Category Archives: Weighing Benefits and Harm

A Plea For School Shooting Standards

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.”

 

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High Ethical Standards In Pursuit of News

High ethical standards in pursuit of news: The Center for Journalism
Ethics names ProPublica a finalist for an ethics award.

In telling the story of a high school student trying to escape gang membership, ProPublica did not publish his last name or run photos that might reveal his identity.

 

Ethical Boundaries–Paying For Interviews

Ethical boundaries–paying for interviews: “Reporters working with vulnerable populations, particularly in conflict situations, often face a high-stakes predicament: The job of bearing witness demands of us the highest ethical standards,” writes Annie Hylton. “At the same time, we confront extreme suffering, and even our pocket change might change someone’s circumstances, at least temporarily.”

 

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.

 

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.”

 

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.”

 

Ethics Of Publishing Mugshots

Ethics of publishing mugshots: Is it preying on human suffering? Corey Hutchins reports that mugshots are a staple for some local newsrooms, while others avoid them.

“Some of those accused said they lost jobs and housing or relocated because they couldn’t find work,” writes Hutchins. Outcome of the cases often unknown.

Hurricane Coverage Debated

Hurricane coverage debated: Meteorologists dislike the exclusive use of categories in defining the threats of hurricanes, reports Jed Gottlieb.

They want to see more reports with information readers and viewers can use to make important decisions, but do not agree on a better system. Local news is praised for being as urgent as needed.