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Remember when the words “breaking news” used to refer to the thrill of hearing about world events as they happened? These days, it has become the daily sport of autocrats and elected officials alike, who have realized that discrediting once-reputable journalistic sources — quite literally, attempting to break the news — is an effective strategy in not being held accountable to facts. While it can be scary to realize that such misinformation games occur — and often even originate — at the highest levels of government, there is hope in the form of citizen journalists such as those profiled in Hans Pool’s “Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World,” an exciting look at one such group of self-appointed fact-finders that presents their innovative research techniques as a kind of cutting-edge spy thriller.
When Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine, sparking vehement denials that Russia had any involvement, Bellingcat went to work to pinpoint the Buk missile launcher responsible as belonging to the country’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade. After a group of white supremacists were photographed beating a young black man at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, N.C., Bellingcat went searching through social media profiles and public videos to identify the assailants. And when the suspects in the Skripal poisoning gave a scripted interview to the Kremlin-backed RT channel, it was Bellingcat that uncovered who these two Russian operatives really were, exposing their cover story as a farce.
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Each of these cases — and many more, including investigations that have both confirmed and debunked a wide variety of conflict-zone videos — has proven controversial, largely because Bellingcat’s team circumvents the usual channels of investigative journalism. Instead, founder Eliot Higgins and his contributors rely on “open source” research, combing through user-uploaded content, satellite photos, public...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8