David Folkenflik

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.

Based in New York City, Folkenflik serves as NPR's media correspondent.

His stories and analyses are broadcast on the network's newsmagazines, such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, and are featured on NPR's website and mobile platforms. Folkenflik's reports cast light on the stories of our age, the figures who shape journalism, and the tectonic shifts affecting the news industry. Folkenflik has reported intently on the relationship between the press, politicians, and the general public, as well as the fight over the flow of information in the age of Trump. Folkenflik brought listeners the profile of a Las Vegas columnist who went bankrupt fending off a libel lawsuit from his newspaper's new owner; conducted the first interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet after his appointment; and repeatedly broke news involving the troubled Tronc company, which owns some of the most important regional newspapers in the country. In early 2018, Folkenflik's exposé about the past workplace behavior of the CEO of the Los Angeles Times forced the executive's immediate ouster from that job and helped inspire the sale of the newspaper.

Folkenflik is the author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires. The Los Angeles Times called Murdoch's World "meaty reading... laced with delicious anecdotes" and the Huffington Post described it as "the gift that keeps on giving." Folkenflik is also editor of Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism. His work has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, Politico Magazine, Newsweek International, the National Post of Canada, and the Australian Financial Review. Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik joined NPR in 2004 after more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, national politics, and the media. He started his professional career at the Durham Herald-Sun in North Carolina. Folkenflik served as editor-in-chief at the Cornell Daily Sun and graduated from Cornell with a bachelor's degree in history.

A five-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik has received numerous other recognitions, including the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News and top honors from the National Headliners. In 2018, the Society of Professional Journalists recognized Folkenflik with its 2018 Ethics in Journalism Award. In 2017, Penn State University named Folkenflik as the nation's leading media critic with the Bart Richards Award. He also served as the inaugural Irik Sevin Fellow at Cornell. Folkenflik frequently lectures at college campuses and civic organizations across the country and often appears as a media analyst for television and radio programs in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Ireland.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

A group of disheartened former Denver Post editors and reporters launched an upstart news site 2 1/2 years ago, called it The Colorado Sun, and hoped it could rescue local news coverage from the dictates of hedge fund owners and Wall Street investors.

On Monday morning, The Sun announced had acquired and would operate a family-owned chain of 24 suburban newspapers around Denver in partnership with a new foundation focused on local journalism.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

For more than a year, Alden Global Capital's attempt to take over the Tribune Publishing Company, which owns papers like the Chicago Tribune, has gained momentum. But as NPR's David Folkenflik reports, that bid is now in doubt.

Of all the disruptions unleashed by the Trump White House on how the federal government typically works, the saga of one small project, called the Open Technology Fund, stands out.

The fantastical tale incorporates the spiritual movement Falun Gong, former White House strategist Steve Bannon, the daughter of a late liberal congressman and a zealous appointee of former President Donald Trump.

Updated March 30, 2021 at 10:44 PM ET

Lachlan Murdoch, the Fox Corp. CEO and executive chairman, has departed Los Angeles and returned to Australia with his wife and children, according to three people with ties to the Murdoch family.

His move comes at a time when the company's most profitable property is confronting daunting challenges: Fox News currently faces two new defamation lawsuits from election machine and software companies seeking combined damages of $4.3 billion.

Inspired by legal reforms and calls for racial equity, a small cadre of editors are challenging a long-held precept of American journalism: that news reports create an enduring historical record.

Several major newspapers are inviting people to seek the review of old stories that, they believe, portrayed them in a distorted or false light. Those stories may be about scuffles, arrests that never lead to prosecutions, or even minor convictions. And they can get in the way of obtaining a job, loan or even a date.

Conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, who entertained millions and propelled waves of Republican politicians, has died at age 70. He had announced to listeners last year that he had stage four lung cancer.

Limbaugh's death Wednesday morning was confirmed by his wife, Kathryn, at the start of his radio program.

Nabila Ganinda was awaiting a green light from the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

Two widely heralded journalists for The New York Times departed the paper Friday after unrelated episodes of their past behavior received sharp new scrutiny from other media outlets, readers and colleagues.

Updated Saturday at 1:23 p.m. ET

The acting CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media continued her sweep of federally funded international broadcasters to remove leaders linked to former President Donald Trump.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

Michael Pack resigned Wednesday as the CEO of the federal agency over the Voice of America and other federally funded international broadcasters after a turbulent seven-month tenure. He leaves the U.S. Agency for Global Media with a Trumpian legacy of ideological strife, lawsuits and scandal, his departure effective just two hours after the swearing-in of President Biden, who requested him to leave.

President Biden invoked what he called seven "common objects we, as Americans, love" in Wednesday's inaugural address. Biden's embrace of the seventh — "the truth" — offered a pointed critique of his predecessor (though never by name), the media and the nation itself.

