Welcome to News Beat, a short-form educational news podcast melding the worlds of journalism and music to elevate storytelling, foster a deeper connection with listeners, and deliver an alternative narrative on some of the most pressing issues, happenings, events and people shaping our world.

Morey Publishing, longtime publisher of the award-winning Long Island Press, launched News Beat to continue the mission of truth-telling and journalistic integrity that guided the Press for its nearly 15 years of publication. News Beat utilizes verse, beats, and audio to educate, inform, and inspire our readers and listeners—interacting with the public on a whole new level in the process.

News Beat combines all the facets of Morey Publishing—content production, inbound marketing and alternative news perspective—and embodies our ideals and our strengths as a company: collaboration, storytelling, alternative news, history and education.

With News Beat, you’ll no longer simply read the news; you’ll hear it, and you’ll literally feel it. Most importantly, News Beat presents an alternative take to widely accepted narratives on its featured topics, arming listeners with important knowledge and insights that they likely wouldn’t hear from mainstream media—provoking thought, spurring questions, and challenging long-held beliefs.

No matter the gravity of the topic, News Beat’s musical format is easily digestible. In the day of instantaneous digital gratification, “fake news,” 24/7 kitten memes and deteriorating attention spans, News Beat episodes will clock in at roughly 16 minutes each—far less than the typical podcast length of 30 minutes, and yet long enough to listen to in their entirety during the commute to work.

Think how “Schoolhouse Rock” broke down educational barriers by leveraging an original score in a televised cartoon format, and more recently, how “Hamilton” has brought history to life through hip hop and theater.

Each News Beat podcast follows an established story arc rooted in traditional journalism and songwriting. Journalists will recognize the lede, nut graph, body and kicker, while all listeners will hear choruses and verses following a musical structure.

Listeners are presented with a version of a story or topic they’re familiar with. Narration and audio clips reinforce that narrative. Guest artists fill various roles throughout each podcast—some lending spoken word, some rapping or singing. Each episode ends with an “Upshot” encapsulating that presentation’s key takeaways.

News Beat is an MP Studios production, a division of Morey Publishing. It is produced by Michael “Manny Faces” Conforti, hip-hop journalist, DJ, producer and lecturer, founder of New York hip-hop publication Birthplace Magazine and hip-hop non-profit The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy. Its Original Music Supervisor is Eden White. News Beat’s executive editor is Morey Publishing President Jed Morey. Its editor in chief is Christopher Twarowski. Rashed Mian is News Beat’s managing editor.

MP Studios will be creating more episodes of News Beat throughout the year, along with a host of other new shows and programs.

We encourage you to send us your feedback and share with others you think might enjoy it.

The News Beat Team

Jed Morey

Executive Producer

Jed Morey is the Executive Producer of News Beat and CEO of Morey Publishing, an Inbound Content Marketing agency based on Long Island. Morey began his career in broadcasting at WLIR-FM in New York, the heritage alternative rock station in the country. In 2002 he founded the Long Island Press, an alternative weekly publication that garnered more than 400 local and national awards over the next 15 years. Morey is also the author of a political book, The Great American Disconnect: Seven Fundamental Threats to our Democracy, which was published in 2013. The Long Island Press migrated to a strictly digital format in 2014 and was sold in 2017 and during his tenure as Publisher of the Press, Morey branched out and started the Inbound Marketing agency—a Gold HubSpot Partner Agency—where he continues as CEO today.

In 2016, Morey began working on what would become News Beat. Frustrated with the glut of misinformation in the corporate media and the race to the bottom of online news media, Morey constructed the framework for a different kind of news organization that melded his experience in broadcasting, investigative journalism and inbound marketing to attract a new and discerning audience hungry for a fresh perspective in an original format. He partnered with former Press Editor-In-Chief Christopher Twarowski, Civil Liberties editor Rashed Mian and Morey Publishing engineer Michael Conforti, a respected New York hip-hop journalist to bring this vision to life. The result is News Beat, an unconventional podcast and website that challenge conventional wisdom. News Beat infuses high quality journalism with hip-hop and rhythms to create a memorable and compelling narrative around pressing issues and events.

Morey is married to Eden White, a New York-based singer songwriter. They live in Glen Cove, NY and have two daughters.

