Category Archives: Accountability

Journalists Are Not The Enemy

Journalists are not the enemy: The Boston Globe’s editorial board publishes its response to President Trump’s attack on the media.

More than 350 news outlets joined the Globe’s move to support a free press.

“A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press,” writes the Globe. “Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather ‘the enemy of the people.’ This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences.”

 

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More On Covering Hate

More on covering hate: Amanda Darrach finds a culture gap between young technology reporters who think trolling rhetoric is funny, while older reporters take it “totally seriously.”

“Our system is geared towards media manipulation on a massive scale,” she writes. “There are a lot of reasons why we’re in the mess that we’re in. Some of it has to do with reporters making bad choices, but the system is just set up to be manipulated.”

Bottom line: “It’s our job to document the human condition, and that includes the ugly parts.”

 

Covering White Supremacist Views

Covering white supremacist views: Elizabeth Jensen writes about public outrage over NPR’s coverage of “Unite The Right2,” a racist rally.

NPR was correct to cover the rally, she writes, though “the interview was painful to hear; it had me yelling at the radio, as I know many others did.”

She concludes: “NPR has decided it will air these interviews. I am on the fence about whether they are necessary. But if NPR is going to go that route, it needs to strengthen its practices for a more responsible execution.”

 

Media Mount Attack On “Fake News” Charges

Media mount attack on “fake news” charges.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr. writes the Boston Globe urges American news groups to respond to the president’s scorn of the press.

“The rally calls for the opinion writers that staff newspaper editorial boards to produce independent opinion pieces about Trump’s attacks on the media,” he writes. The Associated Press reports that 70 news organizations agreed.

 

Poll Favors Presidential Power To Shut Media

Poll favors presidential power to shut media: Sam Stein reports a poll shows a plurality of Republicans want the president to have authority to close news outlets.

“The findings present a sobering picture for the fourth estate, with respondents showing diminished trust in the media and increased support for punitive measures against its members,” he writes.

“They also illustrate the extent to which Trump’s anti-press drumbeat has shaped public opinion about the role the media plays in covering his administration.”

What “Off The Record” Means

What “off the record” means: Matt Flegenheimer gives his interpretation of ways journalists get information from Washington officials and rules they sometimes follow.

“As a general principle, a reporter’s best course of action is to establish jargon-free parameters in plain English at the start: Can a source be quoted by name? Can we use the information if we leave out the name? Can we at least describe the source’s job?” he writes.

“But among those who have long dealt with the news media, like politicians and their charges, there is occasionally a sort of shorthand for these questions.”

 

 

Unique Challenges Of Religion Reporting

Unique challenges of religion reporting: Steven Potter writes about the difficulties of the religion beat.

“As they dive into different cultures and broach highly sensitive subjects with complete strangers, they face a number of unique challenges,” he writes.

Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear Pashman says her mission “is to teach people about religions they may not be exposed to,” and put aside personal beliefs.

Beware Pitfalls Of Amateur Video

Beware pitfalls of amateur video: The Toledo Blade’s managing editor apologizes for mistakes in reporting a fatal police-involved shooting based on a flawed Facebook video.

“The first of several mistakes we made in covering this breaking story was to share on our website a Facebook Live feed of a young man recording the gathering crowd in North Toledo and what people were saying. The man repeated over and over that police had shot ‘a young boy,’ a ’16-year-old boy,’ telling his Facebook audience that ‘someone said’ the boy was kneeling in the street when ‘the police’ shot him.

“None of that was true,” wrote the editor. The video photographer was not a trained journalist “and in our haste to ‘get something up’ we grabbed his Facebook video and shared it.” It was removed when police explained they shot a 25-year-old armed robbery suspect.

Another mistake was an inflammatory headline, later changed, saying “Police gun down man in North Toledo.”

Staying On The Record

Staying on the record: Steven Pearlberg reports that Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, took a personal ethical stance in refusing to join in an off-the-record meeting with President Trump.

“I don’t think officials should be able to tell me things that I can’t publish,” says Baquet, hewing to a philosophy that journalists should control the terms of an interview.

Not wanting to be courted or wooed, Baquet says “the leader of the news gathering operation shouldn’t have access that reporters don’t get.”

Protecting Female Reporters From On-Air Sex Assault

Protecting female reporters from on-air sex assault: Britni de la Cretz finds some broadcasting companies react when female journalists are groped or harassed on camera.

“Such companies offered the journalists time off, therapy or counseling services, and opportunities to reevaluate whether they wished to continue reporting from those locations where they were assaulted,” she writes.

“Each woman indicated that her newsroom took the incidents incredibly seriously, especially considering the long-term psychological risks of harassment on the job, and responded in a way that felt adequate, though that may not always be the case.”