Posts Tagged ‘ethics


Social Networks: Rules of engagement for journalists | Redes Sociais: Regras de acção para jornalistas

by luc legay

The New York Times established a set of rules for reporters to deal with the ethical and method issues raised by social networking.

The importance of social networks like Facebook, MySpace, or even Twitter for reporting, has become priceless for both media companies and journalists, that benefit from them by promoting their work and gathering information. Yet, to befriend or to expose  users,  use private information, or show a bit too much of the reporters’ personal views can be tricky.  In the still virgin and fertile land of social networking, journalism still hasn’t found the right procedures to develop work under clear ethical guidelines.

To help journalists to avoid falling into the many traps posed by the new relations brought about web2.0, the NY Timesassistant managing editor, Craig Whitney, has devised a small set of policies, to protect the image, credibility and impartiality of the newspaper.

The rules in a nutshell by Patricio Robles:

  • Don’t specify your political views. This includes joining online groups that would make your political views known.
  • Don’t write anything you wouldn’t write in The Times on your profiles, a blog or as commentary on content you share.
  • Be careful who you ‘friend‘. Since this is a tricky subject, The Times suggests that its reports “imagine whether public disclosure of a ‘friend’ could somehow turn out to be an embarrassment that casts doubt on our impartiality.
  • Using email addresses found on social networks to contact individuals is fine but the standard rules apply: treat the person fairly and openly and don’t “inquire pointlessly into someone’s personal life.
  • The Standards Editor must be consulted before contact is made with a minor.

The spanish written blog Paper Papers has an interesting point about the need for these rules:“The text is strict and demanding – and it’s written in a positive tone. You can see that the NY Times is one of the few newspapers that understands in these media there is a very delicate game between credibility and influence. And they care. Good.

I say: a journalist is a liberal professional that works for an organization. (…) What matters to us is the right of the citizens to be informed, not my freedom of speech (My opinion!; I like it / I don’t like it; I think it’s good! / I think it’s bad!).

In this professional context, working for a news company means to limit personal options that would be open if working to another company – or outside journalism. ”

There are too many questions lurking along the way, and they will have to be dealt in a case by case basis.  The potential of reporting using social networks is huge, but so are the perils and the responsibilities.

Kelly McBride has left some suggestions for a healthy use of this power at PoynterOnline. Read them, and let me know how they can be useful in your organization or how they fall short for your needs.

O New York Times estabeleceu um conjunto de regras para os jornalistas saberem lidar com as questões éticas e de método levantadas pelas redes sociais.

A importância de redes sociais como o Facebook, MySpace, ou mesmo o Twitter para o jornalismo tornou-se valiosíssimo quer para as empresas de media quer para os jornalistas, que ganham ao poder promover o seu trabalho e recolher informação. No entanto, adicionar ou expôr utilizadores, usar informação privada, ou mostrar demasiado a perspectiva pessoal do jornalista pode tornar-se complicado. No ainda virgem e fértil terreno das redes sociais, o jornalismo ainda não encontrou os procedimentos correctos para trabalhar sob uma clara  linha ética.

Para ajudar os jornalistas a evitar as várias armadilhas postas pela web2.0, o editor assistente do NY Times, Craig Whitney, definiu uma série de regras, para proteger a imagem, credibilidade e imparcialidade do jornal.

As regras resumidas por Patricio Robles:

  • Não especifiquem as vossas inclinações políticas. Isto inclui juntarem-se a grupos online que as demonstrariam.

  • Não escrevam nada nos vossos perfis, blog ou comentários em conteúdos partilhados,  que não escreveriam no The Times.

  • Tenham cuidado com quem adicionam. Como este é um assunto complexo, o The Times sugere aos jornalistas para “imaginar se a revelação de um amigo pode se tornar num embaraço que possa lançar dúvidas sobre a nossa imparcialidade.”
  • Usar moradas de email encontradas em redes sociais para contactar indivíduos é correcto, mas as regras básicas aplicam-se: tratem a pessoa de forma justa e aberta e não “questionem inutilmente sobre a sua vida pessoal.”

  • O Editor de Padrões tem que ser contactado antes de qualquer contacto com um menor.

O blog Paper Papers tem um ponto de vista interessante sobre estas regras:

“O texto é severo e exigente – e está escrito numa nota positiva. Podemos ver que o NY Times é um dos poucos jornais que compreendem que nestes meios há um jogo delicado entre credibilidade e influência. E eles preocupam-se. Bom.

Eu digo: um jornalista é um profissional liberal que trabalha para uma organização.(…) O que nos interessa é o direito dos cidadãos à informação, não a minha liberdade de expressão (A minha opinião!; Gosto / Não gosto; Acho que é bom / mau;)

Neste contexto profissional, trabalhar para uma organização noticiosa significa limitar opções pessoais, que estariam abertas noutra empresa – ou noutra actividade fora do jornalismo.”

