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Seib Chapter 6...

Ethics in journalism is the main topic in chapter 6 of Seib's book. I never thought about the idea that the information which a newspaper releases/prints could potentially be influential to jury members in court cases. I can now see where something like that could be un-ethical as it could sway a jury members opinion. I was surprised by the report that when the Dallas Morning News leaked the McVeigh story it was considered to be the first time a newspaper used the web. I suppose breaking a news story online is a lot more common today compared to when Seib's book was written and when the McVeigh story was popular.

Although I admired Matt Drudge for his independently run website, I have to say that it appears to be very vulnerable to inaccuracy. Keeping this all in mind, we still have to give him credit for printing the rumor that lead to the unvailing of the news of a relationship between a White House intern and President Bill Clinton. It seems as if Druge tends not to believe in fact checking, but his stories and rumors often act as tips for other journalists. I admired the integrity which the Newsweek editor expressed when she could have broken the story, but then waited until after it had come out because she wanted to be accurate. I am a New Media Journalism major and I know that the web is going to be my main place of work, but I would rather be accurate than timely and incorrect. I guess it is always going to be a constant battle up hill.

Gossip and mainstream journalism are the two biggest issues brought up when we talk about Matt Drudge. In my opinion he brings gossip and rumors to the table that he does not know to be true or false. He does receive a lot of criticism from other journalists that see him as a menace to their field. I can see where someone would look at his site and form a general opinion about all online journalists, which would not be a good one. I suppose it is true that Drudge's acceptance and success can be attributed to "the increasing velocity of the news cycle" (147).

One thing that is apparent is that the definition of ethics in regard to New Media Journalism is one that has yet to be reached. Online journalism ethics can range from privacy policies to web site disclaimers as well as the way in which corrections are presented. The biggest ethical issue in question here is that of content responsibility. The part in the chapter about the phony Princess Diana photo was appauling to me. The fact that the newspaper didn't pick up on any of the errors in the false photo really makes me question the ethical code which they were following.

This is simply another case of a lack of fact checking. As I read on in this chapter it just became more evident that news organizations need a set of standards for their online and print papers. I liked that Seib said the essence of ethics in any news medium is to try and do a better job.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 15, 2006 5:04 PM.

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