Media Lens: Kunduz Killers Go Free

31 March 2016 — Media Lens

On the night of October 3, 2015, a United States Air Force AC-130 gunship repeatedly attacked a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Forty-two people were killed and dozens wounded. The US military plane had conducted five strafing runs over the course of more than an hour despite MSF pleas to Afghan, US and Nato officials to call off the attack.

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FAIR: Journalism’s Dark Matter

29 March 2016 — FAIR

Journalists face numerous ethical and institutional challenges when doing their job. But none of these challenges lays bare the conflicts and compromises involved in reporting the news quite like the use of anonymous sources.

For a profession predicated on demanding transparency and accountability from others, the practice of granting anonymity serves as an inconvenient reminder of journalism’s own messy reality. The implied bargain therein—that the value of the light provided by a source’s information outweighs the cost of casting of a shadow over his or her public identity—trades upon both the judgment and authority of the reporter and his or her news organization.

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