90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The ISIS Social Media Attack

Another beheading claim and ISIS’s use of social media in its grab for power.

This still image from an undated video released by Islamic State militants on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, purports to show journalist Steven Sotloff being held by the militant group. The Islamic State group has threatened to kill Sotloff if the United States doesn't stop its strikes against them in Iraq. Video released Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2014, purports to show Sotloff's murder by the same rebel group. (AP)

This still image from an undated video released by Islamic State militants on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, purports to show journalist Steven Sotloff being held by the militant group. The Islamic State group has threatened to kill Sotloff if the United States doesn’t stop its strikes against them in Iraq. Video released Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2014, purports to show Sotloff’s murder by the same rebel group. (AP)

Another beheading of an American journalist by ISIS.  Steven Sotloff, 31.  The orange outfit.  The killer in black.  The desert.  The knife.  It’s hideous, stomach-turning.  Beyond infuriating.  And it’s on the web.  Social media.  This summer, ISIS has rampaged across the desert, taking turf, claiming a “caliphate,” slaughtering.  It has also rampaged across social media.  Using the platforms that lifted pro-democracy forces in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, this time to raise a reign of terror.  This hour On Point:  the ISIS onslaught, and the use of social media in its bloody grab for power.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Scott Shane, national security reporter for the New York Times. (@ScottShaneNYT)

Zeynep Tufekci, professor in the school of information and library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. (@zeynep)

Patrick Skinner, director of special projects for the Soufan Group. Former CIA Case Officer. (@SkinnerPm)

John Arquilla, professor and chair of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Author of “Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military” and “Insurgents, Raiders and Bandits.”

From Tom’s Reading List

BBC News: Steven Sotloff: Islamic State ‘kills US hostage’ — “An Islamic State video has appeared which purports to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist being held hostage by the militants.Mr Sotloff, 31, disappeared in Syria in 2013. He appeared at the end of a video last month which showed fellow US journalist James Foley being killed.”

New York Times:  ISIS Displaying a Deft Command of Varied Media — “The extremists who have seized large parts of Syria and Iraq have riveted the world’s attention with their military prowess and unrestrained brutality. But Western intelligence services are also worried about their extraordinary command of seemingly less lethal weapons: state-of-the-art videos, ground images shot from drones and multilingual Twitter messages.”

The Daily Beast: ISIS is Using Social Media to Reach YOU, Its New Audience — “The migration from Internet chat forums to social media platforms came late to jihadists, but they’ve adapted skillfully. A strategy developed over years has evolved into a sophisticated campaign and now, at the center of the world’s attention, ISIS is using its skill to communicate directly to an American audience.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

 
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment