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Posts by Kelly McBride

About Kelly McBride

Kelly McBride is a media ethicist and Poynter's Vice President for Academic Programs. She was a daily newspaper reporter in the Northwest for 15 years. She is a leading expert on covering sexual assault, suicide and mental health issues, plagiarism, and the connection between an ethical press and a strong democracy.
NEWS

Poynter to host conversation on covering social justice issues

AJ+ producer Damu Bobb uses a mobile rig to report from Baltimore. (Photo by Devin Allen) As editors reorganize and identify new beats or topics, social justice reporting is gaining ground as an area of coverage. In the San Francisco Bay area, where social justice is a simmering topic, newsrooms are developing creative approaches. The Center for Investigative Reporting … Read More
NEWS

Commentary: Gawker crosses line with story on magazine exec

The Gawker story about a top magazine official’s recent attempt to hire a porn star for $2,500 for a few hours of sex is a classic case of invasion of privacy with absolutely no redeeming social value. From Gawker’s story, we see the executive being mature and even considerate of his would-be sexual partner. We see Gawker’s source reneging … Read More
NEWS

Why the columnist who writes about race in Spokane got scooped on Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal, stands in front of a mural she painted at the Human Rights Education Institute, offices in coeur d'alene, idaho In this photo taken July 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios)Shawn Vestal, a newspaper columnist in Spokane, Washington, had just cleared his decks to start checking out Rachel Dolezal’s story when he got scooped last week. But … Read More
NEWS

Advice for summer interns: Don't screw this up

Kelly McBride and her daughter Molly in New York. (Photo courtesy of the Kelly McBride) My eldest got her dream internship. She starts next week. Here's the letter I wrote, with help from my friends. Dear daughter, Congrats on getting an internship at a place where you already love the journalism. I know you got called as an alternate, … Read More
NEWS

Bill Simmons and ESPN will both be fine, and so will sports fans

ESPN says that it is parting ways with Bill Simmons, one of its top personalities who created the Grantland website and was instrumental in the network's documentary series. Network president John Skipper said Friday that he decided not to renew Simmons' contract. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) This breakup between ESPN and Bill Simmons was inevitable. Fifteen years ago … Read More
NEWS

2 things newsrooms everywhere should do to cover the cops and the community

There are two very important things newsrooms should do in every community to document the relationship between the police and the community. Analyze the data and policies of your law enforcement agencies What’s the racial breakdown of the force? Do officers have to live in the city or county where they work? How many excessive force complaints were filed over … Read More
NEWS

How can Rolling Stone recover?

No one was fired. The Rolling Stone story “A Rape on Campus” disappears from their site, replaced by the Columbia Journalism School's report. But how will the magazine recover from this massive, public failure? Even people who don’t regularly read Rolling Stone are aware that the magazine’s story about a 2012 gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity … Read More
NEWS

Here’s what Facebook knows about ethnic minorities on social media

There were a few relevant insights for journalists in a SXSW session Friday that was primarily designed to motivate advertisers and marketers to target Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians on Facebook. If you want to get relevant content in front of a diverse audience on social media, you have to understand the nuances of how that audience is different from the … Read More
NEWS

The ethics of hacked email and otherwise ill-gotten information

Sony and Aaron Sorkin both got it wrong. There are journalism ethics to mining emails hacked by someone else. But the question is not whether or not to mine them, but rather how. Journalists generally agree that it’s appropriate to use ill-gotten information in the public interest, whether it’s the Pentagon Papers or a massive email hack. But … Read More
NEWS

Jill Abramson startup to advance writers up to $100k for longform work

Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson shed light this weekend on her plans with Steven Brill to grow a start up. Writers will be paid advances around $100,000 to produce stories that will be longer than long magazine articles but shorter than books, she said. There will be “one perfect whale of a story” each month and … Read More
NEWS

How to build a news apps team (Hint: if you don't have a lot of money, settle for scrappy)

It isn’t really a question of whether you need a news apps team or not. The question for most newsrooms is what kind of news apps team can you afford? And then, how can you keep them as long as possible, given your scarce resources? Programmers and developers with journalistic inclinations are in high demand. They command good salaries and … Read More
NEWS

Bill Simmons' ESPN suspension and the challenges of editing star talent

Whether you think Bill Simmons is the latest sacrificial lamb at ESPN, or that his suspension is really theater in the vein of professional wrestling, there are important issues behind the suspension that we could all pay some attention to. Too much content, too little editing: From podcasts to blogs to social media posts, there is a fair amount of … Read More
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