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tv   Listening Post  Al Jazeera  September 15, 2014 3:30am-4:01am EDT

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today and the paris conference will be an important stage in mobilizing the international community to help iraq for the new government there and that is why once again i will welcome the presence of the president of the iraq... ♪ hello. i am richard ginzberg. you are at the "listening post" scratch at any big story in london and you will find a rupert murdoch angle. so, it is with the scottish referendum. one reporter ran his copy by the cia before it went into print.
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we look at what goes on at the obituary disk before it goes bo present and befoself described selfieholics. i took this with the caption "my office for the day" oftentimes when we examine coverage foof stories about facing a vote, a choice between index or the status quote, the news media divide and compete. scotland is facing votes september 18th. the thing about the story is even though the refer evenedum has been on the cards for more, there was a presumption they would vote no and preserve a relationship with britain that goes back more than three centuries. a poll showed the yes side slightly ahead. party leaders in london hit the panic button. catch-up. >> poll came out in the "sunday times" owned by rupert murdoch and his gigantic news corporation. there is every indication that murdoch's scottish son, the -- sun, will urge scotts to vote for independence.
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so despite that phone hacking scandal that shamed his company, landed it in court and left it in crisis, rupert murdoch could prove to be more influential in this referendum than almost any of those actually taking part. the leader of the yes side, alex samon is clearly happy to have murdoch's backing but so is david cameron. we saw how that worked out. our starting point is the scottish capitol, he had inburrouinbu edinborough. >> he is no longer the establishment and parliament. >> i have never asked a prime minister for anything. >> this is an opportunity that he has to stick one to westminster and the british establishment and the notion of scotland taking away from the united kingdom is probably one that gives him
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pleasure: >> so news stories are slow burners. this refer endum campaign was one of them. it began almost four months ago. but this past week, the story moved from cruise control to panic mode. >> it's got to be. >> yes. >> all it took was one news article on a poll that had the proceed independent side to change everything. for the politicians involved and the journists covering them. >> in the london papers, there was panic after the poll. i think they reflected the panic in the london establishment after the poll because nobody expected the vote to be so close. they thought it would be an easy win for the no campaign and there was genuine surprise among the london papers. >> there was never going to be -- the assumption the earthquake was never going to happen. the status quo would continue. what we have actually seen is
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assumptions. >> i have been effectively worthless because all of the sudden, we are faced with a major story. when major stories happen, newspapers throw resources at it, throw pages at it, end to earned analysis of it. a few months ago, it wasn't a story. a year ago, this wasn't a story. three months ago, this wasn't a story. it is now. >> the two biggest media players in britain are the bbc, the world's largest broadcaster and rupert murdoch's news corporation which controls almost 40% of the newspaper market and britain's biggest privately owned broadcaster b sky b. murdoch's scottishsun reaches more tabloids than any other papers in scotland but it was his "sunday times" in london on september 7th, the first to show the yes side out front. murdoch had tweeted that the poll was coming and seemed to delight in the news. the following day, however, the "sunday times" sister paper featured a story on the economic vote.
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>> i think both stories are valid in themselves and it's perfectly proper for a newspaper to run stories that covers it. the poll was our game changer. we have politicians. probably wouldn't have been had it not been for that poll. >> that's news worthy, the sunday times didn't put it any interpretation saying it. they reported the poll and the economic difficulties of problems or issues around independence are also about what stories are run. so a newspaper giving both perspectives on the debate. it. >> they were tweeting on the saturday before the results of the poll were announced about how it would send shock waves. which was an idea that gave hill some enjoyment. he rungs "the sun," the biggest daily newspaper in scotland now
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and as such, from the company's point of view, there is no arguing that having a tabloid of that nature on your side would be an advantage to them. they would welcome that, denial. >> why this particular intervention at this particular time? i would think it's got a lot to do with what's happening to news international papers in the u.k., heavily criticized by the government. one turned guilty, one found not guilty in the middle of the phone hacking scandal being criticized by politicians labor, board. >> now, all the sudden, this is rupert murdoch's kickback, an attempt to show that he still can be a king maker. so don't forget me is probably what he is saying here. >> since the bbc is publifunded, journalist is put under the microscope. this past week, the leader of the yes campaign couched his language but suggested the bbc was part of a dirty tricks campaign from the no side.
