Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices
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The rapid growth of online media has led to new complications in journalism ethics and practice. While traditional ethical principles may not fundamentally change when information is disseminated online, applying them across platforms has become more challenging as new kinds of interactions develop between journalists and audiences.
In Ethics for Digital Journalists, Lawrie Zion and David Craig draw together the international expertise and experience of journalists and scholars who have all been part of the process of shaping best practices in digital journalism. Drawing on contemporary events and controversies like the Boston Marathon bombing and the Arab Spring, the authors examine emerging best practices in everything from transparency and verification to aggregation, collaboration, live blogging, tweeting and the challenges of digital narratives. At a time when questions of ethics and practice are challenged and subject to intense debate, this book is designed to provide students and practitioners with the insights and skills to realize their potential as professionals.
2013. “For Saudi Women, New Subway Will Mean More Than a Cool Ride. ” Poynter, July 31, 2013. Accessed September 22, 2013. www. npr. org/blogs/ parallels/2013/07/30/207077269/for-saudi-women-new-subway-will-mean-morethan-a-cool-ride Buttry, Steve. 2010. Twitter post, November 17, 2010, 9:49pm. https://twitter. com/ stevebuttry/status/5074979922120704 142 Tim Currie Buttry, Steve. 2013. “Advice for Editors: Stand for Accuracy and Accountability. ” The Buttry Diary, May 8, 2013. Accessed September 21, 2013.
The proponents of the “ethic of the link” also make a moral argument about giving credit where credit is due, summarized in Jarvis’s motto: “Cover what you do best and link to the rest” ( Jarvis 2007). They also argue that linking is a fundamental expression of the web and its core values, such as openness and the free flow of knowledge (Rosen 2008). But several controversies have shown that untangling the interrelated issues of linking and attribution actually forces journalists to reflect on fundamental concerns of how the news is made: the lines between aggregation, curation, and fullblown plagiarism might sometimes be thin.
Should corrective notes explicitly acknowledge the changes made to content? • Are varied measures of corrective action required, depending on the nature of the error? • How do news organizations ensure consistency across publishing platforms as information is updated, amended and corrected? (English 2011) This is just one example of how new technological advances lead to discussions of best practices in journalism. In my 2012 study I found that the best practice initiatives I had analyzed shared most of the following characteristics.
Www. guardian. co. uk/ media/2011/apr/19/mail-online-website-popular Hanna, Mark, and Mike Dodd. 2012. McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists. 21st ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Heinonen, Ari. 2011. “The Journalist’s Relationship with Users: New Dimensions to Conventional Roles. ” In Participatory Journalism: Guarding Gates at Online Newspapers, edited by Jane B. Singer, 34–55. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Hermida, Alfred. 2011. “Mechanisms of Participation: How Audience Options Shape the Conversation.
Although, with live blogging, “dead air” time can be longer than in live TV or radio, there will be periods during the coverage of a live event, particularly at the start, when previously researched and written posts will be vital. They help to set the context Best Practices for Live Blogging 107 for the live coverage by providing background information on the people and place involved, and the purpose of the event. The Guardian’s sports reporter Rob Smyth spends half an hour “constructing the preamble” before live blogging soccer matches (personal communication, July 6, 2011), and Heidi Stephens, who has live blogged The Apprentice TV show for Guardian.