News organizations are facing increasing numbers of requests from sources to remove their names from stories they say are causing them ongoing grief. Some were once charged with a crime, but not convicted. Others volunteered to share profoundly personal experiences with a reporter — and now regret they did.
Four years ago I was part of a Canadian Association of Journalists ethics committee that advised journalists to resist these requests to unpublish stories — however heart-wrenching some might be. We gave journalists an out — in “some rare cases” — but didn’t explain what this might look like.
Now the committee has revisited the issue in an attempt to provide more clarity over when — and how — journalists might evaluate a request to unpublish a story.
The result is our Case Study and Analysis on Unpublishing. Take a read on J-Source.