Journalism and Ethics

Reporters raided the recent San Bernardino shooting suspects’ home on Friday, a surprising act involving the invasion of privacy. Although digging into privacy can be part of the job description, ripping apart someone’s house and making conclusions on live TV is an entirely different type of invasion. This invades the person’s entire life, and the house is rented by suspects, not convicted shooters.

The Guardian did a good job covering this story with its transparency and intertextuality, and talked to both the reporters and the law enforcement, along with the landlord. All sides of the story were heard. They were also smart enough to see the story in how unusual the situation with the flood of reporters was over the shooting suspects, which were obviously being well-covered.

Some pictures from The Globe and Mail show how crowded the house was, and what the reporters found interesting. Most photos provided are of Islamic memorabilia and of the suspects. They go as far as to touch and pick up photographs and rifle through medicine (see: pepto bismol), all entirely unnecessary to a story with out any actuals convictions yet.

The Daily Caller shows just how deeply sickening the media showed malpractice, airing healthcare information, licenses, passports, and even social security cards. Children and other deeply personal information and photos were shown, and more than not the landlord is quoted saying the reporters “rushed in.”

To wander into someone’s home as a complete stranger is entirely unacceptable.

Source: Journalism and Ethics

Portfolio 5

As a final portfolio, I had even less to work with than before, and amend my previous portfolio in saying that was the shortest thus. However, I still learned a lot this year in total and these final posts reflect my developed skill in writing for the news. The previous four portfolios (1, 2, 3, 4) show this growth over time, this one being the final. 

Depth –  I used what I have learned from news writing to analyze the staff’s reaction to journalists, who were invited to the Smith College protest, after something at the even changed and they only wanted the good reported. I went into how much I understood journalistic integrity. No matter what, favoring one side when it comes to reporting won’t end in an effective story. Always get both sides, and I explain why in my post.

Riskiness –  My article inspirations for my final investigative article about NaNoWriMo didn’t really start out so clear on what I was going to do with my idea, but once I read a travel article about England I ended up having an epiphany. I took it as my final inspiration, which is very different than what I initially intended to do at all.

Intertextuality – My final article inspiration involved some research, and I eventually found a travel article that involves balancing time and doing things, which I relate to my article’s eventual format.

For my post involving the Smith protests, I did involve the links that Dr. Jerz provided, but beyond that I found the official website of the photojournalist focused on in the video that sparked the initial stories surrounding the incidents at the university.

Discussion –  My discussion focus isn’t very typical for these portfolios, but this progress update is the first time I have talked about interviews, specifically with Dr. McClain and how well that went. I got way more than expected from her, and even when one of my interviews didn’t work out I could use all the quotes I got from her.  

Timeliness – Both my second and my third article progress reports showed that I time-managed my final article to the best of my ability, and made an effort to structure it around the time-sensitive nature of the article anyways, which would be most relevant for one month.

Coverage –  I genuinely find the story about Smith interesting, and am glad that there is a video documenting the event. It’s a good lesson for everybody about good journalism, which is why I took the time to cover it as I felt necessary for this class.

Over this course I’ve learned more than I thought I initially would, far beyond just writing rapid-fire articles. I’ve learned about ethics, practicality, and importance. Even through this portfolio seems to be cut a bit short, the work in it is a cumulation from a person who feels she has learned from the class. 

Source: Portfolio 5

Current Event

The ethics of journalism posted by a group of professionals is a comprehensible outline of everything we have gone over in class. Not only does it easily cover the different sub-topics of ethics, but also has helpful side-bars with resources with instructions and supporting documents to solidify why the morals are there.

The event at Smith College is the exact opposite of what journalistic ethics outline. To make story more legitimate, and could benefit the protestors, both sides need to be heard. If journalists are bias to the protestors, then they will have nothing but flimsy hearsay to back the story. No journalists who follows a code of ethics can cover this story now, only hurting the cause, to keep unbiased.

But the school can bar journalists due to its status as private. Should they? NO. Can they? YES.

Source: Current Event

Article Progress 3

I have all of my interviewing ducks in a row, only now I need to do the best I can to predict the last 7 days in November, which will hopefully go as planned. My rough draft was more complete in the first two weeks because I had experience to write from, and now that the third week has passed I can confidently go over that as well. As for the last week of NaNoWriMo I am unsure of exactly what’s going to happen with life’s funny way of being unpredictable, so I will have to primarily draw from the experiences of others for this one.

I did go to the final NaNo Write-In but it seems I am the lone survivor this year of NaNo, and even then I’m admittedly behind. However, I can make it up by adding 500 more words per day, something I learned I could do quite easily. I’m going to put this in the article as well, as to not discourage people who miss writing a day or two (or three) and think it’s impossible.


Source: Article Progress 3

Article Progress 2

I interviewed Dr. McClain, and have another interview set up for Mackenzie Robinson and another student who has finished NaNoWriMo once before.

My interview went better than expected, and I found out that books have been published based on NaNo works. While it’s been hard for me to keep up, I think that will make the article all the more interesting and relatable. It’s an article for the creative writing community, so being honest about the trials and tribulations many perspectives have about writing a novel in a month is good to put out into the mythical ‘there’.