Existem demasiadas questões à espreita pelo caminho, e teremos que lidar com elas numa base de caso a caso. O potencial do jornalismo através das redes sociais é enorme, mas também são os perigos e as responsabilidades.

Kelly Mc Bride deixou no Poynter Online algumas sugestões para um uso saudável deste poder. Leiam-nas e digam como é que elas podem ser úteis na vossa organização, ou como são insuficientes para as vossas necessidades.

  • Don’t post information that could embarrass you or your newsroom, even if you believe your page is private.
  • Use the tools, such as limited profiles and privacy settings, to restrict access to your most private information.
  • Recognize that your actions can be misinterpreted. You may sign up for a group to get story ideas, but people may see you as a fan. State your intentions often, in wall posts and other notifications. When appropriate, tell groups when you are signing up that you are looking for story ideas.

Post suggested by | Post sugerido por

Mary Jo Zilveti

Continue a ler ‘Social Networks: Rules of engagement for journalists | Redes Sociais: Regras de acção para jornalistas’


Links for today | Links para hoje

If you’re editing a news site, are you publishing what users want or what you have?

Assuming you have what users want, are you organizing it the way your users would want it organized? Or is it organized based on some legacy notion like print sections? Or worse, is it displayed based on the org chart?

Startup news sites are fighting an uphill battle against established media brands. But one advantage they have is the ability to put the user first in their content and layout decisions, without the burden of prior procedures.

I only need to look at the increase of twitter followers, new blogs and fresh faces that have appeared since christmas to know that journalists are really fired up about online. They love twitter and blogging and RSS. Once they get excited by slideshows or video or maps they want to try them.  The avalaunche of new apps that appear on the web news of which spread through their newly followed feeds appear as a tweet are the biggest most exciting toy box imaginable. They have stories they want to tell.

Then they go in the office and it grinds to a halt.

That great stuff they tried on their blog the night before needs a form signed in triplicate, a request to central support and good dollop of patience. By then the stories dead and a little bit of the excitment has died with them.

Things were simpler a decade and a half ago, when the three daily newspapers that landed on my doorstep (all paid for) were what I needed.

Not any more. For any given story, other than perhaps the truly local, there are dozens of sources and there’s no single source that covers it best day in and day out. When I’m following a story, I’ll go through as many as a dozen websites and, for different stories, they are not always the same ones.

I’m hardly unique. Increasingly, it’s the way people inform themselves. And that’s where part of the idea of paying for the news breaks down substantially. How many subscriptions should have to I buy to cover the part-time creation of value?

As newspapers struggle to sell their content, which in most cases can be found online for free, David Carr of The New York Times asks why the news industry as not followed Apple’s model for iTunes.

itunes-scrn.jpgThe iTunes online music store sold more than 2.4 billion tracks last year, according to the NYT.  The most important thing to retain from this number, according to Carr, is that “Apple has been able to charge for content in the first place,” even though music can be downloaded for free online (illegally, of course).

Their success is a combination of an easy user interface, cooperation within the music industry and a solid business model.  The question is can the model be transplanted?

If you run a website you’re going to want to manage your content. You might use an Enterprise CMS, an open source CMS, a blogging platform or a bespoke app, and as you might expect at the BBC the same rules apply. Except some of us have been trying out something a bit different — using the web as a content management system.

3. That there is a difference between link journalism and ‘cut and paste’ journalism (aka plagiarism).

4. That your readers are smarter than you think. In fact, many are smarter than you – they know more than you do.

5. That churnalism is much easier to spot online. If you do this regularly, your readers are already on to you – merely re-writing press releases without bringing anything to the table no longer cuts it.

Before you read any further, you need to know that I am a strong supporter of the Palestinians who thinks the state of Israel is an imperialist construct and an outpost of American projected military power in the Middle East. I’ve come to the conclusion that journalists have a moral responsibility to say as much and to predicate all their reporting of the current Gaza conflict, as well as coverage of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and the associated “terror frame” of news analysis on this controversial starting point.

In other words, I believe in what Martin Bell calls the “journalism of attachment”, rather than feeble attempts at objectivity, which is, in and of itself, a form of inbuilt and largely unconscious bias.

Continue a ler ‘Links for today | Links para hoje’


Confiança e integridade | Trust and integrity

Profile picture of Chris Cramer, Reuters News, global editor of multimedia
Chris Cramer

Numa recente apresentação na Nottingham Trent University, Chris Cramer, consultor na Reuters depois de uma carreira de 11 anos na CNN, abordou dois conceitos chave na produção jornalística: confiança e integridade. Mas o seu discurso vai muito mais longe do que as questões éticas e enquadra-as nas perspectivas global e tecnológica actuais. Uma intervenção para ler e reflectir.

