Communications Fellows Visit Poynter Institute

School of Communication Fellows traveled Jan. 14 to the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., to participate in a seminar focusing on media ethics as part of their Florida experience Winter Term class. Poynter is a widely known journalism organization designed to inspire journalists and provide continuing education opportunities.

Kelly McBride of Poynter led the ethics session, which began with a discussion that required the students to list the ethical principles they think journalists should adhere to, which included:

  1. Seeking the truth and portraying it in the best way possible
  2. Being accurate and thorough
  3. Respecting all others regardless of viewpoints
  4. Making the world a better place
  5. Working with facts
  6. Engaging
  7. Encouraging
  8. Researching

In the end, the group arrived at the conclusion that communicators should be held to a different standard regarding the topics about which they write and speak, especially when it comes to using social media. After going through examples of journalists portraying their personal opinions on social media in an offensive way, the students explored the necessity of care and purpose in how they communicate online. They also learned how to handle mistakes, which requires maintaining humility and expressing prompt apologies.

— by Hattie Hoskins ’16