WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


ethics

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On Saturday May 14 Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and until then the favoured Nicolas Sarkozy's challenger in the next presidential elections in France, was arrested in New York and charged with the sexual assault of a housekeeper in his suite at the Sofitel Hotel.

In addition to the consequences the case is having on international politics, international relations and French politics (Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 19 as head of IMF), it is also enlivening the debate within news media.

To sum up, of course simplifying, the French press is blaming the US media of being too unscrupulous in covering the news, neglecting the right to be considered innocent before being proved guilty. On the other hand, the US press is blaming the French press of being "reluctant" in covering the case in order to protect Dominique Strauss-Kahn's private life.

Some Europeans are upset over how American journalists have used "perp walk" photos and videos of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, wrote Al Tompkins on Poynter.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/05/how_the_press_covered_dominique_strauss-.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-20 00:17

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Daily Telegraph's reporters were wrong to use subterfuge to secretly record conversations with Liberal Democrats MPs during constituency surgeries last December, the UK Press Complaints Commission has ruled. The PCC is upholding the complaint against the paper raised by Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron, Journalism.co.uk reported.

Last December two undercover reporters secretly recorded MPs including business secretary Vince Cable, who at that time was charged with taking the final decision on News Corp's bid to take full control over BskyB. Cable was recorded saying that he had "declared war on Mr Murdoch".

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/05/the_daily_telegraph_censured_by_the_pcc.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-11 14:38

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The huge potentiality offered to news media by social media and social networks have already been widely discussed.

But does the overwhelming tide of information have any consequences on the credibility of online news?

Writing for (y)EU, the collective blog of the Web-team of the European Parliament, published an article addressing the issue. The article cited Edelman's media guru Steve Rubel who said that the word recognized as the Oxford Word of the Year 2009 - which was "unfriend" - marked the passage from the "democratization" of the internet to the "accreditation" era.

People don't know how to survive in the jungle of information online and they are turning to experts and specialists to guide them, says the article. If in 2006 the main source of trust was "people like me, my peer", in 2010 academic, experts, CEOS, NGOs and government representatives gained positions.

The article goes on noting that this is far form being the end of social media, of course, but that it means that to be credible and influential and to stand out from the wave it's necessary to build a sort of "digital authority".

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web_20/2011/05/how_to_assess_online_credibility_looking.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-05 18:29

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When a question that has already been answered keeps getting asked, how should the mainstream media cover it? American Journalism Review's Rem Rieder discussed this in relation to the "birther" movement that has again gained momentum in the United States, causing President Obama to address the topic on Wednesday by releasing a long-form birth certificate.

The main reason the president gave for addressing the issue head-on was the extensive coverage it received in the press. He said that the topic was blown to such proportions that it distracted public debate on real issues that the country is facing. Although it may not have been the dominant topic in the media, unlike Obama mentioned, it is plausible to say that the question overshadowed more worthy discussion.

Rieder wrote that in the old days, mainstream media would not have needed to cover a topic that has already been exhausted - more than two and half years ago, in fact. So why do elite news organisations still pay attention? Rieder sees this as a proof of a change in media industry: "In the world of Web sites, talk radio and cable news, pretty much anyone and anything can find an audience."

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/the_birther_movement_or_why_do_the_media.php

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-04-29 18:49

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Voltaire once said, "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it." Freedom of speech is important for dialogue and information. For centuries, people have been defending and fighting for their right to say anything they want. With the growing number of countries supporting free speech, more opinions and ideas are being expressed than ever. Still, it begs the question: Just because you can say anything, should you?

D.C. political blog Wonkette is trying to figure out the answer after putting up a controversial post. In it, writer Jack Steuf mocked former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's son, Trig. Specifically, Steuf made jokes and comments about the three-year-old's Down Syndrome. As a result, he has gained the wrath of both Palin supporters and supporters of the rights of special needs children.

