Category Archives: Weighing Benefits and Harm

Covering Coronavirus Better

Covering coronavirus better: Shoddy coverage of the virus can cause panic and overreaction, writes Al Tompkins.

Limit adjectives, choose images carefully, frame stories with context, bust myths and get creative.

“The public is starting to freak out,” he writes. “Don’t add to it with screaming clickbait headlines and scary generic images.”

 

Speaking Ill of the Dead

Speaking ill of the dead: A backlash against Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez for mentioning the Kobe Bryant rape case “steams from the ancient wisdom that urged folks not to speak ill of the dead,” writes Erik Wemple.

“A fine rule for everyone except for historians and journalists….,” he writes.

 

Woman In Journalism

Women in journalism: Women journalists in particular contend with unwanted presumptions, sexual harassment and the threat of gender-based violence, reports the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

“Listen to your internal radar.”

From the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists archives.

 

Sharing Content Without Thinking

Sharing content without thinking: “A complex web of societal shifts is making people more susceptible to misinformation and conspiracy,” writes Claire Wardle.

“Most of this content is designed not to persuade people in any particular direction but to cause confusion, to overwhelm and to undermine trust in democratic institutions from the electoral system to journalism. Users become “unwitting agents of disinformation.”

 

Reporting On Special Needs People

Reporting on special needs people: A complaint about a headline referring to a “wheelchair-bound man” caused a Canadian newspaper to caution its staff when reporting on people with disabilities, reported iMediaEthics.

The term is “antiquated and ableist” ruled Canada’s National News Media Council. Say “person who uses a wheelchair.”

 

Reporting Hate Speech, Violence and Terrorism

Reporting hate speech, violence and terrorism: The Public Media Alliance of journalists in South East Asia adopts guidelines for covering hate speech, violence and terrorism.

An action plan workshop developed policies beginning with definitions leading to “how journalists and media professionals should respond to such situations.”