Category Archives: Minimizing Harm

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.”

 

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.”

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.”

Photojournalism’s Sexual Harassment Problem

Photojournalism’s sexual harassment problem: Kristen Chick writes that female photographers are calling for their own moment of reckoning.

“Many women in the industry say the behavior is so common that they have long considered it simply one of the realities of working as a woman in the profession,” she writes.

The problem is rooted, she says, in these factors: The field has historically been male-dominated with a culture that glorifies macho, hyper-masculine behavior; increasing reliance on freelancers; workshops and other events for young photographers are often exploited by older, established photojournalists.

 

Newsroom Security Tips

Ten newsroom security tips: Daniel Funke reports the Capital Gazette shooting prompts safety measures.

“It’s not cheap or feasible for all newsrooms to incorporate things like bulletproof glass, armed guards and safe rooms in their offices,” he writes. “But with a small investment, outlets can make big changes to their security protocol — which could come in handy during potential attacks.”

Doors that lock, updated visitor policies, cameras, panic buttons and shooting drills included.

Fortifying Newsrooms

Fortifying newsrooms: Kyle Pope writes that the five killed at the Capital Gazette forces us “to rethink the threat to journalism in Trump’s America.”

“It is heartbreaking, but necessary, to recognize that the openness that defines local news likely carries too high a risk; local newsrooms, at least for now, may have no choice but to fortify themselves.”

In the war against the press local journalists may be “most at risk.”

 

Sleeping With Elephants

 

Reporters covering the circus can’t sleep with elephants: David Von Drehle faults editors in the affair between New York Times reporter Eli Watkins and a federal security aide.

“One after another, as Watkins rocketed up the career ladder, her supervisors failed to dig deeply enough to weigh the damage that could be done to the credibility of all media should her pillow talk be made public. Now that the laundry is aired and the damage is done, some of these same editors are minimizing the impact on media credibility.”