Category Archives: Independence

Making Money In The News Business

Making money in the news business: The Tow Center for Digital Journalism offers a guide “to grow their revenue by deepening interactions with their audiences.”

It “isn’t about premiums, tote bags, mugs or local business discounts,” says the report.

Journalism attracts an audience “when they want want to be part of the larger cause that the news organization represents or when they think it represents something unique in the world.”

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Top Ten Dubious Polling Awards

Top ten dubious polling award: David W. Moore says CBS News gets first place in the tongue-in-cheek awards “for explicitly highlighting the knowledge-free basis of much public opinion polling” in 2017.

Moore said CBS nudged respondents to guess despite their admitted lack of knowledge.

The Internet’s Central Villain

 

The Internet’s central villain: Farhad Manjo asks what is the driving force behind much of the chaos and disrepute online?

“This isn’t that hard,” he writes. “You don’t need a crazy wall to figure it out, because the force to blame has been quietly shaping the contours of life online since just about the beginning of life online: It’s the advertising business, stupid.”

 

Opioid Crisis Collateral Damage

Opioid crisis collateral damage is a lesson for journalists, writes Byard Duncan.

Many states hit hard by the opioid crisis also are seeing a spike in foster care placements. In most cases, the broad designation of “substance abuse” is all that gets logged by social workers.

“Sometimes the information we don’t have is even more important than what we know,” writes Duncan. Think about who else is affected, keep an open mind.

 

Crusading High School Journalists

Crusading high school journalists: Students learn that a popular history teacher is fired for misconduct, writes Eli Rosenberg.

The story is deleted from the newspaper website by school leaders. The students created their own website, the Herriman Telegram, and republished the story. Their slogan: “Student run. No censorship.”

 

European Free Speech and Press Advocates Worried

European advocates for free speech and press are worried, writes Mathew Ingram.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom are all either discussing or are already in the process of implementing requirements for social networks to take measures to remove or block online hate speech, harassment and so-called ‘fake news'” considered threats to social order.

America’s First Amendment protects even hateful speech.

Quoting a Foul-Mouthed President

Journalists typically avoid reporting vulgar language, but they were tested over how far to go in repeating President Trump’s comments about “shithole countires,” or words to that effect.

Michael M. Grynbaum surveyed media and found they differed, some explicit while others nuanced. In this case, the profane quote was not incidental to the story, it was the story.

The reporting appears to follow the direction of a cultural shift to coarse language.

Observers note that Trump’s remarks follow others that forced journalists to consider their standards, like “pussy.” They also note that Trump is not the only president to use offensive language. President George W. Bush used an expletive to describe a New York Times reporter.

A generation of so ago, words like “hell” or “damn” were not seen in daily newspapers, or heard on radio or television, much less the F-word. These appear fairly commonly now.

President Lyndon Johnson often used colorful language, sometimes off-color. In 1965 Johnson ordered U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic, and reportedly said, “Those people couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if they had instructions on the heel!” The disparaging remarks could have upset U.S.-Latin American relations if they had been widely reported.

President Gerald Ford fired his agriculture secretary, Earl Butz, in 1976 for highly offensive remarks quoted in Rolling Stone Magazine about why African-Americans don’t vote Republican.

In the ongoing discussion of what to report or not, retired journalism professor Robert Buckman offers this thought from from Arthur Brisbane, American journalist, editor and author: “A newspaper is a mirror reflecting the public, a mirror more or less defective, but still a mirror.”

 

Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Journalism

Robots can write, but are they ethical?

Paul Chadwick writes about how artificial intelligence could damage public trust in journalism.

“For the time being, (ethics) codes could simply require that when AI is used the journalists turn their minds to whether the process overall has been compatible with fundamental human values,” he writes.

Michael Wolff’s Access Journalism

Assessing Michael Wolff’s brand of access journalism: Nausicaa Renner and Pete Vernon say Wolff could not have written his book “without the hard work of journalists over the past year; the fire he catalogs was often fueled by stories from mainstream reporters.”

Wolff bluffed his way into the good graces of the Trump administration and produced “a thoroughly readable portrait of the Trump administration’s chaos and lack of preparedness.”