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tv   George Polk Awards in Journalism  CSPAN  February 21, 2020 6:59pm-8:00pm EST

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it's my pleasure to announce the winners for the master outside inwards journalism in 2019, i'd like to express my gratitude to long island university, the sponsor and in particular to dr. kimberly cline, the president for her unflagging support, i'd also like to thank my friend and colleague ralph powerful critique coordinator, as many of you know our awards were established in 1949 to commemorate george pollack, the cbs courage bonded associate here before during the greek civil war we are now in our 71st year, having bestowed as of today 3125 prizes.
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in keeping with his legacy, our judges honor reporters whenever possible and not just their news organizations. we seek out those who are dogged in their investigations, resourceful in their tactics, and intrepid in overcoming the odds, whether it is sending dispatches from a battlefield or exposing corruption at city hall. we like stories that hold power to account, that reveal things that deserve to be revealed, and that carrie and impact -- that carry an impact. this year, we received 561 submissions. mary. with big stories in syria, afghanistan, and libya. the uprising in hong kong,
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china's repression of the uygers, the spread of ebola, environmental disasters, political chaos in latin america. domestically, reporters were drawn to write about wildfires and floods, police brutality, inhumane prison conditions, the breakdown in immigration enforcement, sexual assaults in religious institutions and elsewhere, vaping opioid addictions, the changes and our peoples in the trump administration. this year, we saw an increasing number of team entries. news organizations have become adept at mounting coordinated efforts of specialists to dig deeper into the issues. we also saw more partnerships
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among news companies and across different media platforms. these are all to the good, but interestingly, of our 15 winners, more than half are single reporters working more or less alone. it is an indication that the metal of george polk -- the mantle of george polk, a loan journalist, -- a lone journalist, has been taken up by a new generation. here are the winners. the foreign reporter award goes to ahmed for illuminating the causes of homidcidal violence in brazil and the caribbean. national reporting, of the
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houston chronicle, for revealing the administration's continuing use of inhumane practices in dealing with refugees. metropolitan reporting to the staff of newsday for its series, long divided, documenting widespread discrimination against african-americans in suburban housing. local reporting to brian rosenthal of the new york times for uncovering the scheme in which profiteers inflated the price of taxing battalions and sold them to drivers through exorbitant loans. international reporting to mark scheffler, maliki brown, and the visual investigations team of the new york times for new techniques in forensic
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investigation, they proved among other things, that russian pilots bombed hospitals and other civilian targets in syria. financial reporting to noah, david, kevin mel b, and david of bloomberg news for revealing that developers reaped profits by using a tax break intended to help poor areas called opportunity zones to instead construct high-end luxury projects. business reporting to dominic gaetz, mike baker, anna lewis can of the seattle times for showing how boeing and the faa cut corners in approving deadly design changes to the 737 max jets. environmental reporting to helen at miller of politico for
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establishing that the department of agriculture squashed its own research that would help farmers adapt to climate change. military reporting to craig whitlock of the washington post for the afghanistan papers, a report on thousands of documents from u.s. officials, acknowledging the 18 year war is a disaster. justice reporting to lisa gardner of the philadelphia inquirer for exposing the physical abuse of boys at a well-known reformatory school. political reporting is shared by chance when, jonathan charman, and dion leffler of the wichita eagle and luke broadwater and staff of the baltimore sun for revealing
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municipal corruption that led to the ouster of the cityies'measures. the dispossessed, an article in the new yorker showing how speculators in the south use legal loopholes to seize black-owned ancestral lands. television reporting to john saad worth of bbc news for investigating camps in western china that detained and indoctrinated the muslim population. finally, a special award to nicole hannah jones of the new york times and contributors for the 16-19 product, which examined the role of slavery in u.s. history and its continuing
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effects in contemporary society. congratulations to all the winners. now we have, as a special event, a panel discussion on the difficulties of finding truth in war. two of this year's winners are on the panel, craig whitlock and mark schefler to figure out how we find out without having we are lucky to have as our moderator sarah ellison, sarah over to you. >> thank you so much john,
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thank you to craig and to mark for joining us, we are lucky to have you. i want to note that the name of today's panel, wartime lies, secrets and crimes, we are here in washington, where so little is bipartisan but it feels like this is one area where we can say that all sides of the political spectrum share and their ability to produce wartime secrets and lies and you both have explored that so equally in your work, i, want to start a little bit with the specifics of both of your investigation but that will start with you mark so we're not waiting for the washington post side of the stage to john mentioned specifically some of your investigations into russia's bombing targets syria and i want to know just how did
