Muzzled scientists, stifled media: New restrictions on speaking directly to government scientists about the coronavirus are dangerous, writes Margaret Sullivan.
“We’re now at a moment when experts must be free to share their knowledge and front-line workers must be free to tell their stories without being muzzled or threatened — and certainly without being fired,” she writes. Lives depend on it.
WhatsApp fans coronavirus fears: The messaging service spreads panic-inducing conspiracy theories as officials race to contain the outbreak, writes Tony Romm.
The are battling an explosion of half-truths and outright falsehoods online, he writes.
Fairness first: Margaret Sullivan calls for a new approach to covering the Trump administration.
“First, we need to abandon neutrality-at-all-costs journalism, to replace it with something more suited to the moment,” she writes.
Ex-journalist backs pol: Sam Donaldson ruffled some journalists by backing Mike Bloomberg, writes Paul Farhi.
Though Donaldson is retired, is that unethical?
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.
Kobe coverage chaotic: The rush to get news first forced errors, reports Margaret Sullivan.
“In any major breaking news event, whether a hurricane or a school shooting, you can assume that some of the early coverage will be wrong,” she writes. “The Kobe Bryant story was an especially bad example of that truism.”
Revenge porn and privacy: Deanna Paul writes the U.S. Supreme Court might decide on the difference between free speech and invasion of privacy in an Illinois revenge porn case.
Janet Cooke’s world: Every student journalist should know about Cooke, the only reporter ever forced to return a Pulitzer Prize because her story about an eight-year-old heroin addict was a hoax.
Bill Green, the Washington Post’s ombudsman, wrote a blistering report on the Post’s editorial lapses that is a model of journalism accountability. It set the standard for ombudsmen. From the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists archives.
The backgrounder blight: A Washington Post reporter offers an interview “on background.” The Post’s media critic calls that transparency. Are they nuts?
The media “reckoning:” Margaret Sullivan agrees there should be a “reckoning” over media coverage of President Trump.
“I reckon that American citizens would have been far worse off if skilled reporters hand’t dug into the connections between Trump’s associates — up to and including his son Don Jr. — and Russians. That reporting has not been invalidated,” she writes.