Ethics conference honors Walter Cronkite, ‘the most trusted man in America’

Bob Bergland introduces a panel at the Walter Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics. Panelists discussed "Ethics in the Trenches" and included Derek Donavan, public editor of the Kansas City Star; Bridget Blevins, news Director of KQ2 television; Greg Kozol, digital content director of the St. Joseph News-Press; Ross Martin, editor of the Platte County Citizen and Adam Waltz, anchor and producer at Fox 26 KNPN. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Bob Bergland introduces a panel at the Walter Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics. Panelists discussed “Ethics in the Trenches” and included Derek Donavan, public editor of the Kansas City Star; Bridget Blevins, news Director of KQ2 television; Greg Kozol, digital content director of the St. Joseph News-Press; Ross Martin, editor of the Platte County Citizen and Adam Waltz, anchor and producer at Fox 26 KNPN. Photo by Bradley Wilson

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

In an era where decisions to cover something and to publish something can be made in second, not hours or days, college educators — and working journalists — continue to struggle with how to teach ethics and what to teach. Clearly, it is more than giving students a link to a code of ethics and putting them out on the streets.

To foster education in media ethics, Missouri Western State University hosted the Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics for the second year including academic presentations, panel discussions, lectures and open discussions on various aspects of ethics.

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Review: ‘Dynamics of Media Writing: Adapt and Connect’

Book finds common ground among writing styles for print, web, promotions, advertising and marketing

By Lindsey Wotanis
Marywood University

Anyone who has taught a required basic news writing and reporting course that serves as a core requirement for all communication majors—from journalism students to those in public relations, advertising, marketing, or even film—has likely heard the familiar groan, which is usually followed by a question like:

dynamics of media writing“Why do I need to take a news writing course if I’m studying for a career in marketing?”

The answer: Because in order to work well with others and achieve specific writing goals, media professionals need to understand the style and mission of their colleagues’ writing goals.

Beginning students often just don’t get it, but media writing teachers like Vince Filak do. Filak must have been sick of explaining this notion to students—and sick of hearing his colleagues groan about all the groaning—because he’s just published a new textbook called “Dynamics of Media Writing: Adapt and Connect” from CQ Press which is likely to help alleviate the frustration.

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Government officials reminded to be transparent in their actions

Sean Flynn, assistant United States attorney and deputy chief of the civil division, speaks during the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Bradley WIlson
Sean Flynn, assistant United States attorney and deputy chief of the civil division, speaks during the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Access to information sometimes takes a nudge, sometimes more

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

Perhaps nothing is more frustrating to a college media adviser or a student working on the college media than being told that they — or their students — can’t have information. Sometimes just a phone call to the appropriate person can resolve the problem but often members of the media have to resort to filing a public information request.

While public university attorneys and other officials — acting on behalf of the state government — sometimes delay and appeal to the state attorney general’s office, sometimes just the request itself can remind public officials that their jobs are supposed to be conducted in a transparent fashion accountable to the public.

When members of the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC met down at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in January, two federal government officials discussed the Freedom of Information Act.

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