A plea for school shooting standards: Education reporters should lead the way toward newsroom standards for covering shootings at schools, writes Emily Richmond;
“They should ask managers when their news outlets will name perpetrators and how often,” she writes. “They should also ask whether coverage of such an event will use tweets sent by students in lockdown, or share videos and photos from scenes of violence.”
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: 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.”
“My view is that we have to keep the long run in mind,” Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron tells the Poynter Institute’s Journalism Ethics Summit. Scott Nover reports on trust in the media and other big stories in the Trump presidency.
Americans rank the three major major traditional commercial broadcast television networks—ABC, CBS and NBC—as the most credible news sources, according to a poll that explored the credibility of 13 print and digital news sources.
“Despite the proliferation of coverage of fake news and historically low opinion of the media, a majority of adults think most cable news networks and major newspapers are credible,” reported morningconsult.com, a nonpartisan digital media and survey research company based in Washington, D.C.
“Television news gets the highest number of people saying they are credible, with major newspapers such as the New York Times not trailing far behind,” wrote Laura Nichols. While the three major television networks took the top three slots, the Wall Street Journal and the Times followed immediately after them.
Historically speaking, this is an interesting turn of events. Fifty-five years ago, Newton Minow, then chair of the Federal Communications Commission, described television as a “vast wasteland” in speech at the 1961 National Association of Broadcasters convention.
Despite such poor expectations, television news has grown into a giant. As technology improved, it became more ubiquitous, even intrusive. And the medium proved itself able to show and tell complicated issues, in documentaries and far-ranging reports. Even the humble smartphone records news events, turning everyone into a television photographer.
Clearly, the medium is a crowd-pleaser. Critics might argue television reports serve largely as a headline service. But the format has won public favor. Even Minow, who continues to be asked his opinion of television, appreciates today’s “wider range of choice.”
The Pew Research Center reports that in 2016, Americans express a clear preference for getting their news on a screen—either television or digital—although “TV remains the dominant screen.”
On the Chicago police beat, which I covered at the City News Bureau of Chicago, legend was that police sometimes arrested suspicious characters for mopery with intentions to gawk.
By definition, a gawker is a person who stares openly at someone or something. To gawk is to gape, stare or rubberneck without trying to hide that you’re doing it. A gawker also can be an awkward or clumsy person.
So when Financial Times reporter Nick Denton launched Gawker.com in 2003, I figured I knew what to expect. The website described itself as a media news and gossip blog, one of its goals being to “afflict the comfortable.” Gawker Media became a network of blogs, including Gizmodo, Deadpan, Jezebel and Lifehacker.