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by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004 at 1:34 PM
firstname.lastname@example.org BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut
...Deep Flaws in U.S. Journalism ~ Interview with Jeff Cohen, columnist and media critic, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Tragic Career of Investigative Journalist Gary Webb Reveals Much About Deep Flaws in U.S. Journalism
Interview with Jeff Cohen, columnist and media critic, conducted by Scott Harris
Investigative journalist Gary Webb, whose controversial series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News documenting the link between cocaine trafficking in the U.S. and the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contra Army, was found dead in his Sacramento, Calif. home on Dec. 10. Police say the reporter had committed suicide.
Webb's 1996 articles asserted that the CIA-supported rebel army financed itself through the drug trade, leading to a crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles during the 1980s. The series of articles were among the first to be widely circulated on the Internet, which sparked anger in African American communities across the country and a demand for congressional hearings. However, Webb's Contra-cocaine articles were refuted by government officials and aggressively attacked by some of the nation's most prominent newspapers. Eventually, the San Jose Mercury News withdrew its support from Webb and reassigned him to a satellite bureau. Webb quit in 1997 and wrote a book about his investigation titled, "Dark Alliance, The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion," published in 1999.
An internal investigation into the charges conducted by the CIA's inspector general in 1998 corroborated much of what Webb had reported and confirmed that the agency had been made aware of the Contra's drug trafficking activities. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with columnist and media critic Jeff Cohen, who reflects on Gary Webb's career, and how this reporter's tragic story reveals much about the crisis in U.S. journalism today.
Jeff Cohen is founder of the media watch group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Read his article, "R.I.P. Gary Webb -- Unembedded Reporter," online at www.jeffcohen.org
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to email@example.com
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc.
(c)2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Conn...
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