Accuracy(in print and online news)<br />                — Ryan Owens, Audrey Spalding, Luke Thompson and Katie Walley<br />
Transparency and Ethics<br />Be Accountable“Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over jou...
Transparency- as it relates to accuracy<br />“Pretty awful way to end an article.. Very respectful to the family involved ...
Transparency<br />“This fundamental idea of transparency is simple: Never deceive your audience. Tell them what you know a...
Transparency – Definitions      -from “Transparency in Journalism” by Craft and Heim<br />Availability, which is passive<b...
Disclosure, which is active
“Open the processes by which facts, situations, events and opinions are sorted, sifted made sense of and presented,” (219)...
Transparency- other issues<br />New York Times<br /><ul><li>Devoted two full Sunday pages in 2003 to the disclosure over t...
In 2005, failed to explain why it put off the story about the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens without warrants, st...
Also many readers will turn out to be political partisans, or hold other biases, and won’t accept any explanation or attem...
Transparency – Newsroom Practices<br />All managing editors contacted said they do not post editing policies for print or ...
Newsroom Policies – Sources<br />Interviewed managing editors at the following newspapers:<br />Arizona Republic, Akron Be...
Accuracy and Ethics<br />“Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. ...
Newsroom Policies - Today<br />Sometimes blogs are edited, sometimes they’re not.<br />Depends on how “newsy” the blog is,...
Newsroom Policies –        Where they’re going<br />“To circumvent slowness, editors themselves post. The next step we're ...
Newsroom Policies –       Where they’re going<br />“On the weekend, when there is not necessarily an editor on duty, we ha...
Accuracy vs. Immediacy:       what editors are saying<br /> “We take our Web site just as seriously as our print edition. ...
Accuracy vs. Immediacy:    what editors are saying<br />“Accuracy is equally important.”-Lisa Deforest, managing editor of...
The importance of accuracy<br />Getting the facts right was the No. 1 shared value by journalists, with 100 percent of nat...
Accuracy Research <br />The first accuracy survey of news sources was done in 1936 by Mitchell Charnley of the University ...
Accuracy Research<br />
Levels of Inaccuracy <br />Rated on a 1-7 scale<br />Subjective errors rated as more severe than factual errors<br />25 pe...
What causes Inaccuracy<br />“Leaps of Faith, and the Trouble that Followed”<br />          - by Clark Hoyt of the New York...
Inaccuracy and perception<br />Leniency to inaccuracy<br />“I think that smaller papers have fewer resources to operate wi...
The Economic Climate and Accuracy<br />“Less money for editing… less experienced reporters… more ‘so-called citizen journa...
Editing Transparency<br />“Transparency in the news process is a good thing.  The more a reader feel like they are involve...
To edit or not edit, blogs<br />“Anything under the nameplate newspaper is going to be associated with that name and it al...
Accuracy levels by medium<br />
Accuracy relating to content<br />“Big or small, all newspapers should strive for accuracy. Journalism is not journalism w...
Perceptions of Accuracy by Section<br />
Perceptions of Accuracy by Section<br />
Improving Accuracy<br />“Teach copyediting skills to everyone in the newsroom, make sure every journalist is skilled in be...
Improving Accuracy<br /><ul><li>New York Times proposals (2004: 3,200 posted corrections)</li></ul>— establish a system to...
Improving Accuracy<br />— Clarify and label pieces that allow for author viewpoint and voice<br />— “Systematically watch ...
A Case Study: Missourian<br />Issues<br /><ul><li>Transparency: no posted editing policies
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Accuracy

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Journalism and Democracy Capstone research presentation, delving into issues regarding accuracy, immediacy, transparency and blog-editing policies of both print and online publications.

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Accuracy

  1. 1. Accuracy(in print and online news)<br /> — Ryan Owens, Audrey Spalding, Luke Thompson and Katie Walley<br />
  2. 2.
  3. 3. Transparency and Ethics<br />Be Accountable“Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct”<br /> -SPJ Code of Ethics<br />— How does Transparency relate to accuracy?<br />
  4. 4. Transparency- as it relates to accuracy<br />“Pretty awful way to end an article.. Very respectful to the family involved 10 years ago. In fact, this article was awful in general. Kaity: Highly suggested you don’t denote your *MISTAKES* with asterisks, nor publish them in the first place. Double-check your work, as well as the line of work you’ve chosen for your *profession*” (asterisks denote mistake in choice of profession).”<br /> - Response to: “Hookah to Blame for Fraternity Fire, officials <br /> say” by KaityKerwin, posted Feb. 23, 2009; Respondent <br />RinTin_Tin<br />
  5. 5. Transparency<br />“This fundamental idea of transparency is simple: Never deceive your audience. Tell them what you know and what you don’t know. Tell them who your sources are and if you can’t name the sources, tell them how the sources are in a position to know and what biases, if any, they may have. In other words, provide your information so that people see how it was developed and can make up their own minds what to think.”<br /> - Bill Kovach (Feb. 1, 2005)<br />
  6. 6. Transparency – Definitions -from “Transparency in Journalism” by Craft and Heim<br />Availability, which is passive<br /><ul><li>“A state in which documents, statistics, procedures, motives and intentions are open to public view,” (219).
