Category Archives: Ethics in the News
Fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson promoted false, racist narratives drawn from fringe, far-right forums
Until his abrupt ouster on Monday, Tucker Carlson used his prime-time Fox News show — the most-watched hour on cable news — to inject a dark strain of conspiracy-mongering into Republican politics.
As Fox News’ “tentpole,” drawing around 3 million viewers a night, Carlson’s show “has been both a source of that kind of nationalist, populist conservatism that Donald Trump embodied, but it’s also been a clearinghouse for conspiracies,” said Nicole Hemmer, a history professor at Vanderbilt University who studiesRead Story
Top-rated Fox News host Tucker Carlson pushed out a week after network settles defamation suit for $787MRead Story
Don Lemon fired from CNN 2 months after apologizing for comments widely viewed as ageist, misogynisticRead Story
Proof of deliberate lies about Dominion on Fox News key to the company overcoming tough libel law standard
How election lies, libel law were key to Fox defamation suit
In its defense, Fox relied on a doctrine of libel law that has been in place since a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The doctrine has made it difficult for some plaintiffs to prove defamation by news outlets. Public figures, and Dominion fits that standard in this case, have to prove not only that the information reported was incorrect but that the news organization acted with “reckless disregard” aboutRead Story
MyPillow founder Mike Lindell loses his election fraud challenge; must pay $5M to man who proved him wrongRead Story
Fox News’ decision to broadcast false information an ‘egregious’ violation of journalism ethics, experts say
‘An egregious violation of journalism ethics’: Experts slam Fox News’ conduct in Dominion case
Journalism professors told Yahoo News that whether or not Fox is legally liable for defaming Dominion, its conduct seems to have clearly violated core principles of journalistic ethics.
Yahoo News spoke to professors who specialize in journalism ethics, as well as to experts in First Amendment law, who said that the case against Fox News is unusual in that it appears to show how thoseRead Story
DeSantis proposes making it easier to sue journalists with hopes of overturning landmark defamation ruling
DeSantis wants to roll back press freedoms — with an eye toward overturning Supreme Court ruling – POLITICO
The proposal is part DeSantis’ ongoing feud with media outlets like The New York Times, Miami Herald, CNN and The Washington Post — media companies he claims are biased against Republicans — as he prepares for a likely 2024 presidential bid.
making it easier to sue journalists, the proposal is also being positioned to spark a larger legal battle withRead Story
Ex-MSNBC host Krystal Ball says she was told to get network boss’ permission before criticizing Hillary Clinton
Former MSNBC host Krystal Ball claims she was given a slap on the wrist for criticizing Hillary Clinton leading up to the 2016 election, and was told that if she wanted to continue criticizing Clinton on air, she needed to obtain approval from the network’s president.
Ball’s comments came during an episode of Joe Rogan’s popular “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, where Ball is a regular guest.
“Shortly before I was let go, I did a monologue when Hillary ClintonRead Story
Playbill CEO pulls article detailing abuse of staffs at Broadway theaters: ‘We want people to go to the theater’
In an unprecedented move, the CEO of Playbill has pulled an article off its website that details abuse of front-of-house staff in Broadway theatres. The CEO, Philip Birsh, took things a step further by denigrating his writer and Editor-in-Chief calling the piece “salacious”, “clickbait”, and “exaggerated”.
Last Wednesday, Playbill published an exposé that detailed various accounts of abuse that front-of-house workers have had to endure in Broadway theatres. The abuse runs the gamut from verbal to physical. While the articleRead Story
Jenna Bush Hager selling luxury bedding upsets some NBC staffers concerned about news division’s credibilityRead Story
Help audience navigate news, listen to criticism among tips for covering police violence and protests with care
Take special care with coverage of police violence and protests
About our process: In putting together this post, we pulled from resources we’ve published, added wisdom shared by journalists and addressed frustrations we’ve seen from news consumers. We also were mindful of the lack of racial diversity on our small team and are grateful to our partners at the American Press Institute for reviewing it and contributing suggestions.
Each time we’re faced with incidents of police brutality and resulting protests,Read Story
The Wrap: Video of attack on Paul Pelosi vindicates NBC’s Miguel Almaguer, who was disciplined for his story
Body-cam footage from the late-night attack on Paul Pelosi released Friday largely corroborated the early November reporting of correspondent Miguel Almaguer, who had his story retracted and was briefly suspended. But it doesn’t appear he’ll be getting any sort of public apology from the network.
