October 23, 2012

Poynter convened a symposium in New York Tuesday at the Paley Center for Media, in partnership with craigconnnects, the Web-based initiative created by Craig Newmark. The event — which featured John Paton, Clay Shirky, Eric Deggans, Ann Friedman, Gilad Lotan, Vadim Lavrusik, danah boyd and more — was live streamed; you can now view the videos below. You can also follow the follow-up at #poynterethics, and catch up on the highlights in the Storify below. || Related papers presented: Clay Shirky, “We are indeed less willing to agree on what constitutes truth” | danah boyd: Fear undermines an informed citizenry | Eric Deggans on lessons from the Trayvon Martin coverage | These essays and symposium are part of a book on digital ethics to be published by Poynter and CQ Press.

Highlights from the symposium

Journalism ethics in the digital age

Poynter is convening a symposium in New York today at the Paley Center for Media. The event features John Paton, Clay Shirky, Eric Deggans, Ann Friedman, Gilad Lotan, Vadim Lavrusik, danah boyd, David Folkenflik & others.

Storified by Julie Moos · Tue, Oct 23 2012 12:16:09

Poynter Institute symposium on journalism ethics, trying to make some history here #PoynterEthics http://ow.ly/i/13aRP http://ow.ly/i/13aRZcraignewmark
"I really am a nerd," says @craignewmark, who underwrote #PoynterEthics. http://pic.twitter.com/IsXQDJrUSteve Buttry
“Retweeting saves me the burden of original thought,” @craignewmark says. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
.@craignewmark says his hope for today is to see us move the needle a little bit towards increasing trust in journalism. #PoynterEthicsCraig Silverman
Restoring trustworthiness to newsHey there, folks, I’m speaking at the Poynter Journalism Ethics Symposium today. I gave my speech a little earlier, and this is what I ta…
I know @craignewmark means well, but gosh is he wrong about how to fix press ethics. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/10/23/craig-newmark-means-well-but-gosh-is-he-wrong-about-press-ethics/Jeff Bercovici
Folks, @craignewmark and I are talking how to improve the quality of news in the comments section here. Get in there. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/10/23/craig-newmark-means-well-but-gosh-is-he-wrong-about-press-ethics/Jeff Bercovici
Director of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism Tom Rosenstiel continued with a session on how people consume news.
.@kellymcb & @tbr1 presiding over #PoynterEthics. http://pic.twitter.com/6WXZkGH5Steve Buttry
RT @stevebuttry: Norms & ethics of journalism have grown in response to the public & the market, not from “planet journalism,” @tbr1 says. #PoynterEthicsMathew Ingram
Ethics come from the street & what works for audience. Disruption today coming from need to better understand the audience #PoynterEthicsCraig Silverman
Moderator for first #PoynterEthics panel: @jxpaton, #DigitalFirst CEO http://pic.twitter.com/HtAfHbOMSteve Buttry
Clay Shirky presented this paper at the symposium before a panel discussion of the subject, “The Truth: Is It Possible in the Digital Era?” Panelists were: Steve Myers, Adam Hochberg and Craig Silverman.
Shirky: ‘We are indeed less willing to agree on what constitutes truth’ | Poynter.Here’s what the "post-fact" literature has right: the Internet allows us to see what other people actually think. This has turned out to …
"There is not statement that you cannot find someone who publicly denies that it is not true." @cshirky #PoynterEthicsDorian Benkoil
1 approach: You can adopt "we have no idea what is right" range of opinion reporting #PoynterEthicsSandy Azzollini
Clay Shirky: big change for reporters is identifying for the public who is a "relevant actor" in the search for truth. #PoynterEthicsbutch ward
Steve Myers: Politicians are savvy enough not to use an incorrect fact – they conflate two facts and twist the truth. #poynterethicsTom Huang
Fact-checking is like a teenager: it has a lot of potential, but we don’t know what it is yet, @myersnews #poynterethicsMeghan Peters
"The public is overwhelmingly in favor of vigorous fact checking" -@clayshirky #poynterethicsshanesnow
.@jeffjarvis: We can’t “ghetto-ize” fact-checking separately from news articles. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
@Deggans: If every reporter attempts truth-checking, it will feel like everyone has an opinion column. #poynterethicsbutch ward
