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Case studies in new ethical challenges in online journalism

BBC edits Obama’s speech

By Natalie Johnson, Dotcom journalists

Shortly after Barack Obama’s inauguration, BBC’s Newsnight show ran a 50-minute special program on the beginning of Obama’s presidency titled “Obama’s first 100 days: Environment.” It opened the program with what seemed to be a sound excerpt from Obama’s inauguration address playing along with video clips of nature scenes and scientific looking buildings. In reality, the sound bite was three different sentences from different parts of Obama’s speech spliced together. The edited sound bite had an obvious focus on the environment and scientific advancement:
“We will restore science to its rightful place, roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

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‘Bittergate’: Is there such a thing as off the record?

By Jasmine Linabary, Dotcom Journalists

Mayhill Fowler, 61, was much like the others at an invite-only fundraiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama in April 2008 in San Francisco – she was an avid support living in the Bay Area, having contributed nearly the maximum allowed, $2,300, and was holding a recorder. What made her different was that she was also a citizen journalist – a regular contributor to OffTheBus, a blog maintained by a network of 1,800 writers created by the Huffington Post to cover the the campaign (Seelye, 2008).

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