In the days after the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was attacked, with details scant, police video under seal and conspiracy theories running rampant, Almaguer reported that arriving San Francisco police were unaware theyRead Story
Opinion: Should the government subsidize local media? There are some valid arguments in favor of doing soRead Story
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore has a backstory journalists love; they can’t ignore their role to hold him accountable
Opinion: Journalists must look past Moore’s appeal to hold him accountable
Legislative session will provide first test for new governor
NABJ: Report on Memphis police brutality case with ‘accuracy, responsibility, sensitivity, fairness, and support’
What will matter most during this news cycle is accuracy, responsibility, sensitivity, fairness, and support. News executives and managers must ensure that the reporting produced under their leadership follows the pillars of journalism and unapologetically tells Tyre’s story through a careful lens of the Black community. They must make it a priority to be intuitive about what is seen, heard and read by their audiences. And they must immediately activate and sustain resources to help ensure that the mental healthRead Story
‘Face the Nation’ moderator Margaret Brennan cuts off congressman’s attempt to employ bothsidesism
‘I’m asking about you’: CBS host shuts down GOP lawmaker’s attempt to ‘both sides’ election denial
On Sunday morning’s edition of Face the Nation, United States Congressman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) reverted to a “both sides” response when pressed by CBS moderator Margaret Brennan on how he felt about having Republican members of Congress who aided former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election serve on powerful House committees.
Declining trust in news media making whistleblowers less likely to go to journalists to expose wrongdoing
She found that whistleblowers were drawn to journalists because of the overlap between their own motives and their perception of journalists’ motives — keeping the powerful in check and advocating for the public interest. Their goal was to produce social change, so the name recognition and status of the journalist they approached played an outsized role in their criteria for trust.
Two other criteria were unsurprisingly significant: a commitment to protect their identity and substantial subject matter expertise. What’s moreRead Story
‘Innovative’ news startups usually aren’t. They may seem so at first but then return to status quo. Why?
We live in a golden age of national media startups. Every week another group of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed media personalities launches another cleverly branded news site to solve all of American journalism’s problems.
So why do all these sites sound the same?
Why do political news sites, begun with lots of fanfare about how different and innovative and disruptive they plan to be, end up covering the same stories covered by every other established media source?
Why are they allRead Story
Gun violence victims tell researchers news coverage of shootings dehumanizing; report recommends changes
‘Like I’m a nobody’: Breaking news coverage of shootings is dehumanizing and delays progress, per new Temple study
The first-of-its-kind report, which interviewed gun violence victims, suggests instead thematic reporting that identifies broken policies and institutions.
Episodic media coverage of gun violence can dehumanize victims and force them to relive their trauma while also undermining support for public health solutions, according to a new research study out of Temple University Hospital.
“This study is the first of its kind thatRead Story
New Jersey’s new information literacy law to help students ‘weigh the flood of news opinion, and social media’
New Jersey becomes first state to mandate K-12 students learn information literacy
The Senate version of the bill’s lead sponsor, Republican Sen. Mike Testa, said the new law will help students “weigh the flood of news, opinion, and social media they are exposed to both online and off.”
Amid a worrying rise in internet misinformation and political conspiracy theories, New Jersey students are poised to become some of the most informationally literate in the country.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday
Journalism shouldn’t just expose problems, it should explore ways for residents and officials to solve them
If journalism is part of the problem, can it be part of the solution?
It is not enough for stories to expose problems to societal problems; they should explore how people tackle those problems
Enter solutions journalism. We need to be showing our audience — those who are already aware, those who maybe started off caring but have become psychically numb — that there are people, communities, tribes, organizations, etc. out there working on, experimenting with, learning from both successfulRead Story
Journalists pushing back on false and misleading statements, refusing to become conduits of misinformationRead Story
Santos story highlights struggles of the journalism industry and importance of a commitment to finding truth
The Santos story shows the truth matters. And so does journalism.
A more cinematic C-SPAN covering Congress might entice politicians to constantly strive for viral moments
The Case Against a More Cinematic C-SPAN – Mother Jones
As my colleague Tim Murphy wrote for the magazine, we live in a post-Trumpian era teeming with shitposters, lawmakers clamoring for virality with a shamelessness that can only be judged as repulsive. C-SPAN was created to undo such media distortion. But, in the blog era, that’s harder to imagine: Everything is fodder for a post. Adults who run our country now obsess over ways to appear in headlines claimingRead Story
Small Long Island newspaper raised questions about Santos before election; national media failed to followRead Story
News outlets struggle to effectively address misinformation for their most digitally savvy news consumers
Addressing misinformation with audiences under 40: An industry challenge
Most people under 40 are digital natives, they know their way around the internet and they’re acutely aware of the degree to which people are manipulated online.
What can news organizations do to help these generations get factual and trustworthy information amid a torrent of falsehoods coming at them every day?
It’s not an academic question. People in this age group are troubled by misinformation,
Falling prey to manipulators?: Media seem to be making same mistake with Musk that they made with Trump
hey are consumed by spectacle and fail to recognize the larger issue: they are being manipulated with the goal of making them submissive.Read Story
Why should we care about chaos at Twitter? Though imperfect, the social media platform fills a local news gap
Why should we care what happens to Twitter?
Group urges Senate to prioritize passage of the PRESS Act, which protects journalists from disclosing sources
The time between an election and the inauguration of a new Congress — or the lame duck, as it is affectionately known — is ironically a time when things can happen on the Hill, in part because departing members don’t have to worry about reelection, and Congress has to agree on certain must-pass bills (the National Defense Authorization Act, for instance) before year’s end. This year, the Senate has a unique opportunity to pass a landmark federal shield bill thatRead Story
Retired NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams discusses ethics and covering the U.S. Supreme Court
Pete Williams, newly retired from NBC News, is revered by journalists, government officials and the public for his thoughtful and trusted reporting. During almost 30 years at NBC News, Williams covered the U.S. Supreme Court and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.
