What’s haunting you?

Halloween (or Hallowe’en) may be over, but for writers and editors, the haunting season lasts more than a day or two. We have demons that prevent us from typing that first word in a story we’ve been wanting to write or from suggesting that an awkward phrase be changed in an author’s work. And these may continue to disturb us even long after a work is published.

Aside from zombies and possessed dolls, one fear that perhaps we all share is the fear of failure. On one hand, it helps us become more careful. On the other hand, it keeps us from taking risks and learning. And so, we try to play safe, keep mum, procrastinate, and develop other bad habits. But actually, failure is not fatal, and some people are really just born haters. It doesn’t really matter that we fail; what matters is what we do after a failure.

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Media ethics in focus

Ethical standards for media practitioners are among our key themes this issue, amid two events that shook the world in the last fortnight – the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 in the Ukraine and the exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. When media organizations compete against one another in a frenzy to satisfy the public’s desire to quickly know what is happening in the world, some practice standards – information verification, for instance – may be overlooked. A case in point would be why the media reportage on MH-17 was wrong at first on the number of AIDS researchers – supposedly 100 – who were on the plane.  Why did a journalist who went through some luggage items while covering the crash site feel compelled to apologize for his “error of judgment”?

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On Scandinavian Roots, the Goodreads Choice Awards, the Publishing Person of the Year, the Business Side of News and Social Media Wars

December 1 to December 7, 2012

Last week had our inboxes and feeds oozing with stories on language, social media, journalism and books. First, a controversial theory that traces the English language’s roots to Scandinavia sparked debate among linguists. Next, J.K Rowling’s new (non-Harry Potter) book won this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards. Publishers Weekly, meanwhile, declared E.L. James as Publishing Person of the Year. Completing the news lineup: the end of The Daily, Book Week Scotland and the mystery book sculptor, and the launch of Socl and the new MySpace.

Image credit: "Day 168 - October 28, 2012" by Sonia Belviso on Flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Image credit: “Day 168 – October 28, 2012” by Sonia Belviso on Flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

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7 Ways Journalists Can Make Better Ethical Decisions When Using Facebook | Poynter.

Can your Facebook friendships affect your integrity? For journalists using Facebook as a reporting tool, Poynter offers seven ways to determine “what is and what isn’t appropriate.”

The lesson for all of us is that nothing is private on the Web, and journalists are now subject to the same level of scrutiny as the people they report on.

via 7 ways journalists can make better ethical decisions when using Facebook | Poynter.

Image via original article.