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that start and how did you come to that topic to begin with? >> well the russians have been active in syria for years and a lot of people have known that and it's been a bit of an open secret that they were involved both on the air and in the ground. but the critical component was the russians who are constantly stonewalling and confiscating what the rule was. so there was a lot of rumors about what they were involved and when it came to hitting civilian targets. our goal with this particular work was to find out did, where the russians responsible for what the international community would consider a warm crime. bombing, in this case hospitals. it is almost impossible because in a lot of these places in syria everybody is either evacuated or they are petra five have provided eddie
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formation of what is going on. we has a team, we honestly did not think that we would be able to find culpability or a level of evidence that an international group could proof culpability on. we had lots of videos of air attacks, the aftermath, but really the team kept pushing in trying to figure out how do we find out if the russians did it without having someone on the inside a russian pilot or defect are telling us or you know god forbid the united states international, or you know defends or intelligence community, they were not willing to get into this area so what we ended up doing is there is a network inside syria of early warning spotters this is a group of people that
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basically take it upon russian air activities. we were able to -- using them and other sources, able to get a russian pilot transmission. the russians transmit for a number of reasons on an open russian pilots who open channel, so we obtained that material that allowed us to zero in on russian culpability. >> those are audio recordings, is that what you are talking about? >> they are recordings between russian pilots and air traffic control, communicating stories, communicating about their bombing runs. we had a several russian translators helping us decode the language and terminology that they would use. we established patterns of russian activity, corroborated
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with visual evidence, eyewitness accounts, help us put this portrait together of russians hitting hospitals inside the country. it was a grueling task, you are going through hours and hours of pilot transmissions, then
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trying to gl locator locations with timings, log activities, it was grueling work. in the end, we were able to establish that russia was doing this. as far as we were concerned, conclusively. at the times and the post, we are not in the business opportunity things like this, determine guilt or innocence. we would not come out and say this is a war crime, but let me say, the you started with what became the afghan papers, can you begin with what that was? >> so it started with an old-fashioned we got a tip, the tip was, this it was about general michael flynn, a recently retired army general in 2016 he was gaining some notoriety in public for campaigning for donald trump and appearing at republican rallies, chanting locker up that rally, so we were doing background reporting on general flynn and how he had gotten involved with the trump campaign but also his record in the military. the tip we got about him is
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that he had given a long interview about the war in afghanistan with a kind of obscure federal agency with the inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction. i was interested in this because i had covered the pentagon in the military and general flynn when he was in the military he was this well-known figure for speaking truth to power and would be critical of people in his chain of command for military intelligence matters. i thought that could be really interesting if flynn gave an interview about the war in afghanistan we would like to know what he said. so we went to the inspector general and we said we would like to have transcript of the interview. we thought it was a pretty straightforward request and at first the agency said sure, shouldn't be a problem, we will get back to you soon, but then they started delaying and hiding things, trump got
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elected and michael flynn was the national security adviser and we got word that our quest was denied. with this material about general flynn. long story short we filed a request, ultimately a lawsuit, we won and we got the document and it was a blistering interview, general flynn was just weathering in his assessment of the war and in particular how the lack of progress of american people over the years. he said what the reality was on the ground was different from what was being told to the public. he said it was almost a crime so that got us very interested and we found out that general flynn was one of hundred people that gave similar interviews. so of course we thought this could be an interesting story, so we made a request and another lawsuit and it took three years to pry these lose but ultimately we got all this
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public information available and we posted all online for readers to see for themselves and we wrote about of stories about it. >> can i ask you from the time you got that original tip to when you actually obtained general flynn's interview, do you know how long that took? >> it took a year and a half. >> and from that point how did you learn that there were so many other interviews out there? >> when we asked for the flynn interview we heard there were more and the inspector general's a little cagey about it but finally acknowledge there were hundreds more so we put in a request for those so we are pursuing these on two tracks, we thought surely if we did the flynn one and we win the lawsuit for that the inspector general would cough up the rest, we were wrong and we wanted a lawsuit and we got the flynn interview but they doubled down and didn't release the rest. we filed another lawsuit and
