California Representative Jackie Speier introduced the Servicemembers Intimate Privacy Protection Act (SIPPA) that would make sharing illicit photos without consent punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The bill is in response to the ongoing investigation of the “Marines United” Facebook page in which tens of thousands of former and current military personnel were sharing illicit photos of female colleagues.
“This bill will broaden the legal prohibition of displaying and disseminating nude photos without the consent of the female,” said Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents two women who had their photos shared on the private Facebook group. One of Allred’s clients is Erika Butner, a former active-duty Marine who found out a photo of her had been shared on the Marines United Facebook page in August 2016. Butner and Allred appeared alongside Rep. Speier to announce the legislation on Thursday.
“(Women are) shouldering an extra burden that men don’t have to shoulder when they become United States Marines and that’s the extra burden of gender discrimination,” Allred said following the bill's announcement.
The “Marines United” Facebook page has since been shut down and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating. Maine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday and faced tough questions about the military’s inquiry into the Facebook group.
“Who has been held responsible? Have you actually investigated and found guilty anybody?” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand asked Neller and other top Marine Corps brass who appeared before the committee.
Neller reinforced his commitment to changing the “culture” within the Marine Corps. “I'm committed to making this right and I need all Marines equally committed,” he said. “We all have to commit to getting rid of this perversion to our culture. Enough is enough.”
Neller’s testimony came one day ahead of an Associate Press report that sexual assaults increased at two of the three military academies last year. The data underscores the challenge facing the military and its academies in dealing with sexual harassment and assault. The AP report showed sex assaults at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York increased in 2016, while assaults decreased at Colorado’s U.S. Air Force Academy.
“I am furious, I am saddened and I am frustrated by how we got to this point,” Rep. Speier said at a joint press conference Thursday.
In additional to supporting SIPPA, Allred has called for both the Senate and House Armed Services committees to hear testimony from victims of the “Marines United” Facebook page. “We need Congress to hear from the victims of this scandal,” she said.
Allred has also asked for a meeting with Gen. Neller so her clients can discuss the issue with him. A statement from Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Christian Devine said Gen. Neller has accepted the offer to meet with them, but because of the ongoing investigation he has “respectfully requested that the interaction be held exclusively with his Marines.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
It's gone by incredibly fast, but How To Cover Money's second series has come to an end.
Micki Maynard and I sat down with a lot of great journalists this series to bring their advice and expertise in a simple, nuts and bolts format. From Michael Grabell with ProPublica to Kim Quillen of the Arizona Republic and formerly the New Orleans Times-Picayune, there have a been a lot of great tips this series. Of course, that's why it was aptly named "Tips from top journalists."
If you missed any episodes or are just hearing about our podcast for the first time, take a listen to this series' final episode where we take a look at some of the greatest tips we had over the past few months. It might spark a few ideas or reaffirm some good habits. If you enjoy it, of course, subscribe and please go back to listen to all our previous episodes.
The good news is, we will be working on another series, it might just take some time to get it all put together however.
I'm also proud to announce that Micki and I will be doing a speaking session on business journalism tips this fall in Orlando, Fla. as part of the Society of Professional Journalist's Excellence in Journalism conference! Clearly, Micki and I are quite excited. If you want to know more, including how to attend (SPJ members get a discount for the entire conference), click the link here: http://excellenceinjournalism.org/
Thanks for tuning in and subscribing to How To Cover Money this series. Micki and I hope to be back very soon!
I'm a big advocate for government transparency and believe there is a very important need for the public, especially journalists, to understand and know to use FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests. In short, this act requires government agencies to keep records of certain things, for example, how it spends its money, and requires that that information is made available for public inspection.
As a recent college grad from one of the top journalism schools in the country, I feel the biggest need for improvement in the coursework of J-schools is on education and emphasis of FOIA. Journalists can use FOIA to find stories, verify what they are told by public information officers, and use it to keep governments accountable ... after all that is the job of every journalist.
Not everything is available through FOIA, but the onus is on the agency to prove why something should remain secret, not why it should be released. Unfortunately, agencies can often be difficult or downright combative in releasing information. Sometimes that leads to lawsuits, while other times understanding the process, tailoring a request and being assertive can go a long way toward getting the information you're seeking.
From time to time, I'll be posting on this blog issues that relate to FOIA and even some of the issues I've run into with my own requests, but to get started here is a recent video by Vice News with Investigative Reporter Jason Leopold. It's about a half-hour long and Leopold takes the time to answer questions about FOIA and provide some advice on how to deal with uncooperative agencies.
I've been in the midst of moving apartments, which has been an unbelievable headache, so I haven't had a chance to really promote the latest episode of How To Cover Money: Tips from top Journalists until now... but it's definitely deserving of some attention.
This week, Micki and I invited Rian Bosse, an Arizona State University Cronkite master's student and graduate assistant for the Reynolds Center, to talk with us about an interesting topic he's been covering for sometime: Millennials and money.
Millennials, which are those born between the early 1980s and about the year 2000, are the biggest generation since the baby boomers and are certainly unique in the way they've grown up and adapted. It's the first generation to truly grow up immersed in the digital world, making them very skilled with and interested in using technology to improve their lives.
As a millennial myself, I found this discussion fascinating because there were many things that even I hadn't noticed about my generation that Bosse does a great job of explaining. Things like, why millennials are the way they are.
The big secret though, is that millennials are really not that different from other generations in the way we handle money -- as Bosse put it, we're not "aliens."
So this week, we focus on millennials and how they handle money, but we also get some practical advice for those who are not as familiar with this up-and-coming generation on how to report stories on them.
If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or listen to it on SoundCloud.
And if all else fails, all you have to do is click the play button below:
Ben Bergman of KPCC talks 'business for broadcast' on How To Cover Money Series 2: Tips from top journalists
For the second installment of How To Cover Money Series 2: Tips from top journalists, Ben Bergman of KPCC in Los Angeles gives us some advice on writing business for broadcast.
Bergman came to Phoenix in January for Reynolds Week, which is a bootcamp for journalists and journalism teachers to better their skills in covering money, so Micki and I sat down to get his take on business coverage.
Bergman has a lot of great advice for broadcast journalists on how to avoid bogging down scripts with too many numbers, while still making sure their stories have the details they need to be compelling and impactful.
We also discussed the emerging roles broadcast journalists have in not only knowing how to write for the airwaves, but for the web as well. Before becoming a radio journalist, Bergman interned at the New York Times so he was able to provide some unique perspective on how journalists can go about mastering both sides of storytelling.
How To Cover Money, now on SoundCloud
I'm also proud to announce, all episodes of HTCM are now available on SoundCloud, which should make things easier and more accessible for Android users. Listen to the episodes here.
Otherwise click below to hear Episode 2 of HTCM's second series. You can subscribe to our podcast and automatically get notified when a new episode is posted each week by clicking "subscribe" on iTunes.
Links and other interesting things for journalists.