Poynter Names Ethics Fellows

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By: Joe Strupp

About half of the Poynter Institute’s 2004 Ethics Fellows come from newspapers, according to the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based organization, which released its list of 17 fellowship recipients Monday.

Print participants include: Michael Arrieta-Walden, public editor, The Oregonian in Portland; Vicki Gowler, editor and senior vice president, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press; John X. Miller, public editor, Detroit Free Press; Jodi Rave, Indian affairs reporter, the Lincoln (Neb.) Star Journal; Claire Regan, associate managing editor, Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance; Foon Rhee, capitol state editor, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.; Carlos Sanchez, editor, Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald; Alysia Tate, editor and publisher, The Chicago Reporter; and Tina Yee, assistant photo editor, Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle.

Non-newspaper fellows are: Kim Dillon, managing editor, WKRC-TV Cincinnati; Don Heider, associate professor in journalism, University of Texas; Paul Holmes, editor, political and general news, Reuters America; Rachael Jones, reporter, National Public Radio; Mary Louise Kelly, intelligence correspondent, National Public Radio; Janet Leach, professional in residence, Kent State University School of Journalism; Albert Oetgen, senior producer, NBC Nightly News; and Stephen Stock, investigative reporter and Ocala bureau chief, WESH-TV Ocala, Fla.

“The 2004 Poynter Ethics Fellows class represents much of what makes American journalism so special,” said Bob Steele, the institute’s Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values. “The Fellows have strong professional experience and a passion for their craft. Importantly, they are committed to wrestling with the ethics issues that challenge journalists, and they are devoted to improving their own understanding of the values that underpin excellent and ethical journalism.”

The Fellows will meet at Poynter for a week in March, and for another session during 2005, to explore key journalism ethics issues, according to a Poynter release on the program. Using genuine newsroom cases, the group will explore topics such as: the tensions between journalism and business values, challenges of covering an increasingly diverse society, and public concerns about invasion of privacy. In addition, the Fellows will review ethical issues in articles or essays for Poynter Online and The Poynter Report, and develop techniques for advising on ethics in their newsrooms.

“Some suggest that American journalism is facing an ethical crisis,” Steele explained. “If that’s the case, I can’t imagine a greater responsibility for Poynter than working with journalists and media leaders to strengthen our values and sharpen our ethical decision-making skills. The 2004 Poynter Ethics Fellows class will help us in that mission.”

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