Disinformation Vs. Misinformation

CNN Screen shot

Misinformation is information that’s wrong, false or inaccurate. It happens when people make mistakes and write or say something that isn’t true. It could also be incorrect information that is shared to deceive, or maybe not. 

Types of News Stories

People on the grass in Washington Square Park in early spring

Hard News- Breaking News

It is has happened, or is happening now.

President Biden at the White House
 
LIVE
Jan. 25, 2023, 7:07 p.m. ET35 minutes ago
35 minutes ago

Russia-Ukraine WarWith a Pledge of Tanks for Ukraine, Biden Strengthens Allied Commitment

 

WASHINGTON — President Biden announced on Wednesday that he would send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine to help it defend against Russian invaders, a decision meant to unlock a wave of heavier aid by Western allies in preparation for an expected escalation of fighting in the spring.

Speaking at the White House after a morning of telephone calls to European allies, Mr. Biden said that the United States would send 31 Abrams tanks, the equivalent of a Ukrainian battalion, and that Germany would follow through by contributing its own Leopard 2 tanks and freeing other allies to send their own, the equivalent of two more battalions.

“These tanks are further evidence of our enduring, unflagging commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the skill of Ukrainian forces,” Mr. Biden said, flanked by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III.

But he emphasized that the buildup was not meant to expand the war into Russia. “It is not an offensive threat to Russia,” he said. “There is no offensive threat to Russia. If Russian troops return to Russia, where they belong, this war would be over today.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who has pressed for the tanks to counter Russia’s advantage in arms and men, expressed gratitude for the U.S. decision. Writing on Twitter, he called it “an important step on the path to victory,” and said, “Today the free world is united as never before for a common goal — liberation of Ukraine,” with an icon of the country’s flag representing its name. “We’re moving forward.”

The Pentagon had long been reluctant to send the Abrams, in part because they are exceptionally complex machines that are challenging to operate and maintain. As it is, officials have said it could take a year or even longer for them to actually reach the battlefield in Ukraine.

But Mr. Austin came around to the move in order to spur Germany to send its own Leopard 2 tanks, which some military experts believe could be critical. Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced it had agreed to do so on Wednesday, just hours before Mr. Biden spoke.

Just last week, Mr. Scholz had refused to send the Leopards, or to allow other European countries to send their own German-built Leopards. The Germans made clear they would only back down and send the Leopards if the United States sent its own Abrams tanks.

Mr. Biden spoke with Mr. Scholz on Wednesday morning to coordinate his announcement, and also called Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy.

“Germany has really stepped up,” Mr. Biden told reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. When a reporter asked if Germany forced him to change his mind on the Abrams, the president said: “Germany didn’t force me to change my mind. I wanted to make sure we are all together.”

Mr. Biden noted that Wednesday was the birthday of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. The president recalled that when they met in Washington in December, he vowed to the visiting Ukrainian leader that “we’re with you as long as it takes.”

“Ukrainians are fighting an age-old battle against aggression and domination,” Mr. Biden added. “It’s a battle Americans have fought proudly time and again. And it’s a battle that we’re going to make sure Ukrainians are well equipped to fight as well.”

                                         #######
 
NEW YORK

Eighteen children injured, one critically, in Queens daycare fire sparked by lithium-ion battery

 
 

Nearly 20 children were injured in a fire at a Queens daycare that was sparked by a lithium-ion battery on Wednesday, officials said.

The blaze broke out in the basement of the two-story house on 72nd Drive near 147th St. in Kew Gardens Hills around 2:05 p.m., according to the FDNY.

 

“It was a lot of smoke coming out all of the windows,” said neighbor Adina Landon.

The first floor of the house is a daycare center, police said.

 

“Companies arrived and found heavy fire in the basement,” said FDNY Chief of Operations John Esposito.

Firefighters removed 18 children from the house, where one was critically injured. The others suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

One of the injured children was rescued from the basement, the FDNY said.

A woman who lives on the block said a neighbor took in the children as they waited for their parents to arrive.

