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July 27 2012


Aurora theater shooting and 'checkbook journalism': Ways around the rule

Denver Post :: Television producers quickly locked up eyewitnesses, legal experts and others in the wake of the Aurora shootings, competing with other media outlets and, in some cases, paying a fee for exclusive access.

Joanne Ostrow on Twitter

A report by Joanne Ostrow, www.denverpost.com

July 26 2012


Poynter: 6 ways journalists can use press releases effectively

Poynter :: When Steve Penn announced earlier this month that he’s suing the Kansas City Star, the news sparked an interesting discussion about journalists’ use of press releases and whether it’s OK to use them verbatim, without attribution. In an informal poll (1,300 respondents), we asked whether it’s OK for journalists to use press releases in their stories.

Mallary Tenore on Twitter

Findings and tips, a report by Mallary Jean Tenore, www.poynter.org

July 25 2012


'Do not share entire drafts with sources': Time to rethink some rules?

Texas Observer :: Journalists have traditionally been taught never to share entire drafts with sources to avoid undue influence. But in preparing his 1,300-word story—which ran on the Washington Post’s front page on March 14 under the headline "Trying to assess learning gives colleges their own anxiety”—Daniel de Vise, a reporter for the Post, flouted journalistic convention and allowed UT officials to suggest substantive changes to a major news story about a politically charged topic.

Allowed to alter - A report by Forrest Wilder, www.texasobserver.org

March 18 2012


Leveson inquiry: who will regulate while we wait for judgment?

Guardian :: Lord Condon, cool and crisp, has been the best police witness at Leveson. Consider force indiscipline, he told the inquiry. "It's about human weakness and opportunity: those two are omnipresent. You get scandal, inquiry, remedial action, relaxation, complacency, scandal … and that's on a 20-year cycle." Exactly. So why does LJ Leveson think press regulation is, or can be, different?

[Peter Preston:] It may have seemed odd for Lord Hunt to shut down the Press Complaints Commission before Leveson reports. But reform will take time and the decks must be cleared as soon as possible.

Continue to read Peter Preston, www.guardian.co.uk

January 22 2012


Davis Shaver: how @OnwardState came to inaccurately report that Joe Paterno had died

Onward State :: Last night was one of the worst moments of my entire life. But before I can explain what happened, you need to know a bit about Onward State. Onward State is a community news site, and that means that most decisions are made in a collaborative environment. To the best of my ability, given privacy considerations, I hope to explain how Onward State came to inaccurately report that Joe Paterno had died.

[Davis Shaver:] ... at around 8:00 p.m., one of our writers posted that he had received word from a source that Joe Paterno had died. The source had been forwarded an email ostensibly sent from a high-ranking athletics official (later found to be a hoax) to Penn State athletes with information of Paterno’s passing  — whom we later found out had not been honest in his information — confirmed to us that the email had been sent to football players. ...

Continue to read Davis Shaver, onwardstate.com


Johann Hari leaves the Independent after plagiarism storm

Guardian :: Columnist Johann Hari, the journalist at the Independent who was suspended for plagiarism, has announced that he will not return to the newspaper. Hari had been undergoing retraining in the United States and was expected to return to the Independent next month but said on his personal website that he did not want to see colleagues taking the blame for his mistakes.

Continue to read Conal Urquhart, www.guardian.co.uk


False Paterno death - Craig Silverman: Dangers of journalists chasing glory

Paterno’s family announced his death on Sunday morning.

Poynter :: As many people are now aware, on Saturday evening, a student news organization at Penn State reported that former football coach Joe Paterno had died. The information was picked up by CBS Sports and other major news outlets, and it spread quickly on Twitter. But it was wrong. Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman has an excellent round up of the erroneous tweets, how they spread, and how they were debunked. 

Now, as always, we’re left with the aftermath. Two points stand out to me, and they both relate to the dangers of journalists chasing glory.

Continue to read Craig Silverman, www.poynter.org

Washington Post :: Listen to previously unpublished excerpts from Joe Paterno's final interview with The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins.

Joe Paterno interview excerpts - Published by washingtonpost.com

January 19 2012


.@felixsalmon : the greatest triumph of the fact-checking movement will come when it puts itself out of work

Reuters :: Lucas Graves has by far the best and most sophisticated response to NYT ombudsman Arthur Brisbane’s silly question about “truth vigilantes”. Graves makes the important point that Brisbane’s “objective and fair” formulation is itself problematic: as one of Brisbane’s commenters wrote, if a certain politician is objectively less truthful, less forthcoming, and less believable than others, then objectivity demands that reporting on what that politician’s saying be truthful — even if that comes across as unfair.

