A few months ago, the New York Stock Exchange and IBM made a big joint announcement about a new technology platform. There was nobody available in my newspaper’s offices to cover the event, which was taking place just a few blocks away.
In 2001, former Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff writer Khalil Abdullah was fired for plagiarism. He went on to work at The Macon Telegraph in Georgia – where he recently was fired again, for the same offense. Later investigations showed that he had, in fact, been a serial plagiarizer at both papers.
Now that the first part of the election cycle is winding down, journalists are taking a short breather between the primaries and the presidential campaign itself. Along with catching a breath, we can also take time to evaluate our coverage so far.
Oleg Panfilov is the director of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations (CJES), founded in 2000 by the Russian Union of Journalists in order to defend media freedoms in the Russian Federation. Maria Trombly recently met with him in Paris to talk about the issues facing Russian journalists today.
In May, nine legitimate journalists were stopped while trying to enter a country. They were repeatedly questioned, fingerprinted, searched, handcuffed and held overnight in cells. Then they were deported to their countries of origin without being given a chance to appeal the decision, or even to apply for a temporary visa on the spot.
My name is Maria, and I’m addicted to war. I had my first taste of combat shortly after I turned 23, in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. From then on, war was my constant companion, friend and spiritual adviser. Whenever I returned from a war zone, I would immediately start planning my next trip out.
The Internet boom brought with it a set of buzzwords for the online news industry – “page views,” “eyeballs,” “site visitors.” Back in those heady days of the year 2000, the goal was to get as many visitors as possible. Those publishers who thought the idea of giving away content was crazy put up “brochure-ware” sites, or stayed out of the game altogether.
For many journalists, public relations agents are the used car salesmen of the communications industry. They will do what it takes to get you to buy a story pitch – supply you with experts, find case studies, put you in touch with the company’s CEO.
Since Sept. 11, American journalists have been walking a fine ethical line. On the one hand, there are grim warnings about spilling military secrets, undermining national security and consorting with the enemy. Not to mention the fact that it’s pretty hard to criticize a politician with a 90 percent approval rating at a time when the nation is swept up in patriotic fervor.