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February 27, 2012
With these words, NPR commits itself as an organization to avoid the worst excesses of “he said, she said” journalism. It says to itself that a report characterized by false balance is a false report. It introduces a new and potentially powerful concept of fairness: being “fair to the truth,” which as we know is not always evenly distributed among the sides in a public dispute.
Maintaining the “appearance of balance” isn’t good enough, NPR says. “If the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side…” we have to say so. When we are spun, we don’t just report it. “We tell our audience…” This is spin!
Rosen took a particular liking to lines like these: “Our goal is not to please those whom we report on or to produce stories that create the appearance of balance, but to seek the truth.” Read NPR’s ethics guidelines and consider it for yourself.
11:13 // 2 years ago
September 7, 2011
Michael Arrington to AOL: You guys said editorial independence!
- cause Facing an editorial crisis caused by the announcement of something called the CrunchFund, AOL forced Michael Arrington to step away from his baby, TechCrunch, in an attempt to ease up on an apparent conflict of interest that gave Arianna Huffington fits.
- reaction Arrington isn’t having that. Earlier today, he reiterated the editorial independence AOL was supposed to give him. He gave them three options: Keep TechCrunch editorially independent, sell the site back to the shareholders, or he walks. Boom. source
0:06 // 2 years ago
September 2, 2011
As we wait to see just how involved Arrington will remain, as a media company that should supposedly hold up some sort of journalistic ethics, AOL is coming out looking quite sleazy.
The Atlantic Wire’s Rebecca Greenfield • Offering her take on the debacle revolving around Michael Arrington and TechCrunch. Here’s the issue we see, as outsiders: Michael Arrington has always been as much of a player in Silicon Valley as he’s been a journalist, so there’s always been a small conflict of interest there. But by making the “player” element a bigger part of his job title by creating a venture capital fund, he makes himself a target. But wait. Tech journalism is already incestuous and ethically broken. A few examples: Business Insider’s Henry Blodget was once a financial analyst barred from the securities market for fraud. The WSJ’s Kara Swisher is married to a female Google exec (which she discloses). And Gizmodo parent Gawker Media pays for stories that can draw millions of eyeballs to their sites. The difference is that AOL, which bought TechCrunch a year ago, is a big company that knows better. Or should. And the end result is that it makes AOL look really bad. source (via • follow)
13:13 // 2 years ago
April 29, 2011
The correspondents’ association dinner was a minor annoyance for years, when it was a ‘nerd prom’ for journalists and a few minor celebrities. But, as with so much else in this town, the event has spun out of control. Now, awash in lobbyist and corporate money, it is another display of Washington’s excesses.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank • Arguing that the White House Correspondents’ Dinner — an event once noted for its low-key approach and minor celebrity host — now has dozens of parties around the event, is flooded with money from lobbyist types, and has numerous celebrities looking to hob-nob with both politicians and the media. While Milbank doesn’t criticize its peers for the individual parties or any small aspect of the whole, he says that “the cumulative effect is icky. With the proliferation of A-list parties and the infusion of corporate and lobbyist cash, Washington journalists give Americans the impression we have shed our professional detachment and are aspiring to be like the celebrities and power players we cover.” And he’s right. That’s dangerous. source (via • follow)
12:18 // 3 years ago
November 7, 2010