Outer Banks to Toronto in four podcasts all about information

We had a great vacation in the Outer Banks, and I highly recommend going there in the off-season if you want to decompress and relax with family and friends. On the last full day we got a great swell and I surfed all day. Now I feel relaxed, grateful for family, friends and good health and am ready to get back to work.

On my last road trip I did this podcast feature that went over well, so let’s try it again. Once again, I dropped Seanna and Hugs at the airport (this time in Norfolk) and soloed it home. I continued my self-study program on the press and information flows by listening to the following.

  • UC Berkeley, “The Consequences of Confidential Sources: Jail?” A very interesting panel discussion that features Judith Miller, just before the United States Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a finding she was in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury that was investigating the leak of Valarie Plame’s identity as a covert CIA agent. From 2005.
  • Stanford University, “Anonymous Sources: Leaks, Accountability and the First Amendment.” Criticizes the Wen Ho Lee privacy claim shortly before it was settled. Highly objective and informative thanks to Professor Kathleen Sullivan and Walter Pincus. Mr. Pincus of the Washington Post (also subpoenaed in the Plame affair) actually speaks against a statutory “shield law” for confidential sources in favour of a more nuanced common law approach. Ms. Sullivan says the press should not “over-claim.” From May 2006.
  • Stanford University, “How Will We Pay for the Journalism We Need?” This is business-focused, but there is a good discussion of how the “What is journalism?” question has been a challenge to newspapers’ business planning processes. David Talbot, founder of Salon.com, takes a perspective critical of traditional newspapers’ management that keeps the dialogue lively. From 2007.
  • Lawyer 2 Lawyer, “The Federal Shield Law.” Nice and current, and about the policy behind the proposed American federal “shield law” – i.e. a statute-based law that, if passed, will protect journalists’ confidential sources. A pro-shield but fair and supremely-qualified slate of guests. From April 2008.

Now back to your regular programming!