Posted by: kklist | April 21, 2017

Ethics Interviews!

Hiya Ethics,

You did a good interview with Matt today. If you look at your assignment, you’ll see that you covered all of the bases. You got good material on diversity (we should have pushed him on examples of his getting “different perspectives”), privacy (great Derek Gordon material) and conflicts of interest (don’t play poker with your sources!).

As he talked about the Charlie Molnar story toward the end of class, he got into some great material on fairness (how he got Molnar’s side of the story) and sources (anonymous, two independent sources, etc.).

You also had info about his background and social media use, so if you wrote this well, you’d have all the ingredients for an A paper.

If you don’t have an approved topic, you need one asap. If you talked to me after class, email me your interviewees names and where they work so I can get them on my list.

I’m looking forward to class next week when we’ll talk more about “objectivity,” privacy, photojournalism and deception.

Let me know if you have questions!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | April 21, 2017

Matt’s Stories Today

Good Morning, Ethics,

Matt Vautour has a UMass basketball story and a column in today’s Gazette. He often pairs news coverage with analysis. Does that create difficulties in terms of covering his beat? That would be another good question for him.

See you soon!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | April 19, 2017

Practice Interview Thursday!

Hiya Ethics,

Be sure to bring a copy of your final interview assignment (attached again here) to class on Thursday so we can practice on Matt Vautour, an alum and former Collegian editor who covers UMass sports for the Gazette. I’ll introduce Matt, and you’ll conduct the interview, making sure you get responses to all the questions assigned—among others you might want to ask.

One of Matt’s most interesting stories from an ethical perspective was on the firing of former UMass football coach Charlie Molnar. Take a look here. And Matt’s visit, of course, will be yet another opportunity to talk to a working journalist about how he does his job.

Some of you still need approved topics for your interviews, so we should get those settled by Friday at the latest. Due date for the final essay is the last day of class, May 2.

Next week, we’ll discuss Photography, our text and your interviews.

See you Thursday!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | April 11, 2017

Weekend Update on Tuesday and More!

Good Morning, Ethics!

This is a reminder that Jose Antonio Vargas will speak at 4 Tuesday in the Student Union Ballroom. A second option for you is a live Amherst Wire interview at 11:30 Tuesday in the Journalism Hub.

Remember that you’re writing a one-page (minimum) description of Vargas’s ethical approach to his work, based on one of these two talks. That’s due in class on Thursday.

We’ve been fortunate this semester to listen to so many interesting journalists: S.P. Sullivan, the Mongabay editors, now Vargas and next week, Matt Vautour. As I think about reporting today, I also want to recommend the work of Maggie Haberman, who covers the Trump White House for the Times. She’s also a CNN political analyst.

Haberman has been a reporter in New York who’s covered Trump for several decades, and her access to the President and those sources around him now is nothing short of amazing. Most of her sources, of course, have to be quoted anonymously, as in today’s story on the Bannon-Kushner battle for influence. Many of her stories are front page.

This CNN Media story describes Haberman as tough, but fair—the reporter who always asks the hard questions, but the one whom Trump needs. Many reporters trade their credibility for access, but she has not. And she always buys her own lunch!

Check out Maggie below, and see you Tuesday!

best,

k

From the CNN piece:

There may be no reporter Trump respects, and fears, more than Haberman. He may bash and beat up on the Times, and her, but he inevitably returns to her to share his thinking and participate in interviews. He does so because, in addition to having known her for so long, he knows that she matters, that she will not treat him with kid gloves but not be unfair either, that she commands the respect of the political communities in both Washington and New York.

“She was made for this moment,” said [BuzzFeed editor Ben] Smith. “She has a better handle on the most important story in the world, which is Donald Trump, than any other reporter.”

Posted by: kklist | April 11, 2017

Tuesday

Hello Ethics,

It seems like only 45 minutes ago that I saw you! I hope our discussion today on moving from observing to participating in a news situation gave you some context on the question: do your story first, if possible; intervene if lives are in danger, etc. My sense is that this is a very personal decision, so discussion—even small group discussion—may not be as valuable as it is in other areas. But it’s helpful, I think, to raise questions that might guide your thinking. And I hope that’s what we did today—even without our circle.