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started dribbling them out bit by bit but it took three years for them to release all the material that we ended up getting. we are still in court to get more interviews and to most importantly get the names of most of the people that were interviewed by the inspector general. we were able to identify about 100 people who have given interviews like general flynn but the majority of them, the inspector general redact the names, didn't want to make them public and where in cordon optimistic we would win and get that information. i think it is really important that people who are in charge of the war, people who played a key role in the war, if they were very critical about the strategy and javier can people were told the truth, i think the american people deserve to know who these people are so they can decide for themselves the merits of what they. said >> so craig first, the inspector general, i guess one
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of the last things that you did before publication was you had an interview with the inspector general on camera, he allowed to to bring a video into his office and the way that he approached that interview, i guess i would love for you to describe that and also mark the broader question is once you have your initial piece of documentary evidence, you have an interview with general flynn or you have a video, what is your process of approaching the actual subject, whether it's the russian military or the inspector general? >> well first i think mark has a little more complex response, but with us it's pretty straightforward, anybody whose name we are going to publish and print or a line we need to get comment from them in advance of publication and to
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verify the facts and give them a chance to respond. particularly for people who may not want to respond and may not like what we are reporting about, so we are pretty upfront with the inspector general in advance of publication, his name is john and i told him and his staff this is what we are planning, this is what the stores are gonna look like and they were reluctant to talk at first because it was ongoing litigation with our lawsuit pending. but i went back to multiple times and said we are getting really close to publication now this is your last chance and we would like to get your response to a whole array of questions and he decided to go on camera and we got that opportunity and we were able to include all of that is part of our coverage. >> and can you characterize the difference between, what the inspector general congress said
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after publication? >> so one of the main questions i had for them was why are you withholding this material from the american public, why did it take three years for you to release these interviews in which people are in charge of the war admitted that the war was a failure, they didn't know what they were doing in afghanistan, the strategy was open, they don't even know the enemy, was we are talking about a commanding general so it was some pretty eye-opening comments, we said how could you as inspector general whose job it is to hold people accountable how could you keep that from the public. we didn't get a very straight answer, except he said well in some regards it was in his job, you know he wasn't supposed to deal with questions of strategy and policy but he was a little all over the map, you know it's important to emphasize, everything he did obtain is public information, both from
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the port and from the inspector general himself, these weren't linked to us, this was all information we went the old-fashioned way under the law, this is all public information no question, when the inspector general before congress took a bit of a different tone to act like -- >> i wish we had the video. >> yeah at the same time he's complaining that the pentagon another arms of the government are keeping a secret, all this critical information about the war and yet, which is true but he himself is also complicit in that because he would know a lot of information as well. >> if i'm not mistaken, correct me if i'm, wrong he says there is an incentive to lie. >> yes that's right. he said that what was clear from the interview is that we finally obtained is there's a running theme that american officials were repeatedly lying about the lack of progress in the war, he said there was an incentive to lie because they
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all wanted to dress it up as rosy progress, things on the right track, so in a way he was making our piece for, us saying that what we finally uncovered bringing to light according to him showed earth outed out that the government of multiple administrations is lying to the american people about how the world is going. >> he had and share that characterization with you prior to publication? >> he did actually, in our and interview with us he said he acknowledged that he had told us the this shows the american people were being lied, to a dozen emphasize at the same way but that's one of the ironies, once the story came out i wonder if he felt liberated to say, you know he is very critical of how the war has been handled and how the government has not been forthcoming about it. >> mark you may actually have a
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more complicated response because when you are reporting on foreign governments, there are at the same kinds of official avenues that you can follow but what was your interaction with the russian military as you were reporting that particular investigation. >> it was minimal, not because we wanted it to be minimal because they, you know they shoot down anything that remotely suggests that they are involved in this activity and they do so at least in the case of our in investigative work in a way that suggests that nihilistic lee we would get emails with typos so it wasn't even like they're presenting a formal defensive, this one of the things that we thought we needed to do was really consolidate our case here and you know and the open source or
