Posted by: kklist | April 27, 2018

Next Week in Ethics

Good Morning, Ethics!

Monday from 11-1: Office Hours

Tuesday from 10-11:15: Discuss McDermott, Athas and Interview Highlights. Submit final interviews.

Thursday from noon-2: Some interviews returned in my office with ATKINS DOUGHNUTS!

Friday from 11-1: Some interviews returned in my office with COOKIES!

Monday from noon-2: Remaining interviews returned in my office with CANDY!

Check this from today’s Reliable Sources—especially those Daily News Headlines:

Bill Cosby was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion more than three years ago. On Thursday he was convicted by a court of law…

“A step in the right direction…”
Chloe Melas emails: Moments after the Cosby verdict was read, I spoke with #MeToo’s Tarana Burke, who said: “People have been using the term ‘culture shift’ since #MeToo went viral in 2017, but I think this verdict might be the first step we’ve seen toward the way our culture views and thinks about survivors and sexual violence. It took 61 women to come forward to get this one conviction…

Happy Weekend!



Posted by: kklist | April 26, 2018

The Times’ Eric Athas

Hiya Ethics,

This is a reminder that New York Times digital editor Eric Athas (08) will speak to us at 10 Thursday in the Journalism Hub. He’ll talk about his own career (from UMass Journalism to the Washington Post to NPR to the Times) and about his current digital work with a focus on ethics.

I hope you’ll have some good questions for Eric. Feel free to ask them before, during and after his talk.

I’ll be in the Hub early and I’ll stay after Eric’s presentation in case you have questions about your final assignment, which is due in class next Tuesday, May 1.

Looking forward to seeing you in the morning!



Posted by: kklist | April 23, 2018

Tuesday’s Class on Photo Ethics

Hiya Ethics!

This is a reminder that Journalism Chair/Photojournalist Brian McDermott will talk with you about photo ethics in class at 10 tomorrow in our regular classroom, 228 Hasbrouk.

We’ve already discussed the basics of photo ethics, and you’ve read the NPPA Code of Ethics, Poynter’s Ethics for Visual Media, Sam Roe on the iconic photo from Kent State and Kristen Hare on publishing graphic photos. Last week I emailed you Ryan Kelly’s photos from Charlottesville along with an interview with him. Please review all of this before class so you’re prepared to ask Brian some good questions.

And be sure to ask him which photo assignment led him to stop shooting for the New York Daily News!



Posted by: kklist | April 19, 2018

Charlottesville Photos

Hiya Ethics,

Here’ s a link to Ryan Kelly’s photos from Charlottesville’s white supremacist rally so you can scroll through them.

Before Tuesday’s class, please review the photo materials distributed today and pay special attention to the news photos you’re seeing so you have some good questions for Brian. Our mission: to show him that you are, in fact, the best Ethics class ever.

Have a great weekend!



Posted by: kklist | April 19, 2018

Sean Hannity . . .

Does not belong in the same email as the #MeToo reporters. But for a glaring example of conflict of interest, check this from Poynter:

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Sean Hannity, who savagely critiqued the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer, has turned out to be a client of the lawyer himself. Why didn’t he disclose that to his viewers? That’s what Fox News’s Juan Williams asked on air. His Fox News colleague Shep Smith calls it “the elephant in the room.” It truly is a mess, writes The Atlantic’s David Graham. The Daily News put it simply, over much of its Tuesday front page, “Oh, For Fox Sake!

Posted by: kklist | April 19, 2018

Times #MeToo Reporters Accept Pulitzer

Good Morning, Ethics!

Please take a moment to read Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor’s speech after they won the Pulitzer for their coverage of Harvey Weinstein.

They talk about the bravery of their sources who were willing to come forward and the importance of their own documentation of what those sources had to say:

These women did not do anything to get harassed or assaulted or humiliated. They had every right to preserve their privacy, stay silent. Instead they took a leap of faith, and told us their stories, and as a result, all of our children will benefit.

