Director’s Letter: November-December 2013

Dear Friends,

The year is ending on a busy note as we put in place the detail and partnerships for our work programme over the next three years.

At the end of October we took part in the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union congress in Hanoi and led a discussion on ethics and governance with Asian networks. At the beginning of November we visited Beijing and had meetings with Chinese journalists specifically concerned with the ethics of environmental reporting. This was followed by the 5th Bali Media Forum on November 6th-8th, attended by groups from 25 countries, which put in place a range of proposals for fresh activities in the coming year.

Arising from this meeting the EJN will co-host a visit of the Indonesian Press Council, one of Asia’s leading media self-regulators, which will visit London on December 10-11th

The EJN has continued its engagement with Aljazeera network on ethical issues at a meeting in London on November 11th.

In co-operation with the Thomson Foundation the EJN carried out a brief mission to Turkey from 17-19th November to investigate the crisis of self-censorship in the aftermath of the Gezi Park protests earlier this year. The report of that visit will be published in the coming weeks.

This was followed by three events in Tunisia – a meeting with the country’s media owners and journalists to launch a press council initiative on November 20th; a three-day regional seminar on ethics and self-regulation issues in co-operation the Norwegian Institute of Journalists in Hammamet; and, finally, EJN participation and sponsorship in the Arab Press Form in Tunis with the World Association of Newspapers and UNESCO from November 24-26th.

On November 29th the EJN provided a keynote address to a conference in Islamabad, launching a Media Credibility Index which has been developed by the Coalition for Ethical Journalism in Pakistan, a group formed with the support of the EJN in 2012.

As reported earlier, the EJN Network meeting on December 3-4th in London is putting together a new three-year programme including international surveys on self-regulation and paid for journalism as well as fresh co-operation with EJN members in Pakistan, South-East Asia, Turkey, Africa and Latin America.

There will be a meeting of the EJN Norwegian support group in Oslo on December 11th and also a planning meeting with the Norwegian Journalism Institute which will host the EJN programme with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from January 1st 2014.

Over the past month we have been discussing actions with our partners for next year and we plan to take part in events and activities with the International Press Institute, the Organisation of News Ombudsmen, The World Association of Newspapers, the European Federation of Journalists, the Global Editors Network and the Online News Association, which is now considering the adoption of a code of conduct for online journalism.

The details of these activities and our follow up work will be found on the web-site. Don’t forget that we have an EJN LinkedIn group, and a Twitter account (@EJNetwork) all of which is being co-ordinated by EJN Communications Officer StefanieChernow.

Already the agenda for 2014 is beginning to fill. We will be taking part in a Brussels conference being organised by the European Magazine Media Association in January and have plans for a meeting in Cairo to launch the independent Egyptian Editors Association, a newly-formed group which was set up earlier this year.

Co-operation with European media groups continues in the Balkans with a project with UNESCO on a regional programme covering hate-speech and media and on December 17th the EJN will make a keynote intervention at a special meeting organised by the Council of Europe in Budapest to examine developments for self-regulation in Hungary.

More information on all of this is available from me at Meanwhile, thank you to all Network members for their continued support. The EJN continues to grow and our central message – to strengthen the craft of journalism and to build trust in media content – is winning backing from across all platforms of media. We look forward to working with you in the years to come.


Aidan White