As televised news events go, it had a touch of the surreal about it.

Two days after the San Bernardino mass shooting, scores of reporters stormed into the home of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, two of the crime's main suspects, broadcasting live while rummaging through their personal effects.

Airing images of family members and releasing sensitive material that only a few hours earlier had been part of an FBI investigation, the coverage brought the journalistic ethics of a number of news organisations into question.

Hashtags like #Thisisntjournalism were trending while reporters were still in the house, live on air.

The ensuing media coverage, which combines two big issues in the US right now - the so-called war on terror and gun control - prompted Republican presidential contender, Donald Trump, to call for a blanket ban on Muslims entering the US, while several media outlets went into a frenzy focusing on the suspects' religious beliefs as a primary motive for the killings.

Talking us through the story are: Erik Wemple, The Washington Post's media critic; Kelly McBride, the vice president of the Poynter Institute; Ali Harb, a reporter with Arab American News; and NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik.


Other stories on our radar this week: In Somalia, a journalist has died after a bomb was planted in her car and analysts are blaming the armed group al-Shabab. In China, four journalists have been suspended for a typo that claimed President Xi Jinping had resigned; and Britain's The Sun newspaper has apologised for an article that purportedly showed how easy it is for potential terrorists to travel across Europe, which turned out to be fake.


Social media videos: The end of journalism?

Native social media videos are the next evolution in news consumption. Producers who were once battling with channel flicking are now trying to catch your eye online before you click past. And some news outlets like Al Jazeera's AJ+, Buzzfeed, and NowThis have so far enjoyed success with their online models.

YouTube has just turned 10 this year but thanks to Facebook's new video strategy and the rising popularity of platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, the audience for videos on social media has grown exponentially and the competition for audience share has grown very fierce. Short form text on screen and rapid fire visuals feature prominently in the native world, but how much does the quest for instant gratification affect the quality of journalism?

The Listening Post's Paolo Ganino reports on native social news videos and what this new genre says about how we consume news.


Dutch filmmakers Sacha Harland and Alexander Spoor from the YouTube channel, 'Dit Is Normaal' (This Is Normal) recently conducted an experiment on the streets of The Netherlands. They selected a few choice passages from the Bible, disguised it as a Quran, and then asked passers-by what they thought about the writings. The results say a lot about the unconscious bias that is present in many of us. The Holy Quran Experiment has racked up millions of views online.

Source: Al Jazeera