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tv   Listening Post  Al Jazeera  November 15, 2015 6:30am-7:01am EST

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>> reporter: in persuading people to preserve these habitats may be the last best hope for future generation says like enos wildlife news, sport news, current affair news, all on the website, hello i'm richard gizbert. you're at the listening post. one new story, various interests, multiple narratives,
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examining the coverage of the russian air disaster over egypt. pakistan is leaning on the media telling them not to cover certain groups. we look at the growth injury that is row pa bottle journalism. advertising agencies saying no. >> first you pay then you eat when that russian airliner came apart 33,000 feet killing all 224 on board what followed was a war of interpretation fought through the global news media. with no access to the site the investigation has been challenging for reporters to cover. various governments have big geopolitical stakes in this story over what happened and what did not. for egypt's president sisi this disaster needed to be something about something else other than a bomb on board and a security breach at sharm el-sheikh airport so as to protect juryism. for russia's president, putin,
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it needed to be something other than the work of i.s.i.l. and the russian bombing in syria. and for the u.k. and u.s., this was an opportunity to underline the risks of russian involvement in the syrian war, burr ultimatelily this is a story about governments finding what they want to find. feeding the media machine with what they want said and to varying degrees the media's willingness to act as you can co chambers for those governments. the problem comes when the fact gets in the way. eight square miles of egyptian desert, the crash site in sinai. one plane, 224 fatalities. four capitals. a multiplicity of reasons
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offered. positions taken. >> that russian plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device. >> reporter: and narratives forged. >> that's part of the nature of the event itself. if you compare this to the 1996 one, find that it took them 16 months for the f.b.i. to do the investigation and reach no conclusive evidence. so i think the fact that we have two weeks cycle tells us a thing or two about why each country are so focused on making this story out of this event >> investigators are grabbing evidence. >> there is always the event that starts and ends and also the narrative that circulate p and is perpetuated especially in the 24 minute never mind hour need rah cycle that exists these days. they needed to get out a story
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that would get into papers and sell them and air time on tv. what was clear was it wasn't based on an irrefutable conclusion by an investigated female on the ground. new cycles don't necessarily fit within empirical reality. so it's not necessarily their fault. it's the fault of the enough cycle and the news organisations that want immediate answers when there really can't be any those who perished were russian but no country has more riding on this story than egypt. its airport was involved. the sisi came into power on an anti terror platform that a disaster like this can easily undermine. initially egyptian news outlets object owed what was coming out of moscow, but there was no proof of the bomb. cause could have been mechanical and that flying to and from egypt was still safe. the jeep egyptian media were
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towing their government's line and one newspaper took the boots to british papers reporting what downing street was telling them, that the crash was most likely an act of the of terror. >> the egyptian sensitivity so far as the western media and the coverage of this incident was concerned is a combination of multiple factors. it ranges from the nation pride, their contingency of their common at sharm el-sheikh. one national near twitch and one u.s. narrative contradicting each other and yet the consequence of this is for the egyptian economy. >> i think we need to almost analyse that a little bit. there is a sense that egypt is being under siege, egypt is being punished for the russian proximity, the u.s. and west are not happy with what russia is
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doing in syria. this narrative has been instilled in egyptians not for the last two years, but 50 years. people want to undermine egypt and its greatness. this narrative is going to be challenged more and more by reality, and there's the repressive element. if you are a journalist and you don't want to go to jail and get tortured and disappear for lord knows how long, then you put the statement out that the governmenta wants you to in this past week two egyptian journalists were reminders of that. this one here was arrested and questioned before being released. this lady of the state owned channel was also taken off the air. both had been critical of the cc government on stories unrelated to the plane crash - sisi. however the narrative coming out of cairo that it wasn't a bomb
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took a major hit from an unexpected source, moscow when the russian government came to the same conclusion that london and washington did, that it was probably terrorism. that left the sisi government isolated and the egyptian media were left holding the bag still selling a narrative that no-one, not even russia, was buying that was the turning point. at that moment most of the media supported the version of a terrorist attack and surprisingly, the liberal media supported the action of the government. echo on the radio station. for the first time in many years, they said that the decision to evacuate people and the decision to stop the flights to egypt was actually a responsible one. >> there have been a few examples of a russian media
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trying to push seniors conspiracy theory that somehow link the west to the accident. for example, channel 1 tried to somehow link the west and the west to the tragedy, suggesting that there might have been a deal between the west and the terrorist. however, i have to admit that these versions are not taken seriously by the majority of russians for all of the confusion around the crash itself, if it was a bomb, who planted it, what motivated them and could it happen again. this story has exposed the way media in certain countries operate. governments everywhere like to control the near ittive. doctor narrative. in some places governments get to write the script and their media which is supposed to hold
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power to account, simply read the wordsa loud. >> what can i advise to our readers? from the beginning of the civil war in syria, the russian government there, the syrian ghost, the egyptian government, british government, american judgment, they all pushed their version of the war. it became a part or the syrian civil war. it became part of the information war around syria which has been waged in the world's media for about four drawers now ultimately the question actually goes back to independent investigative journalism. is it possible within this particular architecture of dominant, powerful, political positioning of major super powers for independent adjourn awful to be possible - journalism to be possible? this is the problem that public faces, that the tragedies such as the crash of this airliner
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typified, exemplifys. >> are miners across this region affected by the dodd-frank law? >> sourced from illegal mines. >> this is a serious problem. >> an undercover investigation reveals the real cost. >> there's no way of knowing what minerals are coming in. >> "faultlines". >> what do we want? >> al jazeera america's hard-hitting... >> today they will be arrested. >> ground-breaking... >> they're firing canisters of gas at us. >> emmy award-winning, investigative series.
