FROM Kelly McBride
The Ethics of True Crime True crime has long been a popular niche in books and TV. Now it’s a mainstream obsession, thanks to new storytelling formats.The latest example is the 10-part Netflix series “Making a Murderer.” Before that there was the HBO series “The Jinx”... and before that the podcast “Serial.” All these works re-investigate old murder cases, sometimes turning up new evidence. This kind of journalism can be a public service. It’s also full of ethical pitfalls. What are they?
The LA Times and "Sponsored Content" The LA Times, cooperating with the Columbia School of Journalism, recently published a hard-hitting series on Exxon. It exposed the oil giant for casting doubt on climate change and opposing emission controls at the same time its own researchers were proving that climate change was real. But investigative reporting was not all that the Times was up to. It was also creating a website for the California Resources Corporation, formerly Occidental Petroleum, with articles and videos supporting the oil and gas industry.
Journalists and the "Scooter" Libby Trial Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan originally told reporters that political mastermind Karl Rove did not leak the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Today, a federal judge allowed videotape of the briefing to be played in the "Scooter" Libby trial , a case the Los Angeles Times says is really about the " ugly mutual exploitation " between government and the news media. Testimony has revealed how the Bush Administration manipulated reporters--and how reporters went along. It's a sordid story that's more about political payback than the public's right to know, but it could have consequences. Reporters have been required to reveal their sources despite promises of anonymity. Will that discourage potential whistleblowers? Are reporters too eager to protect official sources in pursuit of scoops? How does the public know what to believe?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."