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Ad Placement QT53

Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Newspapers used to keep in-depth, front page and opinion pages completely separated from advertising.

The thinking was the advertising and promotion of products should not appear to influence a newspaper’s editorial choices. They wanted to keep their most important pages dedicated to the content they deemed most important.

These self-imposed guidelines have relaxed significantly in recent years. Newspapers include ads on front pages and on in-depth pages, often in prominent places on the outside edges.

Most newspapers do still keep the editorial pages free of advertising in order to keep their editorial content free from explicit or inferred influence.

When students secure advertising for the newspaper, editors must decide where that content will go. In order to maintain the integrity of the most important aspects of your newspaper.

They need to make sure their advertising is placed away from editorial pages and in-depth content, but consider carefully what compromises they might make on the front page.

If there is page page advertising, what premium price should get from advertiser(s).


Guideline:

Ads will touch student produced content on the inside pages of the publication with no ads on the editorial or in-depth pages.

Organizations directly competing with each other will be placed on different pages, when possible. Special pricing will be available for ads that run in color on the back page.

Question: Where do we put all of these ads we’re getting?

Stance: Advertising must not show up on editorial pages, in-depth pages or the front page.

Reasoning/suggestions: When students secure advertising for the newspaper, editors must decide where that content will go. In order to maintain the integrity of the most important aspects of the news medium.  Ensure advertising is placed away from editorial pages,  in-depth content and your front page.

If students opt to run ads on the front page, the ad shouldn’t overwhelm the content or appear to be actual news content. This is a longstanding principle with most publications and is meant to avoid the potential for conflicts of interest.

Advertising must be clearly recognizable and differentiated from the most import and highest profile content.

Resources:

Student media guide to advertising law, SPLC

 

 

 

 

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Handling sponsored content, native ads QT52  

Posted by on Feb 27, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Although it is quite possible scholastic media will never face making a decision to run material known as sponsored content or native ads, students and advisers should prepare guidelines just in case.

Sponsored content and native advertising, two media terms for paid materials, are becoming a fact of life for media and consumers. That said, student media, when faced with publishing them, should act carefully and with the best interests of the audience/consumer first.

Scholastic media owe it to their audiences to expect clearly sourced and non-slanted information, particularly with so much concern with fake news.

Guideline

In the last several years, commercial media have faced a new kind of paid content — “native advertising” or “sponsored content.” The goal with this content is to provide advertising in a way that mimics the look and style of news/editorial content instead of appearing as traditional advertising. This style of advertising has raised serious ethical issues and discussion.

Given the influx of this type of advertising and its spread into scholastic media, students should remember their obligation to keep their communities aware of what kind of content they are publishing.

Communities need to know the type content they are exposed to so they can make informed and rational decisions.

Question: Should your student media accept sponsored content?

Key points/action: Sponsored content and native advertising, two media terms for paid materials, are becoming a fact of life for media and consumers. That said, student media, when faced with publishing them, should act carefully and with the best interests of the audience/consumer first.

Since it is financed ads or reporting, it can be fake news or at least deceptive information, and approached carefully.

Stance: We believe sponsored content can be accepted and published while still protecting the integrity and credibility of student media.

Reasoning/suggestions: Students must create clear guidelines for publishing sponsored content. Recommendation for inclusion in those guidelines should include:

  • Prominent and clear identification of the piece as sponsored content.
  • A clear statement, at least on the op-ed pages or their equivalent, of why your student media publish sponsored content and who paid for the piece or benefits from its publication.
  • Verification, as much as is possible, of the credibility and factualness of information and sources in the piece.
  • A concise statement, at least on the op-ed pages or their equivalent, that what your editorial board’s support of included material is Ex: this content does not necessarily represent the view of your media or school system).Resources:

Making Memories, One Lie at a Time (example of native ad), Slate Web magazine
New York Times Tones Down Labeling on Its Sponsored Posts, Advertising Age
Native Advertising Examples: 5 or the Best (and Worst), WordStream Online Advertising
The Native Advertising Playbook, Interactive Advertising Bureau
Audio: Sponsored Content, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee, Press Rights Minute
PR Giant Edelman Calls for Ethics in Sponsored Content, Forbes
FTC: Publishers Will Be Held Responsible for Misleading native Ads, Adexchanger.com

Related: 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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Handling controversial ads/content QT51

Posted by on Feb 25, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Student media should not discriminate against advertising based on students’ personal beliefs.

For example, students should attempt to include advertisers from multiple perspectives. According to the federal court decision in Yeo v. Lexington, student editors have the right to reject advertisements and school administrators are not legally responsible for advertising decisions students make.

A potential advertiser proposes an ad for your student media concerning a controversial product or service — tanning salons, for example. It’s money, but you also know recent studies show the possible harmful effects of such tanning.

How do you handle the request? What obligations do you have in terms of social responsibility, ethics and health-related issues. Likewise, you may be presented with an ad for an organization many in your staff or student body do not support.

The best path to resolve those questions and face the issues is to prepare for them ahead of time.

