My process is still very journalistic. The freshest, most incredible stuff is always the stuff that people tell you in person. So someone will tell me an anecdote, and if I find it really compelling and heartbreaking and funny, I will repeat it at a party. And because of the competitive nature of human beings, everyone hearing that anecdote will have to offer a similar anecdote trying to top it. And by doing so, I can present a theme and allow dozens or hundreds of people in different social settings to develop that theme from their own experience.
A call for writers

Citizens of Atlantis,

In an attempt to spread awareness about Atlantis’ untimely cancellation and our campaign to bring it back, we have decided that we need to contact media outlets to run our story. Although we plan on contacting reporters to help us with this, there are a few websites that allow you to submit your own editorials, such as Hypable. Hypable does stipulate that we cannot mention the petition in our story, but it may be possible to have a story written solely to bring awareness to our disappointment with the BBC’s decision. That’s where you come in.

If you have ANY experience writing news articles, or even if you would just like to try your hand at it, we would love to have your help! We will provide you with the relevant information, but we need you to put it into article form so that an audience can easily and enjoyably read about the issue. A recent example of what we’d like for the campaign is this article posted on International Business Times about the Save ‘Forever’ Campaign:

Any and all help with this would be much appreciated! We cannot offer compensation, but this is a way to possibly have your writing published and to help your beloved show see the light of day again! Win-win ;)

You can contact us via message here or send an email to We look forward to hearing from you!


Name: Taseem Nathari

Age: 18 years old

Occupation: Full time Student at The New School for Drama

From young, Tasneem Nathari always felt a fire burning at her core, boiling her blood and consuming her thoughts. She’s always understood this fire to be a passion overwhelming her, but never knew what for. The universe conspired to bring her toward the colorful world of drama, dance, and acting in her young years as an 8th grader in middle school, when approached by her now former Musical Theater teacher at Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, Ms. Gargone. It seems that it was fate that brought her to the main office at the institution, where Ms. Gargone saw her and recruited her. Maybe Ms. Gargone sensed her fire, or felt the glitter falling from her aura, but it was undoubtedly fate. Going from softball and then to track and field, Tasneem searched for the source of her passion and stumbled upon it that day, but she was still uncertain. Initially intimidated by this new world, she shrunk into a shell of her thoughts and grew to be subconscious and at the brink of quitting, she snapped back, which is the prime reasoning for her continued passion today. Through perseverance, and faith, she contented to let herself be inspired by some of the greatest names in music and acting like Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Nicki Minaj and Pam Grier. She is an archetypical representation of an perseverance and determination and represents so much more than she probably realizes. She emphasizes truth and honesty in her journey and expresses her artistry to be eclectic. She walks through life with her heart as her compass and see’s herself on Broadway in the future. She’s a visionary with the heart of a lion, a Dancer, Singer, and Student. With a unique touch, and an ambitious spirit, This is– Tasneem Nathari.


instagram: @Findtasneemo

twitter: @Findtasneemo


Q: Let’s just start off with your name and what you do.

A: I’m Tasneem Nathari. I’m a student at the New School for Drama. In the fall we’re becoming the college for Performing Arts At the New School. So were gonna combine with Mannis- The school for classical Music and the school for jazz and contemporary music. – So at Drama, my focus is acting, and uh, because I have an interest in musical theatre, I loaded myself up with Dance courses and vocal courses and so I guess you could say im getting musical theatre training, acting training, playwriting, directing, So those are different things I’m exploring. I also wanna explore stage combat, and i’m really interested in Classical Theatre, and so im gonna explore that also. I write my own music, and perform my own music and that’s separate from school

Q: So uh, what is stage combat?

A: Oh um, [Laughs] fighting, its just like um, fake punching, and kicking.

Q: So as a performer like, what has performing done for you?

