Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 11 August 2016

NEWS

BAKED SWANS AND DROWNING REFUGEES: THE MEDIA SHOULD KNOW BETTER

When it comes to refugees, the media are getting away with gross violations of professional and ethical standards. At a time when xenophobic political discourses are on the rise, journalists have a double responsibility to commit to quality reporting.

[…] Research conducted by the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) in 2015 found that news coverage is driven by political bias and opportunism when it comes to migration-related issues. The 100-page report detailed how news outlets are falling victim to the propaganda trap laid by politicians and dangerously straying away from their main role as information providers.

Read the full article here. (Middle East Eye)

THIS IS DONALD TRUMP AT HIS LOWEST YET: A MAN HINTING AT MURDER

Donald Trump has long held that Hillary Clinton is stealing the election. But on Tuesday he suggested something even darker and more sinister: that his supporters resolve the issue with guns.

Specifically, he suggested that using the constitutional right to bear arms may be the only way to stop Clinton from appointing supreme court justices should she win in November. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said, before adding: “Although the second amendment people – maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Read the full article here. (Guardian)

The EJN’s Director, Aidan White, described “Trump’s ‘nod and wink’ incitement to violence and hatred” as “classic hate-speech — weasel words for a knowing audience.” For more on how to identify hate speech and how to report it read our five-point test.

NOT EVERYONE IS LAUGHING AT JOHN OLIVER’S RIFF ON NEWSPAPERS

The HBO star’s take on the newspaper industry’s woes touched a nerve, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Read the full article here. (Politico)

Newsonomics: After John Oliver, the you-get-what-you-pay-for imperative has never been clearer

“It’s not experimentation that is most needed. It’s execution, and execution based on the value of smarter, rather than dumbed-down, local journalism.”

Read the full article here. (Nieman Lab)

Also read our Inside Ethics blog from February about how satire holds media and politicians to account.

REPORT: BBC MUST END ‘HE SAID, SHE SAID’ APPROACH TO COVERAGE OF GOVERNMENT STATISTICS AND SCRUTINISE CLAIMS

The BBC Trust has commissioned an impartiality review into how the corporation presents facts and figures in its news stories. It said its presenters should be in a better position to challenge numbers, especially when interviewing guests. “We came across many examples where statistics were used erroneously or in misleading ways by guests on programmes and were not challenged by presenters,” the report said. And it said that audiences were unsatisfied with statistical claims being pitched against one another in a “he said, she said” format “without providing any kind of ‘refereeing’ voice”.

Read the full article here. (Press Gazette)

BREXIT, TRUMP: THE TROUBLE WITH CLAIMING WE’RE IN A POST-TRUTH ERA

It’s not just political outsiders who tell lies. Mainstream parties aren’t always able to be honest with voters either.

Read the full article here. (Guardian)

SEVERAL SOUTH AFRICAN NEWSPAPERS MUST APOLOGIZE TO EDITOR WHO WAS FIRED AFTER NELSON MANDELA COVERAGE

Alide Dasnois, an editor for the Cape Times (South Africa) was fired in late 2013, after she did not put the news of Nelson Mandela’s death on the front page of the newspaper. Instead, the news of Mandela’s death was “contained within a four-page wrap-around tribute,” South Africa’s Business Day Live reported, as had been planned well in advance.

Now, long after her dismissal, several newspapers published by the Cape Times’s parent company must apologize for their stories about her firing and her settlement with the company.

Read the full article here. (iMediaEthics)

REPORTING RAPE

How should the media cover rape? Focusing on survivor and family, just because they are available and too shell-shocked to fight back, results in sensationalism.

Read the full article here. (Live Mint)

CAN MSNBC AND CNN FACT-CHECK TRUMP IN REAL TIME? (APPARENTLY!)

For months — though it feels like centuries — all the usual suspects, including the aforementioned CNN and MSNBC, let Trump literally phone in his interviews. Last December, MSNBC ceded nearly an hour of weeknight prime time to a live airing of a Trump rally, hot on the heels of the candidate’s claim that all Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. Trump had some huge(ly inaccurate) ideas he wanted to share with the world — his oft-repeated claim that thousands of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the September 11 attacks comes most readily to mind — and cable networks gave him the megaphone to do it.

Read the full article here. (Think Progress)

TWO NEW TYPES OF SOCIAL MEDIA HOAX TO LOOK OUT FOR (AND HOW TO SPOT THEM)

Recent news stories have been plagued by a new wave of online hoaxers on social media, so make sure you don’t get tricked.

Read the full article. (First Draft News)

HOW PUBLISHERS CAN LEARN MORE FROM THEIR NEWSROOM EXPERIMENTS

Failed newsroom experiments are rarely highlighted – but is there a way to learn more from them?

Read the full article here. (Journalism.co.uk)

ACTIVITIES

NEW ETHICAL JOURNALISM NEWSLETTER LAUNCHING THIS MONTH

Later this month the Ethical Journalism Network is launching a revamped version of the Newsletter.

The Ethical Journalism Bulletin will now be sent once a week on Thursday’s at 1200 GMT.

Our new website will also be launched in the coming weeks. If you have any feedback on the newsletter or ideas for our new website please contact or Director of Communications and Campaigns, Tom Law. tlaw@ethicaljournalismnetwork.org