Seven Deadly Journalism Sins

Posted on March 12, 2013 by maburdei.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Kevin Goldberg, Journalism Law professor at Mason and attorney at the communications law firm, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC, spoke with our class about the ‘Seven Deadly Sins Committed by Young Journalists’ and how to avoid them. He compared the seven deadly sins (pride, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, and envy) to common mistakes journalists make.

The lecture took up the majority of the two and a half hour class and was chock full of useful information about communication and journalism law.

With details obviously too great for one blog post, just the essentials are below:

  • Make sure you stop before you post or publish. Figure out if you are fairly using or referencing someone else’s intellectual property.
  • Stop. Think. Does what you’re writing defame or misrepresent someone?
  • Have you done your due diligence and researched your subject to accurately write about them?
  • Have you tampered with quotes? (You better not have…)
  • If you messed up did you publish a retraction or a correction?
  • In trying to obtain information, did you violate someone’s reasonable expectation of privacy? (again, another don’t)
  • Intellectual property can be used it specific ways. Make sure you are referencing and using patents, copyrights, and trademarks according to their rules.

Think you know everything about intellectual property rights? Test your knowledge here.

For more info on all things media law,  check out Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Communication Law Blog.

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