Would releasing the news on an official channel — even without family notification — help clear up confusion and offer confirmation instead of allowing unconfirmed speculation to fester? And couldn’t it be argued that that would be more respectful of the families?Phillips Media Training founder Brad Phillips • Discussing the way that some media outlets have failed to wait until a piece of news has been officially confirmed by the police—in some cases before even next of kin has been informed. That’s what happened yesterday when the Wall Street Journal reported on the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Salon notes.
There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.Associated Press President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt • In a letter, sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, denouncing the Justice Department’s decision to acquire the phone records of AP journalists as well as a number of the wire service’s offices over a two-month period. The move came as a result of a 2012 AP story which leaked the news of a foiled attack on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. The move, which followed the Obama administration’s general policy of trying to shut down leaks, nonetheless was disowned by the White House. “We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.” The move has been condemned by many journalists.
This is not a ritual for me where you just come on camera and say you’re sorry and hope to move on. I’m truly sorry about what happened. I believe deeply in good journalism and fair journalism and I am determined to learn from this episode and minimize the chances of anything like this happening again.CNN “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz • Apologizing, at extreme length, for his erroneous reporting about the Jason Collins story as well as his sloppy overall reporting in recent years. Kurtz, who left his job at The Daily Beast last week, said that his departure from the publication was amicable and mutual, and already in the works before the Collins situation broke. Kurtz, who also faced conflict-of-interest questions over his ties to a small-scale site called The Daily Download, spent a full fifteen minutes atoning for his journalistic sins this morning, according to Politico.
There’s also a question of journalistic ethics. Luntz requested that the remarks remain off the record; while a journalist who was in the room verbally agreed to this request, Abbi (who isn’t a journalist) and Mother Jones (who wasn’t present) did not. So are they still bound by it? Does a request to remain off the record amount to a decree, or must it be agreed to? Regardless of where you stand, it’s a fuzzy area. Meanwhile, Luntz has withdrawn a scholarship in his father’s name since the remarks leaked.
I have decided that I will not be able to serve a second term as a Successor Fellow of the Yale Corporation. I am reexamining my professional life and I have recognized that, in order to focus on the core of my work, I will have to shed some of my other responsibilities.Time and CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria • Revealing to Yale President Richard C. Levin his plans to resign from the school’s governing board, weeks after he received a major professional scare — getting suspended from his two main gigs after getting caught plagiarizing. (Both CNN and Time eventually accepted him back.) Zakaria likely had too much on his plate: “My service at Yale is the single largest commitment of time, energy, and attention outside of my writing and television work,” he also wrote in his note. Levin graciously accepted the note and thanked the journalist for his work.