First Five Newsletter: January 30, 2020

First Five
Impact of media reports on the death of Kobe Bryant, misinformation on coronavirus, new law on punishing “pirate” radio stations and more.

First Five Column

Gene Policinski discusses the importance of “getting it right” in regards to gathering and reporting breaking news. The recent tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash, sparked a multitude of reporters and news outlets reporting speedy, yet false news on this incident, leading to increased criticism on today’s media. Read the column. A plain text version is available for publishers here.


Misinformation about the deadly coronavirus is spreading rapidly, says an item in Editor & Publisher magazine, part of a series on the “misinformation age.”


Reuters reports on “where U.S. presidential candidates stand on breaking up ‘Big Tech.'”


President Trump signs new law giving the Federal Communications Commission new powers to deter, and punish, unlicensed “pirate” radio stations – long-sought by broadcasters and regulators, but opposed by those who say the stations actually do a better job of entertaining and informing underserved communities.


An Electronic Frontier Foundation essay outlines issues lawmakers should carefully consider in balancing the rights of copyright holders with the rights of the public to use and build upon copyrighted works – with a goal of encouraging innovation and creativity.


In an article adapted from his acceptance speech on Jan. 21, George Parker, a staff writer at The Atlantic, winner of the Hitchens Prize, offers this: “A writer who’s afraid to tell people what they don’t want to hear has chosen the wrong trade.”

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