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other media stories that are on our raid yahr this week in malaysia, the largest
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independent news outlet has been rated twice in two days. the officials went into the office of the the malaysia website as well as those of the tabloid. they were back at the building on 9 november demanding to know the report on a public froms investigating wrongdoing. the news outline has been threatened with defamation charges over the story. the malaysian approval ratings are at an all time low around 20%. the prern has landed on the media, opposition leaders and bloggers. a political cartoonist faces nine counts which results in 43 years in prison. the charges do not relate to his cartoon, but tweeting his opposition of the opposition
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leaders. pemra has begun implementing a decision that bans all television and radio coverage of million taint groups. 72 organisations were listed covered by the ban. including jam al and others fif. both organisations are linked to the group suspected of carrying out the 2008 hotel siege in mumbai india which claimed more than 160 lives. pakistani media outlets will be monitored. broadcasters were shown not to show images. the media has to stopped running charities associated with the million taint groups. the regulator says on noncompliance could result in fines or determination of a licence. a canada news magazine took some
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heat when it published its cover story. the magazine is mcleans and portrays carter. he was captured in afghanistan in 2002. he was just 15 at the time charged with war crimes. he was tortured at guantanamo bay and eventually pleaded guilty in 20 so after which he was sentenced. he was freed earlier this year. he shares the cover with two well-known canadians, a sexual assault and a journal afloat who was abducted in somalia in 2008 and held there for more than a year. the story was written and it is said the common theme among the three is that they all suffered immensely. some readers took to twitter to say that they will be cancelling their prescriptions and right wing news outlets both went to town on the mcleans cover.
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this is one of those stories that since it's about automated journalism, robot journalism, really should write itself, but the technology, at least for television, is not quite there why yet, it is, however, already working its way into some types of reporting. whether you receive it or not, some of the journalism on line may have been produced by computers. financial reporting, sports updates or earthquake alerts are the kinds of stories being produced without human involvement. one piece of software, word smith created by a company called automated insights produces thousands of these reports every quarter. another platform called watch it means that hundreds of videos can be generated and uploaded to web sites and social media instantly. more stories produced more quickly with fewer people to pay. what are the down sides for news
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report? the listening post on the implications of robot journalism. breaking news about an erodes quake in california. a first look at apples quarterly earnings and a review on college baseball. three stories and you would think three journalists being involved. how about none? software aided reporting has been dubbed robot journalism. it conjures up imapplings of robot men. automated content is the work of just a piece of software that instead of helping you with word processing, it helps you produce news report. >> these use artificial intelligence to convert data into news stories. they use algorithms that produce
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these stories. >> they're stock quotes, sports scores. it's not sophisticated and don't require a lot of thinking. >> you can do a lot more, a lot quicker. it's cheaper to do it. in essence, in some cases you might be making fewer mistakes. if the data is qualitative, it doesn't matter if it's a subcommittee meeting or a meeting of parliament, as long as that is tracked somewhere, we can pull that data and pull a story from it. >> if you're a mere human journalist, the information for a new story facts, quotes, a personal angle. the robots need much less. they don't run on coffee. give them numbers, parameters. an earthquake measuring between 2.0 and 4.9 is clarified as light. 6.0 is strong to great. a dictionary of terms.
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tensional stress, plate techtonics, your computer can spit out story after story. you won't get emotional insights. it will be cut and dried. this is algorithmic journalism. automated insights in north c carolina has spotted it. word smith has been used in the news room of the associated press ap to produce corporate earnings reports. it's one of the first large scale implementations of software proceeds journalist. according to the ap, it's a productivity about bonanza. >> each quarter we were spending 20 to 25% of our time writing these earnings report and universally my reporters hated it. really it wasn't the best use of our time. we found a way we could automate it and free up that time.
