journalism

CaseyPenk / Wikimedia Commons

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" came to its hasty conclusion last night, still more than two months before the election. Gawker will shut down next week. And as of next Tuesday, NPR's website will no longer have comments sections.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, is getting a new show on MSNBC. And Jonah Lehrer's got a new book out.

Netflix

Start with four parts "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." That's your base. Then you'll need two parts "The Goonies," two parts "Poltergeist," and two parts "Alien." Mix in one part each of "It," "Stand by Me," "Firestarter," "Explorers," "Carrie," and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Add a Winona Ryder-shaped dollop of "Beetlejuice," and top off with a dash of the covers of classic '70s and '80s horror novels.

That's the recipe for the newish Netflix series "Stranger Things."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are known as one of the 12 most harmful organic chemicals in the world. But the material has been used in building construction for decades, and has become a complex problem affecting cities, schools, and individuals in many states.

It's strange to describe the apparent purchase and forgiveness of nearly $15 million in medical debt as "impish," but bear with me.

On Sunday, we lost one of our own.

Updated 3:15 a.m. ET

David Gilkey, an NPR photojournalist who chronicled pain and beauty in war and conflict, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday along with NPR's Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna.

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

The Rio 2016 Olympics are set to start in less than three months’ time. But Brazil’s Zika outbreak is worse than we thought. And there’s ongoing political unrest. And Rio’s water supply comes with an extra helping of “trash and contamination.” What to do? Postpone the games? Move them? Both?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's John Dankosky's final episode before Lucy Nalpathanchil takes over as the new host of Where We Live. This hour, we remember some of our favorite moments -- and mishaps -- on the show. We also meet a longtime listener and caller, whose voice will probably sound very familiar to you... it's Derrick from Windsor, Connecticut! 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Where We Live is much more than a show about place, it's a show about people -- about you, our listeners. Your stories, comments, and questions have meant so much to us over the past ten years, which is why we’re using this hour to get your feedback. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state legislature heads into overtime to discuss (and hopefully pass) a budget that was partially unveiled nearly a week after the regular session ended.

This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss how things operated during this legislative session. We also recap the Democratic and Republican state conventions where (eventually) all reporters were credentialed to cover the proceedings if they wanted to. But this has us thinking about the press and the 2016 election overall this year. 

So here we are. Noisily embraced by the plurality of Republican voters, not-so-quietly reviled by most Republican leaders, Donald Trump is all but assured that party's presidential nomination.

Journalists astonished at the result — and believe me, most are stunned by what has unfolded — find themselves confronted by some form of this question: Are the media to blame for Donald Trump?

Stephen Voss / NPR

In 2013, the unexpected departure of NPR CEO Gary Knell left the network, once again, in desperate need of a leader. So the board tapped Jarl Mohn -- a long-time philanthropist and media executive -- to step in and take the reins.

New York City filmmaker Kim Snyder’s a new documentary, “Newtown,” tells the story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. On December 14, 2012, 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

One law firm, 11.5 million files.

The massive trove of emails, contracts and other papers from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca is being called the largest document leak in history.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said Tuesday that he will step aside and another party official will take over for a while. The move comes days after a massive data leak known as the Panama Papers linked him to secret offshore bank accounts.

Following news that Gunnlaugsson had resigned, a spokesperson released a statement clarifying the leader's decision:

Associates of President Vladimir Putin of Russia have channeled as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts, banks and shadow companies, according to a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm.

More than 11 million documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, show how dozens of rich and powerful people around the world have used offshore and secret accounts to dodge taxes and sanctions and launder money.

A Florida jury sided with former wrestler Hulk Hogan on Monday, awarding him $25 million in punitive damages in his invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media. The award comes on top of the $115 million the jury already specified on Friday, bringing the total damages to $140 million.

The six-person jury assessed Gawker $15 million in punitive damages. The media company's publisher and CEO, Nick Denton, was slapped with an additional $10 million.

Denton said Friday the company will appeal the ruling.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Iason Athanasiadis is a writer, photojournalist, and documentary filmmaker who has spent years covering the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe. He was in Hartford recently to speak to the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, and stopped by our studios to talk about journalism in conflict regions and the Syrian migrant crisis. This hour, we listen back to that conversation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Tribune Publishing has shaken up the newspaper world with an announcement that it is getting rid of its publishers and giving that job to its editors. That means more responsibility for the leader at The Hartford Courant

Stephen Voss / NPR

In 2013, the unexpected departure of NPR CEO Gary Knell left the network, once again, in desperate need of a leader. So the board tapped Jarl Mohn -- a long-time philanthropist and media executive -- to step in and take the reins.

On the campaign trail, the chief anchor of the Spanish-language network Univision, Jorge Ramos, chases three quarries: voters, viewers and relevance.

A self-described dinosaur who insists on mastering new tricks, Ramos and his team now reach an audience of millions who are watching not on television, but via video streams on Facebook, captured by an iPhone clutched in a selfie stick.

The secretive sale late last year of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's largest news organization, to the family of one of the wealthiest men in the country set off shock waves in that newsroom.

The vast financial and political interests of the billionaire casino magnate and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson raise nettlesome questions about how the paper can cover him.

Al-Jazeera told its staff on Wednesday that it was shutting down its American network in April.

Financed by the ruling family of Qatar, Al-Jazeera America was launched in the summer of 2013 promising thoughtful, serious news coverage.

The Mexican government shocked the world Friday, revealing that it had caught drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán nearly six months after his second escape from prison. On Saturday night, it was Sean Penn's turn to deliver a shock: In Rolling Stone, the actor revealed that he had spoken with the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel during his time as a fugitive.

The era of the real-life whodunit series is upon us. The podcast Serial first attracted legions of listeners drawn to the question of whether a young man should have been put in prison for the murder of his former high school girlfriend. HBO's documentary The Jinx focused on a trail of murdered and missing intimates of a troubled scion of a wealthy family.

The sale of the Block Island Times is expected to become final on January 1st. The weekly’s owners for the last decade, Fraser and Betty Lang, are selling the paper to Michael Schroeder, who owns several Connecticut newspapers, including the New Britain Herald.

Once he takes over, Schroeder says he plans to spend one or two weeks a month on Block Island.

Museokeskus Vapriikki / Creative Commons

On January 10, 2016, WNPR will welcome two new public radio shows to its airwaves. This hour, we preview them both.

First, New Yorker editor David Remnick tells us about his new show, The New Yorker Radio Hour. Later, we also check in with the host and executive producer of Reveal, a weekly radio program from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Frustrations over a lack of media transparency, New England-naysayers, and negativity made the list of year-end grievances for panelists on WNPR’s weekly news roundtable last week.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

On the surface of things, there would seem to be little connection among the following: two small daily newspapers in central Connecticut, the wealthy owner of a multinational casino and resort chain, the Chinese crime gangs known as triads, and the sale of the largest newspaper in Nevada to an undisclosed owner. But they do all fit together somehow

Torrenegra / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been 22 years since The New York Times lost Jeffrey Schmalz -- a young, fearless journalist who pushed the boundaries of AIDS reporting in 20th-century America. 

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