[Felix Salmon:] ... the greatest triumph of the fact-checking movement will come when it puts itself out of work, because journalists are doing its job for it as a matter of course.

"Will fact-checking go the way of blogs?" - Continue to read Felix Salmon, blogs.reuters.com

January 18 2012


AP updates social media guidelines: how to correct erroneous tweets and more

Associated Press :: Today the AP’s global news staff received an update of the social media guidelines (be careful, it's a download link for the PDF version of the guideline) that were last revised in November 2011. The main changes, revealed in a note to staff by AP Social Media Editor Eric Carvin and AP Deputy Managing Editor Tom Kent, are the addition of procedures for correcting erroneous tweets and a short section on deleting tweets. Also, in the examples in the section on retweeting, the placement of the designation “RT” has been moved to conform with more common Twitter usage.

Official announcement by AP press release, www.ap.org

January 15 2012


Mail 'receives 300 to 400 Pippa Middleton pictures a day'

300-400 pictures a day? 

Journalism.co.uk :: The Daily Mail's picture editor Paul Silva told the Leveson inquiry today that the newspaper receives 300 to 400 pictures of Pippa Middleton a day, out of around 30,000 in total. Silva said that it had been the Mail's policy since the Royal Wedding not to use paparazzi pictures of Kate Middleton's sister going about her ordinary business, but denied that there were any special rules in place concerning her.

Continue to read Joel Gunter, www.journalism.co.uk

January 14 2012


Photo journalism: Staging of conflict photos

Another nice example, why fact checking makes sense. 

Petapixel :: Ruben Salvadori turned his camera on the photographers themselves, he shows how photojournalists often influence the events they’re supposed to document objectively. 

Photojournalism Behind the Scenes [ITA-ENG subs] from Ruben Salvadori on Vimeo.

Via Kori Jones, korijones1

Continue to read www.petapixel.com

January 05 2012


UK - Filkin report: Metropolitan police should record all contact with press

Journalism.co.uk :: Metropolitan police officers should make a record of any contact with the media and the records should be regularly monitored by senior officers, an independent report recommended today. The report, commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in the wake of the phone hacking scandal and compiled by former parliamentary standards commissioner Dame Elizabeth Filkin, examined the relationship between the force and the media.

Continue to read Joel Gunter, www.journalism.co.uk

Download link Filkin report (PDF)

December 27 2011


Ethical questions photographers face in consequence of the Leveson inquiry

BBC :: Photographers are facing enormous ethical questions posed by the allegations aired during the ongoing Leveson inquiry.

[Sienna Miller:] For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily... Spat at, verbally abused... I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal.

Such was actor Sienna Miller's shaming testimony to The Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press, which has shown news photographers in an unflattering light.

In the article by Phil Coomes, Max Houghton, course leader in MA Photojournalism at the University of Westminster and a writer on photography offers her personal views on the challenges ahead.

Continue to read Phil Coomes, www.bbc.co.uk

December 21 2011


How reporters should do their job by the "Great Teacher of Journalists" Kim Jong Il

Guardian :: I have been defamed! Blogger Fleet Street Blues has compared me (Roy Greenslade) to North Korea's departed leader, Kim Jong-il. "One less-explored aspect of Kim's legacy," he writes, "is his role as a journalism academic... Kim Jong-il was pretty much the Roy Greenslade of Pyongyang."

[Roy Greenslade:] A North Korean reporter reasoned that he could write about a pepper bush plantation from the comfort of his office. But Kim insisted on going with him to the plantation, which involved driving to a ravine and crossing a flooded river, simply to count the bushes. He then told the reporter: "Comrade journalist, you must see things on the spot before you write your articles. Otherwise you may talk big."

Continue to read Roy Greenslade, www.guardian.co.uk

November 12 2011


Readers request opinion and investigative reporting - stop to "report" only news

Forbes :: 95+% of journalists seem to only “report” the news, rather than give opinions or do investigative reporting. What's also annoying is, that the majority of journalists seem obsessed with “scoops.” There seems to be no higher honor in the journalistic profession than being recognized for getting a scoop and God save the other journalists who fails to recognize – and more importantly – credit a fellow journalist for his or her hard fought scoop.

[Eric Jackson:] The business world needs fewer journalists and more opinions and investigative reporting.

Continue to read Eric Jackson, www.forbes.com


Poynter faculty responds to questions about Jim Romenesko’s practices and resignation

Looks like a very open response of Poynter's faculty but honestly ... I think it still misses the point. I was never confused about the origin of the content Jim Romenesko published. I always found the original link and the sources attributed sufficiently. What was original about his work? - I know that he made it easier to find interesting stuff on the web. And that was the value HE added. - But now it's time for Poynter to take the floor ...

