Ethics

On the ethics of family obit writing

When I finished the first draft of Uncle Bob’s obit last week, I shared it as a Google Doc with family members and invited their “edits, trims or additions.” Although I failed to realize it at the time, I was making a fundamental declaration of my loyalties, the sort of critical ethical distinction addressed so precisely by Tom … Read More

ONA debuts a Build Your Own Ethics Code platform

Screen shot The Online News Association presented a new crowdsourced tool to help journalists navigate ethics in digital journalism. The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation gave $40,000 toward the project, according to the press release. The platform "addresses the intense interest and concern in the digital journalism community around the growing ethical issues unique to social media, … Read More

Caleb Hannan: 'Screwing up has not made me an expert'

When freelancer Caleb Hannan published the now-infamous "Dr. V's Magical Putter" on Grantland, everyone wanted to talk to him. He received a barrage of emails and a flood of tweets. Some wrote to congratulate him on a story well-reported and a job well-done. Some wrote to excoriate him. Hannan's story was about his experience reporting on an inventor whose golf club had become popular … Read More

Lying to sportswriters: Should one give a darn?

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr admitted lying to the press in during a press conference following Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)There seemed a refreshing candor when the NBA coach admitted last week that he had deceived an army of sportswriters. "I lied," Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr later said about … Read More

No, CNN says, it won’t ‘host’ Clinton event with Jake Tapper

USA Today reported Wednesday that CNN show host Jake Tapper was erroneously listed as a “’speaker” at a Clinton Global Initiative event in Denver next month. On Thursday, CNN further amended its relationship to the gathering. Following the newspaper’s inquiry to CNN, the designation of “speaker” had been removed from the GCI website. However, Tapper remains as a moderator … Read More

George Stephanopoulos' donations to Clinton hurt his credibility

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes her opening remarks at a candidates a 2007 forum. At left is the forum moderator, George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)George Stephanopoulos appears to be one of the 2016 presidential campaign’s early losers. Politico and the Washington Free Beacon disclosed Thursday that he’d given $50,000 (later amended by … Read More

NPR standards editor voices disapproval of Affleck episode on PBS

NPR An episode of PBS' "Finding Your Roots" that glossed over the slave-owning heritage of movie star Ben Affleck is not in keeping with standards at NPR, Standards and Practices Editor Mark Memmott wrote Wednesday. Let’s keep this simple: The people we interview, the sources we use and the supporters who give us money do not shape or … Read More

The Tampa Bay Times should have alerted authorities earlier

A police device rolls toward a copter device, right, that landed on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)The Tampa Bay Times was wrong. That is my reluctant conclusion after reading the story “Ruskin flier eludes Capitol air security.”  The story, well known by now, concerns Doug Hughes, an eccentric postal worker who … Read More

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

Video: The implications of the Rolling Stone UVA rape story

Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar for the Poynter Institute and reporter Lauren Klinger discuss Rolling Stone’s blockbuster article on rapes at the University of Virginia and the decision to publish the controversial article and the decision to apologize to the readers for possible misinformation. Read More