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Posts Tagged ‘Columbia Missourian’

This was a handout I developed in 2006 for a series of ethics seminars for the American Press Institute. It appeared online originally at No Train, No Gain, but has not been available online for the last couple of years. I am republishing it without updating to accompany a new blog post of the issue of advance review of news stories by sources

Some ethical issues in journalism are black-and-white: Every newspaper agrees that you don’t fabricate and you don’t plagiarize. Do either and your career may be over. Advance review of copy is an area of wide disagreement. For some editors, it would be a firing offense for a reporter to show a story to a source prior to publication. Other editors want their reporters to show stories to sources before publication, at least in some circumstances. Some prominent reporters make it a regular practice. We’re not going to resolve that issue here. That’s for your editors and you to decide. We will examine arguments on both sides of the issue and things to consider if you do show stories to sources, either as a routine or in special cases.

Why you shouldn’t show

For many years, journalists had pretty strong agreement on this subject: You didn’t show stories to sources before publication. Many journalists, probably a majority, still feel this way in most, if not all, cases. These journalists cite multiple reasons not to disclose the contents of stories in advance of publication: (more…)

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I encourage editors to follow live coverage of the Associated Press Managing Editors convention starting today in St. Louis.

The digital-only coverage of APME09 by University of Missouri students might help you in four ways:

  • If you’re attending the convention, it will enhance your understanding of the events and issues.
  • If you’re not attending the convention, it will allow you to follow the discussions.
  • Either way, it might help you rethink how you cover big events in your community.
  • It might help you think differently about what “Web-first” coverage means. (more…)

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