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>> the word smith would write around 440 companies per earning season. after word smith they can wrote close to 50 on 0 articles. that number is growing. >> we haven't reduced any job, nobody has lost their job, but we put that time back into our journalists' hands. by doing that they're doing the things they went to school to do and got into journalism to do which is to report and dig and develop sources. >> technology can be both good and bad for an industry. in terms of robots and jobs for journalists, what you have to think about is we're in a state of change and a lot of journalists is losing their jobs is because industry is change, not because an algorithm is written to write stories. >> this is usually quantitative dat that you can use that's easy to feed into the machine.
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we will get certain type of stories with ease to get data. other difficult stories won't be fed into the machine. they won't become stories for those who think about the content, their main selling point isn't the type of stories. it's about the quantity that they can churn out. the multiplier effect they call it. it's worth program can produce 200 stories a standard. whether there is that much news or no not say a separate question. watch the online video creating platform, among others, these say you can source footage and edit one or two minutes session in half an hour. in a live room like al jazeera editing each minutes takes on
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average three times the watching time. an hour and a half. >> with any kind of automation you will get more quantity. whether it's making cars or flowing fields for fruit t automation produces productivity. you look at your twitter feed and there's 400 stories going out at once. >> reporter: with automated reporting, we shift from this idea from journalists telling us most important stories of the day to this idea of lots and lots of stories. they may only be available or interesting to a few people at the time. this really shifts what journalism does because journalism has been about establishing the news agenda, and when we shift to automated journalism we have this much more pluralised environment with lots of stories. one of the main reasons that robot journalism will become popular because it fits the economics of work.
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>> it can be up to $2,000. it's insanely expensive. we can help drive those costs down from a monday perspective. on averaging you make as much money selling or butting adds against a watch it clip as opposed to something that you have produced say using your traditional work flow. so it makes sense commercially, makes sense on the revenue side but also on the cost side. given the advertised cost and time efficiencies of on line crow creation flat forms, why not give the technology a try and it worked. once we filmed the interviews, written the script and worked out how to use watch it, it took us just about three hours to put together this report. you can watch that version on our facebook page. we died not to use it on the show because what we learned in our experiment is that services like watch it or its competitor rip its,ant aiming to serve tv
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networks. they're geared to outline that can produce more. the quality isn't quite broadcast standard, but that isn't the point. this is about clicks and instant views and ultimately about money. i don't think what we're going to see is robots writing the front page of the new york times for us. so for the time i think we will see it fit into regular journalism, but we will see a hybrid approach where robots are writing part of a story and human journalists another part. they're good at analyse data, but humans have a creative edge. they can see different kinds of patterns. if a robot reporter will tell you what has happened, what hanged. they wouldn't be able to tell you is where this trend is going, how far the integration
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between technology and in-depth journalism will go. even if they could make that prediction, maybe they would rather not tell us. >> only on al jazeera america. >> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target.
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finally one of the draw backs of working in creative industries is the service you provide is often evaluated in such a subjective way which is why clients when shopping for an advertising agency will typically is the agency for a creative speculative work. it's their way before they dip into their pockets finding out what advertisers plan to do. for the agency it means that a whole lot of work gets done for free with no guarantee of a job on the other side. advertising is not the only industry in which people are trying to get established are under pressure to do some work for free. more and more ad agencies are now refusing speck work. to help make the point of how unusual the spec model is, a company tried this with some other industries and their
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experiment did not go down well. the hashtag is say no to speck work and is resonating millions of this video in four days. we will see you next time it on the listening post. >> i have your request for proposal. i'm going through this strategic process where i will pick my personal trainer. >> you give me the designs on spec and maybe i will pay for the build. >> i don't have a $1.7 ah in my budget right now to try one copy to see if i will like it or not. that's why i would like a spec one. you could make me a spec breakfast and if you enjoe it, i will make you my ror. >> get out of my place. come on. >> so you do spec frames? >> not at all, no. >> i'm going to start providing my services. you've got to start paying day one. that's how businesses work. >> how will i know i don't like the copy.
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>> you've got to trust. >> first you pay then you eat. ism i'm acknowledge architect. i'm a professional. >> do you do what you do for free? >> no. >> so why do you want me to? counter-terrorism cooperation. >> i am gravely concerned about the situation in pakistan. >> caught in the middle of america's war on terror, pakistan now stands accused of playing both sides. >> many believe its intelligence service, the isi, has been working with the afghan taliban, even while its offshoot, the pakistani taliban, massacres


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