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Posted inAccountability

Journalism with teeth

LONDON, July 17, 1999 — Western media follow a depressingly familiar formula when it comes to the preparation of a nation for conflict. The way wars are reported in the western media follows a depressingly predictable pattern: stage one, the crisis; stage two, the demonisation of the enemy’s leader; stage three, the demonisation of the […]

Posted inAccountability

Dark alliance rules the high seas

JAKARTA, Indonesia, April 13, 1999 — Bangkok’s The Nation newspaper originally published this series on April 13, 1999. It is reprinted here with permission. For decades Southeast Asian waters have been a hunting ground for murderous pirates who are growing increasingly daring and dangerous. The Nation‘s correspondent in Indonesia, Andreas Harsono, spent over a month […]

Posted inAccountability

Open your mind

NEW YORK — Day-to-day, investigative reporting is about sweat and perseverance. Forget about the widely held view that government officials “leak” embarrassing stories to eager reporters who sit waiting for the phone to ring. You know — and I know — that hardly anything of value falls from the sky like manna from heaven. There […]

Posted inAccountability

The encryption imperative

It’s a credo that most journalists strive to live by: Don’t share your notes and don’t give out advance copies of your story. But what many American journalists often lose sight of is that while traveling through cyberspace one might unwittingly put his work at risk. Stories that might still be in the tweaking stage […]

Posted inAccountability

General as bandit

LAGOS, Nigeria — Until General Sani Abacha’s death 8 June 1998, Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Timbut Useni was the second most senior officer in the Nigerian Army. But all that changed over two months ago, when Abacha, Nigeria’s worst dictator died. Not only did Useni lose out in the power-game that followed, he also carried the burden […]

Posted inAccountability

From Russia for Love

MELBOURNE — They told Anna Vladimirovna that if she tried to escape, “things” could happen to her son and family back in the Ukraine. “We were treated like slaves,” the 32-year-old prostitute says. “I was scared that my sister and my son may have been hurt badly if I caused any problems.” The heat didn’t […]

Posted inAccountability

“This war can’t go on any longer” — Carlos Castaño

“I will vote for Serpa” — Carlos Castaño By María Cristina Caballero December 15, 1997 “I am the moderated wing of the self-defenses” — Carlos Castaño By María Cristina Caballero December 15, 1997 BOGOTA — In an exclusive interview with Cambio16, the commander of the self-defense leagues says that “the final onslaught” is underway. He […]

Posted inAccountability

Fat Cat Hotel

In June 1996, Forbes magazine reported that the Democratic National Committee was using overnight stays at the White House as a perk to entice wealthy donors to make six-figure contributions to the party. For a contribution of $130,000, “you can spend the night in Abraham Lincoln’s bed,” ABC News’s David Brinkley, picking up on the […]