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from the bbc last night, the story was about an unnamed government official telling the bbc that a bank, rbs, had discussed moving its registered office in scotland to london in the event of a yes, vote. is alex sammon said leaking such illegal. he called for an investigation and took a shot at the bbc. >> therefore, i know the bbc in its impartial role will give investigation. >> unlike most publifunded broadcasters, the bbc is not paid for directly by the government. it survives on licensing fees paid annually by individuals. therefore, it has a big stake in a referendum that could shrink the bbc's funding base. >> the bbc has a strong interest in scotland's remaining parts of the u.k. it would lose 5 million viewers. it would lose 200 million pounds. i think there is also another danger for the bbc around the corner in the sense that you
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take out 57 scottish mps, 56 of parties. >> makes the chances of a conservative government in the rest of the u.k. much higher. conservatives are pushing to reduce the license fee to privatize some aspects of the bbc's work and genuinely reduce the bbc's influence. so, you know, i think the bbc has a strong vested interest in scotland remaining in the u.k. nevertheless, i don't think its coverage has reflected that. >> there is, however, something about the way the bbc treat respectively westminster and scottish politicians and there was an assumption that if you had one labor representative, one tory representative and one amp representative, you are done. that was the balance. because that was looking at it through the prism of party politics but this isn't a
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general election and that combination of politicians, because three of the politicians are independent and only one is for index. in the referendum context, that isn't the correct balance. i think that was immediately important to some people -- wasn't immediately apparent. i think that's changed recently. >> a political journalist for a long time. there has always been that if you get criticized from both sides, you can't be doing too badly. and the bbc has been accused by the yes campaign of being too pro-union. they have even -- there of been protests, pictured some activists pictured the bbc headquarters in glasgow and yet after the second debate, the no campaign was up in arms saying that the bbc hadn't chosen the
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audience failure for the second debate and that it was packed with nationalalists. so from both sides, under my old roll, they didn't do, too badly. >> at stake in this refer endum is a political union stretching back to 1707 when scott land and england united and the ancient term king of scots fell into disuse. if the country votes yes, there is no cunning in its future. what it may have, however, in an australian-born media mogul of scottish ancestry named numbmurdoch is a new king maker. our global village voices now on the coverage of the scottish refer errandsum. >> there has been a lot of media coverage. it's been bordering on hysteria. i am sick of reading all that goes with it. what we need are the actual ramifications for ourselves as
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individuals and for the revert of the u.k. in the case of scottish independence. also, i have found news outlets have been load loathe to either sides making it offputting for anyone to come in with a balanced point of view. >> i wish there had been a stronger coverage from the outset. in the last two weeks, obviously there has been a drive towards it about that capitalizes on the end, that last momentum. social media has been slave for both camps, but i do feel that there should have been more from the powerhouses. >> back in the >> an astonishing america tonight investigative report >> why are you wearing gloves? >> ocd... taking over this woman's life... >> i don't wanna touch anything... >> now a controversial surgery can literally reprogram her mind >> we can modify emotional
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circuitry >> is this a miracle cure? or an ethical nightmare? >> there's a lot of mystery right now... >> rewiring the brain an america tonight investigative report only on al jazeera america real reporting that brings you the world. >> this is a pretty dangerous trip. >> security in beirut is tight. >> more reporters. >> they don't have the resources to take the fight to al shabaab. >> more bureaus, more stories. >> this is where the typhoon
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came ashore. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. >> al jazeera, nairobi. >> on the turkey-syria border. >> venezuela. >> beijing. >> kabul. >> hong kong. >> ukraine. >> the artic. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america.
