  Thousands of Syrians hit the streets to demand that President Bashar al-Assad step down, starting a bloody battle between the security forces and protesters. Violence escalated as the military bombarded rebel towns...