Yesterday, we shared the mission of an ONA working group that aims to tackle the five key ethical challenges of social and digital newsgathering, starting with the first two, Verification and Accuracy, and Contributors’ Safety (read the post here). Today, we pick up where we left off:
3. Rights and legal issues
When do we have the right to share user-generated content on our platforms — to publish it, to distribute it, to embed it?
There’s a growing body of law around what is and isn’t fair game for news organizations to use. But it can be confusing, and every case is a little different. Also, there may be circumstances where the legal right to use someone’s content may not mean it’s the right thing to do, given the value of the work that’s been created.
Whether covering a plane crash or a war, the Oscars or the Olympics, today’s journalist needs to carry an oversized bag of reporting tools to gather the news accurately and effectively. And you’d better leave lots of room for social tools, given the powerful role social newsgathering now plays in discovering important information and content, especially when news breaks where there isn’t a professional journalist in sight.
The opportunities presented by these tools are endless and exciting. But a news landscape with deep social integration is also riddled with ethical concerns. So how can a journalist robustly engage in social newsgathering while remaining loyal to the central principles of ethical journalism?
ONA welcomes our new Digital Director
We’re delighted to introduce Trevor Knoblich, who joined us this week in the role of Digital Director.
Trevor comes to us from FrontlineSMS, a Knight News Challenge winner, where as Media Project Director he built relationships with journalists and media companies seeking text-based mobile solutions worldwide and developed training and media-specific products for use in developing countries.
His prior experience saw him traveling around the globe to coordinate emergency response for Lutheran World Relief, and doing investigative reporting as Associate Editor for the Risk Policy Report, Inside Washington Publishers. He holds a BS in Journalism, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Ohio State University.
Last chance! Apply for $1M Challenge Fund
If you haven’t submitted your great, collaborative idea for the first round of grants from the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education, make sure to to get it in by this Thursday, Feb. 13. The challenge: Hack the journalism curriculum using customized versions of the teaching hospital model. Up to $1 million in funding will support universities in partnering with news organizations to explore new ways of providing information to their local communities. Micro-grants of up to $35,000 each will be awarded to 15 to 25 projects during the 2014-2015 academic year.
A lot has happened in journalism since 1999, the year ONA’s founders met at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and decided to build an organization dedicated to digital journalists and the work we do.
Since then, ONA has grown along with you, the media community, facing challenges and grabbing opportunities amid so much change and disruption. Digital journalists once in the corner are now found at all levels in newsrooms small and large, doing innovative work, attracting audiences and supporting journalism as a whole.
And the future looks so bright. I’m delighted to be part of what’s ahead as ONA’s new president. I’m honored to serve with Jody Brannon, newly elected Vice President at our January board meeting; Josh Hatch, continuing as Treasurer, and Mandy Jenkins, new to the executive committee, as Secretary.