For about 24 hours in March, it looked as though the fierce, long-running debate over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic might be close to resolution. First with the story was reporter Katherine J. Wu of The Atlantic, in a March 16 piece entitled “The Strongest Evidence Yet That An Animal Started the Pandemic.”
Susan Glaser, travel editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com, still wistfully recalls her final pre-COVID trip before the world went into lockdown and tanked her livelihood. “I went to northern Kentucky to visit a bourbon trail right before everything shut down,” Glaser said.
Violations of journalism ethics come in a variety of types, many of which were committed in 2021. Some happen because of bad judgment, some are committed by journalists who know they are wrong and some come from maintaining the status quo without question.
An Oklahoma City TV station reported in September that local emergency rooms were turning away gunshot victims because they were inundated by victims of ivermectin overdose. Great story — and one fitting into the media narrative debunking the myth that ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medicine used for livestock, can be used as a COVID-19 preventive.
September 1st, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog
As theaters reopen, film reviewers face critical decisions
As movie theaters start reopening in North America, the place deemed a sanctuary by audiences has become a potential hotbed for infections. Cinema chains and independents have developed new cleaning methods and plans for social distancing, but filmgoers can choose to stay home and wait for films to arrive on-demand or to appear on streaming platforms.
August 28th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Pulling up anchors: Hiring broadcast talent in COVID-19 times
The pandemic forced lots of changes to the collection and presentation of TV news. Sources, instead of pontificating to a visiting reporter, now chime in from their home offices via Zoom. And anchors, instead of literally rubbing elbows with their peers on the studio set, are just as likely to broadcast from home as well.
August 13th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Future of in-flight magazines remains up in the air
For decades, well-thumbed copies of inflight magazines were as much a fixture on commercial airliners as peanuts and absurdly tiny pillows. They typically nestled in seat-back pockets next to the barf bags, offering a few minutes of distraction to one of the most captive of captive audiences—fliers sealed inside a pressurized tube cruising at 40,000 feet.
June 26th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog
With fields and arenas empty, sports writers take on hard news
Normally, Ava Wallace can be found interviewing the Washington Wizards players for The Washington Post, but she recently covered a Black Lives Matter protest in Louisville when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. Alex Putterman, the University of Connecticut football beat writer at the Hartford Courant, hasn’t written a sports story in months.
It’s really difficult to describe how distressing and exhausting the past week has been for many black people and black reporters — and far more difficult to explain why. But as a black man and a black journalist, I feel the need to try.
Whether we went to journalism school or worked our way up through a series of hard-nosed editors, we all were taught that the job is to tell people the news so they can react to those facts as they will — not to tell them how to feel about it.
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.
Can you show a decrease in your journalism income because of the current pandemic? Freelance journalists nationwide including sole proprietors, independent contractors and the self-employed (for example, S Corporation owners) might now be entitled unemployment benefits in their state. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the provisions of the unemployment program have been expanded to help provide temporary monetary relief for freelance journalists and other workers who illustrate a decrease in income resulting from the effects of the current pandemic virus on business operations.
March 23rd, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog
Hicks: Trump among challenges of accurately covering COVID-19
Journalists are encountering numerous challenges as they report on the coronavirus outbreak. One is the president of the United States. President Donald Trump spent the early days of the virus’ arrival on the homeland denying it would have much impact here.
March 18th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Toolbox, Quill Archives
Hicks: Groups urge care, precision in coronavirus reporting
Journalists covering the coronavirus have produced compelling, informative stories, but along the way, there have been mischaracterizations, inaccuracies and absent nuances. An ABC News story posted to its website incorrectly implied the terms coronavirus and COVID-19 can be used interchangeably, a common mistake.