The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) today launched the Accountable Journalism website, which includes the largest database of media codes in a user-friendly and searchable Web application.
Within the database, users can search for media codes based on the code’s originating country, as well as by topic, type of organization, region and date of creation/update.
In addition to improving the technology and interface, the revamped Accountable Journalism database now includes additional codes of ethics and links on hate speech, which is problematic both online and offline.
When people are blind-sided by atrocious crimes against humanity and breaking news spreads instantaneously, emotions can run high. Media must walk the line between saying too much and telling the story in a careful and sensitive manner that encourages rational public discourse.
What keeps journalists grounded in these difficult situations are their ethical standards: to be accurate and use fact-based information and to minimise harm by reporting with humanity and in context.
Unethical communications, including hate speech, political propaganda and wilful misinformation, suppress freedom of expression and deny a voice to marginalized and vulnerable groups.
In the days before the Paris attacks two EJN activities – one in Cairo and a second in Johannesburg – illustrated how, for journalists in the Arab World and across Africa, the issue of ethical reporting of conflict is a top priority for media everywhere.
The Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, Dorothy Byrne, discussed ethical journalism at the recent City talk, Living with a TV Regulator. It was the second in a series of events held at the University in conjunction with the Ethical Journalism Network. (Read more on City University)
Turning the Page of Hate Media Campaign for Tolerance In Journalism
How can journalists determine what is hate speech? In a world plagued by censorship, press freedom violations and propaganda it is difficult for reporters to judge what type of rhetoric is acceptable and what is intolerable. Here is a 5 point checklist to consider before publishing potentially inflammatory content.
Public trust in the media has never been so critical as it is today. Yet between the many business and political pressures facing the journalism industry – notably in trying to keep to speed with the rapid communications online – this sacred public trust is at an all time low. There must be a revitalization of ethical communications if society is to protect both the integrity of journalism and free expression. For this to occur, media must strengthen their foundation by continuing to develop and enforce their codes of ethics.
But do codes of ethics really work in a practical sense? How can not only journalists, but anyone online or offline who regularly commits act of journalism learn from international legacy media codes and incorporate these practices into their own daily communications?
This online debate will examine the reality of ethics in the media and lay out a framework for how individuals and media can incorporate codes of ethics to increase their value in a democratic society. A new tool, the Accountable Journalism database, will be introduced as a practical means to research ethical concepts.
Aidan White, Director of the Ethical Journalism Network
Randy Picht, Executive Director of the the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
Stefanie Chernow, Communications Officer of the Ethical Journalism Network