iMediaEthics’ most read stories published in 2017 are included below.
Nearly half of our ten most read stories had to do with crime reporter Kevin Deutsch’s trail of missing sources. The New York Times couldn’t find two of his sources from one freelance article; Newsday couldn’t locate 109 of his sources; the New York Daily News said it didn’t see any red flags but that it was unable to “comprehensively” confirm everything in his stories; and Newsweek and the Village Voice are still apparently reviewing his work. Read our full investigation here.
10. The tenth most read iMediaEthics story focused on iMediaEthics’ investigation into Kevin Deutsch, the former Newsday and New York Daily News staff crime reporter. In late April, iMediaEthics reported that we were unable to find 14 sources from 10 stories out of 40 examined from Deutsch’s reporting in Newsday and the Daily News as well as his freelance pieces for the New York Times and Newsweek.
9. iMediaEthics’ ninth most read story this year reported on the results of Newsday‘s nearly five-month investigation into Kevin Deutsch’s reporting for the Long Island newspaper. The July 2017 results? Newsday couldn’t confirm 109 sources from 77 of Deutsch’s stories.
8. In June, male-focused sports site Barstool Sports published a blogpost asking, “Is Rihanna Going to Make Being Fat the Hot New Trend?” The distasteful article slammed the singer’s appearance, saying “it’s a tough world to stomach,” comparing her to the Hindenberg, and wishing she was “just pregnant.” Barstool Sports unpublished the blogpost and suspended its author, with the founder of the site saying it should not have been written but that it wasn’t “as bad as many are making it out to be.”
7. In early March, iMediaEthics reported that the New York Daily News told us it would review all 572 of Kevin Deutsch’s stories for the paper. We also reported on our preliminary investigation of Deutsch’s Newsday reporting, which found two missing sources from his reporting on the Orlando Pulse shooting. (Newsweek later admitted it couldn’t confirm the identity of these people either.)
6. ESPN fired commentator Doug Adler after viewers thought he called Venus Williams a “gorilla” during his coverage of the Australian Open. Adler maintains he said she was playing in a “guerilla” fashion. In April, Adler sued ESPN over the firing.
5. In July, a USA Today/iMediaEthics poll found Americans are torn on whether Congress should impeach and remove Donald Trump from the presidency. From the poll report:
“The poll also finds more than half (57%) of Americans believe either there is enough evidence now for Congress to remove Trump from office, or that ongoing investigations will eventually provide enough evidence – including 29% of Republicans, 52% of independents, and 85% of Democrats who feel that way. Despite expecting evidence to support impeachment, most Americans apparently believe it will not happen.”
4. Famed rocker Tom Petty died in October. But, news of his death was reported hours before it actually happened. iMediaEthics looked at what went wrong — which the Los Angeles Police Department said included CBS News basing its inaccurate report on comments from an officer who didn’t know he was on the record. That report triggered numerous other news stories reporting Petty’s death, but when the LAPD issued a statement saying the department wasn’t involved in Petty’s circumstances, numerous outlets corrected.
3. iMediaEthics’ third installment in our investigation into Kevin Deutsch’s crime reporting was our third most read article. In this March 2017 report, iMediaEthics reported that we couldn’t locate eight of Deutsch’s sources, that Deutsch quit his teaching job at Queen’s College mid-semester and at the last minute, and that Newsweek was reviewing Deutsch’s work.
2. In July, MSN ended its online comments section because of “abusive and offensive posts.”
1. iMediaEthics’ most-read story in 2017 was a guest commentary, published on the one-year anniversary of Pennsylvania man Joseph Koscinski’s death. When Koscinski died, his local newspaper, the Sharon Herald, sensationalized and graphically detailed his suicide, violating basic media ethics practices for reporting on suicide. On the anniversary of his death, Koscinski’s mother, Betty Koscinski, wrote for iMediaEthics a commentary about what she wished the Sharon Herald had reported on her son’s death.