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SPJ Journalism Ethics Training March 15

The ever-evolving media landscape has changed the practice and demands of journalism forever. Traditional newsroom resources are shrinking while new media – including bloggers, citizen journalists and partisans – are emerging. But have the principles of ethical journalism changed? The Madison pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to learn more about the ethical standards of our profession and engage in discussion with your colleagues about this important topic at a day-long training session.

“Old School Journalism Ethics in a New Media World” will take place Friday, March 15, in the auditorium of Capital Newspapers in Madison, 1901 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison. It will begin at

10 a.m. and conclude at 3:15 p.m., with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. It is free for SPJ members and students; there is a charge of $30 for non-members. Lunch and snacks are included.

The training session schedule is as follows:

10-10:10: Welcome

10:10-10:45: Media Ethics 101: What Every Journalist Should Already Know, But Not Every Journalist Does Know

Avoiding conflicts of interest, minimizing the use of anonymous sources and verifying information are the basics of good and ethical journalism. We will review key aspects of the ethics guidelines of the Society of Professional Standards.

Presenter: Mark Pitsch, assistant city editor of the Wisconsin State Journal and president of the Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

10:45-12:15: The Wild West: Maintaining Ethical Standards Amid a Changing Media Landscape

As newsrooms shrink, bloggers, partisans and citizen journalists have stepped into the void. Sometimes they are the only ones covering the government meetings that used to be the province of traditional journalists. But do new media follow ethical guidelines for reporting? How do reporters and editors ferret out the legitimate news from sources that may have an agenda or do not verify findings before hitting “publish”? The Kyle Everett Wood story provides a good launching pad for this discussion.

Presenters: Tom Bier, vice president and general manager, WISC-TV, Channel 3000 and Madison Magazine, and inaugural winner, Anthony Shadid Ethics Award; Judith Davidoff, news editor, Isthmus; Mark Pitsch; Matt Kittle, bureau chief, Wisconsin Reporter; Christie Taylor, reporter and editorial board member, Dane 101

12:15-1:00: Lunch/Networking

1:00-2:00: Case Studies

Led by journalists using real-life examples, the audience will discuss and debate how to approach pursing a story; when there is enough evidence to go online, on air or to print; and the practical ramifications of our work.

2:00-3:00: Real People Roundtable: Crime Victims, Children and Other Vulnerable Populations.

How do media organizations balance their duty to inform the public and be sensitive to the victims of crime? How do media organizations tell compelling stories about how public policy affects people’s lives while also protecting the privacy of ordinary people? Those who work with vulnerable populations will discuss these sometimes competing priorities.

Presenters: Shannon Barry, executive director Domestic Abuse Intervention Services; Joel DeSpain, former television reporter  and Public Information Officer for Madison Police Department; Jill Karofsky, executive director of the Office of Crime Victim Services, Department of Justice; Bob Jacobson, communications director, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families

3:00-3:15: Wrap-Up

To register, SPJ members should contact Mark Pitsch, SPJ Madison chapter president, at [email protected] or 608-252-6145. Journalists who are not SPJ members should register at https://spjmadisonethicstraining.eventbrite.com/#

Journalists can also join the Madison chapter of SPJ for $75 annually and attend the Journalism Ethics training and future training opportunities for free. Go to www.spj.org to become a member. College and high school journalists can apply to SPJ for complimentary registration. On-site registration may be available depending upon advance registrations.

Capital Newspapers does NOT have universal wireless access. Attendees may want to consider bringing a wireless air card or hot spot.

If you have questions, please contact Mark Pitsch at 608-252-6145.

#MarkPitsch #SPJMadison #JournalismEthics #madisonspj #SPJ #TomBier

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