“There were firemen, paramedics all over the place and the kids were already out,” said the woman. “I’m sure some of them were scared.”

The fire was placed under control around 2:45 p.m., according to officials.

City officials were investigating whether the daycare facility was unlicensed, said a law enforcement source. Neighbors said they hadn’t known the location to be a daycare.

On Friday in the same borough, a man was killed and 10 others were hospitalized when a charging e-bike sparked a fire.

The blaze was the first fatal fire of the year attributed to the deadly batteries used in e-bikes and electric scooters. Last year, six people died in fires caused by the batteries.

Esposito told reporters Wednesday the fire department encourages lithium-ion battery users ensure their products meet industry safety standards.

 

Feature Stories

Baruch College Men's Basketball

Display cases in the foyer of the Baruch College athletic department are cluttered with shimmering trophies. Framed photographs of championship teams line the cinder-block walls of the hallways. N.C.A.A. tournament banners hang from the gymnasium rafters.

Nowhere, though, is there any sign of the man who put the Baruch men’s volleyball team on the map — and on social media, network news and “Saturday Night Live.”

It is as if the collegiate athletic career of Representative George Santos — the self-described Baruch Bearcats volleyball star, whose teams vanquished Harvard and Yale and who gave so much to the game that he needed knee replacements when his playing days were over — did not exist.

Of all the fabrications conjured up by Mr. Santos, the newly elected Republican congressman of New York, the most fabulous may have been his claim to volleyball fame.

 

From the New York Daily News

A copy of the 1938 “Action Comics #1” brought in $3.25 million in a private sale, according to a Tuesday announcement from online auction and consignment company ComicConnect.com.

The record-setting price, narrowly bested the previous record for the comic, sold in the auction of another copy in 2014 for slightly over $3.2 million, the Associated Press reported.

New York City-based company’s chief operating officer Vincent Zurzolo said the comic book that introduced Superman to the world is considered “is the beginning of the superhero genre.”

Read more.

Profile, A Look at a Person

Ian Austen

By Ian AustenFeb. 5, 2021

OTTAWA — For Murray Sinclair, being a bridge between Indigenous people and the rest of Canada has sometimes been a struggle. After he graduated from law school in 1979, a step that felt like “joining the dark side,” he was frustrated by courts where he heard racist comments flow and saw the justice system work repeatedly against Indigenous people.

“This is killing me, literally, to do this,” Mr. Sinclair, who is Anishinaabe, recalled telling his wife, Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair. “I’m not really helping anybody, but I’m also being seen as one of them.”

Ms. Morrisseau-Sinclair persuaded him to visit Angus Merrick, an elder from the Long Plain Indian band and an Aboriginal court worker.

The two men met in Mr. Merrick’s tepee, the elder smoking cigarettes and both of them drinking pots of tea until 6 in the evening, at which point Mr. Merrick became direct.

Read more.

From The New York Times

The veteran Korean star Yuh-Jung Youn has had a thriving career for five decades — all because of a choice she made when she failed her college entrance exam.

By Carlos AguilarPublished April 2, 2021Updated April 7, 2021, 4:39 p.m. ET

For her 60th birthday, the veteran Korean star Yuh-Jung Youn made herself a promise. She would collaborate only with those she trusts. Even if their ventures fell short, as long as she personally appreciated the people making them, the result wouldn’t much concern her.

That late-life philosophy, born of decades of limited choices and professional trauma, brought her to “Minari,” the director Lee Isaac Chung’s semi-autobiographical story about a Korean family putting down roots in Arkansas. Youn’s bittersweet performance as the grandmother, Soonja, in the tenderhearted immigrant drama has earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress, the first for a Korean actress.

“Me, a 73-year-old Asian woman could have never even dreamed about being nominated for an Oscar,” Youn said via video call from her home in Seoul. “‘Minari’ brought me a lot of gifts.”

