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The podcast Caliphate explored the war on terror and ISIS on the ground in Syria and Iraq. In this March 12, 2020 photo, a man rides a motorcycle in northwestern Syria the current focus of the 10-year civil war. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

New York Times ‘Caliphate’ podcast controversy challenges brash methods of foreign correspondents

The latest scandal to hit news media involves Rukmini Callimachi, the journalist behind the New York Times podcast “Caliphate.” The scandal spotlights the dynamic between reporters and “fixers.”
Journalists must do more than cover news events. They must challenge the status quo, and dig deeper into the stories they cover. Journalists are seen in a scrum at the federal Liberal cabinet retreat in September 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Want to make the news better? Shatter the status quo

It’s not enough anymore for journalists to be mere watchdogs. Journalism must address subconscious social biases to give readers a fuller picture of what they need to know.
The AFR’s Michael Smith during Shanghai COVID-19 quarantine and Bill Birtles late last year returning from covering Hong Kong protests. Twitter (@MichaelSmithAFR and @BillBirtles)

Journalists have become diplomatic pawns in China’s relations with the West, setting a worrying precedent

Covering China has become an increasingly challenging task, but now foreign journalists like Australians Bill Birtles and Mike Smith are being expelled from the country at an alarming rate.

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