« HHGG only experts need apply | Main | Characters Welcome »

November 6, 2006

Media Lab - Richly linked blog entrry - Ethics, Journalism, DUH!

After reading chapter six of Going Live, I found that I had learned some new things about the ongoining battle with eithics and journalism. As the chapter begins I found that Seib had several examples of popular stories in the news which included Timothy Mcveigh confessing to the Oklahoma City Bombing and the breaking of the President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal. I was unaware that the Mcveigh story was the first to be be broken on the Dallas Morning News website 7 hours before it was in print. I liked how Seib puts emphasis on the web being a big part of this "kind of journalisitc Bastille Day."
With all that I am learning about the media and the internet, I don't know why I was still surprised that the ethics of this article were questioned. I've realized in my own writing on the Setonian that accuracy and checking facts is one of the first things that a journalist learns.
"Emphasis on speed is an integral part of the news busniess, but for most newspaper journalist, the news cycle has been a daylong process, with a rhythm of reporting, fact checking, and editing geared to meeting a firmly established deadline for producing the next edition."
Seib identifies one of the most important parts of writing something that will be published ina periodical, online or not online. With that, Seib introduces the writing style of Matt Drudge, famed writer of gossip and getting stories out of unknown sources out to the public with no shame. I only knew a little of Matt Drudge before reading this chapter, but Seib puts Drudge out there as a so called "information anarchist." I guess in a way Drudge is takign advantage at just what the internet is offering the world. A chance "take on the powers that be." He even argues that there will be no editors in the internet world in future.
Does the public really want unedited news?? I mean I always do appreciate when a news website shows how long it has been since it's last update, it gives me a sense of comfort and stability on their part. It should be understandable to the public now with 9/11 and war time journalism that news won't always be right on target, but most of the time tries to be. I think alot of entertainment magazines get reputations as the actual face of fast news, when it is not even news that they cover. Journalistic ethics play a big role in some of the most respected periodicals and journalists. I mean would anyone really tune in to CNN if it wasn't being ethical?
I also enjoyed some of the ethics topics discussed in the chapter. The ones on pages 150-151 are the same ones that we on the Setonian follow today. Presenting corections in ways most likely to undo damage that the original error may caused and respecting copyrighted material and things from other sites. I think ethics are recognized in journalism quite a bit, even with the growth of the internet. In writing ethics on any level should be recognized.

Posted by RachelPrichard at November 6, 2006 6:58 PM


I continue to be impressed with the level of professionalism that the Setonian demonstrates. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Sometimes we will publish stories that will make certain people unhappy, or even angry.

But in the end what matters is that, after each individual crisis is over, the participants can look at our coverage and say, "That was fair."

We will make mistakes, but if we act quickly to minimize the damage, we can maintain our credibility.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at November 7, 2006 12:54 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?