EJN Director’s Letter: October 2013

Dear Friends,

This month we are setting our sights on 2014 and beyond. A new EJN three-year programme will begin next year and we are asking all members to consider what actions will be useful to strengthen our co-operation.

The programme takes a lot of inspiration from the results of a survey carried out among EJN members in August which confirms that all of our members on all platforms want to co-operate and plan to give priority to issues of ethical content and good media governance.

We have also published a comprehensive paper – What We Stand For – which outlines our vision of journalism in the changing information landscape and what the EJN hopes to do in the future.

This month the EJN has been active at a number of international events:

On October 11th in Brussels and with the co-operation of the European Journalism Centre he met with a group of media leaders from Mongolia to discuss EJN work and the challenge of building public trust in media.

On October 16-18 in Sarajevo I met with journalists’ support groups and media leaders from ten countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey to discuss the growing crisis of online hate speech in the region. I wrote a short article on the event and also compiled a more detailed report with conclusions.

On October 21st in Brussels and in co-operation with the Association for Commercial Television in Europe he conducted a master class for the European Council for Public Affairs, on the future of journalism with senior corporate communicators and some leading NGOs. From this meeting has come a proposal for a new dialogue between journalists and key players in the area of public communications in Europe.

At the same time he met with officials from the Belgian governments which is organising a major international conference on Genocide Prevention to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. This will have UN backing and will be opened by Ban Ki Moon on March 31-April 1. The EJN will help prepare a session on the role of media and journalism.

On October 25th in Hanoi I made a keynote presentation at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union on setting standards and the need for editorial independence in the field of public broadcasting. Plans for work in 2014 will include more work in this area and we have had talks with the European Broadcasting Union on how we can help take forward

their own campaign to enhance values and standards in the public media.

The EJN Co-ordinator has attended two key meetings in Morocco – one with the International Association of Women in Radio and Television and a second on future media development activities with our partners at International Media Support. Discussion at both events will generate new activities in the Middle East and Africa for next year.

All members of the EJN are invited to join two important meetings planned for the beginning of December when we will be guests of the Thomson Foundation in London.

On December 3rd there will be a meeting of partners to prepare activities for next year including surveys on the credibility of self-regulation; on paid for journalism; and on gathering materials related to hate-speech and journalism. We will also discuss detailed plans for regional work in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. A key theme will be how to establish a new global dialogue on building credible structures for self-regulation building upon the good links we have established with press councils on four continents.

On December 4th there will be a formal meeting of the EJN to discuss our three-year strategy and the future organisation of the network and its relations with key partners and donors, including UNESCO, the European Commission and the EJN Norwegian Support Group.

Finally, don’t forget to contribute to our web site www.ethicaljournalismnetwork.org; to follow us on Twitter at @EJNetwork; and to join the EJN LinkedIn group. In the coming weeks we will be putting up a number of reports and videos covering our upcoming programmes in Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia and with a full assessment of follow-up work arising from the Bali Media Forum at the beginning of November.


Aidan White
EJN Director