WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 23.01.2018


ethics

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Big Lead Sports started a rumor that USA Today's decision to pay its workers bonuses based on page views had been taken yesterday, April 7th. Poynter's Jim Romenesko received a statement from Today's Vice President of Communications & Event Marketing Ed Cassidy saying this decision had not yet been made.

Before Cassidy could release his statement, other publications like Mashable and Business Insider had also reported on the event. The event sparked a dialogue on what these bonuses could mean in terms of reporting.

Big Lead didn't state outright that Today had made a final decision. It said, "USA Today had a conference call last night and according to a source, the paper outlined a plan in which it will pay annual bonuses to writers based on page views."

Less that three hours later, Romenesko posted Cassidy's response: "Jim, USA TODAY has and continues to consider bonuses based on page views but nothing has been decided at this time."

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web_20/2011/04/usa_today_considering_page_view_bonuses.php

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-04-08 16:32

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On March 24 the New York Times published a story by David Kociniewski claiming that the largest corporation in the US, General Electric, didn't pay federal taxes last year.

In his story, Kocieniewski wrote: "The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion".

Around this article, three different stories emerged.
One is about TV network NBC News not reporting on the case because, it was suspected, General Electric is the parent company of NBC.

The second is about if GE did or didn't pay the taxes. Ryan Chittum on the Columbia Journalism Review's business section deeply analysed the story, praising the New York Times for its excellent reporting.

The third is the newsy one: the media outlets that covered the news and how they did it.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/the_power_of_iterative_journalism_or_not.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-08 16:26

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In the age of an over-abundance of online information available more or less everywhere, why should readers still rely on newspapers as their news source?

Amongst other reasons, because they are trustworthy and still provide accurate, reliable, and thorough information. And, of course, because they recognize themselves in them.

In the effort to keep readers engaged with the paper, some newspapers are trying to improve their quality of information and underscore their commitment to accuracy and accountability.
That is what The Washington Post and the Register Citizen have done through giving a new way for readers to point out errors and submit correction requests.

As sometimes isn't easy for readers to submit correction requests, The Washington Post recently launched a report-an-error form, with the intention of making the process easier and more efficient, Poynter's Mallary Jean Tenore reported.

The form - the article said - which is displayed on every article page, asks readers to identify the type of error they've spotted and the section it appeared in. It also asks readers, "How can we fix it?" and "What do we need to know to improve future stories on this topic?"

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/correcting_errors_shows_that_you_care.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-05 14:08

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People who think to have been publicly misrepresented or wrongly and inaccurately represented have the right to ask for a correction and to re-establish the truth about them. There is no doubt about it.

Accuracy and fair reporting are the fundamental pillars of journalism. It's the basis of professional ethics.

The need to maintain true accountability demands that the press publishes a correction whenever it is found to be necessary.

That's why many news media not only have correction pages but have also established internal watchdog system such as an ombudsman or have subscribed to self-regulation bodies as news (or press) councils.

Anyone has the right to see incorrect information rectified, celebrities as well as common people and every untruth must be corrected, no matter if it's about high ideals or simply common facts.

Money shouldn't count in this process then. That's the point raised by The Observer readers' editor, Stephen Pritchard in his last article.

"What price the truth now?", he wonders.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/its_not_needed_to_pay_for_the_truth_prof.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-31 13:52

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Trying to be fair and impartial in the news industry is a well-established goal. The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) released the Principles of Journalism several years ago, stating, "Keeping news in proportion and not leaving important things out are also cornerstones of truthfulness. Journalism is a form of cartography: it creates a map for citizens to navigate society. Inflating events for sensation, neglecting others, stereotyping or being disproportionately negative all make a less reliable map."

But can news organizations always avoid showing a bias? What details need to be added in order to present a holistic map of the story? These questions have troubled both BBC News and the New York Times in the past few weeks.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/is_bias_in_journalism_impossible_to_avoi.php

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-03-30 13:29

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"Help me make a difference" Craig Newmark, Craigslist founder asks on craigconnects, his new project launched on March 8.

As announced, Craigconnects is a web-based initiative to help people work together for the common good using the Internet. It is a sort of platform which seeks to identify, connect and protect organizations engaged in work that is truly sustainable - socially responsible, self-perpetuating and replicable.
The areas of support include community building, Middle East, open and accountable government, service and volunteering, technology for social good, veterans issues and, most interestingly for our purposes, journalism integrity.

"The deal is that trustworthy media really are the immune system of our country", he states, "or, as I like to say it, trustworthy media should be the immune system of democracy".

Newmark lists some praiseworthy (mostly) non-profit news organizations, which "are trying to get the media back on track". The aim is to draw attention to them in order to support them. It's a sort of Craig-approved vetting of reliable news sources for readers to consider, as Justin Ellis wrote on Nieman.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/craigslist_founder_launches_a_new_projec.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-24 17:52

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On February 24 ESPN, the cable sport television network, and the Poynter Institute, "a non-profit dedicated to making journalism better", announced that a panel of faculty members from Poynter would serve as ESPN ombudsman, the internal watchdog, for the next 18 months.

The panel, known as the Poynter Review Project, will review ESPN content across all platforms and offer public comment on ESPN's efforts as well as address fans' concerns, the announcement said.

A monthly column will appear on the website while it will be more shorter and timely instalments ad issues arise.

The first ESPN ombudsman was hired in 2005: former Sunday Washington Post George Solomon. The last to serve for the 18 month-term ombudsman role was Don Ohlmeyer. You can find his last column here. Ohlmeyer, Former ABC and NBC sports and entertainment producer and programmer, succeeded Le Anne Schreiber, a former New York Times sports editor-turned-author, who succeeded Solomon in 2007.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/poynter_and_espn_finding_a_way_for_accou.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-24 14:20

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Growing concern over advertising market pressure threatening editorial integrity came to a head at The Detroit News last week. Controversy has sparked over its decision to change a review on the new Chrysler 200. Auto critic Scott Burgess resigned after his changed review appeared online, reported Jalopnik, who broke the story.

A local dealer took issue with Burgess' comparisons to "a dog" and "a loggerhead turtle," according to USA Today. Although it was too late to change the print version, the online version was reposted. After negative feedback from the repost, editors have put the original back up and issued an apology for their actions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Burgess is known for his blunt and often comical reviews. Several of the deleted passages reflect his blunt comedy. While the changes don't turn the review into a positive one, they definitely water down the criticism. Passages taken out include:

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/the_detroit_news_apologizes_after_editor.php

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-03-21 12:48

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Earlier last week, the staff of The Arizona Republic discovered some similarities between some of The Republic's articles and others appearing in The Washington Post.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/the_washington_post_suspended_one_of_its.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-17 16:44

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Publishers of course want their papers to be profitable, but also journalists working for a paper should take the paper's robustness to heart, shouldn't they? If a paper is profitable, it could invest in higher quality reporting, as well as in hiring other journalists.

This prelude is to suggest that a newspaper covering news about itself is not easy at all. Conflicts exist. "Reason of state" exists. How can a journalist cover a story regarding the company s/he works for, especially when this story involves financial and economic aspects of the company itself? There could be biased introduced by the journalist, or perhaps the journalist might report on something counterproductive to the success of the paper.

Arthur S. Brisbane, public editor of The New York Times
, wonders about this very thing, writing about why the paper didn't publish any article (except for an initial story 14-months ago) about The Times' own paywall, which is going to be launched.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/talking_about_oneself.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-09 13:50

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