This is not a ritual for me where you just come on camera and say you’re sorry and hope to move on. I’m truly sorry about what happened. I believe deeply in good journalism and fair journalism and I am determined to learn from this episode and minimize the chances of anything like this happening again.
Though plagiarism and fabrication remain a worry for editors, more likely these days is a problem that could arise from the misuse of social media, in which journalists have unfiltered, unedited publication channels. And beyond the actions of individual journalists, The Times faces previously unimagined risks to its credibility as it experiments with new ways to replace advertising revenue, which continues to shrink.
For the first time in its history, the New York Times published an investigative project in both English and Spanish.
“A Drug War Informer in No Man’s Land,” about a former Mexican police chief turned DEA informant abandoned by the U.S. government after he provided information that linked Mexico’s military to drug cartels, ran in yesterday’s print and online editions.
“Un Informante de la Guerra Contra el Narcotráfico en Tierra de Nadie,” only ran online, but it marks a first for the NYT.
Investigations editor Christine Kay came up with the idea. ‘I was surprised the paper had never run a story in Spanish prior to this,’ she says. ‘Ginger Thompson’s stories on Latin America often are translated and run on the front pages of papers there. So we thought, why not provide a Spanish-language version of her story and drive readers to our own site instead. We are interested to see how much traffic the Spanish version gets.’
If you’re interviewing people for your job, and you haven’t interviewed a woman, don’t hire until you’ve at least interviewed one woman. And if your recruiter can’t get you resumes that are diverse, find another recruiter,
Sarah Allen, computer programmer and founder of Blazing Cloud, challenges those who argue that it is difficult to find female programmers.
Allen runs free workshops on Ruby on Rails for women, offering the trainings on weekends and providing childcare. She has worked to create an environment where women feel welcome and notes, “Every single workshop we’ve ever held has had a waiting list.”
Read more about Allen’s programming career and her work to diversify the field: Blazing The Trail For Female Programmers : All Tech Considered : NPR. This is part of NPR’s special series The Changing Lives of Women.
Looking for more workshops? Check out Code With Me, a coding workshop which was co-founded by female programmer Sisi Wei.
Congratulations to the 12 journalists and innovators who have just been selected to be U.S. Knight Fellows. This diverse group includes “fellows coming from daily newspapers, online publications, tech companies and even an academic institution” who will “explore proposals that touch on many aspects of journalism: improving accuracy in reporting on Islam, raising the profile of indigenous perspectives on the news, engaging citizens in local food coverage, helping the public better understand data visualization and getting news quickly to communities hit by disaster.”
A special congratulations to Cindy Royal, associate professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University, who is one of the leaders of ONA Austin and Shazna Nessa, former deputy managing editor, editorial products and innovations, Associated Press, who has been involved with ONA for years. Nessa has served on the selection committee for the AP-Google scholarship for two years, has been on the selection committee for the Online Journalism Awards and will be speaking at one of ONA’s workshops at the upcoming GEN News Summit in Paris.
Read more about the fellows and their projects.
Sara Morrison at CJR has written a touching piece about Jessica Lum, a young journalist and Online Journalism Award winner who passed away last year.
As a college senior, [Jessica]’d already decided that she was going to be a journalist who told people’s stories honestly and powerfully, using words, photos, videos, and design; and that nothing—not the recession, the bleak journalism job market, nor the rare, incurable cancer with which she’d just been diagnosed—would stop her.
Brian Boyer, News Applications Editor with National Public Radio, discusses the importance of knowing your audience and the right questions to ask when building a digital product in his ”Coding for the Future“ presentation at West Virginia University.
The video is just over five minutes and presents excellent examples for building stuff that fits into how people live their daily lives. This presentation was part of the panel series “Coding for the Future: The Rise of Hacker Journalism,” featuring six hacker-journalists, and MediaShift has pulled together more resources and audio from the event.
Brian will be one of the leaders at the upcoming ONA dCamp, which focuses on news innovation and design. We’ll be brainstorming, collaborating and building new projects at the Washington Post on May 11. Today is the application deadline, so apply now.
Family Sues Cox Media for Using Photo of Their Son for “Retarded News” Segment
Nashville couple Bernard and Pamela Holland didn’t even take the photograph. It’s a nine year-old image of their son Adam as a teenager, smiling broadly as he holds up a drawing he made in art class. It’s a photo that’s now generated an $18 million lawsuit.
The Hollands filed the suit against Cox Media, claiming “invasion of privacy, misappropriation of likeness, defamation and emotional distress” after the image of Adam, who was born with Down Syndrome, began appearing as a punchline on various Web sites. Most notably, Cox’s Florida radio station WHPT-FM’s Cowhead Show reportedly altered the photo of Adam to make it appear he was holding a sign touting its “Retarded News.”
The station’s director has apologized, sort of, by issuing an email that says, “The segment ‘Retarded News’ is designed to highlight odd stories that are seemingly always in the news. Stories such as botched bank robberies and failed crimes. These stories are NOT about disabled individuals.” I guess if you’re using the image of someone with Down Syndrome on your “Retarded News,” but not actually talking about people with Down Syndrome, he thinks it’s somehow okay.
Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon: Stop mocking Adam Holland.
Image: A nine-year-old photo of Adam Holland, via Salon
Salman Rushdie, Chair of PEN World Voices Festival 2013, writes about the bravery of writers and artists:
It’s a vexing time for those of us who believe in the right of artists, intellectuals and ordinary, affronted citizens to push boundaries and take risks and so, at times, to change the way we see the world. There’s nothing to be done but to go on restating the importance of this kind of courage, and to try to make sure that these oppressed individuals are seen for what they are: men and women standing on the front line of liberty. How to do this? Sign the petitions against their treatment, join the protests. Speak up.