Williams graduated from Stanford in 1974 and worked as a reporter and news director for KTWO television and KTWO radio stations in his hometown of Casper, Wyoming, after graduating. He later began a career on Capitol HillRead Story
ABC News takes ‘GMA3’ anchors Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes off the air amid allegations of a romantic affair
‘GMA3’ anchors Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes taken off the air following report of romantic relationship
Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, co-hosts of ABC News’ “GMA 3,” have been taken off the air following the public disclosure of a romantic relationship, network President Kim Godwin announced to staffers on Monday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“I’m going to talk about something that has become an internal and an external distraction: The relationship between two ofRead Story
New Jersey poised to require public schools to teach media literacy to K-12 students to combat misinformationRead Story
News outlets worldwide report on protests in China while state-run media there provide almost no coverage
Unprecedented protests in China are making headlines around the world, except inside China
The censors are working overtime in China.
In a rare show of anger at the Chinese Communist Party, thousands of protesters have amassed in the streets of more than a dozen Chinese cities in recent days calling for an end to strict Covid lockdown measures and political freedoms.
It is one of the top stories — if not the top story — for major news organizations aroundRead Story
NY Times, other media call on US to drop Assange charges, worried about criminalization of some journalism
New York Times, other media call for Assange charges to be dropped
The outlets warned the case could criminalize U.S. journalists’ work exposing government secrets
New York Times and four leading European news organizations called on the Justice Department to drop criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, warning in an open letter Monday that the case could criminalize U.S. journalists’ work exposing government secrets and potential wrongdoing.
The New York Times and four leading European news organizations called on
Media Matters shows how news outlets handled Trump’s attempt to overturn 2020 election and his 2024 run
How news outlets handled Trump’s 2020 coup attempt in their reports on his 2024 run
There will be many opportunities during former President Donald Trump’s effort to return to that office to assess whether traditional mainstream outlets have learned how to cover the former president and his supporters. Today, let’s look at how those outlets treated Trump’s unlawful effort to subvert the 2020 election — which culminated in the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol — in their reports onRead Story
Re-examining crime coverage: It’s easy to confirm but re-enforces racial stereotypes, pushes aside other issues
Local news needs to examine its addiction to crime stories and how that coverage is pushing aside other serious issues — the economy, cost of living, growing national divisiveness, among them — that viewers want to hear more about.
I was taught that one definition of news was that which is aberrant or out of the norm. But by repeatedly covering crimes of all kinds, we have turned the aberrant into the norm. Now I am not suggesting we abandonRead Story
NBC reporter Miguel Almaguer suspended over Paul Pelosi story that hinted right-wing conspiracy theories
NBC News Suspends Reporter Over Retracted Story On Paul Pelosi
An NBC News correspondent has been suspended after his Today report on the details of the attack on Paul Pelosi was later retracted by the network.
Miguel Almaguer was suspended pending an internal investigation, The Daily Beast reported. A source confirmed the suspension.
An NBC News spokesperson said that “as a matter of practice, we do not generally comment on personnel matters.” Almaguer did not respond to a requestRead Story
Nevada Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo bars some local media representatives from attending his victory speechRead Story
A problem with election news coverage: It’s largely prediction-based, ignores information voters actually need
But even if media predictions were correct, they represent a style of political reporting that is dysfunctional. Campaign coverage is increasingly focused on anticipating who will win through polling analysis. But politics is unpredictable, and polls are not nearly precise enough to predict the outcome of a close contest.
Polls have a number of limiting factors. Pollsters can’t know for certain if the people who answer the poll are representative of the population that will actually vote. Most pollsters endRead Story
Fox News, other conservative media can’t understand why ‘red wave’ of winning GOP candidates didn’t happen
Fox News Is Having a Meltdown Over the Election Results
Right-wing media simply cannot understand the election results.Read Story
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ProPublica reporters honored for ‘outstanding’ work that amplifies SPJ Code of EthicsRead Story
Details in NY Times reporter’s book raises questions about withholding information from daily news reportRead Story
The Guardian columnist: ‘Objective’ CNN seems to be making moves intended to draw Fox News viewersRead Story
Judge sides with Oregon reporter arrested for refusing to go to media staging area, dismisses trespass chargeRead Story
Chief political analyst for Atlanta news station WSB fired for calling Trump ‘orange face’ during broadcast
Bill Crane fired as WSB political analyst over Trump remark (ajc.com)Read Story
In last column, Sullivan acknowledges improved political coverage, calls on ‘dedicated truth-tellers’ to do more
In last column, Sullivan praises improved political coverage, calls on ‘dedicated truth-tellers’ to do moreRead Story
Deggans: CNN should ‘call out prejudice and stereotypes,’ avoid false equivalence as way to appear apolitical
A plea to CNN: NPR’s Deggans suggests network avoid use of false equivalence as a way to appear apoliticalRead Story