Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 4 August 2016

NEWS

HOW POOR JOURNALISM MAKES LIFE WORSE FOR PEOPLE IN POVERTY

Journalists and charity campaigners in Britain have joined forces to combat bias in journalism that makes life even worse for people trapped in a world of growing inequality and deprivation.

Reporting the plight of communities struggling to lift themselves out of poverty requires careful and sensitive journalism, but sometimes the poorest people may find themselves targeted by bias in the news.

This has led the National Union of Journalists in the UK and the British-based group Church Action on Poverty to draft new reporting guidelines for journalists and editors and now they plan to make a film to reinforce the message that news media need to set higher standards.

Read the full article here. (EJN)

HOW TO POLICE ‘DIGITAL WILDFIRES’ ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Evidently, digital wildfires can have devastating consequences for the reputation and well-being of individuals, groups, communities and even entire populations. Meanwhile, the speed with which content spreads can make it very difficult for official agencies to respond in a timely manner: by the time the spread of content slows or stops, massive damage may already have been done. But what can be done to limit or prevent the spread of this misinformation?

Read the full article here. (The Conversation)

FILM REVIEW: THE MENU – MEDIA ETHICS RECONSIDERED IN DIGITAL-AGE NEWSROOM DRAMA

Set in January 2015, this movie spin-off from the popular HKTV series uses a hostage crisis at a TV station to examine how hit rates and clickbait have transformed the news business.

Read the full article here. (South China Morning Post)

SOUTH AFRICA – INDEPENDENT MEDIA MISLED PUBLIC ON ALIDE DASNOIS, SAYS PRESS OMBUDSMAN

In a damning verdict, the Press Ombudsman found that several Independent Media titles had misled the public in their reporting of a settlement with Alide Dasnois, former Cape Times editor. Humiliating apologies to follow.

Read the full article here. (Daily Maverick)

THE CASE AGAINST THE MEDIA. BY THE MEDIA.

For decades, the pollsters at Gallup have been asking Americans if they trust their media. In 1974, the year Woodward and Bernstein brought an end to Richard Nixon’s presidency, 69 percent of them did. In a poll released last year, that number was at a historic low. Today, the only institutions Americans have less faith in than television news (21 percent) and newspapers (20 percent) are Congress and “big business.” That’s pretty damn low — humiliatingly low, especially for a group of people who fancy themselves members of “the Fourth Estate.”

Read the full article here. (New York Magazine)

How journalists can do their crucial job in the next 100 days

As the newly nominated presidential candidates plunge into the last 99 days of the campaign, news organizations might pause before they do the same. We should think of what the disembodied voice on a GPS repeats — “recalculating” — when it’s time to make a course correction. How should the media recalculate in the months before Nov. 8, especially given the sharp divisions in the country?

Read the full article here. (Washington Post)

FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN POLLS CONFLICT

Recently, Stuart Rothenberg, a longtime political analyst and columnist, had some advice for readers when they see conflicting pre-election poll results. Either “pick the poll you want to believe (as many do)” or “look below the top-line responses to understand each survey’s results.”

My reaction? No! Definitely not – to both suggestions.

Read the full article here. (iMediaEthics)

GARETH DAVIES: WHY THE TRINITY MIRROR MODEL THREATENS LOCAL JOURNALISM

Trinity Mirror wants reporters to be “superb at the basics” but, a fortnight into Newsroom 3.1, staff are already being told to make serious compromises to fundamental journalistic standards. I am told that, on July 21, a reporter was instructed by an editor to lift quotes from the website of the rival Croydon Guardian instead of corroborating the story himself. On a separate occasion another journalist was allegedly told to “cannibalise” a story from the same paper.

