Journalists Worry About Publishing Too Much Information

(Wikimedia Commons)

Jeff Jarvis tackles the question of how ethical and shrewd it is for the media to publish things like a map of gun permit applicants.  Some journalists, like David Carr and Jim Wilse (who Jarvis says is the “best American newspaper editor [he’s] ever worked with”), have felt uneasy about such releases.

Jarvis comes to a different conclusion: “It is not up to journalists to decide what gun permits are public information.  It’s up to us as citizens to decide that, as a matter of law.  If there is something wrong with that, then change the law.  If society is not comfortable with making that information public, then don’t try to make it somewhat public, public-with-effort…There’s no half-pregnant.  In the net age, there’s no slightly public.”


China Better at the Internet than Most Journalists?

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Over at Poynter, Tom Rosenstiel talks about China’s recent censorship protests.  “It is telling that the protests in China this week over government control involve a newspaper and censorship–not a military tank in a public square.”  About half of China’s population is online.  Rosenstiel discusses how the web causes interesting fractures in what kind of information gets shared (many Chinese willing to talk movies and music, very few about politics).  While the web provides an equalizer of sorts (or the opportunity for equality) in international information trade, repressive governments find a way to study and adapt to new technologies (better, faster, stronger than journalists?).

Poynter Symposium Talks Digital Journalism Ethics

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For those hoping that the in-depth journalism of the near future doesn’t only revolve around Storifies:

Poynter held a symposium in October that hoped to discuss the ethics of journalism in the digital age.  Instead of hopping into the usual conversations about accuracy and objectivity, several journos wrote about how preoccupied they became with discussing the formation of a new depth and humanity to digital pieces.  How do you fit a moving profile onto a smart phone?

Craig Silverman argues that journalism should always be rooted in empathy, not technology, and another Poynter piece shows journalism compassion in action in a piece about life on a South Dakota Indian reservation.