@Myersnews: reporters are trained not to have to correct things. #poynterethicsbutch ward
Adam Hochberg: Should we free ourselves and call something out as BS and go ahead and alienate some of our readers-viewers? #poynterethicsTom Huang
Gillmor: Factcheckers can be wrong once, but if they don’t admit it immediately it hurts their credibility #PoynterEthicsKelly McBride
People say fact-checking when they mean truth-checking, says @Deggans. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
Rosenstiel: Tension between facts and truth not new. Challenge today is press no longer gatekeeper. #PoynterEthicsKelly McBride
#PoynterEthics Journalism might improve immediately if j-students were taught from the beginning that there are THREE sides to ever story.Roy Peter Clark
Humans connect through vulnerability. News organizations should show vulnerability in order to connect, says @craigsilverman #PoynterEthicsErica Berger
If we as journalists don’t own up to our mistakes, we don’t seem human and break trust, @CraigSilverman #poynterethicsMeghan Peters
Emily Bell is Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. She is moderating the session on “The Voices: Will Digital Space Ever Reflect Our Communities?” with Eric Deggans, Ann Friedman and Monica Guzman.
Eric @Deggans presents case study on Trayvon Martin coverage and diversity in journalism. #PoynterEthics http://pic.twitter.com/xGn3OeaCJoel Topcik
Why ethics and diversity matter: The case of Trayvon Martin coverage | Poynter.If anyone asks why ethnic, cultural and gender diversity is important in journalism, advocates have a ready answer: Greater diversity equ…
@Deggans we only talk about race issues in crisis – we start discussions on this when news is breaking, Hurricane Katrina etc #PoynterEthicsSandy Azzollini
.@deggans: “Race is covered like fires are covered … when something explosive involves race, that’s when we talk about it” #poynterethicsKira
If we don’t understand the community we’re covering and their specific issues, we can get it wrong, @deggans #poynterethicsMeghan Peters
.@Deggans: “I’m constantly telling white folks ‘you can talk about race, too,’” #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
"I was feeling sort of uncomfortable, actually that there were no white men on the panel." -@EmilyBell on the norm, archly. #PoynterEthicsrachelsklar
.@annfriedman: This is a sourcing problem. We have to find a different set of relevant actors to go to. #poynterethicsKelly McBride
What happens to diversity in journalism if the sustaining audience is increasingly elite, less diverse? @Deggans #PoynterEthicsJoel Topcik
.@moniguzman: For journalism, working w/ community can’t just be the means to an end, it must an essential part of the end. #poynterethicsTom Huang
Journalism shouldn’t be digital first or print first, it should be community first. #poynterethicsJosh Stearns
"To create a self-informed community is an incredible act of journalism" – @moniguzman just blew my mind on #poynterethics livestreamBethany Horne
Good, cheap, big is the trilemma of online comments, @cshirky says. You can’t be all three. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
Steve Waldman: used to run religion website, thought we could create a safe space, saw the invention of the "attack prayer." #poynterethicsKelly McBride
Eric @Deggans: white owned ethnically focused platforms are outpacing outlets owned by people of color. #poynterethicsKelly McBride
On the Internet, does anyone know whether you’re black or Latino? | Poynter.Now that AOL’s acquisition of Huffington Post has closed, Arianna Huffington will oversee AOL Latino, AOL Black Voices and other AOL site…
Ethnic minorities, underserved communities in US are moving to mobile news consumption faster than white population. – @tbr1 #PoynterEthicsJoel Topcik
Brooklyn: Quantity of blogs from neighborhood to neighborhood reflects relative economic status; most blogs in richer areas #PoynterEthicsTom Kent
Steve Waldman: Mobile may be the most democratic technology we have, just now understanding what that means. #poynterethicsKelly McBride

After lunch, the symposium resumed with, “The Vehicle: Can This Ride Take Us to Democracy?” moderated by Stephen Buckley, Dean of Faculty at Poynter with panelists Gilad Lotan, Vice Presidentof Research and Development at SocialFlow (right, below) and Dan Gillmor, Director, Knight Center for Digital Entrepreneurship, Arizona State University (left, below).

