Kent State/Poynter Ethics Conference examines citizen journalism’s impact, legitimacy

W2C-JPEGIt would be tough to argue against the impact of citizen journalism. It’s undeniable. But we can and do argue about its legitimacy and its output.

At least I do.

Now that everyone with an online connection can publish news and commentary, how do consumers decide what’s worthwhile and what isn’t? Has popularity trumped expertise in the 2.0 world? And how should PR practitioners react to the new environment?

Check out the conference website.

Check out the conference website.

Next week at Kent State (Sept. 17), some of the foremost authorities in the news business will gather to talk about these issue. The one-day conference is titled “What Values?” and it promises to examine the question from three perspectives:

  • What values form the basis of online journalism today?

  • What values underlie media ethics on the Web?

  • What values inspire innovative news operations on the Internet?

Because public relations pros work so closely with news media — and because ethics is the foundation of trust in both fields — it’s a timely topic for us all. And it’s one helluva deal: just $25 for professionals and $15 for educators. Students attend free.

The program includes a slew of digital media luminaries who are sure to trigger a slew of meaningful discussion. Check out the details at the website.

If you can’t get to Kent State next Thursday, catch the conference via live webcast. Of course, that means you won’t be able to join us at Ray’s for beer afterward. So, you know, you really oughta get here. 

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Disclosure: This post resulted from a pitch from an enterprising PR student at Kent State who I’ve known for a good while. You can meet him here.

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10 Responses to Kent State/Poynter Ethics Conference examines citizen journalism’s impact, legitimacy

  1. Shari Weiss says:

    Because I can’t get to Kent for the conference, I thought I’d add my 2 cents here:

    * What values form the basis of online journalism today?

    First step has to be to define “online journalism” so I’m going to say that we are ONLY going to talk about writer/posters who have credentials/education/experience/intention to talk FACT and not just OPINION.

    In that case, the primary values should be TRUTH, OBJECTIVITY and RESPONSIBILITY to serve the public.

    Whose truth? HMMM, that, unfortunately, might depend on whose $$$$ are behind the operation.

    * What values underlie media ethics on the Web?

    Of course, the values ought to be the same. But “Doing the Right Thing” for one person, e.g. and ultra Liberal OR for an ultra Conservative, might be ENTIRELY different.

    Do NO HARM sounds like a good value to aim for — but impossible to uphold [it would seem].

    * What values inspire innovative news operations on the Internet?

    If we are talking about TODAY’S ONLINE MEDIA ENVIRONMENT, than it would seem that the values would be all aimed at finding ways to stay alive; I’m not certain that “serving the public interest” is at the top of the list.

    Perhaps if I slept on this, I might have more/better/worse responses.

    Thanks for asking for the comment.

  2. Rob Jewell says:

    I’ll admit that I was planning to attend even before I read your post. But your offer to buy beer at Ray’s will merit consideration as one of the most effective SM marketing ploys — ever.

  3. Andy Curran says:

    Kudos to KSU for putting this on. I would go, but won’t be able to (faculty retreat).

    I used to work with speaker Ed Esposito, and I can tell you he is a top-notch journalist.

    Thankfully, no “Kool-Aid” drinkers (aka “Shitizen Journalists”) will be spouting their stupidity.

    Do you know if the proceedings will be archived?

  4. Chris says:

    Dad,
    Thanks for the post. I’m excited for the conference next week and thankful for the opportunity to help plan/promote it.

    Shari,
    It’s too bad you can’t make it next week. Based on your comments, you may be interested in visiting the Web site between 9 – 10 a.m. on the 17th to watch the first session live — this way you can participate via the #ksuethics09 hashtag on Twitter. If you can’t make it then, the video will be archived on the site to watch at your convenience. (We try to be accommodating!)

    http://new.jmc.kent.edu/ethicsworkshop/2009/index.php

    Of course this goes for everyone else too. We’d love your feedback on the site as well. Hope to see you there digitally or IRL!

    -Chris

  5. sharisax says:

    Chris,
    I’ll absolutely visit the website . . . even if it is 6 am here on the west coast :-)

    Bill: Any way you could do a guest post for my blog?

  6. sharisax says:

    FACT or OPINION or BOTH
    Your choice:
    i.e., Who said What
    OR
    What you thought of what was said?? :-)

  7. Internet PR says:

    hey i was little bit late to see this post..i would like to know how it went..can you provide some links or youtube videos of the event

  8. You can check out all the archived videos on the web site (link above in post as “web site” in second-to-last paragraph.)

    We’d love your feedback on anything you watch. You can find comment boxes on each of the session pages on the bottom left corner.

    Thanks for your interest!

    - Chris

  9. Bill Sledzik says:

    Thanks, Chris. I could not have answered that. But I’m also wondering if the comment was placed there for SEO purposes. Nearly spammed it.

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