A picture of someone just writing is kind of boring, so I am going to put the word-count keeper chart and a few shots of people typing, the NaNo write-ins, and covers of books published thanks to NaNoWriMo.

Source: Article Progress 2

University of Missouri First Amendment Lesson

Honestly? This is just sad, particularly when the staff members become involved. If their protest wanted more validation, wouldn’t they want journalists? To get the word out, to shed light on the ‘justice’ they are trying to obtain? Their cause to weed out racism in their school is a good one, which is why it’s plain confusing to me why they want to close it off.

What Click did is entirely inappropriate, but I’m glad that Tim Tai, obviously a young photojournalist, is trying to start the conversation about rights in the first amendment when nobody at this (ironically enough) protest won’t.

An article criticized people for treating the students like a human wall rather than just humans, and for trying to violate the first amendment as it suited them.

That’s not how it works. You can’t just pick and choose which rights to follow; either everyone has all of them or we have none at all.

Source: University of Missouri First Amendment Lesson

Article Inspiration 3

While I am obviously not writing a travel article, this guide to England sets up a really nice visual on how I want to set up my article. It has an eye-catching picture to start the article, the layout is generally colorful yet not too distracting, and the travel is neatly divided up.

I am going to do the same per week on mine, incorporating my experience as a way to divide up the article. What will actually be the content is what other people say about NaNoWriMo in correlation, and my story will similarly serve as a guide to others as well as an interest piece.

Source: Article Inspiration 3

Portfolio 4

In other previous three portfolios (1, 2, 3) I had more articles to assign my categories to and analyze. Although I do have less now to work with, my improvement in understanding journalism is apparent if not shorter. Nonetheless, this portfolio accurately reflects my knowledge of journalism this far into the News writing course. 

Depth – In covering Ethics, I genuinely wanted to understand in case my future leads me to a situation where I will take on the role of a journalist, which is why I went through the trouble of categorizing everything I found most important into a single, comprehensive post.

I understand how important media law is, which is why I took such care in reflecting that on this blog. I can’t be entirely certain when I will need this knowledge at my finger tips, but in the modern digital world one never knows.

Riskiness – My first Article Inspiration I found what I originally thought would be my topic. The post itself isn’t very risky, but changing subjects and format entirely is, which is–of course–exactly what I ended up doing.

Intertextuality – I went the extra mile with this entry, finding the specific sources the textbook talked about when it came to corrections. I researched and took the time to find an article that corresponded with what I learned about journalism and mistakes.

When discussing media law, I managed to tie in a previous post about the topic of errors. I pulled my own work back in.

Much like in my previous portfolios, I used the text book to as much advantage as possible, and have again in commenting on the ethics of journalism.  I used both a note-worthy line I found genuinely interesting and the book’s outline on its own information and how to break journalism down into simple terms. The same goes for my thoughts on media law, referencing the book multiple times.

Discussion – On Anne Long’s blog, I commented on her use of references and specifics, applauding her for something I wish I had more of in my similar.

Julia Natalia has become something of a ‘comment buddy,’ wherein we write about each other’s work. My favorite most recent comment was on her post concerning corrections because she is most sincere in her understanding of the content and really seems to connect with the article.

Timeliness – My first Article Inspiration ended up not working for my final proposal about NaNoWriMo, relating more the relationship between the Catholic and Jewish communities this year in particular. Although I understand this isn’t what this section typically stands for, the article would have been appropriately timed with the recent conference just wrapping up.

Coverage – Not one, but two posts I write about cover practically the same topic, and I made sure to tie together both pieces surrounding media law and ethics. The first is more of an analysis of media law, while the other covers an actual case-study of sorts.

What I learned about journalism it that, much like many language-based studies, it most definitely isn’t an exact science. Through process of elimination I ended up finding an interesting and solid to write my final article on, and now am equipped with the know-how on how to write in the public eye and do it well. 


Article Progress 1

For my article focusing on NaNoWriMo, I have set up an interview with Creative Writing professor Doctor Lee McClain about the event itself, her own participation, and how it’s helping motivate her with her upcoming novel about a mystery baby. I have attended one of four ‘write-ins’ so far, and took notes on what the atmosphere was like. Not to many people seem to be actively participating this year, but this allows me more room to talk to other participants and relate it back to my own experience writing a novel in a month for others to relate to in the future and possibly use as a guide to how their months will go.

I have found one person who hasn’t completed her work in past years, Mackenzie Robinson, who is willing to interview about what she learned through NaNoWriMo. Through social media I have found people who are very involved in their word counts and love to talk about them, but I am going to wait until later in the month, when many people’s creativities and will power are tested, to talk too much to them about their progress.

Source: Article Progress 1

About Corrections

This may sound strange, but most corrections basically need a good PR team that goes beyond a corrections page, as the New York Times has been doing of page A2 since 1972.

When something is published and it is wrong, the first thing to do is own up to it. But remember you are human, as Craig Silverman makes a point of in his article. Move on by not just owning up to a mistake, but giving it a correction and further promoting the correction. Emphasize its “correctness” for the best results.

The best solution to making a mistake is this: don’t make it in the first place. Unfortunately that’s an impossible task, particularly in the fast-paced world of journalism. Instead all we can do is inform the public, using as many channels as possible, of what is correct in hopes that they will see and understand what went wrong in the first place.

Source: About Corrections