A: Um, performing, for me, has always been really selfish um, I perform– It’s the only thing i’ve ever liked to do, I’ve tried so many different things. I used to play soccer, I used to play softball, um, I liked soccer but i didn’t love it. So uh, Ive been singing for a really long time, and then I auditioned for Tyson, umm because we were moving back to tyson I lived in a different neighborhood and um, when I got to the main office, I got into tyson for vocal music, and when i got to the main office, because no one sent my transcripts over I um– I didn’t have a PA, so I was just sitting in the office, I was just sitting there all day, and the Mrs. Gargone, who was the Musical Theatre teacher, came in there and she was like “Hi, how are you!?” and I was like “I’m fine,” and she’s like “Well, what are you doing in here?” and I was like umm, “well I don’t have a performing art,” and she was like “Can you sing?” and I was like “Yeah, I think thats what I’m here for because that’s the only thing I auditioned for,” and she was like “well what happened,” and I’m like “Ion, know.” and she was like “Do you wanna audition for me?” I was like “okay,” and I just went to her room and auditioned for her, and then she accepted me and then at that point I started performing, but I was really insecure about it because now I was in an environment where everyone was a performer and everybody wanted to be famous, or everybody wanted to, yah know “I’m gonna be an actor,” “Im gonna be a singer” “Im gonna be this, Im gonna be that” and so I just got really shy and I started doing costume design, and so thats when I realized I loved, Clothes, I loved patterns, I loved– to dress. But I didnt love it as much as I wanted to be on he stage, I was so jealous and I wanted to be on stage so bad. And so I auditioned for Dream Girls, and I didnt get in, and so I was in the bed like, cryin’ cryin’ and cryin’ and I was like “Im not good like.” and my mom was like “Oh so youre gonna quit?” And I was like “….Yeah” and then she was like “Really?” and I was like “No I cant! I– its the only thing I wanna do.” So she was like, “So keep going.” And so, I just started like, singing really heavy on my own and I realized that singing was the only time i was really happy. ‘Cause I was always like really… depressed and I always like– I dont know, and I didnt have any reason to be depressed besides the fact that I wasnt really doing what I really wanted to do. And so I just umm… started singing by myself and I kept singing singing singing and then Finally I auditioned for Pippin. so I was like “Okay, maybe its getting better and I didnt get the lead, so I was like “Whatever,” Ill just be in ensemble, and so I started getting a lot of attention because in rehearsal I was like, giving my all. And so for the first time in my life, I realized that i was doing what i was meant to be doing. It just gave me a way to be creative and express myself and have fun and work in a collaborative environment. And so I fell in love!

Q: So like, going back to your down point, where you felt like you wanted to quit. So your mother kept you motivated? What like, kept you motivated?

A: Um, Ms. Gorgone. My musical theatre teacher. She was just like “Oh youre so good, youre so good. Why are you so insecure. Why do you have an attitude?” and I just didnt wanna hear it, like I just didnt wanna hear anything.” and Im like “If im so good, then why dont you give me the solo?” and then I started having entitlement issues. and Im just like “well, I should be getting this, and that.” and then I had to humble myself. and then Byron, my best friend byron. He was so passionate. About what he was doing! And I– I wanted to have something to be passionate about! and so He was motivating me too like to sing. and he’s like “Your good! like why dont you just do it!” and ill be like “No like i cant!” and he kept on my and my mom kept on my and Ms. Gorgone and then those three together, I was like “Alright, I have to do it. Theres no reason for me to not to!”

Q: So like, how would you describe your artistry?

A: Umm…. I think its really…. Ecclectic. Its a combination of so many things! and Honesty is Honesty, like thats the root of everything I do. being truthful and honest. I feel like thats so important to me. And so thats the basis of my artistry. Telling stories that are true to me. And making acting choices that are true to me or just truthful in general because a character isn’t gunah like, always have my story or something where I could be like “I went through that.” But I have to always find truth in everything that I do.

