Category Archives: Fairness

Attribution And Plagiarism

Attribution and plagiarism: In the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists archives, Stephen Rynkiewicz compares Renaissance artists with modern journalists.

“If the rules on fair play are shifting, the Renaissance atelier may be where to look for direction,” he writes.

“When they knew enough to transform their material, apprentices became journeymen and started their own studios. When journalists bring craft and intelligence to their work, they too become artists,” he writes.

 

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Media Jumping to Conclusions

Media jumping to conclusions: The story about an encounter between Covington Catholic students and a Native American elder went global, and many in the media got it wrong.

“What responsible journalists do in such instances is exactly what they did here,” writes Kelly Hawes. “They keep reporting. They keep asking questions. They keep searching for the truth. When they’re wrong, they admit it. And they set the record straight.”

 

The Truth Sandwich

The truth sandwich: Repeating a lie helps it to live on, writes Craig Newmark.

“I predict that, in 2019, news organizations will start to institute new reporting methods to avoid being complicit. Tactics may include adopting the ‘truth sandwich,’ which means covering a lie by presenting the truth first and then following that lie with a fact-check, as well as increasing newsroom capacity to check claims for accuracy in real time, prior to publishing a story.”

 

Scalp Headline An Ethical Lapse

Scalp headline an ethical lapse: Native American Journalists Association criticizes a newspaper for reference to genocidal practices.

“Referring to the act of scalping Indigenous people violates the dignity of men, women and children that were victims of the practice,” says the association.

“More importantly, such language downplays crimes now defined as genocide by human rights observers and glorifies such racially-motivated acts by ignoring context at the expense of Indigenous people.”

 

Burned Out Journalists

Burned out journalists: Journalists are wilting under information overload, writes John Crowley. Hacks smooth their workload, like inbox zero.

“Management, either through wilful ignorance or a strong desire to react to the changing face of digital journalism, are simply asking journalists to stay connected far too much,” writes Crowley.

BuzzFeed Adopts Rules For Covering Mass Shootings

BuzzFeed adopts rules for covering mass shootings: Don’t shy away from the story, but don’t glorify the assailant.

Sydney Smith describes guidelines for language on mass shootings. All interviews should be considered on the record until a reporter agrees to go off the record or on background.

American Bias

American bias: David W. Moore explores American racism.

“It is in the realm of possibility, I think, to suggest that most of us, and maybe all of us, are afflicted to some degree with implicit bias — but the notion that we all share the same biases seems completely implausible,” he writes. There may be a dominant culture related to race, but there also are many subcultures that produce different feelings.

 

Reporters Making Statements

Reporters making statements: CNN’s Jim Acosta lost press credentials after questions for Trump ended with a statement, note Al Tompkins and Kelly McBride.

“Ask tough questions, avoid making statements or arguing during a press event and report the news, don’t become the news,” they write.

 

Covering Elections

Covering elections: The Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press offers an election legal guide.

“Generally, the First Amendment protects journalists’ right to gather news outside of polling places for the purpose of reporting on early election results,” says the exit polling guideline.