Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tweeting Philip Seymour Hoffman


“In its ethics code, the Society of Professional Journalists has an entire section on ‘minimizing harm,’ guided by the principle that ‘ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.’ The section cautions reporters to show compassion and be sensitive when investigating a tragedy. It urges them to ‘show good taste’ and ‘avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.’

“Increasingly, ‘minimizing harm’ is becoming a quaint concern, a nostalgic vestige of a bygone era in journalism. Now, breaking news is breaking us. We’re cycling through tragedies at lightning speed and without affording ourselves the adequate time to reflect and to grieve. The pursuit of journalistic expediency is eroding our empathy, and readers are left the worse for it.”

—Stacia L. Brown on the rush to tweet first on tragedy, even before family members have been informed, “How breaking news is breaking us: The rush to report Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death,” Slate, Feb. 3, 2014

• Editorial Comment: Hypocrites, not Hippocrates.

PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Cala Curl

PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
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