Ethics and standards

While many criticized the choice to broadcast the scene live, Jack Shafer says if you’re going to consume news, you also need to be ready to see how it’s made

You might have heard: On Friday, journalists swarmed into the San Bernardino shooters’ apartment after the door was pried open by the landlord, with the scene playing out live on outlets including MSNBC, BBC, CBS News and CNN (Mashable) But did you know: An old adage of journalism is that journalists should never be the […]

Steve Coll: Columbia’s spat with Exxon highlights a new gray area in nonprofit journalism ethics

After a team from Columbia School of Journalism published a two-part investigation on Exxon Mobil in the Los Angeles Times, Exxon sent a list of complaints to Columbia, highlighting what Columbia School of Journalism dean Steve Coll says is an emerging gray area in nonprofit journalism. Coll says: “Journalism standards and journalism protocols and journalism […]

The Washington Post changes its style to allow singular ‘they’

On Monday, The New York Times added the gender-neutral honorific “Mx.” Now, The Washington Post is changing its style rules to allow for the singular “they” to refer to “people who identify as neither male nor female.” From the memo to staff: “It is usually possible, and preferable, to recast sentences as plural to avoid […]

Following phone hacking scandal, UK tabloids have dropped questionable reporting practices for more celebrity interviews and articles pushing a political agenda

Since 2011’s phone-hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, changes have come to U.K. tabloids: Sarah Lyall writes that exposés are less common, replaced by celebrity interviews, reality TV gossip and articles promoting the owners’ political agendas. Whereas in the past, tabloid reporters say they were pushed to use dubious reporting practices to […]

Ethical questions are starting to rise with science journalists about who pays for travel and expenses

At the annual meeting for the National Association of Science Writers, a hypothetical situation came up: When reporting on a paper that finds doctors believe they can’t be swayed by gifts from pharma reps, you go to lunch with a pharma rep, who offers to pick up the tab. Is that OK? Almost everyone in […]

News media is hesitant to say Trump is lying, because if he believes what he’s saying, is he really lying?

As Donald Trump has claimed to see “thousands” of Muslims celebrating after 9/11, news organizations have hesitated to call him out on lying, even though his claims don’t stand up to fact-checking. Philip Bump writes that this is because, “If Donald Trump believes that he saw what he says he saw, is he lying?” Trump’s […]

Glenn Greenwald: CNN didn’t punish a reporter for expressing an opinion, but for expressing a wrong opinion

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald writes CNN reporter Elise Labott was suspended for fulfilling a primary role of journalism, “to serve as a check on extremism when stoked by political demagogues.” Following the House vote on Syrian refugees, Labott tweeted, “Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.” Greenwald writes: “Labott’s crime wasn’t that she expressed an […]

Virtual reality may not be appropriate for some journalistic purposes because of the need to stage and arrange scenes

You might have heard: NPR senior vice president of news Mike Oreskes tells staff in a memo on virtual reality, “Our stories can’t be virtually true. They must be fully real” (NPR) and The New York Times distributed more than a million cardboard virtual reality viewers for the release of its first virtual reality film, […]

When people say ‘you won’t read about this in the news,’ the stories are being covered but many people aren’t reading them

Martin Belam writes on how frustrating it can be as a member of the media to hear people say, “You won’t hear about this in the media, but…” after events such as an ISIS attack in Lebanon. Even though these stories are being covered, Belam writes that analytics show that many people aren’t reading these […]

How Mic’s new executive editor wants to improve the site’s editorial standards and expand coverage

In a Q&A with Joseph Lichterman, Mic’s new executive editor Madhulika Sikka says she wants to expand its coverage and implement more stringent editorial standards. Sikka, who came to Mic in September from NPR, says Mic won’t cover politics in the same way that Politico or The Washington Post covers politics, for instance: “It’s looking […]