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Paul Steiger of Pro Publica on emerging ethical issues

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


Paul Steiger of  Pulitzer Prize winning Pro Publica raised ethical issues generated by the rise of journalists using social and new media today at the Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop.

Among the issues Steiger raised (and can easily be discussed in terms of scholastic media):
• The blurring of the lines between fact and opinion
• The ability to gather facts is not as universal as the ability to share them
• Truth in labeling is not a best practice, it is an ethical imperative; it must be clear whether something is fact or opinion
• It is easier to get people to click on views they agree with than it is to get them to respond to facts
• Tension is growing between the responsibility toward civic engagement and public service and the quest for audience and branding
• The race to publish can and does lead to factual atrocities
• Mania for increasing pageviews brings us Hollywood trivia posing as news or crowding out news

Steiger said there is a big danger of going too far in masking entertainment as news or using satire, entertainment, etc., as news. One has to be sure  “the narrative does not take over the journalism,” of forgetting the mission. The challenge is to not let one crowd out the other.

In short, he said, the values that guide us….public service, accuracy, commitment to fairness, use influence to help those who need it…..need to endure no matter the platform and no matter what business models we develop for the future.

Steiger’s complete comments will be available later today.

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Ethics workshop available Sept. 16 via streaming video

Posted by on Sep 13, 2010 in Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication will host the Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop Thursday, Sept. 16, available as streaming video as well as live.

The event also will be available to viewers on mobile devices. All participants can contribute to the workshop discussions and ask questions of speakers via Twitter.

Workshop information is posted at the Next Ethics site now. Your and your students can access the streaming video at the same site Thursday.

Participants include Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, Adrian Holovaty, developer of EveryBlock, Paul Steiger of Pro Publica and others.

Questions for discussion and lesson plans for scholastic journalism programs will be available starting Wednesday. There are also links to similar programs from the last two years. Additional lesson plans will be available next week and will be based on workshop sessions.

Event coordinator and assistant professor Jan Leach said scholastic journalists can benefit from participating no matter what media they use now, or might in the future.

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