The McBride/Rosenstiel assignments are in your textbook. The Black, Steele and Barney (BSB) Checklists and the NPR Ethics Code are available as PDFs on the course page. The other articles are available in the weekly outline.

If you have trouble accessing any reading, let me know.

September 5: Introduction

Journalism Ethics Syllabus

September 7, 12: Ethics (in All Media) Is Everything

McBride/Rosenstiel, New Ethics of Journalism, Introduction

NPR Ethics Handbook, pp. 1-8

Margaret Sullivan, “Everything I Know About Journalism in 395 Words,” New York Times, May 1, 2015

“Washington Post Editor Marty Baron Has a Message to Journalists in the Trump Era,” Vanity Fair, Nov. 30, 2016

Christiane Amanpour’s 2016 speech to the Committee to Protect Journalists

Jack Shafer, “Trump is Making Journalism Great Again,” Politico, Jan. 16, 2017

Tom Rosenstiel, “What the post-Trump debate over journalism gets wrong: We don’t need journalists to hold fast or change everything, but a little of both,” Brookings Institute Report, Dec. 20, 2016

Thomas Friedman, “Social Media: Destroyer or Creator?New York Times, Feb. 3, 2016

September 14, 19: Journalism Rocks Democracy

McBride/Rosenstiel, Chs. 3, 6, 14, Epilogue

Ryan Chittum, “The Battle of New Orleans,” CJR, March 2013

Margaret Sullivan, “The Search for Local Investigative Reporting’s Future,” New York Times, Dec. 6 2015

David Chen, “With New Jersey Papers Limping, Few Are Left to Question the Powerful,” New York Times, Jan. 4, 2017

David Uberti, “Gannett’s push into New Jersey saps local coverage,” CJR, March 17, 2017

Ethics on Facebook (Said No One Ever)

Farhad Manjoo, “The News Behemoth That Put News Last,” New York Times, June 30, 2016

Mark Scott and Mike Isaac, “The Accidental Gatekeeper,” New York Times, Sept. 10, 2016

Craig Silverman, “A More Humble Facebook is Deploying Charm and Its Checkbook to Win Over Critics,” BuzzFeed, April 9, 2017

Jim Rutenberg, “Ad Buyers Have Say in Survival of News,” New York Times, May 8, 2017

September 21, 26, 28 and October 3: Accuracy, Fake News & Fabulists 

BSB, “Accuracy”

McBride/Rosenstiel, Chs. 1, 2, 10

NPR Ethics Code, pp. 9-17

Margaret Sullivan, “It’s time to retire the tainted term ‘fake news,’” Washington Post, Jan. 8, 2017

Stephen Farrell, “A Bomb Explodes in Manchester: Then What?New York Times, May 25, 2017

Editor’s Note to Our Readers,” Newsday, July 12, 2017

Mike Sager, “The Fabulist Who Changed Journalism,” Columbia Journalism Review, Spring 2016

Accuracy Assignment Due September 28

October 5, 10, 12, 17: Fairness, Not “Objectivity” or False Balance


BSB, “Fairness”

McBride/Rosenstiel, Ch. 4

NPR Ethics Handbook, pp. 18-31

Jose Antonio Vargas, UMass Journalism, April 2017

Fairness on Issues/To Individuals 

Liz Spayd, “The Truth about ‘False Balance,’” New York Times, Sept. 10, 2016

Margaret Sullivan, “This week should put the nail in the coffin for ‘both sides’ journalism,” New York Times, August 16, 2017

Jim Rutenberg, “Media’s Next Challenge: Overcoming the Threat of Fake News,” New York Times, Nov. 7, 2016

Sapna Maheshwari, “The Journey of a Fake News Story That Begins with a Single Tweet,” New York Times, Nov. 22, 2016

Marc Fisher, “Who cares if it’s true?” Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 2014

Mike Sager, “The Fabulist Who Changed Journalism,” Columbia Journalism Review, Spring 2016