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web_20/2011/04/wonkette_blog_post_stirs_controversy.php

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-04-22 16:03

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Being paid to write about the person who actually pays your salary is quite a big challenge, especially if you care about maintaining your credibility.

The issue is the focus of a New York Times article about the difficult position of Henry Goldman, the journalist within Bloomberg who is charge of writing about Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

For ten years - the article highlighted - his assignment has included chronicling Bloomberg's ups and downs for the global New York news service. Now Goldman is facing hard times as the mayor had a rough start of his third term and his approval ratings are the lowest of the last eight years.

It won't therefore be easy for Goldman to maintain his "down-the-middle" style as he risks being harshly criticized for overly positive coverage but at the same time he risks the ire of
Mr. Bloomberg himself.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/the_thin_line_of_credibility_how_to_repo.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-22 10:57

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The Oneida Daily Dispatch described in a recent article how Patricia Doxsey, a reporter for Freeman, uses Twitter to cover courtroom proceedings. When she once used a notepad to write down details to be used later when writing an article on the case, nowadays she tweets from the court with an iPad, covering the proceedings minute by minute.

The newspaper's aim was to offer on its website something else than the traditional news story on a different platform, and the experiment has been a success. Doxsey's tweets have got more than 30 000 hits altogether, attracting also comments from the readers generously. What is perhaps most striking is how long people stay to follow her tweets: according to Ivan Lajara, the newspaper's life editor and digital expert, her average follower logs on for 54 minutes.

This implies that Twitter is first and foremost, in this case, a way for Doxsey's followers to get a sense of what is going on behind the courtroom's closed doors. "You could say that Patti's tweets are adding more seats to the courtroom," Lajara said. The flow of tweets during a trial could be thus considered as a way of satisfying the public's hunger for every detail of a high-profile case.

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web_20/2011/04/tweeting_from_the_courtroom_interesting.php

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-04-18 18:41

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The Guardian's Roy Greenslade discussed a new book that highlights a hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) tendency in the British press to approach matters relating to Islam from a prejudiced standpoint. Pointing the Finger: Islam and Muslims in the British Media, edited by Julian Petley and Robin Richardson, presents examples of misleading news reporting on Islam-related matters. "Few topics are as controversial as the media treatment of Muslims, and too few journalists take it seriously," Greenslade wrote.

Greensdale acknowledges that the press has a strong influence when it comes to shaping views on minorities and encourages all journalists to read the book. "It is press-generated myths about Islam that fuel misunderstandings and feed prejudice, and thus bedevil rational discussion," Greenslade asserted.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/a_new_book_examines_the_treatment_of_isl.php

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-04-12 18:57

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The News of the World published an apology last Sunday, admitting liability in accessing voicemail messages. In addition to apologising "unreservedly," the paper announced that it was going to pay compensation to phone-hacking victims and set up a compensation scheme. "What happened to [the victims] should not have happened. It was and remains unacceptable," the apology said.

The confession marks a shift in the paper's attitude: instead of distancing itself from the arrested journalists by labeling them "rogue reporters" - a claim that was immediately challenged - the News of the World now accepts some degree of responsibility over the events. However, according to The Independent, some critics have said that the apology is more a "damage limitation exercise" than a genuine admission of wrongdoings. The careful wording of the apology (it does not discuss the extent of phone-hacking, for example) and lack of real new information would suggest this.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/reactions_to_notws_apology_for_voicemail.php

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-04-11 19:09

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Craig Silverman of RegretTheError.com on the Columbia Journalism Review reported on his talk with NPR Andy Carvin about the real-time verification system underlying his Twitter account.

Senior strategist at the National Public Radio, Andy Carvin became the "man who tweeted the revolution" and "the go-to source of information on Twitter during the recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya", as the Guardian described him.

"Although Carvin had a network of blogger contacts in the region whom he used to check information being tweeted, what marks him out is his willingness to retweet unverified material and ask his followers for help to establish its accuracy", the Guardian's article said.

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web_20/2011/04/andy_carvin_how_to_verify_information_on.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-11 18:46

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