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Why Are Journalists Publishing Before Checking Facts?

INGreport2A new survey from Dutch company ING found that 45 percent of international journalists “publish as soon as possible and correct later,” while only 20 percent always do their due diligence before publishing.

Additionally, the 2014 Study Impact of Social Media on News report, created for PR professionals and journalists, reported that one-third of journalists don’t consider social media posts a reliable source of information. Still, 50 percent said the majority of their news tips and facts come from social.

But journalists don’t seem to mind questions of accuracy too much, since 60 percent said they feel less restricted by journalistic standards in their social media reporting. Twenty-two percent reported that they treat social media posts the same way as traditional methods when it comes to journalism ethics.

Finally, PR professionals, who once worked quite closely with journalists in setting up interviews and providing timely, accurate news items, say reporters aren’t as quick to get in touch with them. The assumption for this is that journalists are relying more frequently on social media info, despite their low levels of trust with the medium.

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Has Time Inc. Gone Too Far With New Cover Ads?

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.52.21 PMLast week there was, understandably, some buzz about Time Inc.’s decision to sell small cover ads. The news, on the heels of Time Inc.’s split from Time Warner Cable, broke that a small Verizon ad (a line of text in the bottom corner of the cover, potentially right below a mailing label, reading “For best results use Verizon see P. 23″) would appear on the upcoming issue of Time and Sports Illustrated.

The addition of marketing messages to the front cover is in direct opposition to the American Society of Magazine Editors’ (ASME) very first editorial guideline, which states clearly:

1. Don’t Print Ads on Covers
The cover is the editor and publisher’s brand statement. Advertisements should not be printed directly on the cover or spine.

This procedure ensures that editorial integrity remains intact and isn’t influenced by advertisers. Over on one of our sister sites, FishBowlNY, Chris O’Shea was outspoken about the paradigm shift:

“Obviously this is just the beginning. Eventually magazine covers will look like NASCAR cars, completely covered in ads. It’ll be like a fun, sad game — try to figure out what magazine this is!” he wrote.

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3 Things to Remember When You Correct a Story

ericschererWhile it may be true that when you talk about trust and journalism, we’re talking about protecting sources and being brave enough to publish things that challenge the powers that be. But it’s also just about being trustworthy as a news source. And that means correcting your mistakes. As I notice poorly worded, or not even acknowledged, corrections floating around the Internet on a daily basis, it might be time for some refreshers.

1) Make it immediate. Since most of the time the reason for the mistake may be that you were rushing through the 24-hour news cycle, you should also remember that you can correct anywhere, anytime. As soon as you notice a mistake, announce it on Twitter even before the copy editor finishes updating the story for that matter. I think being overzealous is a good thing in this case. Read more

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

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.”

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