  7. 7. Disclosure, which is active
  8. 8. “Open the processes by which facts, situations, events and opinions are sorted, sifted made sense of and presented,” (219).</li></li></ul><li>Transparency- definition problems<br />While many news outlets appear to be shifting towards greater transparency in their reporting, each outlet varies in terms of exactly how transparent they should be, and what exactly transparency means.<br />
  9. 9. Transparency- other issues<br />New York Times<br /><ul><li>Devoted two full Sunday pages in 2003 to the disclosure over the Jayson Blair scandal
  10. 10. In 2005, failed to explain why it put off the story about the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens without warrants, stating only that it wanted to “conduct additional reporting”
  11. 11. Also many readers will turn out to be political partisans, or hold other biases, and won’t accept any explanation or attempts at transparency as logical.</li></li></ul><li>Transparency– other notable views<br />“Too much journalism fails to say anything about methods, motives and sources… As citizens become more skeptical of both journalists and the political establishment, this is also a disservice to the public and brings journalism under greater suspicion.”<br /> - Kovach and Rosenstiel “Elements of Journalism” (2001)<br /><ul><li>Aspen Institute conference – July 2004</li></ul>-Meeting of top 24 media executives, reporters and consultants<br />- Led to a call for greater openness in journalism an pushed for greater transparency.<br />
  12. 12. Transparency – Newsroom Practices<br />All managing editors contacted said they do not post editing policies for print or online content.<br />The Denver Post came the closest to posting its editing policies… in its statement of ethics.<br />“Nothing may be posted under the Denver Post name, or on member sites, unless it has gone through an editing and/or approval process.”<br />Even the Post’s blogs must be edited before being posted.<br />
  13. 13. Newsroom Policies – Sources<br />Interviewed managing editors at the following newspapers:<br />Arizona Republic, Akron Beacon Daily Journal, Louisiana Advocate, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Wichita Eagle, Idaho Statesman, Oregon Mail Tribune, Kentucky Independent, Effingham Daily News.<br />Newspapers with ethics policies that addressed these questions: Denver Post<br />
  14. 14. Accuracy and Ethics<br />“Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.”<br />“Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.”<br /> — SPJ Code of Ethics<br />
  15. 15. Newsroom Policies - Today<br />Sometimes blogs are edited, sometimes they’re not.<br />Depends on how “newsy” the blog is, the expertise of the reporter, or if there are enough editors available.<br />Of the 10 newspapers surveyed, eight had blogs, and five edited blogs, but not necessarily before posting.<br />Post incomplete information as it breaks, flesh out the story in the print edition.<br />“We'll put up a short version in which we're confident the facts are accurate, enhance it, make it accurate as the days go on.” -Bob Hunter, editor of the Oregon Mail Tribune<br />Nearly everyone said corrections to online news articles are posted, either at the top of, or within the article.<br />All said online corrections were posted in some way, unless the corrections were minor, such as a typo.<br />
  16. 16. Newsroom Policies – Where they’re going<br />“To circumvent slowness, editors themselves post. The next step we're going to take is live posting from the field by the reporters.”-Larry Henry, managing editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press<br />
  17. 17. Newsroom Policies – Where they’re going<br />“On the weekend, when there is not necessarily an editor on duty, we have some reporters who do file directly on the Web site…In our case, it’s just a staffing issue. I would love to say that 100 percent of the time that when we post something online that it’s been edited.” - Nick Jungman, editor of online content for the Wichita Eagle<br />
  18. 18. Accuracy vs. Immediacy: what editors are saying<br /> “We take our Web site just as seriously as our print edition. We don't want anything online that hasn't gone through an editor.”-Milford Fryer, managing editor of the Louisiana Advocate<br />“We still believe that accuracy should come before immediacy, though we understand the importance of immediacy. But to get it wrong would be detrimental.” -Donna Riley-Gordon, managing editor of the Effingham Daily News<br />
  19. 19. Accuracy vs. Immediacy: what editors are saying<br />“Accuracy is equally important.”-Lisa Deforest, managing editor of the Arizona Republic<br />“News consumers go to media sites for accurate information… if you post inaccurate stuff, you’re screwed.”- Larry Henry, managing editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press<br />
  20. 20. The importance of accuracy<br />Getting the facts right was the No. 1 shared value by journalists, with 100 percent of national respondents and 99 percent local<br />However, journalistic values like accuracy/honesty in reporting were actually cited as less distinguishing than “Contribution to/impact on society” and “Personal benefits/job satisfaction”<br />—Pew Research Center study, 1999 <br />
