Salt Lake Tribune Calls on Journalism Ethics Expert Prof. Bob Steele '69
July 25, 2011
July 25, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — "The other day we brought in one of those thoughtful academic types to advise us on ethics," writes Tim Fitzpatrick, editor of the Salt Lake Tribune. "We invited Bob Steele to our newsroom talk about journalism ethics in the age of Facebook and Twitter. But the ethical dilemma that generated the most discussion had nothing to do with whom to friend or when to tweet. Instead the hot button was what the Tribune should do about inappropriate and even cruel statements in online comments."
The column continues, "Steele, professor of journalism and director of the Prindle Institute (for) Ethics at DePauw University, thought news organizations might have erred with open comment systems. He goes to a lot of newsrooms, and reporters in particular can be among comments' biggest detractors, in part because the subjects of their stories can be smeared by uninformed commenters. So we have begun a review of our comments policy and platform, and as part of that we are asking what our readers think. We would like your advice on what changes, if any, we should make. I will report back later on what you told us and what may change."
Read more at the newspaper's website.
Robert M. Steele, a 1969 graduate of DePauw, is Phyllis W. Nicholas Director of the University's Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics and Distinguished Professor of Journalism Ethics. One of America's leading experts on media ethics, Dr. Steele was cited in yesterday's New York Times and chaired a task force that reviewed the ethics policy of NPR, as noted in this recent article.
Two DePauw students are interning at the Salt Lake Tribune this summer. Read more here.