Sanfordb1's Blog

{September 15, 2011}   Production Assignment 5
  1. Please define the following terms:

•    ethics
•    libel
•    slander
•    public figure
•    private citizen

2. Choose six (6) of the following activities to respond to in your blog.

•    A reporter has discovered that elected school board members have increased their salaries by over 25 percent by taking money away from other school district services. Should the media report on this? Why?
•    The editor writes an editorial urging students to show their support for a moment of silence by remaining quietly in their seats for five minutes after homeroom has ended next Monday. The principal says that this portion of the editorial must be removed before the editorial may be published. Have students write a paragraph stating whether or not they agree with the principal and why.
•    A candidate for public office, a reporter discovers, was put on trial for alleged aggravated robbery almost 15 years ago. He was acquitted. Is this of relevance to the media during the current election? What obligation dos the media have to report such things?
•    Find five examples in local papers of when stories were written because the people affected needed to know what was going on.
•    Does the media have an obligation to report on things that people want to know about or just things people need to know about? Find an example of each.
•    What is your school newspaper’s policy on using anonymous sources in a story? If you don’t have one, write one using policies obtained from professional papers as a guide.
•    When you’re acting as an editor, a student reporter comes to you and says she has a fellow student who was offered some illegal drugs from another student. This student wants to write a story about it. What difficulties would she face.
•    Research the Hazelwood case and determine whether you would have published the stories discussed in the case or not. Why?
•    What are the defenses against libel? (truth, fair comment, admission of error). Have students write up a scenario for each one in which the reporter would be guilty of libel.
•    To successfully sue for libel, a person must prove defamation of character, that the person was clearly identified, that the information was published, that the information was false and that the person charged is to blame. You read a story in the newspaper that a friend of yours committed a crime according to a witness. You know it’s not true. How would you go about building a libel case?


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