21st October 2014
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Newsletter: October 21st, 2014


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Ethical Journalism News

Right to be Forgotten: Who May Exercise Power, Over Which Kind of Information?

One of the crucial questions of our age is who may legitimately exercise what power over which kind of information. A publisher can regulate or block access to personal information quite easily. Its intervention makes any gerrymandered de-linking no longer a problem. And it can operate discretely, without creating any Streisand effect. However, at the moment, publishers are disempowered. (via The Guardian)

When Writing About Ebola, What Images Should You Use?

“A blown up image of a big scary virus, people in hazmat suits, alarming words in the headline, all of that can overwhelm a completely reasonable story. Pushing out mobile alerts that scream: ‘More contagion, another person falls ill,’ make people think that they have to act now. Editors have a duty to envision how a reasonable consumer will respond. What information does that consumer really need first and foremost?” (via Poynter)

Should NBC News Doctor Who Violated Ebola Quarantine Continue Reporting?

The quarantine against possible Ebola exposure ends this week for Dr. Nancy Snyderman, but the troubles clearly aren’t over for NBC News’ chief medical editor. An admitted lapse in the quarantine, combined with a curiously imprecise explanation, unleashed a furious response. NBC must now decide whether Snyderman’s credibility is too damaged for her to continue reporting on Ebola or other medical issues and, if so, for how long. (via Huffington Post)

Nick Clegg: Journalists Should Be Given Public Interest Defence in Law

The Liberal Democrat leader said he believed journalists should be able to go after information in the public interest without fear of being prosecuted. He spoke out at his monthly press conference before a debate in the House of Lords on Monday night, where a Lib Dem peer will table amendments proposing public interest defences to the crime and criminal justice bill. (via The Guardian)

No More Mugshots as Infotainment, says Missouri Newspaper

No more mugshots for the Springfield, Missouri News-Leader, unless they are really newsworthy. Instead of dumping mugshots in bulk, the newspaper will instead be selective in reporting on newsworthy crimes, Paul Berry, the News-Leader‘s executive editor for news and engagement, explained in an opinion piece. (via iMediaEthics)


From India: Trust is Media’s Biggest Asset

The year 2009 was a defining 12 months for Indian journalism in more than one sense. While the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) returned to power with an increased majority, it started to lose its sheen even during the Cabinet formation. In the elections to the legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra that took place in the autumn of 2009, the charges of paid news, till then a mere rumour, were confirmed. (via The Hindu)

The Road to Sedition: Malaysia and Myanmar Crackdown on Dissent

Last week a court in Myanmar sentenced a reporter, two editors and two former owners of a now-defunct news journal to two years in prison for defaming the state by “publishing a story that upset the Burmese government.” In Malaysia, there’s been a recent uptick in local officials using the country’s Sedition Act to crackdown on government criticism. About 40 politicians, journalists, activists, lawyers and academics have fallen foul of the law this year alone. (via Religion News Service)