For the Record
Dean Wright on Ethics, Innovation and Values
Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Breaking Borders event in Berlin that marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event, at which I spoke, took the anniversary as an opportunity to explore how the Internet is playing a role in advancing participatory democracy and free expression around the world.
The media of 1989–television and satellite technology–played a role in bringing down the wall by connecting people and empowering them with information. Now, 20 years later, vastly more powerful information and communication technology is connecting people online, making it more possible to get around efforts at censorship and the suppression of information.
As a result of discussions at the Breaking Borders conference, Google and Global Voices, the international network of bloggers, have established the Breaking Borders Award to honor those who are fighting for free expression.
Reuters recently hosted a panel at our New York headquarters called “Audience and the Media: A Shaky Marriage.” I was on the panel with a distinguished group: Lisa Shepard, ombudsman of National Public Radio; Andrew Alexander, ombudsman of The Washington Post; and Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor of The Associated Press. Jack Shafer, editor-at-large of Slate, was the moderator.
This week brought more distressing news for journalists, as a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found the U.S. public more critical than ever of the accuracy and independence of the media.
The first entry is abattoir (not abbatoir); the last is ZULU (a term used by Western military forces to mean GMT).
The recent election in Iran was one of the more dramatic stories this year, with powerful images of protests and street-fighting dominating television and online coverage.
YouTube has launched a worthy project called the Reporters’ Center, a collection of videos from journalists around the industry providing advice for aspiring citizen journalists.
Are we too connected?
In recent days and weeks I’ve been wondering if our mobile phones, Blackberries, text messaging and constant access to email and social media have brought us too close together for our own good.