BY WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / Top editors of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have written a letter to the editor of the Gateway Journalism Review taking issue with a recent story about the paper’s “Jailed By Mistake” investigation. The GJR is publishing the entire letter to provide the newspaper a full airing of its views and because the letter is an extraordinarily detailed defense of a major newspaper project.
The St. Louis Police Department has instituted a new mobile fingerprint identification system in its North, South and Central Area Stations, as well as at the St. Louis City Justice Center, to help avoid wrongful arrests, according to Chief Sam Dotson. The new fingerprint technology was put into the stations after a series in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last year maintaining that about 100 people had been arrested mistakenly over a seven-year period, serving a total of 2,000 days in jail.
The head of the union that represents reporters and other workers at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says employees of Lee Enterprises – rather than its chief executives – deserved bonuses. In March, Lee Enterprises refinanced $800 million of its debt relating to its 2005 purchase of Pulitzer Inc., owner of the Post-Dispatch, extending the time in which its loans must be repaid. Employees at Lee’s 46 newspapers shouldered a major share of that loan repayment through layoffs, furloughs and buyouts, frozen wages, elimination of some benefits and higher costs for others.
Michael Sam is a story. Gay marriage is a story. Our culture is changing. Maybe the media noticed and are trying to be more accepting.
“Media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth.” That is what Amy Goodman, host of the award-winning program “Democracy Now!” told a group of more than 150 people at special Gateway Journalism Review event March 29.
It now is evident that Ukraine has been noted on the world’s map by a vast majority of Americans. From “somewhere near Russia,” it has moved to “between Russia and the European Union” – and this awareness happened thanks to coverage in all renowned national and local media in the United States and beyond. Since December, Ukraine’s political crisis has shown how some media play with information and how journalism is dependent on geopolitics.
A film that recounts the Joplin Globe’s coverage of the deadly tornado that devastated that southwestern Missouri city in May 2011 has won the China Academy Award for Documentary Film in the Foreign Language category. The Missouri film, “Deadline in Disaster,” beat competition that included a National Geographic project that focused on the decade of the 1980s and a BBC documentary on the history of the world.
The longtime student newspaper at Webster University, the Journal, was facing an uncertain future this spring as the administration’s budget axe was about to swing. The weekly Journal, reporting on its own chances of survival, said its 30 issues a year might be cut to four or five in the 2015 budget, and the number of student staffers receiving pay could be cut from 10 to two. Some students and faculty believe the administration is upset over controversial stories the Journal has done, and one way of putting a clamp on the upstart newspaper is through the budget. But this is disputed by Webster’s public relations spokesman, Patrick Giblin.
April Fools’ Day is getting harder and harder for readers of the news. Which story is meant as a joke of the day and which tells real news? This year, a look at stories in England and the United States reveals just how tough it has become to tell them apart.
BY ERIC P. ROBINSON / In a case that offers a reminder that material found online cannot simply be reused without regard to copyright considerations, a federal jury in Manhattan awarded a photographer $1.2 million in November against a news agency that, without the photographer’s permission, distributed photos he had posted to Twitter. American copyright law provides that a creative work is protected by copyright the moment it is created, and is owned by either its creator or, if the item created was a “work for hire,” the creator’s employer. This copyright protection persists even if the creator makes the work available on the Internet, and even if it can be easily downloaded and copied. Downloading, copying and reusing a work found on the Internet without the owner’s permission is infringement, unless the copying or reuse is covered by the “fair use” principle extended to uses such as news and education, as long as the use is not overly extensive and does not substantially harm the potential commercial market for the work.
BY EVETTE DIONNE / After reading a news report about a 60-year-old rape victim, Twitter user, Christine Fox (@steenfox), posed a simple question to her 17,000 followers: “What were you wearing when you were assaulted?” Hundreds of Twitter users shared their stories with Fox, and exposed a split in how journalists interpret the ethics of using tweets.