Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop Reaction

By Nicole Gennarelli

The Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop was extremely interesting. I got the chance to actually work behind-the-scenes for part of it in the morning, as well as sit in and listen to the Online News Association (ONA) panelists. The panel consisted of John Kroll, from the Plain dealer; Michelle Jarboe, from the Plain Dealer; and Bruce Winges, from the Akron Beacon Journal. The topic was Reporters and the Audience: A two-way street.

John Kroll talked about how the Plain Dealer has a three prong program that deals with taking down offensive comments posted online. Reporters like to engage with the reader over stories and allow a two-way street for communication. He talked about how reporters decide where to draw lines on rude comments, and that they have started to remove comments that cause controversy.

Michelle Jarboe talked about how she remembered when commenting was not open to the public. She was thrilled when she could respond to sources and readers’ comments on the website. Every time someone comments on one of her stories she receives and e-mail and she asks herself, “Do I really need to comment on this?” Sometimes comments require more than one answer and others she decides to let go because she has more important work.

Bruce Winges discussed how it is always good to look for a way to interact with readers. Blogs, Facebook and social media platforms allow readers to have a positive or negative voice in stories that are published. He has realized that when stories get posted on Facebook, the conversations about them get better. Winges also talked about how at the end of a story there is a reminder to “play nice” for readers. It’s not always a good idea to post controversial comments on certain stories. Some overly controversial stories will have comments blocked completely.

Overall, it was a great experience. I had a great time working behind the scenes and listening to media experts. I learned a lot and can’t wait for next year’s workshop.

Why are you here?

“Why are you here?” you’re thinking.

I know. There are literally countless websites out there. Blogs galore. Twitter, Flikr, Tumbr, YouTube… And oh yea that other big one… what was it? Anyways. You know where to find information when you want it. But, when it comes to being a student, what about the stuff that no one writes about? The real questions you want to know about your university. Or even about your program specifically? What happens when at 1:24 a.m. you try to Google “What the garbage is controlled registration and why isn’t it letting me register for VCD II?”

College can be a frustrating place for a student. You’re a quasi-adult now so, prepare for a professional career, pursue your passions, have some fun, and oh yea, get good grades.

Have you ever just wanted someone to say, “Why Johhny (or Jeany for all the ladies out there), we don’t have this controlled registration business to stop you from finishing your degree in time, we just don’t want those G.D. Art Students accidentally registering for a class we know you need.” All you want at 1:24 a.m. is to register! That’s it!

So, what this asinine anecdote was trying to point out is that I am here, sent from above, (not heaven, just the Dean’s Office), to answer your questions. If you want to know why you have to pass a grammar test, or why you have to do so many group projects, or why anything is the way it is, ask me. And until you start asking, I’ll just keep guessing what you’re thinking and writing about that.

So here, email: adudley@kent.edu with your question. Stop back later and hopefully I’ll have answered it, or found someone else to answer it for you.