Archive for February 17th, 2009

Update: I spoke by telephone and direct message this evening with April Samp, news director at KGAN/KFXA. She doesn’t think she misrepresented herself in her interview request. I will concede that Twitter doesn’t allow many words for a detailed interview request, so maybe it was more a matter of poor communication rather than misrepresentation (but I’m not hard to reach by email either). I’ll also stress that nothing in her Twitter profile identified the organization that was asking for the interview. She told me that her Twitter stream makes frequent references to KGAN and that she would be easy to find on Google. All true, but when you ask for an interview, the obligation is on you to identify yourself and your purpose. The person asking for an interview shouldn’t have to research to figure out who you are. (Perhaps I should have done some of that research before blogging, though.) April also told me that she responded by BlackBerry to my Twitter message that gave her a couple of possible interview times, saying that they wanted to do the interview at one of the times I suggested. But her Twitter direct message log confirms that the message didn’t go out. And since I never confirmed that we were on for an interview, we never had an interview set, as KGAN reported. So I am comfortable in saying that the original report on KGAN was inaccurate. The story I just watched on the 10 p.m. newscast was at least accurate. So I thank KGAN for correcting the report. But I didn’t hear any acknowledgment that they were wrong in the 6 p.m. newscast or the original web report, so I feel comfortable standing by my original blog post, which follows.

KGAN apparently misrepresented itself to me in an interview request last night and reported falsely about me to the public today.

Here are the details:

I received a direct message on Twitter late Monday evening (Feb. 16) from someone identified on Twitter only as @aprilsamp. The message asked: “Are you available for sit down interview on Tuesday re: future of newspaper biz? If not, can you have someone else do an interview?” (more…)

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Live chat with Steve Buttry

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Bad judgment is bad judgment.

Journalists have said stupid things in print and on television and that didn’t mean those media presented ethical problems for journalist. Journalists have said stupid things to sources in person, in emails and on the telephone and that doesn’t mean journalists should avoid using email, telephones or face-to-face conversations. Journalists will also say stupid things on Twitter or other social networks. When they do, the problem is the stupid thing you said, not the platform you used to say it.

(Before I go further, I should say that the “stupid things” someone said in the examples that follow involve foul language that I don’t use in this blog. Click the links below if foul language doesn’t bother you.)

A Twitter exchange that appears to be between National Post technology reporter David George-Cosh and marketing consultant April Dunford has drawn a stir on the Internet. (The Twitter feed identified as George-Cosh’s in accounts of the dustup indicates that someone might have hacked his feed.) (more…)

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This is a handout I use in Upholding and Updating Ethical Standards, an American Press Institute seminar underwritten by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. It doesn’t attempt to provide all the answers, but to ask a lot of questions for journalists and news organizations to consider as they use social networks for valid journalistic pursuits. I offer these questions for my staff and other journalists to consider. We will be discussing these issues in greater depth among our staff.

Social networks are a rapidly growing part of society and communication and journalists and news organizations need to connect with them as we gather content and build audience for our products. We also need to keep ethics in mind as we operate in this swiftly changing world. If you are an editor, you need to discuss with your staff members how they are using social networks and what standards and issues you think are important in dealing with networks. If you are a staff member, you need to tell your editors how you are using social networks and discuss any questions you might have about policies and boundaries. Some questions and guidelines to consider:

Consider everything public. Even though social-networking sites generally allow you some control over who sees your contributions, you should regard everything you post online as public. Some of your “friends” could pass along what you have posted. Once you post anything even to a closed network, you lose control of it. (more…)

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