As she recounted this triumph and the many pitfalls that preceded it, her pensive expression often broke into an affable smile, cheerful laughter even. Dressed in a demure black top and long necklace, there was an effortless grace to her serene presence. She came off unhurried and welcoming but determined to make her ideas understood. Occasionally she asked a friend off-camera for help with certain English words to hit each point more precisely.

Opinion vs. News

Photographers waiting in the rotunda of the Russell Building in the United States Capitol, Washington, DC. Photo by ConsumerMojo.com

What’s the difference between an opinion piece and a news story? 

Daily News Opinion pageAn opinion piece gives you information from the point of view of the writer, or presenter. It may include facts, and reporting, but it differs from a news story in that it lays out an individual’s ideas and often their biases.  Opinion is, essentially, someone’s argument for a certain point of view about a specific topic.

When we read newspaper editorial pages, we see two types of opinion. We get the collective opinion of the editors and we also read, on the OpEd page — the page opposite the editorials — what individual columnists have to say in their byline pieces.

Charles Blow opinion piece

 

Adams & Hochul on gunsA news story reports the facts without the opinion of the reporter, writer, producer or presenter. It can contain attributed or quoted opinions of people interviewed. So a news story can contain opinion and tell a compelling story. But it should not include the opinion of the newsgatherer or the news organization.

A Pew Research Center poll, in 2018, found that younger people were better than older people at figuring out what’s factual and what’s opinion.

Pew said, “About a third of 18- to 49-year-olds (32 percent) correctly identified all five of the factual statements as factual, compared with two-in-ten among those ages 50 and older. A similar pattern emerges for the opinion statements. Among 18- to 49-year-olds, 44 percent correctly identified all five opinion statements as opinions, compared with 26 percent among those ages 50 and older.”

Pew Research Poll Opinion vs. Fact.pngYou can take the quiz and see how you do.

https://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/news-statements-quiz

You can take the quiz and see how you do.

 

Ethics in Journalism

Shot of hands with a Phone and news spelled out in the center over a globe and a newspaper

What is ethics?

Merriam Webster

Definition of ethic

1 ethics plural in form but singular or plural in constructionthe discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation

2 a: a set of moral principles a theory or system of moral values

Every good news organization has a handbook with a written policy or guidelines that spell out the way they want journalists to act while gathering and reporting the news. Managers, editors, producers, reporters, photographers and anyone who works in serious journalism takes these guidelines to heart and tries to follow them.

While there may be some corporate deviation, standards remain pretty much the same from one organization to another.

Remember:

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America says:

The Bill of Rights

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to freely assemble, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

So we have a mandate to report and cover the news and how we do it is critically important.

We have basic values.

We tell the truth.

We remain independent and as objective as humanly possible.

We report fairly giving all sides of a story and giving multiple viewpoints of a story when possible.

We work to present a rounded picture of what we are reporting with context.

We are accountable. We report what we know and stand behind our work and correct errors.

 

Journalists serve the public

The New York Times puts its guidelines online

Other news organizations do the same. For example:

The Daily Beast

Buzzfeed

The foundation of journalism ethics is simple.

This list reflects the Code of Ethics created by the Society for Professional Journalists.

1. Report fairly and accurately

a. To do that you need to make sure that you verify what people tell you.

How do you do that? By finding more than one source for the information.

2. Avoid conflicts of interest. If you do have an interest in the story you want to disclose it upfront.

3. Do not take gifts, favors, free travel or other perks that could compromise your reporting.

4. Distinguish news from advertising or native content.

4. Update your story to make sure that it is accurate. Things change.

5. Be careful about making promises to people you interview.

6. Identify your sources clearly.

7. Consider your sources’ motives. Why are they talking to you? What is their bias?

8. Be careful about granting someone anonymity. An anonymous source may have a

motive to stay hidden that could undermine the truthfulness of the story. If you use

an anonymous source, explain why.

9. Make every effort to get both sides of a story. Make sure if people are accused of something that you give them every opportunity to respond. This may take extra work.

