Sputnik News (my former employer) recently began broadcasting on a low-power FM radio station in the Washington, DC area. A few news organizations have had the good sense to reach out to me when writing stories about the matter and ask me what I think of Sputnik’s inroads into the DC-area radio dial, and of the news service in general.
One such story was in the always excellent Montgomery County Sentinel, and reads thusly:
Andrew Feinberg, a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, said his former employer is a propaganda outlet, and that the programs that they broadcast over the radio will be exclusively opinion without news. Feinberg left Sputnik in May, saying the outlet did not let him report independently.
“The casual channel-surfer, dial-twister, is not necessarily going to know that this is propaganda funded by a foreign government,” Feinberg said.
Two other stories in which I was quoted were by reporters from Voice of America and Al Jazeera — both of which are state-owned news services to which Sputnik often compares itself, despite the fact that both are award-winning news organizations which are renown for their editorial independence and journalistic integrity.
Here’s the video by Al Jazeera:
And here’s the video from Voice of America
There’s a fair chance that if you’re looking at this, you’re interested in knowing more about my time as Sputnik’s White House Correspondent. To make your life easier, I’ve compiled some of the interviews I’ve done and stories about what happened here for your convenience.
The first person I spoke with after I left the office was Erik Wemple of The Washington Post, who wrote this story.
And in the interests of full disclosure, here’s the follow-up he wrote after Sputnik responded to his first article, in which they said I have a “rich imagination.”
A week later I spoke with CNN media reporter (and fellow Montgomery County native) Brian Stelter on his show, “Reliable Sources,” during which I gave a little more context.
The two best articles on the subject so far have been from interviews that I did with The Diplomat and with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab in which I was able to go into even more detail on how Sputnik operates and how the work being done there is propaganda rather than journalism.
If you still have questions or would like to speak with me for an article or any other reason, please feel free to contact me.
So I’m sure the reason you’re on this site is that you’re interested in why I’m no longer at Sputnik.
I’ll let people who are better at this sort of thing tell my story in outlets that are far more widely read than my blog, but I’ll say this — accountability in journalism matters. The truth matters. Your name matters. The only thing a reporter has is his byline and his integrity, and they go hand in hand because if you don’t put a name at the top of something you can say whatever you want and no one person can be held accountable.
You are accountable for what appears under your name, and you should never print anything without it. Because your name at the top of a story is a promise that it is the truth, and that you will stand by that truth. Don’t let anyone deny you the right to speak the truth — that is the job.