Newspaper ethics


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  • Diving in a bit deep
  • Newspaper ethics

    1. 1. The JOURNALIST’S CODE<br />A Lecture on Ethics & Proper Conduct<br />
    2. 2. The FOUR RULES OF JOURNALISM<br />Seek the truth and report it.<br />Minimize harm.<br />Act independently.<br />Be accountable.<br />Source: Society of Professional Journalists<br />
    3. 3. SEEK THE TRUTH AND REPORT IT.<br />DO NOT plagiarize.<br />DO NOT stage news events. <br />DO NOT use undercover methods of newsgatherings.<br />DO NOT stereotype subjects.<br />
    4. 4. SEEK THE TRUTH AND REPORT IT.<br />DO report accurately. Never distort the truth.<br />DO give subjects a chance to respond to allegations.<br />DO identify sources whenever feasible.<br />DO support the open exchange of all views.<br />DO give voice to the voiceless.<br />DO avoid blurring lines between advertising and news. <br />
    5. 5. The JAYSON BLAIR AFFAIR<br />This embattled journalist became the face of plagiarism in the news world.<br />He was, at one time, a top reporter at The New York Times.<br />He resigned May 2003.<br />This scandal prompted the creation of ethics codes and ombudsmen at papers<br />
    6. 6. The JAYSON BLAIR AFFAIR<br />He forever damaged the credibility of the New York Times<br />Newspaper organizations still struggle to overcome blemishes like this one because readers now know that it can happen anywhere<br />
    7. 7. MINIMIZE HARM.<br />DO show compassion for people who may be affected adversely by your coverage, especially children.<br />DO exercise sensitivity when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.<br />DO recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort to subjects. Use tact.<br />
    8. 8. MINIMIZE HARM<br />DO use caution about identifying juvenile suspects or sex crime victims.<br />DO be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.<br />DO balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed. <br />DO NOT violate people’s privacy.<br />
    9. 9. THE ZODIAC KILLER QUANDARY<br />The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who murdered people in Northern California in the 1960s.<br />His identity remains unknown. <br />The Zodiac taunted the press in letters. His letters included four cryptograms, three of which remain unsolved.<br />At the time, the press was unsure of whether it was ethical to publish the cryptograms. What do you think?<br />
    10. 10. ACT INDEPENDENTLY.<br />DO avoid conflicts of interest.<br />DO NOT accept gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment.<br />DO remain free of associations and activities that may damage your credibility.<br />DO NOT bid on news. Beware of sources offering information for favors or money. <br />DO disclose unavoidable conflicts.<br />DO hold those with power accountable.<br />
    11. 11. WASHINGTON POST SALONS<br />WaPo offered “meetings” with public officials for a price at the publisher’s home<br />Publisher Weymouth claimed she never approved it, and the idea and flyers were developed in the paper’s marketing department<br />However, emails inviting guests to the gatherings came directly from Weymouth’s office<br />The paper’s PR people called this a “nightmare,” and it has damaged the paper’s credibility<br />
    12. 12. WASHINGTON POST SALONS<br />What’s the big deal?<br />Why would Weymouth claim the marketing department did this? How is that any better for the paper?<br />How can WaPo regain its credibility?<br />
    13. 13. BE ACCOUNTABLE<br />Clarify and explain news coverage.<br />Invite dialogue with the public.<br />Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.<br />Admit mistakes. Correct them promptly.<br />Expose unethical practices of the media.<br />
    14. 14. ORLANDO SENTINEL CODE<br />Conflicts of interest –<br />Affiliations (political, familial, service)<br />Gifts/meals –<br />Why would this be problematic?<br />Anonymity –<br />Is this a good explanation?<br />Decency –<br />Dating sources<br />Unauthorized recordings<br />
    15. 15. ORLANDO SENTINEL CODE<br />Why would the OS publicize this code?<br />Is it thorough enough? What’s missing?<br />How should reporters who break these rules be penalized? <br />
    16. 16. HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING...<br />When is it okay to publish items that may offend some?<br />When is it okay to air or write potentially sensitive information?<br />When might it be okay to accept items/money for a news story?<br />How can we hold the media accountable for their ethical decisions?<br />
    17. 17. FOR TUESDAY<br />QUIZ 4 TOMORROW!<br />Chap. 14 & ethics readings (including this lecture)<br />