Rashed Mian

Managing Editor

Rashed Mian is the managing editor of News Beat. Mian previously covered civil liberties and the Muslim American community for Long Island Press. Mian graduated with a degree in journalism from Hofstra University. Mian is interested in under-reported stories that impact disenfranchised communities as well as issues related to civil liberties. You can find him on Twitter at @rashedmian.

Michael 'Manny Faces' Conforti

Producer / Engineer


Michael Conforti is an award-winning new media journalist and digital strategist with more than 15 years' experience in news publishing and online journalism, much of which was spent at Morey Publishing's previously owned alternative news outlet, Long Island Press.

Under his Manny Faces pseudonym, he is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Birthplace Magazine, a thriving online entertainment and lifestyle destination focusing on hip hop music and culture in the New York metropolitan area, creator and host of The NY Hip Hop Report, a popular, weekly, live video show/podcast.

In late 2015, he founded The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of hip-hop’s important artistic and cultural contributions.

In addition, he is accomplished DJ/producer/remixer, event/TV/radio host/personality, an outspoken media critic and a die-hard advocate for hip hop music and culture, who has lectured, conducted workshops and participated in panel discussions at many conferences and festivals, including A3C Music Festival and Conference (Atlanta), La Place Hip-Hop Culture Center (Paris, France), Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival (Hartford, CT), Circling the Elements Hip-Hop Conference (Albany, Ga.), Hip-Hop Literacies Conference (NYC), Spotify x HipHopHacks (NYC), Medgar Evers College (NYC), Farmingdale State College (NY) and more.

Michael and Manny are both married to the same wonderful woman, and they lovingly raise their children and pets together on Long Island in New Jersey.

Silent Knight

Silent Knight

2017 Artist in Residence

A prolific recording and performing artist, Silent Knight has a reputation for being one of the hardest working artists in independent hip-hop. And it’s easy to see why. From being the frontman of The Band Called FUSE, to hosting and curating their Line Up showcase in NYC, to releasing almost a dozen albums independently in less than 10 years. Charismatic yet humble, SK’s genuineness comes across in his music and in his energetic and engaging stage show.

A seasoned performer, SK has captivated crowds on many world-renowned stages and opened for, or collaborated with, a wide array of acts. Some of these artists include Inspectah Deck of the Wu-Tang Clan, Nneka, Talib Kweli, 112, and members of The Roots. He has also worked with many notable producers including !llmind (Drake, J,Cole), Jake One (JAY Z), & M-Phazes (Eminem).

Christopher Twarowski

Editor In Chief

Christopher Twarowski is editor in chief of News Beat, and former editor in chief and chief of investigations of the alt-weekly Long Island Press. He holds an M.S. in Journalism with a specialization in investigative journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was an inaugural member of the school’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. He also holds an M.A. from the school with a concentration in business and economics. Twarowski has written for the financial and metro desks of The Washington Post and has earned more than 150 local, state and national journalism awards and accolades. Follow him on Twitter at @investigations1.

Contributors

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West

Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University

Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. West is a the author of more than a dozen books, including “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters.”

Appearances: Episode 0006: Illegal Perpetual War

Johann Hari

Johann Hari

Author: Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

Johann Hari is a British journalist. He has written for The New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, and several other notable news outlets. He was an op-ed columnist for the Independent, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, for nine years. Hari is the author of The New York Times best-selling book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

Appearances:
Episode 0002: The True Origins of the War on Drugs

Maia Szalavitz

Maia Szalavitz

Author: Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

Maia Szalavitz is one of the premier American journalists covering addiction and drugs. She is the author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, and co-author of Born for Love and The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, both with Dr. Bruce D. Perry. Her book, Help at Any Cost, is the first book-length exposé of the tough love business that dominates addiction treatment. She writes for TIME.com, VICE, The New York Times, Scientific American Mind, Elle, Psychology Today and Marie Claire, among other publications and news outlets.

Appearances:
Episode 0002: The True Origins of the War on Drugs

Silent Knight

Silent Knight

Recording Artist

A prolific recording and performing artist, Silent Knight has a reputation for being one of the hardest working artists in independent hip-hop. And it’s easy to see why. From being the frontman of The Band Called FUSE, to hosting and curating their Line Up showcase in NYC, to releasing almost a dozen albums independently in less than 10 years. Charismatic yet humble, SK’s genuineness comes across in his music and in his energetic and engaging stage show.