#PoynterEthics discussing platforms as vehicles for news and information; how it helps, hurtsSandy Azzollini
.@dangillmor on journalism on privately-owned platforms (Twitter, FB, iOS) Whose benefit is it done for & who is in charge? #poynterethicsSteve Myers
.@dangillmor: If free speech depends on terms of service, that’s a different world than we were in until recently. #poynterethicsTom Huang
1335ET @Lavrusik: I think the [Facebook] terms of service are not that different from news organizations’ ethical policies. #PoynterEthicsSaleem Khan
Stephen Buckley asks @lavrusik #poynterethics, to whom is FB accountable? "Thats a good Q. I think we’re most accountable to our users."Steve Myers
.@lavrusik "We’re most accountable to our users. … sometimes at a cost to businesses." #PoynterEthics http://pic.twitter.com/2qzMt6XHSteve Buttry
Tampa Bay Times is also accountable to public but scale is different from Facebook #PoynterEthicsSandy Azzollini
Calling Facebook an open platform is not realistic, @dangillmor says. It’s a walled garden. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
@andrewheyward: Why does Facebook have to answer to anyone? If people don’t like it, why not stop using it? #poynterethicsbutch ward
@cshirky: there are no alternatives to Facebook – uniquely in a position to be "electricity" #poynterethicsbutch ward
Facebook’s Vadim Lavrusik responds to questions
SocialFlow’s @gilgul on the perils of algorithmic curation. #TFIDF #PoynterEthics http://pic.twitter.com/sx4lT46TJoel Topcik
#occupywallstreet never trended on Twitter, @gilgul says. Lots of conspiracy theories. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
Occupywallst never trended on twitter because it smoldered, it did not flame up. #poynterethicsDavid McCreery
.@gilgul points out that the algorithm that keeps justin bieber from dominating Twitter trends also kept #OWS from trending. #poynterethicsSteve Myers
People consider algortithms as just math, neutral, but they reflect biases, says @gilgul. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
Now is the point where I channel @harrisj and remind myself, humans write algorithms, as @lavrusik just pointed out at #poynterethicsSteve Myers
Tom Kent, from AP: You have a lot of faith in humans . We’ve missed some big stories. #poynterethicsKelly McBride
@dangillmor: humongous opp for someone who combines human and machine intelligence to identify the "good stuff" #poynterethicsbutch ward
"I for one welcome our machine overlords." -@craignewmark, in a convo on algorithms vs curating #poynterethicsKira
@gilgul we should stay away from looking to technolgy as a savior #PoynterEthicsSandy Azzollini
The day’s final panel is moderated by Andrew Heyward, Former President of CBS News. The topic is “What Stories Do People Want and Need?” Panelists: danah boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research; Tom Huang, Sunday and Enterprise Editor at Dallas Morning News; Kenny Irby, Senior Faculty at Poynter; and Kelly McBride, Senior Faculty at Poynter.
danah boyd is presenting this paper at the conference.
The ethics of fear and how it undermines an informed citizenry | Poynter.Fear is a powerful emotion. When people are afraid, they react. It can also be put to use. When people have a vested interest in motivati…
Local TV’s "if it bleeds, it leads" approach has been all about fear, says @dangillmor. @zephoria agrees. #PoynterEthicsSteve Buttry
My girlfriend deadbolts the door and then turns on the 11oclock news for a steady stream of fear and calamity. #poynterethicsDavid McCreery
Challenge metrics and how we measure success if we want to get out of our fear-driven content circle and trap says @zephoria #PoynterEthicsErica Berger
These essays and symposium are part of a book on digital ethics to be published by Poynter and CQ Press.
Party when we’re done: @PBSMediaShift / @Paley mixer 5-7p in NYC after #poynterethics and #wired4c Details http://t.co/C14itbfhttp://t.co/CKelly McBride

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Julie Moos (jmoos@poynter.org) has been Director of Poynter Online and Poynter Publications since 2009. Previously, she was Editor of Poynter Online (2007-2009) and Poynter Publications…
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