Ginsburg and ethics

There’s ethics, and then there’s ethics. Ethics of the first order – legitimate ethics – have a solid philosophical basis. Ethics of the second order often have little to do with ethics, but instead are client and/or financially driven. True ethics often center on Immanual Kant’s “categorical imperative,” or duty, to be true to one’s…

From Brexit to Trump

Except for a recent Rutgers University study* finding most British newspapers tended to advocate the United Kingdom exit the European Union, Gateway Journalism Review has found little if any research indicating how the media played the Brexit story. While no social science data were apparently collected on the American media’s coverage of this issue, anecdotal…

500,000 extra copies

Sunday was a big sports day in the United States. For the first time ever, a National Basketball Association team came back in the finals after being down 3-1. That same team defeated the Golden State Warriors, which had a 73-9 win-loss record in the regular season. And GSW were implausibly beaten in game seven…

A call for responsible reporting of irresponsible speech

For generations, American journalists have been fooling themselves – and their audience. Unwittingly perhaps, but still fooling themselves. On the one hand reporters – whether print, broadcast, cable, or social media – have trumpeted their U.S. Constitutional, First Amendment “right” to have the personal, individual freedom to report on and publish virtually any and every…

Is environmental reporting improving?

Are the media doing a good job of covering the environment? Answering this question is not as easy as it might seem.  Following Earth Day in 1970 the media ratcheted up their environmental coverage. But many legacy media today, nearly a half-century later, no longer have environmental reporters, or if they do, such journalists often…

A foul call

Sports reporters are having a heyday with Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley’s recent post-season slide into New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.  Most sports media pundits agree Utley went in too late and too high. As a result, Tejada’s right leg was broken. Sports pundits now are debating whether or not Major League Baseball’s chief…

Times fails media ethics 101

BY WILLIAM A. BABCOCK// Just when you thought it safe to follow the news without yet another Ferguson-related story, the New York Times and Fox News have entered the mud-fighting fray.

Fox’s Howard Kurtz, hardly an unbiased Fox News Channel journalist, accused the Times of making a “reckless move” in publishing the approximate address of Darren Wilson, the police office who shot and killed Michael Brown in August.

Redskins and Chief Wahoo – What’s a journalist to do?

By WILLIAM A. BABCOCK// How should the media portray Indian nicknames and logos? Before even going there, consider:
• A few years ago the journalist telephoned the chief of Minnesota’s Ojibwa Nation. He told the chief he was reporting on Native American gambling. The chief immediately responded, “Stop right there. Only you liberal white boys call us ‘Native Americans.’ It’s ‘Indians,’ got it?”

• A young woman from a Midwest Indian reservation was asked in class what she thought about the Cleveland Indians baseball cap with the toothy, red-skinned, feather-bedecked “Chief Wahoo” logo. She responded, “That’s the most popular cap on our reservation; it’s worn by lots of kids. We know the logo’s stereotypical. We’re not stupid. What’s the big f***ing deal?”