This is the top piece of today’s CJR daily newsletter:
Russian interference, CIA sources, and a return to Cold War footing? Those are the topics dominating conversation, in the media and beyond, following reports in both The New York Times and The Washington Post concerning a Vladimir Putin-backed effort to assist Donald Trump’s rise to the White House.
Trump scoffed at those stories and attacked the reputations of the outlets that published them. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the Trump transition team said in a statement. In October, the US intelligence community accused Russia of attempting “to interfere with the US election process.” But last week, CIA officials told a group of senators that the agency now believed Russian forces acted to boost Trump’s chances.
As journalists pursue this story and reach for our John le Carré novels, here are five pieces from CJR on covering Russia, Putin’s media strategy, and how reporters can use US law to aid their investigations:
- In August, Joel Simon looked at stories detailing Russian interference in the election and explored “how should journalists cover [leaks] without allowing themselves to be manipulated?”
- When Julian Assange began broadcasting on Russia Today in 2012, Ann Cooper had the story on the relationship between Wikileaks and the Kremlin-backed news outlet.
- Back in 2010, Julia Ioffe profiled Russia Today for CJR.
- Paul McLeary looked back to the days when it was American operatives who planted stories in the press.
- Though many journalists feel the Freedom of Information Act process is broken, Trevor Timm explains “how the 50-year-old transparency law can still be indispensable.