  21. 21. Accuracy Research <br />The first accuracy survey of news sources was done in 1936 by Mitchell Charnley of the University of Minnesota.<br />Perceived accuracy has been proven to be one of the best predictors of credibility.<br />
  22. 22. Accuracy Research<br />
  23. 23. Levels of Inaccuracy <br />Rated on a 1-7 scale<br />Subjective errors rated as more severe than factual errors<br />25 percent of subjective errors were “essential information missing”<br />Most severe error is inaccurate headline<br /> - 2002 study of The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC<br />
  24. 24. What causes Inaccuracy<br />“Leaps of Faith, and the Trouble that Followed”<br /> - by Clark Hoyt of the New York Times<br /><ul><li>Scenarios with mistakes</li></ul> - The Phone Call<br /> - The Faked Letter<br /> - The Wild Party<br /><ul><li>Survey Respondents’ Views</li></ul> - Journalists<br /> - Non-journalists <br />
  25. 25. Inaccuracy and perception<br />Leniency to inaccuracy<br />“I think that smaller papers have fewer resources to operate with, so I’m more willing to overlook inaccuracies.”<br />“Large newspapers often have a reputation to uphold.”<br />“News should be accurate no matter the messenger.”<br />
  26. 26. The Economic Climate and Accuracy<br />“Less money for editing… less experienced reporters… more ‘so-called citizen journalism where the poster is assuming, not checking facts.”<br />“The goal of the newspaper is to now stay afloat. If its main goal is accuracy, but it doesn’t improve the newspaper, it could all be for not.”<br />
  27. 27. Editing Transparency<br />“Transparency in the news process is a good thing. The more a reader feel like they are involved and included in news, the more they will trust a news source.<br />“I don’t see what the average, ordinary person would gain from this.”<br />“It is critical that the public understands the diligent editing that takes place before their news arrives. This step towards transparency would build trust and increase the public’s confidence in news.”<br />
  28. 28. To edit or not edit, blogs<br />“Anything under the nameplate newspaper is going to be associated with that name and it all needs to adhere to the same standards of accuracy. Readers don’t always know the difference.”<br />“They would lose their spontaneity if they had rigorous oversight for accuracy.” <br />
  29. 29. Accuracy levels by medium<br />
  30. 30. Accuracy relating to content<br />“Big or small, all newspapers should strive for accuracy. Journalism is not journalism without accuracy.”<br />“They (small newspaper journalists) don’t have as great a responsibility to a large number of people, and if admit mistake people will actually know about it.”<br />
  31. 31. Perceptions of Accuracy by Section<br />
  32. 32. Perceptions of Accuracy by Section<br />
  33. 33. Improving Accuracy<br />“Teach copyediting skills to everyone in the newsroom, make sure every journalist is skilled in being accurate. No one gets a pass, ever. No one is not responsible for being accurate and all errors should be held to account.”<br />“More staff would mean individuals could have a more narrow focus and the more narrow the focus, the less likely we are to have mistakes.”<br />
  34. 34. Improving Accuracy<br /><ul><li>New York Times proposals (2004: 3,200 posted corrections)</li></ul>— establish a system to measure when public criticisms merit responses and in what form<br />— set up mechanisms to give readers greater access to key source documents, interview transcripts and databases used in stories and graphics<br />— encourage reporters to seek feedback from sources after a story has appeared (discussion contention)<br />— “Writers are accountable for the accuracy of every fact in their copy. Backfield editors are responsible for overall accuracy and fairness and for enforcing standards. Copy editors should check verifiable error-prone facts as time allows and consult with writers about all factual changes.”<br />— Reporters should get a look at the edited copy of their story and related elements.<br />
  35. 35. Improving Accuracy<br />— Clarify and label pieces that allow for author viewpoint and voice<br />— “Systematically watch the cumulative impact of continuing stories that risk conveying an impression of one-sidedness.”<br />
  36. 36. A Case Study: Missourian<br />Issues<br /><ul><li>Transparency: no posted editing policies
  37. 37. Blog editing: various standards of editing for blogs
  38. 38. How can we improve accuracy? What changes would your propose be made at the Missourian or any newsroom. </li></li></ul><li>A Case Study: Missourian<br />Issues<br /><ul><li>Transparency: no posted editing policies
  39. 39. Blog editing: various standards of editing for blogs
  40. 40. How can we improve accuracy?
  41. 41. What changes would you propose be made at the Missourian or any newsroom?
  42. 42. Conclusion: What changes the Missourian will be making… </li></li></ul><li>Final Thoughts on Accuracy<br />Perceptions/ Policies<br />— clear methods for corrections<br />— general standards defining accuracy<br /><ul><li>Transparency</li></ul>— Have newspapers develop on policies for editing processes, and post them online.<br />Improving Perception:<br />— Have everyone involved in the editing process or understand what that editing process is about<br />

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