2015 Schedule
Interactive: March 13–17  •  Film: March 13–21  •  Music: March 17–22

New Media Ethics: Journalism in the Age of GIFs

Friday, March 13
12:30PM - 1:30PM

Hyatt Regency Austin
Texas Ballroom 2-3
208 Barton Springs Rd

When Buzzfeed was hit with the first big digital media plagiarism scandal, editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrote in a memo to his staff: “We will always have a more forgiving attitude toward bold failures, innocent errors, and misfired jokes than more skittish old media organizations."

Smith's note raises an interesting question: have journalistic ethics fundamentally changed with the rise of new media? If so, is that a positive shift or an excuse for shortcuts? Have the rise of aggregation and curation led to a different set of standards? How do we address concerns that native advertising and branded content are blurring lines between journalism and content?

From Gamergate to the Rolling Stone scandal to the Sony hack, journalistic ethics have been at the forefront of the national conversation in the past year. This panel will look at the shifting media landscape and its impact on how new media and legacy organizations think about ethical standards.


#sxsw #newethics


Jane Spencer



Jessica Bennett

Writer, Editor, Multimedia Journalist

I'm a New York-based writer, editor and multimedia journalist. I cover on gender, pop culture, social issues & trends for the New York Times, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan & Time.com, where I'm a colu...

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Justin Ellis

Staff Writer

Nieman Journalism Lab

Susie Banikarim

VP-Content Strategy & Audience Engagement


Susie Banikarim is a 2014 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She is currently teaching journalism courses at Harvard and is also an on-camera media commentator fo...

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