Ethical practice underpins the journalism profession. Codes of conduct, student textbooks and newsroom policies repeat the assertion ad nauseum. But what does ethical practice mean when the journalism is being undertaken by a social network? What does it mean when eyewitness reports can reach audiences at the same time as newsrooms, or when the entire process of writing a story can be automated? Advancements in smartphone technology, artificial intelligence and virtual reality increasingly impact the way news is discovered and reported, whilst social distribution platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are moving squarely into the journalism space. This talk will explore the most important trends in digital journalism today focusing on the ethical challenges being faced by editors, product managers and audiences alike. Using real-life scenarios as well as drawing on current research about newsroom and platform practices and policies in this area, this presentation will consider how new these ethical challenges really are.
About Claire Wardle
Claire Wardle is the Research Director at Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism. She is one of the world’s experts on user-generated content, and has led two substantial research projects investigating how it is handled by news organizations. In 2009, she was asked by BBC News to develop their Social Newsgathering and Verification training programme. She went on to train over 3000 journalists in newsrooms around the world. She was also the Director of News Services for Storyful, and Head of Social Media Strategy at UNHCR. In October 2014, Wardle co-founded Eyewitness Media Hub, a non-profit initiative committed to providing content creators and publishers with continuing research and resources. Wardle holds a PhD in Communications and an MA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She also sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Media.
About the George Gerbner Lecture
The annual George Gerbner Lecture in Communication was established in honor of Dr. Gerbner who retired as Dean of the Annenberg School at the end of the 1988 academic year. The annual lecture is typically given by an Annenberg School alumnus. In 2016, it will be delivered by Claire Wardle, Ph.D. (Gr'04).
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