The Effects of Unpublishing on Education Reporting

The Grade’s Danielle Dreilinger asks a fundamental question:
First, do no harm—but how?

Journalists focused on education regularly engage with children and young adults—two populations considered more vulnerable in relation to unpublishing. As I discuss with Danielle Dreilinger in this article, education reporters are prime actors to consider pre-publication practices that can defend against the need to wrestle with sticky unpublishing decisions in the future. Simply considering whether a child’s name is truly critical to the narrative, the audience’s understanding, or the public’s need to know can make all the difference.

Read the story at https://tinyurl.com/txc3lun

 

Roy H. Park Fellow and doctoral candidate
Hussman School of Journalism and Media

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Anticipated completion May 2020

More than two decades in the communications field has shaped my perspective from which to approach research and pedagogy. This orientation supports my objective to pursue a body of research that produces both theoretical value and empirical insight beneficial to the profession. I am also a passionate teacher and enjoy interacting with students in ways that boost their knowledge, confidence, and abilities.

My research interests include journalism’s role in democracy, media ethics, media processes and production, law and policy, and technology in the newsroom. My current projects include several projects (including my dissertation) related to the rising phenomenon of unpublishing requests—a result of technological change that challenges newsrooms both internally and externally.

NiemanLab Shares My Survey Results

Unprepared for unpublishing Here’s how some newsrooms are rethinking what lasts forever » Nieman Journalism LabNieman Journalism Lab’s Christine Schmidt and I recently spoke about the results of my survey of journalists to understand how they were grappling with the conundrum of unpublishing.  Results show that there’s still quite a bit of work to do, both in conceptualizing the real impact of unpublishing and the web of challenges it poses to virtually every aspect of the journalism process, as well as the profession itself.

https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/09/unprepared-for-unpublishing-heres-how-some-newsrooms-are-rethinking-what-lasts-forever/

RadioLab Episode Explores Unpublishing

Right to be Forgotten Radiolab WNYC StudiosI was fortunate to contribute to a RadioLab (WNYC) episode recently about the pressure
for a “right to be forgotten” and the resulting complexities of unpublishing. RadioLab producer Molly Webster attended a meeting with a newspaper team to learn about their attempts to balance informing the public and minimizing harm.

I’m happy the human, emotional aspects of the individuals involved (the requestors AND the journalists)  are gaining traction in the social conversation. As I tell Molly in the episode, I’ve finally decided the answer is our humanity. We’ve embraced a tech culture for all of its conveniences, and there are some genies you can’t put back into a bottle. What we can do, however, is learn to be more forgiving human beings—ones who acknowledge and understand everyone has a past, and that past should be placed in the proper perspective. Combined with some new considerations on the front end of the reporting process, I think we could work something out that safeguards online news content for historical purposes yet is conscious of the personal consequences that can come with the long tail of publishing. That sounds much better to me than any of the alternatives that have been presented to date.

You can access the episode here:
https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/radiolab-right-be-forgotten

Teaching in the wake of #MeToo

The Fall 2019 edition of AEJMC Media Ethics Division newsletter includes a column I wrote on teaching media ethics in the wake of #MeToo. I explain in the article that while the movement offers excellent learning opportunities for students, it also prompts big questions from a personal and pedagogical standpoint for teachers. I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on how #MeToo affects your work with students both in and out of the classroom!

Politics in the classroom shouldn’t be taboo

If you teach, you’re likely to be familiar with the story I tell in my recent commentary in the AEJMC Media Ethics Division newsletter about political discussion in the undergraduate classroom. 

Although I frequently emphasize my media ethics classroom is an open forum for all ideas, the current political climate has made “balanced” discussion virtually obsolete. But one day this semester that changed, and it has been a sea change in my classroom. Students began telling sad tales of being shut down in other classes by both students and their professors after they expressed a conservative viewpoint. Conservative students are now enhancing our daily discussion—and teaching the bulk of the (liberal-leaning) students how to manage challenges to their opinions. Philosophy and codes of ethics are important to teach, but learning how to handle people who don’t think like you is a skill best learned in the classroom. The harsh realities of the professional world await to put those skills to the test, and I’d like my students to be ready.