I think that audience should be considered in editorial decisions to a certain extent. One example of this is if you’re assigned to write a political article. If you’re audience is mainly conservative, they might not respond well to you writing something about a liberal politician or the newspaper sharing liberal ideas.
A benefit of considering your audience when it comes to editorial decisions is that if an article is written that the audience knows about, they might be more likely to engage with the article and newspaper. One ramification of considering your audience is that most likely you’ll be editing your article for the majority of your audience, while there may be some in your audience that don’t feel the same way as the majority.
According to “The Audience-Oriented Editor: Making Sense of the Audience in the Newsroom”, the audience is actually considered to be making editorial decisions for the newspaper when they interact with the articles online. The article also explains how the editors balance the civic and citizen demands of news. This means that the journalists are expected to keep a balance of what the audience needs to know and also putting in information that they think the audience would want to know.
Raul Ferrer-Conill and Edson C. Tandoc Jr., “The Audience-Oriented Editor: Making Sense of the Audience in the Newsroom,” Feb. 23, 2018.
Upon reading Covering the Moment of Death in War, I do agree with the U.S. defense secretary, Robert Gates, about how the AP shouldn’t have published the picture. I don’t believe the picture of Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard dying should have been published because it went directly against his fathers wishes. Since the article explained that the AP reporter, Julie Jacobson had taken pictures of Bernard before he was killed, I think one of those pictures should have been used. While I understand the photo might have helped people see what the cost of war was, I don’t think the family of Bernard wanted other people to remember him like that.
Even if the Marines had given me permission to publish the photo, I still would have chosen a different one to publish. I think what a family wants is more important than what the Marines say is okay.
I don’t think much would have changed my mind about not using that picture, unless the family said it was okay. Or if someone higher up was really insistent on having the picture published for whatever reason. If either of those two things happened, I would publish the photo but put a warning at the beginning of the article to warn people about the picture that was coming up. Another reason I might publish the picture is if I’m allowed to only publish it online instead of in the paper as well.
Covering the Moment of Death in War, page 180 from Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice by Patrick Lee Plaisance
After scrolling through the fake news options, I decided to look into the one that was titled “Donald Trump sent his own plane to transport 200 stranded marines”. The article was published by www.americanmilitarynews.com. The original article was removed by American Military News, but they did write another article about why it was removed and it mentions Sean Hannity’s tweet. While American Military News removed the article, Sean Hannity’s website still has the story up.
American Military News explained that the story that Hannity had been told was slightly different, that Trump did not send his own personal jet. A Boeing 727 was sent that was owned by Trump’s company, Trump Shuttle Inc. While the story wasn’t completely false, it does make it hard to believe stories that American Military News posts about Trump in the future. The fact that Sean Hannity also still has the story up despite the story being proven false also shows that maybe he doesn’t check fully for something to be fake news or if it’s true.
I don’t think a reporter should attempt to ‘friend’ someone on social media to get additional information from them. I don’t think a reporter should do this because if the reporter sees something like a post or something the person has shared, they could attempt to use that to add to their story.
One example of using information that wasn’t given willingly is an article by Helen Lewis, when she writes about how journalists are starting to face more and more ethical problems with reporting using data that was taken by leaks or hackers. Even though someone ‘friending’ a source might not be hacking or leaking information, they’re still using information that wasn’t provided to them by the person who they’re looking up on social media.
I think that if a reporter needs more information on a person, they should reach out to the person over email to interview them again or to gain more information that’s needed. This is probably more ethical because people put personal stuff on social media that they might not want people outside their friend group to know. I also think that if a reporter ‘friends’ someone, they might forget to unfriend them and have to write a story about them later on again and they might be bias depending on how much they interact on the social media.
Lewis, Helen. When Is it Ethical to Publish Stolen Data? Neiman Reports.