Magazine article The Quill

Quill THROUGH THE YEARS

Magazine article The Quill

Quill THROUGH THE YEARS

Article excerpt

NOTES ON:

April 2005

SUBSCRIPTION RATE:

$7 per issue/$39 per year

WHY DID THEY DO THAT?

The April 2005 issue of Quill was the annual look at ethics. One feature article highlighted case studies of ethics issues in journalism compiled by John Clark and Marla Miller. Newsroom leaders make difficult decisions involving ethics all the time. Editors explain their decision process when ethical issues are at hand. The ethical issues covered included graphic photos, naming victims, creating the news and plagiarism. Reading what editors had to say when faced with a tough ethical dilemma is beneficial to editors facing similar situations today.

After the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, Boston police fired plastic balls filled with pepper spray to disperse rioting crowds. A photo showing journalism student Victoria Snelgrove hit by one of the balls was published by the Boston Herald. Snelgrove later died. Arthur Pollock, associate photo editor, said he decided to publish the graphic photo because it "showed the readers the full impact of the event."

In another case study, two Colorado newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News and Daily Camera, named an alleged victim of sexual assault, but only when legal charges were dropped and a civil lawsuit began. Their reasoning was that "fairness requires both parties be named when reporting on a civil lawsuit."

Corpus Christi Caller-Times editor Libby Averyt made the mistake of creating the news by sending in a reporter to help with a police sting. "For us to maintain our watchdog role, we should not get involved in law enforcement activities and will not in the future," she said of her mistake. …

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