Updates on ethical decision-making in newsrooms big and small, written by Poynter’s Kelly McBride, Bob Steele and colleagues.

Correspondent Lara Logan of "60 Minutes" is on a leave of absence following an internal review by CBS News of her story on the Benghazi embassy attack. (AP Photo/Robert Spencer)

CBS memos suggest Logan had bias, but don’t say why no one addressed it

The CBS memos from Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News, and Al Ortiz, executive director of standards and practices, suggest that correspondent Lara Logan had a preconceived bias that prevented her from fully vetting her source before airing his story … Read more


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Beth Serrano

How journalists can provide fair coverage when reporting on rape charge in Cleveland case

Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus are household names. The three women, freed from a house in Cleveland after they were separately kidnapped as teenagers about a decade ago, are the central characters in a story that has dominated … Read more


Thursday, Mar. 07, 2013


Most everyone gets asked to write for free, only some people say yes

The debate over how much professional writers should be paid — sparked by Atlantic’s request to publish Nathan Thayer’s work without paying him — is a window into how dramatically the Internet has changed the system of creating and distributing … Read more


Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013


It’ll take a village to redeem Jonah Lehrer, not just repentance

Jonah Lehrer played to his strengths Tuesday when he lectured and apologized at a Knight Foundation lunch. But in his extended examination of conscience, he lost sight of his own flaws and missed his opportunity to really explain and … Read more

1 Comment

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013

The short shelf life of today’s heroes, in sports and in journalism

Michael Wilbon was on ESPN radio discussing Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o when he posed this rhetorical question: “What is the shelf life of a hero today?”

An excellent question: What is the shelf life of heroes in a world … Read more

1 Comment

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013


Sports journalism faces moment of truth in week of Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o hoax

Almost exactly a year ago, “This American Life” did what it did best: ran a story that tugged at the heartstrings and enraptured its audience. The piece, “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” so perfectly suited TAL’s storytelling style, none … Read more


Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013


Gene Patterson’s final thoughts on journalism: ‘Get over the pain, new stuff happens’

In late November 2012, Eugene Patterson, who died Saturday, prepared his thoughts about journalism in advance of a visit from an old friend. His edited reflections are reproduced here, direct from Patterson’s IBM Wheelwriter typewriter.

Journalists get to originate, … Read more


Friday, Dec. 07, 2012

Tampa Bay Times looked for clues that source might commit suicide

When they learned of their source’s suicide, the Tampa Bay Times journalists who had recently published a story about Gretchen Molannen’s medical condition looked back over their communications for clues. But they found nothing, Tampa Bay Times Managing Editor … Read more


Monday, Nov. 12, 2012


Poynter concludes tenure as ESPN ombud with 6 lessons learned

With this column, the Poynter Review Project’s work comes to an end.

After nearly 40 columns reviewing ESPN content across all platforms, we’ll close with lessons learned over 18 months of observing the network’s various media outlets, examining their successes … Read more


Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012

Why ethics and diversity matter: The case of Trayvon Martin coverage

If anyone asks why ethnic, cultural and gender diversity is important in journalism, advocates have a ready answer: Greater diversity equals greater accuracy and fairness.

This belief is based, in part, on bitter experience. From turn-of-the-century lynchings in the American … Read more