6. Poisoning the Well

In April 2013, Sunil Tripathi was wrongfully accused of being “suspect number two” in the Boston Marathon bombing. His accusers were Reddit and Twitter users who spread false information and conjecture that implicated an innocent man all with a few clicks of a mouse. This vigilante digital investigation wasn’t undertaken only by conspiracy theorists and […]

5. Journalism and Contempt of Court

When reporting social media posts or personal information about an alleged or accused criminal it is important for journalists to keep the laws of contempt in mind. In Canada, the laws of contempt have to balance the right to free expression with the right to a fair trial. Though there are no absolutes when it […]

4. Responsible Communication on Matters of Public Interest

In this situation, responsible communication on matters of public interest would be the best defence if the National Post were to get sued for libel. [1] This defence, adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2009, allows journalists reporting on information that is in the public interest the ability to be wrong. Essentially, as long […]

3. Libel and the Newsroom

If the story included the Facebook profile and it turned out to be the wrong person then the National Post would be at risk of a libel suit. [1] There is also the potential to severely damage a person’s reputation. Although the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to “freedom of thought, […]

2. Covering an Active Shooter

Hudes had found himself in the precarious position of gathering information on a developing story about a mass shooting, with scattered details coming in from panicked locals and a distracted police force. Nate Carlisle, a reporter with the Salt Lake Tribune who has covered several mass shootings, wrote for the Poynter Institute recommending that journalists […]

1. ‘My Kingdom Will Come:’ 2014 Moncton Shootings

At around 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the New Brunswick RCMP were notified of an armed man, dressed in camouflage, walking in the Moncton suburb of Glen Cairn. Locals reported the sound of gunshots; shortly thereafter, there were reports that five RCMP officers had been shot, three fatally. By midnight, police had locked […]

Facebook Faceoff: Active shootings and social media verification

Case Study by Casimir Boivin, Avneet Dhillon, David Greenberg and Kayla Rosen February 2017 Introduction In the summer of 2014 Sammy Hudes was working as an intern at the National Post. On June 4 news broke that there had been a shooting in Moncton, N.B., that left three RCMP officers dead and two others wounded. [1] The police […]

5. The wildcard: social media

Journalists recognize that their job as gatekeepers is less concrete than even a decade ago because of social media. “I was the lineup editor of The National. Nothing got on The National unless I said it got on The National,” Bulgutch says. “But now, if I don’t put something on The National, people can walk […]

4. The way it played out: When graphic content was aired

CBC has a history of airing graphic or otherwise disturbing content. For example, senior producers at CBC’s The National chose to broadcast the image of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler who drowned, and whose body washed up on the shore of Turkey. That decision was controversial, and was met with complaints. One in particular led to a […]