Director’s Letter: March-April 2017

Dear Friends,

The continuing crisis for quality journalism worldwide highlighted in our recent report Ethics in the News is the inspiration for our new multi-country project Ethical Journalism for Democracy and Development in the Digital Age which launches this month.

At a time when the challenge of propaganda and malicious lies has created an unprecedented information crisis, the EJN will be working with media and journalism support partners in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East to help media expose misinformation and strengthen journalism in defence of ethics, good governance and media self-regulation.

The EJN Board, meeting in Oslo, on April 3rd, signed off on a programme of workshops, campaigns and training activities to combat hate speech, challenge fake news, and build fresh respect for ethics in newsrooms, good governance in boardrooms and credibility in the business of self-regulation.

In Africa there will be three conferences with training workshops focused on building a new ethical journalism movement within African media. The programme will be organised in partnership with the Federation of African Journalists and other regional media support groups and will strengthen media reporting of corruption, politics, and migration with campaigns to challenge hate-speech and to build a culture of gender equality across Africa newsrooms.

Also in the spotlight will be the ethics of authors’ rights and how journalists, editors and media owners can work together to protect journalists and publishers from the plunder of their work by people who fail to respect their rights to payment or attribution when it’s due.

In the Middle East the EJN will continue its partnership with Arab media leaders to reinforce our Turning the Page of Campaign against hate-speech, including the development of glossaries and handbooks to raise awareness within journalism of language that should be off limits in news reporting.

The role of journalism in building the conditions for peace and stability will be under discussion in work targeting Palestine and the community of Syrian journalists including those forced into exile as a result of the ongoing civil war.

In Turkey, the EJN will reach out to young people – students and those aspiring to do good work in an increasingly precarious political and professional environment. A series of workshops in Istanbul and Ankara will provide tips and support for young journalists in a country where political pressure on journalists has increased since the attempted coup last year and where self-censorship is present across the whole media landscape.

In Asia the EJN will work with journalists and media academics in China to talk self-regulation and editorial independence in a country striving to develop an infrastructure for improving quality journalism, but which is still hampered by undue official influence on the media landscape. As part of the EJN’s China work we will host a delegation of Chinese media leaders planning a visit to Europe in July to meet with media regulators and journalism leaders.

In Europe the EJN will work with media and journalists in Macedonia and Montenegro as we to improve levels of good governance as part of the EU/UNESCO programme Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey.

Later this month, on April 24th, the EJN will meet with journalists from both sides of the divided island of Cyprus to discuss how a unified approach to independent journalism can strengthen current political efforts to end the decades-long conflict. This theme, also in co-operation with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation, will feature in our work in Ukraine where journalists struggle to overcome a newsroom environment dominated by patriotism, national security and political bias.

As usual, keep up to date with EJN activity on the website where you will find all of our upcoming activities as well as our growing resources.

If you are enjoying the ethical journalism newsletter put together by our Director of Campaigns and Communications Tom Law please recommend it to your colleagues by sending them this link.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about any of our upcoming work.

 

 

 

Aidan White

Director