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>> trafficked labor on the front lines? >> they're things, they're commodities... >> we go undercover... >> it isn't easy to talk at this base >> what's happing on u.s. bases? >> the tax payer directly pays the human trafficker >> fault lines al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> they're blocking the doors... ground breaking... they killed evan dead... truth seeking... >> they don't wanna see what's really going on >> break though investigative documentary series america's war workers only on al jazeera america it's time now for listening post news bites, a series of e-mail has exposed a cozy relationship between los angeles reporter and the agency he was supposed to be covering, the cia. the report was published by the
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intercept, the new news outlet funded by ebay founder. it said that reporter ken delaney reportedly sent his articles prior to publication. he would explicitly publish positive coverage and in some cases change copy at their request. the e-mails detail collaboration on stories about drone strikes, the agency's dealing with director kathleen bigalow regarding 0 dark 30. the notes were written in 2012 and were acquired through a freedom of information request. he is now an intelligence reporter called it a bad idea saying i shouldn't have done it and i wouldn't do it now but it had no meaningful impact on the outcome of the stories. the laa. times calls it a clear violation and distanced itself from the journalist. a spokesman at the ap had a different take. we were satisfied, he said, that any prepub indication exchanges that ken had with the cia before joining ap were in pursuit of
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accuracy and is report okay intelligence matters. beijing's trumpeted anti-corruption drive is making its way through the chinese media and claiming high profile casualties. the latest to be swept up in it are six journalists at a leading financial news site 21 arrested on extortion charges. they were taken into custody september 3rd accused of trying to extort money in return for favorable coverage. according to a report by the state-owned news outlet shinwa, if companies dfrnt cooperate, the news outlet would release negative reports and black male them into signing deals. >> one of the china's best known to go talking heads was ankled from the anchor share on state owned cctv. investigation. >> followed the arrest of his boss, the head of cc tv's news bribes. >> political protesters in
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pakistan are on the streets and they continue to target media outlets they don't like. primarily geo t.v. as we reported, the demonstrators are led by opposition imran khan and want sharif to quit. geo t.v. has, on september th protestors pelted the building with stones, shattering windows and attacking staff. they previously went after the state owned ptv infiltrating the building and knocking it off of the air. the yenration of -- the journalists said the repeated attacks show that the anti-government demonstrators are intolerant of the media's role in reporting these events and are resorting to unjustifiable, undemocratic acts. the attacks on geo represent an attack on pakistan's media. demonstrate orders have come out in support of the network. they call it working the graveyard shift, working at the
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one desk in the newsroom that editors check in with whenever somebody famous checks out. we are talking about the newspaper's obituary desk. those extended obits don't get written after somebody dies. the obit desk is supposed to notice. it's not as if the only obits ready to go are about people who are elderly. it doesn't matter how old you are. a good obit editor is supposed to be prepared for anything. nick muirhead on obituary writing, the dos and don'ts of the craft. >> it's journalism's open morbid secret that news organizations around the world have thousands of prewritten obituaries just waiting for when the time comes. >> we do have many, many obituaries, at least in some stage of pre-writing. we do try to write as many as we can in advance. we have right now about file.