Poynter :: Roy Peter Clark, Vice President and Senior Scholar: "Jim’s departure under the false shadow of plagiarism is unfair to Romenesko and unworthy of Poynter. I expressed that opinion, with some anger, at a Poynter staff meeting this morning. Some folks seemed to agree while others, including President Karen Dunlap and Dean Stephen Buckley, backed Julie’s (Moos) editorial decisions all the way. That should be an object lesson for those who dismiss the work of Poynter as too pointy-headed and monolithic. On many subjects that we help journalists tackle, especially when it comes to ethics and standards, there is no official ex cathedra point of view."

Selected statements:

[Karen Dunlap, President:] Did we make the right choices? Not all of them. Could we have improved the message or tone? Yes.
[Roy Peter Clark:] Jim Romenesko is not, repeat only louder, NOT a plagiarist.
[Kelly McBride:] There is a lot of work to do in establishing standards of intellectual honesty in this digital era. I look forward to being part of that process, but I don’t think those standards are crystal clear.

Full list of contributors to this response: Karen Dunlap, President; Roy Peter Clark, Vice President and Senior Scholar; Kelly McBride, Senior Faculty for Ethics; Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty for Broadcast; Butch Ward, Managing Director; Rick Edmonds, Media Business Analyst; Jill Geisler, Senior Faculty, Leadership and Management; Bill Mitchell, Leader of Entrepreneurial and International Programs

Continue to read The Poynter Institute, www.poynter.org

September 18 2011


Hugh Grant: Met police behaviour is worrying and deeply mysterious

Guardian :: Hugh Grant has accused the Metropolitan police of behaving in a "worrying and deeply mysterious" way after Scotland Yard invoked the Official Secrets Act to demand journalists reveal their sources. As a senior Liberal Democrat called on the attorney general to block the "extremely bizarre" use of the act, Grant warned that police were turning on the "goodies" after Scotland Yard applied for an order under the 1989 act to require the Guardian to identify its sources on phone hacking.

Continue to read Nicholas Watt, www.guardian.co.uk


Jay Rosen: we have no idea who’s right: criticizing “he said, she said” journalism

PressThink :: A week ago Jay Rosen woke to this report about new rules for licensing abortion clinics in Kansas. The report stood out for him as an exquisite example of that dubious genre known as “he said, she said” journalism, which I’ve been complaining about for some time.

Jay Rosen: "Apparently, NPR people do not understand what the critique of he said, she said is all about. It’s not about editorializing. Or taking sides. It’s failing to do the reporting required to shed light on conflicting truth claims." 

Continue to read Jay Rosen, pressthink.org

August 01 2011


Me and the hunger and the difficulty to report about it

Reuters :: Barry Malone: "In Ethiopia a few years ago I was telling a funny story to some other journalists as our car pulled up near a church where we had been told people were arriving looking for food. We got out and began walking towards the place, me still telling the tale, shouting my mouth off, struggling to get to the punch line through my laughter and everybody else’s.

Then there was this sound, a low rumbling thing that came to meet us. I could feel it roll across the ground and up through my boots. I stopped talking, my laughter died, I grabbed the arm of the person beside me: What is that? And I realized. It was the sound of children crying. There were enough children crying that — I’ll say it again — I could feel it in my boots. I was shamed by my laughter. ..."

[Barry Malone:] An Ethiopian girl told me last week that she cried as she watched foreign journalists interviewing a Somali woman in a Kenyan refugee camp. All she had left was her dignity, she said. And then (the journalists) took that, too.

@malonebarry on Twitter

Barry Malone is an Irish journalist who has worked in the Horn and East Africa since 2006, first living in Ethiopia and now in Uganda. He reports on politics, life and economics across the region for Reuters and takes the occasional picture.

How to report about hungry people? - Continue to read Barry Malone, blogs.reuters.com

July 30 2011


A portrait: David Minthorn, grammar expert for the Associated Press

Washington Post :: In its modern, digital forms, writing has become something like an untended garden. It’s overgrown with text-speak and crawling with invasive species like tweets and dashed-off e-mails. OMG, it’s a mess. So think of David Minthorn as a linguistic gardener, doggedly cultivating this weedy patch in the hope of restoring some order and maybe coaxing something beautiful out of it. Minthorn’s mission is the maintenance of English grammar, the policing of punctuation and the enforcement of a consistent written style.

A portrait - Continue to read Paul Farhi, www.washingtonpost.com

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