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Keeping ads and content separate QT50

Posted by on Feb 12, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Student journalists should maintain a wall between promotional/paid content and journalistic content.

That historical wall should remain intact to help reassure audiences the content they receive is as thorough and complete as possible.

As Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel say in The Elements of Journalism, journalists’ first loyalty is to the truth while maintaining an independence from those they report.

Student journalists should develop their policies and guidelines maintaining this separation. A broad ethical guideline should explain this reasoning, and staff manual procedures should outline procedures for maintaining it.

Details could include statements on pairing ads, paid content and acceptance of gifts, as examples.

Guideline:   Student journalists should maintain a wall between promotional/paid content and journalistic content.

Key points/action: Journalists have historically kept the financial aspects separate from reporting and editorial functions to avoid charges of bias. Some evidence of blurring this line occurs in today’s media.

Stance: That historical wall should remain intact to help reassure audiences the content they receive is as thorough and complete as possible.

As Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel say in The Elements of Journalism, journalists’ first loyalty is to the truth while maintaining an independence from those they report.

Reasoning/suggestions: Student journalists should develop their policies and guidelines maintaining this separation. A broad ethical guideline should explain this reasoning, and staff manual procedures should outline procedures for maintaining it.

Details could include statements on pairing ads, paid content and acceptance of gifts, as examples.

Resources:
These points and other decisions about mission statement, forum status and editorial policy should be part of a Foundations Package that protects journalistically responsible student expression.

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