A transcrição da apresentação pode ser lida aqui.

In a recent presentation at the Nottingham Trent University, Chris Cramer, consultant at Reuters after as 11 year career at CNN, talked about two key issues in journalistic production: trust and integrity. But his speech goes way beyond than just ethic questions but he frames them in the current global and technological perspectives.His intervention is a great source for reflection.

The full transcript of the presentation can be read here.

So I’d like to talk today about what role the media can play in a changing world and what its responsibilities should be.

Is it a passive window on the world, an inanimate mirror which reflects simply what is happening or does the media have a true social responsibility beyond getting ratings and readership and making profit? Can the media and journalists make the world a better place? Or are they just lazy tools of a fickle society?

Have readers and viewers and consumers lost trust in the mainstream media and do they now prefer to gather their own information via the internet and blog sites?

‘Trust and integrity in the modern media’ – Chris Cramer’s speech to Nottingham Trent University

Continue a ler ‘Confiança e integridade | Trust and integrity’


Ética, direitos e liberdades na web | Web ethics, rights and freedoms

O texto de Edward Wasserman no Miami Herald levanta questões pertinentes sobre ética nos novos media. Deixem-me reformular: sobre ética. O facto de ser nos novos (actuais) media não tem diferença nenhuma, em relação aos “antigos” media. O que se nota nos dois casos que ele refere é uma falta de respeito não só aos intervenientes como aos métodos de trabalho que norteiam e credibilizam a actividade jornalística, seja ela exercida por cidadãos ou profissionais. Porque o valor corrente de qualquer jornalista é a sua credibilidade.

Na alteração do paradigma comunicacional, e com a transformação do público em produtor de conteúdos, o papel das organizações de informação também se alterou, passando de produtoras a gestoras, moderadoras e agregadoras de informação. A ética está presente em qualquer uma das situações, e no caso da notícia sobre o Steve Jobs o que se nota é uma falta enorme de profissionalismo, já que uma das partes mais importantes no processo é a verificação de factos.

A culpa, que tem forçosamente de ser atribuída a alguém já que a distribuição de informação errada pode ter consequências muito graves, é dos editores que, ou confiaram demais na ânsia de terem um “furo”, ou então não souberam aplicar os valores básicos que se aplicam quando se trabalha na indústria de informação noticiosa.

Os “bons velhos valores” de que Wasserman fala não são velhos,mas parecem andar esquecidos e moldados a interesse de cada um. Mas numa sociedade de informação omnipresente,quase omnisciente e de alta velocidade, qualquer imprecisão ou erro grosseiro é rapidamente exposto, com consequências graves na confiança dos utilizadores, que têm muito por onde escolher como fonte de informação.

A solução? Passa pela formação pessoal, logo, este é um problema social moderno, já que todos podemos participar e influenciar o processo informativo, e vê-se muita gente mal formada por aí . Não é só uma questão profissional, trata-se de algo intrínseco nas pessoas, que podem usar este novo poder para o bem comum ou não. Às organizações compete fiscalizar os processos de obtenção e distribuição de informação, em vez de virar costas às suas responsabilidades para dar um ar de modernidade.  É a sua imagem que está em risco.

PS: Não falo do caso de Alana Taylor porque já se falou demais e de forma exagerada. Ela não pediu autorização para blogar sobre a aula, mas o que ela diz não é contraproducente, pelo contrário, é uma crítica correcta e equilibrada às aulas que lhe custam a pagar. Havia de haver estudantes em Portugal a blogar o que se passa nas aulas das suas Faculdades para vermos como o ensino funciona no nosso país, e os professores também haviam de ter os seus, para percebermos como as novas gerações estão mal preparadas.

Como extra, sigam esta recomendação dada no para “o número relativo ao Outono de 2008 (vol.7, n. 13) da revista Global Media Journal quase todo ele dedicado ao direito à comunicação, uma matéria pouco conhecida e trabalhada entre nós”. Para  ler aqui.

Edward Wasserman’s text in the Miami Herald raises proper questions about ethics in new media. Let me rephrase that: about ethics. The fact of happening in the new (current) media makas absolutely no difference, regardind  the “old” media. What we can notice in both cases he mentions is a lack of respect not only to the participants but also to the work methods that guide and give credit to the journalistic activity, wether it be carried out by citizens or professionals. Because the value of any journalist lies in his credibility.

With the change in the communication paradigm, and with the transformation of the audience in content generators, the role of the news organizations has also changed, turning from producers to news managers, moderators and aggregators. Ethics is present in any of this situations, and in the Steve Jobs affair, what we see is a huge lack of professionalism, since one of the basic steps of the process is fact checking.

