EJN test for hate speech

Point Two: The Reach of the Speech

Step 2A private conversation in a public place can include the most unspeakable opinions but do relatively little harm and so would not necessarily breach the test of hate-speech. But that changes if the speech is disseminated through mainstream media or the Internet.

Journalists also have to consider the frequency and extent of the communication – is it a short momentary, intemperate burst of invective and hatred, or is it repeated deliberately and continuously?

Answering the question of the newsworthiness and intention may be helped by considering if there is a pattern of behaviour or if it is a one-time incident. Repetition is a useful indicator of a deliberate strategy to engender hostility towards others, whether based upon ethnic, racial, religious or other form of discrimination.

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