10. Use undercover reporting only when you must and then explain why you chose to do it.

11. Hold the powerful accountable.

12. Give voice to the powerless.

13. Avoid stereotyping.

14. Label advocacy and commentary.

15. Do not distort information including visual presentations. Make sure that you label re-enactments clearly.

16. Never plagiarize.

17 . Always attribute.

18. Be accountable and transparent.

a. Correct mistakes quickly.

b. Respond to criticism.

c. Explain your ethical choices.

 

 

 

 

 

Law and What You Need to Know

  1. Arrest

Agencies

New York City Police Department

  1. Report
    1. The victim of a crime files a complaint report with the police.
      1. Depending on where the crime occurred, you may report the crime to agencies such as the MTA police, State Police, or Port Authority Police. Otherwise, contact your local precinct as soon as possible.
      2. Locate the nearest precinct to you.
    For any crime in progress, please call 911 immediately. If possible, provide an exact location and details of the crime to the dispatcher.
  2. Investigation
    1. Once the NYPD has received the complaint report, an investigation may be conducted to gather more information.
    2. Investigations may include, but are not limited to:
      1. Looking for a suspect
      2. Collecting evidence
      3. Interviewing witnesses
    If you have any questions about the status of your case, please call the precinct that took your complaint report.
  3. Arrest
    1. An arrest will be made if a suspect is identified and there is probable cause to believe the suspect committed the crime. When a suspect is arrested he/she may be searched, transported to the precinct, and in some cases fingerprinted, and photographed at the precinct.
    2. For certain offenses, the suspect might not be brought directly to court from the precinct. If eligible, a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.) may be issued, requiring the individual to appear in court at a future date to answer the charges against him/her. Eligibility will generally be dependent, in part, by having photographic identification.
    3. District Attorney’s Office
      1. After an officer makes an arrest, he/she will present information about the case to the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office will then determine whether to file charges against the suspect.
      2. If the District Attorney’s Office decides not to file charges, the suspect will be released.
      If you have any questions regarding a case where you were a victim, once it has been referred by the police to the District Attorney’s office, please contact the Assistant District Attorney (A.D.A.) assigned to your case.
    4. Filing Charges
      1. If the District Attorney’s Office decides to file charges against a suspect, the charges will be presented in front of a judge for an arraignment.
      2. Please note that although the District Attorney’s Office will handle your case, they prosecute on behalf of the State of New York in Criminal Court or Supreme Court, not on behalf of individuals.
    5. Defense Attorney
      1. All suspects being charged with a crime have the right to be represented by an attorney.
      2. The suspect can hire an attorney, or if he/she cannot afford an attorney, the court will provide one.
      3. Suspects’ Defense Attorneys sometimes contact victims about their case. [You] do not have to talk to defense attorneys or their investigators and [you] are encouraged to contact the prosecutor if [you] have any concerns about such requests.
    6. Arraignment After the Arrest
      1. After the arrest, the defendant is taken before a judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York for an arraignment.
      2. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against him/her. If a defendant pleads guilty, the court may impose a sentence immediately, or set a future court date for that purpose.
      3. Upon or after arraignment, the court may issue an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD), which postpones or “adjourns” the case to a later date. Obtaining an ACD does not mean the defendant didn’t commit the crime. There are usually conditions placed upon the ACD which the defendant must comply with prior to the case being dismissed, such as not engaging in any illegal activity or participating in a relevant program. An ACD does not require the defendant to admit his or her guilt. However, if the defendant does not meet all of the conditions put in place by the court, the case goes back before the judge to be adjudicated.
      4. An Order of Protection may be issued at this time at the request of the Assistant District Attorney.
    7. Bail
      1. Depending on a number of factors, a defendant may go to jail, may receive bail or may be released on his/her own recognizance while the case is pending.
        1. If a defendant cannot post bail, he/she will be detained in jail.
        2. Defendants who can post bail or are released on their own recognizance will be given a date to appear in court. Failure to appear at this court date will result in a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
    8. Grand Jury (Felony cases only)
      1. The Assistant District Attorney (A.D.A.) presents the evidence against the defendant to the grand jury. The defendant may also testify before the grand jury.
      2. The grand jury then decides if there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial.
        1. If the grand jury decides there is enough evidence, an indictment is issued.
    9. Arraignment on Indictment (Felony cases only)
      1. After the indictment, the defendant is arraigned in the New York City Criminal Court.
      2. At this time, with the assistance of a defense attorney, the defendant may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges against him/her.
      3. The judge has the right to accept or reject a guilty plea that is submitted by the defendant.
        1. If the guilty plea is accepted, there is no trial and the defendant will be sentenced. Sentencing can be right away or set for a later court date.
      4. If the defendant pleads not guilty, a date will be set for a trial.
      5. At this time, a temporary Order of Protection may be issued at the request of the Assistant District Attorney, which will be in place while the case is pending. And a final order will be issued upon a plea or conviction.

