Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 26 July 2016

NEWS

TAKING AN ETHICAL DECISION NOT TO LIVESTREAM THE NICE ATTACK

Using just his mobile phone, Richard Gutjahr, reporter for German national broadcaster ARD, has produced on-the-scene coverage of two attacks in the past two weeks: the Bastille Day lorry killings in Nice (14 July), and Friday’s fatal shootings in Munich shopping centre Olympia Einkaufszentrum (22 July). […]

Gutjahr, who also holds workshops on livestreaming, decided not to Periscope the aftermath, but rather let ARD decide what footage should be broadcast to the public.

“I decided against Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook Live or Periscope, because I had the feeling that this would not be wise in this situation, where anything could happen. I was also shocked and would not have been in the right state of mind to decide what to show and what not to,” he said. “I needed someone with a distant and objective view on the imagery to decide what was newsworthy.”

“Everyone was expecting me to livestream, but the best reporting I did that night was the reporting I did not do.”

Gutjahr Skyped live from his balcony, which overlooked ambulances, police lights and helicopters at the scene. He was careful to ensure there were no wounded people in the frame.

“If there were people in the background then I would have just turned my smartphone to the other direction,” he said.

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

POST-FACT OR NOT POST-FACT? IS THAT THE QUESTION?

Two contrasting opinions on how facts are treated by the powerful and the media; Peter Pomerantsev argues that the “post-fact” era is upon us; while the director and editor of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, Alexios Mantzarlis, argues that this is far from a new phenomenon.

Why we’re post-fact

As his army blatantly annexed Crimea, Vladimir Putin went on TV and, with a smirk, told the world there were no Russian soldiers in Ukraine. He wasn’t lying so much as saying the truth doesn’t matter. And when Donald Trump makes up facts on a whim, claims that he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering the Twin Towers coming down, or that the Mexican government purposefully sends ‘bad’ immigrants to the US, when fact-checking agencies rate 78% of his statements untrue but he still becomes a US Presidential candidate – then it appears that facts no longer matter much in the land of the free. When the Brexit campaign announces ‘Let’s give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week’ and, on winning the referendum, the claim is shrugged off as a ‘mistake’ by one Brexit leader while another explains it as ‘an aspiration’, then it’s clear we are living in a ‘post-fact’ or ‘post-truth’ world. Not merely a world where politicians and media lie – they have always lied – but one where they don’t care whether they tell the truth or not.

How did we get here? Is it due to technology? Economic globalisation? The culmination of the history of philosophy? There is some sort of teenage joy in throwing off the weight of facts – those heavy symbols of education and authority, reminders of our place and limitations – but why is this rebellion happening right now?

Read the full article here. (Granta)

No, we’re not in a ‘post-fact’ era

Paul Krugman called it “The Post-Truth Campaign.” Farhad Manjoo said we lived in a “post-fact society.” Author David Sirota welcomed us to the “post-factual era.”

If you are following media coverage of the U.S. presidential campaign or the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, you can’t have missed headlines like these. This is apparently the year when facts, unloved and marginalized, have finally been banished from the political sphere.

Except none of the headlines above are from this year: Krugman’s article was penned in 2011, Manjoo’s book published in 2008, Sirota’s blog posted in 2007.

Read the full article here (Poynter)

GLOBAL JOURNALISM NEEDS GLOBAL ETHICS

There’s an old saying in journalism: “All news is local”. It means that news, wherever it comes from, needs to engage the interest of its local audience if it is to succeed. But read today’s paper, or turn to the nightly television news broadcast, or just check your phone right now, and it’s clear that things have changed. All news now has the potential to reach a global audience.

Read the full article here. (The Conversation)

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE PROTESTS STOP AND RACISM REMAINS?

New resource helps journalists cover race and hunger.

Read the full article here. (RJI)

HOW TO IMPROVE COVERAGE OF RAPE IN INDIA

On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old medical student in New Delhi boarded a bus with her friend and was fatally gang raped by six men. The rape caused massive protests throughout India, garnering international media attention. While the justice system did a poor job of dealing with the assailants, the media arguably did not do much better in terms of covering the story fairly and sensitively. Here’s a look at what could have been done better.

Read the full article here (IJNET)

TURKEY: PRESS FREEDOM IN THE GRIP OF MAJOR CRACKDOWN FOLLOWING FAILED COUP

An ongoing crackdown on the media in Turkey has led to the arrests of more journalists and raids on their homes. The European and the International Federation of journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today denounced the deterioration of democratic rule, of which press freedom is one of the pillars.

Read the full article here. (EFJ/IFJ)

Turkey: Arrest warrants for 42 journalists a brazen attack on press freedom (Amnesty)

Mapping Media Freedom: A disastrous week for Turkish journalism (Index on Censorship)

PAUL SHEEHAN’S FALSE GANG RAPE STORY ‘UNBALANCED AND OFFENSIVE’, SAYS PRESS COUNCIL

Paul Sheehan’s false middle eastern gang rape story in the Sydney Morning Herald was inaccurate, unbalanced and offensive, according to an investigation by the Australian press council.

Read the full article here. (Guardian Australia)

In February Sheehan published this apology about the story, which has been retracted.

TWITTER BANS RIGHT-WING JOURNALIST @NERO QUOTING RULES OVER INCITEMENT OF HARASSMENT

Twitter has banned right-wing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos from the platform after he posted messages seen as encouraging harassment of ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones.

Read the full article here. (Press Gazette)

A PLUS AND THE NEW AGE OF POSITIVE PUBLISHING

There’s any number of idioms that highlight the media’s obsession with bad news. “If it bleeds, it leads”. “There’s no news like bad news”.

Unfortunately – especially given the post-Brexit pre-president Trump climate in which we find ourselves – there isn’t much to smile about on a global level. The news is almost universally bad and the press charged with distilling international news is relentlessly negative as a result.

Cate Matthews is A Plus‘ managing editor. She explained how A Plus’ stated aim of promoting stories that focus on ‘our shared humanity’ sets the site apart from most publishers.

Read the full article here. (The Media Briefing)

BRAZILIAN FACT-CHECKING ORGANIZATION AOS FATOS CELEBRATES ONE YEAR AND PREPARES FOR NEW CHALLENGES

Brazilian fact-checking startup Aos Fatos (translated as To the Facts) is celebrating its one-year anniversary and already making plans to expand its digital presence and to invest in publishing via video. Created in July 2015, the organization is dedicated to verifying facts and statements made by authorities, a journalistic practice that has become known as fact-checking.

Read the full article here. (Knight Center)