The Journalism Ethics in Local News Media: a Public Symposium was sponsored by the Journalism Department and IUP’s local Society of Professional Journalists chapter.
Local news media editors on March
28 defended their coverage of recent IUPatty’s disturbances near the IUP campus.
The remarks responded to a question posed by an audience member during a public
forum on journalism ethics, sponsored by the campus chapter of the national
Society of Professional Journalists and presented in the Hadley Union building.
The forum panelists—Eric
Ebeling, executive editor of the Indiana Gazette; Dave Gershgorn,
editor-in-chief of the IUP student newspaper, the Penn; and Todd Marino,
production manager for Renda Broadcasting—described their efforts to report
the party weekend, including what to call the events they reported.
Panelists said they chose their words
carefully—“chaos,” “riot,” or “events”—in news coverage describing violence
that drew television news crews from as far as Pittsburgh. There, network
affiliates for two days aired social media video of revelers fist-fighting in
the middle of South Seventh Street and jumping on the roof of an automobile,
among other events.
Borough police have charged
participants with a range of misdemeanor and felony charges ranging from
rioting to making terroristic threats to engaging in disorderly conduct.
The ethics panelists addressed
other issues of professional ethics, including potential conflicts of interest,
contrasting philosophies of religious and secular codes of ethics, and policies
on publishing and airing news releases. The event was reported on the front
page of the March 29 edition of the Indiana Gazette.
The event was moderated by IUP
journalism professor David Loomis, PhD. About 40 people, many of them IUP students, attended.