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Fox News has been on the air nearly two decades and some Beltway journalists are still denying the transparent truth about the cable channel and its intricate political machinations. Even some longtime conservatives, such as historian and former Reagan aide Bruce Bartlett, now concede Fox News is “brainwashing” the conservative electorate, and that the GOP is being harmed by the network.

Responding to Bartlett at Politico, senior media writer Jack Shafer insists, “Fox in its current incarnation is neither a help nor a hindrance” to the Republican Party. Shafer argues the network, “a news-entertainment hybrid,” doesn’t really have much impact on the GOP and has not moved the party to the far right. “The Fox tail does not wag the Republican dog,” Shafer concludes. Instead, Fox News is just trying to make a buck. Yes, it ventures into partisan politics with “combative programming,” according to Shafer. But people like Bartlett who claim the channel’s changed or damaged the Republican Party are overstating their case.

The truth is, as Media Matters has documented for years, the over-the-top programming on Fox News, anchored by baseless claims and wild attacks, routinely mirrors Republicans’ legislative agenda. The focused misinformation trademarked by Fox News doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it’s not merely “entertainment” concocted to sell advertising. (Although it does that quite well.)

The programming on Fox News is designed to shape and change American politics, plain and simple. It’s designed to do damage to Democrats and Democratic initiatives. It’s built to be the marketing arm for the Republican Party, as it hurdles further and further towards the radical right. And quite often, Fox News is successful.

There’s a reason that Fox contributor Newt Gingrich once told conservative activists that Fox News helped make Republican Scott Brown’s senate “insurgency possible” in 2010. And there’s a reason Fox News drafted the theme of the 2012 Republican convention, “You Didn’t Build That.”

I’m not sure tails can wag much harder than that.

To bolster his argument, Shafer invokes Roger Ailes’ failed efforts at political kingmaking and the network’s audience size compared the general voting population, but he downplays the larger role that Fox News plays in influencing the Republican Party.

To claim Fox News simply toils in the fields of  "entertainment" (or even “news-entertainment”) is to deny the seamless and unprecedented relationship between Rupert Murdoch’s cable channel and the Republican Party. It’s a link many in the D.C. press have spent years trying to play down, since the open association crosses all previous known boundaries of journalism.

Fox News itself hasn’t been shy about advertising its historic role, so why do journalists look away? In 2009, when asked how his channel would adjust to having a new Democratic president after having spent the previous eight years cheering President George Bush, Fox News VP Bill Shine suggested that Fox would adjust by serving as  "the voice of the opposition.“

In 2015, the Fox effect has continued to advertise itself. Just ask Indiana Gov. Mike Pence who ignited a national controversy after he signed his state’s "Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) into law. The law – which was widely criticized by religious leaders, legal scholars, and even the Republican mayor of Indianapolis – provided a legal defense for individuals and business owners who cited their religious beliefs while discriminating against LGBT people.

Under intense political pressure, Pence backtracked. But long before Gov. Pence signed Indiana’s RFRA into law, Fox News laid the groundwork for Republican politicians to take action by routinely championing bogus claims of religious persecution to justify the passage of sweeping “religious freedom” laws.

As Media Matters noted:

In early 2014, those horror stories were the primary argument used to justify Arizona’s SB 1062, a similar “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed business owners to turn away gay customers on religious grounds. That legislation, which similarly garnered national condemnation, was eventually vetoed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ®, who described the bill as a solution in search of a problem.

In other words, you see it on Fox News now, you read it in Republican-sponsored legislation later. In that regard, think of Fox News as a Rupert Murdoch-funded GOP think tank, but with television hosts.

Meanwhile, just this month, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing addressing the government’s food stamp Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps the poor. During the hearing, Fox News’ misleading 2013 special, The Great Food Stamp Binge, was referenced several times by Republican members of Congress as evidence of abuses within the SNAP program.