A seasoned performer, SK has captivated crowds on many world-renowned stages and opened for, or collaborated with, a wide array of acts. Some of these artists include Inspectah Deck of the Wu-Tang Clan, Nneka, Talib Kweli, 112, and members of The Roots. He has also worked with many notable producers including !llmind (Drake, J,Cole), Jake One (JAY Z), & M-Phazes (Eminem).

Photo: xiv.Optix

Appearances:
Episode 0001: MLK, Jr. – Unfinished Business
Episode 0002: The True Origins of the War on Drugs

Alex Claremont

Alex Clermont

Author, Prison-Reform Activist

Alex Clermont is a copywriter and creative writer born and raised in New York City. He’s the author of You, Me and the Rest of Us: #NewYorkStories, a collection of stories about those people who are all trying to find their place in the world; Eating Kimchi & Nodding Politely, a collection of creatively written narratives about his time as an English teacher in South Korea; and the literary short story romance Missing Rib. He's also a prison-reform activist.

Appearances:
Episode 0002: The True Origins of the War on Drugs

Kayem

Kayem

Hip Hop Artist

Son of a Libyan revolutionary, Kayem is a Chicago-based hip hop artist who was born into the struggle. His father was a political prisoner who helped form a pro-democracy movement after escaping prison. Kayem’s first trip to Libya, after spending a lifetime of advocacy in exile, was filmed in the docu-series “Sing Freedom.”
Hussein Rashid

Hussein Rashid

Professor of Religious Studies at Barnard College

Hussein Rashid, PhD, is a professor of religious studies at Barnard College and founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy and cultural competency. He works with a variety of NGOs, foundations, nonprofits, and governmental agencies for content expertise on religion broadly, with a specialization on Islam. His work includes exploring theology, the interaction between culture and religion, and the role of the arts in conflict mediation. Hussein has a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University, a master's degree in Theological Studies focusing on Islam, and an M.A. and PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, focusing on South and Central Asia from Harvard University.
Daisy Khan

Daisy Khan

Founder of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE)

Daisy Khan is executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening an expression of Islam based on cultural and religious harmony, as well as building bridges between Muslims and the general public. At ASMA, Daisy Khan has created a number of groundbreaking intra- and inter-faith programs. She has led numerous interfaith events, such as the theater production, ``Same Difference,`` and the Cordoba Bread Fest Banquet. She continues to mentor American Muslims on assimilation issues, balancing faith and modernity, the challenges of living as a minority, and intergenerational questions. To strengthen the voices of women and youth within the global Muslim community, she created two cutting-edge programs of international scope: Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) and the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE).
Murtaza Hussain

Murtaza Hussain

National Security Reporter at The Intercept

Murtaza Hussain is a national security reporter at investigative news outlet The Intercept. Hussain reports on America’s ongoing War on Terror and issues related to the Muslim American community. Hussain’s articles have also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian and Al Jazeera English.
Alan Newton exoneration

Alan Newton

Exoneree

In 1984, Alan Newton, of Brooklyn, was arrested for a crime he did not commit, and ultimately convicted. He spent 21 years in prison for rape, robbery, and assault before being exonerated on DNA evidence. Newton maintained his innocence throughout, and had spent a decade of his incarceration, beginning in 1994, petitioning for exoneration on the basis of DNA evidence. He currently counsels fellow exonerees and advocates for state statutes compensating others who’ve spent time in prison for crimes they did not commit.
Rebecca Brown Innocence Project

Rebecca Brown

Director of Policy, Innocence Project

Rebecca Brown joined the Innocence Project in 2005 and directs its federal and state policy agenda, which seeks to prevent and reveal wrongful convictions and assure compensation for the wrongfully convicted upon release from prison. She has also served as a Policy Analyst for the Mayor’s Office in New York City and a Senior Planner at Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), where she conducted research, evaluation and planning work around its alternative to incarceration programs.
Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon

Staff Writer, New York Times Magazine

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. Before joining the Times Magazine, Bazelon was a writer and editor for nine years at Slate, where she co-founded the women’s section DoubleX. She continues to co-host the Slate Political Gabfest.

