Ethical Journalism Newsletter: September 10th, 2014


Ethical Journalism News

US: Senior CNN Correspondent Says He Fears Media Provoking ISIS War Fever

CNN’s Brian Stelter said on Sunday that he is worried about whether or not the media is stoking a war panic over the Islamic State militant group. The press reaction to the growing power of ISIS in Iraq and Syria has been dominated by hawkish voices, and Stelter wondered whether media figures are “letting their fears get the best of them, or their ideological agendas.” He said he was “very concerned about the press provoking panic about ISIS, but I’m keeping an open mind.” (via Huffington Post)

Readers’ Editor on Access and Accountability in Journalism

A good media outlet is a site where two streams of journalism — access journalism and accountability journalism — are in a constant state of balance and flux. What exactly do these terms mean? Access journalism is a practice where journalists secure inside information from people and institutions. On the other hand, accountability journalism aims to critically evaluate the information obtained through access journalism. It checks the veracity of official claims, the feasibility of plans, assesses their strengths and weaknesses, provides the context and makes sense of complex issues. (via The Hindu)


SPJ Approves New Code of Ethics

The Society of Professional Journalists approved a new Code of Ethics at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 convention in Nashville Saturday afternoon. The new code attempts to speak to all media, and all who consider themselves to be journalists. The newly-approved code also attempts to address using anonymous sources in stories. (via Poynter)

UK: Victims of Press Intrusion Brand New Regulator Ipso a Sham

Victims of press intrusion including the sister of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and parents of missing child Madeleine McCann have accused publishers of “rejecting due process and the rule of law” in setting up a new industry regulator. They claim the new body, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), which officially replaces the Press Complaints Commission on Monday, is as much a “sham regulator” as its predecessor. (via The Guardian)

Avoiding ‘Production Bias’ to Serve Up Better Dailies

Simply defined, Production Bias holds that if a story can’t be done in a day, we won’t do it. In fact, in some newsrooms it’s mutated: If the story can’t be done in two hours, we won’t do it. Am I exaggerating? Sure. But spend a few hours scanning the web sites of news organizations around the country, and tell me how many meaty profiles, in-depth analyses and just plain surprising stories you find. (via Poynter)

Should Outlets Have Observed a Complete Blackout on ISIS Video Images?

Where does newsworthiness end and manipulation begin? How should news organizations handle a brutally violent video that is clearly intended as a terrorist propaganda and recruitment tool? The New York Times gave one answer to that question in its print edition on Wednesday by publishing, on an inside page, a black-and-white photograph of moderate size taken from the video from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, of the beheading of the freelance journalist Steven J. Sotloff. (via New York Times)

5 Resources for Journalists Covering Domestic Violence

Following high-profile cases, here are some resources from around the web that offer insights into the ethics of reporting on domestic violence. (via Poynter)

Reports and Resources

Society of Professional Journalists: New Code of Ethics

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. This updated ethical code provides some guidelines for journalists to ensure they behave ethically and fairly.

Continue …