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!



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!



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!



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!



Posted by: kklist | March 8, 2017

Thursday Assignment!

Hiya Ethics!

Thanks to those of you who came to S.P. Sullivan’s master class on being an ethical investigative reporter Monday morning in the Journalism Hub. It was one of the best events in recent years—and thankfully the department shot video.

For those of you who could not be there, this is your assignment. First read Sean’s piece, “Locked Up, Fighting Back.”

Then watch the video, which is linked on the attached assignment, and answer the three questions posed, using quotes from the speech.

See you at 4 to talk about Sources. No class Thursday!



Posted by: kklist | March 3, 2017

Good Morning Ethics!

Here is our plan for the next few weeks:

Monday, March 6: S.P. Sullivan from will speak from 11:15-12:30 in the Journalism Hub about his recent piece on abuse of women in a New Jersey prison. Read “Locked Up, Fighting Back” here.

This is a joint presentation for Raz’s and our Ethics classes. Check in with me before the speech and pick up a response paper for Tuesday’s class for credit. There will be pizza!

If you cannot attend this speech, you’ll have another similar opportunity after break.

Tuesday, March 7: We’ll continue to discuss rape coverage and move into Sources. Be sure to have read the Source/Reporter Relationships readings on your syllabus. Short rape story analysis is due.

Thursday, March 9: No class. Happy Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 21: Diversity! Make sure to have done all of the readings on the syllabus.

Tuesday, March 23: Diversity discussion continues. Fairness assignment is due. Please note this second major assignment was distributed in class on Thursday—three weeks before its due date. Click here so you’ll have all of the links. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.

Hope to see you Monday!




Posted by: kklist | February 26, 2017

Trump Says: No Anonymous Sources!

Hiya Ethics,

At CPAC today, President Trump criticized the use of anonymous sources, even though his aides demand anonymity on a regular basis and even though he made a career out of being an anonymous source for years in the New York media.

The White House today also excluded the New York Times and CNN–the current leaders in hard-charging reporting on the Administration—from a White House gaggle (informal press conference).

And so it continues.

But don’t let it spoil your weekend!



Posted by: kklist | February 15, 2017

Wall Street Journal, Murdoch & Trump

Hiya Ethics,

This Jim Rutenberg column from Monday’s Times discusses the relationship between Rupert Murdoch and President Trump and how Wall Street Journal reporters think it might be affecting the paper’s content:

The latest news about the Murdoch-Trump axis is acutely problematic for the leadership at The Wall Street Journal — owned by News Corp. — as it seeks to quell a rebellion by a group of staff members who believe that the paper has held them back from more aggressively covering Mr. Trump, they suspect, under pressure from Mr. Murdoch.

And an important clarification: Those who recently left the WSJ include the deputy editor in chief, an editorial features editor, the senior deputy technology editor, the deputy bureau chief for health and science news and a senior national reporter, some of whom took buy-outs. But Editor in Chief Gerard Baker remains, and he defended the paper’s coverage of the Trump Administration in a recent meeting with staff:

Journal staffers have sought an audience with Baker amid internal concerns the paper hasn’t been as aggressive in covering Trump as competitors or as direct in calling out falsehoods, such as the president’s bogus claim about widespread voter fraud. Baker recently came under scrutiny after urging editors to avoid using the term “majority-Muslim” to describe the countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

During the Monday meeting, Baker argued that the Journal’s role is not to be “oppositional,” as some news organizations appear to be, but to provide objective coverage. He said the paper shouldn’t be “dragged into the political fight.”

Baker suggested staffers unhappy with the Journal’s coverage should go elsewhere, according to sources.

Looking forward to your presentations on Thursday!



Posted by: kklist | February 8, 2017

Mongabay Panel Cancelled

Good Morning Ethics!

The Mongabay journalists have had to cancel their plans for the 4 p.m. Thursday panel at UMass because of the weather. They will reschedule another 4 p.m. Thursday session in the weeks ahead, so hang on to your assignment, which we’ll do at that time. The more classes we’ve had, the easier that assignment will be for you, so it actually works to our benefit to have the panel down the road a few weeks.

If we have class Thursday, we’ll continue our focus on Accuracy, discussing the remaining readings and exploring potential actions that could boost accuracy in journalism generally.

On nights before a big snowstorm, my daughters always wore their pajamas inside out to boost the chances that school would be cancelled. I’m just saying. It wouldn’t hurt to try it.

See you Thursday—or Tuesday!



Posted by: kklist | February 4, 2017

Accuracy Should Trump Speed

Hiya Ethics,

This is from Columbia Journalism Review today—more examples of bad reporting, which is an even bigger concern than fake news:

“Just after 3 p.m. [Wednesday], Washington reporters notified their Twitter followers that Donald Trump had left the White House aboard Marine One headed for an undisclosed location. The response varied from wild speculation to what’s become a standard refrain: “This is not normal.” Minutes later, further reports emerged. The president and his daughter were going to Dover Air Force Base to honor the return of the US Navy Seal killed in battle in Yemen.

An hour earlier, a Fox affiliate in Detroit retracted a story in which a man claimed his mother died in Iraq after being barred from returning to the United States because of Trump’s executive order. The man’s mother had, in fact, died in Iraq days before the ban was instituted.

These stories showcase the danger in prioritizing speed over accuracy and a juicy story over diligent reporting.”

As we start our discussion of Accuracy on Tuesday, we’ll talk first about fake news, so please look carefully at the first three articles on that topic. We’ll also talk about the most infamous plagiarizers and fabulists over the past several decades.

Happy weekend!



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