Ethical Journalism Newsletter: February 17, 2015


Ethical Journalism News And Debates

We Must Stamp Out Hatred Wherever We See It

Media reactions to the killings in Copenhagen and Chapel Hill have shown some worrying inconsistencies. (via The Guardian)

Newsrooms Face Mental Health Challenge Amid Surge Of Graphic Footage

The ISIS videos prompted intense debate over whether or not news sites should publish such footage. Not as common, though, were conversations about the journalists tasked with watching and vetting potentially upsetting user-generated content. (via Poynter)

Will A Troll Toll Work?

On February 10, 2015, The Nieman Journalism Lab reported about an unusual step taken by the Jewish site, Tablet, to deal with unruly commenters: charging readers who want to submit — or even view — comments on their site. This is different from the conventional paywall mechanism, where readers are charged for content. In Tablet’s case, content is free but posting a comment is not. (via The Hindu)

How Governments Are Reinventing Censorship In The 21st Century

Censorship is flourishing in the information age. In theory, new technologies make it more difficult, and ultimately impossible, for governments to control the flow of information. Yet governments are routing around the liberating effects of the Internet. In Hungary, Ecuador, Turkey, Kenya, and elsewhere, officials are mimicking autocracies like Russia, Iran, or China by redacting critical news and building state media brands. They are also creating more subtle tools to complement the blunt instruments of attacking journalists. (via The Atlantic)

Ipso’s Censure On Daily Express Has Not Solved The Problem

It may strike those who recall Richard Desmond pulling out of the previous form of press regulation as ironic that one of his outlets is the first national media group to be censured by the new regulator. The Daily Express website was declared guilty by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) of publishing a “significantly distorted” story by claiming Ukip had overhauled Labour in an opinion poll. (via The Guardian)

Reports & Resources

Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation

Journalists are squandering much of the value of rumors and emerging news by moving too quickly and thoughtlessly to propagation. News websites dedicate far more time and resources to propagating questionable and often false claims than they do working to verify and/or debunk viral content and online rumors. The debunking efforts that do exist at news organizations are scattershot and are not rooted in best practices identified in previous research.

This research has quantified many bad practices of online media. In doing so, it clearly articulates areas for improvement and reveals a way forward where news organizations move to occupy the middle ground between mindless propagation and wordless restraint. (via The Tow Center For Digital Journalism)