London-based The Guardian newspaper left U.S. print/broadcast news media with red faces when it broke stories on Fort Meade, Maryland-based National Security Agency collecting information on millions of Americans through various sources, notes Grumpy Editor.
Soon followed by the Washington Post on the NSA activity, it ranks as the top story of the week --- with additional information popping up daily.
Edward Snowden reveals he is the whistleblower behind the leaks.
The Guardian describes Snowden as a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, adding he has been working at NSA for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz.
Now in Hong Kong, Snowden says: “I do not expect to see home again.”
Behind The Guardian coverage is Glenn Greenwald, a columnist focusing on civil liberties and U.S. national security issues. A former constitutional lawyer, Greenwald writes for The Guardian version designed for the U.S. The Guardian maintains a U.S. editorial office (which it calls a branch) in New York City.
Greenwald also was in Hong Kong yesterday.
Breaking the NSA snooping story via London underscores what happens with a decline in U.S. investigative reporters as layoffs mount in print and broadcast media.
For an aerial view of NSA’s data center --- showing a half dozen buildings at the vast facility in Bluffdale, Utah --- go here.
Koch Industries mulls newspaper addition
The Wall Street Journal reports billionaire Charles Koch confirms his company, Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries Inc., is looking into the possibility of acquiring newspapers, but insists he is seeking a profitable business, rather than a venue to advance his politics.
"There is a need for focus on real news, not news with an agenda or not news that is really editorializing," he tells the WSJ.
Koch also points out the editorial page of any newspaper his company acquires “would be a marketplace of ideas where all sorts of approaches to public-policy issues are vetted and contrasted, and there could be ongoing debate.”
Recent reports mention that Koch and his brother David have indicated an interest in Chicago-based Tribune Co. newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun.
Getting into the newspaper field would be a new avenue for the Koch brothers. Their Koch Industries operations include oil refining, energy pipelines and production of chemicals, fibers and fertilizer.
In case you missed these…
Time Warner Inc. is investing about $50 million in China Media Capital, a Chinese investment fund, targeting TV and film content operations…In connection with the June 6 anniversary of the D-Day invasion in France in 1944, some stories reminded readers that World War II veterans are dying at a rate of more than 600 a day, meaning future tales of combat in Europe and the Pacific are more likely to come from a book or a Website than from the veterans themselves…Only a very slim one percent of likely voters give Congress an excellent rating, with 64 percent giving the body poor marks while five percent rate performance as good and 26 percent fair, tallies a Rasmussen Reports survey…Down with “breaking news.” That’s what Louisville Fox TV affiliate WDRB trumpets. “It’s an advertising trick, a gimmick that isn’t based on anything,” declares a voice in a spot the station has been running. “Breaking news’ is seldom actually breaking and, quite often, isn’t even news.”
Cheers to The Wall Street Journal with a humorous play on words with a front-page headline Saturday: San Francisco Giants Fans Find Diamonds Are a Gull’s Best Friend. The article points out how hungry seagulls “clean up” fans’ food remains after baseball games.