On Tuesday: I’ll see you at Jose Antonio Vargas’s talk at 4 Tuesday in the Student Union Ballroom. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who now focuses on immigration. Here is more background.

On Thursday, please bring to class a one-page summary of your sense of Vargas’s ethics, using evidence from his talk. We’ll also discuss Privacy and start on Photojournalism if there’s time.

Have a great weekend!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | April 11, 2017

Calendar and Interview Assignment

Hello Ethics,

Attached is another stab at an Ethics calendar that will take us through the end of the semester. I’ll bring paper copies again on Thursday and hope for the best.

Of course we must go see Jose Antonio Vargas, and I’ll ask you to write a page describing what seems to be his ethical approach to journalism based on his talk.

I’ve also attached a copy of your final interview assignment.

See you Thursday for more Conflict of Interest and Privacy!

best,

k

April-May Ethics Calendar 2

Journ Interview

Posted by: kklist | March 29, 2017

Women in the News!

Good Morning, Ethics!

Here’s the Daily Mail story that compares the legs of British Prime Minister Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland. The article written by Sarah Vine in “one of Britain’s most popular newspapers,” reports:

“Knees tightly together,” Mrs. May opted for “a studied pose that reminds us that for all her confidence, she is ever the vicar’s daughter,” the article said.

Ms. Sturgeon’s legs, described as “undeniably more shapely shanks,” were “more flirty, tantalizingly crossed.” The writer then called the Scottish leader’s posture “a direct attempt at seduction: Her stiletto is not quite dangling off her foot, but it could be.”

As a frequent traveler to the UK, I often think that Britain is considerably behind the U.S. in terms of treatment of women. Then I see photos like these of our own government’s deliberations on women’s health care, as featured in Mother Jones.

We all have a long way to go!

See you Thursday to talk about diversity solutions and conflicts of interest!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | March 27, 2017

Mongabay Story

Hiya Ethics,

If you weren’t able to see the assigned environmental journalism panel last Thursday, here is our own David McLellan’s story on Mongabay from the Collegian.

See you Tuesday to talk about Mongabay’s ethics and much more on Diversity!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | March 24, 2017

Next Two Weeks in Ethics

Welcome Back Ethics!

Here is a calendar for the next two weeks. I’ll also bring hard copies to class.

Thursday, March 23, class will meet at 4 p.m. in the Journalism Hub where we’ll talk with editors from Mongabay. Plan to hand me your Fairness/Sources assignment at the event.
Before Thursday, check out the website and its mission statement:
“Mongabay seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of nature and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development.”
I’ve asked the editors to talk about the ethical issues they face in their work including those listed below.
FAIRNESS: How do you achieve fair coverage when you’re reporting on policies/events with which—given your environmental focus—you disagree?
SOURCES: How would you describe most of your sources? What difficulties do you have in working with them? Do you ever have to use anonymous sources?
DIVERSITY: How diverse is the Mongabay staff? Do you think about issues of diversity in terms of your coverage?
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Given your personal beliefs and what I’m guessing is a pretty wide variety of sources, do you experience conflicts? How do you manage them?
PRIVACY: Have you been in the position of having to be concerned about people’s privacy? Sources or populations with whom you’re dealing?

ACCESS: Clearly, you’ll be getting less access to government information. What does that mean for you? How can you work around it?

Tuesday, March 28th: Bring your notes on each of these topics to class so we can discuss them. We’ll also finish our Diversity discussion, focusing on solutions to making the media more representative. And we’ll do more in-class work on problems with reporting that stem, in part, from lack of diversity.
Thursday, March 30th: Conflicts of Interest. Do the reading!
See you this afternoon!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | March 9, 2017

Sending you off on break. . .

. . . with the latest on Monica Crowley—last on our list of Journalism Anti-Heroes. This is from CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning:

“In her first interview since KFILE found extensive plagiarism in her past, Monica Crowley said ‘what happened to me was a despicable, straight-up, political hit job, OK?’”

No it was not!

Check out the NY Daily News story.

Thanks for emailing your Sean Sullivan observations.

Have a great break!

best,

k

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