Everything journalists need to know about "Crackgate"
When Gawker published an article saying they had seen Toronto Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine, it set off a firestorm in political spheres and journalistic circles. From a Twitter fight between Gawker and Toronto Star on who got the “exclusive” to a debate on chequebook journalism and what this coverage means for media libel, J-Source has your round up on news and commentary on this unprecedented journalistic event.
Most news organizations have strict policies to not pay for the news. But he question is: can a case be made for public interest that makes paying for the alleged Ford video justifiable? Toronto Star columnist Rose DiManno wants her newspaper to pay for the alleged Rob Ford video reasoning that if the Star doesn’t, the video may be bought by people who would prefer to let it disappear for good. The Province in Vancouver also launched a crowdfunding campaign to access the alleged video. Edward Tubb reports.
The Rob Ford video is not news, it’s only gossip, according to two journalism ethics professors, and the difference is the standards of verification. Romayne Smith-Fullerton and Maggie Jones Patterson argue the public must be wondering what outweighed the search for truth.
Its been a week since the Toronto Star and Gawker went public with allegations concerning Mayor Rob Ford mixing with self identified criminals and possibly smoking crack cocaine. The mayor has denied the allegations dismissing them as part of a larger vendetta against him. Given the seriousness of the allegations and the damage they are doing to the office of mayor as well as to Ford himself, why hasn't he filed a libel suit? J-Source Law Editor Thomas Rose explains.
Last week's stories about a man who appears to be Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking what might be crack, raises just about every journalistic issue around responsible reporting and libel that there is. Western journalism professor Paul Benedetti says the incident provides a perfect teaching example about what journalists can and cannot say to avoid a libel court case.
John Gordon Miller writes the Toronto Star skirted around the edges of these editorial principles by rushing into print, without anything but a last-minute attempt to get Ford and his people to tell their side of the story.
Gawker posted a video for sale allegedly starring Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. The video became the subject of a frenzied discussion on Twitter, with many cautioning about libel laws. And then started the hilarious cat fight on Twitter about who got the "exclusive." Gawker appears to have forced the Toronto Star into publishing the story on the video that they had been sitting on for almost two weeks. Reporters Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle apparently saw the alleged video on May 3, but were doing due diligence, one can suppose. Tamara Baluja reports.