Category Archives: Fairness

Pulitzer Prize’s Future

Pulitzer Prize’s future: Meg Dalton writes that since 1917, 84 percent of Pulitzer Prize winners were men and 84 percent were white.

The Pulitzer Prize administrator tells Dalton “there so much going on in our country that speaks to diversity that will drive diversification. But our selection of a more diverse jury pool will impact that as well.”

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Sinclair Learning Moment

A Sinclair learning moment: “The controversy surrounding Sinclair is about more than partisanship, media consolidation and government oversight,” writes Pete Vernon.

“It’s about the very manner in which the American public understands where their news comes from and how it’s made.” Sinclair is perfectly capable of doing good news, a source tells Vernon. “But if consumers see things that offend them, they need to show it,” says the source.

Right To Be Forgotten

Right to be forgotten: Chava Gourarie writes about two British men who sued to keep their past crimes out of Google search results.

“As the first case to test the ‘right to be forgotten’ in England’s High Court, its outcome will likely set some ground rules in the roiling debate between personal privacy and freedom of expression on the internet,” she writes.

Retracting A Suicide

Retracting a suicide: Son found dead with a noose around his neck. Coroner rules it a suicide and the Toledo Blade reports it that way. The mother objects, the coroner changes the ruling and the mother wants the Blade to delete the suicide report from its online archives.

“But nobody can change old printed copies of any newspaper — and to be honest, online newspapers need to reflect what was actually published both in electrons and on newsprint,” writes the ombudsman. “The past is not always pretty, nor even accurate.”

 

Doubt Cast On Pulse Coverage

Doubt cast on Pulse coverage: Melissa Jeltsen writes that the widow of the man who killed 49 inside a gay nightclub in Orlanda, Florida, was wrongly accused.

“In the wake of the shooting, the media and public focused on certain details, many of which were later determined to be unfounded, and discounted others….,” she writes.

Bias Seen In Facebook Coverage

Bias seen in Facebook coverage: Mathew Ingram writes that “at least some of the enthusiasm with which media companies are covering Facebook’s trials and tribulations stems from their resentment over how the company has stolen their readers and advertising revenue.”

Media executives failed to adapt quickly enough to the internet, and then in a desperate attempt to catch up, handed too much of their business to Facebook and Google, he writes.

“Activist” A Dangerous Word

“Activist” is a loaded word, writes Tara Murtha.

“Certainly, there are occasions when ‘activist’ is an appropriate way to identify a participant in an article,” she writes. “Often, though, identifying someone as an ‘activist’ is a subtle but effective way to degrade the person you are quoting and their perspective by erasing credentials and professional expertise.”

 

NewsGuard Fights Fake News

 

By Casey Bukro

NewsGuard Technologies is recruiting veteran journalists to fight fake news by color-coding 7,500 news and information websites and video channels in the United States green, yellow and red.

A red rating goes to purveyors of consistently and intentionally false information or propaganda.

Now in the process of recruiting and training qualified journalists to be NewsGuard analysts, the enterprise, based in New York and Chicago, will begin operating in time for the mid-term elections in November.

The 7,500 news sources targeted account for 98 percent of the news articles read and shared in the English language online in the United States. After launching in the U.S., NewsGuard will expand to serve billions of people globally who get news online.

“Our goal is to help solve this (fake news) problem now by using human beings – trained, experienced journalists – who will operate under a transparent, accountable process to apply basic common sense to a growing scourge that clearly cannot be solved by algorithms,” said co-founder Steven Brill, longtime journalist and media entrepreneur.

The founders raised $6 million to launch NewsGuard.

In addition to color-coding websites or online publications, NewsGuard plans to issue Nutrition Labels that will explain the history of the site, what it attempts to cover, who owns it and who edits it. The labels also will reveal financing, notable awards or mistakes, whether the publisher upholds transparency standards or repeatedly is found at fault.

Two NewsGuard analysts will independently review and rate each site or online publication. One will draft the Nutrition Label and the other will edit it. The public can access these reviews to see why publishers got the green, yellow or red ratings.

Any disagreement between the two analysts is resolved by NewGuard’s senior editorial officers, including Brill, cofounder Gordon Crovitz, former Wall Street Journal publisher, James Warren, former Chicago Tribune managing editor and Eric Effron, former Legal Times editor and publisher.

Warren is NewsGuard’s executive editor and Effron is managing editor.

The lead investor in NewsGuard, among 18 investors, is Publicis Groupe, based in Paris. It is a French multinational advertising and public relations company, and the oldest and one of the largest marketing and communications companies in the world, by revenue.

Who Rates An Obit?

Who rates an obit? The New York Times ponders why most obituaries are still of white men.

“So why not more women and people of color on the obituary pages?” asks its obituaries editor. “Why, for that matter, not more openly gay people, or transgender people?” Obits are among the most heavily read parts of media.

 

Archive Photo Ruled Okay

Using a 2005 photo of a young woman posing in a British strip club was not an invasion of privacy, ruled the Independent Press Standards Organization.

Sydney Smith writes that IPSO found a news outlet may consider a voluntary action in the past fair game in the future.

The newspaper volunteered to take down the photo as a goodwill gesture and said it “understood that when one is young, one can make choices which are later regretted.”