When we talk about media regulation, people often have completely different ideas of what the term means. To some people, it means limitation of media oligopolies. For others, the term is simply a code word for limitations on freedom of expression.
Writing online can be a confronting experience. Five Guardian writers and editors describe the reasons why by reading out some emails they have received on social media and email in response to something they have posted. (Read more on The Guardian)
Why was a picture of the Pope, potentially offensive to Christians, printed whereas the New York Times refused to print cartoons and images of Muhammad that may offend Muslims? (Read more on The New York Times)
The journalism academic who reported on Professor Tim Hunt’s sexist comments at a science conference has condemned his subsequent “shaming” on Twitter. But despite coming under attack herself, City University’s Connie St Louis said she stands by her reporting and has no regrets. (Read more on Press Gazette)
During the years of communism in the Western Balkans media were under complete state control. This was assured primarily through official appointment of media managers and editors loyal to the political establishment. Courts of Honour in ex-Yugoslavia ensured ideological uniformity in media content and compliance with the goals of the communist party. Promotion of professional ethics was not their main goal.
During the1991-1995 Balkan wars, media were used by the ethno-national political elites. They contributed to the polarisation of communities, the demonisation of other ethnic groups and finally to the justification of violence against the “other”. To this day, there is no common moral condemnation of inadmissible media practices prior and during the conflicts.
Attempts to self-regulate the media sector has been anything but organic, straightforward and easy. The international community played an important role in putting in place the regulations and institutions to support media self-regulation, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro.
The closure of the magazine Feral Tribune in 2008 (a magazine published in Croatia but acclaimed across the region), after a boycott by advertisers over its critical reporting on politics and centers of power, is a brutal reminder that independent journalism that holds power to account can hardly survive in these testing times.
This grim situation applies for the most part across the countries of Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro and also appears in the media landscape of Croatia, a European Union member state. This report gives an overview of major models of media corruption that limits quality journalism.
Around the world, reporters, editors and their news organizations are constantly tested ethically: In tough economic and political environments, journalists accept money in exchange for positive stories about a candidate. In more developed countries, top dogs at news organizations sometimes censor reporters based on an advertiser-publisher relationship. Who controls the Internet, where almost everyone now publishes, has also become an ethical issue for journalists.
Join IJNet for a live chat on July 15 at 10 a.m. EDT to learn more about how journalists can overcome these obstacles. Participants will be free to ask questions, pose their own ethical dilemmas and get advice from Aidan White, the director of the Ethical Journalism Network; Tom Kent, the standards editor at the Associated Press; and Ceren Sözeri, an associate professor at Galatasaray University in Istanbul.
Interested participants can enter the chat here on the day of the event or ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag #IJNetLive.