Read the article by former Trinity Mirror reporter Gareth Davies here. (Sub-scribe)

JOURNALISTS SHOULD, AT ANY TIME GIVEN, BE AWARE THE SOCIAL ROLE OF THE MEDIA AND ETHICAL PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH JOURNALISM IS BASED

The social responsibility of the media should represent an imperative in media reporting in any community. This media role in a post-conflict society, places it on an even higher level. In certain societies, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the media have an independent and very important role in the process of developing a stable and tolerant society, aimed at peace and coexistence. However, the question is whether media in BiH contribute in strengthening peace and tolerance or if they revive tensions that slow down the process of social stabilization? The answer to this question would require further analysis of media contents in BiH and this text shall not deal with that; instead, this text shall attempt to provide some guidelines for better quality of comprehensive media reporting in post-conflict societies, such as the Bosnian society. The basic assumption is that media reporting on diversities in BiH, war casualties and social justice, is not on a satisfactory level and should and must be advanced.

Read the full article here. (Fairpress.eu)

PUBLIC MEDIA HAS NOW BECOME ‘ENEMIES OF INFORMATION’-BISHOP CHINYEMBA

Diocese of Mongu Bishop Evans Chinyemba has denounced Zambia’s deteriorating media freedoms especially for the public media. Bishop Chinyemba said the country would conduct next week’s general elections under the climate of public service media that only speak for the party in power. In a stinging analysis, Bishop Chinyemba has since urged the Zambian government to stop abusing the public service media sector for its ends.

Read the full article here. (Lusaka Times)

CNN PRESIDENT DEFENDS LEWANDOWSKI HIRE AS ETHICS DISASTER CONTINUES FOR NETWORK

CNN president Jeff Zucker defended the network’s hiring of former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as a paid commentator at the network. Despite the numerous ethical issues that have been raised about Lewandowski’s CNN role, Zucker said “he’s done a really nice job.”

As Media Matters has documented, Lewandowski’s hiring prompted widespread criticism. Media experts have called the relationship “profoundly disturbing,” “problematic,” and a “sea of muck” among numerous other concerns. Last month, Media Matters president Bradley Beychok sent a letter to Zucker detailing the numerous ethical concerns surrounding Lewandowski, including questions about the reported non-disparagement agreement he has with the Trump campaign and the disclosure by the network in early July that he was “still receiving severance from the Trump campaign” while working for CNN.

Read the full article. (Media Matters)

MATERIALS

PAPER: JOURNALISTS’ ROLE IN TRANSITIONAL SOCIETIES

This report provides an overview of core comparative findings from MeCoDEM interviews with journalists in Egypt, Kenya, Serbia and South Africa. It investigates the role of journalistic actors in transitional societies across a set of comparable democratisation conflicts and themes of inquiry: journalistic work practices, role perceptions, and ethical principles and dilemmas. Empirically, the study builds on qualitative semi-structured face-to face in-depth interviews with 100 professional journalists working for local news organisations in the four countries. Interviews employed the reconstruction method.

Read the full paper here. (MeCoDEM)

“STOPPING HATE: HOW TO COUNTER HATE SPEECH ON TWITTER?”

The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) within its project Get the Trolls Out published the guide “Stopping Hate: How to Counter Hate Speech on Twitter?” The guide contains useful tips and advice for both civil society organisations and individuals and it was produced and promoted with collaboration with Twitter. The Guide is available in 4 languages (English, French, Hungarian, and Greek).

http://www.stoppinghate.getthetrollsout.org/

WHY JOURNALISTS SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT INFORMATION SECURITY AND SOURCE PROTECTION

The Investigatory Powers Bill, introduced to the House of Commons on 1 March 2016, has provided a new framework to “govern the use and oversight of investigatory powers by law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies,” but what does this mean for the work of investigative journalists?

Silkie Carlo, policy officer at Liberty and co-author of Information Security for Journalists, told Journalism.co.uk that reporters should be prepared for the changing working environment in the UK that comes with the update in the law.

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

ACTIVITIES

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE MOST RESILIENT JOURNALIST AWARD 2016

We are excited to announce the second edition of the Free Press Awards. We aim to celebrate the work of the best journalists and media professionals. Free Press Unlimited wants people to have access to reliable information they need to develop and prosper. We support journalists worldwide to make stories be told. Nowadays that is not always an easy task. With these awards we want to honor those media professionals who continue no matter what.

Read the full article here. (Free Press Unlimited)