Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'journalism'

For the Love of Duke, Cont’d

January 8th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Last October, Wired was kind enough to publish a story I’d been working on for 16 months—the tale of a lonely Appalachian woman acted as a money mule for a crew of Nigerian con artists. That woman, Audrey Elaine Elrod, was lured into the conspiracy by a scammer who posed as a Scottish oil worker […]

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Muzzled in Fiji

February 21st, 2013 · No Comments

Approximately two years ago, the Fiji Times reprinted a story from New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times in which a soccer official questioned the ethical soundness of Fiji’s judiciary. The military dictator who runs Fiji as his personal fiefdom did not take kindly to such an insinuation, even though even a casual observer of the island […]

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Life in the Bubble

February 19th, 2013 · No Comments

The adulation accorded Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear motivated me to look up the very first Scientology exposé I can remember: Richard Behar’s 1991 Time investigation, which irked the Church to no end. That piece made me a lifelong fan of Behar, whose meticulous approach to reporting is something I’ve sought to emulate in my own […]

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Firefighters, Firebugs

August 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

If I so desired, I could probably make this blog all about firefighters-turned-arsonists and still have enough material to post at least once a week. The latest example comes from Opp, Alabama, where a firefighter allegedly set a mobile home ablaze for no discernible reason. The problem has been serious enough in years past for […]

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Sever All Ties

August 1st, 2012 · No Comments

I turned in the second draft of my book yesterday, an event that made me more anxious than glad. I realize now that I only have a few weeks left to sort out some lingering mysteries in the central plot, specifically those related to the main characters’ inner dramas. Without giving too much away, my […]

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A Bald-Faced Lie in Turkmenistan

March 21st, 2012 · 3 Comments

Granted, you have to give (very minor) props to Turkmenistan’s president for his guitar chops (see above). But don’t be fooled into thinking he’s helming a nation any less repressive than the one he inherited from his infamous predecessor. The Turkmen government has zero patience for those who might dare question its absolute authority to […]

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Dirty Tricks in the Land of Fire

March 20th, 2012 · No Comments

You’re gonna be hearing a lot more than usual ’bout Azerbaijan in the coming days, since the nation will be playing host to that wretched entertainment ritual known as Eurovision 2012. The event is supposed to be a coming-out party of sorts for the so-called Land of Fire, which would very much like to attract […]

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Messing with the Bull

March 24th, 2011 · No Comments

I have mixed feelings about Ross Dunkley, the Australian who co-founded the Myanmar Times in 2000. It’s impossible not to admire his moxie; rare is the publishing soul brave enough to open a new information venture in a totalitarian state. But Dunkley obviously had to make some bargains to earn that opportunity, and that meant […]

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Far More Than a Footnote

September 8th, 2010 · No Comments

Focusing on various paying gigs today, so just a quick music clip to tide y’all over. The above is Segun Bucknor’s brief appearance in the excellent Ginger Baker in Africa; he’s the man in the lime-green vest behind the dancers. With Comb & Razor provides some much-needed background on the largely forgotten Afrobeat pioneer here: […]

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The Lives of Brian Cathcart

July 20th, 2010 · No Comments

(Cross-posted from Ta-Nehisi Coates) In response to Ta-Nehisi’s introductory post yesterday, a treasured commenter brought up the idea of doing a non-fiction recommendation thread this week. As fate would have it, I’ve long been planning to use this space to champion a few of my favorite off-the-radar non-fiction gems. Let me now start doing so […]

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“You’ll Talk About Him Forever”

March 19th, 2010 · 7 Comments

In reading about Universal’s decision to nix P.T. Anderson’s The Master, a movie obviously inspired by the founding of Scientology, we found ourselves heartily agreeing with several of The A.V. Club‘s commenters: Perhaps what the world needs isn’t a flick about L. Ron Hubbard’s quasi-religious scam, but a Hollywood-style biopic about the even more fascinating […]

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What Young Men Still Do

December 30th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Headhunting of the literal sort figures quite prominently in Now the Hell Will Start, our 386-page labor o’ love. We dedicated an entire chapter to the practice, and thus field frequent questions from readers regarding whether or not the tribal inhabitants of North-East India and northwest Burma still take skulls. Our stock answer is that […]

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Twenty Years

August 31st, 2009 · 2 Comments

It’s been ages since we’ve discussed Sri Lanka, one of our pet topics dating back to this blog’s earliest days. And so it pains us to revisit the island nation under such disturbing circumstances—namely, today’s news that Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for violating the sweeping Prevention of […]

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Coup Four and a Half

June 26th, 2009 · No Comments

In April, Fiji’s government declared a public emergency that has led to total media censorship, a ban on political meetings, and the sacking of judges. It’s increasingly clear that Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Fiji’s prime minister, intends for martial law to become permanent. Fortunately, journalists are routing around the emergency rules on Coup Four and a […]

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Citizen Journalism in Sri Lanka

May 21st, 2009 · 2 Comments

The Sri Lankan government is sadly adept at squelching journalism, which makes the crowdsourced Groundviews a truly precious gem. Proudly calling itself “Sri Lanka’s first and only citizens journalism website,” Groundviews provides a rare English-language peek at the mood on Colombo’s streets. The site has been in peak form as the nation’s civil war has […]

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The Lipstick of Dictatorship

February 25th, 2009 · No Comments

The happy gentleman to the right is José Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s president for the past 30 years. During that time, he has allegedly managed to skim $4 billion from the nation’s oil revenues—quite a despicable feat, given that Angola remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with 70 percent of the population living on […]

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“Gambling, Golf, and Gangsters”

February 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

An excellent New York Times piece on the murder of Oakland newspaper editor Chauncey Bailey is today’s must-read, at least if you (like me) are something of a journalism geek. The article’s one flaw is an all-too-brief namecheck of The Arizona Project, a multi-paper investigation into the 1976 assassination (via car bomb) of Arizona Republic […]

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