Category Archives: Minimizing Harm

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.”

 

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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.

Denying Coverage To Nazis

Denying coverage to Nazis: An Arkansas television station thinks about the news value in covering a Nazi rally, then decides to “give them silence,” writes Al Tompkins.

News director learns the protestors are not local, protesting an issue of no local importance.

 

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.

Covering Wildfires

Covering wildfires: The devastating California fires change the landscape and journalism, writes Audrey Cooper.

“There is a perception that journalists simply take from the victims,” she writes. “We do take their stories, their photos. We do these things not because we relish it but because the public must know. There is power in the truth, even if it is a truth some would rather not see.”

 

Criticizing Journalists Responsibly

Criticizing journalists responsibly: Don’t make it personal, writes Philip Eil.

“In all cases, stick to the work, not the person,” he writes. Journalists are perfectionists. If your goal is to cause emotional pain, pointing to flaws in their work is often more upsetting than a personal attack.

It’s “a good time for a refresher for citizens on what constitutes a healthy, constructive conversation about the work we produce,” Eil writes.

How Rape Is Covered By News Media

How rape is covered by news media: News reflects rape culture, or local norms toward sexual assault, writes Meg Dalton.

“Rape culture is difficult to measure,” she writes, “but there are a few common characteristics like victim blaming, implying victim consent, questioning victim credibility and empathy for the alleged perpetrator.”

 

Medill Spotlights Local News Collapse

Medill spotlights local news collapse: As newsroom jobs disappear, writes Mark Jacob, some areas of the country are virtually uncovered by journalism and plagues all news consumers with more superficiality and mistakes.

“Which means there’s plenty to read and view, but it might not tell us very much,” he writes on the local news crisis as part of the Local News Initiative at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Rage And The Media

Rage and the media: There is some merit to Trump’s claim that the media contributed to the current climate of fear and anger, writes Matt Lewis.

“Tell the truth, but in a way that is responsible,” he writes. “Eschew things that are salacious or done simply to gin up excitement. Exercise restraint and forbearance. The onus is on us to police ourselves. With great power comes great responsibility.”