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visual investigations it worked little differently, we are doing forensic analysis and gia location of locations that have been struck using maybe say 30 videos for one location, so we know exactly where this location was that was hit. >> i'm sorry where are you pulling those videos from? >> it's all open source, this kind of work is really interesting because all reports work with open sources, open sources and everything from the newspaper, the state run newspaper, authoritarian regime to a video that somebody posts. of an american plane landing in some outpost in west africa, it all is on the web, what the team, what the team does we take all this open material and we use it as forensic evidence to kind of reconstruct what we think happened and we could, in
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the case of one of the hospital bombings that we were looking into, we were able to call probably on the order of 2020 videos, posted by syrians that are just living in these locations that were filming the aftermath, filming what it looked like beforehand, so it's kind of a new way of assembling a body of evidence. the gumshoe talking to eyewitnesses, a lot of it is making sure that the videos we are dealing with are what they say they are by checking mega data, the back and data, a piece of video, it's having our team triangulated where the sun is going down to make sure we have the time right, so if we have a russian pilot transmission and we know based on the patterns we have established what time they are
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flying, does that corroborate with, it because we are not gonna get, we try to get russian military factors and from our efforts they are not out, there so we had to take all these other, that's what the visual investigative team is about anyway, it's trying to find new ways to do conflict reporting and to hold these countries accountable. >> there is inevitably not a single place where you can go for that information, and you have to overlay all these sources to establish what is the closest thing you can. >> yeah, exactly in a lot of times you end up with, you know we were super meticulous about making sure we had everything and you know the russians they said they came out and said we don't operate on open transmissions, you know our pilots don't operate on open
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transmissions, it's not true because we have a preponderance of recordings, they line up perfectly with the times of the attacks in question, the exact moment that a bomb dropped is the exact moment when we have established a pattern of bomb droppings and other transmissions and other locations and debunking those stories is a part of the process here and using this as you say, this preponderance of gathered visual audio and eyewitness material that make the case is what we are doing. >> you noted that the post is still an active litigation and one of the arguments, likely to reveal the names of the people that were giving these interviews, again i noticed in this testimony in one of the arguments to not reveal those
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names is here's a washington post which for whomever many decades kept the identity of deep throat a secret, how can you ask this inspector general to reveal the names of people who request the anonymity and what's the argument there? >> well first of all the washington post is into public agency, so we can't be fooled, it applies to agencies of the federal government and the inspector general may not like it but the advice goes to his office as well. he has given a lot of different explanations for why he thinks these peoples, these officials who are in charge, their identities in charge, but it's been all over the map, at times their lawyers have called them whistleblowers or criminal informants or consultants or just people who didn't want
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their names made public because they might be politically embarrassing. but none of those really add up under the law, first of all they are not whistleblowers, these are not people who came to the inspector general to report wrongdoing, this is the inspector general seeking out hundreds of people who are involved in the war to interview them for a public report called lessons learned. these people are being interviewed for something that they knew would be made public, now maybe some of them would say well i prefer my name not to be attached to it but under the law that's not a legal excuse to be exempt from it. to call them consultants or criminal informants i think is a real stretch to say the least. it's perhaps laughable but it's the reasons under the law, and our argument is their farfetched and they don't apply, but the other irony is there was no consistency and how we
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treated these interviews, many of them like with michael flynn were labeled on the record and the document would say interview on the record and we would still have to fight tooth and nail to get those interviews. some of them would be labeled on the record and they'd still redact things. but let me give you one good example why it's so important to keep fighting for names. there is one interview from someone who served on the national security council under president obama, the name was redacted and the interview was how they routinely distorted what they called the metrics, and measurements of progress in the war at the white house, so they would get these reports up from military headquarters -- headquarters, they go to the national security council and the person said in the interview we have these metrics that were routinely spun and distorted that they knew they were presenting a false picture of how the war was going, this was being done at senior levels
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in the white house, they knew this was going on, they are distorting these measures of progress that the president himself would announce to the public. well that is a pretty serious statement, you know this is in some funky who is at some low level in the war level, he's a senior person at the white house, well who is? it >> we think the public has a right to know who is making this very serious allegation, we would like to know more about it, so that is the kind of thing, that is why we think there is an extraordinary compelling public interest in knowing you all these people are and what they said about it. >> this is more of a broad question for both of you, it's a little esoteric but because you had so much experience in trying to get to the truth during wartime why do governments throughout different administrations consistently lie during wars?
