Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Transparency (Page 3)

Journalists need a point of view if they want to stay relevant

“If extreme polarization is now an enduring feature of American politics — not just a bug — how does that change the game for journalists?” writes Jay Rosen in a foundation essay for The Conversation. To stay relevant and avoid accusations of bias in today’s age, Rosen says the honest approach is to declare a […]

The best ways for publishers to build credibility through transparency

As so much in the world of news and information changes, the fundamental bond of trust between journalists and the communities they serve is one of the few things that doesn’t. In fact, its importance has grown. One of the most important ways journalists and news organizations earn the trust of the public trust is […]

Show the reporting and sources that support your work

One important way to build trust in reporting is to show the audience the sources it relies upon. There are several ways to do this. I. Share source material Digital platforms don’t suffer the same time and space constraints as print, television and radio. This freedom offers new opportunities to incorporate and disclose source material, […]

Engage in transparent collaboration with the audience

Journalist Dan Gillmor likes to say, “my readers know more than I do.” Implicit in Gillmor’s axiom is a reminder that journalists shouldn’t think of people only as consumers. The people we serve have collective knowledge and expertise that can vastly improve the work we do. Digital platforms make this easier. The key is to find […]

Practice ethical curation and attribution

One of the oldest and most hallowed forms of transparency in journalism is attribution. You link what was said to the person who said it. You cite your sources. You provide a roadmap that leads back to all the people you spoke to, the documents you read, the other articles and research that helped form […]

Offer disclosures and statements of values

When an earthquake struck Los Angeles in March 2014, the Los Angeles Times was able to quickly publish an article that contained basic data about the quake. At the bottom of that story was an interesting disclosure: This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written […]

How to correct website and social media errors effectively

One elemental concept of transparency, which is a conceptual shift for some organizations, is that corrections are a good thing. Errors are of course unfortunate and bad. We must make as much an effort as possible to prevent errors before they make their way into the world. The ease with which mistaken claims and false […]

It’s time for a real debate on reader privacy

“As analytics software develops, news organizations are collecting vast amounts of data, not just about what people read but how they read it … there are good reasons for news organizations to measure that kind of engagement, but we should also engage our readers in a conversation about what data we are collecting, why we […]

Should Twitter, Facebook and Google executives be the arbiters of what we see and read?

“The question posed by Twitter’s announcement is not whether you think it’s a good idea for people to see the [James] Foley video. Instead, the relevant question is whether you want Twitter, Facebook and Google executives exercising vast power over what can be seen and read,” writes Glenn Greenwald. + Inside how Twitter decides which […]

A debate about plagiarism spurred by BuzzFeed, The New York Times

Following the firing of a BuzzFeed editor on plagiarism charges and an ongoing investigation at The New York Times over the same, Margaret Sullivan looks at the debate on what constitutes “real” plagiarism. “It’s pretty simple, at BuzzFeed or at The New York Times: Write your own stuff; when you can’t or won’t, make sure […]

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