Pages Navigation Menu

Public spaces

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, News, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments


Foundations_mainEthical guidelines
Photographs in hallways and other public spaces can be an essential part of journalistic storytelling.

Student journalists need to know what are considered public spaces for still and video photography and audio. Know where you can legally and ethically be, and why, in the information gathering process. Check with the Student Press Law Center about what are public spaces in schools.

Staff manual process
Student journalists should know what are considered public spaces in schools for capturing visual images and audio recordings.

Student journalists should protect source privacy in the information-gathering process.

Student journalists should know and follow privacy laws for their state. Student editors should ensure all staff members are aware of these principles and know how to handle them.

Lens Flare: Photographing Law Enforcement Can Create Confusion for Both Police and Student Journalists, Student Press Law Center
Know Your Rights: Photographers, ACLU
Criminalizing Photography, New York Times
Access to Student Athletic Events, Student Press Law Center


Read More

Tweet5: Decision-making content control
rests with students, rooted in professional standards

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


Have a journalistic purpose in mind for every story you write/propose. Don’t write stories to be sensational. #25HZLWD

Those who want to control student media often point to incomplete, biased or sensational treatment of stories. It really does not matter if the topic is controversial in nature. What does matter is that students, no matter the platform or approach, report and present these topics following journalistic standards – and that they make the final decisions for all content.

• Journalists must learn to recognize legitimate news values.

• Journalists must verify, verify, verify.

• Journalists must ask the tough and nagging questions of authorities and others a democratic society needs to continuously evolve and prosper. They must also then question the answers for complete and relevant meaning.

• Journalists have the inherent responsibility to find the best sources and to present relevant information in context and perspective so citizens have adequate viewpoints to consider.

• Journalists must find not only the best resources but substantiate sources’ information they use as well as present it clear and meaningful.

Read More

The problem with teasing the news

Posted by on Jan 20, 2011 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


When is using teasers bad news sense?

When they become the news, rather than deliver it.

At least that’s the argument Poynter makes when it reinforces the blog Journalistics regarding last week’s change in Zodiac signs.

It’s a lesson in ethics scholastic journalists could examine as they decide how to use social media to inform audiences of upcoming and current stories.

Writing in the Poynter article, Damon Kiesow noted coverage of the Zodiac “adjustment” swept media across the country. For example,a local Cleveland station pointed out how the signs of the 11 p.m. personalities had changed and how they felt about it.

“Instead of promoting the news, simply deliver it,” Kiesow wrote. “The best audience development strategy is to direct readers to your website or mobile app as quickly and easily as possible. Otherwise, as Wilson points out, viewers will simply bypass you for other sources.”

In Journalistics, author Kim Wilson wrote, “Social media users like to be involved in the news-gathering process, and when they see a hole in your reporting, they’ll fill it. Unfortunately, they will often fill it with someone else’s reporting.”

And, unfortunately for most media outlets, the initial story teases turned out to be misleading and incomplete.

Wilson also said traditional tease writing is not a way for social media – or traditional media – to accurately deliver a story. She links readers to ways she says news outlets can successfully use social media.

The stories and embedded links provide a worthwhile look at how incomplete, inaccurate and viewpoint-ridden social media teases can give audiences a sign something is not what it should be.

Read More

Rethinking news values

Posted by on Nov 16, 2010 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


We all emphasize the aspect of news values in our journalism programs: timeliness, conflict, consequence, proximity and more.

Perhaps it is also time to update those values with a list of ethical news values for our scholastic media programs.

The original news values, for the most part, say authors Philip Patterson and Lee Wilkins in their text, “Media Ethics,” do not help students decide how to report news ethically.

The authors suggest the following concepts, excellent for starting a healthy discussion of how scholastic media might encompass rethinking, revitalizing and repurposing multi-platform reporting.

Accuracy: Using the correct facts and the right words and putting things in context. Journalists need to be as independent as they can when framing stories.

Tenacity: Knowing when a story is important enough to require additional effort, both personal and institutional. Tenacity drives journalists to provide all the depth they can.

Dignity: Leaving the subject of a story as much self-respect as possible. Dignity values each person regardless of the story or the role the individual plays.

Reciprocity: Treating others as you wish to be treated. Reciprocity recognizes that journalists and their viewers and readers are partners in discovering what is important  and getting information from that.

Sufficiency: Allocating adequate resources to important issues. Individually, it can mean thoroughness. Organizationally, it means allocating adequate resources to newsgathering.

Equity: Seeking justice for all involved in controversial issues and treating all sources and subjects equally. Equity demands all viewpoints be considered but not all framed as equally compelling.

Community: Valuing social cohesion. It means reporters and editors evaluate stories with an eye first to social good.

Diversity: Covering all segments of the audience fairly and adequately. Giving all segments a chance to be heard.

After all, within each of these tenets we have beginning points for action plans that could lead to the removal of prior review and restraint and to launch into discussions of truth v. loyalty and other ethically important concepts that could revitalize scholastic journalism.

And those are important plans and discussions we need to have.

Read More