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Archive for November 11th, 2013

Jeff Edelstein

Jeff Edelstein

Shaky journalism ethics and hypocrisy in the name of religion are a couple of my pet peeves.

I’m a little peeved now at Todd Starnes of Fox News.

Some background will help. My Digital First colleague Jeff Edelstein, a columnist at The Trentonian, broke the story Oct. 22 that MacFarland Intermediate School in Bordentown had dropped three overtly religious Christmas songs from its winter concert. You can agree or disagree with that move, and I’m not going to argue the merits of the school’s decision here, but it’s clearly newsworthy.

Starnes was one of many journalists jumping on the story after Jeff broke it, along with his Fox colleague Bill O’Reilly. The story fits their imaginary “war on Christmas,” so you can see why they would want to give it attention. But they didn’t bother to acknowledge the source of their information in any way.

I think an ethical journalist should acknowledge and link to sources. You can disagree with me on that and you’ll have some company. It’s not one of those ethical points on which journalists are mostly united, like that we should publish accurate stories and shouldn’t plagiarize.

But let’s get to the question of accuracy. Starnes tweeted this week: (more…)

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