Tag Archives: iMediaEthics

Top Ten Dubious Polling Awards

Top ten dubious polling award: David W. Moore says CBS News gets first place in the tongue-in-cheek awards “for explicitly highlighting the knowledge-free basis of much public opinion polling” in 2017.

Moore said CBS nudged respondents to guess despite their admitted lack of knowledge.

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Top 10 Media Ethics Issues of 2017

Covering a time span of 84 years, iMediaEthics releases its annual report on the top media ethics issues.

Leading the list, writes Sydney Smith, is behavior in the workplace — the explosive story of top media figures who lost their jobs because of sexual misconduct.

In tenth place, the Associated Press releases a yearlong review into its working relationship with Nazis in Germany before World War Two.

Gallup Poll Divide on Gun Control Laws

Same poll, two conclusions: David W. Moore writes about a Gallup Poll on gun control laws.

“How did Gallup find barely a majority of Americans supporting new gun laws and, in the same poll, find virtually everyone supporting at least one new gun law, with large majorities supporting each of the three new laws included in the poll?” asks Moore. A mystery.

British Journalists Chastened on Ethics

newsofworld

Ethics violations close Britain’s News of the World. itv.com photo.

“Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live.” —Milton

By Casey Bukro

British journalists are more likely to pay sources for information than American journalists, but journalists in both countries agree that providing reliable information is their chief goal.

These are among the conclusions of a survey of 700 of the United Kingdom’s almost 64,000 professional journalists, by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

On ethics and standards, said the report:

“There is a close correspondence between U.K. journalists’ views on ethics and their professional codes of practice. However, they are more likely to find justification for ethically contentious practices, such as paying sources, than journalists in the United States.

“Rank and file journalists in the U.K. push ethical boundaries more than their managers, and 25 percent of all journalists believe it is justified, on occasion, to publish unverified information.”

As for misrepresentation and subterfuge, U.K. journalists expressed mixed views about whether claiming to be somebody else is acceptable. Fifty-four percent believe it is never justified and 46 percent think it is justified on occasion. U.S. journalists, according to the study, are more disapproving, with only 7 percent agreeing that misrepresentation is justified on occasion.

Continue reading British Journalists Chastened on Ethics

New Words for Old Ideas

By Casey Bukro

Every so often, some new terminology creeps into journalism lingo. Sometimes it’s a new concept, and sometimes it’s an old concept cloaked in different words.

That could apply to the term “sponsored views.”

In an interview with iMediaEthics, Patrick Pexton, former Washington Post ombudsman, said “sponsored views” are new words for “advertorials, messages provided by advertisers in a way that looks like journalism, or slightly cloaked journalism.”

But, he added emphatically, “it ain’t journalism.” Instead, it’s brand journalism.

This became an issue, as iMediaEthics reported, when the Washington Post launched a Sponsored Media program on June 12, allowing special interest groups to buy advertisements that are presented as comments below op-ed pieces on the Washington Post website.

The move came three months after the Post abandoned its ombudsman position and replaced it with a reader represenatative. Pexton was the newspaper’s last ombudsman, serving from 2011 to 2012.

The move was motivated by finance, said Pexton. ” The Post needs more revenue,” he said.

Since then, Jeffrey Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, bought the Post for $250 million.

One writer wonders if brand journalism and ethics can co-exist?