Published on Jim Pumarlo (http://pumarlo.com)

Table of Contents, Bad News and Good Judgment

By Jim Pumarlo
Created 09/15/2006 - 1:38pm
Introduction: Connecting with readers Chapter 1: Foundation of the community press Reporting all the news -- good and bad -- is the community newspaper's mission. Chapter 2: Developing a policy and making it known Making the right decisions regarding sensitive stories is easier if you have policies in place. Chapter 3: Reporting suicides Coverage of suicides requires careful reporting and writing. Chapter 4: Reporting sexual abuse cases Aggressiveness is a prized reporter's skill, but journalists must show respect to the subjects of their stories. Chapter 5: Reporting suspensions of high school athletes Sports coverage is vital to a community newspaper, and suspensions of athletes cannot be ignored. Chapter 6: Publishing photos of fatal accident scenes Accidents are news and must be reported. But editors need to be sensitive to how photos of accidents appear in the newspaper. Chapter 7: Covering business Editors should establish and communicate policies early about what is news and what is advertising. Chapter 8: Everyday decisions Editorials, obituaries, police reports and many other everyday elements of newspapers require carefully made ethics policies. Chapter 9: Gathering the tough news Newspapers have the right to see sensitive public records, but laying the groundwork in advance will make their pursuit much easier. Chapter 10: Rights and responsibilities Four case studies illustrate the balancing act between informing the public and affecting the people involved. Chapter 11: Explaining newsroom decisions Policies need to be explained to readers to be effective. This chapter includes a collection of columns written about one newspaper's decision-making process. Chapter 12: Sample policies This chapter offers a collection of policies about a variety of sensitive issues that can be adapted to fit any newspaper.

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