https://nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/glossary.shtml

NYPD Crime Statistics

NYPD Announces Citywide Crime Statistics for February 2022

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/news/p00039/nypd-citywide-crime-statistics-february-2022

March 3, 2022

For the month of February 2022, New York City saw a 58.7% increase in overall index crime compared to February 2021 (9,138 v. 5,759). Every major index crime category saw an increase for the month of February 2022. Robbery increased by 56% (1,276 v. 818), grand larceny increased by 79.2% (3,762 v. 2.099), and grand larceny auto increased by 104.7% (1,083 v. 529). Citywide shooting incidents decreased by 1.3% (76 v. 77) in February 2022 compared to the same period last year.

The New York City Police Department remains focused on the drivers of crime and disorder in New York City, and the department will never waver in its core mission to protect all the people it serves. Every day, in every New York City neighborhood, the NYPD is working to identify and investigate the relatively small number of people who are responsible for the majority of the criminal activity – and it is employing every resource to ensure that these offenders are held accountable.

To that end, the new Neighborhood Safety Teams will further enhance the NYPD’s efforts to stop the proliferation of illegal guns, stifle gang activity, and suppress the violence caused by these unlawful actions. The deployment of these specially trained officers and supervisors will augment the ongoing work of patrolling the city’s streets, subways, and public housing developments, 24-hours per day. Nearly nine million New Yorkers depend on the NYPD and its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to keep them safe – and every member of the police department is fully committed to this critical work.

“The men and women of the New York City Police Department are proactively addressing the deep-rooted causes of criminal behavior,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “The NYPD will never relent, and the department has made far too much progress over the decades – and invested far too much in the communities it serves – to fall back by any measure. New Yorkers deserve better.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/06/eric-adams-nyc-public-safety-crime-00023475

Jimmy Breslin’s Grave Digger Story

‘It’s An Honor’

New York Herald Tribune, November 1963

By Jimmy Breslin

WASHINGTON — Clifton Pollard was pretty sure he was going to be working on Sunday, so when he woke up at 9 a.m., in his three-room apartment on Corcoran Street, he put on khaki overalls before going into the kitchen for breakfast. His wife, Hettie, made bacon and eggs for him. Pollard was in the middle of eating them when he received the phone call he had been expecting. It was from Mazo Kawalchik, who is the foreman of the gravediggers at Arlington National Cemetery, which is where Pollard works for a living. “Polly, could you please be here by 11 o’clock this morning?” Kawalchik asked. “I guess you know what it’s for.” Pollard did. He hung up the phone, finished breakfast, and left his apartment so he could spend Sunday digging a grave for John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

When Pollard got to the row of yellow wooden garages where the cemetery equipment is stored, Kawalchik and John Metzler, the cemetery superintendent, were waiting for him. “Sorry to pull you out like this on a Sunday,” Metzler said. “Oh, don’t say that,” Pollard said. “Why, it’s an honor for me to be here.” Pollard got behind the wheel of a machine called a reverse hoe. Gravedigging is not done with men and shovels at Arlington. The reverse hoe is a green machine with a yellow bucket that scoops the earth toward the operator, not away from it as a crane does. At the bottom of the hill in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Pollard started the digging (Editor Note: At the bottom of the hill in front of the Custis-Lee Mansion).

