JOURNALIST. EDUCATOR.

Fellow, Poynter Institute for Media Studies

Faculty Member, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Veteran network news correspondent

  FEATURED WORK

A REVISED LOOK AT ETHICS FOR A NEW ERA IN JOURNALISM

For the first time in three decades, the Poynter Institute has revised its ethical principles for journalists. I was a contributing writer to The New Ethics of Journalism, published by CQ Press in Fall 2013, which discusses how ethics have changed in this era of new media, digital media, and social media -- where everyone can be a journalist. There's more about the book here, and Poynter's associated ethics blog is at ethics.poynter.org.

NEWS FOR THE MINECRAFT GENERATION: NEWSPAPER EXPERIMENTS WITH VIRTUAL REALITY

The Des Moines Register is betting that young readers want to get their news with the same technology that some use to play video games. The newspaper is experimenting with virtual reality storytelling, in which users can immerse themselves in stories by wearing 3D goggles that track their head movements. Read it here.

GANNETT'S MONUMENTAL TASK: A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR ALL

For this Poynter case study, I chronicled Gannett's efforts to conquer a challenge that's vexed many other media companies -- designing content management software to power the websites of all of its newspapers and broadcast stations ... and doing it without wasting millions of dollars or deploying a system riddled with bugs. Read it here.

CAN "CROWDFUNDING" HELP SAVE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM?

As the mainstream media cut back on investigative reporting, some journalists have turned to the public to "crowdfund" individual investigations. Now, a New York entrepreneur hopes to build a more permanent crowdfunding model. A website called Uncoverage will seek patrons willing to make long-term financial commitments to in-depth journalism. Listen to me talk about it on San Francisco's KCBS radio.

'GLOVES COME OFF' AS JOURNALISTS DEBUNK EACH OTHERS' STORIES

In this era of "accountability journalism," it's common for journalists to fact check politicians and campaign ads. But some media fact-checkers have turned to a new target: competing journalists' stories. The results can be both enlightning and controversial, as news organizations accuse each other of sloppy reporting. Read it here.

TV STATION GAFFE SHOWS PITFALLS OF JOURNALISTS' RACE TO BE FIRST

In its haste to broadcast what it thought was exclusive new information about the Asiana airliner crash, San Francisco Bay area television station KTVU embarrassed itself, offended many of its viewers, and may have sparked a lawsuit by the airline. As I mention in this interview on San Francisco's KCBS radio, just a few minutes of fact-checking would have prevented the debacle.

CNN'S UNEDITED EPITHETS RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDIA HATE SPEECH

CNN’s unusually explicit on-air description of an accused murderer's Facebook post renews a debate about how journalists report on hateful speech. The network opened itself up to criticism with its seemingly offhand use of an offensive slur and its subsequent vague apologies. The controversy reinforces the need for strong newsroom standards on offensive speech. Read it here.

THE NEXT GENERATION OF RADIO JOURNALISTS

Along with four of my University of North Carolina radio journalism students, I talk with WUNC's Frank Stasio about the future of journalism, the importance of story-telling, and how the next generation will influence the news business. Listen to the discussion here on WUNC-FM's "The State of Things."

SPORTS FANS INVESTIGATE RIVAL PLAYER; MEDIA FOLLOW

Dozens of journalists have covered the ongoing NCAA investigation of improprieties in the University of North Carolina football program. But it took some "investigative reporting" by fans at a rival school's Internet message board to uncover some embarrassing evidence that the media missed. Read it here, and listen to me talk with WUNC Radio's Isaac-Davy Aronson about the role of citizens in investigative reporting

MOYERS & COMPANY: STATE OF CONFLICT - NORTH CAROLINA

I was among the guests on Bill Moyers' public television program as he examined efforts by North Carolina Republicans to transform the state government. I talked about North Carolina's recent political history and the 2012 election that allowed the GOP to control both the Governor's Mansion and the legislature for the first time in more than a century. Watch it here.