Guidelines: Students should not discriminate against advertising based on their personal beliefs. For example, students should attempt to include advertisers from multiple perspectives. According to the federal court decision in Yeo v. Lexington, student editors have the right to reject advertisements and school administrators are not legally responsible for advertising decisions students make.

Question: Should there be a point when media don’t accept ads?

Key points/action: A potential advertiser proposes an ad for your student media concerning a controversial product or service — tanning salons, for example. It’s money, but you also know recent studies show the possible harmful effects of such tanning.

How do you handle the request? What obligations do you have in terms of social responsibility, ethics and health-related issues. Likewise, you may be presented with an ad for an organization many in your staff or student body do not support.

The best path to resolve those questions and face the issues is to prepare for them ahead of time.

Stance: While there are no quick and easy answers, you can build ethical room for discussion by anticipating the issues.

Reasoning/suggestions: First, is it a right v wrong situation? That’s easy. If a right v right ethical situation, then you should have a process of weighing issues.

Develop a set of criteria best suited to your school and its communities. Whose values are the most crucial to the communities? Harm no one? Free expression? Credible information and from which point of view?

Our recommendation is to develop an ethical guideline outlining your key values and then develop a checklist to help students through the decision-making process.

Resources: SPLC Advertising FAQs

Yeo v. Lexington

SPRC: Advertising

Related: 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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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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Seeking visual truth is just as important
as written truth QT48

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Visual Reporting | 0 comments

by Kristin Taylor
A reporter working on a story pauses from her transcription. “Hm,” she thinks. “This is a good quote, but my source could have said it so much better. I’ll just change it around and add a bit …”

By this point, responsible student journalists and their advisers are horrified. Of course you can’t change a source’s quote! Our job is to seek truth and report it, not to create fiction.

Yet those same students may have a harder time understanding why photo manipulation is just as problematic. In a time where social media platforms include an array of pre-made filters and changing a picture is as easy as swiping left or right, student journalists may need a reminder about the difference between ethical photo editing and unethical manipulation.

Photojournalism is still journalism, which means visual images should reflect the truth as accurately as other forms of reporting. Just as journalists shouldn’t manipulate a quote because it will “make the story sound better,” they also shouldn’t manipulate a photograph beyond basic editing that maintains the journalistic truth of the image.

Students wondering about the consequences of faking photographs professionally might benefit from reading cautionary tales about people such as Brian Walski, Souvid Datta or Narciso Contreras — these once respected photojournalists lost jobs, reputation or even awards as a result of their photo manipulation.

Here are some tips to ensure student journalists are being truthful visually:

  • Edit digital photographs minimally; limit changes to basic cropping (without removing important context), adjusting brightness or contrast, and minor color adjustments.
  • Do not flip images or edit out elements of the photo.
  • Avoid staging photographs and passing them off as candid shots; this is similar to asking someone to say something for a quote you need rather than gathering candid quotes.
  • Clearly label manipulated images used as art (filters, colorized images, etc.) as photo illustrations and use these sparingly to maintain the journalistic credibility of your publication

Quick Tip: Ethical photo editing vs. unethical manipulation  

Guideline: Student media should avoid electronic manipulation that alters the truth of a photograph unless it is used as art. In that case it should be clearly labeled as a photo illustration.

Social Media Post: Filters are fun on social media, but are they journalistic? How do you know when editing crosses the line to unethical manipulation?

Reasoning/suggestions:

Photojournalism is still journalism, which means visual images should reflect the truth as accurately as other forms of reporting. Just as journalists shouldn’t manipulate a quote because it will “make the story sound better,” they also shouldn’t manipulate a photograph beyond basic editing that maintains the journalistic truth of the image.

Here are some tips to ensure you are being truthful visually:

  • Edit digital photographs minimally; limit changes to basic cropping (without removing important context), adjusting brightness or contrast, and minor color adjustments.
  • Do not flip images or edit out elements of the photo.
  • Avoid staging photographs and passing them off as candid shots; this is similar to asking someone to say something for a quote you need rather than gathering candid quotes.
  • Clearly label manipulated images used as art (filters, colorized images, etc.) as photo illustrations and use these sparingly to maintain the journalistic credibility of your publication.

Resources:

Visual ethics guidelines, Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism

Visual Journalism, NPR Code of Ethics

Posing Questions of Photographic Ethics, James Estrin, New York Times

Lesson: A Picture Never Lies, Journalism Education Association

Lesson: When Journalists Err Ethically, Journalism Education Association

Lesson: Pushing Photo Editing Boundaries, Journalism Education Association

Lesson: With Freedom of the Press Comes Great Responsibility, Journalism Education Association

SPJ Code of Ethics, Society of Professional Journalists

NPPA Code of Ethics, National Press Photographers Association

Photojournalism ethics needs a reexamination, The Poynter Institute

Visual ethical guidelines join online, yearbook ethics, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee

Audio: Using Images from Social Media, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee Press Rights Minute

Audio: Ethics in Editing News Photos, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee. Press Rights Minute

 

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