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!

best,

k

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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!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | April 13, 2018

Ethics Interview Due…

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

k

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!

best,

k

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!

best,

k

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!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | April 2, 2018

Sinclair Conflict of Interest

Good Morning, Ethics!

On Tuesday, we’ll finish our discussion of Conflict of Interest, starting with conflicts created by native advertising and owners. Illustrating the latter is the conservative “must-run” content Sinclair Broadcasting sends to its 200 local television stations. The most recent sounds very much like President Trump’s attacks on the media. This seems especially insidious because polls consistently show that consumers trust local broadcast stations more than any other type of news.

Check this from Columbia Journalism Review:

The compilation of local news anchors at stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group reading a corporate-mandated script attacking other outlets for producing “biased and false news” went viral over the weekend. Deadspin’s Timothy Burke wrote that the journalists looked “like hostages in proof-of-life videos, trying their hardest to spit out words attacking the industry they’d chosen as a life vocation.”

Sinclair announced plans last May to acquire Tribune Media Company’s 42 television stations, a move which would expand its reach to nearly three-quarters of American households. It is currently awaiting approval of the deal from government regulators.

We’ll discuss our two remaining Conflict articles, then move on to Diversity, as per our calendar.

See you then!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | March 31, 2018

Conflict with Owner/Editor at WSJ

Good Morning, Ethics,

After Mike Hengel’s talk yesterday on Sheldon Adelson’s ownership of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, I have to follow up with the controversy this morning regarding Wall Street Journal reporters claiming censorship of a piece by their editor. The WSJ is owned by conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and this is not the first time reporters have spoken out about conflict of interest. Check this from Columbia Journalism Review:

Alleging “censorship,” Wall Street Journal staffers circulated a letter yesterday decrying the suppression of a story detailing uneven gains in the decade since the financial crisis.

“This week a senior editor at the Wall Street Journal attempted to take a graphic offline because the facts it contained were not politically palatable,” the letter read. “When that failed, it was ‘de-surfaced,’ or, in other terms, taken off the front page and links were removed to it from as many places as possible. After an early flurry of traffic, views plummeted. This is censorship and it is beneath the standards of the Wall Street Journal. It isn’t the first time, either.”

ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger tweeted that he heard the senior editor referenced was Journal EIC Gerard Baker, a detail that several staffers later supported. Baker has faced criticism in the past for taking a soft approach to coverage of the Trump administration, and Politico’s Michael Calderone and Jason Schwartz report that his problem with the story and its accompanying graphics was that they were “too liberal.”

Have a great weekend!

best,

k

Posted by: kklist | March 29, 2018

We’re Ahead of the Curve!

Good Morning, Ethics!

CNN’s Reliable sources In an interview with student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has stirred up a debate—one we had several weeks ago—on the question: Are journalists activists?

From Brian Stelter:

2 of the most popular responses
National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar: “Journalism isn’t activism; it’s presenting the facts, honestly and objectively. It’s this mentality that’s killing trust in our profession.”

The LAT’s Matt Pearce took the other side: “Journalism *is* activism in its most basic form. The entire basis for its ethical practice is the idea that a democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to function. Choosing what you want people to know is a form of activism, even if it’s not the march-and-protest kind.” Pearce’s point was that newsrooms are constantly picking and choosing what’s worthy of coverage and what isn’t.

Pearce’s comment speaks to agenda setting, as per our discussion. And I found this comment interesting:

Political columnist Ana Marie Cox responded to Pearce: “This was the exact reaction I had — great reporting should make you want to take action, to *be active*! What makes it reporting is that you let go (for the most part) of what that action is.”

And this is Rebecca Schneid, one of the editors of the MSD student newspaper:

“Journalists can USE the facts to describe an issue that plagues society,” like gun violence, Schneid said. “It’s the journalists who present these facts and elevate the voices of the oppressed that allow for actual change to occur.”

So interesting!

best,

k

 

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