Posts Tagged "ethics"

Who has your back?

Share

Practicing ethics can help make sense of coverage

by Stan Zoller
Prior restraint. Censorship.

They are things all media advisers dread.

Imagine what it would be like if your principal started telling you what your kids could and could not cover in their media.

Many advisers don’t even think about it because their  principal is “really nice” and understands journalism.

Now suppose, just suppose,  a gubernatorial candidate went to your principal and objected to something scheduled to be covered.

Nonsense.

That’s probably what Dave McKinney, Springfield Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times probably thought.

Surprise.

In one of the most bizarre tales of the Illinois gubernatorial race, Republican candidate Bruce Rauner allegedly went to the publishers of the Chicago Sun-Times to block a story McKinney, along with WMAQ reporter Carol Marin and producer Don Moseley were working on because Rauner and his staff took exception to it.

Briefly, while the Sun-Times brass stood behind McKinney, when all was said and done, he had to take some time off, was told his byline would not be on upcoming stories and was offered other positions at the paper which, he said in his resignation letter, he considered demotions. In the midst of all this, the Sun-Times endorsed Rauner for governor.

Oct. 23, McKinney resigned and said, among other things in his resignation letter, that “I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me.” His resignation ether can be read here.

So what does a professional reporter with 20 years of experience have to do with scholastic journalism?

read more

Evaluating journalistic content: an ethics lesson

Share

Evaluating journalistic content: creating your own coverage process

by John Bowen
Description
Students will examine the following: What is the most complete way to tell a story? What are the ingredients of the perfect, most comprehensive story? Can the approach work for all story types?

Students will work on the following questions:
• What in students’ minds is the “perfect story?”
• How would students achieve the “perfect story?”
• Can students apply an approach like Vox to their coverage?
• What are the strengths and weaknesses of Vox-like reporting?
• What would a scholastic approach look like?

Objectives
• Students will investigate the question of what makes good content
• Students will discuss how to improve weak content using examples and processes from the lesson
• Students will create their own media approaches to more thorough coverage from lesson discussions

Common Core State Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Length
150 minutes (three 50-minute classes)

Materials / resources
Vox.com
All you need to know..is that Ezra Klein’s Vox is nothing special
Vox.com has no idea how to cover culture
Vox.com and News Flash Cards: What do you think?
Ezra Klein on Vox’s launch, media condescension and competing with Wikipedia
Vox.com aims to bring context to news with ‘card stacks’
Vox, the forefront of technology and journalism? 

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1
1. Student discovery — 20 minutes
Have students go toVox.com and who we are to examine several Vox stories and read about the Vox concept. They should complete the handout on the following.
• What does Vox say about the purpose of its approach? Why does it work? How does it work?
• Do students think it works? Why? Why not?
• Are the Vox stories complete? Cohesive? Reliable? Verifiable? Accurate? Who or what are the sources, and what does that lead you to ask about the information? How well do they use multiplatform materials?
• If you were to adapt a Vox-like approach, what would you chose to to use, not to use?

2. Readings — 30 minutes

Assign each group to read one of the following articles about Vox and be ready to discuss in class.
• All you need to know..is that Ezra Klein’s Vox is nothing special
• Vox.com has no idea how to cover culture
 Vox.com and News Flash Cards: What do you think?
• Ezra Klein on Vox’s launch, media condescension and competing with Wikipedia
• Vox.com aims to bring context to news with ‘card stacks’
• Vox, the forefront of technology and journalism?

Day 2

1. Link — 5 minutes
Ask students to describe what they learned about the concept of Vox.com during the previous class.

2. Reading review — 15 minutes
Assign students to form six groups. Have each group reread and concentrate on one of the articles.  Ask students to think about points made and evaluate them in terms of creating their own version of Vox using the following questions:
—What do they like about Vox and would include
—What do they dislike and would not include
—What would they change and why?
—Could they make something like Vox work on the scholastic level, and how?

3. Reports — 15 minutes
Each group should report on what it discussed.

4. Practical application — 15 minutes
Once the articles and Vox have been thoroughly discussed, break the students into team of five and have them:
—Decide how they would focus their approach to cover a localized issue or event
—Choose the topic, its sources and questions to build coverage around (core story)
—Begin to research and gather/suggest the “card stacks” to make their coverage complete
—Evaluate their materials as they go, and prepare to explain their choices to each team in
–Students will decide which, if any, of their story approaches would work and implement decisions on each.
• Would their approach provide “perfect story” coverage? Why/why not?
• What could be changed to make stories more effective?
• Do they think audiences would be more completely informed using this approach? Why or why not?
• What changes, if any, would they have to make in their operations to be effective?
• Is this approach valuable enough to make those changes?

• Is this approach valuable enough to make those changes? 

Day 3

1. Group preparation — 10 minutes
Students should review the information from the practical application from the previous class.

2. Presentation — 40 minutes
Each team shares its story concepts, sources and presentation.

Teams will discuss the ethical issues raised in the coverage and well as the news principles and judgment of story and card selection.

