Articles about "Jack Shafer chats"


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What’s the deal with quote approval?

In a live chat today, Reuters’ Jack Shafer and Washington Post National Political Correspondent Karen Tumulty talked about quote approval.

Journalists began discussing the topic earlier this week after New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters wrote a piece saying that Reuters, Bloomberg, The Washington Post and Vanity Fair have agreed to let sources approve quotes prior to publication and that it’s hard to find news organizations that haven’t.

The Huffington Post’s Jacob Soboroff wrote yesterday that HuffPo also follows this practice, “and normally evaluates each case on its individual merits and seeks to get its sources on the record, according to Adam Rose, Standards Editor, Huffington Post.”

Associated Press spokesman Paul Colford told my colleague Steve Myers: “We don’t permit quote approval. We have declined interviews that have come with this contingency.” DC Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee told Myers, “I think most of our reporters know to push back in a situation like that.”

Politico editor-in-chief John Harris said, “quote doctoring does bother me, or anything that does smack of not looking out for readers’ interest.”

A majority of readers who responded to an informal poll we conducted said they “never” allow sources to review quotes prior to publishing a story. Twenty-two percent said they “rarely” do while 9 percent do “sometimes.”

In today’s chat, we discussed when and how quote approval happens and what issues it presents. When is it part of a background conversation that moves on the record, and when do “we become complicit in their spin”? During the chat, Tumulty and Shafer shared their own thoughts and responded to questions and opinions from the audience.

You can replay the chat here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=1dbad62f4c” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=1dbad62f4c” >What are the advantages, disatvantages of quote approval?</a> Read more

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What role should public editors play in today’s newsrooms?

There’s been a lot of talk about public editors this week after Washington Post media writer Erik Wemple broke the news that Arthur Brisbane would be ending his term as The New York Times’ public editor this fall.

The news raises interesting questions not just about what the Times needs in its next public editor, but about the value of public editors in general. What role should public editors play in today’s newsrooms? Are they asking the right questions? What are they doing for readers and the news organizations they work for, and what could they be doing better? 

We explored these questions with Reuters’ Jack Shafer, Poynter’s Craig Silverman and Washington Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton in a live chat.

Silverman wrote about five qualifications that the Times should require of its next public editor. The public editor role, he says, is ripe for disruption: “It needs to move more quickly, publish more frequently online, find new and better ways of engaging with the public and it should avail itself of new storytelling and narrative techniques to deliver reporting and opinion.”

In response to Silverman’s piece, Pexton said that contrary to what some people think, ombudsmen do a lot more than simply write columns.

You can replay the chat here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=7c7befe324″ mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=7c7befe324″ >What role should public editors play in today’s newsrooms?</a> Read more

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Dylan Byers, Jack Shafer explain reporting behind new Watergate claims

An excerpt from Jeff Himmelman’s forthcoming biography of former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee stirred controversy earlier this week, prompting new questions about the Post’s Watergate coverage.

The biography reveals that Bradlee feared Bob Woodward had embellished certain details about his reporting for dramatic effect. In an interview with Politico’s Dylan Byers on Monday, Woodward disputes Bradlee’s comments.

In a live chat, we talked with Byers and Reuters’ Jack Shafer, who closely followed the news. They offered a behind-the-scenes look at their reporting and talked about the reaction to the new claims. They also talked about the impulse to protect the legacy of the Watergate story, and addressed arguments from people who say the buzz surrounding these new claims is much ado about nothing.

You can replay the chat here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=46a6d24a28″ mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=46a6d24a28″ >Dylan Byers, Jack Shafer explain reporting behind stories about new Water</a> Read more

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Should journalists show support for Trayvon Martin, ask for Scott Walker’s recall?

Two separate incidents involving journalists who work for Gannett and ESPN have renewed attention to the issue of how journalists should exercise their right to free speech.

Earlier this week, editors and publishers at several Gannett papers said that its journalists had violated the company’s values by signing petitions calling for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall. ESPN, meanwhile, dropped its ban on staff posting photos of themselves wearing hoodies to show solidarity with Trayvon Martin.

These news organizations’ decisions raise interesting questions: Which of these types of speech should journalists feel free to exercise? And should journalists who are covering these stories limit their speech more than those who aren’t?

We asked our Twitter followers about this (take our poll here), and hosted a related live chat with Reuters’ Jack Shafer. During the chat, we discussed both situations and responded to feedback and questions from chat participants.

You can replay the chat here …

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=e3dfa8afbb” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=e3dfa8afbb” >What types of free speech should journalists be free to exercise?</a> Read more

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What ‘Lifespan of a Fact’ teaches us about the limits of creative nonfiction

The Lifespan of a Fact” has raised important questions in recent weeks about the nature of truth in creative nonfiction and the limits of literary license.

In the book, which has been gaining widespread attention, fact-checker Jim Fingal questions details that author John D’Agata has written about the death of Las Vegas teenager Levi Presley. Parts of the book are based on facts, but much of it is re-imagined. As D’Agata has said, “being precise would be less dramatic.”

The book — and its publisher’s promotion of it — has created confusion among reviewers about what is and isn’t true. As my colleague Craig Silverman recently learned, some reviewers weren’t aware that the book is more fiction than fact. This poses a verification problem; if reviewers are misled, then their reviews could subsequently misinform the public.