The new president of the federally funded Radio Free Asia network most recently ran a consulting company from Boise, Idaho that has represented foreign governments and interests. Among them is Taiwan.

That connection has startled veterans of the international broadcaster.

"Are you serious?" said Libby Liu, who led Radio Free Asia for 14 years. "I don't think it's appropriate for a registered lobbyist for a foreign government to be leading a free-press organization, even democracies we support and admire."

Updated 12:48 p.m.

Among some prominent Republicans, inside social media companies and in other major institutions throughout society, a reckoning has erupted following the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.

Not at the Fox News Channel, however. On the contrary, the network that has helped shape conservative politics in the U.S. for more than two decades has yet to acknowledge how the heated rhetoric radiating from its shows and stars may have helped inspire the pro-Trump rampage.

Voice of America White House reporter Patsy Widakuswara was reassigned Monday evening just hours after pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on whether he regretted saying there would be a second Trump administration after President-elect Joe Biden's victory was apparent.

Updated 9:48 a.m. ET

An influential group of more than 20 public radio stations in major cities across the country are condemning the actions of The New York Times and its star host of the hit podcast The Daily, Michael Barbaro, in addressing the collapse of the newspaper's award-winning audio series Caliphate.

An internal review by The Times found it had failed to heed red flags indicating that the man it relied upon for an extended narrative about the allure of terrorism could not be trusted to tell the truth.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Fresh crises and fresh challenges confront the Trump-appointed CEO of the parent of Voice of America, even with less than two weeks left of the Trump presidency.

To start, the Attorney General of the District of Columbia this week accused U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack of illegally funneling more than $4 million to his private documentary company through a not-for-profit that he also controls.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Michael Pack's stormy tenure over the federal agency that oversees government-funded broadcasters abroad — including Voice of America — appears to be coming to a close. Yet President Trump's appointee has sparked an internal outcry by taking bold steps to try to cement his control over at least two of the networks and shape the course of their journalism well into the Biden administration.

Late last week, The New York Times issued one of its biggest mea culpas in years. The nation's leading newspaper returned a Peabody award and a citation as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize after retracting the core of its hit podcast series Caliphate.

In seeking to restore faith in its journalism, however, The Times may have demonstrated the persistence of some of the problems at the heart of this scandal. The paper's top editor participated in a podcast to help correct the record and to say, as he put it, "we got it wrong."

Updated at 9:33 p.m. ET

The New York Times has retracted the core of its hit 2018 podcast series Caliphate after an internal review found the paper failed to heed red flags indicating that the man it relied upon for its narrative about the allure of terrorism could not be trusted to tell the truth.

The newspaper has reassigned its star terrorism reporter, Rukmini Callimachi, who hosted the series.

Robert R. Reilly is taking the reins at the Voice of America with extreme, publicly stated views on some subjects that may complicate his mission of sharing news and U.S. values with vast audiences around the globe.

Updated at 12:08 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The Trump appointee who runs the government's overseas broadcasters reassigned the head of the Voice of America on Tuesday as part of a broad effort to install supporters of the president before the Biden administration comes to power.

U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack is intending to name as VOA director Robert Reilly, an outspoken conservative ally who briefly served in the job under President George W. Bush nearly two decades ago.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog, disclosed Wednesday that it had found "a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing" at the parent agency of the Voice of America under the leadership of the CEO appointed by President Trump.

Updated at 3:03 p.m.

Right now, Newsmax TV is trying to outfox Fox News.

No media outlet has done more to bolster President Trump over the past four years than Fox News. Yet the acknowledgment by Fox's reporters, anchors and even many opinion hosts that Democratic nominee Joe Biden won the election has provided an opening for the network's much smaller rival to peel off Trump's fans.

The Fox News Channel has reached a private settlement with the parents of the slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. The network had baselessly reported in May 2017 that Rich leaked thousands of Democratic party emails to Wikileaks during the height of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Updated at 3:09 p.m. ET

The chief executive over the Voice of America and its sister networks has acted unconstitutionally in investigating what he claimed was a deep-seated bias against President Trump by his own journalists, a federal judge has ruled.

Crisis has been the defining constant at the Voice of America and its parent agency for the past five months.

That's how long Michael Pack, the conservative documentary maker picked by President Trump to lead the U.S. Agency for Global Media, has been in charge.

Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET

There may be no media figure more important in preparing Republicans and President Trump himself for a post-Trump period than magnate Rupert Murdoch.

Twenty years ago this week, I begged my bosses to stop the presses so we could avoid reporting a huge story that wasn't true: that Texas Gov. George W. Bush had won Florida, and the presidency.

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