Once Megan and I understood the essence of the Weinstein allegations, we realized that part of our job was to give the women a mountain of evidence to stand on: documents, internal emails, settlement records, human resources reports. Our goal was to break the he-said-she-said-cycle, and show how much evidence there was for what these women were telling us.

They talk about what a team effort this reporting represents, involving everyone from the supportive publisher to the editors to other reporters and to the copy editor who read their work:

Rory Tolan . . . deserves a medal of his own for high-stakes copy editing — the kind done under legal threat, in which one word out of place can trigger a lawsuit. The kind done at 2 a.m. The kind done just before the moment of publication, with [editors] Dean Baquet, Rebecca Corbett and Matt Purdy all leaning over his shoulder and reading off his screen.

Are they journalists or activists?

Jodi and I are journalists, not activists. But the two of us, and all of the other reporters around the country who worked on these kinds of stories, did so with the hope that girls will know nothing but dignity and decency in the workplace and beyond.

And here are their closing remarks, which are so powerful:

But we’re still not sure what we — or they — will say about the most important part, which is the ending. Years in the future, when we describe to our daughters the abuses we wrote about, they may say: Oh yeah, that still happens all the time. It happens at my summer job. It happens on my campus.

Or will they be shocked at what will seem like a bygone era, and say: Did people really think that used to be O.K. back then? Mom, how could that have been allowed to go on? And really, you were there when things changed?

The answer to that question is not up to us. It belongs to the rest of the world now. The only thing that the two of us, and this team, can contribute is to keep reporting. And that’s exactly what we intend to do.

Enjoy your day off!



Posted by: kklist | April 13, 2018

Ethics Interview Due…

The final interview is due May 1, the last day of class.


Posted by: kklist | April 13, 2018

New Calendar!

Hello Ethics!

Your interview with Eric today elicited some great material on Fairness, Sources, Privacy and Conflict of Interest around his Globe CI story. Remember that in your own interviews, you’ll have to cover Diversity too. We’ll talk more about this next week.

Here is the Last Ethics Calendar for the rest of the semester. Note there’s no class next Tuesday. On Thursday, we’ll finish talking about Eric and Privacy and also discuss Deception and Photo Ethics. Please finish the reading for those topics, as noted on the calendar.

Email me if you have questions!



Posted by: kklist | April 9, 2018

Latest Local Journalism Crisis: Denver!

Good Morning, Ethics,

Lay-offs at local newspapers have reached crisis proportions. The Denver Post in the last few days was forced to lay off one-third of its remaining staff, bringing the number of reporters covering the city to under 100.

From Columbia Journalism Review:

Nowhere is that crisis more apparent than in Denver, where the city’s lone daily paper published an extraordinary package of pieces showing the newsroom in open revolt against its owners. Taking aim at Alden Global Capital, the New York-based hedge fund that owns the paper, the Post published an editorial stating, “If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell the Post to owners who will.

Alden, through its subsidiary Digital First Media, is one of the biggest owners of newspapers in the country, and it has pursued a similar strategy involving drastic cuts at places like the San Jose Mercury-News, the Orange County Register, and the Boston Herald.

Alden purchased the Post in 2010, taking over a talented newsroom that would go on to win a Pulitzer for its coverage of the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Noting that Digital First Media reported solid profits last year, the piece makes a plea for the company to “rethink its business strategy across all its newspaper holdings.”

The threat that Alden’s strategy presents to journalism and civic life in America should be obvious. A skeleton staff covering a city of 700,000 means less accountability, fewer checks on power, and a diminished marketplace for ideas.

Notice that the Boston Herald is in for the same treatment.

Tuesday in class, we’ll finish Diversity and talk about Privacy. See you then!



Posted by: kklist | April 5, 2018

Check Diversity at the Times & ProPublica

Hiya Ethics,

Take a quick look at these diversity reports from the New York Times and ProPublica.

Of all the new hires at the Times in 2017, 61% were women and 39% were people of color. The newsroom at ProPublica is 45% women and 24% people of color.

That’s some good news. But even more interesting to me is that both the Times and PP chose to issue major diversity reports at this particular moment. That’s new—and encouraging.

Have a great weekend!



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