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ethics

Finalists Announced for 2014 Michael Kelly Award

m.kelly-post-pic-165x300Atlantic Media recently announced four finalists competing for the 11th annual Michael Kelly Award, honoring the “fearless pursuit and expression of truth.”

The award, created in honor of journalist Michael Kelly, is sponsored by Atlantic Media, owners of two publications where Kelly had served as editor, The Atlantic and National Journal. Read more

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SXSWi 2014: Glenn Greenwald on Social Media, Surveillance and the Purpose of Journalism

greenwald-sxswSXSW attendees packed into an Austin Convention Center exhibit hall earlier this week to hear from a guest who wasn’t even in town — editor and journalist with First Look Media’s The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald.

Widely known as an associate of Edward Snowden, a former government employee who leaked hundreds of documents on the NSA’s surveillance program, Greenwald was invited to discuss his work and the future of democratic journalism via Skype. In his virtual conversation with Personal Democracy Media editorial director Micah Sifry, Greenwald was his usual unabashed, passionate self expressing his thoughts on the power of social media, government surveillance initiatives, constitutional rights and his role as a journalist:

On social:

For a man who is busy trying to expose what he believes are great injustices to the American public by reporting from all over the world, Greenwald is a pretty active Twitter user. And as the former Guardian writer said Monday, he’s a fan of the platform. “I actually do think it’s a really good medium.” Referring to social as the “biggest difference between today’s online journalism and establishment journalism,” he said its best benefit is that the availability of reader feedback it provides “keeps you honest.”

“I do think online interaction, unpleasant and annoying as it may be, is a really important form of accountability,” Greenwald said. In the old days, legacy media reporters and columnists “were completely insular people who spoke to the world in monologue form … to passive readers. Now, if you are a journalist, you’re going to constantly hear from people … who have a lot of important things to say.”

Read more

Questionable Comments Put AOL CEO Back on Defensive

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

It seems that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong just can’t keep his foot out of his mouth–even when the company has good news to report.

The good news should have been that AOL’s fourth quarter earnings showed the company’s best growth in a decade, thanks in part to recent efforts to cut costs and streamline operations.

But, instead, that good news was overshadowed by yet another in a string of missteps by Armstrong, who seems to need a remedial course in PR. Read more

Anthony Shadid Award Recognizes Ethical Journalism

Anthony Shadid, courtesy University of Wisconsin

Anthony Shadid, courtesy University of Wisconsin

New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid died in 2012 from a severe allergic reaction while crossing the Syrian border on assignment for the paper.

A highly accomplished journalist, Shadid had already won two Pulitzer Prizes for his courageous and insightful foreign correspondence.

As a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Shadid sat on the school’s center for journalism ethics advisory board and was a strong supporter of efforts to promote public interest journalism and to stimulate discussion about journalism ethics.

In recognition of Shadid’s contributions to the pursuit of ethics in journalism, the school’s center for journalism ethics recently announced a call for nominations for a new, national award: Read more

EJC Releases Free Verification Handbook for Newsrooms

verificationhandbookNo one likes to make mistakes. Especially during a crisis and in a digital world like ours when it’s easier to make them and easier to find yourself in serious ethical trouble for it.

There’s finally a guide for all of that. This week, the Emergency Journalism Centre released their Verification Handbook, available for free on the web and soon in downloadable form. The Handbook was edited by Poynter’s ‘Regret the Error’ editor Craig Silverman, and compiled by a team of working journalists and media industry thought leaders, like Steve Buttry, Mathew Ingram, Anthony De Rosa, among many others.

The Handbook is useful for everyone (did you retweet that story about Elan Gale on a plane?). But it’s tailored for journalists reporting on emergencies or disasters, when information flows faster than usual, making it hard to triple check your work and get it posted. Think about the Boston Marathon bombing last year and how we were glued to our Twitter accounts for information. There are chapters on verifying, yes, social media accounts, but also images, video and user generated content.  There’re also a ‘Verification Checklist’ for newsrooms and chapters specific to preparing and implementing disaster coverage. My favorite part? The chapter on how to best ‘use the crowd’. Everyone throws ‘crowdsourcing’ around very easily, but it’s a skill and if it’s done improperly, your newsroom will be sorry for it.

You can read the handbook here and follow the EJC at @EJC.

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