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Posts Tagged ‘Sydney Smith’

Canned Forbes Contributor Stands By Column

In an email to iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith, Bill Frezza admits that his quickly deleted Forbes blog post was not a good fit for the site and used a photo that was in poor taste.

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But otherwise, he is not apologizing:

“I stand by every word I wrote and it appears that I have kicked off a national conversation on this [college drinking] subject, which was my goal. Most people have no idea what is going on on college campuses these days due to the ill-advised raising of the drinking age from 18 to 21, forcing so much of it to go underground… Unless and until we begin holding individuals accountable for their own behavior, and not institutions, my headline says it all.”

Frezza was quickly axed from the Forbes contributors roster; online reaction to his final column has been swift and, in some cases, questionable. For example, The Frisky headlined him a “Frat Douche.” (Frezza is president of The Beta Foundation, house corporation for MIT’s Chi Phi fraternity.)

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The Tenets of Solid Journalism Get Pooped On, Again

ICNPhotoFor the love of fact-checking!

On April Fool’s, UK website Independent Catholic News published an item, complete with hilarious photo (at right), about a hawk enlisted by the Vatican to help tend to aviary security matters. On April 15, per a summary of this sorry trail by iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith, The Guardian replaced its pick-up with this note:

An agency story about the Vatican recruiting a hawk to protect the Pope’s doves was deleted on the 15 April 2014 because it was discovered to have been an April fools’ joke.

As the crow flies, or any other trajectory, it’s a long way from Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden NSA scoops. Per Smith, other major outlets fooled were said agency, AFP, and the Washington Times.

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Dumb Survey Results Followed by Even Dumber Reporting

Is a news trail about a shocking “tech terms” multiple-choice survey taken by American consumers on behalf of UK outfit Vouchercloud still valid if:

a) the LA Times reporter who started it all never actually saw the survey?;
b) the methodology and margins-of-error for said survey are completely unknown?;
c) the survey answers – including the headline-grabbing claim that 11% of Yanks answering think HTML refers to a sexually transmitted disease – suggest that many of the alleged two-thousand-plus respondents raced through the questionnaire with carelessness, goofiness, or both?

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LAT tech reporter Salvador Rodriguez‘s pick-up of a Vouchercloud press release blazed a trail across the Internet Tuesday, most notably as a Drudge link, Romenesko headline of the day, Time item and BuzzFeed pictorial. But some good digging by iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith has led BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick, Time‘s Jessica Roy and Romenesko to all post updates. Here is BuzzFeed’s:

BuzzFeedCorrection

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A Typo-Filled Anniversary for 2012 New York Subway Incident Victim

Earlier today, we caught a typo in the New York Post. Instead of Jonah Peretti, media columnist Keith J. Kelly had as the winner of Adweek‘s Digital Editor of the Year one “John Peretti.” (The typo has since been fixed.)

iMediaEthicsLogoHowever, that slip-up can’t hold a candle to the litany of errors the Post and many other outlets made with another, less famous person’s name. As documented today by iMediaEthics reporter Sydney Smith on the one-year anniversary of the tragic subway incident death of Ki-Suck Han, various wrong versions of this Queens resident’s name were widely disseminated. The Post for example got it wrong three different ways, and like many outlets tracked and re-contacted by Smith, failed to quickly correct.

The Daily News also had tri-trouble with the spelling. In terms of major New York dailies, only the New York Times got it right. From Smith’s piece:

Night Metro editor Peter Khoury quickly responded to our inquiry last year asking how the Times got the correct spelling. According to Khoury, the Times verified the spelling with the police and public records.

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Medill Journalism Student: ‘Clearly I Did Not Know the Proper Way to Aggregate’

DeseretNewsLogoIt’s been a rough week for the Deseret News, a well-trafficked Utah newspaper owned by the Church of Latter-day Saints, and their recent summer intern Michael Smith. All thanks to the intrepid efforts of iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith.

On Monday-Tuesday, Smith gradually got to the bottom of dozens of improperly attributed online items, all with Smith’s byline. Today, the former intern, a graduate student at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, explains and takes full responsibility for his sloppy actions involving sources such as the Washington Examiner and cbc.ca:

“Clearly I did not know the proper way to aggregate, which was my intention,” he told iMediaEthics via email. “I now know that I should have used quotation marks even after I wrote ‘According to…’ or ‘X reports that…’ I thought that explicitly stating whoever reported made it clear that it was from them, and not me, but I was obviously wrong.”

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Utah Columnist Apologizes to New York Times Contributor

Following up some earlier reporting on the matter, Sydney Smith circles back today at imediaethics.org with Deseret News columnist Richard Eyre about the lack of full and proper attribution in a July 31 column. The article is no longer online.

Eyre, who shares his column byline with wife Linda, confirmed that their articles often consist largely of citations from other sources, along with their noted agreement. He explains how he came to “hurriedly and stupidly” fudge the full credit to author and NYT op-ed page contributor Adam Grant and shares an apology email he sent. It reads, in part:

While we began and ended the column by crediting you, Mr. Grant, in my haste to file the story, I neglected in the middle part of the column to provide the full and proper attribution and quotation marks as we normally do.

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