WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Wed - 17.09.2014


ethics

Does 'plundering' information from Facebook raise similar ethical questions to phone-hacking? Glenda Cooper, a lecturer at London's City University, studied the ethical implications of journalists using information from Facebook without the users' permission, as reported by Press Gazette.

"What kind of journalism are we getting if every part of your life is only a mouseclick away from being splashed across the front page of a national paper?" Press Gazette quotes Cooper as saying. Clearly, taking information that has been made public online is very different to phone-hacking, which involves stealing private information, but it is still using information that was not provided for journalistic purposes.

As journalists frequently have less time to report, due to both financial pressures and the need to break stories online quickly, this kind of "short-cut journalism," using social media to find out about individuals, has increased, the study said.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-02-22 19:38

What do phone-hacking at the News of the World and Wikileaks have in common from an ethical point of view?

UNESCO's conference "The media world after Wikileaks and News of the World", held in Paris on 16 February addressed this question in its second panel debate about "Professionalism and Ethics in the New Media Environment".

Borja Bergareche, author of the book "Wikileaks confidencial" and London correspondent for the Spanish paper ABC, argued that the connection between the two is that they both involve distrust of the press.
Both cases raised issues about media and ethics and law and put journalistic standards in the spotlight: the News of the World scandal has led to intense scrutiny of journalistic practices, while Wikileaks raised questions about how journalists deal with a huge amount of information.

If there is one industry in which acting professionally has ethical implications, it's journalism, said Bergareche. When it comes to journalistic standards and to dealing with huge amounts of raw data and information, for example the US embassy cables, questions need to be asked about the nature of WikiLeaks.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-02-16 19:09

On January 12 Arthur Brisbane, the New York Times Public Editor wrote a post on his blog entitled "Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?"

"I'm looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge "facts" that are asserted by newsmakers they write about," he continued.

The community promptly reacted and the debate grew fast. Tweets gathered and readers, journalists and media commentators flooded the web with comments. Often sarcastic comments.

Even the New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson answered in a note that Brisbane appended to the update of the blog-post he wrote to clarify his original question.

Basically the predictable reaction is that of course Times journalists - as well all other journalists - should do "a rigorous fact-checking and truth-testing" job, in the words of Abramson. Rather they actually do it, most claimed.

In fact journalists reacting to the article seem quite incredulous about it how obvious the answer was from their point of view.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-13 19:00

Whether or not regulatory reform of the press is necessary has been on the agenda today at the Leveson inquiry, the public inquiry on the role of the press and the police in the wave of the phone-hacking scandal.

The future of press regulation, including the role of the Press Complaint Commission, has been at the centre of the Financial Times editor Lionel Barber's participation.

Responding to Barber's evidence, Lord Justice Leveson has signalled that he expects the newspaper industry to undertake substantial regulatory reform, the Guardian wrote. The reforms will need to be recognized as credible by readers if they want to be effective, he added.

Press Gazette reported however that the presiding judge declared that he is against state controls on journalism and that he is keen that any new regulator remains "independent".

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-10 18:43

German president Christian Wulff has admitted on German television that it was a mistake to attempt to pressure leading tabloid Bild into killing a story. It emerged on Monday that Wulff had called Bild's editor Kai Diekmann and left a voicemail message in which he threatened "war" if Bild published a story about his personal finances.

As the Guardian reported, the message specifically made threats of "judicial consequences" and a "definitive breach" in relations with Axel Springer, Bild's publisher. Bild published the story.

Wulff then encountered widespread criticism from the around the German press, the Guardian reported, with the FT Deutschland calling on him to resign.

Wulff have rejected calls for his resignation and insists he was not trying to block the story, rather to delay it, and Bild has now asked the president to allow publication of a transcript "to clear up misunderstandings," the BBC reported.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-05 18:58

Newspapers in the UK commissioned private detectives to hack email accounts as well as phones, it emerged yesterday. The Independent reported that police have uncovered evidence that Gordon Brown's emails were accessed illegally during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer, as well as those of a former Labour adviser Derek Draper.