Leaves covered the grass. When the yellow teeth of the reverse hoe first bit into the ground, the leaves made a threshing sound which could be heard above the motor of the machine. When the bucket came up with its first scoop of dirt, Metzler, the cemetery superintendent, walked over and looked at it. “That’s nice soil,” Metzler said. “I’d like to save a little of it,” Pollard said. “The machine made some tracks in the grass over here and I’d like to sort of fill them in and get some good grass growing there, I’d like to have everything, you know, nice.”

James Winners, another gravedigger, nodded. He said he would fill a couple of carts with this extra-good soil and take it back to the garage and grow good turf on it. “He was a good man,” Pollard said. “Yes, he was,” Metzler said. “Now they’re going to come and put him right here in this grave I’m making up,” Pollard said. “You know, it’s an honor just for me to do this.”

Pollard is 42. He is a slim man with a mustache who was born in Pittsburgh and served as a private in the 352nd Engineers battalion in Burma in World War II. He is an equipment operator, grade 10, which means he gets $3.01 an hour. One of the last to serve John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was the 35th president of this country, was a working man who earns $3.01 an hour and said it was an honor to dig the grave.

Yesterday morning, at 11:15, Jacqueline Kennedy started toward the grave. She came out from under the north portico of the White House and slowly followed the body of her husband, which was in a flag-covered coffin that was strapped with two black leather belts to a black caisson that had polished brass axles. She walked straight and her head was high. She walked down the bluestone and blacktop driveway and through shadows thrown by the branches of seven leafless oak trees. She walked slowly past the sailors who held up flags of the states of this country. She walked past silent people who strained to see her and then, seeing her, dropped their heads and put their hands over their eyes. She walked out the northwest gate and into the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. She walked with tight steps and her head was high and she followed the body of her murdered husband through the streets of Washington.

Everybody watched her while she walked. She is the mother of two fatherless children and she was walking into the history of this country because she was showing everybody who felt old and helpless and without hope that she had this terrible strength that everybody needed so badly. Even though they had killed her husband and his blood ran onto her lap while he died, she could walk through the streets and to his grave and help us all while she walked.

There was Mass, and then the procession to Arlington. When she came up to the grave at the cemetery, the casket already was in place. It was set between brass railings and it was ready to be lowered into the ground. This must be the worst time of all, when a woman sees the coffin with her husband inside and it is in place to be buried under the earth. Now she knows that it is forever. Now there is nothing. There is no casket to kiss or hold with your hands. Nothing material to cling to. But she walked up to the burial area and stood in front of a row of six green-covered chairs and she started to sit down, but then she got up quickly and stood straight because she was not going to sit down until the man directing the funeral told her what seat he wanted her to take.

The ceremonies began, with jet planes roaring overhead and leaves falling from the sky. On this hill behind the coffin, people prayed aloud. They were cameramen and writers and soldiers and Secret Service men and they were saying prayers out loud and choking. In front of the grave, Lyndon Johnson kept his head turned to his right. He is president and he had to remain composed. It was better that he did not look at the casket and grave of John Fitzgerald Kennedy too often. Then it was over and black limousines rushed under the cemetery trees and out onto the boulevard toward the White House. “What time is it?” a man standing on the hill was asked. He looked at his watch. “Twenty minutes past three,” he said.

Clifton Pollard wasn’t at the funeral. He was over behind the hill, digging graves for $3.01 an hour in another section of the cemetery. He didn’t know who the graves were for. He was just digging them and then covering them with boards. “They’ll be used,” he said. “We just don’t know when. I tried to go over to see the grave,” he said. “But it was so crowded a soldier told me I couldn’t get through. So I just stayed here and worked, sir. But I’ll get over there later a little bit. Just sort of look around and see how it is, you know. Like I told you, it’s an honor.”