Monday, April 23, 2018

Plagiarism has profilerated; you can avoid it

Giving credit to others enhances credibility, trust
We are not born knowing common courtesy. Someone has to teach us, and then we have to practice it.

We also are not born knowing what plagiarism is, and those of us who haven't learned to avoid it could be in big trouble.

Plagiarizing the work of others will get you expelled from a university, fired from a news organization, or dismissed from public office
The issue of plagiarism is especially relevant at the moment in Spain, where high-ranking officials in two major political parties have had to respond to evidence of plagiarism — here and here — revealed in investigative reports by the web publication and the TV station La Sexta.
(See some other examples at the end of this post).

Today it is so easy to copy and paste material digitally that some are getting sloppy and careless in newsrooms and academia.

Here are some guidelines:
  • On the most basic level, it's common courtesy. Don't take credit for someone else's work.
  • Put direct quotes in quotation marks and name the source. 
  • If you have paraphrased a direct quote, be sure to name the source at the end of the paraphrase. 
  • If you make extensive use of a source, mention the name of the author in every paragraph.

Monday, April 16, 2018

'Students, you will determine the future of journalism'

"You have to practice the values of independence and honesty." University of Navarra photo.

An icon of Spanish broadcast journalism, Iñaki Gabilondo, delivered a message last week designed to inspire and challenge 400 students and professors of journalism.
"The future hasn't been written yet:, he told them. "The question, 'What is going to happen?' is irrelevant. What will happen will be determined by what you do, what you don't do, and what you allow to happen."
Gabilondo, 73, was speaking at his alma mater, the School of Communication of the University of Navarra (class of 1963), where he also was a professor for several years. His eloquent baritone voice is well known to Spaniards after decades of presence on the morning radio news program Hoy por Hoy, roughly equivalent to NPR's Morning Edition.

He recently asked Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, how journalism can survive amid all the problems we face, including the collapse of the economic model, the loss of credibility with the public, and the misinformation, disinformation, and junk published everywhere.

Versión en español

The key, Baron replied, lies in practicing the values at the heart of the profession: editorial independence, credibility, honesty, and commitment to quality. "These are not just romantic ideas," Gabilondo said. "They are the essential elements of journalism. With these values you can move ahead. They are going to last."

These days Gabilondo does a brief commentary on the news via a video blog carried on the website of El País, the country's leading daily newspaper. But he recently did a series of video interviews titled "When I'm not around: The world in 25 years", with leading scientists and technologists around the world. So Gabilondo is more interested in looking forward than in looking back.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Restoring trust: Nieman Lab's helpful list of news credibility projects

These projects aim to restore trust.
In a blog post earlier this year, I wrote about the importance of Credibility as the new currency of journalism, its significance in an era of distrust of the media, and its economic value for high-quality journalism.

A big thank you to Christine Schmidt of Nieman Lab who has just produced a helpful list of news credibility projects. Among other things, it shows how the Knight Foundation is giving help to many of them.

Below is an abbreviated form of Schmidt's list, with a few details on each project. 

Trusting News
Participants/partners: Mainly local newsrooms, such as WCPO, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, St. Louis Magazine; also A Plus, Religion News Service, CALmatters, Discourse Media, USA Today

The Trust Project
Participants/partners: News outlets like the Washington Post, The Economist, the Globe and Mail, Mic, and Zeit Online; tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Bing; Institute for Nonprofit News

News Integrity Initiative, Based at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Participants/partners: The following groups received grants from the initiative’s first round of funding: Arizona State University’s News Co/lab, Center for Investigative Reporting, Center for Media Engagement, EducationNC, Free Press, Listening Post Collective, Maynard Institute, OpenNews, Public Radio International, The Coral Project; Internews and the European Journalism Centre have also received funding