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>> you keep trying to stay ahead of father time, and you can't. people are going to die at the most unexpected times. >> what happens often, though, is people themselves or their friends, you know, and loved ones will contact us and say, my father or, you know, this colleague is not well. something. so, it's you believe a basis of negotiations. it would be very rare for us to ring sa say, i hear your husband is not well. can we have a quit check. >> the people who go into the morgue. we have had castro in there. i find if youdo an obit in advance, it's a guarantee of eternal life. >> the advantage is that news organizations can publish them quickly and accurately or so they hope. >> wasn't the case for the "new york times". the news anchor walter cronkite died in 2009, the newspaper's report needed seven corrections
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after publication and obit wary-related record for the 161-year-old paper. pre-written obituaries are common for western news organizations. but in certain parts of the arab world, being prepared could land an o bitary writer in trouble. >> the last 50 or 60 years, there were dictatorships and dictatorships, dig is not on the card. there is no process of succession when the dictator dies. therefore, they don't think about it. and because most of the newspapers have very strong censorship, the intelligence services or the security service would be having a spy, so, you know, that suggest the leader file. >> after the 9-11 attacks, president george w. bush made the fate of osama bin laden pretty clear. >> wanted: dead or alive. so when president obama announced that the leader of al-qaeda had been killed, it's unlikely there was an o bit
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waries editor in the world who hadn't given some thought to man. >> we started writing it right after 9-11. by some strange intuition, two or three weeks before he was killed, it got into my mind that i should maybe look at this one with no advanced information. it's what i do. i have to think about people like this. we remember fortunate to have something substantially ready like that. we had about 5,000 word obit all ready to go. >> he was in hiding? >> he wasn't doing a lot for the last years of his life. you didn't have to change his obituary for years. he just had to add the circumstances and the nature of his death, a couple of paragraphs at the end of the piece, read it through and there. >> i got into quite a bit of trouble because i insisted on finding out about the life of the man. i talked about his love of eating yogurt and honey and how he would take his children to the beach and go hunting on fridays and the americans among
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our readers were furious about this. they said you should just have condemned him. why are you trying to tell us these things about him? this man is just a monster. >> pre-writing the obituary of someone who spent 12 years on the fbi's most wanted list is one thing. but it's something else entirely when your subject is a pop star and is just 26 years old. in 2008, it emerged that the associated press had prepared an o bit wary for the troubled american singer britney spears. the news caused quite a stir. >> i think it's rather bad form to make that public. i dare say there are many, many people alive who got their obits on file and quite a lot of young ones, too. there is nothing wrong with doing that, but i think it's bad it. >> with someone like amy winehouse, a situation with a
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young pop star who had troubled with addictions that it would have been very unlikely that my colleagues and other papers didn't have an obituary prepared. is that callous or is that just being reasonable and prepared for our jobs? i wouldn't announce it, but it would be no surprise to me if a young troubled stars have prepared obits dealing with an untimely death is a sensitive issue. so is characterizing, which is why obituaries write in code and lines. >> it is a traditional part of the way we write, euphemism. alaskaly, people would say he was a bon vi bon. or didn't take fools gladly when he was an absolute beast. it is that they are not trtributes constantly writing about the good side. you have to give people an idea
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of whether someone is nice or not and give them a sense of the rough with the euphemisms being about that. >> when the artist died, this is not quite a euphemism. he left many children. now, usually, an o bit wary sends up by saying he leaves a widow and two daughters or three sons. but, of course,lution freud was a well hine novphilanderer, multiple mistresses. this is a way of making the same point again in the last line, a very neat little remark. >> euphemisms may have to convey thought to the reader but they don't change the need to deal with death on a daily basis. it's not as macarbe as it may arrest. >> they are korffully written and sometimes, you have to use part of it. >> nowadays with newspapers competing with the bloids, you
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have to inject a bit of humor even in an obituary. >> we did don't dwell on their deaths. >> that's the news peg, and it comprises one paragraph. >> we are dealing with the achievements people have made lives. >> that's very uplifting. >> it may be the last word. t the next time you flip to the obituary page of your newspaper, that's worth remembering. >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
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>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their needs are not being met by american tv news today. >> entire media culture is driven by something that's very very fast... >> there has been a lack of fact based, in depth, serious journalism, and we fill that void... >> there is a huge opportunity for al jazeera america to change the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a
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french president francis hollande says the world must not waste time in coming together to defeat the islamic state group. hello, i'm nick clarke from al jazeera headquarters in doha. the other top stories - the leader of sweden's social democrat says he'll try to form a government without the help of the far right. anger in south korea following the allegations of the abuse of h.i.v. patients. plus... >> i'm lawrence lee in europe's energy capital aberdeen, with a big question


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