Accuracy Assignments Due Feb. 14

October 19 & 24: Source/Reporter Relationships


Margaret Sullivan, “When Reporters Get Personal,” NY Times, Jan. 5, 2013

David Carr, “Journalism Even When It’s Tilted,” NY Times, July 1, 2013

Margaret Sullivan, “Covering New War, in Shadow of Old One,” New York Times, June 29, 2014

ESPN’s 30 for 30: “Richard Jewell

Fairness in Rape Coverage

Damaris Colhoun, “A Better Way to Report on Sexual Assault,” Columbia Journalism Review, May 3, 2016

Al Tompkins, “The decisions behind the New york Magazine’s Cosby Cover,” Poynter, July 29, 2015

Obctober 19, 24: Source/Reporter Relationships

BSB, “Source/Reporter Relationships”

McBride/Rosenstiel, Ch. 9

NPR Ethics Handbook, pp. 55-61

Margaret Sullivan, “When Coziness with Sources Is a Conflict,” New York Times, April 6, 2014

Jack Shafer, “The source may be anonymous, but the shame is all yours,”, June 18, 2014

Perry Bacon, “When to Trust a Story that Uses Unnamed Sources,” fivethirtyeight, July 18, 2017

James Risen, “Trump Can Target Journalists, Thanks to Obama,” New York Times, Jan. 1, 2017

Accuracy/Fairness/Sources Assignment Due: October 26

October 26, 31: Diversity

BSB, “Diversity”

McBride/Rosenstiel, Ch. 13


Carlett Spike, “Newsrooms getting more diverse but still don’t reflect communities they serve,” Columbia Journalism Review, Sept. 13, 2016


Katie Ferguson, “The influence and limitations of Black Twitter,” Columbia Journalism Review, March 30, 2016

Jackie Spinner, “How a Chicago Reporter ‘Explodes Stereotypes’ with Unexpected Stories about the City,” Columbia Journalism Review, June 13, 2016

Tanzina Vega, “How newsrooms can stop being so white,” CNN Money, Dec. 16, 2016


Women’s Media Center “Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2017 Report

Ed Sherman, “Video reveals vile online attacks on female sports reporters,” Poynter, May 5, 2016

Margaret Sullivan, “Roger Ailes’s lasting legacy for women workers is one he would have hated,” Washington Post, May 18, 2017

Final Interview Assigned and Discussed

November 2, 7: Conflicts of Interest

BSB, “Conflicts of Interest”

McBride/Rosenstiel, Ch. 8

NPR Ethics Handbook, pp. 32-50

Alexis Sobel Fitts and Nicola Pring, “Are we journalists first?” Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2014

Lewis Wallace, “There Are Times Journalists Should Become the Story,” Columbia Journalism Review, May 23, 2017

Jim Rutenberg, “Cozy Mix of Politics and News Ends in Contamination of Both,” New York Times, Nov. 2, 2016

November 9: Final Interview Assignment Practice 

Interview a Working Journalist

November 14, 16: Privacy

BSB, “Privacy”

McBride/Rosenstiel, Ch. 12

Bill Keller, “Invasion of the Data Snatchers,” NY Times, Jan. 14, 2013

Margaret Sullivan, “An Ill-Chosen Phrase, ‘No Angel,’ Brings a Storm of Protest,” New York Times, Aug. 25, 2014

Liz Spayd, “Off the Cuff, but on the Record,” New York Times, Sept. 14, 2016

Denise Grady, “A Deadline Call on Posthumous Privacy,” New York Times, July 22, 2017

November 21, 23: Photojournalism 

BSB, “Photojournalism”

McBride/Rosenstiel, Ch.5

Kristen Hare, “5 questions to ask before publishing graphic images,” Poynter, July 17, 2014

Sam Roe, “Thirteen Seconds, Dozens of Bullets, One Explosive Photo,” Columbia Journalism Review, Spring 2016

Alyssa Rosenberg, “The photo from Charlottesville that will define this moment in American history“, Washington Post, Aug. 13, 2-17

Final Interview Due November 23

November 28: Deception

BSB, “Deception”

NPR Ethics Handbook, pp. 62-68

December 5, 7: Discussion of Interviews



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