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New Media: When Speed Trumps Ethics

  • Mar 28, 2013 · 5:45 PM
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Social media today empowers almost anyone to report breaking news, resulting in myriad sources - and disturbing errors - on major stories. Our next meetup with examine recent cases where quality journalism took a back seat to misleading reports.

The Newtown tragedy, in particular, provides a textbook example of where the media's desire to satisfy the public's curiosity quickly resulted in unacceptably poor reporting by major news organizations.  In revolts from Tehrir Square to Benghazi to Syria to downtown Tehran, governments and protesters often relay photos and news through social media that become the primary content for global news organizations serving billions of people.  Are they true?

Traditional newsrooms lived by the motto "Get it first, but first, get it right." We'll take a look at the accuracy of reporting in the age of new media with two experts in breaking news:

  • John Raess is the Bureau Chief of The Associated Press in San Francisco and leader of its nonprofit news project.  He's also led reporting teams at, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Oakland Tribune.
  • Bob Calo is a senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley and produced news reports for national broadcast outlets. He has worked across the US and from such international locations as Pakistan, Chile, Croatia, Kenya, and Somalia for news organizations including PBS, ABC News, and NBC News.

Co-hosts for SFBAJ at this session are: Tom Murphy, veteran editor of The AP, Bloomberg News,, and Newswire21; and Nora Poggi, a French journalist who now covers technology and media from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Donation:  $7 at the door.  Donations are tax deductible and help support SFBAJ/Newswire21 in their mission of easing the transition of quality journalism to new media.

Advanced reservations are now closed.  

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  • Christopher R. L.

    Great discussion, great participation. Wonderful speakers.

    March 29, 2013

  • Tom M.

    Great group! The AP's John Raess and UC Berkeley's Bob Calo gave me confidence that an era of quality journalism will follow this dark age of news.

    March 28, 2013

  • Sally L.

    This may be a bit too early for me.

    March 28, 2013

  • Abe N.

    Author of Ten Thousand Prayers: a story of character and resiliency in war torn Afghanistan.

    March 28, 2013

  • Robert M.

    Sounds like a compelling topic but I have a conflict. Will watch for next event notice.

    March 27, 2013

  • Pamela A.

    For future events, would it be possible to consider days other than Thursday and or move to a later time? I've been wanting to attend but haven't been able to because of work schedule. I know others have expressed the same concern. Thank you.

    March 22, 2013

    • Tom M.

      We've met on other nights about a half-dozen times during the past year, most recently on a Tuesday two months ago for our Winter networking session. But Thursdays have proven best for the majority of members and guests. We may meet on a Saturday in May, but don't know which yet. (BTW, this will be only our second Thursday meeting since you joined in January, three days after our last Tuesday meetng.) Hope you can join us soon!

      March 22, 2013

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