WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 29.07.2014


ethics

“If you can’t stomach the gore, don’t run the photo. Period,” wrote Orange County Register Editor Charles Apple, who first brought attention to The Daily News’ photoshopping.

The Daily News declined to comment on its editorial decision, but the question of whether to publish graphic images is one many other editors confront.

FOR GORE

Some advocate for the publication of graphic photos, arguing that text can never show the true magnitude of a horror as visuals do.

“I think TV news distances and ‘shrink-wraps’ human suffering,” writes Zeynep Tufekci, a fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. “[A]nd I believe such mode of reporting is against the public interest.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-18 12:30

The trip was advertised on a student group website as an educative “week of sight seeing, meeting with ministers, [and] government officials,” The New York Times reported, but the students ran the risk of arrest and incarceration were the filming discovered.

“For us, this is a matter of student welfare — students were lied to, they weren’t able to give their consent,” Alex Peters-Day, general secretary of the LSE’s student union, told the BBC. She added: “They’ve used students essentially as a human shield in this situation.”

Students knew they would be accompanied by a journalist, but they were not aware that investigative reporter John Sweeney, his wife and a cameraman had orchestrated the trip to film a documentary, LSE Director Craig Calhoun wrote. Sweeney, who graduated from the LSE in 1980, allowed North Korean guides to call him “professor,” according to The New York Times.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-15 16:21

Before Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial began Tuesday, we heard about the rumpled bed sheets, the bloodied cricket bat, Reeva Steenkamp’s shattered skull. We heard whispers of the text message from a former lover that might have sparked an argument between couple, we read about the steroids that Pistorius might have been using that might have caused “‘roid rage.”

Before the trial began, we were told by a South African newspaper that the case against the athlete was “rock-solid.” And before the trial began, many issued guilty verdicts: Los Angeles radio station 98.7 FM tweeted Tuesday, “Today’s Douche of the Day is Pistorius for shooting his girlfriend and being all guilty about it later. Not cool.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-02-20 18:49

After The Sun plastered murder victim Reeva Steenkamp unzipping her bikini on its front page on Friday, Twitter exploded with comments from outraged users. The model shot to death by her boyfriend, Olympian “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, was noted as an activist for women’s empowerment, yet a petition with more than 4,500 virtual signatures argues that her image exemplifies a persisting view “that women are worthless pieces of meat, who aren’t safe from objectification even after their death.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-02-18 16:43

Update, Feb. 15: The Knight Foundation apologized for paying Lehrer to speak. A blog post reads, "We regret our mistake" and "should not have put [the foundation] into a position tantamount to rewarding people who have violated the basic tenets of journalism."

 

Jonah Lehrer, the journalist found to have fabricated several Bob Dylan quotes last summer, accepted $20,000 to speak Tuesday about the plagiarism that led to his resignation from The New Yorker in July.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-02-13 14:04

The latest dramatic twist in the BBC saga has seen the new director general resign and other senior staff step aside. What might be surprising is that it was not the now notorious Jimmy Savile case that actually brought them down, but the misidentification of a child abuser as a former prominent conservative politician.

BBC DG George Entwistle resigned on Saturday after it was confirmed that the BBC’s flagship news programme Newsnight had incorrectly implicated Lord McAlpine, a former Tory treasurer, in a story about paedophilia. 

There has been considerable criticism of Entwistle's £450,000 pay off (a year’s salary) from members of parliament and the National Audit Office is due to look into the justification for the sum.

Tim Davie, who was director of audio and music, has stepped in as acting director general and has pledged to “get a grip” on the news operation and its journalism. It seems clear that Davie is a temporary solution, as BBC chairman Lord Patten is actively seeking candidates, the Guardian reported yesterday.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-11-12 20:12

Is it wrong for a PR firm to forego a monthly retainer, and charge its clients only when it succeeds in getting them mentioned by the media?

Does it make a difference if the PR firm is doing this to help startups shy on capital?

What about if the PR firm has put specific price tags on particular media outlets?

These are the questions that public relations professionals, their clients, tech bloggers and their readers have been grappling with in the wake of yesterday’s announcement by TechCrunch Co-Editor Alexia Tsotsis of a blog-wide ban on PR company PRServe, following her discovery that the firm had been charging clients $750 for getting them covered by an “A-level blog like TechCrunch.”

Chris Barrett, the Founder of PRserve, responded by posting a notice on the company’s website in which he claimed to be “confounded” by the situation. “The only difference between how we share stories and the way a traditional PR firm works is that we do not charge a $5,000 monthly retainer, irrespective of results. We only collect an extremely modest amount for successful stories (a flat rate of $425 - $750 per story), depending on the media outlet,” he wrote.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-11-09 19:24

Flash quiz: what is the highest-circulation English-language newspaper in the world?

(Hint: Rupert Murdoch doesn’t own it.)

The correct answer, as you are likely aware, is the Times of India, which has a circulation of 4.3 million, and reaches an average of 7.64 million readers with each issue.

While money may not exactly be growing on trees in the news industry these days, the 174-year-old title, published by family-owned media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman & Company (B.C.C.L.), is planted in fertile soil: it is the most widely read English-language daily in a country where newspaper circulation is rising by 8 percent per year overall, and 1.5 percent per year for English-language newspapers.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-10-23 09:28

South African newspaper the Citizen has admitted that it made a mistake by publishing a manipulated photograph on the front page of its Wednesday edition, after the cover elicited strong reactions from journalists about the ethics of editing news images.

The photograph, supplied by news agency Agence-France Presse (AFP), was taken after a suicide attack killed 12 people, including eight South African aviation workers, in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 18. In the original image, two bodies lie beside the charred skeleton of a minibus that was blown up in the attack. In the version that was published, the bodies have been digitally wiped from the picture.

The Citizen released a statement on Thursday, explaining that during an editorial meeting on Tuesday, the photograph was deemed too graphic to publish in its natural state, and a decision was taken to blur the bodies. Instead, they were “digitally cloned out of the photo,” apparently inadvertantly. “The photo should never have been published in that form,” said the Citizen’s Editor Martin Williams. “We regret this and are taking steps to ensure that it does not happen again,” continued the statement.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-09-21 17:48

The Ukrainian press faces many challenges, said Oksana Bogdanova, Editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda, at the 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev last week. Her paper is a major Ukrainian daily with a readership of a million a day.

Professional standards and ethics are not always valued, and subsequently trust in the press has fallen and therefore so has the audience. The press also has to fend off competition from television, and faces further complexity because the country has both Ukrainian- and Russian-language media.

A significant problem is that the majority of media are owned by larger corporations, who do not rely on their media properties for income, she explained. Oligarchs invest in media not for profit, but to advertise and lobby for their other businesses. They are therefore not interested in developing their publications.

The few companies whose media business provides their basic income are much more interested in developing their products,  and “providing new technologies, defending the authority of media, independence of the press and professional standards,” said Bogdanova.

She questions whether, as the influence of new technologies becomes more and more apparent and anyone can express their opinion, the role of the journalist will become less necessary. She believes it will not, but stressed the need for higher journalistic standards.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-14 17:30

Syndicate content

Editors Weblog

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


© 2013 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation