June 4th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Ethics Toolbox
Ethics: Should journalists show the faces of protesters?
Taking photos or video of protesters and people marching or demonstrating in public spaces is a right afforded to journalists under the First Amendment. In the United States people have a right to information. Journalists help fulfill that right to information by responsibly reporting on what is happening in communities across the country.
April 8th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Code Words, Ethics Toolbox
Ethics: Answering questions about COVID-19 coverage
At the Society of Professional Journalists, we talk a lot about how your ethical standards should not change no matter the medium or type of story you are producing. While covering COVID-19, the same is true: Ethics apply no matter the medium.
A Stanford University study found most middle school students surveyed couldn’t tell native advertisements from news articles. As concerning: Many high school students couldn’t distinguish between a real news source and a fake one on Facebook. “When I started in 2011, there was not any concept that media literacy was needed in the 21st century,” according to Erin McNeill, founder of the national Media Literacy Now organization.
Using social media platforms in a newsroom can be a love/hate relationship for many of us. It seems we are constantly debating what to share, how much to share and when to share. I’ve always been a “social media supporter” in newsrooms.
“I was sitting there, choking. I couldn’t breathe.” Davis Winborne, a freelance photojournalist, remembers the night he and several other journalists were forcefully loaded into a van by police while covering a protest in St. Louis last September. “All of a sudden, there were no cops around us,” he said.
Filed a federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but ran into a few bumps? The Society of Professional Journalists wants to help.
Government Accountability Project released a guide for journalists detailing best practices for working with whistleblowers.
August 28th, 2017 • Quill Archives
Lynn Walsh: Lessons from the ‘Enemy of the People’
Joy and excitement, anger and frustration, inspiration and hope. These are all emotions that have flooded through me during my term as SPJ president. And I wouldn’t take back any of those moments for anything. It has been an honor to represent all of you and speak out on behalf of journalists in support of a free press, government transparency and ethical journalism.
June 14th, 2017 • Quill Archives
Lynn Walsh: SPJ challenges journalists to engage and inform
Broadway had a new star in late April: the SPJ Code of Ethics. In case you missed it, the SPJ Ethics Committee, led by Chairman Andrew Seaman and SPJ headquarters staff, launched a campaign that was front and center on jumbo screens in New York City’s Times Square.
One of the biggest “aha moments” I’ve had since joining the national SPJ board occurred while visiting South Florida several years ago. I was invited to speak on a panel, representing SPJ and the Code of Ethics. The purpose was to discuss journalism ethics with gaming journalists, bloggers and enthusiasts.
February 22nd, 2017 • Quill Archives
Lynn Walsh: Protect Press Freedom So The World Can Be Free
“I am here because I believe that the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others. I am here so that my son when he is grown will not have to fight or die in a land not his own, because one man or group of men try to take his liberty from him.
Scum. Liars. Disgusting. Corrupt. All words the public and journalists heard during what could very well be the most divisive election we’ve ever seen. While the U.S. presidential race may be over, the wounds are still healing. And while President-elect Donald Trump seems to be softening on some of his campaign promises, he has yet to back off the media.
Wow! My first column as president of the Society of Professional Journalists. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous and a lot excited. But mostly I am grateful and honored to serve you and have an opportunity to be a representative voice for journalists.
Regardless of whether you live in or near a border town, immigration issues are moving to the forefront of people’s minds. And for good reason: Immigrants are coming to the United States at higher rates today than they were during the 1900s.
A county council in Maryland made an announcement in October that grabbed my attention: It was launching a new digital tool to track and share the results of state public information requests. My first reaction: Pretty cool; it’s about time; more organizations should do this.
Public records and the information and data that come from them can be invaluable to your stories and can take your reporting to the next level. This is true for all journalists, but particularly important for young and early-career reporters trying to make their work stand out.
The Florida legislature passed a bill last year that requires training for constitutional officers. That would include people like the governor, sheriffs, county commissioners and school superintendents. It’s a four-hour training requirement and has to address the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees and the state Sunshine Laws.
Are you a journalist? Are you regularly “gathering,” “collecting” or “preparing” information about “matters of public interest”? You may think the answers to these questions are easy or should automatically be yes. But what if you had to prove that you were a “journalist” to be protected by the proposed federal shield law?
Sometimes hearing or just seeing “FOIA” can put you in a tizzy. Yes, the Freedom of Information Act and similar state laws can be hard to work through. And yes, it is a law, which can be intimidating on its own.
With all of the Facebook posting and Twitter updating (not to mention getting your stories to air or publish and, oh yeah, eating and trying to have a social life), who has time to think about the future? Believe me, I get it.
Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare or the hundreds of other social media sites online, new technologies are changing the way we work as journalists. For a lot of us this means more work and more tasks being crammed into a short amount of time.
It’s the end of yet another year, and as the holiday season begins to consume our lives and singers of the past attempt to entertain (or haunt) us with holiday music downloads, “best of” and “worst of” lists are taking over the radio, television and Internet.