Posted in Historic front pages, Journalism, New York Times, tagged Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Reveille, Digital First Media, Editorials, Indianapolis Star, Jack Shafer, Kristen Hare, New Orleans Times-Picayune, New York Daily News, New York Times, opinion journalism, Poynter, Sun Herald, Warren G. Harding on December 5, 2015 |
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As LSU’s Director of Student Media, I occasionally fire off messages to student editors and station managers with suggestions that I usually expect them to ignore. They are independent and they are rightly in charge of their newsrooms, and I didn’t follow a lot of faculty advice when I was their age either.
I sent this message to the editorial board of our newspaper, the Daily Reveille, on Oct. 1:
I just checked. I didn’t carbon anyone from the New York Times on the message. But the Times ran a front-page editorial this morning, calling for an end to “the Gun Epidemic in America.”
My students sort of followed my advice (or moved that direction on their own), running some opinions on the front page but more frequently than I suggested. That’s OK, too: The Reveille’s front page and editorials should reflect their judgment, not mine. I’m proud of their work, which has included excellent opinion pieces by columnists and the editorial board on page-one this semester, about such topics as mental health and racial discrimination at bars near campus.
As Kristen Hare’s Poynter piece that I shared with the student editors indicated, newspapers are increasingly responding to important issues by stating opinions on newsprint once reserved for “straight news”: the front page. The New York Times is following this trend, not leading it (nor am I, obviously). Hare’s piece was prompted by this Chicago Sun-Times cover: (more…)
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Posted in Ethics, tagged advertising ethics, Build Your Own Ethics Code, Institute for Advertising Ethics, journalism ethics, native advertising, New York Times, Online News Association, Poynter, product placement, public relations ethics, Public Relations Society of America, Radio Television Digital News Association, RTDNA Code of Ethics, Rules of the Road, Society of Professional Journalists, SPJ Code of Ethics, Telling the Truth and Nothing But, Tim McGuire, Tom Rosenstield, Verification Handbook on November 19, 2015 |
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I taught a class today in professional codes of ethics for various media careers.
A central point of the class was to discuss whether and why ethics codes should be updated: How much do they present timeless principles and how much should they provide specific guidance relevant to today’s ethical situations and challenges?
I won’t review all the points I made here, but I cited these ethics codes (or principles):
I also cited these narrower but more detailed examinations of slices of journalism ethics, all of them completed in the past few years:
We discussed native advertising, product placement as efforts to blur the lines between advertising and news or entertainment, including the Cities Energized paid post in the New York Times.
I also cited blog posts by Tom Rosenstiel and Tim McGuire about the relative merits of independence and transparency as core principles of journalism ethics.
I also cited Bob Steele‘s 10 questions to make ethical decisions as advice that is as helpful making ethical decisions today as when he first published them in 2002.
I made points covered in more detail in these earlier blog posts:
These were the slides I used in the class:
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I don’t think I ever leaked a newsroom memo to Jim Romenesko, but I kinda wish I had, and I’m thankful to everyone who did. No one brought more transparency to the news biz than Romenesko, who shined his blog’s spotlight into the dark corners of an industry with little fondness for our own medicine.
Jim has decided to retire from journalism’s best must-read news-about-news blog, but perhaps it’s better to describe his future as a semi-retirement.
“I’m going to continue to tweet and put up posts, but at a leisurely pace,” Romenesko said by email Monday after I wrote to wish him well. “I’m enjoying traveling, sleeping in, reading the news and watching Colbert/Wilmore before opening the laptop in the morning. When I see something that interests me — the Post-Gazette Jenner column controversy, for example — I’ll pursue it. I’m not going to unplug my devices!”
It appears he’ll still follow the news biz and share links to interesting stuff, maybe more on social media than on the blog. But don’t look for his exhaustive report of interesting stuff every morning, not if he’s sleeping in.
Romenesko invariably told just part of the story, but that was the point. Romenesko seldom wrote a long story about anything. But if someone else wrote a good story about something of interest to journalists, Jim made sure the rest of us in the news business knew about it.
His longest posts often were brief introductions to a newsroom memo or a news-company memo.
The irony of it was always amusing: Editors who exhorted their staffs to develop sources who would leak them juicy inside information did a slow burn (or a private chuckle) when their own staffs invariably leaked to Romenesko. (more…)
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Posted in Digital First journalism, Innovation in the media, New York Times, tagged Ben Mullin, Dean Baquet, GigaOm, Margaret Sullivan, Mathew Ingram, New York Times, newsroom meetings, Poynter on February 20, 2015 |
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I offer mostly curation, rather than fresh commentary, on the New York Times’ move from a daily page-one meeting to a daily meeting focused on digital platforms:
Poynter’s Ben Mullin explains the change, including Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s memo to the Times staff.
Mathew Ingram of GigaOm has a thoughtful commentary on the change, including how overdue it is.
I blogged about newsroom meetings last year when Margaret Sullivan reported the first steps toward a digital focus in the morning meeting.
I blogged some advice on leading newsroom meetings in 2013.
