journalism ethics

Plea for open records

The reporter from Hustler magazine asking for crime scene photos (that contain a woman’s nude and decapitated body) makes a pretty good argument for why the state shouldn’t be denying his public records request.

By | March 18th, 2010|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Too Close to Home

The New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem has a son who joined the Israeli Defense Forces. Should he be reassigned out of concern for potential bias in reporting? The paper’s ombudsman argues yes, while the paper’s editor vociferously disagrees. Good case study for journalism ethics. I agree with Keller. He points out that an ex-Marine is covering the war in Afghanistan. He may have a bias, but you wouldn’t know it from his reporting.

On another note, some people say that Public Editor Clark Hoyt too often carries water for his own newspaper. I think this column proves he’s not afraid to challenge the leadership of the New York Times.

By | February 8th, 2010|Uncategorized|2 Comments

On Journalism

“With many young reporters the notion exists that a newspaper man is not at his best unless he is finding fault. They go out of their way to employ ridicule and sarcasm, and pride themselves on their ability to annoy and hurt. Some of them get so bad that they are always ready to stretch the truth for the sake of setting down what they think are particularly telling examples of their own smartness; and it must be confessed that occasionally experienced newspaper men who pose as fair judges are the worst offenders.”

— John L. Given, “Making a Newspaper,” 1907

By | July 27th, 2009|great quotes|0 Comments

Another ethical lapse from Big Media:

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller and Teddy Davis claimed on Feb. 19 that the story of Obama borrowing Patrick’s “just words” line was “first reported by ABC News’ Jake Tapper.” Not true! The story of Obama borrowing Patrick’s “just words” line was first reported by Scott Helman of the Boston Globe in April 2007.

ABC News’ attempt to claim credit for breaking this bogus plagiarism story is, if anything, a greater moral offense than Obama’s bogus plagiarism itself (though both ethical breaches are measured in microns). After all, ABC News is claiming affirmatively that it broke the plagiarism story. Obama, though he borrowed Patrick’s words (just as, on previous occasions, Patrick has borrowed his) never claimed affirmatively that he invented them. Or rather, that his campaign staff invented them, though here things get a little complicated because the line was probably fed to both Patrick and Obama by the political strategist, David Axelrod, who has worked for both of them.

By | February 20th, 2008|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Great article from the former editor of the Wall Street Journal describing the decline of the newspaper industry. This is an interesting aside:

A certain fast-and-loose, devil-may-care attitude often prevailed. I remember walking past a photographer’s open car trunk and noticing that he carried a well-preserved but very dead bird among his cameras and lenses. The bird, he explained, was for feature shots on holidays like Memorial Day. He’d perch it on a gravestone or tree limb in a veterans’ cemetery to get the right mood. Nowadays such a trick would get him fired, but in the 1950s, this guy said, there was no time to wait for a live bird to flutter into the frame.

Sort of debunks the idea that there was once a “golden era” of journalism in which ethics were king.

The whole article’s a good read.

By | January 11th, 2008|Uncategorized|0 Comments