ONO Newsletter March 2021



Another great discussion on an important topic – thanks to everyone who was able to join us.

Over 30 members listened in to some or all of this shop talk, and interest in the issue was so great that we have decided to organise a further follow-up shop talk in the near future.

Our planned guest speaker, Deborah Dwyer, was unable to join us due to a scheduling mix-up, so we are hoping she will be able to come along to the second session.

In the meantime, keep an eye on her website which will be launching soon. It will contain a wealth of information and resources on the issue.

In our shop talk, a range of members spoke about their own approaches to the issue, and about the importance of balancing the need to protect the integrity of published news content with the growing claims by third parties that they been adversely impacted by content available permanently on-line.

Most members acknowledged that removing online news stories is a last resort that is only done in the most exceptional of circumstances, but that a range of other measures (correcting or adding contextual content, providing editor’s notes, de-identifying individuals, de-indexing stories) can sometimes be used to deal with people’s concerns where justified.

The issue of if and when to unpublish also has the potential to cause newsrooms to re-think their approach to informed consent and to other editorial standards when publishing material in the first place.

Clearly, there is more to discuss here, so keep a look out for an email in the coming weeks about a second shop talk on this issue.

In the meantime, if you missed the first one or simply wish to review some of the highlights, the video is now posted in the Members Only section of the ONO website.

You will find it under the heading “Recordings of ONO Shop Talks” and the password to access the video is the same as the password to access the members only section.

If you have any difficulties accessing it, please email Alan Sunderland at newsombudsmenorg@gmail.com


It’s clear that the latest round of shop talks have proved to be very popular with members, and so we are planning to keep rolling them out on a regular basis across the year.

That means we need suggestions for topics from members.

To ensure that they are as relevant and useful as possible, please get in touch via newsombudsmenorg@gmail.com with topics you would like to discuss, questions you would like to ask or speakers you would like to hear from.

We are also well aware that some of the best minds working in the area of ethical journalism are inside our own organization. So if you have a pet issue you would like to talk about at a shop talk, let us know!


Members may recall that in a recent newsletter we updated you on a new, simple online corrections tool that had been developed by Paul Glader, Associate Professor of Journalism at the McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute in New York.

The new tool is available for anyone wishing to test it or find out more about it at https://www.vettnews.com/

Since our last update, there have been some new developments to share:

  • Poynter has featured a major story on the tool and has started using it on its own site.
  • The Radio Television Digital News Association has made the tool available to its 1500 member organizations to pilot for a year.
  • Many other newsrooms, particularly in the US, are in discussions to trial the new tool.

Vett News remains interested in talking to any ONO members who may want to find out more about the tool or considering trialling it for themselves.

You can contact Professor Glader at  paul@vettnews.com


  • The fate of New York Times columnist David Brooks has raised some interesting questions about conflict of interest. In this piece, ONO Member and NPR Public Editor Kelly McBride reflects on the implications for NPR: read it here
  • ONO Board Member Ignaz Staub has shared this piece from the Columbia Journalism Review on the amplification by the media of social media misinformation.
  • ONO Member Ed Wasserman, professor of journalism and dean Emeritus at the Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, wrote this interesting column about the challenge facing the US media in the wake of Trump


We have delayed issuing a new password for our site, so as not to confuse anyone who is trying to access the recording of our shop talks and other new information.

The change will be made later in the year, and all members will be notified by email as well as through the newsletter.

Bjarne Schilling                                                                                                            Alan Sunderland ONO President                                                                                                ONO Executive Director
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