Kevin Gosztola

Managing Editor, Shadow Proof

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast “Unauthorized Disclosure.” Gosztola was among a handful of journalists providing day-to-day coverage of Chelsea Manning’s court martial in the summer of 2013, then as a reporter for the website Firedoglake.
Trevor Timm

Trevor Timm

Executive Director, Freedom of the Press Foundation

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a journalist, activist, and lawyer who writes a weekly column for The Guardian on privacy, free speech, and national security. He has contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico.
John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou

Former CIA Analyst and Whistleblower

John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst who blew the whistle on the agency’s much-rumored, illegal torture program. He played a key role in the capture of the first alleged high-level al Qaeda operative following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, and spent 30 months in prison after being convicted under the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law intended to prosecute spies. He is the co-author of 2009’s The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, a book detailing his service in the CIA, and author of 2017’s award-winning Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison.
Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

Former U.S. Army Captain

Nathan Smith is a former U.S. Army Captain who was based in Kuwait as part of counter-ISIS mission “Operation Inherent Resolve.” Smith in 2016 sued the Obama administration for what he believed was an unconstitutional war against ISIS because Congress had yet to declare war or on the terror group. Smith comes from a three-generation military family.

Appearances: Episode 0006: Illegal Perpetual War

Elizabeth Beaverrs

Elizabeth Beavers

Foreign Policy Manager at Indivisible

Elizabeth Beavers is nonprofit Indivisible’s Foreign Policy Manager. Previously, Elizabeth was a Senior Campaigner for the U.S. section of Amnesty International, focusing on national security and human rights issues. She also advocated for anti-militarism and pro-civil liberties policies at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby in the public interest.

Appearances: Episode 0006: Illegal Perpetual War

Greg Tannen

Greg Tannen

Musician and writer

Greg Tannen is a musician and writer. Born in Australia, raised in Toronto and New York, briefly a resident in Colorado, Ohio, and North Carolina, he’s the son of an amateur jazz pianist and the grandson of a magician. Greg’s music has been featured as a “New and Noteworthy” release on iTunes, played on renowned radio stations (WFUV, NPR, Acoustic Cafe), won international songwriting awards, and can be heard on national TV and in award-winning films. He also writes songs with other artists (Amanda Brown, the Weepies, Amanda Brecker) and has shared the stage with musical greats such as Rosanne Cash and John Hammond.

Appearances: Episode 0006: Illegal Perpetual War

Pastor Roger C Williams

Rev. Roger C. Williams

Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove

Williams answered the call to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove, N.Y. in 1999. In 2007, he served as co-chair of the New York State “Enough is Enough Campaign” to demand corporate responsibility in the media, exposing and eradicating negative images in music videos. Rev. Williams serves currently as President of the Glen Cove Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.

Rev. Williams can be contacted via email at pastorrcw@yahoo.com and on Twitter at @FBCGlenCove.

Charles Kurzman

Charles Kurzman

Professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Charles Kurzman is co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. He is author of The Missing Martyrs (2011), Democracy Denied, 1905-1915 (2008), and The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran (2004), and editor of the anthologies Liberal Islam (1998) and Modernist Islam, 1840-1940 (2002).

Appearances:
Episode 0007: Misunderstanding Terrorism: Exposing Radical Caucasian Extremism

Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasan

Journalist

Mehdi Hasan is an award-winning independent journalist, political commentator, broadcaster and author, currently the host of UpFront and Head to Head on Al Jazeera English in Washington, D.C., a columnist at The Intercept, contributing editor of New Statesman, and contributing writer at The Guardian. He’s an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, the author of two books, and a broadcasting veteran who’s worked for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News, among other outlets.

Appearances:
Episode 0007: Misunderstanding Terrorism: Exposing Radical Caucasian Extremism

LiKWUiD

LiKWUiD

Hip Hop fusion music artist

LiKWUiD is a New York-based hip hop fusion music artist, DJ, songwriter and educator born Faybeo’n LaShanna A Mickens, committed to using her gift of song to empower the portrayal of women in the entertainment industry. She’s performed nationwide with artists such as Slick Rick, 9th Wonder, Matt and Kim, Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan, Talib Kweli, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Bow Wow, Rah Digga, The Last Poets, DJ Evil Dee, and world-renowned comedian Cedric the Entertainer. LiKWUiD’s writing style often includes multiple entendres, extended metaphor and religious paradox. She is a member of the Hunger Division and often collaborates with Lower Eastside dynamic production duo 2Hungry Bros. Her current album, Fay Grim is now available via HiPNOTT Records.

Appearances:
Episode 0007: Misunderstanding Terrorism: Exposing Radical Caucasian Extremism