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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New York Times owes the audience an explanation

Jill Abramson’s departure as the executive editor of The New York Times and Dean Baquet’s appointment as her replacement was abrupt. Times Company Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told senior editors at a 2 p.m. meeting and the rest of the staff and the world found out around 2:30 p.m. Abramson had been in the position since 2011, a relatively … Read More

Eagle huntress photos by 24-year-old documentary photographer go viral

Soaring vision: http://t.co/tjb1DAUCth amazing snaps of a Mongolian girl hunting with an eagle (via @BBCNewsMagazine) pic.twitter.com/rDfQ8Fxboc — BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 20, 2014   You know those stunning photos bouncing around the Internet of the Mongolian children hunting with eagles? The 24-year-old photographer who took them self-financed his expedition and at … Read More