 

read more

Online comments:
Allow anyone to post,
or monitor and approve first
An ethics lesson

Share


Considering online comments: Allow anyone to comment to protect the forum or keep comments focused?
by John Bowen

Description
Should online comments be allowed without review? Does doing so protect the forum concept?
Students will examine the following questions:
• What are the purposes of having comments for online and social media, for news as well as opinion pieces?
• What, if any, are difference between print and online comments.
• What are the pros and cons of allowing online comments, reviewed or unreviewed?
• What should student media consider before allowing online comments?
• What should guidelines for handling online comments include in scholastic media?

Objectives
• Students will read guidelines for online commenting
• Students will evaluate real-world issues concerning online comments.
• Students will create guidelines concerning online comments and posting.

Common Core State Standard
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

Length: one day
50 minutes

Materials / resources
• Allowing comments or keeping people silent: which is more ethical?
http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2013/11/new-media-new-ethical-considerations-for-the-buisness-side-too/
• Scholastic Press Rights Committee’s guidelines
• Computers

Lesson step-by-step
1. Introduction — 2 minutes
Survey students to find out how many have read an online comment within the past week.

Ask students how many of them have commented.

2. Transition — 3 minutes
Explain to the students that today, they will be examining whether student publications should allow online comments and if they do, what type of comments they should allow.

3. Readings — 10 minutes
Have students read the “Commenting vs silence” section of this article and guidelines from JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee. Click on the online ethics guidelines link, and go to Section 5, handling online comments.

4. Group work — 10 minutes
In groups have students list on paper the pros and cons of allowing online comments. Part of their discussion should look at:
–Allowing any comments
–Allowing reviewed comments
–Allowing unfettered comments

Students, as a whole, or in groups should prepare a process for handling comments, and be able to explain their decision in a press release, to:
–Their audiences/general public
–School administrators
–School board

5. Group reports — 10 minutes
Ask groups to debrief on what they decided.

6. Assessment — 15 minutes
Ask students to prepare guidelines for their ethics and staff manual, and for publication concerning online comments.

read more

Taking your student media online:
Will students follow online news media?
An ethics lesson

Share

Taking your student media online: Will audiences follow online news media?
by John Bowen
Description
What should you consider before taking your student media online? This lesson will examine areas students should explore prior to transitioning to online.
Students will work through the following questions:
• Why should audiences follow you online?
• What are the benefits of online news?
• What are the downsides of online news?
• What approaches would you take to motivate potential audience to follow you online?
• What would you do to ensure those approaches follow legal and ethical standards?
• How would you create this process into guidelines for your ethics and staff manuals?

Objectives
• Students will read articles concerning taking a publication online.
• Students will work in groups to create a plan to move their media online.
• Students will create a guideline outlining why taking a publication online is important.

Common Core State Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

Length
100 minutes (two 50-minute classes)

Materials / resources
Online ethics guidelines for student media
Your students love social media…and so can you
Cyberlaw: Internet and online media
Living social: College newsrooms revisiting ethics policies for the Twitter generation
Ways to have a social media presence for your staff when your high school says ‘no’
5 reasons why an online newspaper is not the end of the world
High school journalists take a crash course in newspaper economics
College newspaper readership

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1
Have students read in four groups. Each group reads two different articles before class to help frame the next class discussion.
• Online ethics guidelines for student media
• Your students love social media…and so can you
• Cyberlaw: Internet and online media
• Ways to have a social media presence for your staff when your high school says ‘no’
• 5 reasons why an online newspaper is not the end of the world
• Living social: College newsrooms revisiting ethics policies for the Twitter generation
• High school journalists take a crash course in newspaper economics
• College newspaper readership

1. Student work time — 50 minutes
Using what they read for today, students will work in groups of 5 to plan the process of moving their student media online. Their work should ensure that the processes used are ethical. Remind students they will presented their group’s decision the following day.

Day 2
1. Presentation preparation — 5 minutes
Give students a few moments to review their notes.

2. Presentations — 25 minutes
Student groups should present their plans to each other, allowing time for clarification and alternatives.

3. Guideline creation — 20 minutes
The entire group will then create one or more approaches to inform others about why taking student media online is important. This should result in a workable Action Plan models and guidelines      for ethical and staff manuals.

Differentiation
Use this section to provide teachers changes to the lesson plan to accommodate students at different skill levels or in different learning environments. If this involves different materials or resources, list those in the Materials/Resources section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

read more

Facing ethical yearbook issues? Some thoughts

Share

by Mary Kay Downes
sprclogoThe very nature of a yearbook being the permanent record of the year presents numerous issues which primarily have to do with the permanency of the book. Yearbooks live forever! Often yearbooks are viewed as a public relations tool of the school, and the administration and/or community are reluctant to have any coverage at all which they would deem not supporting a pristine image of the institution.

This leads to self-censorship at best, and prior review or restraint at worst, as well as a myriad of other problems

Yearbook is a paid product compared to regular student media. We have an audience to satisfy, and because of this, we must considering their wants/needs differently than we do with a news website or news magazine because we want them to buy the book to pay the bill and be self-sustaining.

Although we absolutely don’t want to compromise journalism standards just to get students to buy the book, yearbook students are still obligated to cover everything, with accuracy and integrity, even as they’re trying to create a product people want to purchase.

read more