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you can say they are all corrupt but it has to be something else? >> well what's interesting if you read the afghanistan papers some of the individuals will give an explanation, they will say as you alluded to earlier, there is an incentive not to tell the truth, michael flynn in his interview gave a good story and saying each year we get a new brigade or battalion team in, they come in for 12 months into the war zone and they all have the same mission take the fight to the enemy and protect the population. every single battalion commander would come in and they would say boy it's a mess, this war, you know this is going to be tough and by the time they left 12 months later every single one of them said i accomplish the mission, we took
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the fight to the enemy, we predicted the population, we are winning because who's gonna want to say at the end of their tour that they are losing, that they didn't accomplish their mission, this is against the mindset of the military but also other branches, so that looks bad it will go over well with the higher upsurge in the in these reports they accomplished the mission, so the next guy comes in and says oh my gosh what a mess, i can't believe things are so bad and then the next month 12 months later since i accomplish the mission. so at that level are they trying to deceive the american public? >> i think there's a lot of self interest, self protection, you know people don't want to admit that they didn't accomplish it, they weren't winning and i think that it's hard for people to be honest, both in the chain of command
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but also the public at large. >> i'm going to open up for questions in a minute, so think of something if you like to ask a question. if you don't, that's fine, i have other questions but i noted that you have done a lot of reporting internationally and i wonder why you were drawn to that and if you find there are other barriers to getting to the truth or maybe not when you are reporting outside the united states. >> i mean in some places for sure just because they don't have the history of being transparent or theoretically being transparent. the interesting thing about the work that the visual investigations team does, it's almost like obvious see there is never of substitute for being, there there is, we have bureaus all over the world's
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that we collaborate with and that we, that we partner with on investigations and the stories and i think for our team it's really like an egalitarian approach to covering atrocity in conflict. what we are looking for is people who -- basically eyewitness accounts, people who use open source in the open web to do it, you know lots of people that sounds like a little random because we combine that with a lot of imagery and your location and all the rest but i think the idea is we can put together a story that doesn't need a tip, you know a public tip line to help us corroborate and that is the goal of this work and i
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think that internationally in some of the locations that we covered, the draw is that you are able to penetrate worlds that before the advent of the internet were off limits, and the government in some of these countries were really able to dictate the terms of the narrative. what is exciting about this work is a really does allow accountability to be held in ways that these governments have never had to deal with before and i think that is the big draw for me and the rest of the team. >> does anyone in the audience have a question? >> all go, all right go ahead town. >> ok a question for mark, you mentioned that your work on the russian bombing, the civilian
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targets in syria, you relied in part on the transmission of pilot to based on an open channel, i don't know if the channel would still be open but it raises the question in my mind when you use open sources and you have to fess up to it when every you produce don't you run the risk of having those sources close down and basically cutting or itself off from a technique that was useful last time around? >> it's a good question, i think this, listening network is what i would call it, you know they have this network set up as a distant early warning system for people to get out of bombing sites that are going to be bomb so you're eavesdropping, you know the russian pilots are going in this direction, we hear what they are saying, get out of this location, so it was
