"What kind of journalism are we getting if every part of your life is only a mouseclick away from being splashed across the front page of a national paper?" Press Gazette quotes Cooper as saying. Clearly, taking information that has been made public online is very different to phone-hacking, which involves stealing private information, but it is still using information that was not provided for journalistic purposes. As journalists frequently have less time to report, due to both financial pressures and the need to break stories online quickly, this kind of "short-cut journalism," using social media to find out about individuals, has increased, the study said.
One example is that "death knock" missions are becoming less common, Cooper said. Another Press Gazette article from February 14 reported on a study that found that personal visits from journalists following sudden deaths may be more welcome to families than relying on social media. A lack of attention on behalf of the press has left some families feeling as if the death of their loved ones had been ignored, found Jackie Newton, of Liverpool John Moores University, and Dr Sallyanne Duncan, of the University of Strathclyde.
This study suggested that the intense scrutiny on journalism prompted by the phone-hacking scandal could mean that reporters might be more likely to avoid talking directly to bereaved families.
In the current media ecosystem of Twitter, News of the World, and a failing news economy, how can your newsroom maintain credibility while everyone else seems to be losing theirs? Aidan White, Director of the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), insists the answers to maintaining a journalism worthy of democracy’s highest ideals can be found by reassessing ethics standards – a task which is much harder to implement in practice.
Late last week, TechCrunch writer MG Siegler broke the news that Apple was buying an app-discovery service called Chomp — although he didn’t say where that news came from, just that it was a reliable source. The Wall Street Journal reported the same news several hours later, confirmed by an Apple source, but didn’t link to Siegler, who then wrote a profanity-laced tirade criticizing the WSJ for its failure to include a link to him in its story (we at GigaOM, meanwhile, wrote about why the acquisition made sense for Apple, and credited TechCrunch with breaking the story).
I’ve argued before that I think this failure to link is a crucial mistake that mainstream media outlets make, and also an issue of trust: since the Journal must know that at least some people saw the Siegler post, why not link to it? The only possible reason — apart from simply forgetting to do so — is that the paper would rather try to pretend that it was the first to know this information (and it also apparently has a policy of not linking if a WSJ reporter can independently confirm the news).
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