In a live chat today, we talked with Silverman and Reuter’s Jack Shafer about the issues surrounding the book. (Here’s Shafer’s piece comparing D’Agata and Truman Capote.) Specifically, we looked at what happens when authors blend fiction and nonfiction, and what this means for reviewers and readers.

You can replay the chat here …

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=c1f8d56042″ mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=c1f8d56042″ >What ‘Lifespan of a Fact’ teaches us about the limits of creative nonfict</a> Read more

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What role should journalists play in presidential debates?

Newt Gingrich said earlier this week that if he wins the Republican nomination for president, he won’t participate in any debates moderated by reporters. His announcement came on the heels of John McCain’s claim that it’s “time to stop” the debates altogether.

Their comments raise questions about the value of having 19 different debates, and about journalists’ role in the debates. Should journalists be the moderators of presidential debates? (Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark says no.) And are debates even worth the bother?

Reuters’ Jack Shafer and Adam Smith, political editor of Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times, discussed their thoughts on these issues and answer related questions from participants in a live chat. Smith also talked about what it was like being a panelist in last week’s debate.

You can replay the chat here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=b77936597d” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=b77936597d” >What role should journalists play in presidential debates?</a> Read more

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Why political & sports reporters’ jobs are ‘almost identical’

In his Reuters column this week, Jack Shafer looks at the connection between political reporters and sports reporters. Both, he said, have to determine who’s winning and who’s losing. And they both have to “get inside the heads of the participants; decode the relevant strategies and tactics; and find a way to convert reader interest into sustainable enthusiasm.”

Shafer interviews journalists who say sports television has become a template for political reporting, and he points out that sports reporters and political reporters both benefit from their home team or “home candidate” winning.

In a live chat, Shafer talked more about the connection between sports and politics, and responded to chat participants’ opinions on the connection — or lack thereof. He also shared thoughts on the Iowa caucus coverage and answered related questions.

You can replay the chat here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=b1bd0cf10c” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=b1bd0cf10c” >Why political & sports reporters’ jobs are ‘almost identical’</a> Read more

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Who cares if journalists break embargoes?

When The New Yorker’s David Denby broke an embargo on reviewing “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” earlier this week, Sony was “furious.” Denby praised the movie but had published his review more than a week before he was supposed to.

The incident prompted journalists to question the advantages of an embargo. NPR’s Linda Holmes said embargoes give critics time to review movies without the pressure of having to be first. But, she said, “nobody’s hands are clean when it comes to the fact that everybody wants to do everything sooner — not critics, not studios, and not audiences, who do in fact tend to read the first reviews to come out more eagerly than the last ones.”

In a live chat, NPR’s Holmes and Reuters’ Jack Shafer — a critic of embargoes — talked about the issues surrounding them and addressed questions such as: What’s the perceived value of embargoes? Is it really a big deal if journalists break them? Are there any good reasons for breaking them? And do readers even notice?

You can replay the chat here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=f6c992afea” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=f6c992afea” >Is it really a big deal if journalists break embargoes?</a> Read more

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Should news sites with limited resources depend on user-generated content?

CNN’s recent announcement that it had laid off 50 employees came just before the cable network announced that it had redesigned its iReport site, which features citizen journalists’ content.

Earlier this week, Stephen Colbert poked fun at the connection between the layoffs and iReport, saying: “Why buy the cow when you can have it shakily videotape its own milk for free?”

This was a joke, of course, but it speaks to some important questions: How are news sites striking a balance, if at all, between user-generated content and staffers’ content? Should they even try to strike a balance? Does it make sense for some news sites to rely more on user-generated content when faced with limited resources?

Reuters’ Jack Shafer and Eugenia Chien, who helps run the user-generated site Muni Diaries, addressed these questions in a live chat, which you can replay here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=1252c5fbe0″ mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=1252c5fbe0″ >Should news sites rely more on user-generated content when faced with limited resources?</a> Read more

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Politico’s Herman Cain story raises the question: What’s the value of scoops & exclusives these days?

Politico’s story about allegations that Herman Cain sexually harassed two women while he was head of the National Restaurant Association has generated mixed reactions from journalists and news consumers.

On Monday, ProPublica’s Stephen Engelberg referred to it as “the investigative scoop of the season.” But he said it lacks key details and relies on anonymous sources who don’t seem to have first-hand knowledge of what actually happened. (GOP senators have also been critical of the story’s reliance on anonymous sources.)

Reuters’ Jack Shafer pointed out the shortcomings of the story as well, saying “Politico wrapped the allegations in journalistic gauze that frays and dissolves as you unwind it.”

The story and the reactions it’s gotten raise important questions about scoops: What’s the value of scoops or exclusives these days? How can journalists lend credibility to them? And how much do they matter to news consumers and journalists?

A new PRWeek survey found that the number of journalists who value an exclusive has dropped since 2008, and that “rather than being the first to the story, the new media influencers want to be the first to provide a snappy outtake of the news.”

In a live chat today, Shafer talked about some of the issues surrounding scoops. You can replay the chat here:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=d1534fe0bc” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=d1534fe0bc” >What’s the value of scoops & excusives these days?</a> Read more

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