It’s no surprise that Fox’s nasty attack work on SNAP served as a talking point. After The Great Food Stamp Binge aired, the network delivered copies of the show to members of Congress in an apparent attempt to influence a vote to cut SNAP benefits by $40 billion. Indeed, Fox News has spent years demeaning food assistance programs and their recipients

In April, Media Matters highlighted how Fox News’ long-running campaign to stigmatize those recipients may have been a key influence in Republican legislators in both Missouri and Kansas moving to pass welfare-shaming laws to curtail what recipients could purchase with their aid.

That’s not how “news-entertainment” works. Not when programming talking points are regularly turned into legislation.

Fox News’ influence also extends behind the scenes. In 2010, the New Yorker reported that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told fellow senators negotiating a climate change bill that “they needed to get as far as they could in negotiating the bill ‘before Fox News got wind of the fact that this was a serious process’” and derailed the negotiations by targeting the bill’s supporters.

As for Shafer’s claim that Fox News “is neither a help nor a hindrance” to the Republican Party, he might want to ask Mitt Romney about that. Because what were arguably Romney’s two biggest public missteps of the 2012 campaign? The first came when Romney was surreptitiously recorded while addressing wealthy donors criticizing the “47 percent” of Americans who allegedly “pay no income tax” and are “dependent upon the government.”

Where did Romney likely pick up the divisive idea that 47 percent of Americans “believe that they are victims” and mooch off the federal government? He certainly could have gotten it from Fox News, which championed the claim and touted it endlessly, including here, here, and here. In terms of the larger, “makers vs. takers” talking point which Romney echoed in his tape recorded comments, Fox News had pushed that malevolent theme here, here, here, here, and here.

Romney then followed-up his “47 percent” misstep with another high-profile blunder at the second presidential debate when, pressing the issue of the Benghazi terror attack and echoing bogus Fox News claims, the candidate claimed Obama had refused to immediately call the deadly raid an act of “terror.”

Those two stumbles clearly represent examples of how Fox News directly influenced the Republican Party (how the tail wagged the dog) and how the Republican Party likely paid a very steep price for it. That’s at the center of Bartlett’s claim about party members being “brainwashed.”

And he’s right.

h/t: Eric Boehlert at MMFA

Why almost no one’s covering the war in Yemen

by By Jared Malsin, CJR

More than 1,200 people have died since Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a military operation in Yemen in March, but the country has become so hard to access that news organizations are finding it almost impossible to cover the conflict. At the same time, a lack of electricity and poorly developed internet infrastructure are hampering the citizen journalism and online activism that have offered a window into other recent conflicts.

Yemen’s political turmoil has gone underreported for years, but journalists say the current conflagration has made reporting on the country more difficult than at any other time in memory. There are vanishingly few foreign journalists in Yemen as a result of the violence on the ground, access restrictions, and wavering commitment on the part of international news organizations.

Read more.

Image:  An air strike hits a military site controlled by the Houthi group in Yemen’s capital Sanaa May 12, 2015. Khaled Abdullah

In theory, anyone can investigate an unsolved crime (or even a solved crime where you think the wrong guy went to jail). Sure, the police won’t like it if you dress up like Batman and throw a grappling hook at some guy you’ve decided is guilty, but recent headlines are full of examples where the courts have ordered new trials based on information dug up by journalists. All you need is some research skills and a willingness to spend all night reading graphic autopsy reports.

We spoke to James Renner, a journalist who has made investigating and tracking down serial killers his life’s work, despite not having a badge to flash at crime scenes.

I Hunt Serial Killers: 6 Facts You Thought Movies Made Up

san-geeek-a asked:

Why do so many people discredit FOX as a credible news source? Sure, it's more conservative than other news sources, but honestly, everything is more conservative than MSNBC.

Because it’s the most popular cable news network that happens to lean to the right.  Leftists love to smear the biggest and most popular companies, simply because they are the biggest and most popular…and especially if they even appear to be more conservative-leaning.

