Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 10 May 2016



AFP’s new guidelines: Ethical story telling and duty of care


In April Agence France-Presse released a set of new guidelines on journalistic ethics. The new document is a rich resource of self-regulating rules covering everything from reporting mass shootings, use of graphic imagery, and handling user generated content, to data mining, and cybersecurity.

Eric Wishart, former Editor-in-Chief at AFP and current Head of Special Projects, drafted the guidelines and the framework. Drawing on experiences and research from other newspapers, and media organisations, Wishart has developed an extensive document framed around key values of journalism. “The most important thing in all the ethics documents I looked at was accuracy,” he said. “The second one was seeking the truth.” He’s well aware that accurately reporting something that is factually incorrect is not enough; ethical journalists need to test and verify information they receive.

Read the full article here. (EJN)

Ljiljana Zurovac on truth and media

“I am alarmed when I read the biographies of the World Press Freedom Prize candidates we receive each year,” says Ljiljana Zurovac, President of the Jury in 2016. “These journalists are abused, tortured or even killed for trying to make the truth known.” In this interview Ljiljana Zurovac, Executive Director of the Independent Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina, puts particular emphasis on ethics of journalism, media responsibility, and media environment in Southeast Europe.

Read the full article here. (UNESCO)

Trespassed on Press – Violations against press freedom in Nepal

Center for Media Research – Nepal, a member of Ethical Journalism Network, has published a report on incidents of press freedom violations during the political protests in Nepal.

Read the full report here. (Center for Media Research – Nepal)

What Good Are Secure Communications Tools if No One Uses Them?

Journalists and activists run the risk of harassment and arrest because of insecure communications. But Jon Camfield, Internews Senior Technologist, explains why security tools don’t work if they aren’t easy to use. Developing with users in mind is at the core of Internews’ USABLE project.

Read more about the project here. (Internews)

Building Peace in a World without Media

Only a sliver of those surveyed in South Sudan have had regular access to TV, radio, mobiles, newspapers, or the internet in their lifetimes. Yet, a majority believe that information can reduce conflict.

Read the full article here. (Internews)

African Editors Forum encourages ethical journalism

The All African Editors Forum has vowed to work to ensure that editors and journalists would continue to do their jobs ethically, this as World Press Freedom Day was celebrated on Tuesday.

“We, as editors and journalists, again commit ourselves to upholding the highest standards of excellence in journalism, our work will always be guided by public interest, maintaining credibility of the press and the trust of our readers, always striving for the truth and avoiding unnecessary harm, reflecting a multiplicity of voice in our coverage of events as well as showing special concern for children and other vulnerable groups,” African Editors Forum (TAEF) president, Jovial Rantao, said.

Read the full article here. (IOL)

Is Facebook Censoring Conservative News? How Social Media Controls What We See

Gizmodo’s Michael Nunez is out today with a sensational story in which former Facebook employees claim they regularly censored the platform’s “trending” news section to eliminate stories about conservative topics that were organically trending, blacklisted certain news outlets from appearing and artificially “injected” stories they felt were important but that the site’s users were not discussing or clicking on. This comes a month after Nunez published a leaked internal Facebook poll that asked “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?” In short, as the curtain has been lifted on Facebook’s magical trending algorithm, the mythical unbiased algorithm powering what users see on the site is seen to be less machine and more biased human curator.

Read the full article here. (Forbes)

Bangladesh – Press council act will only be changed after talks with journalists

Bangladesh Press Council Chairman Justice Md Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed yesterday categorically said that no changes would be brought to the Press Council Act if journalists opposed.

He made the comment at a seminar jointly organised by Kagoj Kolom, a weekly newspaper, and Abasan News, an online portal, at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital. The programme was organised to mark the World Press Freedom Day, which was on May 3.

Read the full article here. (The Daily Star)

Verification as a process: Tools and techniques to get to the truth

Pictures and videos from eyewitnesses at the scene of a news event are now central to how such events are reported, but news organisations are still tripped up by fake or old footage. From the recent Brussels attacks to those in Paris and Lahore, the verification of imagery has sometimes come second place to being first to publish.

Read the full article here. (First Draft News)

Illusion of Free Media Hides Threats to Journalists in Pakistan

Television news channels have sprouted all over Pakistan since former president and military leader Pervez Musharraf opened up the broadcast landscape to private channels in the early 2000s. Political debates, criticism of the government, and excited anchors shouting every new piece of information as “breaking news” now give the impression of a bold, free, and vibrant media. But many journalists working in Pakistan tell a different story.

Read the full article here. (VOA News)


Best coverage from the UNESCO Youth Newsroom at World Press Freedom Day

Shut up, speak up: Freedom of speech and press after three decades of oppression in Indonesia

MEP Marietje Schaake on online censorship: “Practice that we should not want to have”


Photojournalist and documentarist Frédérique Cifuentes: “You realize what freedom of speech is when you travel to conflict area”

“My crime? Investigative journalism.” Cano Prize Winner Khadija Ismayilova has been in prison in Azerbaijan since 2015

Tunisian cartoonist: “Tunisia is like a baby who discovered freedom of expression”

Aidan White from Ethical Journalism Network: How can journalists oppose hate speech

Moderating between two sides can be a problem – Reporting the refugee crisis suffers from false balance

Threats, accusations, name-callings – hate speech has many forms

Stand-up comedian and journalist Ali Jahangiri: ”Always defend your freedom to joke about things”

The Windhoek Declaration: 25 years ago a group of journalists drafted a statement of press freedom

Journalism student from Palestine: “The press is divided between Hamas and Fatah”

Stopping hate speech, concerns of safety – dialogue between Ukrainian and Russian journalists

Direct harassment and financial restrictions – Four journalists tell about the difficulties in their work

The safety of whistleblowers – Protecting sources while bringing important issues to daylight

Wishlist for the future of press freedom by Guy Berger of UNESCO

Two countries, one profession – Russian and Ukrainian journalists work together for better journalism

“In some countries less than one per cent” – Young voices are missing from the media


Online Journalism Awards

The Online News Association, are opening submissions for this year’s Online Journalism Awards on Tuesday, May 10 and close on June 3, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.

Find out more here. (ONA)