16th November 2015
By Stefanie Chernow

Accountable Journalism media codes database launched to promote ethical communications

The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the University of Missouri are today launching the Accountable Journalism website, which includes the largest database of media codes in a user-friendly and searchable Web application. One goal of the Accountable Journalism project is to be an ongoing crowdsourcing initiative to keep the database current.

“This database is one of the most popular features for RJI so we’re delighted to be able to team up with EJN to expand it and make it easier to use,” said Randy Picht, RJI’s executive director. “The new search flexibility alone will give media professionals, educators and students terrific new insights into the important subject of media ethics around the world.”

With the new database, users can search for media codes based not just on the code’s originating country but also by topic, type of organization, region and date of creation.

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.

“The relevance of media codes has never been more pertinent than they are in today’s communications landscape,” says Aidan White, director of the EJN. “With the number of voices and the rapid exchanges on the Internet increasing, ethical journalism is needed more than ever to protect the integrity of free expression. It is important work to encourage the development of media codes and how they relate to acts of journalism.”

To further open the dialog surrounding the mission of the Accountable Journalism database, The EJN and RJI will be hosting an online streaming debate entitle Cracking the Code to Accountable and Ethical Journalism on November 23rd at 3pm GMT. The debate can be viewed live on the EJN Google Plus page and participants can submit their questions for the panel through this social media platform.

Journalism professionals are encouraged to share the Accountable Journalism initiative with their colleagues by promoting the link (accountablejournalism.org) on their websites and social media.

The Accountable Journalism project was formerly known as Media Accountability Systems, which was a collection of media codes and press councils aggregated by Claude-Jean Bertrand in 2002 and managed by RJI. With the initiative revitalised, media are invited to look through the database and, if necessary, send their respective updated code of ethics to [email protected].

About the Ethical Journalism Network:

The Ethical Journalism Network promotes ethics, good governance and independent regulation of media content. The EJN was formed in 2011 as a unifying professional campaign bringing together owners, editors and media staff to strengthen the craft of journalism. It works across all platforms and supports partnership at national and international levels between media, journalism support groups and the public.

About the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute:

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute works with citizens, journalists and researchers to strengthen democracy through better journalism. RJI seeks out the most exciting new ideas, tests them with real-world experiments, uses social science research to assess their effectiveness and delivers solutions that citizens and journalists can put to use in their own communities.