Director’s Letter: October 2014

Dear Friends,

October has been a busy month punctuated by ethical talk and practical action in key corners of the media world – in Bali, where the EJN helped shape a ground-breaking policy on ethical journalism that was also noted by more than 30 regional governments; in Skopje, Macedonia, where a new EJN ethics programme for the media in Western Balkans and Turkey was finalised; in Palestine, where EJN and local partners launched a programme on ethics for young Palestinian journalists; and in Brussels, where the EJN is leading a media discussion on European challenges for self-regulation and journalism.

The 6th Bali Media Forum in Indonesia brought together 90 editors and journalism leaders from 25 countries and was organised by the Thomson Foundation in liaison with the EJN. The Forum adopted a programme of work in support of promoting ethical journalism and higher standards of Internet communications. The programme aims to head off government interference and new legal controls of Internet by strengthening journalism and promoting more responsible online communications. The conclusions of the meeting can be found here.

On 16-18 October EJN attended the eighth South East Europe Media Forum in Skopje which focussed also on how media in the Western Balkans are battling corruption and political interference in the struggle to improve ethics and self-regulation. At the meeting EJN and UNESCO officials agreed to work on a three-year programme, funded by the European Union to strengthen media ethics in Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, and Montenegro.

From October 22-25 the EJN, in partnership with the Centre for Applied Research and Education in Palestine, and four education centres – Birzeit University, Al-Quds University, the Media College of Al Aroob and Hebron University – organised two seminars in Ramallah and Hebron for senior students of journalism. The focus was on actions to combat hate-speech and propaganda in the tense atmosphere surrounding the recent conflict in Gaza. The EJN plans to expand its work with Palestinian journalists and media next year.

On October 30 a major discussion on media policy focusing on the future of journalism and self-regulation is being held in the European quarter of Brussels in partnership with academics, journalists, editors and the Belgian press council. The EJN is leading the debate and outlining strategies for promoting responsible communications across the Internet.

During October the EJN also visited Copenhagen to meet with leaders of International Media Support and to finalise a two-year programme of co-operation with media and journalists in Pakistan. This will build on the work we carried out two years ago to help journalists and editors launch the Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism. The new programme will help media strengthen internal systems of self-regulation and governance.

Meanwhile, the EJN has also confirmed co-operation with new supporters including the International Center for Journalism in the United States and the Global Forum for Media Development.

Finally, an important date for the diary. EJN supporters are invited to our meeting in December when we will discuss our programmes for 2015 and the launch of the network as a formal charity registered in the UK. There will also be a discussion on how we follow up the recent international reports on self-regulation and media corruption.

The meeting will take place on December 4th starting at 11.00. Please email Communications Officer Stefanie Chernow at schernow@ethicaljournalismnetwork.org for details.

 

More detail about the meeting is available from me at aidanpatrickwhite@gmail.com. Follow EJN activity on our web-site and subscribe to the EJN. Follow us on Twitter (@EJNetwork).

Best,

Aidan White