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really a serious question for us about, is us using this material, will it shut down, and the russians have not stopped using the transmission lines they have been using, there is a reason, we think, we don't know for sure, but we think the reason why they use an open communication, communicate on this is they are using syria to guinea pig new war fighting technologies and new weaponry and trying to run a decrypted -- decrypted communication system in a place like syria we think it might be something that they don't have to do and maybe they don't quite know how to do a yet. but we thought that because this constitutes a war crime in the international community and because the russians have, they have not been shy about saying
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they are attacking what they call terrorists in syria, their military officials have bragged that they took 30,000 people for instance but they're all isis people or terrorists going against the regime, but we felt like they adamantly refuse to say they hate civilian targets or hospital so they don't do that. we thought that the holding them to account, even if they are not sort of fourths the forest about dying at the un said on the security council the united nations should know that the russians are party to this. that really became the next phase of this investigation which was the united nations has, is in a position to call out the russians for this attack, they are conducting their own investigation as we
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speak into russian and other targeting of civilian sites. but i think we felt like the right to know and the network that was helping us with this backed us up on this two. >> also listening to the communications with the russians, the russian pilots they ever indicate that they knew they were bombing hospitals or civilian targets, did they ever say anything? >> now they speak in pilot east, it's very straightforward, if united airlines used to let people listen into the transmissions, i don't have the do anymore but as a passenger used to be able to listen into that. i used to love but they, so it's not a chatty thing, we were never able to, do i don't
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know if they even knew what they were doing, they knew they had to hit, so they had coordinates whether they knew what it was or not as a pilot unclear but obviously somebody spotting on the ground, hospitals as of yesterday we suspect russians could also be the syrians have bombed plenty of hospitals to. so whether the individual pilot knows unclear. we have a question in the front of here. for both craig and mark these stories required a lot of time, was there ever any fear at one point that there is no there there? in other words what makes you stick with the path if you will and think that there is something deeper or bigger at the end of it? >> that's a good question and you are constantly making judgments based on instinct and
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what you have and i think in my case, it was purely clearly on about the view that that would be news if we had just done a story on what he said that might have been news but the powers of what we uncovered are hundreds of people saying similar things, we thought it was waiting for what was there and also the more we got we realize there is more material so we understood early on that this was gonna be a good story, we just don't know how, that we had to keep pulling on that string and see what there is, but as a journalist you're constantly asking that you get a feeling that there is a good story and you have to justify tear editors to say why i'm spending time on it but you're always making that evaluation. what is this worth? i think you go by instinct, is that right? >> yeah once you are two or three months into it and you're
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not sure, it's a little, we did do a lot of questioning about do we have what we need to have and you know sometimes it's a leap of faith and you feel like you know, it's some ways it's good because i think motivates the team to try and flip over more rocks, they get creative and we haven't tried, this have you talk to the, sky just keep pushing him and there are times where we have gone down a road and may have necessarily had the material, we are getting better at identifying that path but i do think that even if, we would've had a story in some way shape or form, it might not have been the way it has been but you are ultimately whatever you have to make something
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happen if the material is a strong as it is. >> we have one more question, or two more questions. >> hi for mark, did you ever get a sense that the russian pilots were aware that people were listening in that there was any sort of disinformation provided by the pilots and then for craig, how did you become aware there are other names out there? did you go to the inspector general to ask about that, how did you chip away that? >> so pretty easy answer for, me after the flynn interview, the next question was how many other people into interview and the inspector general said lots, they went through sites but it became clear that they were a few hundred at least so i put in another request for those and we just kept pushing on both fronts.