Changing newsroom meetings is hard. As I noted yesterday, I was not successful in changing meetings as thoroughly as I wanted when I was editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
I don’t say this to criticize Baquet or the Times, just to note how deeply entrenched meetings are in a newsroom culture and how hard it is to change them: The Times Innovation report, recommending a digital focus to the meetings, was completed last March. The change is now being implemented 11 months later. Of course, many other changes recommended in the report have already being implemented.
I’m not banging on the Times for taking 11 months to change its morning meeting, just saying this is a big and difficult change. I wish Baquet and the Times well in executing this change and in using it to continue culture change in the newsroom.
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Posted in Ethics, Innovation in the media, tagged Aasif Mandvi, Al Tompkins, Alex Rodriguez, Amy Poehler, Ann Curry, Brian Williams, Comedy Central, David Gregory, Hillary Clinton, Jason Jones, Jay Rosen, Jessica Williams, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Larry Wilmore, Lester Munson, Los Angeles Times, Mary McNamara, NBC, Poynter, Poynter Guiding Principles for the Journalist, Ronald Reagan, Samantha Bee, Seth Myers, Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, SPJ Code of Ethics, Stars and Stripes, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrel, The Daily Show, Tina Fey, Travis Trittten on February 11, 2015 |
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Jon Stewart cut his old friend Brian Williams a break, making some really big media news to overshadow the story about the possible death blow to Williams’ career.
A suspension of the leading anchor of the old Big Three television networks for embellishing stories is a big deal. But the departure of the king of fake news is huge. Whom will we turn to now to learn what the news really means? Well, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore and whoever replaces Stewart on The Daily Show, but more on that later.
The dual career moves — a suspension following an apology that only made things worse, contrasting with lavish praise following an announcement of a voluntary departure at some vague point later this year — were loaded in contrast and irony that tell us so much about television news and entertainment today:
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Posted in Personal, tagged American Journalism Review, American Press Institute, Andrew Beaujon, Bleacher Report, Columbia Journalism Review, Dallas Morning News, David Cohn, Dean Baquet, Editor & Publisher, Erik Wemple, Esquire, Fareed Zakaria, Gene Weingarten, Huffington Post, Jay Rosen, Jim Romenesko, King Kaufman, New York Times, Nieman Lab, PBS MediaShift, Poynter, Richard Prince, Rob Tornoe, Sam Kirkland, The Root, Twitter on December 31, 2014 |
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I get a little attention now and then in blogs, columns, stories and other discussions of media issues. Here were some of my 2014 mentions:
New York Times
I was “one reader” in a New York Times blog post (but was really pleased that the Times, after my urging, is calling for better linking by staff members). It is accurate. I am a Times reader.
On the other hand, I did get a mention and a second quote, attributed to Digital First Media, my company at the time, in the New York Times Innovation Report (mention on P. 87, blind quote on Page 15).
Other Times mentions included a quote about verification of video images in Margaret Sullivan’s Public Editor blog, and a quote in Ravi Somaiya’s story on the demise of Thunderdome.
Dean Baquet response
The Times made no notice of Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s response to my criticism of him and other top editors who don’t use Twitter. But the exchange was noted by the Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, Fishbowl, Tim McGuire, Michael Conniff, Alexander Howard, Mathew Ingram, Jeff Jarvis, Staci Kramer, Richard Prince and Dave Winer. It certainly drew more attention than anything else I did on the blog this year. (more…)
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Posted in Ethics, tagged Bob Steele, Craig Silverman, European Journalism Centre, fabrication, IRE Journal, J-Lab, Jay Rosen, journalism ethics, Kellie Riordan, Kelly McBride, Online News Association, plagiarism, Poynter, Radio Television Digital News Association, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Rules of the Road, Scott Rosenberg, Society of Professional Journalists, SPJ Code of Ethics, Telling the Truth and Nothing But, The New Ethics of Journalism, Tom Kent, Tom Rosenstiel, University of Colorado, University of Oxford, Verification Handbook on September 6, 2014 |
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Update: The final draft of the code update was revised again yesterday. I like what I’ve heard about the changes, but I haven’t analyzed it yet.
I will be leading a session at the Excellence in Journalism conference today about the broader ethics discussion in journalism.
At the EIJ conference, the Society of Professional Journalists will vote on adoption of a new ethics code. Here is the latest draft of the code, though it could be amended in floor debate today. My criticism of the revision stands, and I won’t belabor it either in this post or in my EIJ session.
Other ethics initiatives I will discuss include:
Poynter’s Guiding Principles
The new Poynter Guiding Principles for the Journalist, published in the 2013 book, The New Ethics of Journalism, edited by Kelly McBride and Tom Rosenstiel. I blogged in 2012 from a Poynter event to discuss updating the Guiding Principles, then blogged again with suggestions for the new principles and in 2013 with praise and criticism for the completed guidelines. Among other changes, the guiding principles changed two of the three core values from the original Guiding Principles, authored by Bob Steele in the early 1990s. The 1990s principles were organized around the values of truthfulness, independence and minimizing harm. Now the core values are truthfulness, transparency and community. The 1990s SPJ Code and Guiding Principles were strongly similar, with SPJ using the same three core values, plus accountability (Bob dealt with accountability in his elaboration on the other values). In the final draft of the SPJ update, the core values are unchanged, except that transparency is paired with accountability in the last section. (more…)
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