I especially enjoy how Fox News has been so notoriously mislabeled and mischaracterized by liberals that they will not even accept it as reputable source, even when it is 100% factual.

There’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been ‘who are you mad at if you’re struggling, if you’re working but you don’t seem to be getting ahead? Over the last 40 years, sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top, or be mad at folks at the bottom. I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges — leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving — got traction. Look, it’s still being propagated. I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu. They will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like, 'I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone, or whatever.’ And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up.

Cannabis Journalism: It’s a class you can now take at University of Denver

(Cannabist) Students at the prestigious and private University of Denver are already studying marijuana law. (For reals, they are.) In a few months they’ll have the opportunity to study cannabis journalism.

“They approved the class, which tickles me a little bit,” said Andrew Matranga, who will teach the interterm class Cannabis Journalism: Covering and Reporting on America’s New Normal starting in mid-August. “That’s cool to have that latitude.”

The course, a four-credit five-day intensive, will have the students “investigating the scope of the marijuana legalization movement and its many political and practical intricacies,” according to course materials. “We also will be presenting this project with original data and multimedia elements conceived and designed to push and promote enterprising storytelling on a national level.


On Gay Talese’s address book and love of collage and paper

Legendary American literary journalist Gay Talese has been keeping an address book since the 1950s and has never erased a single name or detail. In this film, Talese gives us a tour of his address book, which contains the names, addresses, and phone numbers of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tony Bennett, Francis Ford Coppola, and many more.

Holy lord, so many people sent me this video. (For good reason: it’s amazing.) The address book is great, but I really love seeing Talese’s office/bunker:

In case you are, like I was, wondering what those crazy collages are behind Talese as he’s reading, here’s a description from The Paris Review:

There are shelves running up to the ceiling filled with boxes and boxes of files. Each box is elaborately festooned with a collage: photographs from newspapers and magazines, excised words, drawings, cartoons. The files contain notes for all of Talese’s books and articles, clippings, outlines, letters. The collages make the cardboard boxes look whimsical, childlike, flamboyant; there is a joy here that most of us can’t muster for file keeping.

I knew about Talese’s shirtboards, but I had no idea that he actually composes his works using collage: “He initially composes his articles and books on long strips of paper that he strings above his desk, making a constellation of words.”

As he says in the video, “There’s something decorative and interesting about how to put things you want to remember on pieces of paper.”

Talese has a really interesting routine, too: dresses up every day, walks the outside stairs of his apartment down to an old wine cellar where he works, saves everything in boxes and file folders, and looks damned good for 80.

Here’s another tour of “the bunker”:

I save everything. I think that I’m a person of record… Some people collect a lot of stuff and then they don’t know where it is. I know where it is — it’s all on file… It’s a whole process of giving worth to every moment of your day. I’ve seen things. I’ve interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people over many years. By saving it, I’m not just being a collector of stuff — I’m a documentarian of what it is that I do. Who I know. What I see. This stuff is never dead because stories never die. Stories are never over.

I actually stole the line “I’m a documentarian of what it is that I do” for a chapter in  Show Your Work!

Filed under: Gay Talese

More than 10 months after Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was detained on vaguely defined espionage charges, his trial began Tuesday in a closed court in Tehran. Rezaian is a citizen of both Iran and the U.S.

The agency did not note other details about the charges. The Post, citing IRNA, reports, “The proceedings were adjourned after about two hours.” The newspaper adds that no “family members or independent observers were permitted inside the courtroom — bringing denunciations from press freedom groups and others.”


Ending a 50 year blackout

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced over the weekend that his government would allow foreign journalists to report unrestricted from the country’s eastern Papuan provinces, breaking a virtual 50-year blackout of international news coverage of the restive region. The announcement raises the prospect of an independent media check on one of Asia’s most under-reported civil conflicts between the Indonesian state and Free Papua Movement rebel group.

Images:  Muhammad Yamin &  Beawiharta