Articles about "Credibility"


Passengers evacuate the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday Nov. 1, 2013, in Los Angeles. Shots were fired at Los Angeles International Airport, prompting authorities to evacuate a terminal and stop flights headed for the city from taking off from other airports. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Breaking News: Resources for covering shootings

Today’s shooting at the Los Angeles airport is another reminder that covering breaking news can be fraught with opportunities to get it wrong.

A fake tweet picked up by media outlets in the heat of the shooting coverage is an example.

Here is a list of resources for covering shootings and, once the rush is over, some training suggestions to consider that can help newsrooms develop the best practices for shooting stories and breaking news in general:

Resources

Training

Poynter’s media ethicist Kelly McBride added the following tips:

  • Stay away from anonymous sources.
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Don’t call it an impasse, stalemate, or standoff

Don’t call it an impasse, or a stalemate, or a standoff.

Yes, it’s a shutdown. But accurately describing how our government arrived at this point requires more than one word.

To suggest that this current government shutdown is an example of Republicans and Democrats simply unable to reconcile their differences is to ignore the facts of how budget appropriation bills are passed.

Dan Froomkin points this out in an opinion piece for Al Jazeera. James Fallows calls it out in The Atlantic. And Greg Mitchell screams about it in the The Nation.

Bill Adair, the Knight Professor at Duke University and the founder of PolitiFact, told me Wednesday during a phone call that if he were editing reporters, he would insist they use more words to describe exactly what happened, rather than allowing them to reduce the government shutdown to a deadlock, a political stare-down, or gridlock, all of which imply mutual responsibility.… Read more

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Republicans trust media more than they did last year

Gallup

Thirty-three percent of Republicans surveyed by Gallup in 2013 said they had a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of trust in the news media. That’s hardly a ringing defense of the Fourth Estate, but it’s higher than last year, when 26 percent of Republicans said the same. Independents also held a more favorable view of the press than they did last year.

Overall, Americans viewed the news media more favorably in 2013: 44 percent said they trust the press, up from 40 percent last year. (In 1976, 72 percent said they trusted the media a lot.) 46 percent said the news media was too liberal, and 37 percent said it was “Just about right.”

Previously: Gallup: Americans mistrust media more than everRead more

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NPR Headquarters

NPR ombud’s latest report raises important questions, but it’s not without flaws

The modern ombudsman has been a prominent fixture in several of the largest American newsrooms since The New York Times instituted its public editor in the wake of the Jayson Blair debacle a decade ago.

While the position itself has been controversial among journalism leaders, newsrooms that contract with an ombudsman signal to their audience that they take their work seriously enough to open themselves up to independent critique.

Every ombudsman worth his (or her, but most of them have been men) tenure produces a few particularly noteworthy reports or analyses during his tenure.

In 2004, Daniel Okrent took a look at The New York Times’ failure on weapons of mass destruction and did a very smart examination of whether The New York Times was liberal.… Read more

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Is Truth-O-Meter the real issue in Maddow’s latest blast at PolitiFact?

The Tampa Bay Times’ fact-checking site PolitiFact has drawn another heated rebuke from MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, who accuses it of “ruining fact checking” and being “truly terrible.”

But at the risk of looking like a homer — the Times signs my checks as its media critic — I think Maddow’s gripe with PolitiFact boils down to the same thing that’s rankled other critics: the site’s Truth-O-Meter rulings. (Additional disclaimer: Poynter owns the Tampa Bay Times.)

On Tuesday, Maddow took issue with PolitiFact ruling as “Half True” a statement from tennis legend Martina Navratilova that “in 29 states in this country you can still get fired for not just being gay but if your employer thinks you are gay.” That number is the amount of states with no statewide law banning employment discrimination for sexual orientation.… Read more

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Al Neuharth and the pursuit of the mediocre

I once heard Ben Bradlee describe former Gannett CEO Al Neuharth as a “mountebank.” I rushed to the dictionary: “a person who sells quack medicines from a platform; a boastful unscrupulous pretender.”

How’s that for an epitaph: “Al Neuharth: Snake Oil Salesman.”

If you think I’m irreverent, consider the fun that some long-time Gannettoids had at Neuharth’s expense. Over the years, many placed pennies on the eyes of his ridiculously monumental bust at Gannett headquarters in Virginia.

Then there was the famous joke about Neuharth’s peculiar fashion sense, dominated by black, white, and fifty shades of grey: that when he wore a shark-skin suit, it was hard to tell where the shark ended and Al began.

I’ll give the devil his due. He created USA Today, a paper I’ve always enjoyed; he promoted diversity in news companies, especially on the television side; and he created the Newseum — which, among its many other excellent features, sells my books in its gift shop.… Read more

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Vague descriptions in Boston bombings hurt more than they help

My colleague Al Tompkins reminds journalists to remember the case of Richard Jewell as they cover the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Jewell was the security guard wrongly accused of the bombing at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.

But there is another cautionary tale to be told, and this one comes out of Massachusetts itself. It is not the Salem witch trials, but it can stand in that tradition of paranoia and scapegoating. It involves racial identifiers in stories about suspects.

In 1989, a young Boston man named Charles Stuart shot and killed his pregnant wife after childbirth classes, shot himself as a cover, and then told police that his family had been mugged by a black man. After a wide and aggressive dragnet by police in the city’s African-American neighborhoods, an arrest was made and Stuart identified a black man as the killer of his wife and unborn child.… Read more

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Boston explosions a reminder of how breaking news reporting is changing

Terrible events such as yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon have always meant “all hands on deck” for news organizations, with staffers pulled off their regular beats to contribute.

But the endpoint of the newsgathering and reporting is no longer a front-page package of stories explaining — the best one can — what happened, why it happened and what might be next. Now, there is no endpoint — events are reported in real time, with stories in constant motion, and the front page is a snapshot of an organization’s reporting at the moment when the presses needed to roll.

Boston was a reminder of that, and a look at what’s changing in real-time journalism. Through Twitter and various live blogs, I found myself looking over my shoulder at the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Reuters and other news organizations, and was able to make some observations and draw some conclusions.… Read more

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24% of the public gives journalists ‘high’ ethics rating

Gallup
Less than a quarter of the American public gives journalists high marks for honesty and ethics, according to the latest survey from Gallup.

The polling organization asks Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of 22 common professions. Journalists fell in the middle of the pack, with 24 percent giving a “high”/”very high” rating, 45 percent “average,” and 30 percent “low”/”very low.” Only 5 percent said “very high.”

Journalists ranked narrowly behind bankers, but ahead of business executives, various politicians, lawyers and salespeople. (The medical field dominates the most-trusted professions: nurses, pharamacists, doctors, dentists.)… Read more

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Gallup: Americans mistrust media more than ever

Gallup
Sixty percent of Americans said they trust the mass media “Not very much” or “Not at all,” a Gallup survey published Friday says. That’s the highest percentage since Gallup started asking the question regularly in the ’90s, it reports.

Republicans and independents are pushing that number up. Nearly 60 percent of Democrats trust the media a “Great deal” or a “Fair amount.”

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