Speakers at a UW-Madison journalism ethics conference Friday advocated for increased transparency in reporting to avoid the dangers of partisan news.
The panel included New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane, executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism Andy Hall and Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois Brant Houston.
According to Brisbane, donors give money to non-profit news organizations conditionally to meet their political agendas.
Brisbane said the best way to avoid partisan reporting is to increase transparency of funding sources.
""Our biggest concern … is we want to always conserve the source of the news that comes out, and where the funding is from and what kind of influence it has,"" Brisbane said.
Inconsistent reporting standards among today's citizen journalists and questionable funding sources for news organizations have created skepticism as to the credibility of the industry as a whole, Brisbane said.
Tony Burman, head of strategy for Al-Jazeera in the Americas and former managing director of Al-Jazeera English, was the event's keynote speaker. A 35-year veteran of the industry, he spoke on the importance and influence of practicing ethical journalism.
""People, at the end of the day, want information … about their community, their country, and the wider world,"" Burman was quoted as saying on the event's liveblog.
Also at the conference, the committee presented Dan Flannery, executive editor of the Post Crescent in Appleton with the Wisconsin Commitment to Journalism Ethics Award, an award recognizing consistently high-ethics practices in journalism.