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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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NPR One app potential is huge

Public radio and podcasts have taken on an increasing role in my life. I listen while running, cleaning, cooking, driving long distances or taking public transportation, mostly times when I can afford to multitask, but can't be looking at video or don't want the added work of reading text. I downloaded the NPR One app this week and listened … Read More
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Egg donation, first conceived as personal essay, becomes investigative report

When Sarasota Herald Tribune business reporter Justine Griffin set out to donate her eggs, her editors asked her to consider doing a personal essay. What she discovered during the year-long journey is that fertility industry has some serious conflicts of interest and that nobody advocates for the health of egg donors. As her approach morphed from a personal essay to an investigative package, Griffin had to deal with her own conflict of interest. She was part of the story. Read More
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9 best practices for publishing provocative opinions in a polarized world

Clashes between professional provocateurs and the masses, like the recent criticism that rained down on Washington Post columnist George F. Will over  #survivorprivilege, are on the rise. See #checkyourprivilege. Remember the reaction to the equally appalling Richard Cohen column that suggested a gag reflex is a normal reaction to learning the white mayor of New York is … Read More