What makes people trust the news?

You’ve heard, no doubt, that Americans have little confidence in what they see, hear or read in the news media. Last year, according to Gallup, trust in media set a new low with just 7% saying they have a great deal of confidence in the news. What’s to be done? A new study offers some clues. The Media Insight Project …

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A social media ethics code you can support

If you’re a journalist and you use social media, you’ll want to read this.  And if you work for a news organization — from student media on up to the top markets, you’ll want to read this, too. According to the Online News Assocation website, “The ONA Social Newsgathering Ethics Code is a document that …

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3 most common journalism ethics questions

Journalists must make tough ethical decisions almost daily.  There are lots of tools to help guide those decisions, including the Radio Television Digital News Association Code of Ethics and one from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).  In addition, SPJ has long had an Ethics Hotline, which fields hundreds of questions each year. In Quill magazine, SPJ …

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New broadcast journalism ethics code from RTDNA compared to old

What’s changed in the area of journalism ethics?  Quite a bit if the new RTDNA Code of Ethics is any indication.  In the news release, RTDNA indicated that the code was last revised 15 years ago, with this latest version taking a year and a half to develop. “During 18 months of work, RTDNA’s Ethics …

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Why NBC News had to suspend Brian Williams

When NBC suspended its main news anchor in February, it put out a statement saying his actions were inexcusable. Taking him off air for six months without pay, said NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke, was a “severe and appropriate punishment” for having “jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News.” Williams had already apologized for …

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Tips for finding story ideas

One of the most basic skills every journalist needs is the ability to come up with stories worth reporting. It may be basic, but it’s not always easy. Some reporters have lots of ideas but they fail the “so what” test. Just because something’s interesting to you doesn’t mean it’s going to interest your audience. Other …

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Ethics made simple

The news business seems to get more complicated all the time. Journalists are expected to work faster, file more often and serve more outlets. With less time to think, mistakes can happen and errors can be costly. News outlets lose credibility; journalists can lose their jobs. The recent case involving the venerable CBS News program …

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Journalist’s Dilemma: Combining personal and professional social media

“It is a great way for people in the news to develop relationships with their viewers,” says WTVA-TV anchor/reporter, C.J. LeMaster, who has one of the biggest social media followings at his station in Tupelo, Miss. LeMaster says he doesn’t try to tell his 24oo Twitter followers what they should think, rather he just wants …

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YouTube Video fair game in TV newscasts?

Syracuse University professor Hub Brown put forth a good question today when he asked a group of broadcast journalism educators what they do about YouTube video in student stories. We’ve been having a discussion here at Newhouse about the use of online video by students in skills courses—the copyright implications, the limits of “fair use,” …

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