"Several Fleet Street titles" may have commissioned private detectives to access emails of as many victims as those involved in the phone-hacking scandal, the Independent said. Peter Hain, former Northern Ireland secretary, has confirmed that he has been in discussions with police concerning hacking of his emails.
Labour MP Tom Watson has called for London's Metropolitan Police to expand its investigation into possible computer hacking, known as Operation Tuleta. Currently eight police officers are working on the email-hacking investigation, while the Operation Weeting team investigating phone-hacking is 120-strong, according to the Independent.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-03 17:09

2011 was a big year for news in more ways than one. Reporters were amply tested in their coverage of big breaking news stories such as the death of Osama Bin Laden or Muammar Gaddafi, major disasters such as the Fukushima earthquake, and complex political unrest much of the Arab World.

Meanwhile, newspapers continue to seek an effective digital business model, to tackle the challenges posed by social media and community involvement, to create innovative tablet applications and respond to ethical dilemmas. Looking forward to 2012, what can we expect?

Social media - will Facebook remain the undisputed leader?

Social media sprang to the forefront of the global stage in early 2011, with many directly attributing the extent of the uprisings in the Arab World to the power of Facebook and Twitter. Citizen reporting and commentary on events using social media has also flourished in the Arab World, and Anglophones have followed Twitter coverage via NPR's Andy Carvin. Will this use of social networks to provoke and cover dramatic uprisings continue?

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-02 16:29

Plagiarism: it's an act that is strictly against various ethical codes and industry guidelines followed by many journalists the world over. However, recently the issue has become a problem not only for journalists, but for the cartoonists as well.

At the beginning of November, the cartoonist for Urban Tulsa Weekly, David Simpson, resigned after he was discovered to have plagiarised material from the late, great, Pulitzer-winning Jeff MacNelly.

Last week, another incident of alleged plagiarism occurred, in which the work of Jeff Stahler of The Columbus Dispatch bore a close resemblance to a piece published in 2009 in the New Yorker by cartoonist David Sipress.

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) now has to decide how to react to Stahler's case, as he was suspended from the Columbus Dispatch on grounds that he lifted text and visuals from Sipress's work. The AAEC are currently consulting their bylaws regarding this incident.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-12-12 16:42

Today is the final day of hearings for this week. The line-up brought before the inquiry today continued to feature high profile celbrity figures and legal experts. The witnesses were: "HJK", an anonymous member of the public who had a relationship with an unnamed celebrity; Sienna Miller, a British actress; Mark Thomson, a solicitor who has represented Naomi Campbell, Sienna Miller and others in landmark privacy cases; Max Mosley, former head of the FIA, a role which included running Formula One motor racing; and JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

"HJK"

This witness gave evidence "in camera", away from the press, under an anonymity order.

Sienna Miller

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-11-24 18:27

Advertising is crucial to the health of the news industry; it is the egg in the cake mixture, the crucial ingredient that binds everything together, even when print product sales are dropping. As the newspaper business navigates the transition to into the digital era, online advertising is becoming an ever more important revenue stream, much has been said about the necessity to 'stack those dimes' that trickle in from web ads in order to survive tough financial conditions.

In light of this situation, when someone proposes an alternative source of advertising, you can't blame news organisations for pricking up their ears and listening. What is this new source of ad revenue? The sponsored tweet.

'Great! Another way to grab some much needed cash!' you might think... but is it really a good idea for newspapers to issue sponsored material on their Twitter feeds?

Why could you argue that sponsored tweeting is a good idea?

1) MONEY. It's sad but true, newspapers need money. According to Nieman Lab, sponsored tweets can supposedly bring in $300 per day for a publication like The Statesman , which deals with news and entertainment in Austin, Texas. The publication puts out two clearly labelled sponsored tweets per day promoting local businesses and events. This is valuable revenue from 140 characters.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-11-15 15:37

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