How a Facebook Fakery Fooled Africa Reporters

As rebels fought last month to overthrow Gambia’s autocratic leader, reporters who cover Africa frantically called Gambian government landlines for comment, with no luck. But one source had the information they sought: a Facebook page for President Yahya Jammeh. “Rest assured that the Enemies of the People have been defeated,” it proclaimed. Unfortunately for the numerous media houses that cited the page, it was a fake—a parody...
The Associated Press

Afghan TV stations find censorship line is blurry

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — The young Afghan woman in a headscarf spends all day staring at other women's bodies and Hindu idols on her computer screen, then covering them up. It's Laila Rastagar's job to turn Indian and Korean soap operas into family viewing in this conservative Muslim country. Dual flat-screen monitors illuminate the 22-year-old's face in the dark cubicle as she draws a blurry square with her mouse to obscure a collarbone, then a kneecap, then a Buddha statue. She's one of a crew of such editors employed by Tolo TV, Afghanistan's most popular station, to censor shows in an attempt to balance its programming at the intersection of radical Islam, traditional values and the West.
The Associated Press

Gambian journalists say their small country has a big press freedom problem

BANJUL, Gambia —– Scores of reporters jailed, some emerging with tales of police beatings. Newspapers shuttered. A journalist forced into hiding. Gambia – a sliver of a nation on the West African coast – bills itself to foreigners as a cheerful beach resort, but critics say the country shelters a corrupt regime that is arresting reporters and closing down papers to silence opponents ahead of September presidential elections. The situation has deteriorated since Gambia hosted the profile-raising
Media Life Magazine

Big editorial flap at a tiny startup

A conflict of journalistic integrity is brewing in Utah involving an eight-month-old magazine, a pair of work-at-home moms, and some stretch-mark vanishing cream.    Late last week the entire editorial and creative staff of ePregnancy magazine walked off the job, claiming among other issues that it was being forced to write stories promoting the products of Basic Research, the parent of the magazine's publisher, Majestic Media.    “There was no separation of church and state between the publ
Media Life Magazine

Found, a journal of lost thoughts

A crumpled piece of paper is lying on the ground. You absently pick it up. "Al, We have your binder. You will never see it again unless you leave a sum of $3.50 directly under the clock to the left of the door at precisely 1:15. Please do not inform any teacher of this transaction. If you mess up you WILL regret it. If you do not comply than [sic] you will never see it again."    Yes, discarded trash, but fascinating. Also, as it turns out, a magazine, or part of one.