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>> i don't think, because everything lined up and we are so many ticketless about the transmissions, the high witness accounts, i think we felt confident that they weren't using, we had dakota the terminology that they used so i think we felt good about that, also i don't -- i mean i would never speak for russia but i don't know if that they are that bothered by, it you know they feel like in some ways they can function with impunity it's why we continue to be aggressive with this reporting because the world is working in a different direction now, they feel like they could office kate and
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missed direct and get their way out of, it i feel like they have to get them, measure but we felt pretty good that they were not being this informative on the transmissions. >> hi, this ones for, craig you know first one, think congratulations to both of, you astonishing work and lots of important stuff out there, but one of the highlights of the series was that the public was being lied to by its leaders, including generals and whatnot in sort of the way that the pentagon papers brought out all those decades ago. i'm gonna read you something, one of the big lines i kept being used because i did read, this has been a lot of time in afghanistan and one of the lines that came over and over again was at every data point was altered to present the best picture possible.
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that came from an office higher up, crowley his name, was were you able to access actually when say the example you gave, the person you want to find out their identity, any hard evidence that is to say emails or any specific hard evidence which i actually didn't see in these reports of a data points that were then, here is the second version of it, here is the speech, here's is something, actually a specific example. >> i will give you one specific example, these actually came from memos that donald, the former secretary of defense wrote, he called them snowflakes because he wrote so many of them in dictated these memos that came fluttering down on his desk and the pentagon, in these came to the national archive in george washington
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university. and we could really line these up, and,, his chief civilian adviser, who both went to afghanistan in 2006 came back with reports that had been classified, saying things are really bad in afghanistan they're making these comebacks their lengthy reports eye opening reports for the secretary detailing just how things were going south and that the insurgency were picking up steam, the u.s. was in danger of losing the war, so reading these members he's responding to them, at the same time his speech writers are putting out talking point, saying how great the war in afghanistan is going, they take off example of after example of
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number of women who have jobs or people in schools or the road miles built and at the same type houthi rug these classified reports on how bad the word is going to see these reports he is directing his press team in a speech writers to put out a completely different picture completely opposite of the information he's giving to the public. (inaudible) sorry can you speak in the microphone. >> he was in changing data points he was in changing the information he was just offering a rosy view and suppressing the real view. as you cited this officer who
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worked in military headquarters in kabul said they were offering data points, the national security council work in the obama house gave specific examples and that interview of how they would take statistics, you know they would turn it around like the number of and itty -- enemy initiated attacks no matter if it's going up this is a good sign because it shows we are taking the fight to the enemy and everything was twisted around to present as a positive result rather than a negative result but i don't know that answers your question? >> well thank you very much mark, greg, and sarah. to find out what's going on and one of the biggest challenges they face and you illuminated the problem for, us i would like to just quickly read through the list of winners in
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case people tuned in halfway through but first i would like to acknowledge someone in the audience that is david, david ottawa is a former washington post foreign correspondent and a writer on the middle east and david and his brother run the foundation, it's a sponsor of them and without them we would not be what we are today, thank you for that. >> the foreign reporting award goes to ahmed of the new york times for illuminating the causes of violence, fasten side central america national reporting to the houston chronicle for revealing the administrations continuous use of inhumane practices of dealing with refugees. metropolitan reporting to the staff of news day forward
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series long island divided documenting widespread discrimination against african americans in housing local reporting to brian and rosenthal of the times for uncovering this scheme in which profiteer is inflated the price of taxi medallions and sold them to drivers through exorbitant loans, international reporting to mark chef, or brown and the visual investigations team of the times for new techniques in forensic investigation that proved among other things russian pilots bombed hospitals in syria, financial reporting to noaa, and david of bloomberg news for revealing that developers reaped huge problems by using a tax break to enhance
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poor areas to construct a high end luxury products. business reporting to dominate gates mike baker and louis of the seattle times for showing how boeing in the fa cup corners in approving deadly design changes to the 737 max jets environmental reporting to her lane a of politico for establishing with the department of agriculture squashed its own research that would help farmers adapt to climate. change military reporting to greg with top of the washington post for the afghanistan papers, a report on thousands of documents from u.s. officials acknowledging the 18 year war is a disaster.
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justice reporting to lisa gardner of the philadelphia inquire for exposing the physical abuse of boys at a well-known or former tory school. political
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