The blame, that must be appointed to someone since the distribution of mischievous information can have serious consequences, belongs to the editors that, or trusted too much in the eager desire for a scoop, or didn’t know how to apply those basic values that are to be applied when oyu work in the news business.

The  “good old values” Wasserman talks about are not old, but seem to have been forgotten and shaped to each one’s interest. But in a ubiquitous almost omniscient and   high velocity information society, any imprecision or gross mistake is quickly exposed, with grave consequences in the users trust, that have a lot of information  sources to choose from.

The solution? Goes through personal formation, so, this is a modern social problem, since we can all participate and influence the news process, and we can see a bunch of ill prepared people around. It’s not just a professional matter, it’s something inherent to people, that may or may not use this new power for the common good. It’s up to the organizations to verify the processes of gathering and distribution of information, instead of turning their back to their responsibilities just for the sake of looking modern. It’s their image that is at stake.

PS:I won’t be talking  about the Alana Taylor situation, because it has already been discussed too much. She didn’t asked to blog about the class, but what she wrote is not counterproductive, au contraire, it’s a fair and well balanced critic to the school she has to pay. There should be more students blogging about their classes to show what is going on in their expensive courses, and how university teaching works, and  teachers would have blogs too, so we could understand how badly prepared these new generations are.

As an extra , follow this recommendation from Jornalismo&Comunicação to “the Fall 08 edition(vol7, n.13) of the global Media Journal, almost entirely dedicated to communication law.”

Read it here.

Twice in recent weeks big news outfits embarrassed themselves when affiliated Internet operations ignored basic principles of journalistic practice. What’s apparent is that although legacy media may regard their Web sites as domesticated showcases for traditional work, heeding the same rules, the Internet is no petting zoo. It’s a wilderness, and the wildlife has free-ranging ideas of their own about what they should be doing.

The first case involved CNN’s, a citizen journalism site that encourages the public to offer information and commentary, unfiltered by pesky editors. A posting Oct. 3 from someone called ”johntw” reported that Steve Jobs, chief executive of technology giant Apple Inc., had suffered ”a major heart attack.” He hadn’t, but in a jittery market Apple’s share price dropped to its lowest point since May 2007 during the 12 minutes it took for another blogger to phone Apple and quash the report.

Plainly, false rumors have been moving markets since long before the Internet. The information was corrected quickly, and company shares bounced almost back. But harm was done. One contributor to Silicon Valley Insider calculated that with three million shares traded at $7 under the closing price, buying at the bottom — if you knew the Jobs report was false — netted $21 million.

Boring old values and the New Media

via Opinion: Ethics of New Media- Editor’s Weblog

Continue a ler ‘Ética, direitos e liberdades na web | Web ethics, rights and freedoms’


Ética no Jornalismo Online | Online Journalism Ethics

O sempre atento Hélder Bastos refere no seu Travessias Digitais o livro Online Journalism Ethics: Traditions and Transitions de Cecilia Friend e Jane B. Singer. Esta obra aborda, entre outras,  uma questão fundamental que é a credibilidade de quem informa num mundo em que todos podemos produzir informação.

The always attentive Hélder Bastos made a reference in his blog to the book Online Journalism Ethics: Traditions and Transitions by Cecilia Friend and Jane B. Singer. This book talks about, among many other issues, the fundamental question about credibility of journalists in a world where anyone can generate information.

«A questão mais profunda, e uma que é central neste livro, é esta: Quem é verdadeiramente jornalista? Nós pensamos que a ética fornece o ponto crucial da resposta. Na nossa sociedade, um jornalista é alguém cujo primeiro objectivo é providenciar a informação de que cidadãos de uma democracia necessitam para serem livres e auto-governados: alguém que age de acordo com um firme compromisso com o equilíbrio, justeza, auto-domínio, e serviço; alguém em quem os membros do público possam confiar para os ajudar a entender o mundo e a tomar decisões razoáveis sobre as coisas que importam. No aberto, participativo, e gloriosamente estridente mundo online, são estes princípios abrangentes – e os modos concretos como são colocados em prática no dia-a-dia, por jornalistas individuais em todo o mundo – que estão a definir o jornalista e a determinar o futuro.» (Cecilia Friend e Jane B. Singer, Online Journalism Ethics: Traditions and Transitions).

Via Quem é verdadeiramente jornalista?, Travessias Digitais

A ler a review feita pelo Rogério Christofoletti sobre este livro (em PDF) . Obrigado pelo link Rogério.

Continue a ler ‘Ética no Jornalismo Online | Online Journalism Ethics’

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Junho 2023