Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 18 February 2016



This Moving Comic Takes You Inside An Unseen Humanitarian Catastrophe

Benjamin Dix makes a unique form of comic book. He and his U.K.-based organization PositiveNegatives take the harrowing stories told by ordinary people caught in humanitarian crises around the world and transform them into visually immersive narratives.

For his latest comic, Dix partnered with the Overseas Development Institute to tell the story of a young Eritrean woman who escaped to Europe after she was imprisoned and ordered into military service. The comic follows “Merha” as she makes the dangerous and costly journey to the United Kingdom.

Read the full article here. (Huffington Post)

For more on how international media cover migration read our ‘Moving Stories’ report.

Reporting the migrant crisis: A dual responsibility to tell the human story

Reporting on the current migrant crisis has led to the most online abuse and hate mail in her entire career, says Channel 4’s international editor Lindsey Hilsum.

BBC Radio 4’s chief correspondent Matthew Price has also had his fair share and says the most bizarre comments included several followers suggesting his reports were deliberate attempts to encourage terrorist atrocities. “You bastard… you want us all to be blown up”, was one particularly colourful comment he says he remembers receiving.

While accepting that it can often be tempting to block people making these comments on social media, Price believes there’s a responsibility for journalists to reach out and establish a dialogue.

The journalists’ comments came during a Polis and London Press Club discussion called Migrants, terror and the media: Reporting and responsibilities on the front line. Price and Hilsum shared the stage at the London School of Economics (LSE) with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a columnist for the Independent, William Wintercross, a photo and video journalist at the Telegraph, and Rossalyn Warren, senior reporter for BuzzFeed.

Read the full article here. (BBC Academy)

Read the best social media coverage of the event here. (EJN)

For more on how international media cover migration read our ‘Moving Stories’ report.


Why the AP Just Launched a Virtual Reality News Channel

The Associated Press has launched a dedicated virtual reality site in collaboration with AMD to increase its focus on bringing 360-degree news storytelling to the growing number of mobile headsets in the global marketplace.

Read the full article here. (Fortune)

Training data journalists to improve the lives of Africans

The participants of Africa’s first-ever data journalism academy just wrapped up an intensive two-week training camp and will spend the next 10 weeks working alongside experienced journalists, coders, wranglers and analysts to produce data-driven stories.

Read the full article here. (WAN-IFRA)

Reporting on historical sexual abuse allegations requires great care

Two recent complaints about the Guardian’s reporting of historical sexual abuse allegations illustrate the difficulties and pitfalls facing journalists writing about such cases. The first concerned the settlement by the Church of England of a civil claim brought against George Bell, the late bishop of Chichester, who died 57 years ago.


Read the full article by EJN board member and Guardian readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, here. (Guardian)

Independent moves online, Editor-in-chief of Huffington Post UK, Genre-led divisions at the BBC

After thirty years, the Independent and the Independent on Sunday are to end their print editions next month – although they’ll continue online. In addition, sister paper i has been sold to Johnston Press for £24 million. The Independent was selling more than 400,000 copies a day at its peak in the late 1980s, but its current paid circulation is around 56,000. Steve Hewlett talks to two key decision makers involved in the change; Amol Rajan, Editor of The Independent and Steve Auckland, Group CEO of ESI Media, which owns all three titles.

Listen to The Media Show on Radio 4 here. (BBC)

A reflection on journalistic ethics

Unpleasant stories aren’t necessarily the work of vulture-esque reporters, but they can be.

Read the full article here. (Prince Albert Daily Herald – Canada)

Tools for verifying and assessing the validity of social media and user-generated content

“Interesting if true” is the old line about some tidbit of unverified news. Recast as “Whoa, if true” for the Twitter age, it allows people to pass on rumors without having to perform even the most basic fact-checking — the equivalent of a whisper over a quick lunch. Working journalists don’t have such luxuries, however, even with the continuous deadlines of a much larger and more competitive media landscape. Read the full article here. (Journalist’s Resource)

Burundi’s Independent Media Finds Itself in the Crossfire of a Deadly Crisis

The long-stewing political crisis in Burundi is a dangerous one, and it’s affecting freedom of expression in the East African country. Independent media are especially under threat, though anyone daring to report on the situation from a non-government-sanctioned perspective face censorship, intimidation and physical violence.

Read the full article here. (Global Voices)


World Radio Day 2016: The ethics of reporting natural disasters, conflicts & hate-speech

Our expert panel discusses the ethical issues faced by radio journalists covering natural disasters and humanitarian crises like the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. We also debate the ethics of covering past and present conflicts in Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan and the hate-speech that often fuels them.

Read more about our World Radio Day podcast on our website.

Listen to the podcast on the UNESCO World Radio Day soundcloud page.

Check out the best social media from World Radio Day in our storify post.

Media and migration debates in London

Last week the EJN attended two events on migration. The first was at the Overseas Development Institute entitled ‘Global migration: from crisis to opportunity’ with Peter Sutherland the UN Special Representative on Migration. The second event was at the London School of Economics hosted by Polis and the London Press Club – ‘Migrants, terror and the media: reporting and responsibilities on the frontline’

You can read EJN’s coverage of the events here:

Migration: Can Media Show Courage in the Face of Europe’s Political Cowardice?

ODI event: Global migration: from crisis to opportunity


LSE event: Migrants, terror and the media: reporting and responsibilities on the frontline


And read the further coverage of the events here:

Refugee crisis – what’s the role of the media? BBC, Buzzfeed, C4, Indy & Tel panel discuss (London Press Club)

Reporting the migrant crisis: A dual responsibility to tell the human story (BBC Academy)