Blog Essay Week 6

EJ Ch. 4

I agree that what separates journalism from other sources of information is that journalism is an essence of verification. Reporters should focus on getting information right rather than first or in order to get “hits” on the website. I agree that this notion has been lost in today’s immediate news world, and I think that’s wrong. Information reaches readers quickly, and it shouldn’t be pushed out without checking that it’s true because all that does is hurt a reporter’s credibility later.

From what I gathered, Gillmor suggested that we replace objectivity with thoroughness, accuracy and fairness. I was confused by this because I thought objectivity meant this. By being thorough, accurate and fair, we are being objective in stories because we are removing our opinion and ensuring we share the facts.

Skeptical Editing

In Dr. Lewis’s editing class, he taught us an important rule: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” This quote means that we can never believe anything is true unless we carefully fact-check and edit the information ourselves, and I think that’s the major takeaway from the article. Today’s journalism motto appears to be “Get it first, then get it right,” and we’re constantly searching for the next story that can bring hits to our sites or fill our empty airwaves.

As a result, editing has become sloppy, and people don’t double check the accuracy of facts. As reporters, we need to make sure the information we share is accurate, and we need to be honest with readers if we’re not sure whether the answer is true.

ME Ch. 5

I don’t think we have much privacy these days. Despite what we think, our information on social media is public, and people can access it. In addition, technology makes it difficult for us to be private because we’re always connected to the rest of the world. I thought it was interesting that Donald Kerr, former deputy director of U.S. Office of National Intelligence, said that anonymity was in the past. I think it’s a true fact because we can look up information about everyone, so you can’t really be anonymous anymore.

The part of the chapter I found the most interesting was the difference between privacy and secrecy. I thought they were similar terms, but they’re not. Secrecy is deliberately hiding the truth, but privacy is determining who gets to see the truth. I think this is very important for people to realize in today’s global world, especially if there’s information that’s sensitive.

Ethical Issue: Lute Olson

When I clicked on the link to the book, I could not read the second page (pg. 120) so I am basing my writing on what I could read (pg. 119). From what I read, the reporter appears have been more enthusiastic about uncovering a scandal than making sure the information reported was accurate and skewed information to sound more dramatic than it actually was.

Video & Privacy Tools

I understand how drones can be useful in our lives, but they still freak me out. I think they’re a sign that technology could go too far into understanding our lives.

The website you asked us to visit freaks me out. Here is the information available about my browser and computer:

We recognized you are using the browser User Agent: Chrome Engine: AppleWebKit 537.36 to view this site, and that you have chosen the language “en-US”.

Your computer’s OS: Mac OS X
Javasscript is: Enabled
Your screen resolution is: 1280×800
Before visiting this page, you came from:

Local date and time on your computer 2/9/2014 10:07:52 PM
Time offset to GMT: 5 hours
Server’s time (GMT): Mon, 10 Feb 14 03:07:51 +0000

You are accessing from the IP Address, which has the hostname to this, your location is near to the city of Gainesville in FL/United States

Case Study 5-B

Facebook has a lot of privacy issues, and there’s many questions about to who information on the social media site belongs to. At the moment, Facebook uses a opt-out system for users. This means that, in order to omit from sharing certain information, users must actively remove themselves from it. I’m in a marketing class this semester, and I just read about how opt-out systems are more effective for marketers to keep people doing what they want because people are less likely to opt-out than opt-in. I think, in order to remain fair to users and relieve privacy issues, Facebook should allow an opt-in option for many of their privacy settings, but I don’t think they would ever choose to do so because that would hurt their company.

Case Study 5-C

The ethical dilemma here is whether donors who give money to political campaigns should be public and examined in news articles. The alternative we could consider are that personal information is never published, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t believe this is ethically correct because, as citizens, we deserve to know where candidates get their money from, and we deserve to know the people behind large donations. I don’t think it’s even newsworthy, anyway, if it’s not a big donation, so I wouldn’t worry about the everyday person who donates $25, but I think if someone donates a large amount of money to campaigns, such as $1 million, then we should be able to know who they are and why they’re giving the money to who they are giving the money to.

Ethical Issue of the week: I should preface this by saying that I despise the way NBC covers the Olympics. They cut when they want, they confuse everyone by their schedule and it’s just frustrating. But what they did to the Olympics opening ceremony makes me angrier than anything else, and I think it’s a HUGE ethical issue for broadcasters.

NBC decided, in its primetime airing of the opening ceremonies – because they refused to air it live – that they would edit the IOC president’s opening speech to remove several paragraphs containing anti-discrimination text. America is the only country that received the “edited” speech. NBC claims it was because of time constraints, but I call – and excuse my language – bullsh*t on this. I do not think it was ethical, at ALL, for a broadcaster to edit a speech because of time constraints, thereby providing Americans with a false reality of what was actually said. It is not NBC’s job to edit information for us, especially with an event of this magnitude, and I don’t believe it should be considered ethically correct for them to do so.

DQ: What do you think about NBC’s edit of the IOC president’s speech?


Harm Principle: John Stuart Mill said: ““The only purpose for which power can be rightfully be exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

False Light: Privacy tort

Discretion: Bok defined discretion as “the intuitive ability to discern what is, and is not, intrusive and injurious.”

Objectivity: A method of looking at information without bias. According to the book, this word should be replaced.

False Equivalency: Treating two sources equally, even if one has completely incorrect information. Journalists shouldn’t do this.


4 thoughts on “Blog Essay Week 6

  1. I agree it was unethical for NBC to air an edited version of the opening ceremony. A broadcaster should not edit a speech because of time constraints because it provides viewers with a false reality of what actually happened. I agree that it is not NBC’s job to edit information for its viewers, especially with such a global event.

  2. I think it was unethical for NBC to edit the IOC president’s speech. I highly doubt it was edited for time constraints. Regardless of the time constraints excuse, the speech should not have been edited. I read what was cut out and there really was no rhyme or reason as to when they would cut the speech. I agree with Emily that this gives viewers a false sense of reality and therefore a false impression of what occurred.

  3. I don’t think that NBC should have edited out what the IOC president said in his speech. Even though they were dealing with time constraints I think it would have been more important to not include something else rather than a speech. They cut a large portion of the speech out, and at that point I just wonder why they thought it was a good idea to include any of it. I don’t think the event’s magnitude should have any weight on NBC’s wrongdoing though. I think it would be just as wrong to take out that much information out of any speech. When journalists cover speeches at events they usually make sure to include the most important parts, and I’m sure they would have included some information that was edited out of NBC’s broadcast.

    I agree with you about how important it is to verify facts in a story. If a publication is more concerned about being the first to publish a story rather than being the first to publish it with accurate information that is a problem.

    Since you didn’t get to read the whole article about Lute Olsen I think it’s important for you to know that the reporter isn’t the one who ended up writing the story, which probably played the biggest role in why the story was a bust. On the other hand I think it is the person who wrote it and the reporter’s fault about why the story got published. The reporter should have vetted the story before it was turned in and the writer should have checked the information out for himself as well. Clearly neither of them did what they should and could have.

  4. Good conversation.
    See my latest post on class Tumblr re journo and drones and privacy.
    Try to expand a bit more on the chapter readings in future.

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