EJN test for hate speech

Point Three: The Objectives of the Speech

Step 3Normally, ethical journalists and well-informed editors will be able to quickly identify whether the speech is deliberately intended to attack or diminish the human rights of individuals and groups. They should also know whether such speech is subject to criminal or other sanctions. It is sometimes necessary for journalists to break the rules, but they should at all times be aware of the risks when they decide to publish.

As part of the reporting process, journalists and editors have a special responsibility to place the speech in its proper context – to disclose and report what are the objectives of the speaker. It is not our intention to deliberately expose or diminish people with whom we disagree, but careful, ethical reporting always helps people better understand the context in which speech is made.

The key questions to ask are: What are the benefits to the speaker and the interests that he or she represents? Who are victims of the speech and what is the impact upon them, both as individuals and within their community?

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Tagged with: Hate Speech | Hate Spin, newsroom practice, repetition, reporting, speaker