Ethics, Social Media Discussed at LA Journalism Conference
(L-R) Dan Evans, Jeff Wald, Alice M. Walton, SPJ LA pres.,4th Dist. LA Councilman Tom LaBonge, SPJ LA member and Frank Mottek, KNX and past SPJ LA pres.
Long before Social Media and the Internet took off, budding and seasoned journalists were bound by strict rules like, “attribution before assertion, get three sources to confirm facts and when in doubt, leave it out.”
At the 2012 SPJ Spring conference at the Hilton, Universal City, print, TV and radio journalists gathered over the weekend to learned what’s new and what’s next. One of the keynote speakers was Glendale New-Press Editor Dan Evans, who reminded all journalists at the conference to double check your facts; as we continue our need for speed, there’s also need for accuracy.
“I want people to give real thought to what they do, and why they do it,” Evans said. “Everything is not a knee-jerk reaction, things need to be thought through in that the impact of the decisions we make can affect hundreds of thousands of people for good or for ill, and we have to understand why we do what we do.”
Evans also observed that Social Media has had good and bad impact on journalism.
Alice M. Walton, 2012 President of the Society of Professional Journalists, Los Angeles Chapter agrees.
“We are getting into the mode of thinking we can make errors if we can get it out quickly, and just correct later,” Evans explained. “That means people are getting a lot of information, and sometimes the wrong information, which is bad information. The trend I’ve noticed is (some writers) are getting sloppier as they get faster.”Continued on the next page