Category Archives: Weighing Benefits and Harm

Public Editors Redux

Public editors redux: Kyle Pope announces the appointment of public editors for The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC.

“As watchdogs for the biggest news organizations in the country, they’ll be ready to call out mistakes, observe bad habits and give praise where it’s due,” he writes. “Most importantly, these public editors will engage with readers and viewers, bridging a critical gap.”

 

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Stickers Warn Of False News

Stickers warn of false news: Some fact-checkers around the world developed sticker warnings, writes Cristina Tardaguila.

“For now, they seem to be a nice (and colorful) way to tell friends and family they are spreading low-quality information — and should think twice before sharing content,” she writes.

 

Using Drones In Journalism

Using drones in journalism: Newsrooms need policies on using drones, according to a Center for Journalism Ethics report.

“While news organizations and individual journalists are safely integrating drones into their daily operations, as well as the national airspace, it is crucial to remember that this evolving technology still faces many regulatory and legislative hurdles, not to mention privacy issues and ethical concerns,” says the report.

IRE Enforces Ethics Code

Updating its code of conduct, Investigative Reporters & Editors adopted principles calling for banning members who violate the code.

“IRE may take any action it deems appropriate to deal with those who violate our principles, including exclusion from our events, forums, listservs and the organization itself,” says the code.

By contrast, the Society of Professional Journalists says its ethics code is voluntary.

 

 

Ethical Media Election Coverage

Ethical media election coverage: “The ethics question at the heart of election coverage is this: What approaches best serve the public interest?” writes Isaac Alter.

Covering it like a horse race trivializes elections, he says. Write about the candidates themselves; don’t overplay opinion polls.

 

 

Wall Street Journal Tames Online Commentary

Wall Street Journal tames online commentary: Select articles will be open for audience posts, writes Louise Story, to encourage “thoughtful discourse.”

Aims to focus on “original comments,” not on boisterous “repliers” who don’t read the articles.

 

NYT Privacy Project

NYT Privacy Project: The Times launches an investigation into the erosion of digital privacy, including its own practices.

“Though we know we must participate in this messy and rapidly changing ecosystem — one with plenty of bad actors — we are also working to ensure our own data practices live up to our values,” writes Publisher A.G. Sulzberger.

 

Struggling With Ethical Dilemmas and Difficult Choices

Struggling with ethical dilemmas and difficult choices: Resist the temptation to classify every ethical issue as a dilemma, writes Nancy Matchett in an article appearing in the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists archives.

“When facing a genuine dilemma you are forced, by the circumstances, to do something unethical,” she writes.